[b-greek] Re: Greek 101 drop outs - Follow up

From: Daniel L. Christiansen (dlc@multnomah.edu)
Date: Tue Nov 21 2000 - 14:10:39 EST

"Carl W. Conrad" wrote [snipped]:

> No; the fact of the matter is that the warning is--more often than
> not--ignored; many a student assumes that he/she can do the same thing with
> Beginning Greek as with another language course or with many of the
> coureses he/she takes: attend classes haphazardly, let things drift for two
> or three days and then return to preparing lessons, cram for tests and get
> by with a passing grade. By about the third test, if it takes that long,
> this kind of student is hopelessly lost. You realize, of course, I'm
> talking about teaching in a secular university and that most of these
> students want to read Homer or Plato, not NT, but the fact is that students
> who DO want to read NT often approach this class the same way, and when
> they do, they waste their own time as well as mine and that of their more
> earnest classmates.

    A hearty AMHN to this, Carl. The "fast and easy" attitude is certainly not
confined to the secular university, but extends as well into the seminary and Bible
college. In our world of microwave popcorn and the omnipresent fax, everyone is
looking for the quick and simple way to achieve their desired results; when the
process of attainment becomes arduous, the process is assumed to be faulty. I
wonder how many medical students would thank their professors, if they encouraged
them at the beginning of their studies that soon they could diagnose small colds,
and would later be able to handle more and more complex diseases. Of course, the
trouble is that the beginning student can't tell whether the illness is really a
cold, or some as yet unable to be recognized disease.
    My wife is incredibly bilingual (she was born and raised in Romania, came to the
USA as an adult, and has a better english vocabulary than many of my college
students); but she can testify to the difficulty of learning a language, even by
total forced cultural immersion. To think that one can learn Greek (or any
language) without immersion, and without lots of hard work, in a limited number of
hours per week, is just unreasonable.
    Mark--when you say that we teachers should make learning Greek fun, I wonder
whether you know what it is that you mean by that term? I agree that the classroom
experience ought to be enjoyable, and my classrooms have a lot of laughter in them.
However, the fun does not impart knowledge or ability--it only makes the students
more willing to put up with the incredible amount of work, until they can start
tasting the fruit of their labors.

Daniel L. Christiansen
Professor of Biblical Languages, Portland Bible College
Adjunct Professor, Bible Department, Multnomah Bible College
(503) 820-0231

B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: [jwrobie@mindspring.com]
To unsubscribe, forward this message to leave-b-greek-327Q@franklin.oit.unc.edu
To subscribe, send a message to subscribe-b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:36:41 EDT