A response to Fran’s comments here.
I don’t think anything I have to say here is particularly new, from my perspective, in that I haven’t changed my views that much in the past couple of years. An old but still valid post on this topic is here.
I’m convinced pedagogically, and experientially, that an ancient languages class ought to major on comprehensible input and communicative methods even if the main orientation of study at a macro level is the reading and interpretation of texts. The not-as-traditional-as-presented Grammar/Translation methodology does not produce good readers of texts, except almost accidentally among those who do enough G/T to get a relatively large among of ‘exposure’ to comprehensible input.
It does produce students, among those who survive, capable of commenting on texts using grammatical jargon. This is not totally useless, but teach grammar and you produce grammarians.
Meta-language discussions (linguistics/grammar) I would want to (a) teach in the medium of the language itself, (b) teach in (English/other) separately to the language classroom.
I do think there’s a difference between seminary settings and college/university/other settings. That primarily has to do with time available to students for languages, and scope of their target texts. Seminary students primarily want to read a very limited corpus (e.g. the New Testament), which is understandable but problematic (from a language perspective), and they have more restricted time (a Greek course sitting precariously amidst myriad other commitments). Students in, say, a classics program (or parallel situation, but I’ll stick to rambling about Classics for now) ought to do a lot more language, a lot earlier, and shift their upper level courses into using the target language as medium of discussion.
What else would I want to say? I don’t think it’s true that most teachers of Greek at theological colleges have only one year of actual Greek study. Based on my analysis of staffing practices, Greek is almost always taught by New Testament lecturers with PhDs in New Testament. The problem there is not lack of Greek, but that how much Greek you need for a PhD in New Testament is surprisingly limited.
I don’t do enough communicative work in my own limited teaching, partly my own failings, partly due to the fact that I predominantly tutor students enrolled in other people’s programs who need to conform to those expectations not my own. I do think with a free hand, a radical overhaul is worth it.