eLatin eGreek eLearn

More wired than a Roman Internet café

Schola, the Latin social site on ning that started up at the start of the month, is doing well - with now over 100 members, the quality of the discussion has improved, as there is now a core of active members with good standards of Latinity.

Every day, letters and notes fly back and forth in the public fora, and an unknown number of private messages are exchanged - these can be in any language - but the public forum only permits Latin.

I believe the success of Schola is partly to do with the Ning architecture, and partly to do with the 'constitution' of Schola - the rules that were developed to ensure that the space would be a low stress one for producing Latin. It is also a rather unique place, where, as one user pointed out, the communication is IN Latin, and not ABOUT Latin.

Many Latin teachers are very nervous about voicing support for the practical applied benefits of being able to actively produce Latin, yet on Schola it is clear that Latin, in a limited way, can function as a shared international language, even in 2008. Seeing it used this way gives the language the appearance if life - and quite frankly, why slog away all those hours learning it, if you are not able to use it ( and enjoy it) in more than a passive way?

I also believe that students, who see that Latin is 'really used' will have more enthusiasm for learning it. It becomes 'real', and not just a linguistic equivalent of chess. Being exposed to those who can write a critical piece about a recent movie they've seen, or opine on the virtues of a song, gives something to aim for in terms of what level of fluency and flexibility it might be possible to achieve.


http://schola.ning.com/

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