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Jenney's First Year Latin

25 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0133193282
ISBN-10: 0133193284
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Jenney's First Year Latin + JENNEY'S SECOND YEAR LATIN GRADES 8-12 TEXT 1990C
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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Latin

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 579 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall (1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0133193284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0133193282
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 82 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I have taught beginning Latin from several texts--Ecce Romani, the Oxford Latin Course, the 1990 edition of Jenney's Latin featured here, as well as the older (1979 and earlier) editions of Jenney's Latin. I can say with all confidence and experience that the newer edition (1990) fails in many areas of instruction. In an attempt to modernize itself, the Jenney series lost much of what made earlier editions great, namely its clarity and focused, appropriately challenging readings.
In this 1990 edition, the readings have been changed and often lengthened--no doubt in an attempt to guise itself as a quasi-reading method text. Unfortunately, the new readings rarely adequately enforce the grammar taught in the unit, and offer instead syntactical oddities that only baffle and frustrate even the most earnest students. The book does a good job of including photos of real antiquities, but does so often without context and in excessive detail. As thrilling as it must be for for the average high school freshman to learn the difference between statumen, rudus, and pavimentum (p. 251), it might interest him/her more to spend more time on the cultural/historical context of Roman roads (i.e., their *application*). Such details about the roads' layers would be unknown to many non-specialist Ph.Ds. We wish to emphasize LEARNING, but we want also to emphasize the thematic application of knowledge--not merely the acquisition of facts without context.
Indeed, students might LEARN Latin better if presented with a concise, yet still challenging, version of the Aeneas story (as in earlier editions), gaining confidence as they reinforce their abilities to READ Latin and are introduced to cultural topics.
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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Publishers know that the market for Latin texts comprises Latin teachers who see shrinking enrollments and are afraid of being "downsized." In desperation to keep students, Classics departments often struggle to candy-coat Latin, making it more fun and less daunting for students. Now, I like fun as much as the next classics geek, but many teachers forget that students should have fun WHILE learning, not INSTEAD of learning. Accordingly, many modern Latin texts are simplistic, cartoon-enhanced bait designed to keep enrollment up. They are education's junk food: perhaps enjoyable, but with few lasting benefits. Jenny's is different: it does not shy away from teaching Latin in thorough detail. The lessons, cumulative, give tons of practice. The back of the book has excellent resources for forms, grammar, vocabulary and even useful Latin dicta. In addition, Jenny's has informative, interesting readings on history and culture. Gorgeous color photographs of Roman art, architecture and everyday items adorn the pages and spur imaginative discussions. This enables students to learn not only the verbs and endings but the fascinating context that made the Roman Republic and Empire what they were. My students have always enjoyed learning from this book, despite the fact that (or because?) it challenges them. I've taught Latin for ten years, for seven of which I've used this book. I myself learned from an earlier version of it in 6th grade. Earlier versions (from over ten years ago) had a vocabulary and focus much more geared towards military readings than the present incarnation, which has a better-rounded vocabulary as useful for Horace's love poems as for Caesar's Gallic War. I recommend this book strongly for serious students and instructors.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Nick G. on December 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
There is a growing problem in the schools of our country. It is a problem which greatly concerns me, and unfortunately, one that I do not see being rectified in the foreseeable future (especially without the re-popularization of Jenney's First Year Latin). Fifty years ago this problem did not exist and was in fact inconceivable, but today it is commonplace. The problem of which I speak is the learning of Latin grammar in today's schools through inferior Latin grammar books (no need to name names, but let's just say that we have a certain British school to blame).

In the old days, Latin was taught in the proper manner. It involved a careful leaning process involving three easy steps: 1) Learn and master the grammar; 2) Read stories in order to become familiar with translation; and 3) Plunge into the exciting, actual texts of authors such as the legendary Virgil or the lovesick Catullus. In this way of learning, by the time the student gets to step three, he or she will have little trouble adjusting to ancient texts.

In recent years, for whatever the reason, student enthusiasm for Latin has waned. Because of this lack of interest, some grammar book writers have devised a new way in which to teach Latin grammar: a learn-as-you-go process. In this style, students do not even learn the basics of grammar, but start off right away "learning" to translate. These translation-first-oriented classes are thought to be stimulating to the students, making them more likely to continue to take Latin.

Allow me now to tell you the state of the new generation of Latin students sine Jenney. I can say confidently that the future is not looking bright.
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