Jason Caros » Latin and Greek

Latin and Greek

At Founders Classical Academy, students learn Greek and Latin root words as part of a systematic process of mastering the English language (and by mastering the English language, moving closer to arriving at truths). Combined, Greek and Latin account for approximately 80% of English words. It goes without saying that students armed with root word meanings will have a tremendous advantage as they move forward in their academic careers. 

Beginning in the upper grades, students at Founders study Latin in a more formal way. FCA graduation requirements include successful completion of three levels of high school Latin, which students begin to learn in the middle grades. Read the article below, “The Latin Advantage,” for information about how Latin helps students. 

Additional language instruction includes Spanish at the high school level and in some years, Greek (Koine). These languages would be studied in addition to Latin. 

The Latin Advantage 

Latin is the key to the vocabulary and structure of the Romance languages and to the structure of all the Teutonic languages, as well as to the technical vocabulary of all the sciences and to the literature of the entire Mediterranean civilization, together with all its historical documents. I will say at once, quite firmly, that the best grounding for education is the Latin grammar. I say this not because Latin is traditional and medieval, but simply because even a rudimentary knowledge of Latin cuts down the labor and pains of learning almost any other subject by at least 50 percent. – Dorothy Sayers, The National Review 

SAT Scores 

Studies conducted by the Educational Testing Service show that Latin students consistently outperform all other students on the verbal portion of the SAT. *2003-2010 Taken from Tables 1 and 20 in College-Bound Seniors — A Profile of SAT Program Test Takers. 2010 data taken from 2010 College-Bound Seniors-Total Group Profile Report. 

College Grade Point Averages 

A study of freshman college student performance conducted by the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1985 yielded the following results: 

Language GPA 

Latin Students 2.89 

French Students 2.78 

German Students 2.77 

Spanish Students 2.76 

No Foreign Language 2.58 

Reading Achievement 

In the District of Columbia, elementary school students who studied Latin developed reading skills that were five months ahead of those who studied no foreign language and four months ahead of those who studied French or Spanish. Two years earlier, the same students had been excluded from foreign language classes because of substandard reading performance. 

Vocabulary Skills 

In Philadelphia, students in the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades received 15 to 20 minutes of daily instruction in Latin for one year. The performance of the Latin students was one full year higher on the Vocabulary Subtest of the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) than the performance of matched control students who had not studied Latin. 

Math Problem Solving Sixth-grade students in Indianapolis who studied Latin for 30 minutes each day for five months advanced nine months in their math problem-solving abilities. In addition, the students exhibited the following advances in other areas: 

  • Eight months in world knowledge 

  • One year in reading 

  • Thirteen months in language 

  • Four months in spelling 

  • Five months in science 

  • Seven months in history and social science 

Latin the Basic Language and Culture Bolsters Learning 

  • Ability to read classical authors in the original language 

  • Ability to access key documents of the Western world 

  • Ability to avoid the biases and misconceptions of translators of classical authors 

  • Direct contact with the wisdom and thought of the classical and medieval authors 

Source: excerpted from Bolchazy.com 

Jason Caros, Headmaster