Learning Latin A-level...Watch
I just wondered whether anyone thinks that it would be possible to teach myself the course? I know it's hard, I've been told about the huge amount of set texts but I really, REALLY want to do it (I've never wanted to do anything more - yes, i'm a loser) and I'd really love to go on and study classics or latin at university. Do you think that it would be possible to get in to the course without the A-level, or with just the AS?
Also, does anyone have any suggestions about what books would be good to help me with my learning? I don't want a book for beginners as my Latin is pretty good, but I'd really love to be able to enter myself for the exam and prove my school wrong!
Sorry for the length of this, thank you for any of your suggestions
Go onto the OCR website and print yourself off a copy of the AS vocab list and learn it for the exam. When you've learnt it, test yourself on this website: http://www.cambridgescp.com/ws2_tlc/...ras/ocras.html.
Also, get yourself a good grammar book, I would suggest 'Cambridge Latin Grammar' or 'The Latin Language: A Handbook for Students'; both of which I've used for AS successfully. Translating the texts will be challenging, but get yourself copies of the English translations to help and I'm sure your GCSE Latin teachers will help you if you're stuck. I'm not sure where you find him but search on Google for 'Terry Bird' - for a small fee he provides you with copies of the texts in Latin with a running vocabulary - REALLY helpful. Alternatively, let me know which texts you will be doing and if they're the same ones as we've done I'll send you a copy, and my translations to save you some work. As you'll have no teacher, it is essential that you buy a copy of the text with a commentary as you won't be able to do this on your own. I'm pretty sure my teachers use the 'Bristol Classical Press' ones, e.g. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Aeneid-Bk-12...3812574&sr=8-1 which are very good.
Good luck and do get in touch if you have any problems. Latin is a great subject!
Yes you probably will have some choice. I assume you'd be doing OCR? I'd recommend doing one WHOLE text rather than 2 half texts because it cuts down your work load, but if you'd like a bit of variety then do 2 half texts. DO SOME VIRGIL - you absolutely MUST do some Virgil, he's amazing. I've studied Book IV which was excellent but Book XII is THE best book - it's the last one. I also did Cicero's Pro Roscio which was tedious as hell and really not interesting, but I guess it's a matter of taste... it depends which texts the exam board publish, you'll have to look into it, but if you get the chance to do Virgil DO IT DO IT DO IT! (Plus if you do Bk. XII I can send you all my notes... lol).
That would involve you self teaching/getting a tutor and taking the exam at another school.
I'm considering doing GCSE latin alongside my AS Levels in Sept (year 12) because I think it would be interesting to learn and a friend of mine said that it was enjoyable.
All the best
P.S. You're not a loser, you're ambitious and passionate about what you do and it's great! We need more people like me and you in the world! (Although on second thoughts - there's less competition this way, lol.)
As for getting onto a Classics course with just an AS, it's certainly possible. Most classics courses these days take students with just GCSE level Latin or even less. Have a look at entry requirements - Cambridge, for example, would be happy to take you even with your current level of Latin. Good luck!
Sorry to be a pain!
I took Latin GCSE, AS and A level. I'm a dying breed. It's not a bad subject, but the grammar, the grammar.
OP, be not afraid of the grammar: it was my favourite bit!
Is it possible to just study one text for the whole course? So I can just study both parts of the Aeneid XII for the whole AS? What ones do you all recommend that I do?
The Literature 1 paper is where you get 2 commentary questions. I did 2 half texts so I got one for Cicero and one for Virgil. But there was one girl who was doing Latin off the timetable so she got more choice over what she wanted to do, so she did the WHOLE of Aeneid XII (although she was so lazy she never actually finished translating it so she's headed for a big fat U), and got 2 commentary questions still but one was on the first half and the other was on the second half.
The Literature 2 paper is where you get given 2 small translations which should be a piece of cake because you've learnt it all. I had to translate a bit from Cicero and a bit from Virgil. If you're doing a whole text you just translate one bit from each half of the text.
Now earlier I said that doing one whole text makes the workload more bearable. This is because in the Literature 2 paper there is also an essay. If you only do one text you have to do that essay. If you do 2 half texts then you get a choice, i.e. for me I could either do the Cicero essay or the Virgil essay. Most people went in with an open mind, but I hated Cicero and made the decision that I would do the Virgil essay no matter what, so I only prepared for Virgil. For the essay you have to have a good enough knowledge of the other half of the text you haven't studied to be able to make references to it in the essay. You only have to know the other half in English but if you do one whole text then you study it all in Latin anyway and you'll end up with a really good knowledge of the text so the essay will be easy. It'll probably be easier as well because you'll get used to the author's style of writing etc. and so things like spotting stylistic points, techniques, etc. will be easy.
I'd definitely recommend the Aeneid XII as a whole text. It's absolutely fabulous and if I could have done all of that text rather than doing bloody Cicero () I soooo would have!
Rock on Latin.
As for the lit, I really enjoyed the Cicero, but it really depends on what you like; one full text is definitely less work, but I liked having the variety, got me a lot more interested in the course as a whole, and also I understood the context of everything that little bit better...
Books; well for grammar I would recommend getting the Oxford Latin Grammar by James Morwood to start, that has all the syntax and accidence you need for AS, and it is very user friendly. If you decide you do want to continue to A2 and uni, then Kennedy is also a great grammar, not as user friendly, but far more detailed.
Use the OCR DVL for AS, but keep a list of unknown vocab from translations, as A2 has no DVL.
For the literature, I suggest you get a students' copy of the original text; bristol classical press or cambridge latin and greek classics were the ones we used, then an english translation, but there are loads floating around on the net...
Oh and get yourself a small ainsworth/ other decent dictionary, just so you aren't wasting time hunting down vocab in your set texts the whole time
Good luck...it is great that you want to teach yourself...Latin is AWESOME (but not as cool as greek)
Latin is AWESOME (but not as cool as greek)
There is no reason why you shouldn't be able to do the majority of the work yourself, though you will find it much easier with the co-operation of an exam centre (typically, a school), and some kind of teacher or tutor. If you got on with your old Latin teacher, get back in touch with them (if you don't know how to, ask in your school's office or the secretary or equivalent). They will very likely be dead chuffed that you're so enthusiastic, and will probably offer you some help.
Failing that, try to find a tutor, if only for a few hours here and there. If you choose to do things like coursework, you will need someone to help with just the basic things (like exam board deadlines). You'll also need to be entered for the exams. There's the matter, too, of the details -- which sections of what you have to study, and what options are available. This is best explained by someone who actually *knows*.
So, follow your enthusiasm (and, as Lidka says, if you're enthusiastic & able enough, even Oxbridge will take a virtual beginner at both Latin & Greek for Classics, so you've nothing to worry about there) -- it'll et you a long way!
Very best of luck.