Help me teach this class

Paul-Nitz
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Location: Lilongwe, Malawi

Re: Help me teach this class

Post by Paul-Nitz » August 31st, 2015, 2:50 am

Jonathan,

You were over prepared and had plenty of time. Well done! My two biggest weaknesses, you avoided. I tend to be underprepared and have "too much WHAT for the WHEN," as the Dialogue Education (TM) people say.

I would think having separate objectives would be difficult. You might consider a take home handout that would give advanced students something to chew on and address the advanced objective for them.

Don't assume that advanced students will be bored or disinterested in practicing a lower level objective.

Two TPRS guidelines come to mind. The TPRS people preach 'teach to the eyes' and 'teach to the barometer student.' Regarding the former, they mean, look in the eyes as you teach/speak the target language. You will be creating more genuine communication by doing so.

Aside from eye-contact producing better communication, you will be seeing comprehension or lack thereof. In this way, you will discover your "barometer student." This is the student who is having the most trouble. TPRS gurus would say "Teach to the barometer student." Teach at his level and all will be getting comprehensible input.

Will the others be bored and not advance? Not likely. The people at Latin Best Practices, Blaine Ray's book, and my own experience (as both teacher & student) has convinced me that advanced students benefit greatly from lower level exercises. In one case (I think, quoted in Ray's book???), half of a class of Year 3 Spanish students were put together with Year 1 students. The class was not modified, but taught at Year 1 level. The other half of Year 3 were taught at Year 3 level. At the end of the year, those Year 3 students who were taught together with Year 1 students had made better progress.

If anyone can remember reading that anecdote about a mixed Year 1 and Year 3 Spanish class, please let me know. I can't find it in Ray

As an aside, Jordash Kiffiak was a key teacher at the first BLC workshop I attended. He was a great example of using eye contact. He could communicate to a circle of thirty people and make each feel that he was talking directly to them. He would speak a bit of Greek and rush around the circle, making intense eye-contact, head nodding, engaging everyone. It was masterful! Acting skills play a role in the art of teaching of any kind, but especially when using the "Comprehension Based Approach" communicating a language (or "Communicative Approach," or, whatever we call it). It's true what Blaine Ray says that you don't have to be Steve Martin to use the TPRS method, but in general we teachers do not err on the side of being too animated or too dramatic.
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Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi

M.M.Carter
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Joined: September 19th, 2015, 11:03 am

Re: Help me teach this class

Post by M.M.Carter » September 21st, 2015, 10:59 pm

Paul-Nitz wrote:Jonathan,

Will the others be bored and not advance? Not likely. The people at Latin Best Practices, Blaine Ray's book, and my own experience (as both teacher & student) has convinced me that advanced students benefit greatly from lower level exercises. In one case (I think, quoted in Ray's book???), half of a class of Year 3 Spanish students were put together with Year 1 students. The class was not modified, but taught at Year 1 level. The other half of Year 3 were taught at Year 3 level. At the end of the year, those Year 3 students who were taught together with Year 1 students had made better progress.
.
As a Greek 5 student who is tutoring in the Greek 1 class, I can say that I am making more progress concerning some of the fundamental stuff (i.e. grammar, declensions, definite articles, and parts of speech) than I made in my previous 2 years of Greek. The progress doesn't come from a lack of teaching previously, but from my lack of confidence in learning what it was my first year. Now, as a more advanced and confident student, concepts that I have previously struggled to learn continue to become more and more clear the longer I am continuing to "relearn" it.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Help me teach this class

Post by Jonathan Robie » September 27th, 2015, 2:40 pm

M.M.Carter wrote:
Paul-Nitz wrote:Jonathan,

Will the others be bored and not advance? Not likely. The people at Latin Best Practices, Blaine Ray's book, and my own experience (as both teacher & student) has convinced me that advanced students benefit greatly from lower level exercises. In one case (I think, quoted in Ray's book???), half of a class of Year 3 Spanish students were put together with Year 1 students. The class was not modified, but taught at Year 1 level. The other half of Year 3 were taught at Year 3 level. At the end of the year, those Year 3 students who were taught together with Year 1 students had made better progress.
.
As a Greek 5 student who is tutoring in the Greek 1 class, I can say that I am making more progress concerning some of the fundamental stuff (i.e. grammar, declensions, definite articles, and parts of speech) than I made in my previous 2 years of Greek. The progress doesn't come from a lack of teaching previously, but from my lack of confidence in learning what it was my first year. Now, as a more advanced and confident student, concepts that I have previously struggled to learn continue to become more and more clear the longer I am continuing to "relearn" it.
Yeah. Teaching is always one of the best ways to learn.
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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 » September 27th, 2015, 3:04 pm

Here are the notes from today's class.
LukeSamaritan.pdf
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This time, the notes are more like an in-depth version of Grosvenor & Zerwick, but with a little less English. There's a reason for this ... last week, someone who had been attending previously came and was confused by the new approach we were taking, and was unprepared for the idea of asking and answering questions in Greek. In addition, I found that I had not prepared for someone dropping in out of the blue, and keeping context from one class to another when the approach was taking much longer to get through a passage was causing some problems.

I also felt that the grammar is somewhat complex, and needed careful explanation.

So this time we read a verse, went through the grammar notes, read it again and went on to the next, repeating that until we were done. I decided I needed a more focused content objective, so we looked in depth at the language used to describe the approach, sizing up, and response of each of the three characters:
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Even in the approach, only the Samaritan actually comes to the person lying in the road. When the Priest and the Levite size him up, they avoid him, going around on the other side ... but the Samaritan, who already came to him, is moved with compassion (viscerally moved?), and comes right up to him ...

For each verse, I had a set of numbered grammatical notes, here is an example for one verse.
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We weren't as purely in Greek this time, but we did spend quite a bit of time intensely involved with the Greek, the pace was more efficient, and nobody was lost. Next week, I want to bring back more questions in Greek and more commands. In the 45 minutes we have each week, it's a real balancing act. But this week had very rich discussion, and people were very enthusiastic, so bringing some of this content back was a good move.
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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 » October 3rd, 2015, 5:12 pm

Here's a question I would like to know how to ask. Suppose I have a sentence like this:
Ἐν δὲ τῷ πορεύεσθαι αὐτοὺς αὐτὸς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς κώμην τινά
I want to ask "who does αὐτοὺς refer to?", but ask it in Greek. Any thoughts on how to do that? For instance, could I say this?

τὸ αὐτοὺς - τίς ἐστιν;

Are there better ways to say it?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

cwconrad
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Re: Help me teach this class

Post by cwconrad » October 4th, 2015, 8:04 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:Here's a question I would like to know how to ask. Suppose I have a sentence like this:
Ἐν δὲ τῷ πορεύεσθαι αὐτοὺς αὐτὸς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς κώμην τινά
I want to ask "who does αὐτοὺς refer to?", but ask it in Greek. Any thoughts on how to do that? For instance, could I say this?

τὸ αὐτοὺς - τίς ἐστιν;

Are there better ways to say it?
Perhaps: τίνας ἀνθρώπους δεικνύει τὸ αὐτούς;
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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 » October 4th, 2015, 3:55 pm

Here's today's lesson, on Mary and Martha, Luke 10:38-42. I decided I liked the format I used last week, using a table with an outline so that I can identify the text they should look at by Greek digit and letter. This time I added back questions and some actions, in Greek, adding them as bullet points at the appropriate place to exercise or check understanding. We read each verse, then walked through the lesson for that verse, then read it again.

I kept questions very simple, just complex enough that you really had to be able to read the relevant sentence and understand the question, but no harder. People were able to answer these questions easily.

Here is the entire lesson:
Mary-Martha.pdf
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Here are the bullet points for a sample verse:
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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 » October 16th, 2015, 6:58 pm

Here are the notes from last week's class, Luke 11:1-4 (Luke's version of the Lord's Prayer).

Jonathan
Luke 11.1-4.pdf
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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 » October 25th, 2015, 8:36 am

Notes from this week's class: Keep asking, seeking, knocking (Luke 11:5-13).

Jonathan
Luke 11.5-13.pdf
(79.73 KiB) Downloaded 66 times
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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 » November 4th, 2015, 8:11 pm

I think we've reached the point that we have a fairly standard approach to teaching a passage now, an approach that seems to be working.

During the week, I send a copy of the text in Greek and English via email to whet their appetites. In the class, we spend 30 minutes working through the passage in Greek, asking and answering simple questions about the text in Greek, with some very minimal writing. We have spent a fair amount of time learning the skill of asking and answering questions together, but it's now a comfortable skill for most students.

In the class, students get a handout with the text at the top. Below the text is a table, with a row for every verse. Under that row, the verse is broken down into a numbered list with smaller, more readable chunks taken from the verse. Each chunk is followed by a series of observations that might be helpful for reading that chunk, together with questions. Each question is chosen so that (1) it is simple enough to answer fairly quickly, and (2) if you can answer the question, you probably have a pretty good idea what that chunk of text says. The questions is always related to text found somewhere close to the question, so they don't have to wander all over the page to find the answer.

First we read a text, then talk quickly through the bullet points. For each question, students circle the text that answers the question, and write an answer if they are comfortable doing so. Then they answer the question out loud. If the questions are well chosen, this seems to be a pretty good way to get them to work through the grammar of the text while thinking in Greek. After working our way through the text one verse at a time, we then read the entire passage out loud in Greek, then discuss and apply it - Sunday School style - in English.

Because all eyes need to be at the right place on the page during class, formatting the text is important, so it's easy to see where each verse is and easy to identify questions and observations. For example, here's the text we use to work through Luke 11:14:
screenshot.png
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This last Sunday, someone who is not attending the class asked for a handout to see if he could use this as a programmed text. We'll see how that goes ...
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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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