[B-Greek] Classical Greek text

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Mon Mar 20 04:30:52 EST 2006

On Mar 19, 2006, at 10:54 PM, David McKay wrote:

> I'm looking at one of the few resources available through our local
> university library. It's the Joint Association of Classical  
> Teachers Greek
> Course called "Reading Greek" and includes a text and another  
> volume of
> grammar, vocab and exercises.
> It is dated 1978.
> Is it well known?
> Is it any good?
> Looks Ok to this little black duck.

I have ranted and raved over this textbook sequence over the course  
of many years on this list. I used it for the last two decades of my  
teaching career for beginning students of Classical Attic. It's not  
for everyone because it involves what some have called the  
"immersion" theory of learning a language, and some think that works  
better with a modern spoken language than with a dead written one. I  
think that it requires a teacher or contact person to consult with  
and I think it requires supplementary grammatical materials (I wrote  
my own supplement to accompany the textbook). You might look at  
Amazon's page on this (http://tinyurl.com/q67e3) for various  
comments, positive and negative on the series. I think it probably  
works best for those who have had some exposure to another foreign  
language before beginning work in classical Attic Greek.

In one of my more recent posts on learning Greek, I wrote about  
"Reading Greek": ""I confess that in the course of my teaching from  
the JACT Reading Greek I found it necessary to construct my own  
supplementary grammatical materials to distribute to my classes to  
assist them to use traditional grammars to answer their questions and  
to be able to talk about how the language works in courses with other  
instructors to which they would move on from my Beginning Greek  
course. I always had mixed feelings about this grammar: that it is a  
necessary evil: both necessary and an evil. What one needs the  
grammar for is analysis of HOW a Greek text works; one doesn’t really  
need it in order to learn to read or speak the language. The grammar  
is a metalanguage to be used to discuss how the language works.  
Frankly, I have come to think that Randall Buth is right in thinking  
that, insofar as this metalanguage of grammar is necessary, it really  
would be better to use Greek for the grammatical metalanguage if the  
language one is trying to learn is Greek."

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/

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