WHAT IS A LANGUAGE ASSISTANT? – Official Languages Programs



    It’s really rewarding seeing all these young people who want to spend time with you, who speak French to you, and who admire you!

    Frédéric, Québec to British Columbia
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    My bilingualism, experience, and the skills I acquired will open a host of doors for me professionally.

    Kathleen, former language monitor of Halifax, NS

    What is a Language Assistant?

    As a language assistant, you will play a key role in the lives of young people in your host community. Working under the direction of the classroom teacher, you will provide students with the opportunity to practise their English-language skills and learn about other Canadian cultural identities.

    What I had not expected was that my students, peers, and Quebec City itself would teach me so much about my own cultural heritage!

    Lila, from British Columbia to Quebec

    Your tasks may include :

    • preparing classroom activities that focus on enhancing your students’ speaking skills;
    • encouraging students to practise English, 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 2 to 10 students;
    • participating in evening and weekend cultural activities; and
    • performing your tasks in a virtual setting when required.

    It’s really rewarding seeing all these young people who want to spend time with you, who speak French to you, and who admire you!

    Frédéric from Quebec to British Columbia

    Your Odyssey experience will include the following :

    • a placement in Quebec or New Brunswick;
    • a nine-month experience, from September to May;
    • 25 hours of work per week (20 hours working directly with students and five hours of preparation);
    • a placement at the elementary, secondary, or CEGEP level;
    • life in an urban, rural, or remote area; and
    • discovery of another cultural community in Canada.

    The training session at the beginning of the program gives you the teaching tools you need and helps you get to know the other assistants in the region!

    Lila, from British Columbia to Quebec

    Elementary and secondary school levels

    At the elementary and secondary school levels, you will prepare and deliver activities to help students improve their English-language skills using real-life situations. Draw from your own interests and those of the students to inspire students to learn English while having fun.

    I never ceased to be amazed by the success stories of those who entered the Explore and Odyssey programs.

    Jean-Gilles, former coordinator

    Postsecondary level (CEGEP)

    At the CEGEP level, you will be called upon to lead sessions with small groups of students in language labs. You will use your talents and passions to prompt, initiate, and encourage conversations in English between students about current topics and culture.