Graham, I know what you mean, I presume you're referring to the
inflections - declensions........
But I did five years of Latin at school (and I ain't THAT old!!) and
had no problems after we changed teacher.
In first year (aged 11), I had a teacher who took it on herself to
explain to us what a dative, gentive etc are. I still have very little
idea what an ablative is or was, so that was obviously a waste of class
In second year, we had an inspired new, young Latin teacher who decided
we should imagine we were Romans and write a magazine for our peers -
but in Latin. We could write about anything we wanted. These were the
days of later Monty Python (no-one expects the Spanish Inquistion being
quite appropriate nowadays too...), so Python went Latin. We read
Asterix and Tintin in Latin for homework. We drew maps and learned
about stuffed hamster and wooden false teeth. The next teacher who came
along had the task of dealing with Caesar's campaigns and Virgil, but
it worked too - blood, guts, sex, romance - I remember spending hours
in the school library reading up on Medusa and Leda etc. Somewhere
along the line we fitted in the endings, more based on "if it's here in
the sentence or an 'ad' is in front of it, it looks like 'no minibus'.
German, well, alas........... but it's not the language per se, it's
the interest-level and the teacher's ability to create that interest
where it's missing (ie in the secondary classroom, in the case of your
Enjoy your workers' day! It's Mothers' Day here too, so to those of you
like Jane, double hug for working Mums! Ahem.
en" <gjt@t...> wrote:
> (Thank you Jane for the quote)
> As St Augustine is comparing L1 and L2 learning I don't see a
> reason to conclude "Intermental before Intramental" for all L2
> Nonetheless I guess we'd all go along with his conclusion:
> "...it is sufficiently clear that a free curiosity is more effective
> learning than a discipline based on fear."
> The fascinating question is how to awaken curiosity for L2. Those
> English are lucky in this respect compared to those brave people who
> German or Latin to English schoolchildren.