Press Release

Improved Test Scores Fuel Resurgence in Study of Latin

(ARA) — No one studies Latin anymore, because it's a "dead" language, right? Wrong.

After plummeting enrollment in the late 1960s, U.S. high schools are seeing a resurgence in the study of Latin, with enrollment in some schools doubling since 1980. And now even elementary and middle schools offer Latin.

What has prompted this renaissance? It is the knowledge that Latin serves as a foundation for improved English skills, as well as a basis for learning other modern languages. Latin also provides a framework for understanding the Greco-Roman foundations of our culture.

Another boost to enrollment is a change in the way the language is being taught. Students who used to spend all their class time memorizing the ablative case and the subjunctive mood are now also learning about the daily lives of the ancient Romans and learning to interpret classic texts. This not only makes learning Latin more fun but also gives students an opportunity to apply "ancient wisdom" to their own lives in the 21st century.

But perhaps most compelling is a growing body of research which shows that studying Latin improves students' problem-solving ability, vocabulary and college entrance exam scores. For example, in one study of sixth-graders who studied Latin 30 minutes a day for five months showed the students advanced nine months in their math problem-solving abilities. Another group of fourth, fifth and sixth-graders who studied Latin a mere 15 to 20 minutes a day for a year performed a full year higher on standardized vocabulary tests than their peers who had not. Similarly, students who studied Latin in high school consistently score higher on the verbal portion of the SAT college entrance exam than students who have not studied any foreign language and students who have studied other modern foreign languages.

One tried and true resource at the foundation of this Latin renaissance is the classic Latin course, "Artes Latinae," from Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers. Successfully used by more than 200,000 students for more than 30 years in schools and in home schooling settings, "Artes Latinae" is a programmed, self-teaching course available in traditional text books and tapes or in a new CD-ROM version.

"Artes Latinae" is the only self-teaching program that fulfills the foreign language requirement for college. It is structured to accommodate multiple levels of students from age 9 through adult, each learning at his or her own pace, in the same classroom. It also can be used for independent study. The traditional version contains textbooks, audio cassettes, teacher's manuals, graded readers, cultural filmstrips, test booklets and reference notebooks.

The new CD-ROM version is based on the original edition and offers the speed and ease of computer learning as well as the flexibility of three pronunciations: American Scholastic, Continental Ecclesiastical and Restored Classical. The computer version also includes the graded readers' supplements that help students build vocabulary and oral proficiency.

Another tool to make learning Latin fun is the CD-ROM, "Words of Wisdom from the Ancients: 1000 Latin Proverbs," also from Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers. Containing more than 1000 sententiae (aphorisms) gathered from classical, medieval and renaissance sources, the program provides users with a detailed, easily accessible explanation of each sentence. Users can click on a word to learn its person, gender, number, meaning and English derivatives, as well as to hear a recorded pronunciation. Users also can record their own pronunciation and see a graphical comparison with an expert's recording. Word puzzles and vocabulary games in three skill levels allow users to practice and test their newly-acquired skills.

"Artes Latinae" has been described as "a life-saver" (Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) and as "the single most important contribution in the area of Latin pedagogy of the 20th century" (Dr. Rudolph Masciantonio, School District of Philadelphia). To learn more about "Artes Latinae" and the benefits of learning Latin, including studies, articles and observations of teachers, visit www.bolchazy.com/al or call Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers at (800) 392-6453. To download a demo of "Artes Latinae," visit www.arteslatinae.com.

Courtesy of ARA Content, www.ARAcontent.com, e-mail: info@ARAcontent.com

EDITOR'S NOTE: For more information, contact Marie Bolchazy at (847)526-4344