Transitioning between school- and university-level Latin learning: a Scottish perspective

Emma Buckley, Alice König, Ana Kotarcic

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Students are arriving to study Latin at university with an increasingly diverse range of qualifications (including no Latin at all). This is something to celebrate. University Classics departments want students from different educational backgrounds; and we want a wide range of qualification authorities to continue to offer students the chance to start learning Latin at school. This diversity is being exacerbated, however, by an increasingly stark differential in the content and rigour of these various qualifications; and that presents challenges for universities aiming to integrate students quickly and acclimatise them to university-style learning. Classes in all subjects have more and less knowledgeable students learning side-by-side; but the dynamics of a Latin language class mean that gaps in knowledge and differences in experience become publicly visible very quickly. This is thus a social problem as much as it is an academic one, and it is particularly acute during that important period of transition, the first year of university study. This trend is not exclusive to the teaching of Latin but has also been a recurring theme of discussion within Modern Languages too, particularly in Scottish universities where the percentage of non-A Level students is higher than is generally the case south of the border.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-64
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Classics Teaching
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2017


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