Foreign Language and Higher SAT Scores
What Foreign Language Correlates with Higher SAT Scores?
We’ve all heard that studying foreign languages is good for a child’s cognitive development and linguistic skills. But did you know that learning a foreign language can significantly increase SAT and ACT scores? Of course, high test scores are not the be-all and end-all of homeschooling, but they certainly are helpful when applying for college and scholarships. Also, higher scores give us confirmation that our children are learning, which is the ultimate reason why we homeschool.
What if I told you that there is one specific language that has been linked with higher SAT and ACT scores? Let’s take a look at the College Board’s 2016 study on how foreign language impacted scores:
Students of Latin are supreme in all three SAT categories. This is not surprising. Latin is often denounced as a “dead language” with little relevance to the contemporary world. Nothing could be further from the truth! Latin is central to so many aspects of Western civilization. The legendary English writer Dorothy Sayers once observed:
Latin is the key to the vocabulary and structure of the Romance languages and to the structure of all the Teutonic languages, as well as to the technical vocabulary of all the sciences and to the literature of the entire Mediterranean civilization, together with all its historical documents.
With so much relevance to language and literature, is it any wonder that students grounded in Latin score better in writing and critical reading? With its highly structured, logical grammar, is it any wonder the study of Latin reinforces the principles of mathematics as well? (Read more here: Why Learn Latin.)
The advantage is most pronounced in the Critical Reading section. The study demonstrates that Latin students consistently outperform all other students on the critical reading portion of the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)
All students average: 494
Latin is king, but most foreign languages give students an advantage.
As you can see from the chart above, Latin students average 67 points higher on their SAT, and German students 38. That’s a nice plus in addition to all the other benefits of learning Latin and foreign language in general.