The Reading / Listening – Latin – Level 4
The UK will spend $5.5 million on teaching Latin. The Latin Excellence Programme aims to “level up” students in 40 government-run schools. Latin was spoken in Rome 2,000 years ago. It is taught in 49% of the UK’s “elite” schools but only 2.7% of state schools. The UK said: “Latin has a reputation as an elitist subject…for the privileged few, but the subject can bring so many benefits.” It said Latin could help with learning foreign languages.
The programme has sparked a debate. Many people ridiculed it as a “poorly-funded gimmick”. A politician said Latin is elite because only rich people with family connections “can afford to waste time on …understanding…the dialogue in [ancient] books”. An author said she only uses Latin to “translate things on tombs”. A teacher said money should be spent on living languages like Chinese that could help children “get ahead in the world,” or on computer coding.