Penelope, born in Melbourne to Greek parents, developed a passion for foreign languages early on. She began teaching herself Greek in her teens and continued to refine her language skills through various courses, including studies at the University of La Trobe. She also achieved proficiency in Indonesian and immersed herself in the language while in Java, Indonesia. During her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Melbourne, she majored in Arabic, alongside a minor in Indonesian. She is currently pursuing advanced language coursework and plans to further her studies in postgraduate research, hoping to uncover connections between Greek and Arabic.

Teaching at CAE

Since 2021, Penelope has been teaching Arabic and Greek at the CAE. She focuses on introducing English-speakers to the foundational aspects of these languages, making the somewhat complex grammar more accessible. Her aim is to cultivate an appreciation for their historical and contemporary significance, highlighting how language has shaped her own life.

Transformative Language Learning

Penelope believes that fully immersing oneself in a foreign language is an intellectually and emotionally transformative experience often underestimated. She compares it to raising a child, emphasising the importance of consistent practice and investment. While it can be challenging for adults lacking time and resources, Penelope strives to provide students with essential language skills in her short courses. She aims to give them the tools needed to continue their language journey through self-immersion at home or during travels.

Overcoming Language Acquisition Challenges

Dispelling the notion that language fluency can be effortlessly achieved through immersion alone, Penelope acknowledges the need for constant exposure, feedback, and a supportive community of native speakers. Recognising that such immersion is rarely possible for adult learners juggling work and other commitments, she offers grammatical shortcuts and engaging teaching methods to compensate for limited immersion. Her goal is to continuously refine her approaches and help students overcome language acquisition challenges.

Building Meaningful Connections with Language Students

The rewarding relationships Penelope has cultivated with her Greek and Arabic students have been among the most fulfilling aspects of her teaching journey. Witnessing her students’ language skills progress over time brings her great joy. Penelope emphasizes that language learning requires sustained commitment and discipline, virtues that may seem out of fashion in today’s instant gratification culture. Yet, the profound rewards she has experienced personally and seen in her long-term students’ journeys make it all worthwhile.

Unlock the rich heritage of Greek and Arabic civilizations and unleash the transformative potential of language learning.