Monday, November 8, 2010

The Vitures of Latin

From Home School Heartbeat. Click here to listen online.

You have friends who are teaching their kids Latin, and wonder if you should be, too. Or maybe you’re explaining to a skeptical 13-year-old why you’re teaching it to her! Today on Home School Heartbeat, Mike Farris talks with Barbara Beers about the benefits of Latin study.

Mike Farris:
This week, I’m talking with Barbara Beers, who’s the author of the curriculum The Latin Road to English Grammar. Barbara, welcome to the program!

Barbara Beers:
Thank you, Mike!

Barbara, this is sort of a stock question when discussing this topic, but it’s important, so give us your perspective: Why study Latin, and not some other modern language?

Well, first and foremost, there is no language in the world that affects English as much as Latin. We’re over 60 percent Latin-based in our vocabulary, and we learn as we study it that that vocabulary comprises our most sophisticated English words: those of our sciences, medicine, law, even our technology.

We also learn that Latin is the mother language of our most common spoken languages, Spanish and French, as well as Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian. So my students get a good working introduction to five commonly spoken languages in the same amount of time that others spend in just learning one language.

And by comparing and contrasting Latin and English for three years through translating, a student learns the basics of how most languages of the world work, as both Latin and English represent the two most common language structures.

Well, that makes a lot of sense to me, Barbara. Thank you so much. I’m Mike Farris.

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