Language assistants (native speakers)

A number of language assistants programs are available to Victorian schools. These programs place native-speaking recent graduates in selected schools for up to 12 months to support and enrich languages programs through the provision of contemporary linguistic and cultural support.  There are a range of funded and volunteer language assistants programs managed by the Department, and programs managed by external agencies.

Language assistants are:

  • native speakers of the target language – Chinese, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese or Spanish
  • recent university graduates in their home country, sometimes with education-related studies
  • proficient in English
  • placed in schools for up to 12 months

Language assistants can share contemporary knowledge of the language and culture, and provide opportunities for languages teachers and students to increase their fluency and confidence in the target language. They provide assistance with both written and spoken forms of the language and promote an understanding of the language and culture across the broader school community.

Language assistants support qualified language teachers in the development and delivery of a school's languages program. They are not a replacement for a qualified languages teacher. Schools must have a qualified languages teacher in the school delivering an existing language program to be eligible for the allocation of a language assistant.

For program details, including school guidelines and application form, see:

Funded Language Assistants Program

The funded language assistants program (FLAP) places 24 native speakers of French, German, Indonesian, and Spanish in Victorian government schools for a full school year.

The Department supports the assistants' visa applications and manages their work contracts. The funded language assistants are employed by the Department as Education Support Staff on a part-time (0.8 FTE) basis and generally work across a cluster of 2-3 schools.  These assistants are responsible for their own accommodation and transport.

Applications for a 2019 Funded Language Assistant are now open. For details, including guidelines and application form, see:

Assistants to teachers of Japanese program (ATJP) (Volunteer/Unfunded)

The assistants to teachers of Japanese program (ATJP) places volunteer Japanese language assistants in school for 9 or 12 months from the start of Term 2. The Department works with Japanese partner universities to identify Japanese graduates for placement as volunteer language assistants in Victorian government schools.

Host schools are responsible for providing homestay accommodation and paying the assistant a weekly stipend of $120.00 to cover incidentals during the placement.

Application for 2019 ATJP are now open. For details, including school guidelines and application form, see:

Assistants to teachers of Chinese program (ATCP) (Volunteer/Unfunded)

The assistants to teachers of Chinese program (ATCP) places Chinese language assistants in schools from Term 1. The Department works with the Chinese Consulate General of the People's Republic in Melbourne and The Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) in Beijing, to source graduates from Chinese universities for placement as volunteer language assistants in Victorian government schools. 

Host schools are responsible for providing homestay accommodation for the assistant. The assistants are provided with a monthly stipend by Hanban during their placement.

Applications for 2019 ATCP are now open. For details, including school guidelines and application form, see:

CO.AS.IT. Italian Language Assistants Program (Funded)

The Italian Language Assistants Program places approximately 25 university graduates from Italy in Victorian government and non-government schools for a school year beginning Term 2. The Italian assistants are funded by CO.AS.IT. (Comitato Assistenza Italiano) and the Italian Government, with funding support from the Department.

CO.AS.IT. manages of the Italian Language Assistants Program, including the recruitment of the assistants, school application processes, payment of the assistants' salary and professional learning support for the assistants during their placement.

The school application and allocation process is conducted annually between October-December.

For information about the CO.AS.IT. Italian Language Assistant Program, see: CO.AS.IT. Italian Language Assistants Program

Greek Seconded Teacher Program

The Greek Seconded Teacher Program seconds qualified Greek teachers to work in Victorian schools and universities to support the teaching of Greek. The program is funded and administered by the Hellenic Ministry of Education, and in Victoria is administered by the Greek Consulate in Melbourne.

Greek seconded teachers are allocated by the Greek Consulate in Melbourne to support the teaching of Greek in government and non-government schools and Greek community language schools.

For information about the Greek Seconded Teacher Program, see: Greek Consulate in Melbourne

Tertiary student assistants

The University of Melbourne offers schools experience as breadth subject which provides tertiary students including students with an intermediate level of communicative competence or higher in Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian, French, German, or Italian a placement of up to 20 hours in a Victorian school.

The school placement is supplemented by university-based workshops providing insight into the Victorian school system, contemporary approaches to teaching and learning, and an understanding of the role of tertiary student assistants in supporting school based programs. For more information, see School experience as breadth


Schools may wish to use volunteer parents, community members or former students to support their languages programs. As well as complying with the Department's policy for volunteer workers, schools should ensure that any volunteer providing support for a languages program has an appropriate level of cultural understanding and proficiency in the language, including formal education, in Australia or in a country where the language is spoken.

For more information about the Department's policy for volunteer workers, see Volunteer checks