Language Teaching for Specific Purposes: teaching Modern Greek to foreign staff of an aged care facility

Activity: Talk or presentationPresentation


For residents of aged care facilities, whose L1 is not English, everyday communication and its associated cultural connotations often affect the quality of the care they receive and their general wellbeing. This has been even more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, the need to overcome the communication gap between staff and residents in multilingual nursing homes has become more important and more urgent than ever.

In one of Sydney’s Greek aged care facilities, a 10-week language program aiming to equip non-Greek carers and other professionals with basic oral language skills has been introduced. The program also provides the necessary cultural awareness to enable effective use of Greek in face-to-face encounters with the Greek-speaking residents.

The program is nearing completion for the first generation of participants. Throughout 10 weeks, they have been working on their listening and speaking skills using work-related authentic dialogues as models. With Greek being a morphologically challenging language for speakers of other languages, the participants have also been exposed to basic grammatical rules, which should help them use the language in a variety of everyday situations.

In preliminary feedback received from stakeholders, there is general satisfaction with the program and its effectiveness. However, as the program is still ongoing, in this paper the author will focus on the process of program design and its implementation. The purpose of the paper is to showcase an example of good practice, which emphasises community engagement and practical positive outcomes for staff and residents of a bilingual aged care facility.
Period24 Nov 2021
Event titleLanguages and Cultures Network for Australian Universities, Sixth Biennial Colloquium: Decentring and diversifying languages and cultures
Event typeConference
LocationAustralia, QueenslandShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational