SOCIETY

Promoting bilingualism

The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki announced last week that in collaboration with the Polydromo website, which promotes bilingualism in Greece, it will be launching a pilot program in a number of schools in Athens, Thessaloniki and Ioannina to foster bilingualism.

The program will initially focus on 1,000 families, the majority immigrants to this country whose children attend Greek kindergartens and elementary schools. It includes seminars with parents and material teaching parents the right way to help their children speak both their mother tongue and Greek at home, as well as to alert parents to the difficulties bilingual children may face when it comes to learning at school or becoming integrated with their rest of their classmates. There are also tip on fun ways to learn with the use of interactive word games.

The material has already been produced and is available in Greek, Russian, Albanian, Arabic and English. It will be delivered to the selected schools within the next few weeks along with a questionnaire for the students? parents. The material will also be published on Polydromo?s website (www.polydromo.gr).

The program is partly funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.