How to Become a Lecteur/Lectrice d’Anglais or Maître de Langue at a French University

The English Assistantship is a great way for Anglophones to work in France and gain teaching experience in elementary or secondary schools, without necessarily having a university degree. However, if you are working towards or have a graduate degree and would like to teach English at a university in France, you can apply to be a lecteur/lectrice d’anglais or a maître de langue. The main difference between the two is that maîtres de langue work fewer hours overall (but in courses that usually require more preparation) and get paid more, but this job also requires a higher graduate degree. Previous teaching experience is always a plus, so being an English assistant is a good first step in order to become a lecteur/lectrice or maître de langue in France.

 

Lecteur/Lectrice d’Anglais Requirements:

– Native or near-native speaker of English
– Completed one year of a Master’s degree

Maître de Langue Requirements:

– Native or near-native speaker of English
– Master’s degree

The requirements for these positions changed in April 2013. The level of graduate study needed has been lowered (previously the lecteur position required a Master’s degree while the maître de langue position required one year of a PhD program).

 

Exchanges: Most of these positions are filled by students from Anglophone universities that have an exchange with the French university. However, many of these positions remain open because the exchange university has no one to send to France or because the exchange lecturer decides not to come to France after all. For example, Penn State has exchanges with universities in Lyon, Strasbourg and Montpellier and Ilinois Urbana-Champaign has exchanges with universities in Dijon, Metz, Liège, Poitiers and Lyon. For those looking to start graduate degrees soon and eventually teach in France, it might be worthwhile to check out the exchanges available since it’s easier to get a position this way.

 

Search: To find these jobs if you are not involved in an exchange program, you just need to look at the universities’ websites and see if they have any positions open. Often they are located under recrutement, postes à pourvoir, or emplois either on the main page or for example, on the LEA (Langues Etrangères Appliquées) page. Or if location doesn’t matter, you can simply search google.fr for lecteur de langue or lecteur d’anglais. Some job listings are in English, so you can also search google.com for English lecturer or lectorship.

 

Applying: Usually all that’s required to apply is your CV and lettre de motivation (both in French), but you may need to send your university degrees as well as their certified translations in French as well. Some universities do interviews, while others hire directly from the CVs.

 

Deadline: Many universities require you to apply in the winter to start in the fall of the next year (either September 1st or October 1st), but some have much later application dates. I’ve seen anywhere from December 21 to June 15. If you find a job listing that is past the application deadline, you can still send your CV anyway in case the job is still open. The job I applied for had a deadline of March 15, and I sent my CV in June, so you really never know!

 

Visa: You do not normally need to already have the right to work in France, as most universities will provide you with the paperwork to obtain a work visa. Of course, this means paying for a return ticket home if you are already in France. Some universities specify in their job listings that they require EU citizenship or valid working papers.

 

Hours: Lecteurs work 300 hours of travaux pratiques (TP) per year, or possibly 200 hours of TP and 100 hours of travaux dirigés (TD). TP is generally labs/workshops/testing or other classes that require very little preparation, while TD refers to actual lectures, which obviously require more preparation. Maîtres de langue work 288 hours of TP or 192 hours of TD. For lecteur/lectrice positions, you should not be asked to work more than 100 TD hours per year. Some universities have been hiring lecteurs and forcing them to work 200 TD hours so they only have to pay the lecteur salary instead of the maître de langue salary. In January 2014, Heike Romoth published an article in SNESUP (page 17 in the PDF) criticizing this illegal practice. The official décret states that “Les lecteurs de langue étrangère assurent un service annuel en présence des étudiants de 300 heures de travaux pratiques. Leur service peut comporter des travaux dirigés sans que leur nombre d’heures annuelles de travaux dirigés puisse être supérieur à 100.”  If you are hired as a lecteur/lectrice, please make sure the university is not trying to take advantage of you. This has been a problem particularly at universities in and around Paris.

 

Length: 12 months – with paid vacations, of course, including July & August when you most likely won’t have to work at all. Supposedly, you can renew once if you are not from an exchange university, and twice if you are – but it is possible in some cases to work longer. You just need to ask the right people. Note that if you are not doing the exchange, you can only do two years total of either position (two years as a lecteur/lectrice or two years as a mâitre de langue) OR a combination of one year each (one year as a lecteur/lectrice and one year as a maître de langue). If you’ve already worked two years as a lecteur/lectrice, then you cannot be hired as a maître de langue for another two years.

 

Salary: Lecteurs earn about 1,210 € net each month [indice brut 340], while maîtres earn about 1,550 € net per month [indice brut 482].

 

Departments: If you are hired in the language department of your university, you’ll probably be working with strictly English classes. If you are hired in other departments, you may be working with a number of different disciplines and the English jargon required for them, i.e. medicine, law, engineering, etc. You may or may not have to create the curriculum. Each university is different, so there is no one job description that fits each position. Just as with the English assistantship, it all depends on your school and what they need.

 

For jobs available in 2014, I will continue to update this post with any new listings that I find.

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  • http://lolwhites.blogspot.com/ Monsieur le Prof d’Anglais

    Nice blog – definitely deserves a link!

    I thought I’d add my experiences to your excellent advice: I got my lecteur post by sending speculative CVs to every university and IUT in the Paris area. Most already had exchanges with other unis, but I still got two interviews, one of which came up trumps. If you’re going to try that route, it helps to include photocopies of all your diplomas as it shows you’re serious and they’ll ask for them anyway.

    Since the lecteur contract is only for two years, if you plan on staying in France you really need to invest some time in figuring out what to do next. I sat the CAPES (as an EU citizen, nationality wasn’t a problem) but it’s also worth keeping your ear to the ground for contractuel posts. With the latest university reforms, contractuel posts are likely to become more and more common.

    Monsieur le Prof d’Anglaiss last blog post..Drama at the Tour de France

  • http://lolwhites.blogspot.com Monsieur le Prof d’Anglais

    Nice blog – definitely deserves a link!

    I thought I’d add my experiences to your excellent advice: I got my lecteur post by sending speculative CVs to every university and IUT in the Paris area. Most already had exchanges with other unis, but I still got two interviews, one of which came up trumps. If you’re going to try that route, it helps to include photocopies of all your diplomas as it shows you’re serious and they’ll ask for them anyway.

    Since the lecteur contract is only for two years, if you plan on staying in France you really need to invest some time in figuring out what to do next. I sat the CAPES (as an EU citizen, nationality wasn’t a problem) but it’s also worth keeping your ear to the ground for contractuel posts. With the latest university reforms, contractuel posts are likely to become more and more common.

    Monsieur le Prof d’Anglaiss last blog post..Drama at the Tour de France

  • Erica

    Jennie, once again, GREAT info !!! Keep up the good work!

  • Erica

    Jennie, once again, GREAT info !!! Keep up the good work!

  • http://www.webmail.aol.com/ kasongo kabange numbi kanu

    i will be happy to be a lecturer to your college and i will never desapoint you thks

  • http://www.webmail.aol.com kasongo kabange numbi kanu

    i will be happy to be a lecturer to your college and i will never desapoint you thks

  • http://www.webmail.aol.com/ kasongo kabange numbi kanu

    to teach this my dream and i love my work and i want to change this world and african and American students to know how to speak and use french

  • http://www.webmail.aol.com kasongo kabange numbi kanu

    to teach this my dream and i love my work and i want to change this world and african and American students to know how to speak and use french

  • Irma

    Great info!

    I’m an American working as a lectrice at a high school in France and think I’m working waaaay too many hours. With an MA in TESOL, I sometimes feel I’m getting the short end of the stick.

    Irma

  • Irma

    Great info!

    I’m an American working as a lectrice at a high school in France and think I’m working waaaay too many hours. With an MA in TESOL, I sometimes feel I’m getting the short end of the stick.

    Irma

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  • Doug

    Whew, thanks for the great info, Jennie!– it’s such a well put-together site:>)

    I’m a 30-something guy in NYC trying to find a way to join my girlfriend in Lyon (or nearby). I’ve sprouted gray hairs from reading over + over that as an American I have “no chance” of finding employment over there. Eek!

    As someone who has enjoyed teaching in after-school programs and working with adults, I’ve been interested in the TESOL/ELT path… though finding few legal options. I saw a glimmer of hope in the Lecteur/Lectrice d’Anglais possibility you described above. I’m above the age limit for the teaching assistantship program, and from what I understand becoming a Maître de Langue requires a year of study first.

    Am I correct that one can become a lecteur in your first year of study, through an exchange program? Any tips on NYC-area grad programs with Lyon/Paris exchanges? I’ve been considering going back to school and am open to different fields of study, though education, teaching ESL or media/communications would be a likely focus.

    I’m normally quite the master Googler but I’m a bit lost.

    Thanks in advance for any more tidbits of advice!

    Doug

  • Doug

    Whew, thanks for the great info, Jennie!– it’s such a well put-together site:>)

    I’m a 30-something guy in NYC trying to find a way to join my girlfriend in Lyon (or nearby). I’ve sprouted gray hairs from reading over + over that as an American I have “no chance” of finding employment over there. Eek!

    As someone who has enjoyed teaching in after-school programs and working with adults, I’ve been interested in the TESOL/ELT path… though finding few legal options. I saw a glimmer of hope in the Lecteur/Lectrice d’Anglais possibility you described above. I’m above the age limit for the teaching assistantship program, and from what I understand becoming a Maître de Langue requires a year of study first.

    Am I correct that one can become a lecteur in your first year of study, through an exchange program? Any tips on NYC-area grad programs with Lyon/Paris exchanges? I’ve been considering going back to school and am open to different fields of study, though education, teaching ESL or media/communications would be a likely focus.

    I’m normally quite the master Googler but I’m a bit lost.

    Thanks in advance for any more tidbits of advice!

    Doug

  • Doug

    p.s: your French tutorials are brilliant– I’m loving them! C’est super!

  • Doug

    p.s: your French tutorials are brilliant– I’m loving them! C’est super!

  • nina

    Hi do you know if it is possible to get a second post as a lectrice after already having completed one? I was a lectrice between 2006-2008 and have found an ad for a lecteur job starting this Fall, should I even bother applying? Where could I find specific laws about this? Thanks, Nina

  • nina

    Hi do you know if it is possible to get a second post as a lectrice after already having completed one? I was a lectrice between 2006-2008 and have found an ad for a lecteur job starting this Fall, should I even bother applying? Where could I find specific laws about this? Thanks, Nina

  • sadiejeanne

    Thanks for the great info, Jennie.
    Monsieur le Prof d'anglais- I am also looking into applying for a lecteur position and I was wondering if you could tell me exactly where you sent your CVs for each university…to the English department? I'm just wondering where they'll get best noticed. Thanks!

  • lauramchugh

    Hey Jennie!
    I am sending you this message as I am dying to get a job as a 'lectrice' next year in France. .. in the South preferably!! is it too late or are there still some universities accepting applications in the South??
    Signed; Very lost, France Lover! :) … ie. laura

  • lauramchugh

    hi Sadie! I am in the same boat as you, where would you like to go in France? I'm looking for somewhere in the South!! Let me know how you get on with your C.V sending. Hope its not too late for us!! laura

  • Sophied

    jennie, do you recommend writing to directeur of the ufr, the directeur des etudes, or just the secretary (when sending CVs to unis that haven't posted a job)?

  • patty

    I am in your shoes. My boyfriend is in Strasbourg(he’s French), I have been trying to think of ways to live with him and be able to work there but I cant find anything. I have a masters degree so hopefully i can get a job as a lecturer in univ of strasbourg… i was there last year in france 4 months but withought getting married no CDS was not possible to work so i came back.

    If you know anything let me know… i am 26.

  • pat

    hey how did you get your job? please email me:pat_is_awesome@yahoo.com.
    I am an american,. 26 yrs old, hold a master’s degree and i am thinking about doing the language assistant thing but 780 euros a month is nothing to live on. I would love to get a job as an english teacher in france to be with my boyfriend.

  • Lets Talk

    Hi all, and great work on this site Jennie – I’ve just found you! For anyone who’s not American (sorry folks, I wish it was easier!) or who’s already got the right to work in France (even students enrolled on a campus with the right to work a certain number of hours), I’m looking for a teacher in Lyon. Initially a few hours a week (I run a language and business-skills coaching company). Enjoy the sunshine!

  • Julie

    Dauphine university has these posts for 2013 school year. Apply before end june on their website!

  • http://www.ielanguages.com Jennie Wagner

    Thanks Julie, I’ve added it to the list for 2013 jobs.

  • Ketki Pradhan

    Hey Jennie ! Great blog ! thank you for the input. I have been an assistant in Toulouse for 7 months (2012-2013) and i would like to be a lectrice in a french university since I absolutely loved my English assistant experience. I haven’t done my masters yet and I am planning to apply for one of these opportunities in 2014 (although it is early, I would like to start applying around winter) If you get information on any posts available could you please post them like you did for 2013 ? and also me not having a masters degree , will that pose a problem ? Thanking you once again ! cheers
    Ketki

Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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