In going over various greek podcasts I found a learn greek podcast from the Hellenic American Union. OK I think... let me download and listen to a few episodes to see what their format is, supporting material and so on. I am shocked at how bad this program is! Even in episode 1 the content of this podcast is 100% Greek, no english, no explanations, nothing.
OK, I think to myself, let me head over to the website, see if there are any PDFs, any supporting documentation, something that would help a student of the Greek language learn.
I found a PDF for that podcast! yay! I open it! - instant disappointment! It's just the transcript of the podcast, all in Greek, no explanations - how useful!
From their page:
By following the instructions located further down on this page, you will be able to download the Modern Greek lessons, store them in your iPod, and choose when and where you listen to them.To make learning Greek easier, you can also view and download the full transcript of each lesson (in .pdf form); transcripts are enhanced with images to help you understand better what you hear. If you wish, you can also play the audio file.Once you have downloaded and stored the lessons, you will be able to listen to them as many times as you wish, pause at any point you want, and pick up again from the same point.
Yes...people can listen to them many, many, many times - but that does not mean that you will learn something! D'oh! Why didn't anyone over there think of this?
The podcasts are for everyone, regardless of age, whose mother language is not Greek, and who wants to improve their Greek in an original manner, whenever they like.
So obviously, these podcasts are intended for people who don't have previous experience in Greek - it wasn't just y assumption.
Each of the 80 podcasts is a mini lesson that aims at teaching you how to communicate effectively in M. Greek. No grammar, no rules, no “do’s” and “don’ts”; just basic dialogues, short phrases, and words that you, too, will be able to use in a variety of everyday situations.
I agree that situational language learning (and a little humor) helps learners learn, retain and possibly recall information - but without english explanations of what we are hearing those 10 minutes spent listening to this podcast are wasted. Furthermore, cutting out grammar, rules, dos and don'ts is just plain stupid. A person who is learning a language (or improving it!!!) should be told what is correct form and what is not. What should corrent and what sounds awkward. Maybe this is content for later lessons, but still - this information should be included at some point.
As an outside person looking in, it seems to me that these podcasts are meant to be used in conjunction with some sort of textbook, or as part of a course curriculum - not as stand-alone podcasts as they are currently distributed. Hopefully the HUA will fix this (or I can get GreekPod up and running ;) )
This was the thought of the day