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Comparing Wheelock to other courses

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Comparing Wheelock to other courses

Postby LatinBookjunky » Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:19 am

How would you compare Wheelock to say: Henle or Cambridge Latin texts?
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Postby Interaxus » Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:33 am

Hi LatinBookjunky,

IMHO:

Wheelock is a bulky ‘traditional’ course that stresses grammar at the expense of reading. Fine if that’s what you like.

The Henle books have a mild Christian bias (they include some biblical texts alongside predominantly classical reading material) but they have a stronger focus on reading – and a pleasant lay-out.

The Cambridge Latin Course is based on a powerful story-line (set in Roman Britain) and uses cartoon-strips very effectively. As does the Oxford Latin Course which is very similar (life of Horace, during which Roman Republic mutates to Roman Empire).

These last two publications tend to reproduce themselves every few years, spawning ever glossier and uglier versions of themselves. The Oxford completely loses the plot in later editions ‘in response to teacher feedback’ – ruining the initial flow of the storyline. Best version is 1st Edition (1987-1992). Best version of the Cambridge is the North American 3rd Edition (1988-1997).

A similar more ‘modern’ reading-based course that manages to retain its freshness despite inevitable ‘enhancements’ is Ecce Romani. A good version is Ecce Romani 1, 2 & 3 Combined (1986-1990) and Ecce Romani 4 & 5 Combined (1985)

Naturally, your own learning style will decide the issue.

Cheers,

Int
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Postby bellum paxque » Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:20 pm

One might add, of course, Lingua Latina.

Also, a question about the Henle series: isn't it wholly appropriate to include some representative ecclesiastical texts? After all, the work of scholars like Bede, Jerome, and Boethius ranks close in cultural and historical importance (if not literary) to most of the classical writers. Bias is itself a biased word. I'm not trying to pick a fight here - nor am I indeed primed to the slightest slight against the church, not being much of a Christian myself - but I did find your qualification curious.

avec sincerité

David
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Postby Interaxus » Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:28 am

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Postby LatinBookjunky » Sat Jul 15, 2006 7:33 pm

Henle was killing me with the grammer. I backed up and picked up a Cambridge book and am enjoying it a lot so far.
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Postby bellum paxque » Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:05 am

Hello Interaxus,

Thank you for your very thoughtful and thorough response! I probably was a bit hasty in giving your "bias" a bias, since - and you're indeed right - it can be used in a neutral sense.

Many thanks for your recommendations on the Latin comic books. I'll try to find those, especially the Asterix, when I get the chance. (Though that might be hard to do in Korea.)

-David
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Postby Interaxus » Sun Jul 16, 2006 2:30 am

Hi David,

I'm afraid I can't help you with the Asterix volumes but I happen to have two copies of the Caesar. If you let me have your address, I'll gladly post the spare one to you.

Cheers,
Int
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Postby bellum paxque » Tue Jul 18, 2006 3:52 am

Interaxus,

There is a private message waiting for you.

Regards,

David
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Postby Interaxus » Tue Jul 18, 2006 9:46 pm

Hi W&P,

Ceasar hodie ad Asiam profectus est.

I've no idea how long it will take him to reach you, but given his usual determination, he should make Korea eventually.

Cheers,
Int
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Postby bellum paxque » Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:42 am

Interaxus,

I'm much obliged to you! gratias tibi maximas perpetuasque!

Let's hope that Caesar's crossing of the Pacific is less eventful than his crossingof the English Channel.
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Postby CharlesH » Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:51 pm

I really only have experience with a handful of Latin Books: Wheelock's, Lingua Latina, Oxford, and Cambridge.

If you want to learn Latin for the sole purpose of reading latin for personal enjoyment, the latter three and LL in particular are the way to go. All of them have a simple presentation and focus on reading short (or long in the case of LL) passages with some grammar instruction to support the readings.

If you want to make a career in the classics you will likely at some point have to teach the language and thus a concise knowledge of the grammar and its terms are neccessary. This is where Wheelock's come in. Wheelock's teaches you how to dissect a Latin sentence and describe it grammatically. This is not a neccessary skill for reading latin. In fact, some might say that it forces the student to put off gaining the skill of truly reading latin until he masters the grammar.

I personally have taken a mixed approach.

In summation:

Like linguistics/grammar and want to teach? --> Wheelock's

Want to sit down in a nice chair and just read --> Lingua Latina, et al.

Charles
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Postby bellum paxque » Thu Jul 20, 2006 11:35 pm

Wheelock's does focus on the grammar/translation model of Latin learning, but there's another book that cranks the heat up even higher: Moreland and Fleischer's Intensive Latin. You can read more about it in the forum dedicated to the book (on this site). It's rough going, but it is much more comprehensive than Wheelock's, and it has a lot more practice sentences, to boot.
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Postby bellum paxque » Wed Jul 26, 2006 4:09 am

carissime Interaxus,

I received a splendid package at my office yesterday, addressed from Sweden, which contained a certain comic book. I must confess that I was so excited about the prospect of reading an illustrated Caesar that I squandered my preparation time in the perusing of the book! And after work I took it home and finished it. That is to say: there are passages that I did not fully understand, and words I did not know, but the engaging comic strips and the flow of the narrative were lively enough to keep me going despite my incomprehension.

Many thanks to you for your kind gift. plurimas gratias tibi agito!

Fac me certiorem quomodo tempore futuro auxilium gaudiumue tibi offerre possim!

cura ut ualeas

David
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Postby Interaxus » Thu Jul 27, 2006 6:47 pm

BP&,

Your delight in the book is reward enough for me.

Int :D
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Postby discipulus linguae » Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:47 pm

hey all. I'm a raw beginner using Wheelocks's, which I enjoy immensely...even the rigorous grammar. I find it fun to be able to map out the syntax of a sentence...maybe in a sick way. :lol:

Anyway, its certainly something I can take with me when learning either other ancient languages or contemporary ones...I frequently use the syntax method taught in Wheelock's in studying ancient Greek, for instance.

Salvete!
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Postby Kimble » Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:41 am

My issue is that I have a copy of Wheelock's 3rd edition, which I find superior to the current 6th.

The current edition, with it's larger print and more fluff text seems "dumbed down" to me. By comparison, the 3rd edition is half the thickness.

I wish I could find a 3rd ed answer key - even many of the S.A. are different.
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Postby EgoIoYoEu » Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:24 pm

Wow. Am I the only sick-o who enjoys the grammar aspect of language acquisition?

I personally feel that to know how /anything/ works, you have to know its basic parts. In language, that means grammar. True mastery requires lots of work. Sorry, can't escape the work...lol
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Postby docboat » Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:12 am

nope - you are not the only one - I am really enjoying Wheelock's - 6th edition, cannot compare with any other editions. But I am also using the marvellous "Latin Made Simple" which really does make it easy to acquire the grammar in a pleasant manner. Using the two side-by-side does it for me. Even though I am still very much at the beginnings, I have made more progress than I ever did at school.
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Postby ksgarvin » Fri Aug 10, 2007 2:29 pm

I am thinking of picking up the Wheelock book to re-start my Latin studies after a 30-year hiatus. I’ve looked at some of the other books, especially PDF files of old texts, but I get eyestrain reading for extended periods of time online. :shock: I want something I can put in my backpack and pull out when I want it.

How much material do you cover in a day or week? I am working full time and taking college classes, so I don’t want to overload. But, I don’t want to drag it out so long that I never make progress. I know it’s individual, but what is a comfortable rate?
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Postby jillpole » Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:45 am

this may be a little late in the conversation, but how does wheelock's compare with the oxford latin course, second edition. I am taking a class in january that requires the oxford course, but i checked Wheelock's out from the library, just in case i am confused and one or the other explains a certain area better.
any advice? thank you.
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Postby Stoic » Tue Jan 01, 2008 11:56 pm

Does anyone have any thoughts about Jones & Sidwell in this context? I've heard good things about it, but wonder if anyone here has had any hands on experience with it.
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other good latin books

Postby da1andonlysupa » Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:51 am

Latin Via Ovid: A First Course Second Edition by Norma Goldman and Jacob E. Nyenhuis

i'm learning with wheelock but latin via ovid is good too. i always go to the school library and skim through it. sometimes i wish wheelock's was a little more focused on one or two authors; it takes a while to get used to an author.

you're best to have a few first year books along with a good reference grammar.

wheelock's is so good because the vocab rarely goes beyond 20 words per chapter (not including the sententiae antiquae). i can't stand it when authors want you to learn 80 words per chapter. plus there's plenty of practice between practice and review, sententiae, exercises in the back (which are way more focused), and the workbook.

also, are there any grammars that make cross-references to greek, german, sanskrit...?
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Postby AABaker » Sun Jan 06, 2008 6:15 am

ksgarvin wrote: I am working full time and taking college classes, so I don’t want to overload. But, I don’t want to drag it out so long that I never make progress. I know it’s individual, but what is a comfortable rate?


Have you considered private lessons once a week? I have found that especially when I begin a language (I know German, French, Spanish, Latin, Hebrew, and I am working on Greek), it is helpful to have that once a week meeting, so that I am accountable for the work, and also that I invest a little resources into it which motivates me a little more.
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Postby dlb » Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:23 pm

EgoIoYoEu wrote:Wow. Am I the only sick-o who enjoys the grammar aspect of language acquisition?

I personally feel that to know how /anything/ works, you have to know its basic parts. In language, that means grammar. True mastery requires lots of work. Sorry, can't escape the work...lol


Well, I am a little late getting in on this thread but from my perspective, being a former computer programmer for 21+ years, I can not stand to not know how something works; hense, the more I understand grammar the more I will enjoy the language. I studied Spanish for many years and my last year was a 1 year intensive college course on grammar. I can't get enough of it.
A Fellow Sick-O
.
Deus me ducet, non ratio.
Observito Quam Educatio Melius Est.
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Re: Comparing Wheelock to other courses

Postby boyter » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:59 pm

I find that learning Latin clarifies the less than well taught rules of grammar in English, forcing one to understand all those concepts which just slipped by when we were kids. You actually learn what a gerund and a gerundive and the passive voice and the subjunctive case is, as well as reinforcing the various tenses of verb declensions, not just present, past and future.

Another thing I meant to mention in discussing Jones and Sidwell's Reading Latin, which was created with a great deal of American input incidentally, is that both it and the Joint Association of Classics Teachers' Cambridge Latin Course have superb Study Guides for use when no teacher is available. Both of them are geared to independent study, and the Jones and Sidwell Guide contains translations of the Texts, as well as further discussion of grammatical issues and answers to the exercises.

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Re: Comparing Wheelock to other courses

Postby boyter » Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:00 pm

I find that learning Latin clarifies the less than well taught rules of grammar in English, forcing one to understand all those concepts which just slipped by when we were kids. You actually learn what a gerund and a gerundive and the passive voice and the subjunctive case is, as well as reinforcing the various tenses of verb declensions, not just present, past and future.

Another thing I meant to mention in discussing Jones and Sidwell's Reading Latin, which was created with a great deal of American input incidentally, is that both it and the Joint Association of Classics Teachers' Cambridge Latin Course have superb Study Guides for use when no teacher is available. Both of them are geared to independent study, and the Jones and Sidwell Guide contains translations of the Texts, as well as further discussion of grammatical issues and answers to the exercises.

Rob
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Re: Comparing Wheelock to other courses

Postby boyter » Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:10 pm

Stoic
If it's not way past time to reply but I just found this forum today, Jones and Sidwell is about the equal of the JACT Cambridge Latin Course, and was what I used in University. I found it exceptionally good, and there is a very fine Study guide that goes with it. The only drawback is that it is pricey. Three books totalling between $90 and $100 together. While Wheelock is cheap, it is very old fashioned and inclined to involve a lot of rote learning in my opinion. JACT and Jones and Sidwell are both more "whole language" in their approach leading one through the process and explaining just enough to get you through each section rather than expecting you to devour the book and then go out and find texts to work on. The Texts for both books are graduated in difficulty, and are integral with each lesson. I like it very much, and it's on my shelf as I write.
I have Wheelock and Moreland and Fliexcher too, but neither compare with the two just mentioned IMO.
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