Language assistant program in Finland

The Language Assistants program, founded in 1905, has now 67 partner countries. This programme involves a total of 6000 assistants per year: 1,500 French nationals go abroad and 4,500 foreigners go to France!

The language assistant works with a French teacher in Finland and shares his culture with the students.

Benefit from this exceptional program to offer your students the presence of a native speaker in class!

Aims:

The presence of the language assistant promotes authentic exchanges and linguistic immersion. The educational objectives are therefore:

  • To encourage students to communicate and thus to develop their oral skills;
  • To help the teacher when he/she wants to put his students in situations of authentic communication with a native;
  • To supplement the teaching of French thanks to activities in or out of the classroom around French language and culture;
  • To motivate learners through contacts with a young French of their age.

Role and place in the national Finnish system

  • The recruitment of a French language assistant in Finland participates in the internationalisation of institutions by bringing a different European culture.
  • It is also in line with the recommendations made by the Council of Europe and OPH in Finland to promote the action-based approach by task, and to learn the foreign language through immersion.
  • The language assistant can help students developing their language profile, as recommended by OPH: https://kieliprofiili.com
  • Therefore, the project to recruit a language assistant could benefit from the scholarship offered by OPH, if it is part of a strategy of internationalization: https://www.oph.fi/fi/funding/yleissivistavan-koulutuksen-kansainvalistyminen-kansainvalistymisen-kehittamishankkeet-2021

Recruitment modalities:

  • Before the 1st October of the school year : the School Principals send their request to the French Cooperation Officer at the French Institute in Finland: anne-laure.rigeade@france.fi

If they wish to have a language assistant in French, they just send an email specifying the number of language assistants and the specific requirements they may have (if needed).

It is the school that pay the salary of the language assistant so they have to make sure they will be in capacity to pay this salary.

The number of language assistants per country for the following school year is then decided

  • School Principals may formulate, in addition to the general eligibility criteria established for this program by France International Education, age or type of diploma criteria when they pass on their needs.
  • November to January : the candidates send their application; a first selection is operated for the interviews.
  • April: Interviews of the selected candidates are held.
  • May: the successful applicants in France receive a confirmation. They attend a training to prepare for departure during the summer, thanks to France Education International.
  • From September on: the selected language assistants arrive in Finland. The Institut français de Finlande assists them when they arrive on site and try to make sure they fulfil their role successfully.

Conditions

  • The language assistant may teach in 2 or 3 schools (geographically close) but this will have to be specified in advance.
  • The schools pay the salary to the language assistant directly. The salary can be modulated if the schools offer benefits, such as accommodation.
  • In Finland, the salary is of 950 euros per month in total.
  • The contract can last between 6 and 12 months.
  • The language assistant has to be teaching in class for 12 hours a week.
  • The program is opened to all cities and to all schools.