Alphabet: I don't know the alphabet, the course assumes I do; is an alphabet part going to be added?
Hebrew - I don't know the alphabet, the course assumes I do; is an alphabet part going to be added?
The team had to work within the confines of Duolingo, which wasn't really designed to deal with teaching alphabets. Other teams (Russian, Ukrainian, Greek) have faced a similar issue.
This is compounded by the lack of a good TTS which means that sentences are voiced but individual words are not, and the relative lack of ease of a learner reading new words in an unfamiliar writing system that doesn't really bother with vowels and has several letters that have what to an English speaker seem like two very different/unrelated sounds. (For a language like Ukrainian, for example, whose spelling is really very regular and phonetic, it isn't such a big deal that the individual words aren't voiced.)
The structure of Duolingo and the nature of the language are not something the team has the power to change.
What the team has done is to try and make up the shortfall by other means.
If you don't know the alphabet, then I recommend supplementing with this course: http://www.memrise.com/course/1087087/hebrew-alef-bet/
and even if you do know the alphabet, I recommend supplementing with this course: http://www.memrise.com/course/1031737/hebrew-duolingo/
Links to both these courses can be found in the Welcome post (which is stickied at the top of the forum), alongside many other useful links to supplementary material. Also check out the other stickied posts.
Hebrew is a challenging language, but it is worth the effort.
I had the same problem with Russian! When I went to learn Russian I had to learn the alphabet of other way( in others places) and after that I learned the alphabet I come back the duo.
The courses here don't really spend enough time teaching the alphabets before moving on to more advanced language. What helped me was learning to type in the language I was learning. You could try this site http://10fastfingers.com/typing-test/english, you can set it to a lot of different languages including Hebrew. Also Youtube has a lot of alphabet songs for kids that might make it easier to remember
You can spend as much or as little time as you want going back over the first skills. If the Duolingo courses spent loads of time teaching the alphabet in a really slow and basic way across several skils, it would be frustrating for more advanced people who would always be having to strengthen those skills unnecessarily, and even the beginners would reach that point too eventually.
I agree with that, just that for me it helped to go elsewhere to learn the alphabet. I am learning Hindi and Korean in advance so I don't have to spend time stuck on the first few lessons when they are out.
It doesn't assume it, the first three skills will teach you the alphabet. Just pay attention to the letters and the sounds they make. Make sure to read the tips and notes frequently or better yet, make a cheat-sheet and stick it where you can see it. If you can, have a virtual keyboard or something so you can see where the keys are. I spent a few minutes a night on the first three skills and learned the alphabet as well as how to type and several common words in about a week. I like the way duo teaches them a lot better than learning them individually or with flashcards.
I can't even tell the alphabet letters apart nevertheless listen to the differences. I need kindergarten level alphabet learning.
I couldn't either, when I said pay attention to the sounds I was talking about what the tips and notes says each letter sounds like. After you learn that it make it easier. I don't know if you've ever tried memrise some people like it and say it's good at teaching the Hebrew alphabet, maybe you'd like it.
Yeah, I didn't know the alphabet (except for four or five letters), and I relied hugely on the tips and notes during the first few lessons. Eventually I relied on them less and less, and now the alphabet comes pretty easily. Even typing it is getting easier, slowly.
http://www.memrise.com/course/1087087/hebrew-alef-bet/ Made by the same people who made the Hebrew duolingo!