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Language assistants

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by 19sunflower, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. 19sunflower

    19sunflower New commenter

    Hi all,

    If any of you have a language assistants in your school, how do you use them? Are they expected to deliver classes themselves or do they have more of a support role? I ask this question because I am working as a language assistant in Spain and I'm expected to deliver classes. I find it very hard at times, particularly with young children.
  2. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    I've always used assistants in the secondary sector to support the classroom learning, particularly with speaking. It might be in the classroom with the teacher or in another room with small groups. In primary they sometimes lead a lesson with the whole class, but there is always another adult in the room to help out.
  3. sam enerve

    sam enerve New commenter

    When I was an assistant in France in the early '90s, I was given classes to teach but, here in the UK, like Geekie, I've only used assistants to take small groups or work individually with 6th form students.
  4. Dodros

    Dodros Star commenter

    My year abroad in France began in an Auvergne secondary school during the autumn of 1968, only a few months after the événements of May that year resulting in the cancellation of the pre-service local course for language assistants. So I went straight into the job without any briefing or training whatsoever. What I did depended on the particular English teacher. One of the teachers told me that the French noun "assistant" derived from the French verb "assister à", meaning "to be present at", and that I would therefore be expected to be present at his English lessons, reading aloud passages from the textbook and assessing individual students' oral responses; three of the English teachers used me in this way. Other teachers left me to my own devices with groups of up to half a dozen students to manage elsewhere by myself, which wasn't an easy option because I never had the opportunity to consult with them in advance about the method or content of the lesson I was supposed to deliver. Some of these withdrawal groups were a delight to teach, while others seemed to contain students the teacher probably regarded as a nuisance.

    Anyway, it was all grist to the mill, and I valued the experience at the time because it afforded me an early insight into the practical realities of teaching a foreign language to secondary school classes, which was my intended destination after completing my studies back in England.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  5. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I agree I think the expectations for language assistants are less here in UK than on the continent, where I think it is more common to be expected to deliver lessons.

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