If you’d like to teach English in France but the idea of singing Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes with a bunch of elementary school kids makes you cringe, you may want to apply to be a lecteur d’anglais in a French university.

In addition to being guaranteed that you’ll work with university students instead of kids, or worse, teenagers, the job of lecteur d’anglais has the advantages of being better paid, being renewable for one year, and getting you a visa for 12 months instead of TAPIF’s 8.

Lecteurs d’anglais are paid about €1.200 per month after social charges, which is about 50% better than the measly 800€ per month TAPIF teachers receive. And lecteurs d’anglais are often paid September through September, meaning you’ll be earning paid vacation during the school year as well as getting paid for summer vacation. Cool, right?

Unlike TAPIF, though, there are far fewer positions available for lecteurs d’anglais, and many of them are never advertised. It’s relatively easy for universities to find qualified applicants among their own exchange students, so if you want this job, you’d better be proactive.

On the bright side, because many jobs are never advertised, there are often far fewer applicants.

French universities require native English speakers for this job, and as such, they’re willing to sponsor your visa for you to come to France. However, in order for that to happen, they must hire you in the spring, before the universities close in July, to enable you to get your work visa in time.

In some cases, the position of lecteur d’anglais requires at least one year of study towards a Master’s degree, but that isn’t always necessary. Even if you only have a bachelors, or plan on enrolling in a Master’s program in France, send your application anyway.

Here are three steps towards applying to a job as a lecteur d’anglais in a French university:

1) Subscribe to the SAES listserv.

SAES, or the Société des Anglicistes de l’Enseignement Supérieur, is a listserv for Anglophones in the French university system.

As such, many of the open lecteur d’anglais positions are advertised through this list. Sign up for the listserv on the SAES website to be notified when positions become available.

2) Contact Universities Directly.

If there are specific universities you’d like to apply to, you can try contacting their UFR de Langues Etrangères Appliquées or human resources departments to ask about open positions for lecteur d’anglais.

Some universities (like Paris 7 – Denis Diderot) have a strict policy of reserving their lecteur d’anglais jobs for students from universities in their exchange programs, and there’s nothing you can do about that. But others, like Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle, accept applications on an open-ended basis. Even if the deadline has supposedly passed, it doesn’t hurt to send your application in case the person changes her mind.

To find where positions are posted on university websites, try googling “lecteur d’anglais site:(university website)” and see what you come up with. Otherwise, search for the English department and contact the department secretary.

3) Write your CV and Cover Letter focusing on your teaching experience.

Unlike the TAPIF program, which doesn’t require much in the way of teaching experience, it can help your application to be a lecteur d’anglais greatly if you’ve ever been a teaching assistant in your home university or if you have any teaching experience at all.

Of course, if you have no teaching experience, it doesn’t hurt to try, but you may want to apply to TAPIF first.

When you write your curriculum vitae in French and your lettre de motivation, play up all of your work experience related to teaching, or skills that you can cross-apply to teaching.

Have you worked as a lecteur d’anglais in a French university? What would you suggest to someone wanting to teach English in France?