Made in Greece: PALSO Federation and foreign language education in Greece
For over 50 years the private language school system in Greece, commonly known by the Greek name ‘frontisterion’, has pioneered the development of language studies making Greece one of the publishing market leaders in continental Europe in books and documents published in English. Stimulated by the demand for international trade, the ‘frontisteria’ arose to meet the need of families wishing to take advantage of the international trade opportunities in English speaking countries following the end of World War II. This paper explores the origins and history of private language tutoring schools in Greece and explains the pedagogic and examination principles behind them. It also addresses the development and importance of the testing system adopted in the private tutorial schools and the development of an association to ensure quality teaching and testing of language proficiency, particularly for English language. In doing so, it examines the process of development of a teaching syllabus, teacher training and examination system which has influenced both Greek state and private language education.
KEYWORDS: frontistirion, private schools, UCLES, language associations, language exams, TEFL, CEFR, Waystage, Threshold