Scribo wrote:daivid wrote:
The people in control of Greek teaching.
No one is in "control", nor is there a conspiracy. Nor is there anything particularly monolithic about how Classicists teach. I've taught the same courses rather differently from some of my companions, and I'm sure if you talk in terms of nations (and continents) the divergences become even more notable - within certain parameters.
I didn't have in mind any kind of conspiracy nor any collective group though the way I worded things means it is no wonder you gained that impression. However, people who write textbooks and who are influential in the teaching of Greek will be those who have been the most successful with teaching methods as they stand. How else would it be? The problem is that the natural assumption is that the method of learning that is best is the one that has works best for oneself.
The textbooks I have tried. A 2 week summer school. Conversations with people I have met atScribo wrote:daivid wrote:are the product of a very out dated and ineffective teaching system. Those who make it through such a filter are those for whom learning Greek was second nature and hence don't realize why there is anything wrong with current teaching methods. .
You would know that how?
the Hellenic Society AGM. Not a lot I admit. But if the drop out rate is a bad as the conventional wisdom states then there is a serious problem. If no one has done the research to discover what the drop out rate is why not?
I'll answer since I came from a non Classical background and entered the academic system, I don't think I passed through any filters. There's nothing outdated about teaching methodologies and many places do indeed keep up with what second language acquisition research suggests.
You are clearly very able and find learning languages a lot easier than others.
I have heard it said that the majority of people who start learning ancient Greek give up.
I don't know whether that is based on any actual research or just an impression that people git but it is certainly my impression. Its that kind of filter I was talking about
Scribo wrote: But we're not talking about a natural spoken language, however much people would like to say otherwise.
The methods we do use are tried and tested, not ossified and antiquated. I think I should re-iterate what we do, do. We need to teach students to read Latin and Greek with rapid fluency on one hand, but able to sensitively recognise not only style but register, dialectical differences and so on as they read. In turn, they need to be able to go beyond the OCT/Tuebner, so they need to know the language well enough to pass into Papyrology, Textual Criticism, Palaeography and so on at the very least. Most places want their students able to explain morphological forms, categorise syntax, understand phonology and so Philology is often a requirement.
This is the base line and the current methodology is the only one that allows these skills to be passed on, especially within time constraints. Moreover it's a good method, I'm pretty sure I can read Hittite faster than most people can read Greek having messed about with all this modern fluff. If a better method comes along, I'm pretty sure everyone will want to adopt it. Not least because the current one is a massive sink in terms of cash and effort, which is probably why so many universities aren't producing capable students.
I think you have cause and effect the wrong way round.
You are sufficiently able that you don't need to bother with the " modern fluff". I'm looking around for other methods because the conventional textbooks are not enough. My impression is that teaching Greek is set up on the basis that people with my rather average abilities in language learning are going to give up so there is no point in catering for them.
John Taylor's vol 1 Greek to GCSE is excellent. It is a conventional treatment but he does it well.
His volume 2 skimps a bit but it is still useful.
His Greek Beyond GCSE however covers topics so briefly that it just doesn't work for me.
He covers μι verbs in a few pages and then provides a mere 15 sentences to reinforce the point. Taylor is quite capable of covering that topic well but just doesn't.
Sure μι verbs are less frequent but they, and things like them, are frequent to make any reading of original Greek a real struggle. And lack of frequency means they are harder to pick up because you encounter them less and so get less practice,