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The English Language Assistant programme has a simple online application process. ©

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Applications for the 2024-25 academic year have now closed. The deadline for applications was 01 February 2024 at 13:00 GMT. The final reference deadline is 15 February 2024 at 13:00 GMT.

Applications to be an English Language Assistant in 2025-26 will open in autumn 2024.

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Statement 

The British Council is committed to policies and practices of equality, diversity and inclusion across everything we do.  

We want to encourage applicants from under-represented groups, in particular, but not exclusively, on grounds of ethnicity and disability to take part in the Language Assistants programme. We encourage people of all backgrounds and communities to apply for our programme and will always try to accommodate any placement preferences or requirements stated in your application that relate to protected characteristics. 

We welcome discussions about specific requirements or adjustments to enable participation and engagement in our programme. 

Important notes about the application process:

  • Before starting the application process, please read and ensure you understand the English Language Assistant code of conduct.
  • Your application must be completed through our online platform. After clicking on the apply button you will initially be asked to register and create a profile on the system using an email address and creating a password. Please use a permanent email address as this cannot be changed once you have registered. You can add an alternative email address but the one you use to register must be your main contact email address. Please do not use a university email address if you are due to graduate before starting in post.
  • Thoroughly research the destination you are applying to before submitting your application in order to make an informed decision when selecting your placement preferences. Explain any strong preferences you have in the Preferences section of the application form, particularly if they concern protected characteristics. Preferences are not guaranteed but are taken into consideration where possible. 
  • Follow the step-by-step table below on how to complete the application form.

Completing your application - Part 1


Please take extra care when completing this page, as you will not be able to change your answers once you have moved on to the next section. If you accidentally select the wrong response, you'll have to withdraw your application and begin a new one. 

Personal details  

Enter your personal details as they appear on the passport you intend to travel with. If you are successful, this information is used to create documentation that may be required for your visa application so it is important to ensure this is correct.  

Please ensure your current passport number is valid for at least 6 months after the end of your assistantship. If your passport has expired or will expire during your assistantship, please provide your old/current passport number. Once your new number arrives, please contact us by email to update your details. 

Please note you must input dates in the following format: mm/dd/yyyy.  

Completing your application - Part 2


You must ensure you meet the language requirements for the destinations to which you are applying to. We do not require evidence of formal language qualifications, these skills can be acquired through regular travel, private study, a course at a language centre or as part of your undergraduate degree.  


Please enter the start and end dates of your education history. If you are not certain of the exact dates, put the first date of the months you started and ended. 


Detail your current or most recent Employment History which may be relevant to the role of Language Assistant, including any previous placement(s) as a Language Assistant. Include examples which demonstrate direct teaching experience or transferable skills. 

Background Information  

The information provided in this section may help us when allocating you to a placement. Please provide as much detail as possible.   

Consecutive year and returning applicants

If you are a consecutive year or a returning applicant, please see our dedicated guidance page on how to complete and submit your application.


Support requirements - Part 1

If you have any specific support requirements, please provide as much information as possible in your application to allow us and our partners to find you a post which is best suited to your needs. This could include requirements relating to; disabilities, mental health conditions, long-term or chronic illnesses, dependent children or other personal circumstances. If there are any circumstances which may affect your ability to live independently abroad and/or to perform your contractual duties as a Language Assistant, please ensure you indicate this in your application.  

If you indicate the above, a free text box will appear for you to state what your specific requirements are in order to carry out the duties of an English Language Assistant abroad. Please be specific about your requirements so that we can work with our partners overseas to try and meet them.  

Support requirements - Part 2

We may contact you during the application process to request further information on any support requirements to help our allocation process. Please note that it is not always possible for our overseas partners to accommodate all requests and you should undertake independent research to understand what support is available in your destination of application.   

We recommend that you look at the preferences for your destination of application and research the areas available thoroughly before applying. 

If you are invited to a video interview (applicable for Hong Kong, Canada and Latin American destinations only) you can also outline any specific adjustments you require for your participation in your application. 

Supporting statement details of application - Part 1

 Remember that this is a job application for a competitive process. Your application may be read not only by the British Council but also by our overseas partner agency, local authorities and host schools abroad.  

Please make sure that your answers are appropriate for a job of this nature. Use examples and evidence to convince us of your suitability for the programme. 

Your response to the supporting statements section of the application has a recommended minimum and maximum character count. We encourage applicants to use the character count available to them.  

If your application does not meet the required standard or the answers provided are too brief, it will not be accepted. 

You will be required to complete the following sections:  


Demonstrate why you are motivated to participate in the programme and consider the impact it may have on you, personally and professionally (both short-term and long-term), and also the host institutions and students during your placement. 

Supporting statement details of application - Part 2

  Supporting statement  

  • Demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of your first-choice destination and its culture. 
  • Provide examples or evidence of when you have had to adapt to a challenging/new situation, either at home or abroad. 
  • Describe relevant previous experience such as teaching or working with children/young people. This could include both formal and informal examples such as work experience, babysitting, mentoring, sports clubs, brownies/scouts, etc. 
  • Highlight any other skills, knowledge or experience that you think is relevant to the role. 
  • Cultural Exchange  

You will be asked to provide an example of a classroom activity (quiz, presentation, game, etc.) where you can introduce an aspect of UK culture. Some examples of cultural aspects you may wish to focus on include your hometown, a historical event, or a popular hobby.


For most countries, you will be able to give regional preferences, environmental preferences and a preference for the age group you’d like to teach. However, the number of posts in each area is limited and your preferences cannot be guaranteed.   

All reasonable wishes for regional or environmental preferences, medical or otherwise, should be researched and explained as fully as possible on the application form to ensure the best chance of a desired match.    

If your preferences concern protected characteristic(s), please state this clearly in the ‘Reason for preferences’ section of the form. We greatly encourage those from under-represented groups to take part in our programme and will always try to accommodate preferences to enable participation. 

If you have contacts and possible accommodation in a particular area, you must state the name of your host and address of the accommodation in the 'Reasons for preferences' section of the form. We can also take other strong reasons for regional preferences into consideration, provided you highlight them in your application.   

We try to meet candidates' preferences as much as possible, but we cannot guarantee a placement in line with your regional or environmental preferences.  

Reference and submission of application - Part 1

You will be asked to provide the email address of someone who can act as a referee. If you are a current or recent student, this should be one of your tutors or a year-abroad coordinator. If you graduated before 01 January 2023 your referee should be a recent employer.  

You should ensure that your referee is able to complete the online reference request form that we provide: many large corporations only provide references that confirm your employment with them. We are unable to accept these. If you require to change your referee, you should contact us via email LanguageAssistants.UK@britishcouncil.org.  

Applicants studying at institutions such as the Open University should not provide details of a referee from this institution and should seek an alternative referee. Due to the distance learning nature of such courses, tutors are often unable to provide bespoke references. 


Reference and submission of application - Part 2

Applicants for Switzerland: If applying to Switzerland as your first-choice destination, you are required to provide TWO references. Please refer to the Switzerland page   for further information and guidance. 

Once you submit your application form, the system sends an email to your referee requesting the reference. The reference must be completed by 15 February 2024: if it is not completed in time your application will not be taken forward. 

You will also receive an email confirming the submission of your application and providing you with your Unique Reference Number (URN). 


 Applications are assessed initially using the following criteria: 

  • motivation 
  • adaptability 
  • target country cultural awareness 
  • knowledge and experience of UK contemporary culture  
  • teaching experience 
  • expression and presentation. 


Video interviews for selected destinations

Candidates for Hong Kong, Latin American destinations, or Canada who pass the first stage of selection will be invited to a video interview. You will receive a link via email to complete your video interview. This will last approximately 20 minutes and will consist of a series of questions surrounding your motivations to be an assistant, your adaptability and relevant experience to the role.  

Applicants not selected for a further assessment stage might be offered a transfer to another destination if their application is of a high enough standard and meets the relevant destination eligibility requirements.  

You will be asked if you require any adjustments to be made in order to facilitate your participation in a video interview, if invited. If you require any adjustments, please clearly outline what the requirements are when asked in the Background section of the application form. 

Assessment: target destination and home country cultural awareness.