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Cyprus: Progress on Armenian and Cypriot Maronite Arabic languages, but room for improvement, say minority languages experts

Committee of Experts for the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages Strasbourg 16 December 2021
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Cyprus: Progress on Armenian and Cypriot Maronite Arabic languages, but room for improvement, say minority languages experts

State authorities in Cyprus continue to support minority language speakers by funding existing cultural institutions and establishing new sports facilities where their languages can be used, according to a new report by the Committee of Experts for the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. (see executive summary in Greek) The Charter entered into force in Cyprus in 2002 and applies to the Armenian and Cypriot Maronite Arabic languages.

Armenian is taught in pre-school, primary and lower secondary education, with teaching of Armenian begun in upper secondary education from September, this year according to the state authorities of Cyprus. The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC) broadcasts a radio programme in Armenian on a daily basis, but Armenian is absent from print media.

Meanwhile, Cypriot Maronite Arabic is taught only in primary education. The report says that teaching this language should be extended to pre-school and secondary education to cover more age groups and thus ensure the future of Cypriot Maronite Arabic. Cypriot Maronite Arabic is almost absent from broadcast media. However, a series of short documentaries on minorities broadcast since September 2021 by CyBC may raise awareness in Cyprus about both minorities and their languages, besides providing teaching materials in minority languages.

While the offer of teaching materials has improved since previous monitoring, the report calls on state authorities to improve teacher training for Armenian and especially for Cypriot Maronite Arabic.

 

 Press release
Cyprus: More awareness of Armenian and Cypriot Maronite Arabic languages, but room for improvement, minority languages experts say


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