Greek Bilingual Curriculum Program
The Greek Bilingual Curriculum Program at Lalor North Primary School was established in 1977, by Jim Polites, making it the oldest continually running Bilingual Program in the state of Victoria. The program is recognized both nationally and internationally for its strong student learning outcomes in both English and Greek. We are very proud of the Greek Bilingual Curriculum Program and the tremendous support from our local and global community.
The Greek Bilingual Curriculum Program at Lalor North Primary School is offered to children from Prep to Year 6 and provides students with the opportunity to learn in one of the most extensive content-based bilingual programs in Victoria where students can develop full bilingualism and extend their bi-literacy skills. The Greek Language teachers are highly qualified educators with Australian University credentials in Modern Greek and are highly fluent in speaking, reading and writing the language. The Greek Bilingual Curriculum Program also receives support from the Greek Education Office in the form of a seconded teacher from Greece every year exposing our students to the Greek language through a native Greek speaker.
The Greek language is taught through immersion with students engaging in the English and Greek language on a daily basis giving them the opportunity to learn the language and learn through the language. Depending on the year level, students spend between 9 to 12.5 hours per week being immersed in the Greek language as they engage in targeted and explicitly taught learning activities aligned with the speaking, listening, reading and writing aspects of the Victorian Curriculum. Mathematics is taught in the Greek language in the first three years of schooling, and in English from Year 3 to 6. Specialist areas such as Physical Education, Music, STEM and Visual Art are taught in English by specialist teachers.
The Greek Bilingual Program has dedicated Bilingual Aides...
A Bilingual Teacher Aide supports the program and prepares the materials used in the classrooms by translating English resources and/or modifying Greek texts. The role of the Bilingual Aide is to also listen to the students read on a daily basis and provide support in the classroom. The Greek Bilingual Curriculum Program has a very successful Home Reading Program providing the students in the Early Years with English and Greek books to take home. The Greek Bilingual Program has a well-resourced Greek library which the children enjoy.
Structure and How it Works….
Each class in the Greek Bilingual Program is allocated two teachers, one English speaking, the other Greek speaking. Both teachers collaborate to deliver a program that covers all areas of the Victorian Curriculum. This is done through an approach that integrates and links the different areas of the curriculum, while providing learning experiences that encourage curiosity and allow for the young inquisitive mind to inquire and take ownership of their own learning.
Each class has a carefully designed weekly timetable that allows for the delivery of the curriculum in both languages, with only one out of the two allocated teachers, English or Greek, teaching the class at one time.
Learning Through Two Languages
Literacy and Numeracy
Greek Literacy lessons are aligned with the speaking, listening, reading and writing aspects of the Victorian Curriculum. The Greek Bilingual Curriculum Program is well resourced with Greek teaching materials in the form of Big Books (fiction and non-fiction) and sets of levelled guided reading books in the target language, digital resources and posters. These resources support students to learn to read, write and communicate fluently in Greek from Prep to Year 6.
Our students also develop their vocabulary and oral language skills through activities such as singing, using gestures, role plays and games. Numeracy is aligned with the Victorian Curriculum and is delivered in the Greek language to the students in the Prep to Year 2 level and in English from Year 3 onwards.
Cultural and Special Events
The Greek Bilingual Program provides students with opportunities to develop a deeper understanding of both Australian and Greek cultures and to promote appreciation, respect and affinity for both. Our students learn about the Greek culture and its traditions such as Easter, Christmas and Apokries through a range of activities including baking, dyeing eggs, kite flying and singing of the Christmas Carols. We maintain many links with the Greek community through a range of events such as the annual concerts, in March we celebrate Greek Independence Day and our end of year concert, to showcase our learning through singing, dancing, reciting or drama. At the end of the year, our students sing Christmas Carol for the senior citizens in the local community.
The Greek Bilingual Program also works closely with Lalor Library participating in Greek Storytime on a monthly basis. Here, our students read stories and sing songs to young children who attend. The students also participate in whole school events.