Should Timberlane Hire a New Latin Teacher?


Image courtesy of Cultures Connection

Ashlyn Lally

According to the Classical Academic Press, Latin is ‘…a dead language that never died.’ This goes to say that just because nobody currently speaks fluent Latin as their first language, does not mean that learning the language does not have its own benefits. Latin root words, along with prefixes and suffixes, are very helpful when it comes to your SATs. Students have consistently done better regarding SAT scores if they were learning Latin at that time, as said by Brain Scape. Although, SAT scores are not the most important factor when it comes to getting into college according to Big Future, so it ultimately does not matter. 


Now, I would like to introduce myself. I am currently a student in my senior year at Timberlane that has successfully completed three years of Latin (I, II, and III). Two of those years were in school with our old teacher, and in my junior year I chose to go through an online VLACS program in order to complete my three years. This is because our teacher unfortunately left our school, and there was no replacement. That meant that I had no other option but to take online Latin for the final year, which was definitely one of the most difficult classes I have ever taken. 


With the online curriculum, if you did not get an 80% or higher on every single assignment, you had to retake it, but you only got two tries unless your ‘teacher’ unlocked the assignment for you. You would meet with your teacher once a month, and you had to get at least three assignments done every week. It is a lot harder than it may seem to learn Latin online. There are minimal face-to-face interactions, and you are practically just stuck talking to a screen. Learning the Latin language is one of those things where you need verbal communication with your instructor, rather than reading over the lessons and then trying to apply it to your work. 

Timberlane should definitely not hire a new Latin teacher. I think that when it comes to picking a language to learn, there should not be an option for one that’s already dead. According to Pew Research, over 37 million people in the United States alone speak fluent Spanish. With these numbers only on the rise, it would only make sense to learn languages that people you may know are speaking themselves. It will then be easier to communicate with people who speak those languages, and you will be able to have coherent conversations with others. It has way more benefits than negatives, when learning Latin just gives you some bonuses within your comprehension skills. Latin is a very interesting language that has infinite applications to modern language and society, but if nobody is speaking it or using it, there is no point in hiring a new teacher.