Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Grammar-Translation Or Communicative-Based Greek Pedagogy

Seumas Macdonald chimes in on pedagogy and the biblical languages. His post is titled "Semi-Regular Rant on Greek Language Pedagogy." You can read it here. I'm not sold on the "Living-Language" approach (LLA) to teaching Greek, but I still listen to the arguments in favor of said approach, especially when they are written out as Seumas does in his post. He and I definitely agree on his final point: "We do ourselves and our students a disservice by perpetuating Grammar-Translation." He goes on to say this:
"The overwhelming consensus in Second Language Acquisition theory and applied linguistics is that G-T is a poor method, and it produces sub-standard results. It’s not best-practice, and we’re kidding ourselves if we think that it is. Continuing to teach generations of students Greek, Latin, insert-other-ancient-language-here via Grammar-Translation, when collectively we know better, is a dishonesty, and the cognitive dissonance should cause us mental discomfort. Demand something better from yourself and for your students."
I did an interview with Daniel Streett back in 2013. Daniel, who teaches at Houston Baptist University, is a proponent of LLA.  It's an insightful interview if you ask me. You can check it out here. Daniel and I have more in common than just teaching Greek. Both of us are working on second doctorates. Gluttons for punishment!

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