Lexilogia - Greek Diaspora

Greek communities can be found in many parts of the world and to their members the long history and cultural richness of the Greek tradition is a great source of pride. The desire to pass on the Greek heritage to the next generation remains strong in these communities and varying efforts are made to keep Greek language and culture alive beyond the initial immigrant generations. The environment in the home obviously plays a dominant role in passing on traditions and keeping the language alive. Greek parents and grandparents predominantly pass the language on by speaking Greek at home. The result is that speaking skills are often much better developed then reading and writing skills in Diaspora children and adolescents. 

Through its innovative online reading and spelling platform Lexilogia contributes to keeping the Greek language alive by offering the opportunity to complement existing speaking skills with matching advanced reading and spelling skills.

Reading and spelling

Reading and spelling skills are based on our ability to distinguish and apply sounds (phonemes) and corresponding symbols (graphemes). This ability is called "phonological awareness" and forms the first step when learning to read and write. 

Understanding complex word structures  -i.e. morphological awareness- is the next step. This is required for developing advanced reading and writing skills. It is an essential step, enabling us to automatically recognize morphemes (the smallest unit in a word that still has a meaning) and combine them into complex words (e.g. θερμ-ό-μετρ-ο, διά-μετρ-ος). 

Lexilogia is innovative, effective, easy to understand and convenient to use. More significantly, it is instrumental in the development of phonological and morphological awareness of the Greek language. 

Lexilogia users, both children and adults, will acquire phonological and morphological awareness through an interactive "game", in which they learn how to merge sounds into syllables and morphemes into complex word structures. They will progress step by step until they achieve comprehensive reading and spelling skills.

Lexilogia is the result from decades of painstaking research into the decision-making processes involved in reading and writing Greek words and the difficulties that can be experienced by (bilingual) children and adults in this learning process. It is a "tool", with a clear beginning, middle and end; three stages forming a comprehensive system.

Lexilogia, using modern technology, is revolutionary in enabling both children and adults of the Greek Diaspora to attain proficiency in Greek reading and spelling.

Lexilogia and bilingualism

Lexilogia users obtain a higher level of phonological and morphological awareness of the Greek language.

Tests and research consistently bear out the importance of phonological and morphological awareness in learning a second language.

This awareness is essential in achieving advanced reading, writing and spelling skills and significantly improves student vocabulary through facilitating word learning processes. A major beneficial side effect for Lexilogia users is that morphological awareness of the Greek language improves understanding of word structures in other languages, in particular the English language.

The morphemic structure of English words corresponds closely to the Greek word structure and many English words contain ancient Greek stems.

The significance of these abilities being transferable to other languages should not be underestimated. Education planners and policymakers increasingly concur that general phonological and morphological awareness skills are crucial in learning additional languages.

Lexilogia is the first online program systematically focusing on transferring these skills.

Through entertaining exercises the student obtains a deep knowledge of the sound system and word structure of the Greek language. A language that lies at the foundation of many other European languages!

Why online?

Attempting to learn reading and spelling, children sometimes attend Greek language classes available in many Greek communities. However, in practice travel distance and everyday family activities often interfere with these lessons. Lexilogia offers students the flexibility to overcome these obstacles by working in their own home to their own timetable: 

an online reading and spelling training. Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere!

Internet and computers have become integral to our lives and learning. Many members of Greek communities are now familiar with computerized learning tools. Lexilogia, offering an innovative and playful new online tool for Greek language studies, recognizes and embraces this new direction. It is specifically designed for online use without assistance from a tutor. Lexilogia complements already existing learning systems and through its innovative online interaction actively rekindles the inner drive of young and old Greeks to fully master their native language!

For whom?

The Lexilogia method is suitable for any age-group living in the Greek Diaspora from pre-school age to adults. More specifically, Lexilogia can be used by:

About the author

Lexilogia has been developed by Hester Hoette. Hester was born in the Netherlands and studied developmental psychology at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) specializing among others in cognitive meta-linguistic processes relating to reading and spelling and learning difficulties. Her final thesis at the university discussed learning difficulties with a focus on dyslexia.

In 1995 Hester moved to Greece where, in 1998, she established a learning centre specialising in reading and spelling difficulties. She also conducted psycho-linguistic based research focusing on cognitive meta-linguistic processes involved in learning to read, write and spell.

Her experience, gained during 15 years of psycho-linguistic research and treating reading and writing difficulties, finally resulted in the easy to use and very effective method Lexilogia; 

a reading and spelling training that can be used without assistance from a specialist.

Hester’s aim to make her successful method accessible for those living in the Greek Diaspora, led to the establishment of the website diaspora.lexilogy.com.

Acknowledgements

The Lexilogia method resulted from the inspiration of Hester Hoette and the experience gained during 15 years of psycho-linguistic research and treating reading and writing difficulties.

Furthermore, Lexilogia wishes to thank designer Joes Koppers who visualised and subsequently realized all the ideas in a web application, full of magic, playful interface-interactions and accessible to everyone online.

The colourful spoken words and instructions that accompany every lesson and stimulate the learning process are vocalized by Aikaterini Sideri, writer, and Ioannis Yfantis, actor.

The editing of all recorded fragments has been the patient and devoted work of musician Kostas Kousis.

Last but not least...it all started with the impulse given by Theo Schaap, whose trust and inspiration motivated Hester to set of the long journey of creating Lexilogia, for the Greek language. Unfortunately he is no longer with us to see the results of the effort.

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