Although I have some experience with Wheelock's Latin & Ecce Romani, yet the Cambridge Series and Lingua Latina per se Illustrata were what really influenced me, and so I have incorporated both of them into this course. I was very impressed with Cambridge's cultural treatment. On the other hand, it was weak in grammar. LLpsI was just the opposite: Exceedingly strong in grammar, it nevertheless had stories which were —to quote one of my students— "so boring." A coincidental lecture that I attended by Melanie Stowell at the 2014 ACL institute convinced me of the all-important need to combine these two textbooks' perfections seamlessly: In principle there is no reason why we shouldn't incorporate heavy-duty, engaging cultural-material into ANY Latin assignment, and especially into our best grammar techniques. In adopting, building upon, and even somewhat modifying the very solid LLpsI grammatical foundation, that is exactly what I have tried to do.
(1) Color-coded vocab to signify gender & part-of-speech;
(2) Writing ✍—not Reading 📖—as the main engine of success; however, to support this . . .
(3) A unique, 3-lines-at-a-time highly-structured scaffold-system in which to maximally guide the student to simultaneously take into account both goals (i.e. desired translation) and means (i.e. exactly which grammatical part-of-speech to use).
Incidentally, it is my belief that this is how our whole battery of grammar-terms (e.g. "Nominative," "participle" etc.) should really more usefully be used: Not as the goal of learning (e.g. "Susie, what case/#/gender is that word?") but as an aid & specifier in language-production. (i.e. "Oh you forgot which form to use?...Well look in your paradigm-chart and find the Masc./s./Acc. ending."). If Susie doesn't know what those technical-terms mean, then sheer necessity will force her to have to (re-)learn them on the spot in order to complete the task.
(4) explicit visual diagramming of ALL macroscopic syntax structures;
(5) Latinate English. Thinking in Latinate syntax (e.g. "I / to the dog / the bone / gave-I") will train students to think in Latinate ways. In the past, this kind of heavily-literal translation was deprecated, as unconducive to creating a polished-off English translation. But if the goal is not to polish off an English translation, but rather to polish off a method of Latin-ate thinking, then this kind of literalness is highly valuable, and it is the polished-off translations themselves which are mis-leading & vain pursuits;
(6) A new inflection technique whereby I raise my voice on genitive endings and lower it on ablative endings.
This question can be considered in several ways:
As for context, although advocating whatever form of Latin (Classical or Ecclesiastical) is contemporaneous to a given piece of literature, yet I think that all students should begin with Classical pronunciation. Only in classical pronuciation can the source of certain later divergences (e.g. "-U- vs. "-V-" be heard and therefore understood
As for method of teaching, I would highly advocate oral Latin—and especially speaking
🗣 (if we could get the students to do it)—as the source of all written Latin, not vice versa. (For a detailed proof of the ontological / metaphysical primacy of the oral over the written, see this video here.) But there are two problems with this: First, we don't know what the original vocal cues were by which to signify part-of-speech. Consequently it is practically impossible to make speaking work going just on dull, un-emphasized word-ending-sounds. Second, the technology just isn't there to assess Latin speaking competency.
As a secondary substitute for speaking, I offer writing ✍ instead. Like speaking, writing is an active faculty, not passive. It is therefore my hope and belief that the practice of laboriously writing out Latin in correct syntactical Latin word-order (rather than being able to 'jump around' to artificially simulate English word-order —as so often happens when reading 📖 Latin—) will 'put students through their paces' so as to train them in thinking...and someday speaking
🗣...in a Latin way.
Being a humanities student in college, I read a lot of Philosophy & Theology, of which I incorporated a fair amount into the course. It's my belief that it's irresponsible & even slightly duplicitous for us classicist to be artificially ignoring—all in the name of separation of church & state, or really of church & education— those subjects and centuries which stray from the 'safe' classical pagan mythology corpus into things of a more relevant, religious nature. Religion was there, it constituted a pervasive part of all aspects of ancient and medieval life, and to short-change that in our studies or teaching, is to give a highly false impression about both history, and about what is truly valuable in life.
Since I am just starting out, this course is not yet accredited, nor professionally recognized in any way. But if you like this course, and think that it is suitable to be used at your institution, then please help me change that.