Academiae Vivarii Novi Scholae Aestivae
Summer Latin School in Rome
8 Weeks of Intensive Courses
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1- The Method of Vivarium Novum: A Little History
During the 1980s a group of young classicists in Southern Italy began to gather around an old teacher and discuss the necessity of renovating the didactics of the classical languages. Young people from schools and universities from all over the world came to join them to spend years studying Latin and Greek - two languages that hardly anyone today manages to learn completely. From the discussions held during that time arose the need to analyze the course of history and the art of teaching Latin: How did the Humanists learn this language? How did Politian, Erasmus, Vives, and Comenius teach it? For this research, the students analyzed the most effective methods of modern language teaching: How was it possible that a parliamentary interpreter of Finno - Ugric languages could learn to perfectly read, write, and speak Hungarian in a relatively short period of time, but a high school student, after four or five years of study, could not comprehend even the simplest of Latin texts
without the aid of lexica and grammars, and without having to translate it laboriously into his own language? And yet students heard four, even five hours of lessons a week, dedicating at least as much time to individual study.
The Academy Vivarium Novum has acquired a worldwide fame throughout the last decade for having studied, identified, and introduced methods of teaching Latin and Greek which may pose as a remedy to this situation. It has held international conventions concerning the topic from 1991 to the present day, with the participation of the greatest experts in the world. It has diffused in Italy and revitalized in Europe and the United States the contextual-inductive method for teaching classical languages. It has founded an international school to which students have poured in from every continent, where they acquire in a very short time a full and total command of the Latin language.
Now the Academy is placing its acquired competency from years of research and teaching at the service of those who wish to learn Latin with effective results and need to do so in a rather short period of time. The course utilizes specific teaching techniques, from induction according to the natural method to the Total Physical Response, and from "suggestopedia" to storytelling, as well as the Rassias Method. Through active use of the language - daily conversations and writing exercises - students may experience the method of teaching employed in the Humanistic schools during the Renaissance. This mixed approach, tested for years by the experts of the Academy, allows students to attain in only eight weeks the results that normally require almost three years of study.
The courses are open to students of every nationality. To be able to read Latin texts fluently is a skill that not only those who study classical literature need, but also those who study Medieval and Modern history, European literary history, law, philosophy, the history of science, theology, and liturgy.
2- Description of the modules
The classes provide for a total immersion in the Latin language. They are divided into two fundamental modules and two optional courses:
1. Latin I (from the first week to the fourth; 15 ECTS): Dedicated to those who have little or no previous knowledge of the Latin language and teachers who would like to learn (by participating in education in action) techniques for teaching actively the fundamentals of morphology, syntax, and vocabulary in Latin. The students will confront morphology, syntax, and vocabulary (1,800 of the most frequent words) and will begin reading authentic Latin historical texts (the Gospels, Catullus, Martial, Phaedrus, Caesar): Duration: 156 hours.
2. Latin II (from the fifth week to the eighth; 15 ECTS): dedicated to those students who have attended the first course; or who already even possess an active knowledge of the fundamental notions of Latin grammar and syntax, and who know at least the 1,600 most frequent Latin words as indicated in the lexicon of Besançon; and teachers interested in the teaching of Latin at a more advanced level. Participants are introduced to fluently reading authentic Latin authors/texts (Cicero, Sallust, Livy, Horace, Seneca, Petronius, Pliny the Younger, Eutropius, Ambrose, Augustine, Erasmus, and many others): Duration: 156 hours.
Additive optional afternoon classes :
a. Latin Pedagogy: (1.5 hours daily: 72 hours total): From 17.30 to 19.00 Monday to Saturday: This module, taught exclusively in Latin, is designed specifically for Latin teachers who wish to acquire instructional skills and strategies using the inductive method and to learn to explain in Latin the works of ancient, medieval, renaissance, and modern authors. With total immersion in the language and many hours of practice in daily conversation, lectures, and various activities over the course of the two modules, even a teacher who has never made active use of the language before is, after two months, able to speak, write, and teach in Latin with great ease and fluidity; these lessons are designed for teachers to, at the same time, master the most effective methods of language instruction, ancient and modern.
b. Elementary Ancient Greek: (1.5 hours daily: 72 hours total): From 15.30 to 17:00 Monday to Saturday: Within two months the class, held in Ancient Greek using methods similar to those used for the Latin courses, will lead students from no knowledge of the language to the acquisition of the alphabet; the definite article; the declensions of nouns and adjectives; the present tense indicative, participle, imperative, and infinitive forms of active and middle verbs in ω and contract verbs in α and ε; the present tense indicative, participle, imperfect and infinitive form of εἰμι; the personal, possessive, reflexive, indefinite, and interrogative pronouns; and the use of prepositions. Lessons also cover the acquisition of more than 700 basic vocabulary words and allow students to study the language in an active context – not only via reading fluently, but also via speaking and writing. The study of Greek and Latin together in so brief a period of time is EXTREMELY challenging. These lessons, therefore, are not recommended for those students who do not already possess the foundations of Latin and who would have to devote their time to learning the language of Rome from the first elements. Even for students with adequate preparation in Latin this course still requires intense dedication.
Class times: For each of the modules (Latin I, II), three lessons will be held in the morning from Monday through Saturday, and will last an hour and a half each. In the afternoon, students will devote their time to studying the material covered in class and to the completion of daily assignments. In the evening, from 7 to 9pm, students will attend a final session of the day consisting of play-curricular activities. Each week a test will be administered to ensure that students are making adequate progress. Credits will not be granted unless these tests are passed.
On Sundays, both in the first and in the second month, students will make three excursions to places in Campania or in Latium during which lessons will be held and participants will visit archaeological sites including Pompeii, Cuma, Roman Forum, Via Appia, Ostia, Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli among others. The definite schedule of these trips will be announced before the beginning of the summer program. The order of these excursions may be subject to changes.
4- Costs and enrollment
In order to participate in the courses, students are required to fill out the application form and send a 10% deposit of the total program fee. This fee is required as a partial contribution to the annual expenses of the Mnemosyne Foundation. These courses, however, are non-profit; all benefits will be used to grant scholarships to the greatest amount of talented young students.
- The cost of the program is € 4.980 and covers full participation in the eight-week course (from July 23th to August 16th ), including hosting, textbooks, and excursions.
- The cost of participation in only one of the two modules is € 2.500.
Requests relating to the summer courses should be addressed to:
Accademia Vivarium novum
c/o Prof. Luigi Miraglia PhD
Via Corrado Barbagallo, 20 00166 - ROMA (Italia)