Talk To Teach

What are the requirements to teach English in France?

Teaching English in France is a great way to find work on the basis of your skills, while also allowing you a measure of flexibility that many other jobs don’t offer. However, before planning your move to France, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the requirements that apply for each form of teaching. In this article, we’ll give you an outline of the different teaching opportunities that exist, what degree (if any) you’ll need to teach and whether or not you’ll need a working visa if you’re a non-EU citizen. We’ll finish with a discussion of which regions in France are great for expat communities.



What teaching opportunities are available in France? 


  • Private tutor


This is a great option if you’re looking for part-time or temporary work. It may be difficult in the first year or so to find enough students to turn this into a proper job, so you shouldn’t rely on it as providing an income that will allow you to live in France. However, after some time it may turn into a full-time job, if you build up a reliable client base or find yourself a good agency.


Do you need a degree?


In principle, private tutoring doesn’t require a degree of any kind. However, in order to ensure that you offer a quality service to your students, you will want to make sure that you have the requisite knowledge to explain things clearly and help them progress. We suggest doing some preliminary research on the kind of degrees that will benefit you most. For example, many people who engage private tutors will be working in the business world and are looking to develop proficiency in English oriented to professional environments. A certificate in teaching business English, or a general teaching certificate combined with a university degree in marketing, business, an MBA, etc., will set you apart from other language teachers.


Do you need a working visa as a non-EU citizen?


It depends. Working as a private tutor, especially if it’s just a job on the side, may not require a working visa. It’s a job that is common among students if this is simply a way to supplement your income, it doesn’t need to be registered or taxed. If you’re working through an agency, however, or if you don’t have a different visa allowing you to stay in France (such as a tourist or student visa) then you will need to obtain a working visa.


  • Language immersion host


If you’re looking for steady work that still gives you a lot of free time and flexibility and that is easy to combine with family life, hosting students for a language immersion might just be the perfect job for you! You’ll have the flexibility to decide how much you work and will be able to develop a variety of teaching methods and really up your game as a language teacher, giving you valuable experience that may come in handy in the future.


Do you need a degree?


To host language immersions, reputable companies such as Talk to Teach will require either some form of teaching qualification, or a degree in higher education, in order to assure that students receive high-quality instruction in addition to enjoying the benefits of an immersion. While a TEFL certificate is not required, if you are interested in obtaining TEFL certification, you can find more information on the process on the Talk to Teach website. You’ll also find other useful information here, like tips on how to teach English.


Do you need a working visa as a non-EU citizen?


As for any other official form of employment, if you are looking to work as a host family in France and you are not an EU citizen, you will require a working visa.



  • IELTS or TOEFL instructor


With the increasing internationalisation of global job markets and growing numbers of French students traveling abroad for university studies, the demand for English proficiency certificates from recognized institutions such as IELTS or TOEFL is on the rise in France. Preparing students for these exams – both through recognized institutions and in private tutoring sessions – is a job that, given the right location (near universities, high schools, etc.) is almost a guarantee of steady work.


Do you need a degree?


Yes. Obtaining an IELTS or TOEFL teaching certificate is essential in order to teach at accredited institutions. Moreover, since these exams don’t test general English proficiency but have a set format, you will require specific training to prepare students to do well.


Do you need a working visa as a non-EU citizen?


Yes. Teaching at an accredited IELTS or TOEFL institutions means you will be under an employment contract and hence require a working visa. However, if you work as a private tutor and only work to supplement your income, a working visa may not be necessary (assuming you have a different visa permitting you to stay in France).



  • High school English teacher


This is a great option to consider if you’re looking to stay in France indefinitely and if you think you have what it takes to teach English to a room full of teenagers! In order to qualify for the job, though, you’ll need to have a good level of French. The exception to this is working in international schools, where requirements are different depending on the school in question.


Do you need a degree?

Surprisingly, not necessarily. The TAPIF programme collaborates with the French government to enable American citizens to teach in France without requiring TEFL certification. Usually, however, English instructors are required to hold a bachelor’s degree and should have at least one year of relevant education experience, as well as a TEFL or CELTA certificate.


Do you need a working visa as a non-EU citizen?

Yes – working as a teacher in a school in France means you will have to obtain a working visa prior to starting. On the plus side, international schools will have a lot of experience arranging for working visas for their teachers, meaning that you won’t have to deal with this process alone.



Even though for many teaching jobs a degree isn’t mandatory, it’s good to know that overall the French (employers as well as students) appreciate diploma’s and work experience. Therefore, if you don’t have some substantial work experience, having a diploma (especially one recognized by the French) may prove helpful in finding a job.


Which regions have the most English speakers? 


When considering moving to France and working as an English teacher, it’s important to carefully think about where you want to move. Paradoxically, regions with a lot of English speakers tend to be good places for English teaching. While there is more competition, these regions tend to be more cosmopolitan, centred around university towns or cities with significant concentrations of international companies. As such, there will be a larger pool of potential students. Moreover, expat networks will be essential to scouting for job opportunities. Unsurprisingly, most British expats choose to live in the Ile-de-France region (which includes Paris), but in Poitou-Charentes, Brits are also well-represented, comprising 33 percent of the overall population of foreign residents. Next come Aquitaine and the neighbouring Midi-Pyrénées (now part of the new region Occitanie).


Luckily, whether you’re heading for a region full of English speakers or looking to go off the beaten track, Talk to Teach works with native English host families for language immersions all across the country – from Paris to Bretagne, the Alsace, Languedoc-Roussillon and more. To get started as an English teacher in France, Talk to Teach offers all the support you might need, including teaching advice, lesson materials and 24/24 support during homestays, Talk to Teach helps you arrange all the practicalities so you can focus on developing educational and thrilling language immersions for your future students.