“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.
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.
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. You 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.
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.
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.