Authentic Stories in the Latin One Classroom

LeaAnn A. Osburn (Barrington High School, IL, retired)

The stories that the Romans themselves told tell us much about their lives, thoughts, hopes, and dreams. Whether the stories come from Livy or other Roman historians, from the works of Roman poets, from satire, or other genres, even when adapted to beginning Latin use, they give a rich insight into ancient culture and a deeper perspective into the Roman world that is not available in made up stories.

Language does not exist in a vacuum. It is a product of its culture and has interaction with its culture. To teach Latin well, we need the stories, thoughts, and attitudes that come from the Romans themselves. From the very first page, Latin for the New Millennium uses the various genres of Latin literature to introduce students to the basic language facts and vocabulary of Latin.

As students advance through the stories of literature, they slowly acquire the vocabulary and language facts which they will need when they read unadapted Latin literature in later courses of study. The initial reading passage in each chapter and the contexual and simple practice exercises all combine to help students learn the structure of Latin and a literature based vocabulary in a combination of the inductive and deductive approaches.

Language by its own nature includes oral communication. Latin for the New Millennium has oral and conversational elements that will facilitate the students’ learning of beginning Latin. Those teachers who have honed their conversational skills in Latin will appreciate the variety of approaches that are included. Those teachers who would like to bring a conversational element into their teaching will find that the authors have written complete instructions on how to conduct each oral exercise along with the answers. There is one conversational dialogue at the conclusion of each chapter while all the other oral and conversational components are in the teacher’s manual. Thus a teacher who is unsure how much time can be devoted to oral practice in the classroom can pick and choose from the abundant oral exercises that are in the teacher’s manual.

Review is a necessary component of learning but needs to be expanded with new material rather than ontaining only a simple reiteration of previously presented information. Latin for the New Millennim has in its review chapters Latin stories based on mythology, an English reading about Roman daily life, and an essay which compares and contrasts an element of Roman civilization to the same element in our modern life.

In this presentation we will explore various reading passages and other pedagogical tools from Latin for the New Millennium. We will examine the full range of materials from this series, including the teacher’s manual and student workbook. In addition, other ancillaries, including Roman History for the New Millennium, Classical Mythology for the New Millennium and a website designed for the book will be discussed.The table of contents for both Volume One and Volume Two will be handed out to all participants in this session.

This site is maintained by Samuel J. Huskey ( | ©2008 CAMWS