“Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things.” - Flora Lewis
There are roughly 2.5 million French citizens living abroad. Thousands of these people are teaching French as a foreign language. If you'd like to teach French to students in elementary school, middle school, high school, college, or university there is definitely a market for it.
Even though most students learn a new language when they are young, there's still the possibility of teaching French to immigrants, refugees, children, teenagers, or adults.
You're probably wondering what exactly a French as a foreign language teacher does.
In this article, we're going to tell you about teaching French as a second language, what your responsibilities would be, the skills and training you need to teach, the different types of French teachers, and who you'll teach.
It is your responsibility as a French teacher to guide and teach someone who doesn't speak the language.
If French is your native language it means you either were born and raised in a French-speaking country or your parents taught you from a young age.
Learning a foreign language means that you're learning a second language and the lesson structure compared to native speakers is very different.
For one, native speakers are learning it from a young age. Foreign language students underwent this process with their own language and now they're starting from zero with a new one. This can be incredibly challenging but a lot of fun too.
If you're going to teach French as a foreign language, you will have to adapt and learn to communicate with people that don't understand the language.
If you want to be successful you need to dig up different teaching techniques, resources, and make your students practice everything you teach them. For example, you can have a lesson on pronunciation, another one on grammar, vocabulary, and so on.
What Does a French Teacher Do?
Many teachers dream of teaching French as a foreign language abroad.
Keep in mind that a degree in French doesn’t necessarily mean you can teach French in schools. You first need to get teaching qualifications.
You can teach the language in a school, a language institution, or offer private tutoring. The goal of French teachers is to teach those who don’t speak French how to speak it.
The Role of French Teachers
Some of your goals would be:
- Create a course: The teacher has to create courses for various ages.
- Create common objectives for the class while paying attention to the differing levels of each student.
- Teach French grammatical rules through written and speaking exercises.
- Share the French culture with the learners.
- Encourage the use of the language outside of class.
What Skills Do You Need?
Two of the most important skills for any teacher are pedagogy and patience.
Good teachers and people who love teaching need empathy in their hearts, because learning a new language takes time and this is a very challenging job.
Kids and students can get frustrated and you need to know how to navigate their frustrations. A teacher has to encourage and reassure the student, showing them how to continue and not lose confidence.
You need to understand the challenges and obstacles every child will face. You must be flexible but at the same time firm. To teach a French course you need to dominate the language, but you have to know that they probably don't understand you.
They’re not expected to know everything about the language but they should be constantly learning about the language so that they can answer questions about it.
Finally, the French teacher needs to know what learning a foreign language is like and what the students are going through.
Note: You can start taking French lessons online today.
What Training Do You Need to Become a French Teacher?
You probably already know that you need a degree both in French and education. If you're a native French speaker you still need to know how to teach a language because it is not a simple job.
If you study the French language you should do a double major in education or you can get a post-graduate degree in education, and vice-versa.
If you’re already abroad and want to learn how to tutor for French as a foreign language, you can always opt to do the DAEFLE, a qualification recognized by the Alliance Française.
Finally, if you want to become a French teacher in a school you will need to check the requirement for your particular country. Take French lessons to improve your language skills!
Check for online French classes here on Superprof.
Types of French Teachers
There are many different ways to teach French as a foreign language.
You can offer French lessons to the staff of a private company, immigrants moving to a French-speaking country, or find an institution looking for teachers. Teachers can also be employed abroad in cultural and language centers.
The best way to make sure you have job security is to have all the required qualifications. You could teach abroad in public schools, colleges, or universities.
Your salary will depend on the country you go to and the level you teach. Make sure you check the paperwork required by the country.
Discover different French classes here on Superprof.
Who Are the Students?
First (and obviously) you won't be teaching French people. If you end up going to France there's a chance you'll be teaching asylum seekers, immigrants, Erasmus students, etc.
Keep in mind that teaching a course to teenagers and children is going to be easier than giving the course to adults because adults tend to be resistant to learning a foreign language if they’re being forced to do it.
If you're faced with this, you have to motivate your students and tell them how great they are, even if you tell them every single day! Reassuring them during every lesson and every day can make a difference.
If you feel a little rusty in French you should consider getting help from one of the private tutors on Superprof.
Keep in mind that many tutors offer the first lesson for free. This free lesson can help you see their experience, what resources they use, and find out if you like them. It's important that you click with them because you will work long hours and days with your tutor.
On Superprof you can find tutors and teachers for any school subject for example math, physics, reading, etc, languages like Chinese, Spanish, English, Italian, etc, games like chess, and many more.
If you're learning any of these languages (or other), you can always ask your tutor to focus the lessons on word pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, or whatever you're interested in.
Although the best way of learning a new language is through immersion, if you don't have the opportunity to live abroad then the second best is a tutor. When you work with a tutor your progress is much faster and your understanding of the new subject is better.
Make sure you practice from the start. This way we guarantee you will be speaking the new language in no time.
You could even become a French private tutor yourself.
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