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Oxford Seminars TEFL (60 hours) for Paris??

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Joined: 26 Jan 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:17 pm    Post subject: Oxford Seminars TEFL (60 hours) for Paris?? Reply with quote


I've been reading the many posts related to teaching ESL in Paris, and now I'm a little worried!

My background:
I'm British living in Canada (10 years), in my late 30s, have a BSc, a Management position, but have lined up plans to return to Europe for a couple of years. During this time the plan is to teach English in Paris and if it works out, stay permanently. I volunteer for an adult literacy program with a Polytechnic, and have been doing that for 2 years - one-on-one tutoring.

I'm just completing a TEFL Certificate provided by Oxford Seminars. It's 60 hours teaching and a handful of in-class practicums.

Will this be sufficient for me to enter into the ESL world of Paris? Should I be taking a CELTA course instead?

Any feedback would be very much appreciated!

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Joined: 22 May 2009
Posts: 117
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't speak for all schools, but in my experience a CELTA certainly isn't essential. I know that for my school for example, any kind of TEFL certificate is fine. The CELTA isn't favoured.

For the kind of language teaching you'd probably be doing in Paris, it's the interview and your previous experience (in life, not necessarily even in TEFL) that is key. IMO, the main things that employers want to see are:

- A professional attitude with the ability to plan and teach autonomously

- An understanding of the types of people you'll be teaching (i.e. business people, not kids). And with this goes my next point...

- A willingness to, at the risk of sounding cynical, "play the game". The fact of the matter is that in the eyes of many an employer here, it's more important that teachers keep students/clients happy, rather than be amazingly effective at teaching them English. This can mean different things for different students/clients. While some are very focused on improving their English, others just want 1.5 hours of interesting English conversation every week...some expect a very friendly teacher-student relationship, others want to remain on a completely professional level. You have to show a willingness and ability to adapt to each client.

- The ability to "animate" (very French word but it's better than any English equivalent) lessons - make things interesting etc.

You say that you have management experience, which you should definitely play up on your CV/in interviews. It puts you at a real advantage to a lot of people coming here to teach English right out of school or university, with no real-life business experience. Given that you'll probably be teaching business people English for the world of work (meetings, negotiating, HR, presentations, business telephone calls) it really really helps if you've actually USED English in the world of work. Which a lot of teachers here haven't.

In short, as long as you've got the kind of "attitude" employers want to see, you'll be fine.
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Joined: 26 Jan 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks riverboat! Thats very helpful, and reassuring. Business English is certainly the topic I would favour teaching, as it's familiar, and teaching to adults is something that I enjoy.

I have arranged some volunteer hours in the ESL class at the college I do my adult literacy programme through, in order to beef up my classroom exposure. I live in Vancouver where there is a high population of recent immigrants, mainly from SE Asia. This translates to a high demand for ESL classes.

I'd also like to do a French language course when I arrive in Paris over the summer, which will hopefullly help when searching for jobs, and help to understand a little of how teaching goes in France.
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Joined: 06 May 2013
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would recommend taking a course that is up to 120 hours and perhaps not with Oxford Seminars, though as you're already doing it, I'm sure this isn't helpful to say. However, from what I've learned, Oxford Seminars is just a "wet your feet" course. Also many schools won't accept you if your certificate is for only 60 hours. I planned to take the course with Oxford Seminars but in Canada and decided I would instead take CELTA after extensive research. Since you're in Canada, you might want to look into the CELTA course from English Canada in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Whatever you end up doing, good luck to you!
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Joined: 20 Jul 2006
Posts: 145
Location: La France profonde

PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

France has a huge unemployment problem but there is a demand for TEFL teachers, especially in Paris, Lille, Lyon and Marseilles - but - most are for a few hours per week - and often they are short term (Contrat ŕ duré Determiné).

Accommodation in Paris is hugely expensive and difficult to find. Take a look at in the small ads.

You will need a cash reserve because you will need to establish yourself and have an address here - recruitment is mostly local - employers don't need to recruit from abroad and will always look at local candidates.

The one advantage that you have is your British nationality, so there will be no problems about working here.
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