Greek language courses

Several classes are formed for each course, each consisting of 2-8 students at a similar skill level. The small class size ensures that every student will have the chance to speak and improve their language skills during each hour of instruction. The program of study is divided into 6 levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2), according to the guidelines of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Courses are adapted to the individual needs and interests of each student, and are intended:

  • For adult students of modern Greek at all levels (absolute beginner through intermediate and advanced).
  • For adults of any age who wish to begin to study Greek, or who wish to improve their Greek.
  • For teachers of ancient or modern Greek.
  • For interpreters, and translators.

Our instructors are experienced as teachers of Greek as a foreign language. Grammar and vocabulary are taught via the use of texts and materials written by the Centre. Emphasis is placed on the development of listening and speaking skills. New material (both in grammar and vocabulary) is mastered by students with the use of word games and verbal exercises. During the weeks of instruction students will also have the opportunity to discover some of the less well-known aspects of contemporary Greek life, through songs, music, conversation, presentations and assignments.

  • The teacher speaks as little as possible in the class, and encourages students to speak instead.
  • The teacher briefly presents the lesson material (vocabulary and grammatical rules), encourages the students to speak using THIS material, and corrects students’ mistakes.
  • The number of students per class is very small; never more than 8, and usually 3 -4. During 3 hours of class per day, this gives plenty of opportunity for students to talk.
  • Usually contact with the language does not stop after class hours. The teachers and the students live together on campus – or very nearby – and create a community. Many of the after-the-class-activities are organized in order to encourage contact between the members of this small community.
  • The environment is friendly and relaxed.  There is no reason for stress or formality, as we believe that learning should be a game and a pleasure.
  • We always try to make our lessons as intensive, challenging and interesting as possible. In this way even our beginners reach a fairly advanced level after only two weeks.

The following video is a “performance” created by a beginners’ class. The play was also written by a beginning student. None of them had any previous knowledge of Greek before they arrived in Ikaria. After two weeks in the course they were able to use a basic vocabulary (around 300 words, including about 50 verbs in the past, the future and the subjunctive). As a result:

More videos from our courses:

A small group with students at a similar level is the key for the success of a lesson. The classes are usually formed after students arrive, and after we evaluate their language skills via a written quiz and an oral interview.  We look for gaps in grammar and vocabulary, the skill level in oral communication in Greek, and the general level of motivation of each student.  Instead of the students adjusting to the course we prefer to do the opposite in our lessons: The course is adjusted according to the needs of the class and each individual student.

The curriculum follows the guidelines set by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages that was put together by the Council of Europe. It is widely used in Europe to describe achievements of users of foreign languages. The Common European Framework divides foreign language users into three broad divisions (Basic: A – Independent: B – Proficient: C) which can be sub-divided into six levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2. Α description of each level is as follows:

Proficient User C2 (Advanced): Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarize information from different spoken and written sources, reconstruct arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations.
Proficient User C1 (Advanced): Can understand a wide range of demanding, long texts, and recognize implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for the proper expression. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed texts covering complex subjects.
Independent User B2 (Intermediate): Can understand the main ideas presented within various complex texts regarding concrete and abstract topics as well, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialization. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a specific topic giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
Independent User B1 (Intermediate): Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst traveling in an area where a language is spoken. Can produce simple coherent texts on topics which may be familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
Basic User A2 (Beginner): Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate about simple and routine tasks, requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
Basic User A1 (Beginner): Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where s/he lives, people s/he knows and things s/he owns. S/he can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

Source: Council of Europe, European Language Portfolio

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