We are considering producing a 36-hour beginners’ taster course in Ancient Greek, capable of being delivered by specialist and non-specialist teachers alike, to students in Key Stage 3 (ages 11-14).

The course will consist of 36 one-hour study sessions, be available free online and be supported by detailed teaching notes.

The length of the course is designed to be deliverable in one year, on one hour per week, making it suitable for an after-school club, or as a timetabled course with minimum scheduling impact, but schools will be able to deliver the course at whatever pace and scheduling they choose.

Although online and interactive, the course will include study and activity sheets that schools and students will be able to print off as required. For an example of a similar online course that we have been developing, please see our free online Latin course for primary-aged students currently in trials. The Ancient Greek taster course will target older students, and will employ a more structured, linear route through content. As a web-based course, it will be designed to operate on all major platforms and be compatible with interactive whiteboards, computers and tablets.

The details of the linguistic content will need to be determined during the course planning phase, but it is likely that it would include, as a minimum:

The course will not presume the prior or ongoing study of Latin.

We aim to present the language within in a cultural context, likely to be 5th century BC, and possible locations include Delphi, Thebes, Athens, Mycenae, Sparta and Olympia.

A story-based inductive reading approach will be used, where students will be presented with simple step-by-step linguistic developments and encouraged to draw conclusions about the relationship between form and meaning. These steps will then be consolidated with explicit language manipulation activities and drills.

The overall focus will be on developing an enjoyment of Ancient Greek, an awareness of a small number of cultural topics and a high degree of competence in a limited number of linguistic elements. We hope that students who follow the course will therefore emerge with a highly positive attitude to Ancient Greek and Ancient Greece, and with a solid linguistic platform on which to build if they do choose to continue with their studies.