Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
The significance of the English language is unquestionable in today’s globalized era and,as a consequence,the importance of its teaching starting from a young age doubtless. Formal teaching occurring at educational centressuch as private and public schools is one side of learning; there is, however, the non-formal aspect which gains increasing support and it refers to the private tuition delivered in non-governmental centresin Europe. Sweden and Greece, two European countries, have adopted this kind of learning presenting, nevertheless, a number of differences as well as similarities regarding the organization of teaching English as a foreign language in non-governmental centresand the overall practices of leadershipthat affect not only the organization of teaching, but its practitioners as well, the teachers.
The study took place in three non-governmental educational centres, one in Stockholm and two in Thessaloniki and the participants were leaders of the centres or head teachers and English teachers.The qualitative approach to research was employed and the data was collected through literature review, semi-structured interviewsin allthree centresand observations in two of the three, one in Stockholm and one in Thessaloniki, due to availability.The sample of the research, being small, does not allow for generalizations of the practices of the centres in the two countries.The data collected and transcribed produced five themes that contributed to the analysis and discussion of the findings: the organization of English language teaching taking into consideration the subthemes of comprehensible instruction, negotiation of meaning, content area instruction and sensitivity as well as the ideology and approaches based on which teaching is carried out; the aims of the teachers and the leaders concerning the students and the centresas well as each participant’s personal development; the collaboration or lack of it among the personnel of each centre; the impact of the leadership on teaching and on choosing materials; and, lastly, the already acquired qualifications of leaders and teachers and the ones necessary for recruitment in each centre.
The findings demonstrated great differences among the centres of the two countries and between the two countries with the main dissimilarity being the aim of the non-governmental institution’s existence and the ages that usually enrol. In Stockholm, the aim of such centres is not merely one and it depends on the students’ needs and wants. The usual enrolling ages are people over the age of twenty. On the contrary, in Thessaloniki, the purpose of enrolment is mainly the attainment of a foreign language certificate and students enrol starting at the age of eight. Collaboration among the teachers seems a common phenomenon in Thessaloniki, however, this is not always the case in the centre examined inStockholm. In addition, the iiileadershipstyle employed does not greatly influence the teaching and materials of the teachers in the Stockholm centre, however, a greater influence is demonstrated as became evident by the intervieweesin the two centres in Thessaloniki. Lastly, the main qualifications of the teachers in all the centres is a Bachelor’s degreeand most of them seem to have been further educated through acquiringteaching licenses, diplomasand certificates on the practices and methodological approaches of English teaching, along with staying up to date with any news that reflects on their teaching through seminarsand conferences.
2015. , 93 p.