Greek language course & olive harvest on the island of Ikaria


  • 11-21 or 11-27 Nov. 2017
    10 lessons in  11 days, 36 teaching hours + 18h of activities.
  • Class size: 2-8 students, at a similar level
  • Location: On-campus, Arethousa, Ikaria, https://goo.gl/maps/Tg2toQvWfCR2

What exactly is this course?

Ιt’s an opportunity to begin learning Greek, or to improve your skills in the Greek language while participating in the olive harvest—an experience both enjoyable and educational. You will learn about various steps in the production of olive oil and have a chance to get to know a Greek island in a way entirely different from the usual tourist places and season. This is a time when the island life has returned to its normal rhythm.

For whom is the course intended?

For any adult who wishes to improve his or her skills in the Greek language, including beginners. Friends of yours may also come with you and participate in the experience of the olive harvest and in the rest of our activities, without participating in the Greek classes.

What will we be doing?

After the language lessons we will work together for about 2 hours in the olive harvest, in the nearby fields. We will visit local factories and watch how olive oil is made from the olives.  We will also learn to sing some Greek songs, watch Greek cinema, make excursions around Ikaria, and talk a lot in Greek, both inside and outside the classroom.

Accommodation

The guesthouse in IkariaDuring Easter and November courses, all students are expected to stay on-campus, although it is not at all obligatory. A family atmosphere is created. Several excursions are organized to different interesting spots of the island. There is also a shuttle to Evdilos, in the scheduled days. However, students use the Centre’s shuttle to go out and eat or shop with their teachers, almost every day, according to the group’s mood.

Do you have my level?

A homogeneous, small group is the key for the success of a lesson. The classes / levels are formed after students arrival, as we must evaluate at the same time and comparatively all language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing), of ALL OF OUR STUDENTS, in order to achieve the formation of highly homogeneous classes. For this reason we are using both, a written placement test as well as an oral interview. Note that as the classes are small, the curriculum is always adjusted to the real needs of each student in the class. In this way we can guarantee that you’ll participate in a class that will help you to improve dramatically your skills in Greek language. You have to trust our word. After all, we are on the “business” for 22 years, since summer 1995!

Registration & more…


Registration | Εγγραφή

Send us the registration form you will find at this link:
https://goo.gl/forms/6HVSGNbtC1lUGKNu2
The reservation must be followed by a deposit equal to 290€. You can pay via Pay Pal (+4,5% Pay Pal fee) or via bank transfer. More information will be sent after the submission of the registration form.
Cancellation policy: If you cancel your registration: We offer a full refund of payments if you cancel before the 10th of the month which is two months prior to the month of the course starting date (i.e. before the 10th of June if the course starts in August). After this deadline there will be no refund. However you reserve the right to re-register in a class in the same or the following year.

Course fees & Early bird booking | Δίδακτρα και εκπτώσεις

You will receive a brochure with info regarding tuition, accommodation fees & daily schedule for each course in your inbox, if you submit the form you can find here[/lang_undefined]

Please note that there is:

  • -15% discount on the tuition for registrations before 20 Dec./2017
  • -10% discount </strong> on the tuition for registrations before 30 March/2017 May 15th 2017 (expect Easter course)

Schedule | Πρόγραμμα

You may register in one of the following courses during 2017:

  • Easter course
    9-19 April (10 lessons in 11 days)
  • 20-30 May (10 lessons in 11 days) or 20 May-5 June (15 lessons in 17 days)
  • 17-27 June (10 lessons in 11 days)
  • 11-21 July (10 lessons in 11 days) or 11-27 July (15 lessons in 17 days) 11 July – 2August (20 lessons in 23 days)
  • 23July-2 Aug. 23 (10 lessons in 11 days) or 23 July-8 Aug. (15 lessons in 17 days) or 23 July-14 August (20 lessons in 23 days)
  • 4-14 Aug. (10 lessons in 11 days) or 4-22 Aug. (15 lessons in 19 days*) or 4-27 Aug (20 lessons in 25 days*)
  • 17-27 Aug. (10 lessons in 11 days)
  • 9-19 Sept. (10 lessons in 11 days) or 9-25 Sept. (15 lessons in 17 days)
  • Greek language and olive harvest:
    11-21 Nov. (10 lessons in 11 days) or 11-27 Nov. (15 lessons in 17 days)


*Note: 15th & 16th of August are 2 extra free days in this course.

The first day of the course, the lesson takes place in the afternoon. The  rest of the days the lessons take place in the morning (9:30 – 12:30). After morning classes end, students have free time, to eat, study and rest. In the late afternoon – evening several activities are planned, such as singing lessons, conversation classes, lectures, dance courses and film screenings. A shuttle service is at all students’ disposal, for going to their classes from Evdilos or the Centre’s guesthouse and return. For a detailed daily schedule, including the shuttle service timetable for each course,  click here

How to get to Ikaria | Πώς θα φτάσετε στην Ικαρία

By plane from Athens (www.olympicair.com, www.skyexpress.gr) or Thessaloniki (www.astra-airlines.gr). Low-fare carriers like Ryanair or Εasyjet fly to Athens or Thessaloniki.

By ferry from Pireas or one of the nearby islands with international airports, like Samos or Mykonos. You can get to these islands via charter flights from Europe. Ferry schedules and online tickets: www.hsw.gr

Attention: Ikaria has two ports: Agios Kirkikos and Evdilos. Try to arrive in Evdilos. Agios Kirkikos is 1h away by car (40Km) and the taxi fare is more than 50€

Campus & guesthouse in Ikaria

Students may live on-campus, at the Centre’s guesthouse, in a family atmosphere, where they can speak Greek even outside of class time, with the instructors also living on campus.They can relax and focus on their studies in the quiet and natural environment around the Centre, with its gorgeous views of both mountains and sea


The Ikarian Centre’s campus is located 1,5 km away from the picturesque village of Arethousa, in a remote and peaceful mountain spot (300m altitude https://goo.gl/maps/4sU6SEtnBo52), although it’s only 45 minutes by foot from the beach.A breathtaking landscape combines views of the sea and the island’s mountain. In the sky, birds of prey fly during the day, while the Milky Way and thousands of stars appear on the clear summer nights.

There are numerous opportunities for hikes nearby, as well as bird-watching, swimming, and sun-bathing, not to mention the opportunity to become acquainted with the local Ikarian culture, which may make you believe that you have stepped out of a time machine.

Facilities

The campus and the guesthouse was completed in 2001 and consists of a group of four separate buildings immediately adjacent to the classrooms and studios, each designed and constructed with a careful eye to the traditional local architecture. The facilities include:

  • 2 meeting rooms – classrooms: one for 40 people, and the other for 10
  • A large open-air meeting area – classroom for 40+ people
  • A small library with dictionaries and literature in Greek.
  • A large communal kitchen and a kitchenette in each guest room.
  • Fast and reliable Internet and wifi, telephone, washing machine.

The guesthouse

There are 7 independent two -or three- bed rooms, each with private bath and kitchenette and a large 40 m2 studio for 5 people. Each of the simple rooms can host 2 or a maximum of 3 people (the third in a bunk-bed). All rooms have a private bathroom and they are located adjacent to the course venues.
Please note:

  • Breakfast IS NOT served at the guesthouse, however our guests may use the kitchenette in their room in order to prepare breakfast and simple meals.
  • Linen is provided to all guests.

The neighborhood

Shopping can be done at Arethousa (the nearest village), about 15-20 minutes (1,5Km) away by foot. The road from the villages of Arethousa or Karavostamo to the guesthouse is not paved and there is no traffic. The beach (in Karavostamo) is 45 min away on foot (10′ by car). Many beautiful beaches are nearby, as well as tavernas, restaurants, coffee shops and bars (distances from 2-8 km, 5 to 20 minutes by car).

The cost of living in Ikaria is still quite inexpensive: A meal at one of the local tavernas costs about 10 – 12€ (including wine).

The teaching method | Η μέθοδος διδασκαλίας

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:

Levels | Επίπεδα

Our classes in Greece are formed after the arrival of the students, and adapted according to their needs and expectations, their level, and the speed at which they are able and wish to move on. Instead of forcing the students to adjust to the course materials, in our courses we do the opposite: The material of each course remains flexible and is adapted to the needs of each class / each individual student.

The curriculum, however, does follow 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

FAQ about Greek language courses in Ikaria | Συχνές ερωτήσεις για τα μαθήματα ελληνικής στην Ικαρία

  • Do you have my level?
    The classes are formed after students arrival as we must evaluate at the same time and comparatively all language skills (speaking, listening, writing and reading) of all of our students, in order to achieve the formation of highly homogeneous classes. For this reason we are using both, a written placement test as well as an oral interview. Note that as the classes are small, the curriculum is always adapted to the real needs of each student in the class. An online version of the placement test is also sent to the students after registration, although the submission of this test is not necessary before the student’s arrival on the island.
  • When do I have to arrive on the island?
    The first lesson take place on the afternoon of the day which is mentioned in the schedule as the first day of the course. In this way students may also travel to Ikaria in the morning of the first day. However, you are expected to arrive one day earlier. The last lesson takes place in the day which is mentioned as a last day of the course. If you are staying at the guesthouse you are expected to leave the day after. However, you can extend your stay for a couple of extra days if necessary and if there is availability in rooms.

Cars & scooters in Ikaria | Ενοικιάσεις αυτοκινήτων στην Ικαρία | Cars and scooters in Ikaria

Evdilos

  • Aventura (cars and motorcycles).
    Tel. (+30) 2275031140 (until 30/04/2002 tel.(+30) 210 9350983 & fax. (+30) 210 9312935
    web site
    avendura [at] otenet.gr
  • MAV (cars).
    Tel.& fax (+30) 2275031354 – (+30) 2275031036
    web site
    mavcars[at]hol.gr
  • Budget (cars).
    Tel. & Fax (+30) 2275031443
  • VANTI (cars): (+30) 6976099111 – (+30) 22750 31226
    Ntinagi[at]hol.gr
  • Lemy (cars): (+30) 6983418878
    lemy[at]otenet.gr website

Approximate price for a low budget car (i.e. Fiat Panda) during July – August: 30 Euros per day.