What are the first steps in helping students with Lashon Hakodesh?
Tool 1. If we teach Dikduk as dry Dikduk, it will never work. We need to teach it as modules. We need to teach it in a way that it can be understood, not just as a given. I highly recommend working with the book of Mastering the Basics by R Nachman Marcusson. You can order this on Amazon for $23.
Tool 2. We need to make the student read and make mistakes, something that cannot be done in a classroom setting. For some students this can be emotional suicide, to make very simple mistakes in Hebrew, and have other children of the classroom laugh. There is one dyslexic student that I learn with on Skype, that he was just not able to read. It turned out, that what was bothering him to give me his total attention, was that he feared that his older brother, only by 2 years of age, might be listening, and might hear his reading mistakes. The solution, of course, was that the boy’s mother allowed him to skype with me from her bedroom, so that he can lock the door and his brother would be locked out of the room. The boy started to flourish from that session on!!!
Tool 3. We need to ignore the level of Hebrew that the system the child is in claims that the child is supposed to be on, and focus on the level the child is actually on. Systems are not to blame. Competition, if used in a balance way, can be a healthy things. But as great as systems are, they come along with problems. Schools themselves are competitive with other schools. So the singulars get trampled by the masses. Boys suffer here more than girls. Boys are supposed to go from Chumash to Mishna to Talmud to Mefarshim, and the schools themselves are under the pressure. But the kids!?!? …. Who is going to take care of your children, who is going to save them, in not for his/her parents?