Modern Language Assistants are speakers of French, German, Irish, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish who can help students in the UK build their cultural capital by developing their linguistic and cross-cultural skills.

A real life foreign language speaker is an additional resource for you in the classroom giving context to language learning, talking about their experiences in their home culture and inspiring students to develop their ability to communicate their own world views. By introducing a modern foreign language assistant to your classroom, you can enhance language learning and enrich pupil experience. 

Insight shows that a foreign language assistant makes a significant difference to language teaching, exam results and learning outcomes. In our 2022-23 programme review, 95% of hosts schools saw improved standards in listening, speaking and an increase in pupils’ general understanding of the language. 99% would recommend the programme.

With our flexible options and support, we want language assistants to work for you.

All the language assistants had the confidence to lead the language learning in the classes, working alongside the teachers. They showed creativity, flexibility, good organisation skills, resilience, the ability to reflect on the success of previous lessons and what to do next. They were receptive to feedback, approachable and passionate about sharing their knowledge of their language and culture.”
Dawn Wilde, Trafford Local Authority

The British Council works with partner organisations overseas to recruit and allocate you a language assistant. We provide support to hosts and assistants throughout the placement, including detailed pre-departure briefings, visa sponsorship and Child Protection training for assistants, along with template documents, guidance and support for hosts.

Any universities who would like to enquire about hosting a Modern Language Assistant through our programme should contact the team at for further information and guidance on the next steps. Watch this video to hear from the University of Strathclyde about their experience with the British Council Language Assistant programme.


Applications for the 2024-25 academic year are now closed. If you would like to enquire about being placed on a waiting list, please contact

Applications to host a language assistant in 2025-26 will open in early 2025. If you would like to receive information or an alert, please please complete the expression of interest form below:

Receive notification when applications open for 2025 - 26