Real Latin: Vergil in the Level 1 Latin Classroom

Ginny T. Lindzey

Porter Middle School

High school graduation requirements for students heading to college include only a minimum of two years of a foreign language. Students, often because of poor advice from counselors, do not have the opportunity to study Latin for more than the required two years, and yet that is hardly enough time to reach authentic texts from the classical period if using a textbook such as the Cambridge Latin Course. (Authentic texts are used in year three.)

This paper will present ideas for including not small phrases of authentic Latin but a whole passage from Vergil's Aeneid (book 2's passage on Laocoon and the sea serpents) to demonstrate the power of authors from the classical period. The benefits for the young student are multiple, including greater attention to inflection, a broader range of vocabulary, exposure to literary devices, etc., not to mention increasing the allure of continuing with Latin in order to read Vergil in AP Latin.  Information regarding the utility of the new Legamus Vergil transitional reader will be provided.

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