Holy Trinity students study Latin to learn English grammar

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Why should anyone learn Latin? It’s a dead language, right?

Quite the contrary, actually. There are many reasons to learn Latin. It’s the language of law, government, logic and theology. It’s also the most efficient way to learn English grammar. In fact, the study of Latin is a key building block in the learning process at Holy Trinity Classical Christian School in Beaufort.

“Children begin to learn Latin during the grammar phase as the language not only serves as the underpinning for much of the English language and vocabulary, but it also begins to train the mind to think precisely and logically.”

Elizabeth Booman teaches second grade at Holy Trinity. Her students begin their formal Latin instruction with “Prima Latina: Introduction to Christian Latin.” As a gentle introduction to the language, it prepares her 7-year-olds for the more advanced study of Latin yet to come.

Each weekly lesson consists of a grammar form, 10 vocabulary words and a Latin saying that teaches students about their Christian or classical heritage. Each lesson also includes simple English derivatives of Latin words to help build their English vocabulary.

“I love making up fun, fast-paced activities to do in Latin,” she said. “Games like ‘derivative bingo’ and ‘flashcard frenzy’ keep us smiling and on our toes. We also love our morning Latin recitation, where we chant or sing every Latin word we know. As our vocabulary list gets longer and longer, we get louder and prouder!”

Students in third grade use “Latina Christiana,” while older students rely on the “Memoria Press” series, which endeavors to teach the whole of the Latin grammar in four years through clear explanations, easy instructions and a step-by-step approach. Students in the grammar stage memorize Latin grammar by employing the time-tested method of oral recitation and form drills.

By the time Holy Trinity students reach the high school years, they will be prepared to engage Ovid, Virgil and Caesar in their original works.

Founded in 2012, Holy Trinity Classical Christian School provides 275 students with a distinctly Christian and classical education. Holy Trinity is the result of a long-standing commitment to education by the Parish Church of St. Helena, beginning in 1748 with the founding of the first free school in Beaufort and later in 1801 by the donation of 20 acres of land for the establishment of Beaufort College, resulting in what is now the University of South Carolina Beaufort.  The current student body of Holy Trinity is comprised of families from over a dozen Christian churches of various denominations. For more information about the academic excellence offered at Holy Trinity, visit www.htccs.org.

Top photo: “I love teaching Latin because of the excitement coming from the students: they can’t wait to learn a new word or phrase, they can’t wait to discover a new and amazing connection between Latin and English, and they can’t wait to impress their family and friends with the challenging derivatives! …They are better ENGLISH learners because they are LATIN learners!” said Elizabeth Booman, second-grade teacher, HTCCS.