Sermo Latinus hac in universitate floret!
Spoken Latin has been a feature of Latin instruction in various ways at Ave Maria University for several years. A few semesters ago, however, Dr. Bradley Ritter began to offer a one-credit course—Sermo Latinus Hodiernus/Latin Today—devoted exclusively to this pursuit, using materials that he has designed himself on the basis of careful investigation into ancient and modern Latin texts and into methods of language instruction throughout the centuries. Interest has steadily grown among students and faculty.
This semester, in fact, in response to this interest, the Department of Classics & Early Christian Literature is offering two sections of this course, one taught by Dr. Ritter (at top, with students), the other by Dr. Joseph Yarbrough (below, with students). Nearly twenty students are enrolled in these two sections.
In a typical class students pursue a given topic, e.g., numbers, by means of guided conversations in Latin intended to elicit various grammatical points, build vocabulary, encourage confidence, and in general to attain what all students should seek always: an active mastery, rather than a passive acquaintance, with the subject. Classes are lively, with students engaging one another as well as the professor. The noon section of this class regularly carries over into a Latin Table at lunch. Both Dr. Ritter and Dr. Yarbrough will continue to teach these courses in the spring.
This summer Ave Maria University will once again be offering intensive courses in Latin as well as Greek that make use of the communicative approach and are designed to bring about active proficiency. Further details about these unique courses can be found here.