Oxford University Latin Course
Cartoons! Who would associate cartoons with Latin? Well, now you will. Each chapter of this revised full-color edition of the Oxford University Latin Course opens with a set of cartoons containing Latin captions illustrating new grammar points. This is just the beginning of the features that make this course accessible and enjoyably interesting! Built around a narrative detailing the life of Horace based on historical sources, students are immersed not only in language studies but also in the daily activities, concerns, and habits of real Romans. What better way to develop an understanding of Roman civilization during the time of Cicero and Augustus? What better way to learn a language that has the reputation of being "dead"? Never has "dead" seemed so alive!
Following the introductory cartoons, each chapter includes Latin readings that are "glossed" (meaning that new vocabulary is highlighted in the margins), follow-up exercises focusing on reading comprehension and grammar, and a background essay in English concluding each chapter. Essays cover a variety of topics including history, food, and travel, among others.
The course is divided into four parts, each with an accompanying teacher book containing the course background and overview. Teacher books also include chapter-by-chapter historical and grammatical commentary as well as translations for all Latin passages and exercises: Book 1 contains chapters 1-16; Book 2, chapters 17-33; Book 3, chapters 34 - 52; and the Reader, six selections each with 3-4 parts. The Reader contains extracts (with commentary) from Caesar, Cicero, Catullus, Virgil, Livy and Ovid and occasional response questions. These extracts are extensively "glossed," contributing greatly to the student's ability to read, absorb, and understand. All student books contain numerous photos and illustrations portraying Roman art, architecture, countryside, and artifacts. Parts 1-3 are full-color while the Reader is black and white.
Containing recordings of selected extracts from the Course I & II books and Course III book & Reader, the audios provide an enjoyable and welcome supplement to the course materials. Excerpts from the Course books include cartoon captions, Responde Latine, Fabellae, dramatized dialogues, and short passages of narrative prose and verse. Longer extracts of prose and verse covering the principal authors of the Golden Age are provided from the Reader.
For the student with no experience in Latin or languages, this course makes an excellent introduction and, at the high school level, could be done mostly independently. However, I also think a jr. high student prepared to study Latin would also do well with this course - particularly a student who has had some experience with one of our introductory grade-school level courses (i.e. Prima Latina, Latina Christiana, Latin Primer, Matin Latin). ~ Janice