Comprehensible Input

[please excuse the dead or missing links and general confusion while I am updating my website]

Comprehensible input resources for Latin teachers

(useful links at the bottom of this page)

The biggest obstacle to developing true reading proficiency in Latin (in this educator’s opinion) is a lack of resources by means of which beginning Latin students can (1) read large quantities of comprehensible Latin, and (2) read for content, rather than simply for practice in particular constructions and/or vocabulary (although this is an important by-product).

Latin is a language, and reading is a form of communication. We Latin teachers cannot afford to ignore the research of recent decades on how people acquire language, that is first by hearing and then reading large amounts of language that is at or just above their comprehension level. This requires a classroom environment that is interesting and safe to students.

The term “comprehensible input” (CI) was coined by linguist and educator Stephen Krashen. In recent years, strategies of making language instruction more comprehensible even to absolute beginning students have been developed by Blaine Ray and others under the general heading of TPRS (Teaching Proficiency in Reading through Storytelling).

Unfortunately, the Latin language is rarely presented to beginners in simple, comprehensible and interesting ways. This is a problem in modern language classrooms as well, but the pedagogical tradition of Latin has been particularly resistant to these innovations.

Even the Latin resources that are advertised as “easy” or “for beginners” are often only truly comprehensible to students who are in their second or third year of Latin. In addition to rethinking what texts are appropriate for beginners, Latin teachers can now access materials that are truly accessible to beginners (especially those in their first and second year of study)

On this page, I am compiling resources which will hopefully be of help to those who want to take advantage of current research on language acquisition, but have not previously had access to materials which support such an approach.

Websites and Blogs Created By/For Latin Teachers

Easy-to-read Latin books and resources for beginners

Easy-to-read online Latin resources

Quomodo Dicitur podcast. Listen to comprehensible Latin conversations about everyday topics. Great for teachers or students.

Latin Classroom Vocabulary Resources:

Classroom objects and useful verbs

Classroom phrases, commands and questions

CI and communicative Language Unit Template.
detailed description, with a word doc download that you can fill out.

first vocabulary handout (based on above lists)

Online (searchable) Latin lexicon of modern vocabulary

Class Rules and Expectations (poster and self-assessment rubric)

What Does the First Month of a CI-Latin Classroom Look Like?

For general language pedagogy resources, please visit this page


coming soon: resources for teaching novels, and for setting up a FVR (free voluntary reading) program.