(Flinders University Department of Languages - Modern Greek, 2005) Arvanitis, Eugenia
Please note: This article is in Greek. The present article examines the role of the afternoon schools in the Australian educational system and its implication in developing an inclusive national educational policy. Language policy and program development is regarded as one of the most salient features of a modern post-industrial and highly liberal society and its concomitant plurality (Banks, 1994). Australian public discourse on immigration has reflected a wide and changing spectrum of attitudes from hostility and assimilationist practices to acceptance and encouragement of language and cultural maintenance. Similarly, the presence of multilingualism in Australia has triggered a direct and conscious political response in areas such as education, and has taken on diff erent ideological complexions over time. Languages were seen as the clearest and most evident component of cultural diversity (Ozolins, 1993). The function and development of the afternoon schools, and in particular the Greek ethnic school system, was a process which combined broader socio-political and educational considerations. Ethnic schools are educational institutions that fall into the sphere of Australian language policies constituting one key “topos” (or milieu) where both the aspirations of ethnic communities for language maintenance and official policy and practice responses to Australian inter-ethnic relations intersected. The article examines the Australian responses towards Afternoon schools and attempts to highlight some major components in developing a national agenda for these institutions.