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Hebrew Pod 101 Review

Monday, November 29th

2021 Hebrew Lesson Reviews

Hebrew Pod 101 Review 4 Star Rating

Hebrew Pod 101

4 Star Rating
  • Free to try
  • 4 subscription levels to choose from including a free version
  • 7-day free trial
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Personalized tutoring and instruction at Premium+ level
  • Lessons incorporate audio and video
  • New content added weekly

Hebrew Pod 101 is one of 40 languages presented by Innovative Language Learning since 2005. Their method of teaching Hebrew lessons includes exposure to native speakers with different voices and speaking styles, new content released weekly that incorporates current events and pop culture, all of which is reviewed by certified Hebrew instructors.

Still needs to be more transparent

In previous evaluations of Hebrew Pod 101, one of our criticisms was the high-pressure sales tactics - especially having to sign up for a "free" account before being given much information about the program, like how it works or what it costs. That hasn't changed. In fact, their homepage is even more vague now: other than being told that it uses audio and video lessons, gives you study tools, and provides you with a Premium Plus subscription option for working with a teacher one-on-one, you'll have zero idea what you're getting (or how much you'll pay for it) until you sign up with an email address. Why all the secrecy, Hebrew Pod 101?

Have to dig to access previews

Doing some digging, we found a way to see behind the curtain (so to speak). On Hebrew Pod's Facebook page, there were links to some free downloadable flashcards and infographics - and, lo and behold, those links took us to an alternate homepage for Hebrew Pod 101! Again, we don't love that we had to use such a roundabout way to sleuth out information that most Hebrew lesson platforms tell you upfront.

Costs

  • Free to try
  • Basic: $8/month to $96 for two years
  • Premium: $25/month to $240 for two years
  • Premium Plus: $47/month to $549 for two years

Four subscription options

You can expect four different subscription levels with Hebrew Pod 101:

  • Free: this gives you lifetime access to the first three lessons in every "learning pathway" (e.g. Conversational Phrases, Hebrew Alphabet Made Easy, Essential Hebrew for Emergencies). New lessons are added every week.
  • Basic: This is the first of the paid membership tiers, and you'll pay $8/month (with discounted options if you pay for 3, 6, 12 or 24 months upfront). You'll get access to all of Hebrew Pod 101's lessons with no restrictions, as well as in-depth lesson notes with translations and explanations.
  • Premium: For the middle subscription tier, pricing jumps to $25/month (also with discounts if you prepay for 3-24 months). But, the features also expand significantly, with line-by-line audio dialogue, HD video, and many more tools to help you retain the Hebrew you're learning (e.g. interactive lesson quizzes, flashcards, voice recording tools, and customizable word lists).
  • Premium Plus: The big add-on at the Plus level is one-on-one learning. You'll be assigned a teacher who will personalize your learning program, give you assignments, and assess your progress. This subscription is surprisingly affordable: you can pay $47/month, or save anywhere from 11% to 51% by paying for a 3, 6, 12, or 24 month plan.

7-day free trial, 60-day refund policy

Hebrew Pod 101 gives you a 7-day free trial to their Premium level, and a 60-day money-back guarantee when you become a paid subscriber. We recommend you take advantage of both, to really put this platform to the test and see if it connects well with how you want to study Hebrew.

Best Hebrew Lessons

No games or leaderboards here

This is especially important if you're the type of person who needs your language learning to be "gamified" or to provide you with regular, specific feedback on how you're progressing. Why? Hebrew Pod 101 is decidedly not that kind of learning system. While you'll see a progress bar showing you how many lessons you've completed within a series, that's about it other than the quizzes included with the Premium and Plus packages.

Move freely through topics and fluency levels

On the other hand, Hebrew Pod 101 makes it really easy to move around through topics - and language levels - as you like. Maybe you've already got a decent level of fluency in travel vocabulary but you need to pick up more slang or even social media terminology. With these Hebrew Lessons, you can move around from Absolute Beginner to Advanced and back down to Intermediate on demand. The same goes for focusing on the type of lessons you want: you can use the sort feature on the left side of the page to show you just audio or video content, or only in the category you need on a given day (like conversation, grammar or culture).

More content for beginners than intermediate/advanced students

Be aware that the amount of content drops off sharply from Beginner to Intermediate. If you've already got a good grasp of basic Hebrew, you might not want to buy a 24-month subscription to Hebrew Pod 101 because you could run out of new material to learn from.

Best access to contemporary speech and current events

Despite our frustrations with Hebrew Pod 101's homepage, we've still given these Hebrew lessons a bump in our ratings since our last evaluation. We can't help but be impressed with the consistent drops of fresh content with this platform. Language isn't static: it changes all the time as culture shifts and people interact in new ways, so why shouldn't your Hebrew lessons? We found a lot of comments from people who love Hebrew Pod 101 for exactly that reason: it gives them consistent exposure to different accents, new vocabulary, and the ability to speak in a way that's contemporary instead of mimicking some audio file that was recorded ten years ago. We wish that this program had the ability to recognize the learner's speech and compare it against those audio samples - because some of Hebrew Pod 101's rivals do have that - but that's not a dealbreaker as far as we're concerned.

Good choice for exposure to authentic, modern Hebrew

Hebrew Pod 101 gets high marks for offering students the ability to hear and learn authentic language: Hebrew the way it's being spoken right now by native speakers. We really appreciate the 7-day free trial and the ability to upgrade to one-on-one tutoring if desired. There are still a few features missing here that you'll get with some of Hebrew Pod 101's competitors, but overall this has become a solid choice for Hebrew lessons.

Where Can You Find the Best Hebrew Lessons?

Unless you're moving to Israel and benefitting from the hours-long sessions at an ulpan, you'll need to find Hebrew lessons that are a good fit: for your time, your ideal learning mode, and your budget! It's not easy to get in-person lessons for all ages, especially if you don't live in an area with a university or a significant Hebrew-speaking population.

Fortunately, there are plenty of online options to choose from. Do you learn best by listening? Some Hebrew lessons place strong emphasis on acquiring the language that way: work through audio files of syllables, words, phrases and sentences and repeat after the speaker. Not your style? No problem! Choose a Hebrew language platform that makes everything into a game, from grammar lessons to writing practice and even speech recognition software that compares your recorded language to that of a native speaker.

The Best Hebrew Lessons Compare Hebrew Lessons Compare Hebrew Lesson Reviews What are the best Hebrew Lessons Best Hebrew Lesson Reviews

Hebrew Lesson FAQ

About nine million people around the world speak Hebrew, with five million using it as their native language. Also, many Jewish children outside of Israel attend Hebrew school two days a week from kindergarten through 10th grade, both to learn the language and deepen their religious understanding.
There are typically three main categories of Hebrew: modern, ancient, and the Yiddish dialect (which is actually derived from High German and mixed with Hebrew, originating in Central Europe with the Ashkenazi Jewish community). Most online Hebrew courses focus on the modern language as used in Israel and by speakers in other parts of the world. However, if you're interested in Hebrew specifically for understanding ancient scripture (like the Bible) or for communicating with Hasidic and Haredi Jews in Yiddish, it might be worth it to look for lessons that focus on those purposes.
You'll probably find Hebrew more challenging than your average Spanish or French class. Hebrew uses a different alphabet, is written from right to left, and has no vowels! The State Department ranks Hebrew as a Category III language on a difficulty scale from I to IV; the only languages designated as harder to learn than Hebrew are Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. But, with the right language program combined with your hard work and patience, you can absolutely learn to speak, read and write in Hebrew.
Start by learning the 22-letter "aleph bet" - yes, the Hebrew alphabet! Remember that you'll be reading from right to left, too. From there, work on basic vocabulary and verbs; don't worry too much about the pronunciation, because most native speakers of Hebrew are very understanding towards language learners. And, like any other language study, you'll be successful if you give yourself plenty of opportunities to learn and practice - daily if possible.
If you live in a community with many Jewish people, you might be able to find Hebrew lessons. But, will they fit your schedule? Can you get into the class? Are the classes geared primarily towards children? And, you're out of luck if you don't live near a Jewish community or a university that offers Hebrew courses. Learning Hebrew online is not only the most convenient way for you to study, but it's probably the most affordable too.
You may need to change the settings on your computer if you want to be able to type in Hebrew. Search for the instructions specific to your operating system (i.e. Windows or Mac). Alternately, you can use an online Hebrew keyboard that doesn't require you to make any big changes to your computer's settings.
Not at all. You can get Hebrew lessons on a month-to-month plan for anywhere from $4 to $30 per month, depending on the complexity of the program you select. Other language programs give you a one-time download or access to books and CDs that are yours to keep; you'll pay between $10 and $200 for these Hebrew lessons. Whichever format you choose, you'll spend much less than you would if you paid for per-credit-hour Hebrew coursework at a university.
It depends. Some providers offer a satisfaction guarantee that gives you a refund up to a certain timeframe, usually 30-60 days. Others may allow you to cancel your subscription at any time, but without giving you money back on your previous months' payments. It's a good idea to take advantage of any free trials or sample lessons offered for the Hebrew lessons you're considering; you'll get a feel for how the program approaches teaching and whether it's a good match for your learning style.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Better yet, almost all online Hebrew lessons take great care to include cultural and historical information as you study. Hebrew has such a rich history and symbolism; you can't fully understand the language without knowing where it has come from and how it's used in context today.

As you look through the various possibilities for Hebrew lessons, it's easy to feel overwhelmed trying to figure out which one to use. Don't worry! Here are some criteria you can consider as you narrow down your choices:

  • Approach to teaching Hebrew. What kind of learner are you? Think about your time in school: did you learn best by seeing something written down, hearing it explained, or just good, old-fashioned memorization? While many Hebrew lessons seek to incorporate all learning modalities, some place heavy emphasis on listening and speaking instead of reading and writing.
  • Ease of use. How intuitive is the language platform? Does it offer a clear learning path or do you have to figure it out on your own?
  • Free trial or lesson sample. The best Hebrew lessons let you try it out before you commit. We highly recommend that you take advantage of any risk-free trials or lesson examples: it's the best way to see if a particular teaching style works well for you in practice, not just in theory!
  • Value. It isn't just about the subscription price or one-time fee. How much language instruction will you get for what you pay? Will you have enough material to progress through your specific fluency level in Hebrew? How many features does the service offer? Consider popular tools like speech recognition, access to personalized lesson plans or tutors, and game-based recognition like badges and leaderboards to keep you motivated (if you like that sort of thing!).

TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best options for taking Hebrew lessons today. We're confident that this information will help you improve your fluency in reading, writing, and especially speaking Hebrew!

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