What is the best way to learn Latin?

img_1193

Seen on EIDOLON

“MF: Eleanor, your new book is a revelation! It shows that ancient Greeks learned Latin the way we learn modern languages. They memorized made-up dialogues — dialogues that illustrate stereotypical Roman culture — and only then went back and analyzed each word for its grammatical function. By contrast, a reader opening Reginald’s book might be surprised that he insists on total philological mastery. It seems completely different, but it obviously works, too. Do you see Reginald’s method as a total break from “the ancient way” (as your title aptly puts it)? Or do you see continuities?”

So begins a conversation between Michael Fontaine, Associate Professor of Classics at Cornell University. Eleanor Dickey, authoress of  “Learning Latin the Ancient Way: Latin Textbooks from the Ancient World”  and Daniel Gallagher , Reginald Foster’s longtime student and successor in the Office of Latin Letters at the Vatican.

Read the whole conversation here…...

The objective of Reginald Foster’s book – “Ossa Latinitatis Sola “is to get people into immediate contact with and understanding of genuine Latin authors, and for these encounters to grow into a love and use of the entire language in all its literary types and periods of time and authors of the past 2,300 years.”

You can hear him putting this into practice:

Listen to him teaching in his own inimitable style here…..

Advertisements

The people who are bringing Latin to life

Ann Patty, writing in the Wall Street Journal celebrates the Paideia Institute’s annual “Living Latin in NYC” convention—two days of lectures, classes and conversations, all in Latin.

“classicists and grammar fans are speaking a language often called dead”

“Latin isn’t a dead language, it’s undead—it’s a zombie language. And this is the zombie apocalypse!”

“We’ve made it cool to speak Latin,” Dr. Pedicone (the 34-year-old classicist who co-founded the institute) said. “We’re proving that interest in the classical humanities is alive and well.”

Read the full article here:

http://www.wsj.com/article_email/the-people-who-are-bringing-latin-to-life-1466786605-lMyQjAxMTE2MjIxNTUyNzU1Wj

 

Rouse writes to a former pupil

1931_rouse2

Amongst the memorabilia celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Perse School is a letter written by WHD Rouse in 1945 to a former pupil, Leslie Missen. The letter begins unpromisingly with the words:

“This is going to be a long letter, and dull.”

But continues confidently with

“But I think you will read it, because I know you.”

Rouse’s affection for his school and his pupils shines through

“You are one of my sons – all the OPs are my sons – and you will listen to pa because you ought. I am now rising 83, and I can’t last long: but I do hope to leave something good behind me. I will tell you later the kindly things. You saw the Perse School from the inside – and I want to show it to you from the inside.”

Read on here:

http://www.perse.org.uk/voicesblog/education-is-happinessif-the-life-is-there/

Italy’s Latin Revival

An Italian academy has brought Latin back from the grave with such success that it was forced to turn away hundreds of prospective students due to over-enrolment this academic year.

The Latin phrase Senatus Populusque Romanus (The Senate and the People of Rome), referring to the government of the ancient Roman Republic, used nowadays as an official signature of the city of Rome is seen on a monument in central Rome on February 9, 2010. AFP PHOTO / Filippo MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

The Latin phrase Senatus Populusque Romanus (The Senate and the People of Rome), referring to the government of the ancient Roman Republic, used nowadays as an official signature of the city of Rome is seen on a monument in central Rome on February 9, 2010. AFP PHOTO / Filippo MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Vivarium Novum, a humanist campus set in a lush park with a swimming pool and basketball court, is part of the estate belonging to a religious order just north of Rome. Students here don’t just study Latin but learn to speak it fluently. Latin is not only confined to the classroom — in fact, Italian, English and French are strictly forbidden anywhere on campus. Students caught talking in “vulgar,” or writing notes in any other language, risk expulsion………

Read Silvia Marchetti’s article here

Scholarships available for the Academy Vivarium Novum in Rome

Announcement of Competition

Latin, Greek and Humanities at the Academy Vivarium Novum in Rome – Italy

Academic year 2013-2014

The Academy Vivarium Novum is offering ten full tuition scholarships for high school students of the European Union (16-18 years old) and ten full tuition scholarships  for University students (18-24 years old) of any part of the world. The scholarships will cover all of the costs of room, board, teaching and didactic materials for courses to be held from October 7, 2013 until June 14, 2014 on the grounds of the Academy’s campus at Rome.

Application letters must be sent to info@vivariumnovum.net by July 15th in order to receive consideration.

A good knowledge of the fundamental of Latin and Greek is required.

The courses will be as follows:

Latin language (fundamental and advanced)

Greek language (fundamental and advanced)

Latin composition

Roman History

Ancient Latin literature

History of ancient Philosophy

Renaissance and Neo-Latin literature

Latin and Greek music and poetry

Classics reading seminars

The goal is to achieve a perfect command of both Latin and Greek through a total immersion in the two languages in order to master without any hindrances the texts and concepts which have been handed down from the ancient times, middle ages, the Renaissance period and modern era, and to cultivate the humanities in a manner similar to the  Renaissance humanists.

All the classes will be conducted in Latin, except for Greek classes which will be conducted in ancient Greek.

In the letter the prospective student should indicate the following:

1. Full name;

2. Date and location of birth;

3. What school you currently attend;

4. How long you have studied Latin and/or Greek;

5. Which authors and works you have read;

6. Other studies and primary interests outside of school.

In addition, please attach a recent passport/ID photograph.

(For more information about the Academy, you may visit the website www.vivariumnovum.net.)

Final update on the 6th international CICERO competition

Rex Stretton-Pow with the Malvern St. James CICERO Cup

     

from Anne Dicks

It was a great success again, with a total of 117 Sixth Form students taking part in the UK: 79 taking the cultural test on ‘Aeneas from Troy to Latium’ and 90 attempting edited passages from Quintus Cicero’s ‘Short Guide to Electioneering’. They all really enjoyed the challenge of the tests and were able to video-chat with students around the world as well.

Prizewinners were announced at the JACT Conference and AGM on 19th May and you can see the full list on the UK page of the website http://www.ciceroconcordia.com along with credits to all those who supported the competition either financially or by donating signed books. The winning student came from France this year.

If you click on the ‘2012’ link you can see some of these students and hear the video-messages they have sent to each other. Unfortunately there was a problem with the recording from Australia which we have so far not been able to resolve, but I particularly recommend the videoclip from the Serbian students and (of course) my own students’ version of the story of Aeneas, even though I don’t think it can rival the one they made about Jason last year!

As I am retiring from teaching at the end of this school year, the CICERO UK competition will be taken over by a new team: details will appear on the website as they are finalised but more volunteers are always welcome …. I will continue as international Webmaster.

Here are two accounts of the day: the first one written by the winner of the U6 Latin section and the second by one of my students.

  • …………………
    Having arrived at Malvern St James School relatively early one Saturday morning, the warm greeting we received more than made up for the loss of a potential lie-in. As always, MSJ were more than happy to see us and made us very welcome; the other students participating were equally friendly and we all got off to a flying start. This, to me, struck the first difference between CICERO and other competitions of its nature. Though everyone seeks to do well, no-one provokes competition or rivalry. The inherent message of harmony is taken to heart.
    As part of the opening ceremony, Duncan and I had the privilege of reading a piece of the Aeneid to the group, followed by a video from Boris Johnson, outlining and praising the competition, and a recorded video-conferencing message from Anne Dicks, the founder of CICERO, speaking to us from a school in Serbia. After a lovely lunch, we also had the chance to talk to some of the many other schools across the world taking part in the competition over video conferencing, including Serbia, Italy and Spain, and received messages from those who had already done the competition due to time zones, such as Australia. It was truly amazing to be able to communicate on such a global level so effortlessly and openly, and especially refreshing to find that, on the whole, there were people like us – Classicists – all over the world, who shared our interest.
    The first test was the Latin translation, a piece by Quintus Cicero, brother of Marcus Tullius Cicero, on how to win an election in Ancient Rome. Though the passage was in places tough, containing some idioms difficult to translate, it was very enjoyable and (unusually for a test) provided a window into Ancient Rome that I hadn’t looked through before.
    Classicists can often feel that the world of Classics nowadays is tightly knit, and it is a shame that this is so, since it really can be a tool for bringing people together. Through CICERO we were able to meet many people and start many friendships, as well as communicate on an international level. A good day and an extremely worthwhile competition.

  • ……………….
    For 6 years the Cicero competition has inspired budding young classicists all around the world and it truly is a valuable experience for everyone involved. It has benefited me on so many different levels; the papers were challenging and intellectually stimulating, whilst I enjoyed the chance to meet and forge friendships with other like-minded teenagers at our centre as well as those from other schools in Britain, Spain, Italy and Australia. It really is a fantastic opportunity for students to come together and share a common interest outside the classroom, in a competitive yet friendly setting. I would highly recommend it to all and very much hope that someone will take on the responsibility of organising the British centres so that future students will be able to benefit in the same way that I have.
    ………………..

CICERO international Classics competition 

Communicative teaching with the Cambridge Latin Course

Following Bob Patrick’s sessions at the ArLT Summer School on how to use the communicative teaching methodology TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling), it has been decided to trial the use of TPRS with Book I of the CLC. We are therefore seeking a small group of approximately ten teachers to be involved in a one year trial, starting in September 2011.  Teachers who are interested in such a methodology should indicate their interest by dropping a brief e-mail to Keith Rogers – k_d_rogers(at)hotmail.com .  In order to judge the effectiveness of the methodology in a range of situations, we are interested in approaches from teachers from all sectors of the secondary teaching community. Over the course of this academic year (2010-2011), training will be provided to interested teachers to help develop the necessary skills. The project is receiving support from the CSCP and resources will be provided for CLC Book 1.