Expectations in Summer Elem. Gk. (fwd)

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>From @CMSA.BERKELEY.EDU:owner-classics@UWAVM.U.WASHINGTON.EDU Wed Dec 15 10:09:13 1993
Message-Id: <9312151509.AA05431@cscsun.rmc.edu>
Date:         Wed, 15 Dec 1993 10:05:36 EDT
Reply-To: Classical Greek and Latin Discussion Group <CLASSICS%UWAVM.BITNET@cmsa.Berkeley.EDU>
Sender: Classical Greek and Latin Discussion Group <CLASSICS%UWAVM.BITNET@cmsa.Berkeley.EDU>
Subject:      Expectations in Summer Elem. Gk.
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To: Multiple recipients of list CLASSICS <CLASSICS%UWAVM.BITNET@cmsa.Berkeley.EDU>

Members of the Calvin Classics Dept. were recently informed
of the desire of Calvin Seminary, our sister (but independent)
institution to offer the equivalent of a two-semester
elementary Greek sequence over ten weeks (or so) in the
summer.  The purpose of this course is to get "second
career" seminarians up to speed before they actually
matriculate at the sem, possibly even while they are
still working at their first careers--though this is a
bit unclear still in the proposal.

This seems to me a pretty poor substitute for the regular
two-semester sequence of elem. Greek, followed by an
additional two semesters of intermediate reading (usually
NT but not always) that the Sem usually requires.  (The original
draft of the document spoke of doing *all four* required
semesters of Greek in the summer; I think we have disillusioned
our colleagues on this idea.)

My questions for those who have experience in summer

1. Assuming it is possible to do two semesters of Greek in
ten weeks, would you generally recommend it as a course
of study for those who are re-entering the academy after
(in some cases) a hiatus of several years?  How should the
Seminary restrict access to this program, in your opinion?
Or should it be open to one and all?

2. Is there an "industry standard" for what pre-seminarians
should know in terms of ancient languages (esp. Greek)
before they go into exegetical courses?

3. Are these basics regularly covered in some of the summer
Greek courses that are out there?  How long does it take in the
summer courses with which you are familiar?  And what
sort of commitment is expected of the student?

For full disclosure, I am opposed to this new program:  the
proposal, in its current form, suggests that the Sem hire an
undergraduate classical languages major to teach this course--
just one example of the sort of fuzzy thinking that has gone
into the preparation of this document.  I would much rather
see these pre-sems enroll in an established summer language
program that has a better chance of providing them with the
essentials of the language than the Sem's program would.

That big sucking noise I hear from across the road is, I fear, the
sound of the ancient language requirement going down the drain.....

Mark F. Williams                                Internet:  WILM@calvin.edu
Classical Languages                          Voice:       (616) 957-6293
Calvin College                                   FAX(w):     (616) 957-8551
Grand Rapids, Michigan                     FAX(h):      (616) 245-0127
USA       49546