Is learning Hebrew similar to riding a bike?

Blog | 2 min read
Noa Lara Meir, Citizen Cafè teacher
Noa Lara Meir, Citizen Cafè teacher

Learning new skills

Remember when you were a little kid learning how to ride a bike? Well, assuming you already mastered this skill by now, can you recall what it was like when you first tried to balance yourself on two wheels?

Ok, let me remind you. It was awkward. Clumsy. Confusing. Just like learning a new language can often feel.

But let’s not forget another thing about this teeny tiny kid you once were – no matter how many times you fell off that bike, you just got back up and kept trying until you miraculously managed to ride, right?

Just do it

So here’s something that will blow your mind: The only way to learn how to ride a bike is to actually ride one. And the only way to learn to speak a new language is to actually speak it.

It’s as simple as that.

A key principle of the Citizen Café methodology is based on this – the more we repeat something, the easier it gets.

Things can get clumsy when learning a new language; letters get mixed up, words get forgotten, you struggle to say the simplest sentence, and let’s not even mention conjugations. But mastering a language is similar to mastering any other skill, and at a certain point, you gotta let go of the safe ground, trust yourself, and just start pedaling (I mean speaking, but you probably got the metaphor by now).

Now, repeat

In our classes we learn hebrew new words and patterns by mouth. We repeat them in a variety of contexts, we hear and say them so many times that by the end of the class we don’t have a choice but to remember them. Consistently Practicing “how” rather than asking “why” leads to those sweet moments when the right sentence just flows out of your mouth, or you spontaneously conjugate a verb you just heard for the first time.

So here’s another thing to keep in mind – no matter how many times you mess up – if you keep trying again, eventually, you’ll get it right. It worked for you with the bike, didn’t it? It will work with Hebrew too.

We’ve got several new Hebrew courses opening in March! Check out our March class schedule to join us!

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