Maritere Mix: A Week of Latin Immersion

Maritere Mix headed back to “college” this summer for a full week of Latin immersion and learning methods, Conventiculum Bostoniense.
The program is designed to provide a full-immersion experience in which attendees live in a dormitory and speak the language during all waking hours. Participants attended classes with scholars from all over the world and engaged with teachers who brought the language to life. Students journaled in Latin. They composed lessons in Latin. They even experienced the Freedom Trail in Latin, challenging themselves to conduct portions of the tour themselves in Latin. Students also took on a scavenger hunt at the Museum of Fine Arts, where they had to describe works of art—all in Latin. 

Ms. Mix explained that Latin is a language where the focus is primarily on reading in contrast to speaking or listening, as one might find with other languages. Additionally, the immersion provided the opportunity for her as a lifelong learner to expand her “pedagogical toolkit” and enjoy the company and solidarity of other Latin teachers. 

After 16 years of teaching, Ms. Mix noted that she appreciated the opportunity to take a step back and view language learning from the student perspective. “This increased my empathy for my students,” reminding her what it might feel learning a language for the first time, and helped to highlight the importance of learning a language through multiple modalities: reading it, hearing it and singing it. “I really love Latin,” Ms. Mix stated. “It was a great experience to push myself to be a better teacher and a better Latin scholar.”

The final chapter of this professional development opportunity will include the completion of a 10-page paper to be submitted for a three-credit graduate course at UMass Boston. Thankfully, the paper will be in English!

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Nashoba Brooks School is a coed Lower School from Preschool to Grade 3 and an all-girls Middle School from Grades 4 to 8 located in Concord, Massachussetts.