For many, Latin is a dead language.
Here at Wyoming Catholic College, however, nothing could be farther from the truth. Our Latin classes are actually taughtin Latin, which means that our students learn to interact and communicate with each other in Latin, just as they would any other foreign language. Vocabulary and grammar are introduced through simple Latin sentences, accompanied by illustrations and physical actions that makes the new words comprehensible.
Instructors make abundant use of experiential, communicative teaching strategies inspired by modern-language classrooms, adhering to the principles of the “Nature Method:” an approach pioneered by the renowned British classicist W. H. D. Rouse and further developed by the Danish educator Hans H. Ørberg. Learning in this manner (primarily through observation and context) gives our students self-confidence, stimulates their concentration, sharpens their faculties of observation and reasoning, and helps them move towards the ultimate object of all Latin teaching: true understanding of the language.
The College requires all freshman and sophomore students to complete two years of coursework in the language, followed by two semesters of guided practice in reading in the junior and senior years. This requirement equips all students with practical language skills, facilitating and encouraging firsthand encounters with the Catholic and Western cultural tradition and making possible direct access to much of the seminal thoughts and literary masterpieces of Western Civilization.
Latin’s preeminence as the language of the Church makes its presence as the only foreign language taught at Wyoming Catholic College both unsurprising and fitting given the College’s vision of forming the next generation of Catholic leaders. The Latin curriculum makes use of ecclesiastical pronunciation; again, a reflection of our Catholic identity.
By the end of these two courses, students will read Latin school texts of medium difficulty, understand basic Latin grammar, demonstrate command of a fundamental practical vocabulary, and be able to speak and write elementary Latin with some facility.
These two courses build on the foundation started in first year Latin. Students augment their basic vocabulary, strengthen their memory through self-expression in spoken and written Latin, and advance to more difficult texts.
Students continue their study of Latin through the directed reading of an influential Latin text. Each semester, students are free to choose from several groups, covering various authors, genres, and periods. Students must complete two directed readings in their upperclass years, but are welcome to participate in more. At least one of these classes must take place during the junior year.