CI is not out to destroy the Classics. On the contrary, those advocating for teaching with more CI are the professions’ biggest cheerleaders, aiming to increase interest and enrollment worldwide. How? It starts with including all students.
Still included in the included, though, are those students most like us who have always thrived in conventional Latin classrooms. We can’t leave them out. At this point, I’ve had about 10 classes with students this year, which is just around the time when it becomes clear who’s really into Romans, and/or really into learning (as opposed to everything else that interests adolescents). Since a few of these students have made their presence known in my inclusive classroom, I have a plan…
Beginning next week, I’ll introduce the Lingua Latīna Challenge. The challenge itself is to read each chapter of Hans Oerberg’s masterpiece, Lingua Latīna Per Sē Illustrāta: Familia Rōmāna, 3x, which students will do on their own time. Once done, they’ll come to me for the next chapter. This is self-paced. There are no exercitia assignments to be turned in, and there will be no reward for this challenge.
This is a challenge, as opposed to required content, because using LLPSI as the curriculum doesn’t align with my principles. I don’t expect many students to get involved, but I’ll give everyone the chance just the same.
So, to kick off this challenge next week, I’ll project Capitulum Prīmum to read & discuss as a whole class. I’ll also explicitly teach students how to use the marginalia (something most teachers mistake as being obvious to all students). This first chapter of LLPSI is super comprehensible, contains a lot of Latin, and includes a nice introduction to Roman geography via that map containing so many possibilities for personalization (e.g. “Which teacher is from England? Whose family is from Italy? Who wants to go to Egypt?” etc.). The downside of this first chapter is that the only verbs are est and sunt, and there’s that section on letters, numbers, and syllables, making for a pretty boring read. Still, I can already tell that some students want to learn more about the Romans, and a few might even want to study grammar. It’s all there in Lingua Latīna, and I’m more than willing to make it available for students to read, though on their own time during the challenge thereafter.