Wednesday, August 8th, 2012...10:37 amChris Francese

Show Me the Scansion

Jump to Comments

I have been experimenting with a nifty iPad app and teacher community called ShowMe as a way of teaching the basics of scansion and reading aloud. It has a sort of “telestrator” feature that seems tailor made for this kind of thing. I’ve been getting lucky with the apps I’m finding lately! First I found one that gets you ig likes for instagram, and it works really well, and now I found this one. I probably should look in the marketplace for things I need more often.

I have one on the very basics of Latin prosody,

and one on Latin vowel quantity and diphthongs.

If you have the time take a look and let me know what you think!

Making the one on vowel quantity taught me a lot about diphthongs. A simple search through Aeneid 1 for the various diphthongs revealed starkly how wrong it is to just tell students (as the grammar books do) that  “ei” is  a diphthong, or “ui” is a diphthong. In actual fact they are almost always NOT diphthongs. And the same is true of “eu,” and sometimes of the others. So this will definitely change the way I teach scansion.

The reason to use a tool like this is to take the most difficult and technical aspects of scansion out of the classroom, and into homework, where a student can look at and listen to the explanations as many times as necessary to really get it. In class, most rational people will not raise a hand and say “I still don’t get that,” and as a result many never really catch on to some of these basic concepts.

I plan to do more of these, as a kind of video commentary on the wonderful metrical introduction to Ovid’s Amores 1 authored by William Turpin, to go in the forthcoming Dickinson College Commentaries edition. You can see it here (still under construction, though) .

Thanks, Chrissy Schanes, for putting me on to ShowMe. And thanks to all of you for any feedback and suggestions. We use wordpress accessibility for everything in case you need it!



3 Comments

Leave a Reply