Getting the most from your
Language Assistant
experience
All images © Mat Wright
www.britishcouncil.org/schools/language-assistants
1
Agenda
Part 1: Webinar basics
Part 2: Role of the mentor and supporting the assistant
Q&A
Part 3: Using a Language Assistant in the language
classroom and beyond
Part 4: Other British Council opportunities
Q&A
www.britishcouncil.org/languageassistants-uk-schools-and-authorities.htm
PART 1: WEBINAR BASICS
www.britishcouncil.org/languageassistants-uk-schools-and-authorities.htm
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PART 2: THE ROLE OF THE
MENTOR TEACHER AND
SUPPORTING THE ASSISTANT
www.britishcouncil.org/languageassistants-uk-schools-and-authorities.htm
Role of Mentor Teacher
 Professional
 Pastoral
 Arrival and settling in
 On-going monitoring and support
 Regular meetings
 Give feedback to the Language Assistant
 Give feedback to British Council
 End of year report
www.britishcouncil.org/languageassistants-uk-schools-and-authorities.htm
Top tips and best practice for mentor
teachers
 Email follow-ups to face-to-face discussions
 Establish communication process
 Monitoring progress - Language Assistant/s log/ diary
www.britishcouncil.org/languageassistants-uk-schools-and-authorities.htm
Supporting the assistant BEFORE their arrival
 Sharing arrangements
 Administration/ Paperwork
 Offer letter / Confirmation of appointment
 Payments – Starter Declaration and tax cover letter (Double Taxation Letter)
 Police checks
 Accommodation advice
 School system and curriculum
 Maintain contact and build relationships
Please see: http://www.britishcouncil.org/language-assistants/employ/support-andnext-steps
Supporting the assistant: Initial weeks
 Observation
 Class lists/ staff lists/ map of school
 School policies
Child protection / Internet/ health and safety / absence
 Systems and equipment
 Timetable
 Code of conduct
 Statement of employment
www.britishcouncil.org/languageassistants-uk-schools-and-authorities.htm
Supporting the assistant AFTER their arrival –
Integration into the school
Top tips:
 Welcomes!
 Introductions
 Discuss expectations and role
 Opportunities to involve them in
 school trips/ events/ concerts/ staff social activities
 extracurricular life of the school
www.britishcouncil.org/schools/language-assistants
Supporting the assistant: Integration into
the community
 Register with doctor and open a bank account
 Local area advice
 Clubs/ libraries/ churches/ sports/ events
 Mobile phones
 Internet access
 Other Language Assistant/s in the area?
www.britishcouncil.org/languageassistants-uk-schools-and-authorities.htm
Problem handling
 Best dealt with quickly and at the source
 Open discussion
 Use code of conduct
 Use performance management
 Disciplinary process
 Contact with British Council
 Language Assistant/s line of referral
www.britishcouncil.org/languageassistants-uk-schools-and-authorities.htm
Support for Language Assistants
 Local authority training
 Cultural institutes training and support e.g. Institut Français, Goethe
Institut, Instituto Cervantes, Consejería de Educación, Institute of
Education (China)
 British Council inductions
 British Council Information Booklet for Language Assistants in the UK
coming soon!
 Language Assistants Team at the British Council
www.britishcouncil.org/schools/language-assistants
PART 3: USING YOUR
LANGUAGE ASSISTANT IN THE
LANGUAGE CLASSROOM AND
BEYOND
www.britishcouncil.org/languageassistants-uk-schools-and-authorities.htm
What is a Language Assistant?
 Model of authentic pronunciation, intonation and usage of the
language pupils are learning
 A ‘living’ cultural reference point, with a unique set of experiences,
skills, and interests
 Pivotal figure to help broaden the school’s cultural provision and
perspective
www.britishcouncil.org/schools/language-assistants
How a Language Assistant can support the
school’s modern languages programme
 Develop and improve
o accuracy of pupils’ use of the target language
o pupils’ self-confidence in the target language,
o pupils’ engagement in language lessons
 Increase capacity to address the departmental priorities e.g.
o teachers’ subject knowledge (language and culture)
o uptake of language classes at the non-compulsory stage
www.britishcouncil.org/schools/language-assistants
How a Language Assistant can benefit
the whole school
 Raise the profile of language and culture at all stages in the school
 Build capacity to strengthen the language element of the curriculum
 Broaden the international perspective of the school
www.britishcouncil.org/schools/language-assistants
Language Assistant role
 Work in a variety of contexts including whole classes (under teacher
supervision), with small groups or individual pupils
 Model authentic pronunciation, intonation and usage of the
language pupils are learning
 Revise new vocabulary or grammar points covered in a particular
lesson in the form of a game or other type of interactive activity
 Prepare pupils in senior classes for speaking assessments
 Prepare resources for teaching
www.britishcouncil.org/schools/language-assistants
Getting the most from your Language
Assistant/s experience
 Prepare pupils for local or national language-based
competitions
 Support senior pupils in promoting language learning to
younger age groups
 Establish or reinforce partnership links with another country
(e.g. through parcel or video exchanges)
 Contribute to school gaining International School Award
 Use the resources and support from the cultural institutes
www.britishcouncil.org/schools/language-assistants
Getting the best out of your Language Assistant
Consider a project approach
 Giving them the opportunity to plan activities for a longer-term/ on-going
project reduces the need for teachers to plan their input on such a
frequent basis
 Games and other ‘fun’ activities do create a buzz in the language
classroom but do not necessarily change pupils’ underlying views about
the role of languages in today’s global society
 By harnessing the Language Assistant’s unique set of knowledge,
interests, and skills and channelling them into a project has a greater
chance of helping pupils to recognise the importance of language
learning
www.britishcouncil.org/schools/language-assistants
Project Successes
Get Language Assistants and students to apply language
skills in new contexts:
 subtitling
 radio broadcasting
 drama competition
 travel guidebook
 song-writing
 multilingual magazine
 For more examples please see: www.britishcouncil.org/scotlandeducation-Language Assistant/s-school-project-initiative-casestudies.htm
www.britishcouncil.org/languageassistants-uk-schools-and-authorities.htm
Helping the Language Assistant implement a
project successfully
 Find out about the Language Assistants strengths (knowledge of their
own and other countries, interests and skills in other subjects)
 Discuss ways of incorporating them as an independent slot in the
overall scheme of work (i.e. as part of a weekly lesson)
 Provide lots of advice and encouragement at the start but let the
language assistant take the lead in moving things forward
www.britishcouncil.org/schools/language-assistants
PART 4: OTHER BRITISH
COUNCIL OPPORTUNITIES
www.britishcouncil.org/languageassistants-uk-schools-and-authorities.htm
Other British Council opportunities
eTwinning
SchoolsOnline
Connecting Classrooms
www.britishcouncil.org/schools/language-assistants
Thank you for your attendance and participation!
www.britishcouncil.org/languageassistants
[email protected]
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