After much deliberation by our CQI (continuous quality improvement) and curriculum committees, Zion added Latin to the fifth grade curriculum in the 2010-2011 school year. Following a succesful year, the Latin program was expanded to include grades four through six in the 2011-2012 school year. Today, Latin is offered in grades four through eight. There are many advantages to teaching Latin in the younger grades:
- Students who study Latin exhibit strong performance in English grammar, composition, and vocabulary. The synergism of Latin and our strong composition department is of great benefit to all of our students as they prepare to be used in God’s Kingdom work.
- Latin provides a great foundation for future foreign language studies. Students who study Latin can learn other foreign languages faster and easier than those who lack the Latin base. This is especially seen if the first exposure to foreign language occurs before high school. By the time of high school, the language pathways in the brain tend to funnel information through the “English” pipeline and parallel pathways which aid in the ease of foreign language usage are harder to develop. This means that students who have Latin earlier will be better prepared for the study of other foreign languages in high school and college.
- Logic and rhetoric skills have all also been shown to improve significantly after the study of Latin. This is helpful for students in any area of life as logic and speaking is essential for all vocations.
- ACT scores are higher for students who study Latin. This can affect college admission and scholarship opportunities.
We pray that the Lord will continue to use the study of Latin to help our students grow in Learning and Living for the Glory of God!