If the NY Times notices...

10/07/08

Permalink 03:52:17 pm, by Chris Jones Email , 210 words, 1597 views   English (US)
Categories: News, Modern Latin, Education

If the NY Times notices...

it must be a cultural trend:

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.

And if this isn’t a jaw-dropper for US education, I don’t know what is:

Marty Abbott, education director of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, said it was possible that Latin would edge out German as the third most popular language taught in schools, behind Spanish and French, when the preliminary results of an enrollment survey are released next year. In the last survey, covering enrollment in 2000, Latin placed fourth.

Newer approaches to language instruction–ones that offer alternatives to the overly-analytical approach that dominated previous generations–is probably an important part of this revival. And based on the increase in NLE applicants from “remote parts of the country", I’d also credit a jump in the number of homeschoolers, a group that–for religious or other reasons–seems to be very interested in Latin.

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