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We have been using the following progression to learn Latin: Prima Latina, Latina Christiana I, Latina Christiana II, Henle's First Year Latin. I have two questions about learning verb principle parts and noun genders. Or rather, more about memorizing them.

 

LC II introduces the idea of principle parts of verbs, and tells you that you must learn all the parts (usually four, but sometimes just three). LC II mostly just gives you the parts that fit a regular pattern, just to make it easy for the beginning student. So, sometimes you only get two parts. I think somewhere in the book (or maybe the TM) it says that you will learn the other parts later, as they are irregular. Well, I'm on my second go-round with LC II, and those other parts never got learned. When my son was first into the Henle book, I decided to look up, in the back of the Henle book, the missing parts and add them to his flashcards from his previous books. I thought I had missed something from LC II. Also, I figured he could handle memorizing the irregular parts, and I was correct.

 

Also, I am sure that somewhere in LC II it says to have the student also start reciting the gender of each noun (when going through flashcards), even though the noun flashcards are now separated into piles such as "Third Declension Masculine" and so forth. I can't remember where in LC II I read it, and I couldn't find it today upon doing a quick skim, but I was pretty sure I was instructed to do so, because I started having my son do it. Not just the rare masculine nouns in first declension, but every single noun's gender in every single pile.

 

So. The fruits of all this memory work have been fine for my son. I have a feeling my daughter is going to have a more difficult time. But maybe not. We will see when we start up again in January, because that is when I will gently introduce reciting all the principle parts of verbs, then introduce reciting the noun genders of each card.

 

This week I looked through the rest of LC II (dd is on week 12), and it never did get around to telling us what the rest of those principle parts were on those verbs that had irregular 3rd and 4th parts. So, I went through all their cards, with dictionary in hand, and wrote them all in. Fun, fun!!! NOT. (I won't require my daughter to recite the irregular 3rd and 4th parts yet, but I still put them on the cards because I was on a roll I didn't want to have to get back into at a later point, lol)

 

Fast forward to Henle. Henle does put in all the missing verb principle parts, so I don't have to look them up. (I've been quite irritated with LC for many reasons, and this is yet another - that it promises to do something, and then doesn't do it - it's as if Memoria Press was planning to come up with a LC III, and never did - maybe that's what First to Fourth Forms became, but that doesn't help those of us who used LC I and II and then went on to Henle) Also, with Henle I automatically write the noun gender on each card as we come to nouns.

 

So here are my questions:

 

- If you are learning Latin (or really, any other language), how important is it to memorize every single principle part of every verb you encounter? I get why it's important to memorize principle parts, for the sake of translation work - you need to know which part to use for particular functions. But in general, if one goes on learning a language even beyond standard Latin translation work, does one go on to keep memorizing principle parts of verbs?

 

- And how important is it to recite the noun gender when reciting noun flashcards? I have found it has been helpful to ds, I suppose especially in third declension nouns because there are so many exceptions.....maybe that's my answer?

 

I guess I'm just wondering because I see so many flashcards in each child's flashcard basket. I know one benefit, that people always talk about here, of Henle is that Henle doesn't introduce much vocabulary. It concentrates more on grammar forms, and I understand why. Hmm....on that note, I am now also wondering why PL/LC I/LC II introduced so much vocabulary - much of it isn't even being used now in Henle! But I guess it's helpful to their English vocabulary, right? Anyway, just wondering if we might be overdoing it in those couple of areas. But then again, ds has learned this stuff over the past six years, so slow accumulation is a good thing, right? Dd is just in her third year of learning Latin, so the same idea could apply, right?

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I have no answer to your dilemma, but find it hilarious that you and I both posted disgruntled Latin questions on the same day. :lol::cheers2:

 

 

I'm glad to share a proverbial boat with you, but as they said in Jaws, I think we're going to need a bigger boat (for all of our Latin materials).

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If you are learning Latin (or really, any other language), how important is it to memorize every single principle part of every verb you encounter? I get why it's important to memorize principle parts, for the sake of translation work - you need to know which part to use for particular functions. But in general, if one goes on learning a language even beyond standard Latin translation work, does one go on to keep memorizing principle parts of verbs?

It is important to memorize them - mostly for the sake of dictionary skills. For example, when you see tuli in a text, you may well figure out from the form and from the context that it is a perfect of some kind, but how are you going to find it in a dictionary if you do not know that you are actually looking for the word fero? This is an extreme example - and these things get a lot more tricky in Greek than in Latin - but it is still very good to have all the principal parts in your mind because those are quick tricks that tell you what to look for and how to recognize some irregularities when you see them.

 

At some point, most of them become so natural (as they follow predictable patterns) that it no longer takes an active effort to learn them. Once you know the pattern for eo, you automatically know how circum-eo, per-eo, trans-eo and a bunch of others are going look like, so if you come across one of them in a text, you will quickly recognize that it is a composed verb, and there are many such cases. In other cases, of typical regularities, it also does not really require any effort as you know the pattern.

And how important is it to recite the noun gender when reciting noun flashcards? I have found it has been helpful to ds, I suppose especially in third declension nouns because there are so many exceptions.....maybe that's my answer??

The noun gender must be indicated on every typical vocabulary quiz (written or oral). IOW, every time you ask how do you say a land, the answer has to be terra, -ae, f., like a dictionary entry, or it does not count as it is not a full proper answer.

BUT, when you are reciting the entire paradigms, the gender is omited. It is indicated only when typical vocabulary learning is concerned.

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I have no answer to your dilemma, but find it hilarious that you and I both posted disgruntled Latin questions on the same day. :lol::cheers2:

 

HA! I didn't even notice until you pointed this out! :lol::lol: We are definitely rowing together in many areas. :D

 

It is important to memorize them - mostly for the sake of dictionary skills. For example, when you see tuli in a text, you may well figure out from the form and from the context that it is a perfect of some kind, but how are you going to find it in a dictionary if you do not know that you are actually looking for the word fero? This is an extreme example - and these things get a lot more tricky in Greek than in Latin - but it is still very good to have all the principal parts in your mind because those are quick tricks that tell you what to look for and how to recognize some irregularities when you see them.

 

(bolding is mine) AHA! Yes, I know exactly what you are talking about, and I hadn't thought of that!! I knew if I put this all out there, someone would see something I was missing. THANK YOU!

 

At some point, most of them become so natural (as they follow predictable patterns) that it no longer takes an active effort to learn them. Once you know the pattern for eo, you automatically know how circum-eo, per-eo, trans-eo and a bunch of others are going look like, so if you come across one of them in a text, you will quickly recognize that it is a composed verb, and there are many such cases. In other cases, of typical regularities, it also does not really require any effort as you know the pattern.

 

(bolding is mine) Ah, thanks for telling me this, too. It gives me a reason to keep doing it.

 

The noun gender must be indicated on every typical vocabulary quiz (written or oral). IOW, every time you ask how do you say a land, the answer has to be terra, -ae, f., like a dictionary entry, or it does not count as it is not a full proper answer.

 

I didn't know this, either. I haven't been giving my son vocab. quizzes with Henle (maybe I should, but he does go through his vocab flashcards all the time). But if he needs this skill for any future tests/quizzes, then we will keep on reciting the gender when going through the flashcards.

 

BUT, when you are reciting the entire paradigms, the gender is omited. It is indicated only when typical vocabulary learning is concerned.

 

Thanks, EM, for responding!

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I can't really add anymore wisdom but I just wanted to say that that was one of the several reasons why we switched from LC to Latin for Children. LfC has the kids memorize the 4 principle parts from the get go and this makes much more sense.

 

(bolding is mine) You know, as I think about this, I think I agree with you. Looking back, I think LC left out a lot of things that would have been really helpful to know or at least to get memorized to make sense of later. Oh well. Dd is almost halfway through LC II - I can make things up as I go, having been through this already and doing Henle with ds. Isn't LfC from CAP? If that's the one, I wish I could go back and do that instead of the MP books!!! They have been so frustrating!

 

We use Wheelock, so I can't help a lot with the Henle, so I'll just answer for the large vocab in LC. It is intended as a Grammar (as in the Trivium, not the other grammar) program, so it focuses on memorization of basic information: vocabulary, declensions, conjugations, etc.

 

Yes, that makes sense. I just don't see all the MP books' vocab being used in Henle. Maybe what's really bugging me is exasperation with MP books.:lol:

 

Basically, we will just keep reciting and memorizing everything: vocab, genders, principle parts. It's pretty easy to review new stuff every day for awhile, while also reviewing old stuff every day (but spread out).

 

Thanks, everyone.

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  • 1 month later...

I missed this post-holiday thread but thought I'd add a Valentine's Day P.S. to the helpful answers already given.

 

 

The reason that at some point children must know their noun genders is this: it's impossible to use adjectives properly in Latin without knowing the gender of the noun. (There are other constructions that depend on noun gender as well.) Some programs try to simplify life for the student early on by leaving noun gender till later, on the theory that you don't need to know it until you're going to do something with it, while others have you learn the gender from the beginning, on the theory that it's easy to do and saves time and trouble later. (I'm one of the "others" who think it saves time and trouble later to learn it from the beginning, and that's how I structured the program that I wrote.)

 

On a similar note, it's essential to learn two forms of the noun, not just one, in order to decline the noun correctly later. You see this illustrated in a typical dictionary entry, such as "discipula, discupulae, f." Without knowing both forms--the nominative singular and the genitive singular--you can't know which declension the noun belongs to, and without knowing that, you can't decline it, and without knowing the declension endings for a given noun, you can't recognize what noun job the noun is doing in a Latin sentence, or translate correctly from English into Latin.

Similarly for Latin verbs, there are good reasons to learn all four principal parts. (They're called "principal" because they're important and foundational--and they really are!) Different verb tenses (and other verbal forms) are derived from each of the four principal parts, so you can't use a Latin verb in every tense without knowing the four principal parts. You also can't know which set of verb endings to use without knowing which conjugation a verb belongs to, and you learn that by knowing the four principal parts. Again, some programs choose to postpone two or three of the principal parts, while others teach them from the beginning. (I like giving them all from the beginning.)

 

(A program can conceivably withhold the genitive singular of nouns, and just TELL you which declension a noun belongs to, or withhold the full set of verb principal parts, and just TELL you which conjugation a verb belongs to, but this doesn't teach the child how to tell, himself, which declension or conjugation a noun or verb belongs to.)

 

So when you look at a program and you see that the full vocabulary entry is not given--there aren't four principal parts for each verb, there isn't a full vocabulary entry for each noun--then it's important for you to know that the program designer has a well-thought-out reason for that decision. Someone will have to add the missing information later, if it's not there from the beginning, and it will either be the program author, or it will be a parent like you who sleuths on her own and figures out what to do.

 

Good question! Enjoy your Latin studies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I missed this post-holiday thread but thought I'd add a Valentine's Day P.S. to the helpful answers already given.

 

 

The reason that at some point children must know their noun genders is this: it's impossible to use adjectives properly in Latin without knowing the gender of the noun. (There are other constructions that depend on noun gender as well.) Some programs try to simplify life for the student early on by leaving noun gender till later, on the theory that you don't need to know it until you're going to do something with it, while others have you learn the gender from the beginning, on the theory that it's easy to do and saves time and trouble later. (I'm one of the "others" who think it saves time and trouble later to learn it from the beginning, and that's how I structured the program that I wrote.)

 

On a similar note, it's essential to learn two forms of the noun, not just one, in order to decline the noun correctly later. You see this illustrated in a typical dictionary entry, such as "discipula, discupulae, f." Without knowing both forms--the nominative singular and the genitive singular--you can't know which declension the noun belongs to, and without knowing that, you can't decline it, and without knowing the declension endings for a given noun, you can't recognize what noun job the noun is doing in a Latin sentence, or translate correctly from English into Latin.

Similarly for Latin verbs, there are good reasons to learn all four principal parts. (They're called "principal" because they're important and foundational--and they really are!) Different verb tenses (and other verbal forms) are derived from each of the four principal parts, so you can't use a Latin verb in every tense without knowing the four principal parts. You also can't know which set of verb endings to use without knowing which conjugation a verb belongs to, and you learn that by knowing the four principal parts. Again, some programs choose to postpone two or three of the principal parts, while others teach them from the beginning. (I like giving them all from the beginning.)

 

(A program can conceivably withhold the genitive singular of nouns, and just TELL you which declension a noun belongs to, or withhold the full set of verb principal parts, and just TELL you which conjugation a verb belongs to, but this doesn't teach the child how to tell, himself, which declension or conjugation a noun or verb belongs to.)

 

So when you look at a program and you see that the full vocabulary entry is not given--there aren't four principal parts for each verb, there isn't a full vocabulary entry for each noun--then it's important for you to know that the program designer has a well-thought-out reason for that decision. Someone will have to add the missing information later, if it's not there from the beginning, and it will either be the program author, or it will be a parent like you who sleuths on her own and figures out what to do.

 

Good question! Enjoy your Latin studies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you very much for adding another perspective. This is very helpful.

 

Looking back, I think a lot of my frustration and confusion was with using a program series that only introduced a few ideas at a time. I understand it's because the program is meant for young children, but even my kids, as they grew, were frustrated by having to understand a new piece of the puzzle each time the MP books introduced it. Just give us the principal parts and genders at the beginning, already! :D My daughter is partway through LC II, and I am having her memorize all of the principal parts and genders. I looked up the parts in the Latin dictionary and added them ALL to her flashcards after reading people's responses here. :D

 

Also looking back, I don't even know why I asked my second question - I already knew about the adjectives - I don't know what I was thinking! Anyway, it's all in print here now, and I just need to remind myself to have a look at my past threads before I post anew with panicked questions.

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I'm glad this was helpful!

 

You mention another great factor: when something like noun gender is withheld for later, children can end up feeling as if they're doing something the long way/doing something twice when they could have just done it once.

 

There's also the potential for sheer betrayal: what, there's more, and you didn't tell me? :001_smile: (Forgetting maybe who the "you" is--is it Mom, or the author?!)

 

There are definitely times for saving something for later (any curriculum is a set of decisions about what's for now and what's for later . . .) but a program can always give children some information about what they aren't covering in detail yet, just to give a framework. (Between "withhold" and "inundate" there's a lot of space.)

 

So, a program can present a paradigm and have the child learn it, without explanation, and that has value. But another option is to teach even a pretty young child a paradigm, plus explain that nouns (or whatever the case may be!) come in noun families, noun families have certain family traits in common, we're learning the first noun family now but we'll be learning others later, etc. . . . to me that has even more value.

 

Happy "Latining"!

 

(And I thought you were determined, not panicked.)

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There are definitely times for saving something for later (any curriculum is a set of decisions about what's for now and what's for later . . .) but a program can always give children some information about what they aren't covering in detail yet, just to give a framework. (Between "withhold" and "inundate" there's a lot of space.)

 

So, a program can present a paradigm and have the child learn it, without explanation, and that has value. But another option is to teach even a pretty young child a paradigm, plus explain that nouns (or whatever the case may be!) come in noun families, noun families have certain family traits in common, we're learning the first noun family now but we'll be learning others later, etc. . . . to me that has even more value.

:iagree:

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There is a bit of a split in opinion I think as far as whether it is better to learn all the principle parts at once, or start with just the first two and add the rest later. I learned the second way with Wheelock and it was a little annoying even though we got to the point where we added the rest within the same year.

 

But, I do think there is a reason for choosing to do it that way. Wheelock (or at least the edition we used) tries very hard to get the student into translating as quickly as possible - right in the very first chapter. So they want, I think, to avoid over-burdening students with a ton of memory work right away, keep the load at a reasonable level, and get them working with texts, even though they are highly edited at that point. That helps maintain interest, gives a sense of accomplishment, and I think it also helps the student to really see how it all fits together. Because if you are spending all your time memorizing parts of verbs, vocab, and paradigms, it can really just seem like a bunch of unconnected random things. There is no sense that there is a real language people were using to communicate and that all these forms are just abstractions.

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Bluegoat, I hear you completely about tradeoffs. Every teacher, every program, has to leave out in order to leave in, and so it comes down to program priorities. Authors have their reasons for tilting towards morphology or tilting towards syntax. I think it's great when authors explain what they value so users can tell if that's what they value, too.

 

One way some programs handle the "how can we get to translating if we are busy learning every form on earth at the same time" problem is to narrow the field to certain related forms initially, translate with those, then widen the field to some additional forms, translate with those, etc. This can be another way to get to translation quickly.

 

It's also partly a matter of how much time a student is going to be able to spend on which subjects.

 

I really see room for a lot of different program decisions so long as the reasons and the costs are understood, and there's a plan.

Edited by Classical Katharine
added a thought
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I'm glad this was helpful!

 

You mention another great factor: when something like noun gender is withheld for later, children can end up feeling as if they're doing something the long way/doing something twice when they could have just done it once.

 

There's also the potential for sheer betrayal: what, there's more, and you didn't tell me? :001_smile: (Forgetting maybe who the "you" is--is it Mom, or the author?!)

 

There are definitely times for saving something for later (any curriculum is a set of decisions about what's for now and what's for later . . .) but a program can always give children some information about what they aren't covering in detail yet, just to give a framework. (Between "withhold" and "inundate" there's a lot of space.)

 

So, a program can present a paradigm and have the child learn it, without explanation, and that has value. But another option is to teach even a pretty young child a paradigm, plus explain that nouns (or whatever the case may be!) come in noun families, noun families have certain family traits in common, we're learning the first noun family now but we'll be learning others later, etc. . . . to me that has even more value.

 

Happy "Latining"!

 

(And I thought you were determined, not panicked.)

 

Thanks for thinking that! :lol:

 

And yes, we've experienced the shock factor here - the annoyance that comes with feeling betrayed by the program. :lol:

 

Ester Maria (or any Europeans, or Canadians, or anyone who knows the answer to this), I just found out the other night that Canadian and British Latin courses have you memorize the noun case names differently than something like Henle would. We memorized them like this:

 

nominative

genitive

dative

accusative

ablative

 

But we heard that in Cdn. university courses they are memorized like this:

 

nominative

accusative

genitive

dative

ablative

 

When I heard that, I had another moment of panic, realizing all the memory work we had done was in the American style by Henle (we live in Canada).

 

The professor who told us this said it wouldn't affect any future Latin study in university very much, and not to worry about it. But what do you other Latin gurus think? Esp. if you have experience with the Cdn./Brit. way?

 

And why is there a difference? The professor theorized that the American way is because nouns are listed by nom. and gen. s. in dictionaries. My son theorized that the Cdn./Brit. way is because of how sentences are diagramed (in English, anyway) - subjects and direct objects on the horizontal line; possessives, indirect objects, and objects of prep. on the slanted lines below the horizontal line.

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So they want, I think, to avoid over-burdening students with a ton of memory work right away, keep the load at a reasonable level, and get them working with texts, even though they are highly edited at that point. That helps maintain interest, gives a sense of accomplishment, and I think it also helps the student to really see how it all fits together. Because if you are spending all your time memorizing parts of verbs, vocab, and paradigms, it can really just seem like a bunch of unconnected random things. There is no sense that there is a real language people were using to communicate and that all these forms are just abstractions.

 

I think this is the way Memoria Press organized its PL/LCI/LCII series, too. Understandably because it's for young children. I think it's more *me* who got annoyed about it, and I passed my annoyance on to my kids.

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On American vs. British case order:

 

For purposes of supplying what's required on a test, your children will easily be able to change the case order and supply what's needed in their new venue, even if they have to write it out the way they learned first and then manually swap.

 

For using the info from the paradigms, it won't matter. That is, if you know what the accusative singular of a third declension noun is, and what the accusative case is used for, you're good to go, regardless of what niche in the paradigm you visualize that info as being located in. When you read or translate a sentence no one cares how you visualize the paradigm--only that you recognize the forms and know why and how Latin uses them.

 

Paradigms aren't an end in themselves; they're a means to mastering the case endings so that forms can be recognized and produced at will, and for that purpose, it doesn't make much difference to the student which order the forms are learned in . . . since you want to get beyond having to recall the whole paradigm in order to "find" one form, anyway. In fact an excellent habit, after learning a paradigm, is to drill the forms separately on flash cards so they achieve mastery on a, here I go again, case-by-case basis, which supports fluency.

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On American vs. British case order:

 

For purposes of supplying what's required on a test, your children will easily be able to change the case order and supply what's needed in their new venue, even if they have to write it out the way they learned first and then manually swap.

 

For using the info from the paradigms, it won't matter. That is, if you know what the accusative singular of a third declension noun is, and what the accusative case is used for, you're good to go, regardless of what niche in the paradigm you visualize that info as being located in. When you read or translate a sentence no one cares how you visualize the paradigm--only that you recognize the forms and know why and how Latin uses them.

 

Paradigms aren't an end in themselves; they're a means to mastering the case endings so that forms can be recognized and produced at will, and for that purpose, it doesn't make much difference to the student which order the forms are learned in

 

No, it's definitely panic - don't deceive yourself. :D See, I posted again, just needing some more reassurance. But what you write makes total sense, and I should have been able to reason that out for myself. It's because I've never studied Latin before, and had a lousy experience studying foreign language in high school, that I always think I'm missing some element that everyone else understands. So, I post.

 

. . . since you want to get beyond having to recall the whole paradigm in order to "find" one form, anyway. In fact an excellent habit, after learning a paradigm, is to drill the forms separately on flash cards so they achieve mastery on a, here I go again, case-by-case basis, which supports fluency.

 

So, do you mean we should put mensa, mensae, mensae, mensam, mensa, mensae, mensarum, mensis, mensas, mensis on ONE card to use as a first declension model (which we do), or that each of these words should go on SEPARATE cards along with each translation on the back (the table [as subj. or p.n.], of the table, the table [as i.o.], the table [as d.o.], by/with/from the table [as prep. obj.], and then the plurals)? (oh please, I hope you mean the one we already do...)(I'm joking around, but I really appreciate your input here - as yet another true-educator-type-as-opposed-to-the-curriculum-follower-I-have-been pops into Colleen's radar on the forums...)

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Relax. Continue doing what you are doing, with genitive second, that is more cool. :D

They will be able to switch if needed. Just like they will be able to use a different pronunciation if needed. Those are minor issues. You just make sure they know Latin, as one who knows can easily adapt to a different classification of things.

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What are forums for? (I can't say "fora" in English. I just can't.)

 

Not to worry, you'll just be helped by adding to what you are already doing. The whole declension on one side of one card, as you do, with "1st declension" or "our first declension sample noun--mensa, mensae (f.)" or some such on the other side of the card, plus, on separate cards, not "mensa" and "mensae" but rather "-a" and "-ae," etc., each on separate cards, and on the flip side of each card you have "1st declension nominative singular" or "1st declension genitive singular," etc. Then drill the cards both ways so your child can hear the grammatical label and give the ending or hear the ending and give the label. This hugely helps children narrow down the possibilities when facing a word with that ending in a sentence. (For "-ae," however, you'll have on the back "1st decl. genitive singular OR first declension nominative plural"--because it could be either, and the student needs to know that fact very well. Some endings aren't unambiguous, and sentence clues have to be resorted to in translating. You don't want to end up with two "-ae" cards, but just one, showing all the possibilities the student knows to date on the other side.)

 

I don't really favor the "of the table, to the table" renderings for flash card purposes because they are too narrow (the ablative has so many uses!). I don't mind them as much for illustrative purposes in the context of a grammar lesson, but I think they are too limiting to memorize as one-for-one substitutions.

 

(Off topic, I just noticed you are also the "make what you can out of the ingredients you have" lady from the other thread and that is exactly how the cooking gets done around here. Please send me roasted turnips with applesauce boiled down to heighten its flavor, seasoned with rosemary from your pantry. Thank you.)

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Relax. Continue doing what you are doing, with genitive second, that is more cool. :D

They will be able to switch if needed. Just like they will be able to use a different pronunciation if needed. Those are minor issues. You just make sure they know Latin, as one who knows can easily adapt to a different classification of things.

 

OK, thanks. Wait, with genitive second is cool? I was sure you'd say the other order!

 

What are forums for? (I can't say "fora" in English. I just can't.)

 

Fora. There, I did it for you. :D

 

I know, I just hate that I don't know these things.

 

...plus, on separate cards, not "mensa" and "mensae" but rather "-a" and "-ae," etc., each on separate cards, and on the flip side of each card you have "1st declension nominative singular" or "1st declension genitive singular," etc. Then drill the cards both ways so your child can hear the grammatical label and give the ending or hear the ending and give the label. This hugely helps children narrow down the possibilities when facing a word with that ending in a sentence. (For "-ae," however, you'll have on the back "1st decl. genitive singular OR first declension nominative plural"--because it could be either, and the student needs to know that fact very well. Some endings aren't unambiguous, and sentence clues have to be resorted to in translating. You don't want to end up with two "-ae" cards, but just one, showing all the possibilities the student knows to date on the other side.)

 

This is something to consider. It makes logical sense to me. I'm wondering if my kids might get confused, though, because they've already thoroughly memorized the whole form(s)...My son can whip through a form in a second or two to discover what the word means, but he has been studying Latin for almost six years. But your explanation makes sense, and I'm going to consider it, at least for my daughter, who has only been at it for 2.5 years.

 

You have a lot of great insight for teaching Latin!

 

(Off topic, I just noticed you are also the "make what you can out of the ingredients you have" lady from the other thread and that is exactly how the cooking gets done around here. Please send me roasted turnips with applesauce boiled down to heighten its flavor, seasoned with rosemary from your pantry. Thank you.)

 

:lol: And you've just exemplified why I cook this way - I would never have thought about this particular recipe. The possibilities of what to do with those few ingredients are endless!

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OK, thanks. Wait, with genitive second is cool? I was sure you'd say the other order!

Nope, my tradition is with genitive second, actually. :)

 

It is when it comes to verbs where I actually prefer a different tradition.

Our way of classifying verbs is (1) first person singular indicative present active, (2) second person singular indicative present active, (3) first person singular indicative perfect active, (4) active / first supine, (5) infinitive present active.

 

So we actually say laudo, laudas, laudavi, laudatum, laudare.

 

Too long-winded and pointless IMO - I prefer your way of doing it with laudo, laudare, laudavi, laudatum.

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plus, on separate cards, not "mensa" and "mensae" but rather "-a" and "-ae," etc., each on separate cards, and on the flip side of each card you have "1st declension nominative singular" or "1st declension genitive singular," etc. Then drill the cards both ways so your child can hear the grammatical label and give the ending or hear the ending and give the label. This hugely helps children narrow down the possibilities when facing a word with that ending in a sentence. (For "-ae," however, you'll have on the back "1st decl. genitive singular OR first declension nominative plural"--because it could be either, and the student needs to know that fact very well. Some endings aren't unambiguous, and sentence clues have to be resorted to in translating. You don't want to end up with two "-ae" cards, but just one, showing all the possibilities the student knows to date on the other side.)

This is something to consider. It makes logical sense to me. I'm wondering if my kids might get confused, though, because they've already thoroughly memorized the whole form(s)...My son can whip through a form in a second or two to discover what the word means, but he has been studying Latin for almost six years. But your explanation makes sense, and I'm going to consider it, at least for my daughter, who has only been at it for 2.5 years.

Let us know how it goes! Your daughter will catch on fast. It would be a change for your son, but he's most of the way there if he's as fast as he is at doing it the "recall-the-whole-paradigm" way. And the savings add up once you have more and more declensions to keep track of. It's one thing to "look up" an ending in your mind from a declension table by reciting the whole declension when you are only working with nouns from one declension. But suppose you've covered multiple declensions and you are staring at a word that ends in "-um." That could be a lot of things! From multiple declensions! You don't want to have to recite five declensions plus variants in order to find the possibilities for a single ending . . . it helps so much if that ending has its own little set of declension/case/number possibilities filed with it in the mental file folder. Then from that set of case/number possibilities flow the possible noun jobs that the noun might be doing in the sentence.

 

Since a given case has more than one possible use, you're really not all the way there even once you know it's ablative or accusative . . . there's more to notice and to take into account. Which is where it gets fun! Some of those case uses will be more plausible than others given the topic of the sentence, the nature of the verb, and so on--so you test your theories--then notice and decode more--then refine your theories again--till finally everything is fully accounted for. Sweet success! And the better a child knows the case and number possibilities for every ending he meets, the more he can focus on all these other aspects of translation.

 

Enjoy!

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if Coleen doesn't mind a minor thread hijack, I have a question for those with more latin teaching experience than i do - which is pretty much everyone. How long do these Latin programs for kids take to actually teach them Latin? My Latin was in university so we took a year to do Wheelock, and then we were just translating texts the prof gave us with a grammar and dictionary. It seems from listening to people talk like kids doing these courses take forever before they get to look at anything real?

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But suppose you've covered multiple declensions and you are staring at a word that ends in "-um." That could be a lot of things! From multiple declensions! You don't want to have to recite five declensions plus variants in order to find the possibilities for a single ending . . . it helps so much if that ending has its own little set of declension/case/number possibilities filed with it in the mental file folder. Then from that set of case/number possibilities flow the possible noun jobs that the noun might be doing in the sentence.

 

Since a given case has more than one possible use, you're really not all the way there even once you know it's ablative or accusative . . . there's more to notice and to take into account. Which is where it gets fun! Some of those case uses will be more plausible than others given the topic of the sentence, the nature of the verb, and so on--so you test your theories--then notice and decode more--then refine your theories again--till finally everything is fully accounted for. Sweet success! And the better a child knows the case and number possibilities for every ending he meets, the more he can focus on all these other aspects of translation.

 

Enjoy!

 

You're brilliant! Now you've got me thinking I really should do this, and for both kids. I'm going to try to remember to show your posts to my son tomorrow. He is almost done a three-year study of Henle's First Year Latin. And he might just be receptive to this, for all the reasons you gave me.

 

And now, look what I found: http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=187444 Especially the links a couple of people put on that thread.

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But suppose you've covered multiple declensions and you are staring at a word that ends in "-um." That could be a lot of things! From multiple declensions!

 

Presumably, you know which declension it is right away, from the root. So, if the word you are looking at is "malum", you know that's 2nd declension, and there's only two possibilities. On the other hand, if you see "manum", meaning hand, you know there's only one possibility, as it is 4th declension.

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Thanks, GGardner--it's true. Knowing vocabulary cold can narrow the possibilities down. If you know from the vocabulary word itself which declension it's from (and which it isn't from), because you remember learning the word and you can recall its genitive singular, which tells you its declension (back to that theme again! we've come full circle!), then you eliminate some of the possibilities for an otherwise-ambiguous ending. This is a great reason to give meaningful vocabulary quizzes early in a new chapter, so that children tackle the bulk of their translation with the vocabulary under their belt . . . students can get ready for such a quiz while doing drills, any derivative work, etc., and while you are teaching the grammar for the chapter . . . that's a sequence that bears great fruit. The vocabulary mastery is just as important as the mastery of the endings.

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if Coleen doesn't mind a minor thread hijack, I have a question for those with more latin teaching experience than i do - which is pretty much everyone. How long do these Latin programs for kids take to actually teach them Latin? My Latin was in university so we took a year to do Wheelock, and then we were just translating texts the prof gave us with a grammar and dictionary. It seems from listening to people talk like kids doing these courses take forever before they get to look at anything real?

 

My kids have used the Prima Latina/Latina Christiana I/Latina Christiana II road to reach Henle's First Year Latin. And actually, PL/LCI/LCII are young-child versions of beginning FYL by Henle. So, yes, they are a very slow introduction, but for a Mom like me who had no clue how to go about teaching Latin, they were great (despite some frustrations I had with mistakes in the books, or missing info., and a few other things). I bet someone with experience, though, could take Henle's book (or Wheelock?) and teach young kids from it.

 

FYL is an older high school text, and I think back in the 40s or so, 14 year olds were expected to get through it in a year. I assume this because there is also Second Year, Third Year, and Fourth Year Latin in the Henle series. FYL contains a LOT of grammar, SYL contains grammar review plus more grammar, and I *think* TYL and FourthYL contain more reading.

 

I guess what some of us do might seem slow to you because (1) you could probably start teaching your kids some basic grammar soon on your own, and (2) some of us start FYL - intended for high school - with younger kids and so we take longer to get through it for various reasons, one being that younger kids are also working on other academic skills at the same time. My son started it in Grade 6, and will finish it in June by the end of Grade 8.

 

Hope that makes sense.

 

Oh, one more thought. Does Wheelock contain lots of practice exercises? Henle does, and maybe it's more spread out? I don't know. Is it possible that you, with your experience, could take the Wheelock and teach your kids some beginning grammar from it?

 

so hopefully you have frozen strawberries at your house.:001_smile: )

 

It just so happens that I do! And I keep forgetting to use them, since they are buried in my freezer...you know, underneath all those blocks of cooked legumes and bags of cooked and shredded turkey...:lol:

 

And, your other post did show up - I responded to it.

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Knowing vocabulary cold can narrow the possibilities down. If you know from the vocabulary word itself which declension it's from (and which it isn't from), because you remember learning the word and you can recall its genitive singular, which tells you its declension (back to that theme again! we've come full circle!), then you eliminate some of the possibilities for an otherwise-ambiguous ending.

 

We do this. My kids memorize the nom. and gen. sing. of each noun, so that they know what declension it belongs to, so that they can access the form, so that they can recite through the endings, so that they can translate.

 

Now I'm going to be thinking about which way to go (maybe both) - I think, in this case, all roads lead to Roma, ae. (or, "eh" for Bluegoat-my-fellow-Canuck) :D

 

I'm losing my mind. I think my brain is officially fried for the night.:lol:

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My kids have used the Prima Latina/Latina Christiana I/Latina Christiana II road to reach Henle's First Year Latin. And actually, PL/LCI/LCII are young-child versions of beginning FYL by Henle. So, yes, they are a very slow introduction, but for a Mom like me who had no clue how to go about teaching Latin, they were great (despite some frustrations I had with mistakes in the books, or missing info., and a few other things). I bet someone with experience, though, could take Henle's book (or Wheelock?) and teach young kids from it.

 

FYL is an older high school text, and I think back in the 40s or so, 14 year olds were expected to get through it in a year. I assume this because there is also Second Year, Third Year, and Fourth Year Latin in the Henle series. FYL contains a LOT of grammar, SYL contains grammar review plus more grammar, and I *think* TYL and FourthYL contain more reading.

 

Colleen,

 

I just want to pop into this thread and say that we've followed the same route you are following. My son finished Henle 1 slowly over 4 years, and then used Henle 2 (which is about 1/2 readings and 1/2 grammar) in the 9th grade. This year in 10th, he is taking a full reading/translation course. It's tough going, but the hard work and perseverance are paying off. The reading/translation are getting easier as the year goes on, and he's really enjoying the variety of things he's reading, including both poetry & prose.

 

In response to what Kathleen said, I've found that the "natural" recognition of endings and associated cases comes with time. My son has spent a lot of time learning the endings for each declension & conjugation, but that "see and know" feeling has built slowly over the years just from spending a lot of time with the Latin. As to why some people spend so long on Latin with younger kids, I think it's just a preference of how you want to cover it. I really believe that the slow exposure over a longer time helps build that "gut" feeling of knowing the case endings when you see them.

 

I've also read that others who start with Latin later (in high school or college) can do well with a quicker pace. Maybe their maturity allows that. I've also read things suggesting that many different programs can teach Latin grammar, and that once the student has a good grasp on the grammar, he can move into a reading program with others who learned their grammar from a different program.

 

I really feel like Henle gave my son a great Latin grammar foundation. My only regret is that I didn't push more vocabulary in his last year or two of Henle. He's having a steeper learning curve with vocabulary now in the reading course.

 

Brenda

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if Coleen doesn't mind a minor thread hijack, I have a question for those with more latin teaching experience than i do - which is pretty much everyone. How long do these Latin programs for kids take to actually teach them Latin? My Latin was in university so we took a year to do Wheelock, and then we were just translating texts the prof gave us with a grammar and dictionary. It seems from listening to people talk like kids doing these courses take forever before they get to look at anything real?

Grammar is typically covered over 3 years on a middle school level, over 2 years on a high school level, and over a single year in post-secondary education. The first year after the grammar is "done", however, typically syntax is revised and broadened again, in the context of texts you study, and then you only have metrics to do when you get to poetry.

 

After the grammar is covered, do a yearly grammar exam to make the kids revise it occasionally.

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if Coleen doesn't mind a minor thread hijack, I have a question for those with more latin teaching experience than i do - which is pretty much everyone. How long do these Latin programs for kids take to actually teach them Latin? My Latin was in university so we took a year to do Wheelock, and then we were just translating texts the prof gave us with a grammar and dictionary. It seems from listening to people talk like kids doing these courses take forever before they get to look at anything real?

 

For high school, we do Wheelock's over two years and then spend two years (theoretically, she starts that part next year) on the good stuff. I think that is pretty standard format, as it's what I did in hgih school Latin many years ago.

 

My dc do spend years learning Latin as youngers, though, before they get anything real. I'm okay with that. Math is pretty similar. They spend years learning the basic, building block skills before they get to the good stuff. :001_smile: That's just the nature of learning to me, especially within the classical model. Work first, play later. :D

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My dc do spend years learning Latin as youngers, though, before they get anything real. I'm okay with that. Math is pretty similar. They spend years learning the basic, building block skills before they get to the good stuff. :001_smile: That's just the nature of learning to me, especially within the classical model. Work first, play later. :D

 

Yes, I think this is partly why I gravitate to CM - I hated that way of doing things as a child, i found it very unrewarding. And I've always found memory work difficult if I didn't have an idea how it all fit together or what it meant.

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Yes, I think this is partly why I gravitate to CM - I hated that way of doing things as a child, i found it very unrewarding. And I've always found memory work difficult if I didn't have an idea how it all fit together or what it meant.

 

I think this is where it helps to (1.) know Latin as the parent and/or (2.) choose your program wisely. Being able to give the overview from the beginning shows the child how it all fits together. There is a satisfying sense of mastery in learning ALL of the declensions and conjugations. Also, the good thing about Latin is that they see the value quickly in English. So while they aren't seeing the rewards yet in Latin work, they are excited to be able to attack unfamilar English (and Spanish!) words with their Latin skills.

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I've had some sleep; now I can think a little more clearly again.

 

Presumably, you know which declension it is right away, from the root.

 

Knowing vocabulary cold can narrow the possibilities down. If you know from the vocabulary word itself which declension it's from ..., because ...you can recall its genitive singular, which tells you its declension ..., then you eliminate some of the possibilities for an otherwise-ambiguous ending.

 

OK, now I think I fully understand what you two are talking about. This is exactly how we've gone about it - along with memorizing the English translation, memorize the nom. and gen. sing., for the purpose of memorizing which declension it belongs to.

 

I explained this thread to my son this morning, and he said he thinks it's easier to just keep going the way we've been doing, precisely because he knows vocabulary quite well, knows what nouns belong to which declensions, and can whip right through a declension to find the endings. Then while I was muttering, "hmm...I wonder if I should try this other method with dd..." he said, "No, Mom, don't - she's almost done LCII, and you'll just mix her up - she has already been learning this way, too." I have to say, that because my daughter has generally had a bit of a harder time learning the vocab and grammar forms, it's probably better to just stick to what we've always done. Esp. because ds can help her later on if necessary - I have a general sense of what he is learning, but I have not been able to keep up with the nitty gritty (although, I might be able to keep up with my daughter after the point, with my son, at which I started to get lost).

 

However, Katharine, I just might try your idea for myself! I would probably do the memory work the way my kids are doing it. BUT, for me, I can see now how *the act* of doing your suggestion would help *me* to make some mental connections that I'm sure my son has, that I don't have. He studies a grammar form for a few minutes, mutters something like, "Oh, that's similar to blah blah blah in the acc. sing. blah blah blah..." and then says, "OK, I understand. I'll go write it out in my book, and then we'll do the translations." I can't make those connections very quickly. But your idea would help.

 

Colleen,

 

I just want to pop into this thread and say that we've followed the same route you are following. My son finished Henle 1 slowly over 4 years, and then used Henle 2 (which is about 1/2 readings and 1/2 grammar) in the 9th grade. This year in 10th, he is taking a full reading/translation course. It's tough going, but the hard work and perseverance are paying off. The reading/translation are getting easier as the year goes on, and he's really enjoying the variety of things he's reading, including both poetry & prose.

 

Thanks for popping in - I always appreciate your input!

 

In the current thread on "what's your 9th grader doing", Kathy in Richmond told me the same thing - that Henle II only took a year in early high school, after taking three years to do Henle I - it's comforting to hear it from others, too. It's also good to hear about how the reading/translating is going. I never got to that point in my French or Spanish studies in high school (very lousy teacher for my French III class), so I have no experience there, either. I guess I pictured that part to be dry and boring, but it doesn't seem so now.

 

What are you using for reading/translation course? (It seems I've asked you this before...did we once talk about Henle III and IV?) How do people go about picking reading/translation after Henle II?

 

And what Bolchazy (?) readers do people use? I looked at their site the other day, but all I saw were preschooler-type books, and then what seemed like really complicated books for adults - is there an in-between set that I missed? I would like to buy a book or two for ds to have fun with - he gets sick of studying Latin for seemingly no reason.

 

I've also read things suggesting that many different programs can teach Latin grammar, and that once the student has a good grasp on the grammar, he can move into a reading program with others who learned their grammar from a different program.

 

Again, comforting to hear.

 

My only regret is that I didn't push more vocabulary in his last year or two of Henle. He's having a steeper learning curve with vocabulary now in the reading course.

 

How would you have added this into the study routine with Henle I or II?

 

Grammar is typically covered over 3 years on a middle school level, over 2 years on a high school level, and over a single year in post-secondary education.

 

I wish I had understood this six years ago.

 

Math is pretty similar. They spend years learning the basic, building block skills before they get to the good stuff.

 

I wish I had understood the "good stuff" part, too. It might have reduced some of my worry over the years. I'm starting to see the fruits of the building blocks work now, though. Starting to have some fun conversations with my son. And it's fun watching my daughter transition from absorbing info. to analyzing all that info.

 

Yes, I think this is partly why I gravitate to CM - I hated that way of doing things as a child, i found it very unrewarding. And I've always found memory work difficult if I didn't have an idea how it all fit together or what it meant.

 

I just read over your last couple of posts - I wonder if you are thinking that, when we start teaching Latin to our younger children, it takes a long time each day? It doesn't. When my kids started PL, it took them maybe 15-30 minutes, including recitations? Also, I didn't start them when they were 6 or 7 - I started ds when he was 8 1/2 years old, and dd was a month short of 9 years old. They thought it was fun - probably because it was something "new". They thought derivatives were cool, and memorizing the grammar forms was melodic to them (actually, my son said this to me this morning - that's one reason why he wants to stick with the way we've been memorizing). It was like reciting nursery rhymes. A little bit of work, made fun, every day, is very digestible; and it builds up into the bigger picture (unless some of us *ahem**me* want the big picture NOW!).

 

There is a satisfying sense of mastery in learning ALL of the declensions and conjugations.

 

You and EM make it sound so easy - you give me hope! :D

 

ETA: Brenda, we did talk about Latin once before: http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=169280 - there are some good resources listed there, thanks to Kathy in Richmond. Have I mentioned again lately how GRATEFUL I am for these boards and you smart ladies?????

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I explained this thread to my son this morning, and he said he thinks it's easier to just keep going the way we've been doing, precisely because he knows vocabulary quite well, knows what nouns belong to which declensions, and can whip right through a declension to find the endings. Then while I was muttering, "hmm...I wonder if I should try this other method with dd..." he said, "No, Mom, don't - she's almost done LCII, and you'll just mix her up - she has already been learning this way, too." I have to say, that because my daughter has generally had a bit of a harder time learning the vocab and grammar forms, it's probably better to just stick to what we've always done. Esp. because ds can help her later on if necessary - I have a general sense of what he is learning, but I have not been able to keep up with the nitty gritty (although, I might be able to keep up with my daughter after the point, with my son, at which I started to get lost).

 

However, Katharine, I just might try your idea for myself! I would probably do the memory work the way my kids are doing it. BUT, for me, I can see now how *the act* of doing your suggestion would help *me* to make some mental connections that I'm sure my son has, that I don't have. He studies a grammar form for a few minutes, mutters something like, "Oh, that's similar to blah blah blah in the acc. sing. blah blah blah..." and then says, "OK, I understand. I'll go write it out in my book, and then we'll do the translations." I can't make those connections very quickly. But your idea would help.

Colleen! Thank you for your son's input. And especially for the quotation of the actual, highly cerebral muttering that he does. Admission: I was like your son. When I was learning Latin, no one made me go through flash cards with each Latin ending on a separate card. I was a language-oriented seventh grader at the time and I did, in many ways, what your son does: I crawled, prowled, ruminated over each new paradigm and I noticed everything there was to notice about it. That was how I memorized things; that was how I learned things. And actually, those are great memorizing habits and I really appreciate the fact that your son's comment puts that front and center. Teaching children to notice on their own in the way your son does is an excellent m.o. to impart. In a lot of ways it's just as valuable, or more valuable, to learn to notice this kind of fact independently than to have it spoon-fed, especially for an older child.

 

But what's the outcome? Your son has admitted it: he knows things like the fact that the accusative singular of a second declension masculine has the same form as the nominative singular of a second declension neuter. So he is actually forming a mental list of the possibilities for each ending. Ahh, just a teeny tiny nudge and he wouldn't even have to whip through that declension! (I now direct a friendly nudge towards your son.)

 

I should maybe clarify, I don't mean not to learn the paradigm as a whole unit. I always teach the paradigm as a whole unit first. It's invaluable to have that memorized because for some of the more obscure declensions and endings, let's face it, there are times where almost everyone is going to need to march through the paradigm mentally to retrieve a given ending. But in addition to learning the paradigm as an entirety . . . the separate cards can really help with translation facility.

 

But, does everyone need them? Well, your son, and people like him, don't need the cards as much as . . . people who are younger (I originally came up with the idea for beginners in grades 3-6); people who aren't as language-oriented; or people who are . . . older! :001_smile:

 

And even your son might be interested to notice that his system depends a great deal on knowing vocabulary ahead of time. It's great that he does know his vocab ahead of time--at this point in the game, that's the way to go. But when he someday plunges into major reading and faces lots of words he doesn't know . . . well, he'll look up lots of words in a dictionary, that's true. And then he'll find out what declension his unknown words belong to, and then he can identify what the ending is, etc. etc. And that will work for many purposes.

 

But there are other pathways to decoding, as well. Say you know a given ending could be a dative of this or a genitive of that. You don't know the word and so you don't know which declension it belongs to, so you can't narrow down the possibilities on that basis. And your dictionary is across the room and you are happy where you are. Now you glance at the verb. It's a verb of telling. Aha. Your noun is more likely a dative than a genitive. Especially if there's an accusative nearby. You have a something being told to someone: accusative of d.o., dative of i.o.

 

Yes, I admit, you're still going to have to look up your unknown word in a dictionary before you can be sure. But maybe not. Maybe you're supposed to be learning how to skim. Maybe you're learning how much you can understand without understanding everything. Maybe you're taking a timed comprehension test. Who knows. And maybe, having inferred that it's more likely a dative than a genitive, something else in the sentence falls into place: you're now looking for a speaker, say. And maybe that fact suddenly resolves, say, whether the "liber" in the sentence is a book or a free man! You may still have to crawl out of bed and get your dictionary to figure out what kind of "someone" the "something" is being told to by the free man, but look how much you were able to figure out before you went to get it.

 

I congratulate your son, I really do--he has good study habits and I'm enjoying tangling with him in print. I wish him very well. He's going to be a very good reader. I'm just not QUITE ready to give up on my gentle campaign. :001_smile:

 

Thanks, Colleen, for all your kind words--I'll be glad if the idea might help someone in your house!

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So he is actually forming a mental list of the possibilities for each ending.

 

...But when he someday plunges into major reading and faces lots of words he doesn't know . . . well, he'll look up lots of words in a dictionary, that's true. And then he'll find out what declension his unknown words belong to, and then he can identify what the ending is, etc. etc. And that will work for many purposes.

 

...Maybe you're supposed to be learning how to skim. Maybe you're learning how much you can understand without understanding everything. Maybe you're taking a timed comprehension test. Who knows. And maybe, having inferred that it's more likely a dative than a genitive, something else in the sentence falls into place: you're now looking for a speaker, say. And maybe that fact suddenly resolves, say, whether the "liber" in the sentence is a book or a free man! You may still have to crawl out of bed and get your dictionary to figure out what kind of "someone" the "something" is being told to by the free man, but look how much you were able to figure out before you went to get it.

 

You sure are challenging my brain! I like that. I am going to show this post to him tomorrow. He'll probably grasp your argument more quickly than I did, too. :D (I did grasp it, though, and I like how you explain things so thoroughly and understandably)

 

I would also recommend this (long), but worthwhile lecture from 1886, about how to learn to read latin fluidly:

 

http://www.bu.edu/mahoa/hale_art.html

 

Thank you - that looks interesting, too!

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GGardner,

 

Thank you for this link--I've come across this paper before but don't think I had it bookmarked. It is a fascinating read.

 

I particularly appreciate his point that the Roman boy didn't try to conclude the meaning of a given word until he had enough other sentence information to make its meaning certain.

 

The author of this article is a Latin scholar far, far, far beyond me in every measure of Latin knowledge. Yet, I do have a question about one aspect of his method. GG, if you have heard anything on this, I'd love to know. Confession, first: I have only skimmed what he wrote. I have to go do something else right now . . . I am being lazy and hoping GG knows this article inside and out and would like to comment on it. (No problem if you don't.) Here's my question based on skimming:

 

The author seems to assume that the same method should be followed whether hearing or reading. I understand that in hearing a sentence, we do exactly what he describes in this piece: we hold in our minds all the possible significances of each element, as it unfolds to our ears, until we reach the end of the sentence and all becomes certain. But in reading--and I have noticed this in English, just trying to pay attention to what my eyes do--we have an additional advantage that hearers don't have: our peripheral vision. With it we know things about the end of the sentence even before we train our eyes on it directly. I'm convinced that this is so, because how else could we ever read anything out loud with correct intonation? Our eyes take in the end of the sentence even before we "get" there and we import what we learn there into our understanding of the beginning of the sentence. Come to think of it, we don't even have to confine ourselves to our peripheral vision. We can look.

 

Maybe, maybe, this just counts as doing really, really fast exactly what the article describes. I am not sure. But in any case, in a word-by-word analysis of a written Latin sentence, I am not sure why we would want to avoid looking at the end of the sentence until we get there. I can understand not making a rule to always begin with the verb, for example. I can understand not leaping to conclusions about the rest of the sentence based on looking at the end of the sentence. But it does seem a little artificial to me to preclude consulting the end of the sentence until one gets there. (Then again, I don't always read a book from the beginning--so don't listen to me!)

 

Maybe the article didn't say that . . . but I have certainly encountered that point of view elsewhere, to the point of the advice to cover all the words you haven't yet reached and only to reveal them one at a time.

 

In Russian, another highly inflected language I studied--tortuous in ways similar to Latin--we weren't required to adopt quite as rigid a method as is outlined in this article. (And we did study using a grammar-translation program, not an inductive program, so it wasn't an inductive bias.)

 

However, I love the way the author has students learn to ask themselves what do we suppose at this point, what possibilities still remain open, which have been eliminated, etc. He was deeply knowledgeable, he was a superb Latinist, and I can see why his article is still a classic of its kind. Thank you, GG, for posting it for us.

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I particularly appreciate his point that the Roman boy didn't try to conclude the meaning of a given word until he had enough other sentence information to make its meaning certain.

 

...

 

The author seems to assume that the same method should be followed whether hearing or reading. I understand that in hearing a sentence, we do exactly what he describes in this piece: we hold in our minds all the possible significances of each element, as it unfolds to our ears, until we reach the end of the sentence and all becomes certain. But in reading--and I have noticed this in English, just trying to pay attention to what my eyes do--we have an additional advantage that hearers don't have: our peripheral vision. With it we know things about the end of the sentence even before we train our eyes on it directly. I'm convinced that this is so, because how else could we ever read anything out loud with correct intonation? Our eyes take in the end of the sentence even before we "get" there and we import what we learn there into our understanding of the beginning of the sentence. Come to think of it, we don't even have to confine ourselves to our peripheral vision. We can look.

 

Maybe, maybe, this just counts as doing really, really fast exactly what the article describes. I am not sure. But in any case, in a word-by-word analysis of a written Latin sentence, I am not sure why we would want to avoid looking at the end of the sentence until we get there. I can understand not making a rule to always begin with the verb, for example. I can understand not leaping to conclusions about the rest of the sentence based on looking at the end of the sentence. But it does seem a little artificial to me to preclude consulting the end of the sentence until one gets there. (Then again, I don't always read a book from the beginning--so don't listen to me!)

 

Maybe the article didn't say that . . . but I have certainly encountered that point of view elsewhere, to the point of the advice to cover all the words you haven't yet reached and only to reveal them one at a time.

 

Ooookkkaaaayyy, looks like I'll be showing ds *this* post, too. :D (as well as the link GGardner posted)

Edited by Colleen in NS
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I went through this thread quickly.

My son learned with Prima Latina, LC1, Latin with Children C, then switched to the French system, which uses the European order for declensions. He did two years with that system, and it wasn't an hindrance at all. He did lose points a few times from listing them the "wrong way" without thinking, and even though he labelled them properly, the teacher didn't accept it. This was for the equivalent of grade 7.

He is now with Wheelock, back to the American system. He was totally burned with Latin, but Lukeion school is bringing back his love of ancient languages. So Colleen, if you ever feel you've hit a wall, know that there's at least one online school that's worth it!

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I went through this thread quickly.

My son learned with Prima Latina, LC1, Latin with Children C, then switched to the French system, which uses the European order for declensions. He did two years with that system, and it wasn't an hindrance at all. He did lose points a few times from listing them the "wrong way" without thinking, and even though he labelled them properly, the teacher didn't accept it. This was for the equivalent of grade 7.

He is now with Wheelock, back to the American system. He was totally burned with Latin, but Lukeion school is bringing back his love of ancient languages. So Colleen, if you ever feel you've hit a wall, know that there's at least one online school that's worth it!

 

Thanks for mentioning the switch of systems, Cleo. And thanks for the mention of Lukeion - someone else pm'ed me about that today, too. This thread is going in my permanent Latin thread folder.

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