PrepMatters DC tutoring specialist Vanessa Johnson first learned Latin in high school in her native Kansas. She was hooked for life – thanks to a fantastic teacher and her own nerdy interest in the language and its corresponding history and culture. She went on to earn a BA in Classics from Williams College and an MA in Latin from the University of Maryland. She has been teaching and tutoring Latin in the Washington, DC area to both public and private school students for over 20 years. In her spare time, she has translated more than a dozen children’s books and fairy tales into Latin and has written a practice SAT Latin subject test for PrepMatters. Currently, she teaches Latin full-time at St. Albans School and regales her husband and children with Latin derivation stories on a daily basis.
Although the Latin language usually is classified as “dead,” I consider keeping it vibrantly alive my goal as a teacher and tutor. There is so much to be learned and gained from the study of the language in terms of understanding English grammar and vocabulary and how to work through translations as one would a puzzle. Forms and passages that can at first seem daunting can be made accessible by examining patterns and using techniques for breaking sentences into approachable pieces. I love charts and formulas, and I consider working through a comprehensive review of Latin forms and grammar one of my favorite activities.