A Teacher’s Handbook for Exploring Past and Present Multilingualism in Cyprus

  1. About the Handbook

Our Multilingual World: A Teacher’s Handbook for Exploring Past and Present Multilingualism in Cyprus seeks to equip lower and upper secondary school teachers, teacher educators and NGOs with the necessary tools and knowledge to facilitate discussions, promote multilingualism, and foster curiosity and dialogue. Within this handbook, you will find guidance and practical strategies to enable students to learn about their and their peers’ multilingual selves, and develop a critical perspective to ask questions and explore the world around them. The aim is to empower educators to create inclusive learning environments and implement educational practices that promote a culture of democracy and respect for diversity. In this way, teachers and educators in Cyprus could play a pivotal role in transforming classrooms and fostering a society that values linguistic diversity, inclusivity, and intercultural understanding.

  • Educational Goals
  1. To examine the past and current diversity of languages and cultures in Cyprus, with a special focus on Cypriot varieties of Greek and Turkish.
  2. To promote integration and inclusion of learners from diverse linguistic backgrounds by initiating a dialogue around multilingualism.
  3. To encourage critical inquiry on the impact of language ideology and language policy on everyday life and practices.
  4. To explore the linguistic landscape in Cyprus through seeking historical and contemporary evidence of linguistic diversity.
  1. Overview

This handbook provides educators with a comprehensive series of lesson plans and educational material supported by theoretical background. The lesson plans could be used within specific subjects of formal education, or for extra-curricular activities. The book is organised in four chapters: 

Chapter 1: About the Handbook includes an introduction to the rationale behind the handbook, educational goals that this resource is trying to achieve, an overview of contents, and a short biography of each author.

Chapter 2: Background Information introduces the underlying theoretical concepts used in this handbook. It also includes a brief history of linguistic diversity and multilingual education in Cyprus, as well as language and identity in the Cypriot curricula. Finally, a set of core recommendations on how to create inclusive classrooms to explore the topics of this handbook are provided.

Chapter 3: Methodology provides information on the methodological framework behind the handbook, outlining the theories and the pedagogical approaches related to the educational content.
Chapter 4: Educational Units starts with a summary of the four thematic units and how-to-sheets. Each unit is then introduced by a cover page providing focused information on the context and outline of the unit. Each thematic unit includes several lesson plans and activities that offer step-by-step instructions along with resource sheets and lists of references.

  1. Summary of Educational Units

Title & Overview

Subject links

Key concepts


This thematic unit introduces students to the concept of multilingualism as a social, individual, historic and contemporary phenomenon.

Greek Language/Literacy, Turkish Language/ Literacy, English: Subjects dealing with language as an individual social and historical phenomenon

History: Migration, interactions between people in a period of conquest

Sociology: Human rights

Multilingualism; Languages; Dialects; Linguistic Loans; Cyprus


This unit helps students explore the notions of language use and biographies, and how to do collaborative writing, conduct oral history and analyse texts.

Literature: Creative Writing and Cypriot Literature, World Literature for upper secondary students 

Sociology: Migration, Diversity, Stereotypes, Pop Culture

History: Oral History for upper secondary students

Language Biographies; Language Use; Stereotypes; Identity; Oral History


This unit helps students explore the notions of language ideologies, and their consequences.

Language: General literacy, Reading and essay writing, Debate, My country and my cultural values

Social Studies: What is migration?, Social and cultural differences

Sociology: Language, Power and attitudes, Citizenship, Migration 

Philosophy: Understanding philosophy, Impact of philosophy on people and societal life

‘Correct’ and ‘Wrong’; 

‘Competent’ and ‘Not’; 

Language variation

Exclusion and Inclusion;



This thematic unit explores the ways society, culture and identity are represented and recreated through linguistic landscape.

Art: Reading public art, Graffiti, Use of language, Political function of art

Sociology: Social Identity, Identity construction, Social change, Diversity

Linguistics: Linguistic resources in signs and inscriptions, Multimodality

Linguistic Landscapes; Identity; Multimodality; Communication; Cyprus


  1. Videos

The handbook is accompanied by 1) interview videos, centering around the theme Who am I as a multilingual?, 2) an introductory video looking into multilingualism and language use, and 3) a vox pop video that showcases examples of lexical borrowing in Cypriot Greek and Turkish. The videos will be made available online with subtitles.


  1. Authors and Editors’ team

Ioanna Charalambous is a Grants Manager at War Child Holland Syria Response office. She has been working in the humanitarian aid sector since 2016, specifically focusing on supporting children affected by war and conflict in the Middle East with integrated education, psychosocial support and child protection programs. Ioanna holds a PhD and MA on Language, Ethnicity and Education from King’s College London, and a BA on Primary Education from the University of Cyprus. 

Prof. Dr. Çise Çavuşoğlu completed her BA in English Language Teaching and MEd in Educational Sciences at Eastern Mediterranean University. In the 2006-2007 academic year, she worked at Binghamton University, SUNY as a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) for Turkish language. Her ESRC Quota Award funded PhD work at King’s College London focused on ethnicities and language learning among young people from Turkish Cypriot backgrounds in London. She was the Head of the Department of ELT and also the Director of the Education Unit at Near East University.

Elena Ioannidou is an Associate Professor in Language Education & Sociolinguistics at the Department of Education, University of Cyprus. She holds a BA (Ed) in Educational Studies (Language specialization) and an MA in Applied Linguistics and a PhD in Sociolingustics, both from the University of Southampton. Elena Ioannidou is a trained ethnographer, with a special interest in linguistic ethnography and discourse analysis. She has conducted extensive research with linguistically marginalized groups such as the Romeika speakers in Cyprus and the Turkish Cretans in Turkey. She is a founding member of the Literacy Association of Cyprus and has been a board member of the Linguistic Society of Cyprus.

Elisavet Kiourti (Ph.D) is an adjunct lecturer at European University of Cyprus, special scientist at University of Cyprus and Academic Coordinator at Open University of Cyprus at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. She holds a PhD in Digital Technologies and Videogames (University of Cyprus). She holds an MA in Computational Linguistics (Essex University). Her expertise is in the content design and implementation of new technologies for learning (e.g., web-based learning environments, video games, serious games, apps, simulations) with a focus on applications designed for education. She has published 5 educational books which incorporate digital gamified activities and games.

Özge Özoğul works at the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR). She holds a PhD in Education (School, Language and Society) from the University of the Basque Country. She graduated from the University of Southampton, during which she joined the Erasmus Programme and studied at the University of Salamanca. Özge received her MA degree from the University of Groningen, in Multilingualism with a specialisation in Multilingual Education and Language Policy Planning. Through her position at the AHDR, she plays a role in crafting and implementing educational interventions that promote dialogue, cooperation, and trust both between and within communities in Cyprus.

Anthi Papadopoulou is a graduate of the School of Philology of the Faculty of Philosophy of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki specialising in Linguistics. She completed her MA in the School of Philosophy & Education (Department of Education) of the Faculty of Philosophy of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki with specialisation in school textbooks and Peace Education. As a scholarship holder of the State Scholarship Foundation, she conducted her doctorate on language teaching and her post-doctorate on Discourses in Practicum of the School of Philosophy & Education, in the same Department. She worked as a Teaching Fellow at the Department of Education of University of Cyprus and as a Senior Lecturer at KES College. Today she works as a philologist in Greek secondary education.

  1. How to access the handbook?

The handbook will be made available free of charge for educators online and in print, in English, Greek, Turkish. The print version will be made available from the AHDR.


Contact information

The Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR)

Address: Home for Cooperation,

28 Markou Drakou Street,

1102 Nicosia, Cyprus

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website: www.ahdr.info

Phone: +357445740 (ext. 106)

Disclaimer: The publication and educational videos are published by the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) and funded by the Active Citizens Fund, the Civil Society Programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, through the EEA and Norway Grants Financial Mechanisms 2014-2021.