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Latin

(34 Posts)
fatjac Fri 28-Aug-09 12:18:04

Is Latin taught at your childs state school?

If so do you think it is useful.

If not do you think that it should be.

Just curious

Milliways Fri 28-Aug-09 16:11:42

Yes (State Grammar)
Yes - helps with all languages, useful for some jobs!

Don't think it should be on Nat Cur. though!

DS's school also do Ancient Greek & classical civilisation as GCSE options!

vinblanc Fri 28-Aug-09 16:34:30

Yes, it is taught in my children's schools.

Is it useful? I did it at school to GCSE equivalent. I'm not sure why I chose it as an option - perhaps because I wasn't good enough at art or eligible for music - I had to pick something. I suppose I enjoyed it up to the point of having to study it for exams, then it was my least favoured subject.

I do think my English and French vocabulary benefitted, which obviously has knock-ons into other subjects.

Translating to and from Latin is certainly very good exercise for the brain.

If I were a student nowadays, I imagine I would have chosen to do a tech subject (eg textiles) as my final subject.

trickerg Fri 28-Aug-09 19:45:21

I find my Latin 'O' very useful for cryptic crosswords, especially with prefixes and suffixes (or should that be prefices and suffices???!).

I never found translating to and from Latin a very good exercise for my brain as I always used to have the little cheat book hidden under the desk!

FabBakerGirlIsBack Fri 28-Aug-09 19:46:19

I took Latin at secondary school as I was told I couldn't go to Uni without it.

Bellsa Fri 28-Aug-09 19:51:10

I find my Latin A-level really useless, even though I was assured that it would be invaluable if I was going to study law! It was interesting at the time, though. If I was going to decide again I would have done another modern language over Latin, certainly A-level.
I went to a private school until I was 16, but swapped to state at 16, where they did Latin. I know that of my Latin class the majority had come from state non-selective schools where they had been taught Latin, but not all the schools in the county did-it was a bit hit and miss, I think. Not sure what the position is now (nearly 20 years ago-aaarrghhh!).

hocuspontas Fri 28-Aug-09 19:53:22

Dd1 took it at GSCE but there wasn't enough interest at A-level even as a consortium subject so couldn't take it further.

Dd3 just starting in year 7 and had the option to take either Spanish or Latin. It was so annoying that she couldn't do both but plumped for Latin. I had a moan at the school about French being mandatory but they weren't interested in bringing in an option where you choose 2 out of French, Spanish and Latin. There's too many French teachers at the school to have sitting around I suppose hmm

LadyGlencoraPalliser Fri 28-Aug-09 19:54:06

No it is not.
Yes, I think it is useful. I certainly found it so. But, even more than that, I think it is interesting. There always will be some children who will find it interesting and useful and they should have the opportunity to learn it.
I teach an after-school Latin club at our primary school and lots of them would like to carry on with it at secondary, but they can't.

ShrinkingViolet Fri 28-Aug-09 19:55:56

DD1 did Latin (state comp) and found it really useful for German as they don't teach any grammar till GCSE (and even then hardly any). Also very useful for impressing other tourists at the Roman Baths in Bath as she could translate the inscriptions wink.

frakkinpannikinAGRIPPA Fri 28-Aug-09 20:00:18

I adored Latin when I was at school and still find it useful, especially living in France and trying to translate complicated things designed to bamboozle French speakes let alone furriners.

sickofsocalledexperts Fri 28-Aug-09 20:00:43

I did Latin and think it is very useful: it taught me to spell and understand words (how the hell else would you know how to spell polymath, or anthropology or words like that unless you knew the derivations); Latin taught me logic, as it is a beautifully logical language; Latin and Greek civilisation/art/literature philosophy lie at the root of almost all those things today; and also it taught me the basic discipline of learning, as it is a taxing subject. It helped me greatly in my career, as it was then (if not now) respected as a good subject to have studied, not an easy option. I wish it were taught more in today's schools but I guess it doesn't fit with today's "instant fix" culture.

sickofsocalledexperts Fri 28-Aug-09 20:02:52

oh yes, and because we are no longer taught English grammar (for some inexplicable reason) the only way I got to know about grammar at all was through Latin.

BonsoirAnna Fri 28-Aug-09 20:05:44

Yes (French state collège). I think it is a complete waste of time and resources - it only carries on because there are lots of Latin teachers in the system and they would be out of a job otherwise. It is slowly dying a natural death.

DSS1 is stopping Latin next year and taking privately-tutored English lessons instead.

BonsoirAnna Fri 28-Aug-09 20:06:33

French children learn their grammar properly at primary school, so Latin doesn't serve to teach them grammar.

WidowWadman Fri 28-Aug-09 20:08:11

Latin was my first ever foreign language (followed b English and French) and I found it immensely useful, because it hlped me getting an understanding of how grammar works, helped with the other foreign languages,came in very handy when studying history and literature and overall is a very cool language.

Klaw Fri 28-Aug-09 20:10:19

errr, don't know blush don't think so, but as it was never of interest to ds I never paid any attention as to whether it was available or not.

I studied Latin up to Scottish Higher level in the later 20th Century, not that I think I could do much with it now.

However, I do think that it has been extremely useful in understanding English vocabulary, and any other languages that I look at seem to have quite a strong link back to Latin. It might seem crazy to many to study a 'dead' language but I really think it helps with our current languages.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 28-Aug-09 20:28:13

"how the hell else would you know how to spell polymath, or anthropology or words like that unless you knew the derivations"

Very easily. I didn't need to learn latin itself to learn that - I explained 'philanthropist' to DD perfectly adequately yesterday. We once heard someone saying it was useful to learn the terminology in subjects like biology... DH was distinctly unimpressed by that argument as he'd been more or less forced to do Latin instead of biology itself at O-Level. Biology would have been useful, he reckoned Latin was an utter waste of time.

Maybe if you want to be a linguist, but not otherwise.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Fri 28-Aug-09 20:57:42

My opinion is not that children should study Latin, but that they should have the opportunity to if they so wish. And a surprising number of them do. It seems a shame that they are deprived of the chance, just because it is no longer fashionable.

1dilemma Fri 28-Aug-09 22:08:19

No (but it's primary)

I would rather they were taught Latin than all the drivel they are being taught.

Marina who was on here a while ago also taught a latin club there were quite a few posts about it if you look back.

I would like to do that to (when I have more time)

mrsgboring Fri 28-Aug-09 22:16:55

"how the hell else would you know how to spell polymath, or anthropology or words like that unless you knew the derivations"

err by learning Greek?

I never did Latin, because you had to choose between German or Latin and I picked German which was more useful, but would have liked to do both. But I got the opportunity to do Ancient Greek which I loved but was rubbish at.

Any language broadens the mind, is interesting and brings with it some of the culture and literature of the language, and it is a Good Thing.

mrsgboring Fri 28-Aug-09 22:25:23

Too many buts in that sentence. Been up since 4am with baby and toddler.

seeker Fri 28-Aug-09 22:28:58

Latin is compulsory in years 7 and 8 at my dd's state school. They then do 2 languages at GCSE - one of them can be Latin if they want. They can also do classical civilization and Ancien greek if they want. My dd loves Latin - she likes the fact that it is logical and predictable - unlike most other subjects!

dogofpoints Fri 28-Aug-09 22:31:08

no, latin not taught any more round here.

It has its uses but I'm not bothered that it's not taught. Languages and traditions die.

It was well-known as being an easy subject when I was at school. Lots of memorising passages.

fatjac Fri 28-Aug-09 22:34:37

Thankyou for the response.

The reason for my question is DS age 11 came home from Highschool (local comp) today very enthuised because he had Latin. As I have a copy of his timetable I was surprised (neigh delighted) as Latin is not mentioned on the timetable. Turns out it was part of his English lesson.

I adored Latin at school, not just the langauge but the whole cultural thing. I totally agree that it comes in very handy for crosswords if nothing else.

Interesting that most of you agree it is useful when it comes to grammar and spelling, hence why it was taught during an English class perhaps.

Turns out that only a select few state schools in Scotland bother with Latin now.

dogofpoints Fri 28-Aug-09 22:36:36

It is useful for grammar and spelling only if you are not taught grammar and spelling well in English.

I learned all my grammar by learning french and german (and a little latin). But grammar was poorly taught in the 80s in teh uk

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