Capitalizing on linguistic variation in Greek Cypriot education

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Linguistics and Education, ISSN: 0898-5898, Vol: 45, Page: 62-71

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Stavroula Tsiplakou; Elena Ioannidou; Xenia Hadjioannou
Elsevier BV
Arts and Humanities; Social Sciences
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article description
The Greek Cypriot speech community is diglossic; Cypriot Greek is the naturally acquired variety and Standard Greek is the superposed standard. This paper investigates the role of language variation in education policies and concomitant literacy practices in Cyprus. Past language policies dictated strict adherence to the language curricula of Greece, with minimal reference to linguistic variation for pedagogical purposes, the sole exception being the short-lived curriculum of 2010, which adopted a critical literacy approach and proposed capitalizing on variation as a tool for increasing students’ metalinguistic awareness. After describing the educational context in Cyprus in terms of language policy, the paper (a) investigates language variation in Greek Cypriot classrooms through ethnographic data; and (b) explores how nonstandard varieties can become a useful metalinguistic tool by presenting data from a pedagogical intervention.