Summer Greek in seminaries
>From one who has taught summer Greek for the past seven years, let me make a
few observations: First, it is possible in ten weeks to teach the equivalent
of one year's introductory Greek. It is, however, an extremely demanding
task, and one which should in no way be entrusted to someone who does not
have significant teaching experience. Secondly, the intensive format does
not work at all for some students, particularly those who have any cognitive
or learning disabilities. The pace makes it simply impossible for them
to participate. Third, it is absolutely necessary for students to continue
in another reading course in Greek after taking the summer course. I have
found that the more quickly students learn the language, the more quickly
they also forget it, if it is not reinforced. Fourth, my experience is that
the intensive format works much better with inductive methods than with
the more traditional deductive methods. Of course, that has its down side;
students don't learn the structure of the language as well, but the
immersion approach works best with an inductive method.
As I see it, the real issue is not the first year, but the second
year of Greek. In my opinion, no one but the most brilliant student is
capable of coming to a full working knowledge of Greek in one year's study.
This is a continual source of frustration to me, since I teach in a school
which only requires the equivalent of one year's competency in Greek. There
aren't many seminaries in the country that are still holding out for two
years study. That giant sucking sound you hear has been going on for
some time now.