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Latin request from my 3rd Grader


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"Mom, when do we get to do dictations in Latin?" :confused:


My reply, "When we start sentences." But I was put out by the request. I do include their Latin Vocabulary in spelling daily. I'll pick out the ones that they don't know how to spell orally and that gets on the Spelling Plus list for personal words.


But does anyone do Latin dictation? I can understand for translation purposes, but I never really thought about using dictation exercises in Latin for spelling and teaching the way a sentence sounds and should be written.


Thoughts? Ideas?:001_huh:

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Great daughter! Great question! Why not do dictations? When I studied French (up to the AP), dictees (sorry, am not going to add the accent) were a regular part of the lessons. I do believe, though, that their primary value was to make sure we could decode the sounds of French, at least slowly, as an aid to eventual oral comprehension of real-time spoken French. That's not as much of a need in Latin studies, but it's still helpful, as you want your children to understand you when you pronounce Latin words and read sentences.


This will place demands on your Latin pronunciation skills . . . preferably that you be accurate, or if not accurate, then at least consistent . . . but Latin's not hard to be consistent in . . . and it's a noble goal to be accurate, especially if you anticipate advanced Latin studies in some setting other than your home.


Whether this would lead to young children internalizing syntax patterns any more than their translation sentences do, is something I'm less sure of. (I'm not saying translation sentences don't have that effect--I think they do--just not sure that dictation offers any benefits in this area that the sentences don't; but maybe for a child with a leaning towards auditory learning, dictation would prove to be a better route for that benefit?)


I did have a Russian text in college that employed pattern sentences to illustrate syntax, followed by translation sentences further employing the new syntax. (Stilman and Harkins, still highly regarded. And lest anyone think this is all sounding inductive or whole-to-parts, this was part of a basically grammar-translation program.) I think it was helpful, for me at 17 anyway, old enough and motivated enough to really concentrate on the patterns. I'm less sure what effect it would have on younger students.


I think it's also very desirable for children to be able to read Latin accurately, at least in their heads. That is, to hear the right sounds when they look at Latin. An exercise I invented for GLA (Great Latin Adventure) that has helped with this is "Latin Code." Write what looks like Latin syllables and words, complete with long signs, such that if you read it accurately, it sounds like English words. When you hear the English words, you know you are decoding the Latin correctly. I won't try to put all the "Latin Code" here, but, for example, "Say you like Snoopy! We do." can be rendered in Latin-looking phonemes (e.g. "Sei" for "say," "i" followed by long "u" for "you," "laek" for "like," etc.) and then when students hear the hidden English sounds accurately, you know they are decoding correctly and they will then also be able to decode the sounds of real Latin correctly. It's a lot of fun.


Thanks for getting our wheels turning with your daughter's question. I'd love to know if you do this with your daughter and how it goes . . . please tell the Hive.



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Right now we'd be limited to what they have learned of The Sanctus for dictation. I was kind of baffled by the request to be honest. The request was actually from a boy. I've got twin boys, both in third grade. The other, naturally, was all but shoving a wad of paper in his brother's mouth to shut him up before Mom got ideas!:tongue_smilie:


I think I'll just stick with the spelling word additions for now. But I can see this as a very, very good exercise for me to do. I'm trying to learn Latin ahead of the boys, and it wouldn't be a bad idea for me to make up some dictation sentences for myself. I could record them and then play them back for my own transcription.


I like your game, BTW. I think that would be a really good thing for me, as I do struggle with the sounds and the representative letters and digraphs in Latin.

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I read your dc's request to my dd7, and she got very excited, started jumping up and down, and said, "When can we do it?" This is the child that doesn't like to write. Well, we are doing Prima Latina, too. I don't think I am going to hear the end of it until we at least try it. So I think that I will start with some individual words and see how that goes. If that goes well, we may try The Sanctus. I wonder if she will find it more daunting than she realizes and will then drop it?

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