Latin will help you acquire the language skills you need to soar academically over the competition and gain admission to the top schools of your choice!
Latin is the key to increased test scores, and here’s why.
Eighty percent of the entries in any English Dictionary are borrowed mainly from Latin and ninety percent of the vocabulary of the sciences and technology have Greek or Latin roots. According to a series of studies, students of Latin consistently scored significantly better than the average across all sections of the SAT – even better than students studying French, German, Spanish or Hebrew. a
Remember, Latin helps you improve comprehension, analytical ability while improving your writing and speaking ability. Those are just some of the reasons why students who study Latin consistently achieve higher test scores in the verbal sections of the SAT and GRE than students who have taken other languages. b
I. Enhance Reading and Vocabulary
Approximately 60% of English words have Latin roots. In addition to the hundreds of English words derived from Latin, there are many common Latin abbreviations: etc., i.e., A.M., P.M., ibid., e.g., et al., op. cit., Ph.D., M.A., S.O.S., P.S., Q.E.D., to name a few. A multitude of Latin phrases also ornaments our language: quid pro quo, alma mater, bona fide, persona non grata, magna cum laude, carpe diem, ad nauseam, nota bene, ad hoc, caveat emptor. Having a basic knowledge of Latin permits the student to use these phrases appropriately and with proper pronunciation. (Even distinguished law professors and doctors often mispronounce common Latin phrases!)
II. Learn Romance Languages More Easily
Latin was the language spoken in Latium, Italy. During the hey-day of the Roman Republic, Latin became the predominan language and spread throughout the Roman Empire. Latin later developed into the Romance languages French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Romanian.
III. Develop Higher Thinking Skills
Because Latin is a complex, inflected language with five cases of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives (nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, vocative), three genders (masculine, feminine, neuter), and regular and irregularverbs, the study of Latin engages the student’s critical thinking skills, especially the use of analysis, memory, critical thinking and problem solving.
According to Derek Muller at Pepperdine University School of Law, in 2014, classics majors (who typically study Latin and Greek) achieved an average LSAT score of 159.8 and a GPA of 3.477. The study of Latin consistently boosts SAT verbal test performance, as shown by Educational Testing Services Study of College-Bound Seniors:
IV. Improve Verbal Communication
Intensive study of Latin grammar and vocabulary develops the student’s ability to write and speak in a grammatically correct fashion. Contact with Latin vocabulary greatly enhances the student’s lexicon and trains the student to use Latin-derived English words appropriately.
Familiarity with classical literary sources, e.g., the Vulgate and ancient Roman writings, provides excellent models for writing and rhetoric.
V. Catholic Identity
Learning to read the words of Sacred Scripture from the pen of St. Jerome, in the Biblia Sacra Vulgata, is the ultimate thrill in learning ecclesiastical Latin. The Vulgate was the most influential text in Christendom for over a millenium and was the source of inspiration, the fons et origo, for Gregorian chant, the great medieval cathedrals, Western European literature, Renaissance art and polyphony.
Latin is the best medium by which the student can access the primary sources of Catholic thought and spirituality.