February 15, 2011

Disce legendo


Recording also available at iPadio using this link.

Today's saying is Disce legendo. In English: "Learn by reading."

One of the biggest problems that I face as a teacher is trying to help college students who don't like to read and who don't read very well. They are trapped in a vicious circle: when someone doesn't read very much, they don't become skilled readers, which means that they don't enjoy reading, so they don't read very much, and around and around we go. I wish there were a basic "reading" course that students took at my university, parallel to the "writing" course they are required to take in their first year. I suspect our year-long composition course would be a greater success if we replaced it with a one-semester reading course followed by a one-semester writing course. The more we can do to help students with reading, the better learners they will be. Disce legendo, learn by reading - and by reading well, you will learn well.

In terms of Latin grammar, this saying features the verbal noun form called the gerund, seen here in the ablative, legendo. For other examples of proverbs with gerunds, see these previous blog posts: Errando discitur and Scribendo disces scribere.

For those of you who are fans of macrons, here is the Latin written with macrons:

Disce legendō.



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