Accentuating: the positives and the negatives

September 15, 2009

One of the questions I’ve had to think about while thinking about the Beginners’ Greek class is the question of accents: the acute, grave and circumflex used in writing and printing ancient Greek, like this:

Ὦ κοινὸν αὐτάδελφον Ἰσμήνης κάρα

This is a rather nerdy matter, but interesting partly because it highlights some of the difficulties in teaching a language which isn’t spoken, as well as broader questions about how to deal with teaching a language quickly.

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New term, new students

September 12, 2009

During the last week I’ve been girding my loins for the arrival of the new students. This is not altogether my favourite part of the year: lots of preparation of course booklets and websites and administration. I also get quite nervous about the term to come (I’ve even had an “exam dream” about trying not to fall off a cliff).

I’ll be much happier (I hope) during next week, when the students return – and, in the case of the freshers, arrive for the first time.

In fact, a lot of my year ahead will be concerned with students arriving at the university for the first time.

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