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TEKS

Magistra Lindzey's Thoughts on the TEKS and How They Apply to Latin

The TEKS for LOTE are not as specific as they are for other subjects, in great measure because of the variety of styles of textbooks that approach the teaching of a second language differently.

Latin has for decades been considered largely a language to be read, thus for a long time oral Latin was neglected and treated as if not needed. However, more recent research and developments in second language acquisition have demonstrated that it is important to involve ALL the senses, even with Latin. You develop good communication skills by using all means to communicate (listening, reading, speaking, writing)--but, admittedly, reading will be the most important communication skill for us to master.

Students will find that I try to use a fair amount of oral Latin in my classes, almost always in a way that supports success and not failure.  While students will not ever be graded on something like spontaneous conversations, there will be reading grades.

Our textbooks, the Cambridge Latin Course for levels 1 and 2, and Ecce Romani for levels 3 and 4 (until the students who started on Ecce complete their Latin studies) incorporate culture in the readings and supplement that with additional information in English.  In addition, we will touch upon a bit of mythology and Roman history.

We make constant connections in the Latin classroom, seeing just how far reaching our Latin heritage truly is.  It's not just English vocabulary, but also government, law, the sciences, and literature that have roots in the classical world.

We will also spend time examining comparisons of Roman customs, beliefs and artifacts with those of our own culture. The Romans were like us in so many ways, but they were also very different, and because they are long buried, we can discuss our cultural differences without fear of offending others.

The last of the "Five C's" is communities, one of the most difficult items to fulfill in the Latin classroom. While Spanish classes can visit nearby Mexico and truly immerse themselves in the culture, this is not possible for Latin.  However, participation in Junior Classical League events with other Latin students from across the area, state and nation usually fill this requirement. Participating in all Latin (no English allowed) event, such as playing cards in Latin, playing online Latin Scrabble, or even Latin chatrooms also help to create a sense of community. 

The most important of these 5 C's is the first, communication. I believe passionately that we study Latin to communicate with people who lived long ago, whose words should be heard not through translations, but in their own words, in their own way, imbued with their thoughts and feelings. The by-products of studying Latin include improved SAT scores, broader vocabulary, a better grasp of English grammar and improved writing skills, but those are just by-products. Those who truly love Latin will strive to improve their reading skills, enhancing these skills with oral and aural work.

 

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Languages Other than English

(1) Communication. The student communicates in a language other than English using the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The student is expected to:

(A) engage in oral and written exchanges of learned material to socialize and to provide and obtain information;

(B) demonstrate understanding of simple, clearly spoken, and written language such as simple stories, high-frequency commands, and brief instructions when dealing with familiar topics; and

(C) present information using familiar words, phrases, and sentences to listeners and readers.

(2) Cultures. The student gains knowledge and understanding of other cultures. The student is expected to:

(A) demonstrate an understanding of the practices (what people do) and how they are related to the perspectives (how people perceive things) of the cultures studied; and

(B) demonstrate an understanding of the products (what people create) and how they are related to the perspectives (how people perceive things) of the cultures studied.

(3) Connections. The student uses the language to make connections with other subject areas and to acquire information. The student is expected to:

(A) use resources (that may include technology) in the language and cultures being studied to gain access to information; and

(B) use the language to obtain, reinforce, or expand knowledge of other subject areas.

(4) Comparisons. The student develops insight into the nature of language and culture by comparing the student's own language and culture to another. The student is expected to:

(A) demonstrate an understanding of the nature of language through comparisons of the student's own language and the language studied;

(B) demonstrate an understanding of the concept of culture through comparisons of the student's own culture and the cultures studied; and

(C) demonstrate an understanding of the influence of one language and culture on another.

(5) Communities. The student participates in communities at home and around the world by using languages other than English. The student is expected to:

(A) use the language both within and beyond the school setting through activities such as participating in cultural events and using technology to communicate; and

(B) show evidence of becoming a lifelong learner by using the language for personal enrichment and career development.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magistra Ginny Lindzey is the Latin teacher for Dripping Springs High School, Dripping Springs, Texas. All questions and comments about this website should be sent directly to Magistra Lindzey. In fact, students and former students as well as parents are encouraged to contact Magistra Lindzey.

These web pages last updated July 23, 2007.