Module Catalogue 2022/23

CLA1001 : Beginners' Latin in Action 1

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Jakob Wisse
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module will give students a basic knowledge of Latin, sufficient for dealing, at an elementary level, with some of the linguistic aspects of Latin texts. In addition, it aims at developing students' skills of literary analysis of Latin texts.

The aims of the 'Latin in Action' component and its related assessment are:
1. to help students to solidify and extend their working knowledge of basic vocabulary and its usage;
2. to give students an opportunity to put their developing knowledge of key grammatical patterns and syntactical structures into practice;
3. to help students to develop their ability to analyse and appreciate the effects of different modes of expression in the language, including differences of meaning and style, without the aid of a published translation;
4. to train students in the application of language skills to literary analysis, and in critical reading of texts in the original language;
5. to assist students in developing and applying increasingly nuanced translation strategies based on the foregoing skills; and
6. to enhance students' ability to read classical literature more meaningfully by applying all these skills to unfamiliar texts in the original language.
Several methods are used in supporting these aims, as appropriate to the level, the readings, and the specific grammatical elements being learned. ‘In Action’ class exercises and assessed assignments are usually based on the close study of one or more short passages of text in the original language. Methods may include translation of passages into English; translation from English into Latin/Greek; comparison of published translations; stylistic analysis; scansion of passages of verse; memorisation of short excerpts; recitation.

Outline Of Syllabus

- The principles of Latin, and its differences from English;
- The Latin grammar as introduced in the relevant Latin textbook, including such central material as the more elementary forms of the verbs, the case-forms of nouns etc.;
- Core Latin vocabulary
- “Latin in Action”: exercises practising the application of the grammar learnt to real Latin texts.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should have acquired:
* an understanding of the basic principles of the Latin language;
* a knowledge of the most important features of Latin grammar, including a command of some essential grammatical forms and syntactical structures of Latin;
* a knowledge of the 'tables' (setting out forms of verbs, nouns, adjectives etc.) covered in this semester;
* a knowledge of core Latin vocabulary.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Students should have acquired:
* the ability to use a Latin dictionary.
* elementary skills of analysis of a Latin text;
* the adaptability to apply the skills learnt to new pieces of Latin

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion681:0068:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture441:0044:00full-group interactive language classes
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading881:0088:00Two hours preparation for each session.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

General rationale: This set-up aims to preserve the (traditional) method for from-scratch language teaching which has worked so well over the past years, and has been commended by students.

The four taught classes per week introduce, explain, demonstrate, and give students the opportunity to apply under guidance, the knowledge of the Latin language and the approach to analysing Latin texts which the module aims to instil. Time is set aside in each session for students to ask questions.

In private study, students consolidate knowledge imparted in the taught classes, further practise applying that knowledge to set exercises, and learn to use their language skills to think in analytical and constructive ways about original Latin texts. Written exercises are set in order to aid students review, apply, and consolidate their linguistic knowledge.

Sessions will be held in person unless covid-related guidance prevents us from doing so. In this case we will hold class meetings as synchronous on-line sessions via Zoom.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Digital Examination901A50Inspera digital examination
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1A35In format of assignments for weekly Latin-in-Action component; 2,000 words
Written exercise1M15tests on a mostly weekly basis, requiring approx. 10 short answers (e.g. vocab items, word forms, transl. of short sentences)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MShort homework exercises in grammar and vocabulary, to be completed in physical or on-line format.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Written examination: An examination is still inevitably the best way of testing students' assimilation of linguistic knowledge and skills in both seen and unseen texts, without the use of aids such as grammar-charts. It is thus the ideal format for assessing students' assimilation and command of the taught material.

The assignment is designed to assess students' ability to apply their linguistic knowledge and analytical and problem-solving skills to original literary texts in a way that develops and tests their skills of close literary analysis.

The tests ensure students’ constant review of the material covered in the module, and allow the teacher to detect difficulties early on in the semester and provide students with constant feedback on their progress.

The short homework exercises help students review and consolidate the material introduced to them in the previous session.

Submitted work tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes, develops key skills in research, reading and writing.

This module cannot be made available to Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students under any circumstances.

All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2022/23 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2023/24 entry will be published here in early-April 2023. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.