On this page you will find testimonials from students as well as reviews of my products/books.
What hooked me from the start in our Latin classes was taking an oral approach. I had actually bought LLPSI about a year before, but then stalled. It’s been much better doing it conversationally, and having Seumas point out pitfalls, clarify puzzles, and keep me on schedule moving forwards.
Well, everything I said about latin applies almost equally to Greek. I found your Patrologist blog by googling for something like “is there an LLPSI for Greek?” I was fascinated by the things you say on your blog. Just about the time I finished reading the whole blog archive, you announced the upcoming round of courses and I was sold.
What took me so long initially signing up was the cost, but the courses have turned out to be more than worth every penny.
I like the parts where we’re studying reading Athenaze — they help me through all the spots where I’d just get irretrievably stuck. But what I particularly like is having conversational back and forth, where we have to say things about ourselves, or about the reading that can’t simply be found as near-quotes from the reading.
– Sharon P
Whilst dabbling with Latin initially as a hobby, I began studying Latin in earnest when I began my doctorate on a couple of the Latin Fathers. I’m perpetually grateful that I stumbled across Seumas’ website through a blog post shared on Facebook, and signed up for his Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata online class this year. I’ve now completed three “terms”… and both my ability and joy in Latin have grown immensely over that time. Doing classes actually in the Latin language has significantly improved my mental map of the language, as well as my listening and speaking (and reading) abilities.
Seumas is a fantastic teacher. His knowledge of Latin is excellent, he is well thought-out in both the theory and application of the best current approaches to language acquisition, he is a clear and gracious communicator, and is flexible and works with his students where they’re at. His classes are also really enjoyable! I’ve deeply appreciated his mix of good humour and (sometimes miraculous) ability to understand and respond to my less-than-perfect attempts at spoken Latin right from the beginning… his ability to do this, and patiently and clearly give immediate feedback and instruction, has helped give me confidence, and see real improvement over time.
If you’d like to learn or improve your Latin or Greek, this is definitely the place to start. Highly recommend!!
– Elizabeth, PhD candidate.
I wanted to study Latin partly out of personal interest, partly for its usefulness for a possible PhD in Biblical Studies. I decided to learn with Seumas because I was curious to try a communicative approach to an ancient language. I have found Seumas to be an excellent teacher. He is friendly, well-prepared and highly competent in the language.
One of my friends is studying Latin at university, using the same Lingua Latina Per Se Illustratacourse. We have made much the same progress through the course, but it has cost me significantly less time and money to study with Seumas. Additionally, my friend’s speaking and listening skills are less developed because the university class is conducted in English whereas my class with Seumas is almost entirely in Latin.
I am looking forward to developing my confidence in Latin with Seumas next year and thoroughly recommend him to anyone else wanting to learn the language.
– Ben, biblical studies graduate and university staffworker.
Like many undergraduate students of Koiné Greek trained within a theological context, I passed through a 5-semester sequence that begins with ‘introductory grammar’ and culminates in ‘exegesis.’ Like some, I undertook additional Greek independent studies. Over time, however, it became quite clear that the energies I had devoted to translation and analysis were not leading to an ability to read broadly or naturally. At best (with easy narrative texts within the New Testament) ‘reading’ was like what one scholar has called ‘very fast crossword puzzles.’ At worst (in unfamiliar Scriptural terrain and beyond) a lexicon-bound decoding activity. This all began to change when a friendly professor directed me towards Seumas’ blog. From the first time I met with Seumas, we were speaking in ancient Greek—or, more properly, Seumas was speaking and I was scrambling to understand. Over time, however, ‘Where Are Your Keys’ exercises gave way to weekly discussions of authentic Koiné texts—in Greek, of course.
Seumas has been, in every respect, a first-rate instructor. As those who know me well can attest, I have made more progress as a reader of ancient Greek over the past year with Seumas than I had through four years of grammar-translation. Such has been my progress that my father, a teacher of ancient Greek for some 30 years, has fundamentally rethought his own approach to teaching and reading the language.
I cannot recommend Seumas highly enough.
– Bryndon, biblical studies graduate and student.
Seumas is a fantastic tutor. He has in depth knowledge of the subject and is able to communicate complex and difficult concepts clearly and thoroughly. He is also friendly, patient and easy to work with. Thanks to him, my confidence and marks in the subject have improved tremendously. Can’t recommend him highly enough.
– Miles, high school student studying Greek and Latin
I studied Greek for several years in seminary, but when I began trying to read the Greek fathers, I soon discovered that I had never really learned to read the language. I memorized forms, analyzed syntax, and diagrammed sentences, but actually reading Greek texts was still slow and painful. With his communicative teaching approach, Seumas has introduced me to Greek as a real, living language. I still have a lot to learn, but I now enjoy reading and comprehending Greek texts, without having to constantly analyze and translate. Seumas himself is an ideal teacher: knowledgeable, patient, accommodating, and cheerful.
– Calvin, pastor and graduate student in theology
Seumas is an excellent tutor and teacher of Latin. He’s taught me for the last 18 months. Starting from nothing Seumas provided direction to helpful written, audio and online resources, even posting things to me. We systematically worked through Ørberg’s Lingua Latina covering the basics of the Latin language. He is patient and responsive to the pace I’m able to invest in Latin amid competing priorities. He nonetheless expects progress and provides accountability for completion of work. He knowledgeably answers questions and explains where more detail is needed. Upon completing Ørberg, Seumas directed me to more resources in keeping with my increasing Latin ability. He was flexible to try different options to work out what was best. He has been especially helpful in directing my learning to the particular ends required, the reading of sixteenth century scholarly works. Seumas provides ongoing flexible support both in person and across the world. Meetings are clearly structured and provide meaningful and timely feedback. Exercises are marked in detail giving clear correction and encouragement where applicable. Seumas is good humoured amid the whole process.
– R. Earnshaw, PhD candidate
Seumas is a brilliant tutor. My son has flourished and excelled in the Classics, thanks to Seumas.
Seumas is approachable and reliable, and very thorough and patient in explaining things to my son, often making complex concepts easy to grasp. Thanks, Seumas for my son’s great results at school… I am delighted! I highly recommend Seumas to anyone wanting to excel in Latin or Classical Greek.
– Anonymous parent
Seumas Macdonald was highly recommended to me by the Head of Department in New Testament [at a local seminary]. He is a good teacher who will teach you patiently and with understanding of your difficulties. I did three and half years of NT Greek about twenty years ago, and had to start again from the Greek alphabet. Seumas motivates and systematically encourages learning. He makes you think, learn and progress at your ability. Furthermore, when unforeseeable events occurs, like sickness, he has been accommodating, changing the schedule and pace of lessons accordingly. The opportunity to have lessons via Skype means I can tape and listen to it again and again for Greek pronunciation, further understanding, and revision in future. This has also saved me travelling time and the need of finding a quiet room to have the lesson. I thank the Lord with the provision of such a good Greek tutor.”
– N. Fung, Graduate Student
I’m thankful to have someone with as much experience as Seumas to help me with those tricky Biblical Greek questions, and to help put it into practice.”
Jacob R., Biblical Studies Student
Seumas tutored me in the summer of 2015 to help me prepare for my M.A. in Biblical Studies. I had just finished my undergraduate degree in Classics, and wanted some help transitioning from Classical to Koine Greek. Seumas helped me learn the distinct idioms and grammatical features of Koine Greek as we read selections from the New Testament, Septuagint, and Church Fathers. He is a patient instructor, and very flexible with scheduling, especially considering we were in very different time zones! I would highly recommend Seumas as a Greek tutor.
Jonathan H., Biblical Studies graduate student