Looking for Lecteurships

*This page is an excerpt from a blog post I wrote in January of 2009 (and which mysteriously disappeared from my blog when I switched servers and domain names).

A little background info: I did this process twice, once late in the season during my assistant year when I decided almost at the last minute to try to stay a second year. I managed to get a last-minute lectrice position at an engineering school when the original person backed out. I did it again from Texas, early in the spring, when I was doing my masters degree, and that time ended up being a maître de langue.

So here’s my process for looking for lecteur-ships in case anyone out there is wondering. Most universities start looking between February and April, but I sent mine out in January just to be safe.

  1. Write French CV, take dorky photo
  2. Write French lettre de motivation
  3. Write basic e-mail to front these two things
  4. Go to university websites in cities I might like to live/work. Find Presentation link, then Composants, and look for UFR de Langues or whatnot. (The composants link doesn’t always exist. Sometimes the UFRs are hidden somewhere else.) Look for link to département d’anglais/études anglaises/nord-américaines/etc. Look for any sort of relevant contact. Very rarely is there a link for the person who’s actually in charge of lecteurs, but I’ve found people are really nice about forwarding.
  5. Tweak letters for each university (especially changing the address and name! I always double check this several times because I’m afraid Ill send one to the wrong place.) and send off e-mails. Then
  6. Receive very friendly responses telling me everything is pourvus for des échanges until otherwise, but they will definitely let me know if otherwise happens. The responses vary in their enthusiasm or friendliness, but I’ve really been impressed that people respond 90% of the time.

7 thoughts on “Looking for Lecteurships

  1. Great information! I’m currently an assistant for TAPIF, and I definitely want to try to get a lecteurship for next year; I’m already freaking out about the idea of not getting one. Did you find that there were particular qualities they were looking for, like a master’s or ESL/EFL certification? Also, were you able to find plenty of open positions? I haven’t been able to find many, and I’m not sure if it’s because it’s still early or if I’m just not looking in the right place!

    • Hey! I don’t think ESl/EFL certification is necessary at all. A masters may get you hired over other people in some positions but I didn’t find that true in my search. And I didn’t bother looking for “open positions”—I just sent my CV and lettre de motivation to universities in cities I was interested in. I wouldn’t bother waiting for ads if I were you. But it’s definitely too early for them to be advertising. You can definitely wait till at least January to send anything off.

  2. Thanks so much for this post! I’m another one of those assistants nearing the end of her contract desperately searching for a way to spend another year in France. One question–while I’m generally having success finding a contact in English/Language departments at Universities focused on the humanities, how would you go about finding an email contact for a more technical school? You mention being a lectrice at an engineering school, but the engineering school websites never seem to have a contact for the person in charge of teaching English.

    • Hi Jill, glad to hear it was helpful! I never applied directly to engineering schools. My CV was always transferred to them by the language departments. But you could always send your CV to someone (anyone, really) at the technical schools asking them to forward it to the appropriate person.

  3. Hello, again! Did you interview for your lectrice/maître de langue positions? I have an interview coming up and am wondering how similar it will be to American interviews, so I’d love to hear any tips if you have them!

    • Hi Kelsy. No I never really had an interview for these jobs, just one telephone conversation, and I was always hired after the original person dropped out, so they were always in a rush to hire. Wish I could tell you more!

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