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Tips & FAQs

Magistra Lindzey's Schedule
For Students
For Parents
What are the TEKS for Latin?

Magistra Lindzey's Schedule


For Students

What can you do to make learning Latin less painful? First face facts: language acquisition DOES TAKE EFFORT. But there are some things you can do to make it easier. If you think you will be taking Latin not only in Middle School but also in High School, you might as well develop some good study habits now.

Here's the simple answer:

  1. Study your vocabulary for 10-15 minutes a day. Here are several ways:
  2. Do all your classwork/homework. The more you practice something new, the easier it is to remember it.
  3. Read a few sentences of a story you have read in class or have been assigned for homework to someone in your family. Practice reading out loud. Then explain what you have read. Talk about English and even Spanish derivatives you have learned. Just talking about what you do in class will reinforce what you've learned.
  4. Accept the fact that YOU WILL HAVE TO MEMORIZE lots of stuff! Find what works best for you--flashcards, writing it out, drawing pictures, whatever--and then USE IT!

Vocabulary Flashcards

One of the most important aspects of learning a new language is the acquisition of vocabulary. It does not happen automatically but requires time and effort. To make this easier to manage, you should make vocabulary flashcards for your personal use. 

The following demonstrates how you should make your vocabulary flash cards. Your cards should have: 

  1. The vocabulary item in LOWER CASE LETTERS. This actually gives the word more “shape” and is easier to remember the spelling. Include long marks. 
  2. English derivatives written beneath the main word 
  3. Your initials in the lower left corner, so no one can take your cards and claim them as his/her own 
  4. The Stage # in the text in which the vocabulary appears 
  5. Space at the bottom for including other forms of the vocabulary item. In the case of nouns, you will put the accusative case. In the case of verbs, you will (eventually) put the perfect tense or, for Latin 1b students, the first three principal parts.

Your vocabulary cards must be HAND WRITTEN. Making them is as much a part of the process of learning as using them. You will probably want to do them in PENCIL in case you wish to change derivatives or add forms later on. In fact, the additional forms of the verb which we will use do change from Latin 1a to Latin 1b. 

You may color-code your vocabulary item, though this is not necessary. I use the following colors for our class set of cards: 

  • nouns: black 
  • verbs: brown 
  • adjectives: blue 
  • adverbs: purple 
  • prepositions: green 
  • expletives: pink (words with exclamation points following them) 
  • pronouns: grey 
  • conjunctions: orange 
  • interrogatives: red (question words)

Use your flashcards to study no more than 10-15 minutes at a time. Use small sets–not all of your cards at one time! Say the word out loud to yourself because hearing it will help reinforce the spelling of it. When you feel you know a particular item well, remove that item from you set and work on the words which give you trouble. Do this a couple of times a day or more. Seriously. 

Good times to review vocabulary for the typical student: in the car or on the bus on the way to and from school, while waiting for the bus, while waiting for friends to show up, during commercials when watching mindless television shows, before you go to bed at night, etc. Score points with your parents by asking them to help you study your vocabulary. Pull out your cards and review them any time you are about to be accused of being lazy by parents or friends.

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For Parents

Think you can't help your student because you don't know Latin? Think again! There's plenty you can do to help.

  1. Review vocabulary with your student. Your student will have lists of vocabulary words to master. 
         In 6th grade, they will either be on worksheets or taken in notes. Have your child teach you how to pronounce the words and drill your child on meanings using the English (he/she can provide the Latin.) 
         In 7th and 8th grade, the required vocabulary is on the last page of each stage (chapter). ALSO, your student can earn extra credit points by making flashcards. Check other ideas for helping with vocabulary master listed above.
  2. If you student has brought home work, please read the instructions of the assignment with your student. Many students claim not to understand what to do and thus refuse to try. Often they just haven't bothered to read the instructions.
  3. Encourage your student to come visit me at lunch for tutoring OR to email me at home (use the address at the bottom of the page). 
  4. Go to the review game sites listed above on the internet with your student. Play them with him or her.
  5. Ask about cultural issues we are studying. We not only study Latin but the culture of the Romans. Ask your student what aspect of the culture we are studying, how the Romans are similar to us and different, etc.

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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 20, 2006.