Learn Yiddish in New York or online
Paula Teitelbaum teaches classes online in addition to classes in real spaces, such as the YIVO Institute, and the Workmen’s Circle in New York City. Her online classes are on Google+ Hangouts.
What is a Google+ Hangout?
It is a free video call, similar to Skype, but capable of accommodating up to ten people simultaneously. All present in the class can be seen on screen at once. The person who is speaking is seen on a larger screen until someone else starts speaking, but all present are seen on smaller screens lined up next to each other at the bottom
You can join a Google+ Hangout on a desktop or laptop computer or via an iOS powered mobile device. In addition to speaking and listening to each other in a hangout, users can share documents, images, and Youtube videos together, as well as music from their hard drives.
The advantages of a Google+ Hangout class
ACCESSIBILITY FROM DIVERSE LOCATIONS
While Paula is based in New York City, her classes have included students from distant places such as Vancouver, Seattle, Chicago, Toronto, and Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Some of these cities have no Yiddish classes available, and no Yiddish speakers to practice with.
SMALL GROUP SETTING
The small group setting of the class (under 10 students) ensures plentiful opportunities for student participation and supportive feedback.
The convenience of taking a Yiddish class from your home can’t be underestimated. Some of Paula’s New York City students have a variety of options to take Yiddish classes, but found it more convenient to take a class via Google + Hangouts, to save themselves the hassle of travelling or to be within earshot of a sleeping baby at home.
The technological capabilities of Google+ Hangouts keep Paula busy tailoring material for each class in order to provide a multi-sensory learning experience for her students. Images, sound, print and video create redundancy in the input materials.
One devoted student sometimes joins the class from home, and other times from her office when the workday extends and she cannot get home in time. Another student has taken her laptop with her and joined from various places around New York City, taking advantage of internet availability.
How much does it cost?
CLASSES WITH MULTIPLE STUDENTS
If you sign up for a series of classes and pay for all the sessions at one time, it’s $33 per session. If you sign up for a series of classes, but choose to pay for each session separately, it’s $36 per session.
However, by signing up for the series you commit yourself to paying for each class of the series whether you attend or miss the class, just as you would at a JCC, a Y, the YIVO Institute, or the Workmen’s Circle.
Private classes are $66 per session if you sign up for a series of classes and pay for all the sessions at one time. If you sign up for a series of classes, but choose to pay for each session separately, it’s $70 per session.
How many sessions are in a series?
Usually the students and teacher discuss this and decide on 10, 8, or 6 sessions. There is an option to start a new series after a series has ended, or to take a break depending on the season. At the start of each new series, the students and teacher also discuss adjusting the schedule to accommodate holidays.
How can students pay for classes?
Paula has a PayPal account, which makes payment easy. You do not have to have a PayPal account to make payments via PayPal.
How do I sign up for a class?
How do I get into the Google+ Hangout after I sign up and pay for my class?
First, you must provide Paula with the e-mail address you will use to get onto Google+. You don’t necessarily have to have a g-mail account. Paula will include you in the class circle on Google+ and send you an invitation to Google+. Accept the invitation and set up a Google+ profile.
Please do this ahead of time, and be prepared with your computer’s name and password.
After you have downloaded the plug-in, which will enable the others in the hangout to see and hear you, you should get on the Google+ home page at the appointed class time. On the right side of the page you will see an invitation from Paula to join the class hangout. Click on it, and you will enter the hangout.
Be aware of when your class meets and get on Google+ on time. DO NOT open your own hangout by clicking on the camera icon next to Start a hangout.
Once you are in the class hangout, make sure your microphone is working (upper right). If it isn’t, press on the microphone icon. On the left side of the screen there are buttons. If you are in the hangout and cannot be heard, you can click the second button from the top to communicate by chat with the others. The chat box is on the right. To write in it put your cursor on the bottom of the chat column.
Occasionally there are technical problems with Google+. If you are thrown off a hangout, try to get back. Most of the time things work well. When class ends, click on the exit button on the top right side of the screen.