Teaching Programs in France
Guide to teaching English in France
France is a dreamy country that has a lot to offer English speakers. With a wide range of cities and positions available, teaching in France offers you the opportunity to experience the fantastic French culture and food and gain valuable experience teaching in one of the world’s most well-developed education systems.
Interested in teaching English in France? We’ve got you covered! Keep reading to learn more about the types of teaching jobs, average salaries and benefits, and how to get a teaching job in France!
Types of teaching jobs in France
There are several options for English teachers in France. Here are some of the most common types of teaching jobs available to foreign teachers.
Teaching assistant programs
One of the easiest ways to teach English in France is through the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF). If you have at least a B1 level of French, this is an excellent opportunity to gain experience in France and see if you enjoy living immersed in the culture.
This role is geared toward young college graduates and does not require a specific qualification beyond a bachelor’s degree and proficiency in the language.
Private elementary & secondary schools
French private elementary and secondary schools are competitive and expect a lot from their teaching staff. However, they offer a fantastic environment to continue developing as they are incredibly well-resourced. The staff is motivated and has an engaged student body with many opportunities to learn about the French curriculum.
Private English language schools
In France, private English language schools are more flexible in their qualification requirements. They’ll usually expect you to hold a Bachelor's degree in any subject and a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) qualification, plus relevant work experience. You can still apply if you hold a lesser teaching qualification, but some schools may choose not to recognize it.
Average salary and benefits for teaching English in France
An English teacher's monthly salary in France is between $1,500-$4,000 USD. Your monthly income will depend on the school you work at, your qualifications, and the benefits of your teaching contract.
If you are considering teaching English in France, it's essential to get all the details about these benefits before accepting a job offer, so you know what your total salary will look like each month.
Common teacher benefits
As an English teacher in France, you can expect to receive the following benefits:
- Health insurance: Teachers are usually covered by the public health system through their employer.
- Paid vacation: You will get 25 days of paid leave per year, plus every other holiday on your working day (Christmas, Easter).
- Paid sick days: At least 20% of your salary will be paid out if you stay home for illness or family reasons. However, this is capped at 750 euros per month in average gross income for one year.
Cost of living in France
- Housing: $550-$1,420 (1 bedroom in the city center)
- Food: $300 - $500 (depending on eating habits)
- Transportation: $80-$120 (public transit pass vs. taking a taxi once a month)
- Entertainment: $50 - $135 (going out once vs. twice a month)
Where to teach English in France
As with starting a job in any new country, it's important to do your research before coming to France. Start by exploring these major teaching cities in France:
Paris is the most popular destination for teachers heading to France. This is because it holds so much history and culture, from iconic building architecture to museums and landmarks like Notre Dame Cathedral. But, unfortunately, it's also the most competitive city to find a job in and the most expensive.
Lyon is popular with teachers interested in tutoring adults in a business setting. Lyon is a beautiful city with lots of things to do, see, and enjoy. There are plenty of excellent restaurants, cafes, and bars that make for an enjoyable night out. The weather is also comfortable year-round; even during winter, there isn’t much snowfall in this area, so you can still enjoy going outside without bundling up.
The cost of living here is relatively high compared to other areas, but if you want something less bustling than Paris and not quite as big as Marseilles, Lyon might be your best bet!
Bordeaux is the capital of Aquitaine, a region in southwestern France. It is a lovely city on the banks of the Garonne River in southwestern France and is one of the most important wine-producing cities in the world. If you’re the outdoorsy type, you can enjoy plenty of hiking, scenic walks, and kayaking in Bordeaux's many parks and green spaces.
Marseille is another excellent choice if you're dreaming of teaching English in France. The city has become increasingly popular with international students and offers many educational opportunities for its residents. In addition, you will be able to enjoy a good work/life balance while experiencing both urban excitement and quiet seaside charm at every turn.
How to teach English in France
To teach English in France, you’ll need to be a native or fluent English speaker and have a bachelor’s degree and a TEFL/CELTA certificate. For competitive jobs or positions in private or international schools, you may need a teaching license and prior teaching experience.
- Search for available jobs: Depending on where you want to work, you can search for jobs on online job boards, contact international schools directly, or work with a recruiter.
- Submit your application: Make sure to have a copy of your resume, university transcripts, references, passport photos, and your TEFL/CELTA certificate.
- Prepare for the interview: Be ready to explain things like your teaching philosophy, classroom management techniques, and background that makes you qualified to teach in France. Try practicing with family and friends!
- Apply for a visa! Applications must be made at your local French consulate.
Classroom culture in France
As an ESL teacher in France, it’s essential that you take the time to research the country’s etiquette and classroom culture. You should strive to be respectful and understanding while adapting to a new classroom environment. Here are some tips to help you assimilate:
- The French school day is long, especially for older students, typically from 8 or 9 in the morning to 5 or 6 at night. However, most schools take an hour or two breaks during the day.
- French students are courteous and studious, and families rally behind their children’s success.
- When meeting with parents or colleagues, it's important to dress formally. Men often wear a suit and tie while women tend to wear fashionable yet modest clothing.
- You'll be expected to greet everyone with “bonjour” (hello) when in a shared space, particularly when entering a shop, and always BEFORE making a request or asking for help from a service worker.
- When greeting acquaintances, people kiss each other on both cheeks.
- The French are very proud of their history and culture. Demonstrating an effort to engage in the French language, even just asking “parlez-vous Anglais” (do you speak English?), will go a long way.
Can I teach in France without a degree?
A bachelor's degree is typically required for paid teaching jobs in France. However, teaching as a volunteer, at summer camps, or as a private tutor may be possible with just a TEFL/CELTA certification.
Are English teachers in demand in France?
English teachers are in demand in France because English is a major language in the European Union. Many people want to learn English to improve their career prospects and to make travel easier.
What qualifications do I need to teach English in France?
It's necessary to have a bachelor's degree to teach in an elementary or secondary school (sometimes a master's degree is required). You may also need to have a teaching license from your home country. Other teaching jobs usually require a bachelor's degree in any subject, previous teaching experience, and a teaching certification such as TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA.
How much money can you make teaching English in France?
Teaching salaries will vary depending on your skills, teaching experience, and qualifications. On average, you can expect to earn between $1,500-$2,000 per month in France. For English teachers that hold higher degrees and teaching licenses, you can earn up to $4,000 per month at private international schools.