What is an online Greek school?
Stella Bompotsiari, director of studies at greek-lol.com, guides us through language learning on the internet
Greek is definitely a very beautiful language to speak, but its greatest value can be found in its power to keep all Greeks around the world connected to our Greek heritage, history, culture and most of all, family.
Learning and speaking Greek is essential for Greeks no matter where we are based around the planet.
"Pappou and yiayia will be so proud of your Greek," most parents say, and they actually are extremely proud because family matters for Greeks; language helps families to remain close. There is nothing more important for a Greek grandmother than hearing her grandchild saying "σ'αγαπώ γιαγιά".
Most members of the Greek diaspora have traditionally relied for decades on Greek schools or private Greek teachers. There is a plethora of traditional Greek schools in Sydney, Melbourne, London, New York and other big cities offering great language programs to kids and adults for years.
But what about all these Greeks based in cities and areas where access to a Greek school is not feasible and the possibility of finding a qualified Greek teacher for their kids is non-existent? For all those people, for families looking for innovative ways and methods to learn Greek, and for people with disabilities, the solution can be found on the internet. Nowadays there are numerous online educational tools and services available to make Greek learning a fun, challenging and motivating activity.
After five years of private and group online Greek lessons to more than 500 students − kids and adults − from all over the world, our team at Greek Lessons OnLine (greek-lol.com) has developed its motivating and effective learning method by making the best use of certain elements. All these key elements − including our teaching staff, IT experts, tools and services − would not be detectable, accessible and available without the internet.
Qualified & specialised teachers come to you
Having the right teacher is a key factor for effective learning. A specialised instructor teaches you tips, guides you with ease, identifies your weaknesses and your strengths and knows what objectives to set for each lesson.
One could argue that all the above listed qualities could also come through experience and not necessarily through studies. Yes, there have been cases of gifted people teaching Greek with great success to Greek schools without holding a teaching qualification; however, these are exceptions. It is very simple − if you want to build a house you will go to an architect, if you have a leak you will call a plumber, therefore if you want to learn Greek you should have a qualified teacher. Why compromise when it comes to your Greek education?
Teachers from Greece
Someone can be an excellent teacher without being a native speaker of the language he/she teaches. However, in Greek language teaching and learning we have found it essential for teachers either to be situated in Greece – as with all teachers in Greek Lessons OnLine − or to have lived in Greece for a certain time. A Greek lesson is not only about developing writing, listening, speaking and reading skills, but is also a process that brings learners closer to Greek history, culture, customs and reality. When a teacher acts not only as a Greek language instructor but also as an ambassador of what we call Hellenism, then the benefits for each learner are priceless.
Interactive and student-centred lessons have been found to be promising strategies for improving student achievement. This means that students learn better when participating actively and not just watching their teacher. Educational tools such as interactive whiteboards, flashcards, video and audio materials, live online quizzes and tests make the student interact with the materials provided throughout the lesson.
This is called either active or interactive learning and it is highly effective, as students' actions are necessary in order for a lesson to proceed and eventually to be completed. We do not imply that a face-to-face lesson cannot be interactive. The difference is that when online schools use all the proper tools, then each student's computer screen transforms into an interactive whiteboard. Students do not share a whiteboard with the rest of the class, they have their own in front of them.
Library access from anywhere
In most traditional schools students need their actual printed books to attend, and if you do not have your book with you, it means you cannot do your homework or exercises. However, the use of digital files, such as presentations, PDFs, online quizzes and online tests allows for all these materials to be saved in an online place for students to access at any time from any place. Students with their tablets, phones or computers, and via specific applications, access their books, their notes, take their tests, study, do their homework and contact their teacher and classmates. In addition, online libraries and material storages make the revision process a lot easier as all lesson files are automatically saved per lesson. Having a highly-organised learning environment for students, teachers and parents ensures greater achievements.
All new technologies, tools, methods and services are changing the way we teach Greek and the way our students learn Greek. Our team's mission in Greek Lessons OnLine − including teachers, IT experts and associates − is to browse, identify, design and apply up-to-date educational tools that not only can stand out and meet the expectations of any 21st-century student, but also transform Greek language learning into a unique and ideal learning experience.
Learn more by booking a free trial lesson at greek-lol.com
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