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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Eleven Plus and Learning

Some of our eleven plus children need to be taught lots and lots of skills and techniques. Other may need to learn and retain facts. There may even be some that need some help with learning to think. A few eleven plus children may need to learn to stand on their own two feet. How much, however, of the work covered by working endlessly through the eleven plus papers, will be remembered?

At eleven, when I was at school, we were taught Latin. Lots of this `dead language’ has been retained. Was this because we had wonderful teachers? Were we drilled or simply `expected’ to learn the different declensions?

Indicative Mood

1. Present Tense

Amo I love or am loving

Amas Thou loved or art loving

Amat he loves or is loving

Amamus we love or are loving

Amatis ye love or are loving

Amant they love or are loving

2. Imperfect Tense

Amabam I was loving

Amabas thou wast loving

Amabat we were loving

Amabamus ye were loving

Amabatis ye were loving

Amabant they were loving

3. Future Perfect Tense

Amavero I shall have loved

Amaveris thou will have loved

Amaverit he will have loved

Amaverimus we shall have loved

Amaveritis ye will have loved

Amaverint they will have loved

Would selection for the eleven plus have been easier if Latin was part of the modern eleven plus curriculum? Think of our children having to learn to distinguish between indicative moods?

He will have learnt

We were learning

They are learning

(Some children may possibly remember that the word `learn’ in Latin is `disco’ and also the word `learned’ is `doctus’.)

Would an eleven plus child be better off learning something reasonably useful such as the roots of many of our words, or studying the highly abstract technique of dealing with analogies or codes? Latin and codes may possibly be equally esoteric and `dead’, but uttering a sentence containing the words `I shall have loved’ may be a very useful attribute to bring to an interview for Oxford or Cambridge.

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