For Teachers


FAQ's

Note: You may also want to read
the administrators' faq's
0.) Whom is this site for?

          It is for anyone currently using, or willing to use, the Lingua Latina per se Illustrata textbook, Book I ("Familia Romana").



1.) Why this method?

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

The Long Answer:
           To date, there have really been just two methods of teaching Latin: First, there is the older Grammar-Translation method, of which the classic example is Wheelock's Latin.   In the latter half of the 20th century, the Reading Method came along, of which Ecce Romani and the Cambridge Latin Course are the most well-known examples.
            Regarding the latter method, Lingua Latina per se Illustrata (henceforth LLpsI) by Hans ∅rberg was an improvement in that it took great pains to preserve total immersion, and thereby increased the efficiency & quantity of material covered.   For this reason, some considered it a new "direct" method, but really it is just another form of the reading method, albeit a better one.
            The problems with the reading method, however, stem from the fact that the method itself is artificial.   No ancient Roman used it (as evidenced by St.Augustine's shock when he saw St. Ambrose reading silently without speaking aloud).   It enables students to skip around in the line, in order to re-create English word-order (known as "decoding" 🤖).   The negative results of this are that (1) the reader is chronically & habitually encumbered & slowed down; (2) (s)he becomes inured to the all-important endings; and (3) (s)he focuses on eye-recognition rather than ear-recognition, thereby desensistizing him/her-self to the natural tones, rhythms, syntax-structures, & artistry of the original Latin.   The result is that the outstanding student is the one who can think fast, and quickly 'recompile' from Latin→English word-order, & then English translation→Understanding, as if language were math, or a computer program.
            Our method, which is not a passive reading 📖 method, but a truly distinct, new active method, in that it relies upon the active faculty of writing ✍, avoids these problems, because (at least in its online version) it forces the student to produce the Latin words in the natural Latin-, non-English- word-order.   To make this possible, we've taken great pains to label parts-of-speech and to diagram the syntax-relationships (preview the course), as built-in guides to producing the correct answer.   This is something that has barely ever been attempted in the other methods, yet we have done it through our whole course! Noun-phrases are all linked together, even when interrupted by ABBA digressions or ABAB interpolations.   Ablative Absolutes, Indirect Statements, and Antecedents (as sources of case, number, & gender elsewhere) are clearly identified.   This not only explicitly & exhaustively exposes the student to this whole new dimension of the language (barely touched upon in other methods!) but as (s)he takes note of it, & adopts it, working it into his/her language-synthesis thought-processes, it trains him/her to handle syntax (e.g. "What gender of adjective do I need now, based on the noun that is coming 4 words later?) at the proper moment, that is, on the spot — in medias res, as the sentence is being produced — not in the abstract, at some disconnected, later time.   Thus, instead of (as mentioned above) jumping from Latin –to→ mental-understanding via the artificial crutch of English-word-order, now students will find themselves jumping from mental-understanding –to→ Latin, via the highly-relevant Latinate-word-order.   Indeed, we have deliberately forced this upon them, by writing the English translations precisely in that foreign-sounding Latinate word-order.   At first things will seem stilted, and excessively literal, but with time, students will learn to think in that Latinate way.   THIS DIRECT ASSAULT ON SYNTAX IS THEREFORE A CRITICAL SKILL AND THUS STEP IN THE PROCESS TO BECOMING TRULY SPONTANEOUS--i.e. fluent--IN WORKING WITH AN INFLECTED LANGUAGE LIKE LATIN, regardless of whether it is written or spoken.   With practice then, students will find themselves learning to plan ahead and think in whole phrases, rather than in individual word-pieces.   A side-benefit, of course, is that the student will be best-positioned to then take on the further task of speaking 🗣 Latin, which requires one to plan & produce these whole phrases, in just the same way, albeit much more hurriedly & spontaneously.



2.) What is the hidden gimmick, or essential nature of this method?

          For greatest depth, see #1 above.   To briefly summarize though, this is the very first method which . . .
          (1) relies totally on an active faculty--writing ✍--not on a passive one--reading 📖;
           (2) facilitates & indeed forces direct-horizontal-transfer from English into Latin, not at the partial level of individual word-&-ending-based grammar, but at the complete, total, & all-encompassing level of phrase-&-sentence-based syntax;
           (3) presents all new words in a complete total-sense-engaging multimedia- (i.e. Quizlet-) context, involving (a.) a picture, (b.) a sound, and (c.) the use of the new word in the context of a spoken Latin sentence that they can understand.
          We also are, if not the first, at least one of the first to
          (4) color-code all nouns & adjectives based on gender, as well as to highlight all perfect-tense stem-indicators; (5) incorporates inflected voice conventions into the online flashcards to make sentences more intuitively incomprehensible.



3.) What other methods did you draw upon & incorporate?

          We've incorporated mainly two: (1) The LLpsI immersion textbook comprises the reading assignment within each chapter in our course; then (2) the Cambridge series' culture sections comprise the culture-assignment within each chapter of our course.   To accomplish this, we were scrupulously careful to conform our chapters' vocab to the correspoding chapters in LLpsI (although we do have up to 10 extra words per chapter).   As for the culture, there was no need to take the Cambridge culture stages in order, and so we skip around, not covering them in Cambridge's order.   Rather, our order of cultural-topics conforms to the natural series of topics suggested by the stories (& by the demands of the vocabulary) in LLpsI.   We do manage to arrange our order of culture topics into 4 over-arching thematic units, as can be seen in our Table of contents.



4.) How does your course conform to the National Standards?

          Please see our standards page.



5.) Even though you're selling it online, can I as a classroom
           teacher purchase a hard-copy and teach from this method?

           Yes, even though we do not yet have hard-copies, we will be happy to sell you (see it in our store) a download of all the writable stories and their answer-keys, plus accessory materials (i.e. everything!).   You, on the other hand, will need a heavy-duty copier (to print enough copies for each student) and preferably one which prints red, that is, if you want the answer-key answers to stand out.   It is suggested that you create two binders, one of the student editions, and one of all the answer-keys, and place the answer keys in an accessible, but off-limits (except under certain controlled circumstances) area of the room, so that students may--in a controlled and orderly manner--check and identify errors in each others' papers (but never in their own paper).   This is in fact the most ideal way to do the course, since checking the work of another student who is in a completely different chapter will constitute either a review or a preview of that material.   For more information on how to facilitate the course, see the next question below:




6.) What are the various optional ways to go about implementing it?

Ways:
I.Computer lab — Have every student login, fill out a profile, and pay $5 a chapter.   (Note: You do need 1 desktop computer per student; the Quizlet vocab practice however, can be done on handheld devices.)
      A. Lazy — Require your students to let you see and monitor their completed work file.
      B. Conscientious — Require your students to print up their culture, scripta, and maybe even writable stories, and hand them to you in person, for grading.

II.Classroom — Pay $150 for a downloadable file from which to print paper worksheets as described in the previous FAQ question.   Grade everything yourself.
      A. Self-paced — Maintain a filing system of blank worksheets, so that students can work at their own pace.   Have a wall-chart of chapter progress, so that students can ask questions of those who are nearby, or ahead..
      B. Lecture — Use deadlines to keep the class moving at the same pace.   Employ choral chanting to memorize grammar charts & rules.



7.) Does it get students to the AP-level?

           Yes.   The last Chapter 33 is entirely unedited Caesar.   Nearly all of Caesar's vocabulary (not to mention the grammar) is known by the student as of that point.