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5 Crucial Tips for Teaching English in France

5 Crucial Tips for Teaching English in France

Teaching English in France can be a fun, exciting adventure, but there are a few things you need to know before you relocate and get teaching.

Becoming an English teacher overseas is becoming an increasingly popular career choice among people from all walks of life.

From recent graduates keen to experience a completely different lifestyle to retirees seeking new adventures, working as a TEFL professional opens up a wealth of exciting opportunities.

As France is experiencing a shortage of English teachers at the moment, there’s never been a better time to brush up on the different teaching English in France methods, delve into your France travel guide, and head to La République Française to fulfill your dream of teaching English in Europe.

Why Teach English In France?     

A TEFL qualification opens up so many possibilities, allowing you to travel almost anywhere worldwide and work in a rewarding role. So, why go to France to teach English?

One of the main reasons that TEFL professionals choose to head over the Channel is because they are already familiar with France and the French language itself.

Most schools in the UK still teach French as their primary modern language, so many people already have some knowledge of French culture, have sufficient skills to understand the written and spoken word, and, most importantly, can make themselves understood.

As France to the UK is also just a short hop away, it’s an appealing choice for those who are keen to spread their wings a little but still within easy reach of home.

France has so much to offer too, from its varied and beautiful landscapes to its art, cuisine, and history. There are many experiences in France to be had and plenty of beautiful cities in France to explore.

No matter where you’re based, there’s always something amazing to discover, whether it’s a spectacular chateau, a gorgeous beach, a picturesque village, or seemingly endless vineyards. Why would you want to teach anywhere else?

With that in mind, here are five top France tips to help get you started with teaching English in France. They should help to smooth your way and make it easier to get to grips with your new role.

Tips for Teaching English in France

Standing out in France

1. Make Yourself Stand Out

If you’re a native English speaker, you already have an advantage over some of your competitors when it comes to securing an English teaching job in France. However, you can’t rely on your fluency to make you stand out from the crowd. You’re going to need to have some qualifications that will get you noticed.

If you don’t have a degree, there’s no need to worry. Not every position requires one. While there are some roles where a degree or even a master’s is necessary, there are plenty more where being a native English speaker with the right skills and a positive attitude are far more important.

That said, having a TEFL qualification is the best way to make sure that your CV gets noticed. While not every English teaching job in France requires TEFL certification, you’ll find that the best ones do, and they’ll also come with better working conditions and a higher rate of pay.

Being TEFL certified proves that you have the right skills, experience, and knowledge to teach English to your students, and that’s something that every language school will be looking out for.

Teaching English In France

2. Know Where To Look For Work

You may head to France with dreams of living a rural idyll in the rolling countryside of the Dordogne. But realistically, the number of English teaching posts in such remote locations is few and far between.

Most language schools are found in major cities and urban areas. Paris, of course, is home to several prestigious and well-known language schools, including those run by the British Council and Berlitz.

However, there are other options if you’re looking for a more affordable location and perhaps a more laid-back lifestyle. Montpellier, Nice, and Lyon are just a few of the popular cities where you are likely to find English teaching roles and great places that should be on your France bucket list.

It’s important to remember, though, that not all language schools are created equal, and not all will offer you the same high-quality experience. It’s worth doing some research before applying for any posts so that you avoid any institutions that are known for their poor conditions or low rates of pay.

While language school chains are often an easy way to find a job quickly, they’re not your only option, and they may not always be the best either, so take the time to consider all possibilities before you take the plunge.

Children in Paris, France

3. Decide Who You’ll Be Teaching And Where

Some TEFL professionals believe that their only option is to get a job at a language school, but there are plenty of other possibilities to consider.

If you already have teaching experience and a degree, you may be able to find a position in a public or private school teaching English to children.

Alternatively, if you have a master’s degree, working in a university is another possibility. It’s important to remember, though, that universities in France usually only pay at the end of the semester, so you’ll have to find a way to support yourself financially until payday comes around.

How to teach English in France

A lesser-known option is to enquire with local town halls since many offer English language courses of their own and may be keen to hire a native speaker, especially one with a TEFL qualification.

Other options include offering private English tutoring sessions, which will allow you to set your own fees and conditions, or to teach online, delivering classes on a 1:1 or small group basis from the location of your choice.

Both of these options enable you to fit your workday around your schedule, allowing you to really make the most of your time in France while also earning a living.

Renting an apartment in France

4. Get Off To The Right Start

It’s imperative to be physically and mentally prepared before moving to France to teach English. Being financially prepared is especially vital. Keep in mind that you won’t get paid straight away, regardless of where you’re working, so you’re going to need sufficient money to keep you going for at least four to six weeks.

If you’re paying for accommodation as well as travel, food, and drink, you’re going to need around 2,600 Euros to get you through until your first paycheck arrives. You should certainly try to ensure you’ve already got accommodation lined up before you arrive in France so that you don’t have a last-minute panic when you get there.

Hostels are an affordable option for your first couple of weeks until you find something more long-term, but if you have any friends or family living in France, it’s always a good idea to try to stay with them until you get on your feet.

Eiffel Tower in Paris

5. Immerse Yourself In The Experience

Planning a trip to France can be easy but planning a move to France and settling down is a little trickier.

The more you immerse yourself in the experience of living and working in France, the more rewarding you’ll find your new life, and the easier it’ll be to adjust to the inevitable changes that you’ll encounter.

France has a different education system when compared with the UK and the USA, so you need to familiarise yourself with the French curriculum and the system’s expectations and structure. You should research the various assessment techniques and teaching methods that are typically used in France, especially if you’ll be working in a private or public school, and be prepared to adopt a teaching style in line with what is expected.

Although you don’t need to be completely fluent in the French language, being able to understand at least some French will make your life far easier in your new post. You’ll be better able to communicate with colleagues and students alike and be well-placed to navigate everyday life in the country.

If you feel like your knowledge needs brushing up, it can help to take a language course to enhance your skills and become more proficient.

Living in France

As an overseas professional heading to France, you need to be willing to adapt to the local way of life and the various cultural differences that you’ll experience.

Even though France may seem relatively close to home, it’s still very different from the UK in several ways. With that in mind, you should be respectful of local etiquette, traditions, and customs at all times so that you can build positive working relationships with your students and other colleagues.

Most of all, you need to be willing to be adaptable and flexible. Teaching English in any foreign country will naturally bring challenges and unexpected situations. Having the right attitude will ensure you navigate more easily through the exciting opportunities that being an English teacher in France can present.

Friends in France

Should I Teach English In France?

If you’re keen to embrace a new challenge and put your English teaching skills to good use, teaching English in France as a TEFL professional is an excellent career decision.

If you follow these top five crucial tips, you’ll find that it’s easier than you thought to find your first position and integrate yourself fully into the rich tapestry of French life.

Spending just 10 days in France can be fun, but nothing beats living in France and enjoying everything the country has to offer.

Reasons to visit Franceteaching english in france salary

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