The number of people who learn Greek in Australia has significantly dropped due to the lack of qualified Greek language teachers, the reduction of Greek language teaching hours and outdated teaching methods.
These are the findings of a scientific research conducted by Greek-Australian academics, Michael Tsianikas, Modern Greek professor at Flinders University in South Australia, and Anastasios Tamis, Greek Studies professor at Notre Dame University in Western Australia.
According to Greek Diaspora newspaper Neos Kosmos, the research focuses on Greek language teaching in Australia, between 1997 and 2014, while it also examines how the social structure changes in the Greek Diaspora of Australia, as well as the institutional changes in the Australian educational system and the political and economic developments in Greece have affected the Greek language education in the country.
The findings were quite bleak in regards to the future of Greek language education in Australia but professor Tamis claims that this should not be surprising.
“It’s a consequence of the actual historical, social and economic grievances of our community, and of course it is also the consequence of the lack perhaps of systemic thinking and policies about the future,” he explained to Neos Kosmos.
Before 2009, the academics believed that the Greek language would continue to have a dynamic presence in the Australian society until 2025. However, when 80,000 Greeks returned or migrated to Australia, the professors became more optimistic, estimating that the migration wave increases the life of the Greek language by 15 years.