SBL 2018 – Popup Greek?

Once again this November, Jonathan Robie and I will present an update on the work we are doing to create free materials for teaching Hellenistic Greek as a living language.

Photo by Steven Gerner, Blue Bear at the Convention Center

I look forward to seeing many of you at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.  There will be plenty to do and a lot of great papers. Our presentation will take place at 1:00 pm. We have the first slot in the session, Innovative Approaches to Teaching Biblical Languages, joint session by Global Education & Research Technology and Academic Teaching & Biblical Studies.

Here is an abstract like the one that will appear in the program book:

Teachers increasingly recognize the importance of teaching biblical Greek using the same kind of effective techniques used to teach modern languages in schools and universities. These techniques focus on carefully designed learning activities that require the student to think in the target language in order to respond appropriately.

There are now several university level courses that take this approach to teaching Greek, but we believe that there is a real need for a course that (1) can be taught by anyone with a solid reading knowledge of Greek (using the teacher’s notes and recordings we provide), (2) concentrates on texts drawn from the New Testament, and (3) is freely available. For those who do not have access to a teacher, we believe that it is also important to be able to learn online.

The course we are developing works through New Testament texts using pictures, TPR, and asking and answering questions in Greek. Each lesson has (1) a content objective focused an authentic Greek text and (2) a language objective expressing the skill to be mastered.

Linguistic terms are taught after students have experienced the construct they describe. Before introducing a term like “1st person singular,” we expose students to the word ἐγώ and verb forms that correspond to it. Before introducing terms like “nominative, genitive, dative, accusative,” we teach how to ask and answer questions using the forms τίς, τίνος, τίνι, τίνα. Before introducing terms like “circumstantial participle,” we act out scenarios that illustrate the relationship between two verbs.

In keeping with the philosophy of this course, our presentation will focus on presenting sample teaching activities live rather than talking about them, followed by discussion of the specific content or language objective and why we teach it the way we do.

Join us for a lively discussion.

In the same session several other topics will be discussed, all related to teaching biblical languages.

While I’m writing about SBL, I might as well make one more plug for Mike Aubrey’s presentation that will take place at 9:00 am on the same day as these: Compounding and Cognitive Processes in Word Formation with ὑδροποτέω and its relatives: Was anyone ever a “water drinker”?  I had a bit to say about this earlier, and Mike has written about it Koine-Greek.com as well.

Καλά Χριστούγεννα 2015

I wish you all a peaceful and joyous Christmas.

Seeing the flow of traffic that comes in to this blog every year on Christmas Eve is a beautiful experience for me. I appreciate your visit, whether you come to learn about Greek or Greek Linguistics, or even if this is the only time you have ever come to the Greek Language and Linguistics Blog and you just wanted to learn how to say Merry Christmas in Greek (You can get that here).

Peace and joy to you all.

Nativity, by Jeff Weese, Creative Commons
Nativity, by Jeff Weese, Attribution 2.0 Generic Liscense


ἡ ἡμέρα τῶν εὐχαριστιῶν καὶ ἡ χριστούγεννα

Merry Christmas in Greek: καλὰ χριστούγεννα

ChristmasTree2015SmallNow that ἡ ἡμέρα τῶν εὐχαριστιῶν has come and gone, it’s time to say καλὰ χριστούγεννα (Merry Christmas).

To see how that phrase would have been pronounced soon after Christians began to celebrate Christmas and how it is pronounced today in Greece, see this earlier post.

May you all find joy and a renewal of hope for bright days ahead. καλὰ χριστούγεννα πᾶσιν ὑμῖν.

Teaching Ancient Greek in Ancient Greek (SBL 2015)

Almost a year ago Jonathan Robie and I did a presentation at SBL on the use of XML for structuring databases for the Greek text of the New Testament. Since that time we have been discussing the ways our work can support the creation of materials for teaching Ancient Greek using what has come to be called the Communicative Method.

We will be presenting again this year, but this time in a session dedicated to computer assisted language acquisition. Our talk will be on Sunday afternoon (11/22/2015) in Atlanta in session S22-206, Applied Linguistics for Biblical Languages; Global Education and Research Technology. The theme of that session will be Computer-Aided Language Acquisition for Greek and Hebrew

A part of what we will do is present a brief lesson snippet illustrating the method we recommend. In preparation for this I recently wrote a lesson using the Greek text of Matthew 2:12-13 based on methods that I regularly use for teaching both English and Spanish.

I have decided to post that lesson both here and on the b-Greek forum.

I would love to hear suggestions for improvement. As I receive suggestions either here or on b-Greek, I am making the necessary changes in the text below. Notations about these changes are entered in gray text.

THE LESSON PLAN:

Objective: Students will demonstrate comprehension of a short text with multiple participles responding orally and in writing to comprehension questions.

I. Build Background Knowledge/Access Prior Knowledge:

Use this section to prepare the students for reading Matthew 2:12-13.

A. Teach χρηματίζω

Preparation: Place a cardboard box labeled “ἐπικίνδυνος/dangerous/peligroso” in front of the students.  BoxSmallImage

Stand near the box.

  • If you only have one student, say:

Μὴ ἅψαι τοῦ κιβωτίου. Χρηματίζω σοι, μὴ ἅψασθαι ἐκείνου. Ἐπικίνδυνος ἐστίν.

For multiple students, say:

Μὴ ἅψασθε τοῦ κιβωτίου. Χρηματίζω αὐτοῖς, μὴ ἅψασθαι ἐκείνου. Ἐπικίνδυνος ἐστίν.

Thank you, Stephen Hughes and Carl Conrad, for suggesting significant improvements to the Greek statements above on the b-Greek forum.

  • As you say Χρηματίζω, extend your hands (palms forward) toward the audience as if to prevent anyone from approaching.
  • As you say σοι or αὐτοῖς, open your hands toward the student(s).
    • If necessary, repeat the phrase Χρηματίζω σοι or Χρηματίζω αὐτοῖς before proceeding.
  • For μὴ ἅψασθαι, shake your index finger back and forth and sign “touch” (http://www.lifeprint.com/asl101/pages-signs/t/touch.htm).
  • When you say ἐκείνου, point to the box.
  • As you say Ἐπικίνδυνος ἐστίν, move your finger from left to right under the word ἐπικίνδυνον on the box as if underlining it, but don’t touch the box.
    • Repeat this procedure if necessary.

B. Teach ἀναχωρῶ (ἀναχωρέω) and ἀνακάμπτω

Preparation: Before class, label two locations as ὁ οἴκος μου and ὁ οἴκος τοῦ θεοῦ with pictures.ὁ-οἴκός-μου

  • Standing next to the sign, ὁ οἴκος μου, gesture toward the other sign as you say, Ἔρχομαι εἰς τὸν οἴκον τοῦ θεοῦ. As you say this, start walking to the sign, ὁ οἴκος τοῦ θεοῦ. When you arrive, look back at the first sign a
    nd say, ἀναχωρῶ εἰς τὸν οἴκον μου. Walk back to the first sign.
  • ὁ οἴκος τοῦ θεοῦRepeat this sequence substituting ἀνακάμπτω for ἀναχωρῶ. Repeat the entire sequence (using ἀναχωρῶ and ἀνακάμπτω) as  necessary.
  • On the last repetition, say ἀναχωρῶ, ἀνακάμπτω εἰς τὸν οἴκον μου as you begin to return.
  • Summarize: Gesturing to indicate the direction of each trip, say, “πρώτον, ἔρχομαι.
    ὕστερον, ἀναχωρῶ.
    πρώτον, ἔρχομαι.
    ὕστερον, ἀνακάμπτω.
    ἀναχωρεῖν καὶ ἀνακάμπτειν ἴσα εἰσίν.”
    Repeat as needed.

C. Teach ἴσθι ἐκεῖ

Lead a student to the sign ὁ οἴκός μου. Step a few feet away from the student, point to the spot where the student is standing, and raising both palms toward the student, say, ἴσθι ἐκεῖ.  Walk away. If the student moves, lead him or her back to the sign and repeat.

Repeat as needed until the student realizes that you want him or her to stay. When the student successfully follows the direction, say καλόν (the adverb related to καλός).

D. Teach ἕως ἂν εἴπω σοι

Stephen Hughes made the following suggestion on the b-Greek forum regarding teaching this phrase:

This could be used for a game. Students could repeat an action till you tell them to stop. Useful vocab. might be; Κροῦε (Κρούετε) τὰς χεῖρας ἕως ἂν εἴπω σοι (ἡμῖν), Ἀνάσειε (Ἀνασείετε) τὴν χεῖρα ἕως ἂν εἴπω σοι (ἡμῖν). “Clap your hands”, “Wave your hand in the air”. μὴ παῦσον / παύσατε, οὔπω εἶπον. παῦσον κρούων / ἀνασείων (παύσατε κρούοντες / ἀνασείοντες).

ΙI. Reading: Matthew 2:12—13.

Many class members will have heard the story of the flight to Egypt in their native language. This context will help them comprehend the meaning of several words in their Greek context. Read the passage aloud slowly without translation.

A. Scaffolded Reading

  • Picking up a Greek New Testament, say: ἀναγινωσκῶμεν τὸν εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ Ματθέου.
  • Read Matthew 2:12—13 using the text and illustrations provided online (http://slides.com/mwpalmer/fleetoegypt), but without translation.
    [The last page of the online representation of the text contains a set of comprehension questions. Leave that page displayed throughout the remainder of the lesson, but don’t attempt to answer the questions yet. Just move on to the re-reading below.]

B. Re-reading

Read the text a second time as printed below without the online support. You can use your own Greek New Testament if you wish, just make sure to stop at the appropriate place (with the words ἕως ἂν εἴπω σοι).

As you read, point to places in the classroom where you illustrated relevant vocabulary. Repeat key phrases from the lesson as needed to prompt memory.

Matthew 2:12-13

Matt. 2:12 καὶ χρηματισθέντες κατ᾿ ὄναρ μὴ ἀνακάμψαι πρὸς Ἡρῴδην, δι᾿ ἄλλης ὁδοῦ ἀνεχώρησαν εἰς τὴν χώραν αὐτῶν.

13 Ἀναχωρησάντων δὲ αὐτῶν ἰδοὺ ἄγγελος κυρίου φαίνεται κατ᾿ ὄναρ τῷ Ἰωσὴφ λέγων· ἐγερθεὶς παράλαβε τὸ παιδίον καὶ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ καὶ φεῦγε εἰς Αἴγυπτον καὶ ἴσθι ἐκεῖ ἕως ἂν εἴπω σοι·

III. Identify Student Success (Formative Assessment of Comprehension).

After the re-reading, distribute the student page (see χαρτηρία τοῦ μαθητοῦ below). Use this as an informal assessment of how well your lesson has gone. Can the students answer the questions effectively?

A. Oral Assessment

Ask the following questions to eliciting oral responses. Possible answers are given here in parentheses.  The questions are displayed on the last page of the online presentation as well.  Keep that version displayed as you ask these questions.

    1. τίς ἐχρηματίσθη;
      (οἱ μάγοι, ὁ Ἰωσήφ, οἱ μάγοι καὶ ὁ Ἰωσήφ)
    2. πῶς ἐχρηματίσθη ὁ Ἰωσήφ;  (κατ᾽ ὄναρ)
    3. πῶς ἐχρηματίσθησαν οἱ μάγοι;  (κατ᾽ ὄναρ)
    4. τὶς πρῶτον ἐχρηματίσθη, ὁ Ἰωσήφ, ἤ οἰ μάγοι;
      (οἰ μάγοι)
    5. Ἀνεχώρησαν οἱ μάγοι πρὶν χρηματίσθηναι ὁ Ἰωσήφ ἢ ὕστερον;  (πρίν) [Note: The adverbs πρὶν and ὕστερον may be unfamiliar, but should be easy to illustrate.]
    6. τὶς ἀνήκαμψε / τίνες ἀνηκάμψαν εἰς τὴν χώραν αὐτοῦ / αὐτῶν;

B. Written Assessment

Distribute copies of the student page show below. Have the students write their answers on the student page. These are the same questions they just answered orally. You can either read them aloud a second time and ask for written responses or allow the students to work in pairs reading the questions to each other and negotiating answers.

___________________________________________________________________________

χάρτης τῶν μαθητῶν

Γράψον τὸ ὄνομά σου· ____________________

Ἀποκρίνου ἕκαστον ἐρώτημα

  1. τίς ἐχρηματίσθη;
  2. πῶς ἐχρηματίσθη ὁ Ἰωσήφ;
  3. πῶς ἐχρηματίσθησαν οἱ μάγοι;
  4. τὶς πρῶτον ἐχρηματίσθη;
  5. Ἀνεχώρησαν οἱ μάγοι εἰς τὴν χώραν αὐτῶν πρὶν χρηματίσθηναι ὁ Ἰωσήφ ἢ ὕστερον;
  6. τὶς ἀνήκαμψε / τίνες ἀνηκάμψαν εἰς τὴν χώραν αὐτοῦ / αὐτῶν;

I would like to offer sincere thanks to Stephen Hughes who took the time to read through this lesson on the b-Greek forum, catching several careless mistakes and offering significant advice for improvement.

Lesson 23 Vocabulary Flashcards

I have uploaded a flash card exercise for the vocabulary in Lesson 23: “Imperfect Middle and Passive. The card set includes review vocabulary from earlier lessons as well. when a review word is given, the earlier lesson or lessons in which it appeared are noted.

Another exercise for lesson two

I have not added this one to lesson two yet, but I’m considering it. It is not necessary to understand the text in order to complete the exercise. It’s only necessary to recognize the capital letters and know that the first word in a paragraph is capitalized even if it is not a proper name.

The text in this exercise is Luke 1:5-7. I selected that passage because it has a good concentration of proper names.

Lesson 27: Pronouns for Direct Conversation (ἐγὼ and σύ)

A few minutes ago I uploaded lesson 27 of my online grammar. There are a couple of reasons this particular lesson is a little unusual.

First, I have not yet uploaded lessons 24-26, so this one is coming out of sequence. I’m doing that simply because this one is much closer to completion than the others, and except for a couple of words that will be unfamiliar, it is quite understandable without having read the three preceding lessons. I have still not added the interactive practice exercises, but I’ll get to that as soon as I can.

Second, those of you who have been using the grammar will notice some clear formatting changes. These are due to the increasing need to make the grammar readable on a smartphone! It’s a bit amazing to me how many people use it that way, but it looks like that’s the wave of the future.

In fact, the entirety of Greek-Language.com is getting a major face-lift this summer, and it’s not just because of smartphones. The basic coding behind much of what’s on the web is quickly becoming obsolete. The net is moving full steam ahead to HTML5 and some serious upgrades to CSS. (If those acronyms are meaningless to you, don’t worry, they are to most people.) Since I wrote the code behind much of what is on the site without the help of any automated web page software, I have serious rewriting to do as HTML4 becomes obsolete. It’s a steep learning curve, but I really enjoy it.

If you notice any mistakes in lesson 27, or if any part of it seems unclear to you, don’t hesitate to point that out as comments below. Challenges from my readers make the grammar better for everyone.

Καλά Χριστούγεννα

Do you want to learn to say “Merry Christmas” in Greek? View this post from 2010 to hear the phrase and read a little explanation.

I wish all of you a beautiful and joyous Christmas.


A Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of Hellenistic Greek II

A couple of days ago I posted a note about the reprint of Robert Funk’s Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of Hellenistic Greek. At the time I was confident that most of you already knew that almost all of the content of that book is available online a no charge, so I didn’t mention it. Some of you may not know, though, so I’m including a link to the online materials below.

Funk’s Grammar Online

You can see my earlier post about the reprinted edition here:

Earlier Post