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SCL Preconference on Classical & Modern Languages

The Society for Classical Learning will hold its annual conference in Austin, Texas on June 26-29, 2019. This year SCL will feature a full pre-conference day workshop on teaching foreign language. This conference will not limit itself to Latin, but will also consider Classical Greek and modern languages.

This preconference features several seasoned language instructors and leaders within classical Christian Education. Karen Moore (Grace Academy, Georgetown, TX; latinaliveonline.com), Lisa Snyder (Covenant Christian Academy, Colleyville, TX), Dr. Tim Griffith (New Saint Andrews, ID; pictadicta.com), Marcus Foster, Daniel Faubus, and Dr. Jason Merritt (Covenant Classical School, Ft. Worth, TX) will consider the following questions:

Why Latin? Why foreign languages? Must we commit to only one method? Is it possible to teach a language’s grammar through immersive conversation in the target language? How do we keep the struggling students supported while challenging those who are advanced (and having some fun along the way)? What are the pitfalls and benefits of a Foreign Language Program that offers both classical and modern languages? Can a modern languages and methods (TPR, CI, etc.) benefit and enhance Latin instruction or overall curriculum and vice-versa? Can a diverse, multilingual program really adhere to the maxim multum, non multa?  How do we teach our students to love learning languages, especially when asking them to do something so difficult as conversing in a foreign language in front of peers or reading great authors in the original language?

Each talk will also feature considerations of both principles and best practices that can be brought directly in to the classroom, aiming to be applicable to teachers of any language with any curriculum in any school. Besides speaking to these topics, our speakers will also lead round table discussions on various issues such as: AP Latin, classical languages in college and beyond, department culture, lateral entries & remediation, hosting immersive workshops, and adding new language offerings.

For a look at the complete schedule and registration details visit: https://societyforclassicallearning.org/2019-annual-conference/preconference/classical-and-modern-languages/

 

SCL’s 2019 Conference will also include workshops in Latin by the following:

The Art of Latin, Karen Moore
The 12th and 13th century A.D. have been hailed as the Aetas Ovidiana for the great extent to which Ovid influenced the literature and art. The 8th and 9th century have similarly been dubbed the Aetas Vergiliana for the great influence of Vergil. Even today should you attend any of the excellent collections of Renaissance art, should a student of literature know the stories of Ovid, Vergil and the Bible that student would be able to well interpret the great majority of any piece that should capture his gaze. He would do well to consider, however, that the artists of such masterpieces were inspired not merely by the concept of a story, but the artful writing of Ovid and Vergil. This workshop will look at several masterpieces from these time periods as object lessons in the art of Latin. Such lessons integrate the study of Latin literature with art history enhancing the students’ understanding and appreciation of both studies. Such studies better equip our students and ourselves to grow as life-long learners and life-long lovers of both art and Latin.

This workshop will greatly benefit teachers of Latin, Art, and Ancient Literature.

Teaching Latin That Good Old Way But in the Twenty-First Century, Dr. Tim Griffith
It may seem impractical to spend valuable class time learning to write or speak in a dead language . As almost everyone capable of using Latin is now dead, even those who see the value of learning the language at all usually only see the value of learning to read it. But composing Latin, whether aloud or on paper, has been proven for centuries to be an excellent way for students to learn to read it better. This workshop will demonstrate how teachers can teach Latin the old and proven way—through composition and oral composition—while using powerful tools from the 21st century.

Basics of Speaking Ancient Greek, Dr. Jason Merritt
Many classical educators have only limited exposure to the Greek language, and the different alphabet employed by Greek presents an impediment to further learning. This workshop seeks to bridge that gap by introducing the attendee to the Greek alphabet, pronunciation, and basic vocabulary through spoken exercises. This workshop is ideal both for lower and upper school teachers who deal with Greek history, culture, and literature in their curriculum and would like to explore the language further and incorporate basic elements of the alphabet and language into their instruction.

Veritas Press Teacher Training 2018

I am pleased to announce that I will return to beautiful Lancaster, Pennsylvania this summer to speak at the annual Veritas Press Teacher Training Conference on July 11- 13. If you attended last year, you may recall that I walked through best practices in teaching through Latin for Children, Latin Alive Book 1, and Wheelock.  This year I will be taking on some different topics, though still related to these same ages and stages. (If you missed the 2017 conference you can get my Latin sessions through Veritas Press).

Here is a sneak peek at the topics I am speaking on this year!

Latin: The Key to the Grammar School

Latin is often considered a core element to a classical education, even in the younger years of grammar school. This session will explore the reasons why Latin is a key component in the grammar years and how this study can support and reinforce other subjects. Topics covered will include vocabulary, grammar, enrichment, and integrative opportunities with other subjects.

Latin: Taking it Beyond Vocabulary

This second session will build on the vocabulary skills introduced in session one. The goal of teaching Latin is to be able to read wonderful stories written in this ancient and beautiful language. In this session the class will move beyond vocabulary to consider how students can apply words to simple sentences, eventually reading simple stories. This class will use lessons within the Latin for Children series along with stories from the Libellus de Historia Reader series to demonstrate how to teach students to read Latin.

Latin I for All Children

As enrollment grows and new students join existing schools and programs, how do we bring new students into our Latin programs? This seminar will explore ways to welcome new students and set them up for success in classical languages. We will look at entry points for grammar, logic, and rhetoric programs. We will also consider opportunities for additional support as students adapt and grow.

Using Latin Alive!

As students mature their styles of learning change, and so must our style of teaching. The paradigms are the same, but we must move beyond them to find ways to make Latin come alive for our students. This session will highlight teaching strategies for older students utilizing some of the lessons and tools of the Latin Alive program. Karen Moore, Latin teacher and author of Latin Alive, will also share a number of techniques she has developed as we review the finer points of Latin grammar, reading, and even a little composition.

 

For more information on the Veritas Teacher Training Conference, including registration visit https://teachertraining.veritaspress.com/#about

 

Vocabulary Building with Picta Dicta

Picta Dicta is an innovative and highly engaging tool for students to build their Latin vocabulary. This program could easily serve as an introduction for young students into the delightful world of Latin. The lessons would also prove a wonderful supplement to any Latin curricula, or even as a summer strengthening program for Latin students. The approach engages students in learning vocabulary through pictures and images rather than the usual vocab word list found in most textbooks. Read the rest of this entry »

Art-Literature Analysis: Student Assignment

As an end of year project for my AP Latin students, I assign an art analysis paper based upon a scene from either Vergil's Aeneid or Caesar's de Bello Gallico. The students are to choose a masterpiece that accurately depicts one such scene. This assignment is a student favorite as it causes the students to look back and call upon what they have learned of the story and the language from the vantage point of one who has completed a rigorous journey and now stands upon the mountain top, surveying the view of the road from whence they came. The remainder of this post is written by one of my Latin students. This is her piece of art-literature analysis based on a scene from Aeneid VI. Read the rest of this entry »

Planning the Invasion of Gaul

Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres . . . Thus begins the first chapter of Comentarii de Bello Galllico, written by General Julius Caesar c.58-49 B.C. This is a line that most veterans of Latin studies know by heart for it has long been the traditional "first book" for young students graduating from grammatical studies into original readings. The work is chosen for its excellent prose, whose arrangment is fairly easy for novice readers to follow. That is once you become adept at recognizing ablative absolutes and extensive relative clauses and very long stints of indirect discourse. The work certainly cannot be read without great attention to the author, Julius Caesar, his military endeavors and his political ambitions. This work can also be enjoyed as a study in ancient geography as Caesar begins the very first chapter by laying out the geographical composition of Greater Gaul in the manner of a chartographer. Read the rest of this entry »

Ten Basic Rules for Reading Latin

 

 While perusing the LatinTeach website I found this wonderful article with reading tips for students.   I often find students “paralyzed” in trying to read Latin with their English brains.  What I mean by that is that students have trouble leaving behind their English rules for syntax and word order when trying to read Latin.  They often want to read words in the order in which they appear or jump to derivatives for meaning.  Latin has its own syntax, which is really very logical.  Students have to get our of their English brains and learn to read Latin as Latin.  This article by Dexter Hoyos has some wonderful tips for doing just that.  Click on the title below to view the article.  There you will find a pdf with his rules available for easy print out.

Dexter Hoyos – The Ten Basic Rules for Reading Latin

Rather than trying to find the “hidden English” in Latin, these rules will help you read Latin as the original authors intended — in the actual Latin word order.  Professor Hoyos demonstrates that the Romans were entirely logical in how they composed their writing and that it is possible to train yourself to read in Latin word order by understanding how they grouped words.

 

Latin Syllabication and Accent Review

The following post is a synopsis of the rules for syllabication and accent of words in Latin literature.  Students will find this increasingly helpful as they begin to work with oratory and poetry in Latin.  I very much encourage the memorization and recitation of such pieces.  While Latin is predominantly a written language today, it was once crafted to sway minds and move hearts.  We should not deprive students the opportunity to both study and experience the spoken language of masters such as Cicero and Vergil.  This summation is included as an appendix in Latin Alive Book 3 and Book 4.  The rules also appear in books 1 and 2.

Caveat: I am unable to include macra (long marks) on this blog site.  I will make notations of long vowels where important.

Syllabication

The term “syllable” is used to refer to a unit of a word that consists of a single, uninterrupted sound formed by a vowel, diphthong, consonant, or by a consonant-vowel combination. Syllabication is the act of dividing a word in order to reveal its individual syllables. With English this can be tricky because there are often letters that remain silent. However, in Latin there are no completely silent letters, so any given Latin word will have as many syllables as it has vowels or diphthongs. The rules of syllabication indicate that words are to be divided as follows:

1. Between two like consonants:

pu-el-la           ter-ra

2. Between the last of two or more different consonants:

ar-ma      temp-to

3. Between two vowels or a vowel and a diphthong (never divide a diphthong):

Cha-os            proe-li-um

4. Before a single consonant:

me-mo-ri-a     fe-mi-nae

 

Caveat Discipulus: As with most rules, there are sometimes exceptions to the syllabications rules just mentioned. The most common exception occurs with prefixes. A division will always occur between the prefix and the root word. The root word will always divide as if he prefix was never there. Consider the following example:

creo = cre-o                pro-cre-o

Notice how the division in the compound verb occurs between the prefix and the root word. Notice also that the cr is still not divided when the prefix is added.

 

Special Rules:

5. Before a stop + liquid combination, except if it is caused by the addition of the prefix to the word (see above):  pu-blica (but ad-la-tus according to the prefix exception)

stops: b, c, d, g, p, t                liquids: l, r

6. After the letter x.  Though it is technically two consonants, it is indivisible in writing, so we divide after it:

ex-i-ti-um   ex-e-o

7. Before s + stop, if the s is preceded by a consonant:

mon-stro   ad-scrip-tum

 

Each syllable has a characteristic called quantity. The quantity of a syllable is its length—how much time it takes to pronounce or say that syllable. A long syllable has twice the quantity or length of a short syllable. It is easy to tell the quantity of syllables in Latin and it will be important to know how to do so in order to properly accent words. Syllables are long when they have:

1. a long vowel (marked by a macron);

2. a diphthong;

3. a short vowel followed by two consonants or the letters x or z.

The only exception for this two consonant rule is the letter h.  This letter is often reduced to an aspiration, barely audible.

 

Otherwise, syllables are short. The first two rules are said to make a syllable long by nature because the vowel sound is naturally long. The last rule is said to make a syllable long by position, because the length depends on the placement of the vowel within that word. Recognizing the length of a syllable becomes particularly important when reading poetry.

Caveat Discipulus (Let the Student Beware): The quantity of the syllable does not change the length of the vowel. You should still pronounce short vowels according the phonetic rules you have just learned. The quantity of the syllable will affect how you accent the words.

 

Accent

Accent is the vocal emphasis placed on a particular syllable of a word. The accent can only fall on one of the last three syllables of a word. Each one of these syllables has a name. The last syllable is referred to as the ultima, meaning “last” in Latin. The next to last syllable is called the penult (from paene ultima, meaning “almost last”). The syllable third from the end is known as the antepenult (from ante paene ultima, which means “before the almost last”). Which one of these syllables carries the accent depends on the length of the syllables.

 

 

The rules for accent are as follows:

1. In words of two syllables always accent the penult or first syllable: aúc-tor.

2. In words of more than two syllables, accent the penult (next to last syllable) when it is long:

mo-né-mus.

* The e  in monemus is long by nature and should have a macron

3. Otherwise, accent the antepenult (third to last syllable): fé-mi-na.

4. The ultima will never carry the accent unless it is a one-syllable word: nóx.

 

 

 

Latin Alive Reader: Latin Literature from Cicero to Newton!

LA Team: Steven, Chris, Karen, and Gaylan at the book release during the national conference for the Society for Classical Learning in Austin, TX.

We are very excited to announce the publication of the fourth and final installment of the Latin Alive series!  The Latin Reader is the fruition of the dream Gaylan and I shared for the series from its earliest beginning. It was our desire to create a series that would train students to read original Latin literature and then enjoy the fruits of such literature, not just from ancient Rome, but literature that reflects the great breadth and depth of Latin influence through the ages. This unique reader provides excerpts of Latin literature that includes the prose of Cicero, Caesar, and Bacon; the poetry of Vergil, Ovid, Queen Elizabeth and Milton; the theological treatises of Augustine, Luther, and Aquinas; and the scientific musings of Pliny and Newton.  And these are only a few of the authors represented!  So great is the content, that we are delighted to welcome Dr. Steven L. Jones as a third author for this special book.  You can read more about Steven on the “about the authors” page of this blog site.

 

As with previous LA books we include biographies of each Latin author so students can learn about the context of each piece: historical, social, and even political.  Footnotes abound which provide further insight to the language, idioms, and cultural references for each piece.  We have also provided a variety of reading comprehension questions (Latin and English) to allow teachers to explore the readings further with students.  For all intents and purposes, this book serves as the basis for a humanities class in Latin.  For my students, this is their favorite Latin class.

Another distinctive unique to this book is the inclusion of a thorough grammar review in the second section.  Teachers and students may use this to review aspects of Latin grammar that apply to the pieces of literature they are reading.  Numerous appendices with reference charts, pronunciation review, and lessons in both Medieval Latin and poetry make this book on Latin literature complete.  There truly is nothing like this in circulation to date.  We are overjoyed to share this treasury with all of you.

You can read more about the Latin Alive Reader on the CAP website, including sample chapters.  Here is a sneak peek at the wealth of literature contained within its pages.  Among these you will see many of the authors and titles often included among the literature lists of classical schools.  This is very intentional as it is our hope through this book to support and enhance the study of these pieces of literature.

  1. Pro Archaia, Cicero
  2. Cornelia Gracchi, Nepos
  3. De Bello Gallico, Caesar
  4. Tria Poemata, Catullus
  5. Aeneid, Vergil
  6. Quattuor Poemata, Horace
  7. Metamorphoses, Ovid
  8. Fabulae Breves, Phaedrus
  9. de Ira, Seneca
  10. Evangelium secundum Sanctum Lucum, St. Luke
  11. Evangelium sucundum Sanctum Mattheum, St. Matthew
  12. Naturalis Historia, Piny the Elder
  13. Institutio Oratio, Quintilian
  14. Alia Epigrammata, Martial
  15. Perigrinatio Egeriae, Egeria
  16. Confessiones Sancti Augustini, St. Augustine
  17. Confessiones Sancti Patricii, St. Patrick
  18. Institutiones Divinarum et Saecularium Litterarum, Cassiodorus
  19. Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum, Bede
  20. Vita de Caroli Magni, Einhard
  21. Magna Charta, The 25 Barons
  22. Summa Theologica, St. Aquinas
  23. Epistola ad Ciceronem, Petrarch
  24. Epistola Latina Columbi, Columbus
  25. Disputatio pro Declaratione Virtutis Indulgentiarum, Luther
  26. Stultitiae Laus, Erasmus
  27. Adversus Lutheranos, Cajetan
  28. Carmen et Oratio, Queen Elizabeth
  29. Elegia Secunda, Milton
  30. Historia Regni Henrici Septimi Angliae, Bacon
  31. Principa Mathematica, Newton

In addition, we have provided two readings included on the AP Latin syllabus from Caesar and Vergil.

 

“Latin for Teachers” FREE!

Classical Academic Press is offering the Latin For Teacher Training video free online (LFC A sessions only) for about three weeks.  This is part of a 3 day workshop I have given in order to train grammar school Latin teachers.  I use the Latin for Children text for the video, but the strategies and resources I provide here can be used for any grammar school Latin course.  This limited time offer allows FB fans to watch the material taught during the first day online for free.  In order to take advantage of this limited offer please see the link below.  Pass it on!

http://www.facebook.com/classicalacademicpress?sk=app_237202476309340

 

To see sample material and read reviews for this product, please visit the CAP website:

http://classicalacademicpress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=17&products_id=18

 

Latin Brain Teasers

One of the Seven Laws of Teaching* states that a teacher should never attempt to begin a lesson without first having gained the attention of the student.  This can be a challenge, especially when it comes to bubbly (er . . . chatty) middle school students.  A strategy I have employed often and without fail is the Latin warm up.  I have a Latin phrase on the board ready to go before the student come in.  With very little training, students will know that as soon as they enter the classroom they are to get busy.  This eliminates wasted dead time that can creep in as the teacher waits for straggles or is pre-occupied with someone or something lingering from the previous class.  Such a warm up engages the students’ attention immediately and begins preparing their focus for the subject at hand – Latin. There is certainly no lack of pithy Latin phrases, but it is good to keep their attention by throwing in a puzzle or brain teaser amid the expected ancient proverb.  Several of these brain teasers and puzzles have made their way into Latin Alive, Book 3.  In this post we’d like to share some wonderful sources for more such diverting tidbits.

For Latin Puzzles see   http://www.archimedes-lab.org/atelier.html?http://www.archimedes-lab.org/latin.html

For the Latin quote of the week, see http://www.dogtulosba.com/archives/cat_quidquid_latine_dictum_sit_altum_viditur.html

For Latin sayings, see http://www.rktekt.com/ck/LatSayings.html

For handy Latin phrases, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/h2g2/guide/A218882

For palindromes, see http://villemin.gerard.free.fr/Langue/Palindro.htm

 

*The Seven Laws of Teaching is a treatise by John Milton Gregory that outlines the seven natural laws of teaching and how teachers may best work with such laws to maximize effectiveness.  It is an excellent read and highly recommended.