[B-Greek] A Greek Pedagogical Question

Norbert Rennert norbert_rennert at sil.org
Sat Jul 23 02:05:48 EDT 2005

Hello Bob,

Thank you for your encouraging remarks and also your constructive 
criticism. The 5 stories come from a textbook called "Let's study Greek" 
and they were obviously written for paper, which is not dynamic. When I 
was working on putting them into my site, I struggled with how to manage 
the actors in those stories. My script can change singular actors to 
plural, but the stories from the text book had both singular and plural 
main and secondary actors in each story. Thus, I had to devise a way to 
manually tweak each occurence of an actor to be able to 'switch off' the 
pluralizing or the singularizing. But this involves manual tweaking and 
can be more confusing when you are dealing with arcane code. The ideal 
would be to write a story with only singular actors and let the script 
manage the plurals. I am still contemplating rewriting the existing 
stories, but in the last several weeks I haven't been working on my 
Greek site. At any rate, the potential exists to be able to write 
stories that are not confusing in the point you have validly raised.  I 
hope that other Greek experts will be able to look beyond the occasional 
errors that still exist in these stories and see the potential this site 
has to produce a lot of graded reading material which can develop 
reading fluency and reinforce the learning of paradigms as well as other 
points of grammar. I might add that the script does not change the 
syntax, so you can write sentences in any way you wish or that Greek 
allows to illustrate the way Greek can be written.

Norbert Rennert
Canada Institute of Linguistics
Langley, BC


Bob Firth wrote:

> Hi Norbert,
> Norbert Rennert wrote:
>> Seeing as there is no beginner level language material for koine 
>> Greek, why not compose short simple stories and develop a reading 
>> curriculum for it now? What is wrong with that? I know that it is not 
>> attested ancient Greek, the student would probably also know that, 
>> but so what.  
> ...
>> Each story can be changed into more than 100 combinations, thus 
>> greatly leveraging the amount of appropriate reading level practise a 
>> student can read.
> I agree that this would be very helpful for learning greek. However, I 
> find that the stories on your site often become nonsensical when they 
> are changed from their original forms. E.g. in the first story 
> "Greetings" if you use a 1st person secondary actor then the same 
> person appear to be called both Mark and Nicodemus. And I don't think 
> I found any combinations where the second story "The Menu is Fruit" 
> that made sense. I think that simple greek reading is a great way for 
> beginners to learn, but if the stories aren't sensible and cohesive 
> then this will destroy this aim, confusing readers rather than helping 
> them to see the variations in grammar in a natural context.
> Bob
> PS I am happy to give you more constructive feedback about your site, 
> off list.
> -- 
> Bob Firth studies at Ridley College
> Melbourne, Australia

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