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The Association for Latin Teaching

ARLT

ARLT Summer School 1954



held at Yeaton Peverey, Shrewsbury

Directed by -

THERE is much to be said

for holding a Summer School in a country mansion somewhat remote from the attractions of a town. The very remoteness helps to bind the members of the course into a closer community, and if, as at Yeaton Peverey, a few miles from Shrewsbury, the house itself is set in a beautiful park and gardens, then, somehow or other, there steals over the course an atmosphere which is congenial to both work and fellowship. This is perhaps why the fifty or so people who attended the Association's Thirty-Second Summer School at Yeaton Peverey this August, felt that it was possibly more successful than many of its predecessors. There were, of course, other amenities besides the general atmosphere. Boys from the Priory School, Shrewsbury, were available in quantity and quality to take part in a far larger number of demonstrations than would be possible elsewhere.


These included the acting of an original Greek play written by a member of the " Attic " at this school. Viriconium and Chester were within easy reach. The lecturers, whose work we are privileged to print in future issues, were remarkably effective. Mr. Munday showed a film made by himself, and surprisingly good for an. amateur, of his visit to Italy. The evenings' entertainments were very refreshing, and that presented on the last evening was most wittily performed. The domestic staff were most pleasant and helpful, and the inner man was almost overnourished. The weather, too, for this unbalanced year, was remarkably fine.


Two things perhaps were lacking. One was a formal lecture on pronunciation, which seemed to be needed more at this course than at its immediate predecessors, since several of the members were all at sea, even when quantities were not hidden. The other thing that was missing, as expressed elsewhere in this number by a newcomer to the work of the Association, was a lecture or discussion on the reason for teaching the Classics. Those who attend the Summer Schools regularly are apt to take both these things for granted. It certainly looks as if a new generation is coming which does not. Future directors, might like to do something about it.


Apart from the actual programme of the course, as reported in full below, it was the congenial atmosphere of the place and the occasion which made members feel that the course was so much worth while, and express the wish to return again soon.


BEGINNERS' LATIN


THE demonstration of the very first steps in the teaching of Latin by the Direct Method has become an almost indispensable part of a Summer School. To the newcomer it is a revelation of fresh and exciting classroom possibilities, whilst even the old hand finds that there are new tricks still to be learnt. This was certainly true this year of Mr. N. J. E. Dunn's six demonstration lessons with a class of thirteen boys from the Priory School.


In the very first lesson we were able to see three of the fundamental processes at work : the Magister spoke and,acted the verb series surgo-ambulo-revenio-sedeo, and the Discipuli quickly learned to do the same by Imitation ; then, after considerable o0ilion and the introduction of the second and third persons singular, they were ready for the process of Induction, and (judi, flowily guided) they showed that they understood the significance of the changes of ending. With the injunction to draw attention $a all new endings in future, the class passed on, in this and the succeeding lectures, to Ego sum-Tu es, the Imperatives and uruls of the four verbs and the invaluable accompanying gestures, And came to a veritable piece de resistance in the construction Walt of a Latin Alphabet. Asinus rudit, Baculum pulsat, Poly scribit . . . here was the cue for the questions Quid est ? iWd Quid facit ? evoking almost effortlessly the correct word order In reply. Here, too (via Hic est and Ille est) came the introduction W Genders, and the boys gave each Masculine and Feminine word in their Alphabets the appropriate trousers or skirt—perhaps unnecessary frills with this particular class, which seemed to find no difficulties here.


The new work in the fourth lesson was the use of prepositions With singular nouns. They were introduced through the now-familiar verb series, and few of his audience will forget Mr. Dunn's demonstration of Surgo ex discipulo, Ambulo ad portam, Revenio ad discipulum, and then—as an awful anticipatory glee became visible upon twelve boys' faces—Sedeo in discipulo. (But is it normally wise to introduce two new sets of endings at the same time ?)


The notable features in the fifth lesson were the Accusative of the Direct Object and the telling of the first Fabula. Perseverance with a discipulus and a baculum soon made it apparent to the boys that in such circumstances one person does an action and the other has it done to him. So the memorable terms EDUZIT and E-ASIT were coined to identify the subject and object. The Fabula about Marcus-who-wouldn't-get-up was told with blackboard illustrations, and then repeated with the eager co-operation of the class.


The last lesson dealt with the plurals of the nouns in the three cases already used, and ended with the untimely fate of Marcus, who was over fond of Ova. By this time we were so carried along by Mr. Dunn's verve and enthusiasm that only Messrs. Lewis and Short stirred uneasily at Quid facit Marcus ? Explodit Marcus !


Mr. Dunn told us that in these six lessons three to four weeks' normal work was demonstrated. It is a high tribute both to him and to the boys that there was little that the majority of the class failed to understand and enjoy. Their enjoyment was shared by all who watched the demonstrations, and our warmest thanks are due to Magister and Discipuli alike.

A.J.T.


SECOND YEAR WORK


WHILE other demonstrations aimed at showing the potentialities rather than the actual practice of the Oral Method, Dr. Loehry's demonstration was expressly intended to show the method in action, during a week's routine lessons. No one, therefore, expected to see those flashes of inspiration which come to Beginners' Classes in such demonstrations. But all were pleased to note the skill and thoroughness with which drills, demonstrated elsewhere, were applied here, and the readiness with which boys, when trained by this method, and skilfully led, are quite capable of building for themselves the unknown upon the known.


The subject of the demonstration was the teaching of the Future Perfect. Dr. Loehry showed how it, and for that matter any other tense, can be introduced by means of the familiar series if four verbs, surgo, ambulo, revenio, sedeo. The rest of the lessons were taker, up by consolidation and practice in various ways, daily tests and drills, use of the Exercitatio in Principia (this by the way went a little stickily) followed by its accompanying story and exercises, and finally English into Latin sentences, to test not the pupils, but Whether the teacher had succeeded in making the use of the tense clear to them.


A striking thing about these classes was the way in which useful Latin phrases were constantly bandied about, and the chief value of the demonstration as a whole was the way it showed that although the use of the Oral Method makes the comprehension of a grammatical point appear deceptively quick and easy, as much routine practice is required by this method as by any other.

M.W.R.


LATIN TEACHING MORE ADVANCED WORK


Mr. PECKETT gave demonstrations of work with two groups of boys, one consisting of Sixth Formers, the other of boys at the beginning of their third year. With the Sixth Formers he read a Impitge from the seventh Eclogue and another one from the twentyApeotid book of the Iliad. The technique of question and answer In Uttin was clearly shown, " synonyms " were given either by Mr, Peckett or the boys and the meaning of a line or two brought out by explanation in Latin of Greek.


With the boys at the beginning of their third year, Mr. Peckett was reading a play about Perseus from " Ludi Persici." He began With question and answer in Latin about the story of Perseus, and, MN the reading progressed, showed how the various drills can be employed to remind the class of a construction. This can help to bring out the meaning of a passage, and, especially as " aliter Latine " is constantly used, serves to revise the rules of syntax and to give practice in varied ways of expressing a certain thought. In another lesson, the method of the "sententia longa" was shown. Five sentences, with a clear connection of thought running through them, were written on the board ; by question and answer in Latin the boys were lead to see the logical order of events, subordinate clauses were constructed and the five sentences reduced to one periodic sentence. This approach seems to be a very useful transitional stage between the writing of sentences and the composition of continuous prose.

R.W.W.T.


LATIN PROSE COMPOSITION


IN HIS opening talk Mr. Arthur Munday, M.A., dwelt at some length on the necessity of maintaining Latin Composition as a oubject of Education and as an integral part of Latin Teaching. Having called the attention of his audience to the modern tendency to consider it as a highly expendible part of the curriculum, Mr. Munday advanced his thesis that to drop Latin Prose Composition from any stage of Latin teaching was to lose a powerful weapon in the armoury of Education. He characterised as " morally indefensible " the attitude of those educatoii, who, yielding to modern pressures, drop a good and tried subject of education merely because it is difficult.


Taking his lead from the dictum of Aristotle Every art seems to aim at an end, either the exercise of the faculty itself or in a result beyond the actual exercise of the faculty," Mr. Munday developed the two aspects or purposes envisaged in the teaching of Latin Prose Composition. The first is its value in itself as a discipline of the mind ; from this point of view, as an end in itself, Latin Composition holds of primacy of place among the many instruments of education ; for, besides being a perfect object lesson in the basic logic of all languages and demanding constantly of the student the maximum of attention, accuracy and sound judgment, it forces him to find the exact meaning of words and to give them their proper emphasis and subordination, thus teaching the student at the same time the fundamental anatomy of thought. To the objection that composition in modern foreign languages affords all these advantages Mr. Munday replied that composition in Latin and Greek, precisely because of their higher degree of inflection, demands of the student a far greater concentration of his mental forces than composition in a comparatively non-inflected language. Having stated the case for Latin Prose Composition as a discipline of the mind, the speaker passed on to what he considered as the much neglected, but more important purpose in the teaching of Latin Composition, that is to say, its value as a means to the deeper understanding and appreciation of the Classics. Only by making the serious effort involved in Latin Composition can a student " get into the skin of the Latin language " and acquire that mastery of it which is absolutely required for any real appreciation of classical Latin Literature. Moreover, this effort pays rich dividends, not only in the quality of Latin Prose and Translation but also in other branches of learning.


Passing from these considerations of the objective value of Latin Composition, Mr. Munday hastened to point out that all that had been said about it as a discipline of the mind, and as a means to a deeper appreciation of the classics, was dependent for its truth on the use of a method that will make the most effective use of Latin Composition as an instrument of education. He described for us the various methods to be used at all the successive 11iiUm of teaching. Contrary to the opinion of some Latin teachers And text-books, the speaker is convinced that Latin Composition Viust be an integral part of Latin teaching even from the very earliest stages ; but he insisted that the work of turning English ftlitenses into Latin, because of its real difficulty, must be carefully vptred for by assiduous reading and speaking of Latin in class. o warned against the common practice of loading the sentences With many and varied constructions ; this, he said, sins against The principle that a child can learn only one thing at a time. He Almon urged his audience to avoid the banal and silly examples that Re employed in many current text-books ; rather, choose examples JhRt are lively and concrete and adapted to the sphere of interest of the age-group that is being taught. Finally for this early stage Mr, Munday indicated several methods, all of which involved pouter or less participation in the production of the Latin sentence.


The second stage of teaching Latin Prose Composition is the %noition from simple, separate sentences to the periodic, which is acted by the technique of what Mr. Munday termed the " Sen- ntiae Longae." Several short sentences are put on the board, ltd, by introducing temporal, causal and other clauses a Latin od is built up, and that always by the members of the class Otemselves, stimulated by the adroit questioning of the teacher as Jo when, where and why, etc. This exercise in Sententiae Longae, Which bridges the gap between the early stages of Composition ad the more highly stylized work of Sixth Form, is facilitated poqtly and succeeds admirably, if the students have been accus- ed from the beginning to the Oral Method of Latin question and ewer technique inculcated by those who have followed the Ingpirational lead of the late W. H. D. Rouse.


When the student reaches the higher flights of Fifth and Sixth Form Latin Prose Composition a special technique is indicated ; pore Mr. Munday described the method he has found to be most affective : a prose is assigned, handed in, corrected by the teacher with suggested amelioration now and then ; in class the next day the mWdents, with their corrected individual versions before them, collaborate under the direction of the teacher in the production of n fair copy on the blackboard. The first step in the production is to determine the Latin Author's style that is exemplified andthe brighter as well as the lesser lights, and will also go against then to fix where the main divisions of the Latin sentence are to The very purpose of the exercise, which is, after all, to produce the fall. With these preliminaries agreed upon the class moves on to objectively best rendition of the prose that can be elicited from the choice of expressions to be used ; here, for every word and phrase, Lewis and Short are diligently and constantly consulted to verify Besides these difficulties of a psychological order, I would like and weigh the suggestions that come from the students, who all note two other dangers that can easily arise, but which are not the while jot down in their note-books useful phrases met with in Withto the group discussion technique nor inevitable. With the research ; appropriateness, emphasis, balance and style are the laudable desire of having the best possible rendering the ever the norm for accepting or rejecting student contributions.in Master can easily become too authroitarian and impose  To aid the teacher and the student in this task Mr. Munday highly big views prematurely in such a way as to kill student initiative ; recommended the use of H. V. Loseby's Advanced Latin Prose and the other hand, by allowing too much discussion, quibbling Nairn's Latin Prose Composition, and urged the memorization of@1kn ariseand a consequent waste of time. To help us find the as much Latin Prose as possible. As for the content of the passages mean I think we can profit a lot from noting and imitating chosen, he advised to begin with the narrative before moving on to spirit that animated the Quaestiones Disputatae of the Middle more abstract philosophical subjects. Ages. A topic was selected ; one day was given to the students for In the demonstration classes that followed Mr. Munday's heated discussion in which they proposed their views either for or theoretical expose the assembled Latin teachers had ample evidence the proposition without any intervention of the Master.  of the many definite advantages of this system ; under skilful stance the following day the Master, after citing briefly but in substance guidance it can produce the maximum of intense personal intellectual " Contras went on to his own positive solution of the problem activity from all the members of the form throughout the whole his reasons for it. Finally he pointed out the reasons why period ; the competitive spirit is fostered and student minds acquire the " Contra " suggestions were not valid. It seems to me that the  new turns of phrase, begin to get the feel of Latin prose, and learn of the Quaestiones Disputatae can be applied, mutatis mutandis, an orderly, precise method of work. If I were to venture a criticism IQ the teaching of Latin Prose Composition ; forthe Sixth Form of the method, however, it would be this : while it is irreproachable is, relatively to his students, an expert, a Master, one who in theory, it is very liable to suffer in practice from the shortcomings far better than they the best expression to use in a given and pitfalls that seem to be inherent in any discussion-group tech-stance and the reason why. His role is a delicate one, demanding nique ; all too frequently two or three of the better students of1M admixture and balance of openness to student suggestion and the group dominate and make most of the suggestions, and precisely the judicious use of his authority based on his own deeper and wider because they are higher calibre students, their contributions are of the subject. I think it is very important that he objectively better than those offered by the other members of the rather not intervene too hastily in any definite way, but rather group and are accepted most frequently. On the other hand, the down on the blackboard several of the alternate renderings  effect of having one's suggestions rejected more often than not at have been submitted, and only after they have been compared, tends (as was evident in the Summer School demonstration classes)1hould he opt for one in preference to the others and give the reason to make the lesser lights, or the less forward and vocal, subside ample his choice. In this way, as in the Middle Ages, there will be ample into silence and its accompanying intellectual inertia. It has been equatefor self expression on the part of the students and adequate suggested that this inferiority complex can be avoided by the of objectivity. accepting inferior renderings of weaker students from time to suggestions conclusion I want to make it clear that these few suggestions time, but I am afraid that this dodge will not long escape the notice have offered, dealing as they do with small matters of practical24 detail in the use of the method advocated by Mr. Munday, are not intended to give the impression that the method itself must be changed in any of its essentials ; they have been put forward merely to help overcome a few of the real practical difficulties I saw confronting its use at Yeaton Pevery.

GFT


CATULLUS


FEW of us find time amid the bustle of a school term to do any reading for our own enjoyment and one of the pleasures of a Summer School is the knowledge that a period has been set aside for this very purpose. This year Mr. Dale read from Catullus, reminding us of many old favourites among the poems and introducing us to some with which we were less familiar. Much profit as well as pleasure was to be gained from the lucid explanation of the various metres and we particularly enjoyed the metrical versions which Mr. Dale proffered so modestly.


" Quid Dalius sine Lesbia faciat ? " queried someone in the lighthearted moments of the Latin Debate. In fact Mr. Dale did a very great deal without reference to that famous—or should I say infamous ?—lady, who made but a fleeting appearance. Among the shorter poems which were read at the beginning of the week was the well-known " Paene insularism, Sirmio " with its ever-fresh theme of a happy home-coming. It was rather surprising to learn that there are some who dispute the artistic merits of the line " desideratoque acquiescimus lecto " and think it inappropriate. More than one member of the Summer School, however, to judge from remarks frequently overheard at the breakfast table would heartily support Catullus ! Enjoyable, too, was the " Phasellus ille quern videtis " and Mr. Dale's translation of it.


Of the two longer poems which were included the " Attis " is perhaps less often read. Its subject matter may not appeal to all, but no one could fail to enjoy hearing the poem read by one who reads as well as Mr. Dale. The " Attis " was followed by the Marriage of Peleus and Thetis," but unfortunately there was not time to read the whole of this. One becomes very conscious, even in a hurried reading, that Vergil must have had more than a nodding acquaintance with the works of Catullus.


The last group of poems was a selection of Elegiacs, in which the Jauntiness of our old friend " Arrius " was contrasted with the hbunting loveliness of Catullus' furneral tribute to his brother. For epilogue, as it were, Mr. Dale quoted (very appropriately) from Housman's Shropshire Lad. His rendering of the local dialect Wkm most impressive. Only when someone offered compliments an this next morning did Mr. Dale admit to never having heard 19tiglish as she is spoke in Salop ! For that slight deception we will torgive him, and thank him for a very enjoyable series of talks.

D.F.D.


A NEWCOMER REFLECTS


THE hopes of not a few who attended the School were tempered by it few vague fears. The Association appears to be fighting for both sides of the field at once, and many teachers find themselves leaving the traditional path only to slip upon the question why $esch Latin at all ? It was all very disconcerting, certainly not what they expected, and much more than they paid for. And it Wee therefore all the more trying of the lecturers sometimes to forget that behind some of the questions they were asked there lurked, unrecognised and the more disturbing for that, a second pestion of Purpose.


For instance, someone asked what one should tell a class which wanted to know what it was all for anyway ? The reply was that it the class were being taught properly they would accept the subject Without asking why. For this is surely both untrue and doubly Unhelpful. Children are not always able to make their problems Uplicit, nor should they be encouraged to unthinking obedience. Then, too, it seemed to me that the question (though shyly framed) WRN asked as much for the teacher's sake as for the children's, end it was dishonest to leave it unanswered—to encourage us to reform our own methods and disparage those of our predecessors With only the slightest reference to the fundamentals. Fundamental problems are to-day the concern of teachers of any method, reformed or otherwise, and the school, not I think unwilling to take the praise for bringing such problems to the light, should have answered them ap well as it could.


The path which most teachers of Classics read is neither broad nor easy, for it is thought (with much good sense) that the ancient writings are too subtle and their beauty too pure to be appreciated by vague, ill-disciplined minds. To many, therefore, it seems more important that the class should pass through purging fires and thus be prepared. There is no doubt that this is true of all knowledge ; it is not however true of appreciation and this was the real lesson of the School. We love beauty and simplicity nearly always because we ourselves are ugly and complicated. And although this is sometimes not so, it is more often true than the scholars and aesthetes would have us recognise. We must not put ourselves upon pedestals.


Nevertheless, when it soon became clear that we were being shown how the natural way to learn is by making mistakes, and one of the first aims of a teacher is to help the child make its mistakes as harmlessly as possible, it seemed to me (who although I am no real scholar yet admire scholarship and have been taught to recognise it) that with the delight in the method, the purpose still lay unrevealed, and many classes, though they would grow used to the method would remain unsatisfied. Normally the " aims of Classical teaching " are unveiled at once and the class is urged forward holding fast upon the silken, precious threads of " conjugation " and " paradigm." This is not good for the class because its mental eye is not fully developed ; but at least the teacher should always be looking towards the " aims," however bright and however remote, and I did not think that many of us were. We were all honest and very sincere (which one does not often find !) and often we were humble, but we would have done well to think more carefully of the value of scholarship, to have been given more chances to watch the depths rather than paddle in the shallows, and to have shown as vividly as we could that we ourselves were deeply inspired. The masters and mistresses who demonstrated and taught were rarely unable to do this (which alone would have made the School worth going to) always showed that the joy in which they dealt with their problems was born more of love than facility.


However, there were two " tours " arranged, one to Uriconium and the other to Chester (neither of which I enjoyed as much as perhaps I ought to have done, because I cannot enjoy ruins). Nevertheless though we looked far too much like a Sunday School Treat, I learned a lot. For such tours seem to emphasize how important to speak the language in order to appreciate it. Neither pt ions nor mosaics can do so much so well as the feeling of the do themselves forming within one's own mouth. And it is o personal experience of the language that the School seemed Wuys to witness, and to value. Mr. Dale read the poems of I 11fiditis, and the soft lilting sound of his voice with its light and de did as much as any formal " declaration of faith " to gain our pport. There was never a moment, even when talking with the 101 I o " when this personal note was silenced. The staid formality of the proud schoolmaster-scholar was always absent, or if it )poured it was altogether and at once reformed. And on top of this, the gay afternoons of brilliant sunshine with tea on the tip helped far more than was expected to resolve the doubts Cast out fear.

A.B.D.M.


THE LATIN READING LESSON

BY F. W. GARFORTH


One of the most difficult tasks of the Latin teacher is to conduct a reading lesson which maintains the interest of his class and which conveys both to them and himself a sense of purpose and achievement. He has many obstacles to contend with. The first is to keep the whole class occupied and attentive during a procedure which is often a succession of individual performances : while the teacher wrestles with one pupil, the rest doodle or fall asleep. The textbook or "reader" is not always helpful ; the usual authors, or the passages selected from them, modified or not, rarely have sufficient intrinsic interest to hold the undivided attention of boys and girls who are used to reading lively stories in their own language. The very nature of the lesson, abetted by the slow pace at which it progresses, makes for incoherence and " bittiness ; these further diminish interest and detract from the meaning of what is read. There is, finally, the persistant temptation to rest content with an exercise in linguistics and to forget that one reads for matter as well as manner. It is hardly surprising that the result is so often boredom in the class and a sense of frustration in the teacher. How can this unhappy, but widely prevalent, state of affairs be remedied ? Before answering this question it will be wise to consider the aims of the reading lesson. These, it is suggested, are four, apart from such wider aims as the general education and development of the pupils. First, practice in the language : by means of the material read the teacher seeks to consolidate work already learnt, to give practice in applying existing knowledge and in the mental processes involved in understanding Latin, and to introduce new forms of grammar and syntax. This aim is usually dominant; whether it deserves to be is a matter of question. Second, to pass through the language to what it says : this is the fundamental motive for learning any " dead " language and the one which is most persistently neglected in the ordinary course of Latin teaching. Third, to kindle the pupils' interest both in the content of what is read and in the process of discovering it by translation. Fourth, to give the pupils the confidence and sense of mastery which come from successful achievement ; unfortunately, the outcome of too Many reading lessons is the reverse of this.


Success in the reading lesson depends to a great extent on the work done in previous months or years, especially on its thorough11ops, on training in the recognition of inflexion endings and constructions, and on training in the recognition of the Latin meaning n the Latin order. Thoroughness goes without saying : unless the grammatical Inundations are soundly laid, a pupil's grasp of Latin will always be halting and uncertain. This principle, which is so obvious sod which receives such ready assent in theory, is nevertheless frequently overlooked in practice. Also neglected is the systematic lind progressive learning of vocabulary—say, ten words a week, throe hundred a year, perhaps more. There are various ways of doing this, of which the best is perhaps the learning of words Islected by the teacher from Latin passages read in class and noted [own in special notebooks. A little co-operation between members of staff can ensure that the same notebook is carried forward from year to year and contains, with the minimum of repetition, a wide Lnge of words. To know a few hundred words with complete justory, English into Latin as well as Latin into English, adds Imormously to a pupil's confidence and to the speed and compeWrice of his reading. Far more attention than at present should be given to training automatic recognition of inflexion endings and constructions and in the mental processes involved in reading Latin as it comes. There is scope for much research here, particularly into the last. bUt, research apart, there are several ways of increasing the pupils' sanity in these respects. These include :—

Exercises aimed specifically at recognition of inflexion endings ; the teacher will have to compose and print these for himself, since school text-books include them either not at all or in wholly insufficient numbers. Pupils must be trained to distinguish instantly between, say, -ERUNT, -ERINT, -ERANT ; or between -10R and -Issimus.

Exercises consisting of simple sentences, both Latin-English and English-Latin ; the former for further practice in recognition of inflexion endings and also for practice in the apprehension of the meaning as a whole without actual translation ; the latter to increase mastery by active use. Text-books are hopelessly deficient here ; they print either far too few of such sentences or long, complicated sentences which no pupil can understand in Latin without analysis or translate from English easily and readily. In this respect Ritchie's First and Second Steps in Latin are useful ; unfortunately they are poor in others. This principle of practice by means of many simple sentences, especially in construction work, is so fundamental that it is difficult to understand why writers of text-books have so consistently ignored it.

Frequent drill and chorusing ; these are part of the tradition of Latin teaching, but some " modem"methods and text-books have tended to obscure their value.

Latin conversation : many teachers who, perhaps, feel personally inadequate for teaching by pure Direct Method might very well use a few minutes of each lesson in question and answer in Latin, or in telling simple stories in Latin, or in what one might call " mental Latin "—comprehension of simple sentences by ear only. Work of this kind is common in Modern Language teaching ; its extension to Latin, and even Greek would prove invaluable in stimulating active, instead of merely passive, retention of inflexion forms. Exercises of this kind would assist greatly in eliminating " that slow labour which makes for dullness "* and in encouraging speed and fluency of reading. Training in the understanding of Latin in the Latin order can begin with the very first reading lesson ; by constant practice pupils should have acquired reasonable facility in it by the end of the first year. If the habit is well established, it will be carried over into succeeding years when, as reading material becomes more difficult, " word order " understanding is naturally harder. In the second and third years careful explanation of the complex sentence will smooth the way : and it is useless to pretend that at this stage there is not also room for a good deal of the analytical method of Fading. The learning of suitable passages of Latin by heart can mo facilitate immediate grasp of Latin, provided the passages are orotighly understood and learnt parrot-wise. Or if not continuous ges, the learning of a couple of sentences each week, carefully Wed to illustrate essential grammar or syntax, can be of great value.


Text-books can help by offering more interesting material : in A respect Latin text-books are well behind those in Modern angiiages. The reading matter provided for the first year is outilly fairly suitable both in content and ease of comprehension- remutnably because it has to be specially composed ; sometimes (lie second year, too ; it is in the third and subsequent years t their failure is most apparent, particularly in the third, when pill are already sufficiently bothered by increasing complexity sentence structure. There are two main criticisms : the reading fitter is too difficult and too dull. If a reading lesson is .10 JuNtify its name, at least a full page or two should be read ; in octice it is commoner for a class to stumble through a dozen Roo and have little idea at the end of the lesson what it has all 11sen about. If Latin is to mean anything more than a linguistic •pilaw puzzle, it must be read at a pace which is fast enough to ntain continuity of interest ; the majority of text-books make hiN impossible. It is far better for pupils to read much simple tin with fair fluency and some interest than to plod laboriously ough a few lines of difficult text. For one thing, repetition states learning ; one reason why the average reading lesson is so cured is that pupils have simply not had enough experience of i to have acquired any confidence in handling it. For another, imam" reading is fairly rapid, pupils lose sight of the fact that Latin, ke any other language, is a vehicle of communication. It would war that a revolution in the content of Latin reading books is fievoKsary. Is made-up Latin really undesirable, if it is accurate d maintains interest ? And must one keep to the traditional its, Livy, Nepos, et al., when there are the Middle Ages and the ais%ance to draw on—nearer in time, content and style to our i day ? It is a pity, too, that the once traditional colloquy has an quite out of use ; many of these colloquies provided a lively and realistic means of acquiring familiarity with Latin. The Latin New Testament was once widely used in teaching Latin : it is easy and the contents are already known to many pupils ; it could be used to-day far more than it is. The fundamental requirements of reading are that it should be fluent and that it should be interesting—so interesting that the pupil is willing to exert himself to find out what the Latin says. The average text-book does not meet these requirements. When everything possible has been done before the lesson to facilitate fluency in reading, there remains the lesson itself ; here, too, there may easily be failure.

The first requisite is thorough preparation by the teacher of the passage to be read. (Strictly, this takes place before the lesson, but it is so intimately related to it that it can be regarded as part of the actual technique of teaching). Preparation should include : consideration of how much of a passage can be read in the available time, and choice of a suitable section if the whole is too long ; practice in reading aloud the selected passage ; selection of grammar points for explanation or revision ; selection of " background " points, if any, for elaboration ; an attempt to grasp the meaning and purpose of the passage as a whole, in order to be in a position to convey the same " wholeness " to the class ; selection of a few words for noting in vocabulary books.

After preparation comes the lesson itself. A teacher should have more than one technique at his command, but it is valuable to practice the class thoroughly in one to begin with, so that they may know and follow established procedure and be able to give closer attention to the Latin passage. The following is suggested —

Brief introduction to link with previous work and/or to explain what is coming ; the former usually by question and answer, the latter by the teacher's own statement.

If the passage to be read with the class has been selected from a longer passage, any part of the longer passage which precedes the selected passage should be translated or explained by the teacher.

Reading aloud of the whole of the selected passage by the teacher, followed by questions to test any comprehension so far. It is better to wait until the passage has been translated before asking pupils to read it in Latin ; it is impossible to read intelligently what one does not understand.

Translation sentence by sentence for each sentence the following method

the teacher reads it in Latin

he then asks if there are any difficulties in the sentence, of grammar or vocabulary ; for the sake of fluency these difficulties should be cleared away before, and not during, translation. Wherever possible, meanings should be got by derivation or intelligent guessing.

he asks the whole class to work out the meaning either of the whole sentence or of one or more clauses ;

he then asks one pupil to translate ; it is essential every pupil should exercise his mind on the sentence ; this will not happen if the class knows from the outset who is to translate it. This is one simple device for securing the maximum of attention from the whole class.

the pupil %i ill need some help in translating, but this should be kept to the minimum ; and as far as possible he should be made to help himself or, where this fails, to seek assistance from the rest of the class through the teacher, not directly from the teacher. He should be encouraged, too, to get the meaning in the Latin order if he can ; the teacher can help here by repeating the Latin with some exaggeration of intonation or emphasis to convey the sense.

a more polished translation should be elicited from the pupil or his class if the first attempt is unsatisfactory ;

the pupil reads the sentence in Latin.

When the whole of the selected passage has been read sentence by sentence, an attempt should be made to convey its meaning as a whole, whether it is description, narrative or thought. For this, two or three of the brightest pupils should be asked to translate it over again rapidly ; others can then read it again in Latin.

Comprehension of the content of the passage, both in itself and in relation to any other connected passages already read. Understanding can be tested by question and answer, by asking pupils to summarise or repeat the content of the passage in their own words, and in other A ays.

Explanation or revision of grammar and syntax points.

Elaboration of " background," if any.

In all this, three aims are paramount : ease and fluency of translation ; understanding of the passage as a connected whole which has something to say worth knowing ; and the interest of the pupils.


It is of the essence of good teaching that it should not be tied to any plan ; no teacher will want to adhere rigidly to any one technique or pattern of conducting a lesson. Hence, while to have some such basic pattern as the above is valuable, it is essential to have others. There are some excellent suggestions in the A.M.A. publication The Teaching of Classics, and in H. K. Hunt's Training through Latin. Another method which does not appear to be mentioned by either of these is to divide• the class into groups, each with its leader and scribe, and ask each group to prepare its own translation of the passage ; these will be compared and corrected later and an approved version worked out with the whole class.


Whatever method is used, timing is important ; a lesson should usually be a rounded whole and should not drag on beyond the bell. If there is no clock in the class-room, the teacher should have a watch. It goes without saying that few lessons go entirely to plan, and parts of the procedure outlined above may have to be omitted or postponed.


Far more, of course, is involved in the success of a reading lesson than secure foundations and correct techniques. The personality and degree of enthusiasm of the teacher are of obvious importance ; so, too, is the status of the subject in the school, 11' hit in, like Religious Knowledge, can suffer both from inadequate 1MV Idlowance and from the antipathy of the Head or Senior er or Mistress. Nevertheless, it is the writer's view that much n teaching at the present time is ineffective very largely through ention to technique and to the principles of learning and of tiage structure which determine technique. It is also his iression that American teachers, being less tied to tradition, Alld having had to maintain the claims of Latin in schools very different from the English Grammar School, have made better Kress in this respect than English teachers. Without the opportunity for first-hand observation of American teaching, such an remion lacks confirmation ; but it is supported by current American publications on Latin teaching methods.


In English schools to-day the position of Latin is precarious. Though this is not entirely the responsibility of those who teach it ; the JAUlt lies also in the times. But the situation certainly calls for wed effort to ensure that what Latin we are allowed to teach em its own appeal and has its own inherent interest. To this the proper conduct of the reading lesson can make an invaluable contribution.


NOTES ON THE A.G.M. 1954


Arising from the minutes of the previous meeting, the president announced that there would be a considerable increase in the Boarding Fees payable at the 1955 Summer School, to be held in Durham. Before proposing the name of the new President, Mr. Peckett suggested that every member should be asked to enroll at least one new member. The President, seconded by Mr. Dale, proposed that Mr. A. W. Eagling should be elected President for the year 1954-55. This was carried unanimously. With the new President in the chair, the Vice-Presidents (namely Miss C. E. Billing, Miss A. M. Croft, Mr. F. R. Dale, Professor T. J. Haarhoff, Dr. W. H. S. Jones, Miss M. F. Moor, Mr. T. S. Morton, Miss A. M. Woodward) were unanimously re-elected.


The Committee, as printed on page 2 of the cover, was then elected, Messrs. C. H. Craddock and W. G. Boyd, and Miss D. F. Dennis, being co-opted.


The Treasurer's Report for 1953 showed £16 profit on the Week-end Course and X72 loss on the Horsham Summer School. The Association, he said, had just paid its way. The assets slightly exceeded the liabilities. There were not enough paying members to cover the running costs of the Association. Various suggestions were made for the programme of the 1955 Summer School. Miss Dennis asked that the Beginners' Verse Composition Class should be continued next year, whilst Miss Walker stressed the value of demonstrating an ordinary week's work in the classroom. The Latin Prose classes also were considered extremely valuable and should be continued. The Secretary announced that the 1955 Summer School would be held at Hatfield College, Durham, from August 24th-31st.


The Editor of Latin Teaching reported that well over 500 copies of each issue were sold to members and non-members all over the world. He hoped to publish soon a film strip on Archaeology, centred on excavations at Viriconium. Miss Drury suggested that a Membership Form for the Association should be included in a future edition of Latin Teaching for members to pass on to nonmembers.


Thanks was expressed to Mr. Munday's helpers and the Classical twintion for their help in distributing the Week-end Course Millets.


lies Dodd proposed a vote of thanks to the Head Mistress of Margaret's and her secretary and the domestic staff for the excellence of the catering and accommodation. This was seconded by Mr. Rowe and carried unanimously.


Mr Brown seconded by Mr. Pye proposed a vote of thanks to Officers of the Association and to the Lecturers and Demonstrators for a successful Summer School.