AFS New Zealand is contracted by the Ministry of Education to deliver the Language Immersion Awards (LIA). The Awards are fully funded by the Ministry to improve language teaching and learning in NZ Schools.

Award applications are open to all language teachers currently teaching a second language within the New Zealand curriculum; French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Cook Island Maori, Samoan, Korean, Gagana Tokelau, Tongan and Vagahau Niue.

Email [email protected] or call 0800 600 300 to get an application form sent to you. Round Two applications close on 9 March 2018 for Awards taken in 2018.

You must be teaching one or more of these languages: Chinese, Cook Islands Maori, Vagahau Niue, Gagana Tokelau, French, German, Korean, Japanese, Gagana Samoa, Spanish. Applicants must be fully registered New Zealand teachers by date of departure (provisionally registered teachers can apply but must be on track for their registration and fully registered by departure, a letter from your Principal must be included).

You must also:

  • Be permanently employed by your school.
  • Be teaching the language at school as part of the New Zealand curriculum at the time of application.
  • Have the support of the principal and board
  • Demonstrate ongoing language development in the school.Have NZ citizenship or residency.
  • Available for short or long term Awards, applications from teachers at private schools and those applying for a second LIA will be accepted, but priority is given to first time applicants and teachers from state and integrated schools.
  • Past participants must provide additional supporting documentation (as set out in the application).

All Awards are for language, not country destination.

Relief for programme dates is reimbursed to the school through AFS from funding by the Ministry of Education, the funding also covers programme airfares, insurance and related costs, as approved by AFS NZ as being integral to the teacher’s programme. Course fees/conference attendance payable to an agreed amount and pre-approved.

Teacher relief is covered for the programme dates and participants continue to receive their New Zealand salary. Participants are responsible for personal spending money.

Individual programmes may differ in regards to hosting/home stay, programme content, placement and educational institutes.

For more information or an application pack, email: [email protected] or call 0800 600 300. 

The Awards are funded by the Ministry of Education through the New Zealand Government’s Growth and Innovation Framework and support the development of language skills considered necessary for New Zealand to move toward a globally-connected economy. They also support the Government’s economic, social and cultural goals.

Lorraine Semple, Spanish Teacher who went to Argentina

I’d always wanted to go to Argentina, my teenage kids were old enough to look after themselves and the application was relatively easy.

My fluency improved remarkably. Not just in Buenos Aires, but once I got back to New Zealand – because I have kept in such good contact with the people I met there and continue to speak Spanish on a regular basis. My grammar has advanced dramatically as I took University classes while I was there and my confidence continues to grow. Before I did the year-long exchange, I couldn’t really participate at the annual LangSem (Language Seminar) events for Professional Development, because I wasn’t confident about my fluency. Now I can not only participate, but contribute and really benefit from these opportunities.

Suzette Ipsen, French Teacher who went to France

I was placed in a middle school in Bavay. Along with living and learning a fascinating new way of life, I supported the local English teacher and was intrigued by the different teaching methods. It is very teacher-lead there, while here in NZ we are far more student based.  In terms of my professional development, I have noticed how much my confidence has increased. Even though I was only there for a month, I am talking in full sentences in the classroom now – not just in words and phrases.
I teach at Maeroa Intermediate School in a language extension environment, so I hadn’t specialised in French. But this trip improved my fluency to the point where I can now demonstrate scenarios, such as ordering at a cafe, based on real experiences. And I have such great stories to tell them!

Sheree Campbell, Spanish Teacher who went to Mexico

At the end of my year, I sat the international B2 DELE exam in Mexico. It’s a really tough exam, considering the level of Spanish I had arrived with, so I was very happy I did well in listening and reading comprehension. But I was blown away by the result for my speech exam – 29 out of 30. I was stoked!
Now, back at Mountainview High School, Timaru, where I teach year 9 to 12, my teaching methods rely much less on textbooks and much more on the language, contemporary application and resources I brought back with me. For instance, I bought the Spanish versions of the Disney stories that the kids will have prior knowledge of. We’ll watch the movie – like Los Increíbles or Pinocchio – and I’ll use that to illustrate structure and everyday vocabulary.