Language learning and intercultural education: barriers and prospects in the Cypriot context

Christina Hajisoteriou, Panayiotis Angelides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The main goal of this study is to examine the barriers and prospects of intercultural education in Cypriot schools of the southern part of the island with regard to not only learning the language of the reception country, but also the language of origin. Taking this as the point of departure, this study aims to explore the content and goals of Cypriot policy, its contradictions, and transformation regarding this issue. The analysis draws upon policy documents collected from the Ministry of Education and Culture and interviews carried out with Cypriot policy-makers. The Ministry has initiated an educational reform, including a reform of the national curriculum, towards a more intercultural orientation. Despite Cyprus being officially a trilingual country, intercultural education policies in the south part of Cyprus almost exclusively relate to Greek-language teaching, promoting cultural assimilation. The absence of a coherent policy, along with inadequate teacher training, and collaboration between schools and migrant families are further impediments to intercultural education. To this end, promoting migrants’ inclusion requires the re-conceptualisation and re-structuring of Cypriot education and schooling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-263
Number of pages23
JournalCurrent Issues in Language Planning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2017


  • Cyprus education
  • Intercultural education
  • intercultural policy
  • language learning


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