How to Prep for Class

Mondays and Wednesday, we’ll cover a new section (α or β) of a chapter from Athenaze. Here are the steps I’d like you to go through.


Before reading, study the vocab for the new section.

Key strategies:

  • Work with the vocab list before reading the text; when you encounter words in the text from the vocab list, they will help you build your memory of the word
  • Work on vocab for short periods, frequently; ideally, every day. Cerego is an effective way to prompt yourself to work this way. Don’t try to cram vocab at the last moment.
  • Focus on the most important information: principal parts of verbs; gender and declension (i.e. genitive) of nouns; core definitions


Steps for reading the text

This is the most important part of your homework; follow this process carefully every time.

  • Start by listening to me read the text
    • Follow along in your textbook as you listen
    • See if you can glean any sense of the meaning of the text from my inflection, emphasis, ways of reading
  • Then read the text aloud yourself
    • Don’t worry about understanding every sentence
    • Instead, focus on noticing “chunks” and trying to understand them together
    • At this point, can you get a general idea of what happens in the reading?
  • Next, work back through the text carefully
    • Use the notes in the textbook and the glossary or other dictionaries to look up unfamiliar words
    • Try to see if you can figure out the new grammatical topics for the chapter from context, before reading their explanations later in the chapter
    • Identify phrases and sentences that are difficult to understand, and bring them up in class
  • Finally, read aloud again
    • This last step will help you build towards fluency: reading at a steady pace and understanding as you go is the real skill we want to cultivate, not looking up each word and making elaborate diagrams

Strategies for reading

  • Prepare the text before class: if you’re not prepping the reading, you’re putting the burden of class work on the students who are prepping
  • Really do read aloud: this activates parts of your brain that aren’t involved if you’re reading silently; it’s also how the Greeks read, all the time!
  • Focus on meaning: don’t spend your time focused on grammar unless you need to really break down a sentence to understand it; instead, focusing on understanding the general ideas, and try to visualize what’s happening as you read

Grammar & Exercises

  • Take the Grammar sections one at a time: read the textbook, and use note-taking, highlighting, annotating, or other strategies to engage with the lesson.
    • Don’t try to read all the grammar lessons at once; when the textbook switches to exercises, go and do those exercises!
  • Your homework will never be graded based on its accuracy. Your goal here is to make an effort to practice what you’re learning, and to support the other students in your group with their learning.
  • Make sure you’re completing the number of exercises that have been assigned to you for each Monday and Wednesday of class
  • Between class on Wednesday and class on Friday, meet with your group to revise and correct your work


  • You will get the most out of our class time if you’ve prepared the reading and done the homework
  • In addition to being a more effective way to learn, prepping thoroughly for class is how you support the other people in the class.
  • Please bring in lots of questions! I guarantee you, any questions you have are also on other people’s minds.

After Class

  • Read the text again
    • A lot of people skip this step, but in many ways it’s the most important
    • This is the moment when you’ve had the most time to practice and learn the new vocabulary and grammar, and to get questions about the text answered
    • As you read the text after class, with full understanding, you’re practicing the version of reading that most closely resembles our ultimate goal: the ability to read Greek fluently. If you’re skipping this step, you’re missing the thing we’re fundamentally trying to achieve in this course.
  • Continue to practice the vocab from this lesson
    • Every vocab word that I am requiring you to learn is one you’ll see over and over again, so it’s important to keep rehearsing their meanings and forms
    • Don’t just read the words to yourself from the list: work with Cerego, practice identifying the words in your text, or otherwise find active ways to practice.