Second language assessment in the Greek educational system: the case of Reception Classes
|Authors:||Maria Tzevelekou; Maria Giagkou; Vicky Kantzou; Spyridoula Stamouli; S. Varlokosta; I. Mitzias; D. Papadopoulou|
The aim of this study is to assess the proficiency level in L2 Greek of immigrant and repatriated children enrolled in Reception Classes (RCs). Language competence in L2 is measured through a series of three placement tests based on the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR) (Council of Europe 2001). Measures are obtained from 765 children at one point time. Test results are combined, or presented in parallel, with various factors such as age, length of residence, and differences between language skills. Although RCs are addressed to newcomers, they comprise in fact two categories of children: the true newcomers (a small group) and children with a lengthy residence in Greece (a much larger group). This state of affairs interacts with test results: difficulties in academic skills, i.e. writing and grammar, are more pronounced than those in everyday communicative skills. The findings of the present survey show that children in RCs are at high risk of academic underachievement and that a more fine-grained educational approach is needed in order to promote their integration into mainstream school.