In my opinion, everybody learns differently, and different languages require different strategies at different stages of learning. I find it easy to believe that the Krashen approach works well for some people for some languages and for some stages of learning, but I think it would be excessive to claim that it is the only or best way for all people to learn or begin learning a language.
The Krashen method is, unfortunately, not practical for many of the languages I have studied, because there will never be enough interest to create the requisite materials: e.g., Old English, Old Irish, Middle and Late Egyptian, Coptic, or Akkadian. Many languages I have studied have only a limited amount of literature available. Also, some scripts are much easier to learn through explanation than through mere exposure, e.g.,Japanese, Egyptian, Akkadian, and Hittite.
Even with Greek, surely it is easier to learn some things through explanation, rather than through exposure.
How can you look up unknown words at the beginning of your study without knowing something about Greek word formation?
Accents make some sense with an explanation of the underlying principles, otherwise they would probably appear a hopeless jumble. It is unlikely that anyone would ever get enough correct oral exposure to simply figure them out intuitively.
For another example, I am glad of finally getting a comprehensive explanation of many discourse particles and of the force of the middle voice. I think I would have been hopelessly lost about these depending on mere exposure. In fact, I was.
Lastly, there are three quite different patterns used to conjugate the aorist active--the first aorist, the second aorist, and the athematic verbs. Isn’t it easier to have this pointed out, than to expect simply to absorb these differences? Isn’t much of Greek morphology easier to process mentally when looked at systematically, rather than piecemeal?
I am not knocking the usefulness of repeated exposure per se. Exposure is critical to internalize patterns and meanings, and sometimes it is probably superior to explanation and analysis. I am just skeptical about any exclusive use of exposure, which would also have the disadvantages of denying a student access to huge amounts of helpful material written in grammatical terms.
From the earlier posts of others, I have read about a perceived shortage of “comprehensible input” in ancient Greek; but for those steeped in the Christian or Jewish traditions aren’t there simply reams of familiar stores in the Bible that could serve? Some biblical passages are, of course, difficult, but what could be easier than either of these and the passages that follow them?:
1Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος. 2οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν θεόν. 3πάντα δι' αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν. ὃ γέγονεν 4ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν, καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων: 5καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει, καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν.
1 Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἐποίησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν.
2 ἡ δὲ γῆ ἦν ἀόρατος καὶ ἀκατασκεύαστος, καὶ σκότος ἐπάνω τῆς ἀβύσσου, καὶ πνεῦμα θεοῦ ἐπεφέρετο ἐπάνω τοῦ ὕδατος.
3 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ θεός Γενηθήτω φῶς. καὶ ἐγένετο φῶς.
4 καὶ εἶδεν ὁ θεὸς τὸ φῶς ὅτι καλόν. καὶ διεχώρισεν ὁ θεὸς ἀνὰ μέσον τοῦ φωτὸς καὶ ἀνὰ μέσον τοῦ σκότους.
5 καὶ ἐκάλεσεν ὁ θεὸς τὸ φῶς ἡμέραν καὶ τὸ σκότος ἐκάλεσεν νύκτα. καὶ ἐγένετο ἑσπέρα καὶ ἐγένετο πρωί, ἡμέρα μία.
Why do such passages not suffice?
I find this Greek very easy because of my religious background and yet am skeptical that mere exposure would make clear the relationship between ἐγένετο, γέγονεν,γενηθήτω more quickly than a grammatical explanation putting the forms in linguistic context. On the other hand, after being steeped in the basics of Greek, I could easily appreciate how breezing through pages and pages of similar passages would be a great way to consolidate learning and internalize the grammar.