Cultural Exchange Ambassador Programme: Advice for schools

Are you a UK school hosting a German Language Assistant? Find out more about the benefits that our Ambassador Programme could bring to your school and pupils…

With the challenges of both German language learning in the UK, and the impact of Covid-19 on international school exchange, it’s more important than ever to bring language lessons to life. This programme provides your students with the opportunity to connect meaningfully with their peers in the other country, whilst discovering a new culture!

About the programme

The British Council advise that a great way for Language Assistants to make an impact during their year as an assistant is to organise and run a project with their pupils.

We offer the opportunity to make this project bilateral:

  • partner up with an English Language Assistant working in Germany
  • run a project together across the two schools during the assistantship year
  • connect UK and German pupils, providing an authentic idea of what life in the other country is like

Benefits of taking part

For pupils

  • Authentic contact with peers in Germany, improving their intercultural awareness and language competencies
  • Increased engagement and motivation for the culture and language of the other country.
  • Long-term connection with young people from the other country

“It’s so exciting to contact new people with a different mother-tongue. Everybody can learn about the other culture and make new friends.” (Pupil from Germany)

For schools

  • The possibility to create a connection with a school in the other country
  • More engaged pupils, who better understand the real-life value of language learning
  • Virtul, intercultural exchange for your pupils, which complements the curriculum and promotes German in the wider school

“A brilliant initiative by our FLA, thoroughly enjoyed by all participants, most of whom have now opted for GCSE German” (Head of German department)

For Language Assistants

  • Participating Assistants learn transferable skills at both seminars and throughout their Ambassador year, including project management, organisation & timekeeping, and creative thinking
  • Increased confidence, which really allows them to thrive in their role as Assistants
  • Contact with other Language Assistants, and their involvement in this wider network helps them to develop new and creative ideas for their language teaching

“Taking part in the CEA programme has greatly enriched my experience as a Language Assistant. It has offered me more responsibility in my school and opportunities to try new activities, new roles and build more relationships with my pupils, while increasing their contact with native speakers.” (English Assistant)

  • How do the projects work?

    Each year we select a number of project themes, which assistants are able to choose from and mould however they wish. Past themes have included Sustainability, Identity & Integration, and Language learning.

    Projects led by the assistants will:

    • address themes that are of educational and curricular value, as well as being interesting and relevant for pupils
    • increase pupils’ intercultural awareness
    • provide students with the opportunity to practise, improve or even learn another language

    Projects can be long-term, such as a string of different activities and events, or one-off (e.g. a parcel exchange, project day).

  • What support do UK-German Connection offer?

    1. Guidance for assistants at webinars & seminars, including advice on managing a successful project

    2. Small project fund for Ambassadors’ projects, which they can use to buy any necessary materials

    3. Partnership support for schools who want to stay in touch with one another after the project – see our funding and linking pages for more details

    4. Future opportunities as participating schools will be among the first to hear about our upcoming UK-German events and activities – for pupils and schools

  • What role do participating schools play?

    1. Support the application

    One teacher should support the Language Assistant’s application to the programme, by providing a reference. Your Language Assistant will provide you with the reference form, which needs to be completed and signed, before being uploaded to their application (this can be done by the Assistant themselves).

    2. School-specific advice & support

    If required, help the assistant to set up the project (e.g. provide advice on after-school clubs / logistics)

    Help & advise on how to publicise the project in the school (in assembly, the school newspaper)

    3. Keep the project alive

    Where possible, keep the project alive after the assistant has left. Encourage pupils to continue communication with their new friends in the other country or consider something more long-lasting (e.g. an official school partnership)

  • Programme support

    The Cultural Exchange Ambassadors programme is carried out with the support of the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst, the British Council and the Goethe-Institut. You can find more information on the language assistants programme on their websites:

  • Contact us

    If you have any questions, or would like further information about the programme, please contact us:

    Email: ambassadors@ukgermanconnection.org

    Alternatively, sign up to one of our Q&A sessions.