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Anna Valanidou Jane Jones

Abstract

This study investigates the teachers’ perspective of the challenges in the teaching of Greek in multilingual classrooms in four Greek-Cypriot (G/C) state primary schools in a large town in Cyprus where students, whose native tongue is not Greek, are part of mainstream classrooms. Teachers of Greek who were interviewed identified many challenges citing a lack of appropriate pedagogical and curricular guidelines, resources and training for teaching diverse students in multilingual classrooms as well as a lack of parental support. The teachers claimed little, if any, knowledge of bilingualism and felt alone in their task. Factors were identified in one school with specialist support as having the potential to create a culture in favour of effective bilingual education. Teachers need opportunities to develop a dialogue with regard to bilingual pedagogy that would integrate language and content and create learning targets and appropriate resources for bilingual students, and to rethink the potential of the linguistic capital in the classroom. At present, the teachers feel inadequately trained, restricted by external pressures and unsupported. Current curriculum review provides an opportunity for a collaborative dialogue.

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Keywords

Teaching Greek, Greek as an additional language, dialect, teacher perceptions, bilingual education, challenges, training, resources, agency

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