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

Marybeth Valentine
Missisquoi Valley Union High School
100 Thunderbird Dr.
Swanton, VT 05488

  1. NO
  2. YES
  3. NO

The inclusion of a Greek unit in my Latin III class last year was the culmination of 1) a student-centered question and 2) a fortuitous discovery at a local book store of a copy of Teach Yourself New Testament Greek.

Last Spring, my Latin III students were reading excerpts from Pontius Pilate by Ann Wroe and discussing the similarities between the challenges faced by Roman governors of Tiberius’ day and those faced by British governors in India at the time of Ghandi, when a question came up. What was the language spoken as the common language of business throughout the Mediterranean world in the first century? My students were surprised to find that it wasn’t necessarily Latin, although that language was prevalent, but rather the common Greek that is considered New Testament Greek today. These students were always looking for a challenge. They asked if they could take a few weeks and learn some Greek.

The book that I used, Teach Yourself New Testament Greek: A Complete Course is by D. F. Hudson (copyright 1960) and is published by the NTC Publishing Group. It was first published in the UK in 1992 and then in the US in 1993 by NTC/Contemporary Publishing Company, 4255 West Touhy Ave, Lincolnwood (Chicago), Illinois 60646 (ISBN 0-8442-3789-2).

I found this text very user friendly, and I highly recommend it. Nearly thirty years has passed since I have studied elementary Greek, yet I found that much of it came back to me as I read through the chapters of this book.

Jeff Streed
Episcopal High School
1200 N. Quaker Lane
Alexandria, VA 22302

I have taught Greek here at Episcopal High School off and on for years and at Rugby School in England for a year on exchange, and used several books in the process ( Wilding, Thrasymachus, Chase and Philips, and most recently Athenaze). My only hurdle has been time (I teach five sections of Latin) but, last year for a semester and this year for the whole year, I decided to start up Greek again. I only have four students this fall and three of them will graduate in the spring, but I will press on with Greek 2 and Athenaze next year and hope to draw more students again in Greek 1. What we read outside the textbook in translation depends on the interests of those who sign on. This year the group seems most interested in drama and mythology so I will ask each of them to read different works and report to the group (I had thought of the Theogony, Prometheus Bound, and some Homeric hymns). Beyond that, I keep discussion close to the themes Athenaze introduces. It is a great book and my students really have taken to it—so much so that I am going to look at the Ecce Romani series now (I have been using Jenney after several years with the Cambridge and Oxford texts). Thanks for your notes and for your web site. It is very helpful to see what others are doing in their Greek classes.

Kevin Gushman
Yorktown High School
5201 N. 28th Street
Arlington, VA 22207

  1. NO
  2. YES
  3. blank ?
  4. blank ?

After the AP Exam, I try a month of Greek, but the kids are usually “done” by that time & it isn’t very successful; we also have so many pullouts during that time for Senior Picnic, Graduation Practice, etc., that the kids aren’t in class.

Jim Bigger
5800 Little Falls Road
Arlington, VA 22207

  1. NO
  2. YES I usually do a unit of Greek (2–4 weeks) following the AP Latin exam or sometimes in the fourth quarter of Latin
  3. NO
  4. YES But when would it be administered?

Christopher Riels
12900 Foxridge Lane NW #J
Blacksburg, VA 24060

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

I teach Greek as a non-credit independent study (to high school students who are in my school district but not at either of the schools where I teach) and as an optional project in my Latin course at a middle school. Both approaches are, of course, difficult to pursue, especially since I am an itinerant teacher. Finding times to meet is next to impossible.

I would prefer to use an existing textbook that presents grammar, with more or less classically-inspired readings as exercises, in a reasonably succinct manner. I find that students with an interest in Greek want to progress quickly through the elements of the language and begin reading a prose author. The teacher can supplement (as I do) the bare grammar with cultural information: general culture does not have to be a major part of the textbook itself, especially when time for learning the language is limited. What we need is the opportunity to meet regularly with students who wish to study Greek.

I believe that most students who pursue Greek study can attain a Level I proficiency quite expeditiously. I do not think a National Greek Exam below this level (i.e., about half of a traditional textbook) is necessary.

Thank you so much for undertaking this much-needed effort to promote Greek and to support those who try to teach it under difficult circumstances. I earnestly hope that we can accomplish much together.

Rollin David Larrick
Albemarle High School
Chalotteville, VA 22901

  1. YES Regular courses: 1 yr. of Classical Greek: Athenaze text Bk I; enrollment 2000/01: 18 students
  2. YES Greek in Latin classes: morphology, alphabet
  3. YES New book: reading approach (like Athenaze) but with assorted stories on myth, history, biography - I would assist with such a text. More word-building.
  4. YES

Vanessa Zeiner
Robinson Secondary School
5035 Sideburn Road
Fairfax, VA 22032

  1. Greek is not officially offered in the course selection, but I do a small 1–2 month unit post AP. This year I may expand the unit to cover more of the 4th quarter for my IIIs, who are really weak. Although the time is brief, we cover the alphabet, similarities to Latin, and simple passages from a Greek reader I have. I supply notes and vocabulary to help.
  2. blank
  3. I would love it if there were an Intro to Greek text. Besides the information above (alphabet, similarities to Latin, and simple passages (of no sequence, but random), the book should have simple, short readings (perhaps about Greek legend or mythology). There should be a basic outline of Greek history, geography, daily life, and work with derivatives or Greek roots (especially as evidenced in science and medicine). I would like to help author such a text.
  4. PERHAPS there is a need for a national Greek exam. I am not aware of the enrollment nationally. At the very least an Intro to Greek exam should be offered.

John McMahon
Wakefield Country Day
P.O. Box 739
Flint Hill, VA 22627

  1. YES
  2. blank Sort of
  3. blank
  4. blank Not for me

We offer Greek every year, and we usually have several students who sign up for it. In the past I have taught Greek I, II, and III, but never more than two levels per year. Sometimes only one student signs up for a particular level, in which case the class becomes a de facto independent study. We use the Athenaze series for levels I & II. The one time I taught III, we used a Homeric textbook (A Reading Course in Homeric Greek).

Deborah Kaestner
Benedictine High School
304 N. Sheppard Street
Richmond, VA 23221

I teach Latin at Benedictine High School, a small all-boys Catholic military school in Richmond Virginia. I introduced Greek this year, as an extracurricular, after school program. I have three students who come regularly. More are interested but cannot stay after school. They have requested that it be added as an elective (not going to happen any time soon). I am using Athenaze but find it confusing, and the amount of vocabulary is overwhelming for the boys. I am supplementing it with the old Allen & Bacon An Introduction to Greek. I think the inclusion of history, culture, and mythology is vital to any text. I would prefer shorter chapters, more “drills” on forms, etc., and less vocabulary introduced in each chapter.

I cannot envision my students being ready for any type of National Greek Exam for quite some time. They have so much other work and studying, that it would almost subtract from their enjoyment.

Janis Murphy
Kellam High School
2323 Holland Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

  1. NO
  2. YES Sometimes we have a very brief intro with Latin Club - a 30 min “lesson.”
    I sometimes have made arrangements for special students to get some Greek instruction.
  3. blank
  4. blank

Sarah Roach
Highland School
597 Broadview Avenue
Warrenton, VA 20186

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

Attic Greek I, Attic Greek II, Attic Greek III, Homeric Greek: 1–3 students in each. Crosby & Schaeffer, Intro. to Greek; Freeman & Lowe, A Greek Reader for Schools; Euripides, Medea; Plato, Apology.

I have been working on a supplement to the Crosby & Schaeffer text.

Jeanne Larsen
15014 Cordell Ave.
Woodbridge, VA 22193

  1. YES
  2. YES In my Latin II, I do a week of Greek in May - Alphabet, few words, numbers 1–10, etc.
  3. YES Would like an Intro to Greek text aimed at high school - with etymology, numbers, myths, stories from Greek history, Greek life/art; grammar presentation in Athenaze would be a good model. A little conversational Greek - students constantly ask for it.
  4. YES

Courses taught:

I teach in an independent Catholic 7–12 school. I also use NT Greek - NT verses, etc., and would like more sources of such material.

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Dave Spotts
Covenant School
5800 Rt. 60 E.
Barborsville, WV 25504

  1. NO But I teach koine; see below.
  2. NO
  3. YES
  4. YES The NGE is very difficult for secondary students.

Our school, and many others interested in classical Christian education, teaches Koine Greek. I have a two-year sequence, required of all seventh and eighth graders. Not finding a text for that age using Koine, I created a grammar-translation text, which emphasizes the logic of the languages, to accompany our students’ formal logic class.

I’d like to see a simple readings book for Koine Greek, or at least a book based on a fairly straightforward Attic author, featuring pretty helpful running vocabularies. Something similar to Groton & May’s 38 Latin Stories would be helpful.

For my purposes, lots of structural grammar but lots of readings would be most attractive.

Would I help? I don’t know. Time is very short for me. My publications business, Koine Publications, might be able to take some interest, if that would be helpful, yet only on a limited scale. I’d like to discuss it more though.

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