Why Study Latin?
Does Latin help your SAT scores?
The answer once again is a definitive YES!
The mean Verbal SAT scores for 2002 from students who studied a foreign language were:
But there's more to studying Latin than SAT scores...
Latin develops a person's English.
A person's reading, writing and speaking of his or her own language is improved by studying Latin. His or her vocabulary is enriched, grammar is sharpened, and a sense of organization is instilled in him or her.
Greek and Latin provide a solid foundation for the acquisition of other languages.
Greek and Latin equip a person with the strongest single foundation for mastering Romance languages, modern inflected ones such as Russian and German, and even non-related tongues like Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese. Working with Latin and Greek broadens a person's notion of structures possible in languages other than English. In addition, Latin gives one a grip on about 80% of the vocabulary of the Romance languages - French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish.
Reading, writing and translating Greek and Latin sharpen the mind.
On account of their non-English word structure and sentence patterns, the classical languages have for centuries stimulated such mental qualities as being observant, accurate, analytic, and logical. Thus the mind is developed in demanding and practical ways. Classics majors are hired by firms that need personnel who can define and identify problems, think on their feet, and arrive at sound and creative solutions.
Acquaintance with ancient cultures promotes tolerance and understanding.
Aware of the rich and varied culture of the Greeks and Romans, one is more likely to accept the differing customs and values of other peoples today. For in the study of ancient civilizations, one encounters exotic and extreme customs, which were not static, but evolved over the centuries. Familiar with diversity, change, and longevity in his own culture, a person is more inclined to respect the views, ideologies, religions and economic systems of foreign peoples and to appreciate their rich, age-old traditions.
Test scores in elementary schools have demonstrated the value of early language training.
Thousands of elementary students in big city schools benefit from courses in Latin roots of English words. These courses also teach them Roman culture and Greek myths. Through songs, word games and lively oral participation, students come to know the building blocks of words and families to which words belong.
Based on the article, Keys to Language and Cultural Awareness
by Conrad Barrett, PhD,
Comparative Literature and Classics,
California State University,
Long Beach, California.