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Scots language writing competition

20 September 2017 (Education Scotland)

2017 is the year of History, Heritage & Archaeology . To celebrate, Education Scotland are launching a Creative Writing competition at the Scottish Learning Festival on 20 September. Learners of any and all ages are invited to enter to win Scots Language books for their school. Learners should write a poem or short story of not more than 750 words in length. The story or poem must be written in Scots language – though can be in any dialect of Scots, as broad or unique as the writer would like.

Log onto Glow and join the Scots blether to be kept up to date on all information on the competition. Go to the Visit Scotland website for more info on the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

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Glasgow named one of the top cities in the world to learn about Chinese language and culture

20 September 2017 (Glasgow Live)

Glasgow is officially home to a world leader in the teaching of Chinese language and culture.

The Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools (CISS) has been appointed a Model Confucius Institute by the global headquarters, Hanban.

The centre, based at the University of Strathclyde, is one of only 40 facilities out of 500 across the globe to be given the status.

Bosses have also announced the institute, which is open to people from all over the country, is set for a move to a new HQ at the university's Ramshorn Theatre.

The Grade A-Listed building is being given a £2 million refurbishment - which includes a substantial investment by Hanban - to develop it as a publicly-accessible hub for learning and cultural exchange.

The new premises will have the capacity to host performances, conferences and exhibitions.

A plaque marking the new status of the institute was unveiled at a conference attended by Scottish Higher Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville.

Liu Xiaoming, China’s Ambassador to the UK, was also a keynote speaker at the event, held to mark the fifth anniversary of the foundation of the Institute.

Strathclyde Principal Professor Sir Jim McDonald said: “As a leading international university, we are extremely proud of our academic links around the globe and our diverse student and staff community.

“This prestigious accolade for our Confucius Institute reflects the important role it plays in improving understanding of Chinese language and culture across Scotland, and we congratulate everyone involved on their fantastic achievement.

“I’m particularly pleased that the Institute’s move to its new headquarters on campus will enable even more schools, businesses and community groups to benefit from increased educational and economic opportunities, with a further 10 Confucius Classroom Hubs being announced today.”

Read more...

Related Links

China bolsters Confucius Institute culture scheme in Scotland (The Times, 20 September 2017)

Council to spend £160,000 teaching staff to speak Gaelic

20 September 2017 (The Herald)

A council plans to spend £160,000 teaching its staff to speak Gaelic.

Perth and Kinross aims to reverse the decline which has left just 1,287 locals speaking the language.

The local authority has revealed proposals for a £160,000 Gaelic Language Plan to be rolled out over the next five years.

Read more...

HSBC/British Council Mandarin Chinese speaking competition 2017/18

19 September 2017 (British Council)

A great, fun opportunity for students to practice and improve their Mandarin Chinese language skills. The competition also offers the chance to win a week in Beijing.

Find out more about the competition and how to apply. Entry deadline is Friday 6 October 2017.

Read more...

Alliance Française newsletter - September 2017

19 September 2017 (Alliance Française)

The autumn term has just begun at the Alliance Française in Glasgow. In their latest newsletter, find out more about the upcoming courses and events taking place, including:

  • Beginner course for primary school teachers
  • Grammar course and oral skills course for university students
  • October break workshop for children
  • DELF/DALF exams
  • Distance learning with 'Frantastique' - access a free trial
For all this, and more, see the newsletter online.

Read more...

Magical Christmas Trips deadline reminder: 26 September

19 September 2017 (UK-German Connection)

There's still time to apply to take part in a Magical Christmas Trip to Germany this year!

These visits offer primary pupils the chance to get a taste of Germany at Christmas time, meet their German peers and get involved in some seasonal intercultural activity. Secondary pupils have the opportunity to brush up on their German and practice their skills as young leaders.

There are two options for getting involved: either by applying to take part in a visit to Berlin run by UK-German Connection or by applying for funding to run your own Christmas visit to a partner school anywhere in Germany.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information and to apply by 26 September 2017.

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Police Scotland rolls out dual English-Gaelic Logo

19 September 2017 (Fife Today)

Police Scotland has today (Tuesday, September 19) introduced its dual language logo featuring both English and Gaelic.

The branding, which carries both Police Scotland and Poileas Alba, will be introduced on the service’s website and intranet.

It will also be carried on signage, stationery and vehicles, and will be introduced on these items as they are replaced on reaching the end of their serviceable life.

The changes are being made as part of the force’s commitment to implementing its Gaelic Language Plan, which sets out the service’s pledge to creating a sustainable future for the language in Scotland by integrating it within Police Scotland’s services and corporate identity.

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Language Perfect Northern Championships 2017

18 September 2017 (Language Perfect)

The 2017 Language Perfect Northern Championships dates have been announced!

Join schools from the northern hemisphere 7-14 November for a week of online competition, and celebration of language learning!

Visit the website to find out about how the competition works and register to take part.

Read more...

Bilingual people process maths differently depending on the language

18 September 2017 (The Independent)

People who speak more than one language fluently will process maths differently when they switch between languages, a new study has found.

Intuition enables the brain to recognise numbers up to four. However, when calculating mathematical problems, we depend on language.

This fact led researchers at the University of Luxembourg to explore just how the arithmetic skills are affected when bilingual people use different languages.

The study’s authors recruited students for whom Luxembourgish was their mother tongue and had carried on studying in Belgium and were therefore fluent in both German and French.

In two distinct tasks, participants were asked to solve a mixture of simple and complex maths problems in both languages.

While they were able to solve the simple tasks with equal proficiency, they took longer to calculate the complex task in French and made more errors than they did when doing the identical task in German.

Read more...

Former Carnoustie High pupils in dream China scholarship trip

16 September 2017 (The Courier)

For most young university freshers, leaving the nest for the first time is a daunting experience. But two former Carnoustie High pupils have taken a bigger leap than most by flying half way around the world as part of a prestigious scholarship programme.

[...] The pair are two of only 22 young people from across Scotland to be awarded a full scholarship to study Mandarin at Tianjin Foreign Studies University for the 2017/18 academic session.

They both studied the language at the school’s Confucius Classroom Hub - one of only 34 in Scotland - and were active members of the Mandarin Club.

The pair successfully interviewed for the programme after initially attending a 17-day language immersion course in Tianjin last year, organised by the university’s Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools (CISS).

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1+2 approach to language learning: National road shows for the secondary sector - May/June 2017

15 September 2017 (Education Scotland)

This video resource contains the key messages by speakers from the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES), Education Scotland, the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), and SCILT, Scotland's National Centre for Languages, on the 1+2 approach to language learning and the impact of the policy in the secondary sector. The resource also contains key PowerPoint slides.

This resource can be used in modern languages departments, to support discussion around transition, entitlement and effective timetabling for L2 (first additional language) and L3 (second additional language).

Visit the Education Scotland website for more information.

Read more...

eTwinning

15 September 2017 (eTwinning)

eTwinning offers a platform for teachers to communicate, collaborate, share and develop projects with like-minded colleagues across Europe.

Visit the website to find out more about eTwinning and how being part of the community can benefit you and your pupils.

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The e-Sgoil is ‘a reason to come back to teaching’

15 September 2017 (TESS)

A project that allows lessons to be beamed into Scottish classrooms has been described as “one of the best things” happening in Scottish education by a former education director who has conducted an independent review of the scheme.

The e-Sgoil – or e-school – based in the Western Isles became a reality at the beginning of 2016-17 to help tackle the teacher shortage, particularly in Gaelic, and to give secondary pupils in remote and rural schools a wider range of subjects.

Access the full article in TESS online, 15 September 2017 (subscription may be required).

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Host a Teacher from Germany

15 September 2017 (UK-German Connection)

Would you like to have authentic German cultural input in your school? Through the Host a Teacher from Germany programme, your school can host a German teacher for two or three weeks during the academic year, at no cost.

All schools and FE colleges from the whole of the UK can take part. The UK coordinating teacher does not need to be a teacher of German, and German does not need to be on the school’s curriculum; visiting teachers are either teachers of English or have good knowledge of the English language.

There's still time to apply. Closing deadline is 21 September 2017.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

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Languagenut and SCILT exclusive

15 September 2017 (Languagenut)

Languagenut is a professional teaching tool that offers teaching resources across 21 modern foreign languages. 

It is the perfect tool to support the 1+2 approach to language learning, as all audio files are recorded by native speakers. With a range of games, songs and stories, Languagenut supports the four key skills of language learning: listening, speaking, reading and writing. 

In addition, Languagenut offers special integrated tools which allow teachers both create their own classes and content, and also set and track homework, generate certificates and evaluate students’ progress in real time. These timesaving tools help teachers to deliver more personalised teaching and customise lessons to fit each individual.

Accessible at school and at home, Languagenut helps to bridge the gap between classroom and home learning.

We’ve collaborated with SCILT to give Scottish schools free exclusive access to Languagenut for 45 days! Visit the website to register.

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Our World film making project

14 September 2017 (SEET)

Want to get pupils more engaged in language learning and encourage uptake? Are you keen to improve their confidence and win an award or two? Then get involved!

SEET's Our World is a free film making project, run by the Scottish European Educational Trust, which is designed to encourage language learning and uptake among pupils. The project is open to any team of four from S3 - S6 (no previous film making knowledge is required) and last year resulted in over 88% of participant pupils saying they were more likely to take languages into their next year as a result of taking part.

All teams have to do to enter is come up with a creative idea for a film, based on this year's theme. Then, with our help teams put that idea into storyboard form and send it to us with an audio or video clip explaining it. The deadline for storyboard submissions is 4 December 2017.

Visit the website to find out more about the project and how to enter.

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ECML Think tank - Language learning pathways

13 September 2017 (ECML)

The aim of the new ECML think tanks is to create a network of expertise from across ECML member states and beyond which can advise the ECML secretariat on how to address a range of key priorities in language education.

The first step in the think tank process is the development of an online questionnaire for each theme which is then disseminated as widely as possible so that a picture of the current state-of-play emerges, revealing both success stories as well as challenges. 

You are invited to share your views and experiences on language learning pathways in the online survey by midnight (CET), Sunday 1 October 2017, and you might be selected to participate in the think tank meeting in January 2018.

Visit the ECML website to find out more about the think tanks.

Read more...

Professional development in Germany

13 September 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

Every year the Goethe-Institut offers an attractive range of residential training and language courses for teachers of German: for primary and secondary teachers, for teachers in further education and teacher trainers:

  • Language Courses
  • Landeskunde
  • Methodology/Teaching Strategies

Deadline for applications: 15 October 2017. 

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information. Teachers from Scotland, please apply to Goethe-Institut Glasgow.

Read more...

Indiana University Global Gateway for Teachers

12 September 2017 (Indiana University)

For many years, primary and secondary schools worldwide have hosted final year students as part of Indiana University's Global Gateway for Teachers. The student teachers, who may spend up to 12 weeks in the country, have proven to make valuable contributions to the life and work of school during their stay.

For several years, Highland Council has successfully hosted many students, and the aim is to now extend the programme to include as many Scottish Local Authorities as are interested.

More information about the programme can be found in the attached letter.

Chinese language classes

12 September 2017 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

The Confucius Institute for Scotland's programme of Chinese classes for the autumn term will start 25 September 2017.

Classes on offer range from beginner to advanced levels. This autumn, in addition to our usual evening classes, we will also offer a short daytime course running 2.5 hrs per week for five weeks - Chinese for Travellers. Ideal if planning a visit to China or just as a taster course.  

Visit the website for course details and registration, or to find out about other events and opportunities offered by the Confucius Institute for Scotland.

Read more...

Three ways schools need to change their approach to boost MFL

11 September 2017 (TES)

Applies to England

MFL entries at A level are still falling, but there is hope on the horizon if schools seize the initiative, says this assistant headteacher.

It seems to have become a scheduled event in the modern languages’ calendar to lament the ever-depressing fate of uptake of the subject at A level. Reformed specifications have made the gap between GCSE and A level even wider, fuelling the notion that A-level languages are for native speakers only. 

Yet more depressing: A-level MFL provision has almost disappeared in the North East, accounting for only 3% of all entries. University language departments are on the brink of closure and revised visa requirements for EU nationals could result in further exacerbation of an already difficult recruitment market. The death knell of routine A-level MFL provision in all schools is deafening. 

And yet – whisper it softly – the stars of a more illustrious future for modern languages may be coming into alignment. The reformed specifications are a vast improvement on their predecessors, with film, literature, history and politics at their core, making for exciting and engaging courses. 

Read more...

SRF Russian classes

11 September 2017 (SRF)

The Scotland-Russia Forum (SRF) will resume Russian language classes in Edinburgh on 18 September. 

Visit the website for more details and to enrol. For those unable to travel to Edinburgh, tuition via Skype can also be arranged.

Read more...

New term German courses in Glasgow

11 September 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow offers German language courses and exams for all levels. Courses for the autumn semester commence on 26 September 2017.

See their online brochure for full details and how to enrol.

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Weird and wonderful poster art of Gaelic's FilmG

9 September 2017 (BBC)

Gaelic short film competition FilmG is this year celebrating the running of its 10th contest. To help mark the anniversary, organisers held an exhibition of the competition's colourful posters at Tramway, an arts space in Glasgow.

The posters were created by Steven McKenzie, senior designer at Cànan Graphics Studio on Skye. The posters are designed to reflect each year's theme. Previously these have included "strì" meaning endeavour/conflict and "cliù" meaning prestige, fame or reputation. The theme chosen for the 10th FilmG is "fìrinn" meaning truth.

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ALL Language Teacher of the Year Award 2018

7 September 2017 (ALL)

Do you know an inspirational primary or secondary teacher?

The Association for Language Learning (ALL) are now looking for nominations in the two categories for the 2018 awards – which are now open to teachers throughout the UK.

The award scheme aims to support and promote language teaching, recognise the efforts and achievements of language teachers, encourage and disseminate exciting, motivating practice among language teachers and raise the profile of language teaching as a career.

Visit the ALL website for more information about each award and how to make a nomination.

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Beginners 1 French Course for Primary School Teachers

7 September 2017 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française Glasgow is running a new 10-week Beginners 1 French course for Primary School teachers between October and December 2017.

This course is suitable for complete beginners.

  • 20 hours of lessons over 10 weeks tailored to the needs of Primary School teachers: classroom and speaking activities, pronunciation, communication, increase your confidence and feel more comfortable speaking French.
  • The course will take take place on Thursdays 3.45 - 5.45 pm between 5 October and 14 December 2017.

Visit the Alliance Française website for more information and to enrol.

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British Sign Language alphabet: How an intricate system of gestures gave a voice to millions

7 September 2017 (The Independent)

As Britain’s pupils return to school for the start of the new academic year, Google marks the occasion with a new Doodle paying tribute to British Sign Language (BSL).

BSL is a vital tool that has enabled generations of young deaf and speech-impaired students in the UK to communicate with their teachers and classmates, ensuring their disability does not have a negative impact on their opportunities in the classroom.

But how was BSL first conceived and how has it developed?

Read more...

French and Spanish courses for nursery and primary teachers

7 September 2017 (SALT)

Offered by Smalltalk Languages, this course is aimed at nursery/primary staff who are currently introducing French/Spanish as part of their curriculum for excellence/1+2 languages programme or intend to do so. Suitable for both complete beginners and people with prior knowledge of the language, the main focus of the course will be on language learning and practical methodology.

On the day participants will look at language from the children’s perspective. They will be shown how to build both their own and the children’s confidence in language skills while learning the importance of adapting and manipulating language for maximum effect.

Visit the SALT website for available dates and locations.

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Juvenes Translatores

6 September 2017 (European Commission)

Juvenes Translatores is the annual translation contest for 17-year old students (those born in 2000). The 2017 contest will take place on 23 November.

To participate, schools must register first — between 1 September and 20 October 2017.

Visit the website for full details.

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Education Scotland Gaelic news

6 September 2017 (Education Scotland)

The latest edition of Education Scotland's Gaelic e-bulletin is now available.

Read more...

News from UK-German Connection

6 September 2017 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection offers a number of funded opportunities for schools in the UK to link with schools in Germany as well as providing resources and activities for the classroom and professional learning for teachers.

In their latest newsletter you can find out more about current opportunities, including:

  • Deadline reminder: seas and oceans youth seminar
  • Host a Teacher in 2018
  • Voyage kids: back to school special
  • Magical Christmas Trips
  • Partnerships Bursaries
  • Young Europeans Award
  • Looking ahead

Find out more on their website.

Read more...

German Debating Competition 2017

5 September 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

This year the Goethe Institute Glasgow is proud to launch a German Debating Competition for Higher and Advanced Higher secondary school students in Scotland.

Debating in German is an innovative method for language teaching and learning and is of major benefit to all students: participants can improve their language and communication skills and develop a higher motivation for further language learning.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to register by 30 September.

Read more...

10 of the best language with activity holidays around the world

5 September 2017 (The Guardian)

Spanish and tango? German and skiing? Or even Japanese and manga? Learn a language in the native country and add some extracurricular fun with these holiday courses that offer a skill or some culture, too.

Read more...

How to improve children’s language awareness at primary school

4 September 2017 (The Conversation)

Young children have a lot to fit into each school day. So making the best use of the little time allocated to learning a foreign language is paramount. In England, state primary schools have been required to offer children aged seven to 11 a foreign language since 2014. This seems to chime with the common assumption, supported by research, that the earlier we start learning a foreign language, the better we will eventually be able to speak it.

Yet the situation is quite different when learners have just a few hours’ exposure each week. In these circumstances – unlike full immersion in a second language – younger is not necessarily better. Large-scale classroom-based research in Spain has shown that after the same number of lessons, students who began learning after age 18 achieved greater success in English than students who started at age eight, 11 or 14.

A likely reason for the different effects of starting age in different learning environments is the type of learning mechanism in operation. Primarily, young children learn implicitly – without effort or awareness. By contrast, adolescents and adults can learn explicitly, with the intention to learn and with conscious effort. Implicit learning only works well if there is ample exposure to language input, while explicit learning can work even with little language input. So having just a few hours a week of language lessons at a young age doesn’t meant a child will learn that language successfully.

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N5 Modern Languages: assignment-writing understanding standards materials

25 August 2017 (SQA)

Eight pieces of candidate evidence with commentaries for the new Assignment – writing component of the National 5 Modern Languages course for 2017-18 have been published on SQA’s Understanding Standards website. These contain examples in French, German and Spanish. Further examples in other languages will be published as soon as these are developed.

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European Day of Languages 2017

25 August 2017 (SCILT)

The European Day of Languages (EDL) is celebrated across Europe on 26 September every year. It aims to promote the rich linguistic diversity of Europe and raise awareness of the importance of lifelong language learning for everyone. 

SCILT is helping schools across Scotland to celebrate by distributing materials developed by the ECML. These resources are free to order and act as excellent prizes and rewards. Visit our European Day of Languages webpage for information on how to order packs, for ideas on how to celebrate, and to find out how your school could feature in our EDL2017 blog.

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SCILT/CISS supporting promotional events

25 August 2017 (SCILT/CISS)

The SCILT/CISS team are available to support language promotion events in your school. A promotional event may include talks at assemblies, business and language events, career fairs, parents' nights and other similar input. 

In order to ensure all schools have the opportunity to benefit from our involvement, we are now requesting that you complete an online application form. 

You will be asked to outline how a promotional event might support your uptake in the senior phase, if applicable, and what other measures you are putting in place to address the Attainment Agenda, National Improvement Framework and Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce.

All requests for the 2017/18 session must be received by 31st October 2017 in order for schools and the SCILT/CISS team to plan effectively. 

Please email SCILT in the first instance to receive an application form. 

International teacher mentoring conference for Hanban teachers across Scotland

24 August 2017 (CISS)

On Friday 10 November, CISS will be facilitating our international teacher mentoring conference for Hanban teachers across Scotland and their mentors in Scottish schools.

Please ensure that the teacher who is mentor attends the day with their mentee as we will have a range of speakers and workshop facilitators including SCEL, GTCS, Staff Development Strathclyde and ourselves. We would like to include other teachers who are interested in mentoring as well as our Hanban teacher mentors so please contact CISS to register.

While it is essential the Hanban teacher mentor can attend, other interested teachers are welcome.

Magical Christmas Trips 2017

15 August 2017 (UK-German Connection)

Would you like to take part in a Magical Christmas Trip this year and build on or set up a partnership with a school in Germany?

These visits offer primary pupils the chance to get a taste of Germany at Christmas time, meet their German peers and get involved in some seasonal intercultural activity. Secondary pupils have the opportunity to brush up on their German and practice their skills as young leaders.

There are two options for getting involved:
  • apply to take part in a visit to Berlin run by UK-German Connection to set up a link to a school in Germany
  • apply for funding and organisational support to run your own Christmas visit to an existing partner school anywhere in Germany
To find out more, please visit the UK-German Connection's website and apply by 26 September 2017.

Read more...

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.

Read more...


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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