The Latin language is introduced in the Middle School as an active language which can and should be spoken and heard, as well as read and written. As it is well established that effective language acquisition depends on use of the ears and tongue, we hear and speak the language in order to learn it. Our ultimate goal is to cultivate in our Latin student sufficient fluency, after six years of study, that he be able to read original Latin texts without aid of dictionary or translation. To begin to achieve this end, in the first year we use Comprehensible Input strategies which enable and train the student to create meaning for himself, alongside novellas with sheltered vocabulary. In the following years, we also make use of the Cambridge Latin series. Finally, as the study of Latin involves the study of the cultures shaped by the language, from its beginnings in distant antiquity to the present day, as regards history, religion, politics and law, architecture, literature and the arts, we survey the beginnings and development of ancient Roman culture, with especial attention to the conflict of the social classes.
Form I: Introduction to Latin
Form I Latin has one main objective. To provide students with an introduction to the fundamentals of Latin vocabulary, syntax, grammar and morphology through untargeted comprehensible input, which is intelligible discussion of compelling topics in the target language. The creation and fostering of our community is the curriculum, using ourselves to focus our language acquisition. In this way, vocabulary and grammar are more naturally introduced and practiced. Classes are conducted in Latin 90% of the time in a comprehensible manner, in accordance with Second Language Acquisition (SLA) research. Lessons are supplemented by Latin readers, supported by videos, and illuminated through in-class translation and discussion.
Form II: Latin I
Latin I has several objectives for the year: students will leave the class with a firm understanding of the Latin nouns, their cases, and how they function in sentences. Further, students will be able to work with basic tenses and moods of verbs. In addition to these, students will be able to use pronouns and basic syntax in reading, speaking, and writing Latin. This is a way to build on the work that they completed in Intro Latin, as well as to expand their knowledge and move into more sophisticated use and analysis of language. We will also work on understanding the relationships between Latin and English and the Romance languages, and how words are derived from Latin and arrive into our daily lives. Cultural focus will be on daily life in ancient Greece and Rome, and how the ways of life and ethics of the ancients relate to our own. Cambridge Latin Book I will be our main reader, supplemented by grammar materials as well as weekly reading from several other texts.