One of the cornerstones of acquiring a language is having a strong command of the words used in that language. Grammar plays a critical role, obviously, but in the early stages of a Latin student’s career, we need to be able to evaporate their frustrations with picking up new words.
After all, words are just concepts.
Well, maybe I should qualify that a bit more. Words are not simply concepts – words are labels for concepts. A single concept would require a whole slew of words to explain it. When we assign vocabulary lists to our students, are we really doing them justice? Can students force a meaning upon a word? Or should we gear their curiosity more towards connecting concepts to words? How about images? Experiences?
In order to do this, students must interact directly with concepts. They must be shaped by direct contact and even experiences. Learning is retained better when it is attained through experience.
What is a Concept?