Do you teach Latin? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 07-31-2011, 02:54 AM - Thread Starter
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If so, why? And when do you start, using which system or program? And if not, why not?


I personally have never studied Latin. I do speak six languages fluently, and I am intending to offer the three my children have not yet been introduced to later on through organized study. I acquired all my non-native languages through immersion, by living in those countries, and have never done well with formal study of grammar, etc. 


Those who think Latin is important hold the view that its grammar is highly stimulating to the brain, and helps develop logical thinking. I can see that being true. Besides, many Latin words are incorporated in all kinds of languages, and it is nice to see where those words came from. Latin also comes in handy in medical or scientific fields. 


On the other hand, there are other languages with complicated, brain-stimulating grammar as well. If I teach all my languages plus Latin, we won't have time for anything else but languages! The ability to speak languages in current use offers more practical, obvious benefits than Latin. 


I'd love your views on this, particularly on the notion that Latin develops logic and builds brain connections. 

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#2 of 5 Old 07-31-2011, 03:37 AM
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I think Latin is great (and will be teaching DD this year), but if you're fluent in multiple modern languages, spending time on those will likely accomplish the same thing as well as having more practical use.


Because Latin is a dead language, it is more organized and clear-cut in its grammar rules than living languages. This is its advantage.


Really, in your position I might consider a course that studies Latin roots in English for vocabulary strengthening, but that would be about it.

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#3 of 5 Old 08-09-2011, 04:43 PM
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Latin is a pretty good choice for learning language structure and grammer.  It's quite regular, and it's highly inflected, which has advantages for thinking about language and experiencing language if one gets far enough along.  And there is a lot of good material for reading readily available for translating, often for very cheap. 


It isn't the only possibility, but it has a number of good points.  And in the West a lot of historical documents were written in Latin until fairly recently.

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#4 of 5 Old 08-09-2011, 05:47 PM
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i studied Latin for 3 years in high school. i did very well. i also studied spanish and did well. I won't be teaching my dds Latin. from my personal experience, studying Latin didn't provide insight into modern English Grammer. learning English grammer gave me that insight. I would spend my time with a modern language that dds will actually use/need.  and, while, being able to read documents in the original language they were written in provides a deeper understanding of the documents, i don't think that is a reason to teach a dead language.  I am not going to not read something simply because i can't read the original. 

i understand why people like to teach Latin, i really like the philosophy of Classical education, but i think teaching Latin isn't as helpful as having a good foundation in English grammer and learning another modern language.

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#5 of 5 Old 08-09-2011, 07:36 PM
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I had to take Latin 5th-9th grade in school, it's been the way I have managed to figure out most romance languages if I need to. I'm in no rush to start it with Ds since he's five and we are pretty much unschooling around here. But already Latin comes up naturally when he asks questions about the sounds he hears in words and why they are in other words, also when we are looking in flower and animal guides. I guess my thoughts about actually teaching it are that it is a great building block, but it is also just as much work as teaching another language so you need to think about your DCs learning styles if having a basis will help them to move through other languages easily than it would be great, if it will just be an added effort I would hold off, Spanish and Italian both have similar properties in terms of helping with other languages. A friend off mine is Brazilian and for work he occasionally has to correspond with people in France and Italy, he says that using his Portuguese and a dictionary, a little bit, he is able to write mature letters.

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