Sunday, June 08, 2014


Learning Vocabulary

I learned what little Greek I know mostly from A New Introduction to Greek by Alston Hurd Chase and Henry Phillips, Jr., a book which I still consult often. I was interested therefore to learn that Chase wrote his memoirs, Time Remembered (San Antonio: Parker, 1994). I don't like to quote from web pages, but the book is unavailable to me, and excerpts are available here. Among some useful classroom tips is this, from Part II, Chapter 1:
I explained to my classes that learning vocabulary is often a process of looking up the same word over and over until one remembers it out of sheer irritation. I used to tell of my own frequent frustration in looking up a strange word occurring in the text, finding it in the dictionary or vocabulary, then turning back to the text only to discover that I had already forgotten the meaning. This revelation of preceptorial weakness always brought bright smiles of response from the class.
From the same chapter:
It is an interesting comment upon American education and what ails it that I should never have been allowed a full-time contract to teach in the public schools of Massachusetts even with my Harvard doctorate and over 40 years of classroom experience, but should have had to yield precedence to someone just out of college with the statutory hours in EDUCATION.

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