Westminster’s Petros Karatsareas receives British Academy’s Rising Star Engagement Award to improve language education

Linguistics 16 March 2017


Petros Karatsareas, Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at the University of Westminster, has been awarded the Rising Star Engagement Award by the British Academy (BARSEA), designed to enable early career academics enhance their skills and career development through events, training, and mentoring activities. 

Petros Karatsareas was awarded the BARSEA, worth £11,426, in order to organise two public engagement events with the aim of looking at what academics, skilled practitioners, and policy makers can do to improve the quality of language education in the UK.

The first event is going to be a symposium that will take place in London’s Greek Cypriot community, which is the subject of Petros’s current research. The symposium will bring together members of the community, teachers, Heads of Greek complementary schools, and academics working on bi- and multilingualism. It will explore what changes should Greek schools implement to integrate Cypriot Greek, the native dialect of British-born Cypriots, alongside Standard Greek in teaching and learning, and will aim to promote positive attitudes towards the dialect.

The second event will be an academic workshop that will bring together senior academics and early career researchers, drawing on the findings of the community symposium to illustrate how research into bi- and multilingualism can generate positive change in policy and practice.

Petros has also been awarded an additional grant, worth £9,753, as part of the British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grants scheme, for his research project that investigates the attitudes towards Cypriot Greek and Standard Modern Greek among London's Greek Cypriot community and the role of Greek complementary schools. Petros is also currently completing a project aimed at developing a corpus of spoken British Cypriot Greek.

Speaking of his recognitions, he said: “Ι am delighted to receive these two awards. It is very important that a prestigious body such as the British Academy recognises the importance of the cultural heritage of the UK’s ethnolinguistic communities and actively supports their study. I am excited that I will have the opportunity to contribute to this cause and, especially, to highlight the value of the Cypriot Greek dialect not only for the Greek Cypriot community but also for the UK as a whole. I am proud that I will do this as a researcher at the University of Westminster, the most internationally diverse Higher Education institution in the country.”

Learn more about the Department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies.

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