November 25, 2007


QED - Latin lessons improve literacy, says MSP (EDDIE BARNES, 11/26/07,

THE traditionalists have been going on about it ad nauseam. Now the campaign to bring back Latin into classrooms is finally gaining strength.

Tens of thousands of Scottish school pupils are failing to master basic English literacy skills, leading one MSP to suggest compulsory Latin lessons are the way forward.

Independent MSP Margo MacDonald, who was taught Latin at school herself, is to spearhead a campaign to highlight the benefits the classical language can have in improving basic English.

Studies in the US appear to show that, after just five months study of Latin, pupils who took the course were a full year ahead of fellow children who had not. teaches them where their culture came from.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 25, 2007 9:03 PM

I took Latin in High School.

I did it because only 2 years were required (vs. more for all other languages), pronunciation was not graded and there were girls in the classes (from our sister Catholic school).

Supposedly, Latin helped with the SAT because the 'harder' words often come from Latin roots. I suppose this is true. Also, studying an abstract foreign language is the best way to understand how a language works so I see that as helping in English.

As I got older, however, I began to favor the Germanic words in our language. Why waste syllables? Also, Latin tends to be taught in a way that aggrandizes the Romans. Over time, I came to admire the culture of the 'barbarians' who, in many ways were less cruel and corrupt than the Romans and took the best of both cultures after accepting Christianity.

Not sure if that's where you were going with your comments but my 2 cents.

Posted by: JAB at November 25, 2007 9:41 PM

Shorter JAB: Quo vadis?

Posted by: ghostcat at November 25, 2007 10:40 PM

Latin study began in grade echool, with failiarization of Ecclesiastical Latin, followed by four years in high school, one semester in college.

Did it help? Absolutely. To this day, grammatical rules are most distinct for me, contributing to a rigor of thought and speech which has stood me very well professionally.

Posted by: Lou Gots at November 26, 2007 5:13 AM