At St. Theresa Catholic School, students get to have the thrill and excitement of learning Latin as a living language. For many years, Latin has been taught as an object to be analyzed, rather than as a living experience. But things were not always so: for most of its 2,000+ years of being taught to non-native speakers, Latin teachers made use of the mind’s and body’s natural capacity to absorb language intuitively. In recent years, there have been concerted efforts to revive the conversation-based teaching of Latin at the High School and College level with great success.
Dr. Dean Cassella, the Director of Classical Studies, has now extended the practice to our elementary and middle schools. He is an internationally-known figure in conversation-based Latin pedagogy, and has taught immersion programs around the US, as well as in Rome, Italy. He is also a teaching member of both the Polis Institute in Jerusalem and the North American Institute of Living Latin Studies (SALVI).
At St. Theresa, we want to be the epicenter of conversation in the teaching of Latin in primary and secondary schools. This includes hosting conferences that gather educators, from all around the country, who are interesting in teaching Latin as a living language. We also host immersion programs in Latin and ancient Greek, for teachers who want, but lack, first-hand experience in learning Latin viva voce.
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