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Foreign Language Assistants

Foreign Language Assistants

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Foreign Language Assistants

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  1. Foreign Language Assistants “An ideal resource to support development of all four capacities: stimulate contributions, enhance learning, inform about international citizenship and build pupil confidence.” (secondary school teacher, Perth and Kinross)

  2. What is a foreign language assistant (FLA)? • Native speaker from one of 20 countries worldwide, offering French, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Urdu, Russian, Japanese or Arabic • Usually an advanced student or intending teacher of English or other subjects, with a good knowledge of English • Works in local authority and independent schools at all levels across the 3-18 curriculum. Assistants may also work in colleges of further education.

  3. What do assistants do? Assistants can work in a variety of ways: • Team teach with the class teacher and enhance contact with individual pupils • Take small groups for speaking and listening practice • Make language learning fun and motivating, through games, role plays, debates and ICT activities • Offer pupils real-life language practice and contact with another culture as native speakers • Access to a wide range of authentic foreign language materials.

  4. Assistants enhance pupils’ learning bring purpose to learning and a sense of achievement motivate and build pupils’ confidence in communicating with native speakers develop respect for others’ opinions; discuss real-life themes enable pupils to apply their language skills in new contexts help to raise standards of language learning support pupils to continue studying languages encourage creativity and personalisation of learning represent another culture within the school community

  5. FLAs and Curriculum for Excellence Assistants can put the theory of Curriculum for Excellence into practice by helping with cross-curricular activities Lu Qiuju, a Chinese assistant (far right) taught her class at Balerno Secondary School traditional Chinese papercutting techniques. Dawood Ahmad, an Urdu assistant (centre back) helped his pupils at Shawlands Academy to success in the Glasgow International Job Centre competition.

  6. FLAs help with the four capacities “The work the FLAs do is crucial to developing both competence and confidence in our pupils to speak in the foreign language. This addresses the capacities of Successful Learners and Confident Individuals. The cultural aspects they bring to the school assist us in our work to become Responsible Citizens, who respect other cultures. The focus of the FLAs’ work is to encourage contributions in relaxed, supportive environments. Our pupils have greatly benefited from this and are becoming more Effective Communicators.” (secondary teacher, East Ayrshire)

  7. Learning as personal development “Our assistant has helped towards pupils becoming confident individuals, through meeting and talking to a new person, and realising they can make themselves understood in another language.” (primary teacher, Orkney)

  8. FLAs broaden horizons “We didn't just learn about language, we did culture too.  We were taught origami, made dumplings, practised Chinese calligraphy and even learned how to use chopsticks. We also discussed misconceptions that we in the west may have about Chinese culture. We now know more about the values people hold in China and how their society works.” (S5 pupils)

  9. International Education and Global Citizens FLAs can help your students to realise their role as global citizens in the world by sharing their language and culture with them “Working with a representative of another language and culture contributes to awareness of the outside world and helps value differences.” (secondary teacher, South Lanarkshire)

  10. Assistants benefit staff and school • update teachers’ knowledge of the target language and culture • enhance staff learning from an international context • contribute to achieving modern languages outcomes • participate in cross-curricular projects within the school • set up or contribute to existing international links

  11. Assistants benefit staff and school • FLAs can be a very helpful resource in supporting Modern Languages and Primary departments as they develop experiences and tasks to meet the Outcomes, in addition to cross-cutting and interdisciplinary work • Assistants can also contribute to longer term objectives such as implementation of the Scottish Languages Baccalaureate, and other aspects of the school development plan. An assistant is excellent value for money!

  12. FLAs in the classroom In the past year, assistants in Scotland: • helped pupils create presentations and wall displays, prepare entries for theatre competitions, and make authentic local cuisine • played a major role in setting up and running immersion days • ran conversation classes for staff • helped PTs prepare in-service workshops for colleagues • created virtual learning environment materials • got involved in enterprise activities such as Dragon’s Den days

  13. FLAs across the school • FLAs aren’t just restricted to helping in language classes. They can work throughout the school, across the curriculum. • For example in: • PE • History • Drama • Home Economics • Geography • Music • Art Lanterns made by pupils at Our Lady’s High School Cumbernauld with the help of CLA Chen Xiaohong

  14. Why choose the British Council Language Assistants programme? • Experience: the programme has been running for over 100 years • Considered selection process: Consideration given to both schools’ and assistants’ requirements to ensure closest possible match • Support: Extensive guidance and support offered to both local authorities/schools and assistants in liaison with National Agencies abroad • Teaching guidance: Virtual mentor for FLAs, online lesson plans/materials and a wide range of ideas for the classroom aimed at current curricular requirements • All these services provided free of charge.

  15. Why choose the British Council Language Assistants programme? We produce this Booklet for FLAs and employing authorities with guidance and support for the period of the assistantship. This year we organised a training day for FLAs in partnership with LT Scotland and Scottish CILT, focusing on Curriculum for Excellence. 121 FLAs attended a very successful event.

  16. Two way opportunities Did you know? • Our programme operates on a reciprocal basis with partner agencies abroad • Each year we send around 350 Scottish students to be English language assistants abroad • In return we receive foreign language assistants to teach in Scottish schools

  17. Tell me more… Foreign Language Assistants: • £1000 a month for a nine month post • may be shared between two (or exceptionally three) schools or colleges – this can include a combination of secondary and primary levels • the standard contract is 12 contact hours a week, from 1 September to 31 May (Chinese assistants mid-September – 30th June) • by mutual agreement, and at additional cost, your assistant could work up to one month longer and/or up to an additional six hours per week.

  18. How do I apply for an FLA? • For more information and to submit your request forms contact: Eduardo Lees,British Council Scotland The Tun, 4 Jackson's Entry, Holyrood RoadEdinburgh EH8 8PJT +44(0)131 524 5717 F +44(0)131 524 5701 • or visit our website: Deadline for FLA requests: 28th February 2010

  19. Your FLA will bring… Image produced on Cartoons in this presentation created by Graham Ogilvie at the FLA Curriculum for Excellence Support Day