ESL, FSL jobs Canada | English language assistant | OLP-PLO Odyssey

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    Odyssey
    Looking for a rewarding ESL, FSL or FFL language assistant job in Canada? Embark on your own Odyssey
    Inspire youth to practise their English-speaking or French-speaking skills while earning a salary. That’s Odyssey.

    Odyssey, part of the suite of Official Languages Programs (OLP-PLO), is a nine-month program that engages ESL (English as a second language), FSL (French as a second language), and FFL (French as a first language) language assistants in classrooms across the country.

    Over 36,500 people have participated in Odyssey since its inception. Discover Odyssey for yourself!

    What it means to be a language assistant
    with Odyssey
    As a language assistant, you will work in a classroom setting with teachers using games and activities to help students learn and improve their French or English speaking skills.

    Embark on this Odyssey and you will:

    live and work in a beautiful region of Canada from September to May
    gain experience in a classroom setting and learn if the field of education is right for you
    earn a fair hourly wage, holiday pay, travel allowances, and other benefits
    experience another culture and way of life living in a different region of Canada
    develop new skills
    inspire young people to learn and improve their language skills and gain confidence doing so
    Apply today - It’s free
    DEADLINE: March 12, 2024

    Earn money working as an ESL, FSL or FFL
    language assistant

    As an ESL, FSL, or FFL language assistant, you will receive a taxable salary of approximately $27,000 for approximately 25 hours of work per week over a nine-month mandate. That’s about $27 per hour, or $2,900 per month.

    Odyssey also provides:
    • other benefits paid by the employer (i.e., the local school board).
    • allowances to help cover two return trips home, if you are placed more than 200 km away from your home province or territory.
    • paid compulsory pan-Canadian and provincial/territorial training sessions.
    • additional compensation for language assistants who accept positions in remote regions or rural areas.

    You will be responsible for your living expenses, including housing, food, and personal items.

    Eligibility. Can I apply?

    You are not required to have prior classroom working experience to apply.

    To be eligible, you must meet ALL the following criteria:

    • have excellent language skills, both oral and written, in the language you will be working in (in English for ESL positions* and in French for FSL and FFL positions). Even if you are an anglophone, there are opportunities to work as a French language assistant. To do so, you will need to have excellent French-language skills, both oral and written.
    • be either a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident (those studying in Canada on a student visa are not eligible);
    • have completed one of the following:
      • For studies outside Quebec in Canada – at least one full year of postsecondary studies, in either college or university;
      • For studies in Quebec – two years of college-level studies or one full year of university;
      • For studies outside Canada – at least one full year of postsecondary studies, in either college or university. You will also need to submit a formal assessment of your academic credentials.

    *If you are working as an ESL language assistant, you do not need any French-language skills to apply to and participate in the program. However, you will be placed in francophone communities, where French is the first language, so basic French-speaking skills will greatly enhance your experience.

    Apply today - It’s free
    DEADLINE: Open for applications

    Interested in being an ESL, FSL or FFL language assistant in a different Canadian community? Start here.

    Explore our Odyssey interactive map to view the locations of current work placements. You can also discover what former language assistants loved about their Odyssey experience by clicking on different markers.

    Apply today - It’s free
    DEADLINE: March 12, 2024
    Frequently asked questions
    Do I need classroom experience to be eligible?
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    No, you do not need prior classroom experience to apply to or be eligible for the Odyssey program; however, first-time Odyssey language assistants must attend the compulsory Pan-Canadian Training Session. This training session will take place in August or September before your placement begins and its activities and workshops are mandatory.

    You are highly encouraged to also attend the provincial and territorial training sessions that are organized throughout the year.

    The objectives of the Pan-Canadian Training Session are to:

    • give you a better understanding of your role as a language assistant.
    • give you some key pedagogical tips and techniques to prepare you to work with your students.
    • introduce you to your Odyssey support network (coordinators, workshop leaders, current and former language assistants).

    If accepted, please contact your coordinator before arriving at the session for any additional questions or information.

    What will I be doing as an Odyssey language assistant?
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    Working under the direction of the classroom teacher, an ESL, FFL, or FFL language assistant provides students with the opportunity to practise their English-language or French-language skills and learn about other Canadian cultural identities. Your tasks may include:

    • preparing classroom activities that focus on enhancing your students’ speaking skills.
    • encouraging students to practise English or French, using games and real-life situations in a respectful and creative way.
    • sharing your culture and its unique features through activities.
    • leading classroom activities with the teacher, or working with small groups of two to 10 students.
    • participating in evening and weekend cultural activities.
    • performing your tasks in a virtual setting when required.
    What is the hiring/selection process like?
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    The first step in the selection process is submitting and reviewing your application. Teams, under the supervision of provincial and territorial coordinators, will evaluate your application either by reviewing your file or by conducting a short phone interview with you.

    If you pass this first step, you will then be invited to an in-person or virtual interview. This interview usually involves one or two interviewers and lasts about 30 minutes. After the interview, you will be notified by email of your interview results. Please note that a successful interview does not mean you have obtained a language assistant position; it means that your file will be forwarded to the coordinator of one of the provinces or territories you chose when you applied, for further consideration.

    Can I pick my work placement location?
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    We do our best to consider your preferences!

    During the application process, francophones can select up to three provinces/territories in their order of preference. Anglophones can indicate whether they only want to be considered for Quebec, only for New Brunswick, or both (and in their order of preference). Anglophones who are also fluent in French and would like to be considered for French as a second language (FSL) positions as well, can also apply to be an FSL language assistant and select up to three provinces/territories in their order of preference.

    During the interview, you will be asked to identify your preferred location(s) again for confirmation.

    Please check out the Odyssey interactive map to view the locations of the Odyssey work placements: https://englishfrench.ca/odyssey/interactive-map/.

    What is a language assistant?
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    Working under the direction of the classroom teacher, an ESL, FSL, or FFL language assistant provides students with the opportunity to practise their English-language or French-language skills and learn about other Canadian cultural identities. Your tasks may include:

    • preparing classroom activities that focus on enhancing your students’ speaking skills.
    • encouraging students to practise English or French, using games and real-life situations in a respectful and creative way.
    • sharing your culture and its unique features through activities.
    • leading classroom activities with the teacher, or working with small groups of two to 10 students.
    • participating in evening and weekend cultural activities.

    performing your tasks in a virtual setting when required.

    Am I eligible to be an Odyssey language assistant?
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    Language assistants are not required to have prior classroom working experience to apply.

    There is no age limit for undertaking the Odyssey program. To qualify, you must meet ALL the following criteria:

    • have excellent language skills, both oral and written, in the language you will be working in (in English for ESL positions* and in French for FSL and FFL positions).

    Even if you are an anglophone, there are opportunities to work as a French language assistant. To do so, you will need to have excellent French-language skills, both oral and written.

    • be either a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident (those studying in Canada on a student visa are not eligible);
    • have completed one of the following within the last 10 years:

      • For studies outside Quebec in Canada – at least one full year of postsecondary studies, in either college or university;
      • For studies in Quebec – two years of college-level studies or one full year of university;
      • For studies outside Canada – at least one full year of postsecondary studies, in either college or university. You will also need to submit a formal assessment of your academic credentials.

    *If you are interested in working as an ESL language assistant, you do not need any French-language skills to apply and participate in the program. However, you will be placed in a francophone community, where French is the first language, so basic French-speaking skills will greatly enhance your experience.

    Participants who complete the Odyssey program are eligible for the Explore program, an intensive language immersion program that is offered during the spring and summer. If you are interested in learning or improving your French- or English-speaking skills and travelling to a new part of Canada, Explore might be the perfect program for you.

    I have more questions
    Get notifications sent straight to your phone when you download the OLP-PLO app
    The draw for the Explore program was held on February 28, 2024. Sign in to your profile now and verify your status! The institution will contact you if you received an offer.
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