Today's Wisdom

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Two FREE Latin Readers!

Remember my review of Visual Latin? Well, now there are a couple of free Latin readers available to accompany your Latin studies. 
Here is a little about the readers from the website......

A Facebook friend introduced us to a new Latin reader called Cornelia published in the 1930′s. We tracked it down and found that the author, Mima Maxey, wrote a number of books in Latin, including another called A New Latin Primer. Both books have 40 chapters of stories and simple exercises that begin easy, but add more concepts and vocabulary as they progress. We highly recommend both for giving your children additional material with which to practice. They are available for free download in the store.

One of the most interesting things about the books was the Author’s Forward, which includes a manifesto on learning Latin. It’s well worth repeating here:
  • Things exist written in the Latin language that are worth reading today.
  • Latin should be so taught as to develop power to read those things in Latin.
  • One learns to read by reading.
  • Material for reading in the early stages should be easy and repetitious, and should introduce new vocabulary in self-evident situations.
We couldn’t agree more. She then goes on to add this thrust against what is now considered the traditional grammar-memorization method:

“The acquisition of the language itself is a sufficiently large task for the beginner. He should not be called upon to deal with situations outside his own experience or to acquire knowledge through the new medium; neither should his problem be complicated by the necessity of learning a formidable grammatical nomenclature or a science of grammar that the Romans themselves managed to do without until its introduction by Dionysius Thrax, who was born 166 B.C. Omission of formal grammar need not result in inaccurate or incorrect Latin. A tendency to inexactness can be corrected by much oral reading of Latin and by writing in Latin.”

This argument lies behind much of what we do, including our use of Biblical stories that are already familiar to students. We actually have been spurred on to add more writing in Latin to the lessons, and will be updating them over time to include that very thing. You can add it now with these two readers. Enjoy!

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