Creation of an alumni network of language assistants
Every year, around 1,500 French-language assistants (ALF) head off to teach French in schools around the world, and around 4,500 foreign language assistants (ALVE) come to France to teach one of the 16 languages offered in the French education system.
The language assistant exchange programme was created through a cooperation between Germany, France and the UK and has been promoting multilingualism and respect for cultural diversity since 1905. The programme will soon celebrate its 120th anniversary, with tens of thousands of people having taken part since it was created.
In order to promote the programme worldwide, improve relations between language assistants and the French cultural network abroad, and support public cooperation policies, France Éducation international (FEI) has been working to set up and run an alumni network.
In 2019, the first cohort of assistant ambassadors was recruited. Every year, around 30 language assistants are selected to promote the programme in France and abroad via social media. They are also put in touch with FEI’s institutional partners to boost the programme’s availability in their home or host country, and are invited to attend training seminars on various aspects of educational cooperation. In June 2021, France Éducation international created a LinkedIn page to give the network more visibility.
The assistant ambassadors decided to create an alumni association at workshops held in March 2023. AILE (International Association of Foreign Language Assistants) aims to create a pool of knowledge and expertise based on the language assistant experience, as well as a support network for assistants, both during and after their contract.
The association’s first general meeting was held on 12 July 2023. It plans to actively participate in the celebration of the first International Day for Language Assistants on 7 December 2023.