A study by the University of Toronto, shows that the Ancient Greek language can help cure dyslexia, because it activates many parts of the brain, compared to other languages.
The study was conducted by Charles Lumsden, Canadian biologist and Professor at the Department of Medicine and Medical Science at the University of Toronto, and Derrick De Kerckhove, Director of the Marshall McLuhan Center of Communication Theory at the University of Toronto.
The two professors curated the findings of multiple studies and scientific research publications, which explained how Ancient Greek, if taught from a young age, can help in the development of the brain and cure symptoms of dyslexia.
“The benefits that result from the formation and proper use of the human brain have long been recognised by teachers and scholars from all around the world, who have suggested the systematic teaching of the Ancient Greek language as a treatment for dyslexic children,” Lumsden’s and De Kerckhove’s study reads.
Discussing the common symptoms of dyslexia, research shows that “a person with dyslexia might face multiple challenges in writing, serious difficulties in spelling, delay in learning how to read, or even have short memory problems. That person might often encounter difficulties in mathematics, especially in the assimilation of symbols and forms, such as multiplication tables, organisation of numbers, sequences, and more.”
The study also emphasizes the widely accepted medical belief that “dyslexia has nothing to do with a child’s level of intelligence. It is a learning difficulty, where dyslectic people take a long time to retrieve words, so they might not speak or read as fluidly as others.”
Lumsden and De Kerckhove also previously wrote the “Alphabet and the Brain” best-selling book released in 1988, which discusses how the study of languages, and especially Ancient Greek, can help in the faster development and growth of the brain.
Their latest study refers to research from critically acclaimed and accomplished scientists, philologists and linguists, with Professor of Philology, Eric Havelock, among them.
British Professor Havelock, an avid supporter of the Greek language and pioneer in classic studies, based many of his analyses on Plato, and strongly believed that “all of Western thought is informed by a profound shift in the kinds of ideas available to the human mind at the point that Greek philosophy converted from an oral to a literate form.”
Havelock suggested that the Ancient Greek language, because of the structure of its alphabet and the etymology of its words, was one of the reasons why so many advanced philosophical concepts were born in Ancient Greece, as the language activated multiple parts of the brain of its speakers.
“Many abstract concepts were conceived in Ancient Greece. That is because the language by nature enables the speaker to think thoroughly and overcome speech and learning difficulties that might impede his or her thinking,” the study explains.
“Dyslexic people might have difficulties in oral speech, spatial and temporal orientation, or right-left distinction. Of course, these difficulties, qualitatively and quantitatively, vary from person to person, and the symptoms vary according to age. When people are able to activate more parts of their brain thanks to the use of a language, they are likely to fight back some of the symptoms of dyslexia.”
Similar research and studies have also been presented by Greek scientists, such as the work by the scientific team of Ioannis Tsegos, Greek psychiatrist and psychotherapist, which was published in the revolutionary book “The Vengeance of the Tons”.
Their study demonstrated that the measurable indicators of verbal intelligence and abstract thinking, with acceptable techniques, were accelerated in a group of 25 children, which were taught Ancient Greek weekly from the age of 8 years until the age of 12.
The same indicators however, slowed down in the same number of children, who were not taught the Ancient Greek language on a weekly basis.
In addition, Australian researcher, Kate Chanock, from the La Trobe University, describes in her project “Help for a Dyslexic Learner from an Unlikely Source: the Study of Ancient Greek” how she successfully managed to help a dyslexic English-speaker become non-dyslexic and overcome dyslexia difficulties, by learning Ancient Greek.