AB INITIO COURSES IN GREEK AND LATIN FOR UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

Notes accompanying questionnaire

  1. Aims
  2. Course Design And Uptake
  3. Course Materials
  4. Course Targets
  5. Linguistic Ability
  6. Class Sizes
  7. Short Courses
  8. Teaching MethodS
  9. Study Methods
  10. Assessment Methods

About this survey

Results of the survey

1. AIMS

The purpose for which students undergo the labour of mastering the basis of Latin and Greek may be differently defined. It is important, for example, to distinguish between possible aims such as the following: Economics, however, often require that students with different aims should be taught together, at least initially. Thought needs to be given to how these diverse aims can be harmonised without losing sight of distinctive aims and their associated targets.

2. COURSE DESIGN AND UPTAKE

These will tend to be a function of (i) the defined aim of a course, including its role within a degree programme; (ii) resources available, especially of staff and time. Some compromise is generally needed to reconcile these two functions in practice. If a certain amount of time is given, it needs to be asked what can reasonably be achieved within that limit, taking into account expectations of the average student's linguistic aptitude and previous language learning experience (including knowledge of formal grammar).

3. COURSE MATERIALS

If specially devised, these will want to reflect: If published textbooks are used, the happiest choice is likely to be the one which conforms best with the above factors.

4. COURSE TARGETS

Targets may be expressed in a variety of different ways, in terms of: If a course has more than one stopping-off point, the `surrender value' may be variously defined at each point to show an appropriate return for effort put in.

5. LINGUISTIC ABILITY

Should students who have difficulties with formal language learning be required (or offered the opportunity) to learn Greek or Latin? The question has implications for the structure of degree programmes, the management of class teaching, and the pacing and content of courses.

6. CLASS SIZES

Ideally, classes should not be too large to preclude active participation by all members, with the teacher eliciting individual responses from each. But this is not always an option. Can language teaching be effective in larger groups? What adjustments are needed to traditional teaching methods and expectations?

7. SHORT COURSES

Classes need to be sufficiently frequent and regular for learning-momentum to be maintained. But with young adult students language-learning, particularly at the very earliest stages, may be most productive when undertaken in concentrated bursts if conditions will allow this.

8. TEACHING METHODS

These are bound to vary considerably with course aims and targets, the ability and maturity of students and the predilections of the teacher. Issues may include:

9. STUDY METHODS

These similarly are likely to vary from traditional rote-learning of grammar and vocabulary, through independent study guides to the use of computer software. But it may be felt, for example, that:

10. ASSESSMENT METHODS

Terminal assessment needs to reflect a course's aims, and the purpose of any part of an examination, together with the linguistic ground to be covered, should be clearly conceived and conveyed to the student. A clear distinction may be drawn between the translation of prepared material, where there is a heavy premium on recall, and unseen material which tests a student's ability to apply knowledge acquired. For some purposes it may be appropriate to permit the use of dictionaries in the examination room, and for papers to be set with this in mind.


CUCD Bulletin 24 (1995)
© Council of University Classical Departments 1995

Bulletin ContentsCUCD HomeRoyal Holloway Classics Dept
[owl]