Biblingo - communicative instruction at an affordable price

Textbooks, Graded Readers, Beginner Resources and links, Teaching aids, etc.
Post Reply
Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3711
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Biblingo - communicative instruction at an affordable price

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 20th, 2020, 6:04 pm

I have been learning Hebrew using the Biblingo beta:

https://biblingo.org/

They also have Greek, but my experience is with the Hebrew portion. So far, I am extremely impressed. They really get language instruction and communicative approaches, without skimping on the grammar - but teaching it communicatively. The videos are well-produced. The software is appealing.

And at a reasonable price.

They are working out some kinks in the Beta, it's not quite product-ready yet, but I think this will be the first affordable software that teaches biblical languages using a solid communicative approach.

Anyone out here who has used their Greek?
0 x


ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

RandallButh
Posts: 1051
Joined: May 13th, 2011, 4:01 am

Re: Biblingo - communicative instruction at an affordable price

Post by RandallButh » April 21st, 2020, 2:20 pm

It is good to hear that you are enjoying the interface and working on Hebrew.
As one concerned for quality language instruction, there are a couple of caveats.
When it comes to default word order Biblingo follows an extreme minority position that I would say bluntly is wrong. Hebrew is not an S-V language and learning it in that way will skew the pragmatics. BH was V-S as default order.
Also, for 3000 years Hebrew users have included a verb category that is the opposite of vayyiqtol and that we can call veqatal, which is a thematic future-modal-imperfective [AKA waw-conversive+qatal]. The developer of biblingo considers it a simple 'and' and a perfective. Unfortunately, incorrectly.
0 x

Kevin Grasso
Posts: 1
Joined: April 21st, 2020, 5:01 pm

Re: Biblingo - communicative instruction at an affordable price

Post by Kevin Grasso » April 21st, 2020, 5:07 pm

Thanks for your comments, Randall, and your concern for quality instruction. I share the same concern. As you and I know and have discussed, these issues are complex, and there are smart people on both sides. I just want to point out that we are giving students resources for further reading on the grammar points. I have already recommended Aaron Hornkohl's article on the VS position to be read along with Holmstedt's article on the SV position to one of our students. I think it is a healthy part of the learning process to engage with other scholars' viewpoints, and regardless of the theoretical position, we are trying to model the language as much as possible based on native speaker input we have from texts. With regard to what I believe about weqatal, that is not an accurate representation of my position. If you or anyone else would like to discuss the details of what I believe about word order and verbs in Biblical Hebrew, I am happy to do so in a medium other than the Greek forum.
0 x

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3711
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: Biblingo - communicative instruction at an affordable price

Post by Jonathan Robie » April 21st, 2020, 5:26 pm

Since I will probably wind up learning from both of you, I would love to see that discussion.

Perhaps on B-Hebrew? Or is there a better place for it? Obviously, B-Greek is a better place for discussion about Greek ...
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Christina Diggles
Posts: 3
Joined: April 21st, 2020, 11:53 am

Re: Biblingo - communicative instruction at an affordable price

Post by Christina Diggles » April 21st, 2020, 8:52 pm

I just started the Greek beta lessons! I had a cursory knowledge of the alphabet, so I've been able to get most of the way through lesson 1 even though their alphabet lesson isn't out yet. The typing requirements were the hardest part, but struggling through those sections has made a big difference in my word retention. I can now see a bird and say πετινον κραζει without much thought! :D (Please forgive me if my spelling isn't accurate yet... I can write the letters by sounding them out pretty well, but I'm not yet well-versed in the markings.)
0 x

Paul-Nitz
Posts: 495
Joined: June 1st, 2011, 4:19 am
Location: Lilongwe, Malawi

Re: Biblingo - communicative instruction at an affordable price

Post by Paul-Nitz » May 26th, 2020, 6:54 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
April 20th, 2020, 6:04 pm
They really get language instruction and communicative approaches, without skimping on the grammar - but teaching it communicatively.
Jonathan,

How do you define "communicatively"?

What is on my mind is that in the field of foreign language teaching, "communicative" means that true communication takes place. By "communication," we mean the expression, interpretation (and sometimes negotiation) of meaning, with a purpose. This explains the word "communicative" in the label of the most current modern language teaching approach, Communicative Language Teaching (CLT). CLT is characterized by the belief that language is acquired by engaging in communication. Classroom activities attempt to create opportunities for communication with the target language.

In contrast to that formal understanding of "communicative," a lot of people understand it to mean that aural-oral methods are emphasized, and learning language through rules is de-emphasized. That understanding is closer to the theories behind the Direct Method and Audio-Lingual Method.

I'm guessing you mean that Biblingo uses aural/oral and visual methods to teach. I'm wondering, do they use Hebrew to tell a story, or give directions, or exchange information? If they are managing to really teach Greek and Hebrew online and via communication, I want to look into it more.
0 x
Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3711
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: Biblingo - communicative instruction at an affordable price

Post by Jonathan Robie » May 28th, 2020, 8:59 am

Paul-Nitz wrote:
May 26th, 2020, 6:54 am
I'm guessing you mean that Biblingo uses aural/oral and visual methods to teach. I'm wondering, do they use Hebrew to tell a story, or give directions, or exchange information? If they are managing to really teach Greek and Hebrew online and via communication, I want to look into it more. [/size][/color]
Yes, you are right. Michael Palmer and I were working on an approach based on asking and answering questions about a passage, which is more communicative, but we just don't have time to make progress on that quickly unless we get some other people involved. I think that would improve Biblingo.

It is four-channel, using listening, speaking (if you follow directions), reading, and writing. It uses video and images. It checks your written answers.

So I wouldn't call it communicative either, but I do think Biblingo is going to be good when it is finished. It would be even better if it were communicative.
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Post Reply

Return to “Resources”