Giannis, young teacher at Avlona elementary school, has found the best way to teach Greek to his Afghan pupils: by learning Farsi in exchange of Greek, as a game.
Giannis Stefanidis, Teacher, Avlona elementary school:
“Upon starting teaching the children, I was looking for ways to make the lesson easier, to make the children understand the language and so forth. As I said, we had some courses organized by the school counselor, I took some advice by our principal and I found a way, where I would teach the children and they will teach me back. Meaning, we started with a holistic approach to the words for the body. So I learnt that the leg is called “po” and the children learnt that “po” is Farsi for “podi” in Greek. The t-shirt is “blooz” in farsi and “blooza” in Greek. So, I was teaching Greek to them and they were teaching Farsi to me. With this way, like it was a game, they were asking me and when they were asking me they had to learn Greek and I would answer in Farsi. Then I would ask them in Farsi and they would reply in Greek and so they learnt a whole bunch of words. In about 2.5 months they have learnt roughly 300 words with their articles. I think this is enough, but the best thing is that they have big smiles on their faces.”