**Updated on September, 2016**
I’ve been using it to learn Hebrew. So, here’s my HebrewPod101 review.
HebrewPod101 is a modern Hebrew online course and learning program. It’s well known for it’s audio lessons, video lessons, lesson notes and study tools (flashcards, apps, line by line breakdown, word-lists, and more).
You’re not reading long articles like on most websites (like mine!)
You’re learning with audio & video lessons made by Hebrew teachers. And they guide you from lesson to lesson.
You can learn on your computer or with your smartphone & their Apps if you’re on the go.
What’s their goal? To get you speaking & understanding real Hebrew.
So, sign up first. Enter your learning level and email.
In short, HebrewPod101 consists of the following features
- Free Word of the Day (when you sign up)
- Free Apps for the iPhone, iPad, Android (when you sign up)
- 500+ Audio & Video Lessons by Hebrew Teachers
- Lesson Guidance & Progress Tracking
- PDF Lesson Notes so you can read along
- Study Tools (Flashcards, Word Lists, Word Bank, Voice Recorder, etc.)
HebrewPod101’s goal is to get you speaking and understanding real-life Hebrew with conversational lessons. The Audio & Video lessons are the biggest attraction of the site (over 500 lessons and new ones published every week) and cover every level from Absolute Beginner level to Advanced.
Basically, you play the lessons, listen, read along and repeat what you hear… as you would from a real tutor.
Think of it as a relaxed radio-style lesson.
Or a class you can re-take again and again. Great for learning at your pace. Below is what a typical Audio lesson looks like.
There are also video lessons.
In each lesson (5-10 minutes in length), there are 2 teachers (native Hebrew speakers) that also speak English. They introduce a new conversation. You hear it. They translate and explain it.
You can also read along with the Line-by-Line Audio (see picture above) or PDF lesson notes (I mention this later). This is super useful for learning.
You understand everything by the end. The lessons are perfect in length. Not super long so you don’t get bored.
I like to re-take to my lessons to review. That’s the nice thing – you can retake/review them as much as you want. Here’s an example of a video lesson below that teaches you the Alefbet (Hebrew Alphabet).
HebrewPod101 guides you from lesson to lesson so you know what to study.
You never get lost. That’s a cool thing.
This is done with the Dashboard (see below). It keeps track of what lessons you finish, tells you how much you’ve completed (I’m at a meager 40%) and which lesson to study next (Survival Phrases #25).
You can also add other lesson series to customize your learning. I added the “Hebrew Alphabet Made Easy” video course so I could learn to read and write Hebrew.
This is probably their best update yet. Learning Paths give you specific Hebrew courses. For example, reading, writing, speaking, culture and so on. Why? So you don’t have to dig through their huge (and impressive, I’ll admit) collection of lessons.
It just makes it easier to learn.
It organizes their lessons into courses that you can focus on.
Learning Paths are separated by topic and level – from Absolute Beginner to Advanced.
There are also PDF lesson notes you can read with.
That way, any Hebrew that’s spoken, you won’t miss because you have a word-for-word transcript. Something real life conversations don’t come with.
This will ensure that you understand everything.
Since you’ll learn a lot of words, phrases, and grammar in these lessons, you’ll also need a way to memorize them too. HebrewPod101 offers Spaced Repetition Flashcards (like Anki), Word Bank, and the 2,000 Core Word List to help you master words. There’s also voice recording tools to practice pronunciation and compare with real Hebrew speakers.
WordBank and Line-by-Line are my favorite study tools.
And, you get Apps so you can take the lessons on the go.
Or, take a look at this quick video preview of HebrewPod101 features.
That’s the site in a nutshell.
So, let’s get into the HebrewPod101 review.
The Good Points:
- You have fun learning. This isn’t a boring textbook. Not random recorded phrases. Not some old guy with a microphone. You’re listening to Hebrew speakers teaching you and having fun at the same time. This is a MAJOR bonus in terms of motivation and staying engaged.
- A TON of existing lessons & all new lessons all the time. No textbook will ever provide you with this. There’s over 500 lessons…and at least 3 new lessons being published every week. There’s always something to learn.
- Very well organized, so you know what to learn next. Once you set your learning level, the dashboard will recommend lessons for you. There’s no confusion about getting around the site… or what lessons to study next. The teachers even respond to comments if you do have some questions. Finally, the lessons are organized by learning level, just in case you’d like to explore.
- The New Learning Paths do a great job of organizing their lessons.
- You get new lessons every week for FREE. Yes, Free. Every newly published lesson is free. This means you have 3 weeks of free lessons at any time. Just sit back and grab them as they’re released.
- You learn REAL CONVERSATION. You know what most Hebrew learners (language learners) want to do? They just want to speak and understand the damn language and not dig through textbook pages. HebrewPod101’s lessons are designed to give you conversation first so you become used to it, and then, start speaking it after they explain it.
- You learn at your own pace, on the go. Or at your computer. But, the site is perfect for self-learners. If you have a smartphone, you can learn while you’re out shopping, driving… and then switch over to your computer and continue where you left off.
- You can get your own on-site teacher. If you don’t have Hebrew teachers or tutors in your area… their Premium PLUS program gives you virtual access to a teacher. Well worth the money if you care to learn with a native.
- Discounts. They seem to have sales quite often, so instead of signing up at full price, you can always take advantage of their sales.
- Customer Support & Money Back Guarantee. These respond very fast whenever I had questions. That’s a rarity with online language learners.
The Bad Points:
- Don’t rely on it alone. Well, in general: no ONE book, one class, app , or website will take you to Hebrew fluency. That’s just the way language learning is.
- Lacking in Grammar. While they do go over grammar in lessons… this is something you need real-life practice for. Grammar sucks. It requires time, attention and the only practical way to tackle it is through using what you learn over and over and over.
- Can’t Choose A Username. I thought this was odd. But when you sign up on the site, your username is your email address with some numbers. Would be more user-friendly if I got to choose it. Update: You can now update your username.
✓ I HIGHLY recommend it for Beginners and Intermediate learners that want a friendly way to learn and speak Hebrew.
- It has an ever-growing library of awesome lessons that you can learn with any time, anywhere. You’ll never get this anywhere.
- You learn real life conversation. I think it’s a great tool for me, as a Beginner and I plan to use it until I’ve mastered all the lessons.
- Best of all, you pay a whole lot less than you would on a class or a massive CD set.
So if you’re interested in Hebrew, my advice is to you is to have a “growth mindset” (meaning: you believe that intelligence can be developed, that the brain is like a muscle that can be trained- this leads to the desire to improve) and thus, use the site it for it’s value.
- Secret Lifetime Membership: They don’t advertise this (they probably lose money on it but I found the link during a Christmas sale) but you can buy lifetime access to HebrewPod101 and their entire learning system. I think this would be super useful for serious learners (ONLY) that don’t want to just “try” Hebrew but are in it for the long term. Click here to check it out.
That’s it for my HebrewPod101 review.
Let me know what you think!