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Capitalizing on Linguistic Variation in Greek Cypriot Education

Sun, April 6, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Marriott, Floor: Fourth Level, Franklin 6


Greek Cypriots are a bidialectal speech community for whom Cypriot Greek is the naturally acquired variety and Standard Greek the superposed standard. The authors investigate the interrelations between language variation and literacy practices, taking as case study education policies and concomitant literacy practices in Cyprus. Past language policies dictated strict adherence to the language curricula of Greece, with no reference to linguistic variation; the newly introduced curriculum of 2010 adopts a critical literacy approach and proposes capitalizing on variation as a tool for increasing students’ metalinguistic awareness. This paper aims to (a) investigate language variation in Greek Cypriot classrooms through ethnographic data; and (b) explore how nonstandard varieties can become a useful metalinguistic tool through a series of pedagogical interventions.