Teaching English in Greece - Jobs in Greece

Chania Old Harbour, Crete, Greece
Chania Old Harbour, Crete, Greece

Teaching English In Greece

There is some demand for teaching English as a foreign language in Greece and there are a number of opportunities for jobs teaching English, both regular full time and part-time employment. Learn about teacher training, pay and conditions for jobs teaching English in Greece in this guide.

  • In Greece there are many "frontistiria" (private language schools. Singular ‘frontistirio') and many Greek school children attend one after school hours. Native English speakers may find work teaching English either in frontistiria or by giving private English lessons to pupils. Frontistiria are open during the school year, September to June, and usually close for 2/3 months in the summer.
  • A Presidential Decree signed in 1997 made it possible for European Union Nationals to be generally employed in and also open Foreign Language Frontistiria. Officially EU citizens need a university degree to open or teach in a 'frontistiro' language school. Another, more recently enforced, requirement for all non-Greek nationals teaching English in Greece is to demonstrate fluency in the Greek language in order to obtain a teaching licence, however some language schools will employ you without a degree or teaching licence (particularly in the islands).
  • A TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign language) or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate is also very useful and can improve your chances of getting a job teaching English but, perhaps more importantly, you will learn how to teach English as a foreign language... which will include brushing up on your English grammar (can you distinguish the present perfect simple tense from the present perfect continuous?).
  • TEFL / TESOL courses can be taken online as well as at many centres throughout the world, including the UK and Greece. There are both full courses and the shorter introduction courses, some of which include classroom teaching experience. You can even take an online course and then gain experience with practice teaching in Greece if you wish, before taking on a job teaching English.
  • The vast majority of students who study English in Greece do so to gain qualifications - Cambridge or Michigan, usually the First Certificate ('Lower') and Proficiency levels - with the emphasis on written work, comprehension and grammar, so teachers need to be confident in their ability to teach English at a high level.
  • More information on teaching in English in Greece, as well as a list of private language schools in Greece, can be obtained from the Panhellenic Association of Language School Owners (PALSO) : P.A.L.S.O (Panhellenic Federation of Language School Owners). Likavitou 2 Athens 10671 Tel.: 0030 210 3640792 Website: http://www.palso.gr/
  • PALSO have local offices in all the major towns across Greece and the Greek Islands. Although PALSO is not an employer, their offices hold lists of vacancies in local language schools so if you have a preference to teach in a certain area or island you can contact the local PALSO in that area for details. You can also email your CV to the local PALSO office, or visit their office and post your CV on their notice boards, so that Language School Owners looking for English teachers can find your details.
  • Teaching jobs in Greece are sometimes advertised on the internet and in local Greek newspapers, usually in May/June and then again August/September, before the start of the school year for positions which have not been filled. There are very few vacancies at other times of the year, but occasionally teachers leave mid year or mid term and vacancies may arise.
  • Non EU Citizens require a work permit to teach, which must be obtained in advance. Many language schools prefer to employ EU citizens as there is less red tape involved.

Teaching Hours

Students in Greece attend private language school frontistiria after school hours so the majority of teaching English jobs are in the afternoon and evening hours. It is normal for students to take English classes up to 10.30 pm at night. Usual frontistiro hours are from around 3.00 p.m. until 10.30 p.m. so you are most likely to be working in the evenings.

Pay & Conditions for Teaching English in Greece

The minimum wage in Greece is around 520 euros net per month. Check out the working conditions/ hours before accepting a position.

Many English teachers supplement their income with private lessons which are more lucrative, although the austerity squeeze on Greece's economy means that parents are unable to pay high rates per hour. Once you are established in a language school you may find that some students require extra lessons at home so make it known that you are available. Word of mouth amongst parents then often leads to more private students.

Copyright © 2008 - 2016 Carol Palioudaki


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Comments 53 comments

AuraGem profile image

AuraGem 8 years ago from Victoria, Australia

As an English teacher, this hub is most enlightening! In Australia, we hear of overseas work in the UK, China, Japan and Korea mainly, but I have never heard of teaching on offer in Greece!

Thank you! More food for thought!

Smiles and Light


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America

Very good Hub with definite direction and good advice!


Carolina Crete profile image

Carolina Crete 8 years ago from Crete, Greece Author

Hi AuraGem and Patty -thanks for your comments... glad to have provided enlightenment! Teaching in Greece is not the best paid opportunity (in fact any work in Greece is generally low paid by UK standards .. and Australian too I would guess) but it is a great way to spend time in a beautiful country.


Peter Beech 8 years ago

Over the last few months, there has been a lot of debate about the proposed requirement for English Teachers working in private schools frontistiria) to take exams in Greek language.

This proposal still seems to be in limbo, as it hasn't formally been withdrawn, but the Greek government has been informed by the European Commission that the proposal contravenes European law.

That aside, the requirements for a foreign teacher to be hired at a frontistirio are relatively straightforward. The employer applies for a permit (adeia proslipsis allodapou) and the only documentation required in support of that application is a certified copy of your college diploma and a certificate from the public health committee issued after a medical including a blood test and chest X-ray.

To get a teaching licence to work privately or establish your own school is rather more complex, and certification in Greek language is required for that.

Regional Directorates of Secondary Education are not always fully informed about procedures, so it's often useful to contact the Ministry of Education in Athens. Anyone interested in teaching in Greece is also welcome to contact us at jobs@anglo-hellenic.com


Carolina Crete profile image

Carolina Crete 8 years ago from Crete, Greece Author

Peter,

 I understand that a teaching permit is not required for EU nationals, and the 'adeia proslipsis allodapou' is for NON EU nationals. Can you clarify if this is so?


Louise 8 years ago

This teaching permit thing in Greece has been driving me mad. I currently live in Corfu, although elsewhere (Italy and Australia) I have been an EFL teacher for a few years (I'm EU/British). I have excellent qualifications and experience to teach yet am up against this teaching permit barrier for which I must have proficiency in Greek (I do not). I understand this works to push jobs in favour of Greek nationals, but from my standpoint I find this ruling frustrating, archaic and against modern principles of language teaching. Is there anyway around this? Will some schools accept me and would it be legal? How long do we wait for the EU to make the Greek government withdraw this law?


jooles01 8 years ago

This is very informative Carolina - teaching English abroad was something I've thought about many times - at the moment I'm still dreaming!


monitor profile image

monitor 8 years ago from The world.

I lived and worked in Greece for several years and the paperwork was, well, hell. I loved Greece and all she has to offer except the paperwork. I had the misfortune to open an office in one town and then move it to another. As far as my clients were concerned a good move but it tied me up in knots with paper work. This English teaching thing seems to land in the same basket. It is such an open profession in so many other countries. I hope they find a way to make it so in Greece. Teaching English is a great career.

My heart goes out to all those embattled with Greek paperwork.

Mon.


Carolina Crete profile image

Carolina Crete 8 years ago from Crete, Greece Author

Mon, I've been battling with Greek paperwork for 20-odd years,.. yes it's a bit of a nightmare but you kind of get used to it. Have been through the setting up and running of a business or two here as well. Eh, ti na kanoume? :)


mingoville profile image

mingoville 8 years ago

Carolina you have a very informative hub it widens onces prospective to share there knowledge in English, and may I share a site that could help you guys in your teaching profession in ESL mingoville.com is a site dedicated for learning English in a fun way especially for kids who really finds it interesting to study through colorful games this site is alos good for adults too for there listening ability.I hope this could help you guys.


Duncan 8 years ago

I have been working in Athens for a year now having worked in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. The Greek mentality towards EU and it's own modern development within it is at best a complete sham. The default mentality is one of conservatism and even zenophobia like I've never experienced anywhere else. As a long serving Greek national at my school tells me, if you think me, me, me you'll get on fine here. As for me Greek bearocracy has left me utterly disappointed and longing for a more modern, wordly-aware country to offer my services in. My advice as my Greek neighbour told me recently is 'come here on holiday but DON'T work here!' Please all you wonderful teachers out there take your skills elsewhere to be appreciated. GET A LIFE GREECE!!


Carolina Crete profile image

Carolina Crete 8 years ago from Crete, Greece Author

Duncan, sorry you sound so disappointed in Greece. Yes the bureacracy can be nightmarish as many (myself included) have already testified, and EU rules seem to be there to be flaunted - but once you start digging deeper into other EU countries' laws you'll find that that applies to the majority of the EU countries. In fact the (so PC) UK is one of the few EU countries that abides by the majority of EU rulings. Just take a look on the Europa.eu website to see how many countries are being hauled through the European court every month over various transgressions.

Greece and its people have many many good points - its a shame you haven't dicovered them.


Minerva 8 years ago

I loved Greece as a place to live. I was working on a fairly remote island - which meant I HAD to learn basic Greek to survive, which was great! However, I worked for a very difficult woman who had a "nursery" class, and it turned out that some of the kids were 3 years old and needed help going to the loo... I didn't study my RSA TEFLA to wipe bottoms!!! Not only that, but the school owner I was working for had a penchent for following the book to the page and doing vocab tests for the kids - which they duly cheated in. When I started swapping the order of words in the vocab tests around, the kids got 2/10 or so, and the parents complained. I found this the most awful teaching method and found it amazing that the kids had been used to cheating with previous teachers who were too scared to challenge the owner. It has left a bit of a scar on my TEFL past, as rote learning / cheating is not for me. I wonder if Greek Frontisterio are the same all over or whether this was an isolated incident?

In addition, being a small island, the inhabitants were totally unaware of life beyond Greece. Apparently Greece is the best country in the world and the rest of the world apparently eats snakes according to the kids :-)

Oh, the other problem was that she "offered" to not declare some of my IKA so that we would both be quids in, to which I refused.

I just think I was unlucky with all this - if the woman hadn't been such a nightmare to work for, I'd probably still be in Greece as it was wonderful, despite the snake comments!!


Irene 7 years ago

Are there private schools that will employ during daytime hours? Also, what about kindergartens? Do they pay teachers better? Does anyone know the rate of pay for 1. kindergarten

2. παιδοτοποι (day/nursery schools)

Any information is highly appreciated.


Carolina Crete profile image

Carolina Crete 7 years ago from Crete, Greece Author

Irene,

These private schools teach only extra curricula classes for children outside of normal school hours so there are very limited daytime teaching hours.

Kindergarten and nursery schools don't normally employ English teachers.


Great Caruso profile image

Great Caruso 7 years ago from USA

Very informative hub. I have been teaching abroad myself, so I have written the hub on "How To Obtain a Teaching Job Abroad"


Peter 7 years ago

I agree that Greeks can be very self-centered and ignorant of different teaching methods. At first, I was so surprised that nobody wants conversation classes. Now I understand why so few Greeks speak English.

Greeks are mostly ill-mannered, inconsiderate and intollerent - until they want your money! Although there are a few notable exceptions, but they are well educated already and wouldn't need a teacher!

If you want to teach, go somewhere else.


fiona 7 years ago

I taught English in Greece for 5 years at various Frontistirias (private schools). I worked for 4 different Greek employers and in every case was disappointed.

From not paying me, to not getting insurance, to the boss beating children (I quit!),to being given a flat that was worse than anything I had lived in as a student. I even faced sexual advances from one school owner and when I complained he totally turned the story and I was branded a putana (whore)-of course in a small town nobody believed the foreign women's word against the Greek.

The only thing that kept me sane was my love of teaching,the children who were great, beautiful Greece and my kind neighbours.

If you do decide to work in Greece be careful-check paperwork, contracts,be firm, check with other teachers or with IKA (insurance) what your entitlements are.

In the end I stopped school work and just did private lessons -i was finacially better off and could use more 'modern' teaching methods-generally greek schools are old fashioned and anything 'new' is frowned upon!


Ciara 7 years ago

Carolina

I was wondering if you could help me. I wish to teach English in Thessalonika, which is where my Greek boyfriend lives. I do not have a university degree, however I completed 2.5 years of a medical degree, and have 4 A grades in Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics in A Level. I was the top student in my school at A Level, but will this make absolutely no difference as I don't have a degree? Will I most likely be rejected outright for most positions? Is a degree required if I wished to teach privately, or would a TEFL qualification suffice? Are there any other courses I could take to improve my chances? Is there a basic Greek proficiency test I could take? I know objects, weather, numbers, colours, basic conversation, but not great at stringing whole sentences together. Please advise


Carolina Crete profile image

Carolina Crete 7 years ago from Crete, Greece Author

Ciara, The TEFL certificate can be obtained by anyone with a High School Education, so in practice a degree is not absolutely necessary.

Information on the government's Certificates of Attainment in Greek Language can be found here http://www.greeklanguage.gr/eng/exams.html

Good Luck.


jeryywilsonabroad 7 years ago

Hi, I am a graduate, planning to head out to teach English abroad. Before I go I would like to get some basic teacher training. I have looked around at some online TEFL courses, and the most serus and best put together one seems to be from this school : http://www.onlineteflcourse.net I would like to hear from anyone who has any expereince with this school. Thanks for your help.


Sgt Pepper 7 years ago

Hi Jeryy, I'm in a smilar boat to you at the moment and have been looking around too for the past few weeks.

I've looked at the course you mention but there is no mention of course accreditation which I understand for a lot of International Schools world-wide is essential, and so you would be unlikley to get a reasonable job in a decent school with decent pay. There is also no actual teaching practice offered which I think is worth considering especially as you are not only going to live in a foreign country but embarking on a new career. For me, it would be worth the hands-on expereince and cost to arrive with some confidence in what you are about to undertake.

The course I personally liked the look of is this one: http://www.intesolinternational.com/accreditation.... It is a lot more expensive but I think will deliver a good education, and ultimatley you get what you pay for.

Whatever you decide I wish you luck.

Regards, Mike


dianne 7 years ago

hello to all the teachers of english. i am now working at a language school and its awesome because the woman i work for goes by the book. she is very helpful and understanding for the rights of her employees. but i would like to know if anyone could answer is what about teaching at an elementary or highschool what paperwork does it involve? do you need a university degree?


Amanda King 7 years ago

Hi,

I'm just wondering what teaching young children is like in Greece? Is there a demand for English speaking teachers for young children, and what is the pay? I have a masters from NYU for early childhood educations, but I would love to teach for a while abroad, preferably in Greece, if it's possible.


Amanda King 7 years ago

From the above comment, please e-mail me at Amanda.King260@gmail.com if you have info, thank you!


Sarah Fauset 7 years ago

I am hiring university graduates to teach English in Korea at www.eslteacherrecruiter.com


jennifer mackenzie 7 years ago

I work in the TEFL industry now for a training organisation but I cut my first TEFLing teeth in Greece and I recognise it in many of the comments made here. It is frustrating, annoying, backward looking and all the other negative things mentioned here, people must remember that it is not the Uk or Australia or wherever else they are comparing Greece too. It is a different country with different ideals, beliefs and ways of working. You go abroad (hopefully) to experince hese differences. Although we may think some things are wrong we need to accept that this is how things are done there. Yes, maybe some things should change but others may be as perfectly correct/ok as anything we do in our own countries.

If you go to Greece to teach, be prepared to accept it is different, that to most Greeks it is the greatest country in the world and that everything is much much slower. Enjoy the sun, the celebrations, the mountains (I lived in the Peloponese!) and the people. It is a wonderful country (regardless of some of the devious school owners!)


bugsy81 profile image

bugsy81 7 years ago from Devon, England

Thanks a lot for this really interesting hub. My wife and I teach English in Japan at the moment and have been considering Greece - probably Crete - as the next step. Japanese students are generally quite shy and self-conscious, particularly about the grammar. I wonder how Greek students compare? Anyway, good stuff!


Leanda 7 years ago

This is one of the most informative pages I've read so far, so thank Carolina for a great hub! My problem is that I can't seem to get a job in any frontesteria (I live in Athens) - I have applied to several. I moved to Greece in 2007 with a background in graphic design. I wanted a change of career so decided to do a TEFL here in Greece. I passed with top marks and references, but I cannot get a teaching permit because I do not have a university degree, and without a teaching permit (they don't seem to care about lack of experience!) I cannot get my foot in the door. A lot of Greek teachers have told me to do a Michigan Proficiency Certificate, because they can get a permit just with that, but I don't think this is an option for native English speakers. Unless you know differently. To your knowledge, is there any way to obtain a permit without a university degree?


Carolina Crete profile image

Carolina Crete 7 years ago from Crete, Greece Author

The English Proficiency Certificate (both Michigan and Cambridge) can only be taken by ESL students to the best of my knowledge .. i.e.not by native speakers of English. However if you should have dual nationality, e.g. British & Greek it is possible to take the exam using your Greek credentials.

Again, as far as I know, a university degree is required to obtain a teaching permit. A number of language schools where I live in Crete will hire teachers without permits. Perhaps there are now more applicants than there are jobs in Athens and so the language school owners can insist on the permit.


neo_gnosis profile image

neo_gnosis 7 years ago

Hello

Excellent Hub first of all Carolina.

I am currently living in Athens but considering Crete (Chania) as a place of residency with my wife.

We are both looking at teaching English. It sounds as though TEFL gets you part of the way and a Proficiency in English should cover the permit side of things for the frontistirio. We both have dual citizenship (i.e. Australian and Greek) so that should allow us to sit the Proficiency exam. Does that sound correct?

My first question is, is there a demand for native speakers of English generally by frontistiria? Secondly, which TEFL course should I take (I have heard Corinth and Chania are the 2 main areas in Greece which run TEFL courses)? Which TEFL course should I choose to give me the right credentials to apply for and hopefully successfully find work in this field in Greece?

Thanks for your help and good luck to everyone that has posted.

Neo_Gnosis


Carolina Crete profile image

Carolina Crete 7 years ago from Crete, Greece Author

Hi Neo_Gnosis,

Yes, in my experience, you should be able to take the Proficiency in English exam using your Greek nationality (you'll need a Greek ID card).

In Chania there are dozens of frontistiria and they do employ many native English speakers so generally the prospects of finding a job here are pretty good.

As regarding which TEFL course to take,I would say that this is mostly down to the individual : how good is your English grammar? would you be comfortable walking into a classroom and starting to teach blind, or would you prefer to have a little experience of a classroom setting? Some TEFL courses offer practice teaching as part of the course. But perhaps a short online course would be sufficient for you, depending on confidence etc.

Most of the language schools will not differentiate between different types of TEFL, it is an added string to your bow as it is were; it's not a requirement to teach but an addition to your credentials.

Good luck


AshtenF 7 years ago

i am so confused. I am a U.S. citizen and a college graduate. I would like to teach english in Greece, but it seems nearly impossible. Every cite tells me something different. Some say you need to know Greek, while others claim that it is better to not know Greek. Also, some claim I would not need a permit while others are adamant that I would. This is so confusing and I feel extremely discouraged. Should I just give up on Greece and look into a different country?


Carolina Crete profile image

Carolina Crete 7 years ago from Crete, Greece Author

Hi Ashten,

There is the 'official' version and the non official version - as I mention in the article, some language schools will employ any native English speakers without a teaching licence.

Overall it is much harder for U.S. Citizens to legally find work teaching in Greece than for EU citizens. Why should a language school go through the hassle of sponsoring a work permit for a non-EU citizen when there are plenty of EU citizens to employ, who they are not required to sponsor? It's really down to supply and demand, and the reality is there appears to be a large supply of EU citizens doing the job at present so non-EU citizens will find it harder to get their foot in the door.


ollie 7 years ago

Hi , I have been teaching English in a Greek private school for the last 7 Years and was wondering how I could get a degree in teaching English. For eg:( Bachelor in English literature) as maybe a distance learner.This would be the easiest for me as I am a parent (who works in the afternoons) I know that this is all I need in order to teach English in a public Greek primary schools. How do I go about starting somehting like this?


Carolina Crete profile image

Carolina Crete 7 years ago from Crete, Greece Author

Ollie, have a look at the Open University:

http://www.open.ac.uk/


Jeannie 6 years ago

I am currently in Greece, after having done the TEFL Anglo Hellenic Training Course with Peter Beech. This course guranteess you a job placement after spending alot of money for a 120 hour course. What they do not tell you is that if you do not speak Greek it is hightly unlikely for you to get a job and if you do get a job the pay will be very bad. I did this course with Peter Beech who also has comment on this hub. I would not recommend this course to anyone who is looking for a job in Greece. Of course it is a bad time of year to find a teaching job, however if you are not an EU citizen, from my experience employers treat you as second class. Peter told all eight of us in the training course that employers did not care, but from what I have learned that is not the case. I came to Greece to do the TEFL course and learn about a different culture, I had no idea I would love it so much. Now I want to stay, although it seems to be impossible to get a teaching job in Corinth or surrounding areas on the mainland. I think there is a demand for English teachers here in Greece for sure but one should not deny that it is almost required to speak Greek or at least be an EU citizen. And anyone who wants to do the Anglo Hellenic TEFL course here in Greece, don't expect to be helped in anyway to find a job. Out of eight students this month only a couple were offered a job by Peter's wife who is Greek and does recruitment, not based on academia, but your social life, which is judged because you live in an apartment beneath the instructer Peter and his wife. I have never encountered such unprofessionalism in my whole life. If anyone has any further inquires on the TEFL course in Greece feel free to email me. I can give you plenty of other addresses that will agree with my feelings on the matter.


Jeannie 6 years ago

My email address regarding the above commentary is: jeanniemcfarlane@msn.com


Julia 6 years ago

Hi Carolina,

Thank you for this informative hub. I've been searching high and low for information regarding the teaching permit and I keep finding conflicting information. I would really like to learn from people who have been through the process of getting one what kind of degree is actually required. Some say "a degree (subject doesn't matter)", but more official sources seem to imply that it must be a language degree. The implications of that is that it is impossible for a native speaker with a degree and a tefl certificate to get a teaching permit.

I'm probably in rather a unique position, in that I'm a native speaker (South African) and I'm currently doing my doctorate at the University of Athens. I have my degree and masters (Theology) from the same university. As I have a student res permit, I can get a part time work permit. I've been interested in doing tefl for many years, and now that I don't have a scholarship I'm seriously looking into it as a source of fixed income.

So if anyone can give me any info on the teachers permit I would greatly appreciate it!

?????????!


Ana 6 years ago

Hello Carolina,

First, I would like to compliment you on your text which is both informative and clear. :))

I was wondering about something. I am croatian and would very much like to explore the possibility of working in Greece (from what I heard in the Consulate of the Hellenic Republic in Zagreb this is going to be a rather tedious process to go through LOL :))

But that is not where the real problem resides.Bottom point, I have so far obtained a BA in English language and literature and a BA in Czech language and literature with honours, and MA in English language, emphasis Linguistics with honours and MA in Cultural and Translation Studies also with honours, with a GPA 5.0/5.0 and 4.9/5.0 All the 4 diplomas I have received from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

What bothers me (all those problems with getting a work permit and alike aside) is the recognition of my diplomas. I have been warned that they might not be accepted by the Greek officials or whatever? Is there any website, office or whatever where i could get some more information about this particular issue? (from what little experience I have with the Greek bureaucracy I expect it to be an exhausting process, but still)

My knowledge of Greek is slowly progressing (emphasis on slowly :)), so I would prefer some sites in English if possible.

Thanks a lot. :)


Carolina Crete profile image

Carolina Crete 6 years ago from Crete, Greece Author

Hi Ana,

The recognition of degrees from non Greek Universities CAN be a problem in Greece, however this is mostly a problem in the public sector and for vocational qualifications, rather than in the private sector. The gov't body which deals with the recognition of qualifications can be found here:

http://www.ekep.gr/english/education/anagnorisi1_2...


Antonis Kos 6 years ago

Having received a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the USA and having taught in a frontistirio for more than 13 years, I finally decided to pursue the sureness and security of the private sector (?? ???????).So I submitted my application form along with a certified copy of my degree and official transcript to DOATAP .Was I disappointed (and puzzled in the beginning)when I found out that my degree was equal to but not equivalent to the English degrees awarded by the Greek universities. How could that be? My degree is from an English speaking country! Surely it is not subordinate to the ones offered here! But as soon as my anger and frustration subsided I began to see things more clearly. My degree was in literature and not in teaching English as a Second Language. That may not mean much to many teachers out there as it surely didn’t mean anything to me.It was a bitter pill for me to swallow,the fact that my academic requirements didn’t meet the ones here.I had a US degree, I taught for 13 years and had all the experience a teacher would want. So I thought! DOATAP required that I complete 6 courses: 4 in theoretical and descriptive linguistics (Functional Grammar, Sociolinguistics,Pragmatics,Cognitive Linguistics) and 2 in applied linguistics (Applied Linguistics,ELT Methodology). Concepts like communicative competence, task based teaching, communicative approach, how to integrate grammar into a communicative methadology instead of centralizing it( like I used to), the role of authentic materials in teaching, integrating receptive-productive skills, schematic/systemic knowledge, extensive reading, pre-while-post reading and listening,schemata and scripts,negotiation of meaning, processing and reciprocity conditions ,process vs product writing just to name a few, were all absent in my 13 years of teaching. I may have subconsciously applied some of the concepts I learned but based purely on instinct and less on intuition. My point is that many who seek permits for teaching English in Greece lack L2 teaching qualifications to the point where a CPE certificate is more than enough to provide such permits for work in the private sector. Being a native and/or fluent English speaker does not qualify you as a EFL teacher as many like to call themselves so. I am very grateful for having to matriculate for a second time in my life since I found out that I was hardly the teacher I thought I was.


Elaine K 6 years ago

I experienced similar problems getting a teaching licence in Greece as some of your other contributors - having passed the exam for competancy in Greek I was refused the licence because my Bsc Hons from a UK Polytechnic was not accepted for teaching purposes.I was told that I would have to have either Michigan or Cambridge Proficiency - at the time (2000) only non-native speakers were eligible to enter for both exams - in 2005 there was a change in the regulations for both bodies which meant that native speakers of English could take the exams and declare their native language as English - which is what I did. As far as I know this still applies.

If you have the 'glossomathia' in Greek and a certificate of proficiency in English you can apply for 'eparxia' - once you have the 'eparxia' you can apply for the teaching licence following health tests.

You also need to have patience and perseverance - it's a bit long winded but it can be done!


Spidermonkey 6 years ago

Very informative site! I have been quite dismayed over the last few days, as I too have come up against an extremely contradictory and archaic system when it comes to teaching English in Greece.

I myself am a UK national, and my wife is a Greek who has lived in the UK for the last 17 years. We recently made the decision to come to Greece to seek employment and start a life back in her home country.

Having researched the possibilities with regards TEFL/TESOL courses in the UK, we decided that we would come to Greece first before undertaking what are quite expensive courses, that in many instances require a full time commitment.

So very glad that we decided to do things this way around. I currently have a Bachelors degree and Masters, am a native speaker of English. I gained the impression from my research in the UK, that all that I needed was a TEFL or TESOL to begin teaching English in Greece.

Having arrived here, the story is quite different. It has come as news to me that in order to obtain a license to teach, I need to be a fluent speaker of Greek (with the relevant certificates/qualifications to prove this) or one of my degrees (BA or MA) needs to be in English Language or Literature, which neither of them are.

Had I decided to undertake a TEFL or TESOL first (which based on the information available from Greek authorities in the UK, I was positively encouraged to do) I would be £1000/1500 out of pocket, out of a full time job in the UK, having obtained a qualification that (officially) makes no difference with regards to the acquisition of a license required to teach here in Greece. An absolute joke, or perhaps more suitably what the Greeks would call satire and irony.

All the evidence suggests that you do not need to speak Greek in order to teach English here and that any degree level qualification will do. This is simply untrue as I have run headlong into a brick wall, namely the Greek system.

It is indeed a crackpot system where a qualified native speaker of English can be disregarded in favour of a foreign speaker of English, with a Cambridge certificate. No disrespect intended, but surely both have a place to teach.

All that is left for me to do is flout the law (which indeed seems to be a way of life and the Greek way of doing business)and try to gain employment without a license. This is something I do with great trepidation given some of the aforementioned stories. It is also interesting to note that the EU Commission is currently threatening to take Greece to court over the requirements made for a license.

Surely Greece must be unique in its stance of turning away qualified native speakers. If my wife was not a Greek national, I would probably be off to China to teach English, where most likely I would be greeted with red carpet, given my own private jet, and paid like a merchant banker for my efforts.

Sigh!


Carolina Crete profile image

Carolina Crete 6 years ago from Crete, Greece Author

Hi Spidermonkey and recent others,

Thanks for your comments. Yes it's a minefield in Greece and it is mentioned in the article that "some language schools will employ you without a degree or teaching licence (particularly in the islands)" i.e. illegally.

The insistence on a degree in either English Language or Literature seems to be a more recent regulation (be aware that his article was written in 2007)and any other info to support this is welcome.

Also, as at April 2010, the Greek government is looking into changing the law over the parallel recognition of University degrees from other countries. It could all still take some time...


Greek frontistiria 5 years ago

My Mother in Law is a UK trained English teacher who now works in Greece as a sort of freelance English teachers. In part she will work directly with students at their homes or with larger classes at one of the local frontistiria.

One of the best ways to get into this kind of teaching (if your qualified) is by going to one of your local frontistiria and tell them what you are looking for. You will be surprised at how easy it can be.


Tabitha  5 years ago

I have just come back after being in Greece for seven years. I started off in a Frontesterio - the kids were great but the owners ..... They paid me 8 euros an hour which was time in the classroom and didn't include preparation time, which is fairly usual. However, it was the extra curricula stuff they expected me to do gratis that took the biscuit. Endless meetings, administration, setting up exercises for computer studies and so on.

I did get all my paperwork - but the teaching certificate goes hand in hand with the work permit connected to the school. Yes, they do prefer a TEFL qualification, even though a Greek can teach with only a Proficiency certificate. (Think English A'level).

In the end I opted to do private lesson - and again the kids and their parents were fantastic. They were also very aware of the shortcomings of the Greek educational system - ie. endless tests and quizzes. They were also very keen on conversation classes and they were also keen on having native English speakers. There is a bit of conflict here; the Greek authorities believe they have enough Greek teachers to teach English and the parents don't want a Greek teacher they want an native English/French/German teacher.

But it is, or was, next to impossible to get a private teachers licence and without that it's all illegal! So, unless this situation has changed or I misunderstood the system it's something to bear in mind.

I have to say, I had a great time teaching and 1-1 does allow for more creativity in lesson planning and also enables a teacher to tailor a lesson to suit the child's needs.


eslinsider 4 years ago

Greece is beautiful. Know many US citizens over there teaching English?


john 3 years ago

Just wanted to mention that EnglishJobLinks.com is also a site to find taching jobs around the world.


kl77 2 years ago

Hi there,

I randomly came across this site and happy that I did.

I'm a TESOL & BA qualified English Language Teacher currently working in Korea. I'm an Australian but also an EU national and can speak Greek fluently. I'm considering working in Greece next year. Given the current economic climate, can anyone tell me what the situation is really like in the EFL industry there? What are my chances of finding a well paid job at a reputable private school?


Johne576 2 years ago

This actually answered my drawback, thank you! agegekbacdff


ESLinsider LM profile image

ESLinsider LM 21 months ago

Greece is awesome. Any jobs for Americans there teaching? Must be hard now.


wiserworld profile image

wiserworld 10 days ago

Thanks for sharing the tips about teaching in Greece. I hope the economy has been getting better and easier for everyone to find work.

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