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Self learning Latin for GCSE from scratch - is it possible?

I've always been quite interested in Latin myself, and mythology as well (Greek, Roman, Egyptian, etc.) I'm currently in the middle of Year 9, and have done some research on self-studying GCSE Latin. Although I'm not sure if I'm going to do it, since along with English Language & Literature, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Ethics (RS) for mandatory subjects, I already study 4 GCSE subject choices - Geography, History, Engineering, and French for MFL.

As for help from school, I'm quite certain they offer the option for Latin, but I don't think they have it open for this year (as in my Year 9 currently) , due to not enough students opting for the Latin course. I'm not sure if there is a Latin teacher as well, but the school has mentioned that someone can help arrange the exam for the relevant exam board.

As mentioned, I have done some digging about GCSE Latin exam boards and specifications, I do know that Latin would help a lot for my French and somewhat helpful for English as well, which is another reason I consider doing it.

Under the circumstances of :
1) interest in Latin
2) being a complete beginner
3) undetermined amount of assistance from school
4) only about one and a half to two years
5) uncertainty of amount of time I can give it (I'm sure I can give it at least 3 hours I think, if I'm determined to)

Should I consider self-studying Latin for my 5th GCSE subject course?

P.S. I'm sorry for making you read through such a long analysis of my doubts =_=


Edit : After a day of thorough consideration and taking advice from your comments, I have decided to just give Latin a go without minding about examinations and qualifications. I want to ask what Latin textbooks are most beneficial for learning from your experiences?
(edited 1 year ago)
Latin is much harder than French, but yes it's possible to self-teach it.
You'll be doing enough subjects for GCSEs via school though, so you certainly don't need an extra subject, especially as you're only in Year 9. Four is most certainly enough at this point.

If it's something you're interested in just for the love of it, why not try the free Latin course on OpenLearn:
https://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/getting-started-on-classical-latin/content-section-0?active-tab=description-tab
Reply 2
Hi! Thanks for reading through and answering this. As much as it may seem too early and quite ambitious, one thing I hadn't mentioned is that I'm aiming to study Latin, (as well as environmental science) in sixth form, and I'm certain they accept short GCSE courses as well. Would it be better if I opt for that?
(edited 1 year ago)
If you are prepared to give the time and it does not have a detrimental effect on your other subjects go ahead. I think you're need more than 3hrs if you are doing it alone. Think back how many classes of GCSE French did you do and the homework on top of that? I should imagine you had a pre- GCSE year, first and 2nd year of GCSE French.

If you want to improve your French do more of it in novels ways. Such as listening to french podcast, youtube, do an online language exchange with a native. I think you just like Latin and it is so to speak calling you name. I thought about doing it to improve my A-level Language and Literature grammar. However I need sit down and learn clauses, grammar and put things into the Grammarly spell check. Personally I think it would be be useful if you parents/care giver if they can afford it to do distance learning course. I see that a link has been kindly posted up. It will be really good because it is Open University. However I think it will be good to have the GCSE structure and have the opportunity to do A-level or Highers.

3 Reasons to Study Latin Language Acquisition

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmBahbIkkB4
Latin
https://getrevising.co.uk/resources/level/gcse/subjects/latin

https://books.google.com/

Cambridge Unit 1-12
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLI76N29qybf8a9pkSzD9X0PX3a3PgO2_-

Cambridge GCSE Latin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7x0ttzmTR6s&list=PLG356WHoc6CMq45uxLkY_uJ8AA62eZyNh
Latin GCSE/A-level
https://www.sulislearning.co.uk/latin-gcse/
Latin GCSE/A-level
https://www.dl.cambridgescp.com/home-dl
Latin GCSE/A-Level
https://www.classicstuition.co.uk/

All the best

:hello:
Original post by Elffo
Hi! Thanks for reading through and answering this. As much as it may seem too early and quite ambitious, one thing I hadn't mentioned is that I'm aiming to study Latin, (as well as environmental science) in sixth form, and I'm certain they accept short GCSE courses as well. Would it be better if I opt for that?


That is a heavy work load but you'll have two years to do it in.:rolleyes: How will you feel when you have 2.5 months to sit all the exams and not only sit them but get grades?:rolleyes: I'ld slow down a bit and see how all this fits in with my career aspirations. Just because you can do something it is not a justification for doing it.:rolleyes: That being said I was watching some Latin GCSE and it gave me goosebumps! It is a really interesting and I guess Environmental Science may have a similar appeal.:rolleyes: So youtube videos on the subject are best avoided by myself. :wink:
Reply 5
Original post by Ambergris
If you are prepared to give the time and it does not have a detrimental effect on your other subjects go ahead. I think you're need more than 3hrs if you are doing it alone. Think back how many classes of GCSE French did you do and the homework on top of that? I should imagine you had a pre- GCSE year, first and 2nd year of GCSE French.

If you want to improve your French do more of it in novels ways. Such as listening to french podcast, youtube, do an online language exchange with a native. I think you just like Latin and it is so to speak calling you name. I thought about doing it to improve my A-level Language and Literature grammar. However I need sit down and learn clauses, grammar and put things into the Grammarly spell check. Personally I think it would be be useful if you parents/care giver if they can afford it to do distance learning course. I see that a link has been kindly posted up. It will be really good because it is Open University. However I think it will be good to have the GCSE structure and have the opportunity to do A-level or Highers.

3 Reasons to Study Latin Language Acquisition

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmBahbIkkB4
Latin
https://getrevising.co.uk/resources/level/gcse/subjects/latin

https://books.google.com/

Cambridge Unit 1-12
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLI76N29qybf8a9pkSzD9X0PX3a3PgO2_-

Cambridge GCSE Latin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7x0ttzmTR6s&list=PLG356WHoc6CMq45uxLkY_uJ8AA62eZyNh
Latin GCSE/A-level
https://www.sulislearning.co.uk/latin-gcse/
Latin GCSE/A-level
https://www.dl.cambridgescp.com/home-dl
Latin GCSE/A-Level
https://www.classicstuition.co.uk/

All the best

:hello:

Hello to you! Thank you for answering my inquiry as well, you do have a valid point I must say, I'm grateful for your links as well :biggrin:
Reply 6
Original post by Ambergris
If you are prepared to give the time and it does not have a detrimental effect on your other subjects go ahead. I think you're need more than 3hrs if you are doing it alone. Think back how many classes of GCSE French did you do and the homework on top of that? I should imagine you had a pre- GCSE year, first and 2nd year of GCSE French.

If you want to improve your French do more of it in novels ways. Such as listening to french podcast, youtube, do an online language exchange with a native. I think you just like Latin and it is so to speak calling you name. I thought about doing it to improve my A-level Language and Literature grammar. However I need sit down and learn clauses, grammar and put things into the Grammarly spell check. Personally I think it would be be useful if you parents/care giver if they can afford it to do distance learning course. I see that a link has been kindly posted up. It will be really good because it is Open University. However I think it will be good to have the GCSE structure and have the opportunity to do A-level or Highers.

3 Reasons to Study Latin Language Acquisition

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmBahbIkkB4
Latin
https://getrevising.co.uk/resources/level/gcse/subjects/latin

https://books.google.com/

Cambridge Unit 1-12
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLI76N29qybf8a9pkSzD9X0PX3a3PgO2_-

Cambridge GCSE Latin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7x0ttzmTR6s&list=PLG356WHoc6CMq45uxLkY_uJ8AA62eZyNh
Latin GCSE/A-level
https://www.sulislearning.co.uk/latin-gcse/
Latin GCSE/A-level
https://www.dl.cambridgescp.com/home-dl
Latin GCSE/A-Level
https://www.classicstuition.co.uk/

All the best

:hello:

Thank you so much for your links, just finished taking a good look at them. They sure are useful, the youtube video made me realise there's more to Latin than I think :') Really appreciate your advice
Reply 7
Original post by cxndyy
It’s definitely possible to learn the language in the time you have left but you also need to be realistic. Learning a new language from scratch isn’t easy especially since you have other subjects to focus on too. You will most likely take the exam in Year 11 since most schools (including mine) only allow you to take a language exam if you are in year 10/11 and it would take you up until year 11 to be somewhat decent at Latin anyway (if you’ve taught yourself well enough).

However, you will also have constant mock exams to prepare you for your other GCSE’s and will have to prioritise Maths and English revision and the last thing you want to do is cram all the revision and miss out on sleep to study, especially in Year 11.

As someone who took an extra language GCSE i would say it is somewhat helpful but it isn’t necessary. No sixth form will ask you for a fifth GCSE and if you’re already good at most of your subjects now and achieving good grades then i don’t think stressing yourself over an extra language is worth it as you would have to sacrifice a lot of your free time for extra revision and it will most likely affect your mental health.

I don’t think you should just limit yourself to GCSE’s though. If you genuinely have a love and interest for Latin you could always learn it after GCSE’s too. You could also consider doing it for an IB course instead if you can’t learn it in time to do it for GCSE’s (if you wanna do an IB instead of A levels) but you could also just learn it on the side and add it to your CV afterwards but it’s all down to the way you want to do it and how you will cope with it realistically.

Thank you :3 Advice from a person of experience sure is useful, would you mind if I PM/DM you (whatever you call it), if I have inquiries tho? I hope you don't, cos I may need advice one day ^ ^
Reply 8
Original post by cxndyy
of course you can! i’ll do my best to guide and support you whenever you need help. :smile:

I can't express enough thanks to you >:3

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