Prendergast's Latin Mastery
For academic research on systems that are similar to the Prendergast Mastery method, read Learning the language of loved ones: on the generative principle and the technique of mirroring, W Butzkamm, ELT Journal, Volume 55, Issue 2, April 2001
"In language learning and teaching, the generative principle is just as important as the communicative principle. The two should be seen as companions rather than opposites: techniques are available to breathe communicative life into structural exercises." Wolfgang Butzkamm
Level: BEGINNER through to highly ADVANCED +
If you have already studied Latin before using a different course, then jump straight in.
If you are a complete beginner, Prendergast will be difficult, but immensely rewarding.
The Latinum Institute has produced a series of Prendergast style serial and oral lessons and diagnostic exercises using the Prendergast mastery system, based on the text of Adler's Dictata.
You might want to try using these Adler Prendergast lessons if you find the Prendergast Lessons below are too advanced for you.
Linguam Latinam non ex infinitis grammaticorum praeceptis, sed ex veterum librorum lectione et imitatione comparandam esse.
The Latin language is not acquired from an infinity of grammatical rules, but from reading the books of the ancients, and through imitation.
- Jacob Flacciolatus , anno 1715
Prendergast's Handbook to the Oral Mastery Series. (TEXT)
Textbook: Prendergast's Mastery Series (Latin) (Second Edition) (TEXT)
Textbook: Prendergast's Mastery Series (Latin) (Third Edition) (TEXT)
NOTE: Prendergast instructs the student NOT to look at the text, but to make this a completely oral exercise; the lesson recordings are structured according to Prendergast's instructions. Read more about Thomas Prendergast here.
THE PRENDERGAST METHOD
How does Prendergast's Latin Mastery work? There is a carefully structured series of statements in English, which you need to immediately translate orally into Latin. Each sentence needs to be mastered.
Prendergast did a statistical analysis of word frequency, and the lessons focus on the most common words in Latin, and their permutations.
Each exercise starts with a simple phrase or sentence, and then builds the sentence up phrase by phrase and clause by clause, ending with a complex sentence.
A bell is sounded, followed by a brief pause, which should provide sufficient time for you to translate. Following the pause, a model translation is given.
Pay close attention to your word order. Although word order in Latin is somewhat flexible, especially in poetry, there are definite patterns you need to get used to.
If you need more time, press pause.
You must repeat the lesson over and over, until you find pausing unnecessary.
Although this course is intended for students and teachers who have already studied Latin for some years, beginners can nevertheless make use of these exercises by repeatedly listening to and attempting the oral Latin answers.
If you are a beginner, your progress will be very slow, as you will more or less need to memorise the answers. Prendergast estimated that a minimum of 20 to 30 repetitions would be needed by beginners for the first 100 or so examples. He said you must be aiming for translation that is rapid and easy, requiring no thought on your part. Prendergast assumes a beginner working on this course for at the minimum of an hour a day, with three separate periods of 20 minutes per day, would take three years to complete it, and that only ten minutes of new exercises should be attempted per day, with the rest of the time spent in intensive review.
Regarding the fragmented sentences: when cutting these up, frequently a sentence element is assumed to be present (subauditur), to make the shorter elements grammatical and usable as elements of the final long sentence.
The short sentences need to be understood in the context of the final sentence, and should not be seen as sentences in isolation.
The Romans themselves frequently wrote in this 'telegraphic' style, when speech elements would be understood from context. Remember, the goal is the final elaborate sentence, the small sentence snippets along the way are stepping stones towards that goal.
LATIN MASTERY - ZIP FILES
ZIP FILES (DOWNLOAD CATALOGUE)
INDIVIDUAL LESSONS - STREAMING
Do not move on to the following exercise until you can translate the English into Latin aloud 'on the go' in the time provided with no hesitation at all.
Exercise 1. (Free Latin Lesson - Public Access)
Exercise 2. (Free Latin Lesson - Public Access)
Exercise 3. (Free Latin Lesson - Public Access)
Exercise 4. (Free Latin Lesson - Public Access)
Exercise 5. (Free Latin Lesson - Public Access)