For Students


1.) Why should I study Latin?

           Here's why: Click me.

2.) Why this method?

The Short Answer:
Please see our bullet-points sheet.

The Long Answer:
           So far, there are really just two major methods of learning Latin: (1) the older "Grammar-Translation" method, as seen in a book like Wheelock's Latin; and (2) the Reading Method as seen in books like Ecce Romani and the Cambridge Latin Course.   These two methods speak for themselves.   Wheelock's is very hard owing to the immense quantity of material that must be first memorized in the abstract, without significantly using it until later.   Really,--and perhaps I am being unfair here--but I think of the book as really a desk-reference grammar, with exercises subsequently attached.   The pay-off for this mental labor however, is that the student can arrive at reading authentic Latin in as little as 1.5 years.   As for the reading method, it goes slower and seems easier (since its stories are immediately engaging), but it typically takes high schol students 3 to 4 years to complete and even then the student barely understands authentic Latin.   Both methods conduce to a very bad habit called decoding 🤖, in which the original Latin is read out-of-order, to simulate English word-order.

          Into this breach stepped the european humanistic textbook Lingua Latina per se Illustrata (henceforth LLpsI) which professed to be a new third "direct" (or 'immersion') method of accessing Latin, though it is really just a better form of the reading method.   Written entirely in Latin, but in an ingenious way such that every bit of it was comprehendable, even to someone with no Latin background, it definitely solved two problems: first that of covering enough material fast enough--but at least in a semi-engaging way--to quickly bring the student to reading authentic Latin; and second that of treating Latin orally rather than as words printed on a page.   True, LLpsI was stil a printed textbook, but it did something that the other textbooks didn't: It treated the natural qualities of the Latin words and phrases as they ought to be treated, that is, not in the context stilted, and artificial word-units, but rather in the natural meaning-laden qualities of the sounds-and-syllables.   Indeed LLpsI did this, even when it had to appeal to a very ancient Latin form to show where something came/originated from.   Lastly, it does this not just a few times, but in regular, dependable, flowing (fluent) Latinate sentences throughout the whole book! But it was still rather boring, and the stories, though realistic, were contrived.

          Our curriculum has therefore arrived as a 'next step' in the process.   While using LLpsI, we do several things that LLpsI does not: First, anything you produce you will remember better than what you merely take in.   Therefore, our curriculum relies on the active faculty of writing ✍ (but highly structured & guided), rather than just the passive faculty of reading 📖.   Second, you will get a standard treatment of culture 🕍 and context 🌍 in our curriculum, which is something that LLpsI lacks: For this, we use the first-rate Cambridge text's culture sections; but in addition to that, and unlike Cambridge, our own writing-stories are nearly all great works from classical literature.   Both LLpsI and Cambridge hardly use any primary sources.

3.) How much will it cost?...Which materials should I buy

          $5 a chapter (unless you get a discount), then also please see our store for what books you will have to buy.   Since there is some freedom in what your course involves, you will have to decide what components of the course you want to incorporate: Do you want to skip Cambridge's culture, or skip the Lingua Latina per se Illustrata readings?   We don't recommend it, but you could do that.   We recommend that you buy:

           (1) Our online course (of course!),

          (2) A copy of LLpsI, about $35.  

           (3) All 4 books of the Cambridge curriculum, about $25 each;

          (4) A Latin-english & english-Latin dictionary.   If you want a lifelong investment, then I recommend Cassell's for its thoroughness and handiness, but initially in your first year, some of the shorter more abbreviated dictionaries may serve you better.

           That said, if you're hurting for money, then there are several things you could do: You could cut your costs in half or more, by buying "used" copies.   (Buying an older technically obsolete edition is usually fine.)   You could also elect not to buy (3) one or several...or even all...of the 4 Cambridge books; or you could even choose to do without (2) LLpsI itself, and just do writing assignments, although I STRONGLY urge you not to, as LLpsI is a very unique tool, and not using it may retard and stunt your progress in Latin.   Next, instead of investing in a dictionary, you could use the online tool Whittaker's Words, which is as good as most any dictionary, and for the really esoteric questions, you could consult the famous Lewis & Short dictionary on the Perseus website.   Lastly, you could contact us to request a discount.).

4.) Is there financial aid?

          If you really want to learn Latin, and are willing to invest the time and work necessary to make progress in it, and if you can also demonstrate severe financial need (e.g. living in a 3rd world country would automatically count as having financial need), then I would be willing to admit you to the program, at a reduced or even free price.   However, I will be treating you as a charity would, not as a contracted teacher contractually obligated by payments to serve you.   Therefore you have to understand that sometimes (or--if there are many other such 'free' students as you-- perhaps even ALL the time) I...needing to put bread on my own table...may not have time to help you.   Depending on technology, there may be options for you to ask other students for a little help or suggestion with something you're stuck on, but I canont guarantee my own ability to help you.   All I can guarantee to you is that I will at least let you try to 'sink or swim' on your own, at least as long as you are continuing to show effort.   (I always reserve the right to remove students who have gone a full year without showing any progress.)   You may find that you regularly have to go to other sources (e.g. to or to to be taught certain Latin concepts.

           to apply for financial aid, contact me directly.

5.) How hard will I have to work?

           Hard....    ....or rather long.   You will have to make a significant committment of time (1-2 hrs.) every day.   If you do less than that, then there is a danger that things may go so slowly that (1) you may lose interest, or (2) you may be forgetting things that you just encountered a day or two ago.   Our goal is to keep Latin in your short-term memory for a whole year.   To do that, you must get a 'full dose' of it in every sitting.   Cutting corners and losing attention . . . focusing on the TV or the internet while you work . . . just won't work.   Indeed, if you let yourself put Latin into that mental trash-can of yours at the end of your daily 15-minute-regimen of work, then you'll probably go nowhere, and have wasted a lot of time and money.

6.) How long will it take before I can read Latin? Where can I go & what will I
          be able to do, when I'm finished?

           The course is both self-paced & also somewhat self-determined in the sense of which assignments you elect to do: Will you choose to do all the lengthy & difficult (but highly beneficial!) reading and writing assignments, or will you just do enough to 'get by' and move on to the next chapter?   Really, it's up to you.   However, I estimate that if you do one difficult assignment per day (i.e. reading, or writing, or culture), and do a little vocab practice every day, then it will take you about 200 days, in other words, a full year.   As of that point, you could do one of several things, either:

           (1) go on to reading Caesar, which is the first half of the AP-curriculum for college-credit; or

           (2) if you are a bookworm and like the LLpsI method, then you could go on to reading their highly-engaging Book II of that series (We only go as far as the end of Book I); as of that point you could start splitting off into any of their optional primary-source readers: Fabulae Syrae (adapted Ovid), or Ovid in LLpsI's chs.1-5; Petronius in LLpsI's chs. 36-47; Sallust & Cicero, at the end of LLpsI's ch. 56; or

           (3) you could strike out on your own and easily read some of the more colloquial Latin such as the Latin Vulgate Bible, or anything medieval; or

           (4) you could perhaps move into the harder Latin writers (e.g. Catullus or Cicero or Vergil), but i don't recommend this, unless you have a teacher; or

           (5) you could even change tracks and be well-positioned to start learning ancient Greek.

7.) Will I be able to speak Latin?

           As well as anyone can.   Latin is not spoken today, mainly because all the Latin scholars today were taught by the passively receptive reading methods, and so the majority of them, unaware, succumbed to the bad temptation of decoding 🤖 into English word-order.   Someone who does that will never read Latin fluently, much less speak it.   But you will be training to write Latin.   This is how Latin was taught in the Middle Ages, before textbooks were readily available, and it was widely spoken then.   There's no reason that the same shouldn't happen for you.
           If you really want to become good at speaking 🗣 Latin, then you should do the Memorized Soliloquy option in each chapter, and there are several other additional tools that I can give you.   Also, there are several beneficial techniques & experiences offered by the oral-Latin professional group known as S.A.L.V.I..

8.) What if I'm not good at _____ing?

           If you find yourself doing poorly in standard classrooms, then you may find that you do better in our course: It is self-paced, and partially self-determined, in the choice of which assignments you choose to do.    You may find that you have your standard trouble learning a concept to begin with, but once you *get* it, then at least you won't have to worry about varying speeds, or personalities, because then it will be just you, producing your own product.

          Furthermore, there is no pressure to be right.   It is expected in this course, that everyone will get things wrong, not because of any fault of their own, but simply because that is a natural part of the process of gaining proficiency in a skill (in this case the skill of writing Latin).   Because wrong answers are expected, you will not be penalized for them.   You will, however, have to do it again until it's right.   At some point, you may decide that you need to stop and make an exceptional, deliberate effort to memorize certain frequently-forgotten words, or word-endings, to save time in your writing assignments, but that's fully up to you.   You can choose instead, just to laboriously look it up e.v.e.r.y...s.i.n.g.l.e...t.i.m.e. .

          Also, don't fear if you mess up, that you might get stuck, because we'll indicate to you where to look in your charts to get the correct answer, and you can always ask us as a last resort.   Errors are not a judgment upon you, not a statement that you are somehow *bad*, but rather just a process, or work-flow in the workings of this course.   Once everything is perfect on an assignment, then you can be proud of what you did.

9.) What will the course cover: Mythology?...History?...Medical/Lawyer terms?

           Yes, to a degree it will cover all of those.   Of course it won't tell you anywhere near every Latin medical term in the human body (Just peruse Gray's Anatomy if you doubt that), but it will give you a start.

          As for law, it will tell you most of the commonly used law terms, if you do the SCRIPTA assignments (on commonly-used Latin phrases and abbreviations) accompanying every chapter.

          As for mythology, there is a fair amount of mythology, and the course will give you the 'big picture' to several of the great mythological stories (Jason / Hercules / Oedipus / Troy), but if you really want to delve into mythology, then you should probably dispense with the Latin, and just read it in English.

           Lastly, the course does cover a fair amount of Roman imperial history, and much more so if you do the culture assignments.

10.) Will I have a tutor?...What if I get stuck?

           No, you will not have a tutor.   Rather you will have tutorials:  videos, powerpoints, and occasionally just things to read--to help you grasp the new grammatical concept of each chapter.   Hopefully I myself--or someone else knowledgable in Latin--will always be available at a set time every week, by teleconference (or at least by phone) and email, but there is no guarantee (e.g. if my health fails).   That said, there is probably a Youtube video or PDF file online for every single Latin grammatical question that you could possibly have, so my reply--even in a worst-case scenario--would probably involve just telling you where to go, to get the answer to the particular question that you have.   Why not hunt it down yourself?   If you find yourself having lots of such questions, then it may pay to invest in a standard Latin Grammar (a kind of reference-manual), or even in a similarly referential textbook like Wheelock's Latin.

11.) What if I don't want to make a total committment?

           See question #5 above.

12.) Will I get course-credit at my institution?

           At this point, no.   You are taking this course, purely for the love of Latin.   However, I would like that to change, and if you put me in contact with the necessary person(s) at your institution, then I will personally contact them to see if I can get it approved for you.   Also, someday in the future this course may become accredited, in which case, there is a chance that you might be given retroactive credit.

13.) What tips do you have to help me be successful?

          1.) Keep active.   Once you submit an assignment, don't stop and wait for it to come back.   Immediately start on some other assignment.

           2.) Do the main assignments in a logical order:

                     (a.) First learn the 1st section of vocab and pass the quiz;

                     (b.) then at least peruse the 2nd section of vocab.

                     (c.) At that point begin the LLpsI reading.

                     (d.) When you find you need to, stop and refer to the grammatical tutorial(s) for that chapter.

                     (e.) Only then, will you be ready to move onto the required writing assignments.

                     (f.) Lastly when you get bogged down and depressed, take a break and reward yourself by doing the chapter's culture assignment.

          3.) Keep at it: Languages build.