“Teaching at Home, Teaching Abroad. A New Theory for Languages Education” is a new book written by Dr Angela Evangelinou-Yiannakis, Principal of Immaculate Heart College, and offers timely advice for the delivery of Languages programs in WA.
The book is the outcome of a longitudinal study of the teaching of Modern Greek as a second language in WA under the ‘Seconded Teachers from Greece Scheme’. The bulk of the research took place in an Independent, multi-campus school, as well as in other educational providers in WA where the Modern Greek language program is delivered by seconded teachers from Greece through a Greek-government initiative. Dr Evangelinou-Yiannakis explored the perspectives of the different key stakeholders and offers the theory that emerged from her research; that the key stakeholders held conflicting expectations from the outset on the phenomenon of the teaching of Greek as a second language in WA under the ‘Seconded Teachers from Greece Scheme’ and that, as a result, they went through three stages; the Stage of Idealism, followed by the Stage of Conflict, and then followed by the Stage of Cooperation. She concludes with sound advice to educational authorities, to school leaders and staff of all schools with teachers from abroad, to seconded teachers, parents and members of the wider community on ways to minimise and overcome conflict; and provides ideas to maximise the stage of cooperation amongst the stakeholders.
While the context of the study involved a Modern Greek language program in a Western Australian school, this is an interesting read for any school leader or second-language teacher who utilises language assistants and tutors from outside organisations to compliment and support the Languages program in their schools. It should encourage open discussion about agreed expectations and strategies for all to work together to build strong and effective programs. Thus, the theory is transferable to other language contexts, and can be applied globally.
A Book Launch was held at St Andrew’s Grammar on 24 September and was attended by dignitaries and many of the participants who were part of Dr Evangelinou-Yiannakis’ study. Perth Lord Mayor, Lisa-M Scaffidi addressed the audience and commented that the book was a wonderful achievement and was “fascinating reading in terms of the challenges that are met by seconded teachers from Greece in the host schools and certainly how to overcome those”. She added that “it is very, very important for everyone to appreciate their roots and their cultural traditions.”
The Association of Independent Schools of WA congratulates Dr Evangelinou-Yiannakis for her achievement and outstanding contribution to Languages Education.