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PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO. IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE BRITISH COUNCIL. Language Assistant. What do you think will be the most enjoyable aspects of the job? What do you think will be the hardest aspects of the job?

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personal development portfolio



language assistant
Language Assistant
  • What do you think will be the most enjoyable aspects of the job?
  • What do you think will be the hardest aspects of the job?
  • What qualities and skills do you think you will need (or acquire) as a Language Assistant?
making the most of your year abroad
Making the most of your Year Abroad
  • What do you expect from your Year Abroad?
  • What sort of things do you expect to do during your Year Abroad?
  • What do you expect the Year Abroad to do to you?
  • What long-term gains do you expect from being a Language Assistant?
the skills of the language assistant
The skills of the Language Assistant
  • Language Assistants only learn how to become teachers
  • Language Assistants develop skills that are attractive to all sorts of employers
some of the skills you can hope to acquire or develop as a language assistant
Working independently



Working with others

Taking initiative


People management

Resource management

Communication skills

Analytical skills

Time management

Problem solving

Research skills



Presentation skills

IT skills

Setting and meeting objectives

Some of the skills you can hope to acquire or develop as a Language Assistant
logs portfolios
Logs & Portfolios

Why keep a record of your Year Abroad?


  • your life experiences
  • your day-to-day concerns
  • your day-to-day successes and failures

Reflecting on

  • experiences and events and how they affect you
  • ways in which you have changed


  • how to respond to developments
  • how to manage change
  • how to capitalise on your growing skills base
the personal development portfolio
The Personal Development Portfolio

To keep track of your Year Abroad, you could do some or all of the following:

  • keep a diary
  • take photos
  • make a scrap book
  • record and reflect on events at strategic intervals
  • work out an Action Plan
the personal development portfolio8
The Personal Development Portfolio

A structured Diary that helps you to

  • take stock and monitor your skills base as it develops
  • prioritise your activities
  • get the maximum gain from your Year Abroad
  • articulate your abilities and enhance your employability
stages and structure what will i have to do
Stages and structure: what will I have to do
  • Throughout the year you will be asked to keep a Diary at agreed intervals. If you wish, you can of course (and many do!) go beyond the agreed minimum and turn it into a Work of Art.
  • Before you go, you will be asked to complete a simple check-list or practical things you need to do, and to assess your personal attributes under a few simple headings.
stages and structure what will i have to do10
Stages and structure: what will I have to do
  • At set intervals, you will be asked to record your thoughts under a number of headings (e.g. work, language development, personal development) and consider what steps you have taken or plan to take to extend and consolidate your skills.
  • You will also be encouraged to involve your school mentor teacher in planning your development schedule and monitoring / reporting on your progress.

Suggested times for recording / reviewing

  • Pre-departure (‘stock-taking’)
  • About 6 weeks after arrival
  • After Christmas
  • Around Easter
  • End of assistantship
british council
British Council
  • Language Assistantships
  • Helping Assistants
    • Introductory courses
    • Library, newspapers, teaching materials
    • Language Assistants Website
    • Teaching manual by Clare Lavery- Language Assistant
    • PDP scheme