Months ago, I witnessed a classically ineffective language learning lesson. The good news is that the person in charge wasn’t actually a language teacher, and didn’t have pedagogical training at all. The person was a local substitute who gave the kids something to do, which has its own merits. The truth, however, is that many language teachers spend the first few classes teaching the alphabet. Don’t.
Despite holding a B.A. in Classics, it wasn’t too long ago that I failed to read Latin with any remote sense of fluency. I’m not being self-destructive either, that’s just an accurate statement. This is unsurprising since my experience was mostly translation-based (just like nearly every other Classical language learner), and we had very little time to read anything, much less for enjoyment. That all changed in 2010 when I stumbled upon Oerberg’s Lingua Latīna, the Latin textbook written entirely in Latin. I vividly remember exclaiming to Ken Kitchell about how I had just read more Latin in those 35 chapters over the course of a month than I did with him over the course of my entire undergraduate study! I hope he was not offended. Is Lingua Latīna high-level literature? No, but my translation speed of the classical canon wasn’t exactly anything to tout, either. So if Lingua Latīna wasn’t the best work of Golden Age Latin literature, what was it?