Benefits of Learning Latin
Our students learn Latin beginning in the Fifth though Tenth Grades. Learning Latin builds a strong foundation for all modern languages, including English and Spanish. Students who study Latin often score well on the SAT and excel in the Sciences. Studying Latin, with its highly organized grammar, makes us coordinate ideas, reflect on the various ways to say the same thing, and thus to write and speak better in English. Latin provides a key to the Romance languages, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese etc. Learning the Latin language forms a child’s mind to be logical, disciplined, and structured.
- Becoming Multilingual: Studying Latin is fantastic preparation for learning and becoming fluent in one or more of the Romance languages. Therefore, learning Latin is to begin a study of six languages at once.
- English Vocabulary and Grammar: Studying Latin prepares students to master English. Students of Latin typically score the highest on tests on English vocabulary! This is no surprise since 50 percent of English is derived from Latin—with over 80–90 percent of our polysyllabic words derived from Latin. The regular grammar of Latin is also ideal for shedding light on the way all languages, including English, work.
- The Professions: Latin prepares students for several important professions that are steeped in Latin or English words derived from Latin. These include law, medicine, science, music, theology, philosophy, art, and literature.
- Writing and Reading: An increased vocabulary and understanding of grammar enable students to write and read with greater ease and clarity.
- English Literature: Latin enables students to have improved access to English literature prior to 1950, which is replete with references and citations in Latin.
- History: Latin enables students to more fully understand and appreciate the Roman Empire, which has had profound and continuing effects on Western civilization. In addition, the history of art and architecture is filled with Latin, and monuments and art all over the world are frequently graced with Latin.
- Great Literature: Latin enables students to enjoy some of the most influential literature the world—in the original language. Learning Latin well enough to read original Latin works is an attainable skill and imparts great satisfaction and enjoyment.
- Educational Virtue: The study of Latin is an ongoing practice in linguistic puzzle-solving that generally helps students to become close and careful readers and writers. Many believe it also generally hones the mental faculties, cultivating careful analysis and attention. When one well-known cancer researcher, Dr. Charles Zubrod (who helped develop chemotherapy treatment for leukemia patients), was asked what had best prepared him for a life of medical research, he responded: “Studying Latin and Greek as a child.”
- Pleasure: Deciphering the “secret code” of Latin, seeing the words behind words, learning to puzzle-solve, and reading great authors in their own tongue are all pleasures that will last students a lifetime.
- Simultaneous Learning: As you can see, studying Latin is a way of doing advanced study in several subject areas simultaneously. This is why we regard it as a master art—like a tool, it enables one to master other things, other subjects. It is no wonder that it has been a required subject in schools for centuries.