Hu-Dead Language

Hu-Dead Language - ssawicki 1 of 5 October 7, 2008 A Dead...

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ssawicki 1 of 5 October 7, 2008 A Dead Language That’s Very Much Alive By WINNIE HU NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — The Latin class at Isaac E. Young Middle School here was reading a story the other day with a familiar ring: Boy annoys girl, girl scolds boy. Only in this version, the characters were named Sextus and Cornelia, and they argued in Latin. “I can relate, but what the heck are they saying?” said Xavier Peña, a sixth grader who started studying Latin in September. Enrollment in Latin classes here in this Westchester County suburb has increased by nearly one- third since 2006, to 187 of the district’s 10,500 students, and the two middle schools in town are starting an ancient-cultures club in which students will explore the lives of Romans, Greeks and others. The resurgence of a language once rejected as outdated and irrelevant is reflected across the country as Latin is embraced by a new generation of students like Xavier who seek to increase SAT scores or stand out from their friends, or simply harbor a fascination for the ancient language after reading Harry Potter ’s Latin-based chanting spells. The number of students in the United States taking the National Latin Exam has risen steadily to more than 134,000 students in each of the past two years, from 124,000 in 2003 and 101,000 in 1998, with large increases in remote parts of the country like New Mexico, Alaska and Vermont. The number of students taking the Advanced Placement test in Latin, meanwhile, has nearly doubled over the past 10 years, to 8,654 in 2007. While Spanish and French still dominate student schedules — and Chinese and Arabic are trendier choices — Latin has quietly flourished in many
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ssawicki 2 of 5 high-performing suburbs, like New Rochelle, where Latin’s virtues are sung by superintendents and principals who took it in their day. In neighboring Pelham, the 2,750-student district just hired a second full-time Latin teacher after a four-year search, learning that scarce Latin teachers have become more sought-after than ever. On Long Island, the Jericho district is offering an Advanced Placement course in Latin for the
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This note was uploaded on 01/06/2010 for the course ENGL 305 taught by Professor Sawiki during the Fall '09 term at CSU Fullerton.

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Hu-Dead Language - ssawicki 1 of 5 October 7, 2008 A Dead...

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