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Supplemental exercises/extra practice?

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Supplemental exercises/extra practice?

Postby Unassuming » Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:57 am

I've been working through the book for the last week I'm finding the need for extra review of the chapters. Is there any way better way to review than returning to the old chapters and going over the vocabulary and grammar again? Are there any other resources I might look to to make review a bit more interesting or thorough -- especially more translation exercises with an answer key?
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Re: Supplemental exercises/extra practice?

Postby Adelheid » Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:30 pm

I don't think extra translation exercises were ever developed for Pharr here on this forum at least, certainly not with answer keys. Keeping the vocabulary fresh in your memory is a good thing: I used to neglect it and that really came back to bite me.
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Re: Supplemental exercises/extra practice?

Postby gfross » Sat May 21, 2011 9:25 am

Unassuming wrote:I've been working through the book for the last week I'm finding the need for extra review of the chapters. Is there any way better way to review than returning to the old chapters and going over the vocabulary and grammar again? Are there any other resources I might look to to make review a bit more interesting or thorough -- especially more translation exercises with an answer key?


Exactly! The main problem with pedagogical classical Greek grammars is the paucity of reading material and exercises designed by someone trained in applied linguistics (linguistics as applied to learning a foreign language, with special emphasis on the development of reading skills). We need pages and pages of this kind of material, not just a few sentences to translate into English or Greek. Pedagogically VERY unsound! Fortunately, Hans H. Ørberg has corrected this situation for the learning of Latin (see below).

What I do to supplement my language studies is to write down different ways of asking questions about a sentence, e.g., Who did this? To whom did he do it? Where did he do it? When did he do it? Of course, I use the tense, etc., that is being presented in the lesson. Another thing I do is to change the order of the Greek words so as to reflect the question that I am asking. Or I may substitute a different noun or a different number for the original. Or I may change the tense. Or I ask the sentence as an indirect question (if I am practicing that). Or add a relative clause (if I am practicing that). Or use a construction that requires putting the original sentence in the subjunctive or optative or imperative, etc. Or change an active to a passive. There is so very much that one can do oneself in order to extend the practice exercises. And it's so much fun! I love doing it, watching my control of the language patterns steadily improve.

For ideas I HIGHLY recommend the text book Lingua Latina per se Illustrata and exercise book Exercitia Latina (and Teacher's Materials for the answers) by Hans H. Ørberg. True, it is designed to teach beginning Latin, but it is the most outstanding foreign language text of its kind that I have ever encountered. Lots and lots of pedagogically and linguistically sound exercises, all done in Latin: Cloze exercises, substitution drills, transformation drills, question and answer, etc. No translation exercises from Latin to English and vice-versa. I truly wish that someone would design a classical Greek course like that. Even if you do not know Latin, the structure of the many varied exercises will quickly show you pedagogically sound ways of inventing corresponding Greek exercises for yourself.

If your goal is to READ Greek, and I assume it is, then you need to focus on developing that ability. Translating is an entirely different skill. You need to learn to think in Greek, not to decode it while reading. You need to immerse yourself in Greek. That means reading in Greek and writing in Greek, using over and over again the patterns that you have seen in the reading passages and using your current grammatical knowledge of the language.

Hope this helps. :)
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