07 SES 14 B, Social Justice through Multilingual Education in Complementary Schools? – Recent studies on teachers’ perspectives from Europe and Canada (Part 2)
Symposium continued from 07 SES 13 B
Greek-language education for Greeks living abroad has taken a variety of forms. The so-called ‘pure’ Greek schools (K-12) are a unique type of Greek-language education which is found only in Germany. These schools follow the official curriculum of the Greek state and teach German as a second/foreign language. Their graduates have the additional benefit of gaining entrance to Greek universities with relatively low grades, and as a result, they have been an extremely popular option for Greek immigrant families for the last forty years (Damanakis, 2007; 2011). The recent financial crisis has led the Greek authorities to consider abolishing these schools and substituting them with ‘bilingual schools’ jointly run by the German authorities. This move, which is strongly opposed by the parents, seems to be on hold as the new migration of Greeks to Germany (Damanakis, 2014) has led to a significant increase in students’ enrollment in Greek schools shifting the balance of the school population towards native Greek speakers. This paper reports on a small survey of views held by Greek seconded teachers with regard to working in such schools and their practices regarding language use. Our data consists of seven interviews conducted in the Greek secondary schools in Dūsseldorf and Cologne and analyzed through thematic analysis (cf. e.g. Boyatzis, 1998). Our basic aim was to investigate the extent to which such schools adopt a ‘monoglossic’ or a ‘heteroglossic’ bilingual education policy (García, 2009) and encourage students to develop multilingual and multicultural identities (Creese, Bhatt, Bhojani, & Martin, 2006; García, Zakharia & Otcu, 2013). Initial findings suggest that the schools are mainly perceived as a ‘safe haven’ for young people often traumatized by the immigration experience who seek a familiar linguistic, educational and cultural environment. This argument is used to lend legitimacy to the schools’ existence and their emphasis on the construction of a ‘Greek’ identity among students. However, there are also more nuanced views and voices which challenge this perception.
Boyatzis, R. E. (1998). Transforming Qualitative Information. Cleveland: Sage. Creese, A., Bhatt, A., Bhojani, N. & Martin, P. (2006). Multicultural, Heritage and Learner Identities in Complementary Schools. Language and Education, 20(1), 23-43. Damanakis, M. (2007). Identities and education in the Diaspora. Athens: Gutenberg (in Greek) Damanakis, M. (Ed.). (2011). Greek Schools in Germany; Past, present, future. Athens: Gutenberg (in Greek) Damanakis, M. (2014). New migration of Greeks to Germany. In M. Damanakis, S. Constantinides & A. Tamis (Eds.), New Migration to and from Greece (pp.139-175). Athens: Alexandria/ University of Crete-CERS (in Greek) García, O. (2009). Bilingual Education in the 21st Century: A Global Perspective. Malden, MA: Wiley/ Blackwell. García, O., Zakharia, Z. & Otcu, B. (Eds.). (2013). Bilingual Community Education and Multilingualism Beyond Heritage Languages in a Global City. Bristol/ Buffalo/ Toronto: Multilingual Matters.
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