Nearly 20 instructors of biblical Hebrew gathered one the Fresno Pacific University main campus June 3-6, 2019, to learn and apply the most effective language learning methods. The Hebrew Pedagogy Workshop, organized by Brian Schultz, Ph.D., associate professor of biblical and theological studies, helped professors of Hebrew replace a nearly century-old teaching approach to a newer model that applies best practices from second language acquisition.
“Though research has shown that current practices for teaching biblical Hebrew (and other so-called dead languages) are counter-productive to the way the human brain naturally learns language, the field of biblical studies has been resistant to changing its approach,” Schultz said.
One workshop participant came from Dallas International University, SIL International’s institution for training Bible translators. A faith-based nonprofit organization, SIL is currently involved in over 1,660 active language projects, representing 1.07 billion people in 162 countries (more at sil.org/). Other instructors and faculty came from institutions including the University of Virginia, Arlington, Westminster Seminary Northwest University, Ozark Christian College, Martin Luther College and University of Texas, Austin.
FPU graduate Scott McQuinn, M.A., (pictured standing with two participants) assisted Schultz, and Randall Buth, Ph.D., of the Biblical Language Center also provided support.