Aggeliki Pappa is an inspirational figure in Greek education who has made a huge impact with her ‘I Love Dyslexia’ programme. She was a finalist in last year’s Global Teacher Prize. As an EFL teacher, Aggeliki recognised that there were no resources or methods available specifically for helping students with dyslexia who wanted to learn English, which would be very important if they were to achieve their full potential as global citizens. If a child struggled to write in their native language, what hope would they have with English? She resolved to remedy the problem and developed a whole system to teach EFL with dyslexia – called I Love Dyslexia. This is an innovative synthesis of smart visuals, mind maps, funny mnemonics and games to learn EFL skills in fresh and unconventional ways, based on Aggeliki’s extensive research into a wide range of neuroscientific and pedagogic principles. She teaches this approach in her I Love Dyslexia school, which she helped kickstart with her own savings. Her students’ IELTS scores are high – in EFL assessments, 80% of pupils score above 80% and the remaining 20% score between 70 and 80%.
Since 2008, Aggeliki’s methods have been introduced into the Greek educational system with great results, and she has partnered with universities in other countries such as Folkuniversitet, Uppsala, as well as UNESCO. She was named Person of the Year by koolnews.gr in 2015. I Love Dyslexia has received numerous awards in Greece and Aggeliki herself has taken her method to the world through TED talks.
If awarded the prize, Aggeliki would split it between an expansion of her 3DlexiaCosmos non-profit, a fund for students with low-income families, a digital room for online courses, and a donation to a university to run a Master’s degree in the area of EFL and dyslexia.