This Latin Acceleration Reader Series invites users to enter a new learning method, which is based on segmentation of sentences to achieve understanding. The texts chosen include Golden Age and Silver Age authors. The site is well designed and easy to use although a reading of the theory behind the structure (provided as an introduction to the site) is necessary. The site is engaging but consists strictly of material to be read. There is no sound or animation to the site. It is a site strictly directed to students who can adjust to a non-typical way of learning. Information is in English so the user is not wandering through the site. Overall it is an excellent site for learning how to read and understand Latin for someone that has some experience with the language or the origin of many words. The exercises are based on repetitive readings of words and fragments of sentences in the expectation of an inner understanding of the meaning. Understanding must come from similarity with English words and combination of these words with new words. Grammar is explained in detailed and is easily accessed from reading or other part of the site. The virtual environment is easy to understand if the user has taken the time to understand the philosophy of its creators. Everything is laid out in sequence to provide gradual growth of understanding. A 'syntactical compendium' is supplied for the selections from Caesar's Gallic Wars and from Sallust's Bellum Catalinae. These provide examples on a wide range of basic and important grammatical features, with the sentences taken directly from the readings, although not hyperlinked to the passages themselves
The purpose of the site is to stimulate understanding by the action of reading and facility with the basic grammatical rules of Latin. This goal is well explained at the beginning of the site. The texts are simple enough to achieve the goal. The links are clear and adequate.
The site can work well with supplements provided by the instructor. This site can work well for the innovator, whether student or teacher, but as it is an unconventional method, is not for the timid There is no vocabulary or notes hyperlinked to the text; this could serve as a future upgrade to the site. Links from each page refer to the university publishing and this can be felt as strong advertising.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
For the intermediate and advanced students, and for experienced instructors looking for a new approach, it can be very beneficial. The variation between the low-segmentation and the high-segmentation passages is a plus, as is the choice of formats provided. The selection of authors and passages is well-suited to the aim of the site; more authors could be done in this fashion and would serve as an additional improvement. An additional plus is the possibility of using the syntactical compendia separately from the method, by any instructor assigning these readings to a class, and these are an excellent resource. The pages are engaging in color and students can navigate easily. The site relates more to a PowerPoint presentation than an interactive site.
This site should be approached by beginning students and instructors with caution.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The lack of images makes the site somewhat dry, but does not detract from its functionality. All links to the different pages are working well. The colors chosen allow for good visibility and navigation. The provision of both html and pdf formats is a plus.
Texts sites in general are rather basic; this is a no-frills site that accomplishes its goals without flash, but smoothly. The lack of hyperlinks between the comendia and the texts is not a minus, but we would hope to see that in a future upgrade of the site.
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