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Is Latin an ok foreign language for dyslexia?

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DS wants to learn Latin. I'm really weary of starting foreign languages. Would this be ok for a dyslexic child? Is there a program you recommend if so, something nice and light maybe?

 

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My son did Latin, but I wouldn't say he learned it, if that makes sense.  We used Oak Meadow, which uses Cambridge.  The focus on reading/going from Latin to English was perfect, and my son was able to check the foreign language box.

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For which age ds? In general, I think kids can be surprising and that if he wants to learn it go for it. Definitely, like EKS is hinting, you want to think through whether you're checking boxes for a transcript and what aspect of the latin will be most accessible to him. Anything that lends itself toward morphology and roots and recognizing patterns will be good. If he has low processing speed, he might find the actual work of the language will be extremely, extremely fatiguing. So going english to latin and focusing on the grammar and conjugations and declensions and cranking them out (Latina Christiana, for instance) was extremely fatiguing to my dd, not worth it. Cambridge is a good suggestion and there's the younger version, thing books, name slips my mind. 

My ds has a strong ability to memorize vocabulary, so for him any work that leads into derivations would work really well. If your dc has no language strengths, maybe play to the culture. 

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My dd isn't formally diagnosed, but she checks a lot of the stealth dyslexic boxes.  (When we started spelling she couldn't perceive the middle of words either aurally or visually as more than an indistinct impression, and her spelling showed it.)  Some of her language strengths are pattern-matching and intuiting meaning from context (and her memory is excellent), while weak points are anything requiring auditory processing skills, as well as breaking down the big picture meaning into parts or explaining explicitly how the parts work together to build the big picture meaning.  (Half of elementary math for her was learning to show her work via writing equations.)  She loves stories and reading, and story-centric LA approaches generally made the hard nitty-gritty details of LA both doable and palatable (and most of our LA work has been remediating weaknesses).

We started Latin this year with Visual Latin.  I had been planning to go with MP's First Form series as our spine, and incorporating Lingua Latina as reading practice on the side - more "targeting weak points with our LA curriculum", with me adding in stuff that hit her strong points on the side.  But I waffled a ton, and eventually decided to go with Visual Latin, which is a much more reading-heavy, Latin-is-details-but-still-don't-sweat-them-more-than-you-need-to approach.  I figured that, instead of me supplementing with material targeting her strengths while the curriculum hits her weaknesses, maybe let's try the other way - the curriculum hits her strengths, and I'll supplement to shore up her weaknesses.  (I still plan to include LL, and VL has plans for how to integrate LL with VL.)

We're on week 8, and it's going pretty well so far.  I've incorporated an MP-style Latin recitation time at the beginning of each lesson - chant the endings we've learned, and the model words that go with (plus we do some Latin prayers and songs - dd loves the songs).  VL has three videos, with an accompanying worksheet for each video.  The first video introduces a Latin grammar point, the second video illustrates and practices it in sentences, and the third video is the instructor reading the translation passage, with time for the student to repeat the sentences after him.  The translations are based on the Latin Vulgate, which works well for us because they are familiar and pertinent to our goals.  DD loves translating - she's great with meaning - but I do force her to slow down and consciously work through the implications of the endings she knows.  After we've read the passage through and she assures me she understands it, but before I turn her loose on translating it, I read through the passage a sentence at a time, and ask her to parse every word she's got the knowledge to parse.  With endings that can be multiple things, I have her tell me all the options, and then tell me which one it is, given how the word is used in the sentence.  If she doesn't know, I help her think through what the word's doing grammatically in the sentence (she already knows intuitively, since she's solid on the meaning before we tackle parsing), and compare that to the purposes of the various options.  She's not a fan of this - doesn't see why it's necessary because she already knows what it means - but my number one concern with her is that she doesn't pay attention to the details till she has to, and by the time she has to, she'll be in over her head.  So I'm making her, because I'm a mean mommy ;).

One thing about VL, versus MP, is that its focus is on meaning (which is good and why I picked it), but that also means it's not terribly hand-holdy when it comes to the nitty-gritty of memorizing vocab and endings.  It tells you when to memorize endings, and does provide online vocab cards for quizlet (and has a place to do quizlet in the schedule), but idk, with a kid who is meaning-centric and detail-weak, I feel like I need to be a lot more intentional about it.  So I've incorporated a lot of MP's drill ideas (like recitation) and practice ideas (like fully parsing before translating - but *after* reading for understanding (I don't like how meaning can get lost within the trees in g-t methods)). 

On the other hand, if you aren't aiming for rigorous Latin, VL is a lot more amenable to fussing less about memorizing and relying more on the vocab lists and Latin charts (both of which are provided).  Should it ever become overwhelming, VL is well suited to backing up and re-doing lessons.  (The worksheets are a pdf download.)  Or even just backing up and re-reading the translation passages over and over again.  (I actually include re-reading old passages as part of dd's independent Latin practice.)  VL is on the reading method side of things, and doesn't ask for more memorization or explicit grammar work than is strictly needed - he's fine with use of charts and vocab lists for reference while translating, and he doesn't require parsing of the translation passages.  The worksheet grammar practice is meant to be just enough so that you get the idea and see it in context - it's pretty gentle, but so far has been sufficient for dd.  Gets you used to the idea of paying attention to endings, that endings convey meaning, and the basics of how they are used in sentences.  The real meat is in the reading/translation passage.  DD likes that, because context helps her - the more context the better.  She knows what the sentences mean, and that provides a base for learning explicitly how the endings and such purposely convey that meaning.  (Plus there's lots of repetition of vocab in the passages, which helps with memory.)

In short, I think that VL hits my dd's meaning-based strengths well - she enjoys and is capable of the work the program demands.  I am choosing to supplement with more drill and parsing work (weak points of hers) because I think it's important, and I'm concerned she'd hit a wall otherwise.  VL provides a lot of implicit drill and parsing - long translation passages that require those skills - but I'm fairly sure that dd would subvert the point, working off pattern-matching and intuition instead of learning to explicitly think about the grammar, and at some point that would catch up with her.  Although VL's solution for that - back up and redo lessons - is a good one, and might work just as well as my pre-emptive teaching and drill. 

(I have read that many people find that VL gets more difficult around Lesson 10, and that's when the translations go from "take your best guess from context at forms you haven't learned" to "you've learned all the forms used, so translate them accurately", and it may be that students were taking their best guess at *all* the forms, and weren't applying the grammar that they *had* learned as they translated.  That's one of the reasons I've been making dd parse everything she knows (where I determine whether she ought to know it before even asking, because she flips at the idea of explicitly reasoning through an educated guess, even though she does it intuitively all the time) - to make *sure* she is applying the grammar she's learned, as well as developing the habit of paying attention to the endings.)

Also, Getting Started With Latin is just awesome - we did part of it before VL - and it's a good Latin intro no matter what program you might want to do.

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Have you considered American Sign Language? That is supposed to be the easiest foreign language for dyslexics to learn as it's completely visual and there's no written component. Even if my SN child had typical hearing, ASL would be our choice for meeting her world language requirement in high school.

http://dyslexia.yale.edu/resources/dyslexic-kids-adults/stories-from-dyslexics/one-dyslexics-experience-with-learning-american-sign-language/

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I think if he wants to take Latin, go for it. 

My son tried a few different languages in late elementary to middle school and learned a lot of *English(!)* in the course of doing so—especially grammar and spelling. Latin wasn’t one he tried and I cannot comment on that specifically. However, the *desire* to try a language whatever it was made a positive difference, and each thing tried, even if just a first trial lesson on Duolingo,  added a little experience. Though he didn’t get fluent in anything. Neither are most kids coming out of American schools fluent in a foreign language. 

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