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Language Show Live Scotland 2017

24 February 2017 (Language Show Live)

There's still time to get your tickets for this year's Language Show Live Scotland event at the SEC, Glasgow!

The event, dedicated to language teaching and learning, is just a fortnight away and all programme details, teaching seminars and language classes are now live online. Every seminar at this free-to-attend event is fully CPD accredited and packed full of exclusive content.

For full programme details and to register, visit the Language Show Live website. Don't miss out!

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New student profile on SCILT's website

24 February 2017 (SCILT)

We have a range of Job Profiles on our website designed for teachers to use in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

Our latest addition comes from Emma Therer, a student of German and Linguistics, whose aim is to become a translator and interpreter. She believes languages are key in getting to know people and to learn about other cultures.

Read her profile and others on our website now.

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Languages Teacher Training Scholarships

23 February 2017 (British Council)

Are you passionate about French, German or Spanish? If so, you could receive a languages scholarship of £27,500 to train as a secondary school teacher in England.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to apply by 31 July 2017.

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Language Linking Global Thinking 2017/18 - Registrations of interest

23 February 2017 (SCILT)

SCILT is now inviting schools to register their interest in taking part in the Language Linking Global Thinking initiative in session 2017/18. 

The project links students on their year abroad with primary and secondary schools. Students communicate with a designated class in their partner school during the course of the year to illustrate how enriching it is to spend a year abroad using a language other than English. 

While the student is abroad, the partner school keeps in regular contact with the student by emailing, sending postcards and other resources. The two-way correspondence between student and class brings the language alive for pupils and shows them the real relevance of learning a language. 

If you would like to take part in this project for session 2017-18, please complete the registration form

Visit the SCILT LLGT webpage for more information on Language Linking Global Thinking, including the blogs students have used to facilitate their contact with the schools.

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Do we need modern language graduates in a globalised world?

23 February 2017 (THE)

Six academics offer their views on the state of language learning in a populist climate.

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Five funny times British football stars attempted to speak in foreign languages following a transfer abroad

22 February 2017 (The Mirror)

The Premier League receives a whole host of talent from many different countries every year.

Massive stars from France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Chile, Belgium, Uruguay, Portugal and South Korea have all, at one time or another, played in the English top tier.

But how many of England's biggest stars can we say have made the leap to play abroad? A handful or so?

Naturally one of the biggest obstacles for footballers moving abroad is the language barrier, something which Wayne Rooney may have to conquer should his potential move to China go through next week.

In the video, we've taken a look at the five funniest times English stars made the brave choice to ply their trade in another country... and speak the language.

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Speaking in tongues: how to save modern languages?

22 February 2017 (THE)

Matthew Reisz reflects on the role of universities in overcoming monolingualism.

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UK-German Connection latest news

21 February 2017 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection offers a number of opportunities for schools in the UK and Germany to develop and maintain partnerships. In their latest Spring 2017 newsletter they highlight the following:
  • With the changing landscape of international relations, we want to make sure we're still offering you the right kind of support to keep your connections with Germany alive.We're currently reviewing the opportunities and services we offer and would like to invite you to tell us what you need now for your schools and pupils. Complete the short survey.
  • Deadline reminder of 1 March for applications for the following summer courses in Germany:

For upcoming deadlines for the rest of the school year, download our calendar of opportunities for 2016-17.

For further information about UK-German Connection and their activities, visit their website.

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Time to listen to teens on language learning

21 February 2017 (Scholastic blog)

For far too long it seems that media columns have been filled with reports of declining interest of British teenagers in modern foreign languages (MFL).

Take the figures published last summer. The number of children studying French to A-level has fallen by around 50 per cent in eight years to fewer than 10,000. Only around 3,800 youngsters took German. There was also a fall in those studying Spanish, which had previously bucked the anti-languages drift.

The government replied that it has been encouraging pupils to take languages, mainly through the English Baccalaureate – the wrap-around qualification which requires pupils to sit a range of certain GCSEs including a language.

But the problems don’t end there. More university language departments are facing closure if student recruitment continues to decline, and the key problem facing language courses is the drop in the number of students sitting the relevant A-levels that are required for entry. And there is a shortage of MFL teachers.

This ought to worry us – even more so as we head towards Brexit. It has been estimated by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages that our failure to communicate in anything other than English costs Britain up to £50 billion a year in lost trade. Declining numbers of MFL students have led to calls for a joined up strategy where the full contribution of languages to the economy and society is realised, with the National Association of Head Teachers particularly vocal.

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Cappuccino with extra Italian? Pop-up classes bring a buzz to adult learning

21 February 2017 (The Guardian)

It’s a rainy February evening in a Costa coffee shop in East Putney, south-west London. The shop is closed to the public but a group of men and women are gathered there, drinking coffee and practising Italian phrases with teacher Alessandro Fantauzzo. Two are here for work reasons, others to build their language confidence for holidays.

In the past, they might have gone to a night class at a local adult education college. But over the past decade, funding for courses that don’t lead to a formal qualification has been slashed. Since 2010, the adult learning budget has been cut by about 40%, meaning the days when adults could learn flower arranging, languages or guitar at their local college in the evenings – for a subsidised fee or even free – are long gone.

It was this that gave former teacher and social entrepreneur Jason Elsom the idea of offering night classes in coffee shops. Approached by the coffee chain Costa to help develop its charitable foundation, which aims to extend education opportunities, he suggested it offer space in its shops for tutors and their students.

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Absolutely Fabulous 25th anniversary: watch a clip from the show in six different languages

20 February 2017 (The Independent)

Edina and Patsy remain fabulous in every language.

Absolutely Fabulous is now coming up to its 25th anniversary, with the BBC Worldwide Showcase commemorating the occasion by releasing a clip which cuts together a scene in six different European languages: English, Italian, German, Spanish, Czech, and French.

It's all part of an effort to celebrate its expansive global success, which last year saw the release of the pair's own feature film debut in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie; launching stars Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders on their escape to the French Riviera after an incident at a fashion launch party sends Kate Moss tumbling into the Thames.

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Brian Wilson: Crunch time now for BBC Alba, a Scottish success story

20 February 2017 (The Scotsman)

The Gaelic TV channel reaches far beyond those who speak the language, and can get even better if it is given proper support says Brian Wilson.

Issues surrounding the BBC Charter and its implications for broadcasting are likely to gain a high profile in the coming weeks. It would be a pity if, in the political melee, a quiet Scottish success story was overlooked – BBC Alba.

Although its raison d’etre is as a Gaelic broadcaster, BBC Alba reaches 700,000 viewers each week. It accounts for half the commissions in Scotland from independent production companies. It offers a steady stream of quality programmes which would not otherwise be made, mainly on Scottish subjects.

By any standard of media accounting, BBC Alba has achieved all this on a shoestring budget. It broadcasts for seven hours daily but only 1.9 are filled with original content, including news and live sport. The rest consists of repeats, delving deep not only into BBC Alba’s own modest archive but the entire previous output of Gaelic television.

Some of these, it must be said, are very good. The BBC Gaelic department has a history of producing current affairs programmes in particular where quality was in inverse proportion to quantity. However, there are limits to how often viewers in any language should be asked to endure fascinating throw-backs to the 1970s and 1980s.

The current funding review is a crunch point for BBC Alba. It will either survive at its present level or extend its repertoire and role. There is a particular need, from a language perspective, for more children’s programmes and also a more consistent standard of popular entertainment. The channel’s supporters are sensibly realistic in their demands, which may give them a better chance of being listened to.

Read more...

Related Links

BBC Launching Scotland Channel With $37.4M Budget (Deadline, 22 February 2017)

Language Rights Need to be at the Center of Global Policy

20 February 2017 (Diplomatic Courier)

Languages, with their complex implications for identity, communication, social integration, education and development, are of strategic importance for people and planet. Yet, due to globalization processes, they are increasingly under threat, or disappearing altogether. When languages fade, so does the world’s rich tapestry of cultural diversity. Opportunities, traditions, memory, unique modes of thinking and expression — valuable resources for ensuring a better future — are also lost.

More than 50 percent of the approximately 7,000 languages spoken in the world are likely to die out within a few generations, and 96 percent of these languages are spoken by a mere 4 percent of the world’s population. Only a few hundred languages have genuinely been given pride of place in education systems and the public domain, and less than a hundred are used in the digital world.

Cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, the promotion of education for all and the development of knowledge societies are central to UNESCO’s work. But they are not possible without broad and international commitment to promoting multilingualism and linguistic diversity, including the preservation of endangered languages.

While the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has signed an agreement with the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) to measure global citizenship and sustainable development education, the persistent marginalization of mother languages worldwide is threatening Goal 4 of the UN for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Agenda 2030 includes seven targets in Goal 4 that aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.

The seventh target – Goal 4.7 – obliges the international community to ensure that in the next 15 years “all learners (would) acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development”.

UNESCO relates global citizenship to the empowerment of learners to assume active roles to face and resolve global challenges and to become proactive contributors to a more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive and secure world.

But the chances that Goal 4.7 would be achieved are rather bleak unless adequate steps are taken urgently. The reason can be deduced from some important data released by the UNESCO on the occasion of the International Mother Language Day, celebrated annually on February 21.

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Learn French at the Institut français d'Ecosse

17 February 2017 (Institut français d'Ecosse)

The Institut français offers classes and workshops for all ages (toddlers to adults), from complete beginners to fluent speakers.

Enrolment is open for Spring term classes beginning in April.

Students undertaking National 5, Highers and Advanced Highers can also register for a preparation course running 3-7 April.

Visit the website for full details and to enrol.

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The Junior Language Challenge 2017

17 February 2017 (Junior Language Challenge)

The Junior Language Challenge is the UK’s only language challenge for primary schools, inspiring a love of languages at a young age and encouraging children to become independent learners, while raising money for charity.

The JLC 2017 will open on 10 March, but registration starts now - visit the website sign-up pages to register a school or an individual. (Please note there is an entry charge per child with all proceeds going to the onebillion charity).

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Translation Course for University Students March 2017

17 February 2017 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française de Glasgow will be running a new translation course specifically designed for students who are currently studying French at University. This course will increase language skills and should greatly help prepare for exams where translation is involved.

This new 5-week course will take place on Wednesdays between 3.45-5.45pm starting Wednesday 1 March.

Visit the website for more information and to enrol by Saturday 25 February.

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New job profile on SCILT's website

17 February 2017 (SCILT)

For relevant, labour-market focused career advice on languages, direct from the workplace, read our latest Job Profile from Katie Targett-Adams, a professional singer and harpist currently based in Hong Kong. Teachers, use this resource in your classroom to enhance learning about the world of work.

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1+2 FAQs for parents and carers

17 February 2017 (SCILT)

The Scottish Government’s Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 Approach was published in 2012. It aims to enable children and young people to study two languages in addition to their mother tongue in all Scottish primary and secondary schools.

As local authorities and schools move towards full implementation of the 1+2 Approach to language learning, and in light of the National Improvement Plan, SCILT is looking to refresh the Frequently Asked Questions for parents and carers area of our website. We would invite parents and carers to tell us what their current questions are around the 1+2 Approach. Please submit your burning questions through the link below.

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Latest issue of the SRF's Forum magazine

16 February 2017 (SRF)

The January 2017 edition of the Scotland-Russia Forum's magazine 'The Forum' is now available. It covers a range of topics, including the 1917 anniversary through Scottish eyes, a description of travels in the Altay, Soviet mapping of places nearer home, and the Edinburgh
Makar’s first impressions of Moscow as well as her wonderful translations of Russian
poems into Shetlandic.

Read these articles and more SRF news online now!

Read more...

Business brunches: Inspiring Scotland’s future global workforce

14 February 2017 (SCILT)

Young people from eleven schools across the north east of Scotland had the opportunity to engage with local businesses at the Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen on 9 February 2017. 116 learners from S3-S6 heard from a range of business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company. The Business Brunch demonstrated the relevance of language skills in a work context and aimed to encourage pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education, and beyond school.

A teacher attending the event said: “Today’s event gave learners the opportunity to engage with local employers and discover the relevance of language skills here, in their local area. Pupils were able to see that they might even need a language that is not taught at their school, but the skills they develop whilst learning any language are transferable and therefore valuable.”

One of the young people added to this and commented: “I learnt that no matter what career you pursue, it can be very useful to be able to speak a different language. It can broaden your horizons.”

Virginie Jégat from TOTAL E&P UK LIMITED and one of the workshop leaders stated: “Here at TOTAL E&P UK we see on a daily basis the benefit of languages in the workplace. The ability to speak another language adds huge value to the business experience, whilst increasing cultural understanding within the workforce and towards our clients.”

The event was organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages based at University of Strathclyde in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland. Companies attending included Aberdeen City Council, University of Aberdeen, The Chester Hotel, China-Britain Business Council, VisitScotland, TOTAL E&P UK LIMITED and Scottish Dance Theatre. Schools represented were Banchory Academy, Banff Academy, Buckie High School, Dyce Academy, Harlaw Academy, Hazlehead Academy, Inverurie Academy, Meldrum Academy, Mintlaw Academy, Peterhead Academy and The Gordon Schools.

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT said: “Events such as these are a really important way of providing young people with high quality careers advice delivered by the business people themselves and of demonstrating to them the value of language skills in our increasingly globalised world”.

Meaningful employer engagement and providing relevant careers advice are both key recommendations of Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy, “Developing the young workforce”. This Business Brunch supported these aims by giving young people the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the role of languages in the business world. 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. Through hearing from a range of business leaders and interacting with employees, the aspirations of the young people who attended were raised.

This collaboration between schools and businesses supported Scotland’s International Policy to equip young people with international communication and employability skills that they will need in our increasingly globalised society and economy. The event is one of a series of Business Brunches being held across Scotland in January and February 2017.

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Chinese New Year comes home to roost for students

14 February 2017 (Falkirk Herald)

Pupils from all over the Falkirk area gathered at Larbert High School for a double celebration with a far Eastern flavour. The youngsters, including pupils from Graeme High School and Ladeside Primary School, marked Chinese New Year and also acknowledged Larbert High’s new status as a Falkirk Council Confucius Hub with song and dance performances, Chinese cuisine and art displays during the event.

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Passeport pour la Francophonie

14 February 2017 (SCILT)

SCILT are delighted to announce that Passeport pour la Francophonie is now live on its website.

This online resource focuses on French-speaking countries around the world. Angus, from Scotland invites you to join him on a journey as he travels to member countries of the Oranisation Internationale de la Francophonie and meets new friends.

Aude from France, Assouan from Egypt, Nyanga from Gabon, Menembe from Madagascar and Takakoto from Polynesia describe their daily lives, as well as the history and geography of the countries.

The website includes:

  • Information for primary practitioners about teaching language skills and developing learners’ cultural awareness through interdisciplinary learning.
  • Activities and resources for supporting interconnected teaching of languages.

Use together with the European Language Portfolio and pupils can record their achievements and progress in languages.

Please note this resource was developed by Education Scotland in 2012 and given to SCILT to host from 2017 onwards.

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Midlothian foreign language students settle in

12 February 2017 (Midlothian Advertiser)

Following the success of the French Modern Language Assistant (MLAs) last year, Midlothian has been lucky enough to employ six MLAs again this year.

They are working across all 32 primary schools, assisting with the implementation of the 1+2 initiative which means that French is being taught in all our primary schools from P1 to P7. Staff have already seen an increase in the confidence and language skills of teachers as well as enthusiasm and progress from pupils!

The MLAs completed a diary of their first impressions and experiences, excerpts of which are below.

Read more...

Agenda: So much to be gained from young people learning modern languages

12 February 2017 (Sunday Herald)

Does language learning have a place in the Scottish curriculum? Yes. Are modern languages and their teachers under pressure in secondary schools? Yes. Has there been a better opportunity for promoting language learning in our schools ? No.

Language learning has a vital place in Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) on a learner journey from 3-18 but in a manner that does not see it as the preserve of the secondary school.

It has always baffled me that traditionally in Scotland, given its place in Europe, we started language learning so late in a child’s development.

The earlier we expose children to learning languages, the better their chance is of seeing this as something that is just part of their culture.

From a child development point of view, there’s much research to confirm that children are more receptive educationally and emotionally to language learning from an early age.

They soak it up and acquire language skills at a great pace. We know that bilingualism not only helps the cognitive development of the child but also that children who are in bilingual education such as Gaelic Medium Education also attain and achieve at least as well as, in many cases better, than their monoglot peers. They are fluent in two languages and are learning a third by the age of 11. In addition, there is another plus to early exposure to acquiring additional languages; most parents like it, understand it and support schools that promote it.

The Scottish Government-led 1+2 languages programme is a long-term policy commitment started in 2011 due to run until 2021, aimed at making it normal for all children and young people in Scotland to learn languages from primary one.

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Doric could be taught in all north-east schools

11 February 2017 (The Press and Journal)

Aberdeenshire Council has unveiled ambitious plans to start teaching youngsters the Doric dialect.

The local authority has drawn-up proposals to give primary and secondary pupils lessons in the “valued language”.

Councillors will be asked next week to back the scheme aimed at promoting the Doric and north-east culture across the region.

Traditionally spoken by residents of Aberdeenshire, the dialect – one of many across Scotland – is identified as the native tongue in many rural and fishing communities.

Read more...

Related Links

Doric could be good fit for pupils in Aberdeenshire (STV News, 16 February 2017)

Gaelic Translation Competition!

10 February 2017 (Education Scotland)

This translation competition is open to all children and young people in both Gaelic Learner and Gaelic Medium Education.

There are nine English and eight Gaelic posters of Scotland’s scientists available on the National Improvement Hub. One of the Gaelic posters is missing- Alexander Graham Bell.

Children and young people are invited to translate a short biography on Alexander Graham Bell into Gaelic. This is an exciting opportunity to have your work shared nationally and to feature alongside the other eight scientist biographies available on the National Improvement Hub. Your work could support learners of Gaelic across Scotland.

For more information visit the Education Scotland Learning Blog. Entries should be submitted by 3 March 2017.

Read more...

UCML and others send Brexit letter

10 February 2017 (UCML)

This letter has been written by a number of heads of UK modern languages and linguistics subject associations, including UCML, and endorsed by several others. It will be sent to the media and a number of leading UK politicians.

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Boost language attainment with a Modern Language Assistant

8 February 2017 (British Council)

Modern Language Assistants bring authentic language and culture to the classroom. 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 British Council Language Assistants programme draws on over 100 years of experience with overseas education authorities to provide a trusted, high quality service.

Applications are now open! For more information visit the British Council website.

In 2016 the Erasmus+ UK National Agency awarded nearly €1.2m+ to Scotland’s schools and colleges for Key Action 2 (KA2) Strategic Partnerships, and 70% of Scottish applications for school-only partnerships were successful. The next Erasmus+ funding deadline is 29 March. If you are planning to apply, access our tailored guidance for school-only applications and school education applications; pre-recorded videos; and telephone support sessions.

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Le concours de la francophonie competition winners

8 February 2017 (SALT / Institut français)

Winners of the 2017 Concours de la francophonie, a competition run by the Institut français d'Ecosse for schools in Scotland, have now been announced!

Visit the SALT website for more information about the winners in each category.

Read more...

English rugby referees learning French - Wayne Barnes

7 February 2017 (BBC)

English rugby referees are taking French lessons in order to improve their communication skills during games, says top official Wayne Barnes.

There has been criticism by players of some Six Nations referees only being able to speak in English.

However, Barnes, 37, says RFU officials "want to be better communicators".

"We are not just training and reviewing, we are actually doing some French lessons as a group," he told the BBC Rugby Union Weekly podcast.

One of the world's leading referees, Barnes has been taking charge of international matches since 2006.

And while he argues that speaking a range of languages fluently is unfeasible for a referee, he feels steps can be taken to improve communication.

Read more...

The made-up language with just one speaker

3 February 2017 (BBC)

When it comes to learning languages, it's often thought the Swedes are rather good at it, the Dutch brilliant, and the British, rather poor. Student, Melissa May, who is from southern England, is perhaps the exception that proves the rule. Not content with mastering many languages including German, French and Spanish, she decided to invent a completely new one, with its own unique script. It is called Skénavánns. She told James Menendez about it.

Read more...

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.

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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Language Linking Global Thinking 2017/18 - Registrations of interest More...