The British Council Language Assistants Team are still accepting requests for Japanese, Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin) and Russian Language Assistants for the 2011-2012 academic year.

The Foreign Language Assistants programme aims to support the teaching of language and culture in UK schools. It is managed by the British Council and funded by the Department for Education (The China programme also receives support from HSBC and Hanban). Schools hosting a Foreign Language Assistant pay a monthly allowance at a rate determined by the DfE based on the teacher pay scales. (Currently this is £16.74 per hour for a minimum 12 hr contact time per week contract. This equates to £879 per month.)

Foreign Language Assistants (FLAs) can work in a wide range of ways to bring the language alive in a classroom. Depending on the current provision of that language in your school, they are able to:

  • work with Japanese/Chinese/Arabic/Russian teachers in the classroom if that subject is already formally taught at your school;
  • work on their own with smaller groups of pupils if they are introducing the language and culture to your school;
  • work across the curriculum, contributing a Japanese/Chinese/Arabic/Russian perspective to enrich other subjects like art and design, technology, geography and history etc. and/or
  • run lunchtime clubs where the focus is mainly on culture.

This programme takes people directly out of their country and culture for a year so that they arrive not only with their country’s culture embedded in their thinking and way of life but they return to their countries with new perspectives, ideas and understanding.

Feedback we have received illustrates the benefit that FLAs bring to the school and students; even those not directly involved in their classes and assistants continue to report how enriching the experience is for them both personally and professionally.

More information, including how to apply, how much it costs to employ an FLA and how they can be shared between up to 3 schools, can be found on our website:

The British Council provides pastoral and professional support for the assistants throughout their year in the UK.

THE DEADLINE FOR 2011-12 Assistants has been EXTENDED: Requests for the academic year 2011-2012 should be submitted as early as possible and at the latest by 20th MAY to the relevant British Council office. This is marked on the request form.

If you are interested or have any further queries, please contact James Bishop on or by phone on 0207 389 4215.

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