A Classical Education is a wonderful thing, but ancient languages are no walk in the park. We offer both digital and print materials specifically to help schools and parents teach languages better and more easily.
We have full digital-print hybrid courses for K - 12 levels. We also offer readers ranging from the simplest Latin to unadapted selections from original authors such as Virgil’s Aeneid.
The digital portion of our courses work on a desktop computer (PC or Mac) or mobile device. Hybrid digital-print products like the Latin Primer Series can be used in the classroom on a large screen without students having access to person devices. Our readers are physical books and require no use of the internet at all.
Our approach to teaching ancient languages is balanced and follows the most successful language teachers from history: it incorporates elements from both the reading method (which emphasizes the input of examples) and the grammatical method (which emphasizes rules and patterns). The result is that students using our programs develop both an intuition for the language and an understanding of how it works in a system.
People learn language through four different pathways: hearing, speaking, reading, and writing. Our platform incorporates all four of these to help students learn ancient languages more effectively. What's more, it uses images, sounds, and memorable contexts in every example to help every kind of learner learn best.
Even though our program involves a lot of hearing, and speaking, and writing, these all prepare students to be able to read ancient texts grammatically—which is our ultimate goal. Additionally, our courses are designed to teach the grammar that is most necessary for reading in the language as quickly as possible. The result is that even our students as young as 3rd grade can begin reading and enjoying our first reader after completing half of Latin Primer 1. Our older students using Latin Grammar 3 regularly look forward to their readings at the end of each lesson.
Dumbing down Vergil, Cicero, and Homer is not an effective way to get students to be able to read these authors or even to want to try. Picta Dicta only uses original compositions from the very beginning that are suited for the grammatical ability of the student. These are not great literature, but they are engaging (often hilarious) and perfect for building students up to the point where they have the skills to read the greats.
When building any skill, a person must have lots of repetition and feedback. With language, a person needs a lot of this repetition and feedback. This is where technology has the most potential to enhance the learning process. Our digital learning platform was designed specifically for teaching ancient languages, and it allows students to build skills rapidly by practicing vocabulary and grammatical forms (through hearing, seeing, and speaking) with instant feedback. There is no need to wait for someone to consult an answer key or return grades days later.
That said, there are huge benefits to the old fashion way of reading and writing on real paper. While our system uses its digital feedback loop to build skills, this is all preparation to do more traditional reading and composition exercises on real paper. This hybrid has the benefits of both methods and the weaknesses of neither.
Picta Dicta materials are produced by real teachers who love ancient languages and use them everyday in real classrooms. We love ancient languages, and it shows in our material.