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Our Redeemer Lutheran School of Dallas is reaping the benefits of its upper elementary Latin studies.  Latin teachers Pastor Brent McGuire and Pastor Adam Douthwaite note that since moving from its optional Latin Club format to co-curricular classes in 2015, there has been great, measurable progress––and the awards to prove it!

In 2018, over 900 3rd- through 6th- grade students from both the United States and Australia took the Exploratory Latin Exam.  Administered by the American Classical League, the exam tests students’ mastery of over two hundred words in such areas as colors, numbers, body parts, and family names; their knowledge of Roman history, mythology, and ancient geography; and their ability to read and answer simple questions entirely in Latin. 

Of the 33 students who tested from Our Redeemer this past school year, there were 4 Cum Laude recipients, 5 Magna Cum Laude recipients, and 2 Summa Cum Laude winners, including a fifth-grader who earned the Perfect Score Gold Medallion, a feat that only 36 out of the nation’s 940 accomplished.

These results augur well for future academic performance.  In the last four years, according to the “College-Bound Seniors––A Profile of SAT Program Test Takers” report, the mean Verbal SAT score for Latin students has been about 64 points higher than the national average.  In terms of verbal advantage, Latin beats all other languages studied, including second-place Chinese, whose students have outperformed the average by about 46 points.

Besides scores, what does Latin do for students at the Elementary level?  Lead Latin teacher Pastor Brent McGuire (who, as an undergraduate at Harvard, delivered the Latin Oration at Commencement Exercises in 1995) gives the following insights:

•             The study of Latin improves one’s ability to speak and write in English.  More than 60% of English words are derived from Latin.  The percentage is even higher for the technical vocabularies in fields such as medicine, biology, psychology, chemistry, pharmacology, astronomy, philosophy, religion, and law.

•             In an increasingly global age, Latin gives the student a foundation for all language study.  Ninety to ninety-five percent of Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese words come from Latin.  In fact, there are 800 million people in the world today who speak languages derived directly from Latin.  (Who says the Latin language is dead?)

•             Studying Latin increases brain power!  Through the effort and skill required to learn Latin, one becomes more observant, analytical, logical, accurate, and organized in one’s thinking

So, hooray to Latin!  Or, as the children in Our Redeemer’s Latin classes love to shout, "Euge (ay OO gay)!"

Our Redeemer Lutheran School of Dallas is located at 7611 Park Lane in Dallas, Texas.  If you are interested learning more about ORLS, please contact Carol Blackwood in Admissions at 214-368-1371.  ORLS is currently offering an introductory Kindergarten rate for the 2018-19 school year with limited spaces available.

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