What is the best way to learn Latin?

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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…..

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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

 

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

The Carmenta Online Latin School

The Carmenta Online Latin School (which is now 6 years old) is the world’s largest online Latin school, with live audio/video Skype classes and tutoring in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Classical Literature. Highly qualified,most of their teachers also work at top American universities and prep schools. Students of all ages and with a wide variety of educational backgrounds could benefit.
Check out these websites
http://carmentalatin.com/ – For students interested in online Latin classes,
http://carmentaancientgreek.com/ – For students interested in online Ancient Greek classes, and
http://carmentalatintutor.com/ – For students interested in online Latin tutoring.

The Carmenta Blog, to which all of these three sites are directly linked, contains original and reposted articles and videos on the classical languages as well as classical culture, history, and archaeology. For an interesting and entertaining collection of scholarship and reportage about classical languages, history, and culture, with all original material produced by top academics go here:
http://www.carmentablog.com/

School Latin project lands European language award

The Iris Project has been bringing Latin to our Primary schools by means of its “Literacy through Latin ”  programme since 2007 and has now received European recognition.  My thanks to Shona Harrison for bringing this report from the Oxford Mail to our attention.

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Of the award, the Project Director, Lorna Robinson said

“We’re really excited at the news that the Literacy through Latin project has won this prestigious award.

The judge who visited our lessons was delighted at the pupils’ enjoyment of Latin and their engagement with our method of using storytelling to deliver Latin as part of literacy.

It shows that the project works and that it’s useful and interesting for pupils.  We hope the award will help us secure funding for this long-running project to expand and develop.”

Read the whole article here

Disappearance of Classics in education

Hard on the heels of the  “Ad hoc Latin club has ‘cultappeal” and the “Latin at Bilborough College” success stories comes this awful reminder of what we, as guardians of the Classical tradition, and the next generation of would-be Classics teachers are up against.

If this young man doesn’t have the opportunity to train as a Classics Teacher it will be a great loss.  writes Shona Harrison, with regard to this letter from Lee Baker,  from the TES dated 30th August 2013

It is with great sadness that I write with regard to the situation of Classics and classical education in Scotland. I am a student at the University of Glasgow, living in Lanark, studying Classics and English literature. It was always my intention, after completing my degree, to continue in education and become a Classics teacher. Having been a pupil at Lanark Grammar School, I was privileged to see the great benefits of Classics teaching and education at its finest under the guidance of some excellent teachers.

However, the situation for training Classics teachers in Scotland is currently non-existent. This is a great loss to Scottish children as Classics education is fast becoming a discipline for the private sector. Some independent schools already employ people without any formal teaching qualifications as Classics teachers, as there is no supply from the teacher training institutes.

This cannot surely be condoned by the Scottish government, when there are people wanting to be trained in this field. It is not because of a decline in interest from students that Classics has disappeared from the state sector, as most schools that still offer it have high presentation numbers (“Ad hoc Latin club has ‘cult’ appeal”, 23 August). Where is freedom of choice and equal opportunity for the children of Scotland? The University of Glasgow was the last place in Scotland where a Classics PGDE was delivered, and it seems as though it has just vanished from the offered curriculum without due cause.

With Latin being one of Scotland’s heritage languages and the rich tradition of Classical learning and influences in the Scottish culture, it seems unthinkable that there is no provision for teaching children the key foundations of our past, when so much time, money and publicity is spent on the benefits of the Gaelic medium. Latin provides an equally beneficial, if not greater, learning environment, as it allows us to recognise and understand not only our own culture and heritage, but also our place in the international European community.

http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6352788

Latin at Bilborough College

I am so pleased. I want to share my delight with colleagues who will appreciate it, because my college has not responded. This is the third year that Latin GCSE has been offered as an additional subject to year 13 A level students at my state sixth form. I make no bones; I love Latin and I am dedicated to state students having the same opportunities as private school students. We have in effect 8 months to prepare for the higher tier GCSE OCR Latin. 31 took the exam this year. 23 achieved A*-C with 2 A*s, 10As 7Bs and 4Cs. I am so proud and if other teachers would like advice regarding introducing GCSE Latin into the curriculum, I would love to talk with them about promoting so important a subject.

Sean Cormac