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Carmenta Method for Latin Fluency

creator of carmenta method for latin fluency
Andrew Kuhry-Haeuser, Carmenta Founder:
"If you want to learn any language (Latin included), then you have to converse in it, to speak it!"

The First Key to Latin Excellence—Conversation

Learning how to speak the language of the Ancients.

Though learning Latin through conversation may seem like a revolutionary idea to contemporary academia, it's hardly a new thing, even if you go back only 50-100 years. In fact, in the 2,000 years of Latin-language instruction before the educational changes of the early and mid 20th century, oral and written communication in Latin was standard practice—from all the way back when it was the dominant language of the Roman Empire, throughout the Middle Ages when it was the standard language in Europe of science, philosophy, literature, and scholarship, to the early and mid 20th century when it was still the primary mode of communication of the Catholic Church.

Every educated person in this 2,000-year period not only knew Latin but knew it fluently, and they were only able to read and write it so expertly because they used it as a spoken language. They themselves were clear evidence that one patently obvious maxim of modern language learning applied and continues to apply (quite logically) to Latin as well—in order to achieve true mastery and fluency in a language, you have to communicate conversationally in that language.

Discovering how language really works.

At the same time, it's important to point out that the dominant methods used to teach modern languages in North America aren’t ideal either, and these methods are particularly lacking when applied to a language like Latin. North American modern language instruction favors conversation in the language right from the beginning (which is absolutely correct), but at the same time it neglects grammar to such a degree that students who have been taking a modern language for years frequently don’t know even the basics.

Teachers of those languages so favor the intuitive over the rational that students' actual knowledge of the language is nebulous at best, and as a result students miss out on the two great advantages of a more intricate and in-depth knowledge of grammar:

A truly high-level understanding of the language and
A greatly-improved facility in learning future languages.

Intuitive and Rational

A dual approach to learning Latin.

The Carmenta Method for Latin Fluency is quite simple. It states that there are two main activities essential for rapid learning and permanent success in the Latin language (or in any language, for that matter):

Pursuit of a complex and in-depth understanding of the grammar of the Latin language and
Frequent conversational practice in the language.

Without both of these elements (grammar and conversation), a student will never gain fluency and (even worse) might give up on the language early on, not seeing sufficient progress and unable at this early stage to understand all of the potential benefits. In fact, the Carmenta Method for Latin Fluency doesn't apply just to Latin, but to all languages, ancient or modern. True fluency in any language is only ever achieved through a combined intuitive/rational approach.

A Living Language Once Again!

Learn Latin as the Romans knew it.

The curriculum all Carmenta Latin Tutoring students are advised to follow matches this method precisely, with in-depth and detailed tutelage in Latin grammar and translation (preferably following the effective and well-respected Wheelock’s Latin text) alongside simultaneous tutelage in Latin conversation by fluent speakers of the Latin language.

Students not only master grammar, syntax, and vocabulary much more rapidly than they would in a typical Latin course but they retain it too! Of course, for us this is a necessity, since it conforms to one of our fundamental goals—not only to teach every student rapidly and effectively, but also to get it right the first time!