Latin in Secondary Schools: A Six-Year Program


  • John F. Latimer,

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      John Francis Latimer (Ph.D., Yale University) is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Classics, The George Washington University. He is a former president of the Classical Association of the Atlantic States and of the American Classical League, a member of the Managing Committee of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, of the American Philological Association, of the MLA/ERIC Advisory Board, and of the Committee on the International Exchange of Persons (Senior Fulbright). He is author of a history of the high school curriculum entitled What's Happened to Our High Schools? (Washington, D.C., 1957) and a contributor to classical publications. He is Executive Secretary of the American Classical League and editor of the Newsletter, Classical Action USA.

  • Annette H. Eaton

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      Annette H. Eaton (Ph.D., The Catholic University of America) is Associate Professor of Classics at Howard University. She has taught in the public schools of the District of Columbia and at the Washington Hospital Center School of Nursing. She is a consultant in Latin to the public schools of the District and is coauthor of the teacher and student manuals used in the new Latin FLES program there. She is a past president of the Washington Classical Society, Inc., and at present is First Vice-Presi-dent of the Classical Association of the Atlantic States and a member of the Board of Directors of the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.


ABSTRACT: The slight reversal of the decline in Latin enrollment requires the classicist to examine the causes of the decline and to plan for their elimination. Of the programs and proposals which have attempted to halt the decline, only a six-year program has won any general acceptance. Such a program, based upon a free election by students at the end of the sixth grade, gives Latin a competitive position with respect to current FLES programs, provides the student with time to absorb more slowly and thoroughly, and increases the depth and breadth of the study. The six-year sequence brings with it a change in philosophy, so that Latin study is not restricted to the academically superior. This has particular implications for the inner-city child. Experimental programs in which the study of Latin begins in grade 7 already exist. However, the full development of the concept requires the establishment of new goals, preparation of new materials, availability of well-trained teachers, and sound publicity. Cooperation among all classicists can bring success to the six-year program, which in turn will mean rejuvenation in the study of Latin.