French Teacher Career Information

If you speak French and would like to share your knowledge with others, you might be interested in getting information about pursuing a career as a French teacher.

Types of jobs

French teachers most often work in either public or private schools, usually at the middle and high school levels. Many colleges and universities offer French as a language choice for their students, so they are often looking to hire instructors. In addition, more and more online universities are looking for instructors for their programs. You could also offer classes in continuing education programs or at local recreation centers. Another option would be to become a private tutor for students who are struggling to learn the language. You might even consider looking for a job teaching French overseas.

Education

In order to become a French teacher, you will have to be fluent in French, and if you want to teach school, you will need a bachelor’s degree in either French or Education. You will also have to meet all the requirements to get certified in your state. If you are interested in teaching at the college level, you will need a graduate degree. Other types of jobs like at private schools or community education programs may have less stringent educational requirements; however, they will require you to be proficient in French. As a result, you should strongly consider spending some time in a French speaking country in order to practice in a real world setting.

Basic tasks

As a French teacher, your main goal is to help your students to understand, speak, read, and write French. Part of your curriculum may also include information about how French literature, art, and philosophy have impacted the world. To do so, you will need to use a variety of educational approaches, including classroom or individual conversation, textbooks, and audio or other multimedia materials.

Hours

Depending on where you work, your hours will vary. If you work at a school, you can expect to work Monday through Friday anywhere from 7 am to 5 pm. Some college or universities may require you to instruct some night courses, and if you teach continuing education classes, you could be working on Saturdays.

Job Outlook/Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for teachers in the next ten years is very good, especially for those who teach foreign languages since many school districts are having trouble finding qualified instructors. On the other hand, when schools have to cut their budgets, they often start by eliminating things like foreign language electives.

The average salary for public school teachers is between $45,000 and $50,000 a year, whereas college instructors and university professors can expect to earn more in the range of $65,000 to $70,000 annually.

Qualities

Not only do French teachers need a good mastery of the French language but they also need to have a good grasp of English vocabulary and grammar since about 45% of French words are derived from English. You will also need a lot of patience and understanding to help people who are having difficulty learning a foreign language.

Although being a French teacher has it challenges, ultimately it can be a very rewarding career choice.