There are several ways to pronounce Chinese characters, Mandarin's pronunciation is only one of them. As far as I remember, his students can choose which one to use (besides Mandarin there are Japanese, Korean etc). The bigger problem, I think, is not how to pronounce characters but projecting grammar and other linguistical expectations from Modern Chinese to Classical. Those are very different languages, and trying to conform Classical Chinese to Procrustean bed of the modern variety will make more harm than good.Gordafarin2 wrote:If you do go forward with this method (and if you do, more power to you, and keep a log of your progress so we can see how it goes!), you might be interested in investigating Victor Mair's teaching style, where he teaches Classical Chinese without requiring Mandarin or a background in Chinese characters. I don't know how he does that, precisely (do students learn pronunciations? or just English glosses?), but he has done it for years.
The real reason one might want to learn Modern Chinese first is to gain access to different resources to Classical Chinese. But Victor Meir thinks there is enough resources in English. I am not sure this is the case but provided one can read German and French there is enough (German has best grammars, while French has Gran Ricci dictionary). Also, if a student wants to pursue an academic career in Classical Chinese he will eventually need Modern Chinese to get access to modern scholarship.