J.A.C.T. Latin Summer School

JACT Latin Summer School (www.latincamp.co.uk)

Camp 2016 runs from Monday 25th July to Saturday 6th August.

2017 Fees: £300 for tuition / £730 for tuition and full food and board

Please see our website for full details and quick online application.

We have a strong line in supporting university students who have begun, or are about to begin, Latin at university. This could of course just as easily be postgraduates or even lecturers from classical or other disciplines who for whatever reason are starting or have recently started Latin as adults. (We have for example had American university professors with us as students.) Our aim, in short, is to support the Latin learning of as many students as possible, regardless of experience or background. Our main focus (other than for the complete beginners) is on increasing fluency and reading more widely, providing an additional confidence in the language and interest in the literature. The tutors are all highly qualified subject specialists, of whom almost all are practising Classics teachers from some of the UK’s leading schools.

Students all receive three formal teaching sessions per day and are expected to work in between these sessions preparing as instructed by their course tutors.

Fluency v Grammar Work: Although revision of Latin grammar is not a primary focus of the Latin Summer School, we do offer grammar clinics on various topics (e.g. participles & ablative absolutes or uses of the subjunctive). We set and test small sections (e.g. adjective endings) for revision each day as appropriate to the reading level of each group.

Food and Board: all meals and tuition are included in the residential fee and individual dietary requirements can usually be catered for at no extra charge. Accommodation is provided in shared rooms within boarding houses on the school site. Facilities include Tennis courts and a swimming pool, with the local shops and market just a few minutes’ walk away. The Summer School runs its own tuck shop.

As well as the basic course programme we provide:

·       A full programme of lectures on aspects of Roman life and literature, with speakers from universities and museums

·       A range of ‘grammar clinics’ to help those who feel their grammar needs a boost

·       The chance to meet university lecturers from a variety of Classics departments.

·       Excursions to Bath and Wales

·       A classical drama production

·       An optional Roman cookery class


Beginners’ Course

The beginners follow the 3-book Nick Oulton course, So You Really Want to Learn Latin.  We progress rapidly through the basic grammar to establish reliable building blocks, with emphasis upon practice of the grammar via the medium of writing sentences into Latin.

The key language we cover includes:

  • Nouns and adjectives of all declensions
  • Active, passive and deponent indicative verbs of all conjugations
  • The main irregular verbs
  • Infinitives and imperatives
  • The importance of principal parts
  • Present and perfect participles
  • Indirect statements
  • The main constructions which use the subjunctive

There is an optional revision session before supper, covering the key grammar learned that day or anything else students ask to go back over.

“Less Advanced” Courses

These courses are intended primarily to increase fluency, for students who have had some but not much exposure to Latin, by reading more literature in the original.

Tutors choose texts intended to best suit the students based on the information they and their referees provide. A lot of groups will use readers such as:

  • Wheelock - Selections from Latin Literature
  • Murgatroyd - Apuleius, Metamorphoses and From Augustus to Nero
  • Balme and Morwood - Cupid and Psyche and The Millionaire’s Dinner Party
  • The Oxford and Cambridge Latin Anthologies

We usually have at least two groups in each category and our policy is to set them based on how many years they have studied Latin. This helps ensure the right pace and suitable texts to give all the students a meaningful experience.

“More Advanced” Courses

These might very well suit an American student who has taken Advanced Placement Latin at school, perhaps helping towards placing out of some of the more elementary Latin courses at college. We expose students who have already read a decent amount of original Latin to a wider range of texts and authors. Typically selections from 3-4 texts are studied. Care is always taken to ensure that we do not cover anything which any students have already read.

Tutors choose texts based on the information which the students and referees provide. An able group will read a selection of authors they may never have seen, to get a wider knowledge of literature, awareness of different styles and a better base of texts under their belt to talk about in future university applications. For example, one group recently read:

  • Seneca, Letters (a selection)
  • Suetonius - Nero (selection)
  • Tacitus - Annals 14 (selection)
  • Lucan - de bello civili book 7 (in its entirety)

We usually have at least two groups in each category and we set them by how many years they have studied Latin, past attainment and information given by referees. Obviously a less advanced group will study easier / more mainstream texts chosen to suit their experience.

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