[B-Greek] Tips for first-time teaching of NT Greek? PS
randallbuth at gmail.com
Sun May 4 05:56:24 EDT 2008
PS to my second post on this thread:
I appreciate Mark's heart. It' s in the right place.
But we can be greatly and remarkably helped
by what is known about human language learning.
It's not about grammars, as he notes, but it is
about things at right angles to grammars.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Randall Buth <randallbuth at gmail.com>
Date: Sun, May 4, 2008 at 12:36 PM
Subject: Tips for first-time teaching of NT Greek?
To: greek B-Greek <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
MARK DEDWKEN GNWMHN KALHN
> ... Your students will
learn Greek very well if they are bitten with the Greek]
> if they wind up averaging say an hour of Greek a
day for the rest of their lives.
PWS GAR OY
> ... Your job is to somehow inspire
the students to understand that falling in love with
Greek will make their lives richer in a way nothing else
> ... Having said that, I would emphasize early on that the aorist
is the default tense, it is the progressive that is seeking more
attention in form and meaning.
> ...all grammars work pretty much equally well.
PLHN OUK ERGAZONTAI. Well, the main point of the post is
wonderful. But this point is directly at odds with what second
language acquisition knows about human language learning.
It includes the opening sentence of post, re-pasted here:
>I don't think the pedagogies you choose in teaching
(or learning) Greek matter much.
I would say that by their fruit you will know them.
EK TWN KARPWN AYTWN EPIGNWSESQE AYTOYS.
If, after ten years a person cannot fluently use the language that
they are learning, then (1) either the teacher/student is not trying
and has not put in the time, [which is manifestly not the case for
thousands of dedicated teachers and students], or
(2) THE PEDAGOGY IS NOT IS ACCORD WITH THE WAY
THAT HUMAN BEINGS ARE WIRED.
That is why I recommended reading the books by Asher and
Ray+Seeley. They are aimed at high school language teachers
and show what works and what doesn't work in highly efficient
pedagogies. Remarkable pedagogies. They need acquaintance
and DISCUSSION on this list. These books and the
supporting research that they represent would agree with the
statement "all grammars work pretty much equally well."
Unfortunately, their take on the sentence is that they do not
work, are incapable of working. They do that 'equally well', more
or less. That may sound radical, but it is a frequent conclusion
of anyone who gets involved with second language research,
especially where the goal is measured in internalization of a
language and not 'amassing credits' or passing a metalanguage
So yes, let the teachers look at Machen, but it is only fair to do so
after one has heard what Asher, a research psychologist, has to
say. They may see the Greek pedagogy on the market with
opened-eyes. James Asher, Learning a Language Through Actions.
It would not be fair to the coming generation to overlook this.
And if one wants classicist backing, you have the empassioned
testimony of Francois Gouin a 19th century Latin teacher who
personally proved that the rigorous application of "classical"
pedagogy would guarantee a lack of internalization and
discovered what would eventually become institutionalized as
the Berlitz method, yet showed that it was applicable to ancient
languages as well as modern. WHD Rouse, co-founder of the
Loeb series, and famous British classicist of the first half of the
20th century, would give a hearty AMHN.
So what do Asher, Ray, Krashen, Lee, van Patten, Cook, Brown,
Winitz, ktl, yea, Gouin and Rouse, have to say to the list about
efficient, even friendly, ancient Greek pedagogy?
O EXWN WTA AKOYEIN AKOYETW.
Randall Buth, PhD
randallbuth at gmail.com
Biblical Language Center
Learn Easier - Progress Further - Remember for Life
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