Young Roman Catholics who love Latin services

(PRWEB) April 28, 2005 — Vespers? Benediction? Mass … in Latin? Many Catholics have never even heard of these things, much less ever participated in them. But for the Juventutem crowd, such ancient Roman Catholic devotions are a typical part of their ordinary day.

Read the article

Another article on the popularity of Latin:

Latin making a comeback at some Catholic institutions (AP Florida News Published Saturday, April 30, 2005)

Love of learning language transcends all ages

By Valerie Strauss / The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Every Tuesday, Andy Mayer, 77, leads Hilda Mintzes, 84, and others in a Latin study group. They tackle Ovid's “The Art of Love,” translating line by line — “Your eyes will not be permitted to see her ankles” — and practice language exercises about Caesar.

What Mayer and his students at the Institute for Learning in Retirement here also are doing is smashing stereotypes about language learning and the age at which it is possible to learn. Mintzes loves it: “There is something about the rhythm about Latin that is intellectually stimulating.”

In the field of foreign language learning, the mantra has become “the younger the better,” with suggestions that anybody older than teen actress Lindsay Lohan should forget about learning another language. Some parents think first grade is too late to start.

That's plain wrong, said linguist Robert DeKeyser, and, in fact, some adults can take up a new language …


Latin: A language alive and well

By Valerie Strauss / The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Latin is considered by many to be a dead language, but not by Marie Davis.

Davis, who teaches Latin to children at Daniels Run Elementary School in Fairfax City, Va., is trying to develop students' skills not just in word recognition but in conversation, too.

Because Latin is not commonly spoken anywhere in the world, lessons usually are about everything except conversation.

Students generally memorize verb endings and adjective and noun declensions; translate classic Roman literature; and learn about Roman history. Some students who have trouble learning to speak modern languages — the hardest element of language learning — sometimes take Latin instead.

But teachers such as Davis say they are trying to revive Latin — and that includes conversing in it. They say they are modeling their effort on how Israelis revived the ancient language of Hebrew.


The background to the recent hand-wringing about Latin

While exploring the Cambridge Latin Course site for help in teaching a keen lad who – the old story – has moved to a school that doesn't teach Latin, I came across the page reporting on when the DVDs are to be expected. It helped me to understand why Will Griffiths talked to the press the way he did. Very many of us are feeling frustrated about the non-appearance of these valuable educational tools, and Will must be the most frustrated of all. Here is part of the page:

CSCP is acutely aware of the problems caused to schools by the delay in the availability of this software and has raised these concerns with the DfES.

Update: Wednesday, 16th February 2005
DfES aim to decide on their preferred solution to the technical issues by Friday 25th February. The E-learning Resources are unlikely to be available before September 2005.

Update: Tuesday 1st March 2005
DfES aim to decide on their preferred solution to the technical issues by Wednesday 9th March. The E-learning Resources are unlikely to be available before September 2005.

Update: Thursday 10th March 2005
Details of DfES's preferred solution now under discussion.

Update: Monday 21st March 2005
DfES states that it is unable to agree work on its preferred solution to the technical problems. No expected delivery date for the software can now be provided. Teachers may wish to contact either the ICT in Schools Division of the DfES (0800 000 2288) or their local MP to enquire about the DfES's plans to deliver the software.

You can meet Will Griffiths at the ARLT Summer School. See my post about this (with its tongue-in-cheek intro). See also the Summer School page.

Some nice reading aloud of Horace

A web site on Horace's villa, recommended by the Cambridge Latin Course, includes pages on a number of Horace poems including O fons Bandusiae.

Each poem is presented on a separate page, with text and parallel English translation, and audio with – and this is the clever bit – the stanza being read appearing at the top of the page in Latin, with or without translation as you choose.

If you start with the above link, you can navigate to any of the other poems through direct links at the foot of the page.

The Daily Telegraph answers question on schools not offering Latin

John Clare's educational agony aunt column today includes this:

Our 14-year-old daughter attends a specialist technology college, not because she's in the least interested in technology but because it's the nearest school. She's currently choosing her GCSE options and the school insists one of them must be a technology subject involving five hours of lessons a fortnight. She really wants to do Latin, which the school doesn't offer. What gives it the right to impose a “compulsory option”? And how can I help her prepare for GCSE Latin?

Your daughter's experience illustrates the absurdity of the Government's policy of turning every secondary school into a specialist institution with the power to distort the education of a substantial proportion of pupils who happen to live in its catchment. For a GCSE Latin syllabus, see the websites of two exam boards that offer it, OCR and AQA: and The Cambridge Latin Course, published by Cambridge University Press, is the most popular; see