TEACHER CASE STUDIES
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Years of experience: 15
“It's amazing that I am in Greece, my student working up in the mountains, and Listen & Learn can bring us together!”
Listen & Learn: Hi, Vaios! Before we get into more specific questions, please can you tell us the language you teach, why you teach, and a brief summary of your qualifications?
Vaios: Hello. I teach Modern Greek, as well as Ancient Greek and Latin. I hold a BA in Philology from The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, and I have studied Languages, History, and Classics. In the last 15 years, I have taught in schools and also privately in the United Kingdom and Greece. Thus, I have great experience teaching Modern Greek as a foreign language. I have taught Greek people who grew up abroad, foreign people married to Greeks, and also people who visit Greece for work or holidays. Teaching is about sharing your knowledge and helping others. If medicine is the number one profession for helping others, then teaching is most certainly number two. It's the pleasure that you get when your students reach their goals and fulfill their dreams that really makes the hard work worth it; I get to open the path for my students to their realize dreams. Such a role is very important!
Listen & Learn: Wow, you mentioned you have great experience, and you really do! So, what was it about Listen & Learn that made you want to teach with us?
Vaios: Through my years teaching, I realized there are so many people in the world that want to learn my native language. For instance, one of my new students lives in an isolated area in the United States as she works at a ski resort. I think it would be impossible for her to find a teacher living close to her. And yet, Listen & Learn can connect me to her, and others like her. It's amazing that I am in Greece, my student working up in the mountains, and Listen & Learn can bring us together!
Listen & Learn: It's really quite incredible, isn’t it?! Would you say that is your favorite thing about working with Listen and Learn? Does anything else come to mind?
Vaios: The people who work for this company are very helpful. When you send them an email, you get a very quick response. They will answer all your questions and give you, teachers and clients, all the information you need to make your life easier.
Listen & Learn: After teaching for so many years and all over the world, you must have a pretty good idea of what you like to see in your students, yes?
Vaios: Most of my students are people with Greek roots who live abroad. They have something Greek in their heart. What I am looking for is to work on this little thing they have in their heart and make it bigger for them. My lessons are not only about teaching the language but also cultural experiences. We spend a lot of time talking about Greek food, history, the islands, etc. So, I can say that when students are also interested in finding out about cultural things, then this gives me more motivation. I do enjoy feeling that their love for anything Greek is growing!
Listen & Learn: That’s lovely! Certainly, the more passion one can feel for the language and everything related to it, the faster they will probably learn. Likewise, what should students expect from you as their teacher?
Vaios: I adapt lessons and homework to their individual needs. I am very flexible and although I have a plan for my lessons, I do not always have to follow it as, during my lessons, new challenges can arise. They should know that learning a language properly takes many years, so with me, they should expect to reach their target step by step. It's all a matter of patience from both sides.
Listen & Learn: Why do you think students should choose Listen & Learn for their next language course?
Vaios: Because it's a fun surprise, as well as a challenge. Students enroll in the course and don't know who is going to teach them, what kind of personality they will give, until the first lesson. This might sound quite risky, but the Listen & Learn team always does a great job matching teachers and students together. Students are not going to be disappointed!
Listen & Learn: And finally, can you tell us a fun fact about the Greek language? Or maybe a favorite expression you like to teach?
Vaios: I can think of a couple, actually. In Greek, we use the expression, ''We turned it into a brothel'' (To kaname burthelo) when we mess up a place or thing (a house, task, job, etc.). Another funny expression is “I ate a door” (Efaya porta), meaning I was rejected. And there are many more!