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Latin and Classical Languages on the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme

  • Simon Trafford

Extract

It is well established that Latin has long suffered from not being included in the National Curriculum. The effects of the National Curriculum have been far-reaching and nearly terminal for the teaching of Latin in state schools, an issue which has been discussed effectively already (Hunt, 2016; Tristram, 2003; Gay, 2003). In the face of the more serious issue of Latin being dropped by many schools due to its status outside the National Curriculum, one issue which is often overlooked is the lack of support and guidance concerning curriculum and assessment models for those departments still offering Latin. Many departments are guided by the course books they follow or the outcomes desired by the GCSE they take. These issues can lead to problems of their own, such as an over-reliance on the course book or too keen an eye on the end goal of the GCSE. Neither of these things is sustainable or desirable when it comes to a dynamic curriculum or meaningful assessment, and the satisfactory resolution of such problems often relies on serious input from outstanding practitioners within departments who can navigate these complicated issues – something not open to all. There has been help offered by the Association for Latin Teaching (ARLT) who have produced grade descriptors to help teachers who (paradoxically) need to conform to the same standards as other subjects when reporting ‘National Curriculum’ assessment. But this cannot be considered as anything more than a stopgap and only assists with one half of the issue. Alternatively, others may be attracted by the curriculum model offered by the American Classical League's Standards for Classical Language Learning (2016, draft) which offers a comprehensive and fully communicative approach to the teaching of Latin with their 5 Goals and which has been available for 20 years now. This, of course, cannot help with the other half of the problem: the UK assessment model.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

References

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American Classical League (2016, draft). Standards for Classical Language Learning. Philadelphia, PA: American Classical League and American Philological Association.
Gay, B. (2003). Classics Teaching and the National Curriculum, in Morwood, J. (ed.), The Teaching of Classics (pp. 20-35). Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Hunt, S. (2016). Starting to Teach Latin. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (2017, Pre-publication). Classical Languages Guide. Cardiff: International Baccalaureate Organization (UK).
Trafford, S. (2017). The benefits of the International Baccalaureate Diploma for Latin and Classics in the Sixth Form. Journal of Classics Teaching, 35, pp. 65-67.
Tristram, D. (2003). Classics in the Curriculum from the 1960s to the 1990s, In Morwood, J. (ed.) The Teaching of Classics (pp. 6-19). Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

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Latin and Classical Languages on the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme

  • Simon Trafford

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