Article on Rethinking Biblical Language Instruction by Naked Bible Podcast Guests Just Published

Last November I interviewed Dr. Carl Sanders and Dr. Thomas Hudgins about their controversial paper delivered at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. The paper argues that major shifts in thinking about how biblical languages are taught and what the goals of that instruction should be are long overdue. I was of course in agreement (I’m quoted in the conference paper).

The paper has now been published in an academic journal:

Carl Sanders, “Biblical language instruction by the book: Rethinking the status quaestionis,” Teaching Theology and Religion 20:3 (2017): 216-229

As with most journal articles, it is not publicly accessible online unless you subscribe to the journal, or have access to journal databases via an academic institution. Here’s the abstract:

Grammar-translation pedagogy is the standard for biblical language instruction. Second language acquisition scholars have argued that grammar-translation is ineffective and not empirically justified. Moreover, evidence suggests most seminary graduates do not use biblical languages effectively in ministry. Task-based instruction is an important alternative pedagogy which focuses on the tasks students will be using the language for and designs the curriculum around those tasks. A task-based approach de-emphasizes translation and memorization of forms. Instead, the emphasis from the beginning is on biblical interpretation and exposition. Available software based resources offer new possibilities for task-based teaching, as students can identify forms and vocabulary and have access to a library of resources. A task-based pedagogy using these tools enables students to quickly develop skills in biblical interpretation that are normally reserved for the third or fourth semester of study. Task-based pedagogy offers great promise for effective and efficient biblical language pedagogy.

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