Vardit Ringvald, Ph.D., was appointed the first director of the Middlebury School of Hebrew in 2008. She served as professor of Hebrew and director of the Hebrew and Arabic Languages Program at Brandeis University until 2013, and she brings years of experience in language program development and implementation.
In 1996 she founded the Hebrew Language Summer Institute at Brandeis University and created the Master of Arts in Teaching Hebrew in 1998. Prof. Ringvald served as the acting director of language programs for the Romance and Comparative Literature Department at Brandeis and as director of Oriental Languages.
Prof. Ringvald taught Hebrew language, culture and Hebrew teaching pedagogy at Brandeis from 1985 until 2013. She was a team member for developing the Hebrew Proficiency guidelines for ACTFL, Hebrew proficiency curriculum frameworks for secondary and postsecondary education for ACTFL and the United States Department of Education. She helped oversee development of materials to enhance reading and listening strategies for Hebrew learners at all levels under funding by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
In addition to serving as chair of the SAT II for Hebrew and as advisor for Hebrew to the National Middle Eastern Language Resource Center (NMELRC), based at Brigham Young University, Prof. Ringvald serves on the committee for Hebrew language pedagogy for the National Association of Professors of Hebrew (NAPH). One of the developers of the Oral Proficiency Interview for Hebrew and an OPI trainer, she is the primary author of Brandeis Modern Hebrew. This volume, the first to be based on the proficiency method, is rapidly becoming the most-used modern Hebrew textbook in the United States.
As consultant to a wide range of schools and organizations that teach Hebrew, Prof. Ringvalds' areas of expertise are curriculum development and assessment. Her current projects include completing the second volume of the Brandeis Modern Hebrew textbook; a joint project with Snunit at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to develop an on-line resource for teaching and learning Hebrew as a second language, under funding by the NMELRC; and independent research on language and identity
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
HEBM5690 - Understanding the Lang Learner
In order to maximize the language acquisition process for all learners – teachers need to individualize the learning for them. Therefore one of the main tools used by foreign language teachers is identifying the variables that characterizes each of their learners.
In this course, students will larn how to indentify the main variables that influence learner's abilities to study a new language such as learning style and strategies, notation, aptitude, level of anxiety, and so on.
Required Text: Learning Strategies Handbook [Paperback]; Anna Uhl Chamot , Sarah Barnhardt, Pamela Beard El-Dinary, Jill Robbins
Language learner strategies; Andrew Cohen
Fall 2014, Hebrew MA Hybrid
HEBM5695 - Teaching Practicum
Fall 2014, Hebrew MA Hybrid
HEBM5698 - Teaching Practicum
Spring 2016, Hebrew MA Hybrid
HEBM5700 - Integrated Seminar
Spring 2016, Hebrew MA Hybrid
HEBM6610 - Theories and Methodologies
The goal of this course is to introduce the main theories and methodologies in the field of learning and teaching foreign languages. Students in this course will also become familiar with the Proficiency Approach as a way to integrate the learned theories and methodologies, and as a tool to conceptualize frameworks for curriculum development. Students in the course will also be required to observe a Hebrew language class and submit biweekly written and oral reports of their observations.
Required Texts: Language Assessment: Principles and Classroom Practices Pedagogy
Summer 2014 Language Schools, 2-week SoH Session 1, Summer 2015 Language Schools, 2-week SoH Session 1, Summer 2016 Language Schools, 2-week SoH Session 1
HEBM6615 - Classroom Research Methods
In order to become effective teachers, our students constantly need to reflect on their practice as well as to be aware of the new trends and development in the field of SLA.
In this course, students will learn how to read research reports critically as well as to master a variety of skills needed to conduct meaningful research in their classrooms.
The course will train the participants to design research, to collect data, analyze it, and present it to their classmates for the purpose of group discussion and interpretation. Pedagogy
Summer 2015 Language Schools, 2-week SoH Session 3
HEBM6625 - Developing Assessment Tools
Developing assessment tools for all language skills
The goal of this course is to provide students with a working knowledge of the basic principles for developing both formative and summative assessment tools for assessing their learner’s language skills. Students will experience the development of a variety of test types such as standardized and discrete-point tests as well as communicative competence and integrative language tests. Pedagogy
Summer 2014 Language Schools, 2-week SoH Session 2, Summer 2015 Language Schools, 2-week SoH Session 2
HEBM6629 - Materials & Curriculum Develop
Materials and Curriculum Development for Lessons and Units
In order to meet all students’ needs – teachers need to acquire the skill of understanding materials’ development so that they can make the best choices in selecting the appropriate experience for their learners mainly by using tools for identifying and analyzing the goals and perspectives embedded in the “commercially“ readymade materials. In addition, students will learn the principles of creating their own learning units – by identifying the ideal theme, articulating goals, and making decisions about materials and activities. This course will introduce students with sources that can provide them with authentic materials to support the language acquisition for their learners.
Required Texts: Action research in the world language classroom Pedagogy
Summer 2015 Language Schools, 2-week SoH Session 2
HEBM6631 - Using Technology for Teach FL
Using Technology in Teaching Foreign Languages
The goal of this course is to introduce teachers to a variety of technological tools that can enhance learner’s language acquisition.
Tools to improve motivations – access to authentic materials, programs that can assist in acquiring grammar and syntax.
Students will experience the tools; learn how to incorporate them into the curriculum and to evaluate their effectiveness.
Required Texts: Brave New Digital Classroom: Technology and Foreign Language; Second Language Teaching and Learning in the Net Generation by Raquel Oxford & Jeffrey Oxford Pedagogy
Summer 2015 Language Schools, 2-week SoH Session 1
HEBM6641 - Hebrew Culture Past & Present
This course will focus on an examination of the intersections of literature, society, philosophy, and politics in the making of modern Israeli culture. Critical study of Israeli culture with special emphasis on literature, film, and art as sites of struggle over political and social meaning during times of cultural transformation in Israel. Topics will focus on the historical development of the Israeli identity. Civ Cul & Soc
Summer 2014 Language Schools, 2-week SoH Session 3, Summer 2015 Language Schools, 2-week SoH Session 3