Latin finds new lease of life on the net

4th June 2004 at 01:00
"Subveni! Machina computatoria mea rupta est!" as Virgil would have said if his computer had crashed.

It is a phrase that could prove useful to a generation of cyber-classicists who are now able to learn the poet's defunct language over the internet. In a bid to widen access to the subject as the number of Latin teachers dwindles, the Cambridge Latin Course has been adapted to DVD.

Nigel Ward, managing director of Granada Learning which has developed the DVD in conjunction with the Cambridge School Classics Project and Cambridge University Press, said: "Many think it's a case of never the twain shall meet. But this shows how technology can invigorate the teaching and learning of a subject such as Latin."

The developers say that anybody can deliver the DVD-based lessons to pupils, who can then direct their queries to an e-tutor via the internet.

After extensive trials it is now being made universally available, which may lead to pupils asking themselves, "Virine ab hoc additamento detersi sunt?" (Has this attachment been swept for viruses?) or, perhaps, fearing the message "Fataliter erratum est" (A fatal error has been committed).

Will Griffiths, director of the Cambridge School Classics Project, said:

"It allows schools without a subject-specific teacher to offer Latin to their students at key stage 3. If we are going to give more pupils access to the learning of Latin, we are not going to do it by training up a new cohort of Latin teachers and asking schools to employ them."

The product has been piloted in about 40 schools over the past four years and will be universally available, to individuals as well as schools, by September.

It features interactive activities which trace the lives of a group of characters in the Roman world through dramatisations and documentaries filmed on archaeological sites.

Melanie Sullivan, exams officer at Langley Park girls' school, in Beckenham, Kent, which has used the software with Year 8 pupils, said:

"This was a way of keeping Latin in the school. It's very effective and the pupils really like it."

TEACHER 23

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now