Teaching Greek to Kids

Teaching Greek to Kids

Postby refe » June 13th, 2011, 10:16 am

Does anyone here have any experience teaching New Testament Greek to kids? A good friend of mine pastors a church and for Sunday school teaches them to read the Gospel of John in Greek. He's asked me to take the older kids so that they can go further in their learning without having to keep going over the basics with the younger kids.

It sounds like a lot of fun, especially since these kids seem to have a genuine interest. However, I'm not quite sure how to approach it. They already know the alphabet and pronunciation, and have memorized a few verses that they can read on site (without really recognizing the forms they are encountering).

Any ideas, resources, personal experiences to share?
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Re: Teaching Greek to Kids

Postby Ken M. Penner » June 13th, 2011, 10:34 am

I began to teach my brother one summer, in 1993 perhaps, when he would have been 13 years old. We just used Wenham's boring old textbook. Using Memcards vocabulary software as kind of a game made it more fun.
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St. Francis Xavier University
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Re: Teaching Greek to Kids

Postby refe » June 13th, 2011, 11:01 am

I should add that these kids are between 8-11 years old, some of them a little younger but all of them can read and write (in English, of course.)
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Re: Teaching Greek to Kids

Postby Louis L Sorenson » June 13th, 2011, 1:07 pm

I'm working on a board game.
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Re: Teaching Greek to Kids

Postby refe » June 13th, 2011, 1:34 pm

Louis L Sorenson wrote:I'm working on a board game.


Really? That's awesome. If you need guinea pigs I happen to know a few!
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Re: Teaching Greek to Kids

Postby Louis L Sorenson » June 13th, 2011, 8:42 pm

You can also get them to play ENA (Greek for UNO). I have translated the instructions and have vocab listed at http://www.letsreadgreek.org/teachingaids/uno/. The instructions need to be vetted.
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Re: Teaching Greek to Kids

Postby RandallButh » June 18th, 2011, 1:41 pm

we've had quite a few parents comment on Living Koine Greek, Introduction Part One that their kids would join in and follow along because the picture sequences seemed like a game. There was virtually no age limit, even pre-schoolers for much of the material.

When things get 'serious' and someone wants to run a successful Greek class with kids, I would recommend that the teacher works on 'fluency' so that they can run a class using TPR. Unfortunately, I think that the Greek Fluency Workshop in August is already full. In Dec 2011-Jan 2012 there will be a 10-day fluency workshop in Jerusalem. There is talk about running one in summer 2012 in the Seattle area. They are a start.

If you will be at SBL you can come to the Greek Pedagogy session and meet James Asher the developer of TPR.
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Re: Teaching Greek to Kids

Postby Devenios Doulenios » July 13th, 2011, 6:17 pm

χαιρε, ω Ρηφε ο φιλος μου!

If you are still looking for materials, the Greek resources at Classical Academic Press (http://www.ClassicalAcademicPress.com) may be helpful. I haven't used them but I saw them in a catalog and they seem to have a good a approach. Their materials are aimed at homeschoolers, so probably they would work well for a church setting. If you write them they might send you some samples. There are also a few samples on their website. They have been building a good selection of Latin resources over time, and hopefully will do so with the Greek as well.

I haven't gotten to teach Greek yet, but having taught some Latin to kids (K, 1st and 3rd grades, 6th grade, 7th grade), I can tell you that using TPRS and songs, games, and lots of visual aids, props, maybe puppets, multimedia, skits/drama could help, also speaking the language as much as possible. I expect these things would work with teaching Greek to kids also.

I hope you'll share with us how things go. It's exciting that you have this opportunity.

Devenios
Δεβένιος
"τὴν ζωὴν καὶ τὸν θάνατον δέδωκα πρὸ προσώπου ὑμῶν τὴν εὐλογίαν καὶ τὴν κατάραν ἔκλεξαι τὴν ζωήν ἵνα ζῇς σὺ καὶ τὸ σπέρμα σου"-Dt. 30:19

"Ὁδοὶ δύο εἰσί, μία τῆς ζωῆς καὶ μία τοῦ θανάτου."--Διδαχή Α, α'
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Re: Teaching Greek to Kids

Postby RandallButh » July 14th, 2011, 12:21 am

I haven't gotten to teach Greek yet, but having taught some Latin to kids (K, 1st and 3rd grades, 6th grade, 7th grade), I can tell you that using TPRS and songs, games, and lots of visual aids, props, maybe puppets, multimedia, skits/drama could help, also speaking the language as much as possible. I expect these things would work with teaching Greek to kids also.


That is definitely in the right direction. One thing that should immediately become clear is that there is no place for 'grammar talk' with a 7-year-old. Design the program without that and you will do fine. The biggest problem will be naturalness, children will immediately sense if the system is actually communicating, or not.
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Re: Teaching Greek to Kids

Postby refe » July 15th, 2011, 1:36 pm

Living Koine seems like it may be a good place to start, but I haven't had much chance to test out how age appropriate it would actually be, and it is a bit outside the Sunday School budget at the moment! We have the kids reading through John Ch. 1 now and I am putting together some visual flashcards for them, along with some fun things for them to say back and forth to each other and myself throughout the material. The furthest that I am going into grammar for now is to explain the difference between ὁ and τὸν since they are so prevalent in John 1.
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