I am in the process of a serious reconsideration of how to learn Latin vocabulary. I want to put this out for your consideration and hear what people think. Premise: the human mind thinks in sentences and is incapable of thinking any other way. In other words, we can't think about a subject without giving it a predicate. Premise: Individual words leave the mind restless and unsatisfied. Therefore, when we teach foreign vocabulary it is better to do it in sentence form than in word lists. For example, I can tell a child that equus means horse and drill it into his head through 50 repetitions. However, there is no intrinsic satisfaction in that knowledge for a student. On the other hand, if I teach a child that equus currit means "The horse is running" there is a natural satisfaction in that he has been given a complete thought. His mind can rest in the completeness of the thought. That makes the thought more welcome to him. The thought, being welcome, is more readily accepted and comfortably furnished. It sticks around and enjoys itself in the chat room of the mind. To teach Latin vocabulary through thoughts instead of signs will accelerate Latin retention, make it more pleasant, increase interest, and move the student toward thinking in Latin.
Nov 21, 2012