Latin in Grades K-6

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The program begins by exposing students to Latin vocabulary and prayers of the Church in kindergarten and first grade, and slowly begins to introduce phonics and grammar in the subsequent grades. By fourth grade, students begin the study of formal Latin grammar and begin to learn translation and other analytical skills in language.

Kindergarten and First Grade

Students study Latin prayers, vocabulary, devotions and prayers of the Mass.

Second Grade and Third Grade

As in kindergarten and first grade, students continue to study Catholic prayers and vocabulary, but this is now augmented by a beginning study of spoken Latin, phonics, and grammar.

Fourth Grade through Sixth Grade

Students begin a rigorous program of studying Latin grammar, which trains them in the basic declensions, conjugations and vocabulary of Latin.

Latin is required in grades K-6 at Saint Agnes School for many reasons:

  • Approximately 70% of English is derived from Latin origins
  • Latin is the language of science, medicine, philosophy, theology and law
  • Latin builds critical thinking skills
  • The study of Latin has been proven to be more effective than the study of other languages (with the exception of Greek) in increasing mental acuity
  • The study of Latin has been proven to significantly increase standardized test scores
  • Latin is the key language to possessing a cultural literacy of the west
  • Latin is the official language of the Roman Catholic Church
  • Latin helps students recognize and appreciate the beauty, form and order of written and spoken language
  • Latin is a great way to improve writing skills
  • Latin helps improve phonics and spelling
  • The study of Latin exposes students to Greco-Roman culture, which is foundational to western history, literature, and philosophy – or western culture in general
  • The study of Latin exposes students to modes of thinking from other epochs and geographic places (e.g. ancient Rome vs. modern America), which can help to open students’ minds to deeper, analytical thought; this, in turn, prevents young people from simply being the children of their own age and surroundings
  • The study of Latin will pave the way for easily learning modern languages such as Spanish, Italian, French, Romanian, Portuguese and other Romance Languages
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