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Knowing Latin can be a pretty useful skill. I have never spent much time teaching my children Latin, but now that my daughter is starting high school, I see a lot of value in having at least a basic knowledge of this language. A few weeks ago Hannah and I got the chance to try out and review the Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder course from Roman Roads Media.
I was interested in trying the Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder program with Hannah for two reasons:
- To make learning Spanish a little easier
- To prepare for the SAT
Picta Dicta Review
Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder is an online program designed to teach Latin vocabulary. It is geared towards junior high – college students. There are over 200 lessons, covering vocabulary terms in topics such as maps, school, family, numbers, money, and more.
Each vocabulary set lesson follows the same pattern:
Learn – This lesson is the foundation of each vocabulary set. New words are introduced through audio, writing, and pictures. A word is spoken (turn your volume up) while the definition and picture clues are displayed. Pay attention to the written definition because you won’t see it again. After a few new vocabulary words you will choose the picture that matches the term.
Choose – This lesson reinforces the picture clues for each vocabulary term. A word is spoken and the student chooses the correct picture.
Spell – In this lesson students must currently spell vocabulary words. The word is spoken and the picture clue is provided. Hannah and I both thought this was the hardest section. We had to really listen carefully to be able to pass this level. We also found that taking notes during the Learn section of Picta Dicta was really helpful. Thankfully, students have the options to redo a section as many times as necessary.
Forms – Students need to type in the various forms of the vocabulary words in this Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder lesson. Some of it was easy to complete by listening carefully, but other times we had to consult our notes. This was the first time that Hannah was introduced to the idea of gender for words. Getting used to that concept will definitely make learning Spanish a little easier in high school.
Test – This Picta Dicta lesson is a test on the forms learned in the previous lesson. It is the final lesson on a vocabulary word set, until the review.
There is also a Training section of the website that offers additional review opportunities.
As the account administrator I had the ability to check on Hannah’s progress from my own account. This was useful when I worked on school stuff after Hannah had finished her work for the day. I could see how long she worked on each lesson as well as her score.
Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder was harder than I expected. I don’t know why I was surprised. It has been a long time since I had any foreign language lessons. This program can be used by beginners, but it is designed for older students – junior high at the youngest. Hannah is technically in 8th grade, so she falls on the young side for the program.
I have zero Latin experience so I was learning this right alongside Hannah. We moved through the program slowly, preferring to redo lessons until we really mastered the material rather than move on to a new lesson each day.
Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder can be a great way to learn Latin vocabulary, especially if your student is a visual learner. The picture clues really help increase learning.
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