cwconrad wrote:But, alas, I’m told that it too is not helpful, not useful to anyone who has not already mastered the whole gamut of extant verb forms. I don’t believe memorization of paradigms is much help in learning to read Greek -- I’ve seen too many students who could recite the paradigms but couldn’t read Greek. Knowing the paradigms as paradigms is of little value; what ultimately is important is discerning the exact meaning of verb forms when they are encountered in a text or in oral discourse.
Barry Hofstetter wrote:cwconrad wrote:But, alas, I’m told that it too is not helpful, not useful to anyone who has not already mastered the whole gamut of extant verb forms. I don’t believe memorization of paradigms is much help in learning to read Greek -- I’ve seen too many students who could recite the paradigms but couldn’t read Greek. Knowing the paradigms as paradigms is of little value; what ultimately is important is discerning the exact meaning of verb forms when they are encountered in a text or in oral discourse.
Yes and no (go not to the Elves for wisdom...). If we could have total immersion courses such as Randall Buth advocates, using teaching strategies similar to modern language instruction, this would be good. But when you are limited to 3 hours or so a week, paradigm memorization is, in my opinion, a must. I tell my beginning students that, based on the restrictions we have, there are two "pillars" for learning the language -- memorization of vocabulary and paradigms, and practice. The former teaches you the basic structure of the language, the latter how to use it. I have deliberate strategies in play which encourage the students (sometimes forces them) to integrate their paradigms into their practice. It can be tough going at times, but its worth it when a student begins to have automatic recognition of forms and what they mean.
IF knowing the paradigms enables a student to discern immediately what sense a given verb form (let's say, ἀπεκρίθην) indicates, then it works. But (a) I've had students who could parse ἀπεκρίθην as 1 sg. indic. aor. pass. and still had no idea what the form means, and (b) I've had students who could grasp at once the sense of a simple clause like ὁ δὲ Παῦλος ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῷ ... without being able to analyze the verb form. You speak of two "pillars" but you name three items: memorized vocabulary, memorized paradigms, and practice. But "practice" doing what? Reciting vocabulary lists and reciting paradigms? I think that the primary confrontation of student with a language is understanding a spoken or written text, and I think that vocabulary and paradigm drills in and of themselves will not enable the student to understand spoken or written texts. The analytical tools that are the foundation of traditional pedagogy in ancient Greek (and Latin too) do not themselves enable students to understand texts. What they do is enable students to analyze texts which they have somehow already understood the meaning of. Those analytical tools -- parsing and recognition of vocabulary items -- may serve to decode the words of a written or spoken text, but the meaning of the word-sequence must be grasped intuitively as greater than the sum of its parts. That is why, I'm convinced, the formulation of a woodenly-literal English version of a Greek sentence so often remains largely unintelligible to the student or to others listening to or reading the student's "translation." The "practice" that is a sine qua non is reading or listening to chunks of text, particularly texts that repeatedly use the same constructions; it is assimilating words in their native sequence as they communicate a cumulative sequence of meaning that culminates in a complete intelligible thought -- a περίοδος.
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
I couldn't agree more, and we have all known students who could parse up a storm and not see the relationship of that parsing to reality. I should have been more clear, the two pillars are memorization (subdivided into vocab and paradigms) and practice. By practice, I mean lots of reading and composition, and now (more recently for me in my own pedagogy) spoken practice too.
(Book 05 19:15) Τὸν Ἰησοῦν γινώσκω
(Book 04 10:27) τὰ πρόβατα τὰ ἐμὰ τῆς φωνῆς μου ἀκούουσιν, κἀγὼ γινώσκω αὐτά
(Book 23 02:05) ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκομεν ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ ἐσμεν
(Book 07 13:09) ἐκ μέρους γὰρ γινώσκομεν καὶ ἐκ μέρους προφητεύομεν
(Book 23 02:03) Καὶ ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκομεν ὅτι ἐγνώκαμεν αὐτόν
(Book 04 01:48) λέγει αὐτῷ Ναθαναήλ Πόθεν με γινώσκεις;
(Book 04 03:10) Σὺ εἶ ὁ διδάσκαλος τοῦ Ἰσραὴλ καὶ ταῦτα οὐ γινώσκεις;
(Book 04 21:17) σὺ γινώσκεις ὅτι φιλῶ σε.
(Book 01 24:32) γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγὺς τὸ θέρος
(Book 01 24:33) γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγύς ἐστιν ἐπὶ θύραις
(Book 04 10:15) καθὼς γινώσκει με ὁ πατὴρ κἀγὼ γινώσκω τὸν πατέρα
(Book 23 03:20) ὅτι μείζων ἐστὶν ὁ θεὸς τῆς καρδίας ἡμῶν καὶ γινώσκει πάντα
(Book 23 04:07) καὶ πᾶς ὁ ἀγαπῶν ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ γεγέννηται καὶ γινώσκει τὸν θεόν.
(Book 04 10:14) καὶ γινώσκω τὰ ἐμὰ καὶ γινώσκουσί με τὰ ἐμά
(Book 14 02:05) οὐ μνημονεύετε ὅτι ἔτι ὢν πρὸς ὑμᾶς ταῦτα ἔλεγον ὑμῖν;
(Book 07 13:11) ὅτε ἤμην νήπιος, ἐλάλουν ὡς νήπιος
(Book 05 16:13) καὶ καθίσαντες ἐλαλοῦμεν ταῖς συνελθούσαις γυναιξίν
(Book 24 01:05) οὐχ ὡς ἐντολὴν καινὴν γράφων σοι ἀλλὰ ἣν εἴχομεν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς ,
(Book 04 21:18) ἐζώννυες σεαυτὸν καὶ περιεπάτεις ὅπου ἤθελες
(Book 04 05:46) εἰ γὰρ ἐπιστεύετε Μωϋσεῖ, ἐπιστεύετε ἂν ἐμοί
(Book 04 08:39) εἰ τέκνα τοῦ Ἀβραάμ ἐστε, τὰ ἔργα τοῦ Ἀβραὰμ ἐποιεῖτε
(Book 04 09:41) εἰ τυφλοὶ ἦτε, οὐκ ἂν εἴχετε ἁμαρτίαν
(Book 03 07:39) ἐγίνωσκεν ἂν τίς καὶ ποταπὴ ἡ γυνὴ ἥτις ἅπτεται αὐτοῦ
(Book 04 02:25) αὐτὸς γὰρ ἐγίνωσκεν τί ἦν ἐν τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ
(Book 03 18:34) καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκον τὰ λεγόμενα
(Book 01 22:03) καὶ οὐκ ἤθελον ἐλθεῖν
(Book 01 12:23) καὶ ἐξίσταντο πάντες οἱ ὄχλοι καὶ ἔλεγον Μήτι οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ υἱὸς Δαυίδ ;
If we could have total immersion courses such as Randall Buth advocates, using teaching strategies similar to modern language instruction, this would be good. But when you are limited to 3 hours or so a week, paradigm memorization is, in my opinion, a must.
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