Presentation Title

A-1 BibleOL for Individuals and Institutions: Learning Biblical Hebrew – Not the Old Testament

Presenter Status

Assistant Professor, Old Testament, SDA theolgoical Seminary

Preferred Session

Oral Session

Start Date

4-11-2016 3:00 PM

End Date

4-11-2016 3:15 PM

Presentation Abstract

Biblical Hebrew can be a challenging language for students. Practice with the language is essential. BibleOL is an online learning environment that allows students to practice Biblical Hebrew grammar and translating Biblical Hebrew texts. This tool has been effective for improving students’ mastery of Hebrew. We have collected performance data of Hebrew students over the last two years at the SDA theological seminary. Our statistics show that the average student performs 11% better (≙ a letter grade) when BibleOL was utilized as a major learning tool in the course. One reason for the performance difference is that BibleOL enables students to use their learned vocabulary and grammar in real Hebrew Bible passages. In addition, students only get graded for their best exercise run. This stimulates students to repeat exercises until they are satisfied with their grade (gamification effect).

In our research project we are working to add an examination mode so that this system may be used for testing and certifying the level of Hebrew proficiency. In order to offer an examination modefor institutions, we have to develop linguistic rules that help us detect ambiguous forms in Hebrew (similar to the English “you”: 2sgM/2sgF/2sgC/2plM/2plF/2plC). In the future, we intend to improve the present BibleOL learning environment by adding novel Biblical Hebrew texts to the learning process. This new feature will remove the crutch for Biblical Hebrew students who tend to translate Biblical Hebrew texts not by relying on their language skills but on their Bible knowledge.

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Nov 4th, 3:00 PM Nov 4th, 3:15 PM

A-1 BibleOL for Individuals and Institutions: Learning Biblical Hebrew – Not the Old Testament

Biblical Hebrew can be a challenging language for students. Practice with the language is essential. BibleOL is an online learning environment that allows students to practice Biblical Hebrew grammar and translating Biblical Hebrew texts. This tool has been effective for improving students’ mastery of Hebrew. We have collected performance data of Hebrew students over the last two years at the SDA theological seminary. Our statistics show that the average student performs 11% better (≙ a letter grade) when BibleOL was utilized as a major learning tool in the course. One reason for the performance difference is that BibleOL enables students to use their learned vocabulary and grammar in real Hebrew Bible passages. In addition, students only get graded for their best exercise run. This stimulates students to repeat exercises until they are satisfied with their grade (gamification effect).

In our research project we are working to add an examination mode so that this system may be used for testing and certifying the level of Hebrew proficiency. In order to offer an examination modefor institutions, we have to develop linguistic rules that help us detect ambiguous forms in Hebrew (similar to the English “you”: 2sgM/2sgF/2sgC/2plM/2plF/2plC). In the future, we intend to improve the present BibleOL learning environment by adding novel Biblical Hebrew texts to the learning process. This new feature will remove the crutch for Biblical Hebrew students who tend to translate Biblical Hebrew texts not by relying on their language skills but on their Bible knowledge.