I am Alexander, a first-year undergraduate student at Yale University,
and a recent graduate of the Noble and Greenough School in Massachusetts.
In the spring of 2020, COVID-19 spread across the globe; all school and extracurricular activities went virtual.
As I was planning for an unprecedented summer, I researched online courses, especially in Latin, one of my favorite subjects. I was surprised to find a lack of high school-level, conversational Latin programs, so I decided to create my own.
I knew if I had support from my Latin teacher, Ms. Glenn, I could create a credible curriculum. She was on board so I created a free online course using an easily accessible technology platform (Zoom).
The result: Virtual Spoken Latin (VSL), a free and accessible program for high schoolers passionate about Latin.
After designing the curriculum, I set out to recruit students. Ultimately, twelve students enrolled in my inaugural six-week VSL course. Through various activities and fun exercises, my teacher and I taught students essential vocabulary, pronunciation skills, and tools to speak Latin. The program culminated in a ten-minute drama, written and performed entirely in Latin – a memorable moment to cap off a challenging summer.
VSL has now expanded to two academic levels (Beginner/Intermediate and Advanced), included students from six different schools in New England, and continues to expand! Students from the Boston public schools also joined our sessions, and we are planning to expand to New Haven with the leadership of Justin Lee, another Latin scholar from my high school.
Don't miss out on our very own baking demo (on our Home page) completed entirely in Latin!
As of 2022, my high school adapted my VSL lesson plans into our Latin curriculum. Please reach out if you are interested in doing the same.
Valete! In posterum!
Yale College, Class of 2027
Noble & Greenough School, Class of 2023
Noble & Greenough School, Class of 2026