Three (and a half) tips for relearning Latin 101

Happy almost-fall, everyone! We’re glad to be back from summers away, although it seems that we missed some interesting stories (although I guess it’s not surprising that someone who does not believe in climate change also doesn’t think much of ancient science).

But enough about politicians — it’s the time of year when students start to think (or are forced to think) about all of the material they used to know. Noses back to the grindstone. Here, we’ve set out our best ways to remember what you learned last year and get a head start on this year. It’s mainly aimed at languages, but if you have any questions about reviewing for other topics, let us know in the comments!

  1. Start reviewing your vocabulary from last year. During the summer, a lot of those words you worked hard to learn went into the hibernation part of your brain. The good news is that it’s faster to learn them the second time around. A good way to review Greek and Latin vocab in particular is via flashcards (unless your program does a lot of living Greek/Latin, you’re best off learning how to recognize the various words). There are a lot of free flashcard apps online that can be used from your browser or your smartphone. Quizlet has a lot of pre-made vocab lists keyed to popular textbooks (such as Shelmerdine, Cambridge Latin, and Wheelock). Cram has some Latin words, but I’d advise you to make your own. And many publishers now offer chapter-by-chapter online vocab drills and games. Try googling your textbook name and “study aid”.
    • If you’re trying to learn a modern language, Duolingo offers free introductory material in listening, writing, and speaking as well. It’s great for learning German on your commute — as long as you don’t mind people looking at you as you mutter “Meine tante isst viele Waffeln.”
  2. Review both the grammar and the sentences in your textbook. You don’t have to start from chapter one; that should be way too easy for you now. Go back about five chapters from where you left off last year and do every exercise. If you still have your graded homework and classwork from last year, compare it to what you do now: what do you need to work on? Maybe it’s a case, like the ablative; maybe it’s putting words together correctly in a complete sentence. Whatever it is, that gives you something to focus on for the upcoming year.
  3. Don’t panic! Professors expect students to have forgotten material over the summer. We always start with a review. If you start reviewing before classes, that’s one step ahead for your own knowledge — and will start you off well for the school year.


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Three (and a half) tips for relearning Latin 101 by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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