Volume 2, Issue 1
Welcome to Teaching Classical Languages (TCL). TCL is the peer-reviewed, online journal dedicated to exploring how we teach (and how we learn) Greek and Latin. TCL is sponsored by the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS).
Exercises for Developing Prediction Skills in Reading Latin Sentences, Rebecca R. Harrison, pp. 1-30 (842 kb)
Grammar exercises in Latin textbooks, even those using the reading method, do not always give students the most effective practice in developing the skills needed for reading Latin sentences. A growing trend in Latin pedagogy is an emphasis on reading in Latin word order in order to form understanding and make appropriate predictions as one reads. This requires a shift in focus from what we want students to know to what we want students to be able to do. The basis for this more functional perspective on grammar and its interdependent relationship with meaning and vocabulary is provided by research on the process of reading and on second language learning. The following article analyzes examples of typical textbook exercises and presents some alternative types of exercises that develop these predictive reading skills. I also give some guidelines for evaluating and sometimes adapting existing exercises in textbooks or creating new ones.
grammar; second language learning; reading process; pedagogical theory and teaching practice; expectations; novice and expert; Subject-Object-Verb languages
Form-Focused Teaching for the Intermediate Latin Teacher, Peter Anderson and Mark Beckwith, pp. 31-52 (382 kb)Abstract
Form-focused teaching methods (derived from Focus-on-Form theory and methodologies) incorporate proactive interventions as well as exercises and activities that might be more familiar to grammar-based instructors. Form-focused methods attempt to direct the attentional (cognitive) resources of the student to a specific point of grammar within a specific communicative context. Adopting a form-focused mentality will not be difficult for most teachers and students; the adjustment lies in the perspective one adopts concerning these activities and when they are used during the lessons. There are many Focus-on-Form and form-focused methods, both reactive and proactive. Of those we have investigated, visual highlighting, or enhanced input, and indirect corrective feedback with recasting offer a set of intriguing possibilities for the intermediate Latin classroom, where the conflict between the demands of reading and interpreting complex texts and the constraints of students' cognitive resources becomes most apparent.
This article reports on the second annual College Greek Exam (CGE), a national exam for students of ancient Greek, usually given in the second semester of a college sequence. The report begins with a brief description of the origins and development of the CGE, explaining the philosophy behind the exam's syllabus. The format of the CGE is then presented, followed by an analysis of the questions by grammatical category. The results of the 2010 exam are then compared with 2009 CGE. The report concludes with an assessment of the strengths and areas for improvement for Greek students. The report also evaluates the exam itself; the main suggestion is to include more comprehension questions. There are two appendices: (1) a copy of the 2010 CGE, including the percentages of the students who marked each answer; (2) a copy of the syllabus for the CGE.
Cover photo illustration by Meghan Yamanishi.