Children's Latin Lessons: Facts & Ideas
Expert advice and interesting facts
- Did you know that 60 – 70% of English words come from Latin? So learning Latin could really help your vocabulary.
- Also over 80% of words in languages from places like Spain, France and Italy come from Latin, so you could really improve your language skills too.
- How easy! In classical Latin there are no lower case letters they just wrote in capitals during the Roman Empire.
- Vatican City where the Pope lives still uses Latin as its spoken language.
- Many organisations still use Latin for their mottos such as: 'per ardua ad alta' - 'Through hard work, great things are achieved'. (motto University of Birmiingham, England) and 'Dominus illuminatio mea' - 'The Lord is my light' (motto of the University Oxford, England)
- The earliest known writings in Latin date from the 6th century BC and were adapted from the Etruscan alphabet.
- What is Pig Latin? Well it has little in common with Latin and nothing to do with pigs. It is a coded language used by children who think their parents cannot understand them. Sorry kids we do!
- Latin that is still used today is called ‘Church Latin’ which was standardised in the middle ages.
- Did you know that the word vaccinate, comes from the Latin word Vacca meaning cow? In the days when Smallpox was at epidemic level people realised that milkmaids were not contracting it because they had contracted a variant of smallpox called cowpox from their cows which had protected them from smallpox. Now we vaccinate for many other diseases by introducing small doses of the disease via a vaccination.
How to pick a Latin tutor for your child
It may be your child is excelling, struggling or just intrigued with Latin and because of this there are some questions to answer to ensure you choose the best teacher/tutor for your child’s need:
- How long have they been teaching Latin and what qualifications do they hold?
- What is the reason you wish to have a Latin teacher/tutor for your child; can the teacher have accommodate your needs?
- Do you need to provide stationery or equipment? Do these need to be purchased before the lessons start?
- Are there any text books that you need to order/pay for in advance?
There are three examination boards accredited by Ofqual. These are:
AQA –One of the leading provider of GCSEs and A Levels. Used by most secondary schools and colleges in the UK.
Edexcel – Considered the UK’s largest awarding organisation, they offer both academic and vocational qualifications and testing to schools and colleges.
OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations) – Over 13,000 centres choose OCR for their A Levels and GCSEs.
Qualifications - Children and Young Adults
GCSE – Latin GCSE involves 4 papers, two on language and two on literature.
AS (Advanced Subsidiary) and A (Advanced) qualifications will focus on more traditional study skills. They generally take two years to complete full-time, however they are also available to part-time.
Qualifications - Adults
Latin can been taken into many areas at degree level.
Qualifications - teachers/tutors
There is no minimum qualification required to tutor Latin at home in the UK at present, however we would recommend you ask to see copies of qualifications held.
Learning from the activity
- Cultural Awareness
A foundation in the Latin language can make the process of learning other languages easier, and quicker.
Boris Johnson (born 19 June 1964) British Conservative politician and current Mayor of London; studied classics at Balliol College, Oxford before starting his career in journalism and politics.
Author JK Rowling’s (born 31 July 1965) has a degree in Classics and French from Exeter University.
Singer Dido (born 25 December 1971) takes her stage-name from Virgil’s “Dido and Aeneas” in “The Aeneid”, and has an A Level in Latin.
Footballer Frank Lampard (born 20 June 1978) has a GCSE in Latin and even named his daughter “Luna”.
For the Love of Latin. Classical languages are in a decline – why should we learn them?