Teaching of Greek

Teaching of Greek

– Charalampia Karagianni

School of Education, Communication & Society

This thesis is focused on Greek as an Additional Language (GAL) in junior secondary schools in Greece. The necessity of incorporating a GAL dimension in the mainstream classroom has emerged in the last 20 years as rising numbers of immigrant pupils have been entering the Greek public school system. This has placed new challenges on mainstream teachers who are now expected to teach their subject to a culturally and linguistically diverse pupil population. Despite this change in the school population, the Greek educational system has not, so far, attempted to differentiate the national curriculum, considered different approaches to curriculum design, and offered support to mainstream teachers so that they can meet the needs of all pupils.

This thesis explores the pedagogical principles and teaching practices that mainstream teachers working in junior secondary schools employ so as to teach the curriculum subject Greek to children from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. A qualitative research approach was adopted to collect and analyse observation and interview data. Multiple case studies of four teachers were carried out in order to examine the knowledge, beliefs and practices of experienced Greek language teachers who have been tasked with supporting immigrant pupils‘ language learning in mainstream classrooms.

Current international literature in the field of additional/second language education

The data analysis draws on current international literature in the field of additional/second language education. The findings show that the participant teachers‘ beliefs and practices, although partially overlapped with additional language teaching principles, were largely conceptualised in terms of Greek as a mother tongue. The majority of the participant teachers, influenced by the national curriculum, felt that they only needed to adjust some aspects of their teaching practice and to apply some generic teaching strategies to facilitate immigrant pupils‘ learning. They also believed that immigrant pupils who were in the process of learning GAL should be given support outside the mainstream classroom. The findings of this investigation contribute to our understanding of the ways in which the Greek education system can be reformed to address the GAL dimension systematically in mainstream schools in terms of pedagogy and teacher education.

Click here for the electronic thesis or dissertation: https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/files/53290198/2016_Karagianni_Charalampia_1063760_ethesis.pdf