Beginning Greek Web Class
Our beginning Greek fluency course is a year-long course that covers essential Greek grammar, and goes beyond merely presenting grammar, paradigms and vocabulary. It will help you work toward fluency by taking advantage of more technological tools to learn the language than any other online Greek course. Also you are able to work at your own pace completing the course on a faster or slower schedule as you desire. At the end of the course you will be able to read and study the Greek New Testament in a serious way. Normally, students join the weekly online Greek New Testament reading group directly after the fluency course.
To learn how to read Greek (as with any language) with any degree of fluency the student must learn to think in Greek. Most Greek courses teach people how to work only within English terms. In other words, there is no understanding of the text until it is converted into English. This course is different from the typical Greek course in that it focuses on training students to think in Biblical Greek through Greek stories, conversational dialogues and compositions. It is also different in its format. Students can work through lectures and audio exercises (such as dialogues) on their own time and then attend live office hours each week to work through their personal questions. This is also a fantastic safety net for anyone that falls behind the pace of the course or needs to work at it on a personal schedule.
So if you are excited about learning Ancient Greek as a foreign language and want to learn it actively as other modern languages, this course was designed for you.
The course is a beginning course and does not require any previous experience with Greek. Many people actually learn English grammar as they learn Biblical Greek. The course is best suited for students who are at least 14 years old. (It is preferable for those 14-15 to have had some previous experience with a foreign language.) At the other end of the spectrum you are never too old to learn ancient Greek so there is no upper age limit.
3. Course Format - 10 quality services of the course (Please compare with any other online Greek course to see that no other course offers as much as the IBG Greek course.)
The course is structured around the Athenaze textbook, which has 32 lessons. When a live cohort group is working through the lessons we work through one lesson per week which produces a typical 32 week academic year. So the table of contents of this textbook is our syllabus. This list of lessons is also listed in the sidebar of our course website.
www.BiblicalGreek.org/grammar/Athenaze/ is our course web site. All instructions and resources can be found from this site. It is basically an extended syllabus, having one web page per lesson (week) of the course. There is a "course-set-up" link in the side bar to help you get started and remember how to gain access to all of the resources. Then there are links in the sidebar to web pages for each lesson in the book. These web pages contain lectures and recordings as well as other resources for each lesson including a clickable list of vocabulary. As you will see below, this course is packed with resources. The lesson web pages will help you understand what is available and expected for that lesson.
Audio Visual Flashcards
Each week students are responsible for learning vocabulary. In addition to the clickable vocabulary lists on each lesson page, this course has flashcards that work with Anki (a flashcard program that helps students learn through a spaced review system algorithm. These flash cards have pictures for the words and will pronounce them as well. The Anki program will determine which older cards you need to review the most to help you to learn the vocabulary as quickly as possible.
For many chapters, there is a video that explains the grammar for that lesson. More of these videos are continually being added. Where there isn't a packaged video lecture, students can still have access to the recorded video lectures of many past cohorts (Three years of cohort meetings -multiple lectures for each lesson- are currently available.) You can find an example of one of the first of these lectures (the one on the alphabet) at the bottom of this page: http://www.biblicalgreek.org/grammar/athenaze/introduction2.php
Live Online Cohort Meetings
Each year we take two classes through the curriculum at a one lesson per week pace. These classes are called cohorts. There is a September Cohort and a February Cohort. These groups meet once a week in a live video conference to ask questions and work through the material of a particular lesson. It is a great idea to start the course well before a cohort begins so you can get a head start on the group. If you fall behind your cohort you can always take a break, review and join the next one (at no additional cost). Or if you work ahead, you can always jump into whichever group is closest to your level. There is no extra cost for any of these situations. We want to provide as many avenues for learning and safety nets as possible. If you want to join a third and fourth set of cohort groups you can do so at half price. (Recorded cohort meetings will remain available indefinitely at no extra cost.)
The live conferences use Adobe’s Acrobat Connect Pro to meet online. This system is flash based so it will work with both PCs and Macs and firewalls are not a problem. The conferencing system allows students to see the instructor and interact online through their microphones. Students are also welcome to type comments and questions in the real-time chat window during the conferences. This additional mode of communication increases the amount of classroom interaction and benefits students in a way not possible in a conventional classroom.
Recorded Cohort Meetings
All of the video conferences are recorded and can be viewed indefinitely during and after a student's cohort finishes. So even if you never attend one of the live meetings, you can see recordings of many past meetings working with any particular lesson. This is also a fantastic way to review the course, even years after you complete the course.
Click here to open a recording of one of the cohort meetings as a typical example of a cohort meeting. This meeting was lesson 4β, which is the eighth week of the course. You can move the slider at the bottom of the screen to skip your way through the meeting.
Live Office Hours
You can contact the instructor with your questions by email, or visit the live office hour conference meeting to dialogue with him.
Athenaze is structured around story that continues in each lesson. All of these are recorded for you to have on your MP3 player or computer to push you toward fluency (understanding a story being read at speed). As you work through the material you can quickly review past material by reviewing the story from the beginning.
Recorded Grammatical Commentaries
For many of the lessons, especially when the grammar in the story is not explained in a recorded lecture, there is an MP3 that works through the story phrase by phrase and explains how to understand the grammar in each phrase.
For each lesson there is an online quiz, which is based on material from the workbook. You can take these lesson quizzes as often as you like for practice. The quizzes draw from pools of questions so there may be different questions each time you take the quiz. At four points in the course there is an online unit exam, which may only be taken once. It draws from the same pools of questions that the quizzes do. So if you have studied with the quizzes, you will do very well on the unit exams.
We have been receiving positive reviews from students for over a decade. You can see reviews from students who recently completed the course and are now reading the Greek New Testament on our Facebook page. Here is a link to their comments.Please feel free to comment on the comments or ask them questions.
Students may begin the course and complete it at any time. Typically, there is a larger group of students who enroll during the summer and get a head start for the cohort sessions that begins the week after Labor Day. Another common beginning time is January prior to the beginning of February winter cohort. Given all of the recordings, open office hours and the ability to slip into the closest cohort group, students can begin at any time during the year.
Below is a chart, showing the live meeting times for all of our online classes. Since all of the lectures and exercises are recorded the live sessions are not required, but are a helpful benefit for personal instruction. Think of the recorded videos as the class portion of the course and the live meetings as office hours. The available meeting times are displayed in green. There are two cohort meetings on Thursday. One begins the week after Labor Day and finishes in the summer. The second one begins at the beginning of February and finishes prior to December (allowing for some breaks in the summer). These meetings work through the exercises of each lesson (one lesson per week) and are recorded to be available for those who can’t attend the live meeting time. The other sessions run year round so students can work at their own pace or get a head start on the cohort sessions. Our goal is to be as flexible as possible with your personal learning pace.
Meetings will not occur during weeks when Prof. Schwandt must travel and on the following holidays:
* The Fall Cohort runs for a typical academic year beginning the week after Labor Day and finishing in June.
* The Spring Cohort runs for a similar time period beginning in February and ending in November with some breaks in the summer.
All of the lectures, conversational dialogues, stories and vocabulary lists are recorded by John Schwandt, M.A. He also hosts the live Greek cohort meetings and office hours. He is a Senior Fellow of Classical Languages at New St. Andrews College and has taught Greek at the college level since 1997. Mr. Schwandt was the senior editor of the ESV reverse interlinear Bible and recorded the Greek New Testament for the German Bible Society (available through Logos Software). He also is the voice behind the Greek recordings in Bible Works software and Bible Soft Software. He developed Greek In A Week, which is now called New Testament Language Training. This is an intensive language learning course which he has been offering in various locations multiple times each year since 1998. Mr. Schwandt founded and served as the director of the National Biblical Greek Exam for nearly a decade. Prof. Schwandt is known as an energetic instructor whose enthusiasm for Greek is contagious.
The course tuition is only $485. This works out to approximately $7.50 for each hour of instruction. (Compare this to the price of piano lessons.) This is also comparable to $60 per college credit (According to Oxford's standards for their curriculum, the course should be equivalent to 8 credits. Normally colleges charge between $200 and $1,200 per credit.). Both of these comparisons should make it is clear that this course is an amazing value, especially considering all of the tools for learning that it offers. We can also offer two payment plans if necessary. As mentioned above, the tuition covers two attempts at year long course. So you can take the course for six months and then decide to start over again for review with the next cohort for no extra cost.
Upon completion of Athenaze volume 1, students have two options. They can either take advantage of a couple additional meetings (free) to prepare them for reading the Greek New Testament and then join the Greek New Testament reading group that meets once per week (only $25 per month and can be joined or cancelled at any time) or they can work through recordings for volume 2 of the curriculum. (free) Most people who finish the fluency course are excited to consistently read the New Testament in the original and join the weekly reading group. Some people use this reading group to count for a second year Greek course that they need on their transcript.
The only thing not included in the course tuition are the two required books, which may be purchased online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Tuition includes hours of audio/video lectures, readings, exercises, quizzes, exams and one year of access to live weekly office hours.
Process for signing up and getting started
Once you register for the course and pay the tuition, the instructor will manually activate your account at www.biblicalgreek.org/grammar/athenaze/ (This can take anywhere between immediately and 24 hours. It is simply a matter when the instructor is able to check his email. Normally it occurs within a few hours.) This will unlock the recorded video lectures (approximately 30 minutes per lesson), story recordings, and video conversational dialogues pertaining to the stories. It will also contain directions to log into the class account at www.greekexam.com so you can take the quizzes and unit exams.) Within your account there is a web page with all of the links to these recordings and all of the vocabulary with clickable pronunciation for you to learn for each lesson.
Course Text Books:
Oxford Press has developed a time tested world renowned curriculum called Athenaze. It is a story driven grammar that introduces the student to ancient Greek culture, relationships, work, literature and history. After completing the first volume of the curriculum (the first year), students can join the weekly Greek New Testament reading group and enjoy translating the New Testament each week. If you are serious about truly learning how to read Greek easily, this is the curriculum that will guide you all of the way to the end. A student who completes the curriculum should easily be placed in an intermediate Greek course at the college or graduate level.
Contrary to popular opinion, Greek is not a dead language. The language has undergone a number of dialectical changes, but the language itself has maintained its integrity for thousands of years. God has seen fit to preserve the language of the New Testament to this present day with basically the same sound. If it were possible for you to hear Timothy speaking Greek and then someone from modern Greece, you would certainly notice that they were speaking the same language. This would not be the case with Homer, whose Greek dialect had significantly different sounds.
Most Biblical Greek courses taught in America today use the Erasmian pronunciation, which began as an attempt to speak Greek as it was spoken before the Koiné period. However, the Erasmian pronunciation has now become merely an Anglicized pedagogical construction that was never used by Greeks at any time. Since this course teaches the language as it was used in Biblical times, we will not use the Erasmian pronunciation but rather the true historic and ethnic Greek pronunciation identified by Randall Buth (how the New Testament writers themselves spoke). This system has many benefits. The primary advantage it has over the typical American (Erasmian) version is that it distinguishes vowel sounds that the Erasmian pronunciation wrongly confuses and Ancient Greek would have held distinct (i.e., ει as different from η). It does distinguish vowels that Modern Greek does not, but given the variety within Erasmian systems and the phonemic historicity of Buth's system, this approach should offend neither Academics nor the Modern Greek ear. Further, it will enable us to learn the language like ancient Greeks.(Frequently Asked Questions).