Beyond the classroom: WebCT and learning Modern Hebrew

Yona Gilead


The developments of new technologies over the last decades provide some answers to the limited exposure imposed on second/foreign language (L2) learners, who study a target language in an academic setting in countries where that language is not actively used. Not only are such learners restricted in their exposure to the L2 in the formal academic framework, due to the limited face to face learning time, but, more significantly, they lack the exposure to the language's 'real world' as it exists outside the language classroom. They are isolated from the target language's authentic discourse communities and its native speakers. Instead, learners mainly experience the language in its 'modified format' as manifested within the classroom itself.

This paper analyses the rationale for, and the process of, the development of the Modern Hebrew Beginners WebCTsite at the University of Sydney as a means of increasing students' exposure to the language and especially enhancing their communication in Hebrew through the use of technologies.


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