Why teach French?
French is ranked as the second most influential language in the world and is the second most frequently used language on the internet. It has influenced English heavily and it is estimated that English speakers who have never studied French already know many French words.
It is no surprise that it is also one of the main three modern foreign languages (MFL) taught in secondary schools in England. Teaching French can therefore provide you with clear career progression opportunities and you could earn £36k or more* per year.
Our new enhanced service, Premier Plus, is available to those who wish to start training for a shortage subject such as French, in the academic year 2012/13. You’ll be eligible for exclusive benefits including personalised advice from a named adviser.
Sign up with us to take advantage of our new Premier Plus service to receive one-to-one advice and exclusive benefits.
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Call the Teaching Line on 0800 389 2500 and receive tailored information and advice.
What is life as a French teacher like?
Secondary school teaching can be a demanding career. However, the joy of seeing students progress makes it an extremely rewarding option.
French teachers work hard to bring languages to life using a variety of teaching and learning methods. They get involved in exchange visits and also attend events to build on their skills and to network with other MFL teachers.
Read about Paul Keogh, head of languages and advanced skills teacher (AST) of French. You can also view Paul's short video in which he explains how living abroad as part of his degree course helped him in his teaching career.
Pushing the boundaries
As a French teacher you need to play a proactive and enthusiastic role in immersing students in all things French. Teachers need to go as far as speaking French amongst themselves and, of course, encouraging their students to do the same.
View a case study and related videos on encouraging spontaneous talk through the use of French as the target language 100 per cent of the time.
Promoting the language
Can you inspire students to learn French as well as securing support from other teachers and parents? Promoting French in and beyond the classroom can range from talking to your students about French-speaking British celebrities through to engaging with local businesses to provide opportunities to apply French in the real world.
Find out more
The School Experience Programme (SEP) offers the chance to find out first-hand what teaching French is like. You can contact a school in your area directly or call the Teaching Line on 0800 085 0962.
The Teaching Line can also put you in touch with a teaching advocate; a practising teacher who can answer your questions about becoming an MFL teacher.
How do I become a French teacher?
Initial teacher training (ITT)
There are a number of ways to become a secondary school French teacher and the path you choose will depend on your current situation and qualifications.
One of the popular options is the French postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE). It is, however, only one of several paths to becoming a French teacher. Others include school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) and School Direct. The School Direct Training Programme and School Direct Training Programme (salaried) allow you to complete your training while working in a teaching environment.
You can use our interactive tool to determine which option is best suited to your situation.
With the introduction of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), it is likely that more students than ever before will be studying an MFL.
You can train to teach French as a single subject, French and another language, or French and another subject. You can choose to take a subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) course if you would like to enhance your skills in a second language.
Find out about other shortage subjects on our maths, physics and chemistry pages.
Are you a native French speaker?
You may be accepted into teacher training if you speak English fluently and clearly. You can find out if your qualifications are equivalent to the required UK qualifications through UK NARIC
Already qualified to teach in another country?
If you are a qualified teacher in the European Economic Area (EEA) you will still need qualified teacher status (QTS) to teach in England and Wales. If you qualified as a teacher outside the EEA, you may be eligible to work in England as a temporary, unqualified teacher for up to four years while you achieve QTS. There is the option to take an assessment only programme of QTS
*Average UK teacher salary. More information on teacher pay scales is available on our salary page