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Teaching and learning in a multi-cultural school in Thessaloniki: A case study

Based on a presentation to the ICC conference in Greece in April 2018, this paper discusses the challenges of teaching English as a foreign language to refugees and migrants of school age in Greece and offers teaching strategies to improve motivation and meet the cultural challenges facing students in mixed classes of various nationalities, age ranges and language levels. It also explores motivation in the context of Maslow’s analysis. It goes on to offer practical ideas for lesson plans and ways of avoiding possible cultural dissonance and offers key lessons for teachers, institutions and education authorities working to integrate refugees and migrant children into the school system.

KEYWORDS: Maslow, migrant language education, English only, culture motivation, classroom management, mother tongue usage

Vasiliki Santaridou. Graduated from the English Dpt of Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, in English Language and Literature. Has taught both general and special English classes in the private and public sectors. Her most recent teaching experience has been with classes of refugees in a multi-cultural secondary school in Thessaloniki, Greece. Member of the English Language Voice Theatre founded by Luke Prodromou.

Luke Prodromou. DSc in Education. Graduated from Bristol University. Holds an MA in Shakespeare Studies (Birmingham University), a Diploma in Teaching English (Leeds University, with distinction) and a PhD from Nottingham University. His doctoral dissertation on a corpus-based approach to studying English as a lingua franca was published by Continuum (2010). Co-author of the award- winning teachers’ handbook, Dealing with Difficulties. Founder member of Disabled Access Friendly Campaign and the English Language Voice Theatre.


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