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Anybody's dc doing/has done GCSE Latin?

(9 Posts)
Northernlurker Mon 04-Jul-11 17:55:13

In particular is anyone doing it as a condensed additional programme?

Dd1 has been offered the chance to apply for this as part of the G&T programme locally. She's not very keen at the moment. I'm not sure what to think.....Would be great to get any feedback of any sort!

bouncingbluebells Mon 04-Jul-11 18:06:13

I had to do Latin GCSE at my school (eons ago!) and i know some people rave on anbout how it's the foundations of other languages, but i don't get it.

I found it extremely dull (we learnt a lot parrot fashion), it's not conversational as such, and i can honestly say i have never needed it since leaving school,or in my chosen career.

If it was my dd i would prefer them to channel their energies into something else.

jetgirl Mon 04-Jul-11 18:16:24

I am a Latin teacher, though I have switched to wjec's level 2 qualifications whuch offer, imo, a better range of texts. I also tutor a girl who has almost finished all the language elements of the gcse/level 2.
I think your dd has a great opportunity. My class of 12 gave great feedback on completion of the course - improves thinking skills, analysis, complemented their English and mfl courses, were just some of their comments.
In a very competitive jobs and university market, the Latin helps students stand out. Russell Group unis are very keen.

How old is your dd and what form would the lessons take?

BooBooGlass Mon 04-Jul-11 18:19:55

I did Latin and I enjoyed it. I took it to AS level and I would say it's a good basis for understanding many languages. Is it useful in every day? Is it hell. But tbh it looks very good on a CV and I know I got one job, in a very 'old boys club' sort of place, on the basis of that qualification, as ludicrous as it sounds. If anything, I think it suggests a certain standard of education, rightly or wrongly.

BooBooGlass Mon 04-Jul-11 18:22:23

Agree with jetgirl about uni as well, I attended a Russell Group university and was accepted without interview (I went to a private school on a full scholarship). They were hardly secretive about their processes either, everyone I met with a private school background was accepted with no interview. Everyone from a comp had to come and be interviewed hmm

Northernlurker Mon 04-Jul-11 18:23:30

She's 13. Just coming up to end of Year 8. We haven't a lot of info at the moment but it looks like a two year course starting next year and running for two years - so year 9 and 10. It would take place at one of the local independant schools. Her French teacher reported that she thought she has an aptitude for languages when I saw her at parents evening and it's that more than anything that seems to make it a good idea to me.

Malcontentinthemiddle Mon 04-Jul-11 18:26:17

Northern, my dd is doing exactly this - she's just finishing year 9 now, so halfway through it.

It is intense, and some kids have dropped out, but she mainly enjoys it and I think it;s a great thing for her to do - especially as she's thinking of Law at university.

If she's strong in languages, that will probably help - and then it can be reciprocal, after a while - I think Latin grammar has helped in French, for sure.

I'm Northern too, I wonder if it's the same place? Feel free to message if there's anything else you think I might be able to tell you about our experience.

Yellowstone Mon 04-Jul-11 18:42:55

DD3 and DS1 both took it in 2009 as an additional condensed course sponsored by their school and done through distance learning/ video link to a university tutor. Both enjoyed it but DD3 found it reasonably hard, was inclined at one point to drop out but stuck with it in the end.

DD3 got an A and DS1 an A*. DD3 has a place to read Law next year at Oxford but I've no idea how much the Latin helped. It may have helped her in the LNAT I suppose.

kalidasa Mon 04-Jul-11 18:49:05

I'm a classicist (at university level). If she enjoys structure/logic for its own sake she'll probably like Latin - lots of quite mathematical children get on with it well, as well as the more obvious strong linguist types. You notice this at undergraduate level - a wider range of 'types' of student - in terms of different aptitudes - come through to classics than do for, say, modern languages or English. It's not a conversational thing of course so if that's what she enjoys about French she'll miss that; on the other hand because there's no oral/aural element you get to read sophisticated literary texts earlier on (at least a bit at GCSE) than in modern languages.

Its quite a popular 'extension' subject for G&T clubs, and works well for that purpose. Even if she's not mostly interested in language/literature it opens up a lot of other areas - e.g. ancient history, philosophy, political thought, comparative religion - all aspects of ancient culture really. It's only directly useful for a handful of romance languages (Italian, Spanish, French) but indirectly so for learning any highly inflected language (e.g. German, Russian; or even Arabic or Sanskrit) just because it gives you a strong sense of grammatical categories and structure. Good for your written English too, though to some extent I think that's true of learning any foreign language to a reasonable standard - you have to think about your own more carefully in comparison.

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