A helpful way for students to learn and memorize the Hebrew alphabet is to teach them through song. In addition, it is important to have a visual aid of the alphabet, such as a colorful poster, while practicing the song so they can practice identifying each letter with its name.
The Hebrew alphabet consists of 22 letters. Each letter of the alphabet either has a phonetic sound or it is silent. Five letters make one of two different phonetic sounds depending on where the letter is placed in the word and is distinguished by a symbol that is either absent or present. There are no vowels in the Hebrew alphabet. Instead, vowels are represented by symbols above or below a letter, typically the "weak" consonant letters "Aleph," "Vav" or "Yud." Hebrew is written and read from right to left, and there are no upper or lower case letters. The Hebrew alphabet has a print version and cursive version, but it is best to learn the language in print first.
Hebrew is considered by scholars to be a biblical language because the original versions of The New and Old Testament were written in Hebrew. Hebrew was a commonly spoken language during the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah about 1200 to 586 BCE, but its use has significantly decreased over time.
Modern Hebrew is the primary official language of the State of Israel. As of 2013, there are about 9 million Hebrew speakers worldwide.