Technology doesn’t per ipsa make for better pedagogy

I don’t really like to spend my time criticising pedagogical approaches, but last week a sponsored post by Dr. Kinneer appeared over at

Now, I am all for digital tools, and I think what Dr. Kinneer goes on to describe (and there is a link to a sample lesson (, is a great step forward, but if you do watch the video, I think it tells you that this line in the article, “Multimedia resources allow for new and better ways to learn an ancient language.” is actually false. Because this is not a new way to learn an ancient language, nor in my opinion is it a better way. It is the same traditional approach embedded into multimedia presentation.

Is it an improvement? Probably. Does using bite-sized multimedia presentations and tools help? Undoubtedly (for some, though I have more and more concerns about how the connectedness of devices contributes to inability to concentrate on the presence of the present). But this isn’t pedagogical novelty, it’s the same very well-travelled train being re-gauged and put on a new track.

If we really want to improve the teaching of Greek there is only one thing for it – to engage in the very best practices in second language acquisition, learn from the research in SLA, and be prepared to change at a fundamental level the pedagogical approaches used, rather than carry on down a path that sees hours of blood and sweat poured out for very little reward.

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