The Path to Better Latin Reading Ability
It's time (at last!) to read Latin
Most of those who study a Modern language are studying it in order to be able to speak it, and so they focus on words and expressions that will help them get around a country, have conversations, etc. In my experience, most people who study Latin, even if they approach the learning of it through a conversational approach, want to learn it to be able to read it. Whether the great texts of the Roman Republic and Empire or the long tradition of Christian worship, or the work of Renaissance humanists, the goal is to gain access to these works that have shaped and continue to shape Western thought in their original language.
But when one has come to the end of the study of Latin grammar, usually marked by completing some textbook or series of textbooks, there often remains a gap between one's ability and what is needed to truly be able to read Latin. What did you do wrong? Did you miss something in your grammar study?
Probably not. What is needed now is time just reading Latin texts, getting used to the feel of the language (characteristic ways of saying things, etc.) and learning when to apply the many different tools you gained studying the grammar. But this type of reading is challenging on one's own, because everything is hard and unfamiliar, and so it is easy to become discouraged or frustrated.
This class offers a place for Latinists who feel they need practice reading to do so in an encouraging environment that will also help you to be rigorous about your craft while developing an ear for Latin ways of speaking. Whether you've just finished learning the grammar or have been teaching for a number of years but still feel like your reading is not where you want it to be, Reading Latin Practicum can help you reach the next stage in your language ability.
Starts February 2024
$400 / student
Junius Johnson is one of the best professors I have ever encountered. He is deeply knowledgeable and qualified, but also uses humor and a sense of play to foster a collaborative and engaging learning environment — all while pushing his students to do and be their best. He equipped me with the essential skills of nuanced Latin translation, and perhaps just as importantly instilled in me a love for the language and appreciation for its historical development and contexts. More than a decade after studying with him, I continue to benefit from Professor Johnson’s instruction and in fact am currently translating a ninth-century text for publication.
With humor, intelligent discussion, and deep insights, Junius Johnson gives you more than an overview or introduction to Latin, he inspires you to keep learning hard things while giving you a vision and much fuller picture of Latin.
Junius has such a robust understanding of the language, and his passion is contagious. His approach invites parents, educators, and students to re-imagine how they think about Latin, moving from merely transactional to experiential. He’s also not afraid to address many of the “why” questions that all too often go unanswered. Highly recommend!
Simply put, Junius Johnson is the best Latin teacher I have ever experienced in my many years of supervising education. He is a true scholar of the Latin language from the classical period to the neo-Latin present; he has success teaching every age and skill level. Junius is compassionate with those who are less gifted than he, but still manages to stretch his students in a friendly and inviting manner. I wholeheartedly recommend him to you as your teacher. Trust me, the encounter will be memorable.