When you are officially qualified to teach English as a foreign language and you live in France, there are plenty of opportunities for you to find employment. In this article, you will be able to find many leads that you can explore, depending on your personal situation, your experience, the students you would like to teach, your educational background or simply your schedule.
1) Teaching as a host family
If you would like to teach in a setting that is less rigorous than a formal classroom environment, with more opportunity to direct the lessons in a creative and personal way, you can become a host family for Daily English.
Daily English is a programme that hires English speaking families to host small groups of students during the holidays. The point of this kind of programme is to be able to immerse French students in the English culture and language. To apply, you need to be certified as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), or a teaching degree and live in France (though we have recently expanded to several other European countries).
In the morning you teach your students (4 children maximum) and in the afternoon you all participate in activities meant to create a real bond and interest for the language. The advantages here are that you are able to teach your language in the comfort of your own home, in a setting that is more relaxing, without the obligations that a classroom or institutions could require of you.
One of the most common ways to teach English in France is tutoring. Since French is part of the official curriculum, many pupils and students feel the need to organise private lessons in English in order to improve themselves and progress so that they can succeed in class. In the same manner, many adults hire private tutors to improve their language skills for professional reasons or personal ones (such as travelling abroad).
There are many ways that you can become a tutor; by posting ads in newspapers or on classified ads websites (like Leboncoin), by hanging flyers in public places, or by registering on tutoring websites. The most famous tutoring website in France is Acadomia.
The concept is simple, you create your account and send out your resume. If it is selected, you must pass an interview in which you demonstrate your abilities and talk about your qualifications and motivations, and if you are hired, you get tutoring contracts. The other famous website when it comes to tutoring is Superprof. Here the concept is slightly different: you create an account, complete your profile and students chose you directly when they need to. The advantage of tutoring is that it allows you to have other activities on the side as it is not a full time job, while still giving you the opportunity to teach.
3) Becoming a teacher's assistant
Another way to start teaching in France is to get a job as a teacher's assistant. It can be a good way to gain some experience in France and earn some money. Teacher's assistants are recruited through the CIEP, a programme specialised in international relations. The conditions to be chosen as a teacher's assistant are to be between 20 and 30 years old, have a basic knowledge of French and be registered in a university. So if you are an English speaker, freshly certified to teach in your country but are looking to export your talents to France, this can be a good idea as you could register in college to study French (or a different subject) and at the same time teach English in middle or high school.
A teacher's assistant usually works about twelve hours a week, giving you time to focus on other things.
4) Teaching in non-maintained schools
If you have a teaching certification in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and wish to teach full time in a classroom without having the French diploma to teach (called the CAPES, which stands for Certificat d'Aptitude au Professorat du Second Degré, basically a secondary school teaching degree), this is a good option is for you. There are schools in France that are not tied to the Ministry of Education and operate outside of its rules, although they follow a similar curriculum. To get a job in these schools, you don't have to have the official teaching diploma, all you need is motivation and experience. Most of these schools belong to networks like “La Fondation Pour l'Ecole” or “Espérance Banlieue” or even some religious organisation.
To apply to work in these schools, you must contact them directly by sending them your resume and a cover letter. If your profile is selected, you will have to pass an interview after which you can be hired to teach. It is possible to find ads for these schools on employment websites like Pole Emploi or on these schools websites.
5) Teaching in maintained schools with the CAPES
If you have the French certification to teach English, then the path is pretty straight forward. You will become a trainee for a year, during which you will be part time teacher, part time student. At the end of this training year, you either become fully qualified (receiving the status of Certified Teacher), or you get renewed for a second training year after which you most likely will become certified. If you have the CAPES, you do not apply directly to a school, the Ministry places you where teachers are mostly needed according to a point system.
The advantage of that is that once you are certified, you cannot lose your job, the downside is that if you do not have enough points, you might not be put where you want to after your training year and it might take you a few years to get there.
6) Teaching in maintained schools without the CAPES
The CAPES is the official degree that you need in order to have a position as a teacher of the Ministry of Education. Each year, the Ministry of Education needs new teachers to face the growth in population and personnel changes. Due to the recent crisis in education, some of these positions are not filled in because there are not enough people who pass the Certificate or apply. That is why, each year, the Ministry recruits teachers who are not certified to fill in. These kinds of contract can be for a few months (replacement during medical leave) or a full year and can be extended up to six years.
After these six years, you either leave or take the Certificate in order to become an official teacher. In order to apply to these jobs, you need to apply to the “Rectorat” of the area that you live in. The Rectorat is a branch of the Ministry that deals with personnel. If your application is satisfactory, you will be called when a vacancy needs to be filled. The advantage of being a replacement teacher is that it gives you access to teaching and a path towards the official certification, the drawback being its precariousness since you are not sure of when and where you will be needed or for how long.
7) Teaching adults
If you prefer teaching adults, then you have a variety of choices. You can either work in the public sector or in the private sector. There are many companies specialised in adult training that recruit teachers to send in companies who want to improve their employees' level of English. You also have the possibility to be a freelance (or independant) teacher for adults and be hired by individuals or companies to train their employees instead of being hired by a training company. Either way, you can find many ads for these kinds of jobs (for a training company or on your own) on the internet by googling “recrutement formateur d'anglais”, and then you apply by sending your resume and a cover letter like you would do for any other job.
The other alternative for teaching adults is to apply to GRETAs, which are adult training programmes that are managed by the Ministry of Education. The aim of this programme is to help adults who would like to graduate and get a certification after having left school. The difference with the private sector here is the setting, because this programme follows the same calendar as the school year and has a very similar organisation. GRETAs are basically high schools for adults. They recruit people from various horizons according to their profile. To apply, you must send your resume and cover letter to the GRETAs around you and if your profile is attractive you will have to pass an interview.
While Daily English specialise more in language immersions for children and teens, we do have a certain amount of demand from adults looking to learn English. Please get in touch if this is something you’d particularly like to offer.
To sum things up, these are some of the options that you have when you are a certified teacher in France, there might be some more as the need for English speakers arise. One thing to remember is that the internet is an incredible tool, either to find job offers, information or resources, no matter the students that you want to teach. On websites like British Council or Oxford Seminars, you can find a multitude of documents, exercises, worksheets and lesson plans to help you accomplish that task that all teachers strive to accomplish every day, namely, inspire students and pass on their love of the English language and culture.