Dual-Language Instruction: A Prodigious Opportunity for Hellenic Paideia in the U.S.

Saint Demetrios School in Astoria. (Photo by TNH/Costas Bej, file)

The past few weeks have yielded two major successes in the uphill struggle for Hellenic Paideia in the United States: the approval of the first Greek-English dual language program in New York City’s public school system (or any other school for that matter) for the next school year, and the donation of $25 million to the St. Demetrios Greek-American School of Astoria by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). Both developments represent the best news in Greek Education in the U.S. …

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  1. The elite Tzarist high schools taught every subject in a different language. So your math might be in German, your biology in French and your history in Italian. Look at how the Nigerians who attended Greek colleges speak Greek better than those with “eight years of Greek school”. It’s all in the immersion. Greeks need to not just be bilingual, but polygot, to survive today’s economy. Chinese and Hindi should also be taught.

  2. Kids from St D do indeed have a marvelous Greek vocabulary, but their accent is obviously American. A priest who speaks perfect Greek but has an American accent is promptly ejected by most ghetto communities. Ironically the yiayias who insist on only Greek actually have a very limited Greek vocabulary, which is exactly why Grosjean says they have such a (dislingual) problem learning English. Try talkin gto these yiayias in university Greek and their eyes glaze over.

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