I got home this afternoon all ready to report on Hecuba at the Donmar, when I found this e-mail, and put Hecuba on the back burner. I think we should make use of this opportunity. Here's the message (I'm sure Vicky Weston won't mind my publishing most of the e-mail to me, because after all the object is to get the Latin e-learning course as widely known as possible):
I spoke to Clare Roberts from JACT earlier and she suggested that I speak to either you or David Parsons regarding a new Latin course that we're working on.
It\'s a new government backed course on learning Latin – they are trying to revive interest and increase awareness in this. Consequently, the course organisers are being made available on a web chat so that teachers may ask questions about the language, teaching it and implementing it in schools.
The spokespeople will be in our studio and the chat will be run from there and shown on webchats.tv. All you would need to do in order for your users to participate should you wish, would be to put a link on your site so that teachers may click on it. The chat takes place on Tuesday 28th Sept between 4 and 5pm.
We also have the course on DVD available as a competition prize – please let me know if you'd be interested in giving this away on your site.
The chat is fully moderated so there is no danger of unsuitable language etc being shown for example!
There is a full Digital press Kit available on http://www.presskits.co.uk for this learning Latin feature – there is text and images available for download. The following link has the full feature: http://www.presskits.co.uk/7693/index.php
New online chat
The facility to learn Latin is being made available to pupils across the UK even if they don’t have a specialist Latin teacher in their school. Funded by the DfES, the Cambridge Latin Course E-Learning Resource is looking to re-invigorate interest in the classic language as the number of pupils taking Latin GCSE has been in decline for many years.
The digital course adds a new dimension to learning the language by tracing the lives of a group of characters in the Roman world of the 1st century AD. Stories are brought to life via a rich mix of over 1,000 interactive activities including dramatisations of ancient life, historical documentaries filmed on archaeological sites and interactive materials relating to course content. Language and culture are integrated by using as much authentic Roman subject matter as possible. The resource also contains formal assessments that cover the Key Stage 3 course.
The course organisers, Will Griffiths, Director of the Cambridge School Classics Project, and Chris West of Granada Learning will be live online on Tuesday 28th September from 1600-1700 to answer your questions on Latin, the course and how you can go about providing the facility for your school.
I'd urge you to think of a friend teaching in another school and direct their attention to this blog. The government help for Latin will only achieve what we want if non-Latin schools know about it and get enthusiastic about it. How will the schools near you do that if you don't tell them?