Classroom Layout and Rationale
Dr. Ali Moeller
The classroom layout for a Latin language class should be conducive to
communication. Therefore, the students’ desks, the learning aids, and the teacher should
be posited in such a way as to allow for proper communication. But also there should be
plenty of different types of learning tools in this comfortable environment.
The student’s desks, or tables, should be in semi-circle. In this way, the students
will be able to see each other in a circle, as well as during pair work. The tables are
movable with movable chairs in order to let the activities dictate some of the classroom
The teacher should be in front of the room during input phases of the lessons, but
the teacher should be able to move around what ever formation the tables may be in. The
teacher should try to make sure that his or her mouth is visible to most of the students,
most of the time. Many of the students can benefit from looking and the shape his or her
mouth makes when pronouncing the language properly. Also, the teacher needs to be
close enough or loud enough to all students in order to be heard.
The learning aids should also be all around the room in such a way that ensures
visibility for all students. The teacher should be able to point or indicate areas of interest
or attention easily. There should be a table at the front for whoever may be speaking.
There should be a large screen for video and large group Internet work in front of a dry
erase board and smart board. There should be a main computer up front to control the
media center and projectors. There would also be a cabinet behind the media center with
laptops for checkout and various activities. The cabinet would also contain clickers for
smart board activities. There should be speakers on either side of the room for listening
At the back of the room there could be some easy chairs and sofas for group
activities, conferences, reading activities, etc. The sitting would lower the affective filter
and make the environment seem less institutional and more comfortable. There should be
bookshelves with many different types of Latin literature and end tables with Latin and
The bookshelves will also include some books of legal Latin terms. One of the
bookshelves should have different types of plants. Students interested in horticulture and
science will be able to study the different names of the plants in the classroom and/or
outside of the many windows. The plants and windows will not only serve as learning
tools, but they will also lower the affective filter. There will be many anatomy posters on
the walls displaying different Latin words referring to the body. The walls would also
have posters of various aspects of roman culture: buildings, paintings, sculptures, and
depictions of historical and mythological characters. In this way, other disciplines will be
a constant source of enrichment for the students.
Classroom layout can affect the learning of language students. Students need to be
able to hear and see the teacher properly. Students need to be able to see each other
properly as well, which will foster good communication amongst students. Learning aids
should be copious and displayed conspicuously for students and teachers alike. Finally,
students need to feel comfortable in their learning environment.