About Stephanus Berard

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Note: "Stephanus" is the Latin name for "Stephen" in the nominative (subject) case. "Stephani" is the genitive (possessive) case and means "of" or "by" Stephen; (i.e., the novel Capti is by Stephen Berard).

Stephen A. Berard, PhD, was born in Boston, grew up in the Los Angeles area, and now lives in Washington state, where he teaches German, Latin, and Spanish at Wenatchee Valley College. Since 2000, except for book reviews, Stephen has been publishing only in Latin. He enjoys languages, poetry, literary fantasy, science fiction, ballet, classical music, classic film, mountain hiking, quantum physics, and Buddhism.

The Origin and Development of 'Kinesthetic Latin' on the West Coast

Stephen 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 traditionally taught (and especially with the fact that Latin was not treated as a real language in most of academia!), he eventually left the field of Classics and received his PhD in Germanic Philology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. In 1998, however, after many years of teaching, Stephen discovered a grass-roots movement in progress that promoted the active use and teaching of Latin--or what was then called "Living 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 Lexintoniense offered every summer in Lexington, Kentucky, by Dr. Terence Tunberg. From 2000 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, Stephen 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.

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In 2012 and 2013, Stephen 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 followed the same general principles that were applied in the forests and on the mountain peaks of the Northwest. Almost every day there were excursions to places where participants could practice their Latin in new and different contexts. 

Attending these activity-driven workshops is like taking a vacation...but in Latin! To learn more about upcoming Septimanae, visit the SALVI website.

© 2013-18 Stephanus Berard  | "Vae dinosauris!"