Luxembourg is a small country in Europe with just over half a million people. A large proportion of the population is foreign born and this has contributed to a strong multilingualism and a cultural pluralism which are evident not only in its customs and celebrations but also in the country’s architecture, its concert halls, museums, galleries, cultural centers, etc.
Luxembourg pays special attention to language education and the teaching of languages is featured prominently in the country’s educational system with language learning over the entire school career accounting for 50% of the curriculum.
German is taught in early education and the first years of secondary education. Then from the fourth year of study onwards French becomes the main language. English is added during secondary education, with students also having a choice of Latin, Spanish or Italian.
To teach English in a state school you must be a native English speaker and also speak French, German and Luxembourgish. Outside the school system English lessons are in demand within the financial services industry and Business English is taught mainly in-house.
Because of the relatively low demand for TEFL teachers in language centers in Luxembourg, teaching English doesn’t pay well relative to the high cost of living, and teachers often supplement their income with either private English lessons or a second job. An average salary for an English teacher in a language center is about €1000 ($1264 USD, £804) per month but you can double your earnings by working for a university or at one of the international schools where typically children from expatriate communities are taught.
Income tax is paid at the source by your employer.
Typical requirements for a TEFL position are a degree and a TEFL Certificate such as the ICAL TEFL Certificate. In addition, most teachers have at least a couple of years experience and a European Union passport. This does not mean non EU citizens cannot find work in Luxembourg but preference is usually given to English-speaking EU nationals (i.e British and Irish) as this means schools can spare themselves a lot of red tape.
Languages in Luxembourg
Luxembourg has not one but three official languages: German, French and Lëtzebuergesch (Luxembourgish) which are often used simultaneously in everyday life. English is also widely spoken as Luxembourg is a founding member of many international organisations such as the United Nations, NATO, OECD, and the European Union. Luxembourg City, the country’s capital and largest city, is the seat of several EU institutions and agencies.
German and French are used mainly in the press, in political and in religious life, while French is the official language of the administration, jurisdiction and legislation. Lëtzebuergesch is the language of integration, and the authorities have devised a unique concept in Europe to promote integration through language, that of ‘language leave’. Everybody is entitled to 200 hours to learn to speak Luxembourgish and people working in Luxembourg can take paid holiday to study the country’s language.