I had a go with the Latinum curricula, but it’s not for me. It’s more geared for learning to speak Latin, which isn’t really what I’m interested in. I do plan to learn pronunciation as I go along, but it’s reading-fluency that I’m after.
I was planning to purchase So You Really Want to Learn Latin, but decided to go with something a little more grown up. I’m almost tempted to delay Esa’s Latin instruction for a few years; there are some great programmes available for older learners.
I’ve not looked in depth at this set of books, but from what I understand, it kind of throws you into the deep end as it’s completely written in Latin with no English instruction. Something like this just won’t work for me just yet. I need a systematic approach. I want a combination of reading and drill.
So then I looked at:
This programme has been around for donkeys’ years and is well-loved by many. There’s a plethora of supplementary resources available for Wheelock’s, some of which are free:
- Teacher’s Guide
- Audio Files
- Study Guide
- Wheelock’s Latin Reader
- Workbook for Wheelock’s Latin
- Electronic Resources
The text includes answers to some of the exercises, but not all. You can request the answer keys by filling in the forms here: http://files.harpercollins.com/Wheelock/wheelockslatin.html. (I was given approval within hours, although I had to set up an account, download Adobe Digital Edition, AND discovered that I’ll have to re-download the files every 60 days.)
There’s an online study group that I’ve joined here: http://www.quasillum.com/study/index.php, and a new beginner’s group starts in a week or two.
One frequent complaint about Wheelock’s is its heavy emphasis on decoding rather than reading. Many students come out of the programme knowing lots of grammar, but unable to read fluently. In an Amazon review, one reader recommended:
(Bless you, dear Reviewer!) This, from what I gather, is an amazing Latin programme that teaches grammar and vocabulary, and has you reading lots and lots of original Latin literature. It comes with a workbook for drill and seems to me to be the best combination of reading and drill. Together, the set is over 1,000 pages.
More information, including how to get hold of the answer keys, can be found here: http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/latinfaqs.html#top (again, I was given approval within just a few hours and the files were simple, saveable pdfs.)
I’ve decided to go with Learn to Read Latin. It isn’t cheap, but for what you get, I think it’s amazing value.
Knowing what to buy is a little confusing. You can purchase it as:
- A complete paperback set (ISBN: 0300103549)
- A complete hardback set (ISBB: 0300109377)
- Paperback Textbook OR Hardback Textbook PLUS workbook (paperback)
- A two-part set, each, for the textbook and workbook:
It took me quite a while to figure all this out, so I thought I’d post it here for anyone looking to buy this programme. I know I have UK links, but you can search your preferred seller by copying and pasting the ISBN that appears on the page to which I’ve linked.
I’ve gone for option #3, with a paperback textbook. Wheelock’s 500+ page book was only £3.99, so I threw that one in with my order to provide extra practice, clarify any areas on which I may be stuck, and give me the spoken element as well, with the audio files. A Kindle edition is available, but for something like this, I want a hardcopy that I can flip through and mark up easily. Later, I will use the Wheelock’s reader and Lingua Latina.
AND…the authors of Learn to Read Latin are putting out a similar series for Greek! It’s due to be released in June of this year.
If, like myself, you’re of an enthusiastic nature, or just looking for some good Latin resources, here is a great page bursting with links: http://www.frcoulter.com/latin/links.html