Parents often look for ways to complement their kids’ Greek school and Ellinopoula online learning with ways to boost their level of Greek. So we’ve put together a list of tips to learn Greek used by Diaspora parents around the world. You’d be surprised how fun and effective these tips can be!
Create a story together
It’s no secret kids love to listen to stories and sometimes tell quite a few of their own! An excellent way of getting your child to practice his or her Greek is to create a story and gradually start to add Greek words in it. The story could be about a character in Ellinopoula’s video series, such as Odysseus; for instance, “If Odysseus reached “ancient New York”, what do you think he might have found there? Would Poseidon be happy? Would he encounter a Cyclops or another mythical creature?”
Plan activities with Greek-speaking families
Learning a language in a social context is not only very effective, it’s essential! An excursion with other Greek-speaking families gives kids the opportunity to be exposed to and practice their Greek language skills spontaneously while having fun.
The “Map game”
This is a great activity to learn Greek and learn about Greece and Cyprus. You’ll need to print out a simple map of Greece and/or Cyprus and stick it on the refrigerator door. The objective is for your child to fill in some keywords in Greek related to each major city on the map; it could be something famous about the city or the name of a friend or relative living there.
Show the importance of learning Greek
Research indicates kids pick up on social cues about what to focus learning on (or not). That’s why it’s crucial to let them know the value of learning Greek through our actions. Whether it’s attending a Greek event, reading a book about Greek mythology together, or taking time to get involved in the local Greek community, being invested in keeping Hellenism strong helps kids appreciate the importance of learning Greek and boosts their learning.
The “Shopping List” game
If you plan on going to the supermarket with your child, you could prepare the shopping list together in English and Greek. When you get there, whenever you pick up each item on the list, ask your child what it’s called in Greek. Or you could ask your child what item is next and he or she has to tell you in Greek! They don’t have to get it perfect the first or second time, the point is for them to get accustomed to using the Greek language in everyday settings with their family and peers.