Mosaic of Vergil from Tunisia

Elementary Latin Home

Dr. Richard A. LaFleurRichard LaFleur

About the Professor

Welcome to the web site for my Introductory Latin tutorial. This web site is designed to provide supplemental resources for students enrolled in the tutorial. Click here to read an Introduction and Overview of the LATIN I class or here for Introduction and Overview of the LATIN II class, then email me if you want more information.

Each of my tutorials is asynchronous, meticulously organized, and highly personalized; for chapters you may already have covered in WHEELOCK or an equivalent introductory text, or for those who have completed a full introductory course but whose grammar and reading/translation skills may be a bit rusty, a customizable rapid refresher using WHEELOCK'S LATIN 7th Ed. and the Wheelock companion reader SCRIBBLERS, SCVLPTORS, AND SCRIBES, can be arranged as an add-on or a preamble to any of my tutorials.

Recipient of the 2013 ACTFL Papalia Award for Excellence in Teacher Education

2021 tribute in The Classical Outlook 

Use the "World of Rome," "Study Tools," "Links" and " Become a Latin Teacher" buttons above to access additional resources.


   I feel extremely fortunate having the opportunity to learn from such a highly experienced Latin professor. As a goal-oriented person, it is very helpful for me to have required assignments for completion after each chapter: it gives me a sense of progress and closure. This self-paced curriculum suits adult learners well. Sometimes I made no progress for weeks due to busy work, then picked it up again and continued. I probably wouldn’t be able to catch up in a course with a fixed schedule.
   Dr. LaFleur is very encouraging, and always responds to my questions in a day or two. I really appreciate his detailed comments. There are many smart people who self-study Latin. However, studying with an expert helps one learn in the most efficient way. Also, knowing that Professor LaFleur is waiting for my assignments and will provide detailed feedback motivates me to continue.
   Dr. LaFleur also incorporates Roman history and culture in his teaching. Through analyzing the Latin texts, I did not only study a language, but also learned much from Roman philosophers and other writers, and reflected upon the Romans' influence on world civilization and even today’s politics. I’m excited to continue studying with him in his next tutorial!

                                                            Ge Alice Zhao, M.D., Ph.D.

   I have learned several important things from this Introductory Latin tutorial. The first is that Latin, like any language, is best studied in context. Reading and summarizing Beard’s SPQR provided the historical and cultural context of the language, allowing me to meaningfully engage with the SENTENTIAE of the ancient authors. Reading and summarizing Wheelock’s INTRODVCTIO provided the historical and linguistic context, facilitating the acquisition of Latin grammar and vocabulary and the development of translation skills. The second is that Latin, like any language, is best studied with all four language skills and with all five senses. In this tutorial I read and translated a great deal, as one would expect, but I also followed Dr. LaFleur's recurring advice to semper audi pronuntiaque, and to read out loud as the Romans did. The final thing I learned (which I have touched on already) is that Latin, like any language, is best learned from meaningful experiences. By reading passages of the ancient authors themselves (whether scribblers, sculptors, or scribes), I began to comprehend the ideas, beliefs, opinions, and feelings of the Romans and some of the major and minor events of their time—in their own language. And by responding to the QUAESTIONES on these readings, I was able to participate in an exchange of ideas, if not directly with them, then indirectly with my MAGISTER, who could evaluate both my interpretations and responses.
  I have found two features of this course to be particularly valuable. The first is the inclusion of extra resources in the lessons. I could have gotten far with just the texts, recordings, and an answer key, but with the addition of the video links, the Principium app, and each lesson's supplementary notes, I got much further. The most valuable feature, however, is the feedback I receive from "Doctor Illa Flora." I really appreciate everything about it: the tone, which is playful or serious as suits the topic; the format of the responses, which are organized by fonts and colors; the links to resources, which serve to deepen, expand, or personalize the content; and the judicious sharing of Professor LaFleur's deep learning and broad experience, which is always edifying, encouraging, and fun to read. I have no changes to suggest. I like the course the way it is!

                                                            Oliver Merson, university ESL instructor

Probably the most important feature of this tutorial and the accompanying texts is the emphasis placed on historical fidelity to the language over convenience. The constant recommendation to read passages aloud gives the student an auditory means of distinguishing between and retaining proper pronunciations and spellings. Of the four foreign languages I have ever studied, this tutorial has been the most exacting in requiring precision in all four features of learning language: reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
     As far as the actual teaching method, it is at an optimal pace. Each pensum and its accompanying Caput in Wheelock has a variety of foci: morphology, syntax, and vocabulary. While this structure itself is internally varied, it is repeated regularly and in small enough elements that the student never loses practice with any one element but is never overwhelmed, either. Further, the non-linear progression–e.g., introducing most third conjugation verbs in one chapter and but then revisiting the -i verbs of that conjugation a few chapters later–makes sure that the student is constantly consolidating older material while simultaneously learning new material. To be honest, I cannot think of a single feature of the tutorial that needs improvement. Thank you very much for this opportunity–and I look forward to taking your second tutorial!
                                                          Andrew Deaton, pre-doctoral student in history

     I'm having a great time and learning a great deal. On a fun per dollar basis, you are the best value in my life right now!

                                                            David Kroenke 

    Dr. LaFleur's instruction and guidance are peerless. The course was well structured, lending itself toward learning quickly. Working with Dr. LaFleur helped me gain a mastery of the language which will serve me well as I pursue a Masters of Theological Studies at Boston College.

                                                             Deepan Rajaratnam, M.T.S. '16

    It is apparent to me, and I’m sure to the rest of your students, that you continue teaching Latin out of sheer love for the subject. We know that after such a long career you do not have to be doing this, but that you choose to, and that choice colors every interaction you have with us. You cannot retire from passion! I look forward to continuing our collaboration.

                                                             Chad Privett



Last Updated 9/22. Please report any problems with this website to