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Teaching Greek to Young Children

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Teaching Greek to Young Children

Postby Justin2012 » Thu May 10, 2012 6:00 pm

I am hoping for some pros and cons for teaching my children Modern Greek first instead of Epic Greek. I have studied classical Greek but not Modern Greek.

I am using the books from Greek123 to teach my children. Their ages are 8 and 6. They have almost completed the following book
Link removed as per forum rules .
My children enjoy the Greek123 program. I am able to follow along with the book because it is very basic. I also bought a Modern Greek grammar to study on my own.

I am using the CD to teach Modern Greek pronunciation that comes from Greek123. Personally, I use the restored Greek pronunciation in my private reading but use Modern Greek pronunciation when working with them.

My goal in teaching my children Greek was so that they could read Homer and other Classical Greek authors. I decided to start with Modern Greek, since it is a living language. I like the Greek123 course and see that my children are picking up Greek. They will name things in Greek and seem to enjoy the experience of learning Greek. Another reason for teaching Modern Greek is the practical aspect. They could learn a modern language and use it to speak to other Greek speakers. I assumed that their progress would be much quicker starting out with Modern Greek first. This could be a false assumption on my part.

My questions are:

Should I have my children learn Modern Greek for three years and transition them later? I was considering using Schoder's Reading Course in Homeric Greek later in their studies.

How hard will the transition be to Epic Greek (Homeric Greek) ?

Should I teach them another pronunciation or just allow them to read Homer with a Modern Greek pronunciation? I was going to introduce the pronunciation changes when they started Homer, not now.

What are the pros and cons of only adopting a Modern Greek pronunciation?

Would there be any problems with introducing Schoder's Reading Course in Homeric Greek in addition to their Modern Greek Course starting right now?

Any other thoughts or ideas how you would approach teaching a child Greek would be appreciated. I do not want to confuse my children, nor quench their desire to learn. It is great seeing them ask to do their Greek every day.
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Re: Teaching Greek to Young Children

Postby IreneY » Sun May 20, 2012 9:44 pm

Hi there!

If you want them to know both (modern Greek and reconstructed) you may want to start them on the reconstructed sooner rather than later. It may confuse them for a bit but the younger the kid the easier for them to handle it.
See, I'm afraid that if you wait too long they may decide they don't want to use reconstructed at all. Much like me. I know it, I can and do use it if needed, but I most certainly don't use it in general. Mind you my native language is Greek and I was taught ancient Greek using MG :)
Of course the problem is that I don't think there are many resources for teaching ancient Greek to young children.
Not much help I know, but maybe some of the other members will have better advice to give you
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Re: Teaching Greek to Young Children

Postby Justin2012 » Wed May 23, 2012 11:28 pm

Hi Irene,

Thank you for your thoughts and experiences with Modern Greek. I have decided that I am not going to worry about reconstructed pronunciation. If my children are enjoying Greek, then why mess with something that is working.

I have decided to keep up with Modern Greek for three or four years with them. When they are older, if they want to read Ancient Greek, then I will work with them. My son loves Archimedes, so I'm sure that he will want to work in Ancient Greek later. Also, they see me reading other Greek, which should help.
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Re: Teaching Greek to Young Children

Postby IreneY » Thu May 24, 2012 11:15 pm

Well, provided we're both here (I know I will be) in 3 or 4 years' time, if you want any help with some little tricks on how to relate modern to ancient Greek just holler :)
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Re: Teaching Greek to Young Children

Postby Helikwps » Fri May 25, 2012 2:33 pm

Pharr's intro and an essay by James Elroy Flecker recommend teaching Homer to young children. Tough decision and good luck!
Last edited by Helikwps on Wed May 30, 2012 12:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Teaching Greek to Young Children

Postby Helikwps » Fri May 25, 2012 2:59 pm

IreneY wrote:Of course the problem is that I don't think there are many resources for teaching ancient Greek to young children.

Irene -- Not many but there are a few: Thrasymachus, A Greek Boy at Home, Greek and Latin Chanties, The Ancient Greeks Speak to Us, Greek Ollendorff and Blackie's Greek Dialogues -- most of them over a century old & available on Google books.

Almost none of them accessible a decade ago. Thank you modernity!
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