Language Laws

Clayton Javurek javurek at asu.edu
Thu Dec 19 10:26:08 EST 2002



Clayton Javurek
E-MAIL: javurek at asu.edu

Here is the bottom line:

NUMBER OF STUDENTS PARTICIPATING IN A BIBLICAL LANGUAGE CLASS IN INVERSELY
PROPORTIONAL
TO THE AMOUNT OF MEMORIZATION REQUIRED IN THE CLASS.

If you want to teach the biblical languages to the greatest number of
persons,
you have to minimize the amount of memorization required. This is what I try
to do.
I do not care if they are learn the language thoroughly or not. I do not
care
if they become original thinkers and can sight read the text. What I do care
is that they have face to face exposure with the original text is the most
convenient way possible.

If you are only concerned that persons learn the language thoroughly, then
automatically expect that the number of students in class will be very, very
low.

This law is inflexible and absolute.

Why? People, like electricity and water, generally search for the path of
least resistance.
Memorization is resistance to learning a language. People will try to find
ways around
the memorization. If they cannot find those ways around it, they will leave
your language class.

YOU CAN TAKE THAT TO THE BANK!



-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Kirk [mailto:peter.r.kirk at ntlworld.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 18, 2002 5:35 PM
To: Biblical Hebrew
Subject: [b-hebrew] RE: "Non-Academic" Original Languages?


Vince, I would like to present to you a challenge. Well, it's probably
not practical, but in principle it is. I will send a group of students,
with a range of backgrounds and abilities, to a six week immersion
course in Hebrew with an inductive approach, e.g. Randall Buth's or John
Dobson's. You send a group with a similar makeup to an "analytical"
course for the same number of class hours. Let's see which group has a
higher level of reading comprehension of the Hebrew Bible at the end.
Having seen the results of both approaches and heard of the results of
studies, I am fairly confident that the inductive approach will win,
with the majority of students though perhaps not with those already
experienced in analytical approaches to other languages.

But I agree that grammatical summaries are useful, not for learning by
rote but for reference when parsing difficult forms.

Peter Kirk
peter.r.kirk at ntlworld.com
http://web.onetel.net.uk/~peterkirk/
 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Vincent Medina [mailto:vmedina at cbcag.edu]
> Sent: 19 December 2002 04:39
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: [b-hebrew] RE: "Non-Academic" Original Languages?
> 
> As far as I am concern inductive approaches to learning dead languages
is
> highly over-rated. The typical Biblical Hebrew class does not have the
> time or resources for the kind of immersion that is required to learn
a
> language inductively. The analytical approach utilized in grammars
like
> Seow, etc. is not perfect but it is the most efficient way to teach a
> language in a short time. I know individuals who have attempted to
teach
> Hebrew inductively and have had the students begging them for the kind
of
> summaries contained in the traditional grammars. Unless someone comes
up
> with an inductive method that is clearly superior, the analytical
approach
> will continue to dominate.
> 
> Vince Medina
> Springfield, MO
> 


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