by Konstantinos Menzel -
Several studies by Greek and foreign scientists have indicated that the Ancient Greek language, apart from being a living language, is also a therapeutic one, as it is said to posses the ability to cure many disorders, for example dyslexia.
According to a theory by British classicist Professor Eric A. Havelock, which is based on the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, the ancient Greek alphabet caused many abstract concepts to be conceived in the ancient Greek world, due to the unique brain activation of its users. The theory is presented along with many other conclusions by top foreign scientists, philologists and linguists in the 400-page volume ‘The Alphabet and the Brain: The Lateralization of Writing,” which was published in 1988 by Springer.
The scientific results that contribute to the theory of Havelock include:
1. The ‘Broca’s area’ in the left -usually- hemisphere of the human brain, which is linked to speech production, was activated more than usual due to the Greek alphabet, which for the first time had successfully employed vowels for writing.
2. The human brain was radically redesigned.
3. The above mentioned change in brain function caused a substantial change in the attitude of the ancient Greek alphabet’s users, for which the need of communication with other citizens through the art of theater appeared.
Another published scientific research by the team of Greek psychiatrist Ioannis Tsegos, showed that the measurable indicators of verbal intelligence and deductive thinking were accelerated across a group of 25 non-dyslexic children, who were taught Ancient Greek through accepted methods for two hours per week, between the ages of 8 and 12. In another equal group of children that weren’t taught Ancient Greek, the study revealed that the respective indicators were decelerated. Both groups were taught similar lessons.
Australian university researcher Kate Chanock, however, took Tsegos’ study a step further in her work “Help for a dyslexic learner from an unlikely source: the study of Ancient Greek” (2006: Literacy), the Australian researcher describes how she cured an English-speaking person from dyslexia by using Ancient Greek.
Meanwhile, children in elementary schools in Oxford, U.K., have been learning Ancient Greek since 2010 in addition to their other courses, while children of the same age in Greece aren’t learning ancient languages as they should, but instead are learning English.