Latin classes will help Welsh children with English and Welsh Literacy Skills

16 Aug 2012

In the previous academic year, Swansea University piloted a project in which university students taught Latin language classes to local primary school children, aged 9 to 11 (at Brynmill Primary School). This project was organized in collaboration with the Iris Project, an Oxford-based charity which has already run similar Latin projects in English schools for the past six years. Click here for further information.

Latin was taught specifically in order to increase pupils’ literacy skills in English, with a strong focus on etymology, vocabulary, and grammar. Everything was taught in an age-appropriate and fun way, through games (such as pictionary and basketball), songs (‘We will rock you’ was a favourite), and quizzes. Pupils even wrote their own Olympic poem in Latin.

Pupils match Latin, English and Welsh wordsWhile there was some focus on the connections between Latin and Welsh, Swansea University will pilot an actual triple literacy project (Latin – English – Welsh) in the next academic year. Weekly Latin classes will now take place in five schools in the South West Wales area, reaching approximately 160 children. In this project, Latin will be taught with the aim of increasing literacy skills in both English and Welsh. Swansea University have teamed up with Swansea Metropolitan University and the South West Wales Reaching Wider Partnership, in order to provide the best possible teacher training for the students who will bring this project to local schools. Funding has been received from the College of Arts and Humanities (Swansea University), SALT (the Swansea Academy for Learning and Teaching), and South West Wales Classical Association. Further funding has been raised through a Latin in the Park project at which people from the local community were able to learn Latin every Saturday afternoon in Singleton Park.

Project launchThe success of the project will be closely monitored by means of SITs results analysis, tests, and other means. At the end of the 2012-2013 project, a Roman day will be organized in Swansea University, at which the children will compete against each other and find out lots of interesting things about the Romans and Latin in Wales.

For further information about this project, please contact the project coordinator, Dr Evelien Bracke (Department of History and Classics, Swansea University) at e.bracke@swansea.ac.uk.

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