I didn’t have this ready Saturday, so I am showing up in your email on Monday.

It’s October.  By now, quite a few of you are struggling with Latin.  Especially Henle Latin.  I know.  I get the emails.

Just so you know, I take students through Henle Latin every year.  And, you can join my classes anytime.  So, if you are struggling, and you need some help, feel free to jump in.  (Update.  As of 2022, I no longer take students through Henle Latin.  I spend over a decade doing so, and those classes remain up on my site, available 24/7.)

Also, just so you know, if you are struggling… and feeling dumb, it might not be you.  It might just be the method.

In a fight between the Grammar method of teaching Latin (Henle Latin, Jenny’s Latin, Latin for Americans, Latin for the new Millennium, Wheelock’s Latin, and just about every other Latin book out there) and the Natural Method of teaching Latin (Lingua Latina), who would win?

Well, first you have to ask yourself… “What is the goal?”

My goal is simple.  When I teach Latin, I want my students reading the New Testament in Latin within 18 months.

So.  In a fight between the Grammar method and the Natural method, who would win?

I have taught (and still teach) using both methods.  The answer is easy.   The Natural method wins.

What this video:


In most classes, students are taught a bunch of Latin endings.  This is pretty typical of the Grammar method.  Nothing wrong with it.  But, as C.S. Lewis mentions in his autobiography, students often memorize long lists and charts and never get within sight of a Roman author.

In the video above, the teacher has some six or seven-year-old kid reading and responding in Latin.  They are reading Lingua Latina, by the way.

I have students ask me all the time.  “I studied Latin in school for six years, so… why can’t I speak Latin?”

The answer is simple.  Almost every school uses the Grammar method.   And… it really doesn’t work.  If you want to speak Latin, get a copy of Lingua Latina and start reading.

If you are using the Grammar method, do not be surprised when you reach the end of three or four years of Latin… and you still can’t speak Latin.  And, most importantly, do not beat yourself up.  Do not convince yourself that you are not good at languages.  You do not have a learning disability.

The school system has a teaching disability.

I am teaching myself Italian right now.  I am using the Natural method.  It’s working.  I am now able to read at an intermediate level in Italian.  For grammar, I listen to Coffee Break Italian, and for practice, I spend time on DuoLingo every day.  It’s all free.  You can do the same if you like.

Next, I plan to tackle French.  I will use the Natural method there as well.  I already have the book and am ready to go.  Just waiting until I can read Italian at an advanced level.

Just remember, if you are feeling inadequate in Latin (or, any other language you are learning in school), be encouraged.  It might not be you.  In fact, I would bet lots of money it isn’t you.

It’s the method.

In a fight between the grammar method and the natural method, the natural method will win every time.


What I am reading these days:

I read a lot.  In many ways, it’s my job.  But, I don’t spend all of my time reading about dead Greeks and Romans (though I really enjoy reading that stuff).  This week, I am reading a book that is not for everyone.  It is not for the faint of heart.  It is not for the easily offended.   In case you did not catch all of that, this book is offensive.  I am not entirely sure what I think about it yet.  So far, it is full of hard-hitting, no holding back business and life sense.  But, since I have not finished it yet, I can’t fully warn you.  Anyway.  The book is available as an audiobook on Scribd.  (I am a big fan of Scribd, as you know).  The book is The 50th Law by the rapper 50 cent.  It is co-authored by Robert Greene.  Here it is on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ROYYqC

I usually don’t read a lot of books by rappers, but this one, so far, has been captivating.   Shocking, too.  Just remember, I warned you.


You don’t have to wait until next school year.

Classes are in full swing now.  I am uploading 28 new videos every week.  If you find yourself stuck in a Latin class and need help, you can still join.  I have built my site in such a way that you can join anytime.  You don’t have to wait until the beginning of a school year.

Just go here: https://dwanethomas.com/join/ 


Almost every Saturday, I send out a Tip of the Week.  The tip of the week is usually something I have picked up along the way that may make your life a little easier.  If you would like to hear from me (almost) every Saturday, just go to the home page of my site and plug in your name and email.   You will also get a free digital copy of my book on learning Latin (and almost anything else).  Just go here: https://dwanethomas.com/

If you want to buy the digital book instead (because you just feel like buying me a cup of coffee) go here: https://dwanethomas.gumroad.com/l/fzixlh

If you are interested in learning Latin, you can go through the classes on my site 24/7.  I recommend the book Lingua Latina by Hans Ørberg.  If you tackle the book and find yourself bogged down, you may find the classes on my site helpful.  To join, just click here: https://dwanethomas.com/join/

If you want a more professionally filmed experience, check out the best-selling DVD series: Visual Latin.

Or, if you want to skip Latin, and just jump right into learning English words from Latin and Greek roots, you may enjoy the series Word Up!  Warning.   Word Up! is a bit wacky.  You will learn a lot… but, you may find yourself rolling your eyes, too.
I teach other languages on my site, too.  The current schedule is here: https://dwanethomas.com/live-classes/

By the way, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Not trying to pull a fast one on you. I only promote what I believe in. Not only that, but commissions from affiliate links allow me to continue offering training and books at low prices and sometimes free.