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  • South Africa's Students Learn English from Latin

    A dead language makes English come alive for students in South Africa who travel Forward to the Past with Corrie Schumann. Now anyone can book Schumann's tour de force on The Classics Technology Center on the Web (CTCWeb, Schumann is a teacher at Academia Latina, Pretoria, South Africa. Her Forward to the Past is AbleMedia's Bronze Chalice award winner, "because it helps students learn how to communicate in English by understanding the common cultural roots of several languages," said Wendy E. Owens, CTCWeb Editor-In-Chief.

    Schumann leads students Forward to the Past "to empower learners by enriching their command of the English language through cross-cultural and linguistic studies based on the Roman world." It's about communicating, in a world where understanding is more important than just talk. "Forward to the Past includes writing, speaking, reading, and listening activities whereby learners develop increased ability to communicate meaningfully in English," Schumann said. "These skills and the linguistic and cultural outcomes contribute to education in general."

    "This is an example of how the study of the Classics contributes to the basic language and cultural skills of students for whom English is a second Language," Owens said. "Schumann's work complements other Classics oriented curricula available in CTCWeb. Schumann's course is distinguished by its cross-disciplinary nature and how it relates events in ancient Rome to present day events in South Africa and the rest of the world."

    On CTCWeb, users will find an explanation of Schumann's course and a sample chapter with suggested linguistic and cultural outcomes. Links to a variety of related CTCWeb materials and resources, including CTCWeb Global Glossary entries and primary source materials, supplement Schumann's description.

    Schumann supervised the development of Forward to the Past under the auspices of the Academia Latina of the University of Pretoria, as part of a cross-cultural enrichment program project. Schumann was aided by Rolien Buhrmann, who wrote the course material, and by Prof. Jo-Marie Claassen, from the Department of Antique Studies of the University of Stellenbosch, who edited the course material. The course is adaptable within the range of grades 7 to 10, depending on learner's command of English.

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