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Nikolas Papatoniu is a 8 year old male. He was born December 14, 1996 in Athens, Greece. His family is Greek and he speaks Greek in the home. Prior to his arrival in the U.S., Nikolas lived in Athens with his family. Greek was spoken by his nuclear and extended family, and was the language spoken in his school, community, church and social situations. Nikolas has not had any significant exposure to other European or Eastern languages. Some members of his family do speak English, and Nikolas was learning some English in preparation for his move to the U.S.
Nikolas lives with his parents. His father Dr. Stamitos Papatoniu is a visiting professor at the University of South Florida. He is a professor of archeology, and has a good command of English. Nikolas’s mother, Sofia Papatoniu, is a homemaker. She has limited ability in English. Her accent is quite strong, but she is literate in both Greek and English.
Nikolas has two older siblings. His brother Stamitos Jr. is 14 and has had a full year of English as a foreign language in Greece. His sister Cleo is 10 and has been learning some English with Nikolas under the tutelage of their father in preparation for their trip to the U.S. The family speaks Greek at home, but tries to work with the children each evening on conversational English skills. The family has a rented home in Tarpon Springs in a community with many Greek immigrants. They attend a Greek Orthodox Church where the services are conducted in Greek. While there are many Greek immigrants in their community, most are second or third generation and speak English most of the time.
Dr. Papatoniu is planning on being here for a full year. The family does not plan to be in the U.S. beyond that. They are living in an upper economic level community of single family homes. Each child has their own room. The children are attending the public schools in the community. The Papatonius are well educated, financially secure and have a very stable family structure with strong connections to their extended family in Athens. Dr. Papatoniu has traveled extensively and has a strong sense of Greek pride and also respect for the U.S.A.
Nikolas came to the U.S. in July. The family traveled, touring New York, Washington and Disney World before coming to their new home in Tarpon Springs one week prior to the start of school in August. He is in third grade, and was a superior student in a private school in Greece. The parents’ desire is that the children have good linguistic and cultural exposure while here in the U.S.
Nikolas is attending Tarpon Springs Elementary School. 3.8% of this school’s students are LEP, and there is an ESOL available. Nikolas is generally outgoing, but is very quiet in groups where he has no one to speak Greek with. When he is in a group with other Greek speakers, he is talkative and likes to amuse his friends. When allowed free time to play, he gravitates to other Greek speakers, but will play with a mixed group of English and Greek if he has a Greek speaking friend with him. When only with English speakers, he tends to stay at the sideline and watch. He is reluctant to speak English, and only does so with much encouragement. However, if there is a soccer game being played, he joins right in.
Nikolas is very healthy, outgoing and bright. He is a bit smaller than some boys his age, but very athletic. He has medium dark skin, dark hair, brown eyes and a large nose. His most prominent feature is his huge smile. In particular he enjoys soccer and his parents have already signed him up with a soccer team in his community. He seems happy and excited about living here for the year and is making friends easily