In 1956, Theodore C. Papaloizos, Ph.D. developed a new method of teaching Greek as a second language. He began authoring textbooks that taught Modern Greek in its simplest form. Highly regarded by educators and foreign language specialists, his books and learning language tools are used by individuals, schools, and universities throughout the world.
January 1, 2010
He is the first author of Greek textbooks for the study of the Greek Language in countries outside of Greece. Thousands of copies have been sold to all of the Greek communities of America and continue to do so to this day. Speaking to the National Herald he said that “the first book was published in 1957. It was received with enthusiasm by more than twenty communities.
Asking Mr. Papaloizos how he came upon authoring textbooks for the schools he told us: “I was the principal of the Greek school of St. Sophia Cathedral in Washington, DC. One year the first grade had registered 85 children. At the end of that year, only fifteen were still attending school. I had a meeting with the parents and the reason they gave for withdrawing their children from the school was ‘they learn nothing; the book is boring and difficult to understand.’ I decided to write my own lessons. They were very successful. Along with the children, the mother was also learning Greek. She gave me the idea of publishing those lessons in a book. I answered her, ‘I do not have the financial means to publish the book’. I had a friend in Cyprus who offered to print my book in his printing establishment. I printed one thousand copies. I had to borrow the money to pay the printer. The books arrived in New York. Along with my wife, we picked up the books and then visited about ten communities, the first ones in Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland and Washington. They all accepted the book and they reported the best results at the end of the year. I kept writing one book every year. I completed the series in the next 4-5 years.”
Dr. Papaloizos has published more than 45 books. When asking him how he feels about his contribution to the Greek education he said: “I feel humble. I have never asked to have an audience with anyone or an interview. This is my first interview.”
Asking Mr. Papaloizos what difference there is between his books and the other existing books he said that his books are methodical, they follow a special method that is easy to understand and written having in mind the life and activities of the Greek-American child. He said that the teachers are very satisfied with the material of the books and that he has received hundreds of letters commending the books. Even Americans say that they have found these books to be better than others that are in circulation.
Mr. Papaloizos has taught through all the steps in the education ladder, from kindergarten to university. For three years he was teaching at the Paphos High School (gymnasio) after his graduation from that school. He taught at the Greek school of Holy Trinity Church in Pittsburgh from 1947–1949, and from 1949-1959 he was principal and teacher at St. Sophia Cathedral in Washington, DC. He was director of the Greek schools of Sts. Constantine and Helen Church form 1959-1972, and director of the Greek department of the Rev. Thomas Daniel Parochial School of the same community. He taught an ancient Greek course from 1973-1977 at the Catholic University of Washington, DC.