Fall 2011

Volume 3, 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).

Complete Issue (72 pages, 1.1 MB)

Front Matter, pp. i-iii (395 kb)

Lingua Latina, Lingua Mea: Creative Composition in Beginning Latin, Eric Dugdale, pp. 1 - 23


Students learning what they perceive as a 'dead language' can feel a sense of distance from what they are studying. This paper offers an array of practical suggestions to bridge that gap and develop in students a sense of ownership as they study Latin. It offers examples of creative writing assignments suitable for students in their first year of language study: cartoon strips, letters, haiku poems, compositions practicing specific grammatical or vocabulary elements, inscriptions, and literary translations of Latin poetry into English. In addition to discussion of the rationale and learning outcomes of assignments, the paper includes assignment prompts and examples of student writing.


beginning language, language as communication, creative writing, motivation, grammar and vocabulary reinforcement, haiku, translation.

Teaching Greek Verbs: A Manifesto, Wilfred E. Major and Byron Stayskal, pp. 24 - 43


We propose that the teaching and learning of Greek verbs be reformed in three areas in order to improve comprehension and reduce frustration: (1) Students should begin working with sound combinations before beginning to study Greek verbs, and every set of forms they learn should be an opportunity to reinforce the rules of sound combination. (2) Students should build their understanding of the architecture of Greek verbs on the structure embedded in a "Master List" (based on distinguishing primary and secondary, active and middle, and the thorough integration of -μι verbs). A two-page outline of verb endings and structure is appended to the article for this purpose. (3) Students should concentrate on an abbreviated but well-organized mastery of principal parts (the first three principal parts, organized by patterns in stem formation).

Keywords: learning ancient Greek verbs, pedagogy, principal parts, master list

The 2011 College Greek Exam: Report and Analysis, Albert Watanabe, pp. 44 - 63


This article gives an analysis of the results of the third annual CGE as well as a comparison to similar results on previous exams. The paper assesses the strengths and areas for improvement for Greek students along with recommendations for improving scores. These recommendations encourage students to learn vocabulary, forms and constructions found in the syllabus for the CGE. The average score of the 2011 CGE was about 8% lower than the average of the 2010 exam. A variety of causes may be at work here: 1) The reduction of questions asking students to translate from Greek to English and 2) a significant increase in the number of students taking the exam may be another factor.

Innovation in Recent Intermediate Greek Textbooks? Stephen Trzaskoma, pp. 63 - 70


This article reviews new intermediate Greek readers published between 2009-2011. The article examines the extent to which advances in language pedagogy (e.g., pre-reading activities, adapted texts, types of grammatical and cultural notes), technology (e.g., formatting texts and vocabulary frequency), and publisher (traditional publishing vs. print on demand [POD]) affect the content, format, and delivery of these new textbooks. The nascent innovation in these textbooks tends to be either pedagogical or technological, but not both.

Keywords: ancient Greek pedagogy, intermediate Greek, Greek readers, Greek literature, ancient Greek, Print On Demand (POD)

Cover photo illustration by Meghan Yamanishi.

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