About the Yiddish Pedagogy Fellowship

August 2024 – May 2025

The Yiddish Book Center's Yiddish Pedagogy Fellowship is a yearlong online course designed to give current and prospective Yiddish language instructors a working knowledge of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and tools to implement the application of SLA research to classroom practices. In particular, the course will focus on fundamental aspects of teaching learners to develop communicative ability in Yiddish. Participants will consider how theoretical and research-based concepts can inform classroom practices, experiences, and materials, and learn to critically evaluate their own approach to language instruction in light of SLA theory and research.

The 2024–25 Yiddish Pedagogy Fellowship will consist of three two-day online workshops over the course of the academic year with asynchronous activities in the intervening months. During each month between workshops, participants will complete readings, watch accompanying video lessons, 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 6–8 hours per month to complete asynchronous work. 

Readings and recorded lectures will cover the following topics: 

  • Introduction to Second Language Acquisition and building course goals
  • Comprehensible input and grammar instruction
  • Reading comprehension and intercultural competence
  • Listening comprehension and working with authentic materials
  • Student output and corrective feedback in the classroom
  • Interpersonal communication and Task-Based Language Teaching

Synchronous workshops will include: 

  • Lesson demos where fellows model-teach excerpts from lesson plan assignments and receive feedback from their peers and workshop leaders

  • Facilitated full-group sessions on proficiency, working with authentic texts, and corrective feedback

  • 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.”
—Pedagogy Fellowship alum

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 form-meaning connections 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. Textbooks and other curricular materials will be provided. 

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.
Pedagogy Fellowship alum