If you would like to teach English in the public school system in France or the DOM-TOMs as an assistant for the 2011-2012 school year (October 1, 2011 to either April 30, 2012 or June 30, 2012) , use the links below to find out the specific requirements and application process for your country. In general, you must be a native English speaker, have finished two years of university & be less than 30 years old by October 1, 2011, and speak French at an intermediate level.
Assistants work 12 hours a week and are paid 780€ a month (after social security is taken out), with paid vacations in October, December, February, and April. There are two contract lengths (7 or 9 months) and two levels (primary or secondary – though only the primary level has 9 month positions.) For the majority of countries, assistants can be assigned to mainland France + Corsica and the overseas départements of Martinique, Guadeloupe, Guyane and La Réunion. Assistants working in Corsica and the overseas départements have a slightly higher salary to compensate for the higher cost of living. Australia and New Zealand also send assistants to New Caledonia, but the school year is between March 15 and October 15 so the application process is different.
You can read through my Guide for English Language Assistants in France for more detailed information and my personal experience as an assistant, as well as download all of the ESL lesson plans I created for my classes. If you have questions about the program, search the Assistants in France forums where many past assistants such as myself (I’m the moderator) help out the new and hopeful assistants.
Most applications become available in October, and the deadlines range from December to March. You should be notified between April and June if you have been accepted. Most countries require you to go to the French embassy/consulate to get your visa before leaving for France, so make sure you take that into account because it could be very far from where you live. All Australians must go to Sydney and all NZers must go to Wellington, for example.
Links to each country’s French embassy page on the assistant program and the approximate number of positions available:
- USA : 1,500 (last year 2,300 people applied*)
Application available as of October 11. Deadline is January 1, 2011. As of this year, dual French-American citizens are no longer allowed to apply.
- Canada : 300
Application will be available soon. Deadline is March 1, 2011.
- United Kingdom : 1,200
Application will be available soon.
- Ireland : 60
Application will be available soon. Deadline will be around March 24, 2011.
- Australia : 80
Application available now. Deadline is December 11, 2010.
- New Zealand : 40
Application available now. Deadline is January 22, 2011.
- India : 35
Application available now. Deadline is December 15, 2010.
Application available now. Deadline is January 11, 2011.
Citizens of South Africa, Trinidad & Tobago, and Barbados are also eligible, but I could not find any pages on the assistantship program on the embassy websites. The official CIEP site has applications for these countries, but the deadline dates are not specified.
*Acceptance criteria from the Teaching Assistant Program in France – USA Facebook page:
“Last year we had around 2,300 applications for approximately 1,500 spots. We evaluate applications based on a number of criteria (including French-language skills, experience teaching or working with children or young adults, experience living abroad, level of university studies, etc.) and then rank the applications. The top 1,500 applicants are offered positions in early April. Those applicants who do not make the top 1,500, but still meet the program’s basic eligibility requirements, are placed on a waiting list for spots that open up over the course of the summer due to withdrawals.”