Reflections on teaching Greek 102

Now that semester two is finally wrapped up across my diverse colleges, it seems an apt time to write some reflections on teaching Intro to Koine Greek 2.

At the start of semester I was met with a conundrum – zero of my students were face-to-face. It was to be all distance, all asynchronous. Hmm, what to do?

I’d also been talking to James Tauber, of course, about many things Greek, digital, and pedagogical. We’ve been talking for some time about how to sequence Greek pericopes by ‘least new vocab’, and also about reading environments. In my context, I was partly hamstrung by the need to provide video’d lectures tied to powerpoint slides, but through semester one I’d at least become accustomed to that.

So, I tried something new. I took our current sequence of pericopes, and I taught these texts one by one through the semester, ‘talking through’ each text. It was more grammar-driven than I’d like in other contexts, but I couldn’t see a way around that given the parameters. It was very interesting though.

We read almost entirely Johannine texts, ‘out of order’, even at times reading the back half of a chapter right before the front half. Early on the vocab is quite limited, and Johannine texts are wonderfully (pedagogically speaking) repetitive. They repeat not only key words, but phrases, and structures. Sure, we met things in the first week that textbook students wouldn’t see for months, but we were dealing with real Greek, and the number of exposures both to forms and to structures was very high. And as we went to each new text, the same elements would reappear again and again, just with a few new features, a few new words.

At the end of semester, we’d covered more Greek text than I think any comparable first year (New Testament Greek) course or textbook does. Our word count was high, but our vocabulary count was somewhat lower, though still covering a solid core. And I have no doubt that the repetition numbers were much, much higher.

I think this could be improved upon. And I think it could be made more CI-based, communicatively driven. If the first half of the course had gone better, or if students had a more active grasp of Greek, then a sequenced reading of texts could also be matched with discussion in Greek of those texts.

Online small group classes in Greek (and Latin) for 2019

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be offering small-group classes in Ancient Greek, online, in 2019.

This post is something in the way of ‘advance notice’ and to float some possibilities.

Starting? 

I plan to start with a 10-week term beginning the week of January 21st.

When?

Depending on demand, I will look at a couple of time slots, keyed either to the US evening, or to the Australian evening

What?

I plan to offer at least one class that focuses on Active Greek in tandem with the AVN (Italian) Athenaze. That is a class that will require some homework and additional activity on your behalf. It’s designed to get you going with Athenaze at a solid clip, and will both leverage off the English supplements for Athenaze that we’re working on, as well as individual support from me.

If it seems like there is interest, I will look at also (a) a ‘conversational Greek’ for those who have some Greek but are beginners in conversation, (b) a possible text-focused reading-type group.

If I receive some interest, I’ll offer a similar Active Latin class in tandem with Lingua Latina per se Illustrata. It will be similar to the Athenaze class in terms of intent.

Size? 

Class sizes will be small, with a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6. This ensures you are part of a lively, engaged communicative context.

Cost? 

It’s not set in stone, but I’m looking to price these at USD$150 for 10 sessions. The Athenaze class will price marginally higher, because I plan to build it with more support and resources than just the class hour itself (audio recordings, homework, email support).

Interested?

If you’d like to register some initial interest for these, feel free to send me an email:  thepatrologist@gmail.com

 

If the times/courses don’t work for you, but you can get at least 2 other people together, I’m very open to running some other bespoke course for you.

On neglecting, or choosing not to learn, new languages

I always marvel when scholar X talks about ‘picking up a new language’ like it’s nothing. Or even like it’s something. Perhaps I’m actually bad at languages. (I don’t believe that people are good or bad at languages, aka language aptitude).

For myself, I made a conscious decision to not continue investing in more languages. I’ve written previously about my experiences, learning (to one degree or another) some Japanese, Spanish, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Mongolian, and Scottish Gaelic, and superficial dabblings in French and German.

I’ve reached a point in life where I know that I do not have the time, either week by week, or long term, to truly learn French of German to a useful point. I have largely abandoned them. My Hebrew is… rusty. 3 years of grammar and exegesis at seminary were indeed useful, but the apex of my Hebrew ability is gone.

And yet, I do not mourn these, except insofar as I mourn the opportunity lost of many good things in this life. But my choice is not a passive one, it’s a very intentional and active one.

It’s the choice to pursue few languages deeper. I want to know Greek, Latin, and Gàidhlig really, really well. ‘Superior Speaker’ well. ‘Read any text with relative ease’ well. Converse with comfort well. And that takes a lot more focus, dedication, and narrowing, than ‘learning’ 15 languages would, or worse, 15 grammar + dictionary usage abilities.

I’ve been at these three a long time now. And not always efficiently. Well, not always optimally. The longer I’m in this game, the better I understand the game itself, getting better at learning languages, and learning these three better.

Reading in 3s

This was mentioned to me by a student recently in a small group class that I am kind-of mentoring, and I think it’s worth adapting and sharing. The original idea, or at least where the student got it from, is Daniel Wallace, here. It’s the idea that you should translate each chapter of the New Testament three times, and rotate chapters in and out of rotation.

Now, I don’t really think you should be translating, I think you should be reading passages at a level you can comprehend with just a little bit of help. But I do think this idea has a lot of merit. Here’s how I’m implementing it in my own readings: the rule of 3s (see also Where Are Your Keys technique: Three Times)

So, say I’m reading a text, like Ørberg’s Roma Aeterna (which I happen to be. Everyone raves about the first book, Familia Romana, and for good reason, but the second book might be even more well-thought out than the first, for different reasons). I decide that reading 3 pages of text is enough for each reading session (i.e. each day or so), and so I read like this:

Day 1: Pages 1, 2, 3.

Day 2: Pages 2, 3, 4

Day 3: Pages 3, 4, 5 etc..

This is a really helpful reading strategy for comprehension and for repetition. After you “get-going” in a text, 2/3 of your reading will be re-reading. So you get a chance to tackle that material two extra times before leaving it behind. It should be easier those times, right? So you’re getting repetition, and slightly spaced repetition, but you shouldn’t be getting bored or overwhelmed, because you’re moving forward.

Also, your new material for the day is contextualised. You don’t have to pick it up and wonder where you were and what was going on. You create your own lead-in to the new section of material.

You can do this on a page level, or multiple pages, or sections, or however your text is divided and however you want to carve it up. Just remember that you’re probably better underestimating your ability to get through text, than being gung-ho ambitious at the start. You can always scale your reading up, but if you start with overly high expectations you may end up giving up rather than scaling down.

This is one approach I’m trying for extensive reading with a few texts I’ve got “on the slow burner” at the moment. Try it out and let me know how it goes for you.

Software for ‘reading’ foreign language texts (2)

Okay, Let’s look at Learning with Texts, and how to get set up and going with it.

A lot of information in this post is totally derived from this post over at DIY Classics. I 100% tell you to go and read that post. My aim is to supplement that post by giving some more specific details and talking through some of the details of FLTR and how to use the two sites.

Your first port of call should be the LWT page, which is full of a lot of information, including what to do if you want to set up your own localised version, which involves running a server version of it. That’s not most of us, and so thankfully Benny of “Fluent in 3 Months” fame runs a free hosting service. So next stop is to go to his website:

http://www.fluentin3months.com/wp-login.php?action=register

and register a username and password, then use this to go to:

http://lwtfi3m.co/

and use it to log in.

For all the set-up details, follow the rest of that post as DIY Classics (though note point 5 below), here is the link again. But if you are feeling lazy and want to stay here, here’s a brief run-down:

  1. Click on my Languages
  2. Click on the Green plus sign or ‘New Language’ and add Latin/Greek
  3. For dictionary, you want to add:

Latin: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?la=la&l=###

Greek: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?la=gr&l=###

I would delete the Google Translate URI because it doesn’t exist for Ancient Greek, and isn’t good for Latin.

  1. For Character Substitutions: ´=’|`=’|’=’|’=’|…=…|..=‥|«=|»=
  2. Especially for Greek, you want:

RegExp Split Sentences:  .!?:;•

RegExp Word Characters: a-zA-ZÀ-ÖØ-öø-ȳͰ-Ͽἀ-ῼ

These two values make sure that LWT correctly works out (a) what starts and ends words, and (b) make sure it uses the Unicode set that includes polytonic Greek characters. Both are important in getting Greek to display and function properly. Notice that the RegExp Word Characters is different from what DIY Classics said; I found that didn’t work for me.

  1. Select your Language from the home screen
  2. Click “My Texts”
  3. Click “New Text”, and enter a title, paste in your text, and tag it as you please.

Okay, you should be all set up for Greek and or Latin. Once you’ve done that, go to “read”, it’s the first icon listed on the text page. You’ll get a screen with 4 components:

LWT 1

In the top left is your LWT menu. Notice that it lists 839 “To Do” – those are untagged/unknown words in the text. Next to it is an “I know all” button. Basically click this is you know every single word in a text and couldn’t be bothered tagging them.

Below this is the reading pane. In this is the text you’re working with. You can see in the first screen shot that I’ve left-clicked on ἀπόστολος, which has given me several options.

In the top right pane I’ve got the option to edit this term; it’s listed as a new term, and I can add in both a translation, as well as some tags, perhaps I would add: noun, masculine, nominative, singular. Romaniz is for a Romanisation of foreign alphabets. At the bottom is a coloured status bar: 1-5 of unknown to well-known, then “WKn” for actually so well known you don’t want to worry about it ever again, and “Ign” for Ignore this term, useful if your text contains non words or words not in your target language.

The bottom right pane that’s opened up is the dictionary look up, based on what you listed in Dictionary 1 in the settings. In this case, it’s gone to Perseus just like I told it too. The bottom frame just works like an inset webpage, so you can click through to the LSJ or Middle Liddell entry as you please.

 

Foreign Language Text Reader

I also want to talk about Foreign Language Text Reader (FLTR). FLTR is like a slimmer, maybe-dumber, version of LWT. But its two greatest strengths are that it’s on your computer (without running a server!) and that it’s super simple.

For FLTR head to https://sourceforge.net/projects/fltr/

Follow the download and installation instructions, they are pretty straightforward.

Open up the program and you’ll see a very basic interface.

First you’ll want to find the line of options that starts with Language, click on New, type in your language, say “Greek”, and then we want to edit the settings for the language.

Pretty much the settings are the same as for LWT, so here’s what I use for for Greek:

Char Substitutions: ´=’|`=’|’=’|’=’|…=…|..=‥|«=|»=

WordCharRegExp: a-zA-ZÀ-ÖØ-öø-ȳͰ-Ͽἀ-ῼ

DictionaryURL1: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?la=gr&l=###

You may want to come back and increase the text size later as well. I find the default is often too small.

Then you need to add some texts. Personally, I add them via this method:

Each language will have a subfolder wherever you installed FLTR, open this up, and you’ll find a folder like Greek_Texts; save a text file (*.txt) in UTF-8 format in here, and you can use it in FLTR. So, for example, grab a copy of say, 1 Peter, put it into a text editor, switch to UTF-8, and then save to here. Open up FLTR, select Greek, and then select the text. If it hasn’t appeared, click refresh and double-check for it in the right folder. Here’s a screen-shot of some Greek text open with FLTR:

FLTR Greek

You can see that I haven’t used it a lot with Greek, as most of the text is blue, which means a new word you haven’t tagged. Green words are well-known, Yellow words are level 4, pretty well known; the colours shade down to a red which is level 1-2 not very well known. A left click will bring up two pages:

FLTR Greek 2

Firstly it will bring up the editing screen for that word, and you can edit this with relevant information; it will also open in a web browser the linked dictionary. A right click on a word brings up a smaller dialogue box, and I can edit from there as well, without having it force open the web-browser/dictionary option. Here’s another screenshot with a short text about Bonnie Prince Charlie in Gaelic; you can see I’ve worked both with Gaelic and with this text before, because most of the text is coloured in.

FLTR Greek 3

What’s the point? Or, Pros and Cons

A student helpfully asked me how this was better/different to using, say, morphologically tagged Bible-software, a la Accordance, BibleWorks, Logos, etc..

  • It’s personalised, and testable. Every entry is put in by you, and so it’s filled with whatever you wanted to include.
  • It’s geared towards reading and familiarity. It doesn’t mindlessly tell me all the information for each word as I scroll my cursor across, it colour-codes to how well I know the word, and what information I have included.
  • It’s faster than doing this manually. Reader’s editions are great, writing on paper is great. This lets you tag your own texts digitally, and it saves those tags across languages, which is great when you’ve encountered a word once, and then find it again 3 years later in a difficult text.
  • It’s easy to work with the same interface across multiple languages. This is my preferred way of dealing with foreign texts. I use it for Gaelic, Mongolian, French, German, Italian, and am exploring its use for Greek and Latin.

 

Cons:

  • There’s no real way to do actual morphological tagging. So every inflection of ἀπόστολος is going to be a separate entry. LWT does nothing to alleviate this. FLTR does have a little drop down when you’re entering a new word that lists similar words, so if you have entered, say, a different form of the word, you can more or less copy what you had elsewhere. I suspect there isn’t an easy way to fix this, since you would need some way of teaching the software to do morphology for multiple user-inputted languages.
  • It’s slow to get started. Opening up 1 Peter and seeing 839 new words to tag, if you already have some experience in Koine, is not a thrilling experience, because this takes time. If you were starting from scratch in a language, it would be more rewarding. But if you’re already ‘on the way’, then it’s slow to get going. But it pays off. This week I opened up a new Gaelic text I’d never tackled, and at least 90% of words were already tagged. This is the pay-off.

Conclusion:

So that’s it. I’d be interested in your feedback, if you’ve had some experience or if you go and try it yourself now. Let me know if you have any difficulties in set-up or need a hand.

 

Tips and Advanced usage

Tip #1: You can select a string of words as a group; this is great if you want to tag a whole phrase that, for instance, might function idiomatically.

Tip #2: FLTR allows you to select “Vocabulary” as a text. This will let you filter a range of vocabulary by ‘knownness’, from a specific text or all texts, with a number of entries, sorted either alphabetically, by status, or random.

Tip #3: You can also access your FLTR vocab as two sets of files in your main FLTR directory, one is a plain text, say Greek_Export.txt, while the other will be a comma separated version, Greek_Words.csv. These files aren’t very useful to look at, but they are the same as the LWT TSV export, so you can actually move between the two programs.

Tip #4: You can import these exported files (from FLTR or LWT) into an Anki deck, if that’s how you like to operate.

The Middle Voice (Greek): Thoughts and Pedagogy

Recently I’ve been thinking and reading more about the middle voice. It was first occasioned by some by-the-way comments in Aubrey’s thesis, p204-6. There he gives a typological table derived from Kemmer. Also, in some email exchange, he suggested I check out R.J. Allen’s doctoral thesis, “The Middle Voice in Ancient Greek. A study in Polysemy”, as well as Rachel Aubrey’s forthcoming thesis dealing with it.

I also had the chance to think about the middle in my “Methods” class, since the 1st year students are just hitting the issue of voice, and so I had the opportunity to interact with 2nd and 3rd years students and talk about the difficulty of teaching Greek voice.

I’m going to briefly summarise the typology of the middle voice that you find in Kemmer and Allen. Allen basically gives us 11 or 12 categories:

  1. Passive Middle: The Patient has subject status
  2. Spontaneous Process Middle: the subject undergoes an internal change of (physical) state.
  3. Mental Process Middle: The subject experiences a mental affectedness.
  4. Body Motion Middle: The subject causes a change of physical position to themself.
  5. Collective Motion Middle: The (plural) subjects move, i.e. gathering or dispersing.
  6. Reciprocal Middle: The (plural) subjects act so that A does to B what B does to A.
  7. Direct reflexive middle: The subject acts upon themself, usually in a habitual/customary action.
  8. Perception Middle: The subject perceives by means of the senses and so is both agent and experiencer.
  9. Mental Activity Middle: The subject acts within and upon their own mind, and so is both agent and experiencer (and possibly patient). This differs from 3 in that 9 is more reflexive, whereas in 3 the process may have an external stimulus.
  10. Speech act middle: The subject acts as speaker, but is involved also as beneficiary or experiencer.
  11. Indirect Reflexive Middle: The subject performs a transitive action but also functions as beneficiary of the action.
  12. At some point, Allen seems to treat δύναμαι as a distinct group.

I think having this kind of typology helps a student in their intermediate stages see how middles “involve the subject”, rather than the often place-holder explanations given in a beginner’s course. In each of these, except 1, you can begin to understand how the subject of the verb also takes a role as patient, experiencer, or beneficiary. This helps relate how these ideas are “middle” in the ‘logic’ of the Greek language.

It also helps to explain why deponency is a bad explanation for middle-only verbs. Middle-only verbs are ‘middle’ in the internal-logic of the Greek. We would call them middle verb-forms with middle ‘meaning’. It’s only in, say, English, that they are “middle in form but active in translation”. Translation and native-language meaning are two different things here.

One of the problems, pedagogically, is that when the middle voice is introduced in most textbooks, they have a fairly unclear way of explaining what to do with it. Basically, students are usually told: look at the active meaning of the verb, and come up with a way to ‘make it middle’. This doesn’t really help that much, I would say. It’s often better to (a) look up the word in a lexicon and check if there’s an entry for the middle, (b) consider the context of the word and how middleness might function, (c) if you’re a “think of the category” type person, having the kind of typology above would help you actually think through the various options.

The other thing about Allen’s thesis that’s nice is that it is about the diachronic changes in Greek, and he maps out some of the shift of the θη passive stem. I think it’s deadly confusing for Koine students in particular to talk about the passive as the passive. I can see now why it is that textbooks call this a passive stem; I would conjecture that it’s because when θη appears, it appears as a subset of the middle voice, but particularly expressing category 1, the true passive. But English learners function with an active/passive dichotomy, and so are more likely to overstate the passivity of the middle category. Learning/teaching that the passive is a subset of the middle helps to dislodge this idea.

On page 110, and 123, Allen has a couple of diagrams that show how, chronologically, the θη stem is ‘eating up’ other middle usages, a trajectory that continues beyond classical Greek, into the Koine period and beyond, until the middle gets devoured. θη is like the ‘cancer of the middle voice’ that cannibalises and colonises the other usages. Realising this for NT students is important because the passive marker isn’t distinctly passive and so does not necessarily carry exegetical significance. I think R. Buth made this point somewhere about ἐγείρω and the form ἠγέρθη(ν). (Sorry, I can’t recall where, and apologies if it wasn’t Buth). What’s the difference between Christ “being raised” and Christ “arose” (in the middle sense)? The θη doesn’t tell you which is meant. Exegetical restraint demands that you don’t try and make a theological point from a grammatical feature that won’t ‘bear that weight’.

What to do in the classroom? I’m still figuring that out. I think, personally, that I would go with these things though:

  • Teach two voices: Active and Subject-Reflexive.
  • Teach the passive as a subset of S-R.
  • Teach θη as an alternate middle stem, and give some reading material for advanced/interested students explaining its history.
  • Teach middle-only forms as just middle only, without making a big deal out of them.

Why People continue to teach via Grammar-Translation

Foreword: this is our last post for 2014. Enjoy your holidays and you’ll hear again from the Patrologist in 2015.

 

In this second of twin posts I’m exploring common ‘defeater’ reasons people give for sticking to GT as a method and rejecting approaches like Communicative Instruction. In each case I give a brief explanation of the belief, and some counter-points.

  1. It doesn’t work

I.e. applying CI or other modern language approaches to Classical Languages ‘doesn’t work’. I’m not sure this is a sincere objection, I suspect it’s rather of the order of ‘I don’t want to engage this idea and I’m blanketing you out’.

The fact that it has not worked, or is not pervasive, or that sometimes it doesn’t go perfectly, are not arguments against it. In fact it has worked and it does work. A few timely videos of those few individuals with a decent speaking facility in Latin or Greek shows that it is by all means possible. It is not just possible for the elite either, it is possible for all students.

  1. Dead languages are different

 

Not heard as often these days, but for quite some time people would say things like, “Latin is no longer spoken, therefore our method of learning must be different.” They were generally not making a comment on the difficulties of learning a language no longer spoken (i.e. lack of speakers to talk with) but asserting a fact about the nature of a no longer spoken language.

 

Which is absolute nonsense. Latin is not different from other languages insofar as it doesn’t have a speaking community (I don’t wish to debate whether it does have such a community at this time). Latin is a language. Which means it can be learnt as a language. The status of any language in regards to the number of speakers currently using it has zero bearing on whether it can be learnt as a language or must be learnt as a ‘something other’.

 

If, heavens forbid, all French speakers were wiped from the face of the earth tomorrow by some new, virulent, French-speaker-targeting super-virus, this would not alter the kind of language that French is. It would certainly create obstacles for anyone wishing to learn French. And, given their sudden fatality, I can’t imagine anyone rushing to do so, but French itself would not have changed.

 

So too with the classical languages: if they are languages, they may be learnt as such.

 

  1. It’s too hard

And remembering arcane rules of grammar that appear once every 10,000 words isn’t hard?

 

Yes, I would say, learning a language is hard. It’s hard to learn it as a spoken language, and it’s hard to do GT. All GT students know that! And all students who acquired an L2 as adults know that it was hard too. It took hours, it was tiring, it involved a lot of interaction with speakers, probably embarrassment, and there were many highs and lows and plateaus as well.

 

But it’s not harder. GT is not only hard, it’s often incredibly boring. CT is hard because it requires more investment, but it yields greater satisfaction, it’s more interesting, it’s more motivating. It’s far better to go home from a lesson of CT having interacted in the Target Language for 1-3 hours, and have one’s head swimming in the TL, than to go home after 1-3 hours of GT with one’s head full of “The wicked sailors gave roses to the good girls.”

 

 

  1. It takes too long

Basically this reason is saying that while CT might ‘work’, it is slower, takes longer, and in the end takes too long for the results it promises. Better, in their view, to stick with GT, which requires less hours and gets us ‘somewhere’ faster.

I am almost convinced this is a valid point. I’ve written several times about how many hours working with Comprehensible Input in the Target Language might be required to achieve decent levels of competency, and they are considerable. Anyone learning a modern L2 knows this. I think those invested in teaching classical languages need to be very up-front and honest that considerable time investment is necessary.

However, what I would say is this: I don’t think GT takes less hours to get to the same place. I think GT takes less hours because it teaches and achieves far less. For GT practitioners to achieve real reading fluency takes many, many hours, which is my contention under point 6. In this instance we should not compare apples and pears. Furthermore, from what I generally hear from school teachers using CI based instruction, their results outstrip traditional methods, especially when (a) they spent a little bit of time prepping their students for the kind of tests that traditional methods favour. If that little bit of prep time isn’t their, CI students often simply don’t understand the jargon of grammar questions. No wonder, since they didn’t need it.

So let’s hold off on conceding that GT is ‘faster’, because it may not be faster and it may not even be to the same destination.

  1. It doesn’t match our goals

 

What are ‘our’ goals? I think this is a really important question, or debate to have. Often it seems like the goal of classical language instruction is to do grammatical analysis, but I’m sure most people don’t actually think this is the goal. Isn’t the real goal to be able to understand, appreciate, interpret, texts in classical languages and so to discuss and engage their ideas and content? Isn’t ultimately the content not the form that interests us? And while content and form are never divorced, just as culture and language are inseparable, they are distinct things.

 

If our goal was to train grammarians, then grammar is what we ought to teach. There’s nothing wrong with being a grammarian, of English or of classical languages. And in fact, probably some people do want to study the grammar of ancient languages. We need those people! But that’s not the goal of most students, or of most programs.

 

CT approaches do match our goals, they drastically and desperately match our goals. The claim that no one needs to know how to order a latte in Koine is irrelevant. That’s not our goal either. The goal of CT is to produce competent users of the language with an active facility that enables reading and comprehension of texts in the target language without recourse to translation or grammatical analysis for the purpose of understanding. (Though translation and grammatical analysis may be done for other purposes).

 

  1. GT is how I learnt, so it works

 

People who end up as teachers of classical languages via GT are the 4%. That is, they are often the small minority for whom GT ‘clicks’, who ‘get it’, who enjoy it, while the rest of the cohort is destroyed by a war of attrition fought with boredom and irrelevance.

 

And some of these teachers get very, very good at Greek, Latin, what have you. Especially those that do doctoral programs that require epic amounts of reading of primary language material. But this is my hunch – it wasn’t GT that got them to that point, it was using GT to render those texts comprehensible, and having a huge exposure to comprehensible texts over time. It was Comprehensible Input that gave them competency in reading directly, and this was only indirectly the result of GT.

 

I could be wrong, but I could be right too. People whose primary discipline is classics or the like, who studied primarily via GT, and who achieve marked ‘fluency’ in reading ability, often have a pop- or folk- view of language acquisition that is poorly informed by research or SLA theory, and dominated by the insular views of their own discipline and experience.

 

Even if it did work for you, why should we stick to a method that works for the 4%? What about the 96%? What if we used methods that meant classical languages were learnable by all, not the self-selective and self-satisfied ‘elite’? Wouldn’t that open up the field for the simple ploughman in the field in a whole new way?