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Living Latin

Living Latin sets out to rethink the experience of students who begin Latin. For most of its life, Latin was taught as a living language. Over the last two centuries, a grammatical approach has been used to teach the elements of the language, with a view to the reader decoding the meaning of texts. The project seeks to use some of the insights that have been gained in the teaching of modern languages, notably immersion in the target language and role play. In addition, the project seeks to inject greater performative aspects into the process, which will make for a more varied student experience and promote greater engagement. This is in line with the Department’s work in performance in the module Greek Tragedy for which it has received an IATL grant and in its outreach day to schools and colleges, which includes performance of a classical play, each January. The methods used would also be particularly beneficial to those less experienced in language learning and those with learning differences such as dyslexia.

At the start of the project, the module co-ordinator will undergo the experience of learning Latin as a living language on an intensive summer course in an international setting. He will seek to build on existing links with the Collegium Vivarium Novum in Rome. He will then share these methods with colleagues and use them in the module Latin Language for 2017/18 with a view to continuing teaching in this way if it proves to fulfil its objectives.

Clive Letchford is a teaching Fellow in the Department of Classics and Ancient History. His main responsibility is for courses in Latin and Greek. but also he seeks to encourage language-learning generally amongst students. He have interests in performance: and has translated four plays for the main stage in the Arts Centre theatre for the Department’s annual Schools Day and directed several Greek choruses (in Greek) on stage. He is also a solo classical singer and baroque violinist.