Latin–Not Just For Toffs and Fotherington-Thomases

Posted on January 14th, 2008 by

Read more about the growing appreciation and revival of Latin here:

Latin, it was reported last week, is making a comeback in inner-city schools in London: 20 primaries are trying Latin lessons, under the aegis of Project Iris, run by teacher Lorna Robinson. Something similar is happening in Oxfordshire, where the language is also being introduced to selected primary schools.

Robinson has spoken of its benefits in helping children get to grips with English, but one of the refreshing things about the move to teach Latin in perfectly ordinary primaries in Hackney is that there is no nonsense here about it being the preserve of the posh.

The association of Latin, then, with upper-class males is a mere trick of history. Just as Project Iris is doing in Hackney, it’s time to reclaim Latin for the proletariat (a good Latin word, after all). Why? Partly, as Project Iris hints, it’s an excellent way of improving language and general learning skills. And partly because it is difficult – and why shouldn’t children be challenged? Latin is a tricky beast, but if it’s taught well children can have a lot of fun with it.

That’s what we’ve been saying all along!

(Thanks, Sasa!)

 

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