Hiring a French language assistant in Canada

Host a French teaching assistant and add a unique cultural aspect to your school’s French education program!

The general objective of the French language assistant program is to make it possible for Canadian institutions of learning to offer their students an open view of the French-speaking world and insight into the culture of the country of Molière, Hugo, and Zola.

Thanks to this language assistant program, Canadian schools and universities have the opportunity to invite a French student into their classroom. These students are generally in the later stages of their courses of study and pursuing a career in education.

This program also offers mobility opportunities for French students who are interested in Canada. It gives them a chance to continue their professional development and provides undeniable added value to their post-secondary studies and their future career as an educator.

Assistants: profile and responsibilities

Assistants are French citizens between the ages of 20 and 35. They are university graduates who typically hold diplomas in the following fields: French as a Second Language, English and English Literature, Education, and Modern Languages.

The role of an assistant is to improve students’ communication skills (especially oral communication) and to familiarize them with French culture. Over the course of the 12–15 hours worked each week, assistants support French teachers, whether in a full-class setting or working with small, separate groups.

As young people and students, assistants are in a position to add a dimension of fun to learning, to moderate sociocultural debates on topics of interest to children and teenagers, and to encourage students to express themselves verbally.

Language assistants are assigned to schools or universities for a period of 7–12 months. They support the French teacher(s) by carrying out one or more of the following duties:

  • oral language practice with students alongside the teacher;
  • conversation courses with students;
  • presentation of French culture;
  • participation in various educational activities organized by the institution;
  • personalized assistance for students;
  • contributions to the organization of exchange projects;
  • organization of language clubs;
  • educational support;
  • language training programs;
  • potentialpreparation for French language certifications and diplomas (DELF/DALF – TCF).

Other roles within the institution may be explored, depending on local needs.

Assistants may also be asked to help with cultural activities within the institution or within a broader setting.

Recruitment and selection process

Assistants are recruited by the Centre International d’Etudespédagogiques (CIEP), an agency of the Ministry of National Education.

During the selection process, applicants can choose up to three provinces. The CIEP selects the candidate that best suits your criteria.

Host establishments receive application dossiers in early spring. Schools are advised to conduct telephone or audiovisual (Skype) interviews directly with candidates in order to discuss their expectations. Schools and universities coordinate with the Embassy of France in Canada to select candidates.

Logistics and costs

For one school year, the salary cost of recruiting an assistant is an estimated $11,250 ($1,250 per month/$20 per hour). These contracts typically begin in late August and end in April or May of the following year.

Assistants are responsible for their own round-trip airfare and for finding their own accommodations.

Assistants at the primary and secondary levels will receive a work permit and carry out a minimum of 12 hours each week under the supervision of a designated teaching mentor. In such cases, host establishments are invited to provide the following (optional):

Homestay accommodations with a host family (some schools ask for two host families per assistant in order to divide the responsibility over the two semesters)

A health insurance plan (cost in accordance with regulations in effect in the province or territory)

Becoming a host institution

If your institution wishes to host a French assistant or for more information, please contact us by email: