You look at your class schedule and see Latin listed for this semester. Oh the drudgery, opening a textbook and memorizing vocabulary words. Why would you want to have any interest in this ancient language through a textbook?
Educators are working to change that attitude by incorporating Latin studies into modern technology via iPods, cell phones, online games like World of Warcraft and Internet social pages. Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers Inc., a company that specializes in classical literature, has an eLearning mission to utilize all of these media and more to bring this ancient language into the styles of learning that today's students are demanding.
Take World of Warcraft for example. ELearning Director Andrew Reinhard has established a Horde guild, Carpe Praedam in the Feathermoon realm. Latin students can join the guild and play the most popular online game, working with other players to perfect their language skills.
"We give students access to methods of learning in ways they're familiar," Reinhard says about all the eLearning programs, which can be found at www.bolchazy.com. "I think one of the big things is its convenience. Latin anywhere, anytime. You can literally get it out of your pocket. Right at your fingertips."
Latin for the New Millennium is a new product on the site for first- and second-year students in traditional and online classrooms. It is a complete program of study with the first Latin textbook to use the fusion approach to learning an ancient language through a balance of grammar and reading. The exercises are designed for oral learning and involve studies that illuminate Roman life, civilization, history and mythology.
Behind the classroom scenes, teachers have access to a secure Teacher's Lounge Web site which allows them to post projects, lesson plans and share syllabi for other teachers using the series. The 1,000 test questions are popular on the site and available in Quia or downloadable document formats as a convenient help for teachers. Plus, the site allows Bolchazy-Carducci to share information about the series on when other materials are available.
Also in the eLearning program is the Artes Latinae Level 2 DVD 2.0 package which allows students of multiple skills, including the elementary level, to learn at their pace on a personal computer. It teaches Latin and at the same time engages students' minds with aphorisms, proverbs and sentence structure to help them think beyond the vocabulary.
"Artes Latinae itself has morphed over the years, starting out as books and tapes, then moving to CDs and now DVD's," says Marie Bolchazy, executive vice president of the company.
The transition has been valuable, allowing thousands of students to learn Latin through the program and continue being interested in studying the classical language over the years, Bolchazy says.
One project in the works through eLearning is an online site which will have more than 6,000 self-correcting grammar drills and exercises for students and teachers at any level of learning who are using any Latin textbook including Latin for the New Millennium. Bolchazy-Carducci eLearning has also created integrated pages and groups on social Web sites like Facebook, and launched the first social network for Latin and Greek teachers at www.eclassics.ning.com, allowing students and teachers to share Latin experiences.