Author

Jacey Peers

Date of Award

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Comments

In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Bridgewater State University, 2016.

Degree Program

English

Degree Type

Master of Arts in Teaching

Abstract

A common language creates a cultural community regardless of geographical boundaries. In the Jewish community this language is Hebrew. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship that American Jews have with the Hebrew language in terms of comprehension, the value they place on Hebrew, and how they position themselves on the Jewish spectrum (religiously and culturally). The research carried out was both qualitative and quantitative, including both a survey and interviews. While the subjective assessments by questionnaire takers indicated that many did not find a deep connection between Hebrew and their religious identity, a closer look provided evidence that this feeling was proportionate to their lack of proficiency. In depth analysis led the researcher to the conclusion that conscious efforts need to be made to assure that cultural languages, like Hebrew and all other languages, are protected and not lost by those immersed in the dominant culture.

Committee/Advisor(s)

Joyce Rain-Anderson (chair)

Anne Doyle

Julia Stakhnevich

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