It’s hard to believe that already a week has gone by since the end of BLC’s second Koine Greek Fluency Workshop. For those of us involved in the planning and/or the instruction, it was obviously a very busy time for us. I won’t recap all that took place, as a detailed summary has already been written up by one of the participants (see here – it also includes links to a couple more blog posts about the workshop).
Including facilitators, there were about 40 total, with participants coming from around the world (Hong Kong, Malawi, Japan, etc.) as well as Canada and USA. The range of background was actually quite diverse, with some who have only done self-study (mainly using the BLC’s materials) to others who have years of experience teaching Greek. Some even commented on how having this mix among participants, as well as a range of abilities among facilitators, actually helped one better conceptualize how communicative language teaching can be applied with a diversity of student and instructor ability.
In my opinion, and it was echoed by others, it was BLC’s best workshop to date. One of the main reasons it was so successful was the high ratio of facilitators to participants. At times there were 10 facilitators for just under 30 participants. It allowed for break out groups under the leadership of two facilitators with small groups of five to seven people. Let me quote one participant’s words on his end-of-workshop evaluation sheet:
We students worked hard; the teachers harder. I cannot commend enough their enthusiasm, creativity, humor, sensitivity, and energy. All those qualities, moreover, were contagious.
In addition to what took place during the workshop, reports are beginning to trickle back as to how participation in the workshop continues to have an impact on the participants. One comment that is echoed by several is how becoming more fluent in speaking improves reading skills . One put it this way:
I was skeptical, but I came away seeing this improves reading skills. I have been able to read NT fluently for some time, but reading this week it felt more instant, almost, but not quite like English.
This is nice anecdotal evidence for a paper I am to present at ETS and SBL this coming November on what we know makes for effective reading.