In the first year of Greek (150 lessons in 2012-13) we did no substantial reading other than the composed stories that I came up with for targeted structures. We occasionally looked at some Biblical passages to show that we actually could understand some bits already. So far this year, I haven't changed the pattern much.
This year, we are using Dobson as a sort of outline. I try to cover the major point of each lesson in a communicative way. Then the students read the lesson at home. The next class period, we take questions on the lesson. We'll read through parts of it that the students found difficult.
For example, Lesson 20 in Dobson is titled "ποίησας" (sic). The main language structure it teaches is the attributive use of an aorist participle. We had a bowl of water and a bowl of clay in front of the class. A student was told to make a ball (ποίησον σφαῖραν). Then he was told to wash his hands νίψαι τὰς χεῖρας. After we played with that set up a few times we described what happened.
ποιήσας σφαῖραν ἐνίψατο τὰς χεῖρας.
So, the structures we get into are certainly at GNT reading level, but my students do not have a wide enough range of structures or enough vocabulary that they will need to read the GNT without being discouraged in the learning process. What they need to feed on is Greek that they mostly understand (comprehensible input, plus one).
Dobson has his readers begin to translate short readings from John beginning with Lesson 8 or so. From the start this year, I made those assignments optional. Later I encouraged the students to skip them. It was not encouraging them and was not teaching them more Greek.
I've used Dobson twice before and rather encouraged students to work through the John selections. When I was working at developing decoders, that made sense. Now, it doesn't.
I don't expect my students will be able to read Greek, except for very easy GNT narratives, before the end of this school year. This school year is the end of their Greek training. They will be asked to use Greek in upcoming classes, but will have no more Greek training classes. Yet, I'm not worried. They have the right idea and will be able to and have the interest to advance on their own. They are already "readers." They're just at a very low level.
Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi