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Harry casts spell on American students | (UPI) -- Wizard wannabe Harry Potter has cast a spell on American students, the daily Telegraph in London reports.

The use of Latin in Harry Potter author JK Rowling's books has prompted a surge of interest in the classics -- after years of decline.

The number of students taking Latin for college credits has soared by 80 percent since the first book was published in the United States six years ago, the Telegraph reports.

This year, about 123,000 high school students will take the National Latin Exam -- which counts toward university entry -- compared with 53,000 in 1985.

Teachers report the 11 to 14 crowd, who previously had little interest in Latin, now choose it over French or Spanish as their foreign language.

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