Frequently Asked Questions
Does Getting Started with Latin use classical or ecclesiastical pronunciation?
Both. The written pronunciation tips that you find occasionally in the book address both classical and ecclesiastical pronunciation styles. And, there are two complete sets of pronunciation recordings -- one in classical style and the other in ecclesiastical style.
Keep Going with Latin only has classical pronunciation recordings right now, but I may add ecclesiastical pronunciation recordings in the future.
What's different about Getting Started with Latin? What advantage would it give me over other popular Latin methods?
Here's the basic difference: Most Latin methods introduce many things at one time (endings, vocabulary, etc). However in my book, I introduce only one new thing in each lesson. In this respect, I can honestly say that my book is indeed unique. Here's a challenge for you: Look at all the Latin books you have access to, and try to find one that introduces only one new thing per lesson. You could be searching for quite a long while.
Why is this important? The answer concerns the psychology of learning. When a book introduces many things in one lesson, it sends a message to homeschooled or self-taught student that says,
This is difficult. You can't do this on your own. But when a book introduces only one thing at a time, it sends quite a different message to the reader:
You can handle this. Let's take it step by step. The psychology of learning is an important concept to keep in mind, especially when designing a curriculum for a homeschooled or self-taught student. The structure of a book can affect the attitude and motivational level of the student. Instead of discouraging the reader with too much information, the goal is to keep them moving forward. And Getting Started with Latin does just that. After completing each small lesson, the student feels encouraged and ready to continue on to the next lesson. This is crucial for the simple reason that if the student quits, he or she will not learn anything!
Additionally, on a purely cognitive level, introducing only one thing at a time allows for better comprehension of the material. Here's a quote from the section of the book called
How to Use This Book:
This book is structured around one main teaching method: Teach one concept at a time and let the student master that concept before introducing the next one.
Many Latin methods don't provide enough practice for the students to achieve mastery of the material being taught. Yet another problem is that the exercises provided sometimes don't even cover the material from that lesson, but from another lesson (this varies from book to book, keep in mind). Getting Started with Latin provides ample practice exercises so that the student can master the material before moving on, not later, somewhere down the road. And, the practice exercises not only cover the current material, but they also are designed to review the material learned in previous lessons.
So what advantages do Getting Started with Latin and Keep Going with Latin offer?
- Better comprehension
- Better retention
- Better independent study
- More motivation and encouragement for the reader
- Any parent, regardless of educational background, can help his or her child learn Latin with this book.
How long does it take to complete Getting Started with Latin?
That depends on the age and abilities of the student. The book starts out very slowly, and very gradually increases in difficulty. The book contains 134 individual lessons, so if someone were to complete five lessons per week, it would take approximately 27 weeks. If the student thought that the lessons were too easy and wanted to do ten lessons per week, it would take approximately 13 weeks to complete the book. It really depends on the student and the situation.
What grammatical points does Getting Started with Latin cover?
Getting Started with Latin covers the following:
- Direct objects
- Indirect objects
- Prepositions + accusative
- Prepositions + ablative
- First declension
- Second declension (masculine)
- Second declension (neuter)
- Conjugation of sum (present tense only)
- First conjugation (present tense only)
- Second conjugation (present tense only)
- Conjugation of possum (present tense only)
- Ablative of means
- Adjectives (first and second declension adjectives, that is)
What grammatical points does Keep Going with Latin cover?
Keep Going with Latin covers the following:
- Speaking Latin
- Latin names / the vocative case
- Latin greetings
- How to ask questions
- Various pronouns
- Yes and no
- Absum / adsum
- Hic / ille
- Questions that expect a certain answer
- Roman religion
- Various prepositions
- Possessive adjectives
- Suus, sua, suum
- Names of rooms of a home
- Roman baths
- The third declension
- Using the genitive stem
- The Roman army
- I-stem nouns of the third declension
- Verbs that work with the dative case
- Quis and quid
- Neuter nouns of the third declension
- Pronouns in oblique (non-nominative) cases
- Dative of possession
- How to tell someone what your name is in Latin
- How to say that you like something in Latin
- The third conjugation
- Phrases that use the verb agō
- Conversational phrases
- The fourth conjugation
- The verb eō
- Imperative verbs
What are the goals of Getting Started with Latin and Keep Going with Latin?
The goals of Getting Started with Latin and Keep Going with Latin are as follows:
- To train homeschooled and self-taught students to translate Latin sentences on their own
- To be the best textbook available for those who wish to learn beginning Latin at home, without the aid of a Latin teacher
- To help homeschoolers and self-taught students avoid the frustrations that come when they try to use some of the existing Latin materials out there on the market
- To be self-explanatory, self-paced, self-contained, and inexpensive
- To build a solid foundation of basic Latin concepts upon which to build further knowledge down the road
- To have plenty of practice exercises after each new concept so the student can master each idea before undertaking yet another one
- To avoid making beginning Latin any more difficult than it actually is
We liked Getting Started with Latin, but now that we have finished it, what should we do next?
Try my free online Latin class called Linney's Latin Class. I will take you through The First Year of Latin by Walter B. Gunnison and Walter S. Harley.
How much high school credit would Getting Started with Latin and Keep Going with Latin count for?
Getting Started with Latin and Keep Going with Latin were not designed to replace or mimic high school Latin courses in any way. Instead, they were designed from the ground up to help people learn at home, without a teacher. These books are based on an unorthodox methodology that places great value on teaching smaller amounts of material but with higher rates of retention. While a traditional textbook might give you 10 or 15 words to memorize in one lesson, these books generally only give you one. The idea here is that with these books you cover less, while actually learning more. In other words, we feel that covering material is absolutely not the same thing as mastering material.
That having been said, some folks out there use these books in a homeschool environment and really would like to know how much high school credit these books add up to, even though it is sort of like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. But here is our best analysis of the situation: Every high school Latin program is different. Some move slower and some move faster. But, in broad, general terms, we can say that the material covered in Getting Started with Latin is equivalent to the first, foundational 1/3 of many year-long high school Latin 1 classes and Keep Going with Latin is equivalent to the second 1/3 of that class. Once the student finishes both books, he or she will have a solid platform of essential grammar and vocabulary to build upon, not to mention the necessary confidence and motivation to continue learning Latin.
Here is some additional information to help you see how these books compare to a traditional high school Latin class.These are the areas where GSWL and KGWL overlap with the material taught in other curricula:
- 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th conjugation regular verbs in the present indicative and infinitive
- Sum and possum in the present indicative
- Present imperatives
- Negative imperatives with nōlī/nōlīte
- Complementary infinitive use
- 1st, 2nd, and 3rd declension nouns (including 3rd declension i-stems)
- Subject nominative
- Possessive genitive
- Dative indirect object
- Accusative direct object
- Ablative of means
- Accusative and ablative with prepositions
- Vocative direct address
- 1st and 2nd-person personal pronouns
- 1st and 2nd-declension positive adjectives
- 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person possessive adjectives
- Spoken Latin (this is a crucial part of the learning experience)
- Dative of possession
- Dative with pareō and placet
- Imperfect tense active indicative (all conjugations)
- Perfect tense active indicative (all conjugations) and/or future tense active indicative (at least 1st and 2nd conjugation forms)
- Sum and possum present infinitives
- 3rd conjugation -iō verbs
- Formation of adverbs from 1st and 2nd declension adjectives
gapslist, such as the imperfect tense and perfect tense.