Saturday, September 3, 2011

Carpe Latinum!

First day of school
As I was doing the Required Parental Quiz about the first day of school, Youngest Daughter said, “The Latin teacher at my school is AWESOME!”  My son, who was sitting in the other room and could easily have ignored this comment, shouted, “Yes, that is true for ALL the Latin teachers in the whole school district.”

Youngest Daughter continued, “Today our Latin teacher just started talking to us randomly in Latin, until finally we figured out that when she called our name we were supposed to raise our hand and say, ‘Hīc.’”

Who would have thought that a dead language could be taught by the immersion method?!

Second day of school
Youngest Daughter burst through the door after school.  I asked, “How was school today?”  She replied, “It was not male, but it was bene!”
(She pronounced it “MAL-lay” and “BAY-nay.”)

Third day of school
Youngest Daughter enthusiastically announced, “I have to do my Latin homework!” and she sang:
Mica, Mica, parva stella;
Miror quaenam sis tam bella.
Splendens eminus in illo,
Alba velut gemma caelo.
Mica, Mica, parva stella;
Miror quaenam sis tam bella.
Folks, it's "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" in Latin!  Here the teacher has switched to the Suzuki method.  I love it.

Our school system begins foreign language instruction in 7th grade, far too late for my liking. Even then, it is only a 6-week taste of two different languages.  At the end of 6th grade, the students choose two languages to try in 7th grade.  Youngest Daughter chose French and Spanish.  I think she chose French as a sign of her loyalty to me (I am a former francophone).  But she was assigned Latin instead of French.  She doesn’t seem to mind, and I don’t either.  Her enthusiasm is remarkable, totally attributable to excellent teaching, I believe.

So I guess I can conclude that   
Lingua Latina Non Mortua Est

How about you - did you learn a foreign language in school?  At home?


Angie said...

I took Spanish in both high school and college. It's been usful throughout the years.

Renee said...

Okay, that's just funny. To teach a dead language by the immersion method :-)

My mom is German, so I took French in school. Typical teenager. I've never used it, but it was a great way to learn grammar, since I never really learned that through English classes.

My daughter started off with Spanish in Kindergarten, but the teacher wasn't great the last couple of years. So this year she got to choose between Spanish and Japanese, and is really enjoying Japanese.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I am SO envious--they get to learn Latin. How cool. I took 2years of French, then we moved and I took 4 years of Spanish and more Spanish in college. That gives me a solid base for the romance languages, and I used to teach the Greek & Latin roots as an English teacher.

Common Household Mom said...

In high school I took French and Russian because I liked the teacher who taught those classes. I continued with both in college.

It would be cool to learn Japanese.

Those Greek & Latin roots are helpful to know. Especially for impressing your teacher with $10 words in your English essays.

Anonymous said...

You know who I am , your blog is too funny ,Thank God for little sisters but hopefully our daughters are doing well in college.I am still toddling along.