Insight or Perspective: Keeping the Greek language alive

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Part 11

By Eleni Elefterias

It isn’t enough to want to keep the language alive. We must act if we truly value our language.

However, sometimes we don’t take the necessary steps to make sure our children learn some Greek. In fact, the majority of us tend to send out young children to Greek school in the early years but as they get to years 4 and 5 the numbers start to dwindle.

At high school level only a handful will continue and some may take it up again through the Saturday School of Community Languages or the NSW School of Community Languages online. This is available to all NSW students in public and private schools. Enrolment forms are available from your school. And yes, they all know about it and no, they will probably not tell you it exists unless you ask!

Students are able to enrol in this excellent accredited online course and have it counted towards their school subjects from year 9, though most enter in year 11 and do it as part of their HSC subjects. Courses at that level available include Beginners Greek, Continuers and Extension.

If you can get your child to enrol a year ahead they can actually complete year 12 while they are still in Year 11. This frees them up to concentrate on fewer challenging subjects in year 12.

So, if you have a child entering year 10 they could enrol into Year 11 Beginner’s Greek for example. Check it out!

Many Greek associations have been set up with one of their key reasons for existence being the preservation of the Greek culture and language. I will not refer to the cultural aspect as it is very controversial. Few if any, however, succeed in doing anything positive to keep the language alive.

Next week I explore what our associations and organisations are doing. 

READ MORE: Insight or Perspective: What makes a good bilingual children’s book?

*Eleni Elefterias-Kostakidis is a teacher of Modern Greek and University lecturer. 

Read Eleni Elefterias’ column ‘Insight or Perspective’ in Greek, every Saturday in The Greek Herald’s print edition or get your subscription here.

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