Vocabulary as Part of Language Teaching in the Greek Educational System: Historical Review and Contemporary Reality
The rapid progress in applied linguistics over the past three decades has resulted in, amongst other things, the highlighting of the until then marginalised field of vocabulary, contributing to both a deeper understanding of language and a more effective process of language teaching. A survey of the history of Greek education demonstrates that until the early 1980s the subject of vocabulary was significantly demoted for two main reasons: firstly, because this demotion was in keeping with the spirit of the traditional method that exclusively prioritised grammar and, secondly, because any progress in this area was historically associated with the use of Demotic Greek. The official recognition of Demotic Greek in 1976 marked the end of the “language question” in Greece, also creating the necessary preconditions for the rise and gradual utilisation of vocabulary in language teaching. Nonetheless, despite the progress that has been observed, traditional conceptions have been so profound that even today vocabulary is considered a secondary subject that assists grammar, necessitating the implementation of series of reform measures in language teaching.