Starting out in TEFL

Hi there,

I am starting out on this path, with my new qualification. I have no formal teaching degree but have had many years in schools teaching braille and mobility and have also taught adults mobility. Have been to Pole emploi and through them have two hours a week at a local college and another job offer a domicile. I have been really pleased to get these as I thougth my lack of degree would be a big issue. I wouold like some advice please on how to go abut finding private clients. I have written out an ad. for notice boards but around here, Amboise, they only seem to exist in Leclerc. What I wonder has worked for others? Which are the best websites to advertise on, how to get Skype pupils? Also how do you trade: as autoentrepreneurs? or do you find it pays to use CESU?

Sorry for so many questions but I have spent hours on line researching and have ended up overloaded and not sure shich way to turn and judging by this group there is much experience here that might guide me in the right direction.

Thanks for any help or advice


guide me in the right direction.

Thank you very much Peter I have just started down the vistaprint route and then when the snow clears a bit I will put them in all the places you suggest.

Go to the vistaprint site and design yourself some business cards - they are free, you just pay the postage.

(Vistaprint will then send you lots of e-mail "special offers" which you can just ignore).

Leave your cards in cafés, shops, the mairie, the boulangerie and anywhere else you can think of - take some to the local Lycée, Collège, Centre de Formation, Ecole Superieure, library, CAF etc etc.

All you need on the card is name, "Formateur d'Anglais", e-mail, phone number and address for contact.

Oh dear Catherine the wonders of living in france are numerous but this is obviousy not one of them. I will attemt to avoid CESU at all costs. Am looking at starting an association for cultural and language exchange so am off to join that group and find at more. Have a good day.

CESU is ok but I would avoid accepting it unless the client really really wants to pay you like that.

The tickets cesu are the worst element. If the client just gives you a normal cheque its no hassle but the tickets have to be either taken to your bank - mine is an hours drive away - or posted - which is basically like posting cash so a no no - or cashed in on line - which sounds easy but is a real hassle. It is akin to entering scratch card numbers and you need to scratch each one. Then the CESU site refuses to accept your perfect valid number, then it crashes, then you are forced to post 1300€ worth of tickets to Paris after explaining the scenario at length. Oh and pay 18€ for the pleasure and then find out that the cesu charge for cashing them in on line, so as you managed to cash in some of the 1300€, the final amount of cash in your bank account is 1287€.

Never again!

HI Nicola

CESU is the method where you are paid with cheque emploi, which I thought was meant to be a fairly simple way of being paid and getting your social taxes paid as well, but have read some forums that make it sound horribly complicated.

Unfortunately around here shops do not seem to put up ads. However, yesterday I went to the AVF welcome event in town, it was packed, and when people heard there was a new english person in town they headed for me asking about practicing their english! So I have given them my email and suggested we meet up for coffee and englsih conversaion, this I hope will start to spread the word and produce paying customers. Obviously the need is out there it is just findong it. Also AVF run two english classes which are over subscribed so are thinking of asking me to run an additional class. As you can imagine I left the event on a real high!! potentially I have started to integrate and find students. Oc course it will be far harder than that but I hope networking will start to pay off. I also intend to what I have been wary of doing: knock on the door of the Marie for advice and maybe offering a free short course for some of the employees there. I am also now looking at starting up as an association for cultural and language exchange, which is how many educational establishments trade.

Obviously there is a lot of free time being given in this but I hope this will eventually spread the word and provide much needed paying customers. Skype strikes me as the way forward as with the large distances that can be involved in France it is a growing method of teaching, but I just do not know the most effective way to adverise and any advice is welcome.

I will send you a friend request Nicola and then we can try and keep each other's chins up!

cesu - chèque emploi serivce universel

Bonne chance

Hi Briony

I am in the same situation. Really not sure what to do about how to trade. What is the CESU?

As for advertising, I plan to put business cards / poster in prominent places - i.e. la Mairie, the local shop, butchers, bakery etc. It's what other professions seem to do.