Cultural Exchange Ambassadors: Advice for schools

Are you a UK school hosting a German Language Assistant? Wondering what added benefit our Ambassadors programme could bring to your school and pupils?

Find out about the programme in more detail below, including:

  • the benefits of taking part for your pupils, your school & your assistant
  • what support UK-German Connection will offer to participating assistants and schools

What is the programme, and why get involved?

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.

What we offer is a chance 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

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 Identity & Integration, Seas & Oceans 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).

What benefits does the programme offer?

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

For schools

  • Participating assistants receive a project tool-kit which includes project ideas & plans and can be shared with the school
  • A unique opportunity to create a connection with a school in the other country
  • More engaged pupils, who better understand the real-life value of language learning

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

What support do UK-German Connection offer?

1. Guidance for assistants at both 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. Supporting the application

  • One teacher should support the Language Assistant's application to the programme.

  • This teacher should send a short 'supporting statement' to ambassadors@ukgermanconnection.org confirming that they are aware of and support the assistant's application. It should also include a short outline of how the project will be embedded in the school or class, and how the school will support the Ambassador's project/activities.

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)

Contact us

If you have any questions, or would like further information on the programme, please contact Lily Martin at:

Email: ambassadors@ukgermanconnection.org
Tel: +44 (0)20 3290 2332 / +44 (0)20 7824 1570

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Brainstorming what makes a successful project

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A Christmas parcel exchange

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Past Ambassadors hard at work planning their projects

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