How to Teach English in French-Speaking Countries

Written by isabelle boucq
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How to Teach English in French-Speaking Countries
Becoming an ESL teacher is a quick way to become immersed in the culture (France 1 image by Nathalie P from

Becoming an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher in a French-speaking country is a good way to kill two birds with one stone: You'll make a living in a new country and get to improve your French. And you don't have to limit yourself to France, not with 28 countries where French is the official language. Check out the wealth of information online to research teaching opportunities in French-speaking countries. Your dream job may be only a few clicks away!

Skill level:

Things you need

  • At least a rudimentary command of French
  • An interest in French language and the culture of the chosen country
  • An ability to adapt and thrive in new environments

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  1. 1

    Find the French-speaking country that's right for you. France isn't the only one. You have 28 countries to chose from, not counting about 50 others that have a strong French-speaking tradition like Vietnam. Some are neighbours of the United States like Canada and Haiti. Several are European countries, like France, Belgium and Switzerland, while the majority of French-speaking countries are in Africa. Let your personal preferences guide your choice of a country. Do you want to live in a developing country? Would you rather stay closer to home?

  2. 2

    Explore the Teaching Assistant Program in France. The goal of this program of the French government is to improve English-language instruction in French schools by using native English speakers called "assistants." To register for application, visit the program's website at You'll receive an application you must return by early January. Assistants work for the French government, which issues them a visa, and teach 12 hours a week. They receive a stipend of 960 euros. Assistants can work in any school district in metropolitan France and in the overseas departments of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion.

  3. 3

    Think about the English Teaching Assistantship program. The program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is administered by the French Ministry of Education. Teaching opportunities are available in France and Belgium. To apply, you must have a bachelor's degree or be a graduating college senior. Aspiring teachers of French have preference. Assistants typically teach in secondary schools and commit for the school year. About 50 assistantships are awarded each year.

  4. 4

    Find a job teaching French through the college or university you attended. It may just list teaching opportunities abroad.

  5. 5

    Visit the Teach Abroad website, which lists ESL jobs by country. Be aware that most employers will require you to have a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate. The Teach Abroad site also lists schools and programs where you can earn these certificates.

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