[b-greek] Re: Greek 101 drop outs

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Tue Nov 21 2000 - 07:00:19 EST

At 5:41 PM -0800 11/20/00, clayton stirling bartholomew wrote:
>on 11/20/00 5:06 PM, Mark Wilson wrote:
>> I believe the problem lies with the Greek teachers, not the students.
>Really? Are you serious?
>You know this is the real reason I follow b-greek is to get posts like this.
>If I had been sitting down when I read this (I work standing up) I would
>have fallen out of my chair laughing.
>Hope we hear from a few teachers on this topic.
>(BTW, I am not, have not been, and probably never will be a NT Greek

Well, I'm about to do my very last formal Greek--a one-month crash course
at Eden Seminary in January, meeting four hours a day, five days a week. I
don't think it's a good idea at all pedagogically, but I think a lot of
seminaries do it for beginners, and they were desperate for someone to
teach it.

I think the dropout rate for Greek is pretty standard; as long as I've
taught there've usually been about half the number of students left at the
beginning of the second semester--and I've had far too many GOOD students
do a whole year and then take no more--that's something that has always
really hurt me, but they tell me that's all that they had ever planned to
do. I think the teacher may contribute to the dorp-out problem, but I think
the chief obstacle is the steady pace of material that must be mastered. I
tell students in the opening class that they should drop immediately unless
they are prepared to work industriously and consistently for the real
rewards which will come only when they have mastered an awful lot of
tedious rote learning and achieved a good grip on the Greek verb as well as
a powerful lot of vocabulary. There IS no royal road to Greek, and nobody I
know that has ever learned it has done so without putting a lot of hard
work into it. It's the hard work, I'm personally convinced, that is the
major deterrent to continuing on in Greek.


Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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