What kind of advantages do language assistants bring to their host schools?

When they take on a foreign language assistant, host schools gain additional support not only for foreign language lessons but also for teaching subjects using a foreign language as the medium of instruction (immersion or bilingual instruction). But not only that: projects and topic weeks become more authentic. In addition, the teaching assistant also makes a contribution to an international learning environment in Swiss host schools.

The advantages for the teachers of the host schools are manifold. The teaching assistant takes part in the lesson and makes teaching in split classes and groups easier. In this way, different levels of learning can be supported and balanced in a targeted way.

The assistant brings authentic materials with him/her and, with current topics from his/her country of origin, builds bridges with the world in which the pupils live. This motivates the pupils to make active use of the language and breaks down any inhibitions they have about speaking it; both have a positive effect on the results of final examinations and international exams.

Which schools can take part?

The offer is aimed at Swiss upper secondary-level schools (secondary schools, specialist vocational schools and Federal Vocational Baccalaureate schools). On enquiry, assistantships at schools of other levels can also be arranged.

Thanks to an agreement between Movetia and educationsuisse, it will also be possible to place language assistants at Swiss schools abroad in Italy, Spain and Singapore as part of a pilot project starting in 2022. In these countries, language assistants may be placed at all school levels.

Financial contribution of Movetia

Movetia is now contributing CHF 8,000 or 4,000 per school year to the salary costs of each teaching assistant as follows:

  • 8,000.- CHF per person and school year for a regular workload of 16 lessons/week.
  • 4,000.- CHF per person and school year for smaller workloads and at Swiss schools in Spain and Italy.

Positions with less than 16 lessons/week can only be offered in exceptional cases and with approval from Movetia.

The objective of the new funding is to expand this international mobility programme throughout Switzerland. The chart on the right illustrates the current spread and figures as well as the development potential (in german).

The funding will be paid out to all host schools that provably appoint a language assistant. The first stage is to submit notification of requirements. Such notification of requirements is binding in all cases, i.e. the school accordingly undertakes to appoint a language assistant. Movetia for its part undertakes to broker a language assistant. 

Continuing education and training in languages for young Swiss teachers

Movetia also finds places for young teachers from Switzerland at host schools in the UK, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and Spain. The teachers must have no more than three years' professional experience.