Sep
10
2022

How to Teach Online While Traveling In France

Teaching English in France is one of the best ways to truly immerse yourself in the culture and pick up a second language along the way. With so many cities to choose from, it also eliminates the problem of having to pick just one to explore. 

So, how exactly can you go about realizing that travel dream whilst holding down an online teaching job? The answer is simpler than you may imagine and is just a matter of a few key steps. 

Know your stuff 

If you’re not already qualified as a TEFL teacher, get started on it ASAP. It’s part of the step-by–step process of nailing a strong fool-proof online English teaching job whilst traveling in France. Once qualified, don’t take an in-depth knowledge of online teaching for granted. Make sure you are well-versed in the use of various online platforms, which are often used for online lessons, such as Zoom or Google Meet. 

Before you head off on your travels, there’s also no harm in compiling course plans using online resources from sites such as linguahouse.com, which can be reused, saving you time on the road. Online materials can then be emailed to your students, whenever and wherever you are, so long as you have an internet connection. 

Know your niche

Once you’ve established a core understanding of TEFL teaching, and passed an initial TEFL course, it’s the ideal time to focus on a specialism – it could be Business English, teaching legal terms, conversational English, focusing on young learners, or a number of other particular niches. Not only will this influence how you teach, but it could also influence where. 

Cities like Lyon are known to be good spots for those interested in pursuing a career in online Business English teaching. Marseille is full of international students that may be more interested in English exam preparation or conversation classes. 

Knowing what your interests are will also help you figure out which online English teaching opportunities are best suited to you, be that teaching children on VIPKid, or opting to go completely freelance and finding your own clients to teach. Whatever route you choose, having a specialist area of English in your arsenal before heading to France is a great idea.

Be financially literate 

What both working as an English teacher for an online platform, or as a freelancer have in common is that you’ll need to be in the know about how to pay your taxes whilst there. Failure to do so, and do so on time, will result in a heavy fine. Though certainly the less glamorous part of the job, knowing how to manage your finances and taxes as an online English teacher will also ensure you don’t overspend and budget well during your travels. 

It’s also never a bad idea to also be aware of what hourly rate to charge your students. In France, that’s currently around $20 per hour, though you can generally charge more for more specialized classes such as Business English or Legal English. Though, remember, if ever in doubt, you can always budget for the additional expense on an accountant, and let them handle it for you. 

Learn the language 

A little bit of French will go a long way in France for a few reasons. First and foremost, it will help you navigate life.  Additionally, it’s also extremely useful for teaching, especially if you find yourself teaching predominantly French students, rather than working in an international school. You’ll be able to spot patterns in their mistakes, and explain the differences between the two languages to help your students avoid such errors in the future. 

Moreover, you’ll also be able to empathize with your students about the process of learning a language, and even share learning tips on what helped you with French, giving your lessons a personal touch. Ultimately, a working knowledge of French in this case will make you a stronger, more informed teacher, and perhaps give you an edge as an online English teacher in France. 

Plan ahead

If you’re moving from city to city, one of the most important things you need to ensure is that you always have a strong internet connection, as well as a quiet teaching environment. While camping or crashing at hostels may be cheap options, and great ways to meet new people, they aren’t necessarily all that suitable as disturbance-free temporary office spaces. Your students might not appreciate the chatter of your dorm mates, or the sound of car horns in the distance, and it could potentially damage your reputation as an online teacher, or even cause you to lose clients. 

With this in mind, to avoid these potential problems, take a look at infotourisme.net for more information on how to go about renting apartments or rooms during your travels, and the things to beware of in France when on the hunt for accommodation. 

Be well-equipped 

Alongside a quiet teaching environment, to keep up with the competition in the online teaching industry while you’re traveling in France, a decent computer, headset, and webcam are vital. These are the tools that you will rely on for your source of income, so don’t hesitate about investing in your technology. 

You also shouldn’t shy away from buying insurance for your technology. If you’re always on the move, you never know what could happen, and you want to be back up and running as soon as possible. It should go without saying that you’ll need to remember to bring or buy an adapter for the chargers for your technology if needed, so as not to have your technology die mid-lesson due to a preventable oversight. 

On the whole, there’s no way to be fully prepared for a life of teaching English online while traveling in France in the same way that you can’t predict a traffic jam on your way to your nine-to-five. What you can do, however, is be as prepared as possible. The rest is for you to figure out, and adapt; it is an adventure, after all.

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