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What textbook(s) are you using? What do you love about it? Perhaps more importantly, what do you hate about it?

I'm basically re-learning Latin right now, and have a strong desire to write a beginning Latin textbook. In middle school/high school we used Lingua Latina, but right now I'm using Moreland & Fleischer's Latin: Intensive Course. (Also known as: Welcome to Unit 2, this is the Subjunctive. No, you can't decline anything other than first declension nouns, but by god, you'll know how to write conditionals and purpose clauses.) My idea right now is very broad and vague, but I'm hoping to get some University support to create something at least a little more skeletal before I really flesh it out (like after I take a composition course). I would appreciate any advice or opinions that I can file away in my notes.

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In Williamsburg, VA, we use the Ecce Romani series, and begin offering Latin in the 7th grade. I generally like the text, the workbook, and test materials, at this grade level. However, I do not like the way the text introduces new concepts, like declensions, piece by piece without explaining the larger concept in broader terms first. Nor do I like the way vocabulary is introduced piece by piece without explaining that each new word has many forms and the one we see today is just one form. Good luck with your project!
I think your comments show why writing a textbook is a dire business to embark on: your comment about why you dislike Moreland and Fleischer is EXACTLY why I like that book (I taught from it when I was at Berkeley) - in fact, I just posted something about the subjunctive and how it is treated in Latin textbooks in my Latin Grammar blog the other day! For my approach to Latin, M&F is doing exactly the right thing to introduce the subjunctive immediately and other textbooks fail their users miserably by doing otherwise. Cuique suum. :-)

So, given the fact that there cannot be a perfect textbook and suits everyone AND given the fact that so many teachers do not even choose their own textbook but have it chosen for them, my impulse has been instead to create supplemental readings materials that people can use to supplement their textbooks. Although there are some wonderful textbooks that contain abundant reading materials (such as the marvelous Lingua Latina textbooks by Oerberg, which I personally admire the most), many textbooks are very short on meaningful reading materials, much less a VARIETY of reading materials that reflects the variety of the Latin textual tradition.

Plus, to be honest, it's a lot of fun creating supplemental reading materials. Creating a textbook would be enormously hard work, I suspect.

Since I love Latin fables and Latin proverbs, that's where I have directed my efforts. Coming up with good, annotated Latin readings representing the HUGE variety of Latin texts is something that seems to me more important than coming up with yet another textbook.
Pease note that I did not say I dislike Moreland & Fleischer at all. It's just a HUGE difference from Lingua Latina where we took baby steps, but got to read a lot of fun stories. I was actually trying to clarify how it works, since I suspected most others haven't used it. What I want to create is something closer to the pace of M&F with the great explanations (and expectations) it has, but also something a little more entertaining like Lingua Latina. I'm not really afraid of the work, actually. But I'm still an undergrad (go Bears!) so I get to be a little recklessly ambitious. I don't have things to grade, or lesson plans to make or tweak. I don't have kids to feed or take (heaven forbid) to soccer practice. I've just got lots of Latin to do. For me, up until I have to start dealing with publishing companies, I'm going to be having more fun than is probably reasonable writing this thing.
I'm not sure characterizing Lingua Latina as baby steps is quite right - Lingua Latina gives you a chance to read more extended Latin than in any other textbook.

There's a long history of Latin textbook writing which is really fascinating to watch: thanks to Google Books (books.google.com), you can see the many different approaches in the literally hundreds of different Latin textbooks you will find there. You might be familiar with the Latinum podcast series in Evan Millner is reviving the use of one such old textbook by Adler which emphasized the communicative approach (an approach that is not unique to the 20th century!).

Since you are a UC student, I'm sure you also have access to the Early English Books Online through the UC Berkeley Library website - don't let the name fool you: by English, they mean books published in England, MANY of which were Latin books, including Latin textbooks. So if you want to see what Latin textbooks have looked like over the past 500 years, between EEBO and GoogleBooks, you can do that. It's fascinating stuff.

If you ever end up taking a course with Trevor Murphy or Dylan Sailor, say hello from me. We were in graduate school together at Berkeley (I did my Ph.D. in Comp. Lit about 10 years ago). :-)
I think the Oxford course is the best one. It has a great advantage over Wheelock and Jenny's because it teaches the student to READ Latin as opposd to the wrote memorization method used by most textbooks. But I think a major improvement could be made over the Oxford textbook if a move was made away from artificial Latin and starting the student out with real Latin from day one, putting the more difficult verb helps in the margin.

It does nothing to conceal ther right answers from the student as I believe has been the methodology of the past, but websites like Perseus can spit out the person, number. tense, voice, mood and lexical entry for any Latin or Greek wiord. Thus, I believe the best thing to do is to transition away from the shorter Exercises method which relies on memorization, which I call 'the Brute Force Method,' and make the reading passages longer and real Latin based. That way the student actually knows some thing of value from Greek and Latin literature as opposed to the method I learned: Amo, Amas, Amat, etc ad nausem.

After taking the Oxford course, I found it easier to read just about any Latin




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