2nd year Greek for middle/high schoolers

Resources and methods for teaching and learning New Testament Greek.
Garrett Tyson
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Joined: July 14th, 2018, 6:54 pm

2nd year Greek for middle/high schoolers

Post by Garrett Tyson » August 23rd, 2018, 7:07 am

I've nearly finished working through Black's introductory grammar with my little Greek class (maybe 4 weeks left), and I'm wrestling with where to go from here. I think I have to take an inductive approach-- I don't think I can make my fifth grader work through an intermediate grammar, and I don't think I want to use a reader. Mathewson's intermediate grammar isn't without its flaws, probably, but he takes a minimalist approach to categories and maybe I could pull that off?

I'm leaning toward using one of the Baylor Greek Handbooks (which book?), but I'm open to suggestions. Something by Varner maybe?

In teaching through Galatians last year, I thought Burton's ICC commentary was quite helpful on the Greek-- more helpful than Bruce or deSilva. Not sure if that's a good idea or not.

What I'm looking for is someone who rights clearly and simply, is really good in the Greek, and can help them transition to reading with understanding.

My plan is to spend maybe 1/2 the year in narrative, and the other half in a NT letter. Maybe after that I could have them try an intermediate grammar. I don't know.

Any help would appreciated...
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: 2nd year Greek for middle/high schoolers

Post by Barry Hofstetter » August 23rd, 2018, 11:14 am

Absolutely the best thing you can do is read through Greek with them, and using the grammars for reference as they were meant to be used.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Paul-Nitz
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Re: 2nd year Greek for middle/high schoolers

Post by Paul-Nitz » August 27th, 2018, 12:05 pm

Don't you think texts from the Bible will be far too difficult for beginners?

If you could pull off doing TPRS with them, or Where Are Your Keys, you could tailor it to the right level (and it's much more fun). But that is a heavy load on you. You need to be the fluent speaker of Ancient Greek.

If that's not an option, I'd go with Shirley Rollinson's book.
http://www.drshirley.org/greek/textbook02/index.html
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Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi

Garrett Tyson
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Re: 2nd year Greek for middle/high schoolers

Post by Garrett Tyson » August 27th, 2018, 9:05 pm

Some parts are too hard for them for sure. But they are capable little readers.

I just worked through Mark 5:21-34 with my two at home. We translated it three times over maybe a two week period-- summer got too busy to keep the class going. I had to give them some helps-- we haven't done infinitives or subjunctives yet. But they are starting to get a feel for how the NT works. And my oldest kept translating on her own all the way through chapter 6, getting stuck occasionally.

It's too hard for them to do by themselves, for sure-- although they'd maybe do ok in (parts of) John. But they have legitimately worked through Black's introductory grammar, with my shielding them from some of the bigger words/categories. For example, they know genitives work in different ways, but they couldn't tell you what an objective or subjective genitive is. They just know genitives work in different ways.

Last night my fifth grader asked if Matthew 4 said the same thing in Greek as in English. "Do you want to check?" So we spent 45 minutes working through the first part of the chapter. It went slow, but (1) she enjoyed it, and (2) it was quality time with my θυγάτριόν. And they are starting to show some rapid development in understanding. Reading more words at once, reading prepositional phrases as a whole instinctively, looking for nominatives. In class I basically gave them (part of) Runge light this past Sunday, showing how Mark uses participles and indicatives together, "de," "gar," etc.

I'm starting to get a feel for how I'm going to approach this with them. The main thing is, they are starting to enjoy it and see how Mark reads differently in the Greek. Like when Mark builds, and builds, toward the moment when the woman touched Jesus in Mark 5. Something like an NIV just flattens that out, making it 4 or 5 different sentences.
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Paul-Nitz
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Re: 2nd year Greek for middle/high schoolers

Post by Paul-Nitz » August 28th, 2018, 4:29 am

Garrett, That sounds wonderful. So, it sounds like Barry's advice to read and use grammar as a reference to increase comprehensibility is a good plan. Have you tried to simplify stories for them? Sometimes it's called Leveled Stories, sometimes Embedded Readings. You take a text, and simplify it 2 or more times, in ever simple forms. The learner can build up to the original reading simply by working from the simple to the hard.
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Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi

Garrett Tyson
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Re: 2nd year Greek for middle/high schoolers

Post by Garrett Tyson » August 28th, 2018, 7:36 am

Paul-Nitz wrote:
August 28th, 2018, 4:29 am
Garrett, That sounds wonderful. So, it sounds like Barry's advice to read and use grammar as a reference to increase comprehensibility is a good plan. Have you tried to simplify stories for them? Sometimes it's called Leveled Stories, sometimes Embedded Readings. You take a text, and simplify it 2 or more times, in ever simple forms. The learner can build up to the original reading simply by working from the simple to the hard.
I think at this point I'm going to just stick to NT readings. I'll work through the first half of Mark with them, probably, and then try an epistle. Probably James, possibly Galatians. I'd rather ramp up the difficulty, and get them used to using their Reader's Edition. That version basically makes all of this possible.

What I'll do at home with my two will have more of a "devotional" feel to it; we will just read, I'll write down the translations as we go so they can see what we did, and we can talk about questions they have related to Greek/application/meaning as we go and/or at the end. Then I'll bring a spiffy translation to class, laid out using a modified Runge approach (it looks quite a bit like his Logos data sets, with some differences), and walk them through interesting things in more detail.

The people in the class from the church are older; I've given them Rogers and Rogers (which I don't really like, to be honest, but I think the compromise is needed), and Zerwick. And when they have questions, they can ask in class.

None of it is ideal exactly at church, due to not having enough time. But people are busy, and this is something we have to do after church. So the question is, how late can I keep them? We will just have to figure that out. When I was working through Black's book with them last year, it was taking me on average maybe 30 minutes to get through a lesson. I'd like to lengthen this out to closer to an hour to get more time reading, each person taking a verse at a time; we will just have to see.

This is really random, but I'm not teaching Sunday school this year, so I can spend more time on this now. And it's reached the point where that's a good thing.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: 2nd year Greek for middle/high schoolers

Post by Barry Hofstetter » August 29th, 2018, 5:43 am

Garrett, this sounds amazing. In teaching Greek at the American Academy, which was a home school consortium, I usually read through a semester of NT Greek and a semester of Xenophon at the intermediate level. The last student I did that with was my own daughter. Part of this is knowing your students well, and devising precisely the strategies that they need to make progress. There is no one model or formula that fits all students, but they succeed best who are able to have maximum interaction with the language during the time that you have them.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Garrett Tyson
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Joined: July 14th, 2018, 6:54 pm

Re: 2nd year Greek for middle/high schoolers

Post by Garrett Tyson » August 29th, 2018, 8:14 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
August 29th, 2018, 5:43 am
Garrett, this sounds amazing. In teaching Greek at the American Academy, which was a home school consortium, I usually read through a semester of NT Greek and a semester of Xenophon at the intermediate level. The last student I did that with was my own daughter. Part of this is knowing your students well, and devising precisely the strategies that they need to make progress. There is no one model or formula that fits all students, but they succeed best who are able to have maximum interaction with the language during the time that you have them.
Barry, what did you read through in the NT? Was it a variety of different texts, or did you pick one/two main books? Where in Xenophon did you read?
Your words were really encouraging; thanks :)
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: 2nd year Greek for middle/high schoolers

Post by Barry Hofstetter » August 29th, 2018, 7:23 pm

Garrett Tyson wrote:
August 29th, 2018, 8:14 am

Barry, what did you read through in the NT? Was it a variety of different texts, or did you pick one/two main books? Where in Xenophon did you read?
Your words were really encouraging; thanks :)
Primarily Mark, and then selections from the epistles. Book 1 of Xenophon, which I always thought was mildly boring, but the students always seemed to enjoy (especially the bustards). If I were teaching at the same level now, I would also devote one class a week to "sight" readings from various authors. Lately I'm into the Colloquia of the Hermeneumata Pseudodositheana, teaching texts from the third century designed to teach Greek speakers Latin, and were written with one column in Greek as the source language and one column in Latin as the target language. I do this with my Latin students and they really like it ("What, you mean people actually talked this stuff!?"). The upshot is that you get ὁμιλίαι καθημεριναί, sermo cottidiana, daily speech in both languages. I edit them slightly into more modern dialogues and then have the students go for it, sometimes assigning parts. I also do 5 minute "sight reading drills" from more standard authors (but something fun if possible) where the student is required to get as far as possible, focusing on what they recognize, and filling in the gaps when we go over it.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Sam Parkinson
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Joined: July 2nd, 2018, 10:51 am

Re: 2nd year Greek for middle/high schoolers

Post by Sam Parkinson » August 30th, 2018, 8:17 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
August 29th, 2018, 7:23 pm
Lately I'm into the Colloquia of the Hermeneumata Pseudodositheana, teaching texts from the third century designed to teach Greek speakers Latin, and were written with one column in Greek as the source language and one column in Latin as the target language. I do this with my Latin students and they really like it
Sorry to take things slightly off topic, but would you recommend the Colloquia for others as well, particularly those of us learning by ourselves? They look wonderful for extending your knowledge of Greek, but they are pretty pricey.
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