Letter: Studying Latin and German has value

To the Editors:

I would like to disagree with a recent letter to the editor calling for the elimination of French, German, and Latin in the Wilton High School curriculum, even if it is in favor of the addition of another language, Mandarin Chinese.

I have three kids who have gone through or are going through WHS, studying Latin, German, Spanish, and I.S. Greek. My oldest, now a sophomore at a very demanding college, has said numerous times that his study of the classics at WHS has aided his learning of modern languages tremendously. From my own high school Latin, I can confirm that Latin increases English vocabulary and understanding of grammar significantly.

Regarding German, many students who have not been successful in middle school French or Spanish find that the clear grammatical structure and easy pronunciation of German is more easily accessible. (As they say, there are no spelling bees in German — the way you spell it is the way it sounds!) I doubt Mandarin Chinese would prove easier for them to study.

A high school curriculum comprises many subjects which may or may not be used directly later in life, but they all are essential in that they provide the foundation for future learning. I believe that Latin and German are two such foundational subjects.

Pamela Docters

Little Brook Road, Feb. 25