[B-Greek] Point of Antithesis in Language Teaching Methodologies

Randall Buth randallbuth at gmail.com
Thu May 8 16:13:43 EDT 2008

John Knightley egrapse
<What does this have to say about learning Koine Greek - it says
firstly that if ones primary aim is to be able to read the New
Testament in Greek and where desired translate a phrase or sentance
into ones native tongue then a methodology based upon reading and
translation, with attention of the principles of translation and good
dictionaries, will sooner or later work if one puts in enough hours.

shalom John,
Thank you for the input on the broader points. I've extracted one
item that reflects a common assumption that I think needs more
discussion within a 'point of antithesis' discussion.

It seems logical that if a primary goal is reading, that the most
direct and efficient way to the goal would be to just read.
But is it? Are humans wired that way?

This reading goal and framework is often thought of within second
language acquisition studies as a historical mistake that the
Coleman (?) commission made in the 1920's in US education
policy. With "wonderful" 'monolingual' results to use John
Schwandt's term. [last sentence was friendly but ironic ]
Today, second language acquisition and full literature
programs do not treat the 'reading only' programs as
'supplying the goods'. Graduate students who do 'German for
Reading' courses do not think in the language and cannot do
a close, literary reading of a text in that language. The 'for
reading' courses are for people who are NOT interested in that
language, for people who do not intend to spend their lives
perusing that literature. Literature departments do not
recommend that their own students do such courses.
I think that it is important for discussions about KOINH to come
up with programs that can compare to full literature programs.
For people who may be teaching or would like to comfortably
read the literature from WITHIN the language. The halfway
houses where people don't internalize the language already
exist. But because of the way that they are structured,
they become Hotel Californias. "Such a lovely place."
What about people who want a full language program? They
want to internalize KOINH.
Some of the seminary students will be among them.
Certainly next generations teachers. Surely there are many
out there that want out of Hotel California.


Randall Buth, PhD
randallbuth at gmail.com
Biblical Language Center
Learn Easier - Progress Further - Remember for Life

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