Greek & Contemporary Language Learning Methods

During the year that I was in Texas, I worked with a college student who was learning Greek at Criswell College in Dallas. We enjoyed our time working together and would often practice our Greek with each other, though they generally consisted of rather simple conversations before we switched back to English. What was striking was that his professor, whose name I never learned, was teaching Greek using contemporary methods for language learning. They spend most of the time learning vocabulary with pictures and audio and listened to the professor tell them stories in Koine. And my co-worker was really internalizing it.

I was extremely jealous. I had been using similar methods myself in my classes on language learning methodology – Second Language and Culture Acquisition (SLACA) – to learn Russian, which I haven’t been able to develop any further unfortunately.

Anyway, this professor was not only truly teaching the students the language (as opposed to teaching the students the language’s grammar like most classes do), but he was also developing a purely pictorial dictionary for Greek for language learning.

I’ve mentioned this professor a few times in various places on the internet. But the reason I’m writing all of this now is that I just found out who he is today.

Dr. Mounce, writing about ETS at Zondervan’s blog, wrote this about papers from day one:

The other paper was on different methods of memorizing Greek vocabulary. Dr. Daniel Streett (Criswell College) bemoaned current methods and showed how he uses gestures, pictures, interaction and the like to help students go from Greek to meaning and not necessarily through English. “Why do we memorize lexical forms when so often they are not the most used forms?” he asked. It is always fun to think through these issues.

Dr. Daniel Streett. It has to be the same person. And I’m quite excited to actually find out who he is.

7 thoughts on “Greek & Contemporary Language Learning Methods

  1. I’m glad to hear this, glad to hear that SOMEBODY is doing this in the U.S.A. and that one doesn’t have to go all the way to Israel to learn Biblical Greek the right way. It’s what I would do if I were starting over.

  2. As far as I know, he’s the only guy in the US doing this kind of stuff. Interestingly, there are quite a few Latin teachers moving in this kind of direction as well (and causing some regular commotion in the Latin teaching community). I think there are a couple, maybe a handful, of classical Greek teachers also shifting in this direction.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s