Greek and English Dialogues for Use in Schools

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Michael Abernathy
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Greek and English Dialogues for Use in Schools

Post by Michael Abernathy » February 28th, 2015, 1:41 pm

I ran across a copy of Greek and English Dialogues for Use in Schools by John Stuart Blackie in Google books. I am somewhat intrigued by the approach and I was wondering if anyone has used this resource? l After taking a quick look it looks like the grammar is ancient but some of the vocabulary seems modern.
Sincerely,
Michael Abernathy
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cwconrad
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Re: Greek and English Dialogues for Use in Schools

Post by cwconrad » February 28th, 2015, 3:28 pm

Michael Abernathy wrote:I ran across a copy of Greek and English Dialogues for Use in Schools by John Stuart Blackie in Google books. I am somewhat intrigued by the approach and I was wondering if anyone has used this resource? l After taking a quick look it looks like the grammar is ancient but some of the vocabulary seems modern.
Sincerely,
Michael Abernathy
See viewtopic.php?f=33&t=1641&p=8781&hilit= ... 811e#p8781
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Paul-Nitz
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Re: Greek and English Dialogues for Use in Schools

Post by Paul-Nitz » March 2nd, 2015, 8:51 am

There are two Blackie books I'm aware of. Both are available digitally as pdf scans.

A book consisting of 25 dialogues written out in two columns, English and Greek.
  • Blackie, J. Stuart. Greek and English Dialogues for use in Schools and Colleges. London: Macmillan & Co., 1871.
A traditional Grammar-Translation style primer with some dialogues in Greek (English translation follows it) that demonstrate a portion of the lesson.
  • Blackie, J. Stuart. Greek Primer: Colloquial and Constructive. London: Macmillan & Co., 1891. Print.
Blackie and others produced some very interesting resources. But in my opinion, they all have the same two fatal flaws.
  • They make very little attempt to limit vocabulary.
    They are written for English boys of the 19th century.
I think Blackie and others had the right idea of the way to best go about acquisition of Ancient Greek. They wanted their students to use the Greek communicatively. I imagine they were very effective in their classrooms. But I don't think it works out so well in print.

In fact, I've been musing lately whether anything that is truly a communicative approach lesson could be put into print. Since communication is dynamic and the variables between teachers, students, and the cultures are so many, can anything really be written down?

Blackie's very first dialogue (in the 1871 book) demonstrates my two criticisms.
  • ἀγαπᾷς τὸ παγοδρομεῖν;
    (Are you fond of skating?)
    ὑπερφυῶς μὸν οὖν. πάνυ γὰρ ὡς ἐπίγειός τις Ἑρμῆς κατὰ τοὺς κρυσταλλοπήκτους πτερωτὸς φέρομαι ποτομούς.
    Passionately. I feel like a terrestrial Hermes scudding along.
On the one hand, note his unfettered use of strange, new vocabulary in the first dialogue. On the other, note how much this might have appealed to English boys in London, and how disconnected it would be with many modern students of Greek.

Resources like this can help a teacher, but a teacher really must create his or her own ways of conjuring up learning situations in which genuine communication can take place for their specific group of students.

For the autodidact, dialogues like this might help to create communication in their imaginations. Then the problem still remains that the vocabulary is daunting.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Greek and English Dialogues for Use in Schools

Post by Jonathan Robie » March 2nd, 2015, 11:40 am

Paul-Nitz wrote:Blackie's very first dialogue (in the 1871 book) demonstrates my two criticisms.
  • ἀγαπᾷς τὸ παγοδρομεῖν;
    (Are you fond of skating?)
    ὑπερφυῶς μὸν οὖν. πάνυ γὰρ ὡς ἐπίγειός τις Ἑρμῆς κατὰ τοὺς κρυσταλλοπήκτους πτερωτὸς φέρομαι ποτομούς.
    Passionately. I feel like a terrestrial Hermes scudding along.
Τὸ πλοῖόν μου τὸ μετεωριζόμενον ἐστι πλῆρες ἐγχελέων.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

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Re: Greek and English Dialogues for Use in Schools

Post by Paul-Nitz » March 4th, 2015, 2:48 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:Τὸ πλοῖόν μου τὸ μετεωριζόμενον ἐστι πλῆρες ἐγχελέων.
Who decides to dedicate a website to the phrase "My hovercraft is full of eels" in all languages? I want to meet this guy.
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Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Greek and English Dialogues for Use in Schools

Post by Jonathan Robie » March 4th, 2015, 2:43 pm

Paul-Nitz wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:Τὸ πλοῖόν μου τὸ μετεωριζόμενον ἐστι πλῆρες ἐγχελέων.
Who decides to dedicate a website to the phrase "My hovercraft is full of eels" in all languages? I want to meet this guy.
Seems to be a very interesting guy named Simon Ager, from Bangor, Wales. And he claims to earn his living from this website. Yeah, I'm jealous.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

jeidsath
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Re: Greek and English Dialogues for Use in Schools

Post by jeidsath » April 28th, 2015, 12:16 pm

I've been going through the Blackie dialogues with a friend during our conversation practice. To be honest, I'm not really at a level where I can benefit from them easily. Ideally, you can become enough of a master of the material to vary the dialogues (using, for example, the provided vocabulary). I'm not at that level, although I can mostly understand what's going on. For now, we've switched to Rouse's Lucian dialogues, and we read through and ask each other questions (in Greek) about what we don't understand. Rouse's notes (in the second volume) are a big help for this.

For someone looking to get into conversation practice, I'd recommend the conversation drills from Rouse's Greek Course to start off with (the original version). Or find someone willing to read to you from Rouse's Greek Boy, and explain what's going on to you. I've found this to be a hugely effective way to jumpstart new learners. But any simple text would do just as well. The Gospel of Mark is a great source for simple stories in simple language.
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Re: Greek and English Dialogues for Use in Schools

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » April 29th, 2015, 9:43 am

Joel Eidsath wrote:But any simple text would do just as well. The Gospel of Mark is a great source for simple stories in simple language.
This is the path we’re heading down. The group has been reading through the first 4 chapters of Mark, with each individual reading 20 verses of the Greek text to the class, translating it, and then adding a few comments on the text. So there is a growing familiarity with the Markan text in these chapters.

Tonight, as a first tentative step, a couple of us will present a dramatization of the healing of the leper (Mk. 1:40-45) and then question the group as follows.

α: Τίς ἔρχεται πρὸς Ἰησοῦν; A: Ὁ λεπρός.
β: Τί ἐποίησεν τῷ λεπρῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς; A: αὐτοῦ ἥψατο
γ: Τί λέγει τῷ λεπρῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς; A: θέλω, καθαρίσθητι
δ: Τίνι ἀπέστειλεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τὸν λεπρόν; A: τῷ ἱερεῖ
ε: Τίνα εὐθὺς ἀπῆλθεν ἀπό τοῦ λεπροῦ ὡς αὐτῲ εἶπέν ὁ Ἰησοῦς· θέλω, καθαρίσθητι; A: αὐτοῦ ἡ λέπρα
ζ: Τίνες ἤρχοντο πρὸς αὐτὸν πάντοθεν; A: πάντες οἱ λαοί

They will have the questions and (randomly sorted) answers on the overhead, so it will not involve a big ‘brain burn’, but rather an introduction to the approach and also to the language of questioning. We are deliberately keeping both questions and answers very close to the text itself, which is familiar to them. There will also be a series of slides on the overhead depicting the scenes of the piece while the dramatization is taking place.

I know this is not, strictly speaking, communicative, because of the approach and because the answers are not spontaneous. We plan to do communicative exercises alternately with this type of question and answer centred on familiar text – expanding the type of questions and answers over time. Growing familiarity with the Markan text will, I hope, allow us to expand out to more varied and sophisticated question and answer sessions – and more spontaneous. Communicative exercises will be designed to increase spontaneity by internalizing some of already-know language.
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Paul-Nitz
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Re: Greek and English Dialogues for Use in Schools

Post by Paul-Nitz » April 29th, 2015, 11:11 am

Thomas Dolhanty wrote:Tonight, as a first tentative step, a couple of us will present a dramatization of the healing of the leper (Mk. 1:40-45) and then question the group as follows.
α: Τίς ἔρχεται πρὸς Ἰησοῦν; A: Ὁ λεπρός.
A TPRS trick might work here. Ask a question and give options for an answer.

Try verbally asking the following:

  • α: Τίς ἔρχεται πρὸς Ἰησοῦν; ἔρχεται ὁ λεπρός ἤ ὁ μαθητής;

Even if a student wouldn't know what a μαθητής is, they can easily guess the right option.

Physical cues can make a question even easier to answer:

  • α: Τίς ἔρχεται πρὸς Ἰησοῦν; ἔρχεται ὁ λεπρός ἤ (pointing at a student) οὖτος ὁ μαθητής;


After the verbal exchange, you could still show the text and have them choose the right answer.

The teachers' attitude makes a difference here. I learned early on from an excellent teacher (Jordash Kiffiak!) that an exaggerated performance by the teacher is an effective tool. Look students in the eyes as you ask, give them lavish praise for an answer, generally go over the top. It creates the feeling of communication. And this isn't just fluff. When we believe we are communicating, our brains switch into a different mode, language comes alive, and we really learn.

I'll repost this to a forum dedicated to these types of discussions re communicative teaching, Ancient Greek Best Practices, patterned after the very useful Yahoo group, Latin Best Practices.
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Re: Greek and English Dialogues for Use in Schools

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » April 29th, 2015, 11:24 am

Paul Nitz wrote:A TPRS trick might work here. Ask a question and give options for an answer.

Try verbally asking the following:

α: Τίς ἔρχεται πρὸς Ἰησοῦν; ἔρχεται ὁ λεπρός ἤ ὁ μαθητής; Even if a student wouldn't know what a μαθητής is, they can easily guess the right option.

Physical cues can make a question even easier to answer:

α: Τίς ἔρχεται πρὸς Ἰησοῦν; ἔρχεται ὁ λεπρός ἤ (pointing at a student) οὖτος ὁ μαθητής;
After the verbal exchange, you could still show the text and have them choose the right answer.

The teachers' attitude makes a difference here. I learned early on from an excellent teacher (Jordash Kiffiak!) that an exaggerated performance by the teacher is an effective tool. Look students in the eyes as you ask, give them lavish praise for an answer, generally go over the top. It creates the feeling of communication. And this isn't just fluff. When we believe we are communicating, our brains switch into a different mode, language comes alive, and we really learn.

I'll repost this to a forum dedicated to these types of discussions re communicative teaching, Ancient Greek Best Practices, patterned after the very useful Yahoo group, Latin Best Practices.
An excellent refinement and a much better way to ask the questions. Thank you - and for the modus operandi suggestions.
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