When it comes to learning a new language, most people probably consider the more common languages, such as French or Spanish. While we offer courses in these subjects, as well as a large range of other modern languages, Kent Adult Education also provides the opportunity for you to learn something slightly more obscure.
We also have Latin courses available, which are ideal if you have an interest in history and classic literature. Whether you’ve studied Latin previously or are totally new to it, you can find a course that suits you and will have you translating texts in no time.
But you don’t have to take our word for it; we spoke to Ian Johnson who has been enjoying our Latin courses for a couple of years.
Ian looked into taking a Latin course when he was newly retired as something to do in his leisure time. While he had learned about the subject previously, he hadn’t studied Latin since being in school so wanted to pick it up again.
“Our Latin course is a great way to learn more about classic literature, but don't take our word for it!”
“I’ve always found Latin and the classical world interesting, but when you’re at work you don’t have much time to pursue all your interests. So I particularly wanted to look into a course during the day rather than in the evenings or weekend. The course with Kent Adult Education ticked all the boxes.”
Ian found that the course moved at a pace that was suited to him and the other attendees, helping them get to grips with the language quickly while still offering a great level of support. This meant he soon felt that he was progressing well.
“The course was taught at a good pace. Obviously a lot of people with an interest in Latin had already learned it before but a long time ago, so had some knowledge but were a bit rusty while some people were completely new to it. But the teaching was such that we were gently brought back into the fold and then taken quite quickly through all the complexities of the grammar and into dealing with classical passages and texts.”
He told us that he was particularly impressed with the tutor’s ability to teach people who were at different stages and who had different needs all within one classroom. This approach means that no one is left behind and that you get all the support to move to the next level even if you seem to find things slightly more difficult than others on the course.
It also means that you don’t end up being left at a certain level while the rest of the class catches up if you’re lucky enough to grasp what is being taught very quickly.
As well as this, you get a good variety of teaching methods and an interesting overview of the topic, which can better help you to understand certain aspects of it.
Ian said: “The tutor is very good and very professional. She keeps the course interesting by using lots of different teaching methods, so there’s a lot of variety. She changes the content quite a lot and she also includes things about the classical world and the culture and the history rather than just teaching the language.”
This means you can find plenty of other areas of interest during the course, which you could research in your own time using the resources made available to you. As your confidence grows, you’re sure to feel more capable of doing this, especially if you have an interest in other areas beyond the language.
Latin is also quite different to more modern languages, which makes the course and subject unique.
“I think some people can be put off by the word ‘Latin’,” Ian told us. “But one of the reasons it interests me is that it is the foundation of most European languages, like French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. It is also the foundation stone of the English language, as 50 per cent of English words have some form of Latin origin.
“But in a sense it’s unlike any other language because it’s not a living language obviously so it isn’t about ordering food, it’s more about understanding the structure of the language, which is quite interesting, and the intellectual things you have to do to reconstruct in meaningful English what a Latin author is saying. So you have to do some quite interesting twists, turns and gymnastics to sort of make things make sense rather than just translating literally word for word, which is more the case in modern languages.”
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, why not sign up for a course today? We offer Latin courses at beginner and improver levels so you are in good hands whether you’ve tried your hand at the classic language before or are entirely new to it.
The courses are held at different times – with daytime and evening classes available – so you are able to fit classes around your schedule whether you work or are retired. So why not try it today?Back to the Magazine