Incorporating Some Active Latin into Your Upper-Level Classroom

Ronnie Ancona (Hunter College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York)

Within the last decade or so many more Latin teachers have become interested in incorporating
more active Latin into their classrooms and contexts for learning how to develop one’s skills in
this area are many, such as SALVI, Conventiculum Bostoniense, Conventiculum Lexintoniense,
Lupercal, and so forth. Scholarship on the use of active Latin and the importance of
comprehensible input has flourished (see Carlon 2013, The Classical Outlook collected papers
on the topic CO 94.2: 2019), and arguments have been made for even a bit of active Latin in the
classroom having benefits (Ancona 2022, Lloyd and Hunt 2021). This paper attempts to give in
simple terms and with examples from my own teaching experience the how and why of doing
this successfully and easily in an upper-level Latin class.
The paper is geared for any students or teachers of Latin, but especially for those who may not
have considered using active Latin with advanced students, whether the students have had prior
experience with active Latin or not. Its aim is to encourage more Latin teachers to give this a try.
The revised Standards (now “Guidelines” for Latin Teacher Preparation (forthcoming
2023/2024) will include the ability to use some communicative Latin as an expectation for
beginning teachers. This may encourage Latin instructors at all levels to see how and why we can
all benefit from some work in this area.

Ancona, Ronnie, “Introducing a Bit of Active Latin into Your Current Advanced Latin
Classroom: Usus loquendi et audiendi de Terentio Catulloque,” New England Classical Journal:
49.1 (2022) 55-65.

Ancona, Ronnie. Editor. The Classical Outlook 94.2 (2019), papers by Keeline, Shirley,
Anderson, Bailey, Stringer.

Ancona, Ronnie and Cynthia White et al., Guidelines for Latin Teacher Preparation,
forthcoming, 2023/2024.

Carlon, Jacqueline M. “The Implications of SLA Research for Latin Pedagogy: Modernizing
Latin Instruction and Securing Its Place in Curricula,” Teaching Classical Languages 4.2 (Spring
2013) 106-122.

Lloyd, Mair E. and Steven Hunt eds. Communicative Approaches for Ancient Languages.
Bloomsbury 2021.