The Latin Advantage


Latin is the key to the vocabulary and structure of the Romance languages and to the structure of all the Teutonic languages, as well as to the technical vocabulary of all the sciences and to the literature of the entire Mediterranean civilization, together with all its historical documents.
     Dorothy Sayers, The National Review


Across the nation, studies have shown Latin to be effective in improving...

SAT Scores

Studies conducted by the Educational Testing Service show that Latin students consistently outperform all other students on the verbal portion of the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT).

    1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
Latin   647   651   662   665   665   666   672   674
All Students   505   505   505   505   506   504   507   508
French   623   627   632   636   633   637   638   642
German   624   617   623   621   625   622   626   627
Spanish   581   583   590   589   583   581   575   575
Hebrew   629   634   636   623   628   629   628   630

1997-2004 Taken from Tables 7-3 & 7-4 in College-Bound Seniors A Profile of SAT Program Test Takers.



College Grade Point Averages

A study of freshman college student performance conducted by the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1985 yielded the following results:


Language GPA
Latin Students 2.89
No Foreign Language 2.58
Spanish Students 2.76
German Students 2.77
French Students 2.78

Reading Achievement

In the District of Columbia, elementary school students who studied Latin developed reading skills that were five months ahead of those who studied no foreign language and four months ahead of those who studied French or Spanish. Two years earlier, the same students had been excluded from foreign language classes because of substandard reading performance.

Vocabulary Skills

In Philadelphia, students in the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades received 15 to 20 minutes of daily instruction in Latin for one year. The performance of the Latin students was one full year higher on the Vocabulary Subtest of the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) than the performance of matched control students who had not studied Latin.

Math Problem Solving

Sixth-grade students in Indianapolis who studied Latin for 30 minutes each day for five months advanced nine months in their math problem solving abilities. In addition, the students exhibited the following advances in other areas:
  • Eight months in world knowledge
  • One year in reading
  • Thirteen months in language
  • Four months in spelling
  • Five months in science
  • Seven months in social studies

Latin the Basic Language
and Culture Bolsters Learning

  • Ability to read classical authors in the original language
  • Ability to access key documents of the Western world
  • Ability to avoid the biases and misconceptions of translators of classical authors
  • Direct contact with the wisdom and thought of the classical and medieval authors