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Themistoklis Aravossitas, “Greek Language Education in North America: New Directions and Challenges” on International Greek Language Day”
The lecture is offered on the occasion of International Greek Language Day. Her Excellency, Alexandra Papadopoulou, Ambassador of Greece to the United States, will offer opening remarks.
February 11, 2023, 10:00 AM PST/1:00PM EST/8:00 PM Athens
The event takes place on Zoom. RSVP: https://bit.ly/3kz0pMR
Modern Greek is taught and learned across North America mainly as a heritage language, through a complex education system that includes a variety of programs and learning materials, as well as a diverse group of learners and teachers. This presentation discusses experiences, community projects, and studies from Toronto, a representative anglophone multicultural city, in order to examine the broader conditions of Greek language education in the diaspora. Asking how today’s schools and programs can serve the needs of future generations, we examine some of the challenges faced by educators and community leaders: What is language shift and how it can be resisted? What’s the position of heritage languages in our society? What are the priorities for today’s parents and students and how can Greek language programs meet their needs? Has the pandemic affected the learning of Greek in the USA and in Canada? What types of opportunities emerge from information and communication technologies for our schools and communities? Proposing synergies between schools, universities, and community partners, we argue that the future of Greek language education is ours to envision and plan.
Themistoklis Aravossitas earned his BA in Education at the University of Athens. He completed his graduate studies at the University of Toronto, with an MA and a PhD in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. He specializes in Heritage Languages, Teacher Education, and Knowledge Media Design. His doctoral work, titled The Hidden Schools, explored Greek language education in Canada. He is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of the Aegean. He teaches Modern Greek at the Centre for European Studies in the Munk School of Global Affairs, and at the Department of Languages, Literature and Linguistics of York University. His scholarly work includes the co-edited volumes: Language Diversity in Greece: Local Challenges with International Implications (Springer, 2020); Interdisciplinary Research Approaches to Multilingual Education (Routledge, 2019); Handbook of Research and Practice in Heritage Language Education (Springer, 2018).
The event is cosponsored by the Embassy of Greece in the United States and the Consulate General of Greece in Los Angeles.
This program is supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF)