Remember ellinopoula.com? The innovative platform for teaching the Greek language to kids? Ellinopoula is back enhanced, the content is richer, new stories, mythology and new activities! Plus, the user experience for both the parents and the kids is much better glorifying the Greek language.
Interview by Michael Klioumis
Michael: So, since the last time we spoke, ellinopoula.com seems to have been totally redesigned. Would you like to tell us why?
Anna: Primarily we listened to our customers direct and indirect feedback. We had added a lot of new material and from the questions that our customers were asking, it became obvious that many children could not find easily the material appropriate for their level. Some other people were more direct and asked for specific improvements. We have incorporated all of their suggestions in our new design. We have some very smart customers!
We are proud for our language, and we must help spread it.
Michael: User experience both for kids and parents is characteristically enhanced, is this a part of a bigger strategy?
Anna: Yes, our strategy is simple: we want to help every child learn Greek. Learning any foreign language is hard and it requires a lot of commitment both from the parent and from the child. We want to make this effort easier. We believe that Learning Greek is very important both as a developmental tool (children do much better in life when they learn a second language and Greek in particular) but also for patriotic and emotional reasons. Our culture is very rich and part of that culture is the language. The poet Elytis, when he was awarded the Nobel for literature, said this as his advice: «μην ξεχνάτε την πατρίδα μας, και προπαντός, τη γλώσσα μας. Πρέπει να ‘σαστε περήφανοι, να ‘μαστε όλοι περήφανοι, εμείς και τα παιδιά μας για τη γλώσσα μας” . We are proud for our language, and we must help spread it. We cannot allow his spirit to get disappointed.
Michael: The level of games seems to be lower and more accessible to younger kids, does this mean that you focus on younger ages?
Anna: Not really. Though as a rule we try to keep a balance and try to add games for all levels, in reality games for small children are more fun (for me!!). Also young children learn a foreign language much easier than older kids. It is very important to start children with Greek at a very young age about 2.5 years old is perfect. They pick up both languages so very easily.
Our culture is very rich and part of that culture is the language.
Michael: You stated that you wish that children abroad would like to visit ellinopoula.com daily. Have you managed to become a daily habit for them?
Anna: For many of them yes and it is beautiful to watch. We have designed a new customized list for each child which we refresh every week and in this way we tell the kids: here, do two of these activities each day. The wonderful thing is that once they get into the site to do two things, they do many more. Going to the Greek school once a week is great and I encourage parents when they can, to do the driving. But what do you do the rest of the hours of the week? The most important factor in language learning is frequent exposure even for 5 or 10 minutes a day and our site makes this possible.
Michael: In what ways would you say the new platform of ellinopoula.com is ahead of competition?
Anna: Actually I do not think there is really a serious competition to my knowledge. There is no other site in Greek that has the depth and breadth of our site one that includes so many different types of interactive activities and videos, games quizzes etc.. We know that some people get onto our site and copy some of our content but they cannot catch up or compete with us because each day our groups of educators, illustrators and designers come up with all kinds of new stuff. We have very talented young people in our team and we are developing soooo much new material right now.
Children do much better in life when they learn a second language and Greek in particular.
Michael: How about the core of the site, does it remain the same? Meaning, fun and education for children?
Anna: Absolutely and though we are developing all kinds of different ways to offer the curriculum, the activities will remain fun and interactive. Right now we are developing a “serial” way for each child to learn from the point of knowing no Greek at all. And though parents and children will have the option to follow the “serial” way or the “guided” way or the “random” way, all the activities of all the paths are interactive and fun.
Michael: Let’s talk in numbers, shall we? How many subscribers and how big of a personnel does ellinopoula.com occupy?
Anna: We are very happy with our personnel and we keep adding. Right now we employ about 20 smart, dedicated and talented young people in Greece. Some of them are full time and some of them work for us as subcontractors like the illustrators, animators, web designers, game developers, and recording studio staff.
Michael: Finally, please remind us how can someone subscribe to your platform, the cost and the benefits he/she has by doing so.
Anna: To subscribe is really easy, you do it on the website at www.ellinopoula.com and click on “start your free month”. There are two plans in the Pricing section which describes what each plan offers. The majority of our customers choose the Premium Annual plan because it offers the most benefits and also the best price because it offers 20% discount. Since we want to offer your readers an additional 30% discount if they use the promo code “GreekTV”, it means that they can get the annual Premium plan for a bit over the price of the basic monthly plan.