Picta Dicta uses colorful, hand drawn illustrations to teach Latin vocabulary words. The pictures are simple enough to comprehend quickly, complicated enough to be accurate, and interesting enough to make memorization fun.
Some people are visual learners, others are auditory, but most benefit from both seeing and hearing. In Picta Dicta, you hear the word pronounced as you see each picture, and in most cases you hear the word used in a sentence about the illustration.
Sometimes, seeing and hearing a word used properly is not enough. If you are unsure about the meaning of a word, Picta Dicta has a dictionary tab only one click away with a definition of the word and several possible English translations.
Many of the greatest benefits of studying Latin result from having a large vocabulary. The aim of Picta Dicta is to help students learn Latin with a heavy emphasis on vocabulary. Students learn vocabulary more quickly, more accurately, and more enjoyably.
Picta Dicta is a self-paced online course and a perfect complement to any live Latin class, online Latin class, or self-study. Or, it can be taken as a stand-alone course.
You can use Picta Dicta on iOS, Android, PC, or Mac. So you can study Latin vocabulary anywhere you please.
About the creator of Picta Dicta
Timothy Griffith is the fellow of classical languages at New Saint Andrews College. He oversees the College’s Latin program, directs the national Phaedrus Latin Composition Contest, and translates 16th-century Latin theological texts for Wenden House. He has dedicated the last fifteen years to learning how to teach Latin better, drawing heavily on the work of the great Latin educators of history such as Erasmus, Commenius, and W.H.D. Rouse. He is also the founder of Picta Dicta, which allows him to bring tools he has been using in the classroom for years and make them available to everyone studying ancient languages.
Does each student need a separate subscription?
Yes. The platform we use keeps track of each user’s progress and customizes lessons and reviews accordingly. So, if users share an account, the platform will start quizzing the wrong material and the review function becomes useless. It is far more fun and effective to do it as a group, so we offer additional family member licenses at a greatly discounted rate.
Are the online courses safe for a child?
Yes. These are entirely self-paced courses. Your child will have no contact with a live instructor or other students in the course.
The Picta Dicta learning platform is a web application and requires a web browser. Parents are, of course, absolutely right to be concerned about giving a child access to the internet. So, we STRONGLY recommend using web restriction to only allow certain websites. By allowing http://app.pictadicta.com in their settings, parents can ensure that their child cannot access anything other than what they have allowed.
Do students learn grammar chants?
Yes, but we do them differently, and it’s optional. Picta Dicta – Natural World teaches students “digital chants”. These are much shorter chants where endings are associated with particular fingers. This allows students to pick out individual forms when they learn Latin grammar later. Additionally, the free downloadable workbook has lots of worksheets for students to use when practicing their endings.
How much parental involvement is required?
Picta Dicta courses require very little instruction or help from parents. However, parents may need to spend a few minutes showing younger students how to use the program in the beginning. Also, for parents who wish to be more involved, the downloadable workbook includes a section with questions designed for parents or teachers to ask students.
Are there any written materials?
Writing things out by hand can be a fantastic way to learn, so we have included with a subscription a free downloadable workbook with puzzles, drills, and exercises for what they learn in our course. And, there are answer keys, so students can check their own answers.
Can I use Picta Dicta courses along with another Latin curriculum?
Yes. Most Latin courses focus on grammar; Picta Dicta courses focus on building vocabulary, so they work very well as a supplement to another course. However, if your child is already learning grammar with another course, it may be better to skip the “Digital Chants” in Natural World to prevent confusion. There are several approaches to introducing Latin endings and it’s unlikely that they will be the very same.
Will there be follow-up courses in subsequent years?
Yes. We are already planning several more courses for the Grammar (Elementary), Logic (Jr. High), and Rhetoric (High School) levels. There will be courses appropriate for students studying Latin at any level.
Is Picta Dicta “Classical”?
Yes, it is. Picta Dicta courses are extremely well suited for students learning on the “Trivium” model advocated by Sayers and others. However, students learning on another model will not find them any less useful!
Which course should my child take?
Elementary students should take Natural World. Jr. High students who are not taking a grammar course should also take Nature World. Jr. High, high school, and college students taking a grammar course should use Vocabulary Builder.
Is an internet connection required?
Yes, the Picta Dicta app must have a connection to its server to work properly. However, the data being downloaded is not very large, so an unlimited data plan is not essential.
Which browsers does it work on?
The Picta Dicta app should work on all major browsers except Internet Explorer.
What Grammar Course do you recommend to go along with Vocabulary Builder?
We recommend NSA Latin (available soon through Roman Roads Media), and Visual Latin. Additionally, we recommend Hans Orberg’s Lingua Latina Pars I: Familia Romana as a supplementary reader. For more information, visit www.nsa-latin.com.