- What is a French Teaching Assistant?
- The Duration of Language Assistant Jobs
- What is the Role of a French Teaching Assistant?
- What Is the Difference Between a Language Assistant and a French Teacher?
- Countries Suited to Language Assistants
- Applying To Be a French Teacher’s Assistant
- A Gap Year Overseas as a Language Assistant
- Can You Do More than One Year as a Language Assistant?
- Considering Giving it a Go?
“Those who teach must never cease to learn” - John Cotton Dana
For native French speakers, there are 1,400 positions available for those desiring to teach French overseas as a language assistant. However, even if you are not a native French speaker, there is nothing stopping you from going abroad and teaching French! With millions of people around the world hoping to learn French as a foreign language, there are great opportunities all over the globe.
In this article, you will find out about the role of an assistant and how long it is possible to be a French teaching assistant. You will also find out what kind of French language assistant program options are available to you.
You will also find out the difference between being able to teach in French and becoming a French teaching assistant.
What is a French Teaching Assistant?
The role of the language assistant is to help the teacher to teach in French. Usually, this role is reserved for native speakers who are also teachers because students who aim to become bilingual need all the help that they can get.
The assistant’s role is to help a French teacher during their class.
Jobs to teach in French are generally reserved for native speakers of the language. After all, language teaching isn't easy and without immersion, students need all the help they can get if they want to become bilingual. However, if you are searching teach French jobs, keep reading for the path on how to be able to teach in French as a non-native.
One way to do this is to embark on a French language assistant program. The French teaching assistant can work in primary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities. These language assistant roles are generally reserved for university undergraduates who are native French speakers and residents of French-speaking countries.
The Duration of Language Assistant Jobs
Depending on your chosen destination, a French language assistant program will usually place a French teaching assistant in a post for between four and seven months. This is based on academic terms which are seasonal. This is not only country-dependent, but also on whether you will be paid or receiving a bursary to learn how to teach in French.
Advantages of a French Language Assistant Program
- Career development
- Skills development
- Fees are paid by the program
- The opportunity to earn a salary
What is the Role of a French Teaching Assistant?
The key difference between someone who is qualified to teach in French and the assistant is that rather than replacing the teacher, they provide supplementary help for students with regards to comprehension, speaking, and general language learning.
Often, the assistant will take small groups of students aside to practise the module that has just been taught. If you are searching teach French jobs as an assistant, be advised that these roles are more focused on the communicative and practice part of learning French, rather than the academic requirements needed to teach in French.
The Various Roles Can Include:
- Helping students to practise their speaking and understanding.
- Running conversation workshops.
- Introducing students to the French culture.
- One-on-one assistance for certain students.
- Assisting students with specific aspects of grammar, homework, coursework, and fluency.
- Partaking in educational events at the language centre, school, college, or university.
- Creating exchange programs with French students.
- Running a private French language club.
- Exam preparations.
- Helping students who are about to graduate with teach French jobs searches.
- Organising French cultural activities.
What Is the Difference Between a Language Assistant and a French Teacher?
A language assistant ensures that the students are able to get the most out of their teacher. By working alongside the teacher it helps the students to progress more quickly. Depending on the establishment, assistants may need to apply through the language assistant program or directly to the establishment itself.
Countries Suited to Language Assistants
If you search teach French jobs, you will find that there are about 1,400 positions available for language assistants throughout the world. Each country will differ in terms of salaries, working conditions, and the working hours required.
If you want to work, live and travel within a German-speaking country, here is a shortlist of countries where French teaching assistants are required:
If you want to travel to a country where English is spoken, you could try to apply to one of these:
- New Zealand
You could even improve your Spanish by working as a French teacher’s assistant in one of these countries:
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
To immerse in the Chinese language and culture, you could search teach French jobs as an assistant in one of these countries:
There are also countries where languages like Dutch, Portuguese, Arabic, and others, can be learnt.
- The Netherlands
Applying To Be a French Teacher’s Assistant
While the criteria vary by country, if you would like to be part of a French language assistant program, you will need:
- To be a French national
- A French language university student
- Have finished the second year of your degree
- Aged between 20 and 35
While the program isn’t just for aspirant teachers, those with an interest in becoming teachers have a higher likelihood of being accepted. If for any reason you are not eligible to apply as part of the program, you are able to apply for positions directly through the establishments themselves.
Applications are typically completed towards the beginning of the calendar year (sometime between January and March). Once your application has been sent, you may get a reply within anything from a few weeks to a few months. This response time also varies from country to country.
- April: Canada, China, USA, India Belorussia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Taiwan.
- May: Costa Rica, Egypt, Ecuador Germany, Argentina, Austria, Colombia, Spain, Mexico, Portugal, Ireland, Dominican Republic.
- June: Italy, UK.
- July: Peru, Australia, Bolivia, New Zealand, Usually, language assistants start at the beginning of the academic year as this time is the best for them to get to know the students.
A Gap Year Overseas as a Language Assistant
If you are studying towards a French language degree, you should consider a year overseas as a language assistant. If, of course, you are studying French, you should go to a French-speaking country and teach English rather than teaching French.
Check with your university and see if this is an available option. If so, you will usually be required to do some additional work for your host university during your time there as a language assistant.
Can You Do More than One Year as a Language Assistant?
Depending on the program, or whether you apply directly, there may be restrictions to the number of years you are able to be a language assistant, however, some countries do allow renewals at the completion of the academic year. At that stage, bear in mind that new candidates may be applying for the same position.
Find the perfect French lessons South on Superprof.
Possible Contract Renewals
- New Zealand
- The Netherlands
Countries Where Renewals Are Not Possible
- Costa Rica
In terms of making your venture financially possible, check with your university about financial aid.
Considering Giving it a Go?
If you need help with your French teaching skills, consider the services of a private French tutor on Superprof. There are three types of tutorial options available: group tutorials, in-person, or via webcam online.
Group tutorials are much like traditional classes that have one teacher and many students. When there are several students, it can bring the tuition fees down because the teacher’s cost is shared by the group. As a group of friends, you could even reap the benefits of a private tutor by sharing the cost, while keeping the class small.
In-person tutorials is private tuition with one teacher and one student. This type of learning method tends to be the most expensive, yet most effective because you are receiving such a tailored service. In another way it can be seen as very cost-effective as every minute of the tutor’s time is solely focused on you.
Online tutorials are a convenient and cost-effective way to learn, especially if you have a robust internet connection, meeting app like Zoom or Google Meet, and a webcam. This way, you can actually receive tuition from anywhere in the world from the comfort and convenience of your own home!
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