School operations

Languages Education

Language assistants programs

A number of language assistants programs are available to Victorian schools. These programs place language assistants in selected schools for up to 12 months to support and enrich languages programs through the provision of contemporary linguistic and cultural support. 

Language assistants are:

  • native speakers of the target language
  • 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 language 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 language program. They are not a replacement for a qualified language teacher. Schools must have a VIT registered language teacher delivering a language program to be eligible for the allocation of a language assistant.

Local Native-speaker Language Assistants Program 2022

The Local Native-speaker Language Assistants Program (LNLAP) 2022 places local native-like speakers of French, German, Indonesian, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese in selected Victorian government schools to enrich their provision of language education over the course of one school year.

The LNLAP temporarily replaces the Department’s Funded Language Assistants Program (FLAP), whereby language assistants are sourced from overseas. Due to the Australian Government’s international travel restrictions in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the FLAP will not proceed in 2022. The Department will assess the feasibility of delivering the FLAP in 2023, having regard to the latest health and travel advice.

For more information about the LNLAP 2022, please refer to the program guidelines (Word).

To be considered for participation in the LNLAP, schools are to nominate their interest through the application form (Word). Applications for the LNLAP close on 16 September 2021.

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

The Italian Language Assistants Program places approximately 25 assistants 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 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 to December.

For information about the CO.AS.IT. Italian Language Assistant Program, visit 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, visit Greek Consulate in Melbourne.

Tertiary student assistants

The University of Melbourne offers schools experience as a 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, with 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, visit 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, visit Working with Children and other Suitability Checks for Schools Volunteers and Visitors.

Guidance chapter on the language assistants program

Reviewed 12 August 2021

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