Language Laws

Paul Zellmer pzellmer at digitelone.com
Thu Dec 19 12:13:10 EST 2002


Clayton,

What you state seems intuitive, but do you have any study 
that would back it up?  Such definitive statements as you 
make require a broad based study involving different 
teachers and different pools of potential students. 
 Otherwise, you present hypothesis as law.

My experience is that motivation is more a determining 
factor to the number of students who participate than does 
the work that is involved.  I would expect that, given the 
same pool of potential students, someone like Bryan 
Rocine, who presents the learning of Hebrew as something 
doable and worthwhile, would have more attend classes than 
would an instructor who came to the class with the 
sentiments that you express, namely, that a study of the 
actual language is hard and expected to be done only by a 
few.

Again, in my experience, the ones who have received 
training in the mere use of tools have nearly all stopped 
using even those tools within a relatively short time 
frame (2-5 years or less).  On the other hand, those who 
are brought through a more complete study of the language 
by a motivating instructor have a much higher rate of 
long-term usage of the original texts.  So, shout as you 
may in proclaiming your point of view, what you state as 
law flies in the face of my experience both in the States 
and abroad.

All the best,

Paul Zellmer


You wrote:

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! 

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