Why Study Latin?
Latin is a strong foundation for the acquisition of the Romance languages—French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish—and English grammar. Students at Covenant Christian School will intensely study Latin in third through eighth grades with the goal of translating Western literary masterpieces written in Latin. Latin is an important language to learn for many reasons, but especially because it helps to increase the linguistic skills and understanding and it teaches students a method of learning that will help with any subject they study.
Learning a new language like Latin is a microcosm of the classical Trivium. In the Grammar Stage, students learn the basic vocabulary and grammatical rules of Latin. In the Logic Stage, they learn to properly connect the words using the rules to create sentences and paragraphs. In the Rhetoric Stage, they master the skills of expression, writing and speaking coherently to communicate in Latin and understanding how others, including past great authors and orators, expressed their timeless thoughts.
Contrary to popular thought, Latin is not really a dead language; it is just hidden well in other languages that go by different names. Over 80% of the English language comes from Latin and Greek roots. Over 70% of the English language is derived from strictly Latin roots. English vocabulary tests reveal that students who study Latin score higher than students of other foreign languages. When a student studies Latin first, any language he or she chooses to study next will be much easier, especially if it is one of the Romance languages (Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese) because they derive as much as 90% of their vocabulary from Latin.