There are a few different options open to you if you want to learn Hebrew but you don’t have access to a real in the flesh teacher. Some options are free and others of course are paid.
Here is a brief overview of some of the options available to you.
Hebrew Language Software:
One of the more affordable and practical ways to teach yourself Hebrew is using Hebrew Language software.
A good software based program will provide you with an intuitive learning path and all the learning tools and resources you need to master the language to an intermediate level.
In my experience, you will not master Hebrew to an advanced level using Hebrew language software alone; you will eventually need 1-1 lessons with a native speaker.
Hebrew language software is a popular choice among many people as it allows you to learn at your own pace, and in your time. However, to make the most from your software program you will need to organize regular study times, take notes and review lessons.
Language exchange websites:
Language exchange sites help you learn Hebrew by putting you in-touch with Hebrew speakers who want to learn your language. Exchange websites essentially treat language as a commodity and provide a language marketplace where users can interact. Users typically contact each other via text chat, voice-over-IP, or email.
Language exchange sites are a good way to learn Hebrew for free but the drawback is that you are learning from another person that may not have any teaching skills and therefore may be unable to pass on the knowledge in a way to you can understand let alone retain.
There are a number of Internet portals that offer Hebrew language content. The knowledge base of such portals, typically include phrases with translations, text to speech engines and learning activities such as quizzes or puzzles based on language concepts.
While portals can be an excellent source and database of knowledge, I find such sites can be very cluttered and hard to navigate. They remind me of that episode of the Simpsons when Homer set-up a website and filled the page with random images and moving graphics.
Online Hebrew Courses:
Online Hebrew courses provide you with all the advantages of classroom-based learning without the need to be in a physical classroom. You get real-life instruction with a native Hebrew teacher, and you get to practice the language in real time with other students.
Online courses are generally more comprehensive than their software counterparts are but they are also more expensive. However, if you want to learn to speak Hebrew to an advanced level then an online course is your best option.
If you choose to learn Hebrew online you need to make a real commitment to study, you will need to schedule hours to attend classes, you will need to complete homework assignments and of course, you will need to take some time to revise. It’s full on, but well worth it!
Personally, I find a mixture of the above resources to be the best. I learned a large part of the Hebrew I know today from using Hebrew language software, but I also availed of language exchange sites and portals to compliment my learning.
As with anything else in life, you will only get out of it, what you put in.