Prestigious School in England to Stop Teaching Latin

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. comprehensive / ˌkɒm prɪˈhɛn sɪv / (adj) – having a wide scope

    The school has a comprehensive foreign language program that targets different levels.

  2. divulge / dɪˈvʌldʒ, daɪ- / (v) – to reveal something

    The management finally divulged its plans for next year.

  3. constraint / kənˈstreɪnt / (n) – a limitation

    A lot of students cannot enroll in universities because of financial constraints.

  4. close (one’s) doors / kloʊz dɔrs / (idiom) – to put an end to something

    The university’s theater program will soon close its doors because of the low enrollment rate.

  5. dead language / dɛd ˈlæŋ gwɪdʒ / (n) – a language that is no longer used in daily conversation

    Only a few people know Latin because it is already a dead language.


Read the text below.

A reputable academic institution in Yorkshire, England, announced that it will no longer be teaching Latin.

Formerly called Richmond Grammar School, Richmond School has a history dating back to the 1300s. The school offers a comprehensive language curriculum that includes French, German, and the classical language Latin, which has been taught in the school for over 600 years.

However, Richmond head teacher Jenna Potter divulged the school’s decision to remove Latin from its curriculum. No specific details were further disclosed, but Potter mentioned that the school’s decision was based on funding constraints.

The school’s Latin department will officially close its doors in September next year. This is because there are still 12 students who are set to take the General Certificate Secondary Education (GCSE) Latin exams in June this year and another 17 in June next year.

Richmond’s former lead teacher for Latin, Cathy Bothwell, believes that the removal of Latin can affect social advancement. Proficiency in the classical language can give an edge to university applicants, so reducing Latin’s accessibility can weaken their chances of getting accepted into the country’s top universities.

While Latin is considered a dead language, the president of the Association for Latin Teaching said that the language’s popularity is rising in London and southeast of England. In fact, reports revealed that around 10,000 students take a GCSE in Latin each year.

In addition, foreign languages, including Latin, have become mandatory in primary schools since 2014. In the same year, some state school teachers underwent training in Classics like Latin to help them teach the language effectively.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• How do you think removing Latin from the curriculum will affect Richmond School’s reputation?
• In your opinion, is it important to still study dead languages like Latin? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• Does your culture put a lot of value in learning a second language? Explain.
• In your opinion, what is the best way to learn a second language? Discuss.