Working with Classical Languages


In case you are wondering what Classical Languages are, these are languages have a literature and that were used in ancient times like Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, Arabic, and Chinese (depending on who you ask it refers only to Greek and Latin.

For the sake of this post, I am only referring to Sanskrit, Latin, and Greek since the other two are included in most modern Languages programs.

When most of us think of Greek or Latin, we may think of fields related to medicine or law. Also, some of us may think of high school Etymology courses, where students study the roots of words.

When I started this project, I sent out surveys to language teachers from the Southwest Tennessee. One of those teachers mentioned that they were looking for different ways of teaching Classical Languages. Well, today is YOUR day!!

One thing that I would definitely suggest to teachers of Classical Languages is to partner up with a teacher in a different department. For instance, if you decide to work with an art teacher (yes, this can work) and depending on the students interests’ some wonderful projects could emerge:

Logic may applied to math, law, and science but it can also be related to fields that deal with right brain activity like art. Teaching students about the different types of fallacies (ad hoc, ad hominem, post hoc, etc) could be used for the purpose of creating advertisements/ campaigns, or you may collaborate when talking about the culture, art, or archaeology from the Roman Empire or Ancient Greece.

Logical fallacies could also be used in English and Mathematics. Design a project with teachers in Language Arts and Mathematics in which students will used language art skills to debate an issue or a math problem. For example, if you have students in Geometry, Pre-Algebra, Algebra I or Algebra II, you may use some of the equations to demonstrate how fallacies could be used in order to find an answer.

For schools that do not offer etymology to its students, classical teachers could develop an etymology based unit for language arts to help students learn definitions without depending completley on a dictionary. In most language art courses, there is a unit on prefixes and suffixes but not so much on roots. The prefix/root/suffix unit does not focus on classical Greek and Latin language, so Classical language teacher, have a sit down with your language arts colleagues and create something new.

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~ by animeheather on 10/03/2011.

3 Responses to “Working with Classical Languages”

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