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Advice on Group Format
In Living Koine Greek Forum
Paul Nitz
May 19, 2019
@Jason / Ἰάσων "benefits of one-on-one." I have a theory about the benefits of one-on-one instruction. When you sit with one person, you can use easier, less inherently "communicative" methods, and they will still be effective. An example would be demonstration. Let's say I'm demonstrating the Nominative and Accusative. I take a ball, and say in Greek "αὕτη ἐστιν σφαῖρα. ἔχω σφαῖραν. Τί ἔχω; ἔχω σφαῖραν! [This is a ball (Nom). I have a ball (Acc.). What do I have? I have a ball. What is this? It's a ball!] Strictly speaking, this is not communication. The learner knows it's a ball. He knows what I have. I am not really communicating anything to him/her. I am only demonstrating language. But when you do this sort of thing with one other person (or maybe two), it still feels like communication. The teacher can engage one person with eye contact and he/she really feels it. That's almost impossible with a group, unless you are an exceptional person (In a Biblical Languages Center workshop I attended, the amazing Jordash Kiffiak engaged a room of 30 with demonstration, but he's wildly exceptional). In teaching a group, a teacher has the huge challenge of coming up with some sort of activity that requires learners to use the target language to really communicate (negotiate meaning). So, for example, I just had my students using Greek to find out some information about their classmates' family and spiritual history. They are using the target language to truly communicate. Leading up to that exercise, I used demonstration, some explicit instruction (reviewing forms), and made some comparisons between Greek, English and Chichewa (a Bantu language all my students know). But it was all leading up to and aiming at using language for communication.
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SL2 theory / standards
In Living Koine Greek Forum

Paul Nitz

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