Thesis Defense Presentation

November 30, 2018 | Author: Peter Sipes | Category: Second Language Acquisition, Vocabulary, Second Language, Semiotics, Human Communication
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These are the slides I used for my thesis defense about Ancient Greek Textbooks. Really, it's nothing near what...


A Discourse Analysis of Three Ancient Greek Textbooks Peter Sipes Thesis Defense presentation 26 March 2015

Ancient Greek, the language ● Not genet enetic ica ally lly clos close e to English ● Not genet enetic ica ally lly clos close e to Latin, though there was much contact ● Chart hi hides an ancient polycentrism Graphic from Chang et al. (2015)

Ancient Greek, the language Polycentric for sure ● Epic (not shown) ● Attic (pink) ● Ionian (p (purple) ● Doric (tan) ● Aeolic (y (yellow) ● Koine (not

What is a language textbook? Things you already know ● Presents L2 ● Presents L2’s culture Image source:

What is a language textbook? Things you don’t already know ● Authority ● Position ● Ideology ○ both L2 culture ○ how L2 L2 is is presented Image source: theenchiridion-medium-adventure-time?ref=shop_home_active_16

Positioning & Authority Textbooks can be “understood as the legitimate version of a society’s sound knowledge— the knowledge that every pupil has a primary responsibility to master” (Dendrinos, 1992).

There can be interactive positioning in which what one person says positions another... However it would be a mistake to assume that… positioning is necessarily

Second-language textbooks carry authority by virtue of having content that is “related to other social institutions outside the school or the classroom”  (Dendrinos, 1992).

A pitfall for EFL textbooks “EFL books… books… in Great Britain overrepresent the white middle-class population with their concerns about holidays and leisure time, home decoration and dining out, their preoccupation with success, achievement and material wealth.” (Dendrinos, 1992: 153)

Image Image from:

Because actually “Absent, or “Absent, or nearly absent are the great variety of minorities, people of  African, Indian, Pakistanese [sic] descent who make up a considerable part of the population; and the problems of the illiterate masses are rarely or never mentioned.” Image Image from: http://www.broadcastnow must-reflect-modern-britain/5078753.article must-reflect-mo dern-britain/5078753.article

(Dendrinos, 1992: 153)

Does this apply for AG textbooks? ●

Image Image from:

presentation of literary r egister  egister  ○ spok spoken en regis egiste terr no not rea reall lly y preserved cent center ered ed on Atti Attica ca and and Athe Athens ns ○ Athe Athen ns didn didn’t ’t domin omina ate Greek world of antiquity the way it does today lite litera ratu ture re wri writt tten en by by the the educ educat ated ed and urban elite ○ in a ru rural ral and and uned unedu ucate cated d society

Classical Humanism “Curriculum… is content-driven content-driven.” .” “[It is] characterized by the desire to promote broad intellectual capacities, such as memorization and the ability to analyze, classify, and reconstruct elements of knowledge.”

Raphael, School of Athens fr om om https://en.wikip

“Knowledge is considered to be a set of truths which should be revealed by the authority (teacher or textbook) and mastered by the pupil”

Methods within Classical Humanism Grammar-Translation ● traditional method ● “lan “langu guag age e as an auto autono nomo mous us meaning system” (Dend., 1992: 106) ● 3 steps to learning ○ teach “g “grammar po point” ○ ???? ○ know the language

Cognitive ● reac eactio tion to to Beh Beha avio viorist rist philosophies of SLA and in C. H. according to Dendrinos ● “spe “speci cifi fic c goal goal of lang langua uage ge teaching is the development of linguistic competence” (Dendrindos, 1992: 107)

The study itself  The books

What they have in common ● Athenian dialect ● heavy use of narrative in instruction ● ummm….

Image source: Shakko/Wikipedia

Ancient Greek Alive ● Star Starts ts with with spok spoken en lang langua uage ge ● Move Moves s to nonnon-Gr Gree eek k stor storie ies s ○ Anim Animal als s and and Nasr Nasrud uddi din n sto stori ries es ○ compares to Aesop

● Vocabulary in lists ○ Only nly in rev review iew chap hapter ters ○ shor shorte test st voca vocab b lis listt of of boo books ks in stud study y

● Cultural es essays ● Gram Gramma marr-Tr Tran ansl slat atio ion n desp despit ite e amount of narrative (sc.

JACT: Reading Greek ● Narr Narrat ativ ive e is is a grea greate test st hits hits of Gree Greece ce’’ s ancient literature ● Voca Vocabu bula lary ry list list is long long enou enough gh to reach 80% coverage ○ in list lists s tha thatt acc accom ompa pany ny read readin ings gs

● Very Very litt little le cult cultur ural al expo exposi siti tion on in English ● coul could d be be use used d in in cla class ss with with Gram Gramma marrTranslation or Cognitive approach

Athenaze ● Narr Narrat ativ ive e foll follow ows s a fami family ly ○ some somewh what at tied tied to the the Pelo Pelopo ponn nnes esia ian n War  ○ shows domestic life

● Cult Cultur ural al essa essay y with with chap chapte ter  r  ○ tied tied to narr narrat ativ ive e in in some some way way

● vocab lilist sh short ○ but th there ar are tw two bo books

● Cogn Cognit itiv ive e inst instru ruct ctio iona nall appr approa oach ch

Lexis ● A pote potent ntia ialllly y endle endless ss,, thoug though h surmo surmoun unta tabl ble e task ○ ~65 ~65 lem lemma mas s cov cover er 50% 50% of of Anc Ancie ient nt Gre Greek ek tex textt ○ ~1,1 ~1,100 00 lemm lemmas as cove coverr 80% 80% of text text (Major, 2008) ○ ~4,0 ~4,000 00 can can pas pass s as “flu “fluen ent” t” (Milton & Alexiou, 2009)

● Can Can sta stand nd in for for syn synta tax x and and morp morpho holo logy gy ○ this this stud study y ignore ignores s thos those e aspe aspects cts of langua language ge ○ resear research ch has has foun found d lexic lexical al know knowled ledge ge corr correla elates tes with with reading ability

Lexis and Zipf curves ● ●

Blue liline ne necessar sarily reaches 100% Red Red lin line e sho shows ws long long--tail tail effect ○ Frequency isn’t important ○ Shape is ○ Not continuous (despite appearances)

What’ hat’s s hid hidin ing g in in th the ta tail is why vocabulary acquisition is so tricky

Zipf curve early in book See the lump near the left end of the curve? What is that doing there?

Zipf curve in the middle of the book

Zipf curve at the end of the book Though things do get weird. Why? Different dialect or…

Zipf curve at the end of the book … a too short passage.

Lexis and coverage Plato’s Republic , book 1 Coverage % Tokens

Lemmas Note










Still not as long as Major’s 80% list




← Here’s where you can start guessing meanings from context




Shorter than Major’s short list of 65

Data from Steadman (2012) and Perseus (2014)

How do they stack up with lexis?


Major’s 50% coverage

Total Vocabulary


61 (63 in glossary)


 Ancient Greek Alive






Rate of lexis learning: JACT

Rate of lexis learning: AGA

Rate of lexis learning: Athenaze

Culture ● accessible fo for mo moder n languages ● not as as ac accessible fo for classical languages

Upper image: Steve Swayne Lower image: Flickr user Agnee

Culture in narrative Women & Slaves ● both both had had lim limit ited ed rol roles es in in lite litera rary ry sou sourc rces es ● text textbo book oks s unev uneven en in in pres presen enta tati tion on ○ JACT JACT — nea nearl rly y zero zero sla slave ves, s, wom women en pre prese sent nted ed better  ○ Athena Athenaze ze — dome domesti stic c stor story, y, presen presents ts both both more more fully ○ Ancien Ancientt Gree Greek k Aliv Alive e — no Greek Greek cultu culture re in the

Culture beyond narrative ● many many cul cultu tura rall topi topics cs pre prese sent nted ed in in essa essays ys outside of the Ancient Greek narrative ● text textbo book oks s aga again in unev uneven en in pres presen enta tati tion on ○ JACT JACT — virtua virtually lly zero zero nonnon-nar narrat rativ ive e cult cultura urall presentation ○ Athe Athena naze ze — ess essay ays s tied tied to to narr narrat ativ ive e them themes es ○ Ancien Ancientt Gree Greek k Aliv Alive e — essays essays only, only, with with some some striking choices about topic

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