5 Reasons To Study Latin
Sixth Form students Hal and Anthony offer 5 reasons why they believe every teenager should study Latin.
Latin is a dead language, taught to be read, not spoken. That makes it pretty unusual. As you learn it you come to understand the mechanics and structure of language and unlock a world full of names like Martial, Virgil, Pliny, Ovid and Cicero - and, frankly, they are 5 Reasons To Learn Latin all of their own!
Note: If you don't know who the above people are, you really ought to find out.
Another note: We left 'Latin Is Useless' off of our list for fear that we might be misunderstood, but the fact remains that Latin is useless, and learning a useless thing is really good for you. Think about it - Latin doesn't create factory-perfect, globalised, 21st-century citizens - it creates curious, rigorous, slightly mad people who know about a world that existed 3,000 years ago. How cool is THAT?!
Anyway, here are our Top 5 Reasons to study Latin:
1. Latin Improves Your English
Studying Latin, like other languages, makes you think in a different way. It gives you a different perspective on everyday life. Latin in particular gives us an insight into our own language, from the way it's structured through to the very meter and accent of our words.
It also gives you room to explore around the material, looking in detail at metre of verse, or the philosophy behind the texts - but more on this later!
2. Latin Improves Your Ability To Learn
Latin not only helps you to understand complex words used in Science - it also has an interesting, directly positive effect on the brain's plasticity, with the methodical processes of learning by rote actually training the mind to cope with large sums of information more easily.
Learning Latin has been proven to help teenagers to focus and recall new information, which is particularly interesting as the rote learning processes students must tackle to understand the material required are somewhat out of fashion with many educationalists!
3. Latin Classes Are Full of Bright Minds
Latin and Greek are not widely taught at GCSE and A Level, with few students choosing the subjects at either stage of their education. Those who do often achieve top grades however, with many of the world's top academics having studied Latin at one point or another.
The above means that if you do choose to study Latin, the chances are that you will benefit from lots of individual attention from your Latin teacher - while also getting help from very able classmates!
4. Latin Departments Get Fantastic Results
The Classics department at Bede's has had extraordinary results in recent times - and it's not alone: Latin is one of those subjects that, no matter how hard they make the exams, students rise to the challenge.
In 2012, 2013 and 2014 at Bede's for example, 100% of Latin A Level students achieved A*-B Grades and 100% of Latin and Greek GCSE students achieved A*-C grades. In fact, in 2013, 66% of GCSE Latin students achieved either an A or an A* - that's pretty good going!
5. Latin Celebrates The Roman In All Of Us
From the pictures on the walls to the literature we study, from the discussions we have in class to the philosophies celebrated by thousands of years' worth of academia; everything in the Classics department is about immersing ourselves in Roman ideals.
The Roman people and their mythology are endlessly fascinating, and this keeps the classroom lively and entertaining. That said, while interested in their ideas we don't necessarily try to live by the same rules, which is probably for the best…