Published: 06 December, 2016  |  Last updated: 06 December, 2016

Teaching English in Nice, France


Report submitted on 19 Nov, 2016 by Gemma.

Teaching English in Nice, France:

How can teachers find teaching jobs in Nice, France?
Language schools, word of mouth, other English teachers in Nice.

The main English teaching jobs available are:
Agencies (send teachers to different locations), teaching at companies, private teaching (not through a school, agency, etc.)

Getting a full-time job contract in France is very complicated, and seems to be offered to French people who can navigate their way through the system. Therefore, it’s easier to be a free-lancer who is sent to different clients at their home or place of work, or to teach short courses for the students’ specific needs; for example, they need to pass an exam or need it for their job.

What are the minimum teaching requirements?
Generally, a TEFL certificate. Native speakers are preferred. Non-native speakers may need a higher qualification to give them an edge, and many non-natives teach only up to the pre-intermediate level. If they have a car and can travel to clients, this helps as well.

Perhaps a higher education is required for a university or state school.

What teaching requirements would you recommend?
Be a native English speaker. The more experience, the better. TEFL is generally okay.

What are the levels of payment?
It varies between 16 – 40 euros an hour. France has a very complicated tax system and it’s expensive to hire people under job contracts as the employer has to pay their employees’ social charges. If a teacher does have a job contract, they’re likely to receive less per hour than a freelancer. However, a freelancer has no guarantee of a set amount per week, and has to travel to each client at the times that the client prefers. This may mean working in the evenings, during the lunch break or perhaps even on Saturday.

How many teaching days a week is normal?
Nothing is normal in France

How many face-to-face teaching hours a week is normal?
Most is face-to-face. hours per week

What is the normal arrangement for holidays?
It depends on the student and the school.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Nice, France to teach English?
Be prepared for a lot bureaucracy and inflexible attitudes!

What are the positive aspects of teaching English in Nice, France?
English is held in very high esteem in France, and people feel it’s very important to speak English. French people love English music, films and TV series. My students are generally very motivated to learn and improve. They’re also generally not afraid to say when they don’t understand, to ask questions, and to provide feedback as to what they’d like to learn.

What are the negative aspects for teaching English in Nice, France?
I don’t have a lot of support in terms of resources and training. Directors of language schools are tied up in red-tape and are more interested in sorting out paperwork rather than keeping up with innovative teaching ideas and resources. French students generally are not afraid to complain either if they’re not happy with a teacher.

What are some of the teaching challenges for English teachers teaching the local people in your area?
Lack of practice outside the classroom for the students. It’s difficult for them to progress. TV and films are all dubbed into French, so French people are completely unaccustomed to the sounds of English, and their lack of oral comprehension causes frustration and de-motivation. The methods of learning English at school are ineffective as they learn to read and write, but they can’t speak or understand. Additionally, their teachers at school are usually French, and even if the teacher conducts the class in English, learners are unaccustomed to native English speech.


Living in Nice, France:

Are there any visa or other legal requirements to live in France?
Yes, you must be a European citizen or have a visa to work. Some universities offer a year’s job contract and visa to native English speakers.

What is the cost of living like in France?
Cost of living is fairly high. Taxes and social charges are high and therefore wages are quite low. As a result of the high taxes, services such as hairdressing, clothing repairs, plumbers and electricians etc are expensive. Rents are generally high.

What are the usual accommodation arrangements and how can you find accommodation?
Accommodation is very difficult. In order to rent, a person must have a permanent job contract called a CDI; however getting a CDI is difficult. Normally, a person gets a temporary job contract first, and then a permanent one. In addition, a person must earn 3 times the rent. As this is virtually impossible on the riviera, some landlords will accept two times the rent. If you don’t have a CDI, they won’t sniff at you. I was lucky to find a landlord who accepted a year’s rent in advance in lieu of a CDI.

Other than teaching, what positive aspects are there for living in Nice, France?
Perhaps you can learn French if you’re really determined.

Other than teaching, what negative aspects are there for living in scenery, France?
Trying to understand French culture and mentality. Even after two years here, I’m still struggling. My French teacher told me that French people’s “bark is worse than their bite.” It’s really a nation of rebels, who love to fight against any perceived injustice, authority or wrong attitude. The idea that they beheaded their king in order to get justice still resonates. In order for me to get what I want, my voice has to be louder than theirs. I have to put aside my polite anglophone ways and not accept no for an answer; or to realise that no is always the first answer, then after much insistence and negotiation, it becomes maybe, and then after more patience, persistence and negotiation, it might perhaps eventually become yes. Why the answer can’t just be yes in the first place, I don’t know!

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Nice, France?
See above.

What things do you miss most (other than family and friends) from your home country?
Being able to speak English and to fully express myself!

What do you think you will miss most when (or if) you leave France?
Perhaps one dear friend.

What things would you recommend to new teachers in your area to bring with them from their home country?
Teaching books/resources, especially for lower-levels.


About Me and My Work:

My Name: Gemma


Students I’ve taught in France: Babies (0-2 years), elementary (6-12 years), adults, business.

Where I teach: — In Nice, teaching here for 2 year.

How I found my current jobsOnline.

My school facilities: Adequate. Teaching resources, technology and classrooms.

What kind of teacher support is available at your school/s?: None.

Do you teach English in France?

Tell us about your experiences – click here to submit your report about teaching English in France.

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