A 1+2 Approach

The Scottish Government’s policy aims to ensure that every child has the opportunity to learn an additional language from primary one, and a further additional language by primary five.


I’m very keen to make sure that our education system sees this [the 1+2 Approach] as a core opportunity, embraces that and takes it forward as a core part of our curriculum.

Interview with Deputy First Minister (2017)

A review of progress in implementing the 1+2 language policy

The Scottish Government Learning Directorate commissioned ADES to conduct research on the implementation of ‘Language learning in Scotland: A 1+2 approach’ at the mid-way point in the implementation. Download A review of progress in implementing the 1+2 language policy (March 2016)

1+2 pilot projects

Education Scotland carried out an evaluation visit to each of the ten pilot projects and prepared a summary report. The visits took place between June 2013 and April 2014.

Download the Summary Paper - 1+2 pilot projects: key messages and next steps

Evaluations from each of the pilot projects can be downloaded below.

Additional languages suited to the local context, as an enhancement at S3

Aims of the project: 

  1. To give every young person at S3 the opportunity to learn a second language in addition to their first additional language, as one option for a short course.
  2. To place the additional language within the context of local and/or Scottish economy and culture, with the emphasis on local employment opportunities and personal choice.
  3. To present most of the young people involved for the new SQA Languages for Life and Work Award (LLW), at SCQF level 4 or 3.

Evaluation visit to Anderson High School Shetland

Expansion and progression of 1+2 languages

Aims of the project:

To give all children exposure to at least two European languages throughout their schooling. To increase knowledge and awareness of cultural differences and similarities.

Evaluation visit to Dalmarnock Primary School Glasgow

Embedding French language and culture into the life of the school

Aims of the project:

To introduce a programme for language learning which would enable all staff to introduce and embed the French language into the day-to-day life of the school from P1 to P7. To create a positive ethos around language learning and build children’s confidence and cultural awareness.

Evaluation visit to Hillside Primary School, Dundee

Introducing French to all children from P1-P5

Aims of the project:

The aim of the pilot was to introduce French to all children from P1 – P5 by embedding the language into the daily routine.

Evaluation visit to Langlands Primary School, Angus

The Wee Big Book Project

Aims of the project:

  • To enhance learners’ enjoyment and understanding of their own and other cultures through literature and other forms of language
  • To develop learners’ competence in different languages so that they can understand and communicate in those languages
  • To develop a secure understanding of how language works

Evaluation visit to Lochyside RC Primary School, Highland

Modern languages: a new focus

Aims of the project:

From the school’s perspective, the overall aim was to encourage young people to come back to their first modern language and take up another, at S5/S6. The department aimed to provide a more vocational approach to languages for those who found the traditional route of Higher and Advanced Higher less attractive. The emphasis was on transferable skills. Young people would develop skills such as interview skills, presentation skills and skills in writing a CV. They would use their languages in very practical ways and make connections between what they learned in school and the world of work. Young people were to be presented for the Languages for Life and Work Award in French and Spanish.

Evaluation visit to Madras College Fife

German recycling transition project

Aims of the project:

  • develop learners' engagement and enthusiasm for German by creating motivating activities to support them in learning the language across the P7/S1 transition. 
  • create a sustainable unit of work which supports learners in transition and enhances their engagement with the language. 
  • further develop professional links through partnership working across schools.

Evaluation visit to Paisley Grammar, Ralston Primary School and Gallowhill Primary School, Renfrewshire Council

Embedding Spanish into the life of the school, P1-P7

Aims of the project:

  • To teach Spanish as L2 from P1 to P7, with an emphasis on integrating language learning into the life of the school, using L2 for classroom interaction where possible, and reinforcing language learning throughout the curriculum
  • To create relevant and meaningful learning contexts for L2 through interdisciplinary learning.
  • To plan collaboratively to ensure coherence and progression in the language learning experiences provided for all learners.

Evaluation visit to St Elizabeth’s Primary School

Languages in the senior phase – an ASN focus

Aims of the project:

The key aim was to highlight the accessibility and benefits of learning a modern language for young people with additional support needs.

Evaluation visit to St Modan’s RC High School

Inspiring Language Learning

Aims of the project:

  • To provide and sustain motivating French language learning from P1, and Mandarin from P4.
  • To explore and evaluate the extent to which the experiences and outcomes of Curriculum for Excellence are addressed. To discover if improved learning experiences and levels of motivation may be attributed to the variety of resources and approaches to learning.

Evaluation visit to Tough Primary School Aberdeenshire

Materials from the pilot primary schools

Materials used by four of the pilot primary schools during their projects are available for download and can be used and adapted as necessary.

Access resources from the primary pilots

University of Strathclyde Education Scotland British Council Scotland The Scottish Government
SCILT - Scotlands National centre for Languages