Announcements for March 22nd   Recently updated !

CANE

BEYOND CANE

 Ongoing

Certamina et Dies Classici et Eventus!

  • The Brookline Certamen is happening April 11. Register by March 23. Visit here for more information.
  • Vermont Latin Day is happening Friday, April 10.
  • Registrations are now being accepted for this year’s summer programs organized by the Vergilian Society.  The details of these tours can be found here.

Conferences and Talks

  • The Ranieri Colloquium on Ancient Studies at NYU’s Center for Ancient Studies is organizing a conference March 26-27, 2015.  The conference is entitled, “Integrating Judaism and Christianity into the Study of the Ancient World.”  The event is presented by the Center for Ancient Studies in conjunction with the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, the Global Network for Advanced Research in Jewish Studies, the Religious Studies Program, the Department of Classics, the Department of History, the Dean of the College of Arts and Science, and the Dean for the Humanities.   It is free and open to the public.  The full program may be viewed here: http://ancientstudies.fas.nyu.edu/object/2015_Ranieri_Colloquium.html
  • The John C. Rouman Classical Lecture,“The Myceneans and Minoans Today: Revivals of Bronze Age Greece” featuring Bryan Burns, Associate Professor of Classical Studies at Wellesley College, will be at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. The talk will take place at UNH in DeMeritt Hall, room 112. A question-and-answer period and small reception will follow. Contact rouman.lecture@unh.edu for more information.

Meetups

  • Live in western MA or northern CT and want to practice speaking in Latin? There is a large group that meets weekly in Amherst! For details, contact TJ Howell.
  • In the Boston area? Check out the Active Latin Meetup page for events.

Jobs

  • See our new Jobs page for details.

Funding and Professional Development

  • Fellowships and grants are being offered through the ASCSA for graduate and postgraduate travel for the 2015-2016 school year. A few remain with spring deadlines.
  • SALVI is accepting applications for their new Amy High Scholarship, which funds all of its recipient’s expenses to either Rusticatio Tironum or Veteranorum this July.

Reflections on the 2015 CANE Annual Meeting

The annual meeting was full of a great diversity of workshops and papers. I can only comment on the workshops I attended (and those only cursorily.) If there are any who would like to write about the papers or other workshops, please contact us. Please note that many of the presenters mentioned below have materials or links that you can find here for further exploration.

On the whole, many of the workshops centered on the senses. These presenters focused on the comprehensibility of Latin through various modes; seeing, hearing, speaking, and kinesthetic (specifically American Sign Language) activities ruled the weekend. One of the biggest realizations I had during the meeting was not the importance of using different modalities to reach different kinds of learners (after all, I’m sure many of us are already familiar with Howard Gardner’s theories on multiple intelligences.) Rather, these modes cannot and should not be siloed into “separate but equal” activities for different learners. The modes are all symbiotic and inter-referential.

For example, both Nathan Wheeler and Beth Manca stressed the benefit of using ASL (or modified signs) to communicate in conjunction with speaking Latin sentences. Students hear and see through two distinct vehicles of communication, but come away with memory “hooks” that serve to connect concepts in several modes. This also allows the teacher and students to eliminate the need to use English as an intermediary to communication, letting the ASL and Latin complement each other to achieve comprehensibility.

Visuals helped to cement comprehensible input for Chris Cothran and Sara Cain, as well as Kevin Ballestrini. The activities in both workshops centered on leaving “translation” behind as a tool so that reading Latin would create “movies in your head.” In other words, Latin should be immediately intelligible rather than a puzzle. Demonstrating concepts with visuals and acting allows students to understand meaning and subsequently interact with the language themselves in the forms of writing and speaking.

Music was also a big part of the conference. Lance Piantaggini and Beth Manca, in different but important ways, showed that rhythm and melody, respectively, help to bring often inaccessible (i.e. boring) material into a more immediate and enjoyable form. We rocked out to snippets of poetry yoked to their metrical/musical rhythms and learned mnemonic songs to help ease memorization. The music was engaging and brought the topics to life.

I also saw some interesting project ideas. Our own CANEns editor, Gabe Bakale, provided many primary sources as evidence of riots and uprisings in the ancient world. The most fascinating aspect of the presentation was how easy it was to draw similarities between modern and ancient perceptions of social unrest and bias. Jocelyn Demuth showed us her role playing game modified for a mythological heroic quest. It played like a traditional table-top game and allowed students to get into the mindset of the heroic archetype (MUCH more interactive than reading Bulfinch’s Mythology.) Christopher Buczek showed a variety of his culture projects from over the years. It was clearly evident that his students really engaged with the material and had fun with the projects.

Additionally, Amanda Loud showed us her strategies for analyzing complex sentences. Her focus was on form over meaning, and the ability to chunk sentence fragments, filling in meaning only after the basic grammatical and semantic skeleton of the section was uncovered. This more traditional approach is seemingly antithesis to the comprehensible input methods described earlier, which focus on meaning over form. Though there is (often heated) debate between these two main pedagogical stances, I was glad to see both represented in our meeting.

Having seen the importance of integrating so many modes into learning, and the synergy that each contributes, I must wonder if there is not some way to merge the theories of comprehensible input and grammar-translation into a Super Unifying Theory of Learning and Acquisition ™. But that is for another post…

Once again, please leave comments or get in touch with us to share your thoughts.