ALIRA: “All Your Datum Are Belong To Us…Plz?”

In the original draft of this post, I compared two data sets of students taking the ALIRA. However, I’m not really comfortable publishing that. I really don’t need anyone trying to play the victim when it’s been me going on a decade now defending my teaching practices and the kind of Latin that I read (and write) with students. It’s too bad, too, because the data are quite compelling. Some day, I’ll share the charts. Until then, you’ll have to take my word on it. You probably already know that I don’t fuck around, either, so my word is solid.

In short, the charts will contradict the claim that reading non-Classical Latin leaves students unprepared for reading Classical Latin. They will suggest that reading non-Classical Latin texts, such as those rife with Cognates & Latinglish via class texts and novellas, is of no disadvantage. They will also suggest that reading Classical texts is of no advantage. That’s all I’m prepared to share, for now.

Once a lot more data like these will be presented, though, the jury will start to come in on the matter of what kind of Latin prepares students for any other Latin. From what I’ve seen so far, it looks like A LOT of any Latin can prepare students to read other Latin, and that’s a good thing. These emerging data show that concerns and claims over certain kinds of Latin don’t play out in reality. Still, it’d be good to have more scores, not just the 532 ones currently submitted to that ALIRA form. If this all seems mysterious, it kind of has been. I haven’t shared the spreadsheet yet for viewing. That changes today!

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The Problem with Non-Targeted, Targeting 1, and Targeting 2

In 2013, Stephen Krashen wrote an article, The Case for Non-Targeted, Comprehensible Input, about the problems of the traditional “rule of the day” grammar syllabus. Krashen not only wrote how this “targeted” grammar and vocabulary has disadvantages, but also how TPRS reduces such problems, even ending the section with:

“Although TPRS probably succeeds in reducing the problems of the grammatical syllabus, there is another possibility: Non-targeted comprehensible input.”

At this point, it appears that the “targeted” nature of TPRS and non-targeted are—probably—on par, and that it’s really just an option of what appeals to you…

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Syntax Synonyms: Don’t Fear the Subjunctive

The subjunctive is usually regarded as a more advanced grammatical concept, the very mention of which can give students crippling anxiety, but EFF that—it’s not.

To begin with, in a grammatical syllabus, the subjunctive is simply unnecessarily delayed. In Lingua Latīna per sē Illustrāta, for example, it doesn’t appear until chapter 28 of 35, and in Ecce Rōmānī not until chapter 42 of 68. Given enrollment figures, it’s clear that most students don’t even encounter the subjunctive before dropping Latin in conventional programs! The reality of language and communication (yes, reading is a form of communicating—interpretation), however, is that the subjunctive is much more frequent, and can actually be less difficult to process!

What the…?!

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