Inventory of Classical Greek Teaching in the Schools


Read or share Classical Greek teaching materials, such as lesson plans, teaching tips, pedagogical strategies, exercises, work sheets, sample quizzes and exams, projects, reviews of books, videos, and computer programs of use to Greek teachers, at Greek Teachers' Corner.

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Appendix - Questionnaire

Mary McBride
Banting Memorial High School
203 Victoria Street E.
Box 3000,
Alliston, Ont. L9R 1W7

I teach at Banting Memorial High School. The school is a regular public high school, has almost 2000 students, and is located in a town of approximately 8000. The school offers a wide variety of credits including four years of Latin, three years of Spanish, five different French credits, and countless other optional courses. The only course in languages that is mandated by the Ontario government is Grade 9 French. The school serves all of the small towns in the area for about twenty miles around. We do have a Honda plant, but it is mostly a farming community, with quite a few parents who commute to Toronto to work. Toronto is at least an hour’s drive away.

I use Athenaze and can usually cover the first ten chapters in the first year. We are on a full credit semester system (not the best for language learning), so I teach for seventy-five minutes each day for half of the school year. Last year I had sixteen in the beginning course and five of those have opted to continue for a second year. (Many of last year’s beginning class were graduating students, just doing Greek for something interesting and different to study. There are always students who are really not good language students and find Greek very difficult indeed. They do not continue, nor should they.) As a result, this is a small advanced group, but all have good language ability. I have to teach them along with the new beginners in the same class. It is challenging to keep both groups busy. I have no idea which chapter I will reach with the second year group.

My goals are always to develop English vocabulary (so I prepare derivative exercises), to make the course as enjoyable as possible (so I incorporate many learning games and activities), to cover the cultural history thoroughly (so I include visual projects), and to increase the students’ understanding of the working of a difficult language while trying to reduce the burden of paradigms through lots of drill. We do lots of cultural field trips (the Art Gallery of Ontario to view mythological works of art next month, an archaeology practicum at University of Waterloo on Saturday) as well as contests (Certamen twice a year and Classics Conference which is the Ontario equivalent of a State Convention of the Junior Classical League). I believe Latin (and Greek) will be a great preparation for further studies in any field. Memory training is too neglected in our school system, but I’m an old teacher and still concentrate on that aspect of learning.

To sum up, I tell the students that I get to teach what I loved learning.

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Bill Wortman
Altamont School
Birmingham, AL

My name is Bill Wortman (M.A., Columbia University), and I teach at the Altamont School in Birmingham, Alabama (private/college prep). We offer six levels of Latin and two levels of Greek.

Answers to survey:

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Andrea Craig
La Jolla High School
750 Nautilus Street
La Jolla, CA 92037

  1. YES
  2. NO
  3. Blank
  4. YES

I am teaching one multi-level Ancient Greek class. I have 7 students, 3 of whom are returning students and 4 of whom are new to Greek. I generally teach them all together, as I found the 3 returning students had a very basic level of Greek. They had previously been instructed in a multi-level class and were given a lot of independent work, which proved to be a poor way for them to learn.

I am using Anne Groton’s From Alpha to Omega as my primary text. I also supplement this text with Charles Dunmore’s Studies in Etymology and other resources for cultural information. In general, I think that combining these texts has proven to give students a good basis for reading and enjoying Greek.

I am very interested in learning where there are other Greek teachers, especially in areas that are not on the East coast. I think that all Greek teachers would benefit from an internet meeting place. Perhaps the ACL or NCLG could host such a place.

Nicholas Sturch
The York School
9501 York Road
Monterey, CA 93940


  1. NO
  2. YES
  3. NO
  4. NO

I meet beginners twice in a seven-day cycle, at lunch time. Those continuing (second year) I meet three times a cycle, during a normal school period (by good fortune). At the moment there are four beginners and three continuing.

Thank you for your interest!

Abigail King
Kolbe Academy
1600 F. Street
Napa, CA 94559

  1. YES I teach Greek to 6th through 8th grade students at Kolbe Academy in Napa, CA. I have four students in Greek I, and five in Greek II; we use Chase and Phillips for both classes.
  2. NO
  3. YES
  4. YES I would definitely be interested in a national Greek test.

I am a very recent college graduate and have my degree in Greek. This is my first year of teaching. In my short experience, I’m finding that Greek is the most challenging subject that I’m teaching this year. I feel fortunate to be teaching at Kolbe, where there is a set hour for Greek instruction. In addition, Greek is taught at a younger age, 6th through 8th grade, and that has its own set of advantages and drawbacks. Using Chase and Phillips, I’ve found that, for students age 11–14, most of the Grammar rules need further explanation/elucidation. I like the fact that Chase and Phillips keeps the rules as simple as possible, but of course that brings up the need for further explanation! If there were a book that broke these rules up into smaller lessons with more exercises that reinforce these rules (like accents), that would help with our age group immensely!
Re, instruction: I teach two levels of Greek in one classroom period. Both levels are at different places in Chase and Phillips.

Charles Noland
348 Gloria Drive
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

  1. NO
  2. YES
  3. NO
  4. YES

Pedraic Emparan
Santa Margarita Catholic High School
22062 Antonio Parkway
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688

  1. YES
  2. YES
  3. YES Yes, I want to work on this!
  4. YES But get a National AP Exam in Ancient Greek and you would help us greatly.

1. Throughout all my Latin courses I teach in context of the Greek language and also with the backdrop of Ancient Greek Civilization.

I believe that a better textbook for the second year could be a revised edition of Chase and Phillips, A New Greek Reader (now out of print), and a revised edition of Chase and Phillips, A New Introduction to Greek - this one must have some tutorial exercises like the optional self-tutorial in Wheelock’s Latin. Also in the first year book more original readings from prose and poetry authors. Also a software package that could help with vocabulary, declensions, conjugations - much more user friendly (both Mac and PC) cheap and easy. The New Greek reader should have a fold out vocab list like Pharr’s Aeneid and in the same format with

Greek Text
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Greek New Vocab
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

and plates, pictures, and other cultural and archaeological data.

Please feel free to contact me: 949-716-5227

Kathleen Robinson
780 Calle Vallarta
San Clemente, CA 92673

  1. NO
  2. NO
  3. YES A mixture of elements, perhaps 1/2 year curriculum over 1 year or more, as teachers find possible
  4. YES

John Hawley
The Harker School
500 Saratoga Avenue
San Jose, CA 95129

  1. NO
  2. blank I don’t now but have in the past.
  3. YES
  4. YES

Something on the order of Ecce Romani that develops the grammar with engaging stories.

Etymologies will be important.

Culture would also help.

I know that Exeter uses an ancient 1890’s text - White’s I believe. I had a combination of British texts and Chase & Phillips but really wanted something else - I like Crosby & Schaeffer because of the comparisons to Latin grammar.

James Meyer
Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences
1714 21st Street
Santa Monica, CA 90409

  1. YES
  2. NO
  3. Probably
  4. Don’t know

Greek 1 28 students Athenaze I
Greek 2 20 students Athenaze I/II
Greek 3/3 Honors 13 students Athenaze II/selections of literature
Greek 5 1 student Homer, tutorial

My colleague, Lorraine Christensen, is putting together a reader of Greek selections for use with Athenaze II in Greek 3 and 4.

Note: When we have Greek 4, we finish Athenaze II, continue with selections of literature, and read Plato’s Apology (Rose edition).

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Dorothy S. Gibbs
1240 Devil’s Gulch Rd.
Estes Park CO 80517

I retired from Fairmont High School, Kettering, Ohio, in 1990, so I don’t have anything useful to report a propos of your CAMWS inquiry. But it did remind me how much I enjoyed good old Latin for Americans in the second year, when Publius and Furianus went to Greece to further their education. It gave me a chance to bring in lots of tidbits about Greece, including a definition of “liberal arts” à la Pericles, that always seemed to strike one of those “aha!” moments and one of those rare pregnant silences when you know the whole class is listening and maybe even thinking! And it gave me an excuse to introduce the Greek alphabet, which they always loved. I taught the upper and lowercase letters and had a handout with a list of Greek words for them to figure out: philosophia, psychologia, etc., with practice looking up Greek words in the Greek-English dictionary. Fun!

Good luck with your inventory.

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Sarah Torrence
Miss Porter’s School
60 Main Street
Farmington, CT 06032

  1. NO
  2. YES
  3. YES
  4. NO

Dear Professor Lawall,

Although we do list Homeric Greek 1 as a course in our Curriculum Guide at Miss Porter’s, it is not offered every year, and it operates as an independent study. Hopefully, next year we will have two students in Homeric Greek 2, but that may not be possible. Greek classes here are an extra course, both for the students and for the instructor, and they do not fulfill any of our graduation requirements.

Currently, we use Schoder & Horrigan’s Reading Course in Homeric Greek. Although I have found the approach and the pace to be quite successful, particularly for students who have a solid background in Latin, I think it could stand to be updated. I would also be interested in seeing a new Attic Greek textbook for high school level students. I have reviewed Ancient Greek Alive, which I found intriguing, and perhaps that fills that need. We don’t teach Attic Greek as MPS, so I haven’t used it in a class. I would be interested in helping to author such a book.

Thank you,
Sarah K. Torrence

James Pezzulo
Classical Magnet Program
Hartford Public High School
55 Forest Street
Hartford, CT 06105

  1. YES
  2. NO
  3. YES
  4. YES

For the last three years we have offered Greek I. We have had between 5 and 13 students enrolled per year. We use A Reading Course in Homeric Greek by Schoder and Horrigan.

Yes, I think we do need a new introduction to Greek text. The text we use now is fine except that we cannot cover all the grammar in one semester. Also there is a need for more topics of interest for high school students. We really need a scope and sequence suitable for the modern high school.

Robert Albis
Hotchkiss School
11 Interlaken Road
Lakeville, CT 06039

  1. YES
  2. NO
  3. YES
  4. NO

1st year Greek
6–10 students (occationally more) Books used in recent years (3 semesters):
  • JACT Greek Course
  • - Chase & Phillips
  • - Wilding, Greek for Beginners with Abbott & Mansfield, Primer of Greek Grammar
2nd year Greek 6–10 students Continuation of text book (4th semester):
  • Plato’s Apology, Bryn Mawr
  • Selections from Lysias, ed., Adams
3rd year Greek 3–6 students Varies from year to year; has included:
  • Benner, Selections from the Iliad
  • Barbour, Selections from Herodotus
  • Euripides’ Bacchae, ed., Dodds
  • Euripides’ Ion, ed., Owen

Occationally we have a 4th year student - s/he usually pursues an independent study.

We like the sequence of Chase & Phillips, but have been frustrated by paucity and difficulty of exercises (have written up supplementary exercises in past). We have been trying to find a balance between the structural approach of Chase & Phillips and the heavy-reading approach of JACT. We would not be interested in a text that was heavy on culture, since we try to get our students through the grammar and reading as quickly as possible.

Robert V. Albis
Chair, Classics Department, Hotchkiss School

Christoph Sweeney
Westover School
1237 Whittemore Street
Middlebury, CT 06762

  1. NO
  2. YES
  3. YES
  4. NO

Dear Professor Lawall:

Last year, I worked with a senior who had done the Latin AP the year before and who was eager to explore Greek. We worked on a tutorial basis, meeting twice a week after the regular class day. Over the years I have introduced some of my Latin classes to the Greek alphabet and to some basic Greek-English etymology, but this was the first time I had worked with a student specifically on Greek. I hope it was not the last.

We used Book I of Athenaze and enjoyed it, but yes, I wish we had had a book that took an approach that did not assume a traditional context of instruction—something that conveyed the basic structure and the flavor of the language within a more concise scope.

Thanks, by the way, for the recent additions to the CANE series of Short Greek and Latin Texts for Students. I’m especially looking forward to using the edition of Perpetua this year.

Christopher Sweeny

David Harvey
World Language
New Canaan High School
11 Farm Road
New Canaan, CT 06840


  1. NO
  2. NO
  3. Not sure
  4. YES

We used to offer Greek 1 and 2, but it went unfunded when our Latin program began to grow.

Sheila Houlihan
Newington High School
605 Willard Avenue
Newington, CT 06111

  1. NO
  2. YES
  3. YES possibly... although Athenaze works very well for me - more grammar exercises. “Stories” and “Culture” are circled.
  4. YES

Lawrence Gladwin
Head of Classics Dept.
Hopkins School
986 Forest Road
New Haven, CT 06515

  1. YES Greek I, Greek II: enrollment varies and is usually small (6 and up); Crosby & Schaeffer for both
  2. YES When enrollment for Greek I or Greek II is insufficient to run it as a course, we teach it as an Independent Study.
  3. NO
  4. YES

David Harpin
Hopkins School
986 Forest Road
New Haven, CT 06515

  1. NO
  2. YES
  3. blank I still use Crosby & Schaeffer - Would have a good balance of grammar & stories.
  4. YES

I teach an independent-study Greek I class of 2 students (11th graders). We are using Crosby & Schaeffer’s New Intro. to Greek. We meet twice a week for 40 min. We cover roughly one lesson per session.

I would prefer a book which, in addition to presenting strong grammar lessons, also had a story line from one lesson to the next, much as Ecce Romani does in Latin.

Crosby & Schaeffer is good for very motivated students, as I have; but it may be dry for the less motivated.

Melissa Moss
The Williams School
182 Mohegan Avenue
New London, CT 06320

  1. YES
  2. YES
  3. YES
  4. YES But less emphasis on culture etc., and more on grammar and vocab. The NLE is getting to be more of a Classical Civilization Exam than a Latin exam. I would like a new Intro to Greek text to lay out things like rules for accents and formation of contract verbs and an explanation of Greek particles more formally. Something between Athenaze and the older Greek college texts would be good.

Excerpts from course descriptions:

Classical Languages III (Grade 10)

Classical Languages IV (Grade 11)

Nina Barclay
Foreign Language
Norwich Free Academy
305 Broadway
Norwich, CT 06360

  1. YES Greek 1 - 6; Greek 2 - 3; Greek 3 - 1
  2. YES Once a week project - 4-6 kids
  3. YES
  4. YES

Tad Chase
Pomfret School
Pomfret, CT 06258

  1. NO
  2. YES “Independent Study” circled
  3. blank
  4. blank

There are two students in this independent study course. We meet three times a week. We use Athenaze as our text, covering the first eight chapters so far with an emphasis on translation. I’m hoping to have these two talented twins take the National Exam if they advance fast enough. Thanks for your efforts.

George E. Unruh
2 Currycross Court
Suffield, CT 06078


  1. YES
  2. YES
  3. YES
  4. YES

Dear Professor Lawall;

Many thanks for sending me your letter on teaching Greek.

My teaching of Latin and Greek is somewhat out of the ordinary. It began at a Catholic parish synod 5 years ago. I was sitting in the parish hall while the discussions were going on, and began to talk about the papal encyclicals “Rerum Novarum” and “Quadrigesimo Anno” with the woman sitting behind me. She was, and is, Mrs. Robert (Rosemary) Freeman. That led to a discussion group on those encyclicals, and then to a Latin class which included the woman’s 10 year old son and four children of a friend, an older boy, two high school girls, and a boy of 10 years.

It was a “home school.” We used Latin, Our Living Heritage by Breslove, Hooper, and Barrett, the Charles E. Merrill Publishing Company. We finished the book in a year and a half. I consider it a very good and complete text. I was told by a teacher in the Suffield High School that no teacher in the school had ever finished the book. I met with the students once a week for an hour. At the end of that year, all the students dropped out except Gordon Freeman, who is an exceptionally good student. He is an accomplished violinist and a member of the Springfield, Mass., Junior Symphony Orchestra. In the first National Latin Exam he took, he got a summa cum laude. During that first summer he picked up a Greek grammar and was intrigued by it. He began studying Greek in the fall, beginning with New Testament Greek. One day he handed me his good translation of St. Paul’s letter to Philemon. We finished the Greek course in a semester, and then began classical Greek, using Alston Hurd Chase and Henry Phillips, Jr., A New Introduction to Greek, and later Stephen W. Payne’s Beginning Greek. Then we acquired Xenophon’s Anabasis with notes, and Athenaze by Maurice Balme and Gilbert Lawall.

Concomitantly with the study of Greek, we continued in Latin, reading Caesar’s Gallic Wars and subsequently Cicero’s Orations against Catiline, and his De senectute.

The next year we took up Vergil’s Aeneid, completing the first hook, and the following fall, Horace’s Ars poetica, which we are presently reading.

In addition to Gordon, I have two new students of Latin: a girl 11 years old, who has been with me for about 30 lessons, once a week, and a boy of 10 years who is just now beginning. With the girl, although I began with the high school Latin I, I am now using Latin is Fun and the new Oxford University Press, Book I. With the boy I am using the high school text at least for the present. I do not plan now to teach either of them Greek, as it has not been suggested to me.

Professor Martha Risser, head of the Classics Department at Trinity College in Hartford, Professor Jim Bradley, and the secretary, Catherine Mirakian, have given me valuable assistance in providing information on obtaining texts with notes. Professor Jim O'Hara at Wesleyan University has provided information and texts in Latin and English for Pliny’s letter on his villa, and helped me with Xenophon’s Life of King Agesilaus.

You ask whether there is a need for a new Introduction to Greek book. I think that the Oxford University Press books are designed to fill that need. They are very attractive. They tell the story of the life of Horace in an interesting way. There could also be other approaches.

I would like to help you author such a book.

You also ask whether there is a need for a National Greek Exam that would be the equivalent of the Introduction to Latin Exam offered by the National Latin Exam Committee.

My answer is “Yes.” That is an exam that is really introductory.

Thank you for your letter.

George E. Unruh

I began teaching Greek using A New Introduction to Greek, third edition, revised and enlarged, by Alston Hurd Chase, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, and Henry Phillips, Jr., Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire, Harvard University Press, 1997, and Beginning Greek by Stephen W. Paine, Oxford University Press, 1961. I then used Xenophon’s Anabasis, reading up to the battle between Cyrus and Artaxerxes. After that I used the two-volume set, with teacher’s volumes, by Maurice Balme and Gilbert Lawall, Athenaze. I found this most helpful. We are at present reading Plato’s dialogue, the Crito. As to lesson plans, my student and I simply read the passages, using the notes and vocabulary. I plan to put more emphasis on memorizing the text, not in its entirety, but the opening paragraphs, in order to get more familiar with the sound and grammar of the language. I teach from my home.

William Bingham
St. Margaret’s-McTernan School
565 Chase Parkway
Waterbury, CT 06708

I have taught Greek in
1983-84 9 students
1987-88 9 students
1992-93 7 students
1993-94 3 students
1994-95 4 students
1996-97 1 student

In other years, there has been interest, but my schedule did not allow it. I am working on the administration to get it on my schedule for next year (2001–2002).

Course description:
Classical Greek (1 credit)
“Future ages will wonder at us, as the present age wonders at us now.”
If, as Thucydides reports, Pericles spoke these words, he might not be surprised to see that they are still true more than 2,400 years later—such was his confidence in the accomplishments of Athens. Indeed, ancient Greece remains one of the cornerstones of Western civilization: the Greeks made significant and lasting contributions in architecture, philosophy, literature, mythology, rhetoric, and government. The class studies the language of ancient Greece as a means of learning about its culture. Students learn to read elementary Greek prose in readings based on original sources. As they acquire the vocabulary, they also become aware of the plethora of Greek roots and derivatives in English, especially in scientific and medical terminology. The readings are set in Athens during the Peloponnesian War and highlight many aspects of Greek thought and culture, from the Mycenean Age to the Hellenistic Age, to acquire a more comprehensive view of ancient Greece’s achievements, such as the ancient Olympic games, the Delphic oracle, and the nature of Greek drama. Students participate in the National Greek Exam in the spring.

Text: Reading Greek (Cambridge University Press), 1988

Joseph Brogna
Taft School
110 Woodbury Road
Watertown, CT 06795

  1. YES Upon demand - a private school
  2. NO
  3. blank
  4. blank

Ellen Hinmam
Taft School
110 Woodbury Road
Watertown, CT 06795

  1. NO
  2. YES
  3. YES
  4. NO

I have taught Greek as an independent study both to beginners and more advanced students. Depending on the motivation of the student, this can work out quite well. With a more advanced student, I read the first 2 books of the Odyssey in a very casual format. Beginning Greek is more difficult in an unstructured group.

I have not used Athenaze yet, but otherwise have not found a text which is simple enough, yet complete and worthwhile for these unstructured courses.

Grammar is key of course. There also needs to be a way to capture the student’s interest since he or she may not have Greek as a prioritized course. There needs to be a way to maintain simplicity and interest as the demands of other graded courses rise.

Gerry D. Kuenkler
Wethersfield High School
411 Wolcott Hill Road
Wethersfield, CT 06109

  1. NO
  2. YES One dull-weather day in March or an antsy day in June, I teach the Greek alphabet and then launch into derivatives from Greek into English. Jim McCann’s lesson in which students sound out and write their own names in Greek letters, too.
  3. NOT SURE A pamphlet adjunct to Ecce would be fun, though!
  4. No response

Andrew Schacht
Renbrook School
2865 Albany Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06117

  1. NO
  2. YES Independent Study. Some years: 3–4 weeks of intro. in my advanced Latin.
  3. NO
  4. NO

Greek is used sporadically to supplement Latin instruction, and can be taken as an independent study course.

Max Gabrielson
Wilton High School
395 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT 06897

I teach an independent study in beginning ancient Greek at Wilton High School, a Connecticut public high school. This is the first year, to my knowledge, that Greek has been offered at this school. Our text is Athenaze. The four students in the course meet twice weekly in 45-minute classes after school. We will complete Volume I of Athenaze this school year. All students are reguired to sit for the National Greek Exam. Students receive full credit for the course and are given letter grades each marking period.

Athenaze is an ideal text for our purposes. I have previously used Reading Greek, and believe that Athenaze is the best introductory text for H.S. students currently available.

Yes, there a need for a National Greek Exam that would be the equivalent of the Introduction to Latin Exam offered by the National Latin Exam Committee.

Thank you for undertaking this important survey.

John Higgins
The Gilbert School
Williams Avenue
Winsted, CT 06098

1. Does your school offer a regular course in Classical Greek?

    1. YES In 2000/01, The Gilbert School introduced a new program in Classical Greek. The Greek program at The Gilbert School, a public sector school serving the towns of Winsted and Hartland, began this school year as a result of our winning the Edward Phinney Fellowship from the Classical Association of New England for 2000/02. The Fellowship is meant to support the first two years of a new Greek program while it builds up. I was surprised to find that, at the end of last year, a total of 24 students had opted for Greek 1, with the result that we were able to split the first year class into two sections. After losing several students in the first week (one was frightened off by the alphabet, of all things), I ended up with 21 for the first quarter. Since then, two have dropped for academic reasons and now (May 2001) the number stands at 19. The student population in the Greek classes is very mixed. Most of them are upperclassmen, some with superior academic records, and some with a history of failure in foreign language classes. Four of the students are involved to one degree or another in the Special Education program. At the end of the year, the numbers for next year’s classes stand at 15 for Greek 2, and 14 for Greek 1.

    I use Athenaze. We reached Chapter 10b in the first year course in the first year of the program. Next year, I expect that the Greek 1 class will get further in the book, and the second year class will get through about half of Athenaze 2. I am not especially worried that the pace is too slow, since we have no special reason to cover a certain amount, as we have in dealing with the NLE, the SAT 2 and the AP in Latin. I have treated the class as a study of Ancient Greece as much as of Ancient Greek, and so we spent time on the Odyssey, Oedipus, the history of the ancient world, and so on. We use the World of Athens as an ancillary text, but it is rather advanced in its approach for the younger students on the high school level.

    2. YES I have taught Greek as a tutorial in the past in 1991–1993, to a single, talented student. Now that the program is a regular part of our curriculum, that will not be necessary again; I did teach four students this last year in an independent study, but it was not as satisfactory as having them in the regular class, and I will have to consider carefully before offering to do it again.
    3. ? A new textbook might be a good thing, although I am satisfied with Athenaze.
    4. YES A new National Greek Exam would be a help. The current test is not really suitable for the kind of classes I am teaching: they simply do not get far enough to handle the kind of approach that is suitable for college students and students from higher-power private schools. We did not touch any tense but the present in Greek 1 during its first year.

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