How does teaching French abroad sound to you? Fix your schedule, work at home in your pajamas, travel abroad and teach the world’s love language. Do these scenarios seem like a day in paradise? They are for many who are yet to enjoy the many perks that teaching abroad brings.
If you fancy a career in teaching, you are in for some great thrills. Teaching abroad is a great way to infuse adventure into your career life as a teacher and make the most of it. If you can speak and teach French like a pro, then you should explore the possibilities of traveling abroad to teach others this exciting language.
Many schools, agencies, and institutions – even parents that live in countries where French is not their native language seek opportunities to hire French teachers to teach kids and even adults the world’s second most populous lingua franca – French.
So hurry! Take advantage of these opportunities, and fine tune your career as a language teacher. We are going to provide you as many details as you need in this post. Everything you should know about how to teach French abroad is right here, courtesy of Superprof – the world’s best tutoring platform.
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” - William Arthur Ward
There were 5,100,000 international students in 2018.
What about you?
There are plenty of countries where you can study abroad. The first thing people think of is probably the Erasmus programme when they think of studying abroad. You can attend as little as 12 hours per week...
If you’re wondering how else you could head abroad, look no further. You’ve come to the right place. If you speak French as well as the English language, teaching French as a foreign language or a second language is a great way to use your foreign language skills to help students improve their language skills and gain proficiency.
In this article, we’re looking at how you could teach French abroad, how long you can teach for, where you can teach, how you can go abroad as part of your degree, and where or not you can renew for a second year.
Teaching French Abroad
If you want to head abroad during your studies, the Erasmus programme is the way to go. However, it’s not the only solution.
You could always teach abroad. While most consider teaching English abroad as a TEFL teacher, there's nothing stopping those with the language skills to help with French tuition and others could seize the opportunity and learn how to teach French.
You can work in primary schools, secondary schools, colleges, universities, or a language school, do internships in businesses where the staff need to learn French, or even teach French as a private tutor.
Who is a French Teacher?
A French teacher teaches others French language skills by providing instructions to help the student understand the French vocabulary and culture. French teachers mostly teach in elementary or high schools. They organise, plan, and deliver concise lessons by helping students learn French and evaluate their course work throughout the entire school year. Many of these teachers reach out for greater heights in their teaching career by taking appropriate steps to teach the French language abroad.
How Long Can You Teach For?
There’s no limit to how long you can teach. Of course, this will vary according to the country but as long as there’s a job available and you’re right for it and have the right paperwork, there’s no reason you can’t stay.
Language learning is a long process and after immersion, regular teaching is the best way for students to study a language and improve their linguistic abilities.
Some jobs may start with a temporary contract with the chance to go permanent later. Just make sure you’re good at your job.
What Are the Advantages of Teaching Abroad?
- You can study in another country and even get a second degree.
- You can learn more about teaching.
- You can immerse yourself in a new country and language
- You earn a salary.
What Is Your Role?
You’ll be teaching for several hours per week. Teaching is far more complicated than many people think and there is a lot expected of language teachers. It's recoomended to learn how to teach French before anything elseYou may have to:
- Help students to speak the language through conversation.
- Help students to discover the culture of the language.
- Teach a group of struggling students.
- Participate in educational activities at the school, college, university, or language centre.
Organise an exchange programme with native speakers of the language.
- Run a language club.
- Organise a trip abroad.
- Help students prepare for a language certification.
In any case, your role will be to help students improve their overall mastery of the language.
So what's the difference between a teacher and a language assistant?
A teacher will lead a class whereas a language assistant, as their name indicates, will help the teacher.
You’ll also be paid more than an assistant as a result.
Where Can You Teach?
You don’t necessarily need to be part of a programme to teach the French language abroad. It’s up to you to take the necessary steps.
This also means that there’s nothing to stop you teaching wherever you like. Depending on the place you choose to work, the working conditions will be different. In some places, you’ll earn more and in other places, you may learn less.
As part of your salary, you’ll probably be expected to plan French lessons London ahead of time. However, the amount of work will vary on where you’re teaching.
Countries such as Germany, the UK, the USA, Canada, and China are all looking for French teachers.
These are all countries where French is quite a popular language to learn. If you also have a TEFL certification, you'll be able to provide English teaching as well, something that's highly sought after around the world.
How Do You Apply for a Teaching Job?
With no single programme for teachers wanting to teach or work abroad, how do you apply for jobs?
The processes are often similar but can vary depending on where you apply to. Generally, you’ll need an undergraduate degree in the language and a post-graduate degree in teaching. You’ll also be expected to have a very high level of French (C2, for example).
You’ll need to go through the application procedure which will include proving that you have the necessary qualifications. You’ll basically need to send over copies of your transcripts, etc. Don’t hesitate to ask your host university for help about applying to foreign teaching jobs.
Many universities and schools have contracts or agreements with other academic establishments around the world and maybe even contacts they could put in a good word to. You may even be eligible for financial aid or bursaries in certain cases.
If not, you can always get in touch with academic establishments and offer your services as a teacher. There are networks and places you can find establishments looking for teaching.
A lot of establishments will advertise teaching positions on their websites.
Usually, you’ll need to provide:
- A CV
- A covering letter
- A copy of your degree
- A copy of your ID
Put simply, you’ll need to prove to them you've got a good level in French and are a capable teacher.
With different term times and application procedures, there are always jobs all over the world being advertised to different teachers.
Generally speaking, you’ll need your language qualification and your teaching qualification.
Thanks to the internet, it’s never been easier to find teaching jobs around the world. Don’t hesitate to look around online. Once you’ve got the job, then you have to work out how you’re going to move there.
While you may want to apply now, keep in mind that the application process will depend on the academic year in the country you're applying to. You don't really want to try applying once teaching has already begun.
Before you even plan to teach French abroad, you should ensure you meet the requirements. This is an essential aspect of becoming a French teacher abroad. Although job descriptions might differ, there are a few universal requirements you should care about.
- A bachelor’s degree
- Teaching certification/license (varies from one country to another)
- Language fluency
- Teaching experience
In most cases, you will need to be a native French speaker capable of demonstrating fluency in the language. However, you will need to have a minimum of one-year teaching experience to enable you to apply to French teaching jobs abroad. You aren’t going there to learn how to teach on the job (few schools may want to hire you without teaching experience) and deliver impeccable teaching service to students interested in learning the French language.
Different Opportunities to Teach French Abroad
If you decide to teach French abroad in western countries, do you know that there are many choices to choose from? Depending on your qualifications and experience, you may want to explore these teaching French abroad opportunities.
- Teach French as a public school teacher
If you are looking for an opportunity to teach French abroad without being choked up with assignments, tasks and even have plenty of time to learn a new language, then you might want to consider working as a public school teacher.
If you find a job as a French teacher in rural communities or towns that are not fully multilingual, you may be required to be fluent in the people’s local language. The salary range for these teaching jobs depends on location and teaching schedule.
- Teach French as a private school teacher
If you cannot imagine yourself immersing in the local language of the people, you might consider teaching French as a private school teacher. This is far more lucrative, and you could enjoy the flexibility of teaching at your convenience.
Many religious or faith-based schools in developing and western countries employ a handful of French teachers to teach the congregate the language. Perhaps, you could find teaching jobs in tutoring platforms like Superprof. There are other online job boards/agencies and teaching programs organised for locals where you can work part-time and pursue other projects.
- Volunteer teaching
If you don’t mind volunteering to teach French abroad, there are many opportunities for you. Many French teachers discover that most volunteer teaching jobs requirements are less stringent and demanding than many paid full time teaching jobs. You should get a stipend that pay for basic living expenses while you work as a volunteer abroad.
- Teach French in international schools
Do you see yourself in a class of kindergartens teaching French in remote areas in Asia and North America? Many international schools in these countries are searching for qualified French teachers for group French lessons.
However, the educational system in these regions is fully immersive. This means you need to be fluent in the local dialect to be able to teach French effectively. Most of these private international schools pay a stipend for living expenses and sponsor your traveling expenses from your home country.
Nevertheless, you will likely make the most money ($2500-$6000) teaching the French language in the Middle East or Asia. But the cost of living could be much higher than you expect, making you pay heavily in taxes, leaving you with a lower net income each month.
How to Get Teaching Jobs Even With No Experience
This is a puzzle many who are interested in teaching French abroad still try to unravel to date. The fact is that most teaching abroad opportunities you will find will point out teaching experience as a core skill that you must have before applying. Let’s face it, you know you are good at teaching, but:
- You lack enough teaching experience to back up your claims.
- You just earned your teaching qualification, and you are thinking of teaching abroad.
- You want to teach in a foreign country where you are not so fluent in the local language.
Alas! There is light at the end of the tunnel. Superprof will reveal several ways you can land French teaching jobs with good pay, even if you have zero teaching experience.
- Volunteer service
Unknown to many, volunteer service is one unique way to get some teaching experience to apply for French teaching jobs abroad. Although they may not be as lucrative as you imagined, volunteer teaching jobs are generally less stringent in their requirements. Many offer opportunities to travel, and you could even land an offer to volunteer your skills and teach abroad.
- Work your way up
Another great way to get teaching experience is to accept teaching jobs with little or no pay. This might sound demeaning and discouraging, but it works like magic. You can even freelance as a French teacher and get hands-on training, which will become valuable when you eventually start job hunting.
- Private tutoring
Many private teaching jobs clamor less for teaching experience. And if they do, they are more flexible. You can also leverage on them to get more teaching experience, which you can include in your CV when applying to teach abroad.
To begin, you can offer to teach kindergartens private French lessons at home. There are several platforms where you can find private teaching jobs and help parents teach their kids the French language at home. For the most part, you will either be tutoring from home or commuting to their residence for home lessons.
You can use this method to build a lasting student-teacher relationship and even get more tutoring opportunities from this foundation.
Other Facts worth Mentioning About Teaching French Abroad
Before you decide to teach French abroad, it’s good to carve out your style and determine what type of teaching you will eventually do. The need to choose a specialty deserves serious consideration because many job boards and schools are very picky about their ideal French teacher.
Suppose you decide to focus on teaching French at elementary schools and via private tutoring too. This is a lucrative career path for many French natives who are hecking out a living teaching their favorite language.
Alternatively, you can decide to become an online French teacher. You will find many opportunities to explore career possibilities and even travel. Online teachers mostly work remotely, teaching a variety of languages at different levels.
Consider your needs and long-term career goals to enable you to figure out the teaching style that will work best for you. Also, think about the age group you are most comfortable teaching and the ideal environment you want to work in for the long term. These criteria are essential for career fulfillment and accomplishment as you move up the ladder in your teaching career.
Doing a Year Abroad as Part of Your Degree
If you want to teach while you’re doing your degree, you should consider doing a period of residence abroad as a teaching assistant. Usually, this needn’t count towards your degree results as it’s an extra year of your degree.
If you go abroad as an extra year during your degree, you’ll usually just need to pass the year. That said, you should discuss this with your university as different courses may have different requirements. You’ll still be expected to do some work for your degree whilst you’re abroad.
If you do some courses at a foreign university, you may be able to transfer credits to your degree back home. This is thanks to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). This means you can do a year abroad as part of your degree.
Spending time abroad is rewarding and you don't necessarily need to teach on your year abroad. While teaching English as a second language (ESL) is one of the most common options, you can always do an internship or enrol at a foreign university.
If the cost of the airfare is putting you off, remember that there are usually scholarships and financial aid available to students going abroad as part of their studies.
Can You Renew Your Contract Abroad?
As long as you’re good at your job, the position still exists, and have the necessary paperwork, you can effectively teach as long as you want abroad. That said, there are different rules for different countries.
In some countries, you can stay as long as the school or university wants you. In other countries, you may be limited to how long you can stay at a certain school.
Are you ready to start teaching abroad?
Make sure you’re patient and prepared!
For those whose French isn't good enough to teach it, don't forget that graduates can teach English abroad, giving them the opportunity to travel to French-speaking countries and immerse themselves in the language and the culture.
Prepare Mentally For a Career in Teaching
As much as the teaching profession is an exciting career for anyone, it’s significant to think whether you are fully ready to take on teaching responsibilities abroad. Are you ready to take time to understand the culture and teaching method of another country which could be entirely different from your home country?
Teaching French abroad entails a lot. Remember, you will be leaving your loved one behind and traveling far to a strange land where you might struggle with feelings of loneliness for the first few months after your arrival. However, you will enjoy it if you are someone that loves spending time alone.
Nevertheless, it’s good to know the challenges you might face ahead and prepare well for them, so they don’t jeopardize the lovely moments you have envisioned and the thrilling experience you plan to get as you make plans to teach French abroad.
While there, you could also get private tutoring from one of the tutors on Superprof or even get help in attaining a TEFL certificate so you can become an English teacher abroad.
Read about the different types of French teachers.