Saturday, January 8, 2011

Latin: How It's Beneficial In Education

If anyone knows me, they know I'm a Latin enthusiast. What I've been noticing more and more throughout every public school class I've taken, is how useful it is to have a lingua latina background.

  • Psychology: a lot of words they use are Latin or derive from Latin. It also comes in VERY handy when you're memorizing psych vocab, because you're so used to memorizing things like voco, vocare, vocavi, vocatus that it's just so easy.
  • French: if you have a good background in Latin, the basic French classes are extremely easy. Memorizing vocab is very simple. Hardest part is pronunciation.
  • A.P. English: Very useful, especially if your Latin class also involved learning ancient Roman mythology and history. It becomes simpler to write in English, because after writing so much in Latin, your English skills get better. If you didn't understand nouns, pronouns, verbs, more complicated stuff, etc, and how they relate to each other in a sentence, you WILL after a good Latin class.
  • Chemistry: again, memorizing vocab is pretty easy. And usually Latin helps with your thinking skills, to aid in remembering the vocab MEANING. Also very useful when you have to know how to spell the elements!
  • Algebra: sometimes words relate to Latin; again with the Latin helping your learning/patience skills!
  • History: if you know ancient Roman history and its language, Western history, culture, literature, etc (et cetera! Latin!), suddenly makes more sense. Rome was such a major force in ancient Western civilization. If you know Latin and can read the original works of Cicero, Caesar, etc, the following centuries that were so influenced by Roman culture are much more interesting.
  • It also makes you look smart to your peers and teachers when it comes up that you know Latin. I don't know why.
I’m sure there are more benefits that I haven’t thought of. I think it’s so tragic that American public schools don’t offer Latin as a subject. It’s like getting rid of a major tool of understanding Western society. So much was influenced by ancient Rome and Latin, especially in Western culture! If you understand Latin and ancient Roman culture, suddenly a whole new world perspective is opened up! Suddenly history makes sense, suddenly literature makes sense. Science vocabulary used to be based on Latin. So much stuff in the past is better understood with that knowledge, that I just can’t believe the public education system doesn’t think offering Latin would be beneficial!
I really hope that starts changing. I’m sure a lot of kids would be interested in learning Latin if it were offered.

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