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Carmenta Online Blog

  • Mar 28 / 2017
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Latin

Tips for Latin Teachers: Humorous Anecdotes from Classical Antiquity

Illustration to La Fontaine's Fables, To Bell the Cat by Gustave Doré

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

I believe teachers should try to develop a sense of discipline in their students, preparing them for the task of learning complex Latin grammar. Still, telling funny stories and anecdotes from classical times can be very positive for students as well. Most people see classics as a collection of boring tales about uninteresting people who died thousands of years ago, so it´s up to teachers to help them realize that the ancients had a sense of humor. Continue Reading

  • Mar 23 / 2017
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Latin

Teaching Latin with Eutropius

Eutropius: Breviarium ab urbe condita

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Eutropius was a Roman historian whose Breviarium ab Urbe Condita was read by Latin students throughout the Middle Ages. Some scholars today think that his style does not belong to classical Latin and, therefore, see him as a minor historian. What they neglect to realize in so doing is that he is a perfect option for Latin students, as his simple, straightforward style can be understood even by the intermediate student. Continue Reading

  • Mar 21 / 2017
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Latin

Teaching the Aeneid with the Help of Servius

Aeneas Flees Burning Troy, Federico Barocci, 1598

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Vergil’s Aeneid is one of the most difficult classical texts ever written because of its complex word order, innumerable references to Roman history and mythology, and huge quantity of vocabulary. Even in classical times, people must have found it difficult to read. Looking to help, a learned grammarian named Servius wrote a commented edition with the intention of making Vergil’s work easier for students. In this article I will show why this Latin writer can be the key to making the Aeneid easier for advanced Latin students. Continue Reading

  • Mar 16 / 2017
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Latin

Teaching Latin with Comic Books

The Asterix comic book in Latin

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Comic books can be a great way to learn any language. It was thanks to Franco-Belgian comic books that I was able to build an extensive vocabulary in French. The visual aspect of comic books can help anyone increase his or her vocabulary in a foreign language. Why, then, can’t we use comic books to learn Latin? Continue Reading

  • Mar 14 / 2017
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Latin

Teaching Latin with Phonetics

Carmenta student reading Latin

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Most language teachers totally ignore a tremendous tool for teaching – phonetics. How many of you are familiar with the International Phonetic Alphabet? I suspect 99% of language students have never heard of it or know how excellent a tool it can be to achieve mastery in language studies. Continue Reading

  • Mar 02 / 2017
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Latin

Formal Education vs Tutoring: Which Is Better?

Carmenta Latin Student

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

What are schools and colleges good for? I have asked myself this question many times. It is a sad fact that schools and colleges have essentially become “diploma factories”—a mere formality, a rite of passage which people must go through in order to be able to work as doctors or lawyers. These institutions prefer to teach students useless information which they need to memorize just to pass an exam. Then once the exam is over, they forget everything. Is this an ideal educational system? Continue Reading

  • Feb 28 / 2017
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Latin

Teaching Latin with Ælfric’s Colloquy

Alfred the Great Wantage

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Latin teachers often have trouble trying to find the best textbook for their students. Amidst the large number of Latin textbooks written over the millennia, most teachers are not aware a textbook was written in medieval England that may actually be perfect for them. I’m talking about the Colloquy by the Anglo-Saxon monk Ælfric of Eynsham. Continue Reading

  • Feb 23 / 2017
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Latin

C.S. Lewis: The Reluctant Teacher

Photo of C. S. Lewis

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Some academics don’t like teaching. Does that sound strange to you? If so, you will understand when I tell you a story about C.S. Lewis which I heard from my tutor, who got it from his tutor, Mr. Zinn, an Oxford undergraduate student at the time the incident took place. It will make you think about the relationship between academics and their students. Continue Reading

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