Since a classical approach to education is taken at WCA, we see the merit of teaching Latin to our students. While Latin may not be spoken conversationally as it once was during the vast reign of the Roman Empire, it has left a living legacy far beyond the realms of rigor mortis. In fact, having a command of our contemporary language involves the study of this ancient one…beginning in first grade. Young children possess a keen capacity for learning new concepts. Their minds are almost sponge-like, able to absorb information at a rate that leaves us adults shaking our heads. Studies have shown that Latin stimulates brain activity, actually waking up “sleepy” parts of the brain. This cognitive exercise enables students to learn even unrelated subjects more quickly.
Over 60% of the English language is Latin-based. How exciting it is to show children that so much of our vocabulary is rooted in Latin! Familiarity with these stems gives students the skills to decipher more difficult English words. Academic confidence is increased which leads to better reading skills and an even greater enjoyment of reading. Benefits continue as students head into high school and college. Latin is the foundation for frequently taught Romance languages like Spanish and French. Performance on standardized tests, such as the SAT and ACT is enhanced. Higher scores bring increased opportunities and possibilities of scholarship money. Latin is also the working language for medicine, science, and law. Those pursuing these professional areas will have an advantage with a Latin background.
Students learning Latin have advantages both scholastically and spiritually. Being able to communicate well is a discipline and a gift. While Latin is often associated with a crumbled empire, in truth, its merits will help equip students at WCA to be educated leaders, effectively able to serve and share the news of God’s truth and love.