Greek language learning in Australia's Northern Territory: Building learning communities and cultural identity
University of the Aegean, Greece and Hellenic Open University, Greece
Charles Darwin University, Australia
The University of Western Australia, Australia
In this paper we provide an evaluative description and report of the various aspects of teaching and learning Greek as a heritage and/or foreign language in the Northern Territory of Australia. Initially, we focus on the importance of the formation of dynamic learning communities through interdisciplinary collaboration. The main purpose of Charles Darwin University's Greek In-Country Study Program is to support the learning of Greek language and culture through language lessons as well as concurrent cultural activities that are delivered while students are in Greece. After thirteen years of successful implementation of the program, the purpose of this report is to highlight the learning activities that have been completed over these years through a discussion of the research outcomes of the students' experiences that we believe will underscore the important roles that language, literature, and culture play in the strengthening of one's Greek identify while living within Australia. Within this framework, basic principles of design and the use of cross-university teaching and learning programs for the Greek language are presented, as well as foregrounding the advantages of current information technology for instructional purposes and, in particular, the maintenance, and perhaps even revival of heritage languages as well as reinforcing their contributions to the role of education in the diaspora.
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|Authors: Assistant Professor Marianthi Oikonomakou is at the Department of Primary Education, of the University of the Aegean. She is also an adjunct lecturer at the Hellenic Open University, Greece. She holds a PhD in linguistics from the Department of Linguistics of the University of Athens and a Masters in General and Applied Linguistics from University Rene Descartes-Paris V, France. Her post-doctoral studies (University of the Aegean, 2019) focus on the development of language skills in Greek primary education. She teaches general and applied linguistics at an undergraduate and postgraduate level and has published books and articles in international and major Greek peer-reviewed journals. Her research focuses on teaching Greek as second/foreign language, literacies in education, curriculum studies and lifelong learning.|
Associate Professor George Frazis graduated from the Philosophy Department of the University of Athens in 1981 with a BA (Hons). In 1987 he completed a Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of Adelaide and in 1995 he completed a Master of Arts at Flinders University in Adelaide. In 1999 he completed a PhD at Flinders University dealing with the literature of Pandelis Prevelakis. He currently teaches Modern Greek language and Greek literature at Charles Darwin University where he specialises in literary studies, Modern Greek literature, immigration of Greeks to Australia and their oral history. His main project currently is the collection and publication of stories of Hellenes in the Northern Territory. He is also developing online teaching courses of Hellenic language and culture through the use of new technologies, and the creation of computer-based programs for the teaching of language in all forms through distance education. Professor Frazis is the coordinator of CDU's Greek In-Country Study Program and each year, since 2007, he accompanies students to Greece for an intensive three-week study course.
Dr Angela Evangelinou-Yiannakis is an Honorary Research Fellow, Unit Coordinator and Lecturer at the Graduate School of Education, The University of Western Australia, from where she received a Doctor of Education in 2009. She has been a secondary school teacher since 1980, and a leader and principal in independent schools from 1994 to 2016, inclusive. Dr Evangelinou-Yiannakis has a number of refereed publications, including a book based on her doctoral research. She is currently involved in initial teacher education at The University of Western Australia as well as at Australian Catholic University, in partnership with Teach for Australia.
Please cite as: Oikonomakou, M., Frazis, G. & Evangelinou-Yiannakis, A. (2022). Greek language learning in Australia's Northern Territory: Building learning communities and cultural identity. Issues in Educational Research, 32(1), 315-332. http://www.iier.org.au/iier32/oikonomakou.pdf