Foreign Language Assistants: Case Studies

Read the personal accounts of Foreign Language Assistants from previous years who reflect on their time spent supporting the teaching of their native language in New Zealand schools, meanwhile learning and growing themselves through the experience.


Marie Testud 

Bonjour ! Je m’appelle Marie. J’ai 30 ans, je suis assistante de français à Auckland, en Nouvelle-Zélande !

Travelling is an addiction: when you start, you can’t stop. I had travelled a lot - to the USA, South Korea, around Europe - and lived one year in Québec, Canada, but I needed a new challenge: to find a job which reflected my way of life and my addiction to travel. So I decided to become a French teacher! I went back to University and did a Master’s Degree in Français Langue Etrangère, and came to New Zealand!...

Read Marie's full account here.

Elena Vázquez 

One of my professional goals in the beginning of my stay was to learn how to make language programmes more interesting and motivating for the students. I think I'm on the right track now, because I can see more enthusiasm on the kids' faces. I also wanted to establish links between students and the Spanish-speaking world, so I have started a pen-friend programme between my year 11 students at Albany Senior High School and the pupils of an English teacher back home in Spain...

Read Elena's full account here.


Fabian Prolingheuer 

"Guten Tag! Ich heiße Fabian. Ich bin 25 Jahre alt. Und ich komme aus Deutschland. Understood* Cool! (This word is used a lot in German.)

And now you: ... (you will probably need words like “Neuseeland” [nɔı'ze:lᴧnt] or “England” ['εŋlᴧnt]). Quite good, try again to say “ich”; the “ch” is like the whispered “y” in “you,” with a constantly flowing airstream. Sehr gut—very good!

A typical situation in my job, taken from the beginnings of Year 9: language modelling, language support, coaching in language use... 

Read Fabian's full account here.

Lisa Hielscher 

Working as a German foreign language assistant in Auckland has been a very fulfilling and life-enhancing experience for me. Not only was I exposed to various teaching styles and approaches but I also benefited from immersing myself in the Kiwi culture and life in New Zealand. 

As diverse as my experiences were the tasks I accomplished at school... 

Read Lisa's full account here.