Spanish & Latin

“Joyfully accept the patrimony of the language which the Church holds in high esteem . . .. The well-known words of Cicero, “It is not so much excellent to know Latin, as it is a shame not to know it” in a certain sense are directed to you. We exhort you all to lift up high the torch of Latin which is even today a bond of unity among peoples of all nations.”  Pope St. John Paul II, 1978


Students are introduced to the Spanish language in K4, and instruction continues through 4th grade.  Students attain a modest level of fluency and familiarity with the language in listening, speaking, and writing in an immersion setting.  More serious 5-day per week Spanish language study comes in 7th and Avancemos8th grades, where the goal is to master high school level Spanish I by the end of 8th grade. The outstanding McDougall Littell Avancemos! program for middle school includes cultural studies, oral drills, online tutoring called the @Home Tutor (link), and more resources accessed with a student login and password.

Prince of Peace Catholic School Iowa Scores Fall 2013

(Click to enlarge) This graph of “Grade Equivalent” Iowa scores from 3 straight years of Language Arts achievement data (2011-2013) reveals how middle school students have grown each year well above the national average with a thorough study of English grammar AND the study of two foreign languages.

This rigor permits our students to reach levels of Spanish instruction preparing for high school that can include AP Grammar or AP Spanish Literature. Students are better prepared to take on high school exchange programs in Spain or Central America. Demands of a global economy demand greater facility in foreign language, and POPCS students will be prepared. More colleges including schools like Clemson University are beginning to require three foreign language credits in high school to qualify for freshman admission (Link to Clemson University’s recommended HS curriculum). A serious and more focused middle school attention to foreign language will insure greater high school success! 


POPCS students study Latin 3 days per week in grades 5 and 6 in conjunction with English grammar in order to improve grammar, vocabulary and sentence analysis skills. POPCS uses the highly Cambridge Latin Bookregarded Cambridge Latin Series. Students also learn about classical culture, and they learn the basic Catholic prayers Pater Noster, Ave Maria, Gloria Patri, Salve Regina in Latin.The National Committee for Latin & Greek makes a good case for the study of Latin — especially in American middle schools — as a way to improve language skills. Knowing Latin also serves us as Catholic faithful. During his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI invited Catholics throughout the world to learn traditional prayers in Latin and to recognize in Latin “the vehicle and instrument of Christian culture.”