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Learning Latin Vocabulary in the Context of Story - Compass Classroom Blog

Learning Latin Vocabulary in the Context of Story

Learning Latin Vocab banner

I recently received an email inquiry from a Visual Latin mom regarding memorizing  vocabulary versus becoming familiar with it. Other moms have had this question, so I thought it would be worthwhile to post my response. If you have additional questions, you can comment below or ask me on Facebook.

My son and I have been getting along pretty well watching the Visual Latin videos and doing the worksheets (I've finished Lesson 6, and he's finished Lesson 8), but I have become concerned that maybe we should have been memorizing the vocabulary as we went along, not just becoming familiar with it.  Could you tell me what you intend for that aspect of the course?

I once heard that the way to fluency in a language is via total immersion (get into the country), or extensive reading.  Since you can't really get into a Latin speaking country (I suppose you could move into a convent or a monastery...), I opt for extensive reading.

You are more than welcome to review the vocabulary using the free flashcards on quizlet.  Those are available here:  Many students have found these helpful.

I am not a flashcard user.  When I learn a new language, I simply pick up a book in that language and start reading.  I will keep a dictionary nearby and learn words as I go.  This is how I designed Visual Latin.  Using the simple Biblical reader that accompanies the course, my hope is that students will learn the words as they read.

I find that I remember vocabulary more effectively when I learn it in the context of a story.  Learning Latin vocabulary with a stack of flash cards has never really done it for me.

I am reading a book in Latin right now.  It is full of vocabulary I don't recognize.  As I read, I have Whitaker's words open on my computer.  Whenever I encounter a word I do not understand, I look it up.  Learning the word in the context of the story really works for me.

This is the method I had in mind when designing Visual Latin.

One more thing, I have read the same stories and books numerous times.  I repeat the process until I have the words down.  You may try this as well.  Keep reading the stories at the end of each lesson until you know you have the words.

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