Man standing on a rock in the Chinese countryside
'You can teach English on paid six-month or year-long placements and experience another country.' Photo courtesy of Donald Struthers

What is it all about?

As an English language assistant, you can teach English on paid six-month or year-long placements and experience another country, gain new skills and make your CV stand out. 

If you are from outside the UK and want to teach your language, you can become a language assistant in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Am I eligible?

For most destinations you must hold an EU passport, have completed at least two years of university, and be a native-level speaker of English. Further criteria apply.

Why become an English language assistant?

The programme gives you the opportunity to: 

  • diversify your CV
  • hone your language skills
  • gain transferable skills, such as communication, presentation, time management, organisation, team-work, independent work, and creative thinking / problem-solving
  • immerse yourself in another culture
  • gain cultural awareness
  • gain professional confidence.

All placements are paid and teaching time is limited to between 12 and 20 hours a week, giving you plenty of time to pursue other interests. 

In previous years, language assistants have used their time abroad to take part in a myriad of initiatives, from starting a small business to appearing on TV.

What will I be doing?

A language assistant's role typically includes:  

  • supporting the teaching of English in an overseas school or university
  • planning activities and producing resources to help students improve their English
  • introducing UK contemporary culture through classroom and extra-curricular activities
  • supporting the running of international projects and activities.

When you arrive, you may also be invited to take part in an induction course.

Language assistants will not be required to:  

  • discipline pupils 
  • cover for illness
  • mark work regularly. 

Any additional duties you may be asked to carry out should be agreed with you before your arrival at the host institution. You should also expect to receive further training upon arrival.

Where can I go?

You can teach in these countries (click on the links to read more details):

How do I apply?

Applications for the 2018-19 academic year are now closed.  For more information on what happens next with your application over the coming months, please refer to our English Language Assistants Lifecycle.

What happens after I apply?

Candidates who pass the first stage of selection for posts in China, Canada and countries in Latin America will be invited to take part in a further assessment stage before being offered a post. This further assessment will take place on a rolling basis before April 2018. 

We may invite some applicants to participate in a language level test, if it is not clear from their application how they reached the stated level. These interviews would take place between January and April, and affected candidates will be contacted individually nearer the time.

What do I do once I am accepted?

You will need to contact your school, find accommodation and prepare for teaching, among other things. Find out how to prepare for your placement.

What are the costs?

You will receive a monthly salary, plus support and guidance.

Depending on your location, you will still need to budget for flights, accommodation, travel insurance, visas, and so on.

Number of consecutive placements

You can only be an English language assistant through our programme four times, regardless of whether the posts were in the same or different countries. Both consecutive and non-consecutive years will be counted.

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.

Can I contact the Language Assistants team?

If you are a student, teacher or university tutor based in the UK, please email us or call us on 0161 957 7755.

You can also write to us by post to our addresses in England and Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland. Please address your letter to 'Language Assistants Team'.

We value your opinion of our people, work, services and website, and welcome any feedback, positive or negative. You can find out more about our policy and also send us your comments, complaints or appeals via this online feedback form.