Are you from a francophone country? Do you speak French? Would you like to enter the teaching profession? Or are you in search of opportunities to teach French as a foreign language? Whether you have just graduated from university or not, there are several French teaching opportunities for you. You can find opportunities to teach French as a private tutor, in a language school, elementary or at college.
French is widely accepted in the world today, therefore, the opportunities open to you are vast and endless. However, as endless as these opportunities are, you cannot access them if you are ignorant about them.
In this article, we are happy to share the information you need to know about teaching French as a foreign language. This include the training you may need, your role as a French teacher, types of French teachers, career prospects, etc.
Teaching French as a Foreign Language: An Overview
You will mostly find opportunities to teach this language of love to non-natives even in French speaking countries. That is, you get to teach French to students who would like to speak French as their second language for either academic or social purposes.
In learning a foreign language, it is expected that the person already speaks another as his/her first language. For example, in countries like Spain, USA, and Belgium, French is spoken as a second language and taught to students after they have learnt their native language.
Discover opportunities for teaching French Overseas
Teaching French as a foreign language has similar protocols with teaching any other foreign language. You can teach French anywhere in the world to people who want to learn it. However, this may be difficult for you, especially if you cannot speak their first language.
To successfully teach, you may need to adapt to their culture, learn new teaching approaches, and get familiar with the students. Note that the teaching styles and approach you use will also depend on your students' age group.
How Can You Become A French Teacher?
Whether you have just graduated from the university or not, whether you speak French as a first or second language or not, if you love French and have a passion for teaching, you should consider becoming a French teacher. To get established as a French teacher, there are some qualifications you need to acquire, and they include:
- A bachelor's degree in linguistics, French, or any French-related field
- Teacher's license and certification
- A master's or doctorate in French (optional)
- Fluency in French
- At least one year of experience French teaching or volunteer experience
- FSL teaching certificate (French as a second language, if the language is not your native language).
Although, these qualifications do not guarantee that you will get a job offer, they open you to more job opportunities. Before applying to teach French, ensure that you have these qualifications and have also sorted out your paperwork. You will also need some soft skills, such as organizational skills, communication, and listening skills.
What Training Do French Teachers Undergo In Canada?
Because of the high demand for French teachers in Canada and the benefits they enjoy, getting teaching jobs here is quite tricky. Before you can get a job as a French teacher, you would need to undergo rigorous training to ensure that you can meet up the educational requirements. This training is usually conducted in a teacher's college.
To be accepted into the teacher's college, your documents and qualifications would be evaluated, after which your French language proficiency is assessed. If you successfully pass these stages, you would be accepted into the teacher's college to begin your training as a French teacher in Canada. This training usually lasts for about 6 to 12 months, then, you become a certified Canadian French teacher. After acquiring your Canadian teaching certificate and getting a job, you will be required to pay yearly dues. Read about opportunities to teach French abroad.
How to Choose the Right Students for Your Level
Before applying for jobs as a French teacher in Canada or any other place globally, you must decide what students you can and are willing to teach. This would help you channel your effort wisely and apply to the right jobs.
Choosing the level of students you want to or can teach is dependent on several factors. These factors include your skills, interests, and requirement specifics of each educational level. Some requirement specifics you should look out for include curriculum planning, classroom management, knowledge of the material, etc.
Ensure that you put all of these into consideration, including your personal preferences, abilities, and skills.
Your Role as a French Teacher
As a French teacher, your primary role is to teach non-natives how to speak French. However, depending on where you work, you may be required to -
- Create courses or subjects for your class depending on the age group of your students
- Come up with general objectives to guide your class while also considering each of your students and their learning pace.
- Teach your students about the grammatical rules of French using speaking and writing exercises
- Educate your students about French culture and give them foundational knowledge of it.
- Encourage them to speak French even outside the walls of the class.
Find out more about how to become a French language assistant.
The Different Types of French Teachers in Canada
As opposed to what you may think, French teachers, don't teach in schools only. There are several places you can teach French in Canada. In addition to teaching French in elementary or high school, you can teach French as a foreign language to university students, staff members of most organisations, immigrants, and even international students in densely populated French speaking provinces such as Quebec. You can also be employed to work and teach at specialised cultural or language centers and even as a private tutor in homes.
Sometimes the Canadian job market can become extremely volatile and can result in job losses. To ensure that you are always in a safe position, make sure you acquire all the necessary qualifications that will increase your chances of getting a job however he economy turns. This way, you can easily switch from teaching in a class to becoming a private tutor or even combine both for more income if your time permits.
Note that your type of teaching, the level of students you teach, and your work's length will determine the amount of pay you get. Sometimes, French teaching jobs may have limited contracts. In this case, you will need to have a working plan of what you intend to do after the contract expires.
Who Are Your Students?
Just as there are different types of teachers and teaching jobs, you can also expect different kinds of students. The type of students usually determines the type of teacher and the teaching job also. Since this happens to be a French teaching job, then you can expect that the students are most likely non-natives hoping to learn. However, they could also be natives who are learning but with a different approach.
Also, your students will vary in age, depending on the job you take up. You can teach students as young as 5 years old and adults as old as 99 years old. It all depends on the kind of job you decide to take. You should know that younger children and teenagers are more likely to learn and understand faster than adults. Therefore, teaching either of these age-groups would require different teaching approaches.
Patience is critical when teaching a new language. Regardless of your students' age group, you must exercise patience as learning a new language may be extremely difficult for a lot of them.
Your students may be primary school children, university students, immigrants, online students, or home-schooled children. The category they belong to will depend on the platform where they are registered and where you have been employed. This goes a long way to determine the teaching approach, skills, and knowledge needed to teach them.
The journey to becoming a French teacher in Canada may not be comfortable, but it is worth the time and effort. The thought of taking on a new job as a French teacher may be exciting, but you must take a step back to assess your readiness before jumping at every opportunity you find.
Teaching French as a foreign language may require you to travel to another country, and so, you need to consider lots of factors before making your decision. You should consider the cultural practices, the processes involved, and the qualifications needed. Once this is done, you also need to decide on the kind of teacher you would like to be. After considering all necessities, you can then take every opportunity head-on to leave your dream life.
Finally, it is important that you are well informed and prepared before making this choice and taking the leap. This would help you to adjust easily to your new career path, discover the many ways to seek career growth as a teacher, gain recognition, and fulfillment as you help others to learn this language of love.