Latin Alive! is a continuation of the Latin for Children series. Co-authored by the Latin for Teachers lecturer Karen Moore, the program is designed to bridge the gap between elementary and intermediate Latin study. Currently therearethree books,with a fourth in the works.
How Does This Work?
Book 1 can serve as a first-time introduction to Latin for junior high or high school students, or as review for any student who has completed Latin for Children or any other elementary Latin course. Everything in the first book appears in the Latin for Children primers, though there is some elaboration. The text begins with the alphabet and pronunciation and goes from there to discuss verbs, nouns, case, etc. Book 2 picks up where the first one leaves off, but not before a couple chapters of review. The material is more difficult and probably shouldn't be attempted until high school.
Book 1 includes 29 chapters divided into 7 units; there are 6 units and 27 chapters in Book 2. The material in Book 1is presented at an older reading level than the Latin for Children primers, though most of the material is the same. For each level there is just the consumable student worktext and the teacher's edition. The teacher's editions contain answers to all exercises, as well as tips for presentation, notes on common student mistakes, and the complete student text with answers and notes added.
Each lesson includes vocabulary and grammar, translation, and reading. A wealth of extra information teaches kids about the historical context of the topic, as well as all kinds of other trivia. This makes memorizing conjugation after conjugation more bearable, and it makes the text more interesting. The text is black and white with periodic black and white photographs of Roman ruins. Overall, this is a much more subdued book than the primers in the series that precede it.
This is a fast-paced course. In one year Book 1 covers the material Latin for Children covers in three. As a result, students are required to do a lot more memorization. If they've had Latin before, this shouldn't be much of a problem. If they're new to studying the language, however, they'll fall behind very quickly unless they stay on top of their work. To finish the course in a year, it would be best to study daily, or at least four days a week.
While students could simply finish this course on their own, it is really designed to be teacher-led. The teacher's edition makes this fairly easy as it has a lot of information and helps. Karen Moore's Latin for Teachers lecture series, while intended to be used with Latin for Children, nevertheless will help the parent with no Latin background teach this material. You could also work through the text together, though it is necessary for the teacher to examine the lesson information in the teacher's edition beforehand.
Our Honest Opinion:
This is a good course for junior high students whether they've had Latin before or not. For those who have, it's good review; for those who haven't, it's good introduction. The text is easy to follow, so no one should be left behind (unless they aren't doing their homework). You'll like it too, as the teacher's guide does most of the work for you (no panicking to get a lesson together unless you want to supplement with your own material, in which case you have no business complaining). Even first-time high school Latin scholars will find this book useful and interesting. At any rate, this is well worth an investigation for older students.
Latin Alive! vs. Wheelock's Latin, document
Latin Alive! vs. Wheelock's Latin, table
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.
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