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Adele channels Cicero with Latin Reading Competition win

Adele Dang and Rebecca Starling

Meriden student Adele Dang has won the Solo Prose event at the Year 9 Latin Reading Competition. Young people from eight schools across Sydney converged on the annual contest, which challenges students to recite Latin prose and poetry in individual and group events.

Meriden’s Year 9 Latin classes competed in the group events while Adele and her classmate, Rebecca Starling, were selected to compete in the solo events.

“As a Solo Prose competitor, I had to recite a passage from Cicero’s speech accusing Catiline and his friends of plotting the destruction of some of the members of the Roman Senate,” Adele said.

“It was very important to emphasise the speech’s rhetorical questions and portray the betrayal Cicero must have felt. The judges marked us on our pronunciation of certain long vowels and on the theatrics of the performance and how well we captured the audience’s attention. Balancing these priorities was quite difficult as we had less than a week to prepare our solo pieces,” she said.

Mrs Julia Anstey, Head of Senior School and teacher of four languages including Latin and Classical Greek, said there are substantial benefits to learning classical languages.

“Students of Classical Languages tend to expand their English vocabularies and develop skills in learning other languages,” she said.

“Meriden’s approach to teaching Classical Languages is to engage students in the history, culture and literature of these ancient civilisations which have had such an impact on our own.”

Adele Dang said Meriden’s language teachers are part of what makes learning Latin a fun and meaningful experience.

“We don’t just memorise grammar and vocabulary endlessly; we engage with the language and with ancient Roman culture and try to get a better understanding of the daily lives of the Roman people. Mr Tupman and Mrs Anstey are an integral part of what makes learning Latin so great, because they teach us with such care and enthusiasm.”

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