- QUESTION: I'm studying
Latin on my own and would like to work on my pronunciation. Do
you have any suggestions for tapes or websites that may be of
ANSWER: The introduction to
Latin pronunciation on this site should be quite
helpful; also included is audio for Wheelock's 40 chapter
vocabulary lists. Also "Readings from Wheelock's Latin"--a 4-CD audio
package is now available from Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers,
Inc. In addition, I highly recommend The Pronunciation and Reading of Classical Latin A Practical
Guide Stephen G. Daitz, which you can purchase from
Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, Inc.
- QUESTION: Can Wheelock's Latin be used to teach high school students?
ANSWER: Yes, this is currently being done at many
schools; as a basal text, the book + Workbook are usually
covered in two years (roughly equivalent to two college
semesters); many schools use Wheelock as a supplemental text
for grammar review in second or third year; the new hardbound
edition will facilitate public school adoptions. Please see
the remarks by Daniel DiCenso and Karen Zeller on the Wheelock's Latin Reviews page.
- QUESTION: Can Wheelock's Latin be used effectively with middle
- ANSWER: We've used
WHEELOCK'S LATIN with our 7th-9th-graders with great
success: our students cover chapters 1-16 in the 7th, 17-30
in 8th, finish it by November in the 9th and begin the 1st
Catilinarian in December. The students like reading the
Sententiae Antiquae because it allows them to discuss
philosophy, history and culture; the emphasis is on the
dialectic aspect of language rather than rote memorization.
The derivatives also help them to develop their
vocabularies; and they like the layout of the book and enjoy
the way it presents categories of verbs, nouns, etc. --Dr.
Michael L. Johnson, Head, Westminster Academy, Memphis, TN
- QUESTION: Do teachers
ever use Wheelock's Latin with elementary school youngsters?
ANSWER: Yes; Michael Myer, for example, reports that
"For my 5th-graders I began introducing the grammar and
vocabulary of the early chapters, supplemented by worksheets
comparing English grammar. In 6th grade, we would leap into
Wheelock's readings and start their little brains chewing on
the Roman thoughts presented in the text. This, to my mind, is
one of the chief benefits of Wheelock -- that the exercises
and readings are adapted from Roman authors and present Roman
thoughts in Latin, not the thoughts of a modern textbook
committee rendered in Latin. They would quickly become
familiar with the Latin grammar and the big thing they had to
do was start learning to think like a Roman."
For further details, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- QUESTION: I'm tutoring a homeschool kid
in his first year of Latin.Can anyone who's teaching from Wheelock give me a rough idea of how many chapters would be
about equivalent to the first year of Latin in a regular high
ANSWER: 20 chapters.
- QUESTION: I am curious if anyone on this list uses Wheelock's successfully with middle school/ junior high age students?” /br>
I have a class of 7 homeschoolers meeting one hour per week, and they are surprising me with how well they are doing. The main reason for this is that almost all of them have had at least two years of elementary Latin, using either Latina Christiana or Latin for Children. I am also fortunate to have children from homes with very dedicated parents! Most of them work with their children diligently. We will be covering at least the first 10 chapters of Wheelock's. I would try to do more but it just doesn't work when you've only got an hour per week with them!
At first I give them some very simple sentences and then after a few weeks have them start working on the sentences in the book. One thing I love about Wheelock's is that he uses terminology such as "appositives" and "substantives," etc. It causes you to teach the students advanced grammar concepts from the start. And I agree with what MMe says here:
"(In Wheelock) they get their first unadapted Latin poem in chapter 5, and ALL the Sententiae Antiquae and paragraphs are from Roman authors. I knew (know) enough to supply contexts and parallels when needed, and after a few chapters students start noticing certain patterns of thought in particular authors."
As to making it fun: I find the students simply enjoy succeeding with the translation of a sentence. We just go around the room and I have them read the Latin and explain the translation. If the student is not able to do a typical sentence in the chapter, I give them a very simple sentence. We have a great camaraderie in the classroom. I allow students who are not very confident just to listen a lot at first and then have them do something very easy and build their confidence.
One great way to get them feeling confident with the Latin is allowing them to use simple phrases and commands in Latin to say things to each other or to describe activities. This is a very simple diversion used when I begin to see lost or bored faces:
A student can give me or another student a command: (the greatest challenge with this is to keep the smart alecks from saying "sit under the table" or "jump out the window") But I've learned how to deal with this :)
Sede in sella "Sit in the chair" Ambula ad tabulam "Walk to the board" Indica mensam "Point at the table"
Then I will contrast these with having them make statements DESCRIBING what I or another student are doing: Sedes in sella (you are sitting in the chair) Ambulas ad ianuam (you are walking to the door) Indicat fenestram (he points at the window)
I find that this activity helps them to really understand the difference between the "imperative" and the "indicative." And using the commands to play "Simonus Dicit" is a big hit with with younger kids!
Another way in which I make the Latin more interesting or relevant for them is to introduce a short Bible verse that they are very familiar with and have them memorize it, along with explaining some of the grammar there. I pick one that has a grammar concept or some vocabulary that they have just learned. During Ch. 4 of Wheelock's I introduced: "Domine, dominator noster, quam grande est nomen tuum in universa terra..." This gave an example of the neuter adj. tuum in the neuter nominative and the Vocative of "dominus" with the -e ending. And here you have an example of why it's so helpful that these kids have studied Latin in the grammar years: they are already familiar with 3rd dec. nouns such as "nomen." It's not totally puzzling to them.
Another very important activity we do is to simply read the paragraph in the chapter (e.g. “The Rarity of Friendship” by Cicero).... read it out loud in Latin, without translating. I ask them to just listen and comprehend as much of the Latin as possible. At first they don't get much of it, but after repeating the process a few times, they are delighted to find themselves getting it! I go back to the paragraphs in previous chapters regularly, just reading the Latin without translating. (I do skip a few paragraphs with this age, like the one in Ch. 7.)
Although I have to do a lot of didactic explanation in order to cover the material, I just surprise them with a diversion like the ones above whenever it seems appropriate. With the limited time I have I can't pander to them too much. I try to get them in the habit of hard work, but this keeps their interest when things get a little tedious.
Collegium Study Center Colorado Springs, CO
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