Revival of Latin in Minnesota and nationwide / Renovatio lingae latinae in Minnesota et natione

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Minneapolis est urbs maxima in Minnesota et prope Sanctum Paulum. Multitudo urbi 382,618 est. Sunt viginti et quatuor lacus in urbe.

Another article here from St. Paul Pioneer Press has another good set of numbers on the increasing interest in Latin over the past perhaps decade or so. Here are some of the best parts:

Enrollment in Minnesota Latin classes rose 65 percent between the 2000-01 and 2006-07 school years, according to a state Department of Education survey. It was one of the fastest-growing languages to study in the state.

"I'm intrigued by the modern resurgence of Latin," said Brian Bloomfield, director of curriculum and instruction at Nova Classical Academy, a St. Paul charter school.

The K-12 public school with 406 students begins Latin classes in third grade. School officials believe Latin is one reason the school has a 300-student waiting list.

Along with the above there is also a nice chart here that shows the percentage change in the number of students learning certain languages from the 2000-01 school year compared to 2006-07:
  • Spanish: +19%
  • Chinese: +164%
  • Japanese: +76%
  • Latin: +65%
  • French: -19%
  • German: -18%
  • Russian: -78%
By the way, with a language like Russian that isn't really in decline but is not really being studied as much anymore, that generally means a huge shortage of people that speak the language later on in positions filled by people that will be retiring later on, so Russian could actually be one of the better languages to choose from a purely strategic standpoint for those in school now. A lot of oil companies for example deal with countries like Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan etc. in Russian quite a bit.

Back to the article:
Thomas Academy, a private all-boys Catholic high school, experienced a 47 percent increase in Latin enrollment three years ago, said teacher Mitch Taraschi. At that time, class numbers jumped from 67 students in the 2004-05 school year to 99 the following year.

Since then, enrollment has remained steady at 87 pupils for about six Latin classes.


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