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LANGUAGE LEARNING IN CYPRUS from a HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE: THE SEED to EUROPEAN DIMENSION.

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Presentation on theme: "LANGUAGE LEARNING IN CYPRUS from a HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE: THE SEED to EUROPEAN DIMENSION."— Presentation transcript:

1 LANGUAGE LEARNING IN CYPRUS from a HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE: THE SEED to EUROPEAN DIMENSION

2 ENGLISH OCCUPATION 12 th July 1878 British flag hoisted in Nicosia 12 th July 1878 British flag hoisted in Nicosia 1 st High Commissioner: 1 st High Commissioner: Sir Garnet Wolseley Sir Garnet Wolseley July June 1879 July June 1879

3 CONDITIONS IN CYPRUS “There is hardly upon earth a more wretched spot than Cyprus” H. C. Report H. C. Report EDUCATION: EDUCATION: - a few Primary Schools - Secondary basically non-existent - standard: very low

4 LANGUAGE SITUATION FRENCH FRENCH - Language of the Lusignans - ruled Cyprus 400 years (1192 – 1409) ITALIAN ITALIAN - widely spoken ENGLISH ENGLISH - only ONE person: Demetrios Pierides (King’s College 1825)

5 COMMUNICATION PROBLEM Legislative Council 14/9/1879 Legislative Council 14/9/1879 Debates trilingual Debates trilingual No one available to translate documents No one available to translate documents (Principal of Robert College Constantinopole) (Principal of Robert College Constantinopole) Age of the Dragoman Age of the Dragoman

6 DIAGNOSIS and a GREAT TRUE Letter to the Times 20/7/1878 by J.S. Blackie writer pointed out the language problem and … ‘It will be our duty, of course, in the administration of this island, to gain the sympathies and to understand the wants of the great majority of the population:

7 DIAGNOSIS and a GREAT TRUE and I need not say to any person who has had to deal with foreigners that the grand key at once to a knowledge of their interests and to the affection of their hearts is a familiarity with their spoken Language.’ 1879: general desire - raise standard of education & learn English

8 Because of LANGUAGE PROBLEM Any attempt by British to initiate changes in education: - suspicion - ulterior motives - criticised by the church - reaction considered national duty

9 REVEREND JOSIAH SPENCER Sent by society for the propagation of the Gospel Sent by society for the propagation of the Gospel 1880: English School at his Chaplaincy 1880: English School at his Chaplaincy School: failure School: failure Formal opening: Present: Archbishop Armenian Bishop Formal opening: Present: Archbishop Armenian Bishop Wishes for success (p. 24) Wishes for success (p. 24) So far the church on good terms with British So far the church on good terms with British

10 BLUNDERS & MISMANAGEMENT Greek Language discarded completely Greek Language discarded completely Incident in Limassol: British derided religious procession (p. 27) Incident in Limassol: British derided religious procession (p. 27) Home Government very careful - Local government tactless (p. 28) Home Government very careful - Local government tactless (p. 28) H.C. Limassol Warren returned letter of Bishop of Kition (p. 29) H.C. Limassol Warren returned letter of Bishop of Kition (p. 29) Reverend Spencer - Anglican Religion: Reverend Spencer - Anglican Religion:

11 BLUNDERS & MISMANAGEMENT (replacement of religion & language) (p. 30) Sir R. Biddulph: Report: ‘English would be the first step towards advancement in higher subjects.’ Sir R. Biddulph: Report: ‘English would be the first step towards advancement in higher subjects.’ Nicosia Hellenic School: English taught by Xanthippides - not a good job Nicosia Hellenic School: English taught by Xanthippides - not a good job Spencer: Spencer: Only Englishmen should teach English

12 BLUNDERS & MISMANAGEMENT Suggested establishment of English Schools in all towns (p. 34) Suggested establishment of English Schools in all towns (p. 34) 21 st January 1881: Cobham H.C. of Larnaca suggested: 21 st January 1881: Cobham H.C. of Larnaca suggested: English History, Geography & Grammar form the Curriculum (p. 38) From now on Spencer was not to be trusted (p. 38) From now on Spencer was not to be trusted (p. 38)

13 BLUNDERS & MISMANAGEMENT Bishops: Unscrupulous attempt to undermine the national feelings of the Greeks Bishops: Unscrupulous attempt to undermine the national feelings of the Greeks Mismanagement: defeat Spencer’s own purpose Mismanagement: defeat Spencer’s own purpose The efforts of H.C. Biddulph & Cobham & Spencer failed, did not persuade Gladstone The efforts of H.C. Biddulph & Cobham & Spencer failed, did not persuade Gladstone

14 BLUNDERS & MISMANAGEMENT Lord Kimberley extolled the excellence of the Greek language (p. 41/2). Useless to make English the vehicle of education Lord Kimberley extolled the excellence of the Greek language (p. 41/2). Useless to make English the vehicle of education Lord Kimberley: encourage teachers to learn English: sensible approach Lord Kimberley: encourage teachers to learn English: sensible approach Learning of English → option Learning of English → option

15 NATIONAL DEMAND (1881) Spencer should go Spencer should go 29 December 1881 Spencer relieved of duties of director 29 December 1881 Spencer relieved of duties of director demoted to Inspector demoted to Inspector

16 THE FIRST YEARS Policy of local government different from home government Policy of local government different from home government Ill conceived attempt by denationalisation Ill conceived attempt by denationalisation Results different from what was anticipated Results different from what was anticipated

17 THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE STRUGGLES FOR ACCEPTANCE Next ten years: changes Next ten years: changes Fairfield colonial office official 1883 Fairfield colonial office official 1883 Spread of English desirable Spread of English desirable Disapproved of the means used Disapproved of the means used Motivation (clerkships, prizes, to the Cypriots advantage, avoid suspicion of ulterior motives) Motivation (clerkships, prizes, to the Cypriots advantage, avoid suspicion of ulterior motives)

18 THREE RACES Two races administered by third Two races administered by third Ignorance of native language: Integration Ignorance of native language: Integration Preference to natives - government posts - later by competition Preference to natives - government posts - later by competition Recognition of necessity to learn Greek Recognition of necessity to learn Greek Most of the Turks spoke Greek Some forgot Turkish

19 THREE RACES Allowance to those who learned New Language Allowance to those who learned New Language Lord Kimberley favoured maintenance of Spencer’s school Lord Kimberley favoured maintenance of Spencer’s school By 1884 English was definitely gaining By 1884 English was definitely gaining (status - practical advantages) (status - practical advantages)

20 ATTITUDE OF CHURCH Spread of English: Detrimental to religious & political interests Spread of English: Detrimental to religious & political interests The English ignored the Church as a political organisation The English ignored the Church as a political organisation Demand ‘ab antique reights’ regarding education Demand ‘ab antique reights’ regarding education 23 rd April Departure of H.C. Biddulph: relief 23 rd April Departure of H.C. Biddulph: relief

21 ATTITUDE OF CHURCH Disparity of conceptions Disparity of conceptions The Educational System the British wanted to establish: reflected their aims and policies The Educational System the British wanted to establish: reflected their aims and policies

22 SHY RECOGNITION of the VALUE of ENGLISH By 1893 establishment of full Gymnasium By 1893 establishment of full Gymnasium Pancyprian Gymnasium: English part of the curriculum Pancyprian Gymnasium: English part of the curriculum As time passed more schools were established: all included English (Rizokarpaso 1917) As time passed more schools were established: all included English (Rizokarpaso 1917) English: Education more liberal English: Education more liberal

23 SHY RECOGNITION of the VALUE of ENGLISH Duty of government: to show not only intrinsic value but material benefits Duty of government: to show not only intrinsic value but material benefits Adversaries: Religion, Greek language & nationalism Adversaries: Religion, Greek language & nationalism Paradox: Cypriots took to learning English despite the preaching. Yet in the last stages - Renaissance of Nationalism Paradox: Cypriots took to learning English despite the preaching. Yet in the last stages - Renaissance of Nationalism

24 SHY RECOGNITION of the VALUE of ENGLISH As early as QUESTION: As early as QUESTION: How should Cypriots be brought up? ‘As Britons or as Greeks’ Agnes Smith 1887: should gain a view of the English culture through their own language Agnes Smith 1887: should gain a view of the English culture through their own language

25 UPS & DOWNS Despite opposition by 1890: English: Despite opposition by 1890: English: - ultimate aim for government jobs - badge for class distinction instead of means of communication & understanding means for securing economic & other social benefits means for securing economic & other social benefits due to incentives fast gaining ground due to incentives fast gaining ground

26 ATTACK ON FOREIGN SCHOOLS Around 1898 Around 1898 Two reasons: Two reasons: - Language of instruction: English - Proselytising Centres BUT main reason: CURRICULUM Positive reaction: render them unnecessary Positive reaction: render them unnecessary

27 FEARS REKINDLED By 1899 after declaration of Lord Kimberley (1881) By 1899 after declaration of Lord Kimberley (1881) Language policy of H.C. Haynes Smith ( ) Language policy of H.C. Haynes Smith ( )

28 FOUR PROPOSALS 1. After a certain period of time teachers had to pass a qualifying exam in English to be appointed. 2. English necessary qualification for civil employment 3. Englishmen should teach English in each district 4. English should be the language of the island

29 REACTIONS Protest & demonstrations Protest & demonstrations Bishop of Kition: Bishop of Kition: ‘did not disapprove but considered it as superfluous. People should learn their language first.’ Bonus system: Bribe - Meetings: Bonus system: Bribe - Meetings: Teachers coerced / encouraged / forced - declaration: not teach English Teachers coerced / encouraged / forced - declaration: not teach English

30 FINAL OUTCOME Decision of Government that Greeks should also teach English Decision of Government that Greeks should also teach English Classes for teachers organised Classes for teachers organised High Commissioner report 1900 High Commissioner report Teaching of English satisfactory footing - “Those who direct the agitation for ‘Enosis’ - compel the signing of ‘Enosis’ - compel the signing of declaration.” declaration.”

31 FINAL OUTCOME Teachers were appointed in Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca Teachers were appointed in Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca Land Registry Clerks & ‘Saptiehs’ were instructed Land Registry Clerks & ‘Saptiehs’ were instructed Military Police also Military Police also By middle 1901 English → 2 nd language taught in all secondary schools By middle 1901 English → 2 nd language taught in all secondary schools English exams take place English exams take place

32 FINALLY English won a respectable place at least among Government officials & educated people English won a respectable place at least among Government officials & educated people Position of prestige - social, political, economic - demanded retention & diffusion Position of prestige - social, political, economic - demanded retention & diffusion

33 DEATH of Rev. SPENCER 1901 Blow to plans of H.C. Blow to plans of H.C. They turned the feelings of the people against them They turned the feelings of the people against them Cause: their feelings towards Greek Cause: their feelings towards Greek Death of Spencer: Death of Spencer: Hope for improvement Hope for improvement

34 THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION COSTAS MARKOY FORMER INSPECTOR GENERAL SECONDARY EDUCATION


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