With one of the most beautiful and romantic languages in the world, it’s sometimes no surprise that the French are more reluctant to learn English; however, their snobby attitudes towards English has somewhat lifted and now it would seem that the French have finally come to recognise the necessity to know English well.
When it comes to locations, France is one of the more desirable places to visit and work. Being centred in the heart of Europe and home to some of the world’s more iconic tourist sites such as the Eifel Tower, The Palace of Versailles and The Louvre, France will always be a popular place with people throughout the world.
There are so many English teachers who’re interested in teaching in France and as a result they immediately dismiss even researching ESL jobs there. There’s this common misconception that there are very few or no jobs for foreign teachers in France, which is not the case. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that France is full of ESL teaching positions and it’s surprisingly easy to find a job.
Unlike other European countries, the French do not place as much emphasis on professional teaching qualifications. However, what they do look for is a working knowledge of French and just a Bachelor’s Degree and they’re also big on experience, so if you’re a new ESL teacher on the scene, you may have a harder time.
To teach ESL in France it is necessary to have a work permit. In some cases it’s perfectly fine to work as an ESL teacher in France on either a tourist or student visa if you’re working part-time hours. However, in the abovementioned cases you can’t just depend on part-time hours to get you by because if you’ve ever visited France, you’ll know the cost of living is not cheap, especially not in one Europe’s most expensive cities, Paris. At the end of the day if you’re really serious about working as an ESL teacher in France for a longer period of time, it’s a good idea to get a work visa.
However, getting a work visa is sometimes easier said than done because first you’ve got to find a company that’s willing to sponsor you. Some French employers often avoid this; not because it’s impossible, but there’s always a lot of red tape involved, which is why sometimes it’s better to go through an agency that will be able to place you with a company that’s willing to sponsor an ESL teacher. Unlike other countries, France is well-equipped when it comes to helping teachers find teaching placements.
The Cultural Service, which is part of the French Embassy, assists in providing placement for ESL teachers and teaching assistants in France. Another place to check out is the French Council Exchange which helps place teachers in lower-level learning facilities.
Teaching private English courses in the home is also very possible in France and while the work may be more casual, it’s possible that you can earn around €20 per hour outside of Paris and perhaps up to €40 per hour depending on your clients in Paris. It’s highly unlikely, you’ll be able to live off just teaching privates, but in any case it’s a good way to supplement your income and give yourself a bit of extra play money to explore some of the magnificent places throughout France.
There’s been a recent development in teaching in France over the last couple of years and that’s teaching via telephone or by Skype. This is becoming more popular in a few countries, but with the ever-growing need for business English knowledge in France, it’s even more popular there. This is also great for the ESL teachers in France as sometimes public transport can be somewhat chaotic and expensive and this method of teaching English doesn’t require the teachers to move from their homes or waste any of their own money or time.
Life in France is not cheap. Paris is one of the more expensive cities in the world, and naturally, it’s also one of the more desirable cities to head to for ESL teachings looking for jobs in France. Some of the averages in Paris include:
A cheap meal for one: €12
A pint of beer: €6
0.33l Water: €2.30
One-way local ticket: €1.80
Taxi start tariff: €3.80
One-bedroom apartment in city centre: €1,200
One-bedroom apartment outside city: €830
France is not all about Paris, be sure to check out other major cities such as Nice and Lyon if you’re looking for an English teaching position in France. There’s no unattractive area of France, each place has its charm, so if you’re the kind of person who’s really interested in French history and culture, and you’ve also got some knowledge of the French language, teaching ESL in France could be the experience that you’ve been searching for.