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 credit value does Getting Started with Latin have for a high school student?
That depends on what high school Latin class you were going to compare it to. At the high school I attended, we would have taken almost a semester to cover this material. Even then, many of the students were completely lost moving even at that slow pace. But other high schools may move faster. So it just depends on the school you are comparing it to.
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.