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Appendix - Questionnaire
The Columbus Academy offers Ancient Greek this fall (2001) for the first time. Seniors taking Latin V (they took Vergil AP last year but will not take another AP course) will be reading Latin authors for three days in a six-day week, and they will study Ancient Greek the other three days.
Number of students: 35
Christy Bening (the senior Latin teacher here) will teach the Latin part, and I will teach the Greek part of this course. These are seniors who have proven to be outstanding in both academic and extracurricular activities (one student is the student council leader, another is the speaker of the senior class). I intend to teach the course like a college course with speedy progress, as these students are already familiar with morphology and syntax due to their advanced Latin skills.
I believe that there is a need for a new Introduction to Greek book. I taught ancient Greek with the Athenaze textbook at the University level (at the University of Malawi in the southeastern part of Africa). The students were mostly in their middle twenties and were studying divinity. However, I believe that they would have enjoyed the course even more with a textbook that contained more information about culture and color pictures that would have allowed them to appreciate Greek art more fully. The Ecce Romani series could serve as a good model as regards the mixture of grammar, culture, and etymology. Its emphasis on learning a language by reading should also be adopted (the Athenaze textbook also follows this approach). I think that there could be a continuous story, albeit aiming at students that are somewhat more mature than Flavia, Cornelia, and the all naughty Sextus. I would like to help author such a book.
The National Latin Exam is a great motivating factor. I think that a National Greek Exam could achieve the same purpose.
1. Levels of Greek:
Greek I: 3 students this year; text by me: Greek to Me.
Greek II/III: 7 students this year. Texts with notes and vocabulary by me.
2. Ive taught Greek to high school students since 1966, at first with Crosby and Schaeffer text, then with my own materials. Ive taught during lunch periods, as independent study, any way anyone can suggest.
3. By now Im almost completely happy with the materials I have developed.
4. The National Greek Exam, which was developed by Prof. Ed Phinney and is now offered through U. of Michigan by Dr. Deb. Davies seems to me to be quite adequate. [Ed note: the NGE is offered through the American Classical League, Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056.]
See Appendix for Foreword to the Teacher and Table of Contents of Dr. Straters book.
At University School the fifth graders are required to take Greek for one term, three days per week, as part of their theme-based curriculum. Ive taught Greek at the college level, so I felt anxious and uncertain about teaching it to elementary school students. I decided not to teach it as an extension of their Social Studies or Art curriculum but rather to teach the language itself--real Classical Greek.
The results were better than I anticipated. The boys were great.
About materials: in all honesty--because I had no experience teaching Greek to elementary school children--I had no idea what I was doing. I had some idea of what should be learned, of course, but no idea of what would work with the kids or how they would respond to the lessons. When the fall term commenced I had simply made up my mind to teach as much as possible with gusto and to be flexible along the way. I used the following texts: Greek To Me by Henry A. Strater and Learn Ancient Greek by Peter Jones. The latter text has some inappropriate pictures for children, so the boys didnt actually see it. I found Greek To Me especially helpful for teaching the alphabet and transliteration. Basically the term went like this: alphabet and transliteration; first and second declension nouns; the to be verb; sentences using the nouns and to be verb; a handful of adjectives and a handful of transitive verbs; sentences using nouns, adjectives, transitive verbs and direct objects. I drilled parts of speech, subject / verb agreement, function of words (subject and direct object) noun / adjective agreement and Greek word order--its flexibility and elasticity--throughout the term. It was intensive, but the boys hung in there and many of them actually improved their comprehension of grammar and syntax by the end of the term. I had 52 boys (13 in four sections) and 39 of them received As on the last test. I was so impressed by the tenacity of the boys and all that they accomplished.
Greek I-II-III (which really equals 2 semesters of beginning Greek at college level)
The 3 sections meet at the same time! I have become tri-polar in personality. The enrollment is Grk I - 3 students, Grk II - 4 + 1 doing the work Ind. Study; Grk III- 3 students. Splitting the class would have meant dropping Greek from the curriculum, so I do my best with the 3 sections together.
Greek has been a class for the past five years. It started out at lunch time with 7 boys. I frequently have independent study students.
I currently use for I & II an unpublished text written by Dr. Henry Strater of University School, Hunting Valley, Ohio [see above]. I sometimes couple Grk I with Athenaze I. The Grk II reads Colsons Reader. Grk III reads JACT readers by Cambridge.
The difficulty with Athenaze is that all the verbs are present tense, which leaves the students short at Natl. Grk. Exam time. Otherwise I like it! The N. G. Exam last year was much better. There was a small syllabus, students were more successful. But I really like the NLE format with added culture/history questions. Greek is more than grammar & syntax. Its also history, culture, authors, etc.
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The school offers a very full Greek I course to those students who have completed Latin III or who have the permission of the chair. The Athenaze text is used, and students usually get to somewhere in the middle of Book II before the end of the year. The course is offered as long as there is at least one serious (as opposed to one who just wants to learn another alphabet) student interested. Since the students have a good background in Latin, the course proceeds through the grammar rather quickly. When the course flies, there usually are one to four students in it.
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I teach Greek outside of the curriculum with great success (7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.).
I currently offer 4 levels:
I currently have Classics majors reading advanced Greek at Harvard, Brown, Oberlin, Swarthmore, Penn, Kenyon, Wash. U., and Purdue, among others.
Reading Greek works nicely when properly supplemented with rigorous form memorization and verb synopses. Readings are challenging and not insipid like most others.
Right now I have 3 students (1 8th-grader, 2 sophomores) in what were calling Introductory Greek. We only met occasionally last year after school. This year we have three 45-minute periods in the school day. We are currently on Athenaze, Chapter 5b. The homework is minimal, and I only test kids when I feel they are ready. I expect to start the next batch of kids on Athenaze next year some time.
Greek at Episcopal Academy:
Non-traditional contexts - we offer independent study in Greek when there is demand, and we have Greek week as part of Latin 2, an introduction to the alphabet and etymology.
Many thanks for undertaking this survey.
Latin II/Greek I course: An intensive course that completes the Latin II syllabus in one year and Chapters 1-10 of Athenaze - Introduction to Greek. 44 students enrolled this year (a rather high number)
Greek II course: Continuation of Athenaze Book I. Start of Athenaze Book II (12 students enrolled)
610-326-1000, ext. 7256
Greek I, (Introduction with a few short readings) Text: Groton & Finn, A Basic Course for Reading Attic Greek
Greek II, Plato: Apology
Greek III, Homer: Iliad
Greek IV, Herodotus & one selected Greek tragedy
I: Finn/Groton, A Basic Course for Reading Attic Greek; 26 students
II: Platos Apology in various editions as available; 6 students
III: Homers Iliad - Benner; 3 students
IV: Selections from Herodotus - Barbour and Euripides Hecuba (various eds); 2/3 students
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I use A Reading Course in Homeric Greek from Loyola University Press, but I believe it is now out of print.
I am teaching Greek to a single student and am meeting with him during his free periods. He specifically asked to learn Greek; it is not part of the regular curriculum.
For a textbook I would like to see a better explanation of the thematic vowel in Greek, which is not covered properly in either Athenaze or JACT. I might be willing to author such a book, but since I am leaving the field of Classics completely, I seriously doubt I will have either the time or the incentive to do so.
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I would happily assist in the compilation and creation of more supplementary materials for Athenaze.
All Latin and Greek students will take respective National Exams this year. Regarding a possible change in the Greek exam, Id have to say Id change it a bit. Not sure how.
Thanks for all your work.
Im a middle school Latin teacher, who also teaches Foreign Language Survey, which this year is a 12-week course on the Trojan War. The survey course is part of the related arts rotation (art, music, health, technology, P.E., etc.), and for the most part, my principal just lets me teach what I want to.
I myself have a very limited Greek language backgroundjust enough to drag myself through an M.A. in graduate school, but I enjoy that background very much. Im probably much more of a Hellenist in the civilization department, and a Latinist in the language department. Ive had numerous classical civilization and literature courses, and I know that culture is the key to grabbing the interst of many younger students. They love to make the word connections.
I try to teach the Greek alphabet and some basic word etymology. Im not sure what level of text youre proposing, but I would find a VERY basic text quite useful. At least for myself, since none of my schools has a true Greek course, a text that could be used as a supplement to first year Latin would be great. I dont have time to teach any Greek grammar, but short lessons on word etymology would be super. Im working on an introduction to mythology and the Trojan War text for myself right now, but I really like the idea of more Greek.
Before school: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7:00 - 7:45. This is the second year I have done this. I have 10 students. We use Athenaze and are currently in Chapter 14 (as of 11/28/00).
I model the classes on my Latin classes, in which I use the Cambridge Latin Course. I stress culture and reading comprehension. Most of my students are in the 9th grade (although some are in 10-12), so they are reading Iliad and Odyssey in English and doing ancient history in History class. I spend a lot of time telling them stories from Herodotus.
My students are very comfortable readers of Greek but often become intimidated by the grammar. I would love to see a textbook w/ ancillary materials. I enjoy the Athenaze series and would love to see something like that catering to younger readers.
Let me know if I can help in any further way. Oh, about the NGE, I only had 6 students last year, all of whom took the exam. Of the six, four received ribbons.
I teach Latin to home educators, mostly their children and to students in a private day school. In the day school we begin Latin in grade one and continue through high school. In K-6 we emphasize vocab, forms, and sayings. In 7-up we begin formal Latin study with a textbook which emphasizes readings and grammar (not a current text but an old one that has been copied with permission). I have had some success with my students winning silver and gold medals in the National Latin Exam. I also teach Koine Greek, in which I emphasize the goal of reading the New Testament. This course has been taught to both day school as well as home educated students. I have not taught classical Greek because I have not found any texts that are very user friendly. The home school community will not use texts unless they are very user friendly. There is a great need for some classical Greek text that will enable students to read texts within a reasonable time, along with learning vocab and forms. I have found in Koine that at least 1000 words are needed to begin much proficiency. Of course Koine has so many helps today that there is no comparison in Classical Greek or Latin. Enough for now.
I teach the alphabet and simple recognition of words, without accent marks to my Greek and Latin Derivatives class and my Latin III class. The Derivatives class, which is largely Latinless, must match the Greek words to the bases they are learning. The Latin III class usually matches them to Latin vocabulary words. I also teach a four day, two hours a day, course called Greek in a Week to freshmen during our interim program. We start with the alphabet on Monday and work our way up to the Bible (John I) and Homers Iliad by Thursday. I steal from a number of sources for this such as Athenaze, Pharrs intro book for Homer, and some book whose name escapes me that teaches by using the book of John [Stephen W. Paine, Beginning Greek: A Functional Approach]. This is almost an accent free course. A little grammar is involved to tell nominative from accusative, but without a big todo. This class is a mix of scholars and the Latinless.
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Tel. 615-298-5514, ext. 255
|1.||YES||I teach a college-paced year of Classical Greek to seniors (occasional juniors), in which we cover both volumes of Athenaze. Enrollments have ranged from 2 to 6, averaging at 4. All of our students have at least two years of Latin, and most of those who study Greek do so after having four years of Latin; often some are concurrently enrolled in the AP Latin Vergil or Catullus-Horace class. Before moving to Athenaze five years ago, I used Reading Greek.|
|2.||YES||Before the Greek course was established in the curriculum in 1986, I taught Greek during lunch periods to very small numbers of students who were interested and asked for it.|
|3.||Im sure there are many scenarios in which a new book could be a desideratum. Im currently quite satisfied with the series available.|
A Greek text with introductory material that a Latin student could use to jump into some similar vocabulary/grammar/readings would really help. I would very much like to offer Greek at Montwood High School.
I am glad to hear from you, and, in fact, I am teaching what youre calling a non-traditional Greek program. Ive taught AP Latin for six years at Kinkaid and more recently Greek: in 1996, a student asked me if I would teach Creek as an independent study, and by 1997 there were twenty students who wanted to study Greek! Out of those twenty students who started in 1997, five have finshed the course and three are now in Greek 3.
Our Greek program is scheduled as an independent study because the high-achievers who take the course have full schedulesalso I have mixed classes. I have scheduled meetings at lunch, twice a week with Greek 1 (three students) and Greek 3 (three students). (The one Greek 2 student floats in and out.) To expedite, Ive posted on my web site the answers to the exercises in Ann Grotons textwhich works well for self-teaching. I explain the hard new material and go over any problems, but they often have to use the web site and their own resources.
Depending on the students, we can finish the book in a year and a half or two years. My one Greek 2 student who is doing only moderately well will need the whole second year, but my Greek 1 class is extraordinary and will probably go faster next year. My Greek 3 students have just finished the end of the Symposium, and now well turn to lyric poetry. In fact, Id like to use the CANE text and Im hoping the students can buy it directly from the 71 Sand Hill address.
Just a word about me: I got my Ph.D. from U C Santa Barbara in the late 80s, working on Pindar with David Young. But my books have been translations and poems, not scholarship.
With sincere regards,
Greek I: 18 students, Athenaze I.
Greek IIIII (combined): 2 students, Crosby, Schaeffer.
Greek IV: 2 students, Chase & Phillips for grammar review; Allen for readings.
The Greek alphabet is introduced in 7th grade Latin together with 1st, 2nd declensions in order to stimulate interest in Greek I for Grade 8.
I think introductory Greek programs could be combined with beginning Latin texts, drawing on the students knowledge of Latin forms & syntax.
*I gave two classes a Greek Week in January. They learned the alphabet and transliterated names and words from Greek. I devoted 15 minutes per class for eight class periods. These were students of the Vergil AP class and a class of Ovid (non-AP) made up of seniors.
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