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Thread: To do TEFL...

  1. #1
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    To do TEFL...

    Hi all, I hope you can help.

    I am considering doing my TEFL course soon with a view to living and working in France (probably Paris). I've heard and read varying accounts the working life and would be greatful if you could share your experience...

    Is it easy to secure work in a city such as Paris? (enough work/hours to support yourself)

    And also are there many full time contracts offered?

    I'm not sure how easy it is securing employment as I cannot yet speak decent French - is this much of a problem?

    Many thanks for your help, your answers may well decide my future career! Mclaren.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: To do TEFL...

    It depends on various factors- qualifications, luck, etc. I live in Asia so I don't know that much about Paris, but in Europe in general there is a downward pressure on salaries because the supply outstrips demand in many places. Paris will have many of the reputable places that pay better, though competition will be fierce. The language shouldn'yt be a problem as most teaching systems don't require it.

  3. #3
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    Re: To do TEFL...

    Thanks tdol,

    Regarding the language I suppose there is the option of promotion (ie a better salery and better options) if you can speak their language fluently as I would like to eventually speak fluent French and will learn fast there.

    I recently travelled Asia and teaching there was an option. Where do you teach and what are the conditions like?

    thanks again, Mclaren.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: To do TEFL...

    Asia is booming and there are well-paid jobs. I was recently in Japan, where most of the people I knew were in decent jobs, though the eikawa (chains of conversation schools) get a lot of criticism. In China, there are many good opportunities, but care is needed because some parts are still relatively new and it can be bandit territory. Care is also advised with the hogwan in South Korea, but generally there are more opportunities here than in Europe, I feel.

    I am now living in Cambodia, though I work on the internet, and the picture is mixed here- there are good schools that pay well (for the country) where a person could earn enough to live reasonably well and have a good time, but the salary is relative and would be worth a lot less outside the setting. It depends what you want- if you want to travel and see places, you can go pretty much anywhere, but if you're looking to build a decent career in ESL, then I'd head for China or Japan.

  5. #5
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    Re: To do TEFL...

    Ahh ok. I've put down the deposit now so i'm doing it! Asia is also an option too though if Western Europe doesn't go too well. Could you describe your average working day? As i'm taking a gamble on this as although i'm confident I can do it I have no teaching experience whatsoever. What ages do you teach and is the job generally difficult? Ie is it repetative etc?

    Thanks again for your help,

    Lee

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: To do TEFL...

    It really does depend. If you're planning to do this job long-term, then I would advise looking carefully at Asia. If I were starting again now, I would head there rather than Europe, which was where I headed many years ago. I think the market is more bouyant and there are better opportunities.

    I do have a cushy number now- I teach very advanced adult students academic English and do it over the net, though I return to the UK in the summer for courses. When I started, I taught in a standard ESL school and, like most, started with the lower levels. This can be repetitive, though when gaining experience it is useful as it is your learning ground for dealing with the numerous issues and questions raised. I find more advanced groups more interesting, though when starting they can be more daunting.

    Wherever you start working, and no matter what job you take to start, do try to move into the more reputable end of the market, though this may not be practical as a starter. If you plan to do it for any length of time, then do look into higher level qualifications, which are the passport into the comfortable jobs, like ones in universities, where a Master's is the standard now, but pay and conditions are usually much better.

  7. #7
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    Re: To do TEFL...

    Hi,

    TEFL teaching in France is a great experience but it's close proximity to the rest of Europe does make it a rather competitive market. You'll need to have a good internationally recognised qualification at the very least and fluency in French probably would be a good asset, if not essential.

    This site has some pretty good country guides, have a look if you like:

    France Teaching English Guide. Find TEFL Jobs Abroad

    Hope this is helpful!

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