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Why You Should Be Taking Latin at GCSE

By Fay, published on 10/07/2018 Blog > Academia > Latin > Latin Lessons in School

During your secondary school education you have the option to take on extra subjects outside of the usual curriculum. Whatever subjects you choose you can take Latin alongside them (providing your school allows you to).

Latin can provide you with a strong base for other languages you learn like French, Spanish and Italian and can even help you understand your own language!

Latin forms the bases of the romance languages Latin is at the root of the Romance languages such as French or Italian. Photo credit: Internet Archive Book Images on VisualHunt.com

What is the Value of Learning Latin?

Learning Latin has man benefits and its not just so you can read ancient Latin texts…

Latin can help with your English!

While the English language may not derive from Latin, Dictionary.com claims 60% of words in the English dictionary have Latin roots. Learning Latin can not only help expand your English vocabulary, but it will also teach you the etymology and meanings of English words.

Through Latin you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your own language and will improve your speaking and writing skills.

Latin can help you learn other languages

Romance languages like French, Spanish and Italian are mostly derived from Latin. Learning Latin can help you learn vocabulary in these languages and learn the structure as French, Spanish and Italian share some of the same verb endings as Latin.

Of course, you can’t speak these languages just by learning Latin but you will certainly give yourself a head start!

Translating Latin can improve your logical thinking

Learning new things like reading music, playing chess, computer programming and learning languages will improve your problem-solving skills. Latin is one of the best ways to do this; translating Latin to English will combine your procedural and logical skills with memory.

Learning this mental discipline is difficult and takes hard work but it not only help with your language skills but in many other skills in life.

Latin fills in the missing links

Latin will change your learning across all subjects from good to great. Latin fills in the missing links in modern education, it ties everything together. Latin is for languages what maths is for science, it provides a strong foundation on which to learn other languages. It gives your learning structure.

Languages and maths are arguably the most difficult subjects to learn because you have to keep building on what you know, nothing can be forgotten. That’s a lot of information to remember! Subjects like this continuously require new skills that are more advanced than the ones you already have. Most other subjects are not as difficult as this and instead focus on topics. Like history for example, you learn about a certain topic like World War One and you pass an exam on that topic and then you move on. You don’t need to keep this knowledge for the next exam which will be on a different topic.

But, Latin and maths aren’t that easy. You have to remember all the knowledge you’ve learned and be able to build on it to improve. This type of ‘deeper’ thinking, going further into a subject than surface knowledge (like dates and facts of the World Wars), is an essential skill for students. Studying maths and Latin can provide you with this skill.

Keep your Options Open

While Latin may not open every door for you it certainly won’t close any. This language, despite being a dead one, offers many possibilities on a linguistic and historical level.

  • You could become a Latin teacher. Latin is coming back into fashion with more and more people wanting to pick up the language. Working as a language teacher you can help keep this dead language alive!
  • Aside from the linguistic side, don’t forget the strong history behind Latin. Latin was the dominant language in Europe for hundreds of years. Then it was the language of the Christian Church, its impact was huge. Understanding the history of Latin can be a profession!  Historians, theologians, archaeologists, ethnologists all have bases in Latin. This language is very useful to understand our past.

Benefits of Private Latin Lessons

Learn the ancient language of Latin. Learn latin with a Superprof private tutor. Source: Visual Hunt

The benefits of private lessons are endless! While learning in group lessons can be helpful and can help you at the beginning, private lessons are tailored to you and you can learn at your own pace rather than the pace of the rest of the group.

But to really succeed in private lessons you must first have the motivation to begin and the determination to carry on and improve!

Improve your Latin, quickly

The problem with group classes is that you don’t get one on one time. You might be struggling with a certain grammar point or finding a certain word hard to pronounce. In a group class, your teacher probably won’t have the time to help each individual with everything they’re struggling with. That’s where a private tutor can help. They are there to help you as an individual, so they can help you grasp that grammar point and to pronounce that word.

Classes will be tailored to your specific needs and goals. If you find something difficult you can spend more time on that and less time on other points that are easier for you.

Your teacher will get to know the best way for you to learn so they can adapt lessons to assure you reach your potential. Having a personal tutor also means you have nowhere to hide! If you’ve not done the homework, then it’s going to be obvious when you’re the only student in the class… A personal tutor will keep you accountable and make sure you’re putting the work in. Latin is a hard language to learn so you have to be motivated!

Boost your confidence

As well as improving your Latin skills on paper, private lessons will also boost your confidence in your abilities! In a group class, it can be hard to find the confidence to answer questions in front of others or to practice your speaking skills in conversation classes.  A private tutor can help with this. As we said earlier, a private tutor is there just for you and so will know the best way to improve your confidence. You can do one on one conversations with them or repeat exercises until you are confident you know it.

Private tutors are specialists in their subjects so you know you can ask them anything about Latin! If you don’t understand something tell them straight away, they’ll help you work it out and you can go on to the next topic confident in your abilities!

So Are Private Lessons Worth It?

Private lessons are useful in all learning and even more so in the field of languages. Group classes are often not enough to acquire a complete practice which will allow you to progress quickly.

And beyond learning grammar points and vocabulary, it is the longer-term vision that is interesting. Master the texts of Plato, Aristotle, and Titus. Knowing the history of Rome through the ancient texts serves your knowledge of general culture.

It can open up additional opportunities at a professional level too. Latin is the language of many professions, like Law, is the language of governments and theology. Latin also provides the roots for the vocabulary of modern science, and even geography: did you know that Argentina comes from Argentum because it was a land where great silver deposits were found?

Latin is integrated into our daily lives. You will see that this language is far from dead.

Find your Latin tutor on Superprof !

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