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Many people are interested in teaching English in France. This makes perfect sense; France is a beautiful country with many teaching opportunities and very little competition for these positions in comparison to other countries in Europe. However, there is a lot that you should keep in mind before pursuing one of these positions.
What qualifications do I need to become an English teacher in France?
If you want to teach English in France, you really should have a bachelor's degree, as well as an intermediate level of proficiency in the French language. The bachelor's degree can be in almost any subject. Though it is a definite advantage to have a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate, this is not necessary for a job. Also, although it is much easier to acquire a position related to teaching in France than it is in most other European countries, official teaching positions are somewhat hard to come by, since there is a preference for native French people. Oftentimes, English speakers from other countries are hired for assistantships, and then hired by schools as consultants.
How do I get an English job in France?
Jobs can be fairly easy to find but it can be challenging to be hired. You an start by browsing English jobs in France on TeacherHit and apply to open positions there. Many of the jobs are teaching English which is always in demand. You can often be hired as a teaching assistant if you are looking for an English position.
Why do I need to know French?
It is necessary that you know French, because generally speaking, the people that you will be teaching have French as their first language. You will not be able to communicate as effectively as you need to with these individuals if you do not have at least a working knowledge of the French language. Since you are teaching them English, you need to be able to communicate to them in their language as well in order to get your lessons across effectively.
Are there any visa requirements that I should know about to teach English in France?
In order to teach English in France, you will need a work visa. This is particularly true if you want to teach for an extended amount of time. In order to get your visa, you will need to find a company that is willing to hire and sponsor you throughout the entire process. Generally, the best way to do this is to find an agency that can help place you into employment. Another option, though more difficult, is to connect with an employer of teachers who is willing to hire you; this way, it is possible that you could find a job directly.
Is there anyone in particular that I should contact if I want a formal employment opportunity?
If you want to pursue more formal employment, consider contacting the Cultural Service of the French Embassy. This department actually secures and arranges placement for English teachers and teaching assistants in France. It may also be possible to find a position if you contact the French Council Exchanges. There is plenty of information available about both of these organizations, if you want to see how they work in regards to this process.
What would be the nature of a teaching position in France?
There are a few different options for teaching English in France. If you are not able to obtain more secure formal employment, you can work as a freelance teacher. This option might offer an advantage. In this case, you would not have to become involved with a school, college, or any kind of company; you could teach on your own terms and on your own schedule. Most likely, you won't be able to support yourself entirely in this way, however. It would simply be a good way to gain experience and make some supplemental income. Generally, you would make about ‚¬15-‚¬20 per session. Most formal teaching positions and assistantships that these departments organize are located in the lower level educational facilities and teachers training colleges. One fairly recent development in this field entails teaching students over the telephone. This method is becoming increasingly popular in many European countries, particularly France. Teachers who employ this method are able to do their jobs without having to leave their houses or even their home countries. This is great for someone who is unable to secure work visas or who can't travel for whatever reason.
How many hours a week do teachers generally work?
The average amount is about 25 hours per week. Some people work full time, but because of limited funding, these full time contracts are very rare. Teachers typically operate part time and often take private students on the side. On top of classes, teachers have to do preparation work for these classes. Teachers who work over the telephone or as other types of freelance teachers have much more flexibility and variability in their schedules.