We can’t go back in time to the Roman world, but we can do our best to imagine it! In Latin, our gamified curriculum invites students to roleplay their way through the ancient Roman world, playing specific characters and completing quests by writing and speaking in the language. Our focus is not grammar drills, but interaction.
At the moment, this interaction is primarily in writing on an online forum. My role as the teacher is to write connecting narratives so that students’ actions and words have meaning. For instance, if a student compliments a character, that character may respond favorably to them in the linking narrative. Cultural context is important in crafting responses as well. One of our “missions” calls upon students to explore a house (based on a real house in Pompeii) looking for a scroll full of information for their next quest. In order to search effectively, students must complete research on Roman houses and how they differ from modern day ones.
As we get further into the curriculum, more of our missions will have an oral component to go with the written one.