Learning Latin

Learning Latin


Forget selfies, emoticons and text speak. Teenagers at Tupton Hall School have resurrected an ancient form of communication... Latin.

Students in the Sixth Form have been attending Latin Club in their spare time as part of the school's programme of enrichment activities. Some will even sit a GCSE in the subject this summer.

Even though Latin is no longer spoken, it has shaped many European languages. And Tupton Hall students are finding that a grasp of Latin grammar can help them master other languages and enrich their use and understanding of English.

Katharine Waring, 17, wants to study archaeology in the future and hopes Latin will come in handy. "I'm enjoying learning Latin. It's a very logical language with all the rules set out. The hard bit is remembering all the tenses."

"I can see how closely English and the European languages are linked to it. I like being able to see where our word meanings come from. Like January which stems from the Latin 'ianua' which means 'door'."

English teacher Alison Carter set up the group to give more able students a slightly different academic challenge. Students have been learning some key grammar points and reading stories about Roman life, history and culture.

Said Ms Carter: "The students are really enjoying Latin. They are sparky and able to use their knowledge of English and other languages to fill in gaps or guess new words."

"There is a fun, relaxed atmosphere in the class and a great combination of enthusiasm, intelligence and good humour."

"There is plenty about Roman life and culture that is fascinating and funny - from eating dormice for dinner, to early democracy and the unpredictable goings-on in the Forum (the market place and centre of public life in Roman times)."

Adam Wilbourne, 16, said he hopes Latin will set him apart from other students when he applies for university. "If I could choose my favourite Latin word it would be 'poeta' meaning poet. I like this word because it shows that there is not much difference between the languages."