Help me teach this class

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Jonathan Robie
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Help me teach this class

Post by Jonathan Robie » July 29th, 2015, 2:40 pm

I'm planning my lesson for Sunday's class, and I'd like to learn how to do a better job of teaching it.

People on B-Greek have a lot of ideas for how best to teach Greek, I'd like to make this really, really concrete and see what suggestions you have for improving what I am doing. I'm hoping that Micheal Palmer will also join us with suggestions based on his experience with SIOP and ESL, and I'm also hoping for contributions from the communicative camp and from teachers who have been working in a more traditional way or going off in their own directions.

Let me start by describing the class. This is a Sunday School class, it meets for 45 minutes once a week, and we typically have 3-4 people. One person has extensive background in classical Greek, two have each had a class or two, we now have one person who knows Latin but not Greek. People really want to use biblical texts, and to work through books sequentially - that's an important part of their motivation, and I'd like to take that much as a given. Currently, we're working through Luke.

For a couple of years, we've done this in a very traditional way, each reading a sentence in turn. Recently, I've been working toward teaching much more actively, and I'm trying to bring in more active language approaches, but I'm just learning how to do this. For each lesson, I will have a content goal (what I want us to learn from the passage) and one or more language learning goals (what I want us to learn to do in Greek), which may be different for different language learners. For each lesson, I will list my goals and my ideas starting out. I'll listen to the ideas people give me, decide which ones I can realistically do, and report back.

The next post will explain what I'm working on for Sunday.
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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: Help me teach this class

Post by Jonathan Robie » July 29th, 2015, 3:23 pm

We are currently working our way through Luke 9:42-62. Last week, we covered 9:42-48.

I would like to work through this section on Sunday.
Luke 9:49-56 wrote:49 Ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ Ἰωάννης εἶπεν· Ἐπιστάτα, εἴδομέν τινα ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου ἐκβάλλοντα δαιμόνια, καὶ ἐκωλύομεν αὐτὸν ὅτι οὐκ ἀκολουθεῖ μεθ’ ἡμῶν. 50 εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς· Μὴ κωλύετε, ὃς γὰρ οὐκ ἔστιν καθ’ ὑμῶν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐστιν.

51 Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι τὰς ἡμέρας τῆς ἀναλήμψεως αὐτοῦ καὶ αὐτὸς τὸ πρόσωπον ἐστήρισεν τοῦ πορεύεσθαι εἰς Ἰερουσαλήμ, 52 καὶ ἀπέστειλεν ἀγγέλους πρὸ προσώπου αὐτοῦ. καὶ πορευθέντες εἰσῆλθον εἰς κώμην Σαμαριτῶν, ὡς ἑτοιμάσαι αὐτῷ· 53 καὶ οὐκ ἐδέξαντο αὐτόν, ὅτι τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ἦν πορευόμενον εἰς Ἰερουσαλήμ. 54 ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάννης εἶπαν· Κύριε, θέλεις εἴπωμεν πῦρ καταβῆναι ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ ἀναλῶσαι αὐτούς; 55 στραφεὶς δὲ ἐπετίμησεν αὐτοῖς. 56 καὶ ἐπορεύθησαν εἰς ἑτέραν κώμην.
I'm not sure how best to map SIOP objectives onto what I'm doing here. I think I actually have two content objectives:
  1. Understand what the passage says and answer basic questions about it.
    My goal is to do as much of this as possible in Greek, interactively, breaking it down and eliciting active responses from students. I can really use more ideas for how to do this well.
  2. Discuss the meaning of this passage in context, and ways to apply it to our own lives.
    Obviously, that gets beyond the scope of B-Greek, but it's at the heart of why people are interested in the Sunday School class.
This is only the third week that I've tried asking questions about the text in Greek interactively, and I haven't been teaching that systematically, so I think the language objective should be:
  • Students should learn to understand and respond to questions formulated using forms of τίς, τί / τίνα
Feel free to suggest better objectives for this week. But please do assume that we will use this particular text, that's a given.
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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: Help me teach this class

Post by Jonathan Robie » July 29th, 2015, 3:50 pm

Here's the first part of this week's text:
49 Ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ Ἰωάννης εἶπεν· Ἐπιστάτα, εἴδομέν τινα ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου ἐκβάλλοντα δαιμόνια, καὶ ἐκωλύομεν αὐτὸν ὅτι οὐκ ἀκολουθεῖ μεθ’ ἡμῶν. 50 εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς· Μὴ κωλύετε, ὃς γὰρ οὐκ ἔστιν καθ’ ὑμῶν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐστιν.
I want to walk through this in Greek as much as possible, but it's also important that people actually understand the text. I want to keep it interactive, and to have students respond.

I hand the class a printed copy of the Greek text so we aren't all looking at different Bibles. The first thing I plan to do is walk through each phrase, breaking it down. For each part, I will say the Greek text, the class will repeat it, I'll ask what it means, someone will often know, if not I will supply the meaning, then we'll repeat it in Greek. People are at different points in their understanding of grammar, I clarify any forms that the more advanced people do not recognize, and supply a simple English translation that less advanced people can use without worrying about the grammar.

For the word Ἐπιστάτα, it might look like this:
  • Me: Ἐπιστάτα
  • Class: Ἐπιστάτα
  • Me: Ἐπιστάτα - what does it mean? (someone supplies the answer)
  • Me: Ἐπιστάτα - Master (it's vocative, "oh Master ...") - Ἐπιστάτα
  • Class: Ἐπιστάτα
I build up bigger phrases from smaller phrases. I find it useful to start with the entire phrase, then break it down into pieces and build it back up:
  • Ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ Ἰωάννης εἶπεν
  • Ἰωάννης
  • ὁ Ἰωάννης
  • εἶπεν
  • Ἰωάννης εἶπεν
  • ἀποκρίνεσθαι
  • Ἀποκριθεὶς
  • Ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ Ἰωάννης
  • Ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ Ἰωάννης εἶπεν
I would normally work on Ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ Ἰωάννης εἶπεν· Ἐπιστάτα ... and εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς together to be more efficient. Obviously, this builds up to entire sentences.

Once I've built up a phrase, clause, or sentence, I can ask questions about it:
  • τίς ἀποκρίνεται / τίς ἀπεκρίνατο;
  • πρὸς τίνα εἶπεν Ἰωάννης;
Currently, I'm only asking for 1-2 word answers, which most people seem to be able to supply. One of the students is able to think of the answer but usually not to vocalize it yet. I'm not really doing a lot of other things besides what I've mentioned. I have no experience with TPR / TPRS / WAMK / Shadowing, etc., but I'm happy to learn how to do things better using new techniques. Please be specific with suggestions, though, and tell me how to use them for the goals of a given class.

Here's one concern though: I only have so much time to prepare these classes, so I want to be able to do that efficiently. And I want to make sure that the focus of the class is on the content, not on trying out every possible language teaching device, but I do want to try different things that are likely to improve people's grasp of the Greek.

Given that, what do you suggest that I try?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Help me teach this class

Post by Jonathan Robie » July 29th, 2015, 3:56 pm

For the language objectives, I'm likely to do a few searches on treebanks to identify examples that might be useful to teach Greek constructs. Here are the results of some searches on various forms of τίς.
tis.pdf
(58.7 KiB) Downloaded 71 times
What's the best way to leverage these examples to teach τίς, τί / τίνα, the language objective for this lesson?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

mwpalmer
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Re: Help me teach this class

Post by mwpalmer » July 29th, 2015, 5:23 pm

Your class sounds like a lot of fun. I would enjoy a class like that.

Here are a couple of comments regarding implementation of SIOP principles in this context:

1. Write out the questions you want to ask about the text in advance, and place a printed copy in a location that all can see easily. Large print helps. As you ask each question, point to it on the printout. Providing both oral and visual cues is important for retention.

2. While I see the reason for your language objective (asking and answering questions with τίς, τί), it is unlikely that you will achieve both your language objective and your content objectives in this one class because they are not directly related. Ideally, you would want the language objective to focus directly on something in the text you're are reading. If you want to teach asking and answering questions, you would ideally use a text that had several questions of the type you want them to learn in it, and ask lots of that same type of question about that text.

Since your text is determined by your desire to read through Luke 9, and you need for the students to learn to ask and answer questions with τίς, τί, you pretty much have to do both this Sunday. Just realized that this is not optimal, and retention will be slower than it might otherwise be. You could, of course, take advantage of the one question that does appear in the text:
κύριε, θέλεις εἴπωμεν πῦρ καταβῆναι ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ ἀναλῶσαι αὐτούς;
This is not the kind of question that you want them to learn, though. Questions with τίς, τί request information, not a simple yes/no. If you want to take advantage of this question in the text, you could ask the following yes/no questions about it:

Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάννης θέλουσιν εἰπεῖν πῦρ καταβῆναι ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ;
ὁ Ἰησοῦς θέλει εἰπεῖν πῦρ καταβῆναι ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ;

For the sake of your beginner, you could preface these questions with "Answer ναί or οὔ." (In Greek, stated to the whole group, that would be Ἀποκρίθητε ναί ἢ οὔ.)

I look forward to hearing how it goes on Sunday.

If you want, we can consider further the issue of tying language objectives to content objectives to increase retention.
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Micheal W. Palmer

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Help me teach this class

Post by Jonathan Robie » July 29th, 2015, 6:59 pm

mwpalmer wrote:1. Write out the questions you want to ask about the text in advance, and place a printed copy in a location that all can see easily. Large print helps. As you ask each question, point to it on the printout. Providing both oral and visual cues is important for retention.
Cool - I like that.
mwpalmer wrote:2. While I see the reason for your language objective (asking and answering questions with τίς, τί), it is unlikely that you will achieve both your language objective and your content objectives in this one class because they are not directly related. Ideally, you would want the language objective to focus directly on something in the text you're are reading. If you want to teach asking and answering questions, you would ideally use a text that had several questions of the type you want them to learn in it, and ask lots of that same type of question about that text.

Since your text is determined by your desire to read through Luke 9, and you need for the students to learn to ask and answer questions with τίς, τί, you pretty much have to do both this Sunday. Just realized that this is not optimal, and retention will be slower than it might otherwise be.
Yeah, I think I'll have to accept that tradeoff. On the plus side, asking and answering questions in this form is something we will practice in every class.
mwpalmer wrote:If you want to take advantage of this question in the text, you could ask the following yes/no questions about it:

Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάννης θέλουσιν εἰπεῖν πῦρ καταβῆναι ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ;
ὁ Ἰησοῦς θέλει εἰπεῖν πῦρ καταβῆναι ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ;

For the sake of your beginner, you could preface these questions with "Answer ναί or οὔ." (In Greek, stated to the whole group, that would be Ἀποκρίθητε ναί ἢ οὔ.)
Yes, that kind of question is useful ... but not quite what I need in order to be able to teach the basics here.
mwpalmer wrote:If you want, we can consider further the issue of tying language objectives to content objectives to increase retention.
Absolutely. I'm listening.
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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: Help me teach this class

Post by Jonathan Robie » July 29th, 2015, 9:13 pm

I've been thinking about integrating content goals with language goals, and if I want to teach people to handle questions like τίς εἶπεν; / πρὸς τίνα εἶπεν Ἰωάννης; then I suspect this is the place to start:
εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς
Especially with the beginner, I could focus on nominative (τίς εἶπεν; ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν / ὁ Ἰωάννης εἶπεν / αὐτός εἶπεν) versus accusative (πρὸς τίνα εἶπεν; πρὸς Ἰωάννην / πρὸς Ἰησοῦν / πρὸς αὐτὸν), where the nominative answers the question τίς and the accusative answers the question τίνα.

And that integrates with the first part of the text:
Luke 9:49-56 wrote:49 Ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ Ἰωάννης εἶπεν· Ἐπιστάτα, εἴδομέν τινα ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου ἐκβάλλοντα δαιμόνια, καὶ ἐκωλύομεν αὐτὸν ὅτι οὐκ ἀκολουθεῖ μεθ’ ἡμῶν. 50 εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς· Μὴ κωλύετε, ὃς γὰρ οὐκ ἔστιν καθ’ ὑμῶν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐστιν.
Would that help?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

mwpalmer
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Re: Help me teach this class

Post by mwpalmer » July 30th, 2015, 4:35 pm

That sounds like a very worthwhile place to start. I suspect that your students are native English speakers (Correct me if I'm wrong), so they don't decline names in their native language, so beginning to understand the contrast between nominative and accusative usages will be challenging for the beginner, but attainable. If the more advanced students are not used to speaking Greek, it will also be challenging for them.

I would suggest writing out the nominative and accusative singular forms of each name you think you may receive as an answer and placing the printout in clear view of everyone. Rather than labeling which form is nominative and which is accusative, simply point to the nominative case forms when you start asking questions that expect a nominative answer. Point to the accusative case forms when you ask a question expecting an accusative answer. After a few minutes of successful answers, start mixing the questions (some expecting a nominative answer, some an accusative), and quit pointing.

A basic principle to keep in mind as you construct exercises for your class is that in language acquisition success breads success and failure breads failure. You need to provide scaffolding (such as pointing to the printed answer choices in this particular case) to help students succeed at the task you set for them.
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Micheal W. Palmer

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Help me teach this class

Post by Jonathan Robie » July 30th, 2015, 4:51 pm

mwpalmer wrote:That sounds like a very worthwhile place to start. I suspect that your students are native English speakers (Correct me if I'm wrong), so they don't decline names in their native language, so beginning to understand the contrast between nominative and accusative usages will be challenging for the beginner, but attainable. If the more advanced students are not used to speaking Greek, it will also be challenging for them.
Right, we're all Americans. Everyone has at least been exposed to the concept of nominative and accusative in studying either Greek or Latin, but nobody is used to doing this orally.
mwpalmer wrote:I would suggest writing out the nominative and accusative singular forms of each name you think you may receive as an answer and placing the printout in clear view of everyone. Rather than labeling which form is nominative and which is accusative, simply point to the nominative case forms when you start asking questions that expect a nominative answer. Point to the accusative case forms when you ask a question expecting an accusative answer. After a few minutes of successful answers, start mixing the questions (some expecting a nominative answer, some an accusative), and quit pointing.
That sounds very useful.
mwpalmer wrote:A basic principle to keep in mind as you construct exercises for your class is that in language acquisition success breads success and failure breads failure. You need to provide scaffolding (such as pointing to the printed answer choices in this particular case) to help students succeed at the task you set for them.
That makes a lot of sense.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Paul-Nitz
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Re: Help me teach this class

Post by Paul-Nitz » July 31st, 2015, 4:17 pm

Jonathan,

You’re getting expert advice from Palmer, but I’ll throw in a couple ideas.

I wonder if you should split things along an in-class and out-of-class division. In-class, you would largely do what you have done. You talk through the Greek together and then discuss application. But a discrete segment (probably beginning) of your class would be to “play” with some of the Greek in the text and give the students ideas how they might, as autodidacts, internalize the Greek better.

The Greek you want them to learn and they want to learn out of this text is something you would have to determine. But if, let’s say, the target structure is internalizing the Nom & Acc functions and forms, you could take all the clearly transitive verbs here and do a 10 min exercise. I would act out a scenario using 3-4 verbs (hinder, answer, say, receive, etc.). The students would be actively doing the hindering, answering, saying… Then you simply ask questions about what happened. Who hindered whom? If any student hesitates, give them an “either/or” follow up question. I don’t think Palmer’s point about “success breeds success” can be overemphasized. So, for example, if I ask “τίς ἐκωλυε τοῦτον τὸν μαθητην;” and if there’s some hesitation, then I follow up immediately with “τίς ἐκωλύε τοῦτον τὸν μαθητήν; Μᾶρκος ἤ Ευοδία;”

I guess what makes me think in terms of splitting up your objectives is the text. If a certain number of verses is an immovable part of your lesson, I think that really limits what you can do in the way of communicative teaching of the Greek language. But it does seem feasible to use a few minutes of your lesson to spark some interest and give some idea of how the students might learn more communicatively on their own, outside of the class. Just a few thoughts.
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Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi

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