Why Yanni Can't Read: Making Greek Texts Easier

Wilfred E. Major, organizer

Louisiana State University

This panel is intended to continue the recent run of popular and successful CAMWS sessions on Greek pedagogy aimed primarily at beginning and intermediate students, where recruitment and retention are most difficult.  Each of the four papers addresses some aspect of the beginning student's transformation from being a learner of the mechanics of the language to becoming a reader of Greek. Because retention often drops precipitously between beginning and intermediate Greek courses, the hope is that these presentations and opportunities for discussion will provide means for teachers to make continuing in Greek more appealing to students and more rewarding for everyone.

Wilfred E. Major discusses the use of a Core Vocabulary in Greek courses in order to provide coherence and continuity for students from beginning to intermediate classes, and to facilitate a more comfortable experience when students begin reading Greek texts.

Abigail Roberts discusses new ways to make Plato, an old standard for beginning Greek readers, more accessible and meaningful. New materials and approaches can mean students are more likely to stick around until they can read Plato and be more confident and happier when they finally do.

Frederick Williams offers an alternative to rehabilitating Plato and other old standards of intermediate courses by reading less commonly taught, but perhaps more enticing, authors near or outside the margins of the canon. (Webmaster's note: Prof. Williams, unfortunately, will not be able to attend the meeting).

Albert Watanabe turns to an area where many college-level teachers might be able to recruit long-lasting Greek students: Honors programs.  The paper addresses the readings and materials which will capture these students' interest and address ways to bring such students into the fold in general.

These four papers will allow and spur further discussion.  Each presenter is preparing material to be handed out and all these materials will also be made available on a web page.


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