The Latin language may no longer have a cohort of heritage speakers, but it is far from dead, as Mark Peters suggests in his March 11 Ideas piece “Why igpay atinlay is here to stay.” More than 20,000 students study Latin in 126 districts across the Commonwealth, and Massachusetts is home to three flagship master of arts in teaching programs in Latin. Graduates of these programs — at UMass Boston, UMass Amherst, and Tufts — field positions across the United States.
My students and I use Latin every day to communicate with each other. They engage with the ancient world so that they can think about their own lives and the world in which they live in a new way as global citizens.
Certainly a language columnist must know how cliche it is to write that “Latin is dead,” especially when it lives in so many other languages today.
The writer teaches Latin at Westwood High School and was named National Language Teacher of the Year in 2016 by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.