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Community Member

Creating an Online Foreign Language Class

Suggestions wanted!! Will soon be creating a foreign language class (Latin) fully online for High School students and would like any feedback, suggestions or experiences other instructional designers can provide. Sources? Activities?

Thank you-


8 Replies
Community Member

I developed and teach Spanish 1 and 2 courses for public and private schools on Canvas. Here are some ideas:

--create Quizlet account and make flashcards for vocab, then embed them into Canvas content pages. You can then link back to those pages in Canvas from quizzes, etc.

--Use Google docs LTI integration. I've had great success with this. Really easy to grade in Canvas, and you can give feedback right on the submission or as comments. For example, you can create a Google doc with a table and have students translate Latin to English, etc. 

--Discussions: these are great to use for language classes. 

--Create a free account on and create quizzes which you can link from Canvas for extra practice and use in real time with an access code that the site generates for that specific quiz.

--Readings with audio embeded in Canvas so students can read along.

--Have students submit recordings of themselves speaking Latin as as assignment. We've had some trouble because the recorder uses Flash and our students have iPads, but you can make the submission accept URLs and file uploads. Several of my students have use vocaroo to submit the URLs of their recordings. Works great! You can even give feedback as a recording yourself in the comments!



I know you created this discussion a while ago, but I wanted to post this language education resource that you or others may find useful: Center for Language Education and Research :: Online 


I think making memes is always a great choice (a little language goes a long way!), and then you could use the discussion area to 'workshop' the memes that students created, talking about their vocabulary choices, syntax choices, etc.

If you are collecting students' creations in a Flickr gallery, for example, you could then put that Flickr gallery in a Discussion Board area, and let students pick a favorite meme to comment on, talking about the vocabulary, syntax, making suggestions for improvement, etc. (It's important to get students to bookmark the images they are using to make their memes so that they CAN go back and revise, improve, etc.)

For sharing and discussing, Padlet is also a great tool to use; unlike Canvas Discussion Board, in Padlet, students can easily contribute images and video to a discussion, as well as text and links. The free Padlet lets you do all that, and it's easy to embed a Padlet in Canvas.

For more Padlet-Canvas resources, just check out the Padlet search results here at the Community: 

Just for the sheer FUN factor, Padlet beats the Discussion Board hands down, so if you are trying to promote a spirit of fun, sharing, and collaboration, Padlet could be a great way to supplement the traditional Discussion Board. 🙂


Thank you again for your input. Any thoughts on discussion prompts or activities that would incorporate Latin grammar, vocabulary and translation?



Hi‌(Also, thanks for the ping, laurakgibbs! Smiley Happy ) -

There are indeed many options if one's looking for cultural and/or language tools/resources - the Rome Reborn project is a spiffy VR project that has produced interesting narrated videos. (Here's another by the U of Reading.)

The Digital Classicist wiki could be worth exploring - it includes content and tools geared toward classical research, but also pedagogy;

The Open University has video resources around classical studies;

(for fun!): Panoply has a bunch of ancient Greek vase animations;

Prof. Pantelia of UC Irvine maintains Electronic Resources for Classicists, including pages specifically for k12 and other needs.

I'm also a fan of the podcast, so here are two:

Quomodo Dicitur?

Latinum: the Latin Language Learning podcast

Hope this gets you a good start, anyway! 


I wasn't thinking of anything special; just the fact that if you want to work on oral production / comprehension, students could accompany any work they do with audio recordings, and you could also make dictation part of the work you do. Especially if it is ungraded, with the students doing their own correction afterwards, dictation can be really powerful.

Building up a library of fun Latin audio at YouTube is something they could do together, creating a collective playlist of their favorite videos. I am a big fan of Evan Millner's work; his Latin channel at YouTube is an abundant source of all kinds of audio; here's a video from his channel:

001 Daily Fable by Aesop The Rooster read in Latin by Molendinarius - YouTube 

And of course that is just one of the Latin projects at YouTube; Evan has been doing this for 10 years or more, so the quantity of Latin video he has produced and shared at YouTube is prodigious!

I have some info about YouTube playlists in Canvas here: 

Then there are the people doing Latin pop songs. Online students would not be able to create a video of their own like Ted Zarrow's students do in the examples below, but the online space would be perfect for working on a translation project collaboratively.

Latin Gangnam Style on Vimeo 

Britney Spears in Latin - "Hit me, baby, one more time" (1998) on Vimeo 

(To get the lyrics you need to start with in English, is a great resource.)

Translating English INTO Latin will strain/train the brain in much more powerful ways than the usual Latin to English translation, and the collaborative space of online allows for all that back-and-forth and revision revision and MORE revision that is part of how real translation works. 


Thank you very much for your wonderful suggestions. Any specific activities you might recommend for audio/video?

I know there are some VR programs available as well such as Mondly though I"m not sure they offer Latin.

Learn Languages VR by Mondly | Oculus 

Community Member

Oh my gosh, what fun!!! I used to be a Latin teacher (now I teach mythology & folklore)... but I still miss teaching Latin. There are so many fun and exciting things that students can do with their Latin online, especially with all the audio and video possibilities now.

One thing I really like is creating memes, and I created a Canvas-ready randomizer of Latin LOLCats here that you are welcome to use:

Canvas Widget: LatinLOLCats

And while it is not Latin directly, this could also be useful; it's a Canvas-ready randomizer of classical mythology books that are online for free (public domain):

Canvas Widget: Free Books Online — Classical

Plus, I have a Latin blog which might also contain items of interest!

Bestiaria Latina Blog 

And I'm pinging‌ here because he is more likely to know of some Latin teachers using Canvas right now.

Quaerendo invenietis. Seek, and you will find.

Especially online! 🙂

seek and find