Introduction to Classical Language will prepare 6th grade students for the study of classical languages, especially Latin grammar, Latin vocabulary, Latin sayings, English derivatives, and some of the rich content of ancient Greek and Roman civilization – the same objectives that we covered in Latin Primer and more, in an effort to give them a more concentrated and focused year of study before Latin 1. Students will begin to develop an understanding of language as a system of grammar and syntax to be applied to both English and Latin – how words function in a sentence, the parts of speech, and verb systems. Specific Latin content will include the system of noun declensions in Latin and basic, foundational verb forms as an introduction to an inflected language, as well as a number of other basic elements of the language. To supplement beginning vocabulary in Latin, students will study key classical Latin and Greek word roots to build English vocabulary. Likewise students will learn the Greek alphabet to accompany their understanding of Greek word roots. The course is designed to develop the student’s curiosity and interest in the Greek and Roman history, art, culture and traditions that will be more immediately accessible to them through a study of Latin and/or Greek.
The advantages of the 6th grade year are clear: We can offer a two-hour per week course for the full year, and students will advance to Latin 1 in 7th grade with mastery that will serve them well there. We will continue to emphasize the memorization work that is the core of School of Grammar learning, but we are also hoping to introduce this content to students at a point when they can better begin to apply their understanding of grammar and syntax to their work in Latin at the School of Logic level.