Living and working abroad is the dream of many young professionals and one that opens up a whole host of career opportunities in the present and future for the proactive candidate. However, the last couple of years has been challenging for everyone, not least those who wish to broaden their horizons by immersing themselves in a new culture.
There are many reasons for this, from travel restrictions due to the pandemic, all the way to the soaring costs of inflation in recent months. Having said that, the very fact that fewer individuals might be thinking about the move right now actually makes it the perfect time to take advantage, and find the ideal position with perhaps a little bit less competition than before.
One such country to consider is France, located just a stone’s throw across the English Channel (or La Manche as they call it in French). With a close location to the UK, France is a great place to start or continue a career overseas. With that in mind, below are just a few things to consider when taking the initial plunge to live and work in France.
TEFL (or Teaching English as a Foreign Language)
Although TEFL teachers have been living and working in France, there is always the chance to help forming a Teach English in France community that is bigger and more knowledgeable than ever before. A simple way to get started is by getting qualified in France, through a TEFL program that trains the right candidates in the full range of teaching tools, from classroom management to the conditionals in grammar.
A good course will combine the knowledge and experience of TEFL tutors who have taught across the planet, with a friendly and rigorous training course that covers every angle of life in the TEFL classroom. Added to that, these TEFL experts are on hand and ready to answer any query that might come up, no matter how seemingly trivial.
What is more, the qualified TEFL teacher can often work flexibly alongside their own studies, allowing them to earn a little extra spending money for day trips or keep a little cash aside for a rainy day. Furthermore, the ability to teach English in another country also can enable some learners to become more confident in their own approach to learning the language of the host country, a skill which will probably enable them to integrate even more easily into life there.
Teaching in a TEFL classroom
There are several aspects to consider when making the brave decision to start teaching TEFL in the classroom. First of all, while many students nowadays do learn online, there are also those who prefer the traditional approach in person. There are a couple of reasons for this.
First of all, some learners do not have access to technology at home, and so have not had the chance to make themselves feel at home with the finer nuances of online learning. Secondly, the classroom is a wonderful place to connect with others in real life, who are experiencing a similar learning arc. This means that a good teacher can use the students in the room in a positive way, with collaborative tasks unlocking the full potential of each class member.
Another facet to think about is the overall cost of transportation when going to and from work each day. While road trips can be exciting, the day-to-day effort of sitting through long traffic jams just to get to school could be emotionally and physically draining for some. Added to that, the cost of buying and maintaining a vehicle, not to mention rising petrol costs, may make this option seem a touch less attractive.
On the other hand, the ability to interact with human beings face to face, at a speed that is good for them, is one that a lot of teachers find is too good to turn down. The reality is that humans are social animals, and the chance to witness real student growth at firsthand is tantalizing for most TEFL tutors.
Teaching TEFL online
By contrast, there are a plethora of benefits to becoming a TEFL teacher online, even while living and working abroad. Immediately, the ability to work at home unlocks vital time and energy that could be used to prepare for and teach more lessons. This in turn will give the TEFL teacher a greater chance to build their confidence more quickly, and get the hang of how a typical TEFL lesson works much faster.
Additionally, this could help the TEFL instructor to save money, no matter if they are keeping funds back for a long vacation, or just extra study books to get through the semester. On top of that, a lot of universities now have built in a number of online components to their existing programs, so being a TEFL teacher on the side is a fantastic way of keeping on top of the latest trends in educational technology.
Despite this, there are definitely a few issues to keep in mind when making the decision to teach TEFL online. One concern is the quality and reliability of the internet connection, which might cause problems if it is not strong enough to support an entire online lesson successfully.
students may start to become frustrated if there is a dreaded lag, where the amount of time between student and teacher talking starts to impact the lesson content. This also means that a proactive TEFL teacher should look to keep a space that is clean and neutral, in order to maximize productivity and avoid distracting learners from their studies.
One other thing to keep in mind is to not take on too much work at once. This can not only lead to an increased risk of burnout, but also an additional strain on existing study obligations. The last thing any TEFL teacher ought to do is to commit to so much work that their own grades start suffering as a result.