Our courses assist students in improving all their skills (listening, writing, speaking and reading) in the Greek language. Additionally, the Centre’s aim is to make each course a cultural experience. Through a variety of guided activities (interviews, projects, lectures, pair work, etc.), students are brought in touch with the local community and are able to learn more about Greece and its people
Our teachers are Greeks who are specialized and experienced in teaching Greek as a foreign language. Our teaching method combines textbooks and traditional educational materials with other less conventional sources, such as songs, newspapers, the radio, and Greek literature. Each of these sources is used according to the student’s level. Emphasis is given to vocabulary and grammar through guided communicative exercises, and students also learn about contemporary Greece through texts and videos from Greek websites, the Greek press and Greek literature.
What makes our method different?
- We don’t spend spend our lesson hours on grammar and the formal structure of the language. Rather, we encourage students to practice what we teach them.
- The teacher speaks as little as possible in the class, and encourages students to speak instead. The teacher’s role in the classroom is a) to briefly present material (words and grammatical rules), b) to encourage students to speak using THIS material and c) to correct students’ mistakes.
- The number of students per class is very small; never more than 8, and usually 3 -4. During 4 hours of class per day, this gives plenty of opportunity for students to talk.
- Usually the contact with the language does not stop after class hours. The teachers and the students are living close to each other, and together they 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 really friendly and relaxed. No reason for stress or any kind of formalities. After all, learning is a game and a pleasure.
A few more words
In all our courses we employ a variety of language games, in addition to role-playing, in order to motivate students to practice the new vocabulary and grammar. In this way the students assimilate a large number of words (about 20 – 40 new words / lesson) and a considerable amount of grammar, which is then used in understanding the texts and exercises.
We always try to make the lessons, which are intensive, as interesting for our adult students as possible. In this way even our beginners reach a fairly advanced level after only two weeks. The video below is a “performance” done 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:
We are very proud of the achievement that you can see on the video above.
Most of the “intensive” Greek language courses offered in Greece do not present more than 100 words in two weeks. The past and future tenses, and the subjunctive of verbs, follow only AFTER a minimum of 5 weeks (100 hours) of lessons. The subjunctive, which is used as the infinitive in modern Greek, is absolutely necessary in forming simple sentences such as “I want to buy a newspaper”. This means that in most of the Greek language courses in Greece students must spend a fair amount of time and money before they can manage even simple communication with a Greek.
More videos from our courses: