Leading Article: Latin for love, not learning

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Nick Tate, the Government's chief curriculum adviser, has a tendency to wallow in strange prejudices, for example over the question of teaching children this island's story as if there were a single, agreed version. Now he is suggesting primary school children might benefit from learning Latin. Nonsense.

Classics teachers love to assure us that learning Latin helps children with grammar and other romance languages. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. But Latin is a dead language, and we have enough trouble persuading children to speak English. The ancient languages are a beautiful ornament, not a necessity: let them be studied out of love alone.

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