Insight or Perspective: “Greek films are a good way for children to learn the language”

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By Eleni Elefterias

Greek films are often a great way to teach or encourage children and young people to learn the Greek language.

Many of you will know Aliki Vougiouklaki from the old Greek films. She was the ‘Star Ellas’ celebrity that rose from the ‘Girl next door’ to star status in Greece. Many of her old films are still available to watch for free on Youtube or via the Finos film archives also available online. 

Many of her films are musicals and, apart from acting, she also sang many songs both on and off screen.

Children particularly liked her as she often played a young girl with a cheeky personality who rebelled against her parents.

For children and students aged 10 and over her films can be quite entertaining. 

The songs in Greek Classical Films are easy to follow and listen to as they are not complex. Some of the tunes such as the “Siko Horepse Sirtaki” many children of Greek background may have heard already at Greek dances or if they learn Greek dancing they would know it.

Familiarity can often lead to proficiency which can then lead to mastery. When children are familiar with Greek films and music through exposure then it is easier to become proficient in the language, at least in certain areas. This can lead to mastery if they become interested enough to want to follow up by studying the language to the HSC or beyond.

Some good films to look up are “My Daughter the Socialist” and “Ktipokardia sta thrania”.

Some of her songs that are suitable for young children are “Niaou Niaou Vre Gatoula” and for older children “Eho ena mistiko -I have a secret”.

You will be surprised how children will respond to these films that are in colour, full of songs, dance and fun with a young and cheeky Aliki Vougiouklaki.

*Eleni Elefterias-Kostakidis is a teacher of Modern Greek, a University lecturer and the author of the bilingual children’s book ‘My Grandma is a Musician – Η γιαγιά μου είναι μουσικός’ which will be launched on May 8, from 2-5pm at Gumbramorra Hall in Marrickville. You can RSVP via SMS on 0400 43 60 79 or email: info@bilingualbookshop.com.au

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