FoundationStone is a free Java application and support materials designed to allow the most efficient learning of Hebrew for speakers of any other language.
It includes materials to help a student to acheive the goal of reading, writing and speaking modern Hebrew; or the goal of reading Biblical Hebrew.
FoundationStone currently includes over 65,000 Hebrew verbs, nouns, adjectives etc; beginning wordlists; an untranslated Biblical Hebrew wordlist, the Alphabet and Hebrew vocalisations; and an integrated language tutorial with exercises and further resources.
FoundationStone supports adding translations to the Hebrew word databases in any of the worlds languages. The application can be localised for all screen content to appear in your language, if it doesn't already ship with it.
Due to it's cross platform and royalty free nature, it is an ideal platform for educators to deliver their material, and an ideal platform for students to learn their work. If you contribute to it you can be confident that it is straightforward to get that material into other programs - now and in the future.
Foundationstone is useful if you are studying independently, or as part of a class; if you are are using it in addition to another course of study; and regardless of whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced student.
It is not ideally suited to teaching young children, the primary reason for this is one of motivation. This application does not give tangible "rewards" such as cute graphics and the like for correct actions, which are required to motivate the very young. However, a "serious" student can be 8 or 80. See the related links page if you need software for this audience.
FoundationStone (in its simplest learning strategy) works by presenting the user with a word, you think of the translation and then check to see if it is right. If so, you indicate to the program by clicking the RIGHT button (a degree of honesty is required here!), the word's difficulty is reduced and you will be presented with this word less often in the future. Similarly words you get wrong are indicated by presenting the WRONG button, and will be presented more often in future. This means you are spending more time with the words you need to learn, and less time with the words you already know. This behaviour is useful for learning by heart - such as when learning a second language.
The "Online" Hebrew Tutorial distributed with application contains a set of structured language lessons that integrate with the contents of FoundationStone's database. In this way you can learn vocabulary and grammar within a meaningful framework.
It should also me be mentioned what the application is not - it is not a translator (see the related links page if you need one of these). It's main purpose is to commit the words in its database to your memory, hopefully making them available "on the tip of your tongue". A translator link is available in the application itself.