[B-Greek] Vocab retention methodology
jtauber at jtauber.com
Sun Apr 20 10:41:50 EDT 2008
As a developer of both online flashcards  and a much more context-
driven approach to learning , I use both approaches.
Learning words in isolation is easier if the words themselves mean
something in isolation. For example, nouns referring to concrete
objects can be fairly easily learnt in isolation. Abstract nouns and
verbs (especially mental processes) are harder and really need other
words to convey their sense. Various particles are probably the
hardest of all, requiring multiple clauses in some cases.
There are(at least) two heuristics that apply here: (1) if drawing a
picture describing the meaning of the word would be difficult, it's
probably hard to learn in isolation; (2) if the reverse side of the
flashcard needs to have a lengthy or multiple glosses, it's probably
harder to learn in isolation.
One hybrid approach I'm trying is flashcards built from phrases or
entire clauses. I think that many verbs and *certainly* many
prepositions are best learn at a phrase level.
So something like PLOION could be learnt in isolation or as TO PLOION.
One sense of EIS might be better learnt as part of EIS TO PLOION
rather than in isolation. LAMBANW might be fairly easy to learn in
isolation, but learning ELABON AUTON EIS TO PLOION is even better.
HQELON LABEIN AUTON EIS TO PLOION is overkill just study the meaning
of PLOION but it is good for EQELON + infinitive. Finally even HQELON
OUN AUTON EIS TO PLOION likely isn't enough to demonstrate what OUN
means without the context of the verse before.
On Apr 20, 2008, at 12:20 AM, Mitch Larramore wrote:
> On many occasions I can determine the meaning of an
> unknown (to me) Greek word because I remember what the
> English translation has at that location. In a sense
> the context helps me, but if I saw that same unknown
> word in isolation, there would be no way I would know
> I realize we don't learn English by using vocabulary
> index cards, almost by rote memorization, but I am
> wondering what is the most effective way to learn
> vocabulary. Should I learn a new Greek word - in a
> context - by putting a few other words from a verse
> around it... or should I just put the word in
> isolation and see if I know it? If I know it in
> isolation, I'll know it in any context, but it is a
> lot harder that way.
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