Thursday, August 7, 2008

TESOL Jobs in Greece

General Information

Greece is a TESOL hotspot, with a quarter of those sitting the Cambridge First Certificate being Greek candidates. English is not so much a big business, as a myriad of small businesses, and there is an almost overwhelming number of schools. Anybody with a Cambridge Proficiency Exam can become licensed to open a school. School facilities range from the very basic to the excellent and teachers should expect a high level of professionalism.

Teaching English

Requirements vary depending on the size of the local market, but in order to qualify for a teaching post one should have at least an undergraduate degree and a TESOL certificate, but this is far from universal. In order to become a registered teacher, and work in a state school, it is necessary to have a BA in English and a TESOL certificate.

In private English language schools, you can expect to find yourself teaching all types of students, from high school pupils to those who work in occupations related to tourism. The standard can be highly variable, and the motivation - particularly amongst the high school pupils - is often less than what one would hope.

Wages tend to be on the low side, but are enough to support a comfortable standard of living. However, teaching experience is not a prerequisite for getting a job here. Greece is not the ideal destination for the career TESOL teacher, but more a place where people go to gain teaching experience and a great travel experience.

Getting a Job

When looking for a job it is a good idea to consider Greece’s tourist cycle. The best time for job hunting is in January, with a view to starting the following September. Conversely, July is a very poor time to be job hunting.

There are always plenty of positions available to teachers with a TESOL qualification and an undergraduate degree. Despite being a country where nearly everything is accomplished by word of mouth, there are a few agencies and organisations which can be contacted from abroad. These include:

Cambridge Teachers Recruitment, 17 Metron St, 142 42 Athens ph 210 258 5155, which places 75 teachers a year in schools.

Native English Teachers (NET), 72 Windsor Road, Worthing, West Sussex (01903 218 638), which places 20 candidates in private language schools a year.

On the spot a good source of local information on jobs the Pan-Hellenic Federation of Language School Owners, or PALSO, and it is worth contacting them on the spot at PASLO Headquarters, 2 Lykavitou St and Akadimias St, 106 71 Athens, ph 201 364 0792

Visas and Regulations

Most state schools are not prepared to go through the difficult process of hiring native English-speaking teachers from outside of Europe. However, in some cases it is easier to place teachers from the US than from other countries, such as Australia and New Zealand. Non-EU citizens should check with the Belgian consulate in their native country to look for language exchange programs, etc. Americans may wish to contact Interexchange, of New York, who run an exchange programme.

Becoming ‘resident’ requires jumping through a few hoops, and only those with a bachelor’s degree can consider applying. The process is made somewhat easier if the applicant also has a TESOL certificate. First, a teacher’s permit needs to be applied for. This will require original certificates of your qualifications, plus copies translated into Greek. You also need to have a medical examination. Once the teacher’s license has come through, the teacher must take it with passport and photos to the police station to apply for a residence permit, which takes about a month, and needs, with the medical, to be renewed annually.

For more information on becoming TESOL certified, visit us here!

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