"Boy, those French. They have a different word for everything." - Steve Martin

French is the fifth most spoken language in the world and the second most learned foreign language and if you're here it probably means you want to learn French as a foreign language.

If you studied French at university you're probably wondering how to become a French teacher. In this article, we will share with you all the teaching opportunities and language programs for French teachers.

While we're focusing on French here, a lot of this information can be used for anyone with an aptitude for modern languages to help their students become bilingual or fluent in their foreign language.

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Teaching French as a Foreign Language

As a French teacher, you will be teaching those who don’t speak French and want to learn it as a second or third language.

How can you teach French abroad?
Before you can become a French teacher, you need to learn it yourself and then start gaining years of experience in education. (Source: jun)

Teaching French as a second language is different than teaching languages to students who live in France. Students learning foreign languages have to be taught differently and the French language is no exception. If you can't go to France to learn French then you can try to learn the language outside of France and with other resources.

But keep in mind that teaching a language as a foreign language is different from learning your native language. Non-native speakers who are taught French in French-speaking countries are usually expats, immigrants, and refugees.

Anyone can start learning a foreign language, which means you will have a diverse group of students, unlike teaching in a high school where everyone is the same age and from the same place.

Here are the main goals of a French teacher:

  • Teaching French vocabulary, grammar
  • Promote the language and French culture through your teaching (stirring away from stereotypes)
  • Set learning goals that each student can achieve as they learn how to talk in that language
  • In any school, college, or university, their goals may be to help students in different levels with their coursework, preparing for exams, etc.

To be successful you need good teaching skills. Part of the job is understanding each student's strengths and difficulties and teach to all the students as a whole. You can use your own experience with your students since you've undergone a program and process of learning a foreign language.

To become a French teacher, you’ll usually have to do a degree in the language and then a teaching certification or the other way around. Get a degree in education and certification in French.

Teaching French Abroad as a Language Assistant

If you're still in the process of getting a certification or degree for education you can always become a French teaching assistant and help teachers in their language classes.

How do you become a French language assistant?
You can become a language assistant and stay in the United States (USA), maybe teach in New York, or find programs that will take you to Paris. (Source: pdf weisanjiang)

Teaching assistants or language assistants are normally looking to become teachers in the future.

As an assistant, you won't be responsible for teaching literature, art, or planning a field trip to a museum. Your job, you probably guessed, is to help teachers throughout their lessons. You won't be teaching a lesson on your own but you might be asked to work with small groups of students.

Language assistants can work in a school for an entire school year or just a semester. Keep in mind that most language assistant positions are saved for people who have a high level of knowledge of the language. There are some rare cases where a non-native speaker can become a language assistant.

Discover different French classes near me here on Superprof.

Teaching French Abroad

You can teach French in other countries. You can find language centers and programs and start teaching foreign languages or, with the right qualifications, in schools.

How do you become a French teacher?
To improve teaching skills, you will have to do a lesson, practice speaking in public, and doing it well in English or any other language. Speaking in public can be scary but it is a necessary skill (Source: jun Wokandapix)

There are many different programs and certifications you can get to become a teacher. But, when we talk about teaching French to students in an international program who probably don't speak English, there are some things you need to learn.

Teaching French requires a lot of patience and practice both from the students and the teacher. You will be teaching traditional lessons but that doesn't mean you can't change it up a bit.

You have to give your students to test their language skills in different scenarios. If you're in France and the students are old enough you can give them speaking challenges and send them out to the street. You can send them to a museum, an art gallery, or give them French literature passages to understand.

In some countries, you can apply directly to schools and establishments whereas, in others, you’ll have to go through a process to become a teacher. The working conditions will be different in every country so choose carefully.

You will need either an undergraduate degree in the language and a post-graduate degree in teaching or vice-versa. and you’ll also be expected to have a very high level of French.

If you speak multiple languages, you can teach them all if they’re taught at the establishment you’re applying to. Thanks to the internet, it’s never been easier to find teaching jobs around the world.

Note: You can start taking French lessons online today.

Becoming a French Private Tutor

To teach French as a foreign language, you could always be a private tutor.

How do you become a French tutor?
It can take a lot of work to become a tutor but if you're working hard and well you will get to a high level in no time and soon you will be teaching French in Paris. (Source: pdf StartupStockPhotos)

You can go online and become a private tutor with just a few clicks. But, even though it can be easy to start, you should still do your research on how to become self-employed in the United States.

As a private tutor, you can teach online through Zoom calls or meet in person at a cafe, in the student's home, or your own home.

The advantage?

You'll create your own schedule, you don't have to answer to a boss or a team of colleagues, the government offers a program for self-employed people, and you design your classes without the pressure of a school curriculum.

So how can you teach French as a foreign language?

If you still feel like you could improve your French by some levels you can start a learning French process with a tutor or by attending language schools. A tutor can guide your path of becoming a French tutor yourself.

Although tutoring has a lot of stereotypes and people believe it's only for struggling students, this is incorrect. Anyone can hire a private tutor and learn with one.

You can find plenty of teachers offering to tutor in different subjects on Superprof. You can get tutoring lessons face-to-face, online, or in groups.

When you look for a tutor keep an eye out for any certification they might have or their years of experience in the education sector. Having a certification in the field they work in is so important because it shows they are prepared. Before you hire someone you should talk to them first and see if you like them and their teaching methodologies.

Keep in mind that many tutors on Superprof offer the first lesson for free, which can be a great time to figure out if you like them. You can work with a private tutor on the side of your university classes, or separate from school and learn a new skill.

If you live in the USA (New York for example) you can find tutors living in the country or abroad. If you're looking for an international tutor you can change the location on the search bar and choose the country you want.

Learning the French language can be incredibly challenging but remember that French is a quite popular language around the world and it can be very useful to know it.

Teaching English or French abroad will make your CV look more international and therefore, more valuable!

Find interesting French lessons online here on Superprof.

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Jess