Attitudes matter: Parental influence on learning Hebrew
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Doctoral dissertation, EdD / YU only
While in theory Hebrew is perceived as an important symbol of cultural and religious identity, the reality (as seen in the literature and in the findings of this study) is a clear disconnect between what students learn in a classroom and how they live outside of that environment. Despite the fact that more students are attending day schools and yearlong Israel programs, Hebrew is rarely their primary language for them. This study examined the correlation between the motivation of parents in sending their children to Jewish day schools and the extent of Hebrew language acquisition by their children. This study was a secondary analysis of the Melton Centre's Assessment Project (1989-2000) that surveyed 252 male and female students (6th graders) and their parents in South African and Argentinian day schools where Hebrew was a third language but where the weekly schedule included ten or more classes conducted in that language. Although limited by the parameters of the original study, results nevertheless show that parental attitude correlates with student attitude, and both correlate with student achievement. Parental attitude impacts parental expectations and parental involvement, both of which have been shown to predict student attitude and achievement, especially during the primary school years. Schools and communities that wish to prioritize the learning of Hebrew would be advised to include a focus on parental education and to provide opportunities for parental involvement.
Rabinovich. D. (2014). Attitudes matter: Parental influence on learning Hebrew (Publication No.30248138) [Doctoral dissertation, Yeshiva University]. PDTG
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