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What are the chances of a non-native EFL teacher in Greece?
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Andika



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 1
Location: Hungary

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 6:52 am    Post subject: What are the chances of a non-native EFL teacher in Greece? Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I am looking for people who used to or are still teaching in Greece.

I am a Hungarian woman who is teaching English to adults at a private language school in Hungary at the moment. For a change and to widen my teaching experience I would like to teach in a private language school in Greece. I have been on holiday in Greece twice so far but working there is a different kettle of fish, I suppose. So I have many questions... I have a Master of Arts degree in English and English Literature combined with a Qualified Teacher diploma. I also have a Cambridge Advanced English Certificate and I am from an EU country. I also worked and studied in England for a year.

The problem is that I am not a native speaker of English. I do not speak Greek either. What are my chances as a Hungarian if I want to find a teaching job in Greece? What do I need to know about Greek private schools and their owners in general? What kind of teaching style is common in Greek private schools? How about Greek burocracy? How do Greeks treat foreign workers?

I would be more than happy if you could help me out with some reliable information.

Have a nice day,
Andi
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mbcoolj



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 17
Location: Athens

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 2:35 pm    Post subject: good luck with that Reply with quote

Very slim I think.

Greek school mentality is extreamly xenophobic and many dont even like foreign students in their class let alone a eastern europen English teacher. They just wont buy it no matter how good you are.

I had difficulty with one DOS just because I didnt 'look' English even though I am born and raised in UK.

If your pronunciation is good, try lieing to them, maybe you would get in.
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maruss



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 1145
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 11:46 am    Post subject: Non- Native teacher in Greece Reply with quote

I have to agree with the last posting,unfortunately.You might do better trying to find work teaching Hungarian to Greeks,especially as it's now an E.U. language.
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ronett



Joined: 18 Jul 2010
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

My question re non- native English speakers is pretty much the same.

I have posted it just few days ago on the more general Newbie forum with a teaching-in-Greece thought at the back of my mind. Although I got very supportive responses, I am aware that the level of success will be different in each and every EU country, dependent on relevant experience and some luck.

Being non-native myself, I think wherever I go there will be the initial hurdle of 'only native English speakers accepted for this position'. I am yet to find out if walking around Athens, Patrai or Thessaloniki with multiple copies of my CV would do the trick.

As I have mentioned in my intro post...

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=82832

...the only thing I have at the moment is a relevant BA degree (English & Communication), sat the FCE, CAE, IELTS exams, have worked in finance for the last 3 years, and have also done business and art mentoring in an East London secondary school for less priviledged kids. I am currently working towards TESOL and CELTA certification, hoping to leave the UK Aug/Sept next year to get some experience.

Having done some intensive Greek lessons at uni, I was pretty keen to start off in Greece, but I am now thinking this may not be such a great idea as I will probably struggle to find something reasonable....?

Would really welcome any thoughts on this...

Thanks in advance
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the_thinker



Joined: 24 Nov 2009
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing to think about all Greek teachers of English need (or at least needed I don't live in Greece any more but it was always the case) a C2 level English qualification in order to teach legally. I would presume this applies to other non-native speakers, so I think CAE wouldn't be enough.
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maruss



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 1145
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:00 pm    Post subject: Greece.... Reply with quote

The economic situation there is very volatile now,as you have probably realised and it is probably not a country to look for work at the moment.I would see how it is by this time next year.
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ronett



Joined: 18 Jul 2010
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hia,


Quote:
One thing to think about all Greek teachers of English need (or at least needed I don't live in Greece any more but it was always the case) a C2 level English qualification in order to teach legally. I would presume this applies to other non-native speakers, so I think CAE wouldn't be enough.


THe FCE, CAE, IELTS bit is more to demonstrate that I went through the exams as a student, therefore know the structure, requirements etc. It was in no way meant to be used to demonstrate my grasp of English. I think, the fact that I did a teaching relevant full time degree at a UK uni and have spent the last decade (almost) in the UK should indicate a certain level of my English language competence. I am just guessing the best to demonstrate it would be probably presenting myself there in person.


maruss
Quote:
The economic situation there is very volatile now,as you have probably realised and it is probably not a country to look for work at the moment.I would see how it is by this time next year.


Very true and believe me this is the only thing that changed my mind 2 years ago. Already then it was pretty apparent what the Greek economy was running into. I have visely stayed in the UK, but my feet are pretty itchy. I am very keen to move on and do what I always wanted to do. I have been advised by some Greek mates to stay away from Greece for the next 2 years minimum Confused I 'm not planning to completely ignore their advice. I guess I just need to do some research before I jump into the cold waters without knowing how to swim...

...Hence my posts Wink

Thanks both for your responses
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the_thinker



Joined: 24 Nov 2009
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
THe FCE, CAE, IELTS bit is more to demonstrate that I went through the exams as a student, therefore know the structure, requirements etc. It was in no way meant to be used to demonstrate my grasp of English. I think, the fact that I did a teaching relevant full time degree at a UK uni and have spent the last decade (almost) in the UK should indicate a certain level of my English language competence. I am just guessing the best to demonstrate it would be probably presenting myself there in person.


This all sounds totally reasonable, but unfortunately unless the law has changed, you need either a degree in English Literature or something similar, or a C2 level qualification, I think either from Cambridge ESOL or the University of Michigan. Otherwise you can't get a teaching license. You might of course find a school that is willing to overlook the need for the license, though.
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ronett



Joined: 18 Jul 2010
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would a degree in English Language and Communication (covering theories in language learning, language teaching, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, spoken & written discourse, World Englishes, English lit, various grammars, syntax etc etc...) be sufficient?

I am within the EU holding an EU passport- not sure if ESOL from the Michigan Uni would be any relevant to me (I guess you thought I was from the US).

Re C2 level requirement, I am working on CELTA via the International House in London. Already when I applied for the course I was asked to provide somethig to support my application and demonstrate I am EngLang competent to the required level.

I would be quite happy to take and pass an exam that would prove my L2 competence, but see it a bit pointless at the moment.
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the_thinker



Joined: 24 Nov 2009
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only mentioned Michigan because in Greece they have quite a large part of the exam market, along with Cambridge ESOL. It used to be that the Greek government recognised only those two for English qualifications, but that did change at some point. I would have thought your degree would be fine, but I'm only guessing. I suppose if you really wanted to be sure you could sit the CPE in the UK some time, and then at least you'd have the C2 level covered. It's not cheap though!
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ronett



Joined: 18 Jul 2010
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the feedback the_thinker.

I will do a bit more search. If indeed CPE (or equivalent) is needed, I am happy to pay for it.

I guess it is not cheap, but if I look at it as an investment into my future and carreer, then it is worth it. Smile
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kateh



Joined: 01 Apr 2007
Posts: 9
Location: Athens

PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

One thing to think about all Greek teachers of English need (or at least needed I don't live in Greece any more but it was always the case) a C2 level English qualification in order to teach legally. I would presume this applies to other non-native speakers, so I think CAE wouldn't be enough


The C2 qualification only applies to Greek nationals. Anyone from outside Greece needs to have a University Degree, teaching qualification and also pass a C1 exam in Greek.
This is copied directly from the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs: www.ypepth.gr/en_ec_page1537.htm


Teaching Languages / Issuing a Teaching License to a Foreign Educator

- An application from the foreign educator in Greek, officially stamped.
- A letter from the school proposing that the foreign educator be hired.
- A copy of the employment contract in Greek, signed by the school owner or his/her representative and the educator.
- A copy of a degree held by the educator in a subject equivalent to that the school is proposing they teach.
- An official translation of their degree from the Foreign Ministry.
- Degree or teaching certificate (EDUCATION).
- Written confirmation from the educational attache at the foreign embassy, or the consul, that the foreign educator:
a) is a foreign national,
b) is qualified to teach in an equivalent state school in his/her home country.
- A certificate of good health from the outpatients' department of a Greek public hospital or an equivalent hospital in the educator's home country.


They don't mention the need for a C1 qualification in Greek, possibly because the EU have declared that this is contrary to EU law, but believe me, it is still a requirement. I have had to take the exam.

I hope that this helps.
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the_thinker



Joined: 24 Nov 2009
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So what has actually been happening with all the teachers without a C1 Greek qualification? (I'm not in Greece any more.) Most of the native speaker English teachers I met when I was there were nowhere near C1 in Greek.
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kateh



Joined: 01 Apr 2007
Posts: 9
Location: Athens

PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So what has actually been happening with all the teachers without a C1 Greek qualification?

They are working without licences but as such are open to unscrupulous school owners who will employ them but without paying them either the government set amount for teachers or paying their IKA (national insurance). If you don't have any IKA 'stamps' you are not entitled to free health care or unemployment benefit in the summer when the schools are closed. The Education Ministry have been doing 'spot checks' on schools to check teaching licences and so the school owners are unwilling to risk putting unlicenced teachers on their books.

There are ways round this, such as employing teachers as "administrative assistants' or 'cleaners'. However it is important that anyone coming to Greece be aware of the situation.
There is talk that the C1 Greek qualification will be scrapped but so far it hasn't and, bearing in mind the current unemployment rates for Greek nationals and especially University leavers, I doubt that this will happen in the short term.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15330

PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the current economic climate it is very unlikely. Thousands of non-Greek EU citizens have lost their jobs in the last few months - not in education, but this reflects the xenophobic knee-jerk of the Hellenes to the recession.
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