In episode 134, Stacey interviews Professor Jesse Scheumann about how he teaches Biblical Hebrew. Despite preconceptions about what it is like to learn a Biblical language, Jesse’s classroom has no desks or grammar textbook and also involves movement, stories, and other techniques from communicative language teaching approaches. By the end of their first year of Hebrew, Jesse’s students are reading the book of Jonah from cover to cover in the original Hebrew Bible.

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Show Notes

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Dr. Jesse Scheumann is Assistant Professor of Biblical and Religious Studies at Sattler College. Jesse has published some of his instructional materials. He is co-author of Jonah: An Illustrated Hebrew Reader’s Edition (GlossaHouse, 2019) and According to Their Kinds: A Biblical Hebrew Picture Dictionary (GlossaHouse, 2019).

Stacey first learned about Jesse’s classes when she accidentally stumbled across this blog post about his classes.

You can reach out to Jesse by email.

If you want to cite this episode, our suggested APA reference is:
Johnson, S.M. (Producer/Interviewer). (2020). We Teach Languages Episode 134: One Year of Biblical Hebrew with Jesse Scheumann [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from


4 thoughts on “We Teach Languages Episode 134: One Year of Biblical Hebrew with Jesse Scheumann

  1. (This is Stacey posting on behalf of a listener)

    I listened to today’s podcast with bated breath. Thanks so much for discussing Hebrew!
    As a proficiency-oriented (Spanish) language teacher and Hebrew instructional consultant, I could spot many features of Dr. Scheumann’s biblical Hebrew class that align with SLA and prioritize Comprehensible Input: Using commands with absolute novices for concentrated exposure to the sounds and meaning of the language (TPR); desk-less classroom for flexibility and engagement; props/visuals for transparency of meaning, to support dramatization and boost fun (and lower the affective filter!); narrow/ in-bounds language usage; scaffolded storytelling supported by visuals (including video & dramatization) and culminating in reading.
    I have a blog about teaching modern Hebrew using these and other CI-aligned strategies – perhaps interested podcast listeners might enjoy or benefit from visiting, commenting or asking questions about teaching/learning Modern Hebrew:
    Feel free to reach out to me directly w/any questions!
    I look forward to exploring Dr. S’s materials further. Thanks so much for sharing this conversation.
    Alisa Shapiro-Rosenberg

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