The Place of Latin in the Total Foreign Language Curriculum


  • Harry L. Levy

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      Harry L. Levy(Ph.D., Columbia U) has recently become Professor of the Humanities at Fordham University, moving there from the City University of New York where he had been Professor of Classics and Vice-Chancellor. He has been Secretary-Treasurer of the American Philological Association (1959–62) and is currently a member of the Board of Directors. He was a member of the Advanced Placement Examination Committee of the College Entrance Examination Board (1956–59), has held various committee positions with the American Council of Learned Societies, and is presently a member of the Managing Committee of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. From 1949–52 he was Editor of The Classical Weekly, and he has published professional and scholarly articles in many journals. He also has a diploma in Mandarin Chinese from the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Chinese Language School at Yale (1945).?


ABSTRACT: Thanks to William Riley Parker and his “The Case for Latin,” the positive values of Latin study for the American student have been expressed eloquently for the present generation. But a revision of the curriculum is needed. Latin at the secondary school level should be principally a three-year sequence in grades 10–12, following initial study of a modern foreign language with audio-lingual emphasis. Adequate introductory Latin materials seem now available, but the typical preoccupation with Caesar (second year) and Cicero (third year) should give way to anthologies (second year) and Vergil (third year). With this beginning, Latin instruction at the college level can offer a rich variety of cultural material which will be meaningful to modern youth. Latinists should set their house in order, and modern foreign language teachers and others should give enlightened support.