So I don't post here enough. I really enjoy describing my adventures in finding better ways to teach reading skills. I have many friends that are employing Comprehensible Input to great effect, but I haven't gotten there yet, and I suppose in some ways I am on my own journey. And my journey has always been about learning how to read Latin better and more efficiently IN WORD ORDER, and--more importantly--how to teach those skills.
My Latin 3's are at this very minute taking their midterm exam. Right before class we were having a crash course reviewing two new quia.com exercises I created. They know that some of these questions do indeed make it to the exam thus the mad demand for one last review.
The first one is "Qui Connecting Relatives (Only":http://www.quia.com/quiz/4525361.html
This one is "What is Qui Doing?":http://www.quia.com/quiz/4526831.html
Both of these are based on the Cambridge Latin Course, stages 31-15. And what I like most about making things like this is that I feel legitimate if not empowered with the right to ask about them on exams. And frankly, these were not things I was tested on in high school. And I definitely never learned about qui connecting relatives in college. I remember being told to just translate quae cum ita sint in a certain way, but it was never explained and I never understood it.
People like to say that Caesar is easy to read, that he's straightforward, etc etc. Well, perhaps he is easy to read if you have a total grasp of all the grammar in question backwards and forwards. But he is not "easy" to read if you don't. His clauses are long, the indirect statements go on forever, and every now in then his word order is downright poetic.
And yet, it can be easy to read if one is taught the right skills for reading. And one of those skills understanding what qui is doing, especially when it shows up at the beginning of a sentence. Now I fully understand why it can jump out of a cum clause, as it so often does--it is connecting the current sentence back to the previous one. Surely someone could have explained that to me?
Perhaps it is because most professors just *got it* and never needed the explanation. But maybe if more people understood what quae is doing outside of the cum clause, more people would stick with Latin. That is, if Latin seemed more readable to a larger audience, perhaps more people would, ya know, read it.
Just my two denarii. I need to be grading. :-)