Starting to Teach Latin

By Steven Hunt

Bloomsbury Academic

ISBN 9781472537911

Published 11th February 2016

This handbook for teachers provides both practical, up-to-date guidance and a theoretical overview on a number of key topics in Latin teaching. Using a wealth of interviews, observations and pupil transcripts, Steven Hunt utilizes case-study evidence of excellent practice in teaching and learning from a wide variety of institutions. 

Offering practical advice on topics such as essay writing, teaching controversial topics including women, slavery, ethnicity and social hierarchy, making use of primary sources and using ICT to advance language skills, the book also engages with broader questions of approach and theory. These include a survey of the three main approaches to Latin teaching: grammar-translation, communicative and reading approaches; explanation of cognitive and social approaches to learning; and analysis of the differences between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Moreover, traditional arguments about the value and purpose of learning Latin at school level are re-examined in the light of current educational thinking and government policy-making. 


This book will be invaluable for trainees, newly qualified teachers and more experienced practitioners looking for practical ideas and strategies to motivate and engage learners of Latin.

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“This is a valuable, indeed invaluable book. Replete with the assured wisdom of a creative, insightful and reflective teacher, it is to be treasured not only by those who are starting out on the journey but by everyone at every stage of a teaching career ... [Hunt] is splendidly placed to ensure that his counsel will be well worth heeding ... [and] the strategies he advocates will result in enjoyable, stimulating and at the same time demanding lessons ... [An] excellent book.” 

Classics for All Reviews


“This book is therefore remarkable in its design, particularly for trainees but also newly qualified and more experienced teachers and practitioners looking for practical ideas and strategies to motivate and mobilize Latin learners.”

Euroclassica (Bloomsbury Translation)


“This is a book that should interest all our colleagues who teach Latin, language, literature and civilization at all levels.”

Anabases (Bloomsbury Translation)

“This is a terrific book. Steven Hunt is thoroughly familiar with the different methods, approaches, and resources used both in the UK and the US, and the book is brimful of all his experience as teacher-trainer and as gifted teacher himself. Especially illuminating are the case-studies, often involving transcripts of real lessons, giving examples of good practice and also of well-intentioned attempts that go slightly wrong: he analyses these with sympathy, deftness, and insight. It all made me wish I was fifteen again, and taught by Hunt or one of his trainees. Every early-career Latin teacher will treasure this book - and many not-so-early-career ones too.”

Christopher Pelling, Regius Professor Emeritus of Greek at Oxford University, UK


“Starting to teach Latin is unique in bringing together a variety of aspects of Latin teaching not brought together elsewhere. It not only provides important background information on the place of Latin in schools today but also presents thought-provoking discussions of practical pedagogy. Coming at a time of increasing interest in Latin and Classics in schools, this book will offer significant food for thought for prospective and experienced teachers alike.”

Aisha Khan-Evans, Classics PGCE Subject Director, King's College London, UK

© copyright Steven Hunt 2020