Teaching English in France

By | December 9, 2016

France is one of the world’s most famous countries, home to the Eiffel Tower, Moulin Rouge and many other attractions. In fact, Paris is the most visited city out of anywhere in the world with millions of people visiting every year!

Teaching English in France

The Eiffel Tower. Image courtesy of WikiMedia.

France is also becoming a more popular destination for English teachers because of the number of people that are now studying the language in the country.

France is the largest country in Western Europe and has had considerable cultural, economic, military and political influence around the whole world. After the United Kingdom, France managed to build the second largest colonial empire in the world and its language and culture has been transported around the world.

Today, France is the world’s fifth largest economy and it is second in Europe behind Germany. People living in France have a very high standard of living, a great education and a very long life expectancy and this is one of the reasons teaching English in France has become ever more popular in recent years.

Read more about France from Wikipedia.

Why Teach English in France

Les Roches Sur l´Eau de la Plage

Les Roches Sur l´Eau de la Plage

The French are also very protective about their language and perceive a threat from what is known as Anglicisation (English). Therefore, the use of French is required by law in commercial and workplace communications.

Having said this, French people realise the need to be able to speak English for international communication and international business and there is a growing demand for native English teachers to teach them.

There are many reasons to teach English in France!

  • The most popular tourist destination in the whole world and it has 37 sites listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
  • Beautiful beaches, picturesque villages and stunning cities.
  • Disneyland Paris which is Europe’s most popular theme park with more than 15 million visitors every year!

France also boasts one of the best railway networks in Europe with high speed trains that can take you across all neighbouring countries including the United Kingdom.

Where to Teach English in France

The most popular destinations for ESL teachers are where the jobs are and they are usually located in the bigger cities in France including Paris, Lyon and Montpellier. There are also jobs available in some of the other French cities, but not as many as the cities listed above.

Types of Teaching Jobs in France

Man walking his dog near Eiffel Tower, Paris

Man walking his dog near Eiffel Tower, Paris

Language schools will require a teaching qualification that has monitored assessments in the classroom and are backed by a university, so ensure that your TEFL or TESOL meets this requirement. If you have a CELTA, it will satisfy this requirement.

Moreover, you will need a bachelor’s degree to be offered a job in a language school in France.

Some schools might overlook these requirements if you’re applying for very short term positions.

Business Teaching

There are also some opportunities to teach business employees. Usually this work can be found with the French Chamber of Commerce and you will be teaching in classrooms and will solely have students from businesses. If you have particular experience in one particular field, you could end up teaching English for specific purposes, e.g. English for Hospitality, English for Human Resources, etc.

Government Programs

There are also some government sponsored programs available from the French Ministry of Education. They are looking for U.S. citizens who are younger than 29 to be Teaching Assistants. Click here for more information.

Telephone/Skype Lessons

The Avenue

Arc de Triomphe – The Avenue

Although telephone and Skype lessons are becoming even more popular all over the world, they are especially popular in France. You can even teach French students without leaving your own country, however, in most cases it is the living in France bit that attracts teachers in the first place!

If you are teaching and living in France, you could take a few telephone and Skype lessons to supplement in your income.

Private Lessons

Another option for English teachers is to take a few private lessons and it can be an easy way to supplement your income. This should be seen as a way to earn some extra cash rather than a full-time job.

Teaching Requirements and Qualifications

Most native English speaking teachers in France would require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and some kind of TEFL, TESOL or CELTA certificate to find work.

Those without these qualifications might find it more difficult to secure a job, but not impossible.

To ensure that you get the highest salary and the most opportunities for finding work in France, it is recommended that you have at least a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate, an internationally recognised TEFL, TESOL or CELTA.

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Expected Salary and Living Costs

[sociallocker id=”1306″]The average monthly salary for ESL teachers in France is between €1,400 ($1900) and €2,000 ($2750) per month. This is based on a yearly contract with about 20-25 hours of teaching per week. Really, the amount of time that you

Usually accommodation and travel isn’t included and you’d be expected to pay tax.

Some schools pay holidays and the French often have very long holidays so you would need to double check this with your employer.

France has one of the highest costs of living out of anywhere in the world and Paris is very expensive. Most English teachers won’t be able to afford a great life, but it is possible to live relatively comfortably if you share an apartment and do some extra private lessons on top of your main job.

Take a look at Numbeo for more specific information about the cost of living in France.[/sociallocker]

Visa Requirements

Sleeping Beauty Castle Disney resort Paris [Explored]

Sleeping Beauty Castle Disney Resort Paris

For non-EU nationals, getting a visa can be a difficult and expensive process and therefore a number of schools would prefer to hire British nationals.

Very experienced and well qualified non-EU nationals might have some luck finding a job in France, but because EU nationals are preferred, you would have to be very well qualified and experienced.

Usually, you would need to be sponsored by your school or employer if you are a non-EU citizen.

For more information about visas in France, click here.

How to Find a Job Teaching in France

French schools and companies often advertise for vacant ESL teaching jobs online although they don’t often complete the recruitment process via the internet. Instead they prefer to do a face to face interview with potential applicant.

Moreover, the Cultural Service of the French Embassy sometimes provides placements for English teachers and teaching assistants.

Alternatively, you can find jobs when you are already in France by visiting the websites of prospective schools and seeing if they have any vacant positions. You can also try getting a list of schools and contacting them directly either by email, telephone or in person.

Teach English in France

Unless you are applying for a government sponsored position, EU citizens are often preferred because they don’t need a visa to live and work in France.

There is a growing demand for native English speaking teachers and there is some competition. If you have a good degree and an internationally recognised CELTA, TEFL or TESL, then you should be able to secure a job quite easily.

The cost of living is very high in France, especially in Paris, and as a teacher you won’t be able to save a lot of money each month. But if you live frugally, take a few extra classes, you might be able to put away a little money each month.


Although I have never worked in this country, every effort has been made to ensure that this information is correct. This blog post has been written after extensive research online, interviews with teachers who have worked or are working in the country, and local schools have been contacted. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. If you have worked or are working in France, we would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and share your experiences with us.

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