United States

Dr. Themistoklis Aravossitas on Greek Language Education in North America Feb. 11

LOS ANGELES – On the occasion of International Greek Language Day, the UCLA Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture presents a lecture by Dr. Themistoklis Aravossitas on ‘Greek Language Education in North America: New Directions and Challenges’ on Saturday, February 11, 10 AM PST / 1 PM EST / 8 PM Athens (EET) via Zoom.

RSVP online: https://bit.ly/3wJrGPr.

Dr. Aravossitas will discuss key concepts of heritage language education as well as strategies for the promotion of Greek in diaspora communities, ranging from new technologies to collaborations between schools, universities, and community partners.

Ambassador of Greece to the United States Alexandra Papadopoulou will offer opening remarks.

The lecture is offered on the occasion of International Greek Language Day and it 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).

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, the presentation will examine some of the challenges faced by educators and community leaders: What is language shift and how can it 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); and Handbook of Research and Practice in Heritage Language Education (Springer, 2018).

More information is available online: https://bit.ly/3wK3ahd.



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