Testimonials

On this page you will find testimonials from students as well as reviews of my products/books.

 

Testimonials

As an autodidact learning classical Greek, having Seumas tutor me from the beginning has been enormously helpful. My goal was to cover all of Mastronarde in 5 weeks and place into an intermediate Greek course, which I not only achieved but exceeded (placing into an advanced reading course) with Seumas’ help. In fact, he’s been so helpful that I figured if a university was going to place me into a directed reading course anyway, I may as well do it with him.
Seumas is everything one would want in a tutor —  he has deep subject expertise and is good at answering both high-level (“should I obsess over memorizing principal parts at this stage?”) and low level (“why is the 3rd s. pres. m/p subj. of χραομαι χρῆται not an alpha contract χρᾶται?) questions. Like any tutor, he has his pedagogical preferences, but he’s really flexible with respect to my goals and reading interests. And, he genuinely cares.
I truly cannot express how lucky I feel to be able to work 1:1 with Seumas. If you peruse the ancient language learning landscape on the Internet, and read some of Seumas’ blog posts and his interactions with other language instructors, you’ll quickly realize that he is one of the sharpest and deepest thinkers advocating a communicative approach. To borrow a phrase from Paul Graham, having Seumas as a Greek tutor “is like having the Rolling Stones play at your bar mitzvah.”

– Esther.

Like many undergraduate students of Koiné Greek trained within a theological context, I passed through a 5-semester sequence that begins with ‘introductory grammar’ and culminates in ‘exegesis.’ Like some, I undertook additional Greek independent studies. Over time, however, it became quite clear that the energies I had devoted to translation and analysis were not leading to an ability to read broadly or naturally. At best (with easy narrative texts within the New Testament) ‘reading’ was like what one scholar has called ‘very fast crossword puzzles.’ At worst (in unfamiliar Scriptural terrain and beyond) a lexicon-bound decoding activity. This all began to change when a friendly professor directed me towards Seumas’ blog. From the first time I met with Seumas, we were speaking in ancient Greek—or, more properly, Seumas was speaking and I was scrambling to understand. Over time, however, ‘Where Are Your Keys’ exercises gave way to weekly discussions of authentic Koiné texts—in Greek, of course.
Seumas has been, in every respect, a first-rate instructor. As those who know me well can attest, I have made more progress as a reader of ancient Greek over the past year with Seumas than I had through four years of grammar-translation. Such has been my progress that my father, a teacher of ancient Greek for some 30 years, has fundamentally rethought his own approach to teaching and reading the language.
I cannot recommend Seumas highly enough.

– Bryndon, biblical studies graduate and student.

Seumas is a fantastic tutor. He has in depth knowledge of the subject and is able to communicate complex and difficult concepts clearly and thoroughly. He is also friendly, patient and easy to work with. Thanks to him, my confidence and marks in the subject have improved tremendously. Can’t recommend him highly enough.

– Miles, high school student studying Greek and Latin

I studied Greek for several years in seminary, but when I began trying to read the Greek fathers, I soon discovered that I had never really learned to read the language. I memorized forms, analyzed syntax, and diagrammed sentences, but actually reading Greek texts was still slow and painful. With his communicative teaching approach, Seumas has introduced me to Greek as a real, living language. I still have a lot to learn, but I now enjoy reading and comprehending Greek texts, without having to constantly analyze and translate. Seumas himself is an ideal teacher: knowledgeable, patient, accommodating, and cheerful.

– Calvin, pastor and graduate student in theology

Seumas is an excellent tutor and teacher of Latin. He’s taught me for the last 18 months. Starting from nothing Seumas provided direction to helpful written, audio and online resources, even posting things to me. We systematically worked through Ørberg’s Lingua Latina covering the basics of the Latin language. He is patient and responsive to the pace I’m able to invest in Latin amid competing priorities. He nonetheless expects progress and provides accountability for completion of work. He knowledgeably answers questions and explains where more detail is needed. Upon completing Ørberg, Seumas directed me to more resources in keeping with my increasing Latin ability. He was flexible to try different options to work out what was best. He has been especially helpful in directing my learning to the particular ends required, the reading of sixteenth century scholarly works. Seumas provides ongoing flexible support both in person and across the world. Meetings are clearly structured and provide meaningful and timely feedback. Exercises are marked in detail giving clear correction and encouragement where applicable. Seumas is good humoured amid the whole process.

R. Earnshaw, PhD candidate

 

Seumas is a brilliant tutor. My son has flourished and excelled in the Classics, thanks to Seumas.

Seumas  is approachable and reliable, and very thorough and patient in explaining things to my son, often making complex concepts easy to grasp. Thanks,  Seumas for my son’s great results at school… I am delighted! I highly recommend Seumas to anyone wanting to excel in Latin or Classical Greek.

– Anonymous parent

 

Seumas Macdonald was highly recommended to me by the Head of Department in New Testament [at a local seminary]. He is a good teacher who will teach you patiently and with understanding of your difficulties. I did three and half years of NT Greek about twenty years ago, and had to start again from the Greek alphabet. Seumas motivates and systematically encourages learning. He makes you think, learn and progress at your ability.  Furthermore, when unforeseeable events occurs, like sickness, he has been accommodating, changing the schedule and pace of lessons accordingly. The opportunity to have lessons via Skype means I can tape and listen to it again and again for Greek pronunciation, further understanding, and revision in future. This has also saved me travelling time and the need of finding a quiet room to have the lesson. I thank the Lord with the provision of such a good Greek tutor.”

– N. Fung, Graduate Student

 

I’m thankful to have someone with as much experience as Seumas to help me with those tricky Biblical Greek questions, and to help put it into practice.”

Jacob R., Biblical Studies Student

 

Seumas tutored me in the summer of 2015 to help me prepare for my M.A. in Biblical Studies.  I had just finished my undergraduate degree in Classics, and wanted some help transitioning from Classical to Koine Greek.  Seumas helped me learn the distinct idioms and grammatical features of Koine Greek as we read selections from the New Testament, Septuagint, and Church Fathers.  He is a patient instructor, and very flexible with scheduling, especially considering we were in very different time zones!  I would highly recommend Seumas as a Greek tutor.

Jonathan H., Biblical Studies graduate student

 

 

One response

  1. Seamus is a very generous man who has helped me greatly with translation work! He has contributed to a recently published book in the ANCIENT BIBLE COMMENTARIES IN ENGLISH series, called THE GLOSSA ORDINARIA ON THE EPISTLES OF ST. JOHN.