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Post by nicomachos » Tue Oct 05, 2004 8:00 am

I am writing a book for beginners I would love to hear some of your advice. My main problem is that I can't find really useful information about teaching greek, something about didactics etc. Are there any well-defined orientations? Can I find at least a history of teaching Greek? It might seem funny, but I feel unconfortable not having a theoretical beckground...

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Post by chad » Wed Oct 06, 2004 12:39 am

hi nichomachos, ever since i read the introduction to pharr (here on textkit), i've thought it would be a good idea to have a textbook which goes through the verbs in order of their frequency (see page xlii). i.e. so

lesson 1 would be the pres ppl thematic active (and the article, to show how to make substantives from verbs).

lesson 2 would be the standard thematic pres indic act verb (prob. intransitive ones, since accusatives wouldn't have been introduced yet). at this point, beginners could understand clauses with intransitive verbs and participles.

lesson 3 would be the thematic present inf active, and to fill out this lesson you'd introduce the idea of the direct object (of transitive verbs in the inf.), through (a) accusative article + ppls, and (b) introducing the common neuter tou=to and tau=ta, as objects.

the basic point would be to follow the table in pharr as a lesson-by-lesson structure, and then to add non-verbs like conjunctions, nouns, pronouns &c as appropriate. i think it'd be a really good approach and different from other books. :)

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Post by Titus Marius Crispus » Wed Oct 06, 2004 2:34 am

I've liked what Hansen and Quinn have done: dumped a whole lot of stuff on you really quickly. Although I might not like it if a teacher expected me to go through the book at a steady rate...

The chapter I'm studying right now introduces the passive indicative, subjunctive, and optative of the present and aorist, the passive indicative of the imperfect, future, and perfect, and the passive infinitive of the present, aorist, and perfect. I love it!

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Post by Geoff » Wed Oct 06, 2004 4:48 am

I think one of the best sources of insight is the preface and introduction to as many grammars as you can find. After all that don't buy the either/or mentality. Inductive/ Deductive? Yes - I like the reader type approach, but too many of them either don't teach any grammar or the selections are a bit too long or difficult at first. Great approach hard to master.

Nouns or Verbs first? Some mix them up. I don't like the mix. I really like Samuel Greens for layout, Mounce is good. Of course these are koine. I have one book that teaches all the verbs that use the primary endings in the first chapter with no nouns. Then on to other verbs. I'm sure someone out there likes it, but not me :?

Decide what you like and know what you like and don't be afraid to try something different. Reading the preface and intro's to all those books one thing stands out. All of these were different than the status quo. Jokes are made about the ratio of greek grammars to Greek teachers being 2/1. What makes certain ones stand out. When I have H&Q, Athenaze, and Pharr all open sitting on the desk and "don't get it", will I reach for yours to get a new perspective or approach or will I reach for one of the other 173,000 which are just alike?

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Post by nicomachos » Thu Oct 07, 2004 11:00 am

Thank you for the ideas! What I'll certainly do is read prefaces.
I like Goeff's way of weighing a book: will it be useful when nothing else helps? Well, this is a book for beginners, so the question is, Why start with this insted of something else. I think I have some arguments:
1. I live in Romania, where very few greek textbooks are available (about 3, I think. Comunist hed little interest in humanities... :( )
2. The first lesson, that about phonetics, isn't a summary, a short account, like in other books: it explains every feature, giving examples which are also analysed. (e.g. when explaining accents)
3. I haven't made up any texts: every sentence is selected from a well-konwn author. They are simple statements, which can stand alone (kind of mottos)
4. All redundant information has been eliminated. (At least I hope so..)I have only explained grammar that is needed for understanding the sentences. (When you are just a beginner, you don't read long texts, where the passive or pluperfect are used; you are confunted with present, aorist and accusativus cum infinitivo. So I found it much more useful to teach the infinitive than the perfect.)
5. In other books, you are given the grammar and the vocabulary, then the texts. You either understand them or not. I give precise rules of translation, which can be used when the text is not clear. The student gets used to irregular word order in his early stages.
6. The book also offers information on Greek culture: tragedy, philosophy, mythology, ancient science and Weltanschauung etc.
7. Finally, it doesn't impose a specific style of learning. When you're finished, you may start studying any other reader or writer.

I'm looking forward to reading your opinions!

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Post by xon » Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:31 pm

Comunist hed little interest in humanities...
Something I did not know. I thought the communists supported strongly the arts.

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