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Call for Papers for SCS Panel Sponsored by ACL: How Do We Teach Introductory Language?

Society of Classical Studies' 156th Annual Meeting, January 2-5, 2025, in Philadelphia

Organized by Philip Walsh, St. Andrew’s School and Editor of The Classical Outlook; James Ker, University of Pennsylvania and Associate Editor of The Classical Outlook; Kathleen Durkin, Garden City High School and Associate Editor of The Classical Outlook.

The American Classical League invites teachers and scholars to submit abstracts for its affiliated group panel session – How Do We Teach Introductory Language? – at the 156th Annual Meeting of the Society for Classical Studies in Philadelphia in January 2025. We welcome abstracts that address the prompt below or other issues relevant to the topic:

This panel has the goal of surveying the range of methods by which educators introduce students to Latin and ancient Greek. Recognizing that the first year (or two) of language learning is common ground for students and instructors across a variety of institutional, educational, and regional contexts, we invite contributors to describe and illustrate their own choices and/or to participate in constructive comparison of the approaches available and the relative advantages or applications of each. Contributors are encouraged to share the specific elements that most distinguish their approach (rather than a whole syllabus). We are interested in carefully honed methods, as well as innovative ones; in methods using a single tool, or many. We encourage potential panelists to consider some of the following questions:

What textbook(s) do you use – or if you do not use a textbook at all, what alternatives do you employ?

How do you facilitate the acquisition of vocabulary, morphology, and/or grammatical concepts?

What use do you make of second language acquisition theory, novellas, comprehensible input, and/or other theories, strategies, or paradigms?

How would you characterize your approach to translation, reading strategies, literary analysis and interpretation, and/or ancient Mediterranean culture and history?

Have your choices been influenced by any existing standards for language learning, such as those of the ACL/SCS and ACTFL?

What forms of assessment (and/or reassessment) do you use?

How do equitable grading practices (e.g., minimum grading or grades based on summative assessments only) influence (or not influence) your approach to teaching introductory Latin and/or Greek?

Has your approach to teaching introductory language changed over time? If so, why?

In what ways could introductory language pedagogy participate in reimagining or reinvigorating the experiences of students who are eager to learn about the ancient Mediterranean world?

All papers should be accessible to a broad audience of scholars, learners, and teachers. Papers accepted for the panel will be published in The Classical Outlook (CO), the official journal of The American Classical League, after additional peer review. By submitting an abstract, you agree to submit your paper for publication in CO, if the abstract is chosen for the panel.

Abstracts should be submitted to the panel organizer, Philip Walsh ( Any questions about the panel may be addressed to him. He will anonymize the abstracts before they are forwarded to the panel reviewers. Reviewer decisions will be communicated to the authors of abstracts by March 8, 2024, with enough time that those whose abstracts are not chosen can participate in the individual abstract submission process for the upcoming meeting. Please submit abstracts (maximum 500 words, excluding bibliography) as a Word document. They should conform to the instructions for the format of individual abstracts that appear in the SCS Guidelines for Authors of AbstractsThe deadline for submission of abstracts is February 1, 2024.

Please put “ACL Panel at SCS 2025” in the subject line of your email submission. Include the title of your paper, your name, and your institutional affiliation (or status as an independent scholar) in the email message only, but make sure that your name (and any other identifying information) does not appear in the abstract itself or in the name of the file. If you refer to your own scholarship in your abstract, cite it in the third person, as you would any other source.

You MUST be a member of SCS to submit an abstract. Please include in your email submission message your SCS member number and the date you joined or last renewed. (This will appear on your membership confirmation email from SCS and in your account.) However, a waiver of the membership requirement may be requested from the Program Committee by the organizer if the participant in question is a scholar in a field not ordinarily associated with classical studies or is a resident of a country outside North America and only a temporary visitor to North America. You DO NOT have to be a member of ACL to submit an abstract.

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