Teaching English in France is a good option for learning more about the country and language. Many websites that focus on teaching or working in France, fill their pages with romantic adjectives, or stories of dreams come true, mouths stuffed with croissants etc. The reality is less rosy, but finding a TESOL job in France is certainly possible.
One of the great benefits of teaching English in France is the opportunity to learn the language. Salaries have not really risen much in the past few years, and for long term teachers, it may be worth setting up your own business – I've answered questions on setting up your own language school in France in the article below. It's also a tough option. Here are the details...
A few jobs are advertised on the internet, but it's best to make speculative online enquiries. The French Yellow Pages contains lists of ESL schools in the country. The paper version apparently has a more complete listing. You should check this out after arrival.
There is a yahoo group for English Teaching Jobs in France which might be helpful. TESOL France claims to give you "endless networking opportunities, but charges around €50 a year to join. Here's a link to a French employment agency in French. I've included the links to help jobseekers, but I haven't used these services myself.
Choose the part of France that interests you, and send your CV and a cover letter to as many schools as you can. I called over 100 schools when I first went to Madrid , and received 2 definite jobs offers. The same could happen in Paris if you arrive in the middle of the academic year. Talking about Paris, it can be a tough place for a new teacher without any experience to find work – possible, of course, and there are chain schools that do hire new teachers.
To avoid the above situation it is best to arrive just before the start of the academic year – in September. Remember that in August most schools will be closed for the summer holidays. January is also possible, but you will need to look harder for jobs.
Options include language schools, private tuition, or teaching at universities. There are also jobs as teaching assistants in schools. In more detail...
Language schools exist throughout the country, especially in the cities. As already mentioned, send out you CV and cover letter to as many schools as you can. When you arrive in September - January is also possible, but more work - telephone the schools to see if they are interested. It should be possible to arrange some interviews.
For private tuition put ads everywhere you can. Notice boards in boulangeries, boucheries etc. Anywhere with a notice board. Get name cards printed. Some online companies now offer this as a free service. If you are planning to be teaching English in France for a few years consider setting up a website as well.
If you are interested in becoming a language assistant, the French government runs a programme. You need to be aged 20-30, or up to 35 for UK citizens. Have at least 2 years of higher education, and speak 'good French.' For more detailed information check out the centre international d etudes' pedagogiques website .
The weekly market in Eu in Normandy
The main requirement is to be a native speaker of English with enough desire to put in the effort to find work. A degree is certainly helpful - and often essential. TEFL certification is desirable, and can help you become a better teacher. It's not absolutely essential, but without it you will probably end up with one of the lower quality esl jobs. Experience is always helpful, but as with tefl certification not essential.
Please note that the best esl jobs in any country, and France is no exception, nearly always go to TEFL certified and experienced teachers. However, some schools do offer in-house TEFL training.
Learning the language is always helpful, but in France it's more helpful. Many jobs ask for some ability in French, but fluency is not necessary. So brush up on your French before arrival.
I came across one website that described teaching English in France as "a decent way to eek out a living." The average salary is around €1,000-€1,400 a month, and hasn't really changed in some years. The cost of living is high, especially in Paris, where renting a whole apartment would probably take all of your salary. Renting a room is certainly possible, and is cheaper. A few schools include accommodation in the package.
Private tuition can help supplement your income - €15-€25 an hour is about normal. Of course, some teachers charge a bit less, some more. The better your French, marketing skills, and teaching, the more profitable this will become.
The market in Eu
Teaching English in France is a good option for learning more about, and experiencing the country. One thing you'll learn about is the antiquated French language learning system in the public schools, which encourages passive students. The good point is that this means there are more opportunities for English teachers here.