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The first-ever International Day of Language Assistants: celebrating multilingualism and cultural dialogue

On 7 December 2023, a historic event took place: the first-ever International Day of Language Assistants, the brainchild of France Éducation international and its 75 partner countries. The day was dedicated to promoting the language assistant exchange programme, which was launched in 1905 by France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.


Every year, thousands of young people on international mobility are placed in schools around the world and share their language and culture with the pupils. The International Day of Language Assistants is intended for celebrating multilingualism and dialogue between cultures – the programme’s core values

A celebration in Sèvres 

The event in Sèvres brought together diplomats representing some of the 75 partner countries as well as leading figures from the world of education and proponents of multilingualism.

Gabriel Attal, the Prime Minister of France and the former Minister of National Education and Youth, paid tribute to the 4,500 young people who had chosen France and to the 1,500 French students who had committed to teaching French in 37 countries. Attal praised their dedication to and choice of teaching. He also recalled that every language is a new world, and that embracing the diversity of different languages and cultures is an essential backbone of teaching students to be good citizens. 

An opportunity to exchange and share experiences

Live from London, Hélène Duchêne, the Ambassador of France to the United Kingdom, emphasised how crucial the programme is for training future language teachers.

François Laurent, Inspector General for Russian and the contact person for the Inspectorate General for following up on the programme, highlighted the importance of the programme's motto, namely ‘creation, innovation and openness to the world’. 

Philippe Etienne, former Ambassador of France to the United States and former chief diplomatic adviser to the French President Emmanuel Macron, referred to the challenges of influence diplomacy when addressing the language assistant–ambassadors from the class of 2023–2024.

Language assistant–ambassadors: spokespeople for the programme

These language assistants, who are between 21 and 35 years old and who were chosen by France Éducation international, represent ten linguistic areas and 27 countries. Their goal is, together with France Éducation international, to promote the programme and showcase its benefits, both in France and abroad.