Sunday, May 13, 2012

Various language thoughts and notes for the day

The days are long here. A few weeks ago I would get up at 7 and feel a little tired, not I wake at 6:30 or earlier and get up. I don't think I've lived so far off the equator - this would be the equivalent of the being off the end of New Zealand I think.

It does mean I get more language work done. I suppose I should be doing more reading and research though. Last night I picked up my copy of Sermones Romani for some light latin reading. I think my fluency of reading is doing quite well at the moment. I hadn't remembered or perhaps realised that the first section there is taken from Pseudo-Dositheus, and was a bilingual parallel text of daily-life Latin and Greek. Ps-Dositheus is the link. It's quite a good, relatively simple read, and I find that when the Greek is unclear, the Latin usually is sufficient. I am thinking of incorporating part of the Greek into my reader.

Speaking of the reader, I think I have largely concluded chapter 2. I put a short grammar explanation in, though I am not sure I entirely got the syntax of grammar correct. The next step in preparing the chapter would be to have a grammatical demonstration section, and exercitia. I will wait until I have my copy of LL here so I have something to model. LL is 35 chapters, but I can see my text running to 40-50. I don't think having more material is bad in any way (except for those that need to 'get through a course'). If I wrote a chapter a week, I'd be done within a year, though that is probably too ambitious. At least a draft of the main storyline would be done. If it turns out well, I will get some Graecists to proof it and review it. I do need to make sure that the work, however Ørbergian it is, is sufficiently distinct that it is not open to copyright claims, that would be the death-knell of open-source. Further steps would be getting some drawings done, especially for the early chapters where a few illustrations would make the text readily understandable per se. Indeed, that is surely part of the genius of Ørberg. If I teach from it, I will probably produce some Greek-Mongolian aids, which means I would probably produce some Greek-English aids as well. The overall timeline then would be 1 year for a draft reader, possibly 2 years for a finished text.

I am trying overall to get more Latin and Greek "in my life". That means more reading, regular composition, and being a little more active in internet agorae (I went to write forums, but of course the meaning of forum on the internet is more precise than what I wanted). For example, I've started reading the tantum latine mailing list, and I hope to spend some more time on Schola, though it's a bit of an intimidating site even for me.

My Gaelic class at the Atlantic Gaelic Academy has finished up for the summer. I think their course is excellent, though I do think some improvements could be made. They use for part of the course a fairly dry, grammar-intense set of notes, which don't do that much good. These are the TAIC notes. Since they expect learners to have a copy of Teach Yourself Gaelic, I think they might as well ask them to buy a second book, something like Gràmar na Gaidhlig would be better. What I enjoyed most was that it was mainly oral, 3 hrs on Skype a week. I wouldn't enjoy the same classtime structure in a physical class though, far better to implement TPRS or Ulpan or something. There's an Ulpan project for Gaelic in Scotland, which is pretty exciting to see.

I've heard great things to about Where Are Your Keys. I need to sit down and watch the lengthy demonstration video.

ut semper, mihi scribe, multum temporis habeo et respondere volo respondeamque!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

TPRS, Ulpan ... Why are they all 'propiatory' and sold like snake oil? What have all the professional teachers, psychologists and linguists been doing all these years? Surely by now they should have figure out what works best and under what circumstances. There should be no room for charlatans each with their little ponzi scheme. Why should I pay to be inducted into the brotherhood, since they cannot guarantee that I will acquire the language in question. It's me that has to do the learning, and if I fail, then of course the pupil is to blame, so no money-back warranties. As for immersion schemes ... what happens to those who drown? Like Mulder "I want to believe", but it all just looks like one big con. Notice especially how once there's government money around, these systems expand to suck it up, in Wales for a long time, now in Scotland too. They create a whole swathe of 'permanent learners' who go from scheme to scheme the way golfers go from course to course, but mostly never join the community of native speakers. (And would they even be welcome?) It all becomes an end in itself, a strange offshoot of the holiday/entertainment industry. Meanwhile languages die ...