[B-Greek] Teach Nouns or Verbs first?

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Thu May 15 15:02:06 EDT 2008

On May 15, 2008, at 2:55 PM, Kenneth Litwak wrote:

>   In preparing to teach Beginning Greek, I've noticed
> that there are some significant differences between
> Mounce (which I am using because that's the book
> everyone else uses at the school, and the one
> recommended on Rod Decker's site) and others.  Black,
> Machen (which I learned from), etc. put verbs right up
> front.  Mounce makes you wait ten lessons before you
> actually get to verbs.  You use them before that in
> exercises but you don't really learn what you're
> looking at.  Does anyone have comments on the choice
> of verbs first or nouns first when teaching Greek?
>  Also, my experience was to learn accents right away
> with all the rules.  Mounce talks about them briefly
> and Black even less.  I think knowing the rules are
> helpful, unless one is only going to read Majuscules.
> What do others think? Thanks.

I'm replying, not because I imagine that what I say will persuade  
anybody, but because I just want to register a protest against the  
notion that one can really learn to read and understand Greek by  
learning EITHER nouns OR verbs first. Granted, Greek sentences may  
consist of just a noun and an adjective or a verb with its implicit  
subject, the realy minimal unit of discourse is the clause. I've never  
been able to understand how teaching all nouns or all verbs batchwise  
is in any way meaningful pedagogically.

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

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