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Planning and Implementing a Greek Language Program

Foundation Principal at Immaculate Heart College, Dr Angela Evangelinou-Yiannakis, reflects on the planning and implementation of a Modern Greek language programme at her school.

Her paper “Surviving resistance to languages education” published in the 2014 August Professional Educator journal, outlines the process and reasons for choosing Greek, and the challenges and successes of establishing the programme at the school. Now in its third year, Greek is well established at Immaculate Heart College as a learning area and is integrated across the curriculum. Links with the Consulate of Greece have been fostered and students have been invited to annually attend the upcoming doxology service and wreath laying ceremony at Kings Park on Greek National Day on 28 October.

Students at Immaculate Heart College receive two 40-minutes sessions of Greek per week and during a recent visit, I was fortunate to take part in a Year 1 lesson. The students were very excited and engaged in the lesson, due to being challenged and required to listen and speak in the target language throughout, involving playing games and interacting using simple formulaic expressions. Staff and students greet each other in Greek outside the classroom and bilingual signage reinforces the relevance and immediate application of the language. With such a solid foundation, students are provided with opportunities for successful language learning for the future.

Initially not all parents supported the school’s plans and so the article is an excellent read for teachers and school leaders to gain ideas for developing better understanding the role of language learning and literacy development and for gaining community support in the early years.

AISWA would like to congratulate Dr Evangelinou-Yiannakis on her publishing achievement and thank her for sharing her paper with the teaching community.

Kate Reitzenstein
(AISWA Languages Consultant)

Teacher professional development
Modern Greek