High intensity over short time or lower over longer time?

High intensity over short time or lower over longer time?

Postby ntechow » August 19th, 2012, 10:56 am

Dear all,
If a study programme has 20 ECTS available (60 ECTS being a full year of study) for teaching students Greek, and if the choice is between giving this amount in compact form in one semester or giving it with half the intensity over two semesters, which will be the better choice? The teaching method itself will be fairly traditional, and the goal will be for the students within this framework to attain the best possible level of ability to actually exegete a Greek text instead of in reality exegeting a translation while looking at the Greek here and there. Are you aware of published research or any other documentation as to the answer?
Regards,

Nicolai Techow
Adjunkt, ph.d./Førsteamanuensis/ Assistant Professor of New Testament
Fjellhaug International University College - Denmark/Dansk Bibel-Institut/Copenhagen Lutheran School of Theology
Frederiksborggade 1B, DK-1360 København K, Danmark
Arbejde: (+45) 33 69 55 24, Mobil: (+45) 60 81 93 31
E-mail: nt@dbi.edu
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Re: High intensity over short time or lower over longer time

Postby klriley » August 20th, 2012, 2:03 am

It probably depends on the students, but if Greek is not seen as essential (and unfortunately few seminaries or universities make a good argument for that) then less over more time would probably work best. From a student's POV, where I have found intensive courses very useful is when they will be followed fairly quickly by another course that builds on the work studied in the intensive program. If this is it for Greek, spreading it over a year allows more time for it to be absorbed and then it will hopefully 'stick' better. I did two years of Greek - one of 4, 1hr classes/week + extra for homework to learn grammar and vocab, then one of 4hr/week exegesis + homework to prepare for next class - and at the end of those two years I felt like I was starting to 'get' Greek. I believe another year (which was not available at the time) would have consolidated the previous two years really well. A little Greek is better than none, but I am pessimistic about what can be achieved with traditional methods over less than a year unless the students are really motivated. And even more pessimistic about how much will be retained even a year later.
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Re: High intensity over short time or lower over longer time

Postby ntechow » August 23rd, 2012, 4:36 am

The students will continue immediately with a year of Greek exegesis. My concern is whether it is realistic that they will actually be able to do exegesis after just one semester of spending 2/3 of their time learning Greek, or if it would be better or even necessary to spread the Greek over two semesters (in which they would then spend 1/3 of their time learning Greek) in order to give the students a longer period in which to absorb. My intuition tells me that the latter is far better. But I could be wrong. So I hope someone could confirm my intuition or tell me that it is wrong. And it would be great if you could refer to some documentation.
/Nicolai
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