Monday, June 20, 2011

Recommendation: Sing and Learn New Testament Greek

Hey, do you have twelve bucks? Go out and buy Sing and Learn New Testament Greek by Kenneth Berding. Just one of these songs is well worth the $11.24 that amazon is asking (I'm assuming that they don't have it at your seminary bookstore, but if they do, buy it IMMEDIATELY so you don't have to wait for Amazon to ship it). The song for remembering prepositions is EXCELLENT (and it's set to "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho", the title of which is horribly inaccurate, but that's beside the point), and the "I've Been Working on the Railroad" song is a good one for remembering certain grammar rules (or at least giving you much higher than average odds of randomly guessing correctly). The first line of the "Railroad" song is "Sigma, the symbol of the future, but not if a liquid verb." There is much more to drink from at that well, my friends.

You can also buy this resource as an audio download (no waiting for it to arrive in the mail). It's ten bucks, you download it immediately, no shipping charges. Warning about this, though, just make sure that you are able to download the PDF booklet as well, because you'll want to be able to look at each chart that goes along with each song. This is especially important if the song is just teaching you declensions, endings, etc. One other thing to note, it was my experience at Saint Louis that you are taught to start at the top of a chart and go down column by column. For example, start with a masculine singular, do the four cases (N,G,D,A), then do the masculine plural in the four cases. Then do Feminine, and so forth. In this CD, instead of going down the columns, they go across the rows, so start at Masculine Singular Nominative, then Feminine Singular Nominative, then Neuter Singular  Nominative, then Masculine Genitive Singular, and so forth.

In my humble opinion, don't worry about that this orientation might screw you up because "IT'S NOT THE WAY WE LEARNED IT." I believe (and test this out for yourself, by yourself, but also with classmates) that learning it in both directions will not mess you up, but instead will help reinforce what you already know by giving you a different perspective, help you see something you didn't before, and so forth. It's like in a drawing class, the instructor will give you something to sketch, but the instructor will flip it upside down, and you have to draw it upside down. Why? "At the end of the exercise, students will not only have a new visual experience but they will produce far better drawings as compared to the usual way." And although this is a complete failure in Australia, it works perfectly well everywhere else. Kidding aside, what this exercise does is cause the drawing students to look at a familiar thing from an unfamiliar angle. I think that learning it in both directions (first learning the columns by rote, then later learning the rows by song), will have a similar effect. It will make you better Greek Grammarians. (Though I don't recommend writing your Greek words upside down, I don't think that's going to do anything for you.)

If you are a cheapskate and want to do the Super Saver Shipping on Amazon, I would recommend another book, Super Memory, Super Student. I utilized some of the strategies in this book especially for vocabulary, and I really think that ANYONE can make great use of this simple system. Amazon is asking $10.19 for it.

So that's two items from Amazon. Oh no! That only brings us to a total of $21.43! We still need $3.57 to qualify! Whatever shall we do? Pair up with a classmate and buy two of each, which will give you a total of $42.86, well over the $25 you need for Super Saver Shipping. Or, if you don't have any friends in your Greek class, add a third item to your list such as John Medina's Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School (remembering my caveat from a previous post) for which they are only asking $8.96, so with those three items it'll cost you $30.39. I don't think I came across Brain Rules until after I dropped out of seminary, and I'm not saying it would have saved my seminary career, but I sure wish I had come across it sooner! Excellent information in the book, even though most of what you need is already available at the Brain Rules website.

And then what I did as soon as I had the CD in my hands was to rip it into iTunes and load it on my iPod.

And like I say, the price of the CD is worth just one of the songs, so consider all the other stuff, if nothing else, a huge added bonus. If you use this resource as prescribed in the accompanying booklet, you'll be golden (not to be confused with Golden). And the earlier you make use of it, the better. So don't wait, especially since Amazon only has 17 copies of the CD in stock!