Modern Greek Studies Association


MGSA Greek Language Pedagogy Workshop

The MGSA Greek Language Pedagogy Workshop is a biennial event offering a working weekend on university-level Greek language instruction focused on a select topic or approach to language pedagogy. The MGSA’s Undergraduate Studies Committee determines the subject and presenters of each workshop, which is free and open to the public. Past topics have included the instrumentalist aspects of language, the alignment of Greek instruction with national and European standards, skills-building, and Content Based Instruction (CBI), an approach that integrates academic subject matter within the context of second or foreign-language instruction. The workshop format fosters intellectual exchange on the theoretical underpinnings of second-language acquisition and critical literacies and allows time and space to address issues related to sound pedagogical classroom practices. Faculty members with expertise in teaching Modern Greek language and culture are invited to present innovative projects pertaining to emerging technologies and recent developments in the field of pedagogy and to relate these to their own teaching practice. All participants spend time working through guided activities directly related to the topics presented. 

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The workshop is open to anyone engaged in language pedagogy as an instructor/researcher with a commitment to (Modern Greek) language/literature/culture instruction at the tertiary level, to those developing the undergraduate curriculum of Modern Greek Studies and/or directing a Modern Greek program or a Study Abroad program. Do place the MGSA Greek Language Pedagogy Workshop on your schedule each fall and take advantage of its offerings. Make this and future workshops an occasion for learning (and sharing) through practice. If you have a pedagogy or curriculum question or wish to incorporate Greek in other classroom modules and want to learn how to do this better in the company of others, please talk to the prior workshop host(s) to see how your concerns can be addressed in this or subsequent workshops. If you are interested in hosting a Pedagogy Workshop, please contact the current Chair of the MGSA Undergraduate Studies Committee.  The organizer’s home institution receives a $1,000 grant from the MGSA to defray the costs of hosting.

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The 7th biennial Greek Language Pedagogy Workshop was held at Brown University on November 4-5, 2016. Co-sponsored by the MGSA and the Modern Greek Program and Center for Language Studies at Brown University, the workshop explored current research and perspectives on foreign-language literacies, including digital literacies, within the framework of humanistic learning. The workshop also offered examples and recommendations for best classroom practices, with a focus on Modern Greek language instruction at the tertiary level in North America and study abroad programs in Greece and Cyprus.

Elsa Amanatidou served as local host, and the MGSA’s Undergraduate Studies Committee coordinated a one-and-a-half-day program. The 2016 workshop focused on the development of foreign language literacy and the articulation of a unified literacy-driven curriculum. Rick Kern, Professor and Director of the UC Berkeley Language Center and author of Language, Literacy, and Technology (CUP, 2015), offered the Friday evening keynote address, entitled “Teaching Languages and Literacies for Communicative Competence and Beyond: Toward a Relational Pedagogy.”

The Saturday sessions comprised workshop presentations by members of the 2016 and prior Steering Committees of the Greek Language Pedagogy Workshop (Elsa Amanatidou, Frank Hess, Artemis Leontis, Despina Margomenou, and Vassiliki Rapti). A roundtable discussion presented by Dimitris Antoniou, Themis Aravossitas, Maria Hadjipolycarpou, and Nikolas Kakkoufas featured pedagogical initiatives at their institutions.