ANNEX I: LATIN GRAMMAR COVERAGE
- Course Aims
- Course Design And Uptake
- Course Materials
- Course Targets (see also Annex on grammatical coverage)
- Linguistic Ability
- Class Sizes
- Short Courses
- Teaching Methods
- Study Methods
- Assessment Methods
ANNEX II: GREEK GRAMMAR COVERAGE
- Syntax &c.
- Syntax &c.:
1. COURSE AIMS
1.1 Respondents were invited to rank a number of possible aims for an elementary introduction to a classical language, in what the particular respondents felt to be their descending order of priority for students on their courseas a whole. Five suggested such aims were printed on the questionnaire, with write-in spaces for up to three others. Results were collated with a weighting of 7 for a first-place ranking, 5 for a second, 4 for a third, 3 for a second, and 2 for a fifth or lower. In the event, write-ins were relatively few and diverse - too much so to be included in the number-crunching - but a few recurrent points were made, reported below.
|(1)||as a means to engage with literary texts and/or other documents in the original||119||173||292|
|(2)||as a "toe in the water" to test aptitude and interest for further study of the language||60||93||153|
|(3)||as a means of finding out about the structure and character of the language (without necessarily progressing to reading in the original)||41||66||107|
|(4)||as a training in general linguistic concepts and skills||45||75||120|
|(5)||as an "initiation ritual" for entry to the classical community||18||24||42|
Write-ins were relatively few, and limited in the main to variations on 1-5 (such as substituting "generate" for "test" in the wording of 2). On 4, one respondent noted that general linguistic training becomes ever more important as such training disappears (apparently) from the schools. 5 was the most controversial formulation, with some respondents ranking it first and others prompted to uncollatable expostulations.
One further objective did, however, emerge clearly and repeatedly: what was variously termed "promotion of cultural awareness", "a vehicle for authentic experience of the Greek/Roman world & its values", and "a vehicle through which students can explore other aspects of the Classical World; through this strategy Latin is learnt not just as a linguistic exercise but as part of an integrated approach to Roman culture".
The artificiality, of course, of any such ranking needs to be stressed; a couple of respondents stressed the diversity or ambiguity of aims among different students within the same group. "Is this ranking really useful?" wondered one. "Most students have mixed and often vague aims/motives - which can clarify over the year."
1.2 Does the course documentation include a statement of course objectives?
In cases of "yes", it was suggested that respondents might wish to append a copy; 5 Latin and 4 Greek courses did so, with documentation ranging from a paragraph in a Departmental degree programme document to several pages of detailed course outline. One institution offers a formal "teaching and learning contract" signed by both teacher and student.
2.1 Who teaches the course?
4 Greek courses recorded "Others", specifying schoolteacher fellows, postdoctoral students, and retired schoolteachers; probably some or all of these were also included by other respondents under "part-time staff".
2.2 What is the length of the course in: (a) terms, semesters, or academic years? (b) teaching weeks?
Nearly all courses reported ran for a single, full teaching year, though several respondents stressed the continuity between the first and subsequent years' courses (with longer coursebooks such asReading Greek andTeach Yourself finished off in the second year). One University runs its beginners' courses in both languages over three semesters, and one confines itsab initio Greek course to a single 12-week semester (with a reading course following in the second semester); one offers an alternative, two-year version of its Latin course for non-classicists; and the adult-education courses tended to run for fewer hours weekly over a longer span (2 hours weekly over an extended teaching year of 30 or 32 weeks in two cases, 1.5 hours weekly over 4 years for the whole ofReading Greek in a third).
The vertical axis of the chart counts institutions rather than (as elsewhere in this survey) courses or respondents, since the length of the year in teaching weeks tends to be determined institutionally rather than course-by-course, and practically all responding institutions quoted the same figure for courses in both languages. The handful of courses lasting longer than a single teaching year are not included in these figures. It comes as no surprise to see that the number of teaching weeks in a year can vary by almost 100% - from two 8-week Oxbridge terms to a three full 10-week teaching terms (though it should be remarked that the two 30-week figures came from adult-education institutes).
Some respondents hesitated understandably over the definition of a "course" for present purposes - sometimes from hesitation over the separability of a beginners' language course from parallel strands of a less-than-completely modularised degree programme, or from subsequent and closely-continuous language courses (for example, in second and higher years of the degree), but mostly because the elliptical drafting of the questionnaire failed clearly to define "course" as meaning, for these purposes, a modular or quasi-modular unit within a degree programme, rather than the entire span of study leading to a particular degree. Nevertheless, responses were sufficiently meticulous in practice to allow like-for-like collation in most cases. Since nearly all courses ran for a whole academic year, the responses to later questions has, where appropriate and feasible, been taken from information provided about first-year teaching only.
|2.3.1 How many contact hours are there per week?||2.3.2 How many would be ideal? |
Respondents were begged to give a collatable figure (rather than "as many as possible", &c.); only one defiantly responded "infinity". The difference between the contact hours felt appropriate for the two languages in 2.3.1 is still more pronounced in 2.3.2. The three low-figure responses all came from adult-education courses, which run to a different pattern of contact hours from undergraduate courses.
2.4 In addition to class hours, roughly how many hours per week of private study are students expected to do for the course?
2.5.1 How many students are enrolled on the course in a typical year?
2.5.2 What categories of students are involved?
(Respondents were invited to indicate the approximate percentages on their course of six principal types. The figures below give the averages of these percentages - whence their failure to add up to exactly 100%).
Others, generally too few to show up statistically, included: students on Combined Honours degrees; exchange students; part-time students; non-classicist members of academic and administrative staff; adult education students (not just on AE courses), members of the general public, "Associate Students", researchers, occasional students; external and Open University students; auditors and voluntary attenders. Two institutions used summer schools or adult-education classes as access courses for students entering for the BA.
% of course made up of first-year undergraduates on classical degree programmes:
2.6 Are non-beginners (other than resit candidates) included in the course?
3.1 What published textbooks (if any) do you use?
|Jones & Sidwell,Reading Latin||9|
|Randall & Cairns,Learning Latin||3|
|Betts,Teach Yourself Latin||2|
|Wheelock,Latin: An Introductory Course||2|
|Cambridge Latin Grammar||2|
|HarperCollins College Outlines||1|
|no textbook/own materials||3|
|One Department runs two beginners' groups, one onReading Latin and one onLearning Latin. The once-mighty Wheelock has almost vanished from the scene.Teach Yourself seems (from anecdotal rather than questionnaire evidence) to be more popular with Intermediate, second-year, and non-beginner courses.||
|Balme & Lawall,Athenaze||4.5|
|Wilding,Greek for Beginners||2|
|Mastronarde,Introduction to Attic Greek||2|
|Beetham,An Introduction to New Testament Greek||2|
|Abbott & Mansfield,Primer of Greek Grammar||1|
|Betts & Henry,Teach Yourself Ancient Greek||1|
|Nairn & Nairn,Greek Through Reading||1|
|Randall,Learning Ancient Greek (unpublished beta-testing version)||1|
|Usher,An Outline of Greek Accidence||1|
|North & Hillard||1|
|The survey was conducted before the appearance of the long-awaited UK revision ofAthenaze, which redresses the universally-loathed transatlantic case system.|
3.2 Would you prefer to be using a different textbook, or none?
In the event, most respondents felt happy with their current coursebook; discontent was expressed by 5 for Latin and 7 for Greek.
Latin: no statistically ponderable results here. One user ofTeach Yourself would prefer to be usingReading Latin; one user ofReading Latin hankered after Laughton'sLatin for Latecomers; and one user of theCambridge Latin Grammar would prefer to be using in-house materials.
Greek: two users ofReading Greek expressed a preference forAthenaze; oneAthenaze user had a regard for Hansen & Quinn, but felt it perhaps too intensive for student beginners; two users of other books would prefer their own materials.Athenaze drew the widest praise of any single textbook, here and in 3.4, butReading Greek commanded a greater depth of enthusiasm from its adherents.
3.3 What original or supplementary materials (if any) do you provide?
This was a write-in category; responses ranged from the elliptic ("handouts") to the quizzical ("the occasional joke"). Six types of material not unexpectedly predominated, but there were some interestinghapax
- grammatical tables, paradigms, example sheets, etc (home-produced or from other books)
- passages for reading
- exercises & informal testing material (including English-into-Greek)
- set texts (not widespread in beginners' courses, but the EdinburghHistoria Apollonii abridgment has several users; Ovid and selections from Catullus were also mentioned for Latin, and Lysias i for Greek)
- vocabulary lists
Other materials mentioned included:
Not surprisingly,Reading Greek andReading Latin tended to be the most commonly supplemented with additional grammatical material, and theTeach Yourself volumes with additional exercises and reading.
- worksheets; a sheet for each session with (i) aphorism of the day (ii) grammar &c. to be learned (iii) supplementary material to textbook; synopsis sheets when particular topics are completed; summary sheets of "special" usages (eg participles, subjunctive, optative); vacation revision programmes
- hints on learning methods; notes for reading Greek texts
- answer-sheets to exercises; English-into-Greek exercises using "model sentences"
- English translations of omitted portions ofRL: Text; comprehension questions to expedite and vary the preparation of some of the long sections fromRL: Text, eg 3B
- considerably simplified paradigm ofluvw
- original in-house commentaries on set texts
- easy pieces of Greek verse for memorisation.
3.4 What do you feel are the particular strengths and weaknesses of your current textbook?
All comments recorded are reproduced more-or-less verbatim. Special apologies are owed to three authors who found themselves invited to pass judgment on their own coursebooks. ("Ouch!" said one; "Perfect," brazened another.)
- gradation of material
- variety of approaches, texts, exercises
- modest aims of course
- content of Text volume engaging
- gets students reading lots of adapted real Latin
- interesting text based on real (though "doctored") Latin
- Plautine dialogue good for introducing full range of verb (person) endings
- concise presentation of grammar
- illustrations of Latin in modern usage
- thorough presentation of accidence
- good exercises
- reasonable choice of vocabulary
- Latinstudy computer package
- too much material to work through
- text longer than necessary to illustrate grammar of each section
- excess of Plautus, & of Plautine vocabulary: not very representative of what one actually reads
- unwieldy grammar
- quirky order & manner of presentation of language topics
- sequence of grammar too much dictated by Greek pattern (as inRG)
- layout of language charts could be more careful, eg [[section]]50 future indicative perversely prints 3rd conjugation alongside 1st & 2nd
- late introduction of passives & subjunctives
- unnecessary confusion, eg-is as 3rd decl. acc. pl.
- presentation of participles
STRENGTHS: computer package
WEAKNESSES: too little accessible grammatical/syntactical information
STRENGTHS: clarity & arrangement; coverage; designed for mature students; mistakes of Latinity which instructor can show off by correcting
WEAKNESSES: misprints; too difficult for undergraduate beginners in places; moralising sententiae over-adapted & a bit boring; too given to subject-verb-object ordering
Cambridge Latin Grammar
STRENGTHS: grammar clearly set out
WEAKNESSES: agrammatical experience of students; inability of students to appreciate necessity of private learning; poor vocabulary; few examples
Teach Yourself Latin
STRENGTHS: "none" (!); clear structure & progression
WEAKNESSES: clutter of military verbiage; lack of running/continuous passages; difficulty of exercises; insufficient explanations of grammatical points; insufficient elementary exercises & reading material; lacks clear method of building up vocabulary
- course design
- gradation of material
- close integration of language learning with development of reading skill
- appeals to students
- lively text
- excellent material for reading
- reading continuous Greek straight away
- introduces students to lots of adapted real Greek
- introduction to continuous, idiomatic Greek set in a cultural background
- engages students in reading & makes the rote-learning worthwhile for them
- presents morphology thoroughly, notwithstanding problems of layout & coverage
- introduces cases & tenses in a logical order
- sensible sequence of syntax & morphology (esp. optative before subjunctive)
- explains stem changes well
- concentration on "core" vocabulary
- interest & usefulness of background matter
- cannot easily be completed in a year
- too slow in places (reading in some sections needs to be cut)
- imposes own pace & pattern on the course: difficult to skip passages because new grammar introduced in too many passages
- early stages introduce too much vocabulary & not enough systematic grammar
- too much Demosthenes from section 11 to end
- presentation of morphology
- presentation & sequence of accidence & grammar
- accidence should be introduced in less discrete bits (eg all tenses at once, & middles & passives together)
- haphazard presentation of grammar, insufficiently explained
- tabular design doesn't set grammar out very clearly
- occasionally offers grammatical material in large chunks
- assumes a (Latin) knowledge of grammatical terminology
- occasional omissions
- formation of some parts of verbs (eg infinitives) & adjectives (eg comparison) not adequately covered
- layout too complicated, with the committee trying to do the tutor's work for him
- layout of eg cases very confusing ("dotty" columns)
- nouns & adjectives should be learnedvertically
- some forms, eg perfect tense, introduced too late
- full paradigms should either be learned at once, or their presentation deferred until later
- reference grammar could be more clearly & boldly presented
- more vocabulary should be starred
- could do with more exercises (as inRL)
- bright & interesting
- ease of access
- good stories
- high interest levels
- clarity of explanation, print, direction, purpose
- course broken down into manageable units
- excellent presentation of grammar
- appropriate amount to be mastered at a time
- visible grammar
- good exercises & cultural material
- good reinforcement
- sense of achievement
- "even a halfwitought to be able to cope with it"
- rather dull
- aimed at too low a target audience
- a bit too easy for a good student
- transatlantic case order (NGDA), since mended in UK edition (9/95)
- oversimplified grammar
- incomplete presentation of many items
- confusing, partial presentation of some grammar that is then later reintroduced
STRENGTHS: very clear & full explanation of grammatical concepts & principles (English and Greek); early use (by about lesson 19) of longer connected passages of original or adapted Greek texts
WEAKNESSES: course & exercises too full for a single-semester course; includes quite a lot of advanced linguistic concepts &c. in the explanations; sometimes insufficient translation examples of lessons' key grammatical topic
STRENGTHS: grammar well explained; plenty of practice sentences; assumes no formal knowledge of grammar (even English)
WEAKNESSES: badly typeset; shortage of continuous passages; criticised for ignoring some of the more specialised aspects of Christian Greek
Teach Yourself Ancient Greek
STRENGTHS: economical; contains basic grammarand
"dictionary" facilities; covers grammar in an order sensible for a course of this type
WEAKNESSES: introduces Homer too soon; not enougheasy translation passages; felt meaningless by comparison withRG; why learn the grammar unless to engage in a text?
STRENGTHS: continuous (adapted) passages introduced early on
WEAKNESSES: some information misleading or wrong
3.5 What needs would you wish to see addressed in future course materials?
- straightforward explanations for students with little grammatical background
- a coursebook for students with little linguistic ability which still has a good surrender value
- Latin passages reflecting on history & culture of Roman world
- textbook exploring aspects of Roman culture, society & history via a choice of approachable texts which would act as an aid to a more traditional grammar/exercise book
- wider use of simple extracts of original Latin (including inscriptions)
- stress on Latin roots of English words
- clear, modern, concise descriptive syntax and morphology
- intensive grammar exercises in the form of sentences/short pieces of prose
- well-developed & cheap computer program
- more precisely defined basic vocabulary
- group work projects
- concise, clear exposition
- ample vocabulary aid
- ample examples & exercises on grammatical points
- unpretentious course that gets good students a long way & allows weak ones a pass unless they do no work
- simple layout, with grammar laid out simply & clearly in separate sections (as in back of Hillard & Botting); this allows the Tutor to point out similarities/differences in forms, & suggest own methods for memorising forms; also easier for students to consult
- adequate handling of transition from textbook to real texts, eg by "exploded" texts
- better access to original texts (eg inscriptions) at an early stage
- less fuss about the middle
- more inventive, open-ended projects - perhaps group/team work
- affordable computer backup, properly developed (eg disk issued with book)
- a clear outline of how grammar functions, as needed by those without previous Latin
- plentiful exercises from which teacher could select (saves teacher's time making them up)
- more thorough definition of grammatical terms for those confined to the National Curriculum, probably with preliminary exercises in English
- a primer like Usher or Abbot & Mansfield with additionaleasy
- systematic grammar
- lively texts for 2nd & 3rd year
- investigating use of computer-aided learning in areas where it seems most useful: for consolidation of grammar & syntax
- simple or multiple substitution drills to enable students to analyse sentences as a whole
- a greatly simplified grammar book to meet the needs of students in their first & second year of study, containing only Attic Greek, no words that the students will never meet again, or technical jargon of the kind found in A&M
- lots of easy, intelligent elementary Greek to read
- building English vocabulary alongside classical
- recognition that majority of students have little to no foundation in grammatical terms & concepts even of their own language
- some sort of "self-correcting" reinforcement exercises?
- a coursebook for students with little linguistic ability which would introduce them to significant Greek words without overwhelming them
(see also Annex on grammatical coverage)
4.1 If you use a coursebook, which section would you expect to reach?
Reading Latin: 8 respondents indicated coverage in a 1-year course or the first year of a longer course; the results are charted below. "Most" in this instance means all of the grammar and syntax, but omitting the scansion and verse-diction. Regrettably, the questionnaire did not think to ask how long it took to finish the book in cases when a year was insufficient.
Wheelock: Of the 2 users, 1 finished the book and the other moved to handouts once the basic grammar was covered.
The sharpest apparent contrast was onTeach Yourself Latin, where one of the two users reported completing the book (31 Units) in a year, while the other made it only as far as Unit 15 or 16. But the first was a non-assessed postgraduate course for non-classicists, while the second was a compulsory undergraduate beginners' course (the largest, in fact, recorded in the survey).
10 respondents gave figures for one-year courses; as the graph shows, they vary widely. Only one was able to finish the book in a year, and then not with all groups; others omitted sections (6D-E, 11) to get as far as they did. One course aimed to completeRG in 3 semesters.
4 courses completed both volumes in a year; 1 aimed at Chapter 22 (of 24); and 1 completed the first volume only in a semester, thereafter proceeding to other materials.
The solitary users ofGreek for Beginners and of Learning Ancient Greek completed the books; the lone Teach Yourself respondent made it to Unit 12, omitting most of Unit 11.
4.2 By the end of the course, which of the following can most students realistically be expected to be able to do?
|consult a text in the original language alongside a reading translation||17||23||40|
|read original texts with the aid of dictionaries and commentaries||13||19||32|
|translate unseen passages from ancient authors in modified/unmodified form||9||14||23|
|read original texts unseen with reasonable understanding||3||4||7|
5.1 Do you "screen out" students who students who have difficulties with formal language learning? (Respondents could tick more than one box if appropriate.)
|at course enrolment||1||5||6|
|early on course||8||40||18|
5.2 Are you able to offer an "exit route" for students who prove unequal to the challenge?
|exit with part credit||2||3||5|
|exit without credit||7||8||15|
5.2.1 If you do offer an exit route, what kinds of exit are available?
(e) is presumably a widely-available option, but will have be seen by most respondents as equivalent to not offering an exit route at all. Most of the offers of (c) came from north of the border, where the highly-modular Scottish system makes such transfer comparatively painless; one respondent offered the interesting variant of transfer to a non-linguistic course outside the Department, which nevertheless would still take much or all of its materials from the Department.
|(a) transfer to alternative, non-linguistic course within the Department||5||10||15|
|(b) transfer to non-linguistic course outside the Department||2||7||9|
|(c) transfer to non-linguistic course modular course||3||1||4|
|(d) transfer from Greek to Latin, or to Latin-only degree||0||2||2|
|(e) transfer to non-classical degree programme||0||2||2|
6.1.1 How many students do you have in a single class?
6.1.2 Is it, so far as you know, typical of language classes in your institution?
An interesting and somewhat unexpected set of findings, if the pattern exposed by the small number of positive responses is typical.
6.1.3 In your view, what number would be ideal?
Two respondents (with Greek classes of 10-20 and 35 bodies) felt that class size was immaterial: "size is irrelevant; studentability is crucial".
6.2.1 If your classes are larger than ideal, what particular pressures would you identify as resulting from this?
Considerable convergence between responses here; most of the following points were made repeatedly.
- uneven levels of students' attainments
- slower speed of course
- not possible for all students to participate in class
- insufficient time to help each student with grammatical problems (esp. weaker ones)
- difficulties keeping students' interest
- keeping all individuals fully engaged, especially when spread of ability becomes more apparent as the year proceeds
- less chance for individual student/teacher rapport
- class can fragment into subgroups
- keeping track of absentees
- danger of "losing" students through failure to identify problems early enough in course
- possible embarrassment of weaker students having to contribute before large audience
- pressure on staff workload
- excess marking, and inhibitions in setting work to mark
- fewer or shorter assignments because of demands on marking time
- marking the amount of written work needed to see (a) that work is being grasped (b) which difficulties persist and where
- additional work of detailed marking of assessed tests
- identifying those who are experiencing difficulty
- preventing those who don't need to from doing all the contributing
- high dropout rate (for voluntary, non-assessed course)
- difficulty in arranging individual tutorials
- difficult to ensure that all students are tested at each stage; oral exercises (vitally necessary) become too time-consuming
- easier for some students to "ride" on the better ones
- hard to keep track of patterns of attendance
6.2.2 Are there particular techniques that you have found useful for coping with large classes?
- arrange the room as a group rather than as rows
- splitting group in 2 & doubling hours
- subdivision of one class period into two smaller groups
- weekly tutorials of 6-7 students
- dividing class into 2 groups for 1 hour a week for return of exercises/language revision
- programme 2-hour classes with 10-minute break in middle to field problems
- "monitorial" help from more advanced students in the class for others
- getting students to work in small groups (2/3) during class
- buzz groups
- dividing students into pairs (a) to test each other on what they've learnt/understood in the middle & at the end of sessions (b) for grammar exercises/translations
- making one of them run the class (with teacher present to help)
- plenty of active exposition from the board
- constant repetition of grammatical rules
- exercises on common mistakes & difficulties
- short, sharp tests
- soliciting dialogue rather than monologue
- bringing in whole class by getting students to read aloud, translate, answer questions
- oral working of manipulation exercises around the class
- not expecting anyone to translate in public if he/she has not prepared beforehand
- keeping up momentum by being consistent & well organised
- clear statement at end of each class of work planned for next class (so that nobody needs to be caught unprepared)
- having specific goals for each student
- knowing each student well, & discussing with them ways which will help them learn
- computer-assisted study in students' own time
- will power
- sense of humour
7.1 Are you able to use short-burst language courses (excluding Summer Schools)? If "yes", what is the length of the course, how many contact hours are involved, and when in the academic calendar does it fall?
Unsurprisingly, only two institutions were able to answer in the affirmative. One offered Latin short course of 3 weeks in September-October with 32 contact hours, and a one-week pre-sessional Greek course of 10 contact hours at the same time of year. The other, catering for part-time students, offered a series of three intensive five-hour day classes in Greek on Saturdays towards the end of the year.
7.2 Do you encourage students to attend Summer Schools? If so, which, and are you able to subsidise students' attendance?
4 positive responses for Latin and 14 for Greek, though only 1 and 5 respectively could offer subsidy. Of the Summer Schools specifically recommended, JACT had two Latin and seven Greek mentions, Lampeter 1 and 3, London 2 Greek, and City Lit 1 Greek.
8.1 Approximately what percentage of class-time on the course is allocated to different activities?
The pie charts again are based on averaging the percentages reported, to give a breakdown of the average proportions of time spent on the six listed activities. There is, of course, considerable necessary overlap between categories.
Since many found this extremely hard to quantify, differences between the average allocation of class time reported for the two languages may easily be a statistical ripple. They are nevertheless suggestive enough to seem worth presenting in the form of separate pie charts.
8.2 At what point in the course (if any) is the reading of continuous passages from original texts introduced?
The question was slightly flawed by the failure of the wording to distinguish adapted from unmodified passages (and, to a lesser extent, by an intentional vagueness over the scope of "continuous"). Some respondents, for instance, reasonably felt thatReading Greek and/orReading Latin
introduced "continuous passages from original texts" at the outset, rather than in (say)RG section 11; these answers have not been counted in the above table. "Never", of course, means for these purposes "not in the first year of study".
*Latinstudy and LLCP had two users each, and SCIO one; the remainder were in-house programs devised by Departmental staff.
|8.3.1 Which of the following do you include as regular elements of the course?||Latin||Greek||total|
|aural learning (oral drills, reading aloud by teacher or students, etc.)||14||23||37|
|translation into Latin or Latin (at sentence level or above)||12||18||30|
|comparison of translations||3||4||7|
|survey of English grammar||11||15||26|
|non-linguistic information about the culture ||10||17||27|
8.3.2 Are there other kinds of special language or reading exercise that you have found especially helpful, and would recommend to other teachers?
- pattern of exercises inRG sensible & helpful: (a) vocabulary (b) morphology & syntax (c) English into Greek
- springing unseen translations on the class; breaking them into pairs; allowing them to use books & partner to translate; go through end result at end of lesson. Using a partner lessens pressure & increases enjoyment.
- "Your translation is wrong. What would the Latin have to be for your translation to be correct?"
- construction recognition (spot the ablative absolutes...)
- reading aloud
- "exploded" prose
- texts in which words are given with a choice of endings
- texts typed without spaces for students to mark word-divisions
- aural translation (towards end of course)
- Each new grammar feature is explained once very slowly using blackboard, then practised orally round the class in simple morphological exercise (I write down their correct answers). They get confidence from being able to "use" new features immediately. Then I get them to describe back to me what they've just understood.
- multiple substitution drills which the teacher can check with the class (can also be set for private study)
- retranslation of passages after initial working-out
- description in grammatical terms of various verb or noun forms
- identifying examples of particular linguistic phenomena from a passage
- identification of new forms in reading passages with discussion of meaningbefore translating
- special work on prepositions & (especially) suffixation: "students faced with a language as apparently variable as Greek find it a helpful means of control"
- regular written tests on grammar & vocabulary
- regular (weekly) vocab tests: genuine improvement detectable
- Lysias i as set text: "appears to contain virtually all Greek syntax, in 8 pages!"
- unseens from Balme,Intellegenda
- extracts from Potter,Gradatim
- Wilson,Exploranda Latina (interesting unseens)
- Usborne'sDe Roma Antiqua
- "I think this question would be better put to the students: who vary greatly in response: some wanting model sentences, some wanting texts in a suitable gradient, and all thinking something different might have been very helpful!"
9.1 Do you offer students formal guidance on language study skills and methods?
|as part of language course||15||18||33|
|as separate strand||0||3||3|
9.1.1 If you do offer such guidance, what language-learning skills are covered?
|management of private study time||9||14||23|
|techniques for private translation and text preparation||10||16||26|
|techniques for specific forms of prescribed exercise||10||16||26|
|use of vocabularies and dictionaries||15||16||31|
|learning techniques for accidence and/or syntax||12||18||30|
|techniques for reinforcement and revision||7||46||23|
9.1.2 How much time in total is spent?
Most found this the hardest question to answer quantitatively, and it would probably be misleading to tabulate the results; but everyone who attempted an estimate gave a figure in the range 2-8 hours or 2-10% of the course.
10.1 How is your course assessed? (Respondents were asked to tick as many as appropriate.)
Other:1 respondent used computer tests; 1 Latin and 3 Greek courses for non-classicists were not formally assessed.
|unseen final exam||16||23||39|
|other assessed coursework||5||7||12|
10.2.1 If you use in-course tests or coursework assessment, at how many points in the course does assessment take place?
Figures quoted ranged from 2 to 40, but in the event two distinct patterns emerged: one with a small number of tests at fixed points in the year, and one with weekly (or more) tests throughout the course. There was no correlation between the frequency of tests and the proportion of total course marks they carried (see 10.2.2), but there was, as might be expected, a rough inverse correlation between frequency and duration (see 10.2.3).
10.2.2 ... and what proportion of the total marks for the course does it carry?
10.2.3 If you use in-course tests, how much time (in minutes) is allowed for each?
It is assumed here that "an hour" often means a "lecturer's hour" of 50 minutes, so periods from 45 to 60 minutes are simply lumped together. No other durations were specified.
10.3 What types of question or exercise do you use in the final exam or other terminal assessment?
(Respondents could tick as many boxes as appropriate, and were invited to enclose a recent question paper if they wished. It proved impossible to devise a table that would be combinatorially complete, but the following gives a sense of the range of practice.)
Latin into English:
Greek into English:
Comprehensions seem to be regarded with some wariness. "Useless as test," commented one respondent: "just a way of giving marks for nothing so as to avoid fails."
Translation from English into Latin/Greek:
|single words or phrases||2||7||9|
1 Latin and 2 Greek respondents used a prescribed-texts paper; 2 Greek respondents included substitution exercises in the exam (such as "Put into the plural", changing subject from singular to plural and making all consequent changes). Other individual responses specified:
- parsing exercises
- historical/cultural questions in the language paper itself
- essay-type questions on reading as a whole
- comprehension-type questions testing understanding of a passage (contents & significance, jokes & puns in the case of a Plautine passage)
- phrases for translation (rather than whole sentences)
- a short stylistic question on a seen passage
10.4 Do you allow the use of dictionaries in examinations or other assessments? (Respondents were asked to tick as many boxes as appropriate.)
Other: one permitted the use of English dictionaries by non-English speakers; another allowed a form of assessed coursework consisting of Greek-English & English-Greek sentences completed in students' own time with whatever book help they wish.
|Latin/Greek into English||5||5||10|
|English into Latin/Greek||3||1||4|
ANNEX I: LATIN GRAMMAR COVERAGE
|Adjectives||1st/2nd & 3rd declensions||16|
|pronominal "declension" (alius &c.)||14|
THE VERB (all conjugations):
Irregular verbs (if covered for the same tenses and moods as above).
|perfect active||[accidentally left off questionnaire! but at least 10]|
|- with indicative||12|
|- with subjunctive||8|
|- with quod/quia||10|
|- with cum||9|
|Subordinate clauses in indirect speech||2|
|- with indicative||9|
|- with subjunctive||8|
|Verbs of fearing||6|
|quominus & quin||3|
ANNEX II: GREEK GRAMMAR COVERAGE
The verb in -w:
|pres.||future||impf.||w. aor||st. aor.||perf.||fut. pf.||plupf.|
|2nd imperat. act.||22||20||20||8|
|3rd imper. active||17||17||17||9|
|2nd imper. pass.||18||17||17||8|
|3rd imper. m/p||17||17||17||8|
|inf. mid. & pas.||22||19||19||19||14||8|
Duals in verb: 8
Verbs in -mi
(if covered for the same tenses, moods, and voices as above):
Irregular verbs* (basic tenses and moods):
|Duals in noun/adj./art./pron.||6|
|- with acc. or nom. + inf.||19|
|- with participle|
(verbs of sensing/perceiving)
|- with indicative||20|
|- with subjunctive/optative||15|
|- with indicative||21|
|- with subjunctive/optative||15|
|- with indicative||19|
|- with subjunctive/optative||15|
|Verbs of fearing||14|
|Subordinate clauses in indirect speech||5|
*"No such thing - only inadequate rules."
© Council of University Classics Departments 1995-8