Tuesday, September 25, 2012
The experiment arises with the pedagogy we are using. You see, when I was taught Greek, it was grammar intensive in order to help me translate the NT into English (admittedly not very helpful). What I lacked was vocabulary and reading abilities. The other teacher had studied a model that is becoming more and more popular in the Greek teaching world - the living language method (click here, here, or here for examples).
The experiment is to teach this ancient and dead language as if it were still spoken today. This will help with their reading comprehension and vocabulary retention. In other words, they will be more familiar with the actual language than I was after 4 semesters of Greek!
However, we are not throwing grammar out the window. As different issues come up (the first was the article and case endings) we treat them with a very basic explanation. When we gave statements like ο ανηρ εσθιει τον αρτον ("the man is eating the bread"), they asked why the word "bread" changed from αρτος to αρτον. Without giving them the big words, "Well, the first is the nominative form and the second is the accusative..." we simplified and said the first form is what does the action of the verb, and the second form receives the action. It helps that these kids are already bilingual and can think in terms of grammar without the proper terms like nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, and vocative.
The class consists mainly of looking at pictures, hearing it spoken in Greek, and then repeating it in Greek. While that is going on, I am trying to write these phrases on the board in Greek so it is being visually taught as well. Let me say, it is challenging me to be better in my own Greek (which is a great thing!).
So far, the experiment is fun. Whether it is a success is yet to be determined. Stay tuned!!!
PS - let's hear it for high school students studying the Greek of the Bible, eh!!!!!!!