Modern Greek Studies Association


MGSA Greek Language Pedagogy Workshop

The 8th Biennial Workshop on Greek Pedagogy was November 2-3, 2019, at Columbia University, NYC

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, Content Based Instruction (CBI), an approach that integrates academic subject matter within the context of second or foreign-language instruction and literacy-oriented pedagogies. 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.

The 8th Biennial Workshop on Modern Greek Pedagogy was held at Columbia University on November 2-3, 2019. The workshop, co-sponsored by the MGSA,  the Program in Hellenic Studies at Columbia University and the Language Resource Center at Columbia, was organized by the MGSA Undergraduate Studies Committee comprised of: 

  • Elsa Amanatidou (Chair, Brown)
  • Nikolas P. Kakkoufa (Workshop organizer, Columbia)
  • Despina Margomenou (Michigan)

The theme of the workshop was  "The Future of Modern Greek language learning and teaching in Higher Education in the US: Opportunities and Challenges". 

On Friday November 2,  Professor Nelleke Van Deusen-Scholl (CLS, Director, Yale University) delivered the keynote address, "Heritage language acquisition and multilingual identity: Insights from the less commonly taught languages".

Professor Van Deusen-Scholl's paper focused on heritage learners from multilingual backgrounds and discussed how these learners negotiate their identities within a plurilingual and pluricultural context.  The talk outlined the role of the affective filter with regard to the HLL’s development and the implications for the classroom, of aligning HLA theory with current SLA theory.

On Saturday November 3, colleagues from Modern Greek Programs or Higher Education Institutions that offer Modern Greek across the USA, presented their work on a number of topics that drew on the workshop’ theme. A round table discussion chaired by the MGSA Undergraduate Committee pulled the various threads of the day’s exchanges together and articulated ideas for further action, including participation in an open source collaborative platform for sharing pedagogical materials.

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