About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5061-5069
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-3822-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain

CONTRIBUTING TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF MULTICULTURAL AWARENESS THROUGH ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING IN PRIMARY SCHOOL

M. Litsa

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (GREECE)
Greece has long been considered a homogeneous society and a country that traditionally used to send immigrants to other European countries but had not experienced the phenomenon of immigration within its circles. However, the geopolitical changes at the end of 80’s and afterwards brought a new reality to the forefront: the emergence of multicultural society with immigrants coming mainly from Albania, and the former countries of the Soviet Union. This reality constituted a challenge for an up to then homogeneous society and an educational system which had not been faced with the need to implement any changes or practices for the “Other”. After a hotly debated period as to the role of immigrants within Greek society and the educational system, there has been a call for changes not only in the practices used within classroom but also in the curriculum as a whole. Thus, in 2003, the new Cross-Thematic Curriculum Framework for the foreign languages appeared, taking multilingualism and multiculturalism into consideration and attempting to implement them as goals through the new material that was developed alongside with the new curricula. However, regarding the English textbooks which were produced, voices were raised stressing the superficial only chance for accomplishing these goals, indicating that the emergence of only English-West representations used in the textbooks indicates a latent ethnocentrism in the curriculum. This fact puts strain on the emergence of another approach towards language teaching that promotes multicultural awareness in practice. Multicultural awareness through English, as another approach of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Foreign Languages), supports that the goal of teaching should be such that firstly mutual understanding within the classroom, of which students are participants, should be promoted. In that way we render the English language as a tool of communication and better understanding of the people of our community at the very first stage. This approach transcends the primary and superficial goal of the curriculum by adding a more concerted effort to realize the goals of multilingualism and multiculturalism at a smaller scale, that of our classroom and community. The conviction that underlies this approach is that if we achieve the goals above mentioned at the scale of classroom and community, then the broader goal of developing an awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity in different social contexts will be accomplished for certain. The present paper concludes by illustrating how some materials already used in the textbook of 4th Grade of Primary Greek schools may be altered so that the goal of developing multicultural awareness through English teaching comes into effect.
@InProceedings{LITSA2013CON,
author = {Litsa, M.},
title = {CONTRIBUTING TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF MULTICULTURAL AWARENESS THROUGH ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING IN PRIMARY SCHOOL},
series = {5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN13 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-3822-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {1-3 July, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {5061-5069}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Litsa
TI - CONTRIBUTING TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF MULTICULTURAL AWARENESS THROUGH ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING IN PRIMARY SCHOOL
SN - 978-84-616-3822-2/2340-1117
PY - 2013
Y1 - 1-3 July, 2013
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN13 Proceedings
SP - 5061
EP - 5069
ER -
M. Litsa (2013) CONTRIBUTING TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF MULTICULTURAL AWARENESS THROUGH ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING IN PRIMARY SCHOOL, EDULEARN13 Proceedings, pp. 5061-5069.
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