Since the study of Latin covers a unique area of language, history, culture and literature, this division of the World Language Department sets its sights on different goals. The basic and most important difference between the modern languages and the classical language of Latin is that the former are present day means of communication and are taught as such. Therefore, recognizing this variance, the goals of the program are summarized as follows:

  1. Students should be aware of the sounds and structure of the language, as well as its patterns of thought. He/she should learn of the special influence of Latin on the Romance languages.
  2. Students should be able to recognize the basic stylistic differences in literature and know why each style is appropriate for its subject matter and time period.
  3. Students should be able to recognize certain authors and their influence in the classical period as well as later periods. 
  4. In conjunction with the above goals, students are directed to follow the cultural and chronological development of the Mediterranean World and learn how it influenced the modern countries of the Mediterranean area. 
  5. Students should be aware of word derivations in English and Romance Languages as well as literary allusions from classical mythology and history.

Latin offers two tracks of study – Advanced and Honors. The Honors level attempts to challenge students who have a facility to learn a language. Students in honors courses move through the material at an accelerated pace and cover more in-depth topics of grammar, translation, and culture. They are expected to have a firm foundation in and an understanding of English grammar prior to taking the course. The goal of the Honors courses is to read, discuss, and analyze actual unedited Latin authors at an earlier point in the students’ high school careers. The Advanced classes cover similar material with more detailed explanation of basic points of grammar, translation, and culture. They spend more time reading edited versions of Latin history and culture and acquiring a basic knowledge of the ancient Roman world.

RHS Lating Language Sequence