Latin in French college?

(10 Posts)
jenpetronus Tue 03-Jun-14 17:52:29

DS1 will be in 5ieme at La Rentree & has been offered the option of latin, in addition to the regular timetable. They have two hours (usually) at lunch as some pupils do Breton & there are loads of other activities going on, so it wouldn't impact on his other work. I never studied latin & know very little about the advantages - he is studying KS3 English online as well as his college work, so is quite capable linguistically. Does anyone have any opinion if it is worthwhile or have any benefit to him? I figure at least it will give him a better understanding of the origins of French & English & it does count towards the moyenne generale, so can't do any harm, but would value any other opinions.

unobtanium Tue 03-Jun-14 18:14:02

I know of a few friends whose dcs have taken this route, and there have never been any regrets. They are all savvy parents who really care about school results so they would have weighed up the benefits against whatever downside.

I will let someone else (Bonsoir?) join in with more specifics...

castlesintheair Tue 03-Jun-14 18:54:20

My DS has been doing it in 6eme this year and will continue next year in 5eme. He started in college in September straight from UK fwiw. He's really enjoying it. If you have a DC who is linguistically able then it should be no trouble. They learn a lot about classical civilization as well which is another benefit particularly if they like history as my DS does.

As an aside, I did Latin at GCSE and DH did it at A level and it hasn't done us any harm! DH in particular thinks it is really important linguistically.

schlafenfreude Tue 03-Jun-14 19:35:02

I would encourage my DC to do it FWIW. It's useful in all kinds of strange situations and I don't think there's any harm if it's an added extra.

jenpetronus Tue 03-Jun-14 21:25:24

Thanks for all your opinions, very helpful thanks

Longtime Tue 03-Jun-14 22:31:51

Latin compulsory in Belgium in 1st year secondary, optional afterwards. My dd dropped it as soon as she could. 11 out of 12 subjects are compulsory so she didn't want to fill up her option with Latin! I couldn't see the point in adding yet another difficult subject to her timetable so was completely ok with her giving it up. I did actually do Latin myself - O level during my A levels and quite enjoyed it (lovely teacher) but the reasons given for doing it here seem odd. 1) It helps with other languages - I could see that that would be true if they learnt Latin first but as they already have one Latin language and one Germanic language (Dutch is compulsory in Brussels from the age of 6), I can't see that it can help that much, especially as they add English to the mix a year later; 2) It helps develop the analytical mind - the system in Belgium is SO traditional that there are plenty of other subjects to do this.

It is a tough subject so the "harm" would come from adding it to an already tough timetable hence increasing the child's workload unnecessarily. Maybe in France it's not the same as here but I get the impression it is. Maybe your child is clever enough to cope (it's the cleverest children in the Belgian school system that continue it on through the school years) in which case maybe it won't be a problem. It's not just about being clever linguistically with Latin though as it's completely different from learning a "live" language.

jenpetronus Wed 04-Jun-14 06:51:01

Thanks Longtime really interesting, the Belgian system sounds a real challenge. Some interesting comparisons with the French certainly.

I think we'll go for it, at least for the first trimester & see how he gets on. I'd probably think twice if it wasn't during the lunch period - he'll have to drop table tennis or something hmm Also, the latin teacher has been his French teacher this year, so he & we know her & she's (imho) amazing. From what I know already they push the "fun" element too - crosswords, games, interactive research etc. I did quite a bit of reading up on the value of it last night & for every positive there seems to be a counter-arguement...so we'll give it a go - I also keep thinking it's something he may not have the opportunity to try it in the future as the workload increases.

Thanks again to everyone

Bonsoir Wed 04-Jun-14 16:29:07

A bit late to this but FWIW if your DS is managing his current workload with ease, go for it. My view on Latin at college level is really one of priorities: I would rather my DC do MFLs than Latin and I would always pick a really good MFL opportunity over Latin. But if you aren't missing an opportunity for a MFL, go for it, especially if the teacher is a known quantity and your DS likes her.

jenpetronus Wed 04-Jun-14 16:36:50

Mmm, I do agree - I would have preferred him to start Spanish, but they focus so heavily on English that they don't offer it until 4ieme - which makes sense for the others, but not much use to DS1!

GreatAuntDinah Thu 05-Jun-14 07:05:21

Would he be able to do Breton instead? That would be way cooler.

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