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Latin 'becoming more popular in schools'

02/01/2014 Joanna
A growing number of school children are learning Latin in order to improve their literacy and historical knowledge.

The charity Classics for All is training teachers to take the lessons and the results from 20 schools in Norfolk are very positive, Sky News reports.

Project co-ordinator Jane Maguire said it helped pupils understand difficult words in English. "It gives them an understanding of the grammatical structure of a language which helps them when they come to learn a modern language and it opens up the whole legacy of the Roman empire which is all around us," she commented.

At Antingham and Southrepps Primary in Norfolk, children have the opportunity to act out an ancient birthday party in Latin. Pupils interviewed said they found the language "fun" and that it helped to learn English words derived from Latin.

Pupils at North Walsham High also have the chance to learn the language. Rachel, aged 13, believed it would help with her future career. "I want to be veterinary nurse when I'm older and some of the medicines are in Latin so I wanted to try it out."

Some teachers believe there is little point in taking Latin-related education jobs, as there is little benefit to pupils and they do not find it relevant to their everyday lives.

However, the language remains popular in some quarters. In November it was announced that Boris Johnson is to pledge £250,100 to Classics for All to train 70 teachers in London schools to help them teach the language.

A YouGov poll of people who were taught classics revealed overwhelming support for the subject, with 83 per cent of respondents believing it should be taught. Many teachers and academics, as well as other professionals, believed the language helped them in training for their career.

The poll revealed that many thought learning classics had improved their overall quality of life. It found support for the subject remains strong even among those who stopped learning classical subjects at GCSE level.ADNFCR-2164-ID-801677950-ADNFCR
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