Notre Dame students teach Latin to Clay International Academy students

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- Teaching a a language of the past to current students.

More than 30 5th gradersand 20 Notre Dame student volunteers filled the halls of Clay International Academy Friday to learn the unspoken language of Latin.

It’s a program that started last fall.

“We taught the fifth graders last year so it was a huge success. This year we’re teaching with a group of about 20 volunteers from Notre Dame," said Elizabeth Mazurek, associate professor of classics at the University of Notre Dame.Latin still lives in all the romance languages, French, Italian, Spanish, and it certainly lives on in English. Our vocabulary and even some of our grammatical structures are influenced by Latin. If you know Latin it strengthens your english and that’s why its so important.”

Its CIA students like 5th grader, Iyanna Granger, who are already putting their Latin to the test. 

“Quidis agis, it means how are you. I like saying that to them when I first get here. Or quid nomen tuum est, that’s when you say what’s your name," said Granger.

Right now, Clay International Academy is the only school Notre Dame offers the program to.

It’s that exact lack of school-wide availability to Latin studies that brings Notre Dame students like Maria Ma to pass on the knowledge.

“When I was in the fifth grade, I had no idea of any of this. Im aware of Roman and Greek mythology and I oved it, but I didn’t know there was a possibilty to learn Latin. To see them intrigued, and wanting to learn other languages and people was extremely interesting so I want to continue that here,"said Ma.

Eventually, Notre Dame plans to branch out to other schools.

Until then, students at CIA will continue to carpe diem once a week, every week, until the end of the school year.


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