Bachelor of Education Teaching Greek as a 2nd Language in Fall 2016

Discussions between Education officials from the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal and officials from McGill’s Phrixos B. Papachristidis Chair of Modern Greek Studies, along with senior officials from the McGill University Faculty of Education have led to a historic meeting last Friday, the 24th of April, where we received confirmation that one of our most important objectives, the creation of a Bachelor of Education Program that would offer specialized training in the teaching of Greek as a second language by a local university, would finally become a reality.

This unprecedented meeting was held at the Head Offices of the HCGM with the presence of Modern Greek Studies Chair and Assistant  Professor of History, Dr. Tassos Anastassiadis, who was instrumental in connecting the two renowned education institutions, Vilelmini Tsagkaraki, Instructor for the Modern Greek Studies Program, Dr. Caroline Riches, Professor and Director of  Undergraduate Programs, Department Integrated Studies of Education, Faculty of Education, Dr. Elizabeth Wood, Professor and Associate Dean, Responsible Academic Life and Programs, Faculty of Education, Dr. Sheryl Smith-Gilman, Lecturer and Assistant Director of Undergraduate Teacher Education Programs, Department Integrated Studies of Education, Faculty of Education and Zoi Batsis, our Community’s Vice-President and Secretary of Education, Chris Adamopoulos, General Director of École Socrates-Démosthène, Chrisoula Petimeza, Director of our School’s Greek Program and Georgia Tsakalis, Director of Campus II.

The meeting was preceded by a guided tour through Campus II and the Adrian Maris Hellenic Community Center, were the McGill officials were impressed with our School, our teachers, our students, our programs and our facilities. They were pleased to see such organization and commitment on our part. We were equally impressed by the prestigious University’s commitment to create this program. Our McGill colleagues left feeling totally reassured of the importance of investing in such a program. The Associate Dean of Education hinted that every effort would be made to have the B. Ed program (teaching Greek as a second language), available to university students maybe as early as Fall 2016.

This is wonderful news for our Greek Education Department and our School. For generations to come, it means that the sustainability of our Greek Program is assured. It is basically the raison d’être of our School, the essence of our Community. No longer will we have to rely on foreign teachers for our preschool, primary and future high school Greek courses and programs. At the same time, the HCGM and Socrates-Démosthène will help provide McGill Education graduates, many of them former students in our School, with another alternative for a teaching career.

Once all this becomes reality, we will have at every level, from the early childhood years, in one of daycares and right through university, one of the most complete system of quality Hellenic education in the world, outside of Greece itself.