About the Yiddish Pedagogy Fellowship

August 2022 – May 2023

Applications for the Yiddish Pedagogy Fellowship are currently closed. To receive email updates about future iterations of the program, sign up here.

 

The Yiddish Book Center's Yiddish Pedagogy Fellowship is a yearlong professional development opportunity for current and prospective teachers of Yiddish. The program trains participants in any stage of their careers in communicative language pedagogy, provides resources to assist teaching in a variety of settings, and offers ongoing support for pedagogic development. Workshops, lectures, readings, and assignments focus on second language acquisition and its implementation in the classroom. Experts in the field serve as guest speakers throughout the fellowship year, while Center-based faculty help participants apply the general concepts they are learning to the teaching of Yiddish in particular. 

The 2022-23 Yiddish Pedagogy Program will consist of three weekend workshops over the course of the academic year (two conducted via Zoom and one in-person at the Yiddish Book Center) with asynchronous activities in the intervening months. During each month between workshops, participants will watch a recorded lecture, read accompanying materials, and submit a written assignment to program faculty. In addition, they will participate in an active online community where they will exchange ideas, share resources, and receive support from program faculty. Participation in all components of the program is mandatory; participants must be able to commit 5-6 hours per month to complete asynchronous work. 

Recorded lectures will cover the following topics: 

  • Applying second language acquisition principles to everyday instruction 

  • Developing cultural competence and authentic materials 

  • Creating a balanced lesson plan to address different language learning needs 

  • Corrective feedback in the classroom 

  • Strategies (and activities) for developing listening comprehension skills 

  • Pre-speaking activities to build students’ confidence and fluency 

  • Assessment/Testing 

Synchronous workshops will include: 

  • Seminars on accessible classroom language and giving comprehensible input  

  • Tutorials on pacing and participation, working with film, and utilizing online resources 

  • Masterclasses on designing and implementing classroom activities and mini-lessons 

  • Discussions on best practices and challenges in the field of Yiddish pedagogy 

“This was absolutely incredible, helpful, inspirational, and life-changing. I feel so lucky to have been part of this program.”
—2019 Pedagogy Fellow

The primary focus of the workshops will be on teaching beginner Yiddish students, and participants will be trained to teach communicatively using the Yiddish Book Center’s new textbook, In eynem. Participants will be provided with comprehensive, easy-to-use materials and training on the most effective ways of using these materials in their classrooms (see FAQ page for more on this book).  

Communicative Language Teaching (CLT): 

  • Prioritizes communicative ability (teachers and students express, interpret, and negotiate meaning together) 
  • Centers authentic materials and “real-life” situations 
  • Ensures that learners have considerable exposure to the target language at their level 
  • Encourages learners to use language in meaningful ways 
  • Emphasizes meaning over form and provides enough samples of linguistic features for students to build grammatical knowledge into their understanding. 

Benefits of CLT:

  • Student-centered 
  • Lively and hands-on; easily elicits active engagement from students 
  • Creates a collaborative classroom environment, which results in high motivation and low anxiety  
  • Leads to proficiency by facilitating students’ use of the language rather than teaching them about the language

The Yiddish Book Center’s Yiddish Pedagogy Fellowship is tuition-free and provides all program participants full room and board during the workshop at the Center. Participants also receive a stipend for travel expenses. The Center will also provide textbooks and classroom materials for all sessions. 

The program will be conducted in Yiddish and English. 

Nobody should miss this! It is absolutely the new frontier in the study and dissemination of Yiddish and should be required training for all teachers of the language.
2019 Pedagogy Fellow