Aug 08 2014

Classical Languages

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Learn Latin and Greek via Aesop’s Fables

“To read the Latin and Greek authors in their original, is a sublime luxury . . . I thank on my knees, him who directed my early education, for having put into my possession this rich source of delight; and I would not exchange it for anything which I could then have acquired, and have not since acquired.”

– Thomas Jefferson in Letter to Priestley, Jan. 27, 1800 

Latin Summer Camp

Join the students at Monticello College for their Latin Summer Intensive course — one week devoted to studying Latin in the shadow of the Blue Mountains of Monticello, Utah. Learn Latin as you hike the mountains, build bonfires, recline in the sunshine, swim in the lake, and relax in the peaceful mountain setting of Monticello College Campus. Make friends and bond with mentors who can impact your learning for years to come!

Here’s What You Get:

Latin Summer Intensive Course tuition

Aesop’s Fables in Latin by Laura Gibbs

All meals are organic (gluten-free options are available)

Outdoor classes, camping, hiking, swimming, bonfires

On the Methodology:

“I have been learning languages since I was a boy and now have varying degrees of fluency in nine languages: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese (Brazilian) , Italian, Arabic (Egyptian, Levantine and Modern Standard), Greek (Attic) and Latin, and German.

“I do not encourage the conventional way of learning languages. It overemphasizes grammar at the expense of natural language making language learning harder than it needs to be. I’m not the first one to think this. In 1692, in his Some Thoughts Concerning Education, John Locke wrote:

[take] some easy and pleasant book, such as Aesop’s Fables, and writing the English translation (made as literal as it can be) in one line, and the Latin words which answer each of them, just over it in another. (John Locke in Some Thoughts Concerning Education, 1692)

“This is how I teach” (Christopher Hurtado, President and CEO of Linguistic Solutions, and Course Designer).
How Does it Work?

Instructor-led reading
There are two 30-minute (approx) lessons per fable. In the first lesson, we look at the text of the fable and students either remember or guess at words that look familiar (either because they’ve seen them before, or because they are cognate with English words). We then read the fable out loud for pronunciation.

Interlinear translation
In between lessons, students use handouts with glosses for all the words in the fables to verify their guesses or remembrances in the lesson and write in the glosses interlinearly.

Old-fashioned Copywork
In between lessons, students copy the fable to help them begin to memorize it.

Old-fashioned Dictation
In between lessons, students take down the fable by dictation from the first lesson to further engrain the fable in their memories.

Ancient Art of Memory
Students memorize the fable with assistance from memory techniques dating back to antiquity taught by the instructor. There is no memorization of lists of noun declensions, verb conjugations, or vocabulary words out of context.

Instructor-led reading
In the second lesson, the instructor leads the students through another reading of the fable.

Interlinear translation
As the instructor leads the students through another reading of the fable in the second lesson, he interlinearly and literally translates it with students, explaining figures of speech, turns of phrase, etcetera.

The students narrate the fable in their own words, indicating the moral the fable teaches.

Students recite out loud from memory the last fable studied before moving on to the next.

Level of Instruction

Because of the unique methodology, the course is designed such that students can participate as frequently or infrequently as they like. The course is designed to expose students to actual Latin texts (as opposed to the constructed language used in conventional language learning) and whatever grammar happens to show up. Over time, students will absorb vocabulary and grammar naturally through repeated exposure just as they did in their native tongue.

Instructor Biography

Christopher Hurtado is President and CEO of Linguistic Solutions, Adjunct Instructor of Liberal Arts and Natural Law at Monticello College, Adjunct Instructor of Composition and Rhetoric at Salt Lake Community College and Adjunct Instructor of Philosophy and Political Science at Utah Valley University.

Mr. Hurtado has more than forty years of experience learning languages. He has varying degrees of fluency in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese (Brazilian), Italian, Arabic (Egyptian, Levantine, and Modern Standard), Greek (Attic), Latin, German and Hebrew (Biblical).

Mr. Hurtado also has more than twenty years of experience teaching languages. He is the developer of the Learn Latin via Aesop’s Fables curriculum and and coauthor of Vacation Spanish: A Survival Guide for Mexico, the Caribbean, Central & South America.

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