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​​Septimana Californiana | Annual Spoken-Latin Seminar

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Annual Spoken-Latin Seminar​


The NEW Boreoccidentales web site supports and promotes the events and activities of the Seattle Latin-Speaking Club, houses Cataracta (an online journal with works by modern Latin authors), and describes some other activities of Stephen A. Berard, PhD, related to the active use of Latin. To accommodate all levels of Latin language speakers, whenever possible, the web site is presented in both Latin and English.

As always, the web site provides the schedule for Latin Days in Seattle as well as the Annual Spoken-Latin Seminar. New features include a Photo Album and Blog. Also included are links to Latin language resources, instructional materials to support Dr. Berard's Latin language classes at Wenatchee Valley College, and vocabulary lists prepared for various Latin gatherings.

We encourage you to

  • Write about Latin Days in Seattle and submit your entry to the Blog.
  • Add comments to the Blog.
  • Ask how you can submit your works in Latin to our online journal, Cataracta. Inclusion in the online journal is open to anyone, world-wide!
  • Send us your feedback.

The Annual Spoken-Latin Seminar is a full-immersion Latin experience that offers thought-provoking discussions, readings from Latin literature, Latin composition exercises, and informative lectures given by expert Latin speakers on a variety of topics. Participants will also enjoy guided tours and excursions, given in Latin.

The 2013 Spoken-Latin Seminar will be held in Los Angeles, July 1-8. Septimana Californiana is organized by the North American Institute for Living Latin Studies (NAILS/SALVI) at Loyola Marymount University.

Principal moderators:

Stephen Berard, PhD, Professor of World Languages, Wenatchee Valley College, Wenatchee, WA, USA
Luke Henderson, MAT, Latin teacher, Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica, CA, USA
Justin Slocum Bailey, MA, Latin teacher, Pacifica Christian High School, Santa Monica, CA, USA

For more information and to register, see the Septimana Californiana web site and the Septimana Californiana poster​.​


Stephen (Stephanus) Berard earned a BA in Classics at UCLA, and a Masters in Latin and CPhil degree in Classics at UC Berkeley. Being dissatisfied with the way the Classics were taught (and especially with the fact that Latin was not treated as a real language in most of academia!), he eventually changed his field and received his PhD in Germanic Philology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

In 1998, after many years of teaching, Dr. Berard discovered a grass-roots movement in progress that promoted the teaching of Latin based on all four skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Greatly inspired by this, he attended a spoken Latin conference led by Nancy Lewellyn that same year. The following year he participated in the well-known Conventiculum Latinum offered every summer in Lexington, Kentucky, by Dr. Terence Tunberg. From 2002 through 2007 he served as one of the small-group moderators in the Kentucky Conventiculum, and from 2001 through 2006 he offered special morning preparatory sessions.

In 2003, at Dr. Tunberg’s request, Dr. Berard founded a spoken-Latin conference, the Conventiculum Vasintoniense. This summer conference was held in various venues in Washington state until 2011. The new seminar/workshop was different from those being held in Kentucky and elsewhere. Although there were classroom-type sessions, more emphasis was placed on activity-based use of Latin, where daily language practice was directly linked to real experiences such as mountain hikes or trips to museums, the zoo or the aquarium.

In 2012, Dr. Berard took advantage of his relationship with SALVI to move his kinesthetic methodology down the coast to Los Angeles. With a few adjustments for the new venue and situation, the Septimana Californiana follows the same general principles that were applied in the forests and on the mountain peaks of the Northwest. Almost every day there are excursions to places where participants can practice their Latin in new and different contexts. Attending these activity-driven workshops is like taking a vacation...but in Latin!​​​​​