Greek is not a language I ever really thought would happen in our home but At Home Dad was interested. He has been using Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 3 Set for about a month and seems to be pretty impressed with the product from Greek ‘n’ Stuff.
We received a package that included three items:
- Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! A Biblical Greek Worktext Level 3
- Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! A Biblical Greek Worktext Level 3 Answer Key
- Pronunciation CD for Levels 3 and 4
Greek ‘n’ Stuff has a number of products that include not just the Greek language studies but also some Bible studies, such as Jonah & Ruth, I Samuel, Acts, or Esther (which are other titles the Crew is reviewing right now).
Since At Home Dad is the one who used this product, he wrote the review this time. Without further adieu, here it is:
“Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek!” is a progressive, long-term study of New-Testament (not modern) Greek, designed to enrich the study of the Bible. I think we have all had a moment of wishing we could read the Bible in its original languages. While I don’t hold any illusions of becoming fluent in Greek, I have wanted some kind of self-study for a long time, and never found the time, or a way to get into it. So I was excited to get to review this product and see if it would get me started on the path.
The study is designed for children, but does have recommendations to start on Level 3 for an adult beginner student. This is what I did. Based on the types of activities included in Level 3, I would say the first few levels probably correspond to elementary students. This was not a problem for me; it is easy to take the meat from the lesson without using the “entertainment” aspects of it. Besides, I’m easily amused anyway!
That said, jumping in was not exactly easy; the review at the beginning goes very fast when it’s not review to you, and I got bogged down just trying to learn the alphabet: there’s learning the symbol, how to pronounce it, where it comes in the alphabet, and of course teaching your hand to make this particular squiggly mark! That’s not the fault of “Hey, Andrew!”, but just a matter of patience and taking the earlier lessons slowly.
By the way, the study was only organized into “lessons” after the fact, because some teachers wanted it that way. The author originally wrote it with the intention of moving at your own pace, the ideal being about a page a day plus flash card practice. At that speed, Level 3 would take about a school year. Using a “lesson approach”, it is one lesson a week for the same length. By that standard, I am at the end of the second lesson, which concludes the alphabet review, and am about to go into the new material.
So, how did I do? Am I fluent yet? Not by a long shot! There are no shortcuts with learning a language, only good or bad methods – and time. I’ve had a little over a month with the product, and am still excited about it. Life happens, though, and I haven’t used it every day like I should have. Like most things, a language becomes easier through repetition, and I have many reps to go in this study!
I received the Worktext and the Answer Key, as well as a CD that included a Greek Alphabet Song and pronunciation of vocabulary words, in lesson order. This CD seems to cover Level 4 as well as Level 3. I was not so impressed by the quality of recording; there is a lot of tape hiss. I think a newly-recorded digital recording would make the pronunciation clearer. I also didn’t think the song was very memorable, but a child might think differently. As for the Answer Key, it is basically the Worktext with the answers filled in. There is some information on guiding the study as well. Unless you are already a Greek scholar, you are going to need both books!
Things to Notice:
One thing that I noticed was a lack of grammar tools as a part of the lesson. Information on punctuation, verb tenses, accent marks, and so on are not really a part of the daily lessons. They may be part of the earlier or later levels, or this may just be the approach. There is a lot of word-by-word and phrase-by-phrase work which may not appeal to everyone. I did find the information I was looking for in the appendices, but it was pretty basic. On the other hand, learning by word and phrase is the way we all learn our first language, so I won’t knock it as a technique.
One final note: parents don’t necessarily need to study along with the student. There aren’t really any open-ended questions; everything has a “right answer”, and it is right there in the answer key for you. It does seem like it would be better, though, to do it alongside them in order to add that little bit of “lecture” that guides learning in a lot of children. There is not a lot of written instruction; it is very much a “just do it” approach. An adult wanting a crash course in Greek will probably want to look for other sources to supplement “Hey, Andrew!” for that reason.
Alrighty. Me again. One thing I will add is that if your student is using level 3 after having had some Greek already, they will also benefit from having a Greek New Testament. Hey, Andrew! recommends some copywork and daily reading in Greek from it once they become familiar with some words and phrases. (Guess I need to start looking for one for At Home Dad now that he is moving into that phase.) If you have further questions, there is a good FAQ page on the Greek ‘n’ Stuff site with a lot of good information.
I am certain that At Home Dad will continue to use this and increase his knowledge of Greek, thus increasing his ability to understand the Bible better. And that is a worthy goal.