[B-Greek] Learning an ancient language

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Tue Oct 23 06:23:44 EDT 2007

John Hobbins’ “Ancient Hebrew Poetry” blog has again struck “paydirt”  
— or should I say rather,  regular readers of it have once again  
struck paydirt.  Yesterday’s entry (http://tinyurl.com/3bzzvw) is  
entitled, “Innovative Ways of Teaching Ancient Hebrew: Part One.” I  
can’t see one thing in it that lacks relevance to learning Ancient  
Greek, and I’ll bet that Randall Buth is in agreement. I cite the  
opening paragraphs:

“According to Howard Gardener's theory of multiple intelligences,  
human beings process information in seven different ways. A well- 
designed language class will exploit all seven ways of learning for  
the sake of enhancing and reinforcing learning on the verbal or  
linguistic level.

“Verbal/Linguistic Intelligence

“Verbal/linguistic intelligence involves thinking in words; learning  
by listening, reading, and verbalizing. It involves learning by  
writing out what one hears and reads. It includes the skills of  
translating from source to target language and back again.  
Ultimately, it involves the skill of composition, of creating poetry  
and prose in the language that is being learned. Competence in a  
language is enhanced by committing to memory aphorisms, verse,  
lyrics, and trivia, and the oral and written recitation of same. ... “

That’s a far cry, it seems to me, from the interlinear approach that  
is perhaps more akin to using one’s mind as a soggy paper towel to  
soak up what one can of a spilled liquid ...

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Ret)

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