Teaching my first class

mhagedon
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Re: Teaching my first class

Post by mhagedon » July 25th, 2015, 5:08 pm

Shirley Rollinson wrote:A few more thoughts -
You might spend some time either before the first class or at the start of the first lass, finding out what the students want to do/learn. Why have they come to the class?
I thought a bit along those lines, but I like the idea of being really explicit about that. "What are you expecting to get out of this?" And then adjust to incorporate some or all of that. It's not like I have a particular list of things I have to do (no credits involved).
Shirley Rollinson wrote:"Once a week" means that they will have forgotten most of what they did last week - especially as there will probably be no homework, or they won't do it if you set some.
Yes, that will be a challenge, since language instruction builds on itself. Combined with the fact that people will randomly miss weeks, or new people could show up, this could be interesting!
Shirley Rollinson wrote:When learning a foreign language, particularly at the beginning, an hour at a time is probably the limit - after that the brain turns to spaghetti.
Look upon this as the first of what could turn out to be a series of Greek classes - give them enough of a taste to make them want more. Don't try to cover everything, but, for example, teach the present tense Active Indicative. and tell them a bit about the future and past tenses, and the passive/middle, and the subjunctive and optative - but say that those are best left for a later course.
Yes, I'm thinking more and more that getting a taste of Greek is the main objective. I've just sent in the blurb for the bulletin:

Title: "A gentle introduction to New Testament Greek"
Have you ever wanted to learn the original language of the New Testament? Have you tried and struggled? Enhance your understanding of Scripture with a relaxed and fun approach to Greek and get a taste of hearing, speaking, and reading the language as Paul spoke it.
Shirley Rollinson wrote:Gear it to what they want to learn, and if you don't know the answer to some to their questions - as nearly always happens with a group of beginners (What's the word for . . . blue, rain, girl-friend, thank-you, a glass of beer) say so and try to find out for next week.
Meet then where their interests are, and deal with the things that interest them, and they'll come back for more.
Great advice! I'll keep a notepad nearby during class and collect these things.
Shirley Rollinson wrote:Don't get caught up with technology - it always breaks down at the worst point, and staring at a screen is guaranteed to put people to sleep
Ha... good point. Especially since I'm a programmer... it'd be easy for me to get carried away with the tech.
Shirley Rollinson wrote:HAVE FUN
And this is probably the main thing! If I have fun, they're more likely to as well.

Thank you!
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Mike Hagedon (Μιχαήλ)

Paul-Nitz
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Re: Teaching my first class

Post by Paul-Nitz » July 27th, 2015, 4:35 pm

Μιχαήλ,

A particular weakness I've had is sequencing lessons. I do not use a textbook, or riff off of a textbook. I do think it is necessary to react to the students' interest and progress. If they need another few lessons on a particular point, the teacher should go with that and not let the content or schedule of content control things. But, this necessary freedom has led me to this weakness of poor sequencing. I'm coming to a conclusion that I would do better to follow this pattern, a pattern you could try with your course.

I would use the three main communicative methods, leading up to a take home assignment to read (or listen) to a final story that is slightly beyond the learners' comprehension.

The three methods, to be generally used in order, are TPR, WAYK, and TPRS.

My TPR segment would mainly be used to introduce vocabulary. When possible, some structure found in the final story could be included.
The WAYK would be used mainly to teach structure, but some abstract vocabulary might be included here.
TPRS would be little stories made up of vocabulary from the final story and including all of the structures. These might be different stories from the final story, or could be embedded (or leveled) stories.

An example would be useful here. I'll work on that.
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Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Teaching my first class

Post by Stephen Hughes » July 30th, 2015, 2:22 am

mhagedon wrote:
Shirley Rollinson wrote:Gear it to what they want to learn, and if you don't know the answer to some to their questions - as nearly always happens with a group of beginners (What's the word for . . . blue, rain, girl-friend, thank-you, a glass of beer) say so and try to find out for next week.
Meet then where their interests are, and deal with the things that interest them, and they'll come back for more.
Great advice! I'll keep a notepad nearby during class and collect these things.
The others are straightforward enough, but where you may find difficulty is with "blue".

The broadly defined English word "blue" is not such an easy word to find an Greek equivalent for. We use a word for a different colour in Greek, for what would be considered a different shade of a colour in our English (modern) thinking. The same is true of the English word "red", but the New Testament has used a lot of words that we can translated into our broad colour-grouping, "red". If you are interested, you could look at L&N 79.29-33

The New Testament only uses the word ὑακίνθινος "hyacinth" defined in modern terms as , (differentiated from πορφυροῦς "imperial porphyry") but that is not all there is to blueness.

There are also these two:
κυανοῦς - "azure" a dark-blue colour.
καλάϊνος - "turquoise" a blue-green colour
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Teaching my first class

Post by Jonathan Robie » July 30th, 2015, 8:11 am

Paul-Nitz wrote:My TPR segment would mainly be used to introduce vocabulary. When possible, some structure found in the final story could be included.
The WAYK would be used mainly to teach structure, but some abstract vocabulary might be included here.
TPRS would be little stories made up of vocabulary from the final story and including all of the structures. These might be different stories from the final story, or could be embedded (or leveled) stories.

An example would be useful here. I'll work on that.
Very much looking forward to that example.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Teaching my first class

Post by Jonathan Robie » July 31st, 2015, 6:24 pm

So Μιχαήλ, I think we need to come back to your goals.

Is it more important to present grammar systematically as in a language class, or to walk through a meaningful passage of Scripture? Is your interest primarily in the kind of Greek that occurs in biblical passages, or in the kind of Greek that is useful for everyday conversation today? What do you think your students are most motivated by?

You're probably going to need to rank these goals.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

RandallButh
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Re: Teaching my first class

Post by RandallButh » August 1st, 2015, 2:17 am

Jonathan Robie wrote: Is it more important to present grammar systematically as in a language class, or to walk through a meaningful passage of Scripture?
Is your interest primarily in the kind of Greek that occurs in biblical passages, or in the kind of Greek that is useful for everyday conversation today?
The sentences do not seem to logically entail the proposed options.
It is possible to walk through a passage of scripture and to build the systematic network of the language through simple conversation. The core of a language is represented in basic conversation, daily living, and at the center of simple narratives.

At the moment I'm working on Swahili. I am concentrating on using basic structures and internalizing central vocabulary. I picked up a book of Aesop's fables in Swahili and was delighted to find the story making sense and using much central vocabulary that I knew, with the opportunity, of course, for learning new vocab about animals and their activities in memorable context.

(PS: The translator has taken liberties to use animals known in Africa, so duikers and hyenas appear in place of some European couterparts. That is appropriate and good translation for non-historical or non-documentary material. [It wouldn't work for a biology textbook or legal agreement.])
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Teaching my first class

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 1st, 2015, 8:25 am

RandallButh wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote: Is it more important to present grammar systematically as in a language class, or to walk through a meaningful passage of Scripture?
Is your interest primarily in the kind of Greek that occurs in biblical passages, or in the kind of Greek that is useful for everyday conversation today?
The sentences do not seem to logically entail the proposed options.
It is possible to walk through a passage of scripture and to build the systematic network of the language through simple conversation. The core of a language is represented in basic conversation, daily living, and at the center of simple narratives.
I'd like to learn how to do that better for specific passages - and that involves improving my own conversational skills along the way. If you have specific ideas for how to do that for the passage I'm discussing in this thread, I'd love to hear them there. The devil's in the details ...
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

RandallButh
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Re: Teaching my first class

Post by RandallButh » August 2nd, 2015, 2:29 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
RandallButh wrote: ...
It is possible to walk through a passage of scripture and to build the systematic network of the language through simple conversation. The core of a language is represented in basic conversation, daily living, and at the center of simple narratives.
I'd like to learn how to do that better for specific passages - and that involves improving my own conversational skills along the way. If you have specific ideas for how to do that for the passage I'm discussing in this thread, I'd love to hear them there. The devil's in the details ...
This depends on what the students already know at any one point.

Three tips:
1. Go through the targeted text and select any words that you feel are new or needing reinforcement for the student.
2. Select the words that are fairly concrete and can be "TPR"d. In some cases you may want to plan to have an assistant available who can act out the initial responses. Puppets can work in lieu of a live colleague.
3. Abstract words that would be difficult to define in Greek and complex syntax can be given as "chunks" by writing out with equivalent glosses in a shared medium (English, Spanish, Hebrew, whatever). If there are too many of these 'write-outs', then the text is probably a little bit too high and should be edited into something more generic for the live interaction of class.

Finally, the text (original or edited) can be "TPRS"d with rapid questions and answers.

ἐπέχετε: go very light on grammar questions, even when in Greek, since they take a person out of a communicative, language using mode and into a mode of analysis from outside the communication. Sometimes a statement of syntactic effect is good. "Ναί, ἀόριστός ἐστιν, καὶ βλέπομεν τὸ τέλος καἰ νοοῦμεν ἐπὶ ὅλου τοῦ πράγματος.
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