Beginner Spoken Ancient/Koine Greek

Friday, June 26 | 2:30-3:15pm

Considering introducing a spoken element to one’s ancient language classroom can often be a daunting idea. One imagines they’ll have to make an overhaul of their entire curriculum and take innovative steps to become immersive. This assumption is often made because in conversations on active pedagogy for spoken languages, translation sometimes gets a bum rap. It’s seen as something that can spoil the whole process. Yet in actuality introducing an active element to one’s curriculum need not involve such radical steps, and translation, far from being a spoiler, can be very effective.

Indeed, it may very well be that translation is underutilized, or used too monotonously. In this workshop I suggest ways one can introduce an active element into the Ancient Greek classroom without overhauling one’s basic curriculum and ultimate goals. Specifically, I will look at how the traditional approach can be expanded into a variety of activities and exercises that promote the development of both aural and oral skills without sacrificing the grammatical awareness and logical analysis that make Greek (and Latin) so integral a component in the goals of a Classical Christian education. 

The exercises and activities I explore will cover both target-language based production as well as ways to expand upon and develop the traditional use of translation in directions that make this useful practice even more useful and beneficial, not just for reading, but for hearing and speaking as well.

Dr. Joseph Tipton

Joseph did his BA at Berea College in Berea, KY, where he met Michelle, his wife of twenty years now. He went on to do an MA at the University of Kentucky, where he was exposed to spoken Latin under Terrence Tunberg, which inspired him to start cultivating ancient Greek actively. After earning his PhD in Classics at the University of Pittsburgh, Joseph taught at several colleges and universities before coming to The Geneva School in Winter Park, FL, where he currently teaches Greek and Latin. Besides his passion for adding an active component to the traditional classics curriculum, Joseph is active as a researcher and translator of Reformation era Latin and Greek works. He and wife have recently been blessed, after many years of marriage, with their first son, Watts, named after their favorite poet/hymn-writer.