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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone! I don't know if anyone can help me with this situation, but I figure it's worth a shot.

Before moving to France to be with my husband, I was a French teacher in the US. As a student, I spent a couple years in France, so between that, using French daily in the classroom, and speaking to my now-husband regularly in French, my French abilities were one less thing that worried me.

However, my real issue has been trying to find work as a teacher in France (no surprise, I knew it wasn't going to be a cakewalk). I already have things working against me, as I am living in a small town where 60-70% here work as fonctionnaires, so if you aren't one yourself, you're basically stuck working at Leclerc.

Of course, one of the main issues is that if you want to be a teacher in a public school here, you have to pass the concours, which I don't even have access to, being a non-EU foreigner. Then there's the hassle degree recognition. Despite my having a master's degree in Foreign Language Education, INFREP said they couldn't hire me as an FLE instructor because my degree is too "general" and that OFII will only accept degrees which are specifically FLE oriented (complete nonsense, but ok). I am still waiting on ENIC NARIC to get back to me with my degree equivalencies.

If I want to work in private schools, well, I am still facing a similar problem. They say that they will accept non-EU foreigners, but you still need to pass the concours first, which I don't get how I could, considering that it isn't open to non-EU foreigners.

In any case, since my conseiller pôle emploi suggested it, I had a meeting with someone about VAE (validation des acquis et des expériences). With said work experience, she said that I could definitely proceed to get what would be considered a licence in FLE, which would be great. We also talked about me possibly doing a 9 month program which would give me a bac + 5 masters in teaching English in France. While the former would be great so I could at least get started possibly working, I would also like to do the latter, because then I could obviously much more easily get a full time job teaching English in schools. However, the problem comes up again - even if I do do that, I'm not going to be able to do anything with it for several years. My husband and I got married a little over a year ago, and can't apply for citizenship until 2016.

Sorry if this is a bit all over the place. It's just been very frustrating as I'm now hitting over a year without working, and I've never been this long without a job. Here are the two sites where I found information:

Questions / Réponses - Recrutement

Session 2014 : conditions d'inscription au Cafep - Capes - Ministère de l'Éducation nationale

I have been trying to get in touch with people, but it looks like I may have to wait until Monday, because I guess they are on vacation.

Thanks again for any help. Cannot tell you how much I appreciate the people on here!
 

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I'm afraid I'm not going to be much help, but your comment surprised me because I was under the impression that the CAPES for private schools used to be open to non-EU foreigners. In fact, I know of a couple former teaching assistants who went that route. But looking at your link it does seem to read that it's EU citizens only. That's unfortunate if they changed it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
At least it's not just me! I was under the impression that working in private schools would at least be an option. Heck, what I don't even get is whenever I was looking over some papers the counselor at the VAE office was showing me, one thing said that in order to teach you needed bac + 5 AND/OR the concours. So I got my hopes up thinking, oh man, could I do that masters and then not have to take the concours???? But of course, no matter where I look, it appears you have no choice.
 

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OK so if they won't employ you to teach English, why not go the other route - seek out English speakers and give them private lessons in French. Don't forget bilinguality is a two-way thing. Also get yourself acquainted with all the rules and regs that non-French run up against and act as an interpreter for them.
 

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A friend of mine got a job teaching English not in the schools, but for a private language company that offered classes to business people, based on having her degree in early child education. (I know when I was working with big executive types, I always thought some "dealing with small children" training would have been real helpful! <snicker>)

Don't know what there is in your area, but you might try checking with the area language schools, particularly those that work with any local businesses.

Another thing to remember is that Pole Emploi is working with the "French model" where you aren't required to consider any job that is not within the "metier" you are qualified in. Depending on what resources there are around you, you could try looking for some other sort of job - training rather than teaching, or see if there is an interim agency in the area that would be interested in sending you out on temp jobs. Even if it's general office work, it would get you into the "system" and at least provide a bit of spending money.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ah, I just found this article, which explains a fair amount:

Les étranger-e-s écarté-e-s du recrutement dans l

I have been applying all over the place for jobs tutoring. Unfortunately, a lot of the jobs end up being so far away that I'd end up spending all or most of my money on gas. I had the one opportunity at INFREP teaching FLE, where they were super eager to talk to me, and then once they realized my degree didn't SAY FLE, but was all based on teaching French as a foreign language, they basically just told me they couldn't, because the OFII wouldn't approve it (and it was being financed by the OFII). I'm hoping that once I get the vae equivalence that maybe I can send my CV to greta and INFREP again, I might hear something back.

In over a year of living here, I think I've met one English speaker. There was another job where I could have taught FLE to a single student, but he lived 2 hours away.

I actually have been applying for basically any jobs that I would be capable of, where they require being bilingual, but essentially they have all been dead ends.
 

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Don't beat yourself up about the tough job market out there. It's pretty much the same for all the native born types, too.

Jobs are traditionally found here in France by some form of networking. Someone you know who knows someone, etc. Ask around. Join a club or association. Take classes (exercise classes, if nothing else) and mention that you're looking for a job. It's rough out there - but personal contacts seem to be the best way to find out about possibilities. And sometimes, mentioning your job hunt to someone doesn't pay off until months later.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you, Bev. It's just been very frustrating because, if I lived someplace like Bordeaux, I'd more easily be able to get some odd teaching jobs. Here, unfortunately, it's pretty dead. The good thing is I have met some French people wanting to improve their English conversation, so I am starting to try and put some conversation groups together. It just would be nice to be able to find more regular, full-time work. But apparently if I want to stay in education, I'm going to end up waiting a while.
 

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As a short-term measure you could try contacting some of the internet-based tutoring companies. Also, try Laureat and Acadomia. I am sure too there would be a great demand for teaching English to children in your town - put an ad in Leboncoin and put some leaflets in local shops.

You could also try contacting the regional Inspection Academique - if they are in a real fix they might think of you. I am currently teaching a boy in 5ème who had 5 English teachers in 2012/2013 - and still managed to have some weeks with no-one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah, I am already signed up on Laureat and Acadomia, but I was planning on returning to the Inspection Academique first week of November to see if I could find out anything else. Thanks!
 

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If it helps, here is the route we've gone down - suggested by, and with a lot of guidance from - a friend who works in the town's Pôle Emploi. It has brought us a lot - sometimes almost too much - teaching work.

First of all you need to sign up as an Autoentrepreneur and you will get your Siret - business registration number.

Next you need to apply for a teacher number, issued by your regional préfecture. You'll need some documented proof of teaching abilities, qualifications and experience. My "qualifications" and experience amounted to a three-day training course for teaching Food Hygiene and delivering courses in Scotland.

A teacher number is not a guarantee to any prospective clients that you are a competent teacher, it's just really acknowledgement of the fact that you can and do teach. You are not allowed to use the teacher number for publicity purposes.

Having a teacher number will allow you access to people who have lost their jobs and have a sum of money to pay for training to help them find work. There is also the possibility of teaching people who have applied for company-sponsored training through the DIF scheme - their individual right to 120 hours of training over 6 years.

You can also contact local companies directly to offer language training to staff who might need it for their job.

So far so good I hope, but unfortunately I have kept the sting in the tail to the end. You will be aware of some of the peculiarities of administration in France - and here's another one: your teacher number application documents must include a contract to teach someone. No, I can't explain it either, but a friend agreed to sign a contract with us, although the teaching never actually took place.

Model contracts can be downloaded from the teacher number website - go onto your préfecture site.

Our USPs are having English as our mother tongue and that we only give lessons individually and face to face, at the home of our clients. I know that the Chamber of Commerce suggests 20 hours face to face and 60 hours in front of a computer - many people reject that. Some language schools also suggest internet-based learning or group lessons.

A Plan B for you if you get nowhere with teaching in schools.

Good luck

Ian
 
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