Fluent reading - 15 word strings

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Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3332
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Fluent reading - 15 word strings

Post by Stephen Hughes » July 8th, 2017, 9:18 pm

RandallButh wrote:
July 7th, 2017, 3:15 am
... maybe read a half dozen chapters of John and Luke in a sitting.

John 4.24 reads very smoothly to anyone who can hold 15 words in a string while reading Greek, which is a sina qua nun, pardon my Latin, for any attempt at fluent reading.
Reading (out) a chapter take about 6 to 10 (or even 15) minutes (for longer ones), so I'm guessing that what is meant is 3 of each in an hour(-long sitting), or is it 12 in total (in two)?

Does "holding 15 words in a string" mean look at the page, read the Greek, look away and then speak it out? If it does, then I find that at that length two things happen. The first is that there are small changes (differences) between the Greek on the page and the Greek spoken. Morphological variation such as -αν for -ον or vice-versa, and paraphrasing such as like μετ' αὐτοῦ for ἀκολουθοῦτες αὐτῷ. The second thing is that the reading (out) is more halting and choppy than when reading directly (eyes to mouth) from the page. Neither of those seems like an improvement.

Have I correctly understood what is being suggested (that should be done to improve fluency)? Is what I'm experiencing one of the steps to fluency?
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

RandallButh
Posts: 877
Joined: May 13th, 2011, 4:01 am

Re: Fluent reading - 15 word strings

Post by RandallButh » July 10th, 2017, 2:17 am

It's simpler than you have made it. When a person is speaking a language and hears a 15-word string they understand it. I have used it as a measuring index, not a pedagogy.

A beginner goes through stages where they can only process 2-3 words at a time before sound collapses into chaos. With progress they can hear sentences of 6,7 words, then 8-10, etc. Understanding a fifteen word string means that a fair amount of automaticity and internalization has been built up in the language.

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3332
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Fluent reading - 15 word strings

Post by Stephen Hughes » July 10th, 2017, 5:41 am

RandallButh wrote:
July 10th, 2017, 2:17 am
I have used it as a measuring index, not a pedagogy.
Okay. I see what you are getting at.

The (pedagogical) method of looking away then reading can be used with an aim to letting somebody read a few words ahead of what their mouth is actually saying, by covering what is being spoken and revealing what will be spoken next in a revolving cycle. That requires a degree of parallel processing, and increased pattern recognition and memory skills - the larger the chunks that we are used to processing, the easier it is to read like that. Seeing a chunk, and having the non-prominent grammar in the background, and noticing the essential things. The earliest or easiest ones to do that with are the repeated phrases such as ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν (τοῦ θεοῦ), and Ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης for example.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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