Have you ever wondered about the benefits a Modern Language Assistant (MLA) can bring to your classroom? 

Do you want to learn how to get the most out of your investment in this precious resource? Want to hear from those who have lots of experience in hosting a language assistant and have the opportunity to ask your own questions?

Thank you to those who joined our webinar on 21 March 2024. 

Watch a recording of the webinar

We hear from a range of speakers who have experience of hosting MLAs and learn from them how you can use an MLA in new and, perhaps, unexpected ways. We’ll hear examples of how an MLA can benefit not just the language classroom but the whole school. And, with budgets tight for everyone, we’ll look at different ways of reducing the cost to your school of hosting a language assistant.

A real-life foreign language speaker is an additional resource for you 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 enthusing your students with the joy of languages, a language assistant can inspire them to continue their language learning at GCSE level and beyond.

This webinar is aimed at leadership teams and Modern Foreign Language teachers.

Our panel

Dr. Ian Collen

Dr Ian Collen is Director of Initial Teacher Education at Queen’s University Belfast and Senior Lecturer in Modern Languages Education. He has been a British Council Language Assistant himself in Germany and France, and as a former school teacher he has hosted British Council Language Assistants in his classroom. He has teaching experience from primary education through to doctoral level. 

He is the current Principal Investigator of Language Trends England, Northern Ireland and Wales, commissioned by the British Council, which is designed to gather information about the situation for language teaching and learning. Dr Collen has authored current GCSE specifications and supporting assessment materials for GCSE French and German.

Khatija Ollite

Khatija Ollite has nearly 20 years of teaching experience in England. She holds a BA Hons Degree in English and History and a Master’s Degree in Management of Language Learning. She has been Head of French at Colchester County High School for Girls for the past 10 years, teaching KS3-KS5. She has also been a mentor to their Chinese and French Assistants as well as NQTs.  

As part of her contribution to the wider school community, Khatija oversees all Language Clubs and organises the Language Culture and Diversity Week every year. The week culminates in an Evening of languages,  a colourful event for students to celebrate and share the language, dress, arts and culture of some of the many countries represented within our school community.

Louise Henneron

Louise Henneron has spent this academic year working in Colchester County High School for Girls, a grammar school in Colchester as a French Language Assistant. She held this placement while being in a gap year, after getting a Anglophone Literature and Civilisation bachelor's degree (LLCE) at the university of Boulogne-sur-Mer (ULCO), with a specialization in education. 

She enjoys sharing knowledge, and creating out-of-the-box projects to motivate the students. She has taken a great interest in building materials and resources which can be used in the languages classroom as well as the non-academic or cultural projects such as the week of languages. Her school lets her be free in the activities she come up with, and allows her to be part of cultural projects or to lead her own with her mentor overseeing the proceedings. She plans to take a master's degree in education, and to become an English teacher in France in the upcoming years. She is intent on focusing her future master's dissertation on how to motivate students through gamified activities, and on using the teaching methods she discovered in her future carrier.

Laura Clarke

Laura Clarke has had a love of languages from a young age. As part of her university degree, she spent some time working as an English Language Assistant near Monchengladbach in Germany. After her degree she worked in the retail sector for a number of years in a variety of roles including Customer Service Manager. 

Deciding that she wanted a change of career, she moved into the education sector and then re-trained as a teacher in 2018. She has worked in a diverse range of schools and her current role is Assistant Curriculum Leader: MFL for Rushey Mead Academy in Leicester. She has taken the lead on inspiring a love of languages in students through supporting French language assistants and organising cultural experiences in school.

Previous webinars

Watch the recording of our webinar

The case for language assistants: how to convince leadership teams