Culture and Greek language courses for foreign staff of Aged Care Facility

Project: Research

Project Details


Older people make up a considerable proportion of Australia’s population—in 2017, over 1 in 7 people were aged 65 and over. Τhe majority of these were born in a non-English speaking countries (‘Older Australia at a glance’ 2018, September 10). In addition, large numbers of patients and/or residents, whose L1 (First Language) is not English, are already being cared for in Aged Care clinics and nursing homes. For these residents the language of communication and the associated cultural connotations affect the quality of care and wellbeing. There is a need for aged care settings and facilities to respond to this situation. However, in aged care settings and facilities in which motivation and the need to learn other languages and cultures may be high, no formal instruction is available. Thus, the need to close the communication gap between professionals, carers and patients and/or residents of nursing homes is urgent (González-Lee, 1992; Jonsson-Devillers, 1992; Kothari & Kothari, 1997; Mason, 1991). SLA (Second Language Acquisition) researchers have proposed that the best place for a language course for specific purposes is the workplace itself (Holliday, 1995; MacDonald, Badger, and White, 2000; Svendsen & Krebs, 1984). The project “Modern Greek Language Courses Teaching for Employees in Aged Care Facilities: A Case Study for Evaluation and Innovation” aims to develop a teaching model of foreign languages in Aged Care Facilities with residents speaking the TL (Target Language), using Modern Greek Language Courses for St. Basil’s Aged Care NSW as a case study. The project linguistically prepares foreign (with non-Greek background) professionals and carers for establishing an effective communication with Greek speaking residents. The focus of the language-teaching project is to be on the daily language used in specific care situations. An innovative approach, “sense of how the Greek language works” will be developed in a non-traditional foreign language-learning environment at St. Basil’s Aged Care NSW. The effectiveness of the language teaching methodology applied will be examined and evaluated. The research results of the case study will provide essential information.
Effective start/end date21/10/1930/06/21