The French are famous for their relaxed attitude to life, their love of fine cuisine and wine, and their ability to shrug their shoulders and move on when times get tough. Perhaps it’s time that we took a leaf out of their book, especially during these challenging global moments, and learned to take a more French attitude to our own lives.
However, how would we even begin to do that? And what does that have to do with teaching English?
Where better to commence our journey than the capital itself. “The City of Light” attracts millions of tourists every year, and who can blame them? From the stunning sight of the Eiffel Tower, to the wealth of art on offer at the Louvre, there truly is something for each and every taste in this metropolitan city.
With that, comes the need for English. A large swathe of the aforementioned visitors to the metropolis are not armed with a huge repository of French at their disposal, and so there is a massive demand for the lingua franca of English.
This creates a market for English teachers like you to make your mark, and make a real difference in the lives of aspiring learners of the language. What is more, this is an opportunity to form a reciprocal bond with the townsfolk – in return for your language expertise, they are often willing and happy to share their very best local knowledge with you.
Of course, the advent of technology in recent years has also presented a plethora of resources at your fingertips, none of which is better than The Good Life France, ready and available for you to find what you are looking for!
For those of you who wish to dip your toe into the water of French culture, while not straying too far from British shores, Brittany offers the perfect compromise. Located right on the other side of the Channel (or La Manche, as it is known on the French side of things), it offers a great chance to start to acquire a sense of the huge influence that France has had historically on the way things are today.
In fact, the region boasts an array of tourist attractions that cater to the historically inclined, including King Arthur’s Forest, as well as the Magical Standing Stones of Carnac. Naturally, with this historic prestige comes a range of travellers fascinated and intrigued by the stories behind them, and again this presents a niche for an English teacher. Add to that the fact that many people in the region either commute to the UK, or frequently communicate with Brits who hop across the pond, then you can see that the area is ripe for the picking when it comes to avenues for teaching the French language!
Most notable for being a shade of colour, or a type of wine, in fact there is so much more to Burgundy than first meets the eye. Situated in the Bourgogne/Franche-Comte region, nestled in between many other interesting locations in the heart of France, Burgundy presents an authentic passage into the very essence of Frenchness.
The region’s capital, Dijon, is but one prime example. The city is most renowned around the world for its mustard, which is so ubiquitous that the name of the town is attached to it, but that is just the first course to this place. On top of that, there are museums, architecture, and markets galore to check out, not to mention the exorbitant wine options present in the area.
In fact, one of the most notable features of the whole site is the very real French feel that you can experience while you are there. While other areas are much more focused on attracting foreign tourism to them, Burgundy retains an understated appeal, a kind of local secret that only natives are in on, and that is more likely to enhance the cultural aspect of your experience.
Furthermore, while many inexperienced English teachers tend to head to the comfortable and familiar sights, Burgundy is a great place for a more senior professional to hone their craft, and really add value to their CV, or indeed settle more permanently if the mood takes them.
Without a shadow of a doubt, a tour of this grand nation would not be complete without a nod to the vast mountain range to the South East of the country, the Alps. Located right next to Switzerland, and boasting the notorious Mont Blanc among its number, these mountains have been immortalised in films, documentaries and postcards since time immemorial.
Now, most people think of this place in the winter, and that is understandable. The ski resorts here are among the most well-thought-of, and expensive, places to hit the piste around the world. A majority of the comers to these places bring the English language with them, as opposed to French, and so this language is an invaluable commodity for ski instructors, hotel workers and restaurant staff alike.
This opens the door for an English teacher to work and experience the culture in a slightly different way. Known in the English teaching world as CLL, Community Language Learning is based on the notion of immersing oneself into learning a language through experience, and what better way to do that than being surrounded by the stunning landscape these mountains have to offer?
As an additional bonus, the summer time is a whole other chapter of this area’s life, offering thrills aplenty for the outdoor enthusiast. For the cherry on top of this cultural cake, a day trip to Annecy, the city located right at the core of this region, offers a glimpse back in time for those who are interested in sneaking a peek at how France used to be. All in all, one is spoiled for choice in this or any other part of France!