RE: Teaching Greek

Tom asked me to repost the full text of his original message, which was sent
only to me but intended only for another.  I have been busy with a project
here and I am only now catching up on the conversations.

David John Marotta, Medical Center Computing, Stacey Hall
Univ of Virginia (804) 982-3718 wrk INTERNET: djm5g@virginia.edu
Box 512 Med Cntr (804) 924-5261 msg   BITNET: djm5g@virginia
C'ville VA 22908 (804) 296-7209 fax   IBM US: usuvarg8
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Date:    Mon, 19 Oct 1992 15:51:59 -0500 (CDT)
From:    Tom Geer <GEER@acuvax.acu.edu>
Message-Id: <921019155159.6693@ACUVAX.ACU.EDU>
Subject: RE: Teaching Greek
To:      nt-greek-request@Virginia.EDU
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As you know I have been teaching Greek at a small private university now for
about 8 years.  When I came here I was asked to use J. Davis' grammar.  I used
it for that one year and for the next year used Machen.  I had learned on
Machen, but when I tried to teach from it I was never quite satisfied.  It
might have been just some little things like the antiquated expressions, I'm
not sure.  But I used it for a couple of years and then tried Molly Whitaker's
small grammar.  She is British and so I found myself changing the noun, etc.
paradigms from Nom. Gen. Dat. Acc. Voc. to Nom. Voc. Acc. Gen. Dat.  It
was really quite difficult for me to get accustomed to this British order, but
I found that the kids picked up on the forms much more quickly in that order.
The British order helps particularly with the neuter forms since the identical
ones are next to each other in the paradigm.  I used Whitaker for a couple
of years and then could not get it in time for the next year.  At that point
I began typing up my own chapters and exercises.  It has taken me about
four years, but I have something that I have put together now that I will
probably use for quite a while.  I follow the British order in the paradigms
plus I introduce the -eo contract verbs at the very beginning as Whitaker
did.  I won't bore you with any more details, but I like it.

I have looked at many first year grammars over the last few years and I like
somethings things about certain ones and dislike other things about others.
I suspect that's the nature of the game.  And so I'm using one that I've put
together in the way that I want it.  I don't expect to ever try to get it
published simply because I doubt that someone else would see it just like I

I must admit also that I am thoroughly wedded to the five case system and that
has created some problems for me with intermediate grammars, just about all of
which use the eight case system.  So, I have put together something for
myself on that level, too, using the 5 case system, but incorporating the
different nuances that the 8 cases strive for.

I don't know how many other teachers of Greek are out there on this list, but
itmight be interesting to compare notes or grammars.