Very excited to be able to attend The Paideia Institute’s Living Latin in New York City conference at Fordham University.
I recently discovered the conference through gazing at videos on YouTube and began to seek out when and where this event was held. Gaining approval from my administration, and also having the time available (we are off this week), I am strapping on my PD cap and heading there myself.
There are a series of lectures and sessions being offered in Latin and what I hope to gain is an experience of the language that I am trying to instill in my students. I have been using Hans Orberg’s Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata for years now to build my program, but it does present its own challenges despite being a terrific resource for the natural language approach. I never enjoyed a grammatical approach as it treats the language like a corpse to be studied, but instead enjoyed the rare moments when I was able to comprehend something without having to look it up. This has been my evolution in teaching and my practice has been shifting towards comprehensible input, or CI. Most importantly, I am looking forward to meeting other colleagues who are at varying levels of using Latin as a living language in their practices and gaining insight from them and what works.
I have already looked through the program for the convention and isolated a few very interesting sessions that I am planning on attending. I also hope to be bringing back some tools to not only use but also to help my colleagues back at home base. Some notable offerings:
Terence Tunberg has a session entitled “Using Latin as the Meta-Language to teach Roman Epic” in which he shares a course he taught where the students and he discussed Roman epic using Latin in their class. It was comprised of advanced undergraduate students as well as some beginning graduate students. I wanted to do the same thing for my AP Latin course and wondered if a 3 year trek could get us to that point. I am currently using CI in my Latin III Honors course and getting the students to develop the disposition for acquisition (look, listen, ask questions) and hoping that they could develop a basic conversational approach that we may employ next year in our AP Latin class.
Erin McKenna-Hanses has a talk “Using Fables to Activate Latin” which highlights the use of fables in refining the acquisition of Latin. This is a notable part of ancient education and fulfills two objectives, language practice and repetition as well as moral education. With the availability of the public domain, especially Aesop’s Fables (Laura Gibbs’ Mille Fabulae come to mind), I have often noted this as a potential (and potent) resource that would also enable us Latin teachers (and program start-ups) to find an economic way to get programs off the ground. Looking forward to what she has to say.
I’ll be blogging here and tweeting (@johnricard) throughout!