Teaching English In France: What You Need To Know

Written by Dan

Last updated

Are you a teacher looking for an adventure? Are you excited about the thought of living in France and teaching English to passionate and eager students?

Teaching English in France is the perfect way to take your career abroad and get an incredible cultural experience.

This blog will provide teachers with all the information they need to know should they choose to go down this route, from visa requirements to school types, and job opportunities available.

Get ready for an exciting experience that will stay with you forever – let’s learn how teaching English in France can become a reality for your future!

Related: For more, check out our article on Teaching English In Italy  here.

Five Tips When Teaching Abroad

Table of Contents

Overview of Teaching English in France – Pros and Cons

Teaching English in France can be a rewarding and exciting opportunity for educators looking to immerse themselves in French culture while honing their teaching skills. Here’s an overview of the pros and cons of teaching English in France:

Pros of Teaching English in France

Cultural Experience: Living and working in France allows teachers to fully embrace the rich history, art, cuisine, and lifestyle of the country.

Language Immersion: Teachers can improve their French language skills by interacting with locals and experiencing daily life in a French-speaking environment.

Diverse Teaching Opportunities: From teaching adults at language schools to working as a teaching assistant in French schools, various job opportunities are available for English teachers in France.

Travel Opportunities: France’s central location in Europe makes it convenient for teachers to explore other European countries during weekends and holidays.

Competitive Salaries: While salaries may vary depending on the type of teaching position and qualifications, English teachers in France can earn a decent income and enjoy benefits such as health insurance and paid vacation.

Cons of Teaching English in France

Language Barrier: For teachers who are not fluent in French, initially navigating day-to-day tasks and communicating with colleagues and students might pose a challenge.

High Cost of Living: Major cities like Paris can be expensive to live in, with high rental prices and other associated costs.

Competition for Jobs: Popular destinations like France attract many English teachers, leading to competition for available positions.

Bureaucratic Procedures: Obtaining the necessary work permits and navigating the French bureaucracy can be time-consuming and require patience and attention to detail.

Contract Limitations: Some teaching positions in France may offer limited contracts, making it necessary to secure additional employment or plan for potential gaps in income.

It’s essential for prospective English teachers to thoroughly research and consider these pros and cons before making a decision. By understanding the unique aspects of teaching English in France, educators can make an informed choice that aligns with their career goals and personal preferences.

Teaching English In France

Requirements for Working in France as an English Teacher

1. Long-Stay Visa – “Visa de long séjour pour exercer une activité professionnelle”

This visa suits those planning to work in France for more than three months. To apply, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • A letter of employment or contract from a French employer.
  • Proof of your qualifications and teaching experience.
  • Evidence of financial stability.
  • A valid passport with at least six months’ validity.

2. Working Holiday Visa – “Visa Vacances-Travail”

If you are a citizen of a country with a bilateral agreement with France, such as Australia, Canada, or New Zealand, you may be eligible for a Working Holiday Visa. This visa allows you to work and travel in France for up to one year.

3. European Union (EU) Citizens

If you hold citizenship from an EU member state, you can work in France without a visa.

Qualifications and Experience

While there are no strict national requirements for teaching English in France, possessing the following qualifications and experience will increase your chances of finding employment:

1. Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree, preferably in education or a related field, is highly advantageous. It demonstrates your commitment to teaching and provides a solid foundation for your career.

2. Teaching Certification

Obtaining a teaching certification, such as a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate. These certifications provide valuable training and knowledge that will support you in the classroom.

3. Experience

While not always required, previous teaching experience can significantly enhance your job prospects. Consider gaining experience through volunteer work, internships, or teaching positions in your home country before pursuing opportunities in France.

Finding Job Opportunities

There are various avenues to find English teaching jobs in France:

1. Language Schools

Language schools are a popular choice for English teachers in France. They offer a range of classes to both children and adults. Research language schools in your desired location and reach out to inquire about job openings.

2. International Schools

International schools often seek native English speakers to teach English as a second language. These schools follow an international curriculum and cater to students from diverse backgrounds. Check for vacancies on their websites or contact them directly.

3. Private Lessons

Many individuals in France are interested in private English lessons. Use online platforms, such as tutoring websites or social media groups, to advertise your services as a private English tutor.

Tips on How to Succeed as an English Teacher in France

Teaching English in France can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience. To succeed as an English teacher in France, consider the following tips:

1. Master the Language: While fluency in French is not always required, having a good command of the language will greatly enhance your ability to communicate with students, colleagues, and navigate daily life in France. Take language courses or engage in language exchange programs to improve your proficiency.

2. Obtain the Appropriate Qualifications: Having a recognized teaching qualification such as a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification can significantly enhance your chances of securing a job.

Additionally, consider obtaining a degree in education or a related field, as some employers may prefer it.

3. Research the Job Market: Familiarize yourself with the demand for English teachers in different regions of France. Urban areas and popular tourist destinations often have more job opportunities.

Research reputable language schools, international schools, or language assistant programs such as the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF).

4. Network and Connect: Attend language teaching conferences, job fairs, and workshops to network with other professionals in the field. Join online communities and forums dedicated to English teaching in France to gain insights, tips, and potential job leads.

5. Adapt to the Education System: Understand the structure and expectations of the French education system. Familiarize yourself with the curriculum, teaching methods, and assessment techniques commonly used in French schools. Be ready to adapt your teaching style to match the educational norms in France.

6. Cultural Sensitivity: Embrace the cultural differences and adapt to the French way of life. Show respect for the local customs, traditions, and etiquette.

Understanding and appreciating the cultural nuances will help you build positive relationships with students, colleagues, and parents.

7. Continuing Professional Development: Stay updated with the latest trends and developments in English language teaching by attending professional development courses, webinars, and workshops.

This will enhance your teaching skills and make you more effective in the classroom.

8. Create Engaging Lesson Plans: Design creative and interactive lesson plans that engage and motivate your students. Incorporate a variety of teaching techniques, multimedia resources, and real-world examples to make your lessons dynamic and enjoyable.

9. Build Relationships: Establish a strong rapport with your students by showing genuine interest in their progress and well-being.

Encourage open communication and create a supportive learning environment where students feel comfortable participating and expressing themselves in English.

10. Embrace Flexibility and Adaptability: Be open to the unexpected and embrace the challenges that come with teaching in a foreign country.

Flexibility, adaptability, and a positive attitude will go a long way in navigating the unique experiences and opportunities that teaching English in France presents.

By following these tips and approaches, you can increase your chances of success as an English teacher in France and make the most of your teaching experience in this culturally-rich country.

Strategies for Building a Professional Network and Finding Work in France

Building a Professional Network in France

Attend Networking Events and Workshops

One of the most effective ways to build a professional network in France is to attend networking events and workshops. These events provide opportunities to connect with professionals from various industries and expand your contacts.

Look for industry-specific events, career fairs, and conferences where you can meet like-minded individuals and establish valuable connections.

Join Professional Associations and Organizations

Joining professional associations and organizations related to your field of expertise can be highly beneficial in building a network in France. These associations often organize events, seminars, and workshops that offer opportunities to connect with professionals in your industry.

Additionally, joining such associations can provide access to exclusive job boards and resources for finding work in France.

Utilize Online Networking Platforms

In today’s digital age, online networking platforms have become increasingly popular for expanding professional networks. Platforms like LinkedIn are widely used in France, making connecting with professionals, joining relevant groups, and participating in industry discussions easy.

Use these platforms to showcase your skills, connect with potential employers, and stay updated on job opportunities.

Finding Work in France

Research Local Job Market

Before starting your job search, it’s crucial to research the local job market in France. Understand the demand for English teachers in different regions, the requirements, and the salary expectations.

This will help you tailor your job search strategies and target areas with higher job prospects.

Seek Employment through Language Schools and Institutions

Language schools and institutions are often the primary sources of employment for English teachers in France. Research and reach out to language schools in your desired location.

Many schools have regular recruitment processes, so keep an eye on their websites or contact them directly to inquire about potential job openings.

Consider Private Tutoring

Private tutoring is a popular option for English teachers in France, as it provides flexibility and the opportunity to work one-on-one with students. Advertise your services online, in local communities, or through word-of-mouth referrals.

Additionally, consider registering with tutoring agencies that can connect you with potential clients.

Utilize Online Job Portals and Websites

Online job portals and websites dedicated to English teaching positions in France can be valuable resources for finding work. Websites like TEFL.com, Dave’s ESL Cafe, and The Local France often list job opportunities specifically for English teachers. Regularly check these platforms and submit applications to relevant positions.

Remember, building a professional network and finding work in France takes time and effort. Stay proactive, make connections, and showcase your skills and qualifications to increase your chances of success in securing a teaching position. Bonne chance!

An Insider’s Look into the Different Regions of France and Their Unique Teaching Styles

France is a diverse country with distinct regions, each offering its own cultural nuances and teaching styles.

As an English teacher in France, it’s essential to understand the characteristics of these regions to tailor your teaching methods better and connect with your students. Let’s explore some of the different regions of France and their unique teaching styles:

1. Paris and Île-de-France Region

Paris, the capital city of France, is known for its cosmopolitan vibe and rich history. The teaching style in Paris tends to be more formal and academically focused.

Students in this region are often motivated and eager to learn, as many aspire to attend prestigious universities or pursue international careers. English teachers in Paris may find opportunities in language schools, universities, or as private tutors catering to a professional clientele.

2. Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region

Located in southern France, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region offers a Mediterranean lifestyle and is renowned for its stunning landscapes. Teaching in this region usually involves a more relaxed and laid-back approach.

Students in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur often value practical communication skills and enjoy interactive lessons that incorporate cultural activities and outdoor excursions.

3. Brittany

Brittany, located northwest of France, has its own distinct Celtic heritage and language. Teaching in this region can provide a unique experience, as the Breton culture is deeply rooted in its traditions and folklore.

English teachers in Brittany may encounter students who are interested in learning English for specific purposes, such as tourism or international trade.

4. Alsace

Located in northeastern France, Alsace borders Germany and has a strong Germanic influence. Teaching in Alsace may involve a blend of French and German language instruction due to the region’s bilingual nature.

English teachers in Alsace may find opportunities in language institutions, international schools, or businesses looking to strengthen their English-speaking capabilities.

5. Lyon and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region

Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France, is situated in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. Teaching in this region often involves a balance between academic rigor and practical learning.

Students in Lyon and its surrounding areas appreciate a dynamic teaching approach incorporating cultural elements, such as food and art, into language lessons.

6. Normandy

Normandy, located in the north of France, is known for its rich history, picturesque coastal towns, and charming countryside.

Teaching in Normandy provides an opportunity to engage with students curious about the English language and interested in learning about different cultures. English teachers in Normandy may find positions in language schools, universities, or as private tutors catering to both children and adults.

Understanding the unique characteristics and teaching styles of each region in France can enhance your teaching experience and help you connect with your students on a deeper level.

Whether you choose the vibrant city life of Paris or the relaxed atmosphere of the French Riviera, teaching English in France offers a diverse range of opportunities to impact your student’s language skills and cultural understanding positively.

Teaching English in France offers an enriching experience combining professional growth and cultural immersion. Despite the challenges, the opportunity to embark on this journey can transform both your teaching career and your personal life.

By embracing the vibrant French culture, expanding your language skills, and creating lasting connections with students and colleagues, teaching English in France opens doors to unforgettable moments and lifelong memories.

So, if you’re ready to embark on a new adventure and positively impact students’ lives while exploring France’s beauty, seize the opportunity and let teaching English in France become a reality for your future. Bon voyage!


What are the requirements for teaching English in France?

The basic requirements for teaching English in France typically include a bachelor’s degree and proficiency in English. Some schools may also require a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification or equivalent.

Do I need to know French to teach English in France?

While not always a requirement, knowing French can be very beneficial. It can help with daily life, understanding school administration, and building relationships with students and colleagues. Some schools may also prefer teachers who have a basic understanding of the French language.

What types of schools can I teach English at in France?

You can teach English in various types of schools in France, including public schools, private schools, international schools, language institutes, and universities.

What is the visa process for teaching in France?

Most non-EU citizens will require a work visa to teach in France. The process typically involves securing a job first, after which your employer will sponsor your visa application.

How can I find English teaching jobs in France?

You can find English teaching jobs through various channels, including online job boards, recruitment agencies specializing in overseas teaching placements, and by directly contacting schools in France.

What is the typical salary for an English teacher in France?

Salaries can vary widely depending on the type of school, location, and your qualifications and experience. It’s important to research and negotiate your salary before accepting a job.

What are the living conditions like for English teachers in France?

Living conditions depend on where you’re located. Major cities like Paris offer a vibrant lifestyle but can be more expensive, while smaller towns or rural areas may offer a quieter lifestyle and lower cost of living.

Is there a lot of demand for English teachers in France?

Yes, there is a consistent demand for English teachers in France, especially in larger cities and at international schools. However, competition can be strong, so having qualifications and experience can be advantageous.

What is the culture like in French schools?

French schools have a formal and disciplined educational culture. Respect for teachers is traditionally high, and academic standards are rigorous. Understanding this can help you adapt more quickly to teaching in France.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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