Introducing English in Preschool Education in Greece: An Overview of the EAN Project


Following the 21st century model of creating classrooms that respond to society’s pluralingualism and multiculturalism, English as a foreign language has been introduced in numerous European countries, as well as worldwide, in numerous preschools (Baïdak et al., 2017; Alexiou, 2020). Within this scope, integrating English as a foreign language in all Greek preschools is realised as of September 2021 through the EAN project (2021-2022). The project supports teachers’ work through developmentally suitable soft CLIL educational scenarios that relate to the New Preschool Curriculum (Penderi et al, 2021) in Greece. This innovation does not only reflect international practices but also advances them both in the context of early foreign language learning and in relation to teacher training and support. Teacher training addressed both to in-service EFL teachers and preschool teachers is one of the main pillars of the EAN project and the positive impact of the EAN training scheme on teachers’ self-efficacy has been found statistically significant. Monitoring and supervising the introduction of the English language in preschools as well as collecting evidence from all the key stakeholders are also paramount in this process. One of the main innovations has been the effort to cultivate a culture of cooperation between the teachers, contributing to the children’s formation of a positive attitude towards languages. Important parameters are also children’s development of attitudes, soft skills and pedagogical values as well as the promotion of intercultural competence. The EAN Project caters for very young children’s multilateral education as well as their holistic development and presents a paradigm shift in EFL and preschool educational practices.

Author Information
Thomaï Alexiou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2022
Stream: Curriculum Design & Development

This paper is part of the ACE2022 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Alexiou T. (2023) Introducing English in Preschool Education in Greece: An Overview of the EAN Project ISSN: 2186-5892 The Asian Conference on Education 2022: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon