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How long to learn latin?

(23 Posts)
learninglatin Sun 12-Jun-16 17:28:34

DS has just been accepted into Year 8 (in September) in a selective school where latin is compulsory. He hasn't got any experience with it and needs to catch up ASAP. I have ordered the Cambridge book that they use in school, but realistically how long will it take to catch up on the year? I haven't seen the book yet but from reviews I understand a good chunk of it is life in Rome rather than language.

Is Latin difficult?

Balletgirlmum Sun 12-Jun-16 17:30:44

Ds is in year 7. He hates Latin & can't wait until he can drop it at the end of year 8. He finds it very difficult.

He's just been learning ending parrot fashion.

EustachianTube Sun 12-Jun-16 17:31:12

I started at a grammar school in year 8 (or 2 as it was called then!) without having done any and found it really quick and easy to pick up, got top marks by the end of the year. I don't remember doing any extra at home, only during lessons, but I may have done. I'm not very good with modern languages but really found Latin suited me.

LIZS Sun 12-Jun-16 17:32:53

CLC isn't difficult but if they take it to gcse it won't be enough alone as that is more complex and includes texts and translation. Ds had done 3 years by y8 , only a year or so was spent on CLC.

titchy Sun 12-Jun-16 17:47:51

Dd did GCSE just using CLC. She found it really easy.

HermioneWeasley Sun 12-Jun-16 17:49:19

Latin is difficult, but first year of CLC is pretty straightforward. I'd have thought he would be able to catch up,over the summer holidays, no problem

learninglatin Sun 12-Jun-16 17:49:29

Great, so it shouldn't be a struggle then. Thanks for the replies.

insancerre Sun 12-Jun-16 17:52:31

I did Latin at school and I found it really easy compared to French
I still remember old caecilius from the early 80s

storybrooke Sun 12-Jun-16 17:57:15

I found Latin was far easier than French or German, I went to a grammar school and as he's only missed one year is guess he'll soon catch up.

And it's a beautiful language.

happygardening Sun 12-Jun-16 18:04:28

I think it depends on what exam board your DS's school will be using as too how hard he'll find it.
Im told that ar DS2's school those who've done Latin at prep sit the Cambridge IGCSE which requires a very solid grasp of the grammar and vocabulary and some of the set texts are hard. Those who've done no Latin prior to starting at his school sit a different and I'm assuming easier GCSE.
I've helped DS revise for both entrance and IGCSE exams you need to basically learn the grammar and vocabulary. The good thing is that it seems your given a list of the vocabulary you have to know and you just plod through it. DS2 had well over a thousand cards with the Latin on one side and its English translation on the other, he just learnt them. The set text can be quite demanding depending on the exam board I guess and we spent time learning that as well.

originalmavis Sun 12-Jun-16 18:08:21

Does the school do catch-up classes? DS has been learning for a couple of years now and I've picked a bit up (I know basic Italian). It's not too awful - I am crap at languages but found it not too difficult.

I find home ed sites good for information.

KingscoteStaff Sun 12-Jun-16 19:22:00

CLC has a website that you can follow alongside the books.^oa_intro^intro

I'd work together over the holidays - try and get him to compete with you!

TheSecondOfHerName Sun 12-Jun-16 21:00:24

Book 1 of the CLC is really quite straightforward. The Cambridge Schools Classics Project website is really helpful, it matches the book stage by stage, with vocab tests and exercises to practise the grammar basics.

TheSecondOfHerName Sun 12-Jun-16 21:05:55

My dad learned with the Cambridge Latin course in the late 1950s.

I studied the same course at school in the 1980s (the books were smaller than they are now and book 1 was orange, but otherwise similar).

DS1 started it in 2011 (just done his GCSE), DS2 has just finished book 2 and DS3 is part of the way through book 1. DD's school don't follow the course exactly but she knows the characters and the vocab from the first couple of stages.

prettybird Sun 12-Jun-16 22:24:56

I did a couple of months of Latin in S2 (Scottish equivalent of Y9) before emigrating to NZ (where they didn't do Latin)

We emigrated back to Scotland 2 years later - 6 months before the O Grades. I was able to catch up a bit on Latin with a primer that my dad brought back to NZ (after his interview) but only got formal teaching from the end of October when we actually got back (O Grades just over 6 months away in May) shock

I was good at learning by rote so I got an A for my O grade - and even continued it on to Higher and got an A again! smile

If your ds is hood at learning by rote, he should be ok as it's a straightforward language to learn.

My other option was German - but I wouldn't have had time to learn enough by the Aural which, iirc, was in January.

So Latin it was. smile

pollyglot Mon 13-Jun-16 04:18:30

A small correction! I teach Latin in NZ !! (Taught it in the UK for many years also). Wonderful language and enormously engaging if taught well. It is also very easy to follow for pupils who like rule-based learning -a bit like like decoding. My students tell me that it was the most enjoyable and useful subject in the curriculum.

Fozzleyplum Mon 13-Jun-16 05:58:49

Would agree that it will be quite possible to catch up over the Summer. At my DC'S school, which also uses CLC, newcomers in Y8 don't do any catchup work before starting; they catch up by having 1:1 with a Latin teacher or 6th former.

As a confidence boost, it would be a good idea to get a copy of the Minimus book for your DS to read before he starts wreaking the CLC. It's very simple and cartoony, but surprisingly effective at getting the basics to stick. My DSs' school uses this in Y6 as an introduction.

Fozzleyplum Mon 13-Jun-16 06:00:26

Reading, obviously (although wreaking appears to be what DS2 is doing to his classical Greek at the moment! ).

hesterton Mon 13-Jun-16 06:12:26

I second the website - it has a section for each stage of each book, with a vocabulary testing game and activities to practice the grammar.

You could do it alongside him - it's a wonderful language and like someone said up thread - like decoding and puzzles and very different from a modern foreign language. Children seem to get it if they are of a certain mindset, but need a few good one to ones if they fall behind because they find it hard. It's like building - miss a block and whatever you try to do afterwards, there's no security until that block is found and laid.

If hey like chemistry they may well like Latin. It is beautifully logical.

And it's so important to learn the vocabulary as he goes along. The free app 'Memrise' has really addictive units for Books 1-3 - I heartily recommend it.

Finally, the Level 1/2 exam, which is a quicker GCSE equivalent you can teach in 2 years is being axed because Gove didn't like it. So many state schools, who can only start in Yr 10 because of time and curricular demands are having to rethink teaching Latin. Such a shame.

hesterton Mon 13-Jun-16 06:15:38

One more year of Level 1/2 before it ceases to count as a GCSE equivalent in state schools.

TheSecondOfHerName Mon 13-Jun-16 08:17:17

Eduqas do a new GCSE which seems to have evolved from the WJEC Level 2.

DS2 has just finished book 2 of the CLC and his end of year exam was a past paper from Level 1 Core Latin language.

peachpudding Mon 13-Jun-16 10:20:37

DS loves Latin, its much easier than French.
It has helped with his English, Spanish and even science understanding.

hesterton Mon 13-Jun-16 11:43:05

The GCSE has a literature element which the Level 2 doesn't, and a 10% English to Latin translation section. Also you need to cover up to some of Book 5, whereas the Level 2 is up to beginning of Book 4. So lots more language content. Agree the EDUQAS looks a good option if you can continue to include it on curriculum.

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