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Saturday, 24 October 2020

How do I structure a lesson for the GCSE in Modern Greek?

The new specification of the GCSE in Modern Greek in combination with the limited teaching material, requires a special approach that makes the work of teachers more difficult. This article includes an applied two-hour teaching method for the Higher Tier, by following the principles of the CELTA certification (Cambridge University) for teaching English as a second/foreign language.

Introduction (speaking), 5 minutes
The lesson begins with questions to the students about how they spend their previous week (use of past tenses), something that impressed them, some news they heard and how they felt about it and what their plans are after finishing the lesson (use of future tenses). In this way, the interests of the students are further explored in order to be combined with the next lessons, a genuine rapport is built and a smooth transition to the classroom environment is achieved.

Presentation of the lesson's topic (speaking), 15 minutes
Students are given a photo which they have to describe and answer some relevant questions (Speaking, Task 2). An attempt is made to connect the subject with others that are familiar to the students.

Expanding students' vocabulary, 10 minutes
Students are asked to match 8-9 words with pictures related to the lesson's topic. Based on research that has been conducted, the average student can assimilate 8-9 words daily so the specific number of words is selected and strictly adhered to. If students have difficulty finding some or all of the words for the first time, the teacher can use appropriate questions to guide them towards the correct result. Among the questions, teacher can guide students in word analysis (prefixes, suffixes, prepositions, derivatives, compounds, etc.) to help.

Video (listening), 15 minutes
Once students are aware of the topic and having discussed about it by expanding their vocabulary, they can watch a relevant video twice. The first time they watch to find the topic (listening for gist, eg they can give their own title) and the second time they watch to find specific information (listening for detail, eg answering questions, true/false statements, filling gaps, etc.). Ideally the teacher can select the 8-9 words of the previous part from the video so that the students can hear the words in a content and not on their own.

Extension of speaking, 5 minutes
The video may be followed by a discussion with questions of a more difficult level than those in the photo.

Reading, 30 minutes
Through a variety of texts as different types of them appear in the GCSE, the teacher can teach comprehension and answer techniques to the types of questions contained in the Sample Assessment Materials and Past Papers.

Grammar, 15 minutes
For any grammatical/ syntax structures, it is a good practice to be taught through specific phrases/ words from the text of the previous part (reading) and not separately as this will provide a meaningful context for the students. If this is not possible, then a good effort could be made to write sentences or dialogues. Instead of giving the grammar rules, the appropriate questions should be asked so that the students can lead themselves to the rules for their better understanding. The existence of two exercises contributes to this, the first one simple and the second one more complex where students can form themselves the grammatical structure.

Writing, 15 minutes
Some of the ways in which students can develop written expression skills are:
- Correction of selected mistakes from other students' writing tasks (eg from previous week's homework)
- Finding ideas for the topic of the current week (brainstorming, draft)
- Writing a text by all students' contributions (collaborative writing)
- Students correct their writing following a correction box (evaluation criteria) by the teacher
- Development of students' translation skills from English to Greek and vice versa

Homework (Writing, vocabulary)
The teacher can set as homework a writing topic (task 1, task 2). Another homework, always taking care not to overload students, can be learning vocabulary using interactive tools such as Quizlet.

To sum up, lesson planning of the GCSE syllabus is time consuming and it should be done very carefully taking into account both the level of the students and their interests in order to better respond to the themes and topics of this demanding examination. Each lesson should be directly related to the specification, aiming to develop the four communication skills and the exercises should be structured like those included in the Sample Assessment Materials and the past papers.

Mr Iraklis Lampadariou is a Greek Teacher (BA Greek Philology, QTS, CELTA, MCIL CL). He has taught Modern Greek, Ancient Greek and Latin in various schools in Greece, Slovakia and the UK. In the past few years he has dedicated his career to promoting the study of Greek as a second/foreign language and to designing educational resources specifically aimed at secondary school pupils studying for Modern Greek GCSE. Mr Lampadariou is the founder of Speak Greek, Saita Publications and Discimus, a platform with hundreds of free resources for teaching Latin. He is also one of the founding members of the initiative for teaching the Greek language in the United Kingdom as well as the author of a number of books aimed at GCSE students, children, parents and teachers. His online house hosts more detailed information about the multifaceted activities he is involved in. Since September 2020, he teaches the GCSE class at the Greek School of Manchester.

Cover photo credit: Education photo created by pressfoto - www.freepik.com

Friday, 21 August 2020

GCSE 2020 - 100% 8-9!

We are very proud of our students who succeeded in their GCSE exams this year! Congratulations on achieving this amazing results despite the new guidelines that required to complete a Writing paper and producing a portfolio of evidence for their studies in Modern Greek.

As we would like to support students whose parents were affected by coronavirus, we are offering two scholarships for the new school year (2020-2021). The scholarships will include 1:1 online lessons, one hour per week (34 weeks in total) tailored to the new specification of the GCSE (9-1) Higher Tier. We are supporting students who need it the most at these unprecedented times.

Should you wish to apply for the scholarship, please send us an

Photo credit: Background vector created by starline -

Monday, 20 July 2020

Provisional timetable for GCSE & A level

Pearson Edexcel has announced the provisional timetable for the GCSEs and A Levels for the next year (2021). Download the pdfs and save the dates! 

GCSE (9-1) - Foundation & Higher tier
16/06/2021 - Listening & Reading 
22/06/2021 - Writing 

A Level
16/06/2021 - Paper 1
21/06/2021 - Paper 2
24/06/2021 - Paper 3 

Speak Greek offers online lessons to prepare students of all levels and abilities for absolute success in their exams. Contact us to design your individual learning plan.

GCSE (9-1) Τα ρήματα - Δωρεάν ebook

Το Speak Greek εγκαινιάζει την εκδοτική του σειρά με θεματολογία τη διδασκαλία της ελληνικής γλώσσας, με το δωρεάν ψηφιακό βιβλίο (ebook) 'GCSE (9-1) Τα ρήματα'!

Πρόκειται για ένα βιβλίο που περιλαμβάνει πολύ βασικές πληροφορίες για το ρήμα στα νέα ελληνικά και 327 πίνακες κλίσης ρημάτων που περιέχονται στον επίσημο οδηγό από την Pearson Edexcel. 

Στόχος του είναι να αποτελέσει ένα συμπληρωματικό υλικό αναφοράς για τους υποψηφίους, βοηθώντας τους να κατανοήσουν καλύτερα την ταυτότητα του ρήματος και τις ιδιαιτερότητες κλίσης ορισμένων ρημάτων ώστε να μπορούν να τα χρησιμοποιούν σωστά στις ενότητες του Speaking και του Writing.

Μπορείτε να το τηλεφορτώσετε δωρεάν ενώ με την άδεια Creative Commons με την οποία μοιράζεται στον διαδικτυακό αέρα, μπορείτε να το εκτυπώσετε και να το μοιραστείτε ελεύθερα! 

Αν έχετε κάποιο υλικό που θα μπορούσε να εκδοθεί μέσω του Speak Greek, θα χαρούμε να επικοινωνήσετε μαζί μας.

Thursday, 11 June 2020

Στηρίζουμε το Greek School of Manchester

Το Speak Greek δεν θα συνεχίσει τη λειτουργία των τμημάτων ενίσχυσης ελληνικής γλώσσας και Πολιτισμού την επόμενη σχολική χρονιά (Σεπτέμβριος 2020-Ιούνιος 2021) ώστε να στηρίξει έμπρακτα τo Greek School of Manchester.

Χαιρετίζουμε την πρωτοβουλία για την ίδρυση ενός ανεξάρτητου Παροικιακού σχολείου στην περιοχή μας, ανοικτό σε όλους τους μαθητές, ανεξαρτήτως καταγωγής, μητρικής γλώσσας και κοινωνικοοικονομικού περιβάλλοντος από το οποίο προέρχονται.

Επικροτούμε και στηρίζουμε κάθε πρωτοβουλία που στοχεύει στη διδασκαλία της ελληνικής γλώσσας, την προώθηση του ελληνικού Πολιτισμού και της μοναδικής ελληνικής ταυτότητας, πόσο μάλλον όταν η συγκεκριμένη πρωτοβουλία έχει:
- κατοχυρωμένη νομική οντότητα και καταστατικό
- εκλεγμένη Σχολική Επιτροπή 
- Σύλλογο Γονέων και Κηδεμόνων
- Πολιτικές (Policies)
- Εγγραφή στον ICO για την προστασία των προσωπικών δεδομένων
- ανοικτές, διαφανείς, δημοκρατικές διαδικασίες
- αξιολόγηση εκπαιδευτικού έργου, απολογισμός, δημοσίευση ισολογισμών, έλεγχο
- επιμόρφωση εκπαιδευτικών και νόμιμες διαδικασίες για την πληρωμή τους βάση συμβολαίων

Αν θέλετε, μπορείτε να συμμετέχετε στην ομάδα που διαμορφώνει τα επόμενα βήματα εδώ.

Monday, 20 April 2020

e-Greek - Learn Greek online!

Are you thinking of learning Greek at your own pace with carefully designed resources, interactive activities, videos and audio files from native speakers?

Do you want lifetime access & updates, downloadable resources and receive answers to any questions you may have during your learning journey?

Would you like to have the freedom to choose your plan and interact with real, qualified and experienced teachers?

Choose your plan and start learning Greek today! To register, please fill in this form and send us an e-mail with your chosen plan.

What is the e-Greek?

The e-Greek is an online platform that hosts the material for the lessons that we have carefully designed for the A1 Level of Modern Greek. Combining a teaching experience of more than 15 years and based on the communicative approach of learning, we are aiming to help you learn our native language via 30 lessons. 

What is the A1 Level?

The Council of Europe has designed the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (CEFR) that provides a transparent, coherent and comprehensive basis for the elaboration of language syllabuses and curriculum guidelines, the design of teaching and learning materials, and the assessment of foreign language proficiency. It is used in Europe but also in other continents.

The CEFR describes foreign language proficiency at six levels: A1 and A2, B1 and B2, C1 and C2. It also defines three ‘plus’ levels (A2+, B1+, B2+)

Based on empirical research and widespread consultation, this scheme makes it possible:
 to establish learning and teaching objectives
 to review curricula
 to design teaching materials and
 to provide a basis for recognising language qualifications thus facilitating educational and occupational mobility.

What topics do the lessons cover? 

As the lessons have been designed for the A1 level of CEFR, they aim to help the learner to:
 Understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. 
 Introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. 
 Interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly, and is prepared to help.

Please find below the full list of the lessons' topics;

Lesson 1 - The Greek alphabet
Lesson 2 - Basic vocabulary (Home)
Lesson 3 - Everyday questions in Greek
Lesson 4 - The verb to be (είμαι) & talking about ourselves 
Lesson 5 - Nouns - Basic endings & Articles - Ordering at a restaurant  
Lesson 6 - Numbers 0-
Lesson 7 - Verbs of 1st conjugation 
Lesson 8 - Personal and possessive pronouns
Lesson 9 - Adjectives in -ος, -η, -ο
Lesson 10 - Finding our way (Directions)
Lesson 11 - The case system in Greek 
Lesson 12 - Adjectives in -ος, -α, -ο
Lesson 13 - Verbs of 2nd conjugation 
Lesson 14 - What's the weather like? (Days of the week, Seasons, Months)
Lesson 15 - What time is it?
Lesson 16 - Simple Past 
Lesson 17 - Future Simple
Lesson 18 - Anyone, No one
Lesson 19 - Nouns in plural 
Lesson 20 - Describing a person
Lesson 21 - Verbs of 2nd conjugation 
Lesson 22 - How much...? How many...?
Lesson 23 - Verbs of the Passive voice
Lesson 24 - Hobbies/ Leisure time
Lesson 25 - Vacation/ Holidays
Lesson 26 - Comparison
Lesson 27 - Imperative
Lesson 28 - Get well soon 
Lesson 29 - This/ That/ These/ Those
Lesson 30 - Indirect speech

How is the platform designed?

We tried to create the platform as easy as we could so you can stay focused on the material of the lessons without anything else catching your attention or taking you time to find your way. There is only one sidebar menu on the left with the four basics tabs:

1. My lessons, where you can find the 30 lessons. Please note that a lesson will be available once a week for the first 29 weeks of your registration so you will have enough time to absorb the information and famliarise yourself with the material.

2. Good to know, where you can read some key information about the platform

3. Any questions?, where you can find answers to the most common questions

4. Contact, where you can find out contact details.

What are my plan options?

Depending on your chosen plan, you can enjoy some benefits. You can always upgrade your plan. 

How can I pay for my plan?

We will send you an invoice which you can pay via your online/mobile banking or over the counter at your bank. As soon as we confirm the deposit, we will give you access to the platform. There are no extra fees or charges unless you would like to upgrade your package. Please note that no refunds are possible.

How can I upgrade my package?

Please send us an e-mail at info@speak-greek.com and we will be more than happy to assist. You have to pay just the difference between your current package and the new one. 

Is the material on the platform downloadable? 

Yes, you can download everything that is posted on the platform. You can print it and keep it for yourself only (private use) as it is copyrighted. 

Are you going to update the material?

Yes, the material will be updated following students' feedback. Your lifetime access to the platform allows you to have any of the future updates on your screen at no extra cost.

I have the Basic package but I would like to have online lessons whenever I want. Is this possible?

Yes, sure! We can always arrange online lessons for you. 

I have an idea to improve the material so it will meet my needs better. Can I send it to you?

Absolutely! Our aim is to provide a material tailored to students' needs and ambitions. Should you have an idea towards this direction, please do send it to us.

I have found a broken link (a link that does not work)! What shall I do?

On a regular basis we check that the links to the resources are working properly with no errors. In case you have found a broken link, please let us know via e-mail.

I have a question that is not listed here. What shall I do?

Please send us an e-mail. We aim to respond to all the e-mail within 24 hours.

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! 

Καλό Πάσχα με υγεία και ευτυχία!

We have prepared a fresh free set of flashcards on Quizlet with Easter vocabulary

Enjoy and stay safe! 

Photo credit: Freepik.com 

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

GCSE (9-1) Seminar in London

Part of the seminar for the new specification of the GCSE (9-1) that took place in London, January 2020, can now be found on YouTube. 
Many thanks to the Hellenic TV for uploading the video. 

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