SCRIP Gift Cards
Contact the School:
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church & School
3825 Wildbriar Lane
Lincoln, Nebraska 68516-4502
Church: (402) 423-7639
School : (402) 423-7677
Why do we teach Latin?
This is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for someone hearing about classical education; in fact, it was a stumbling block for me. Why do we teach Latin, a ‘dead language’ that no one speaks anymore? Shouldn’t we teach something more practical, like a modern language? That would make sense, if the goal of education was simply to impart some useful skills. But if education is meant to teach children how to learn, if education is meant to gives them the tools of learning so that they can be free to do literally anything, then we need Latin.
Learning Latin teaches the student how language works. The foundation of all the western languages, both in vocabulary and in grammar, is Latin. Latin is the tradition that has been handed down to us, and as with every other discipline, we learn from the past so that we can understand the present. By learning Latin, the student learns grammar, they learn how a language is put together, and the advantage of working with a ‘dead language’ is that it isn’t constantly shifting around them. They can study it and then apply their knowledge to all the other subjects they study. Once a child has learned Latin, he or she can easily pick up any other western language as well. Isn’t Latin also the basis of many of our English words? With the knowledge of Latin, we then have the foundation of all words, and can apply this learning and knowledge to the foundation of our education. The foundation has been laid, they have been taught how to learn, and then they can learn whatever is needed to serve faithfully in their vocations, because no matter what changes in this world of constant change, the one thing they will always need to be able to do is communicate through language.
This really does look good. I only put a thought or two in because I have heard the phrase “dead language” from many people including educators here in Nebraska. Yet, if it is “dead” then why do we still use the words today that have their origin from Latin roots?