Are you resilient enough for Latin America? Could you adapt to life in China? How about dealing with the snowy, beautiful winters of Quebec? There are special qualities required by Language Assistants that vary country by country, as well as specific eligibility criteria you will need to meet.
Are there any language requirements?
You do not need a formal language qualification to become a Language Assistant. All you need are language skills equivalent to a B1 on the European Framework (please see document below). This is equivalent to the first year of A level/Higher. The requirements for Spain are slightly lower at A2 level on the European Framework. If you are considering applying for China, you do not need any previous language skills at all.
These skills can be acquired through regular travel, private study or through a formal or informal university course. If we cannot see evidence in your application of how you acquired your language skills, you may be asked to participate in a short language test, conducted by telephone. You will be advised of this in advance and the test should only take a few minutes, consisting of just one or two short questions in your target language.
Am I eligible?
To become a Language Assistant, you must be a native-level English speaker. We assess your English skills by reviewing your written application and your university reference.
You must hold a UK, Irish or other European Union (EU) passport. If you have a non-EU passport then unfortunately you are not eligible.
Secondary school education
To become a Language Assistant, you should have completed the majority of your secondary school education in the UK. This is because part of your role will be to share your knowledge of UK culture (including the different UK education systems) to the students you will be working with.
There are two exceptions to this:
- If you have an Irish passport and completed your secondary school education in the Republic of Ireland, you are eligible to apply if you are currently studying at a UK university
- If you have a UK or Irish passport but completed your secondary education overseas, you are eligible to apply. However, we may contact you at a later stage to assess your knowledge of UK culture if this is not evident from your application.
If you have an EU passport (which is not UK or Irish) and completed your secondary school education outside of the UK then unfortunately you are not eligible for the Language Assistants programme.
Non-UK / Irish passport holders who were educated in a British international school outside of the UK are also not eligible.
You must have passed two years of university-level education by the time you start your assistantship. If this was completed outside of the UK, we may contact you at a later stage to assess your knowledge of UK culture if this is not evident from your application.
You must be flexible with regards to the location of your post and be willing to accept a post wherever you are allocated.
For most countries you will be able to select three area preferences, as well as preferences relating to the size of town you’d like to work in and the age group you’d like to teach. However, please note that the number of posts in each area are strictly limited and as such your preferences cannot be guaranteed. You are encouraged to look at the preferences available for your country of application on the Where can I go? page and research the areas available thoroughly before applying.
If you have any additional support requirements (for example, disabilities, medical conditions or dependent children) please provide as much information as possible in your application to enable us to find a post best suited to your needs. We may contact you during the application process to discuss your specific needs and how we can accommodate them.
You will need to be available to complete the whole period of appointment for the country to which you apply. Please see the relevant section of the Where can I go? page of our website for the dates relating to your country of application.
You will need to apply for an International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC)* (more details below). The cost of applying for an ICPC will be approximately £60 and you should not apply for an ICPC until told to do so.
Please be advised that in line with the British Council’s Child Protection Policy and our approach to safeguarding children, if you currently have any impending prosecutions or outstanding criminal proceedings for the offences outlined below or have ever been convicted of or received a caution, reprimand or warning for a sexual or violence related offence or any offence involving any type of harm (physical, emotional or sexual abuse) to a child or children, your application will not be accepted.
Please note that after submission of your application form if you commit a criminal offence or are the subject of any criminal proceedings you must inform the British Council in writing as soon as possible as this could affect your application and may lead to your application being withdrawn if this is not disclosed.
You do not need a Teaching English as a Foreign Language qualification to be able to apply.
Please note, you can only be an English Language Assistant through the British Council four separate times, regardless of whether the posts were in the same or different countries. Both consecutive and non-consecutive years will be counted. Please note that our partner organisations abroad will have their own eligibility criteria so please check with us before applying if you would be able to stay for a consecutive year in that country.