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GUS Latin Teacher Cori Russo Presents at the ACTFL Annual Convention and World Languages Expo

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Glen Urquhart Latin teacher Cori Russo is co-presenting at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Annual Convention and World Languages Expo. This is an international event bringing together more than 6,000 language educators from all languages, levels, and assignments. ACTFL is an individual membership organization of more than 12,500 language educators and administrators from elementary through graduate education, as well as government and industry. From the development of Proficiency Guidelines, to its leadership role in the creation of national standards, ACTFL focuses on issues that are critical to the growth of both the profession and the individual teacher. (https://www.actfl.org/). 

This is the first Latin immersion workshop that ACTFL has ever hosted, a reflection of growing interest in the communicative teaching of Latin. More and more Latin teachers want to provide their students with opportunities to experience the language as it was actually used by the people who wrote in it (not only the Romans, but also later personages such as Erasmus, Galileo, Newton and Linnaeus).

Participants in the workshop will improve their proficiency in Latin while also experiencing for themselves how Latin can be used as the language of instruction in the classroom. They will learn about the history of Aesopian animal fables, read and discuss a variety of these fables, and then experiment with ways to teach Latin communicatively using these stories. 

The workshop is an excellent example of some basic principles of language learning and the GUS philosophy more broadly: students learn better when they have the opportunity to understand and practice skills through active use and experience, rather than through the mere memorization of facts and lists.

About Cori Russo

Cori graduated magna cum laude from Emerson College with a BA in writing, literature, and publishing. After a few years in the private sector, he returned to school in 2010 to earn a master of arts degree in classics (Greek and Latin) at Tufts University, where he was awarded a fellowship and received a grant for summer study in Italy. He was a teaching assistant for several classes, including Latin, Roman History, and Mythology. Cori also tutored students in Greek and Latin at the invitation of the Classics Department. His master’s project—a digital edition of a Renaissance Latin book—was praised as a model for future research in digital humanities. After graduating from Tufts, Cori became a Latin teacher at Lynn Classical High School. During his four years at LCHS, enrollment in the Latin program doubled and a second teacher was hired to meet student demand for Latin classes. He also became the cross country coach and yearbook advisor. In 2015, Cori was named Latin Teacher of the Year by the Classical Association of Massachusetts. He has presented by invitation at professional development opportunities hosted by Tufts University, the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association, the Paideia Institute, and the Classics Department of the University of Massachusetts Boston.

ACTFL 2016 Program Workshop Description

"Immerse Yourself in Latin: From Aesop to Alsop— Storytelling Strategies Through Fabulous Fables - In this tantum Latine (Latin only) immersion workshop, participants will explore the tradition of fables and their pedagogical use through the Renaissance, developing a treasure trove of materials and strategies to teach any story in their own classroom. In addition, the methods and strategies employed in delivering this content—specifically the use of spoken Latin as the language of instruction—will model a host of comprehensible input teaching strategies that are tailored to the needs of Latin teachers. Participants will experience the joy of learning about fables in Latin in a rich and diverse environment, reading and discussing a wide variety of animal fables, as well as developing and presenting a simple fable of their own."