Re: Functional illiteracy in Day Schools
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Re: Functional illiteracy in Day Schools

December 23, 2000 10:00PM
<HTML>
Stuart Zweiter posed many questions in his last post:

I would like to focus on one and elaborate on it:

I am teaching 11th grade chumash in a modern orthodox high school. This
year we are studying sefer Devarim. In the first semester I have 'covered'
the first 11 perakim. I don't read much inside but instead I have them
read a perek at home or in shiur with guided questions. Class is generally
focused on a theme and discussion revolves around this theme. At the end
of the semester I announced the final will cover those 11 perakim and part
of the test will include psukim which they will have to translate and give
the context.

A student came over to me afterwards and said, "Rabbi, I can't take your
final. I don't understand Hebrew. I can barely read a pasuk. He was amazed
that I could actually follow along during Torah-reading on Shabbat and
understand what is being said. I tested him on a few psukim and saw he
wasn't lying - he could not make out prefixes, suffixes, roots etc.
What should my goal be with this student? Should I change what I do in
class? What about those students who can read chumash on their own?

My answer to the student was to focus on 5 perakim and know those well
i.e. translation & context. I don't want to give up on teaching my class
through a theme based discussion and turning this into a pasuk by pasuk
translation class.

Is that the right answer?</HTML>
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