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French miss British

It seems the latest casualty of the dual blows of Brexit and Covid is the lack of native English-speaking teachers in France, according to The Local, Europe’s English-language newspaper.

Pre-Brexit, UK citizens could live and work in most European countries as freely as they did at home, but now they need a visa or work permit. This has always been the case for those from most of the other English-speaking countries, such as US, Canadian and Australian citizens, but now the influx of British nationals is drying up. This, coupled with the double whammy of those who returned home at the start of the Covid pandemic, means language schools in France are feeling the pinch.

“I would like to recruit the British,” Isabelle Huart, who runs the Berlitz language centre in Lille, told The Local, “but there is no one there.”

While this has been less of a problem when classes went online, now that they’re returning to face to face, it’s becoming more of a headache. “It has completely dried up,” she continues. “I have hardly had a CV from Great Britain for at least a year and a half.” 

Luisa Miller, who runs the Enjoy English School with her husband in Montpellier, echoes Huart. “Now, instead of getting so many resumes I don’t always respond unless I have an opening, any resumes I receive are categorised very carefully and I try to interview people as soon as possible. One of the promises we make to parents is that the teachers are native English speakers.”

Perhaps now is the time for non-native speakers to make inroads.

Image courtesy of Nuno Lopes from Pixabay
Liz Granirer
Liz Granirer
Liz has been a journalist for many years. She is currently editor of EL Gazette and has previously edited the magazines Young Performer, StepForward and Accounting Technician; been deputy editor on Right Start magazine; chief sub editor on Country Homes & Interiors; and sub editor on easyJet Traveller, Lonely Planet and Family Traveller magazines, along with a number of others.
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