Classical languages for today’s young scholars

Whhebrew lettersich foreign languages will my child study in-depth or be exposed to at Agamim?

Agamim Classical Academy’s core courses are taught entirely in English. Because we are a classical school, our students study Latin and Greek roots, Latin grammar in the upper school, foreign phrases in Latin and French, and one hour per day of Modern Hebrew as our classical/modern world language. *Please note: No prior knowledge of Latin, Greek, or Modern Hebrew is required for students or staff (except for the specialist teachers, of course). We have many resources available to help your child reinforce learning at home.

Why teach Hebrew in a public school? Is that classical? (YES!)

By studying Hebrew, students access one of three major ancient languages that influenced the development of Western civilization and inspired our intellectual and cultural history. Many of the great thinkers of the past, including the American founding fathers, studied Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. Classical schools today continue to prize the study of one or all of these three ancient languages because of their regular grammatical structure–a feature that helps students learn strong grammar and vocabulary as well as reinforces logical thinking patterns. Like studying mathematics, the inherent logic and order to Hebrew has advantages for nurturing

israelprecision and coherence in students’ reasoning and speaking. The study of Modern Hebrew also provides this language and thinking benefit along with the opportunity for current-day conversation and connection with other Modern Hebrew speakers and written texts from around the world—not to mention right here in the Twin Cities.

Secondly, Modern Hebrew ranks among the most challenging languages to learn for native English speakers. Families in search of a rigorous education in English and in the study of a modern world language will find a good fit for both at Agamim. Modern Hebrew offers students the chance to learn to read and write using a new alphabet, to read with an orientation of right to left, and to speak with new sounds and pronunciations not typical of English.

Thirdly, classical learning is language-intensive and knowledge rich. Teaching children an additional language clarifies language learning in the native language and increases overall academic achievement. If you studied a foreign language in school, you might have had an easier time learning the names for the parts of speech (nouns, adjectives, prepositions, et cetera) because they were easier to see their purpose and function in your non-native language. Research confirms that learning an additional language facilitates the learning of more languages. We are strong supporters of our youngest students learning Modern Hebrew as their world language starting in Kindergarten when the mind assimilates language readily and happily.

The fourth reason we selected Modern Hebrew is that it is a unique and beautiful language offering and because there is demand in the Twin Cities metro area for studying Modern Hebrew in a public school setting. Agamim Classical Academy is proud to add our name to the growing list of public schools across the country who are teaching Modern Hebrew. We also are excited to make history and become the first public elementary school in the Midwest to teach Modern Hebrew!

Latin and Greek Roots

As part of the Core Knowledge curriculum sequence, all students in grades 6-8 study Latin and Greek root words. Students will know the meaning of the Latin and Greek words that form common word roots and be able to give examples of English words that stem from them. Core Knowledge uses the form of the Latin or Greek word that is most similar to related English words.

Foreign Phrases—Latin and French

In the seventh and eighth grades, students learn lists of Latin and French phrases that are commonly used in English speech and writing. For example, students learn “caveat emptor” (“let the buyer beware”) or “c’est la vie” (“that’s life, that’s how things happen”). Teachers and students use these phrases and tie them to curricular examples whenever possible.