News: Latin in a Week

“Through the Bible in a Year.” It’s a common wording that I saw a lot growing up in devout Christian circles. The Bible’s a big book, but a year is plenty of time to get through it at a fairly enjoyable pace.

“Latin in a Week,” however, sounds like the province of fools and madmen. Closer inspection confirms the diagnosis: all 40 chapters of Wheelock’s Latin, in 40 hours of instruction. Veritas Press has had good results with this approach, though. Word is that students read unedited sections of Caesar and Cicero by the end of the class– it seems a result worth wagering a week’s hard labor for. Niemela and I have had success with similar experiments in short-term language teaching, but I don’t think we’ve ever done anything this ambitious…and online, to boot.

I have three reasons for doing this now. First, I need to bite the bullet and learn Latin at some point. I’m always telling my students that language learning is better done now than later — time to practice what I preach.  Second, if this works even close to as well as advertised, these people know some things about language learning that I need to know for my revamped first-year Greek class. So in addition to struggling with vocabulary, I’ll be keeping an eye on the teaching tactics. Third, learning to teach first-year language in an online environment is an important skill for me to develop, and this will furnish me with a model to work from.

I had been told that the class would run 9-5, Eastern time, i.e., 6-2 my time. For me, that’s fairly humane. I like mornings anyhow. According to the note on the website, however, the fun begins at 8:00 a.m. Eastern. Yes, apparently I’ll be doing Latin at 5 a.m.

Your prayers will be appreciated.

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