Welcome to the autumn/winter 2017 edition of SCILT’s 1+2 newsletter. The aim of this newsletter is to support effective communication amongst those in the language community who have a role in influencing the implementation of ‘Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 approach’ in your own context. By encouraging clear lines of communication both within our own establishments, networks and beyond we can do much to ease worries and concerns, overcome barriers and persuade others that language learning is, as Avis Glaze so eloquently put it, ‘not a distraction by any means. Instead, it is an important component of 21st century learning priorities’.
While the 1+2 policy gives us the impetus to reinvigorate the languages curriculum, it is important that we do not allow language learning to become defined by the policy. When we consider the curriculum as a totality, it becomes clear that skills progression in listening and talking, reading and writing is achieved as much in language learning as it is in literacy lessons. Language learning reinforces and consolidates these important skills, allowing them to be practised and developed in a different way and, therefore, has a hugely important contribution to make towards raising our children and young people’s literacy skills. Similarly, through learning a language, youngsters enhance their communication skills, develop confidence and become increasingly inter-culturally sensitive. These are the skills for life and work that will equip them to operate in a globally interdependent world.
It is, therefore, clear to us in the languages community that ‘Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 approach’, lies at the heart of the National Improvement Framework and is certainly not a ‘distraction’. However, it is not always viewed this way. It is our role, as advocates for language learning, to ensure that the message is heard by all our stakeholders and across our schools, local authorities and regional improvement collaboratives. No-one is going to do this for us; for language learning to really take firm root and flourish across the country, it is down to us to ensure that the message gets out. We all need to exert our influence, use our powers of persuasion and let the facts speak for themselves: ‘language learning is an important component of 21st century learning priorities’.
Fhiona Mackay, Director
Download entire issue of SCILT 1+2 Newsletter December 2017 as PDF.