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new method for learning NT Greek. Feedback desired.

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new method for learning NT Greek. Feedback desired.

Postby noren » Fri Oct 01, 2004 11:18 pm

Hello all,

I'm developing a novel way to teach and learn Greek. I have a website where this method can be explored.


You need a Polytonic Greek unicode font to be able to read the stories. There are links on the site where you can download them.

My approach is to teach paradigms and vocabulary in a story context. The user can interact with controls and select things like plural/singular, 1,2 and 3rd person, masculine or feminine, and whether to use pronouns or not. I only have a few stories online so far.

My conviction is that Greek would be easier to learn if it was presented in graded stories. Not everyone can learn Greek by memorizing endless paradigms and isolated words. My dream would be to offer dozens of stories, each graded by difficulty and grammatical categories. However, I am not a Greek expert, almost all of my 2 or 3 semesters of Greek as faded away. What I am looking for is for people to try out the stories I've got posted up there and play around with the controls and give me feedback as to whether they think that this mtehod of presenting Greek would be beneficial or not.

Please note that there are still some *holes* in my online database, so some words in some stories do not get replaced properly. You will see this with either a ***text***, or a Javascript message 'undefined' instead of the Greek word.

What I'm looking for now is feedback on the method not the content.

IMHO, the advantages of this method is that any story entered in this site can be manipulated about 24 different ways offering the student a lot of reading practise at the appropriate reading level, with relatively small effort for the teacher for creating the story and for entering it.
The advantages for the student is that he gets lots of reading practise and gets to learn vocabulary and the paradigms in a more natural method.

So, let me know what you think.
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Postby BadDog » Fri Nov 05, 2004 4:22 pm


Interesting link. Thx. I don't haveit with me, but I bought a couple copies of a "learning Greek" book on the internet last year. They have the philosophy that we should teach Greek much like children learn any foreign language. So they teach a few concepts, then just begin throwing Greek at you. It is not so much grammar oriented, but uses an approach to just dive right in.

None of my children were old enough to learn it yet. But next summer, I think I'll give it a try. See how they do. Sorry, but I don't remember the name of the book, but it was the approach that I thought you'd be interested in.

As far as feedback on the site. I do have a proper Greek font installed, but it still interprets some things as "squares" or *s and unreadible. I clicked on the link to tell you if you have a Greek font installed that should work, and it passed the test, FYI, so that part needs some work.

I don't know about learning Greek fro mscratch. My need isn't that cause I've had the training. I need to brush up on my grammar.

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Postby Jeff Tirey » Fri Nov 05, 2004 4:33 pm

BRAVO! I must say that is really, really neat.

However, I too see only boxes where some characters should be. I'm on Win XP and IE 6.0

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Postby noren » Fri Nov 05, 2004 5:18 pm

Thanks for your response. As to your font problem, try installing on of the fonts listed on the side, either Galatia SIL or Gentium. These are Unicode fonts which the site requires and both work well and look good for these pages. I don't have a test to see if you have a unicode font, but one of the pages I link to does. But if you are still seeing squares then your greek font doesn't have all the characters needed to display the page.
I'd appreciate it if you can track down the titles of those books you mention. I'm finding it hard to find short stories written for pedagogical purposes. So any help i can get along the way would be appreciated.
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Postby EmptyMan » Sat Nov 06, 2004 2:22 am

Very cool site, I hope you keep working on it. Btw, were you trying to say right-handed people can not learn languages analytically that well?
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Postby noren » Sat Nov 06, 2004 7:08 pm


I don't know if left or right HANDEDNESS has anything to do with right or left brained learning preference. But researchers have hypothesized that the brain has different areas devoted to processing information and that we all have unique preferences for learning. They generalize this by calling it right-brained or left-brained learning preference. Left-brained people can process things like math very well, while right-brained people are more artistically inclined. Some people are balanced between the two. There is a lot of research out there on this, so if you are interested in it, I'd say to search online for more information. Both kinds of people can learn languages, but the difference is in how they prefer to learn it.
A left-brained person will have less difficulty memorizing paradigms and then being able to use them when he encounters text he has to decode. A right-brained person prefers to have more context to learn meaning. This context can be a story or a real life situation.
I grew up thinking I was a left-brained person, because the school system we have in the west is geared more toward that kind of learning process. As I got older and took some brain dominance tests, I discovered that I am actually more right-brained than I thought. This was confirmed in the way I have learned several other languages as well. So now I am trying to apply the right-brained approach to Greek, which has always been taught from a left-brained perspective.
Anyway, thats a short intro to left and right brained learning preference as it applies to language learning.
Thanks, for your encouragement. I will keep on working on the site.

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Postby cole » Fri Nov 26, 2004 6:12 am

I'm using Safari - no problems viewing at all.

I love the idea of using graded readers. Hope to see more stuff.
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Thu Dec 16, 2004 5:22 am

I like the approach (alas, I'm studying Homeric Greek, not NT Greek). I got some bizarre mutations of kappa and rho, but at least I figured out that they were kappa and rho (this may have been because I already knew the volcabulary). Otherwise, the font was not a problem for me. I found the versions with the second person especially amusing, for obvious reasons 8)
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Postby MikeInMinnesota » Mon Dec 20, 2004 6:23 pm

Imagine my surprise when I opened the first story and found the first lesson in the text we are using to learn Greek! This is really excellent. I very much hope you pursue it. It is well worth developing. Keep up the good work.
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