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Newbie questions about teaching in South West France

 
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spanish_archer



Joined: 14 Feb 2010
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:50 pm    Post subject: Newbie questions about teaching in South West France Reply with quote

Hi all,

I have some half-baked thoughts about TEFL about which I'd appreciate your advice.

I want to teach English in France for 6-18 months, partly to get fluent in French, partly to see if I like teaching enough to do it professionally when I return to the UK and mostly just because I love France.

- I like the South West of France as its close to Spain, mountains, Atlantic, Med etc. I want to live somewhere reasonably sized which is lively and dynamic with a buoyant pool of english learners. This looks like Toulouse.

- I can't find any schools in Toulouse that teach CELTA, which appears to be the industry standard and would be my preference. Indeed there are only 2 schools in the whole of France, in Paris, that teach CELTA.

- TEFLToulouse offers a TEFL certificate which is accredited by IATQuO.

- TEFLToulouse offer regular courses and have vacancies in their April course.

You may be able to see which direction I am going in. Before jumping in with both feet though, I have a few questions I'd like to check out:

i. What is the standard TEFL qualification in France? Does IATQuO have the same status as CELTA?
ii. What is TEFLToulouse like? Are there any better training schools in the Toulouse region?
iii. What is the economic situation like generally in Toulouse and specifically how is it for brand-new inexperienced english teachers?
iv. If I trained in April and was ready to teach in May, how difficult would it be to get a job for the summer term, and over the summer itself? Is it viable to teach for only 4 months or are there longer-term contracts?
v. I don't have a high maintenance lifestyle, but I would want to have the odd long weekend to spend at the sea or in the mountains. will the budget and work schedule allow for this?

I appreciate that these are specific and detailed questions and will be difficult to answer unless you are actually an english teacher in Toulouse. Any attempts though, or nudges to people or things who might know more would be very appreciated.

cheers

SA
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rogan



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Posts: 416
Location: at home, in France

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't give your nationality or whether you have a passport from a country which is a member of the EU.

If you're a North American, check out other posts in the France section. The search function gives answers to most questions.

The CELTA is a 4 week course that you pay for,(approx £1000), maybe pass with an A or B and then start looking for work.

There are hundreds of qualified and experienced language teachers in SW France, many of them with good contacts and good experience and still looking for work.

You don't state whether you expect to work for a "for profit" Language school, in a real school or college.

Check pagesjaunes or pole-emploie and contact places directly.

Personally I'd say your plans are fairly unrealistic - wrong time of year, lack of experience and lack of a credible qualification.

Now you can start shooting at the messenger if you don't like the message..
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9450
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

partly to get fluent in French, partly to see if I like teaching enough to do it professionally when I return to the UK

Reckon at least the OP has the correct passport.

What's a legal newbie to do in the South of France?
I guess it's still a tough job market.
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spanish_archer



Joined: 14 Feb 2010
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies. Shame about the message though. Sad

If its tricky finding work in the SW, whats the job market like in other parts of the country? Paris wouldn't be my first choice but I'd go there if necessary.

Rogan, you asked what type of organisation I wanted to work for. I don't have a preference. Why does it make any difference?
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rogan



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Posts: 416
Location: at home, in France

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It makes a difference because:-

If you have any Degree you could work as a vacataire in State Education system, once the Degree is "homologué" That would operate through the Rectorat (Education Department) - apply in writing in French. A vacataire is a replacement teacher for someone who is off ill or having a baby or something. A college is what you call a Secondary school and a Lycée is a 6th form college.

A TEFL Cert would help you at a, so called, Language School. These may be advertised at the pole-emploie - apply direct to the lang school or via www.pole-emploie.fr

Paris and Lyon, maybe Lille, have lots of language schools but the salary is low, you'd generally have to travel a lot and would probably be hourly paid, with no guarantee of a regular number of hours.

You are a Brit, go to your job centre, or whatever they call them these days, register as unemployed and make an appointment with The European Adviser - you can claim British unemployment benefit for the first 3 months you are in France and you can also get other aids to get you off the British unemployment books.

As I stated earlier - use the yellow pages. Go to www.pagesjaunes.fr and enter "enseignement langues" and the name of a city. You could also try "formation langues". They will give phone numbers and addresses and usually a web site if the company has one.

But you will have a huge disadvantage if you don't speak any French. Imagine trying to find your way around a large city to get to a class by public transport or explaining yourself to a secretary when you arrive 'in-company'.

And I still think you will have huge problems and little chance finding a job or earning enough money to live on.
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riverboat



Joined: 22 May 2009
Posts: 114
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm British, working in Paris as an English teacher since Sep 09.

I don't think it would be hard for you to find work here, but the question is whether you'd be interested in the type of work you'd get.

As rogan says, the work is nearly ALWAYS hourly paid. If you work for a private, profit-making langauge school, who will send you out to teach businesspeople in their offices in and around Paris, you probably will be guaranteed a minimum number of hours, but it will be tiny and you just have to hope that your actual number of hours given will be higher.

Unfortunately the number of hours you are given week to week is likely to fluctuate hugely. September - November I was really really busy, and teaching 25 - 30 hours per week. From mid December up until now, demand has been a lot less and I've only been getting around 17 - 19 hours per week from my school, which isn't really enough to live on. Im having to be extremely frugal and dip into savings. I understand that the summer period here is the quietest period by far, and August is completely dead since France basically shuts down for the entire month and everyone goes on holiday. So trying to find a job towards the summertime would be extremely tough, you'd be better off looking in September.

The rate of pay for private language schools is between 17 and 20 euros per hour of teaching, gross. After social charges are deducted, its around 14 - 16 euros per hour net. You don't usually get paid extra for planning lessons or travelling.

I did the CELTA course when I arrived in Paris, which may have helped me get a job. But honestly I know lots of teachers working here who don't have CELTA. It probably makes it easier to get a job, but its not essential.


Best place to look for language schools currently advertising is www.fusac.fr

And in Paris its not really a problem if you don't speak French. The public transport system isn't hard to understand, and nearly everyone speaks at least basic English here. As long as you know a few basics in French you can get by to start with, and you'll pick up the essentials you need quickly enough.
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