What are the topics in Teaching Methods?

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What are the topics in Teaching Methods?

Post by cwconrad » May 11th, 2011, 1:31 pm

I am throwing out this topical question or interrogative topic simply to see whether we have a fundamental agreement on what belongs here. I am probably stating the two methods -- there may be others -- probably in sharper contrast than I ought, but this is to get the discussion started. It seems to me that:

(1) Those who seek to learn Biblical Greek (or any other stage of ancient Greek) are either

(a) SELF-TAUGHT/SELF-TEACHING, whether by means of a textbook or by means of an interlinear and lexical resources such as Strong's list or an online or printed dictionary/glossaary or by means of digital media (tapes, records, etc.) or a combination of these;

(b) PURSUING INSTRUCTION THROUGH FORMAL CLASSES, with an instructor, textbook(s), formal instruction in morphology, syntax, lexicography, etc., graded readings and exercises, perhaps with additional language lab or classroom oral/aural exercises;

(2) Objectives of various methodologies of teaching and learning Biblical Greek:

(a) TRADITIONAL GRAMMAR/TRANSLATION FOCUS: Instruction consists primarily in rote learning of the Greek morphology, syntactical patterns, and the standard vocabulary of the Greek NT; the objective of instruction is the student's ability to convert the Greek text into a more-or-less literal version in English or other modern target-language. The assumption underlying this methodology is that by learning the analytic tools of textual analysis the student will acquire the ability to read the Biblical text intelligently, convert it into a modern version, and exegete it for those who don't know the Greek;

(b) LANGUAGE AS INSTRUMENT OF COMMUNICATION FOCUS: Instruction is patterned on an understanding of "natural language learning," especially of how people acquire proficiency in a second language; the learning process will emphasize listening and speaking, reading and writing and aims at the ability to understand the spoken words and written texts of continuous discourse or dialogue, to think in the native patterns of ancient Greek, and to speak intelligibly and write intelligible in Greek for others.
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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)

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