I’ve thought & chatted a bit more now about how an understanding of relevant cultures might aid the teaching of biblical languages. I’ve come to see that one particular question I’m thinking about is, “How might we usefully attune students to the expectations of members of the relevant speech community?”
My own tentative way of attempting this includes incorporating various conventions of New Testament era Greek into communicative practice. Such conventions might include speech acts (e.g. thanking/requesting), speech events (e.g. narrating),discourse conventions (e.g. marking prominence), and the denotation of culturally authentic objects (e.g. an ‘oikia’ from the relevant time and place).
So students might be asked to tell me about their weekend, using the imperfect tenseform for offline information, and the aorist for online information. They might learn certain vocab through conversation about physical objects that represent culturally authentic examples. And perhaps this could be enhanced by giving students further insight into these speech communities in which the conventions were practiced.