One of the challenges we face as Latin teachers is of course immersing our students in a world filled with Latin. It isn’t because there is a lack of content, quite the opposite. It is really about getting exposure to it.
For learners of other languages – such as French, Spanish, German, Italian, Swahili, or whatever – there are numerous forms of media to use to create an opportunity for learning. With today’s technology, however, there are many ways in which our students could set up little mini-activities that they could get a quick immersion in Latin. These opportunities could be triggered by various events in our daily lives which then makes us conscientious participants in our own learning – shifting the responsibility from our teachers to our students. This type of behavior also transforms our students from captive audiences in our classrooms to life-long learners who are willing (and enthusiastic!) participants in their own learning.
Justin Slocum Bailey over on his website IndwellingLanguage.com has a terrific solution and some great tips for invoking just these sorts of scenarios. He calls these “trigger” events that would then trigger an activity that should take only a few minutes and could be conveniently employed wherever the eager learner is. This is an easy solution considering the way in which our modern society is littered with smartphone devices which could have various media cued up and ready to go. For example, a PDF of a reading, a video on YouTube, or perhaps start tweeting or using other forms of social media whereby a dialogue could take place in the target language (Latin!). These are some simple ways in which we can create more opportunities for students to get immersed in Latin within the confines of their non-Latin speaking world!