Vocabulary Quizzes: Challenge Accepted!

Students often complain they don’t do well on vocabulary quizzes despite the fact that they have studied. The truth is that learning new words can be difficult and frustrating. How can we help them overcome this problem?

In class, we explain new words using a number of different techniques: we use examples, write sentences with the new words, complete exercises using the new words and read texts that use the word in context.

When students go home they should use their e-Vocs  (vocabulary items presented in electronic form) and carefully study each slide. The pictures on the e-Vocs are often humorous, and are intended to help the children remember the word.

Students have to:

  • learn the spelling of the new word
  • be able to understand or explain the meaning of the word in English
  • read the example
  • use the related picture as mnemonic device
  • learn the derivatives, opposites and synonyms to expand their vocabulary

If they do all these things, they will be able to understand the new word in different contexts and use it properly. As a result, vocabulary quizzes will become much easier.

Tonia Dounia


“Mum, Dad! Why do I have to do my homework? Can you do it for me?!” 
Why and how should parents encourage and support their kids to do homework on their own. 

Doing your children’s homework for them is far from being helpful. In fact, it affects their self-discipline and prevents them from developing a sense of responsibility. It also prevents the teacher from fully recognizing where the student needs support and extra help. 

However, this doesn’t mean that parents shouldn’t help out at all! Here are a few tips that parents can do:  

  • Support your youngsters by showing interest in their assignments. 
  • Ask your children what assignments they have for that day. 
  • Encourage them to organize themselves and guide them on how to manage their study time before fun time.
  • Praise their effort for showing the initiative to complete their homework. 
  • Encourage your children to read more by providing them with reference materials that will interest them. Search for educational games and even interactive programs on line. This will also develop their creativity and confidence in using the language.  

Primarily though, the best way you can help your children is by monitoring and ensuring that their assignments have been completed. 

 Eleni Louskou


Tip for Studying Vocabulary 

Some students have difficulty learning new words, especially when they do not space out the study. This method is very easy and useful. If a student puts a bit of effort into this at the beginning, he will use it in the years to come.


  1. Make small cards (the size of calling cards) out of notebook paper.
  2. On the one side write the new word; on the other side, write the meaning.
  3. With the word side facing you, say the word out loud and then the meaning.
  4.  If it is correct, put it in a pile on the table. If it is wrong, put it back in the cards in your hand.
  5.  Repeat until there are no cards in your hand.
  6. THEN DO IT AGAIN this time looking at the meanings and saying the word.
  7. Do this 3-4 times everyday (inbetween the other homework lessons). It won't take very long after the first time.
  8. By the end of the week the student will know all the words.                        


Bessie Bageris


Projects vs Regular Lessons 

After having recently completed a project (44 Sounds in English), I found that the children of EN123 9 (Grade 1) produced very creative work. I asked the children why their work was so much more impressive than it ordinarily is. Their response was enlightening. They all said that projects were more interesting than regular lessons and they felt they had learnt more.

The secret here is that they had illustrated all their work. At this age, t is far easier to retain images than information.

Hence, my tip to anyone who wishes to help their children to learn in a more effective manner would be to use imagination and creativity. Be supportive and always praise effort and your children will take pride in their work and be eager to learn. 

Annette Morley


Writing helps students learn because ... 

  • It reinforces both the grammatical structures and the vocabulary. When they write they become involved with the language.

We do different types of writing in class:

  • Sentences
  • Paragraphs
  • e-mails, messages, compositions

Follow these steps...

  • Plan how to go about the task before starting to write.
  • Write a draft and try to read it critically.
  • Organise paragraphs to convey meaning.
  • Revise.
  • Proofread for errors.
  • Copy it.

If our students follow all the above steps, writing will become easier for them.

Anne-Marie Frangouli



Study Habits and Homework

Each child is different in terms of learning. Some learn quickly, others have a shorter attention span. Some fail to grasp information effectively.

  • When children become frustrated, they may lose interest in learning. We can help them by allowing for space and time. Homework should be done in a comfortable, quiet working area, free from distractions.

  • Parents and children should begin with a specific working schedule in order to develop good habits. Homework should be done straight after school. It should not be done late at night for this tires a child out.

  • Allow breaks in between and don't force a child to spend excessive time. Let the child decide when to stop. Regular breaks are often needed and parents should show concern and understanding. 

  • A small daily review of about 10 to 20 minutes is more than enough.

  • Do not allow TV, music or have loud voices in the house while your child is doing homework. There should be no distractions!

  • Reward your child, watch a favourite TV show, play a game, visit a friend or have something nice to eat.

It's best to have children look forward to something nice after working hard.

Spark the engine that drives a child to stick with the work until it is done. Then reward him!

Sophie Karatzidis


Πώς να έρθουμε κοντά στα παιδιά μας βάζοντας τους όρια

Αν το παιδί σας αφήνει τα πράγματα του διάσπαρτα στο δωμάτιο ή δεν μαζεύει ποτέ το πιάτο του από το τραπέζι πως θα αντιδράσετε; Αν πάντα το πρωί αργεί να ετοιμαστεί για το σχολείο; Κάποιοι ίσως λειτουργήσουν εξουσιαστικά δίνοντας μία διαταγή ή μια προειδοποίηση, άλλοι θα απειλήσουν ή θα υποδείξουν. Κάποιοι άλλοι, για να αποφύγουν την αντιπαράθεση θα υποχωρήσουν παρουσιάζοντας έτσι ένα επιτρεπτικό προφίλ. Οι παραπάνω περιπτώσεις όμως είναι αναποτελεσματικές και φθείρουν σοβαρά τη σχέση γονέα-παιδιού. 

Η λύση; Διατυπώστε ένα Εγώ-Μήνυμα, μία τεχνική επικοινωνίας που βασίζεται στις μεθόδους του διαπρεπούς Αμερικανού ψυχολόγου Thomas Gordon. Ένα μήνυμα-Εσύ θα ήταν αναποτελεσματικό γιατί στην πρώτη περίπτωση ο γονέας θα έλεγε στο παιδί «είσαι ακατάστατος» με ελάχιστες πιθανότητες να αλλάξει κάτι στην συμπεριφορά του παιδιού. 

Αντίθετα, το μήνυμα-Εγώ θα είχε 3 σκέλη γνωστά ως και τα 3 Σ : Συμπεριφορά, Συνέπεια, Συναίσθημα, δηλαδή : « Όταν αφήνεις τα ρούχα σου ακατάστατα στο δωμάτιο (συμπεριφορά), αισθάνομαι απογοήτευση (συναίσθημα) γιατί παρ’ολη την κούραση από την δουλειά μου, θα πρέπει να τα μαζέψω εγώ (συνέπεια). 

Το Μήνυμα-Εγώ λειτουργεί γιατί εξηγεί ακριβώς στο παιδί τι δημιουργεί το πρόβλημα, δεν είναι επικριτικό και περιγράφει την μη αποδεκτή συμπεριφορά, αντί να βάζει την ταμπέλα «ακατάστατος». Τα Μηνύματα-Εγώ αποδεδειγμένα βελτιώνουν την σχέση γονέα-παιδιού καθώς είναι ένας ειλικρινής τρόπος έκφρασης των γονέων που φέρνει στην επιφάνεια ττην ευαισθησία και την υπευθυνότητα των παιδιών.

Πηγή: Thomas Gordon, Τα μυστικά του αποτελεσματικού γονέα, εκδ. Ερευνητές.

Lilian Borboudaki


Successful Homework Habits 

The goal of homework is to help children remember and understand what they learned in school that day. It can also help teach them independence, responsibility, time-management and planning skills. Homework that takes between 10 - 20 minutes each day for young children is considered to be most effective.

Here are some successful homework habits to get children on the right path:

  1. Children need a quiet, well-lit, clutter-free and distraction-free spot to do their homework. This should be the same place every day. That means the television is shut off.  Materials needed for children to complete their homework should be within arm’s reach, including pencils, paper, crayons, etc.
  2. Homework for young children should be done when they get home from school, while the information is still fresh in their minds and when they have ample energy. Children can eat a little snack and talk about their day and then start their homework. For beginning learners, now is the time to establish that homework is more important than dance class, football practice, karate, or the long list of activities children may be involved in outside of school. Extra-curricular activities should be scheduled later on in the day. Children may be too tired after their activities to be able to focus on their work. Bedtime is never the time to rush through homework.
  3. Parents should not do the homework for their children but be there to guide them if they are struggling. Parents need to be involved in homework to see what their children are learning and how well they know what they need to know. Being nearby while they do their homework also allows parents to monitor their children’s frustration and encourage breaks when and if they are needed. Children need to get that feeling of pride and accomplishment on their own.
  4. Children need to know how grown up it is for them to have homework and how proud parents are of them. Parents should try to instill in children that it is “fun” to be able to do the assigned tasks. If homework is viewed as a chore and something that interferes with parents' personal schedule, children will mimic that behavior. Children should show their parents their work, and be praised for finishing it, always accompanied with a smile.

 Penny Jemis


Encouraging and Praising Children 

  • Encourage your child. It is important not to underestimate the importance and impact of praise and encouragement. Talking about an assignment and showing interest in your child's schoolwork will help your child's motivation and interest. You are there to support your child. The more you do, the less your child does. If you do their work, this will not help your child receive the satisfaction of having completed his/her assignment on his/her own nor to become independent and responsible.

  • Reinforce effort and small achievements such as organizational skills and being prepared, not just the finished product or outcome. Try to help your child not to see homework as a threat. Do not impose pressure.

  • Help your child by setting structure so as to avoid disorganization and distractions. Try setting a consistent time to do the homework. Give them a choice of what they want to begin with.

  • Avoid unrealistic expectations, for example, that everything has to be perfect. This causes anxiety. Let your child know your expectations in order to avoid stress. You could explain, for example, that effort is more important than the result. Give plenty of praise, even for the smallest accomplishment. For example, "Great! You've completed your sentences so quickly." OR "All your letters are between the lines!"

  • Praise your child when they get good marks but stress that you are pleased by the effort your child has put into his/her work. Make note of every improvement, not every mistake. Focus on things they are good at. When they do make mistakes encourage them to find and correct their mistakes; it's part of the learning process and will help them become more independent.  


Sandy Kladakis


Παρουσιάσεις και PowerPoint σε τμήματα αγγλικών Δημοτικού;  Ανεπιφύλακτα, ναι!

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." Albert Einstein

Ο 21ος αιώνας είναι ήδη στα μέσα της δεύτερης δεκαετίας του και η επικοινωνία παίζει σημαντικό ρόλο στην οικονομία, την πολιτική και τον πολιτισμό. Σ´ αυτό το περιβάλλον, τα παιδιά μας θα κληθούν να μεταφέρουν ιδέες και να επικοινωνήσουν με άτομα και ομάδες από άλλες κουλτούρες για να παρουσιάσουν το αποτέλεσμα της εργασίας τους. Οι επικοινωνιακές δεξιότητες, όμως, απαιτούν χρόνο, εξάσκηση και ανατροφοδότηση. Γιατί ξεκινάμε από το Δημοτικό και στα αγγλικά;


  1. Η επικοινωνία να μεταφέρουμε επιτυχημένα το μήνυμα, κάνει τη διαφορά ανάμεσα σε μέτριους μάνατζερς και επιτυχημένους ηγέτες (American Management Association).
  2. Οι παρουσιάσεις δεδομένων, προτάσεων και μελετών είναι μια καθημερινότητα στους περισσότερους εργασιακούς χώρους.
  3. Πολλές φορές δεν αρκεί μόνο να γνωρίζουμε μόνο εμείς πόσο ποιοτική είναι η εργασία μας  αλλά χρειάζεται να το μεταφέρουμε αποτελεσματικά και σε μη ειδικούς. 
  4. Χρειάζεται χρόνος και εξάσκηση για να αποκτήσει κανείς άνεση να μιλάει σε κάποιο ακροατήριο. Η τάξη είναι ο ιδανικός χώρος για να αρχίσει.
  5. Οι περισσότερες επιχειρήσεις έχουν συναλλαγές με το εξωτερικό και οι παρουσιάσεις γίνονται συνήθως στα αγγλικά.
  6. Οι μαθητές μαθαίνουν να παρουσιάζουν συνοπτικά και να εμμένουν στην ουσία, χωρίς να μακρηγορούν.
  7. Καταλαβαίνουν από πολύ νωρίς στην πράξη ότι η λογοκλοπή (plagiarism ή copy-paste όπως είναι ευρύτερα γνωστό) αργά ή γρήγορα αποκαλύπτεται και θα τους φέρει σε δύσκολη θέση στις σπουδές τους και την επαγγελματική τους σταδιοδρομία.
Η συμβουλή μου προς τους γονείς; 

Δώστε στα παιδιά χώρο και χρόνο να ανακαλύψουν πως να οργανώνουν παρουσιάσεις τους και να χρησιμοποιούν τα ηλεκτρονικά εργαλεία αποτελεσματικά. 

Dimitris Primalis  






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