Jonathan Robie wrote:
After playing the flute most of my life, I finally learned how to practice the flute in my mid-30s. There are certain things you should do, and things you should pay attention to when you do them. You don't just play scales, you listen for particular things as you play them, working on your tone or articulation. (This is the amazing book that taught me how to practice the flute: http://www.amazon.com/Practice-Books-Flute-Omnibus-1-5/dp/0853609365/
What daily routines do you recommend for learning biblical Greek? What should you pay attention to when you do these things?
I'm sure this varies by experience level, so consider these cases:
- A beginner
- Someone refreshing their first year Greek after a while
- Someone who has just finished a first year Greek class
Also consider how much time someone has:
- 15 minutes / day
- 30 minutes / day
- 45 minutes / day
- 60 minutes / day
What kind of daily routine would you recommend? What kind of weekly routine? Can we put together a sample program that covers each of these cases?
For the student who has just finished a year of Greek (or anyone attempting to transition from 'beginner' to 'intermediate' for whatever those terms are worth) I recommend spending as much time in the text as possible. I think the best route is to put down the Reader's New Testament and pick up a text that doesn't come with glosses. Read through a section (maybe a paragraph if you only have 15-30 minutes and an entire chapter if you an hour) without assistance, even if you don't understand all of what you're reading. If you choose a book or passage that corresponds to your level of proficiency (maybe 1 John or John if you are a relative beginner, Mark or Matthew or even something from Paul if you are further along) you should be able to get a basic idea of what you are reading. Then, go back through it with BDAG and Wallace (or another reference grammar) close by. When you get to a word you don't understand, look it up and take notes. When you get to a clause or grammatical structure you don't understand, look it up and take notes. This is akin to what you described in your flute playing: you are not just practicing reading Greek, you are paying attention to what in the reading is tripping you up, and where you could be improving your skills.
It may be slow going at first, but after a while you will notice that you are looking things up less and less and reading with comprehension more. This way everything is rooted in the text, inductively, rather than simply isolated drills or flashcards, etc. If you switch it up on certain days of the week with review or further reading in something like Beyond the Basics
by Wallace, or Idioms
by Porter, you'll be in good shape.