All posts tagged: teaching English

Master MEEF Anglais : FAQ

A little while ago I posted about how I became a teacher via the CAPES / CAFEP concours, and mentioned that part of my preparation included a Master program called the MEEF Anglais (Métiers de l’enseignement, de l’éducation, et de la formation). My goal in this post is to give prospective students an honest account of my experience in the MEEF so that they can evaluate whether or not this program fits their objectives. As its name implies, the Master MEEF is designed for future teachers. However, although I’ve never completed a Master of Education or a teacher licensing program in the States, I feel pretty confident saying that that the French MEEF is quite unlike most American M. Eds… But I’m getting a little ahead of myself here, let’s start with some basics… EDIT : In 2021, the format of the concours changed, as did the organisation of the MEEF. Some of the info in this article is slightly outdated as a result. WHO can enroll in the MEEF ? The MEEF Anglais is …

How I became an English teacher in a French high school

Since Fall 2018 (roughly around the time I stopped writing regularly on this blog…), I’ve been venturing into the complicated, sometimes arduous journey of becoming a qualified English teacher in French secondary schools. In the handful of Facebook groups I participate in, I field a lot of questions about this, because many former teaching assistants are interested in staying in France after their assistant gigs are over. While there are several ways to get into teaching in France, in this post I want to lay out the path that I took ! TYPES OF SCHOOLS First things first, there are several different types of secondary schools in France, and it’s important to understand the differences, because the recruitment process is different for each. I. The first type of school is public schools which are run by the Education Nationale, the Education ministry of the French government. For teaching assistants that went through TAPIF or British Council, this is the type of school where you worked. If you have EU citizenship, you can be recruited for …

Six months gone by…

It seems like all of my posts recently have begun in the same way: “Wow, I can’t believe it’s been such a long time since the last time I wrote! Oof, it’s been a crazy couple of months – hard to find time to write! Yikes, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?!” So anyway…. it’s been a while, hasn’t it!? Last time I wrote, it was the beginning of June, I had just returned to the US from Marseille, and had a couple of days off before beginning 9 intense weeks of non-stop summer camp. Since then, I successfully finished that marathon of skits and crafts, I attended my best friend’s wedding, moved back to France, started a Masters degree, got settled in a new city, and even fractured a bone! So, yeah. I’d say that it’s been a busy couple of months! So, here’s what you should know about what’s been going on with me since June: I still live in France. In September, I moved from Marseille to Toulouse, in the south west, …

Those who can, teach

There’s a pervasive notion, especially among expat communities that I’ve noticed, and that has been getting under my skin more and more recently. The idea is treating teaching English as a side hustle, something you do to support your lifestyle abroad even if it’s not something you actually care about or even like. This is a concept I have heard repeated in TAPIF or Expat groups, by bloggers, even by some of my own friends, and it’s something that, especially recently, makes my blood boil ! I have seen countless assistants arrive in France with absolutely no desire to teach, coasting along through their placements with the bare minimum effort and spending the rest of their time planning their vacations to every corner of Europe. Now, I will admit this is okay for a language assistant. It’s a short commitment and it’s designed to be a mobility program : they expect you to take advantage of being in Europe! If you don’t take the job seriously…. tant pis. It’s not like you really have any …

Starting a Pen Pal Exchange

In my two years of language assistant-ing one of my favorite activities has been establishing pen pal correspondences between my classes and American students. Having worked for a year in an American elementary school, I had pretty easy access to teachers interested in participating, and this past year, I managed to hook up no less than six of my classes up with a U.S. counterpart! In primary schools, the concern is often that the students don’t know enough English to truly exchange with a native speaker, but I want to assure you against this idea completely! It’s not always simple, but my students have managed to communicate a lot to their pen pals, and I have never seen them SO excited to read new English words as when they received letters back. That being said, you do have to be strategic about the kinds of correspondence you propose in order to maximize success for all of your students! Luckily, basic things like telling your name and age and describing your family and physical appearance are …

27 mars – clues

Today I had a lot of different slices in my head, but I can’t seem to get any of them out today because I’m excited about something else. Three of my fifth grade classes have been working on rooms in the house, hobbies, and family. vocabulary in English. These classes are really motivated and their classroom teachers do a lot of reinforcement of my activities on days when I’m not there, so their level is really high. I decided to try an activity that is a bit more difficult than our standard fare of flashcard games and charades. Tomorrow we are playing CLUE! It was always one of my favorite board games growing up, enamored of Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown as I was. I always wanted to play be Professor Plum. My sister was usually Madam Scarlet, and if I remember correctly, I believe my dad often played as Colonel Mustard. Tomorrow, we won’t have the same colorful characters. I’ve modified the game to include the vocabulary we’ve been working on all year long. Instead of wondering …