Oxford University Press Blog on “The Role of Grammar for the Teaching of Latin”

Latin A linguistic IntroductionThe Oxford University Press Blog posted on a new Latin text utilizing linguistic theory, more specifically the assumption of “Universal Grammar”. As the article articulates, although Latin has been brushed to the side in linguistic discussions with their grammatical categories, the authors of this book are advocating the study of a language alongside the students’ mother tongue. In this way, students are no longer pressed to memorize obscure—and sometimes forced grammatical categories—but they will identify divergences and similarities with their mother tongue.

Indeed, a vast number of recent studies have shown that language learning strongly relies on a constant and unconscious comparison between the second language (L2) and the learner’s mother tongue. By comparing linguistic phenomena across distinct languages and by interpreting the results with updated theoretical tools, we intend to underlie the deep similarities among languages rather than their superficial differences. This new teaching perspective represents a fundamental advantage for learners, who can focus their attention on the limits of linguistic variation, making their acquisitional task more feasible. In particular, by overtly reflecting on language and comparing L2 grammars to the structures of the mother tongue, the study of Latin becomes more stimulating and active.

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One thought on “Oxford University Press Blog on “The Role of Grammar for the Teaching of Latin”

  1. As someone who has taught/tutored/home-schooled Latin, Greek, Hebrew, German find interesting. It has become increasingly difficult to teach these languages especially if the goal is translating. Those coming to me frequently are lacking in grammatical abilities at the most basic level. They may have vocabulary knowledge but seemingly have a small sense of what/where to place a particular word in a sentence much less to understand the words function. I as a matter of basic teaching send them to a GED guide book to get basic grammar tools. I remember well having to decline and conjugating with no great joy but it certainly has been an Important tool for translating and understanding the text.

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