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LATIN 111.14 syllabus
(subject to tweaking)

instructor name and contact info | course infogoals | texts/materials | attendance | grades | classroom policies | commitment and personal teaching philosophy | out-of-class experiences | academic integrity | special considerations

Course Details

Latin 111.14
First Year Latin (Part 1)
2:00-2:50 MTWR
Schroeder Hall 302
prerequisites: none

Dr. Janice Siegel (Dr. J)
Stevenson 203-F 
Office Hours: MTWR 3-4 and by appointment
309-438-3583 (leave a message on voice mail)
email: jfsiege@ilstu.edu (best bet)
class website: http://lilt.ilstu.edu/drjclassics

Course goals

By the end of Latin 111.14, the first half of the first year of college Latin, we will have learned about Latin word order; pronunciation; adjective-noun agreement; person, number, tense, voice and mood of verbs; syntax of nouns;  the present, future, and imperfect formation and translation of first, second, third and fourth conjugation verbs; imperatives and infinitives; the perfect active system; principal parts of verbs; first, second, and third declensions of both nouns and adjectives (including i-stems); personal, reflexive, demonstrative, and relative pronouns; and myriad uses of the ablative case.

Required Texts/materials

Material in the texts listed below will be supplemented by on-line Mallard drills written especially for you (by me). Any materials for studying Roman culture will be either supplied to you in class or provided on the website.

Wheelock's Latin, 6th edition (June 2000)
Harper Resource; ISBN: 0060956410 buy it at the bookstore or from Amazon.com

38 Latin Stories by Anne H. Groton and James M. May. Buy it from the bookstore or Amazon.com

a package of 3 X 5 index cards, lined or not

Recommended Texts:

Cassell's Latin Dictionary. Buy it from Amazon.com

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance is required in this class. More than 5 absences during the course of the semester may adversely affect your grade, and unless the absence is excused, any assignment or quiz associated with that day will receive a grade of zero. Attending class is not only required, but good for you -  and fun -  too: we will spend a considerable amount of class time working together to find the best way to understand and learn our lessons. Our goal? To build a firm foundation in grammar and vocabulary so we can get to the good stuff (the literature!) as soon as possible. If you aren't here, you will lose out. And so will we. If you must miss a class for any of the reasons below, please talk to me in advance of the absence, if possible. Let's work together.

What if I am ill or must be absent for a personal reason? If you'll be out for a day or two, call or email me to let me know. But please get into the habit of asking classmates about missed work. If your illness or personal situation will keep you away from class for longer than 3 days, contact the Office of Student Affairs at 438-5451 so they can coordinate communication efforts with all your professors. 

The following questions are linked to their answers in the University Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines website:

What if I miss class because I am involved in a Sanctioned University Activity?
What if I have to miss class because of religious observance?

Here is a great webpage with student info: http://www.ilstu.edu/depts/studentlife

How Grades are Calculated

: a midterm 20% and final examination (20%).
Vocabulary Quizzes: 15%
Grammar Quizzes: 15%
Daily Assignments/Class Preparation
Participation/Effort: 10%

Exams: There is a midterm (20%) and a final examination (yes, it is cumulative, 20%). You should be well-prepared for each exam if you do your work all along, but I will be happy to run review sessions. I will be posting grammar reviews all along, too. If there is anything else I can do to help you prepare for the big tests, just let me know.

Exam Policies: There can be no make-up exams except in the case of an excused absence. The exam must be made-up within one week of the absence. I reserve the right to write a new exam for any student who misses the originally scheduled exam. An unexcused absence will earn the student a zero on the exam, which will essentially assure failure for the course. Please don't miss your exams.

Quizzes: Lots of 'em. This helps keep you paced, and it also lets me know if and when I lose you... as soon as a point of grammar escapes you, we handle it. Nothing gets out of hand, no snowballs roll downhill, no damage occurs that can't be undone. Quizzes amount to 30 % of your grade. I am in the process of mastering Mallard (I speak hubristically) and I hope to gain enough skill soon to begin writing computer-corrected vocabulary and grammar drills for each chapter. These will contribute to your participation grade, and your quiz grades will probably soar higher, too. They offer extra practice and self-testing opportunities. Plus, they are fun. And there are already interactive quizzes out there on the internet designed to go with Wheelock, so you have plenty to choose from. See Dr. J's Interactive Vocabulary Quiz and Interactive Grammar Quiz pages for links to these other resources.

Quiz Policies: Everyone gets to drop his lowest quiz grade during the course of the semester.

There can be no make-up quizzes except in the case of an excused absence. The quiz must be made up within one week of the absence.

Daily Assignments/Class preparation: This is a killer of a course in terms of keeping on top of the material. You can't afford to fall behind because of the quick pace. I have devised a schedule that gives you from Thursday evening through Monday to do the bulk of the work for each chapter. Pace yourself: set yourself a work schedule and stick to it. Please consult the class calendar for due dates of assignments. PLEASE come to class prepared or the explanations of the chapter materials will go right over your head and worse, you won't be able to participate. Being prepared will not only help your grade, but it will also make our time together that much more profitable and enjoyable. 

You will be expected to do all your work on a word processor (except for the vocabulary index cards, which you will need to bring to class EVERY day) and bring a clean copy with you to class with you that you will hand in before you leave. Devise a filing system in your word processor that will allow you to keep all of your completed exercises at your fingertips. This will make your life easier when exam review time comes along. Completing assignments dutifully and on time will get you a great prep grade and, believe it or not, will cause you to get a handle on the material! Win-win. Of course, the opposite is, sadly, just as true.

Assignment Policies: Everyone gets one freebie for being unprepared during the course of the semester.

If you are not prepared, you get a zero for that day's assignment. I suggest that when you do complete the assignment, the next day, show it to me. Assignments are deemed either acceptable or not: they are not graded for content, but solely on effort. If you leave more than half of the questions blank, for example, or you have filled the paper with nonsense, you won't get any credit. You have opportunities to get help before the assignment is due. Take advantage of your resources.

Participation/Effort: This category encompasses all those voluntary activities that will make you a better student of Latin. I encourage you to share with me evidence of the time and energy you invest in this course. If you are doing the extra exercises in the back of the Latin textbook, hand them in. If you are spending a lot of time taking the interactive quizzes so you can learn your vocabulary and grammar, print them out and hand them in. I also encourage you to explore Latin's cultural legacy in our everyday world: if you see a Latin sign, or a comic strip, or an advertisement that draws on knowledge of the ancient world, bring it in! In all other aspects of this course, you are competing only against yourself. But here your contributions will be gauged against those of your classmates, so go get 'em! We can talk about putting each individual in charge of presenting something to the class every week, too - "this day in antiquity", "weather forecast in Latin,"  "famous Romans in film," "etymology corner," etc. We can also have projects: making Roman board games, wax tablets, etc. 

And...Participate! This is a sure-fire way to become intimately involved with the material. Ask questions, offer answers, engage, engage, engage! Ideas always stick better if you jump into the fray.

Classroom Policies

student conduct: All students will naturally be expected to comport themselves according to the guidelines established in the university's Student Code of Conduct. Please familiarize yourself with this document.

In addition to these general principles, I have certain expectations of student behavior that I have lovingly honed over the course of the years, and I hope that adherence to some simple rules will make our class time enjoyable and profitable for all. Let common courtesy be your guide and your goal.

Most important is our sense of community. Join us! Mutual respect is the sine qua non of this course (that means "something we can't do without" in Latin!). My students must feel comfortable voicing their opinions, asking questions, or expressing anxiety or pleasure concerning course demands.

tardiness: Please arrive on time and do not leave in the middle of class unless it is absolutely necessary. I much prefer that you arrive late rather than not at all (see late policy), but if you must enter the class after it has begun, please respect the class and settle in as quickly and as quietly as possible. If you need to leave early, please let me know ahead of time and try to sit near the door.

eating/drinking: Feel free to bring a drink to class, but please - NO food or gum. If you don't know why I have this rule, I will teach a class chewing gum or munching on a sandwich, and then it will become clear. Since we meet during the lunch hour, please try to grab something to eat before hand so you will be alert (I approve of sugar and caffeine highs for adults unless it gets out of hand).

Commitment and Personal Teaching Philosophy

I pledge my attention, time, effort and expertise to you as you learn your paradigms, memorize your vocabulary, grasp the syntactical workings of the language, start thinking and reading in Latin. I expect you to exert an equivalent effort. This is a demanding 4-credit course. Expect to spend a minimum of ten hours a week preparing in addition to the time we will spend together in class. I have spread the assignments out over as much time as possible, given our MTWR schedule. I have programmed into our syllabus a variety of ways you can buttress your grade. Take advantage of your resources (that would be me)! I make myself very available to students, but you have to bring your questions and concerns to me, either in person or electronically.

My job is to support students, not to indulge them. If you have too much on your plate (including too many courses, or a heavy work schedule, or any reason for missing class on a regular or semi-regular basis), you are setting yourself up to fail. Please help me to help you get the most possible out of the course. Put forth your best effort.

Your job is to learn the material, conquer the frontier, climb the mountain. My job is to run ahead of the pack a little bit - to remove as many obstacles from your path as possible, to offer resources that will help, to guide you on your way. You do your job, and I'll do mine. In the end, we'll both feel a wondrous sense of accomplishment.

Out-of-Class Experiences

Let's consider starting a local ISU chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, the national classics fraternity! Click here for more info.

Academic Integrity

I expect that everyone in this class will do his or her own work, inside and outside of class. It is OK to collaborate with others to gain mastery of the material. It is not OK to be so dependent on a classmate or other knowledgeable soul that the work you hand in is not a product of your own effort and understanding. Academic dishonesty covers a lot of ground: cheating, computer dishonesty plagiarism, grade falsification, and collusion are all defined in the Undergraduate Catalog handbook, page 57 (or in the on-line Student Code of Conduct, under General Regulations, section B), and more information is available at the Dispute Resolution Services Website. I do not expect any of my students to be dishonest, but it is only fair for me to tell you right up front that I will respond to deliberate acts of academic dishonesty appropriately. Professors are required to report suspected cheating. Please don't put me in that position.

Presenting as your own work that you did not produce is dishonest. It also works against you: if you let someone else do your work for you, you will not benefit from the learning process. Once this becomes apparent (it is also only fair to tell you that your professors aren't stupid) the short term damage is that you will suffer an academic penalty - failure of a course, suspension from the university, or worse. But much more significant is the damage you do to your own sense of what you are able to accomplish, and the value you put on your own self worth. If you are not sure whether outside assistance for a particular assignment constitutes academic dishonesty, ask!

Special considerations

If you need a special accommodation to fully participate in this class, please talk to me about it privately as soon as possible. You may also contact the Office of Disability Concerns directly at (309)438-5853 (Voice) or (309)438-8620 (TTY/TDD).

copyright 2001 Janice Siegel, All Rights Reserved
send comments to: Janice Siegel (jfsiege@ilstu.edu)

date this page was edited last: 06/29/2005
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