>Is any one using a latin curriculum, do you like it or not, do you
>have to know latin to use it?
Free Online Latin Class
In April 2001, just after Easter, a new group of online beginners will gather together, on the mailing list latin@...
, to form the Wheelock's 2001 Latin self-study group. Working with the newly published 6th edition of *Wheelock's Latin*, at a pace of one chapter a fortnight, this group will prepare themselves for a lifetime of reading and enjoying Latin. You might
2001: A LATIN ODYSSEY
*No*, -- pipe down at the back there! -- it won't take us twenty years to
finish the book. Deo volente (that's "God willing"), we should finish up in mid-March 2003. By then the group's participants will be ready to read actual, unabridged Latin, in the latin@lists translation groups and elsewhere.
And, for those who'd like to participate, but who aren't certain they'd have
the time or energy to keep up with a chapter-a-fortnight pace, there'll also
be a chapter-a-month group. In this group (codenamed the Gold group) we'll
cover exactly the same material as the other group (codenamed Purple), but
at approximately half the speed. Gold group participants can expect to finish
the course just before Memorial Day, 2004.
So, how does collaborative self-study work? Well, each week, participants
will do the assigned exercises and send their work to me. I'll collate the
assignments I receive and make an omnibus post to latin@...
That way everyone will be able to see everyone else's answers to the
questions. By seeing what others have done, you'll gain new insights into each assignment.
Assignments won't be graded, and you won't receive a grade at the end of the
course. Though I won't actually be marking each individual assignment, I'll
look all the assignments over, and if you're making the same error repeatedly
I'll e-mail you privately and try to explain what you've misunderstood. If
you're confused about something -- either a specific sentence, or a general rule of grammar -- you'll be able to post to the list to ask questions, or, if you'd rather, you'll be able to e-mail me. Posting to the list will usually be the better option -- there'll be more people there to answer it, so you'll get a faster answer, and others in the group may have the same question themselves. But my mailbox is open.
There's no charge for participation. This is a hobby, not a business. Everyone on latin@lists -- and there are many Latin self-study groups there! -- is there for the fun of it. As a Wheelock's 2001 participant, you'll need to buy your textbook(s), since I don't want to violate copyright. Once you know Latin, you'll be able to read and download lots of public-domain Latin texts, mostly copied from 19th-century editions. That's one definite advantage of studying an ancient language!
Although most latin@lists participants are adults, and *Wheelock's* is a college-level text, teenaged participants are welcome. If you write your age
with double figures (in Arabic numerals, not in Roman!), you'll probably be
able to handle the work. If you're younger than that, you might be better
off with a copy of Traupman's *Latin Is Fun*.
The only essential text for the course will be *Wheelock's Latin*, 6th edition, by Frederick M. Wheelock, revised by Richard A. LaFleur. It's published by
HarperResource, ISBN 0-06-095641-0, and it's readily available from Amazon.com for $16.00 U.S., or from Amazon.co.uk for �11.19 sterling.
Though you're welcome to take part in the group with only the Wheelock's
text, Groton & May's *38 Latin Stories*, which is designed to supplement Wheelock's,will provide you with some excellent practice. You won't need it for our first month of lessons, so if you're hesitant, get Wheelock's now and, if you enjoy the group, get Groton and May in (appropriately enough!) May.
That's *38 Latin Stories Designed to Accompany Wheelock's Latin*, the 5th
Revised Edition, by Anne H. Groton and James M. May. It's published by Bolchazy-Carducci, who also publish neat things like *Cattus Petasatus*, the Tunbergs' entertaining Latin translation of *The Cat in the Hat*. Its ISBN is
086516289-1. It's readily available from <http://www.amazon.com
> for $12.00
U.S., or from Amazon U.K. for �10 sterling.
Another supplementary text we'll be using is Traupman's *Conversational Latin*. You don't have to learn to speak Latin to participate in this course, and you can have a lot of fun with Latin without ever speaking a word of it. But speaking Latin can help reinforce what you've learned. Spoken Latin isn't just for Roman Catholic priests any more. Hundreds of people all over the
world are rediscovering Latin as a spoken language.
I'm by no means expert at spoken Latin myself, so this part of the course is
going to be as challenging for me as it will be for you. Last year, I attended a conventiculum -- that's "convention" in Latin -- in which the participants spoke nothing but Latin all week. By the end of the week, I was very good at understanding spoken Latin and I was starting to grasp the basics of speaking it myself. I'm going back to the same conventiculum this year, in July, for another ten days. Our group will start doing Conversational Latin right when I come back, while I'm still used to speaking and hearing Latin. That should get us off on the right foot.
You may be wondering how on earth we're going to do Conversational Latin in an online environment. Well, I don't have the bandwidth to do CU-SeeMe or another videoconferencing method -- chances are, you don't either. So we're going to have to settle for real-time, typed, Latin chat. If you're interested in this part of the course, let me know what chat times would be most convenient for you.
Again, that's *Conversational Latin for Oral Proficiency*, 2nd edition, by John C. Traupman. It's also published by Bolchazy-Carducci, with ISBN 0-86516-381-2. It's readily available at Amazon.com for $14.80 U.S., and it's usually obtainable within 4 to 6 weeks from Amazon.co.uk for �15 sterling.
As with *38 Latin Stories*, you won't need it immediately. We'll be
starting the Conversational Latin component of the course in August, after our
group's learned enough Latin for basic communication. Even with the long U.K.
ordering time, you should be able to see whether you like the group before
purchasing *Conversational Latin*.
According to Joe Ireland, a translation-group participant in Sydney, all
three books are available from Abbeys, in Sydney, at 02 9264 3111. There's only one problem; they only have the 5th edition of Wheelock's -- the 6th hasn't reached Australia yet. If you live in Oz, get the 6th edition if you possibly can -- significant changes have been made between the 5th and 6th editions. But, if you can't, you're welcome to join us using the 5th edition. If you're thinking of participating in the Wheelock 2001 Beginners' Group, please e-mail me, Meredith Dixon, at dixonm@...
Please let me know whether you'd rather be in the Purple group (one chapter a fortnight) or the Gold group (one chapter a month).
Instructions for subscribing to latin@...
, and the syllabus
for both Purple and Gold groups, can be found at <http://www.pobox.com/~dixonm/latin/aspergonem.html
If subscription instructions aren't clear, or if you don't have Web access,
just mail me and ask for directions.
2001: A Latin Odyssey.
We'll start in April.
Meredith Dixon <dixonm@...
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