Sometimes students (and parents!) wonder about the benefits of learning classical languages like Latin. Yet we have seen families experience tremendous value in studying this ancient language at Wilson Hill.
From practical benefits like boosting SAT scores to enriching experiences such as reading ancient texts in their original language, the study of Latin equips students for success. For even more benefits, I asked a few of our Wilson Hill Latin teachers to share four reasons why they’re passionate about Latin and how the language has shaped their own lives.
- Learning Latin helps your child master English. Did you know that more than 65% of English words come from Latin? Enjoying a firm grasp on Latin expands students’ vocabulary and understanding of word formation.
Wilson Hill Latin teacher Leah Coll sees it firsthand in her classroom: “I often hear students comment that they know more English grammar from studying Latin than from their English grammar programs, because Latin teaches grammar ‘through the back door,’ so to speak.”
- Knowing a classical language makes it easier to learn other languages. Since Latin is the source for up to 80% of all words in the Romance languages, students familiar with Latin gain a significant advantage in learning languages like French, Italian and Spanish. For Latin and Greek teacher Matt Colvin, his knowledge of Latin came in handy when he served as a missionary in the Philippines. Despite the local languages differing significantly from Latin, he had already acquired the building blocks of language learning.
- Learning languages, especially classical languages, strengthens the brain. Studying a highly inflected language helps students build crucial skills such as memorization, attention to detail, logic, critical thinking and problem-solving. Like Wilson Hill Latin teacher Tammy Jones says, “Parsing and translating tough sentences trains students to keep at it and not give up.”
- Latin and Greek provide access to some of history’s greatest thinkers. Students who have studied classical languages can reap the rewards of reading the New Testament or The Odyssey in their original language, appreciating rich nuance and meaning that can be overlooked in translation. This is the true gift for those who genuinely learn to love classical languages.
If you’re interested in giving your children the gift of learning a classical language, there’s still time to register for the 2022–2023 school year. Sign up for a full course load or just enroll in a Latin class to strengthen your children’s brains and equip them to become lifelong learners.