The Spirit of Hellenism

Greek is the language through which the Greek spirit and culture have been travelling over the centuries around the world.

The study of Greek language, civilisation and culture enables pupils to understand the origins of democratic thinking and independent thought. It also fosters a love for academic achievement. Such concepts are everyday features of school life at SAHETI. This values-driven approach is instrumental in producing worthy citizens who will enrich South African society at large.

Greek is taught on different levels to cater for the needs and abilities of every child. In the Playschool and Pre-Primary school, the aim is to introduce young children to the language and culture through games, poetry, dance and song.

In the Primary school, the following levels of teaching are offered:

· Greek as a foreign language (Ordinary level) is mainly aimed at pupils who are not of Greek descent. The syllabus enables pupils to acquire and develop the basic language skills necessary for everyday oral and written communication. Special emphasis – during lessons which are conducted in English - is placed on exploring and fostering an appreciation for the Greek culture, history and tradition.

  • Greek as a second language (Intermediate and Advanced levels) is mainly aimed at pupils of Greek descent. The syllabus provides an advanced level of knowledge of the Greek language. Lessons on Greek culture, history and tradition serve to enrich the pupils’ cultural identity.

Greek has been an elective and examinable FET subject since 2006, therefore the curriculum in the High School is designed according to:

  • the demands and expectations of the FET; and
  • the needs of pupils who do not wish to follow the subject at the FET level.

The curriculum in Grade 8 and 9 aims to prepare pupils to have the option to take Greek as an elective FET subject in Grade 10, when they select their matric subjects. Therefore two programmes are offered:

  • Greek as a second additional language (Academic level) is offered from Grade 8 to 12. The methodology, approach and assessment are in accordance with GET requirements (Grade 8 and 9) and FET requirements (Grade 10 to 12) for the teaching of Modern Greek as a second additional language.
  • Greek as a foreign language (Hellenic Studies) is offered from Grade 8 to 12 and is assessed internally. The curriculum is taught through lessons which are conducted in English, and enables pupils to learn the Greek language, explore Greek history and tradition and appreciate Greek literature.

Seen from every aspect, the Greek language is one of the most accurately structured and logical languages of all time. It is a language where every word has a meaning and a reason for its existence. There is a direct connection between the word and the meaning of the word.

The English language incorporates more than 6 000 Greek words, whilst the dictionaries of other European languages contain 17%-20% words of Greek origin. Up to 50% of scientific terminology comprises Greek words, and in the fast-moving field of technology, Greek words are still used to describe the latest discoveries, because of the richness and clarity of the language. Sahetians who go on to study science or medicine at university, are at an advantage as they are able to immediately recognize and understand new terminology encountered in their field of study.