Explained: Studying to teach English in France

A brief guide on what you need to do if looking to teach English as a foreign language in France

There are six centres which offer CELTA courses in France, in Lyon, Brittany, Strasbourg, Toulouse and two in Paris

Teaching English as a second language to children or adults can be a good way to earn a living in France.

If that is your objective, it helps to have a TEFL (pronounced ‘teffle’) qualification to prove your credentials.

TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language – is the bestknown term, though you may also come across TESL (Second Language) and TESOL (Speakers of Other Languages).

You will pay around €2,000 for a classroom-based course with at least 120 hours of study.

A safe bet is to take a course leading to a well-known qualification, of which the two most internationally recognised are Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) by Cambridge Assessment English, and CertTESOL from Trinity College, London.

CELTA courses include practical teaching experience so cannot be done solely online.

There are six centres which offer them in France, in Lyon, Brittany, Strasbourg, Toulouse and two in Paris, one of which is ILC France and the other is at the British Council.

They cost €1,700-€2,000, including at least 120 hours of study and teaching practice.

There are no face-to-face Trinity College, London, courses in France but several UK centres offer online courses. For example, one in Edinburgh costs £980.

Other classroom-based courses in France also cost close to €2,000. There is one at TEFL Toulouse for €1,800 and one at TEFL Montpellier for €1,690.

Online courses can be cheaper and several come up in an internet search. Ones which say they are accredited and regulated (eg. by the UK or US governments) and offer 120 hours of lessons cost from €200.

The choice depends on your budget, what kind of teaching you are hoping to do, and in what kind of organisation.

A TEFL qualification will always be useful on your CV and to expand your repertoire of teaching methods, but it is possible for native English speakers to work without one.

One The Connexion journalist previously taught English for a chamber of commerce business course with the only requirement being a degree from an English-speaking university.

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