Help me teach this class

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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Help me teach this class

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 16th, 2015, 9:06 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:Questioning and answering is one of the many skills needed for effective communication, and so is asking / demanding - both of which you are doing. Some students tend to gravitate towards one mode of communication or another. While you may be developing your skills in questioning at the moment, your students may benefit from descriptions of some sort at the same time.

Something like ἐπιλαβεῖν ἐκτεινίζειν τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ "extend his hand (away from the body)" ἁπλοῖν τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ "extend his hand (unclench his fists)" ἐπιβαλεῖν τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τῆς λαβῆς τοῦ ἀρότρου "place his hand upon the handle of the plough" κρατεῖ τὸ ἄροτρον "grasp the plow".

For turning the head (close up of the action) use στρέφειν, and for turning to give attention to something (a picture of the action that includes more in it) use ἐπιστρέφειν.
Currently, I'm working on just the vocabulary in the lesson itself. That may change, but not this week. I get the impression you like to teach related vocabulary in sets - that could be useful, I'm not there yet.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Louis L Sorenson
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Re: Help me teach this class

Post by Louis L Sorenson » August 16th, 2015, 2:46 pm

Jonathan,

Give us a class recap. How did it go? Where did you have to change your plan if you did change it. What took more time than you thought, what less time? What feedback did you get from your students?
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Help me teach this class

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 16th, 2015, 2:52 pm

Today's class went really, really well, thanks for all the help in putting it together!

Last time, I found that with so many questions it was hard keeping track of the paper, so this time I used numbered lists, and taught them to count in Greek as a side benefit (see attached). I'd point to an item on my sheet and identify it by number, then we'd act it out or ask a question and answer it. The written text really makes it easier for the beginners. This time, I printed out everything on a sheet and handed it to the class. I asked them not to write anything on the sheets until after the Greek portion of the class so that we wouldn't get all analytical, but it gives them something to review and write notes on. For each short section, we acted out the individual words and phrases as concretely and physically as possible, then sat down and asked and answered questions in Greek.

At the end, people asked good questions about the things I hadn't covered - especially the use of participles. We discussed that in English.

Next week is Sunday School kickoff, we need to do a 5 minute skit to show what we do to the entire church, so I'll be preparing for that, then we have a week off. I'll be doing some thinking about curriculum between now and then.
Attachments
Greek Sunday School 2015-08-15.pdf
(132.98 KiB) Downloaded 48 times
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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 » August 16th, 2015, 11:21 pm

A couple ideas come to mind:

The key concepts I'd play with are "putting your hand to..." and "looking back."

I'd find something to "put your hand to." Let's say a wheelchair (cart, hand truck, etc). A little TPR with putting your hand to the wheelchair would work. Then act out putting something inappropriate on the wheelchair to carry. Is this fitting for carrying x, y, z?

Then play with looking behind. "εις τα προς" or the alternatives suggested above are unfamiliar to me. I would simply act out βλεπε προς με. βλεπε εις τα οπισω. βλεπε προς θυραν. πορευθητι προς... εις...

Then combine the two asking them to move (put hand to) and look various directions at the same time.

επβλεπε το wheelchair βλεπων προς με...
Expand this action by changing the direction of the looking, of course, including εις οπισω.

You might include some play in which you command a person to put his hand to something, move, look behind, and intentionally put something in his way so that he crashes, spills a cup of water, or something like that. It would make a good connection later in your application section.
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Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi

cwconrad
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Re: Help me teach this class

Post by cwconrad » August 17th, 2015, 6:29 am

Paul-Nitz wrote:A couple ideas come to mind:

The key concepts I'd play with are "putting your hand to..." and "looking back."

I'd find something to "put your hand to." Let's say a wheelchair (cart, hand truck, etc). A little TPR with putting your hand to the wheelchair would work. Then act out putting something inappropriate on the wheelchair to carry. Is this fitting for carrying x, y, z?

Then play with looking behind. "εις τα προς" or the alternatives suggested above are unfamiliar to me. I would simply act out βλεπε προς με. βλεπε εις τα οπισω. βλεπε προς θυραν. πορευθητι προς... εις...

Then combine the two asking them to move (put hand to) and look various directions at the same time.

επβλεπε το wheelchair βλεπων προς με...
Expand this action by changing the direction of the looking, of course, including εις οπισω.

You might include some play in which you command a person to put his hand to something, move, look behind, and intentionally put something in his way so that he crashes, spills a cup of water, or something like that. It would make a good connection later in your application section.
I've not been involved in this lesson-planning game, but it's occurred to me that the phrasing here is distinctly drawn from a farming culture although the concepts and understanding of human behavior involved transcend that culture. Jesus' discourse regularly employs farming metaphors just as Paul's discourse regularly involves athletic metaphors of Greco-Roman life. It seems to me that ἐπιβαλὼν τὴν χεῖρα ἐπ᾿ ἄροτρον καὶ βλέπων εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω could be rephrased as a broader generalization: ὑποσχόμενός τι καὶ μεταμελόμενος — “undertaking a chore and having second thoughts about it.”

Or wouldn’t you want to carry the discussion beyond the agricultural setting to the content of Jesus’ declaration?
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Help me teach this class

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 17th, 2015, 8:07 am

Paul-Nitz wrote:The key concepts I'd play with are "putting your hand to..." and "looking back."

I'd find something to "put your hand to." Let's say a wheelchair (cart, hand truck, etc). A little TPR with putting your hand to the wheelchair would work. Then act out putting something inappropriate on the wheelchair to carry. Is this fitting for carrying x, y, z?
I agree that the combination of looking back while doing something else is a key concept that I should have brought out better.

A prop that size wouldn't work in this room, but perhaps I could simply pantomime that I'm a plow and stick out my hands as the handles. Show the picture: τὸ ἄροτρον! Stick out my hands and assume plow position: εἰμί τὸ ἄροτρον! Or use an "air plow" (like an air guitar, but ... a plow). Maybe I just need to find a more efficient way of procuring props, but I'm not there yet. Now if I had a real plow, that would be cool ... but it still wouldn't fit in the office we use.

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with props. If you can instantly produce the right prop, it's really great. But finding props can take a lot of time, sometimes miming something or using a picture is a lot faster.
Paul-Nitz wrote:Then play with looking behind. "εις τα προς" or the alternatives suggested above are unfamiliar to me. I would simply act out βλεπε προς με. βλεπε εις τα οπισω. βλεπε προς θυραν. πορευθητι προς... εις...
προς με is definitely more common, so is οπισω με. Perhaps using those as a crutch to build up to the less common forms?
  • βλεπω προς με / βλεπω οπισω με
  • βλεπε προς σε / βλεπε προς υμας / βλεπε οπισω σε / βλεπε οπισω υμας
  • βλέπω εἰς τὰ πόρρω / βλέπω εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω
  • βλέπε εἰς τὰ πόρρω / βλέπε εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω
Paul-Nitz wrote:Then combine the two asking them to move (put hand to) and look various directions at the same time.
Yes, especially using the participle and combining with a main verb. This is one thing that I should have taught and did not:

βλέπων εἰς τὰ πόρρω, πορεύθητι!
βλέπων εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω, πορεύθητι!
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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 » August 17th, 2015, 8:17 am

cwconrad wrote:I've not been involved in this lesson-planning game, but it's occurred to me that the phrasing here is distinctly drawn from a farming culture although the concepts and understanding of human behavior involved transcend that culture. Jesus' discourse regularly employs farming metaphors just as Paul's discourse regularly involves athletic metaphors of Greco-Roman life. It seems to me that ἐπιβαλὼν τὴν χεῖρα ἐπ᾿ ἄροτρον καὶ βλέπων εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω could be rephrased as a broader generalization: ὑποσχόμενός τι καὶ μεταμελόμενος — “undertaking a chore and having second thoughts about it.”

Or wouldn’t you want to carry the discussion beyond the agricultural setting to the content of Jesus’ declaration?
I would absolutely love to carry the discussion to the content of what he was saying. When we do that, we currently wind up switching to English. In a beginning class, could we bring in ὑποσχόμενός τι καὶ μεταμελόμενος, teaching and discussing those terms? If so, how?

I'm initially skeptical, I suspect that we need to stay very concrete and simple at first, and work our way up. But I'm very willing to be shown that I'm wrong.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Help me teach this class

Post by Stephen Hughes » August 17th, 2015, 11:29 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:Questioning and answering is one of the many skills needed for effective communication, and so is asking / demanding - both of which you are doing. Some students tend to gravitate towards one mode of communication or another. While you may be developing your skills in questioning at the moment, your students may benefit from descriptions of some sort at the same time.

Something like ἐπιλαβεῖν ἐκτεινίζειν τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ "extend his hand (away from the body)" ἁπλοῖν τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ "extend his hand (unclench his fists)" ἐπιβαλεῖν τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τῆς λαβῆς τοῦ ἀρότρου "place his hand upon the handle of the plough" κρατεῖ τὸ ἄροτρον "grasp the plow".

For turning the head (close up of the action) use στρέφειν, and for turning to give attention to something (a picture of the action that includes more in it) use ἐπιστρέφειν.
Currently, I'm working on just the vocabulary in the lesson itself. That may change, but not this week. I get the impression you like to teach related vocabulary in sets - that could be useful, I'm not there yet.
When you're done standing on the bottom, and you want to learn to swim by jumping up a little from the bottom, try changing the nouns to verbs and so on.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Help me teach this class

Post by Stephen Hughes » August 19th, 2015, 2:33 am

Now that I have found the name of the car, let me add something about the need to dare to be creative, and to embrace failure not as a negative, but as the natural (external) element of the two-way process (communication) that language is. Besides examples that we can copy, we need correction from outside as well as what we learn from within ourselves - either by massive internalisation of role models or direct correction from others (imposing themselves as models of good language).

The more flexibility and skill you can gain in using the language, the better.

I have had a handful students (<0.01%) over the years, with exceptional memories and a love of watching movies and listening to songs, whose English sounded like Bumblebee (Sam Witwiki's yellow Camaro in Transformers), as they string together pre-made phrases, rather than engage with the rules of grammar and syntax of the language analytically and productively. It is a way to language mastery, and as any path to fluency, it will have some drawbacks. I think that once phrase-equivalency as a path to Greek reaches it the limit of its effectiveness, pattern recognition skills will need to be worked on (either through abstract grammatical analysis and tables, or through drilling and substitution exercises) to be able to progress further than that method can take them.

No matter how, "sloppy" the class gets during fluency exercises (as opposed to accuracy exercises) so long as there is some communication or some intelligibility left in what is said, then it is going according to plan.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Help me teach this class

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 19th, 2015, 9:58 am

I think that all holds for both me and the students. They need outside correction from me, I need outside correction from y'all, and this thread is helpful for that. I think I've learned a lot in the first three classes that I've actively taught (since converting this class from a more traditional reading group). Flexibility and skill with oral Greek ... I'm certainly not a fluent speaker, I think I'm getting by fine as long as I have done enough preparation and stick more or less with the script, but I do not have the ability to go far off script and improvise like I could in English or German.

In this thread, I'm going to generally steer away from general principles of language instruction to very concrete application in this thread, how to teach specific texts, vocabulary, and grammar - we can discuss this at a more abstract level in other threads. I think the kinds of activities I'm using now get away from analysis or repeating canned phrases, they require active language processing - simple processing, because we're just starting. I'm not sure how far this will go. Language learners progress from simple answers in 1-2 words to answers in complete sentences and paragraphs, from concrete answers using the vocabulary presented in the text to more abstract answers analyzing patterns in their own words. Right now, most are answering concretely in 1-2 words, two can generally answer in complete sentences, nobody including me is really able to discuss the text at an adult level in Greek.

For now, my questions and activities are closely based on the vocabulary and grammar found in the passage itself, and we're emphasizing very basic grammar. I'm considering using a traditional text to identify a sequence of language objectives for the coming Fall - and of course using a completely different approach to teach those objectives. I'm also considering whether to continue working sequentially through a book, as we have been, or choosing passages more closely tailored to my language teaching goals - and choosing the exegetically richest texts that meet those objectives. I'm playing with concrete ideas to explore both paths and compare them.

I'm going to be learning new teaching techniques over time, trying one or two new things in a lesson, not more. I'm measuring the effectiveness of a lesson primarily by:
  • Is there good back-and-forth in Greek for a significant period of time?
  • Are people responding in ways that require active language processing?
  • By the end of the Greek portion, do people have a solid understanding of the Greek text we read? (That's the content objective.)
  • Did people master the language objective for the week?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

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