Considering that it’s around that time of year that lecteur/lectrice interviews are happening, I would like to share my story of how I’ve gotten my current lectrice job, having been inspired by Dana’s own blog post of her journey to becoming one. You can also check out this post I wrote recently about how to secure a position as a lecteur/lectrice.
My journey to becoming a lectrice d’anglais started back in 2016, after completing my first year as an assistante. I looked into various positions at various schools in France, and even had a *tentative* acceptance into one of them. However, due to the cruel forces of life (aka no Master’s degree), I was unable to be a lectrice that year, and instead stayed as a second-year assistante.
Fast-forward to the following year: I’d completed a year’s worth of Master’s online, and I set about applying again to lectrice positions. Made sure to check up on the IE Languages website listings, an indelible (and easy) source to find job offers in France. Armed with more credentials and experience, I applied to more than a dozen institutions and departments all over France (e.g. Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Toulouse…). It was a matter of sending in my CV, lettre de motivation, and whatever other necessary documents that the school required of me.
Although I was told that fewer people apply to these positions, I still didn’t expect the competition to be so tough: out of the 14 schools I’d applied to, I’d been considered for only two or three of them, two of which I even got an interview for. In fact, I received so many rejections that it wasn’t funny– goes to show that, even with credentials and experience, it’s really hard to land even just one position.
I’d started applying back in February, and it wasn’t until the very end of May that I got an interview offer from a university near Lyon. I was back in the U.S. by then, so the interview took place over Skype. Being a nine-hour difference between Los Angeles and France, I woke up early for the interview among the English department teachers (three of them). Interview lasted about 20 minutes, being all in English with the small bit where I was asked to speak some French to gauge my level. Was definitely nervous, as I ended up stumbling through my French, and after the interview ended, I wasn’t very confident about it.
Fast-forward just 24 hours later, and I received an email from one of the interviewers that I’d been accepted for the job! Super ecstatic, I was thrilled and promptly responded with my acceptance. The next few months were a matter of getting in touch with my future colleagues, administration, and old/new lecteurs/lectrices working in the city that I would be in. I received lots of information concerning what to expect from my school, classes, and students.
Upon arriving in France, I spent the first month juggling administrative paperwork, apartment hunting, and lesson planning for my classes that semester. I admit, it was rather hectic, but by the end of October, almost everything got sorted– finally, I was able to just focus on teaching and living my life abroad.
My experience becoming a lectrice is my own, and I’m well-aware that others’ will greatly vary– I know many lecteurs/lectrices who’ve had even-smoother processes than mine, and others who’ve gone through hell and back just to get a position in the first place. Really, there isn’t really a cookie-cutter process, as I’ve found the experiences way more varied than those from my assistante days. I guess it’s a matter of getting the position at a university with a good responsable, good administration, and good communication among everyone– granted, it can be tough to get even one in France, but I’ve been quite fortunate to have had a relatively-smooth time.
For past and current lecteurs/lectrices: I’d like to hear about your experiences becoming a lecteur/lectrice, so let me know!
Hope you’ve found this helpful, and I’ll see you soon!