University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > FERSA Lunchtime Sessions > What is Special about Immigrant Pupils’ Writing in Cyprus? Investigating the Writing Challenges Facing Second Language Learners in Bidialectal Settings

What is Special about Immigrant Pupils’ Writing in Cyprus? Investigating the Writing Challenges Facing Second Language Learners in Bidialectal Settings

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Moritz Sowada.

This talk will focus on the writing challenges facing 11-year-old immigrant pupils in the bidialectal community of Cyprus where the Greek Cypriot Dialect (GCD) co-exists with Standard Modern Greek (SMG). GCD and SMG are genetically related varieties occupying distinct domains of usage; the former is typically used in informal contexts such as in conversations between friends and relatives while the latter is the medium of written communication and is generally employed in formal domains such as education. The main challenge which immigrant pupils are facing lies in developing competence in the school written register – a register that differs in various respects from the naturally acquired conversational register – while learning a second language. What makes this challenge more daunting for immigrant pupils is the fact that the written variety, namely SMG , is not only typologically different from their mother tongue, but also somewhat structurally distant from the variety which serves as the medium of everyday oral communication in the host country. This talk will highlight and discuss the distinctive writing challenges which the target population is confronted with, as these have emerged from a comparison with the challenges faced by local pupils.

This talk is part of the FERSA Lunchtime Sessions series.

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