[B-Greek] Greek Pedagogy: The Direct Method & Rouse

Louis Sorenson llsorenson at hotmail.com
Sun Nov 29 15:35:41 EST 2009

I have found several books which those who are interested in including an aural methodology into their learning of Greek.  

1)  Via nova; or, The application of the direct method to Latin and Greek   Cambridge Handbooks for Teachers. (1915) The book suggests an audio/aural classroom experience in Latin, then followed by Greek. The Greek curriculum is found in Chapter VII (p. 128 ff.).  

2)  The teaching of Greek at the Perse School, Cambridge (1914)  This is a pamphlet produced by the BOARD OF EDUCATION. (Educational Pamphlets, No. 28. Educational Experiments in Secondary Schools, THE TEACHING OF GREEK AT THE PERSE SCHOOL, CAMBRIDGE.  It contains dialouges, and other such texts that can be utilized in a classroom.

Two other books by William Henry Denham Rouse (Headmaster of the Perse School, Cambridge and Loeb Library editor.) which utilize an audio/aural class methodolgy are

3) WHD Rouse. A First Greek Reader (1909) http://www.johnpiazza.net/rouse_greek_course
4) W. H. D. Rouse. A Greek Boy at Home. Blackie and Son, 1909   http://www.johnpiazza.net/greek_boy_at_home
5) Vocabulary for A Greek Boy at Home  http://www.johnpiazza.net/greek_boy_vocab
6) W.H. D. Rouse, Lucian's Dialouges Prepared for Schools (Vol 2). http://books.google.com/books?id=uJxLAAAAMAAJ  (The notes are in volume 1 which is not yet online. See http://openlibrary.org/b/OL18092366M/Lucian%27s_dialogues  http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=kw%3ALucian+au%3Arouse&qt=advanced&dblist=638 )

Jones a proponent of "the Direct Method" (somewhat like Buth and Rico use) sounds like Dr. Conrad on translation learning. 

(p. 4)
The demand for translation in higher examinations
has affected methods of teaching down to the beginners'
stage. The consequence is, that right through his course
the learner of classics is concerned with finding equivalents
in one language for words of another, and there is a strong
tendency for him to forget or to overlook the realities for
which these words stand. The truth of this statement is
manifest upon the inspection of almost any batch of papers
sent up at public examinations. A large percentage of
candidates will be found who have written sheer nonsense,
having failed to realise that anything is necessary except
to find words to represent other words. Moreover, it
may well be doubted whether translation is a good instrument
of education before the learner's mind is alive to
its serious difficulties. Very few words in any language
have exact equivalents in any other ; so much of the force
of a word depends upon its traditional associations.
"Friend" in English and φιλος FILOS in Greek afford a typical

(P. 5)
example. Of course when an advanced scholar, aware of
these difficulties, undertakes a piece of translation, he is
engaged on an exercise at once profitable and enjoyable;
but to allow a beginner to do little else but substitute
one expression for another throughout the course of his
school life, before his mind can appreciate the necessary
imperfection of the results he obtains, is to train him in
inaccurate reasoning, and to make him divorce language
from the realities it represents.

Hope these links encourage others.  

Louis Sorenson

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