Ok, maybe the rest of you out there already know this and I’m just a little late to the party. Nothing new there. I just found Vicipaedia to be extremely helpful in assisting our students in our transition into a CI (comprehensible input) class.
Everyone’s context is different, but our school situation may typify others in that there is not a ton of prior knowledge around the mythological and historical content behind classical Latin. There are varying levels and to help ensure everyone is on the same terrain, it is helpful to prep students with the characters of who’s who. Rather than do this in the primary language, why not do this in the target language (TL)?
As we all know, finding materials in Latin can be challenging – the reading levels will often be too far out of reach for our students to consult quickly. Well, Vicipaedia is here to help!
Now, pretty much any topic is searchable in that wiki format that your students will be comfortable and familiar with. They can also gloss over the different terminology that is used to access the functions of the site and can pick up the Latin terms for doing so.
What is really great is you can assign this to students. We just read an overview of the myth of Perseus and all along the students were getting familiar with the characters that made up that story (Cepheus vs. Acrisius vs. Polydectes – who was king of what again?). Now, we are starting to look at the Trojan War cycle and Aeneas role in it – I went ahead and assigned different topics for my students to look up and summarize what they found.
Here’s the kicker – I want them to summarize Latinē and share with the others in class.
Instead of them digging around a dictionary and trying to figure out how to translate something from English into Latin, they are reading in the TL and then boiling it down to what they can understand and what they think is vital. They will then share that with the rest of the class, again in the TL, while the other students listen and write down what they are hearing.
Lots of reps, lots of practice. Gaining knowledge of not only the language, but also of the content which will lay further foundations for when we look at the AP Latin curriculum next year.
Also, students are learning how to present information in Latin, something I hope for us to do in our AP classes next year where instead of us sitting around and discussing Latin poetry and prose in English, we are discussing in the TL of Latin.
Vicipaedia offers a very reliable and safe foundation for not only accessing information but learning to express themselves in Latin. Who knows, maybe your students will work up the nerve to actually edit entries or even make additions of their own!