About the language

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, having the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. The Greek alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Coptic, and many other writing systems.

Key facts about the Greek Language and Greece:

Greek is the official language of Greece (also called Hellenic Republic) and one of the official languages of Cyprus (also called Republic of Cyprus), and is spoken by about 13 million people mainly in Greece and Cyprus.

30% of the English vocabulary is estimated that consists, directly and indirectly, of words of Classical Greek origin. Most of them are technical and scientific terms.

Words of Greek origin are often used at the beginning of a word, such as:
aero from ἀήρ [aeer], air
auto from αὐτός [aftos], self

Human history in Greece goes back to 120,000 BC, with evidence found in the Petralona cave from a northern Greek province. Greece is recognized as the birthplace of Western civilization, starting with the Cycladic civilization in 3200 BC.

Greece has more than 2,000 islands including all sizes, of which approximately 170 are inhabited.

There are big Greek and Cypriot communities in the US, the UK, Australia, Germany, Canada, Chile, South Africa and Russia, but also in neighbouring countries, such as Albania, Bulgaria and Turkey.

About Speak Greek
Speak Greek promotes Greek language and Culture through a series of initiatives. Since 2017, Speak Greek offers bespoke lessons of Greek to all levels of learners by using interactive and engaging teaching methods. Other activities include: monthly free Greek conversation classes for adults, weekly support groups for children, a Greek library, play reading groups, sessions on Greek cuisine, dance classes, educational programs for schools, a pen pal project. 

Iraklis Lampadariou

Founder of Speak Greek

Iraklis Lampadariou is a Greek Teacher (BA Greek Philology, QTS, CELTA, MCIL CL, qualifications and certificates). 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. Iraklis 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. Since September 2020 he teaches the GCSE class of the Greek School of Manchester. His online house hosts more detailed information about the multifaceted activities he is involved in. 

Iraklis is committed to using a variety of delivery techniques and resources in order to tailor teaching to the needs of each student and make lessons fun and challenging. History and culture have always occupied a central place in his teaching philosophy and aided him in keeping students motivated and spreading the love for Greek language.

Konstantina Charlavani
Speak Greek Manchester

Mrs Charlavani studied Greek Philology and has been teaching Greek to native and non-native speakers of all ages for the past 15 years. She has also received specialist training and has been working with children who have special educational needs as well as emotional and behavioural difficulties associated with learning. She feels particularly enthusiastic about flaring children’s imagination and has written two children’s books in Greek (available online through http://www.saitapublications.gr/). Mrs Charlavani considers imagination, creativity and play essential tools in the learning process and has always tried to incorporate these in her lessons in fun and innovative ways that feed into her students’ interests.

She is looking forward to working with students from a wide variety of backgrounds who all share the same love for the Greek language, and she is very keen to explore new ways of effective, and enjoyable, teaching and learning.

Meet the partners across the United Kingdom 

Eleni Filippou
Speak Greek Ipswich

Eleni Filippou is a Greek teacher based in Ipswich, Suffolk who holds a BA in Classics from the prestigious National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She has over 20 years experience in teaching Ancient Greek, Modern Greek and Latin in both the private and public educational system in Greece.

In 2005 she won the State Scholarship Foundation (IKY) literary competition and won an opportunity to study abroad. This took her to the University of Essex where she completed an MA in Art History and graduated with a merit award. Dedicated to further progress her career and broaden her horizons, she is currently studying towards a PhD in Art History at the University of Essex.

Eleni holds a QTS, she has taught for several years at the Greek Orthodox Church School in Ipswich and she is fully integrated into the local Greek community.

In addition she helps adults and child with private lessons and she specialised in GCSE (9-1) in Modern Greek and A Level exams.

Olga Karaiosif
Speak Greek Newcastle

Olga Karaiosif is a Teacher (QTS) and Drama Educator. She holds a BA in Primary Education (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) and an MA in Drama and Theatre Education (University of Warwick).

She has teaching experience working as a Teacher in primary schools in Greece and as a Supply Teacher in the UK. Since 2011 she has been teaching Greek language (second/foreign) and Greek culture at Greek complementary schools and privately to all levels, from primary students to adult learners who come from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

As a Drama Educator she has been working in a variety of educational settings including Greek complementary schools. Her role was to plan and deliver drama projects, which fulfil the purposes of the curriculum for language acquisition and cultural awareness, as well as to co-create theatre performances with the students. Through these drama projects students explore aspects of their culture, use their heritage language, and creatively express their cultural identities.

Olga is also a co-founder of the Nottingham Greek Theatre Society where she worked as a Drama Tutor and Director (Plutus by Aristophanes and The Last Black Cat by Trivizas). The community theatre group serves the needs of the Greek speaking community to play and watch theatre in their language.

Gianna Moussa
Speak Greek York

Ms Gianna Moussa is a Greek Teacher (QTS) who studied History and Archaeology at the University of Crete. She is currently working as Teaching Assistant in a secondary school in York. Gianna has worked in Greece as a Tutor of Modern and Ancient Greek language and literature, Greek history and Latin for over 15 years.

Gianna firmly believes that developing rapport with the students is key to the teaching and learning process, as is empathy and sensitivity towards each student’s needs and requirements.

Gianna is excited to have joined Speak Greek and is very much looking forward to sharing her passion and enthusiasm for Greek language and culture with the students and helping them fulfil their full potential.

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