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Curriculum & Instruction        < Previous        Next >


Latin Makes a Comeback


Q. I'm puzzled why public schools don't teach Latin any more. Isn't it the root language of the English language? You'd think it would help kids with vocabulary and thinking skills, if they knew more about where words came from. Or is Latin really a "dead" language?


If Latin was once dead, it's being resurrected. A grounding in Latin marks a serious student. It's not only the demonstrated link between Latin classes and high SAT scores. Educators and parents are realizing what a great groundwork Latin provides for all school subjects. They are offering beginning Latin in about Grade 3, especially in private schools but also in public schools, though most often as an after-school add-on activity.


The benefits of knowing Latin are strongest in communications, as Latin grammar is the basis for English grammar, and helps immensely with writing quality and precision. Selective colleges love students who have had Latin, because they know they tend to be better thinkers, too, because of the discipline and accuracy that Latin requires.


There are growing numbers of ways to learn Latin, even if the public schools don't offer this classical and important language. Parents as individuals or in groups might consider starting a Latin Club in schools that don't offer this key curriculum, and perhaps it will catch fire. Most of the Latin curricula on the market are readily available for homeschooling, afterschooling and online work, and feature DVDs and other technical aids.


An example is Latin For Children, which comes with primers in three levels. They are integrated with the outstanding Shurley Grammar curriculum, and combine classical Latin stories with history material, tests, games, puzzles and pronunciation guides. See


Homework: See more on:


By Susan Darst Williams Curriculum 05 2008


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