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Why Latin & Greek?

“I will say at once, quite firmly, that the best grounding for education is the Latin grammar. I say this, not because Latin is traditional and medieval, but simply because even a rudimentary knowledge of Latin cuts down the labor and pains of learning almost any other subject by at least fifty percent.” —Dorothy Sayers

Classical Languages – Latin & Greek

Trinitas students are introduced to Latin songs and vocabulary in grades 1-2. They begin a more intensive study of Latin grammar in 3rd grade using a curriculum that is integrated with our English grammar curriculum. Trinitas 5th and 6th graders use a high school-level Latin text. Their background in Latin prepares them well for their introduction to classical Greek.

image-5_400x300We teach Latin and classical Greek because they provide a terrific educational foundation. More than fifty percent of English vocabulary is taken from Latin. All the romance languages (Spanish, French, Portuguese, etc.) are based on Latin. Moreover, the study of Latin and Greek demand a very high level of competence with grammar. By learning these languages early, our students have a facility with grammar unmatched by most high school students. It is commonly noted that acquiring this competence with grammar stretches and strengthens the mind. As some like to put the matter, learning Latin and Greek are to the mind what physical education is to the body. Most children even find these languages fun.

By studying Latin and Greek, students also gain valuable insight into the achievements of the Roman and Greek worlds (sculpture, architecture, sport, religious and political life, etc.). Finally, according to the National Committee for Latin and Greek, the study of Latin and/or Greek can also help student performance on college entrance exams. For example, high school students with two or more years of Latin typically score 140-160 points higher on the SAT than their Latin-less peers. The College Board (the publishers of the SAT) found that students with a background in Latin or Hebrew tied with higher scores in critical reading skills than students with a background in any other language. Students with a background in Greek scored next highest.

“In general, I am of the opinion, that till the age of about 16, we are best employed on languages: Latin, Greek, French, Spanish.” —Thomas Jefferson