Barbara, I know that you and many others encourage Latin even at the elementary-school age. Why so early?
Well, a student will begin encountering English spelling words that are made up of Latin components in about second or third grade. And this is the perfect time to start teaching them how those Latin components of prefixes, root words, and even those suffixes, not only give us clues to the meanings of our English words, but also how they affect our spelling. Most people don’t realize that the majority of doubled consonants and silent letters in English words have a Latin reason behind them. And students love knowing the reasons why our words are built the way they are.
Just so a student doesn’t get ahead of himself, what skills would you say a student needs to have acquired before he begins studying Latin?
Well, a young student really needs to have a good two years of English spelling and reading skills behind them before they’re comfortable enough with English letters and letter teams to not confuse them with the pronunciation of Latin letters and their diphthongs that may look the same, but are pronounced totally differently. This is my emphasis in my program for young students called the Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading.
Barbara, our listeners and I really appreciate your input. I’m Mike Farris.