Illinois Classical Conference 2012

Abstract

The vast majority of second language acquisition (SLA) research has been conducted from the perspective of modern language instruction, in which speaking and listening are given priority over writing and reading. How, then, is SLA research relevant to the classical languages, in which instructors focus on reading above all? Since Latin and ancient Greek have not ceased to be languages, it stands to reason that second language acquisition research should have something to offer teachers of Greek and Latin. I find one such overlap in the SLA research on input modification and negotiation, which shows that students benefit from interacting with each other to negotiate meaning. Applying these findings to the Greek and Latin classroom reveals that students who produce Greek and Latin texts and then negotiate the meaning of those texts together, even entirely in English, can experience the benefits suggested by the SLA literature.

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