Greek school

[Episode 6 | 1958 : Michaelis]

Attendance at Greek school is a common expectation for young Greek children in Australia. Michaelis is attending Greek school to learn about the history, language and culture of his ancestry, but his mind is still on the escapades of The Adventures of Robin Hood, a TV serial he is fixated on.


The Australian curriculum: English

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The Australian Curriculum: English aims to ensure that students:

  • learn to listen to, read, view, speak, write, create and reflect on increasingly complex and sophisticated spoken, written and multimodal texts across a growing range of contexts with accuracy, fluency and purpose
  • appreciate, enjoy and use the English language in all its variations and develop a sense of its richness and power to evoke feelings, convey information, form ideas, facilitate interaction with others, entertain, persuade and argue
  • understand how Standard Australian English works in its spoken and written forms and in combination with non-linguistic forms of communication to create meaning
  • develop interest and skills in inquiring into the aesthetic aspects of texts, and develop an informed appreciation of literature.

English activities [1]

Activity 1: You're a Greek boy
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Subtheme(s): Character; Customs and traditions; Social order and education
  • Michaelis has to go to Greek school. View the clip and discuss this scene, focusing on how Michaelis feels about being made to go. Ask students to explain how they know that Michaelis doesn't want to be there, for example, body language, dialogue and interaction between characters. Discuss the reasons why Michaelis is made to go to Greek school. Find out if any students in the class attend a language school outside regular school hours. If so, ask them to describe their school, what they learn and what they enjoy about it.
  • Michaelis has his mind on other things while he is at Greek school. He misses important dates in Greek history and information about the Patriarch. His teacher berates him for his inattention. Discuss the purpose of this scene with the class. What does it tell the audience about Greek school? Relate this discussion back to the reasons put forward in the previous discussion about why Michaelis is forced to go to Greek school.
  • Michaelis's Greek teacher Kyrios Josephides tells him, 'Michaelis, if you are good, your life will be good to you in return.' Discuss this advice with the class and have students write a description of what they think it means. As a class, create a list of useful advice on how to live your life.

  • Explain that many groups of people who have migrated to another country deem the preservation of their language, culture and traditions to be important. To help maintain cultural traditions, they may plan for children to attend special classes during weekends. Have students write an argument for or against this practice, or hold a class discussion on the issue.

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