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#1 ukeen

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 01:16 AM

Hi all,
Regarding ulpan ....
In and around tel aviv, aside from ulpan Gordon are there any other reputable ulpanim?

More importantly, it has been suggested to me that during the 5 month course I focus exclusively on learning Hebrew as opposed to looking employment. Essentially making my job learning the language. Based on your aliyah, is this sound advice? (this is in relation to future employment prospects)

And, out of curiosity is there anything that you would have done differently based on the reality of living in Israel versus the information given out by NBN or The JA?
Thanks in advance for your help.
Shavoua tov!

#2 Kalashnikover_Rebbe

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 05:53 PM

I don't know a single person that actually learned any Hebrew in Ulpan....
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#3 rvn2590

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 06:38 PM

I don't know a single person that actually learned any Hebrew in Ulpan....

I learned a lot of hebrew in an ulpan. It was a fantastic experience where I learned a lot.
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#4 starwolf

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 10:32 PM

People are different. Most of the people that I know that had successful aliyot did not go to ulpan, they just learned Hebrew as they went along. This may or may not be an option for you.

On the one hand, it is not a good idea to be one of those olim who never master Hebrew. I'm not discussing speaking with an accent, but simply not being able to communicate.

On the other hand, I think that a major factor in integrating into Israeli society is employment. dust up your resume, in Hebrew and English, and get it out there. Keep your ears open, if you hear of something that you feel is a good thing for you--grab it. Good jobs are rarer than ulpan classes.

Hatzlacha raba!

הַתְקַשֵּׁר מַעֲדַנּוֹת כִּימָה אוֹ-מֹשְׁכוֹת כְּסִיל תְּפַתֵּחַ


doubt not through the ages one increasing purpose runs, and the thoughts of men are widened with the process of the suns.

#5 ukeen

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 10:00 AM

Thanks for the responses.
Fortunately I can devote an entire 5 months to ulpan...regardless whether or not i walk out of the experience speaking fluently ... A likely story!!!

Starwolf, what do you consider a successful or more to the point an unsuccessful aliya?;)

#6 starwolf

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 11:44 AM

Thanks for the responses.
Fortunately I can devote an entire 5 months to ulpan...regardless whether or not i walk out of the experience speaking fluently ... A likely story!!!

Starwolf, what do you consider a successful or more to the point an unsuccessful aliya?;)


Pretty simple really--
Successful aliya
---Being happy you came
---Liking living here
---Wanting to stay

Unsuccessful aliya:
---Wanting to leave
or
---Needing to leave for reasons that will prevent your return.



הַתְקַשֵּׁר מַעֲדַנּוֹת כִּימָה אוֹ-מֹשְׁכוֹת כְּסִיל תְּפַתֵּחַ


doubt not through the ages one increasing purpose runs, and the thoughts of men are widened with the process of the suns.

#7 happyduck1979

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 03:25 PM

We were in a position where my husband could take the 5 months to focus solely on learning the language. He came with practically nothing and can now barely understand and make himself understood- and that was with doing all the homework and practicing and finishing ulpan aleph with a 90+.

The truth is, I am not sure how much ulpan really helps anyone the way it is done. I left the normal ulpan and switched to a private conversational ulpan that focused on vocabulary building and I found it much more useful- but I had gone in to ulpan daled already being fairly fluent and able to conjugate anything you threw at me, just not knowing words for "stuff".

To answer your question though, if you are planning to do ulpan I would recommend focusing on it if you have the ability to put off loooking for employment and other things. Spend your mornings at ulpan, do your homework, and the rest of your day acclimating and getting all the aliya "stuff" taken care of.

My biggest advice USE YOUR HEBREW. Wherever, whenever. You will be laughed at. Ignore them and keep using it. It is the only way you will become familiar with it and make it common to yourself.
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#8 lyric

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 04:57 PM

I agree with USE YOUR HEBREW. Listen to the radio. Talk Hebrew to tradesmen, shopkeepers, don't expect ANYONE to speak English even if they do. I took a taxi ride recently where the driver was learning English and kept a small "dictionary" under his sun shield of words he was learning and their translation. He practised them on me but I in turn learned from his translation as to what the Hebrew was for each.

I have stopped trying to tune into UK radio stations when I am in Israel. I find it hard to understand the news in Hebrew but I can understand a phone in or chat show so I listen to those as often as I can and concentrate on learning new vocab. I think this will help more than Ulpan.
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#9 EdfromNachlaot

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 03:42 AM

If you are highly specialized in your profession, and get a job right away, take the job and take Ulpan at night.

If you aren't, take the Ulpan full time, and spend the first few months learning Hebrew, especially if you are coming over in the Summer (when hiring is usually at a slow-down).

Don't expect Ulpan to teach you vocabulary - this is something you'll need to learn on your own. Use Ulpan to teach you the language structure, sentance structure, and word structure. Most of this is in Kita Bet, and many folks will take Kita Bet more than once (I took it twice). If you already have this part down, studying more Hebrew is more of a nicety than a necessity (much like studying English past a freshman year college level). I thing Gimmel actually is college level, and I'm sure Daled is. Of course, you don't need a college level of language to function in society.

If you are going to be living in the Gordon area of Tel Aviv, you weill most likely be tempted to stay in the small, English Speaking community around there. This will have some benefits as far as social and sanity requirements, it is not a good way to integrate into Israeli society. Try to make it a point to get into a Hebrew speaking circle/area on a regular basis (say 3-4 days a week minimum), even if you feel totally isolated.

Also, don't expect to take 5 months of Ulpan and be anywhere near your level of English. You won't. Ulpan is designed to teach you the basics, and give you the tools to continue learning Hebrew once you leave. As an example, you might not remember what a Gerund is (I'm sure you learned that back in 5th grade), but I'm certain you know when to use one instead of the noun form. Ulpan will teach you that type of stuff (grammar, structure, tenses, conjugations, etc).

#10 ukeen

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 10:09 AM

Thanks again for the advice ... I agree that immersion is the best way to learn a new language having already done it twice (once with excellent results and another with only a so-so result)




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