What is the Grammar-Translation method?

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by Markos » Sun Dec 21, 2014 8:50 pm

John W. wrote:...I have the nagging concern that the language we may end up trying to speak will bear about the same relationship to genuine spoken Ancient Greek as the eponymous zombies of The Walking Dead do to real living, breathing people.
χαῖρε φίλε, Ἰωάννης!
I gladly accept the analogy to the extent that one must walk before one runs. (Cf. the SLA notion of "care-taker speech.") I agree with you that Grammar-Translation does an effective job of keeping dead languages dead, whereas the Direct Method resurrects these with results that are imperfect and even at times ugly. Daniel Streett

http://danielstreett.com/2011/09/26/mak ... -the-good/

says that advocates of the Indirect Method allow the perfect to become the enemy of the good, but I suppose that this is begging the question. I won't deny that Smyth has a pristine beauty that Rico does not.
...The Walking Dead...
The more I think about it, the more I like it. If we gave you the name Grammar-Translation, I suppose it is only fair that we accept a designation from others. νεκροί μέν ἐσμεν, περιπατοῦμεν δέ. Are you guys then the un-Walking Dead? :D
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
We tread on the ground, lurching and learning, zombie-like, as our reading fluency increases.
John W. wrote:...if it genuinely works for some people, and helps/enourages them to engage with Greek literature, then that is certainly all to the good.
Right back at you!
οὐ μανθάνω γράφειν, ἀλλὰ γράφω τοῦ μαθεῖν.

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by daivid » Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:05 pm

Scribo wrote:Moreover as a scholastic enterprise it's obviously missing something. There'd be no point "speaking" Greek if there were no one who could put Callimachus back together.
From your last post it was clear you do realize that a communitive stategy has its aim as reading and so it is not a problem that any speaking is going to be a very bookish Greek and full of "ink well" languge that real ancient Greeks might write but wouldn't actually say. Indeed that you use some limited communitive methods yourself you are aware that it has some value -allbeit a very limited one.

A wiser person than I would resist the temptation here to cry "straw man!" not least because my posts are full of straw man characterization of the GT method. But I guess the temptation of resorting to straw man arguments is a pitfall of the internet.

Thursday I was in the London Classical Institute library looking for research on what language methods work. All I found was two books avocating direct methods. (I haven't read them thru so they include hard evidence as what works but found any so far.) And I guess that is what is to be expected. The current orthodoxy needs no defense - it is the heretics who have to create noise. I am far from convinced that critique of current methods is correct. I haven't actually tried Ricco's method beyond going thru his book. The videos on Youtube are inspiring but actually attending a Ricco class would involve a plane flight from London to Jerusalem weekly. I guess my real problem is not with the GT method itself but the belief that there is no need to look at alternatives because everything is fine.

It my well be that the current set up is the best for producing accademics who are capable of things like reconstructing mangled papyrus texts. At the end of the day, that has to be the priority. But only a small proportion of people who start learning Greek are ever going to find a job in accademia. The current methods have to be judged by how it serves them as well.

Maybe it does. I would feel far less need to play disenter if serious research was being done int what works and what doesn't. Well maybe it is being done and I've been looking in the wrong places.

One thing that ought to be findable is the proportion of students who take an Ancient Greek exam at 16 keep going at the subject and take it at A level and how that compares with modern languages. Hard conclusions from such figures would be wise but someone must keep such statistics routinely and it would at least be a starting point.
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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by cb » Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:12 pm

hi all, very interesting thread. my woeful contribution to it will be jumbled thanks to a 10 hr time difference jet lag after a relocation, so i'm going to try to impose order on chaos and say 3 things in order: about the "grammar" method, about the "direct" method and lastly the "translation" method. i'm pro the first 2 and against number 3 personally. note that i split up grammar-translation method into 2 aspects which I think can be treated differently.

1. grammar method

this i take to be largely a building-up method from elements to fully-formed sentences. i don't think it's useful to point to populations of students here as to whether this is good or bad - those pro will point to the glaring fact that everyone who's gotten to the point we all want to get to, including all the best scholars on this forum, seemed to have used this method. those against can with equal weight point to the great fodder of humanity who failed to get a decent way with classics despite aptitude, implying that a better way might be out there which makes it click (the way that the betterexplained website did this for me with maths - a simple change from the old methods, and now i get things all of a sudden. the analogy with classics is tempting but not necessarily convincing...).

but what i do think it's useful to point to is that this method can work whether or not you have a teacher, something which is likely to be much harder with the direct method. i've never had a classics class in my life and using the grammar method have gotten to an OK point. but i want to go much further and so i too look to other methods. but using materials online and from libraries and bookstores and text kit and emailing professors and in this way i was able to do this and this is a unique point about dead languages, this is doable.

also, you don't need inductive natural method to attain a goal of natural reading. it's not a necessary condition. maybe it's sufficient, still to be determined, but not necessary. i can say from personal experience in both classics and french that it's possible to get to the natural inductive flow reading point even though you start from a regimented grammatical analysis approach. i did all my conjugations etc in french class and then at a point that just fell away and i could speak and read. similarly with classics. so this is one argument of the direct method taken away i think.

2. direct method

this i take to be a top-down approach, where you start with fully-formed sentences and learn to adapt them. so the difference between the grammatical method and the direct method would be, to understand the phrase XYZAB, the grammatical method teaches you the elements X, Y, Z, A and B and teaches you the rules for combination. the direct method instead teaches you, or should teach you if it exists to a developed stage (i don't know) phrases of the form XYZA* and rules for the proper substitution of elements into the *. i don't mean this as some sort of prescriptive system, i'm just outlining in response to the original queries how i understand the terms myself.

when i think about this i seem to be linking back in my sleep-deprived mind to something that maybe david deutsch in the fabric of reality or someone said about emergent phenomena. studying chemistry say, resolving a thing into its elements, and that again down to the quantum level, is useful for understanding but you wouldn't understand higher-order sciences like biology or politics through quantum mechanics because there is a separate simplicity that emerges from the underlying complexity. you can ignore this pseudo-science and just take away the point that it's not always necessary to resolve into the most basic elements to attain the best understanding, and that if the direct method has a use it would be studying the emergent patterns (fully-formed phrases and their substitution), the simplicity that sits on top of the complexity of the grammar in SOME cases.

however, the thing is that all the grammar-bewitched scholars i see study and report on this stuff too. so i don't think the direct method has a monopoly on the content it looks at - i.e. phrases and cola as the unit rather than the grammatically-analysed elements of phrases - and so this is not a reason to prefer the direct method over the grammar method.

the other thing that direct method seems to focus on is actual regular use of constructed phrases out loud or on paper. on the one hand, i have never seen any evidence of the beneficial effects this might have on language acquisition. on the other hand, grammar advocates seem to be suspicious of this activity as if it is going to bring about some sort of corruption or deterioration of understanding. now definitely in sports this concept can apply - i think we've all had people tell us to do things slowly at the beginning and get technique right so that you don't have to unlearn it later - but is this really applicable to dead languages? let's say someone forms pretty bad sentences from a classical standpoint, say putting the infinitive after verbs like modern languages where the classical language uses a subordinate construction - a frequent modern foul - is this really going to corrupt the person's understanding when they see the proper subordinate construction in the real texts? if not, i don't see why anyone would object to the direct method as a supplement to the grammar method, because its value is either zero or positive. perhaps it can have a negative impact though, i'd be interested to hear about it.

3. translation method

this i take to be turning a classical text into a modern language. the downsides of this were so apparent, to me at least (admittedly from the outside of the classroom context) that i've never done it, i think i've translated the first 5 lines of the iliad and that's it.

a key reason, i mean the motivation, for learning classics is that the original is meant to be better than the translation, and it is. whatever reasons you have for supporting this go against translating. for instance, some say that the english/french/whatever word is pre-packed not only with grammatical elements - the stuff you learn about in those dreary books - but also an unavoidable non-classical residue which comes from the modern usage of that word. importing this into your turning of the classical text isn't proper in my view. why do it? instead, why not just focus on extracting and learning about the grammatical elements, i.e. parsing, syntax, antiquities, etc - the classical stuff - but leaving out the modern residue? this is what i call the grammatical method (as opposed to the grammatical-translation method).

for this reason i personally do monolingual glosses, but not just a synonym because i don't believe that's proper in most cases. you can't just take one word and replace it with another, i don't think that conveys the meaning. but you can work in the language and build up the webs of meaning using other words in the same language. there's nothing special here about modern languages vs dead languages, i think this aspect applies well across both. plus you tap into all the ancient scholarly work when people did exactly the same thing and that's interesting from a historical perspective.

i understand the value of translation in a classroom or a forum like this as it shows the teacher/other scholars what you understand. but this is just one of a number of available methods of showing understanding and personally, from outside the classroom context, i'm willing to leave behind its benefits to avoid the (perhaps imagined) disadvantages.

in my view then, to wrap up, grammatical method is the best way in for all students. direct method is an interesting method worth pursuing. translation is one available method of conveying understanding but in my view not essential.

cheers, chad

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by jeidsath » Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:53 pm

David, As regards research into methods, take a look at my link a few posts back for the "Teaching of Greek at the Perse School." There is a fair amount of data in there as regards the amount of Greek learned after 1 or more terms. As I said, a very interesting read.

Once we get into the subject of measuring student accomplishment, you get the problem of selection. What comes out depends on who goes in. There's no way to control for that in comparing methods, so it's an almost impossible task today. We can't appeal to data for the answer to this one. We have to answer with intelligence and experience.

As a self-learner, I've found that there have been times where more input would really boost me. Other times grammar study would provide a big boost. I think that if I had learned another heavily declined language first (Latin), I could have taken more grammar earlier, to some benefit. As it is, Greek only started to congeal well enough for me to absorb large quantities of grammar after a few months.

Case was something easy to learn about, but hard to really grasp in a sentence (for about 6 months). Verb conjugation was much harder for me to learn until recently, but it's a far simpler language concept (for me as an English-speaker). By the way, in addition to reading Greek for a year, which makes grammar study much easier, the real trick to verb conjugation is: Augment + Reduplication + Stem + Thematic Vowel + Personal Ending. Smyth 462 was like a revelation from heaven to me.

There have been other times when lots of grammar study did little for my comprehension, but then something new (like listening to audio while reading a translation) would give me a big comprehension boost.

To sum up, I've found that you get 80% of the benefit of any new technique in the first few weeks. And you have different needs at different times. While "grammar-translation" is perfectly constructed to let "people who don't know teach," as the proverb goes, any direct method that doesn't provide students what's needed when it's needed is going to fail. Students need grammar, especially the more intelligent, better language learners (not necessarily the case with me).
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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by Scribo » Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:25 pm

cb:

I somewhat agree with you, perhaps even largely, but I would say that I find "translation" being an important part of any methodology weird now that you mention it. I don't think I ever did much of it and past the very beginning stage it's not that useful - there are better, more efficient, ways in gauging understanding of a passage like the gobbet method. It also gives undue advantages to native speakers of the L1 when it comes to very large passages, so I think it should be kept to the early(/ier) stage(s).

I don't think things like discourse analysis should be brought up in the language class actually, much better kept to the literary side of things. But I think I largely agree with you, I think I should write up some case studies from my own teaching at some point.

David:

Yes the current set up very much is set up best for those types of people but it kind of has to be. As I've been trying to explain, pretty much everything depends on us being able to produce these people. The state of our texts and the nature of our evidence demands it. It's worth repeating once more that these methods are constantly in flux: I learned Latin somewhat differently from how my teacher did.

The problem I have with strictly communicative methods is they often come across as the one eye'd leading the blind: people pay damn good money to go to institutes to learn Greek from people coining terms like hapaxes. This is insanity! It would be slightly different if people who actually knew the languages very well were doing this, but they're not and given the caveats I've listed I think it would perhaps even be unethical. Again, I'd like to draw some attention to the case study I gave above of Sanskrit.

Case studies: There are problems here due to sheer variety across the world and at different levels. There have been concentrated studies like "When dead tongues speak" and there is a website for classics school teachers in the UK where people upload such papers, though the focus is GCSE/A-level. You can find different journals and edited volumes though from around the world.

One problem is that in the UK we do have some pretty noticeable inequality within our school system, even if you bear in mind how insanely self selecting the classic's pool is. You can have two students with an A in Latin. The former has gone to a good grammar school and worked their way through the Cambridge course year after year and has read some Ovid, Virgil, Caesar, Cicero and Livy (the usual curriculum). The latter has gone to a private school, covered the entire language in four or five terms and has read an enormous amount. They have the same grade but they're not even slightly on the same level. Yes, these are irl examples I've known personally.
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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by Σαυλος » Wed Dec 24, 2014 8:51 am

Σαῦλος wrote:
And is it wrong to say that all people of average intelligence can learn a second language? ...I honestly admire those who can make the switch from analysis to synthesis, from grammatical explanations to comprehension. I just don't think it works for typical language learners.
Victor wrote:It sounds like you're saying the grammar/translation method only works better than the direct method if students are bright enough to cope with it and many aren't. Is that essentially what you're saying?
Victor, Essentially, yes. The G-T method works best "if students are bright enough to cope with it and many aren't." I would only revise that to clarify say that there is a particular form of intelligence meshes well with the G-T method. It requires someone with a high ability and appreciation for analysis. This ability needs also to be coupled with the ability to mentally move from analysis of parts over to a holistic, synthetic understanding. I have known some who do this immediately and without effort. I have known other learners who gain a view of the whole through sheer determination. I have known many learners who never really got out of the analysis mode and approach Greek as a decoding process (This is a particular bane of some Biblical scholarship).

I would not say that there are learners of average intelligence who cannot learn through the G-T method. If they are highly motivated and determined, it can be done. But what normally happens is that the average learner is overloaded by analysis and gives up. Learning some things by analysis can be very the very best way to teach and learn. But the pieces of information normally need to be within a reasonable limit. Greek exceeds that normal limit by many miles. In contrast, learning language in a synthetic way that appeals not to the analytic processes, but to our brain's language processors, is well within the ability of any average learner. All the average learners who pick up a new living languages through communicative methods are proof.

This thread began with the question "What is the Grammar Translation Method." Some many post ago (18 Dec post), I gave a comparison of the G-T method to its polar opposite, the Communicative Approach. My intention was still to define the G-T method by using a contrast. Many posts since that time have swerved into a debate alternating between criticism of the G-T method and criticism of the Communicative Approach (Often the term "Direct Method" has been used autonomously with the Communicative Approach, though it is only one very distinct and dated method among others, e.g. TPR, TPRS, WAYK).

What has not been done in this thread is to define what the Communicative Approach is. That would seem to be a useful foundation for a debate. Some of the criticisms offered so far have been a bit off target due to a sketchy understanding of what the Communicative Approach is. For example, to imagine that communicative methods are entirely inductive and devoid of grammar is simply untrue. The very aim of any communicative method is to teach students to internalize language structures. Explicit grammatical explanations and labels are often a very useful part of that effort.

Perhaps someone would like to reboot this debate with a definition of what the Communicative Approach is, as applied to Latin or Greek. I think that if we continue to debate the G-T method and Communicative methods, then it will be on the basis of some better mutual understanding of what we mean by the Communicative Approach.

If no one offers a description, I'll post a summary of my understanding of the Communicative Approach in the new year.
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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by cb » Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:09 am

hi, i tried to give a description of what i understood this method to be above, in opposition to the grammar method: "this i take to be a top-down approach, where you start with fully-formed sentences and learn to adapt them. so the difference between the grammatical method and the direct method would be, to understand the phrase XYZAB, the grammatical method teaches you the elements X, Y, Z, A and B and teaches you the rules for combination. the direct method instead teaches you, or should teach you if it exists to a developed stage (i don't know) phrases of the form XYZA* and rules for the proper substitution of elements into the *. i don't mean this as some sort of prescriptive system, i'm just outlining in response to the original queries how i understand the terms myself."

these methods are directly opposed - one builds up to phrases from elements, the other adapts already-built phrases.

i assume by communicative method (in opposition to the grammar method) you're not talking about something that's not directly opposed to the grammar method, e.g. i've seen methods where you say to the class let's stand and then everyone actually stands up - reinforcing meaning by doing. but this isn't opposed to the grammar method, you could do this with the grammar method too, the way e.g. that some students indicate accent with gestures, or so i've heard. similarly, speaking out loud or writing in the target language is not unique to this or that method (e.g. prose and verse comp among the grammar-bred). the non-grammar method that i was referring to above had as its unique differentiator that it works by adapting pre-formed phrases (teaching you rules for substitution) and explaining how the meaning changes with substitution.

if you have something else in mind though i'd be interested to hear it - i'm seriously thinking about exploring this non-grammar method this year, as a supplement to the grammar method, but avoiding all the pitfalls that have been raised about it (if there are any, maybe the fears about corruption are unfounded as i mused above, i don't know) - to try something new, why not - and so i'd be grateful for your guidance as i haven't really explored it yet and so i have a lot to learn from people who have already gone down this path. cheers, chad

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Wed Dec 24, 2014 6:30 pm

People can train themselves, or be trained, to speak, and understand when spoken, a factitious simulacrum of a certain form of Greek, one with very limited vocabulary and even more limited syntax. I don’t myself see any point in that, beyond the satisfaction in the accomplishment. To my mind, it’s a snare and a delusion, founded on the misguided notion that what can be done with a modern language can be done with an ancient one. To adopt jeidsath’s imagery, it can stunt a learner’s growth. (Expertus dico.) According to Markos, but perhaps not to others, the aim of speaking is to improve fluency in reading. Even if it does, which I doubt, I think there are better ways of doing that. (Specifically, by reading.)
I don't think this needs to be taken as an either / or. I've tried my hand at a little composition, which is satisfying to some extent in its accomplishment, but whatever feelings of accomplishment I might have felt pale into insignificance as I return to the text and read. Actually, my feeble attempts at writing give me an appreciation of the complexity of actual texts that I was unable imagine previously. That challenges my own internalised compositional ideas, and lets me read understanding the structures of a text, forcing me to think of how the structures are constructed, rather than guessing by translating.

I suspect that the case of those who are attempting to speak might be similar.
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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by daivid » Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:20 pm

Σαῦλος wrote: Perhaps someone would like to reboot this debate with a definition of what the Communicative Approach is, as applied to Latin or Greek. I think that if we continue to debate the G-T method and Communicative methods, then it will be on the basis of some better mutual understanding of what we mean by the Communicative Approach.
There are of course a number of alternatives to the GT method. These tend to include a number of things.

not just explicit teaching but also (or possibly entirely) intuitive learning
not just comprehension but also production
not just text but including non text visual input, spoken input etc

Of course even some textbooks which have declared here as irredeemably GT may have English to Greek exercises with is production even if of a very channeled form. And certainly no one here defending GT sees the method they find desirable to 100% on left side of the spectrum for all three or maybe even on any of those spectrums.

What I would like to see is for the teaching of Ancient Greek to be more open to the techniques used for living languages. An essentially I have in mind the technique taught in the 5 week TEFL course I attended. This was perhaps 15 years ago so I can't fully recall a single lesson in its entirety but do recall the basic formula.
1) The language form was first presented. Using the target language, English, was of course a necessity as the students have a very varied selection of native languages. As their English was very basic the basic meaning of the form being taught had to be demonstrated by mime, pictures etc. This was helped by the fact usually some of the students had already met the form and by interacting with the teacher helped illustrate the form for the others.
2) With students now clear (err mostly) what the form meant the teacher then got them say the target form a number of times to ensure the students could produce it. Basically this would be getting them to say it in chorus - a technique that I imagine even Roman kids learning Greek would have encountered.
3) The students were then given a task that required communication between each other using the target language . Often this involved splitting up into pairs. A variation of this was for the students to go round asking a set questions (all using the target form) of as many of their fellow students as they could, noting down the answers. At this stage it is the job of the teacher to go round eavesdropping and intervening if someone is going wrong.

It is of course stuff like stage three that I would really like to see more of. That's what gives the method its right to be called communicative. Stage two is nothing to get excited about but I do think that that or something like it needs to be part of any teaching method. Further any teacher who doesn't even do that much (and merely gives out grammar handouts for example) is not teaching grammar.
Like I said, for stage 1 to be in the target language was for us a necessity. I think a good case could be made for that as a virtue even where it is not a necessity. Nonetheless if teacher were to use the native language of the students for that bit the technique would still be communicative.
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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by Markos » Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:45 pm

daivid wrote:There are of course a number of alternatives to the GT method.
That's true, the Communicative Approach is not the only alternative. Even if you are interested in reading-only approaches, there are ways to improve reading fluency that lie outside Grammar-Translation. For example, here are some mono-lingual reading helps for the first lines of Sophocles' Ajax that Chad posted on a different thread:
cb wrote: Ἀθήνα
1. Ἀεὶ {συνεχῶς, οὔποτε παυομένη. οὔ φησι ὁ Σ. τοῦτο τὸ ὄνομα σημαίνειν ἐνθάδε τὸ πάντα χρόνον, ἄνευ περάτων χρόνου} μέν, ὦ παῖ Λαρτίου, {Ὀδυσσεῦ, ἥρως Ἰθακήσιε} δέδορκά {ὁρῶ, ὀφθαλμοῖς αἰσθάνομαι} σε

2. πεῖράν {μηχανήν, δόλον} τιν᾽ ἐχθρῶν {ἐχθρόν τινα, ὅνπερ τις μάλιστα βλάπτειν βούλεται} ἁρπάσαι {λαβεῖν (τιν᾽ ἐχθρῶν), ἐπιφέρεσθαι (τινι ἐχθρῶν)} θηρώμενον· {διώκων τι ὥσπερ ἀνὴρ θήραν ποιούμενος διώκει ζῶιον, ζητοῦντα ἵνα εὕρηις. τὸ δὲ ἑξῆς ἐστι τοῦτο· ἀεὶ δέδορκά σε θηρώμενον πεῖραν ἁρπάσαι τιν' ἐχθρῶν}

3. καὶ νῦν ἐπὶ {παρὰ (ταῖς ναυτικαῖς σκηναῖς), οὐ πόρρω (τῶν ναυτικῶν σκηνῶν)} σκηναῖς {οἴκοις τοῖς ἐν στρατοπέδωι ὠικοδομημένοις, κλισίαις ξυλιναῖς} σε ναυτικαῖς {σημαίνει ἴσως εἴτε ταῖς τοῦ νεῶν Ἑλληνικοῦ στόλου, εἴτε ταῖς παρὰ τῶν νεῶν ὠικοδομημέναις} ὁρῶ

4. Αἴαντος, ἔνθα τάξιν ἐσχάτην {τὴν ἄκρην τάξιν τοῦ στρατοπέδου, ἔνθα δεινότατον ἦν σκηνὴν ἔχειν} ἔχει,

5. πάλαι {πολὺν χρόνον, οὐκ ἐν ὀλίγωι χρόνωι} κυνηγετοῦντα {ζητοῦντα (τὰ ἴχνη) ὥσπερ κύων ζητεῖ, διώκοντα} καὶ μετρούμενον {διασκοποῦντα τὰ διαστήματα μεταξὺ (τῶν ἴχνων), ἐξετάζοντα τὴν πρὸς ἄλληλα θέσιν (τῶν ἴχνων)}

6. ἴχνη {χαρακτῆρας ποδῶν, τύπους ἐπὶ γῆς ποσὶ τετριμμένους} τὰ κείνου {Αἴαντος, ἥρωος Σαλαμινίου} νεοχάραχθ᾽, {οὐ πάλαι πέπλασται, ὧν ὁ τύπος ἄρτι ἐποιήθη}, ὅπως ἴδῃς

7. εἴτ᾽ ἔνδον {ἐν τῆι σκηνῆι, οὐκ ἐκτός} εἴτ᾽ οὐκ ἔνδον.
To intermediate learners, the input becomes comprehensible while remaining in L2 and while avoiding L1 meta-language. I find Chad's method both effective and in line with my pre-assumptions about what it means to become fluent in a language.

Other examples of non-Grammar-Translation resources which are not communicative would include intra-lingual paraphrases like Gaza and Nonnus, the Phillpotts simplified Anabasis, and the L2 "syntax skeletons" that you and I (and now Joel) have experimented with.
Σαῦλος wrote: Perhaps someone would like to reboot this debate with a definition of what the Communicative Approach is, as applied to Latin or Greek.
As Homer might say, Οὖτις has done this. If someone does this, I would want it to include aural comprehensible input and L2 output based on communicative need.
Markos wrote: What is wrong with ψυχρός ἐστι?
Michael answered this on another thread:
mwh wrote:"σήμερον μὲν ψυχρός ἐστι."
Spiritoso! ἀλλὰ τίς δὴ ψυχρός ἐστι; ὁ ἀήρ, τάχ’ ἂν ἀποκρίναιο. ἀλλ’ οὐκ ἔσθ’ ὅπως τοῦτό τις ἄν προσυπακούσαι ἐὰν μὴ ἤδη δεδηλωμένον ᾖ ὅτι ὁ λόγος τυγχάνει περὶ τοῦ ἀέρος ὤν.
To which I replied:
Markos wrote: πολλάκις ἐν τούτῳ τῷ τόπῳ περὶ τοῦ ἀέρος λαλοῦμεν. δῆλον οὖν ἐστι ὅτι τὸ "ψυχρός ἐστι" σημαίνει "ὁ ἀήρ ψυχρός ἐστι."

As you can see, I don't agree with what he said, but I do like the way he said it.

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by mwh » Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:31 am

2. πεῖράν {μηχανήν, δόλον} τιν᾽ ἐχθρῶν {ἐχθρόν τινα, ὅνπερ τις μάλιστα βλάπτειν βούλεται} ἁρπάσαι {λαβεῖν (τιν᾽ ἐχθρῶν), ἐπιφέρεσθαι (τινι ἐχθρῶν)} θηρώμενον· {διώκων τι ὥσπερ ἀνὴρ θήραν ποιούμενος διώκει ζῶιον, ζητοῦντα ἵνα εὕρηις. τὸ δὲ ἑξῆς ἐστι τοῦτο· ἀεὶ δέδορκά σε θηρώμενον πεῖραν ἁρπάσαι τιν' ἐχθρῶν}
ἆρ’ οὐ τὸ ἑξῆς μᾶλλόν ἐστι τόδε; αει δεδορκα σε θηρωμενον αρπασαι πειραν τινα εχθρων, ὅ εστι πειραν τινα κατὰ τῶν εχθρων, ἵν’ ᾖ τὸ ὅλον ὁρῶ σε ζητοῦντα πειράσασθαί τι τῶν ἐχθρῶν· τὸ τινα γὰρ τῷ πεῖραν προσαπτέον αλλ’ουχὶ τῷ εχθρῶν.
(Or in "metalanguage": τινα goes with πεῖραν, ἐχθρῶν is objective gen., not partitive.)

This sort of thing can be done orally just as well as in writing (and more quickly than it takes to type), but only once you know greek (and scholiastic greek at that), and who would understand it?

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by jeidsath » Sat Dec 27, 2014 6:17 am

...and who would understand it?
Here's what I'm able to understand of the Greek in question without a dictionary, only using Mark's copious notes:
O child of Lartios, I always have seen you hunting with some plan to despoil your enemies, and now I see you alongside the tents of sailors of Aiantos, at the farthest edge of the camp, taking your time to sniff out and discern his fresh track, whether he might be inside or outside.
If this were its own thread, I would have asked him a few questions instead of sharing my translation.
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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by Scribo » Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:57 am

jeidsath wrote:
...and who would understand it?
Here's what I'm able to understand of the Greek in question without a dictionary, only using Mark's copious notes:
O child of Lartios, I always have seen you hunting with some plan to despoil your enemies, and now I see you alongside the tents of sailors of Aiantos, at the farthest edge of the camp, taking your time to sniff out and discern his fresh track, whether he might be inside or outside.
If this were its own thread, I would have asked him a few questions instead of sharing my translation.
Always child of Laertes* I have seen you hunting** to seize some opportunity against your enemies. And now I see you at the naval encampment*** of Aias, where he holds the farthest line, on the trail for some time and measuring his freshly-printed footprints, to see whether he is inside or no.

It's the endings, they convey the information needed.
(Occasionally) Working on the following tutorials:

(P)Aristotle, Theophrastus and Peripatetic Greek
Intro Greek Poetry
Latin Historical Prose

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by jeidsath » Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:46 pm

Yes, thank you, Scribo. ἔνθα τάξιν ἐσχάτην ἔχει rather than ἔνθα τάξιν ἐσχάτην ἔχεις. That was an obvious mistake on my part.

Also I remembered the English Laertes from the Iliad, but wasn't sure how/why to get there through transliteration, so I transliterated what I saw in the hopes of correction. I think that I need to find some reference on transliterating Greek names. As you can see I main try to do root + os or something equally bad.

And "hunting for" rather than "hunting with" is right. I think that I was mentally trying to read πεῖράν as some sort of modifier "you hunting" rather than a substantive, but it's πεῖράν τινα, which makes much more sense.

EDIT: Also naval encampment does make sense. I meant to write sailors' rather than sailor's.
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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by mwh » Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:54 pm

Joel – You misunderstood me. I was referring to what I had written in greek (putting right an apparent misconstrual of verse 2 on cb’s part). If I hadn't written it but just said it, “who would understand”? (supposing there was anyone there to hear). Maybe what I wrote wasn’t understood in any case, but my point was that written is easier to understand than spoken.

But the same point does apply to chad’s notes quoted by Mark. If they’d been in oral form rather than in written, that’s to say if you’d merely heard them spoken rather than being able to see them there on the screen, I fancy you’d have had a harder time understanding them. (Even as it is, you translate verse 2 differently from how chad’s notes indicate.)

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by jeidsath » Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:25 pm

Michael, your Greek comment didn't make much sense to me, I'll admit. I only got about 80% of the meaning, which was no help, unfortunately. I caught that there was something about the order and "πειραν τινα" and its relation to εχθρῶν that I needed to pay attention to. I can parse it out, but only if I were to translate it. Chad's notes (not Mark's, sorry!) I can just read without translating.

I do think that it does get easier in person. Here are two example lessons from Rouse's Teaching of Greek at the Perse School. First an easier one from the first year, and then a later one (that perhaps corresponds better to what Chad is doing).
By the end of half-term (six weeks from the beginning of term) the class has learnt most of the declensions and a considerable part of the verbs in -ω, including the contracted verbs. In syntax the main case-usages, the common particles, and the simpler forms of oratio obliqua are known, and perhaps a few other constructions as well. All the while English is being more and more fully eliminated, at least from certain of the lessons, that part of the work which requires English being taken, as far as possible, on two or three days in the week, so that the other days are left free for "all Greek" lessons.

The methods employed in the latter are best explained by an actual lesson.

Boys: Γλαῦκος, Κλέαρχος, Ὅμηρος, Αἰσχύλος, Εὐριπίδης, Σωράτης.

Homework: To learn γένος and πόλις, and to prepare 10 lines of the reader which have been partly explained by Greek paraphrase beforehand.

Διδάσκαλος. -- χαίρετε, ὦ μαθηταί.
Μαθηταί. -- χαῖρε, ὦ διδάσκαλε.
Δ. Μὴ ὁρᾶτε τὸ βιβλίον, κελεύω ὑμᾶς μὴ ὁρᾶν τὸ βιβλίον. ὦ Σώρατες, τί κελεύω;
Σ. *Κελεύεις ἡμᾶς μὴ ὁρᾶν τὸ βιβλίον.
Δ. Καλῶς ἀποκρίνει· τί ἐκέλευσα, ὦ Γλαῦκε;
Γ. Ἐκέλευσας ἡμᾶς μὴ ὁρᾶν τὸ βιβλίον.
Δ. Καὶ σύ, ὦ Γλαῦκε, καλῶς λέγεις. τί ποιεῖτε;
Μ. Οὐχ ὁρῶμεν τὸ βιβλίον.
Δ. Ἀρχώμεθα ἄρα· μανθάνωμεν τὴν γραμματικήν. ἐγὼ μὲν οὖν ἄρχομαι, "ἡ πόλις"· σὺ πρόιθι, ὦ Κλέαρχε.
Κ. Ἀλλά, ὦ διδάσκαλε, οὐ μανθάνω τὸ πρόιθι.
Δ. Τὸ πρόιθι τὸ αὐτὸ λέγει τῷ πρόβαινε.
Κ. Ἁλλ’ οὐδὲ τὸ πρόβαινε μανθάνω.
Δ. Οἴμοι τῆς σῆς ἀμαθίας, οἴμοι τῆς ἀμαθίας σοῦ· ἀμφοτέρως ἀποκρίνου, ὦ Γλαῦκε.
Γ. Οἴμοι τῆς μῆς ἀμαθίας--
Δ. Ἁμαρτάνεις· τί ἔδει λέγειν, ὦ Ὄμηρε;
Ο. Τῆς ἐμῆς ἀμαθίας.
Γ. Οἴμοι τῆς ἐμῆς ἄμαθίας. οἴμοι τῆς ἀμαθίας μου.
[The master now explains that πρόιθι is the imperative of πρόειμι, I go on, and the imperative and present indicative of εἶμι are learnt form the grammar.]
Δ. Λαβέ νῦν τὴν γύψον, καὶ γράψον τὸ πρόιθι.
[ὁ Γλαῦκος γράφει τὸ προίθι.]
Οἴμοι μάλ’ αὖθις· οὐ γὰρ ὀρθῶς ἔγραψας τὸν τόνον. γράφε πρόιθι. ἆρα ὀρθῶς ἔγραψεν, ὦ μαθηταί;
Μ. Ὀρθῶς. σύ, ὦ Αισχύλε, λέγε τὸ γένος.
[Ὁ Αἰσχύλος ὀρθῶς λέγει.]
Νῦν γράφετε πάντες τὰ ὀνόματα ταῦτα. τί κελεύω;
Μ. Κελεύεις ἡμᾶς πάντας γράφειν τὰ ὀνόματα.
[Γράφουσι, καὶ γραφόντων αὐτῶν περιπατεῖ ὁ διδάσκαλος καὶ μεταγράφει τὰς ἁμαρτίας.]
Δ. Νῦν ἀναγιγνώσκωμεν τὸν μῦθον τὸν περὶ τοῦ ψιττακοῦ. ἀλλὰ μῆν ἐγὼ ἤδη κάμνω--ἆρα μανθάνετε ὅτι λέγει τὸ κάμνω;
Μ. Οὐ μανθάνομεν.
[The verb is explained by action or in English (not translated by a word, but paraphrased) and the chief parts learnt.]
Δ. Ἐμοῦ κάμνοντος, σύ ὦ Εὐριπίδη, ἴσθι διδάσκαλος. ταχέως οὖν ἀνάβαινε ἐπὶ τὸ βῆμα καὶ δίδασκε. ἀγαθὸς γὰρ εἶ διδάσκαλος, ἄριστος μὲν οὖν.
[Ὁ Εὐριπίδης ἀναβαίνει καὶ καθίζει.]
Ε. Ὁρᾶτε πάντες τὴν δέλτον τὴν ὀγδόην καὶ τὸν πρῶτον στίχον. πόστην δέλτον, ὦ Γλαῦκε;
Γ. Τὴν ὀγδόαν δέλτον.
Δ. (ὑπολαβών) Μὴ λέγε ὀγδόαν, ἀλλὰ ὀγδόην· ὄγδοος, ὀγδόη, ὄγδοον. καὶ σύ, ὦ Αἰσχύλε, μὴ παῖζε. τί κελεύω, ὦ Εὐριπίδη;
Ε. Κελεύεις τὸν Αἰσχύλον μὴ παίζειν.
Δ. Λέγετε ταῦτα πάντες.
[Λέγουσι.]
Πρόιθι διδάσκων, ὦ Εὐριπίδη.
Ε. Ἄρχου ἀναγιγνώσκειν Ἑλληνιστί, ὦ Αἰσχύλε.
[Ἁναγιγνώσκει ὁ Αἰσχύλος περὶ τοῦ ψιττακοῦ στίχους ἑπτά.]
Παῦε, ὦ Αἰσχύλε.
Α. Παύομαι.
Ε. Κάθιζε, καὶ ὑμεῖς οἱ ἄλλοι μὴ ὁρᾶτε τὸ βιβλίον. τίς οἷός τέ ἐστι λέγειν ἄνευ βιβλίου τὸ πρῶτον μέρος τοῦ μύθου;
Α. Ἀλλὰ τί λέγει τὸ μέρος; οὐ μανθάνω ἔγωγε.
Δ. Ἐγὼ ἀποκρινοῦμαι ἀντὶ σοῦ, ὦ Εὐριπίδη· μέρος λέγει μόριον, Ἀγγλιστὶ "part." τὸ μέρος, τοῦ μέρους, τῷ μέρει, καὶ τὰ λοιπά, ἀτεχνῶς ὥσπερ τὸ γένος, ὅ νῦν δὴ ἐμάθετε. πρόιθι, ὦ Εὐριπίδη.
Ε. Τίς οἷός τέ ἐστι λέγειν;
Γ. Ἐγὼ οἷός τέ εἰμι.

ὄρνιθ’ ἔχω κατ’ οἶκον,
ὅς ψιττακὸς καλεῖται.
κάλλιστός ἐστιν ὄρνις,
καὶ ποικίλος τὸ χρῶμα.
καὶ θαῦμα δὴ μέγιστον·
ὅταν γὰρ οἴκαδ’ ἔλθω,
"ὦ χαῖρέ" φης’ "ἄριστε."
Ε. Ἑρμήνευε Ἀγγλιστί.

* The proper order would be μὴ ὁρᾶν κελεύεις ἡμᾶς τὸ βιβλίον or the like. This proves difficult for beginners, and the more awkward order is allowed for a time.

The piece is translated, the master correcting when necessary, and so the lesson goes on until the portion prepared at home is finished. Then the master takes charge of the class once more, and adds any comment he may think necessary. For instance, he may paraphrase κατ’ οἶκον by οἴκοι, or the whole of the first line by ἔστι μοι ὄρνις οἴκοι, or again, he will give the degrees of comparison of κάλλιστος, μέγιστος, ἄριστος, the parts of the verbs ἔχω, καλῶ, ἦλθον, and explain the construction ὅταν. . . . ἔλθω. Most of this is done by reference to the grammar, but paraphrases, and some other notes, will be written by the class from dictation, in their note-books. While this writing is being done, the master walks up and down among the boys, glancing at their books to see if what they have written is correct. When a student-teacher is in training he may do this part. Then the master sets and explains the homework, and by this time the lesson is probably at an end.

The next lesson may be of a different kind, at least in part. The first section, say, is taken up with homework,--grammar, or story, as the case may be; the last half-hour is devoted to a written exercise. Many varieties of such are possible, of which the following are examples:--
(1) Paraphrases, either of single words and phrases, or else of the whole piece.
(2) Writing out the story, or a portion of it, either from memory or from an English translation provided by the master.
(3) Translation into Greek of English sentences similar in vocabulary and structure to those just studied in the Reader.
(4) Declensions and conjugations or other grammatical exercies.

The Reader is so constructed that all the ordinary Accidence and Syntax occur during the year's work. Besides this, there is at the end of the Greek Course a "grammatical summary" which contains declensions, conjugations, syntax rules, &c., in a logical order. During the revision of the first year's work, which takes place towards the end of the third term, this summary is thoroughly learnt, so that the grammatical training is systematic. On the other hand, the direct method does not attempt to teach, during the first year, translation into Greek as an end in itself. Such translation is a part of the second and third years' work; riper minds can master it more easily, more intelligently, and with more permanent results. Reading and experience count for far more than rules in learning how to compose in a foreign language. By postpoing translation into Greek until later in the course, the direct method tries to prevent the boys slowly putting together a laboured mosaic and to encourage natural self-expressions. The boys learn to express their own thoughts in Greek, haltingly at first, but with ever-increasing fluency and accuracy; and this is composition properly so called. Usually Latin and Greek are studied with a view only to the understanding of the ancient texts, or to the rendering of thought from one language to another. Self-expression is entirely neglected, and this neglect seems to account for certain weaknesses which are generally to be found among those trained in the ordinary way--want of fluency, for example, and want of originality…
Is there really anyone on this thread who wouldn't feel a bit of a thrill to be in a classroom so described? Or to teach in one?

Here’s how more complicated reading lessons are described.
These books are read, not translated, except when the master wishes to make sure that a certain sentence is understood or (occasionally) as practice in a very difficult art. When a passage is translated for the latter purpose great attention is paid to style and dictation.

The preparation is done, not at home, but in school, the passage being read, explained, paraphrased, and the grammar points indicated; the homework is the test of this, the piece being translated on paper or prepared for translation; or an English free version of the sense given to put into Greek, not literally, but in its general sense; or sometimes English sentences to be rendered exactly into Greek. The new verbs and nouns contained in the lesson are to be learnt, and they will be asked again next day or later. Greek explanations given by the master are written in the note-books, and he must inspect these as they are written, more or less carefully as he has time, and correct mistakes. It will be seen that with a little ingenuity he can use all common constructions in turn, practising each until it is known. Specimens of this will be given later.

Let us suppose that the passage to be prepared is the following from Plato:—

ΣΩ. Οὐκ ἄν φθάνοις ἀκούων· ὡς οὐκ ἄν ἔχοιμί γε εἰπεῖν ὅτι οὐ προσεῖχον τὸν νοῦν αὐτοῖν, ἀλλὰ πάνυ καὶ προσεῖχον καὶ μέμνημαι, καί σοι πειράσομαι ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἅπαντα διηγήσασθαι. κατὰ θεὸν γάρ τινα ἔτυχον καθήμενος ἐνταῦθα, οὗπερ σύ με εἶδες, ἐν τῷ ἀποδυτηρίῳ μόνος, καὶ ἤδη ἐν νῷ εἶχον ἀναστῆναι· ἀνισταμένου δέ μου ἐγένετο τὸ εἰωθὸς σημεῖον, τὸ δαιμόνιον. πάλιν οῦν ἐκαθεζόμην, καὶ ὀλίγῳ ὕστερον εἰσέρχεσθον τούτω—ὅ τ’ Εὐθύδημος καὶ ὁ Διονυσόδωρος—καὶ ἄλλοι μαθηταὶ ἅμα αὖ πολλοὶ ἐμοὶ δοκεῖν· εἰςελθόντες δὲ περιεπατείτην ἐν τῷ καταστέγῳ δρόμῳ. καὶ οὔπω τούτω δύ’ ἢ τρεῖς δρόμους περιεληλυτότε ἤστην, καὶ εἰσέρχεται Κλεινίας, ὃν σὺ φῂς πολὺ ἐπιδεδωκέναι, ἀληθῆ λέγων.

A day’s work would be longer than this, but it is enough to explain the method. The master begins to dictate as follows, in answer to questions on each point, walking up and down among the boys as he does so, and correcting orally any mistakes that catch his eye.

οὐκ ἂν φθάνοις ἀκούων.
φθάνω· τὰ μέρη· φθάνω, φθήσομαι, ἔφθην—φθῶ, φθαίην, φθῆναι, φθάς––ἔστι δὲ καὶ τὸ ἔφθασσα.
ὁ πᾶς λόγος λέγει “τάχιστα ἀκούσει” ἢ “ἄκουε νῦν.” μανθάνετε δὲ καὶ τάδε· οὐκ ἂν φθάνοις λέγων, λέγε μὴ βραδύνων, μὴ βραδύνας.
ὡς οὐκ ἂν ἔχοιμι· ὡς , ἐπειδή.
προσέχω τὸν νοῦν· Ῥωμαϊστί, animadverto.
κατὰ θεὸν γάρ τινα· θεοῦ τινος ἐθέλοντος, κατὰ τύχην.
ἔτυχον καθήμενος· οἱ Ἕλληνες ἔλεγον “τυγχάνω τι ποιῶν” οὐ “ποιεῖν.” μανθάνετε τὰ μέρη τοῦ ῥήματος τούτου.
ἀποδυτήριον· τόπος τις ἐν ᾧ ἀπεδύοντο οἱ γυμναζόμενοι τὰ ἐσθήματα.
ἐν νῷ εἶχον· διενοούμην.
ἀναστῆναι· ἀναστὰς ἀπελθεῖν.
τὸ δαιμόνιον· ὁ γὰρ Σωκράτης ἔλεγεν ὅτι δαίμων τις διδάσκοι αὐτὸν σημεῖόν τε διδοὺς καὶ κωλύων μὴ ποιεῖν τι.
ἐμοὶ δοκεῖν· μαθηταί, ὥς γε ἐμοὶ ἐδόκουν. ἔστι δὲ καὶ “ὡ ἔπος εἰπεῖν.”
ἅμα· μετὰ αὐτῶν.
κατάστεγος· στέγην ἔχων. στἐγη λέγει Ῥωμαϊστί, tectum.
κὰι εἰσέρχεται Κλεινίας· καὶ τότε εἰσέρχεται.

The master would certainly be obliged to explain some points in English—perhaps even some words of the paraphrases—but how much English will be necessary depends entirely upon the knowledge the class has already acquired, and will grow less and less as that knowledge increases.

In these “preparations” every difficulty is explained which the boys themselves feel, and others that the master thinks fit to explain; such as ἀποδυτήριον, which obviously lend themselves to the system of paraphrase. The master must make sure that the boys do not delude themselves; sometimes they think they understand when they do not.

At home the passage is studied again, grammar and dictionary being used if necessary, and the paraphrases are learnt by heart. During the next lesson the passage is read aloud in Greek by the boys in turn, the paraphrases are repeated, questions are asked (in Greek) on the text, and some parts (perhaps the whole) are translated into English. If it has been written out in English as homework, one or two specimens are read and corrected.

Fresh grammar is learnt as it occurs in the Reader. Revisionof grammar already learnt takes place during the first few minutes of each lesson, or perhaps of every other lesson. A lively interest is imparted to this side of teh work if one of the boys is made “teacher” while the revision is going on…
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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by mwh » Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:39 pm

A century ago, in the hands of the unique Rouse, applying his carefully modulated and thoroughly integrated progressive syllabus to children who already knew Latin and were captives for four plus years doing little else day after day (and perhaps not finding it too much of a “thrill”), in a highly competitive and insulated environment, this might have worked. Possibly it worked as well as did more conventional methods in similar environments. Note that grammar and translation are at the heart of it. Times have changed, the conditions cannot be replicated. Which may be just as well.

The Perse was and is an elite English private prep school, functioning as a crammer for admission to Oxbridge. I don’t know, but I doubt that Rouse’s English-minimizing methods long survived him at the school.

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by jeidsath » Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:21 pm

Is it really all or nothing? Is there nothing at all to be learned from Rouse? Or can some viva voce profitably creep into the modern classroom?

Now I'll agree with you that it would take a very special place for the Direct Method to work. Perhaps never fully in today's classroom. I have a poor opinion overall of classrooms, of course. Especially in subjects that I know anything about (math and science). There is a great deal of ruin in the modern university and always has been. It's a scale problem that has gotten somewhat worse as bigger fractions of the population go on to higher education; an always poor field has gotten somewhat worse. Not that it was anybody's fault: It's just that you wouldn't buy a gourmet meal from McDonald's, you wouldn't buy fine furniture from an IKEA, and you shouldn't expect education to be produced well en masse. Real education is expensive, and you need substantial one-on-one tutoring.

But revolutions happen. Read Chapter V of William Harrison Woodward's "Desiderius Erasmus concerning the aim and method of education." The last viva voce revolt against the medieval grammarians had rather spectacular results for a few centuries. The Humanists changed a lot more than that, of course. But according to Woodward they "ascrib[ed] to the dialectic method of handling grammar the stagnation of Latin learning which marked the later Middle Age."

And yes, W.H.D. Rouse's Direct Method fell apart almost immediately after he retired. And not because people weren't trying. It was very hard on instructors; they weren't up for it. You need spoken Greek fluency, more or less, and to be a good language teacher in addition. Of course, classics as a field of study were dying at the same time. That didn't help. But even the best teachers could not replicate Rouse.

Or if they did replicate Perse, I haven't heard of it. One of his students is responsible for Thrasymachus. Here is a failed experiment with it at Michigan. This is a happier account of teaching Latin at Stanford. He mentions Erasmus. But it's certainly not something that you'll find at Stanford today.

Yet even if the revolution failed, I ask again, does that mean we can't learning anything from the Direct Method?

First, it strikes me that the language used in Rouse's classroom isn't very difficult. A book of 50 transcripts like the above would be an excellent training manual for teachers.

And while the transcripts that I quoted above are certainly the example of a veteran teacher, couldn't someone already fluent in Greek start throwing viva voce into his teaching and slowly add more Greek as he becomes more confident in himself?

Besides -- or rather, most importantly -- this sort of teaching is good for the soul. Notice how Rouse's favorite method was to have a student lead the class. The voluntary surrender of authority is a fine thing. The real trouble that many teachers have, I think, is that they shy away from anything difficult for fear of being exposed as just another learner, like everyone else in the room. That's a natural enough human trait and it's unfortunate when teaching methods reinforce it. Anything that destroys pretension is good for you. Being made to look like a fool for a long time (and always compared to native speakers) is a great benefit of language learning, not a detraction from it.
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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by Paul Derouda » Sun Dec 28, 2014 12:33 am

I'm not really answering to the original question, but anyway. I don't really believe in learning things at a school setting beyond a certain not very advanced point. Certainly not languages, which are particularly much work. A teacher can show you what way to go and motivate you, but you have to do the work yourself. Languages are learnt like other things, by actual practice of the thing to be learnt, speaking/listening (at least living languages) and reading. An understanding of "grammar" is particularly useful with dead languages, because you don't have native speakers to ask questions, so you go to books like Smyth's grammar to get answers. But whatever method you study, I don't think it matters much, because what counts is hard work and motivation - in case of Greek, with actual Greek texts, which I think no one really denies here.

If I'm saying I don't really believe in learning languages at school, there's at least one exception: language immersion works very well at least for small kids (I can say this from experience from my 3 and 5 year olds, who are in French kindergarten). I don't know about adults, but anyway for adults such an approach would require a lot of work and commitment, which brings us back to what I said above.

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by Markos » Sun Dec 28, 2014 2:57 am

jeidsath wrote: And yes, W.H.D. Rouse's Direct Method fell apart almost immediately after he retired. And not because people weren't trying. It was very hard on instructors; they weren't up for it. You need spoken Greek fluency, more or less, and to be a good language teacher in addition...The real trouble that many teachers have, I think, is that they shy away from anything difficult for fear of being exposed as just another learner, like everyone else in the room. That's a natural enough human trait and it's unfortunate when teaching methods reinforce it. Anything that destroys pretension is good for you. Being made to look like a fool for a long time (and always compared to native speakers) is a great benefit of language learning, not a detraction from it.
Daniel Streett makes a similar point in the link I posted above:
I also think a lot of it has to do with ego/insecurity issues that many academics suffer from. They are smart, analytical, have amazing memories, and are able to master complex systems. They find their niche in the Greek classroom where they are the expert and students are in awe at their mastery of the arcana of Greek grammar and linguistics. Teaching Greek as a living language has the tendency to make Greek seem real and down-to-earth rather than an impossibly difficult magical relic of antiquity. It also requires most Greek profs to start almost from scratch in their approach to Greek. That’s quite unsettling for someone who’s used to being the expert.

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by mwh » Sun Dec 28, 2014 4:00 am

I really don’t see anything very revolutionary about it, actually. Rouse insisted on his boys rote-learning paradigms and syntax and so forth, and on their writing everything down and working with written materials. There’s nothing much to object to. The inane fake conversations are about the only thing, his treating Latin and Greek as if it were French (which his boys learnt first, I see), where carrying on a conversation is an essential skill. Everything else is perfectly traditional. No doubt having 10-year-olds act out “surgo” “surgis” etc. is effective in its way (only today that would be 4- or 5-year-olds) but I don’t think it has much place in an adult setting. It infantilizes, and it wastes precious time. Students should be learning to read. That is hardly the most efficient way to do it. And Rouse never for an instant surrendered his authority!

This is probably too harsh. I have myself been known to act out e.g. ἀνίσταμαι and ἕστηκα and suchlike. And I think there’s more target-language speaking goes on in regular classrooms than you appreciate.

I’ll ignore the cheap psychologizing, except to say that I’m perfectly comfortable (or properly uncomfortable) with being a learner.

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by cb » Sun Dec 28, 2014 5:06 am

hi mwh, i fully agree with your reading of line 2, that's how i read it now, i just have a vague memory of when i did those notes years ago that some commentary pushed me in the other direction, away from my own first reading. i can't remember which though and all my books are on the high seas - maybe stanford? - i'd need to check again if stanford or moorhouse say anything different. anyway, i agree with your reading and would do the notes differently if doing them today.

also, i agree with you that a method based on oral communication isn't opposed at all to the grammar method. that's a point i also raised earlier, i assume that if a method is going to be opposed (as a supplement say) to the grammar method, it would be by teaching how to adapt pre-formed blocks, rather than teaching how to build from elements. the different manners of delivery could be used for any method.

my own monolingual notes i fully see as in the old-fashioned grammar method and i assume a direct method would be something different to that. i'm going to have a think about it in 2015, as a supplement (not replacement) to the grammar method. i guess i'll approach it in this way - first, could it do any harm? (ie could it corrupt you). second, could it have any benefit (and is there any evidence for that). third, how to maximise benefits while avoiding any harm. to be considered. cheers, chad

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by daivid » Sun Dec 28, 2014 4:04 pm

mwh wrote:A century ago, in the hands of the unique Rouse, applying his carefully modulated and thoroughly integrated progressive syllabus to children who already knew Latin and were captives for four plus years doing little else day after day (and perhaps not finding it too much of a “thrill”), in a highly competitive and insulated environment, this might have worked. Possibly it worked as well as did more conventional methods in similar environments. Note that grammar and translation are at the heart of it. Times have changed, the conditions cannot be replicated. Which may be just as well.

The Perse was and is an elite English private prep school, functioning as a crammer for admission to Oxbridge. I don’t know, but I doubt that Rouse’s English-minimizing methods long survived him at the school.
I have been reading On teaching classics by John Sharwood Smith and he has a section on Rouse and why his reform failed. To start with, though the pupils of Perse may have been very privileged compared with the the average 15 year old of the day, Perse was not a public school in the true sense. It was the Greek teachers of true public school who regarded schools such a Perse with disdain who controlled Classic teaching of the day. And it was that establishment that was able to block reform. For teachers at the true public schools anything that smacked of teacher training was beneath them. And Perse's method needs lots of training. It needs training in the teaching techniques and it also needs the dedication to get real fluency in speaking the target language.
Finally the Association for the Reform of Latin Teaching held its founding conference in 1913. It was not to meet again until 1919 by which many of its leading members had been killed in the war.

Sharwood Smith does however take Rouse to task for harking back to a conversational golden age which in Sharwood Smith's view was a myth. Indeed he regards the German scholars that were Rouse's scapegoats as deserving a lot more credit for replacing the unimaginative methods that had existed before. And of course while the old system may have used Latin for instruction that was because they used Latin for everything - including the teaching of Ancient Greek.
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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by jeidsath » Sun Dec 28, 2014 5:40 pm

I feel like I should muster an argument about the "infantilizing," but I think that argument has already been had many times over.

I apologize if anyone thought that my psychologizing was directed towards anyone here. It's not. A public forum like this tends to be too unsheltered for anyone like I've just described.

[Off topic, but someone needs to write a history of the 1990s revolution in Physics that happened because of public preprint archives and surrounding internet discussions. In Physics, of course, the math tends to be a good enough barrier to keep the riffraff out, so they were able to lower other barriers. In the 1980s some universities (on the continent especially) were issuing very iffy PhDs.]
David: Finally the Association for the Reform of Latin Teaching held its founding conference in 1913. It was not to meet again until 1919 by which many of its leading members had been killed in the war.
Christopher Stray has a section on this. Apparently the ARLT become female-dominated after WWI (in an era when that was not true for Latin teachers in general), and got rather culty*, not just about language teaching. Rouse himself was similarly fanatic about classics and his method.

* I imagine it must have been like some sort of high church ELCA.

If you're going to understand Rouse, who I repeat was a fanatic, he must be understood as a whole person educator. The primary message of Greek Boy, I think, is about childhood. The thing to read is his essay "Body Soul and Spirit."

The central argument is as follows
The crucial fact, on which all turns, is this : formerly, daily life used to educate children, and the school gave them only that which daily life could not give, the knowledge of what books can teach; now, daily life does nothing to educate in the towns, and much less in the country than it used to do, while the school still supplies only the bookish part. The village or small town used to be an image of the mighty world, where degrees might be seen, but no classes, for all mingled together in a human relation. Now the industrial system has created classes which do not mingle, and hence the less favoured classes are an easy prey for ignorant and unscrupulous demagogues, and each is ready to make civil war upon the community for his own supposed benefit. For all their bookish learning they are more ignorant than the plebeians of Rome who could neither read nor write ; we might tell our plebeians the fable of the Belly and the Members, and they would still strike with the same blind infatuation.
He goes on to say
the Boy Scouts are the greatest educational idea of the last hundred years, and it is hard to say whether the effect is greater physically or mentally.
And like any good fanatic, he of course gets to his Direct Method
The use of the body also implies more speech and less silent study of books ; it implies that mode of approach to foreign languages which we call the Direct Method. The same implies a new plan of the class-room; not a space filled with desks, but plenty of room for movement. And it implies a more rigorous training for us teachers, for it calls upon all a man's powers to the uttermost.
This is all crazy talk, of course, when it comes to deciding the best way to teach Greek in a university. But there is something too it in the general sense. I recommend a read through of Alston Hurd Chase on The Function of a University in today's Laudator Temporis Acti.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by mwh » Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:38 pm

Hi chad,
It’s good to find you on the same page. I liked your earlier posts, and I hope you’ll share the results of your 2015 think in due course. Adaptation of pre-formed blocks is standard practice I think, and very useful; top down and bottom up methods complement each other very well; I see the relationship as symbiotic. As to oral communication, which is what people seem mostly to mean by direct method here, I have difficulty seeing benefit, and anyway it’s quite impractical when it comes to anything more than rinky-dink greek. I fear there’s a fair bit of self-delusion.
Best,
Michael

EDIT. Too many posts for me to keep up with! But thanks to daivid and Joel for contextualization and more.

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by Markos » Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:05 pm

daivid wrote:... on Rouse and why his reform failed... the Association for the Reform of Latin Teaching held its founding conference in 1913. It was not to meet again until 1919 by which many of its leading members had been killed in the war.
I always did hate that war. :( :D :evil:

ἐκεῖ κεῖνται, τοῖς ἡμῶν ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι.
daivid wrote:What is the Grammar-Translation method?
Grammar-Translation is a method used to learn to read an ancient language where meta-language is not kept to a minimum and L1 is not avoided as a matter of principle.

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:29 pm

Markos wrote: Grammar-Translation is a method used to learn to read an ancient language where meta-language is not kept to a minimum and L1 is not avoided as a matter of principle.
Avoiding the use of a translation is a different issue from producing a translation as a goal in reading and exegesis. G-T method involves the latter, translation as a goal. The standard NT exegetical handbook (Gordon Fee) that reigned supreme for decades taught translation as the first stage of exegesis.

I would never suggest that someone read a difficult ancient language text without any reference to a modern language version. Translation serves as commentary and for some texts it is the only commentary we have on hand. Ancient translations of ancient texts provide valuable insights concerning how the translator understood the text. Why else do we find textual critics of the Hebrew Bible reading the LXX (e.g, Emmanuel Tov) or NT scholars reading Syriac versions (e.g, Peter J. Williams, Tyndale House).

The target language feedback loop is another downside of G-T method. We find the G-T grammars polluted with syntax analysis and terminology which is driven by the target language rather than the ancient language.
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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by mwh » Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:30 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:Avoiding the use of a translation is a different issue from producing a translation as a goal in reading and exegesis. G-T method involves the latter, translation as a goal.
I thought there was consensus here that what we’re aiming at is the ability to read (or speak or write) without translating. It’s how best to get there that’s at issue. If translation is to be used at all it’s only as a means to an end, not as a goal in itself.
We find the G-T grammars polluted with syntax analysis and terminology which is driven by the target language rather than the ancient language.
For posters here the “target language” is the ancient language. The term is used to refer to the language being learnt, i.e. as in second-language learning, not as in translation studies where apparently it’s used of the language being translated into. The terminology and syntax analysis of the standard grammars are “driven” not by German or English but by ancient Greek and Latin.

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by Xyloplax » Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:41 pm

I'll bite on this old thread:

If there's a living language that's very close to the ancient language, learning to converse in that language is the better route to take (I'm looking at you, Hebrew). However, from what I've seen as "conversation" examples around the web and related videos in Greek, it's still simple Ancient Greek. You definitely understand the vocabulary and basic grammar rules more holistically when you are conversant, but the word order, omitted/implied words, creative choice of case, creative use of prepositions, and of course idioms in real Greek texts are still way more complex than what the overwhelming majority of us will be able to sling together on the fly. In fact, it's possible the complexity of the writing we see is something that's borne out specifically in writing and may have been less common in speech (a definite guess on my part, but you can see this in our own written vs verbal communication in English--especially poetry).

In the end, if it helps, DO IT, but don't expect to be able to dive into the more complex classical texts as a direct measurable result of it.

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:23 pm

Xyloplax wrote: … but the word order, omitted/implied words, creative choice of case, creative use of prepositions, and of course idioms in real Greek texts are still way more complex than what the overwhelming majority of us will be able to sling together on the fly. In fact, it's possible the complexity of the writing we see is something that's borne out specifically in writing and may have been less common in speech...

Long term exposure to the written language idioms may crop up in unexpected form in your native tongue. In other words instead of writing Greek that sounds like English (syntax) you may end up writing (and speaking) English that sounds like Greek (syntax).
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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by daivid » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:47 pm

Though those of you who feel traditional methods need defending have explained that traditional methods are not as narrow as its critics allege I am still unclear as to exactly what you are defending.

To that extent I feel my original question is unanswered.
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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by Victor » Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:32 am

daivid wrote:Though those of you who feel traditional methods need defending have explained that traditional methods are not as narrow as its critics allege I am still unclear as to exactly what you are defending.
Probably defending their faith in a learning approach that has suited them and many they know admirably, and that they not unreasonably see little cause to reform.
daivid wrote:To that extent I feel my original question is unanswered.
What was your original question? This:
"To what extent is this [viz. the Grammar-Translation method] a label that gets put on those teaching who are actually just muddling along relying on their knowledge of Ancient Greek lacking any concept of teaching at all?"?
I can't answer that question for you, I'm afraid, and I suspect the reason others have failed to answer it is that, like me, they haven't been able to make much sense of it.
If you could rephrase your question succinctly and clearly, I'm sure you'll get a direct answer.

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by Xyloplax » Sun Jan 11, 2015 6:03 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:
Long term exposure to the written language idioms may crop up in unexpected form in your native tongue. In other words instead of writing Greek that sounds like English (syntax) you may end up writing (and speaking) English that sounds like Greek (syntax).
I have done that at least once already! :lol:

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by Markos » Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:06 pm

mwh wrote:
C. S. Bartholomew wrote:We find the G-T grammars polluted with syntax analysis and terminology which is driven by the target language rather than the ancient language.
For posters here the “target language” is the ancient language.
I think Clayton simply made a typo here. I think he meant to say "driven by the native language rather than the ancient language."
C. S. Bartholomew wrote:Avoiding the use of a translation is a different issue from producing a translation as a goal in reading and exegesis. G-T method involves the latter, translation as a goal.
I won't deny that using diglots can be effective in learning Ancient Greek. I would still prefer target language paraphrases.
mwh wrote:I thought there was consensus here that what we’re aiming at is the ability to read (or speak or write) without translating. It’s how best to get there that’s at issue. If translation is to be used at all it’s only as a means to an end, not as a goal in itself.
I will accept this distinction, and will therefore answer Daivid's question:

Grammar-Translation is a method used to learn to read an ancient language where meta-language is not kept to a minimum and L1 is viewed roughly the way Marxists view the state: not as an active evil, but as something that will "wither away" at some distant point in the future.

The Grammar-Translation method assumes that the meaning of a Greek text can and should be precisely enumerated. It is not content with a rough, intuitive grasp of the general meaning, but insists a minute analysis of the exact meaning of a text. In theory, this can be done in the target language, but as a practical matter, few people control the language with enough precision to enumerate the semantic minutia that is sought. So, as a practical matter, this minutia is enumerated via translation into a native language and through the use of L1 meta-language.

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by daivid » Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:43 am

Markos wrote: I will accept this distinction, and will therefore answer Daivid's question:

Grammar-Translation is a method used to learn to read an ancient language where meta-language is not kept to a minimum and L1 is viewed roughly the way Marxists view the state: not as an active evil, but as something that will "wither away" at some distant point in the future.

The Grammar-Translation method assumes that the meaning of a Greek text can and should be precisely enumerated. It is not content with a rough, intuitive grasp of the general meaning, but insists a minute analysis of the exact meaning of a text. In theory, this can be done in the target language, but as a practical matter, few people control the language with enough precision to enumerate the semantic minutia that is sought. So, as a practical matter, this minutia is enumerated via translation into a native language and through the use of L1 meta-language.
That, however, is only part of the story. Telling a learner what a point of grammar does not ensure they remember it. So what is the strategy of those teaching using traditional methods to enable learners to internalize what they are being told? And that is an answer that possibly best comes from the supporters of traditional methods.
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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by LSorenson » Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:39 pm

This post has been inactive for a while. The Grammar Translation method is one of the language teaching methods that was used during the 1800's into the 1900's. It was originally called the Classical Method. It is the method used by most textbooks, instructors, universities, etc. for teaching ancient Greek and Latin up to the modern day. For the most part, it was discontinued for teaching modern languages in the early 1900's (except in the US, until the 1960's). It is still used in some parts of India to teach English.

A good review of the method and its principles can be found in the book Techniques & Principles in Language Teaching, Diane Larsen-Freeman and Marti Anderson, OUP, 2011. http://www.worldcat.org/search?qt=world ... e+teaching. If anyone wants to understand the method by which they probably learned Greek or Latin, this is the place to find out the underpinnings.

Modern language learning authors who write on this subject state that there was no underpinning language learning psychology/rationale to explain why this method ever taught anyone to be able to gain comprehension in an L2. (Faculty psychology was the predominating theory in the 1800's, and the idea of "mental discipline" (the mind is a muscle) was a good reason the Grammar Translation method became so popular.)

The book 25 Centuries of Language Teaching by Louis Kelly, 1969, says this about the GT method:
With the appearance of the Ollendorf grammars for Latin and Greek, the victory of Grammar Translation was complete. During the second half of the nineteenth century the grip of Grammar Translation tightened.... Language teaching drifted further from the languages....abandoning authentic specimens of literature for synthetic passages that were built around rules, exceptions and restricted vocabulary selected for its congruence with grammatical rules. Language skill was equated with ability to conjugate and decline.
Kelly's book can be found at https://vivariumnovum.it/edizioni/libri ... aching.pdf.

I would say that Kelly's book is a requirement to read for any teacher of Greek or Latin. I learned Greek via the GT Method. I learned it better when I started to write, listen and try to speak it. What the GT method leaves out is the audio/oral practice along with contextual input/ouput. Modern literature on Reading in a Second Language states that everyone hears a word when they read it (google the "phonological loop"), and then comprehend the word after hearing it in their mind. The problem with GT is that it serves only a small percentage of people who want to learn to read Ancient Greek. 90% of learners leave and never come back. After 1-2 years, they never remember a word -- that does not happen when you learn a language by methods such as TPR, TPRS, etc. So I really do think that Greek pedagogy can be improved. Living Latin is on the rise, and so is Living Greek. To criticize is easy. To do better is hard.

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by Victor » Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:49 pm

LSorenson wrote:To criticize is easy. To do better is hard.
For the epigram to have any bite we first have to agree on what doing better consists in. Being able to vocalize a few words of Greek or Latin, as opposed to not being able to vocalize any, several years after last studying the languages at an elementary level, is a questionable basis for assuming a teaching approach is better.

It's remarkable also how easily some people overlook the fact that learning approaches that are used with success in the case of living languages are not necessarily going to enjoy similar success in the learning of corpus languages. At the risk of repeating myself, the non-availability of native speakers of Latin and Greek is an insurmountable obstacle to attaining the sort of fluency in those languages that is perfectly achievable with a modern language. This non-availability is not something that can be adequately compensated for, however loudly people may appeal to the burgeoning of Living Latin and Living Greek, and whatever those terms happen to refer to.

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by daivid » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:53 pm

Victor wrote: It's remarkable also how easily some people overlook the fact that learning approaches that are used with success in the case of living languages are not necessarily going to enjoy similar success in the learning of corpus languages. At the risk of repeating myself, the non-availability of native speakers of Latin and Greek is an insurmountable obstacle to attaining the sort of fluency in those languages that is perfectly achievable with a modern language. This non-availability is not something that can be adequately compensated for, however loudly people may appeal to the burgeoning of Living Latin and Living Greek, and whatever those terms happen to refer to.
Living Language methods most certainly do not rely on native speakers. The method taught to us on the TEFL course I attended relied on organizing the non-native speaker students to communicate with each other. Surely it should be obvious that those attending courses in modern languages are unlikely to be native speakers of the target language and that will always be so.
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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by Victor » Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:36 am

daivid wrote: Living Language methods most certainly do not rely on native speakers. The method taught to us on the TEFL course I attended relied on organizing the non-native speaker students to communicate with each other. Surely it should be obvious that those attending courses in modern languages are unlikely to be native speakers of the target language and that will always be so.
I've yet to meet anyone who believes that non-native speakers can't make progress in learning a language by communicating among themselves; whether the language is a modern one or a dead one, clearly they can.


My point, which I'm sure I've made before and thought I'd made plainly this time around, was that when you're learning Latin or Greek no recourse can ever be had to native speakers to arbitrate questions of idiom, whereas native speakers can always be found to arbitrate such questions in a modern language, and this gives learners of a modern language an unparalleled advantage over learners of a dead one.


Do an experiment. Take a small group of EFL students at an early stage in their learning and send them to live together on a desert island for ten years with an order that they're to speak only English to one another because they're going to be tested by a panel of native speakers when they get back. They can have a modest library of books in English and other languages on a range of topics, and are as free as they wish to talk among themselves in English, but they're allowed no contact with native English speakers or any people in the outside world.


At the same time take another group of EFL students at the same early stage in their learning and send them to live in England for ten years, whilst insisting that they associate and converse only with native English speakers during that time. They will have access to the printed and recorded word in all its forms from the oldest texts to the most recent publications and broadcasts, and throughout the ten years will be given regular lessons in English delivered by native speakers.


Which of the two groups of EFL students do you think will end up speaking the better English at the end of the ten years when judged by the panel of native English speakers? How long will we have to leave the students on the desert island talking their own brand of English among themselves and reading their modest and unchanging library of books before they end up speaking English with something approaching the same native-led fluency as the group living in England?


Is there anything I need to add to demonstrate how great the gulf is, and always will be, between learning Greek or Latin and learning a modern language?

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Re: What is the Grammar-Translation method?

Post by daivid » Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:12 pm

Victor wrote:
Do an experiment. Take a small group of EFL students at an early stage in their learning and send them to live together on a desert island for ten years with an order that they're to speak only English to one another because they're going to be tested by a panel of native speakers when they get back. They can have a modest library of books in English and other languages on a range of topics, and are as free as they wish to talk among themselves in English, but they're allowed no contact with native English speakers or any people in the outside world.


At the same time take another group of EFL students at the same early stage in their learning and send them to live in England for ten years, whilst insisting that they associate and converse only with native English speakers during that time. They will have access to the printed and recorded word in all its forms from the oldest texts to the most recent publications and broadcasts, and throughout the ten years will be given regular lessons in English delivered by native speakers.
I don't see what relevance this has to a comparison of teaching methods? Most people learning a modern language do not have the option of living in a country for ten years. I can't find any data but I doubt that more than a minority of language students get as much as ten weeks.

Living language techniques involve a teacher presenting model forms of the language and then in a structured way organizing the students to use those forms in a communicative way.

An experiment that would be worth doing would be for a group of students to take a course using the technique of the Pollis institute and for another group to proceed through a Greek text with a teacher explaining the grammar as they go.
λονδον

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