Teaching my L1 through my L3: My reflections and strategies (by Dr Emmanouela Tisizi)

For the first time this year I took on the responsibility of teaching a course in French, my L3. While in the past I have taught courses in Greek and in English -my L1 and L2 respectively- at the primary, secondary, and tertiary level, I must admit that this year’s experience was different in many ways. First of all, while I taught the course through French, the course was actually about Greek. Let me explain. The course is entitled Grec moderne and it is addressed to absolute beginners who wish to learn modern Greek. The course is offered by a French-language university, which in my case meant that the language of instruction was a mixture of French and Greek. As I clarified to my students from day one, my plan was to start by using a combination of French and some Greek, and gradually transition to using more and more Greek. Indeed, while we did not reach a ‘Greek-only’ state (perhaps we will in the next term!), I’d say that each week both my students and I consistently used the target language more and more. Seeing their progress in such short time was very rewarding, and I made sure to highlight their success and acknowledge the difficulty of the task they had undertaken.

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