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Why and how to integrate non-standard linguistic varieties into education: Cypriot Greek in Cyprus and the UK

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Ioannidou, Elena 
Karatsareas, Petros 
Lytra, Vally 
Tsiplakou, Stavroula 


Greek Cypriot education remains largely oriented towards promoting standard language ideologies and only accepts Standard Greek as the language of teaching and learning. • Cypriot Greek, the pupils’ home variety, is still seen as an obstacle to academic achievement by teachers and educational authorities. • Cypriot Greek needs to be integrated into policies and practices of teaching and learning both in Cyprus and in the UK’s Greek Cypriot community. • This will: o hone pupils’ awareness of different varieties; o foster the development of their critical literacy; o facilitate the acquisition of Standard Greek; o counter negative perceptions, stereotypes and feelings of inferiority associated with the use of Cypriot Greek; and, o aid in the maintenance and intergenerational transmission of Cypriot Greek as a heritage and community language in the UK. • Teachers and learning activities should promote and cultivate: o awareness and respect of the different varieties spoken in class, Cypriot Greek and Standard Greek; and, o awareness of vocabulary and grammar in the contexts of use of the two varieties and their social meanings. • This approach will ultimately change the way we view language and literacy learning.



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