Archived News | Return to News Center

August 12, 2013

ULM history professor presents paper on ancient languages at UCLA

Dr. Monica Bontty, associate professor of history at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, presented a paper on "Ancient Language Pedagogy in a Modern University Setting" at the 15th Annual Saint Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Studies Conference.

The session was held at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in July.

"Teaching ancient languages has come a long way since I learned ancient Egyptian," said Bontty.

"Communicative Language Teaching is now used to teach Latin, ancient Greek, and Biblical Hebrew."

Bontty studied the ancient Egyptian language using an active method developed by the late Dr. John Callender.

Bontty said, "Callender, a brilliant linguist from the Oriental Institute in Chicago, spoke or had a working knowledge of 42 languages. He taught courses in all phases of the ancient Egyptian language and founded the Egyptology program in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA in 1968."

She continued, "His language program enabled ancient Egyptian to be taught as a living language, and not as a list of the parts of speech. The participatory lessons offered students an active and highly motivating introduction to ancient Egyptian."

"The more I think about the revolutionary method used by Dr. Callender, the more I realize how innovative and groundbreaking it was, and how relevant it is to current ALA (Ancient Language Acquisition) scholarship," Bontty said.

"This directly leads to a better understanding of modern English grammar and therefore the ability to speak, read and write English more effectively."

Since coming to ULM in 2005, Dr. Bontty has taught courses in ancient Egyptian, ancient Greek and Roman history, along with the history of the Near East and Biblical lands.

She has also taught archaeology courses as well as her well-known world history course, which is offered every semester.

Bontty grew up in a bilingual home and reads and speaks several languages.

She received her bachelor's degree in Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations, her master's degree in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures and her doctorate in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures with a specialization in Egyptology, all from UCLA.

She also spent three and a half years studying at Georg August Universität in Göttingen, Germany.

PLEASE NOTE: Some links and e-mail addresses in these archived news stories may no longer work, and some content may include events which are no longer relevent, or reference individuals and/or organizations no longer associated with ULM.