A project to help improve Welsh primary school pupils' literacy through the teaching of Latin for the first time will be launched at Swansea University on Thursday, January 26.
The initiative is a collaboration between the University's Department of History and Classics and Oxford-based educational charity The Iris Project, which already successfully runs similar projects in a number of English primary schools.
Dr Lorna Robinson, founder of The Iris Project, said: "Latin is making acomeback in the UK. Projects already running in England reveal that a basic understanding of Latin can help young people with their linguistic and literary skills in English as well as any other modern language they might study.
'Regarded by many in the last few decades as obsolete and useless, it is now becoming clear that Latin has an important place in the education of our children."
Latin students from Swansea University's Department of History and Classics will, as volunteers, teach Latin to year five and six pupils of Brynmill Primary School in Swansea for one hour a week in the Spring and Summer terms of 2012.
Dr Evelien Bracke, the Project Coordinator at Swansea University, said:"Latin will be approached in a fun and engaging way, through storytelling, games, and interaction, and with specific reference to linguistic skills in English.
"In the next school year, the project will be opened up to other local schools in the South West Wales area."
As part of celebrations for the project's launch on Thursday, January 26, pupils from Brynmill Primary School will visit the University to take part in fun Roman-related activities, such as mosaic-making and commanding a Roman army.
Talks will be given by John Morgan, Professor of Classics at Swansea University on 'Latin and my Life' and Graham Kirby of The Iris Project, on 'Latin in modern education'.
Dr Evelien Bracke will also discuss the details of the project with teachers from other South West Wales primary schools, who have been invited to the launch.
"This project signifies a great step in a renewed interest in Latin in the South West Wales area," added Dr Bracke. "Teachers interested in getting their school involved in the project fornext year should contact me on 01792 295745."