One significant aspect to make students succeed when they learn Hebrew is the quality of the student-teacher relationship. It is especially important when the lessons occur online, as more distractions can affect the student’s motivation and learning process.
For obvious reasons, when lessons are given on a one-to-one basis it is possible to take the maximum advantage of this interaction, no matter which is the physical distance between student and teacher. My own experience shows me that individual online communication can be as engaging as face-to-face one.
To achieve this engagement, the teachers’ listening skills also play an important role. I sometimes feel like a therapist or a coacher by supporting and encouraging the student to get over some obstacles.
But more than me helping the student, we deal with the difficulties together to achieve our common goal. My students highly appreciate this, and I enjoy the journey as well because I always learn something from each class.
The whole experience leads to a long-term emphatic relationship that becomes more as a friendship than as a distant student-teacher communication. For example, my students visited my house, participated in my son’s Bar Mitzvah, and joined my family to celebrate Jewish holidays, among other events.
These situations do not reduce the level of professionality when it comes to pedagogical aspects. On the contrary, I see that students get the most out of each lesson and they acquire the language faster.