Languages

“I will say at once, quite firmly, that the best grounding for education is the Latin grammar. I say this, not because Latin is traditional and medieval, but simply because even a rudimentary knowledge of Latin cuts down the labor and pains of learning almost any other subject by at least 50 percent.  It is the key to vocabulary and structure of all the Romance languages and to the structure of all the Teutonic languages, as well as to the technical vocabulary of all the sciences and to the literature of the Mediterranean civilization, together with all its historical documents.”
~ Dorothy Sayers, essay “Lost Tools of Learning”

“Hardly any lawful price would seem to me too high for what I have gained by being made to learn Latin and Greek.”  ~ C.S. Lewis

MY CURRICULUM

I whole-heartily agree with C.S. Lewis.   After high school, I found I needed to memorize Latin and Greek root words to make sense of and conquer my most common spelling errors.   A fabulous side effect was an exponentially larger vocabulary!  I can’t adequately describe to you the joy I get from hearing a word I have never known, yet, knowing what it means!   Over half of the English language has Greek or Latin origins.  To memorize one root word is to understand the meaning of over a hundred words.   C.S. Lewis is so right!

In September 2013, I began compiling flashcard sets on Quizlet.   I am currently searching for the best and most complete sets of Latin and Greek root words.   What I am finding is sufficient for spelling and vocabulary.   Here are the resources I use most frequently:

  • http://quizlet.com/Hemet_Sonshine – My flashcard sets are kept here.
  • http://www.myvocabulary.com
  • http://wordinfo.info – This is my favorite Latin and Greek dictionary because it has words grouped by family-word units.   I find it extremely helpful that it states how many word units it has (3660).  To make this list into curriculum, I would divide 3660 by a 36-week school year.  This works out to about 100 words a week.  My son would not appreciate that long of a list so I would split the list to 25 words per week for (4) 36-week school years.

The following are additional resources:

LATIN DICTIONARIES

RESOURCES FOR GREEK AND LATIN

For language learning, I like having multiple sites to refer to even if they are covering many of the same words.  This way I can pick words from one site and drop them into whatever format I like.

LATIN CURRICULUM

I am just beginning my search for the best Latin grammar program.   Teaching Latin has gone on long before I was born so I expect to find many FREE resources from folks like me that like to share.  Making flashcards is a very time-consuming task, but is well worth the effort.  My son is doing very well with memorizing facts from the flashcards I made on Quizlet.  To save time I looked for the program that offered the most complete flashcards and grammar.  Wheelock’s Latin seems to be the winner so I keeping what I have learned about Wheelock’s Latin here.

RESOURCES FOR GREEK

ESPERANTO

I read that the value of learning Esperanto before learning other languages is that it takes far less time to learn than natural languages due to its lack of irregularities; 80% of it is derived from Latin; it is spoken all over the world; and fellow Esperanto speakers are happy to help facilitate the learning of their native language.  Well doesn’t that sound fun?

RESOURCES FOR MULTIPLE LANGUAGES

RESOURCES FOR SPANISH

RESOURCES FOR AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE

UPDATE AS OF SEPTEMBER 2014

I will be updating this post with additional Latin resources.   Meanwhile, I want to let you know that my son and I are currently enrolled in ASL at 412 Church.  We are enjoying this class very much and highly recommend it.   The last change to join this class for this year is on Monday, September 29th.  Homework for the first week is to learn the ASL alphabet and numbers 1-20, and also signing the first 1:40 minutes of a song.   The following are resources that our teacher has recommended:

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjkNA3VVYKU#t=107 – This the song we are currently learning.  This is also our instructor Tony Good.
  • aslpro.com
  • asl.ms
  • fingerspellingalphabet/fingerspelling-game-asl-challenge
  • metronomeonline.com
  • merriam-webster.com

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