Framework for Classical Languages

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Nature and purpose of the Framework

Classical languages are distinct within the languages learning area of the Australian Curriculum. While they have ceased to be languages of everyday communication, Classical languages provide a key to the literature, history, thought and culture of the ancient worlds and societies that produced them.

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Rationale

The study of Classical languages allows students to enter and explore ancient worlds that have shaped contemporary life and societies. Authentic engagement with seminal works of great literature and antiquities gives direct access to ancient ways of living in and viewing the world, and an appreciation of the languages, cultures, literatures and traditions that are derived from those of ancient societies.

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Aims

The Australian Curriculum: Framework for Classical Languages aims to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to ensure students:

engage with the language, history and culture of the Classical world through interaction with texts

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Structure

Sequences of learning
To reflect current custom, practice and the needs of learners in Australian schools, the Framework has been developed for Years 7–10.
Strands, sub-strands and threads
The following interrelated strands are derived from the aims, and describe different facets of learning the language, and understanding and reflecting on these processes:

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Using the Framework to develop language-specific curricula or programs for Classical languages

It is intended that the Framework will be used by state and territory jurisdictions to develop language-specific curricula, or by schools and communities to develop teaching and learning programs for Classical languages other than Latin and Classical Greek.

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PDF documents

Resources and support materials for the Australian Curriculum: Languages – Classical are available as PDF documents.
Framework of Classical Languages - Classical glossary

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Glossary

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The place of Classical Greek and the heritage of the ancient Greek world

The Classical Greek language belongs to the Indo-European linguistic family. It is thus related to most of the languages of Europe, to Old Persian and, through Sanskrit, to several major Indian languages.

Classical Greek is defined as the literary Attic–Ionic dialect used by prominent Greek writers in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE, such as the playwrights Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes, the historians Herodotus and Thucydides, the philosophers Plato and Aristotle and the orators Lysias and Demosthenes. Students of Classical Greek also develop the linguistic knowledge to access earlier works, such as the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer, and later works, such as Hellenistic literature and the New Testament.

From the 8th century BCE, Greeks established settlements across the Mediterranean area, in Spain, Sicily, Italy, North Africa, Asia Minor and the Black Sea coast. These communities identified as Greek in language and culture, and regularly took part in festivals for Greeks only, such as the Olympic Games. The conquests of Alexander the Great in the 4th century BCE extended the influence of Greek language and culture in western Asia and Egypt, and resulted in the upsurge in Greek literature and learning known to us as the Hellenistic Age. During this period, a common dialect of Greek known as koiné became the lingua franca of the eastern half of the Mediterranean basin, persisting under Roman administration and surviving the fall of the western Roman Empire in the 5th century CE. The eastern Roman Empire, based at Constantinople, continued as a Greek-speaking, Christian community until it was conquered by the Turks in 1453 CE. Christian missionaries from Constantinople spread Orthodox Christianity and the Greek alphabet to Russia, where the Cyrillic alphabet developed from the Greek.

After the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, many Greek scholars moved to western Europe, stimulating the revival of Classical Greek learning, art and culture during the Renaissance period.

The Greek language continued to evolve and to absorb influences from other languages until the present day. Modern Greek uses the same alphabet, and much of the written language bears strong resemblance to its Classical ‘mother’ language.

As Classical Greek is the oldest Indo-European language readily accessible to English speakers, it gives students the opportunity to engage with the evolution of language and the connections among related languages. In addition, the intellectual flowering of the Renaissance brought to English a literary and scientific vocabulary from Greek in order to discuss and describe the new ideas. It is no accident that many school subjects have names of Greek origin such as history, geography, mathematics, physics, economics, music, drama, biology and athletics. The vocabulary of academic discourse is heavily indebted to Greek, and students of Classical Greek acquire a deep understanding of specialised words and an enriched personal vocabulary to enable them to discuss academic concepts.

The enduring achievements and rich legacy of the ancient Greek world are still evident in today’s world, in modern values, customs and beliefs, our laws and the form of our governments, our buildings and our art and literature.

The place of the Classical Greek language in Australian education

In Australia, the teaching of Classical Greek has evolved since the 19th century, when it was taught, in addition to Latin, only to boys aspiring to an upper-class education in accordance with European tradition. During the educational changes of the 20th century, Classical Greek was also offered to girls, as part of the move to widen the curriculum for girls to include subjects previously thought too difficult, such as physics, advanced mathematics and Classical Greek. Since that time, Classical Greek has continued to be taught in independent and selective state schools, maintaining its small numbers steadily. Since the 1980s, the establishment of Greek Orthodox independent day schools, serving the large Greek diaspora communities, mainly in Sydney and Melbourne, has offered a new context for learning Classical as well as Modern Greek.

Pedagogy in Classical Greek has also evolved since the 1980s, and continues to do so in the 21st century. Traditionally, the study of Classical Greek began later than Latin, using the grammar and structures of Latin as a model. When the pedagogy of Latin changed in the 1970s from grammar and translation to a contextual reading approach, the teaching of Classical Greek was similarly influenced. New courses were produced for Classical Greek that did not presuppose a knowledge of Latin. The traditional emphasis on composing Classical Greek was replaced by the reading method, in which students acquire the language by reading continuous, historically accurate texts in Classical Greek, carefully structured so as to introduce the language and its literary features progressively within an engaging historical and cultural context. The pedagogy was designed to offer an enriching experience to a wide range of learners; the study of Classical Greek offered them an ongoing opportunity for the development of deep knowledge and transferable skills, including literacy and critical thinking.

Students may be attracted to learn Classical Greek for a variety of reasons, such as fascination with mythology, love of Greek history and culture, or interest in comparative language study. A growing area of interest is the comparative study of ancient European and Asian cultures and languages; for example, Greek and Chinese historiography, medical writings, or poetry.

In some states, such as New South Wales and Victoria, students have access to Classical Greek enrichment activities provided by teachers’ associations and universities, such as competitions in Classical Greek recitation, literary essays and art; symposia and study days; and classical drama productions. At post-secondary level, Classical Greek is available in all Australian states and in the Australian Capital Territory, and summer schools are held regularly in New South Wales and Victoria, offering courses at all levels, from beginner to advanced.

Classical Greek has a long tradition in Australian universities, and Australian graduates have distinguished themselves in classical scholarship in this country and overseas. Some Australians have become distinguished scholars in Classics, while other students of Classical Greek have used their learning to make successful careers in law, politics, literature, education and many other fields.

The nature of learning Classical Greek

Classical Greek is a highly inflected language, with three distinct genders and numbers, noun cases and verb conjugations, including tenses, moods and voices. The Classical Greek alphabet has 24 letters, ordered from alpha to omega, and is essentially the same as the Modern Greek alphabet.

Students learn Classical Greek systematically within an authentic historical, social and cultural context. They absorb the ambience, history, society and values of ancient Greece as they read, and are encouraged to relate their discoveries to life in the modern world.

As they learn Classical Greek, students make connections with English and other languages. They expand their English vocabulary by exploring words derived from Classical Greek, and examine the complex inflections of Classical Greek, making comparisons with how meaning is conveyed in English. Their growing awareness of grammar equips them to understand the workings of other languages they may already know or wish to learn.

From synthetic reading material, students may progress to authentic Classical Greek texts, encountering selections from famous works of poetry and prose which have influenced Western literature and thought for two millennia. Students are encouraged to discuss the ideas and values embedded in texts and to convey their meaning and tone in English. They analyse how language and style are used to convey the author’s purpose. As Classical Greek literature was composed to be delivered orally, students learn to read aloud, using the restored Classical pronunciation, and are encouraged to listen to oral performances so as to appreciate the impact of these works on their intended audiences.

The learning pathway and curriculum design

In the Australian Curriculum: Languages – Classical Greek, the learning pathway for students is Years 7–10.

A key dimension of the curriculum involves understanding the cultural dimension that shapes and is shaped by the language. The curriculum is designed with an intercultural language learning orientation to enable students to enter and explore an ancient world; to engage with an ancient people’s ways of living, and viewing the world; to consider how an ancient civilisation influences life and thought in the modern world; and to reflect on what is special and valuable about their own language and culture.

Years 7 and 8

Years 7 and 8 Band Description

The nature of the learners

Students are beginning their study of Classical Greek and typically have little prior knowledge and understanding of the language and ancient Greek history and culture. Most will have learnt a different language in primary school, while some will have proficiency in different home/community languages and bring existing language learning experiences and intercultural awareness to the new experience of learning Classical Greek. Students’ skills in interpreting texts and their development of literacy are supported by their study of Classical Greek. Through their reading, analysis and translation of texts, students of Classical Greek develop their thinking processes, such as close attention to detail, pattern recognition, precision, accuracy, memory and logic. Students may need encouragement to take risks in learning a new language at this stage of social development and to consider how the experience of learning a Classical language impacts on their own ways of thinking and viewing the world.

Classical Greek language learning and use

Learners engage with people in the ancient Greek world, and gain direct access to their daily lives, through reading, comprehending and discussing Classical Greek texts that reveal their language use and social and cultural practices. They use vocabulary, grammar and textual cues to understand and interpret Classical Greek texts, and convey information and ideas about the daily life and attitudes of the ancient Greeks, in oral, written or digital forms, using Classical Greek as appropriate. They listen to and read Classical Greek texts, such as stories, myths and plays, and discuss characters, events, actions, settings and key emotions. They read aloud, recite or perform Classical Greek texts, such as stories, dialogues, poems or songs, to convey meaning and to entertain others. They translate Classical Greek texts into Standard English, applying their knowledge of vocabulary, accidence and syntax, linguistic cues and culture. They compare the features and relative merits of different translations of Classical Greek texts to determine the features of a successful translation. Learners focus on the systems that structure the Classical Greek language (grammar, vocabulary, sounds, the written alphabet) and systematically build a vocabulary and grammatical base that allows them to access a variety of Classical Greek texts, such as narratives and short plays. They understand that Classical Greek spread with the expansion of the ancient Greek world, and explore the influence of Classical Greek on English and other languages. Learners explore the relationship between language and culture by examining particular language use that provides insights into the daily lives, ideas, feelings and attitudes of Greeks in the Classical period. They discuss the ancient origins of modern values, pursuits, citizenship, literature, the arts and architecture, reflecting on the enduring influence of the ancient Greek world on the modern world. They are encouraged to consider their own and others’ reactions to and assumptions about the language and culture of ancient Greek society, and to reflect on their own approaches to learning and understanding of their own heritage, values and culture.

Contexts of interaction

Learners work both independently and collaboratively, exploring different modes and genres of communication. They pool linguistic knowledge and resources to plan and manage shared activities, problem-solve, and monitor and reflect on their work. Extra opportunities for interaction are provided through purposeful and integrated use of information and communication technologies (ICT); for example, shared research on aspects of culture and historical events, and collaborative translation of seen and unseen texts. Learners may extend their experiences relating to language and culture by participating in activities such as art competitions, drama productions and visits to museums and galleries.

Texts and resources

Learners work with a range of texts designed for language learning, such as textbooks, audio recordings, teacher-generated materials and online resources. They may also use materials designed for students of Classical Greek in different contexts, for example, comics, newsletters, online games, digital learning activities and apps. Texts from different sources give opportunities for discussion of the relationship between language and culture. Research tasks allow for exploration of themes, cultural references and historical events.

Features of Classical Greek language use

Learners become familiar with the sounds of Classical Greek, including the restored pronunciation. They use appropriate phrasing and voice inflection when reading aloud, reciting or performing Classical Greek texts, such as stories, dialogues, songs or plays, and develop their understanding of the Classical Greek alphabet. They apply their knowledge of Classical Greek grammar, including parts of speech, case, gender, number, person, for example, οἱ τοῦ ναυκλήρου ἐρέται ἤρεσσον πρὸς τὴν θάλατταν, verb conjugations, for example, παύω, ἓπομαι, agreement and tense, mood, voice, participles and infinitives, and conventions of sentence structure, for example, μικρὸς γάρ ἐστιν ὁ οἶκος, to the translation of Classical Greek texts. They use roots, derivatives and word lists to acquire and build Classical Greek vocabulary, and use dictionaries to select appropriate meanings of Classical Greek words. They explore influences of Classical Greek on English and other languages, focusing on derivatives and cognates such as phobia, cryptic, paralysis, and the contemporary use of Classical Greek words and expressions, for example, kudos, Adonis, molon labe. They make connections between texts and cultural contexts, exploring ways in which cultural values and perspectives are embedded in language and how language choices determine ways in which people and their ways of living are represented.

Level of support

A differentiated approach to teaching and task design caters for the diversity of learners. Support includes scaffolding, modelling and monitoring, explicit instruction and feedback, structured activities for practising new grammar, and access to print and electronic dictionaries. Students are supported to develop autonomy as language learners, and to self-monitor and refine strategies used in reading, listening, analysis and translation. Opportunities to review and consolidate are an important component of learning at this level.

The role of English

Classical Greek is the language of the texts studied. Classical Greek is also used for reading aloud, reciting or performing texts, and simple interactions in the classroom, such as greetings. English is used for translation, analysis, explanation, discussion, evaluation and reflection.


Years 7 and 8 Content Descriptions

Accessing the ancient Greek world through Classical Greek texts

Read, comprehend and discuss Classical Greek texts, using vocabulary, grammar and textual cues, to explore the ancient Greek world

[Key concepts: language, culture, meaning, experience; Key processes: reading, listening, interpreting, connecting] (ACLCLE001 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • developing an initial sense of the structure and content of texts by inferring meaning from textual cues, for example, titles, headings, images or captions to images, maps
  • listening to simple sentences in Classical Greek to infer meaning, using aural cues such as ἆρα ἤδη πονεῖτε ἐν τοῖς ἀγροῖς; ἐλθὲ δεῦρο
  • determining the general sense of texts through initial holistic reading, by identifying familiar people, vocabulary, places or topics, for example, ὁ Λεωνίδας μάχεται ἐν ταῖς Θερμοπύλαις, recognising modern editors’ use of punctuation to guide readers
  • analysing sentences, identifying and explaining the function of inflected forms, for example, ὁ δεσπότης καλεῖ τὸν δοῦλον (subject + verb + object)
  • identifying and discussing linguistic features in narratives, such as word order, use of interrogative particles, striking word choice, for example, καὶ μὴν καταβαίνει έκ τοῦ ὄρους κένταυρος μέγιστος
  • interpreting and commenting on language choices, such as patterns and length of simple and compound sentences, or use of direct speech, for example, ὁ δὲ Κύκλωψ τόν τ’ Ὀδυσσέα καὶ τοὺς ἑταίρους ὁρᾷ καί, «ὦ ξένοι» βοᾷ, «τίνες έστὲ καὶ πόθεν πλεῖτε;»
  • explaining cultural references embedded in texts, for example, μηδὲν ἄγαν
  • discussing cultural information implicit in Classical Greek vocabulary, for example, ἀνήρ, ἄριστος, σοφός, δεινός, ἥρως
  • exploring cultural elements implicit in language use, for example, vocabulary and expressions particular to specific gods and festivals, such as ὧ Ζεῦ Σῶτερ/Βρόντιε/Ξένιε, ὦ Βάκχε/Βρώμιε, ὦ Φοῖβε, ὦ Ἀθήνη Πρόμαχε
  • discussing cultural representations such as symbols, for example, the owl (Athena), trident (Poseidon), olive wreath (Olympic victory), the letter lambda (Spartans)
  • interpreting stated and implied meanings in texts and supporting an opinion with evidence from the Classical Greek, such as relationships between characters
Convey information and ideas about the daily life and attitudes of the ancient Greeks, in oral, written and digital forms, using Classical Greek as appropriate

[Key concepts: information, culture; Key processes: obtaining, presenting, informing] (ACLCLE002 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • gathering, collating and presenting information about daily routine in the ancient Greek world, such as in posters or digital displays about family life, education, food, hygiene, exercise, with annotations in English or words and simple phrases in Classical Greek
  • reading stories about the daily lives of ancient Greeks, and recreating their everyday experiences, for example, through role-play or an imaginative animated cartoon
  • comparing details from different sources about where Greek people lived, such as in urban centres or rural settlements, for example, through dioramas or drawings with labels in English or Classical Greek, and discussing what they reveal about different lifestyles in the Classical period
  • researching the purpose and function of spaces in an ancient Greek home, for example, the ἀνδρών and γυναικών rooms, for an oral or digital presentation, using labels in English and Classical Greek
  • examining artefacts from the classical Greek period, such as those from ancient Athens, and discussing what they reveal about the everyday lives of ancient Greek people
  • collating and sharing information online about ancient Greek inventions, engineering and infrastructure, for example, the Antikythera Mechanism, the Hippodamian urban grid plan, Archimedes’ screw
  • researching the attitudes of ancient Greeks revealed in their myths and legends, and acting out stories, such as the labours of Heracles, to convey these attitudes
  • gathering and creating a class bank of information from texts about ancient Greek religious beliefs and practices, for example, Olympian deities, local festivals (Dionysia in Athens) and panhellenic festivals (Pythian Games at Delphi)
  • reading accounts of historical events, such as Aeschylus’ eyewitness account of the Battle of Salamis, and presenting information in new ways, for example, as a news report

Responding to texts

Listen to and read Classical Greek texts, such as stories, myths and plays; share reactions and make connections with characters, events, actions, settings and key emotions

[Key concepts: imagination, experience, character; Key processes: responding, connecting, describing] (ACLCLE003 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • listening to and reading texts, such as stories about life in the city/country, legends or myths, for example, Theseus and the Minotaur, and responding to questions in English relating to content and context
  • recognising recurring characters, settings and themes in texts, drawing on previous knowledge and experiences to make connections with the narrative
  • discussing how scenes and characters are depicted in texts, such as through imagery or conversations, for example, in short plays, dialogues, retelling of well-known myths and legends
  • discussing language features that encourage the audience to respond in particular ways, for example, the use of repetition (πόλεμος αἴρεται, πόλεμος οὐ φατὸς πρὸς ἐμὲ καὶ θεούς), alliteration (τυφλὸς τά τ᾽ ὦτα τόν τε νοῦν τά τ᾽ ὄμματ᾽ εἶ), assonance (κατῆγεν ἦγεν ἐς μέλαν πέδον), onomatopoeia (αἰάζω, σίζω, δοῦπος, κλαγγή)
  • recognising that writers use different text structures and formats for specific purposes and effects, for example, change of focus, a story within a story, plot tension
  • identifying and discussing the techniques writers use to achieve specific effects, such as the use of antithesis to create humour or surprise, for example, ὁ μὲν διδάσκαλος πονεῖ, οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ καθεύδουσιν
Read aloud, recite or perform Classical Greek texts, using phrasing and voice inflection to convey meaning and to entertain others

[Key concepts: performance, emotion; Key processes: reading, presenting] (ACLCLE004 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • listening to and reproducing familiar and unfamiliar words, phrases and simple texts in Classical Greek to convey meaning, using restored pronunciation and appropriate phrasing and expression
  • presenting orally short texts in Classical Greek, such as stories, dialogues, poems or speeches, to peers or the class, for example, a scene from Aristophanes or an epigram
  • performing short extracts from comedy or passages of dialogue in collaboration with others, using strategies to convey the emotions of the characters
  • reading aloud or reciting extracts from Classical Greek literature, such as the initial lines of the Iliad and the Odyssey

Translating

Translate Classical Greek texts into Standard English, by applying knowledge of vocabulary, accidence and syntax, and linguistic and cultural cues

[Key concepts: equivalence, representation; Key processes: interpreting, translating] (ACLCLE005 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • reading texts to gain a sense of holistic meaning, and identifying cues, such as text type, familiar vocabulary, grammar, and cultural references
  • considering multiple meanings of vocabulary, for example, by using dictionaries and electronic translation tools, and making appropriate selections according to context, for example, ἄριστος
  • using known vocabulary, in Classical Greek or English, and context to deduce the meaning of unknown words
  • identifying meanings of words by recognising change of form, such as irregular verb forms and third declension nouns, for example, φέρω/οἴσω, παῖς/παιδός
  • identifying parts of speech and their function in context to determine meaning, for example, identifying the verb in a sentence
  • identifying the specific function of inflected forms to determine meaning, for example, ὁ ναύκληρος καλεῖ τὸν ναύτην (subject + verb + direct object) or ὁ ἀνήρ ἐστι ποιητής (subject + verb + complement)
  • applying knowledge of grammar to recognise in context the specific function of words which may have multiple applications, such as subject or object, for example, τὸ δένδρον θάλλει. ὁ γεωργὸς κόπτει τὸ δένδρον
  • exploring the effect of using the variety of English translations for verb tenses, for example, ἰδών (‘having seen’, ‘after seeing’, ‘on seeing’, ‘seeing’)
  • selecting appropriate English meanings, identifying words and expressions that do not translate easily, for example, ἀγαθός, ἄριστος, καλός, ξένος, δεινός, πρὸς τῶν θεῶν
  • determining appropriate word order in English to retain meaning and emphasis, for example, κελεύει σε ὁ Ζεύς
  • translating Classical Greek into idiomatic English, for example, by translating ἔστι μοι δοῦλος, as ‘I have a slave’
  • discussing how words that refer to aspects of ancient Greek culture should be translated, for example, ὁ δῆμος (deme, people, citizen body), ὁ ἀνήρ (man, husband, hero), ξένος (stranger, guest, foreigner)
  • developing problem-solving skills to resolve perceived issues and anomalies encountered in the translation process, for example, confusion of second declension masculine nominative and third declension feminine genitive
  • discussing and correcting own translations to increase accuracy and better reflect register, tone and relationships between characters
  • collaborating with peers to interpret meaning in texts and develop and edit joint translations, using a range of ICT
  • translating, independently, unseen texts in Classical Greek into appropriate English
Compare different translations and interpretations of Classical Greek texts, and identify features of successful translations

[Key concepts: translation, analysis; Key processes: evaluating, explaining and comparing, intertextualising] (ACLCLE006 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • identifying the characteristics of a successful translation, such as grammatical accuracy
  • examining translations to determine how effectively Classical Greek is conveyed in English idiom, such as the use of participles
  • comparing and discussing the merits of different translations of the same text, identifying differences and recognising that they may be equally valid
  • giving and justifying opinions about the effectiveness of own and others’ translations
  • identifying and discussing effective strategies to create appropriate translations, such as skimming through the text and identifying familiar words and phrases, contextualising new vocabulary, and using these strategies to review and polish own translations

Systems of language

Understand the phonological and orthographic systems of Classical Greek, including the restored pronunciation and the written alphabet

[Key concepts: sound system, writing system; Key processes: recognising, imitating, copying, writing] (ACLCLU007 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • learning the Greek alphabet in lower and upper case, including final sigma, matching script to sound, for example, δ = d, γ = g, θ = th
  • recognising the use of the upper case in Classical Greek to distinguish proper nouns
  • mimicking or copying restored pronunciation of Classical Greek words, individually or with peers
  • writing simple sentences in Classical Greek to consolidate knowledge of script
  • recognising and representing diphthongs, double consonants and aspirated consonants, for example, αι, γγ, ψ, ξ, θ, χ, φ
  • recognising and using diacritical marks to show aspiration and iota subscript, for example, ἡ ὁδός, τῇ ὁδῷ
  • learning the standard system of transliteration of Greek into English letters, for example, δ = d, χ = ch, αι = ae
  • recognising that punctuation in Classical Greek can be different from English, for example, the use of the semicolon as the question mark in Classical Greek
Understand concepts of accidence and syntax used in simple and compound sentences in Classical Greek, including parts of speech, case, gender, number, person, declension and conjugation, agreement and tense, mood, voice, participles and infinitives

[Key concepts: grammatical system, case, conjugation; Key processes: identifying, recognising] (ACLCLU008 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • recognising that Greek verbs have variable endings that indicate person and number, for example, φέρω, φέρουσιν
  • conjugating verbs in the present, future, imperfect and aorist tenses, active and middle, for example, λύω/λύομαι
  • conjugating contract verbs –εω, –αω in the present, future imperfect and aorist tenses, active and middle, for example, φιλῶ/φιλοῦμαι, τιμῶ/τιμῶμαι
  • using the imperative in the present and aorist tenses, active and middle, for example, σπεῦδε/σπεῦσον
  • using the infinitive and participles, active and middle, in the present, future and aorist tenses, for example, παύειν/παύων, παύσειν/παύσων, παῦσαι/παύσας
  • using the irregular verb ‘to be’ in the present, future and imperfect tenses, for example, εἰμἰ/ἔσομαι/ἦν
  • using the definite article to identify the number, gender and case of nouns, for example, αἱ ὁδοί, τούς δικαστάς
  • recognising that the definite article, nouns, pronouns and adjectives inflect to show number and case, for example, ὁ ἡμέτερος πατήρ, τὰ μικρὰ ἄροτρα
  • identifying the forms and functions of the nominative, vocative, accusative, genitive and dative cases of the definite article, nouns and pronouns, for example, τῶν πολιτῶν πολλοί (partitive genitive), τῇ ὑστεραίᾳ (dative of time when)
  • identifying the three declensions of nouns and adjectives, including variants:
    • first declension: ἡ κρήνη, ἡ οἰκία, ἡ θάλαττα, ὁ δεσπότης, ὁ νεανίας
    • second declension: ὁ ἀγρός, ἡ νῆσος, τὸ δένδρον
    • third declension: ὁ φύλαξ, τὸ ὂνομα, ὁ ἀνήρ, ἡ τριήρης, ἡ πόλις, ὁ βασιλεύς, τὸ τεῖχος
  • identifying forms of common irregular nouns, for example, ἠ ναῦς, ὀ βοῦς
  • identifying forms of common irregular adjectives, for example, μέγας/μεγάλη/μέγα, πολύς/πολλή/πολύ, πᾶς/πᾶσα/πᾶν
  • recognising agreement between adjectives and nouns in number, gender and case, for example, ἠ μακρὰ ὁδός, τοῦ ἀληθοῦς λόγου
  • recognising the comparative and superlative degrees of regular adjectives, for example, ἀνδρεῖος, ἀνδρειότερος, ἀνδρειότατος
  • identifying cardinal numbers εἷς/μία/ἕν to χίλοι/αι/α and μὐριοι/αι/α and ordinal numbers πρῶτος/η/ον to χιλιοστός, μυριοστός
  • identifying the forms and application of personal, interrogative, indefinite, demonstrative and relative pronouns, for example, ἐγώ/σύ, ἡμεῖς/ὑμεῖς, τίς/τί, τις/τι, οὗτος/αὕτη/τοῦτο, ὅς/ἥ/ὅ
  • distinguishing between prepositional phrases using the accusative, genitive and dative cases, for example, πρὸς τὴν πόλιν, πρὸς τῶν θεῶν, πρὸς τῇ νηί
  • forming positive, comparative and superlative adverbs from adjectives, for example, ἀληθῶς/ἀληθέστερον/ἀληθέστατα
  • analysing the functions of words in sentences from their inflected forms, such as subject + verb + complement, subject + verb + direct object, preposition + noun, for example, τὸ ἄνθος καλὸν ἐστίν. ὁ γεωργὸς τὸν κλῆρον σκάπτει. ὁ στρατὸς πορεύεται πρὸς τὰ τῆς πόλεως τείχη
  • recognising how word order may be different in Classical Greek, such as the use of the attributive and predicative position of the adjective to vary meaning, for example, ἡ καλὴ κόρη and καλὴ ἡ κόρη
  • recognising that adverbs, adverbial phrases and prepositional phrases can give important details about what is happening in a sentence, for example, νῦν, πρὸς τῇ θύρᾳ
  • learning strategies for building on prior knowledge and learning new grammar, for example, mnemonic devices, paradigms, drill exercises, online learning tools
Acquire and build vocabulary by using roots, derivatives and word lists, and use dictionaries to select appropriate meanings of Classical Greek words

[Key concepts: vocabulary, meaning; Key processes: exploring, selecting] (ACLCLU009 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • developing own and class lists of vocabulary related to texts and topics, such as daily life in ancient Greece, for example, δοῦλος/δεσπότης, γυμνάσιον/παλαίστρα
  • creating a class bank of words frequently found in Classical Greek, for example, μῦθος/ἥρως/θηρίον, ναῦς/ναύτης/ναύκληρος/ναυμαχίαν, πλοῦς/ἱστίον/ἐρέτης/λιμήν, and common expressions used in everyday activities, for example, χαίρετε, τὶ πράττεις; ἐλθὲ δεῦρο, φεῦ, οἴμοι, εὖγε, εὖ ποιεῖς, σὺν ἀλλήλοις
  • practising vocabulary knowledge, for example, by using electronic resources
  • using print and electronic dictionaries to locate the appropriate meanings of words
  • understanding that one Classical Greek word may correspond to several different English words, and selecting the most appropriate meaning of a word in its context
  • developing strategies for vocabulary building by applying knowledge of roots and derivatives, for example, ἄγγελος (angel/archangel/evangelist), περί (periscope/perimeter/periphery), μόνος/η/ον (monotony, monologue, monopoly)
  • building vocabulary by recognising Classical Greek words commonly used in English, for example, idea, aroma, drama, synthesis, analysis, antithesis, hyperbole
Identify the structure and features of a range of texts in Classical Greek, such as narratives and short plays

[Key concepts: text structure, purpose; Key processes: identifying, explaining and comparing] (ACLCLU010 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • identifying elements of different types of text, for example, stories, dialogues and speeches, and explaining the relationship between the language and structure used and the purpose of the text
  • distinguishing and comparing features of a story and a play, such as narrative voice, characterisation, impact of direct speech
  • making connections and comparisons between a new text and familiar texts of the same type
  • using metalanguage to explain the effect of particular language features in texts on intended audiences, for example, the use of euphemisms in an attempt to substitute a mild expression for one considered improper, such as ἀριστερός (better) for ‘left’, Εὐμενίδες (the kindly ones) for the Furies, Εὔξεινος Πόντος (hospitable sea) for the Black Sea

The powerful influence of language and culture

Understand that Greek spread with the expansion of the ancient Greek world, and developed over time, influencing English and other languages

[Key concepts: linguistic evolution, time (the past in the present), interconnection across concepts, influence; Key processes: comparing, analysing, applying] (ACLCLU011 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • recognising that Greek is a member of the Indo-European family of languages, related to other ancient languages, such as Latin, Sanskrit and Old Persian
  • recognising that Greek has been spoken in various forms uninterruptedly from the 3rd millennium BCE to the present day and has been documented in writing since about 1450 BCE
  • recognising that Classical Greek is a specific form of the language, evolved from earlier forms such as Mycenaean Greek and the Archaic Greek used in the epics of Homer
  • identifying Classical Greek as the Attic/Ionic dialect of the language spoken in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE in Athens, many Aegean islands and the coast of Asia Minor
  • recognising that Classical Greek was the form of the language used by significant ancient Greek authors, such as Thucydides, Sophocles, Plato, Lysias
  • locating on a map the places where Greek was spoken in antiquity around the Mediterranean basin from Spain to the coast of Turkey and across the Black Sea
  • investigating how the geography of mainland Greece influenced the development of independent city-states such as Athens, Sparta, Corinth and Thebes
  • exploring the spread of Greek colonies across the Mediterranean and Black Sea coastlines, such as Syracuse (Sicily), Naples (Italy), Marseilles (France), Cyrene (Libya), Miletus (Turkey), Emporion (Spain)
  • identifying and using Classical Greek derivatives to expand own English vocabulary, for example, sceptic, cynic, antithesis
  • recognising connections between the spelling of Classical Greek and English words and applying understanding to improve own spelling in English, for example, psychology, rhythm, seismology
  • identifying expressions in Classical Greek that are commonly used in English, for example, hoi polloi, eureka
  • identifying words of Classical Greek origin that are used as school subjects, for example, mathematics, history, geography, music, drama, biology, chemistry, physics, philosophy, psychology, economics
  • identifying and collecting word families in which the same Classical Greek root is used with different prefixes or suffixes, for example, calligraphy, biography, biology, technology, paralysis, analysis, Palaeolithic, palaeontology
  • applying knowledge of Classical Greek to understand words and expressions in Modern Greek, such as signs in shops and public places, for example ΚΙΝΔΥΝΟΣ, ΠΡΟΣΟΧΗ, ΙΧΘΥΟΠΩΛΕΙΟΝ, ΦΑΡΜΑΚΕΙΟΝ, έν τάξει, κλειστόν
  • identifying similarities between Classical Greek and other Indo-European languages by comparing cognate words, such as ἕξ: sex (Latin), sechs (German), six; πατήρ: pater (Latin), Vater (German), father
Examine the enduring influence of ancient Greek culture on the modern world, by discussing the ancient origins of modern values, pursuits, citizenship, literature, the arts and architecture

[Key concepts: aesthetics, time (the past in the present), modernity; Key processes: connecting, explaining and comparing] (ACLCLU012 - Scootle )

  • Ethical Understanding
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • recognising the ancient origins of national values such as democracy, equity and justice, freedom of speech and independent thought
  • comparing the concept of citizenship, rights and responsibilities in ancient Greece and the modern world
  • identifying references to ancient Greek mythology and literature in visual and performing arts and literature from antiquity to the present
  • exploring ancient connections with daily routines in modern society, such as sport, theatre and schooling
  • identifying literary influences from the Classical Greek period on popular culture, such as brand names, cartoons, adventure films, for example, Clash of the Titans, Troy, Hercules
  • exploring connections between ancient and modern music, for example, musical instruments such as the guitar, which is descended from the cithara or lyre
  • recognising the use of Greek as the language of the New Testament and as the original language of well-known texts such as the Lord’s Prayer
  • researching elements of Greek engineering and architecture seen in public buildings in Australia and across the world, for example, the use of Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns
  • observing and discussing ancient Greek architectural structures and influences in Roman, Renaissance, Neoclassical and New Classical architecture

Role of language and culture

Recognise that the language of the ancient Greeks provides insights into their daily lives, ideas, feelings and attitudes

[Key concepts: language, culture, interdependence; Key processes: connecting, conceptualising, explaining] (ACLCLU013 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • investigating connections between language and significant cultural attitudes, for example, discussing how the terms ἐκκλησία, βουλή, πρυτάνεις, ψήφισμα and the expressions τὶς ἀγορεύειν βούλεται and ἔδοξε τῇ βουλῇ καὶ τῷ δήμῳ relate to the concept of citizenship in ancient Athens
  • understanding the factors, such as language, religion and culture, that unified the Ἕλληνες (Greeks) and set them apart from the βάρβαροι (non-Greeks)
  • exploring and discussing language use that reflects the social structure of the πόλις of Athens, encompassing both city and countryside, for example, citizen classes, metics, slaves, women
  • exploring and discussing references in texts to social structure in Sparta, including the Spartans, perioikoi and helots
  • comparing and contrasting references in texts to family life, social practices and education in Athens and Sparta
  • understanding the importance of religion in ancient Greek society, and its links to festivals and ceremonies, for example, by examining references in texts to worship of the Olympian gods and local heroes, the panhellenic festivals of the Olympic and Pythian Games, or the dramatic performances of the Dionysia in Athens
  • comparing language that reflects the status of men, youths, women and girls in domestic affairs and public life in ancient Athens and Sparta, such as the significance of the terms ἀνδρεία, κύριος, κηδεμών, παρθένος
  • exploring the colloquial language that ancient Greeks used for greetings, or answering questions about daily life, such as χαῖρε/χαίρετε, πῶς ἔχεις/ἔχετε; τὶ ἔστιν;

Reflecting

Reflect on own and others’ reactions to and assumptions about the language and culture of ancient Greek society, considering similarities and differences to own language and culture

[Key concepts: identity, interconnection across concepts; Key processes: comparing, connecting, empathising, reflecting] (ACLCLU014 - Scootle )

  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • considering own and others’ cultural assumptions about home and leisure and how these may have been different in the ancient Greek context
  • reviewing and responding to aspects of cultural practices in Classical Greek texts and ancient Greek artefacts, and discussing the reactions of peers to these
  • developing an understanding of life in ancient Athens or Sparta, and reflecting on similarities and differences to own lifestyle in multicultural Australia
  • describing own life at home and school and making comparisons with that of young people in ancient Greece
  • discussing how young people in ancient Greece may have viewed the lives of young people in the modern world
Reflect on self as a language learner, considering how learning Classical Greek influences ways of learning and enhances understanding of own heritage, values and culture

[Key concepts: identity, interconnection across concepts, influence; Key processes: connecting, reflecting] (ACLCLU015 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • exploring own sense of identity, considering own and others’ assumptions about family, language(s) spoken, traditions, values and attitudes
  • considering how learning about the ancient world offers different ways of interpreting the modern world and representing experience
  • keeping a journal of experiences (humorous, satisfying or challenging) associated with learning and using Classical Greek, noting personal reactions and reflections over time
  • considering how learning Classical Greek has impacted on own approaches to learning across subjects, such as setting realistic timeframes, computational thinking
  • reflecting on the experience of learning Classical Greek, considering how it might add a further dimension to own sense of identity
  • reflecting and reporting on how learning Classical Greek gives insights into the relationship between language and culture in general, and how own way of thinking about language, culture and identity may change through the experience

Years 7 and 8 Achievement Standards

By the end of Year 8, students use their knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and textual cues to identify and interpret information in Classical Greek texts, such as narratives, about the daily life and attitudes of the ancient Greeks. They interpret grammatical structures such as inflected forms; identify linguistic features such as striking word choice, for example, θηρίον δεινόν, Ἀθήνη γλαυκῶπις; infer meaning from textual cues such as headings, images or captions; and describe social and cultural practices embedded in Classical Greek words, such as γυμνάσιον, πανήγυρις, σπονδή, πομπή. They convey information and ideas about ancient Greek society and culture, in oral, written or digital forms, using Classical Greek as appropriate, for example, a news report in English about a historical event such as the Battle of Marathon, or a digital poster about family life in ancient Greece with annotations in Classical Greek, such as πατήρ, μήτηρ, υἱός, θυγάτηρ. They share their responses to Classical Greek texts, such-as stories, myths and plays, by expressing their feelings and ideas about characters, events, actions, settings and themes. They read aloud or recite Classical Greek texts, such as stories, dialogues, poems or speeches, or perform texts in Classical Greek, such as short plays, to entertain an audience, conveying meaning effectively by using appropriate phrasing and voice inflection. Students translate Classical Greek texts accurately into Standard English, applying their knowledge of vocabulary, including roots and derivatives, linguistic cues, culture, and accidence and syntax, including number, gender and case of nouns, pronouns and adjectives, for example, οὐδὲν κακὸν ἀμιγὲς καλοῦ, conjugation and tense, such as present and future tenses of verbs, for example, γράφω/γράψω, βάλλω/βαλῶ, δέχομαι/δέξομαι, and conventions of sentence structure. They explain the relative effectiveness of different translations of the same text, and identify the features of a successful translation.

Students identify Classical Greek sound–script relationships and use restored pronunciation when reading aloud, such as for diphthongs, double consonants and aspirated consonants, for example, εἴσοδος, ξένος, χάρις. They identify the structure and features of different texts in Classical Greek, such as narratives or short plays, and explain how these elements contribute to an audience's response to the text. They describe how the Greek language spread with the expansion of the ancient Greek world, and influenced other languages during the Classical period. They explain how Classical Greek has influenced and continues to influence English vocabulary, by identifying derivatives, for example, theory, dilemma, category, paragraph, and words that are used in modern English, for example, nemesis, catharsis, criterion, anathema. Students give examples of how particular language use reflects the lifestyles, ideas, feelings and attitudes of Greeks in the Classical period, and identify connections between ancient and modern values, pursuits, citizenship, literature, the arts and architecture. They share their reactions to and assumptions about the language and culture of ancient Greek society, identifying similarities or differences to their own language and culture. They describe how learning Classical Greek impacts on their own approaches to learning and on their understanding of their own heritage, values and culture.