Travel & Teach - France
Despite the willingness of the French to cling to their language and culture, there are real opportunities for teaching English in France. If you are flexible and happy to teach one-to-one in the business field then you should have little difficulty finding work, as the government stipulates that French companies provide vocational training for staff. Here a driving licence can also be an advantage, as you may have to travel to different business addresses. France’s proximity to England also makes it a natural choice for those keen to fix up positions on the spot. However, the fact that so many travelling teachers are able to make speculative applications personally does make it more difficult for those who wish to secure a position from the comfort of their English living rooms. Schools obviously prefer to see who they are getting if they have the choice. So many of our graduates go there first and apply in person.
French students of English have notorious difficulty with speaking English, so you can expect to work quite a lot on pronunciation in your classroom. Some anti-English language attitudes may also exist, so get round this by learning some French before you go. If you can speak even just a little of the language it will help to open doors for you.
British Council http://www.britishcouncil.org/
British Council in France: http://www.britishcouncil.org/france.htm
French Embassy UK: http://www.ambafrance-uk.org/
French Embassy USA: http://www.info-france-usa.org/
French National Tourist Office: http://www.francetourism.com/
Need more info: Teaching English Abroad available through our bookshop page
Teaching English in France; a how to guide
Global English students are working all over the world with their accredited TESOL certificates. Find out
how TESOL training from Global English has made a difference to their lives:
So much has happened in such a short space of time and the adventure continues. I obtained a Global English TESOL qualification in 2005 and shortly afterwards the family (my husband, four children and I) moved to France (another story and now another child…)
We bought a house in Normandy near Lisieux, began a Chambres d’Hôtes (www.lestourneurs.com) and shortly afterwards a language school (www.allianceanglaise.com ) offering English language immersion courses to business men and women in the area. There was a considerable amount of initial admin involved in order to be ‘agrée’ (registered) by the State, something we only realised we had to do after our first conversation with a company following the posting of 3,000 letters and brochures! We are registered as ‘professions libérals’ for tax purposes, but the status of ‘autoentrepeneur’ has since evolved, which for those of you keen to do a similar activity would perhaps be more beneficial. We obtained lists of local companies from the relevant ‘Chambres de commerces’ and primarily use a series called ‘the Business’ by Macmillan, who were very generous with their resources.
Life in France is very different from how I imagined it would be but we love it, and for those of you interested in doing something similar we have a vision to open up centres in the south, west and east of France!
I enrolled with Global English a year ago before moving to the south of France with my (French) husband and young son. The course has been great for me in terms of rekindling a long-dormant part of my brain where English grammar had been stored – and for making me think about how students learn and how to plan lessons. While undertaking the course, I was lucky to find one-to-one work with three teenage students. I am paid under a government scheme – Service Emplois Familiaux – which offers tax reductions to working parents employing others in their home for such things as housework, caring for children or the elderly, educational support, etc. The mother of my first client did all the paperwork to register me. Also, during the year, I volunteered at my son’s school – I read a book of my choice, in English, to two separate classes of 5-6 year olds with their teacher reading a French translation, page by page. The children really enjoyed this weekly visit – and I enjoyed working with them.
I've been working with an Association since the beginning of October. I've got 2 groups of children; the second group are aged 8+ and, after the holidays (it's the start of the November school holidays here), I'm going to work with them using the 'Chit Chat' range of course books). I've also got 4 groups of adults (beginners, pre-intermediate, intermediate and conversation). Payment is a percentage of the charge so is dependent on the numbers - it'll never make me a fortune but it's great to be working with adults as well as children now!
I also started last week in primary schools again - I've got 5 classes, twice a week, based in two different schools. Last year I had an 'Assistant's contract' as I was replacing a young woman who gave up before the end of her year. They couldn't wangle that for me this year and I have a different contract and receive 32% less money than last year! I do now understand one of your other students’ comments on the website about teaching in primary schools in France. Never mind the hours still suit me and I'm enjoying it! Oh yes and my Wednesday afternoon groups of children at home are going very well this year.
After completing the Global English Level 2 TESOL with business, I found a job working with the training centre attached to the Chamber of Commerce in Caen.
The TEFL training with Global English gave me a very good basis on which to start teaching. I never realised the extent of the contents of English grammar. That, together with all the practical aspects of teaching, were very well covered within the TEFL training. I had already started a contract before finishing the course but the fact that I was studying for the TEFL certainly helped me to get the job.
I am living in France and teaching English within a language school. The school covers many different types of English training from examinations to one-to-one Business English. Teaching is held within classrooms at the centre or on customer sites. I did the TEFL with Business and this has certainly helped me to specialise within this area. I have taught English to company Directors, Salesmen, Technicians, Engineers and accountants as well as others within the Hotel and Restaurant sector.
My next anticipated move is to Spain. I know that I would not have had the opportunities to teach without doing the TEFL course. It was absolutely perfect for me as I have access to the internet and can work from home. This enabled me to take my time and research the necessary subjects. I found all the study booklets extremely helpful. I still refer to the examples from time to time when I'm planning lessons around a particular grammar point. I feel that now I have been teaching for a year I have gained a lot of knowledge and confidence. I hope to continue to teach and make progress within this career.
have been living in Northern France for Iover 10 years. I've been teaching English to both primary age children and adults after completing the Global English Level 2 TESOL with business.
My family and I moved to France in 1991 after a three and a half year stay in Hong Kong. Arriving in Basse Normandie with two small children was a breath of fresh air and we settled in a small village house near Mortagne-Au Perche, near Alençon.
I found work locally in a private village school, teaching English to primary children.
After three years in Basse Normandie, we moved to Haute Normandie and are now based in a village situated between Dieppe and Rouen. Life is very rural here and is reminiscent of an England of the 1960’s. People make cheese and calvados in their farms, they keep chickens in their back yards and go shopping at the market on Saturday with huge wicker baskets (although trips to the hypermarket are also the order of the day).
The area is dominated by the huge Forêt d’Eawy, boasting some 6000 hectares and ideal for walkers and horse riders except in the hunting season. Property prices are rising slowly but are very low by English standards and the cost of living is also low – a reflection of the fact that wages are considerably less than in England. Culture is available in Dieppe and Rouen and there life is much more as it is in England. Public transport is virtually non-existent in country areas and a car is a necessity.
I worked until last year in primary education teaching English to children in the age range of 8 – 11 years. This sort of post is called « vacataire » and is paid on an hourly rate of around 16 Euros. There is no holiday or sickness pay or other benefits and it is basically a rip-off. The French Government has become very interested in providing modern language teaching for primary children and has obliged schools to teach children English, but there is not enough money in the budget to do this correctly. This has resulted in French primary teachers, many of whom have little knowledge of the language being pressured by Inspectors to teach English after a short period of training at the University. The results predictably are catastrophic, with children “speaking English” with unrecognisable accents and no feeling for the language or culture. It has also resulted in jobs like mine disappearing and hence has led me into the work I am now doing – teaching Business English to adults after a very interesting course with Global English !!
What can I expect to earn (range) for teaching adults English? I speak French pretty well and teach eleven year olds in the us right now. (Coincidentally i have some legal experience as well.) Curious.
As with all countries, salaries will depend on a number of factors, including any TEFL experience and qualifications you have. However, recently (as of 2012) we have seen positions advertised with salaries starting at around 1500 Euros a month, from which tax and deductions would be made.
Alternatively 19 - 25 Euros per hour is a good basic rate, but you can earn more if you are freelancing or teaching a specialism, such as business English.
We'd like to thank our Global English TESOL course graduates for sharing their experiences above. For our guide on teaching English in France and for a special discount on our most popular online TESOL courses for France, sign up at the top right of this page, and we'll send it to you free of charge.
Travel and Teach
A Global English Level 2 TESOL with business will significantly enhance your job prospects, as will a degree and any business experience/qualifications. You’ll need to apply for a residence permit from a special division of the Police within 3 months of arriving. To complete your application a birth certificate, rent receipts, salary cheques (if working) and certificate originals will be required. If you are not yet working, it is sensible to have evidence that you can support yourself financially for a period.
Lists of language schools (by region) are available in the yellow pages (pages Jaunes) and this probably provides the best place to start your search once you arrive. It is highly expensive and bureaucratic for French companies to take on staff on a temporary basis. This means that prospects are good for the self-employed freelancer, although you must register at the social security office. This route is not for the faint hearted as it is a highly competitive market. Some Global English graduates have found work through the hundreds of local Chambers of Commerce (CCI’s). One former student is currently teaching English to staff at a pharmaceutical company.
France also provides the opportunity to teach English over the telephone. Teachers have testified to the fact that students feel less inhibited making mistakes when speaking in this way. The nervous new teacher may feel the same, so why not investigate this option?
With the growth in numbers of English moving to France, there is more competition now and living expenses are especially high in Paris; something to bear in mind as a new teacher. So you might want to think about more attractive alternatives in the provincial towns and even in the holiday areas, where accommodation is less expensive (out of season) and the competition less fierce. It may be easier to pick up extra private tuition and even exchange lessons for cheap accommodation.
For EU nationals it is relatively easy to obtain the necessary paperwork to live and work here, but it can take time and again if you speak some French it will be helpful to untie some of the red tape that binds up the process.
Paradoxically the same notorious bureaucracy that creates such a headache for employers has created rigorously enforced rights for contracted salaried workers. This includes 5 weeks paid holiday per annum, and sick pay. Where offered, contracts are generally for between 9 - 12 months. But do not generally expect a lot of help from schools in terms of finding accommodation and orientation, unless you find that gem of a school (and they do exist!) that wants to fall over backwards to help you.
France is such a popular destination for our TESOL course graduates, we have written a free guide to teaching there.
Get your free guide to teaching English in France with TESOL course discount code. Email us now.