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International workshop on Greek Language and Language Education

“We are launching a great initiative and effort regarding the support of the Greek language with a national strategic plan. A plan involving both Greece and abroad”, stressed the Minister of Education, Ms. Anna Diamantopoulou, announcing the opening of the proceedings of the international workshop for Greek Language and Language Education, organized by the Centre for Greek Language (CGL), with the participation of 65 Greek and foreign prominent scientists and SAE representatives. The meeting is organized with the participation of the Ministries of Education, Culture and Foreign Affairs.

“At this present difficult period in Greece and worldwide, our language with its wealth and its history, for us is a source of confidence and identity for our people” noted Ms. Diamantopoulou, analyzing the basic strategic pillars that the Ministry of Education is going to follow for the Greek Language and Language teaching in Greece and abroad.

The scientists who will be working in seven roundtables will cover in detail the key aspects of language and language education, referring to key section of typical and atypical education, in and out of Greece.

“There should be institutions which will support this national strategy” stressed Ms. Diamantopoulou. “We recommend the National Council for Greek Language, which will be the culmination of this effort. Highly respected figures will be involved in this and it will define the national strategy both in Greece and abroad. Our aim is an organization, similar to Goethe or the British Council for the support of the Greek Language and Greek Language speaking. The “Logos” institute, which must create a national network with 400 central points, in which Greek language will be taught in any possible way worldwide”.

During the conference the proposal for the creation of a structure within the Government will be discussed, (e.g. a special secretariat) which will combine and coordinate all strategies regarding the Greek language.

More specifically for the teaching of Greek Language in Schools abroad, Ms. Diamantopoulou stated that “we are not that many so as to afford our third and fourth generation of Greeks abroad not speaking Greek. This is a great loss and a wrong message towards the rest of the world at the same time, for the importance we attribute to our own language. The focus therefore in schools abroad must be placed on Language, History and Culture. That’s why we are focusing, with regards to educational staff, by order of priority, to nursery school staff, teachers and philologists. In a second category we have those specializations dealing with culture, i.e. physical education instructors who know can teach dancing and music instructors”.

The following October, a conference on education is bound to be organized, dealing with the Education of the Diaspora in collaboration with SAE and all competent bodies, so that there will be a different approach by country and focusing exclysively towards language, culture and history. As the minister stated, already, an initial discussion has been made with SAE, whilst the conference will be preceded by pre-conference proceedings, which will be announced in July.

The important initiative of the Minister of Education for the organisation of the three-day workshop was praised by the Professor of Classical Philology at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Alternate Chairman of the Centre for Greek Language, Giannis Kalatzis. He stressed himself, that the figures who will be participating in the conference will be describing the scientific status of all great issues regarding the Greek Language – on an internal and external dimension. The important proposals which are bound to emerge, will be used by the political leadership which is ready to welcome them, stated Mr. Kazazis.

A greeting speech was also addressed by the Deputy Minister of Competitiveness and Shipping, Markos Bolaris, the Special Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Thalia Dragona, the President of SAE, Mr. Stefanos Tamvakis, etc.

The presence of the professor Emmanouil Kriaras was particularly moving. Professor Emmanouil Kriaras dedicated his entire life to the studying of the Greek Language. With his studies and activities he contributed to the promotion of the language issues of our country.

During the conference, the Treasurer of SAE will also be taking place, Presiden of OEK Germany, Mr. Costas Demetriou.

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