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Communicative Approaches to Teaching Classical Languages

Teachers are beginning to develop pedagogies and resources to establish more communicative approaches to teaching classical languages in the school and college classroom. This page lists some journal articles which may help teachers think about their own practices. Relevant websites and blogs can also be found here.

There are a number of US enthusiasts for communicative approaches through the Comprehensible Input model. The gurus of this movement are Keith Toda, Bob Patrick (for Latin in particular) and Ben Slavic.

Articles in Journals

Ash, R. (2017). The MovieTalk: A Practical Application of Comprehensible Input Theory. Teaching Classical Languages, 8 (1) 70-83. 

Ash, R. (2019). Untextbooking for the CI Latin class: why and how to begin. Journal of Classics Teaching, 39, 65-70.

Avitus, A. G. (2018). Spoken Latin: Learning, Teaching, Lecturing and Research. Journal Of Classics Teaching 37, 46-52.

Bailey, J. (2016). The ‘ars’ of Latin questioning: circling, personalization and beyond. The Classical Outlook, 91, 1, 1-5. 

Bracey, J. (2019). TPRS, PQA and Circling. Journal of Classics Teaching, 39, 60-64.

Carlon, J. (2016). Quomodo Dicitur? The Importance of Memory in Language Learning. Teaching Classical Languages 7.2

Carlon, J. (2013). The implications of SLA research for Latin pedagogy: modernising Latin instruction and securing its place in curricula. Teaching Classical Languages, Spring 2013.

Carlon, J (2011). Educating the Educators. Journal of Classics Teaching, 22.

Carter, D. (2011). Hans Oerberg and his contribution to Latin pedagogy. Journal Of Classics Teaching 22. 

Clarke, E. (2013). An assessment of TPRS as a means of teaching Latin vocabulary and grammar. Journal of Classics Teaching, 28, 34-42.

Coffee, N. (2012). Active Latin. Quo tendimus? Classical World 105, 2, 255-269. 

Gall, A. (2020). A study in the use of embedded readings to improve the accessibility and understanding of Latin literature at A Level. Journal of Classics Teaching, 41, 12-18.

Hunt, S. (2016). Starting to Teach Latin, London: Bloomsbury. Has some ideas on how the reading-comprehension and communicative methods work.

Hunt, S. (2018). Latin is not dead. In A. Holmes-Henderson, S. Hunt., and M. Musie (Eds.) Forward with Classics, London: Bloomsbury.

Hunt et al. (2019) The Virtue of Variety: Opening the Doors to Wider Pedagogical Practices in UK Schools and Universities. Journal of Classics Teaching, 38, 53-60.

Lindzey, G. (2015) The Biduum Experience: Speaking Latin to Learn. Teaching Classical Languages, 6 (1), 72-107. 

Lloyd M.  (2016). Living Latin: exploring a communicative approach to Latin teaching through a sociocultural perspective on language learning (doctoral thesis): The Open University 

Lloyd, M. (2017) Living Latin: An Interview with Professor Terence Tunberg. Journal Of Classics Teaching 34, 45-49. 

Macdonald, S. (2011). Krashen and Second language Acquisition SLA theory – a re-evaluation of how to teach classical languages. Journal Of Classics Teaching 22, 3-5.

Mahoney, A. (2011). A Communicative Approach to Ancient Greek. Journal Of Classics Teaching 22, 14-16. 

Markus, D. and Pennell Ross, M. (2004). Reading proficiency in Latin through expectation and visualisation. The Classical World, 98, 1, 79-93. 

Olimpi, A. (2019). legere discitur legendo: extensive reading in the Latin classroom. Journal of Classics Teaching, 39, 83-89.

Owens, P. (2016). Barbarisms at the Gate: An Analysis of Some perils in Active Latin Pedagogy. Classical World 109, 4, 507-523. 

Panciera, M. (2017). An old teaching dog tries some new tricks. Changing a traditional Latin classroom. Teaching Classical languages, 8 (1) 37-55.

Patrick, M. (2019). Free Voluntary Reading and Comprehensible Input. Journal of Classics Teaching, 39, 78-82.

Patrick, R. (2011). TPRS and Latin in the classroom. Experiences of a US Latin teacher. Journal Of Classics Teaching 22, 10-11. 

Patrick, R. (2015) Making Sense of Comprehensible Input in the Latin Classroom. Teaching Classical Languages, 6 (1), 108-136. 

Patrick, R. (2019). Comprehensible Input and Krashen's Theory. Journal of Classics Teaching, 39, 37-44

Peckett, C. (1992). The oral method. JACT Review 11, 4-8. 

Piantaggini, L. (2019). Input-based Activities. Journal of Classics Teaching, 39, 51-56.

Piazza, J. (2017) Beginner Latin Novels, a General Overview. Teaching Classical Languages, 8 (2) 154-166.

Piazza, J. (2019). Structuring CI-based Practices for Success. Journal of Classics Teaching, 39, 57-59.

Ramahlo, M. (2019). On Starting to Teach Using CI. Journal of Classics Teaching, 39, 45-50.

Rasmussen, S. (2015) Why Oral Latin? Teaching Classical Languages, 6 (2), 37-45. 

Rogers, K. (2019) Comprehensible Input FAQs. Journal of Classics Teaching, 39, 33-36.


Sears, L and Ballestrini, K. (2019). Adapting antiquity: using tiered texts to increase Latin reading proficiency. Journal of Classics Teaching, 39, 71-77.

Slocum Bailey, J (2016) The Ars of Latin Questioning: Circling, Personalization, and Beyond. The Classical Outlook, 1, 1-6.

Stray, C. (1992). The Living Word. W H D Rouse and the Crisis of Classics in Edwardian England. Bristol: Bristol Classical Press. 

Stray, C. (2011). Success and Failure. W.H.D Rouse and direct-method Classics teaching in Edwardian England. Journal Of Classics Teaching 22, 5-7.

Tunberg, T. (2011). The use of Latin as a spoken language in the Humanist Age. Journal Of Classics Teaching 22, 8-9. 

Venditti, E. (2021). Using Comprehensible Input in the Latin Classroom to Enhance Language Proficiency. Journal of Classics Teaching, 22(43), 22-28.

The following chapters from LaFleur’s book ‘Latin for the 21st Century’ emphasize the importance of providing different types of activity for students to learn in the early and middle stages:

  • Polsky, M. (1998). Latin in the Elementary Schools. Pp. 59-69. In LaFleur, R. (Ed.) Latin for the 21st Century. Glenview: Scott Foresmann – Addison Wesley.

  • Osburn, L. (1998) Latin in the middle grades. Pp. 70-89. In LaFleur, R. (Ed.) Latin for the 21st Century. Glenview: Scott Foresmann – Addison Wesley.

  • Perry, D. (1998). Using the reading approach in secondary schools. Pp. 105-116. In LaFleur, R. (Ed.) Latin for the 21st Century. Glenview: Scott Foresmann – Addison Wesley.

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