The Cambridge Latin Course(CLC) is a course created in 1966 by the Cambridge Faculties of Classics and Education (CSCP) due to two different scenarios of that time; Oxford and Cambridge University no longer required Latin to be known to enroll into their universities, and more schools were teaching other languages which threatened the grammar schools which traditionally taught Latin, Greek and Ancient History.

The books are a collection of currently four books writen in stages(about twenty pages of the book) which are used to teach Latin. The books were and are considered a different approach from the antique methods of teaching Latin(memorizing full declention tables). They consists of several stories(from half a page to one and a half) which revolve around a different set of characters in each of the different books. The first book begins with a family in Pompeii circa 79 AD when Mt. Vesuivus exploded. Along with the stories, there are vocabulary checks in the back of each stage, pages dedicated to teaching newly-introducted grammar(which is then placed into the stories), and entire articles on the way of life of the time(in the first book, the Roman way.) There are dictionaries in the back of the book with all of the vocabulary used in this book and extra grammar help.

These books are excellent teaching materials. For the students the pages are have several color-pictures of related objects from the stories. Also, along with the book, on the Cambridge site* there are extra teaching materials for both the teacher and student. For each story there is the story also online in flash where if a word is clicked it shows the definition(much faster than turning to the back of the book) and vocabulary testers. Because most of the books have been out so long, there is extra software which has the story translations and pronunciations. For the teachers online there are downloadableimages for free, links to other places about the langauge, plays, and suggestions for the teaching method.

There are, however, a few problems with the books. Due to the fact the books have been out so long, the online stories sometimes do not correspond to the stories in the book, a few of the sentences aren't grammatically correct, and I heard a rumor that one of the grammar tables had the nominative plural as -a, and for those whom haven't taken Latin this might not seem like much, but the correct ending is -ae which could cause much trouble up ahead. The stories are usually written to be humorous, but can come off as boring due to the humor's tendency to be subtle and sarcastic. Lastly, the stories' sentences and plot lines are sometimes too easy. This is noticable in the first book because the sentences are extremely short("Caecilius is a banker." "Metella is in the garden." "He pet the dog."). I had once asked my teacher why they were so easy, and all she answered was that I would wish they were this easy later on. This she was incredibly right on.

Overall I would recommend these books for schools who are trying to begin having Latin as an elective. On the Cambridge site it talks about schools starting Latin even if they do not a have a Latin teacher in mind(but this is mainly for the UK). It is surprising how many students will leap for the opportunity to take Latin, esspecially in middle school. Though this phenomena can be easily explained by how Latin is supposedly useful to get higher standardized test scores, deo volente


*cambridgescp.com Some backround also found from this web site

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