UTM Hosts Latin Pedagogy Day

November 28, 2023 by Department of Classics

Last month, the University of Toronto Mississauga's Department of Historical Studies hosted Teaching Greek and Latin: A Conversation in conjunction with the Annual General Meeting of the Ontario Classical Association.

The event gathered Greek and Latin instructors from UofT, various GTA universities, the US, high school teachers, students, and classics enthusiasts from around Ontario. Participants included current UofT faculty Boris Chrubasik, Adriana Brook, and organizer Lorenza Bennardo, as well as PhD candidate Kat Furtado, and alumnae Sarah McCallum and Gillian Scott.

“Teaching Greek and Latin: A Conversation” featured presentations on the state of classical languages in the Ontario high school curriculum, moderated roundtables examining various approaches to ancient language pedagogy, and a keynote address from Jacqui Carlon of UMass Boston. With a focus entirely on the current status of ancient language pedagogy and identifying the challenges and possibilities of more effective, meaningful, and inclusive language instruction, the event was a landmark – the first of its kind in Ontario.

Attendees explored the value of diverse teaching strategies, and investigated how alternative pedagogical approaches can coexist harmoniously with traditional grammar- and translation-centric models. Further, these diverse approaches foster inclusion in the Greek and Latin classroom for neurodiverse learners and for students who may not be familiar with Greco-Roman culture and history. 

The event also served as an important means of community-building. Deepening connections between secondary and post-secondary level Greek and Latin teachers benefits both students transitioning from high school to university and graduates considering careers in ancient language pedagogy.

Professor Bennardo remarked “there is no one-size-fits-all recipe for success” in teaching ancient languages, and emphasized the importance of collaboration and community among teachers, from which more effective instruction, heightened learning, and greater student success will follow.

With Professors Bennardo and Brook planning graduate student training programs at UTSG and UTM in the coming months, UofT will continue to spearhead innovations in ancient language pedagogy,