Tag Archives: online classes

Check this out!

A friend of mine, and a fellow teacher, David Durham is about to launch a Spanish class online.  Many of you have been asking me… “Where do I go to learn Spanish?”

You have read my recommendations.  Now, with exitement, I can add another recommendation.

David, like me, spent quite a bit of time in Europe.  Also, like me, he has spent quite a bit of time in the classroom.  He is now bringing that combined experience online.

I could use a refresher course in Spanish.  Who knows?  I may just join some of you in David’s online class!

And now, my good friend David Durham

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Let’s just get this out there: I’m an unapologetic language freak.

We all have our quirks. But I can point to a specific event that shaped my life perhaps more than any other single event.

At the age of nine, I was living in Perth, Western Australia with my parents and three brothers. For some reason I will always be grateful for, my parents decided to take the long way home to the States; rather than flying back, they decided to take a ship. So we boarded the HMS Canberra and set out across the Indian Ocean. Our first stops were my first exposure to other languages and cultures (unless you count Australian). I was enthralled with the chatter all around me, and my nine-year-old mind was blown away that they could understand each other! We made stops at ports in Sri Lanka, Yemen, and Egypt before leaving the ship in Naples, Italy and making our way through Europe by train. In each country, I listened to the language being spoken and did my best to imitate it. (Yeah, right.)

It wasn’t long before I had the opportunity to study first Spanish, then French in school, and I took to them like a duck to water. When I got to college, I continued my study of French and Spanish and added a little German and Portuguese. (I became conversant in Portuguese in the most informal possible way: I had a number of friends who had grown up in Brazil, and I loved hearing them speak Portuguese together. I asked them to speak it with me, and they agreed!)

I later had the opportunity to live for several years in Europe, where I picked up Dutch and a little Italian. Am I completely fluent in all of these? No. Seven languages at seven different degrees of fluency. But I am conversant, and that is what I want to stress here:

A little goes a long way.

When you learn to speak another language, it opens up all kinds of doors. Not only doors to other cultures in general, and not only potentially beneficial career opportunities but doors to people’s hearts. It can lead to relationships that might not have been possible otherwise. I’ve spent many years singing and recording in French, and knowing the French-speaking world pretty well, I can tell you that I probably wouldn’t have earned the trust of thousands of French speakers if I didn’t relate to them in their own beautiful language.

But language also opens doors to strangers whose language you might only know a few words in. Everywhere I travel, I try to learn some basic phrases at the very least – greetings, and how to order tea are at the top of my list. Oh, and where to find the restroom. They of course know I’m a foreigner and don’t speak their language fluently, but the effort of speaking to them in their mother tongue can go a long way. I’ve seen it happen time and time again.

My latest linguistic adventure is Arabic. I’m watching videos and have periodic tutoring sessions via Skype with a Syrian friend I made while visiting refugees in Germany.

What language(s) do you intend to become conversant in? Whatever you choose, it will add a whole new dimension to your life, and you will be the richer for it.

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You can listen to David’s podcast episode on being a polyglot, as well as other episodes, here.

But, I only need one year of Latin…

I received this comment:
Hi – I was getting ready to register my son for Henle 3 class and I understand it is $25 a month, but when I was checking out it said my card would be charged once a month, 36 times? I do not understand this? Would a year be 12 times? or Is it that I need to cancel the subscription when he is finished next May/June? Thanks!
Here is my reply:

You can cancel anytime.  I have set payments up to end at the end of three years.  Most of my students stick around with me for three years, at least.  Those who stick around for a fourth, fifth, or sixth year, get to attend classes for free.  I like to reward long-term students.
This article explains my thinking: https://dwanethomas.com/before-you-cancel/

What are the online classes like?

One of the most frequent questions I receive on my site is this one:

“What are the online classes like?”

Fair enough.

First of all, you should know that the online classes are designed for two types of students.

First, the online classes are designed for those who enjoyed Visual Latin and want to go beyond.  The online classes are next level Latin classes.  They are not easy.  In fact, they are highly challenging.  Please do not ignore this warning.  I typically do not allow students under the age of 13 into these classes.

Second, the online classes are designed for Classical Conversations students studying Latin using First Year Latin by Robert Henle.  I recommend the Henle classes only for students required read the Henle series.  For everyone else, I recommend Lingua Latina by Hans Ørberg.

The online classes are not a well-produced series like Visual Latin.  Instead, they are a series of screencasts.  Students watch me explain the text on my screen.

Here is an example of what class is like:

You will also have access to explanatory videos.   For example, if you are having a hard time with a difficult concept, or exercise, I will create extra videos to explain.  Here’s an example of one of those videos:

You will have access to about 800 videos.  Currently (June 2017) there are 771 videos.

In the past, I graded the work of my students.  I spent 6 to 8 hours a day grading.  I did this for years.  Eventually, I had to stop.

However, I kept a record of all of my notes to my students.  I am now in the process of making those notes available to all subscribers.

Here is an example of question from Lingua Latina (My corrections are in red.  If a student gets the answer is correct, there will be no red corrections.)

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1.  Quis Iuliam pulsat?  Who punches Julia?

  • Marcus
  • Marcus Iuliam pulsat.
  • Marcus pulsat Juliam.
  • Mārcus Iūliam pulsat et rīdet.
  • Mārcus Iūliam pulsat, quia Iūlia cantat.

Puer quis Iuliam pulsat est Marcus.  If you are going to use the relative pronoun (and I think it’s impressive that you did), you will need the masculine relative pronoun in this case.  Qui, instead of Quis  I’m not taking any points off, because you missed it by one letter, and you had the courage to even attempt it.

Marcum Juliam pulsat.  Since Marcus is the subject of the sentence, he is in the nominative case.   Change his name from Marcum to Marcus  -1

Marcus pulsat Ioliam.   One small spelling mistake… Julium, not Joliam -1

Marcus pulsat Julia.  Julia receives the action… she is in the accusative case.  Marcus pulsat Juliam.  -1

Iulia non pulsat  True.  But, the question is, “Who punches Julia?”  Of course, Marcus Juliam pulsat.  -2

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Many people ask, “How will I grade the work of my children?”

Now that I am done grading, I am in the process of uploading even more answer keys.  I am also in the process of creating more automatic quizzes on my site.  Using the quizzes on my site, students will be able to immediately receive feedback, and parents will be able to track the grades of their children.  My site will keep track of students grades.

As students take quizzes, my site tracks their progress.  Here is my progress, for example:

As you can see, I am pretty good at English vocabulary and not so good at Latin.  I’m teasing.   🙂

As I write the quizzes, I intentionally insert wrong answers to test the system.

This site is how I make my living.  I am doing everything I can to make my site more user-friendly and even more powerful for those attempting to learn Latin or Greek.  I have stopped grading the work of individual students so that I can dedicate more time to everyone.

If you are unsure about signing up, you are welcome to see what others are saying over in “Kudos” section of my site.

Or, you can just read the letter of another subscriber:

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Dear Dwane,

Let me start by telling you how happy I am to have found your website!!  You have totally revolutionized the way we study Latin in my home. 🙂  This will be my 4thyear being a Challenge director for Classical Conversations, therefore 4 years of trying to diligently learn Latin in order to teach both my students in class and my 4 children at home.  Even though I actually enjoy learning Latin, it has been an uphill battle using Henle Latin.  But now that I have been watching (and re-watching) your videos I feel like it’s finally starting to truly make sense.  You have a remarkable teaching style…and it just clicks!!  Thank you!! 🙂

Last year I really wanted my older Challenge level kids to join in on your Henle classes, but unfortunately the finances just weren’t there (even though your prices were SUPER reasonable, especially with your sibling discounts).  However, when you opened your site to a family rate, I just couldn’t pass it up.  I prayed about it, and God provided (He is so good)!!  Well, being the one-income, frugal homeschooling family that we are, we get our money’s worth…with everything!! 😉  Last year we would have ONLY gone through Henle.  However…since you’ve opened your website to include ALL of your classes, and since I have discovered so many wonderful gems in terms of learning language with your videos, I am having my kids view many of your other classes as well.  (I am not quite sure they are as excited about all the classes you offer as I am, since in their minds that equates to ‘more school.’ 😉 But I do know that they are learning so much more than they could ever have gotten with just doing Henle.)  As a family, we have added Lingua Latina and love it!!  And even though my kids may grumble sometimes when I call them to watch a video, they giggle their way through them.  You throw out so many interesting tidbits.  I just love the conversations it opens up for us!   

Even though my 10 year old’s main Latin curriculum is Visual Latin, she enjoys watching and reading/listening to Lingua Latina as well.  I am absolutely amazed at how quickly she is picking Latin up with your videos.  She absolutely loves VL, even now that we have reached lesson 13 and it’s starting to get more intense for her.  But that’s o.k., she has plenty of time….and we are just taking it slowly.  You truly have a wonderful God-given gift of teaching and relating to kids.  Thank you so much for making learning Latin fun!!

I know you are a super busy guy, and I am sorry that this letter is so long, I just really wanted to tell you how much I appreciate all that you do: making a great service extremely affordable (especially to families with multiple children), making learning Latin FUN, and providing great content in all of your classes.

– Anita

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Want to join a class?  Click the blue button below: 

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Refund season

This time of year, I send a lot of refunds.

This is one of the reasons I no longer offer a discounted annual rate.  To set this up, I have to set the payments up recurring annually.  People are excited when they join.  “Sure,” they think, “we will stick around for three years.”

No.  You won’t.  Latin is as hard as algebra.  You are going to want to quit.  Then, when you do quit, I am going to refund the next automatic payment that you set up last year.

This is why I changed my site to a monthly subscription site.  It makes cancellation easier for both of us.

This is also why I warn you NOT to join my online classes unless you are ready for a real challenge.  Latin is tough.  The books I use are tough.  The pace is tough.  Please, do not sign up unless you have grit and determination.  You are going to quit.  Your kids are going to want to quit.  These are not easy courses.

If you feel you are not ready, or if you feel your kids are too young, then go with Visual Latin.  You can move at your own pace.

People love, love, love my online classes.  Just read this page: https://dwanethomas.com/testimonials/.  But don’t be fooled.  Just because people love the classes, that does not mean the classes are easy.

People also love, love, love the prices I charge.  Here is why: https://dwanethomas.com/before-you-cancel/

But, please.  Do not join unless you understand the warnings.  The online classes I teach are not for the faint of heart.  Within 18 months (sometimes less) you will be reading the New Testament in Latin.  You just can’t accomplish that goal without some serious work.

Classes resume today.

If you are in one of my online classes, and if you are wondering… yes.  Classes resume today.

There are no scheduled breaks between now and May.  We have a long road in front of us.

However, I may be adding unscheduled breaks.  My family and I are considering a return to Greece.  I will be returning to attend language school.  If we go, there will likely be breaks inserted as we relocate to Athens.

 

 

Made me happy….

I received this note this weekend:

My daughter took your Lingua Latina last year, and it was her favorite thing.  Last year she was the one w/earbuds at her computer laughing alone in the dining room.  This year it’s all of us! 

You have no idea how grateful I am for the way you have simplified Henle’s book in a very visual way. My 2 daughters are watching the videos and taking the quizzes as well  

P.S. Your Latin Folder is absolutely brilliant! I now look at CC trivium table or Henle grammar book and they make me crazy! I think you should just charge $5-10 for everyone. I have been recommending it to all the CC tutors. It’s the missing link!