Teaching the Genitive

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Teaching the Genitive

Post by Jonathan Robie »

Philip Arend wrote: June 15th, 2021, 5:27 am It would be nice to see an intermediate Greek seminary textbook with these kinds of explanations of the use of the cases as this one from "Lucian's A True Story, An Intermediate Greek Reader"
Indeed. If I understand, the difference is that this starts from asking what ways a particular concept can be expressed in Greek, not by asking what different things a particular construct can mean. For instance, what are the ways that Greek expresses different aspects of a of time or space, not what are the things that a Genitive can mean. I imagine you could construct a set of topics by taking the existing text of various grammars and identifying the settings to which each construct pertains, flipping the organization.

This feels much more concrete and approachable. Also more easily integrated into, e.g., a Living Language lesson or a writing exercise.

This is analogous to Adventures with a Lion for prepositions.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/
Philip Arend
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Joined: October 14th, 2018, 1:15 am

Re: Teaching the Genitive

Post by Philip Arend »

Exactly so. I can still remember the "Lion" prepositions from beginning Greek 15 years ago. However, I also understand that grammatically oriented people may prefer an analytic approach. (When learning language in a "Creative Access Nation" I had friends from SIL who did not enjoy the "Graded Participator Approach" with its strong communicative methodology. They did better with grammatical analysis.) It would be nice to have both options in an intermediate textbook.
Philip Arend
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Joined: October 14th, 2018, 1:15 am

Re: Teaching the Genitive

Post by Philip Arend »

above should be "Growing Participator Approach."
Paul-Nitz
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Location: Sussex, Wisconsin

Re: Teaching the Genitive

Post by Paul-Nitz »

In my opinion, teachers should aim at
Teaching the basic meaning of the cases, without recourse to labels
  • Nom - subject
    Gen - source, separation
    Dat - advantage, location.
    Acc - object.
Labels and explicit grammar can then be profitably brought in to support and develop their mental representation of the cases.

Some things I did when teaching the cases:
  • I began with the cases with my African students because it was such a foreign concept.
    I taught it for many lessons without using the labels (Nom, Gen, Dat, Acc).
    I used gestures to support comprehension and highlight the distinctions (See an old video about this here https://youtu.be/8b5CJEbvp5k ).
    I found the Where Are Your Keys (whereareyourkeys.org) language learning game massively helpful in teaching the basic idea.
A success story:
After my students understood the cases, the could predict natural usage. E.g. I put it to the students, "What should go with the verb διακονεῖν, if we're referring to the person being served?"
Obviously Nominative doesn't work. What about Gen, Dat, Acc? (except I didn't use the labels, but the gestures representing the cases).
The students successfully and correctly felt that Dative was the natural complement ("object") to διακονεῖν.
Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi
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