Zvi Gilboa joined the University of Virginia in Fall 2011. His research primarily lies in the fields of Transnational Studies, German Literature and Culture, and Transnational Literature in Hebrew, and places special emphasis on the cultural and literary authorship of non-native speakers. Zvi's interest in languages is not limited to those that are "merely spoken"; he holds degrees in piano performance from Tel-Aviv University and Indiana University, and has long been immersed in several computer languages, most notably Pascal, C, SQL, and PostScript.
Language and technology intersect in Zvi's teaching in a variety of areas, and are also at the heart of the assessment method he devised for the Modern Hebrew program, nick-named Show What You Know. Instead of taking traditional vocabulary quizzes, for instance, students in the program record videos in which they demonstrate their mastery of the vocabulary at stake. Assessment of grammar and oral proficiency takes place in a similar manner, and students thus record during the semester a large number of videos, each of which dedicated to a specific grammatical or conversational topic.
In addition to teaching during the regular academic year, Zvi also teaches in and directs the Modern Hebrew Summer Language Institute, which he established upon joining the university. The Hebrew SLI soon became famous (some say notorious) for the extreme amount of work that it involves, and has been particularly attractive for students who seek to surrender their freedom for eight weeks in exchange for high language competence at the end of the program.