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Degrees in Koine

Posted: June 27th, 2017, 7:59 pm
by Benjamin Chandler
Are there any schools that offer a degree Koine?

Re: Degrees in Koine

Posted: June 28th, 2017, 4:03 am
by MAubrey
There are a number of places that offer degrees in biblical languages. I don't think there's any place explicitly marketed as just Koine Greek, but most biblical languages degrees assume that you would specialize more in one language than the other.

Houston Baptist University's undergrad and graduate programs are extremely good: ... ages-ba-2/ ... languages/

Re: Degrees in Koine

Posted: June 28th, 2017, 4:58 am
by RandallButh
For Greek you might want to check back in 3 years when we are planning to have a 48-credit 'everything in Greek' program in place.

Meanwhile, assuming you are interested in Biblical Studies as much or more than Classics, there is a new 48-unit program in Biblical Hebrew. This year's first class, June-Feb 2018, has already started. Next year will be 1 October 2018 to 21June 2019. For clarity, "in Hebrew" means that Hebrew is the language of communication inside and outside of class, first Biblical Hebrew only, then the whole language. Modern Hebrew is included in coursework after the first 10 credits of immersion BH. The 8.5 month program starts at beginner's level and takes a student to reading the Hebrew Bible and reading a commentary on the Hebrew Bible that is written in Hebrew. Recommended. See "programs" "IBLT". Currently, ATA accreditation is in place and we expect to be able to publish some further news on this in October this year. I am scheduled to give a report on the Hebrew program at the "Applied Linguistics" section, ETS, Providence Rhode Island, this November 2017.

For the record, ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages), based on SLA research, recommends that a classroom (and outside if possible) is run 90% or more in the target language. "Just the facts, ma'am."

Re: Degrees in Koine

Posted: June 28th, 2017, 7:55 am
by Jonathan Robie
Can you say more about the 4220 Foundation? And the name?

Re: Degrees in Koine

Posted: June 28th, 2017, 9:21 am
by RandallButh
4.2.20 Foundation is a double entendre that is something of a riddle for English. The periods in 4.2.20 are part of the name. The web address does not have the periods, only .
In Hebrew, the fourth letter is ד
the second letter is ב
the twentieth letter is ר
What's that spell? (No, not the FISH cheer, for any who may still be listening from the 60's).
What's that spell?
DaVaR is "Word"
And 4220 is an approximation of the number of languages/people-groups in the world, who will need an OldTestament translated.

The 4220Foundation was founded to bridge that gap. Translators and consultants need training in order to work directly from the Hebrew original in Hebrew.
I call that the Jerome principle, since Jerome learned Hebrew and went to Bethlehem, staying 30 years, rather than be satisfied with a Greek source when working on his Latin revision.
And those who would like to see this training gap bridged need to do whatever it takes. I call this a Monterey principle. (In WW2 the US built the Defense Language Institute, now based in Monterey Calif., to answer challenges that were not capable of being handled by the US educational academy at the time. The Pentagon needed tens of thousands of German, Japanese and other speakers, "yesterday".)
We need a school that does what it takes to get the Hebrew language inside a person in the shortest amount of time and in the greatest efficiency for humans to learn languages.
That is what we (4.2.20 Foundation) have designed.
You are welcome to come over and see us sometime.

Re: Degrees in Koine

Posted: June 28th, 2017, 9:25 pm
by Shirley Rollinson
Benjamin Chandler wrote:
June 27th, 2017, 7:59 pm
Are there any schools that offer a degree Koine?
Eastern New Mexico University - ENMU - has a Minor in Greek (Koine), or a Minor in Hebrew, or Biblical Languages (mix-and-match Greek and Hebrew). But it's mainly offered on campus rather than online.
The Greek courses have webpages that go with them - see
Shirley Rollinson

Re: Degrees in Koine

Posted: June 28th, 2017, 9:32 pm
by Stephen Hughes
RandallButh wrote:
June 28th, 2017, 4:58 am
For Greek you might want to check back in 3 years when we are planning to have a 48-credit 'everything in Greek' program in place.
I still think that is a valuable concept to follow on with. There are lessons to be learned from other language instructional models that can be applied to integrated learning in Koine Greek. Here are two points of experience from mass intructional models that could be applied to integrated learning models for Koine Greek.

I have found in EAL/D (English as an Additional Language or Dialect) teaching that integrated instructional models (such as SILA - Subject Integrated Language Acquisition / CLIL - Content and Language Integrated Learning) work well at the pre-beginner level before "formal" instruction in grammar, rote learning of vocabulary, simplification and selection (debasement) of the (so called) easier parts of the language, deliberate slowing down of teacher speech has occured (or has been noticed). At that level - and with a bilingual instructor - students can bring content knowledge in their own language and learn how to have it expressed in the target language. Once students have started on language learning where grammatical knowledge and translated vocabulary outstrips their ability to use or even conceptualise (visualise, relate to emotionally and personally) and comprehend without translation, then it is not until the upper intermediate level the integrated instructional models - using either content that is familiar to the student, or new (extension or unfamiliar) conent - become effective again. While they ensure that teachers remain in power and hence employed as guides through the language learning process, the weakness of the "grammar first - language second" models is that very few students achieve mastery (the ability to themselves use, as opposed to simply understand or accommodate) of the target language.

Another lesson to be learned from the massive EAD/L market that could be applied to the minute Greek market is the issue of instructor background language(s). The vast majority of English instructors in the world are non-native speakers. In most cases non-native speakers are preferred. Native speaker teachers from multicultural counries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand and (seeing the success of European English language instruction) thise from the UK generally have positive attitudes towards non-native speakers. For a long time there was a cycle of fashion promoting in turn the ideas that "only monolingual native speakers could teach a language", "bilingual native speakers were better", "non-native (L1 in common) instructors are best", or "non-native instructors who do not have a language other than the target language in common are best". Debating the issue aside and looking at how things work in practice, we could say that if preference is measured by where financially involved parties (governments, schools and parents) put their money to employ people, the non-native speakers with a common native language are by far the preferred option. Second to them are non-native speakers with near-native or a high level competency in the target language, but who do not come from the students own language background. Bilingual native speakers (ie those who have competency in the students native language) are preferred to monolingual native speakers.

A conclusion that can be drawn from those employment preferences is that the lack of natuve speakers in person is not a detriment to students' successful acquisition of a language. For the majority of the world's English population, native speakers only exist in books and movies (read and acted scripts). The situation in Koine Greek instruction would be similar - native speakers only existing in written form. Dramatisation of situational dialogues from existing scripts (narrative texts) could be put into animated or personally acted out to make movies. English speaking environments created by non-native speakers from different (ie a variety of) language backgrounds with minimal or no participation by native speakers are generally places where native speakers feel at home when they do join in.

What is needed, I think, in the way of instructors for a "Koine in Koine" programme is L1-in-common (bilingual) non-native speaker instructors for initial learning of the language (meaning expressing the students own knowledge in Greek), and no-language-except-the-target-language-in-common non-native speaker instructors for building on student knowledge in the target language - or more practically feigned ignorance.

Re: Degrees in Koine

Posted: June 28th, 2017, 10:06 pm
by Jonathan Robie
RandallButh wrote:
June 28th, 2017, 9:21 am
You are welcome to come over and see us sometime.
What is in Richmond, and what is in Israel? Where would I go to come and see you?

Re: Degrees in Koine

Posted: June 29th, 2017, 2:43 am
by RandallButh
Richmond is the US Office for 4.2.20 and where our registrar processes applications.

The school is about 200 yards below where the ark of the covenant was sitting in 1020BCE, "Jerusalem Hills Inn" in AbuGhosh.

Re: Degrees in Koine

Posted: June 29th, 2017, 3:25 am
by RandallButh
Stephen, I think that I have processed your long post on instructor preferences correctly. I have a couple of comments.

"Content and Language Integrated Learning" is what we are doing, especially in the second two-thirds of the program. That is a useful category and has its own challenges and advantages. We can return to this later.

On preferred teacher and student backgrounds we don't really have much of a choice, for either Hebrew or Greek. Our student body this year comes from China, Philippines, Singapore, Australia, India, Africa, and one from the USofA. All students are multilingual except the Aussies. You have to love Anglophone origins. (BTW, the American already speaks two dialects of Chinese, et al.) For the summer-only we also have some Canadians, just to give a little NorthAmerican ballast. So there is no shared L1, nor will there ever be. However, all of this group of students share a reasonable competency in English. We allow students to choose a language for writing term papers from among English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Hebrew. (Yes, we have readers for all, teachers are not required to control all of these.) All students this year have chosen English. We may add Chinese as an option if necessary, but English as a L2 seems to be fairly universal among those training to be Bible translators.

On BH teachers, everyone is fluent in a cognate dialect, Modern Hebrew, some as a L1 and the majority as an L2. In the beginning modules, the first 12 semester credits of BH, all classroom speech is in BH and the teachers can handle that fluently. However, BH is only a third of a real language and insufficient for full expression and development of fluency. After the first 12 units teachers will be using modern Hebrew in the classroom while covering biblical literature and related topics. Students will be receiving modern Hebrew courses in parallel as well. Hebrew may be unique in this regard among the world's languages, though it could be compared to teaching Shakespeare in Elizabethan English at the start and switching to modern while continuing Elizabethan and Chaucerian content.

The Hebrew model does not work the same for Greek. The teachers will not all share an L1, though they will probably all share both Hebrew and English as either an L1 or L2s. Everything will be in old Greek (200BC-300CE Koine, though maybe a course on Plato's Socratic dialogues spoken in an older pronunciation. Still planning.). This will probably include field trips to West Turkey and Greece. For one, Greek morphology has shifted over the centuries and we now have imperfects with 's' and no infinitive, future, or separate dative. Vocabulary in Greek is not as tight as in Hebrew. For Greek, the biggest challenge is finding and grooming the teaching staff that will handle the upper level courses. Their fluency is bound to be stilted and slower in comparison to L2 teachers of modern languages and what we do with Hebrew. So be it. It is still the way forward, as I think you would agree.