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Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by hjlewis350, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. Hi i woukd like to go to France to teach, i am a qualified primary school teacher and would love the opportunity to live and work in france. Has anyone got any experience of this? Where can i look for jobs. I do not speak french yet so would need to be an "english teacher" any advice would be great
  2. As you will find on a few other forum posts, teaching in France is more difficult than some other countries. This is due to a number of factors, mostly the fact that there are not many International Schools in France and that the competition for those is very stiff. In addition its very difficult to get jobs in French state schools as you need to have the CAPES qualification and generally be French! I teach History at a small International School in the South of France and I have to say I was pretty lucky to get that, its very much being in the right place at the right time, but checking vacancies on the TES is a start. That said, I love it here and its a fantastic lifestyle and location, perhaps the reason why vacancies are thin on the ground! Other option is to do TEFL or something like that, its pretty poorly paid, but hey, its a start. Let me know if you want any other advice.
  3. Angelil

    Angelil Occasional commenter

    Simon is correct.
    I have lived in France since 2008 and worked in two international schools during that period.
    Choice around Paris is plentiful but there are hardly any elsewhere (the only ones that come to mind at this moment are the one school in Bordeaux and the one school in Toulouse...there may be others but not many). So if you don't fancy living in or near Paris your options will be extremely limited.
    As for a French state school, you can as good as forget it without the CAPES or aggrégation. This is rather naughty of the French state, as since we are all in the EU they should accept PGCEs as equivalent, but they don't. My aunt, for instance, studied French and Italian at university in the late 70s/early 80s before taking a PGCE. She taught in several UK primary schools and was a headteacher before she was 30. She then decided in her late 30s to move to France with her second husband. She tried to find work in state schools here but was told that despite her records, her UK qualifications effectively made her unemployable in the French state system. Ridiculous, but there it is. She now works as a translator. French state system's loss imo.
    There is certainly no shortage of people from outside France wanting to teach here, so as Simon says, it's about being in the right place at the right time. I got both of my posts, for instance, on speculative applications - so unless a school specifically says they don't accept these, write to any school you're interested in and you may get lucky. I too am enjoying my time in France and not looking to head to elsewhere, or back to the UK, any time soon. If you have your TEFL certificate you will be able to work for the Wall Street Institute if you wanted to (at least to begin with) - they seem to be a fairly reputable employer.
    Hope this helps a bit :)
  4. Thanks for the advice guys! Yesterday I must've emailed almost every school in France sending my cv! I would like to work in Nice or south France but think I may start in Paris as like you said this could be easier.
    I'm surprised it's so hard to teach in France!
    Simon what was the tefl thing you were taking about is that a
    Course where you teach english over there?
    Thanks guys
  5. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    If you don't speak French, how are you going to communicate with parents, non teaching staff and the like ? An Anglophone international school is your only chance and there are very few at primary level. I hope you sent CV in French.....
    Britain is the only European country that accepts all other teaching qualifications, that's probably why there are so many unemployed teachers there.
  6. Angelil

    Angelil Occasional commenter

    ^^ At an international school, this will not be an issue as most parents and non-teaching staff (in my school at least) have a good level of English. However, there will be some colleagues and parents you will not be able to communicate with at all if you have no French (even in a school around Paris). For an international school I think it is also not a requirement to send a CV in French. I think we have already established that state schools in France will be as good as closed to the OP.
    I don't know about Britain being the only European country to accept all other teaching qualifications; I've never researched it. It just seems daft that being in the EU doesn't enable this - especially when the person in question (like my auntie) has relevant qualifications and experience and speaks the language of the new country to a high level.
    OP, TEFL = Teaching English as a Foreign Language. The most reliable ones (so I've heard) are the Trinity and CELTA certificates. Such a certificate can be obtained in around 3 months for about £1000.
  7. Several schools in France have international sections where UK qualified teachers teach British classes within a French-speaking environment. I imagine it would be an advantage to speak good French to work there but I know people in these positions who arrived with no French and were given training afterwards. In British/American/International schools, speaking the local language isn't normally a requirement, in my experience. Applications for these schools would definitely be in English.
  8. Yes I sent my applications in English because they were international schools so I assumed they would have a knowledge of English
    Is sending cv's direct how other people have applied to work in international school?
    I think that I will try for Paris as this is obviously where there are more international schools.
    My French is ok but I'm learning more.
    Has anyone had any success at landig a job at an international school in France?
    Thanks :)
  9. Angelil

    Angelil Occasional commenter

    I would keep doing what you're doing - sending applications in English to schools you're interested in.
    I wouldn't hold out much hope for the other option floated here (special British sections in regular French schools); the only one I can think of that does this is the international lycée just outside of Paris.
    As I mentioned, I got two jobs in international schools in France by going down the speculative application route, and have been in that second role now for three years, so it's definitely possible.
    Keep trying with your French as well - I know people who have come here with no French and not tried to improve, and have lived here as part of the enclave of British expats, but it's not what everyone who comes here wants and certainly not what I would recommend.
  10. You could get a job in a private school as an English assistant but I agree that public schools are difficult. Alternatively, you could take over our English school where we run residential courses for French kids, teaching English. Its great fun and we only work during the school holidays, so we have plenty time off. French classes are available in town, and we can recommend them. Have a look at our site: www.funbusinessandhomeforsale.co.uk and feel free to ask any questions.

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