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1+2 Languages Leadership Programme - Registration extended until 11 June!

26 May 2017 (SCILT)

Summer School is on! The national leadership programme formerly known as Train the Trainer has undergone an extensive review over the last year.

Under its new name, The 1+2 Languages Leadership Programme, this flagship national leadership programme is open for registration until Sunday, 11th June. The programme has Professional Recognition accreditation from GTCS and is completely free of charge for educators in the public sector. It begins with a Summer School from Monday 3rd to Friday 7th July 2017, taking place at the University of Strathclyde’s city centre campus in Glasgow.

Hosted by SCILT and Education Scotland, The 1+2 Languages Leadership Programme is aimed at those who have, or aspire to have, a responsibility for leading languages and developing colleagues’ capacity to deliver the 1+2 approach to languages.

The revised programme features inputs from a wide variety of speakers with an extensive range of expertise in teaching and leading languages. The inclusion of parallel sessions offers choice to participants, and the content is a balance of theory, policy and practice around language learning and teaching, leadership, personal reflection and professional evaluation.

Download the programme

We are offering two free places at the Summer School to each local authority and one free space for each Teacher Education Institution in Scotland. Nominations are sought for representatives from any sector with suitable experience or aspirations.

Interested in participating in The 1+2 Languages Leadership Programme? First step is to contact your local authority QIO with your expression of interest.

If you have any questions regarding the leadership programme please contact Emma McLean.

Threlford Memorial Cup 2017 - Call for nominations now open

26 May 2017 (Chartered Institute of Linguists)

Do you know someone who's done something truly amazing for language learning?

Chartered Institute of Linguists is looking for nominations for the Threlford Memorial Cup 2017. The Cup is presented annually to a person, an organisation, or for a project that has inspired others with an original language initiative. The Cup will be presented by Royal Patron HRH Prince Michael of Kent at our Awards Evening in London in November.

The deadline for nominations is Friday 28 July 2017.


Which languages Americans learn and why

26 May 2017 (BBC News)

John Kerry joked about Americans learning Russian, but global politics do influence languages studied.


Word Wizard competition: Motivating young people in their language learning

26 May 2017 (SCILT)

S1-S3 pupils from across Scotland took part in the national final of Word Wizard at the Scottish Parliament on 12 May 2017. Word Wizard is a multilingual spelling competition for pupils learning French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin and Spanish. Forty-nine learners from nine local authorities and independent schools competed in the final in front of an audience of teachers, supporters and guests. Each year pupils and teachers report that the competition increases motivation, enhances language performance and improves attitudes to language learning.

A teacher entering pupils into the final commented: “Practice for the competition has seen pupils increase in their confidence and has allowed pupils to be competitive with each other in a different way.”

A pupil competing in the final said: “I liked learning new words; it gave me a head start in class.”

Another competing pupil said: “I enjoyed performing in front of the crowd, but most of all watching and listening to the other languages, which was inspiring.”

Word Wizard is organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages based at University of Strathclyde, in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland. In March 2017, 170 pupils from 20 local authorities and independent schools competed in semi-finals in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee to battle it out for a place at the prestigious final.

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT added: “It’s wonderful to see so many young people taking part in the Word Wizard competition representing a wide range of local authorities. Having an understanding of another language can really transform a person’s life and encourages the development of a whole range of important skills. Through such events, SCILT aims to offer teachers really motivating ways of enhancing the curriculum so that Scottish young people can reap the benefits of learning languages.”

Word Wizard supports the Scottish Government initiative, “Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 approach” by offering a diversity of languages as recommended by the report.

The targets laid out in the Scottish Attainment Challenge are about achieving equity in educational outcomes, with a particular focus on closing the poverty-related attainment gap. One of the key drivers is improved literacy. The competition promotes literacy skills amongst pupils and helps schools develop partnership working with universities.

Word Wizard is supported by the European Commission and the final was sponsored by Colin Beattie, MSP.

Full details of the winners and further information on the competition can be found on the SCILT website.



Latest edition of SCILT newsletter published

26 May 2017 (SCILT)

The latest edition of the SCILT newsletter has been published and features stories from across the country on how partnership working across sectors and with external partners, including business and the wider community, is enhancing language learning for all our young people. You will also be able to find out more about some innovative, replicable projects, including a French trail in the local community and using Google Expedition in the language classroom.


Which language would ease our way in the post-Brexit world?

24 May 2017 (The Guardian)

We Brits are pretty settled in our role as monoglots. Our default tactic of “speak English slowly and loudly so others can understand you” served us well enough – and then Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European commission, put the boot in by claiming recently that “English is losing importance.”

Is this really the case? Experts are divided.


German Certificate Exams

24 May 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

Goethe-Institut examinations are well known throughout the world and the associated certificates are accepted as a qualification by employers and further education institutions in many countries. Dates for the next season of exams have been published on the Goethe-Institut website.


Transnationalizing Languages: Heritage and languages in education

24 May 2017 (Transnationalizing Modern Languages )

Transnationalizing Modern Languages (TML) is research partnership project involving the University of Bristol, Cardiff University, the University of Namibia (UNAM), the University of St Andrews (Scotland) and Warwick University, which explores the place, value and development of languages and multilingualism in Scotland, Wales and in Namibia. As part of the educational research, a survey is being carried out of schools across Scotland to gather views on multilingualism and heritage languages in education. This research will be replicated in Namibia and will feed into a final paper looking at the parallels, findings, solutions and support resources.

If you could take 5 minutes of your time to complete this survey, it would be much appreciated – the more feedback, the better! Please also feel free to share with colleagues from across different stages and subject areas.


Spanish language programme for teens at Malaca Instituto, Malaga

23 May 2017 (Malaca Instituto)

Making international friends, practising Spanish, participating in a great programme of social/cultural/sporting activities…. and all in the sunshine - what better way to spend a couple of weeks this summer?

If you are teaching 15-18 year olds and feel that some of them may enjoy a challenging programme like this in Malaga, at one of the world’s leading schools of Spanish, you might like to share the information in the attached flyer with them. 

More information is available from Bob Burger.

Volunteering opportunity for French-speaker

23 May 2017 (Xchange Scotland)

Xchange Scotland, a Glasgow-based youth-led charity, is offering a brand-new, unique volunteering opportunity. Thanks to a strong partnership with French organisation Solidarites Jeunesses, six young French volunteers will be coming to Glasgow for a two-week long placement. 

Xchange Scotland are looking for local French-speaking volunteers/students who would like to join the group of French volunteers and practise their language skills as well as help with project organisation. The level of French language of local volunteers should be preferably between A2-C2 level. This is an opportunity for local volunteers to practise French language with native speakers here in Glasgow as well as develop organisation and communication skills. 

The participants will, for the duration of the project, be based in Auchindrain and join the museum’s outdoor workforce there. This is a small team consisting of young people (many with disabilities) undergoing training, which operates under the direction and supervision of a highly-experienced agricultural worker. This approach offers participants the chance to vary the work they do and gain experience in a variety of activities. The project aims to develop skills and intercultural understanding and also benefit the local community in Auchindrian.

Volunteers will be based in Auchindrain for two weeks from 31st July to 13th August 2017.

More information is available in the attached file or by email to Chiara Varesio.

Chinese Language Assistants grants

23 May 2017 (British Council)

The British Council and HSBC are providing up to ten grants of £3,890 to cover the costs of hosting a Chinese language assistant. Schools can apply individually, or with up to two other schools if intending to share an assistant. Apply by 31 May 2017.


Related Links

Apply for a Chinese language assistant by 31 May

Chinese language assistants are native speakers of Mandarin who have experience of teaching overseas and can support students and teachers across the curriculum. Schools can still apply to host a language assistant for the 2017/18 academic year. Apply by 31 May 2017.

China Bridge for school leaders in the UK

23 May 2017 (British Council)

Applications are open for China Bridge, a professional development and networking opportunity in China for primary and secondary school leaders, heads of languages and heads of further education colleges in the UK.

Funded by Hanban (Confucius Institute Headquarters) and delivered by the British Council, the programme enables successful applicants to visit China to connect with Chinese schools and learn more about teaching Chinese language and culture.

Participants will receive support to help them initiate and sustain Chinese school links before, during and after the visit. Travel, accommodation and expenses in China are covered by the programme. Schools must pay for their own flights.

The deadline for applications is 12.00 on 23 June 2017. Visits will take place from 28 October – 5 November 2017.


French summer workshop for children

23 May 2017 (Alliance Française de Glasgow)

Alliance Française de Glasgow are pleased to announce it will be running a special summer workshop for primary school children (P1-P7) in early July.

This is a great opportunity for the children to improve their language skills, experience life and culture in France as well as make new friends through fun activities!


Intensive and semi-intensive summer classes in French

23 May 2017 (Alliance Française de Glasgow)

The Alliance Française de Glasgow will be running Summer Classes suitable for all levels between June and September 2017.

Semi-Intensive Courses: enrol in a 4-week French programme suitable for complete beginners, or reinforce your language skills with revisions.

Intensive Courses: brush-up on your French with revisions over the course of 3 days.


Belfast council unveils policy to promote Irish and Ulster-Scots

23 May 2017 (Belfast Telegraph)

Belfast City Council is to transform how it treats minority languages, with a major promotion of both Irish and Ulster-Scots.
In a new policy, which was revealed on Tuesday, May 22 as a public consultation was launched into the proposals, the council will create micro-sites on its website in the languages, as well as responding to correspondence in both.


Meet the linguists: the new French government is packing some pretty intimidating skills

22 May 2017 (The Conversation)

One of the most striking features of the recent French presidential elections and the subsequent nomination of a new prime minister and his cabinet has been the attention paid by the French media to the linguistic competences of the nation’s politicians.


Call for case studies or practical examples of the use of instruments and frameworks for language teacher education and development

22 May 2017 (ECML)

The European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) is compiling case studies or practice examples of the use of instruments and frameworks that describe the competences and experiences of language teachers and, with respect to language-related issues, of all teachers.

They are inviting teachers, teacher educators/ trainers, administrators/officials at all levels, and employers to share their experiences of using these instruments. The practice examples will be published on the website of the current ECML project Towards a Common European Framework for Language Teachers.


Alarm raised over modern language cuts at Manchester University

20 May 2017 (Guardian)

Planned staffing cuts that will hit modern languages teaching and research at Britain’s largest university should be scrapped, a group of senior academics have warned in a letter to the Guardian. The plan to shed as many as 35 jobs from the University of Manchester’s school of arts – a third of its strength – would do harm to the UK in the long run, they said.


The first map of Gaelic speakers in Scotland

18 May 2017 (The Scotsman)

Produced by Edinburgh map company Bartholomew’s, the map contains information distilled from the first census, in 1881, that counted Gaelic speakers in Scotland.

The article follows the trend of Gaelic speakers in Scotland thereafter and includes links to Gaelic phrases for beginners.


Key Data on Teaching Languages at School in Europe – 2017 Edition

18 May 2017 (Eurydice)

The 2017 Edition of Key Data on Teaching Languages at School in Europe depicts the main education policies regarding teaching and learning of languages in 42 European education systems.

Some of the questions answered in the report:
  • How long do students spend studying foreign languages?
  • What are the ten most commonly offered foreign languages?
  • Do foreign language teachers travel abroad for training?
  • How many immigrant students speak the language of schooling at home?
  • Plus much more
The report can be accessed on the European Commission's Eurydice website.


Promoting linguistic skills a priority under the Czech chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe

18 May 2017 (ECML)

The Czech Republic takes over the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 19 May. Among the nine designated priorities of the 6 month chairmanship is the promotion of human rights education and linguistic skills.

“The Czech Republic continuously develops and improves tools for linguistic and cultural inclusion in Czech schools to help them deal with the increasing number of pupils whose mother tongue differs from the language of instruction. In this connection, the Czech Chairmanship will actively co-operate with the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe (ECML) on promoting teachers’ and other language professionals’ capacities to develop linguistic skills and intercultural competences of learners, as a prerequisite for their successful education.


Euroscola dates for autumn 2017

16 May 2017 (European Parliament)

Euroscola brings together about 600 students from all over the European Union for a day in Strasbourg discussing aspects of European integration, in multilingual working groups of 100 students. It is open to students aged 16-18 and the European Parliament offers a subsidy towards the costs of the journey to Strasbourg.

As working groups consist of students from several member states it is essential that participants have a sound knowledge of at least one other European Union language. For practical purposes knowledge of French is necessary as during the "committee" meetings in the afternoon, students are expected to think and speak in a language other than their mother tongue. The debates are held mainly in French and English.

Dates for the autumn term 2017 are now available.

To find out more and to apply, visit the Euroscola website.


Falkirk win at Euroquiz final

16 May 2017 (SEET)

Congratulations to the P6 team from Comely Park Primary School, who won the Scottish European Educational Trust’s National Euroquiz Final 2017, which took place in the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament on 15th May 2017.

Team members Tamsin Gold, Edwin Walker, Robyn Dewar-Young and Jaymie Jones were crowned SEET’s Euroquiz Champions 2017 at the national final. The winners were closely followed by St Leonard’s Primary School team from South Lanarkshire, in a nail-biting final round. Sciennes Primary School from Edinburgh also did incredibly well, winning the prize for third place.

Euroquiz is run by the Scottish European Educational Trust, a non-political charity, which promotes education about language learning, Europe and the wider world amongst Scotland’s young people.

See the attached press release for full details about this year's competition and participating schools.

If your school might like to take part in future competitions, visit the SEET website for more information.


Related Files

Related Links

Third Place in Euroquiz 2017! (Sciennes Primary School, 15 May 2017) - post includes photos and links to the event on Parliament TV.

Vast majority of young people think there should be a GCSE in sign language

15 May 2017 (TES)

Deaf charity finds that 97 per cent of 8-25 year-olds think sign language should be taught in schools. Almost all deaf young people think British Sign Language (BSL) should be taught in schools, according to a new survey. The National Deaf Children’s Society surveyed more than 2,000 deaf and hearing people, aged between eight and 25 and living across the UK, for its Right to Sign report. The charity found 97 per cent of young people thought that the language should be taught and 92 per cent thought it should be offered as a GCSE.


Want a job in tech? Learn another language

15 May 2017 (Tech World)

When I ask the question ‘what’s the golden ticket to getting a job here’ to any of the major tech giants – the answer is universal. Being multilingual is the key. Partly for obvious reasons – but also because multilingual candidates bring a lot more to the table than fluency in languages.

Let’s dissect the obvious reason first. Currently two thirds of the world’s population speak two or more languages; this represents over 3.5 billion people.

Tech companies are fundamentally global, spanning every country, culture and race. Their customer base is worldwide and therefore they need to recruit people that can communicate with more than one target audience. In an increasingly competitive and international jobs market, European languages such as Portuguese, French, Spanish, Italian and German are increasingly valuable to employers, while fluency in languages relating to emerging markets such as Mandarin and Russian are like pure gold.


Young Language Learner Award - 2017

15 May 2017 (B small publishing)

The Young Language Learner Awards are back!

B small publishing are inviting children and young people to write a four-page story in a foreign language they are learning (choose from Chinese, English, French, German, Italian or Spanish) to be in with a chance of winning books worth £50.

One winner will be picked from the under 6 category and one winner from the 6 and over entries.

Visit the website for full details and to submit entries by 15 June 2017.


Brits are terrible tourists who don’t learn languages, don’t talk to strangers, and don’t respect other cultures

13 May 2017 (Metro)

Brits haven’t got the best reputation as tourists. We’re loud, we drink, we’re awful at languages, and we have a history of starting fights at football matches. But now we have some proof, as a recent survey found that almost half of British tourists choose not to respect a country’s culture when they visit.


1+2 National Events for Principal Teachers of languages and colleagues i/c timetabling : May and June 2017

8 May 2017 (Education Scotland/SCILT/ADES/GTCS)

These events will focus on 1+2 in the secondary sector and feature inputs from ADES, ES, GTCS, SCILT and a representative from a local business. Purpose of the day:
  • 1+2 – overview of current developments
  • sharing practice across authorities re implementation in secondary
  • transitions between primary and secondary
  • examining the place of languages in BGE and Senior Phase in secondary schools
Scottish Ministers have a clear message to all stakeholders: that learning languages is a normal part of the curriculum from P1 onwards. These regional 1+2 events for the secondary sector are part of the Strategic Implementation Group’s priority to focus on curriculum such that there is clear and effective design which ensures progress through primary and secondary schooling, and on Career Long Professional Learning to ensure practitioners are equipped, enabled and empowered to deliver high quality language learning in primary and secondary schools. Given the significance of the 1+2 policy for secondary modern languages departments, it is important that all schools are represented at these regional events.

Your LA languages contact (usually DO/QIO) will have alerted you to the event for your region, however if you have not yet received the invitation to attend your local event (two invitees per school – PT languages, plus timetabler- usually a DHT) please contact

Your regional event will take place as per the schedule below:


Event Location

Authorities involved

Tuesday 6 June


Highland, Moray, Western Isles

Thursday 8 June


Dundee, Angus, Perth & Kinross, Fife

Monday 12 June


Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian, Scottish Borders

Wednesday 14 June


North Ayrshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Argyll & Bute, Dumfries & Galloway

Friday 16 June


Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde

Tuesday 20 June


Stirling, Falkirk, Clackmannanshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire

Wednesday 21 June


North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, West Lothian

Venue details, timings and a programme for the day will be emailed to you when you register for the event.

Support language attainment in class with a Modern Language Assistant

8 May 2017 (British Council)

Employing a British Council language assistant is a unique way to broaden your students understanding of the world, improve their language skills and increase their cultural awareness.

Language assistants are dynamic, enthusiastic native speakers of French, Spanish, German, Italian and Mandarin Chinese, and are usually undergraduates or recent graduates. As we recruit language assistants directly from their home countries, their language is up-to-date, the classroom resources they provide are relevant and authentic, and they will be well placed to connect with students on their own level . Simply put, employing a language assistant provides the kind of learning experience that cannot be found elsewhere.

In a recent survey of host schools, Heads of Languages reported improved exam results – raising standards in under-performing students and motivating talented students to achieve more. The support of an Assistant is particularly valuable with the on-going focus on languages in the 1+2 initiative, and can particularly help to complement the development of language teaching in primary schools.

The deadline for applications has been extended to 31 May 2017.

For more information and to apply visit the British Council website.


Apply now for a fully funded Chinese Language Assistant!

28 April 2017 (British Council)

The British Council and HSBC are pleased to announce that up to ten grants of £3,890 will be offered to cover the costs of hosting a Chinese language assistant for the academic year of 2017/18.

This is a pilot scheme for UK schools in 2017/18 and is intended to support the Sustainable Development Goal “ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning”. Successful schools will have the full costs of hosting a Chinese Language Assistant covered from mid-September 2017 to the end of June 2018.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to download an application form.

Application deadline: 31 May 2017.


New job profile on SCILT's website

21 April 2016 (SCILT)

We have a range of job profiles on the SCILT website to let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives. See our latest addition:
  • Ross Noble, Conference Interpreter - his role as conference interpreter at the European Commission gives him the chance to use all of his languages every day and to learn about varied and interesting topics.
See this and other job profiles on our website now.


Disclaimer: These news stories do not claim to be comprehensive and the views expressed do not necessarily represent the views of SCILT.

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1+2 Languages Leadership Programme - Registration extended until 11 June! More...

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