There are many benefits in teaching our kids Greek
Learning the Greek language is very important for the preservation of the children’s cultural heritage and identity and for developing their self-awareness. Knowledge of the language means better access and understanding of Greek literature, poetry, music, art, original philosophical, historical and religious texts. So if we want our children to know their culture and roots and these to be passed to future generations, we can help them by teaching them their mother tongue.
Language acquisition also paves the way to a closer relationship with Greece. The person can then more easily communicate with friends and family members in Greece, visit it more often and even someday return and settle there. The Greek language will also naturally prepare the child to interact with the Greek community abroad.
If the child grows up abroad but speaks Greek at home with the parents, the family ties are strengthened. If the parents’ first language is Greek, then the parents can better communicate on an emotional level in Greek, and better influence their children.
There is a deep psychological need to connect to our roots. It not uncommon to see people searching for their roots, their place of origin, their ancestors, their language, the one that they did not have a chance to learn young. Wouldn’t it be better for them if they had the chance to learn it earlier? It is a well known fact that kids learn languages much faster than adults.
Learning another language is beneficial in many ways. Studies show that it improves brain functionality; builds multi-tasking skills; improves memory and perception; improves decision-making skills; enhances knowledge of the different mechanics of language eg. syntax, grammar and hence has an affect on the first language learnt; and studies have even found that it delays signs of dementia.
And these days there are no excuses for not being able to learn the language. With new technology readily accessible there is no excuse for not learning Greek. Even if you live in an isolated area with no other Greeks around, you can find a very experienced Greek language teacher, who lives in Greece, who is in touch with the current live speaking language. This teacher can help you speak with correct pronunciation and colloquial expressions so that you sound more natural. You can take lessons from the comfort of your home or office. And there is no need to commute to Greek school.
A study by the US. Department of Education found that “instruction conducted entirely online is as effective as classroom instruction”. After all, the teacher is available via Skype to answer questions as though she were in the room and homework is scanned and checked.
These days there are no excuses for not learning Greek and technology has made it possible to overcome hurdles of time and distance.
Vasiliki Baskos is a modern Greek language teacher and founder of https://learn-greek-online.com/. She teaches Greek as a foreign language online since 2012. In 2014 she founded Ask-Greek ( https://learn-greek-online.com/ask-greek/ ), a forum where people can ask questions about the Greek language.