Host a language assistant at your school
Host a language assistant at your school

The Language Assistants programme is committed to inspiring students and teachers alike to achieve success in language learning. A Language Assistant can make a vital difference to students’ achievement and motivation to learn a language. It can also help schools fulfil Curriculum for Excellence requirements and support the 1+2 languages policy. 

What is the role of a Language Assistant? 

As a native-level speaker of French, German, Italian, Spanish or Mandarin Chinese, the Language Assistant is a brilliant resource to support both the teacher in the classroom and indeed the whole school community. Their role is to bring the language and culture of their home country to life and motivate students to learn and develop their understanding of the world around them.

Assistants’ responsibilities can be tailored to suit your requirements. They can support the teaching of a first (L2) or a second (L3) modern language by: 

  • supporting teachers’ language acquisition and improving their cultural knowledge 
  • developing lesson plans and delivering classes on topics to complement different subject areas 
  • running extra-curricular activities for additional support (e.g. lunch time clubs) 
  • working across different areas of the Curriculum for Excellence to develop projects based on cultural themes 
  • setting up an international partnership with a school overseas. 

Language Assistants can be shared by multiple schools and some of their hours may be delivered virtually to support this. To enquire about possible sharing arrangements, please contact us

Find out more about what a Language Assistant can do

What are the benefits?  

  • Investment in Language Assistants offers value for money as their input can lead to:  
  • improving the language abilities of students and increasing their motivation to learn languages both in modern language classes and across Curriculum for Excellence  
  • increasing support for the 1+2 languages policy across schools in your local authority  
  • an international perspective within the school community and development of intercultural skills to prepare students for living and working in a global economy  
  • an update to teachers’ vocabulary and cultural knowledge  
  • eligibility for British Council International School Award, recognising achievements in international learning.  

What support does the British Council provide?  

  • We support local authorities, schools and Language Assistants at every step of the way. Our free service includes: 
  • careful selection of the best candidate to suit your local authority/school 
  • detailed pre-departure webinars and induction for Language Assistants to help them understand their role, guide them through the administration process and prepare for their job 
  • advice on administrative matters and pastoral care, provided by an experienced team and online guidance booklet   
  • visa sponsorship of Language Assistants, responsibility for guiding them through the visa application process and detailed guidance for hosts to comply with UK Visas and Immigration requirements.  

When can I apply?  

  • You can apply online from 29 February to 30 April 2024 to host a language assistant in 2024-25. Applications to host a Mandarin Chinese Language Assistant should be submitted by 28 March.  

How do I apply? 

Find out more about the benefits and practicalities of hosting a language assistant along with information about how best to use an assistant, how you can share an assistant with another school and how to apply to host one