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The Latinum Podcast keeps surprising me with its uptake. Since I started it, the number of file downloads have steadily been rising:
29 file downloads in March
5737 file downloads in April
7409 file downloads in May
25 450 file downloads in June
42 700 file downloads in July

The structure of the Lessons is very simple - Adler uses a methodology which was very popular in the mid 1800's - teaching with question-answer sequences. This is particularly useful for Latin, as there are a great many ways to put a question, so this gives Adler an opportunity to develop this aspect of Latin very fully over the course of the book. The textbook is aimed at conversational fluency, and as a result, Adler uses many Latin words in novel situations, and invents circumlocutions to describe contemporary objects unknown to the Romans. Many of Adler's neologisms are still in use today by students of 'Living Latin'. I always say, Latin may be dead, but its dead and kicking.

Here is a sample of exercise one from Adler - the very first exercise in the Book.

On the Podcast this material is presented in Latin and English, than again in Latin only, in a separate episode. The Latin only episode is first read through slowly, giving the student time to engage with the text, or repeat it aloud, then is it recited at a higher speed for a second time. Prior to these recitals of the examples, the Podcast gives an introductory lesson containing the grammar that will be handled in the spoken excercises.

In a classroom situation, I was intended that pairs students would interact using these short dialogues, initially scripted, then once they got the hang of it, the person answering would be expected to answer without a script. Finally, both the questioner and the one answering would not use a script.

I have not yet made an 'interactive' episode, where I only ask the questions, but the learner has to supply the answers, but I will do this in due course for each set of exercises.


Have you got the table? — Yes, Sir. I have the table. — Have you got
my table ? — I have your table. — Have you got your pen ?— I have my
pen. — Have you got the sugar ? — I have the sugar. — Have you got my
sugar ? — I have your sugar — Наvе you got the paper ? — I have the
paper. — Наvе you got your paper ? — I have my paper. — Have you got
the salt ? — I have the salt. — Have you got my salt '! — I have your salt.

HABESNE mensam?

Etiam, domine, mensam habeo.

Estne tibi mensa?

Est mihi mensa.

Habesne mensam meam?

Mensam tuam habeo.

Estne tibi mensa mea ?

Est mihi mensa tua.

Habesne pennam tuam?

Pennam meam habeo.

Estne tibi penna tua?

Est mihi penna mea.

Habesne saccharum?

Saccharum habeo

Estne tibi saccharum ?

Est mihi saccharum

Habesne saccharum meum?

Saccharum tuum habeo

Estne tibi saccharum meum? Est mihi saccharum tuum.

Habesne chartam?

Chartam habeo.

Estne tibi charta?

Est mihi charta.

Habesne chartam tuam?

Chartam meam habeo.

Estne tibi charta tua?. Est mihi charta mea.

Habesne sal?

Sal habeo

Estne tibi sal?

Est mihi sal

Habesne sal meum?

Sal tuum habeo.

Estne tibi sal meum?

Est mihi sal tuum.

Views: 141

Comment by Laura Gibbs on July 31, 2007 at 9:42am
Hi Evan, thanks for posting the sample materials here. As someone who has taught modern languages, I feel so comfortable with this approach - the "simple bits" is such a good way to teach Latin, and I always found it discouraging that many Latin learning materials focus on such difficult texts, based on enormously long periods and sentences, when language learning happens so much more effectively with the "simple bits" approach.

In addition to question and answer, another way to get "simple bits" of Latin to people is by means of proverbs, hundreds of which are just two or three or four words long. I used proverbs really effectively in my teaching (plus they are just plain fun), which is why I put together the Latin Via Proverbs book (I've got a website for that at LatinViaProverbs.com and I've been posting the audio at AudioLatin.com.

Another "simple bits" approach is segmenting the text, which is something I always do with my students - you can see that at work in the Latin fables I've been posting here each day at eClassics. If you segment a text for students, it's a huge help - they may be reading long sentences, but they can see how the sentences are really made up of "little bits" like the little bits of Latin they are practicing here in the book you are promoting.

Three cheers for "simple bits"! I guess we could call them partiunculae minimae in Latin!



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