LINGUIST List 23.664

Wed Feb 08 2012

Diss: Applied Ling/Socioling: Garaverlas: 'Language Teaching in ...'

Editor for this issue: Xiyan Wang <>

Date: 07-Feb-2012
From: Konstantinos Garaverlas <>
Subject: Language Teaching in Compulsory Education: Communicative competence and written speech
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Institution: University of Ioannina Program: PhD Prorgam in Language Teaching Dissertation Status: Completed Degree Date: 2010

Author: Konstantinos Garaverlas

Dissertation Title: Language Teaching in Compulsory Education: Communicative competence and written speech

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics                             Sociolinguistics
Dissertation Director:
Athanasios Gotovos Vasso Tokatlidou Leonidas Athanasiou
Dissertation Abstract:

This research investigates whether and to what extent progress oncommunicative competence regarding reading comprehension is differentiatedin relation to factors as sex, place of residence, social position and useof a language other than Greek at home. It took place in the scholarseasons 2004/05 and 2005/06 and examined pupils of the 3rd grade of GreekHigh school (this point signifies the end of the compulsory education inGreece). In order to meet this objective I used a sample of 572 Greek Highschool students. These students were divided into equal numbers ofparticipants residing in a Greek city of more than 1000000 residents(Thessaloniki), a Greek city of about 100000 residents (Ioannina) and Greekvillages of 1 to 5000 residents. I designed a new assessment tool, alanguage test, which the addressed questions raised by this research. Thistest had to be completed by the pupils within two (2) school hours (twosessions of forty-five (45) minutes) each and was subsequently collected bythe test administrator to ensure the validity of the research. Theparticipants retained their anonymity.

The results from the present study show that there is not a main effect ofthe variable Use of a language other than Greek at home on studentcommunicative competence in reading comprehension. In contrast, it wasfound that there are students who lag in performance because they live inrural areas or because they come from a lower social class. In addition,sex is related with the student's communicative competence in readingcomprehension. This means that language courses in Greek schools do notseem to be organized in a way that allows all groups of students to developthe same level of linguistic ability regarding reading competence. Based onthese results, we could argue that there are negative consequences forstudents, who share these characteristics. If we take into account thatthe school's role is to help students in future social and professionalchoices, something which is decisive for their lives, our results suggestthat there are not equal opportunities for all students in these areas.

On the whole, this dissertation supports that evidently the teaching oflanguage courses in Greek schools needs to be altered. The Greek Ministryof Education must realize that students come from different backgroundsand, therefore, they do not have the same needs. Should this happen,changes in teaching materials and in the monitoring of the teachingprograms must follow. Since the language programs in Greece take intoaccount these parameters in their original design, the correctimplementation of them could be the answer to the problem.

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