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.

Supporting teachers

The Working Group recommends that schools and local authorities consider the engagement by schools of other skilled and trained native speakers of additional languages to work under the direct and explicit supervision of the classroom teacher in schools.

- Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 Approach

Using native speakers

author British Council, British Council (2019)

In the latest British Council survey of over 300 UK schools hosting language assistants, Heads of Languages reported that their language assistant made a significant impact on attainment and learning outcomes in the following areas:

  • Improved exam grades (72%)
  • Improved cultural awareness (79%)
  • Increased enthusiasm or motivation for language learning (75%)
  • Improved standards in listening and speaking (81%)
  • Improved confidence in using the language (86%).


German Educational Trainees (GETs)

German Educational Trainees (GETs) aim to boost language learning and intercultural dialogue in schools whilst providing an invaluable opportunity for German trainee teachers to enhance their classroom practice. 

German trainee teachers from Universities in Mainz and Leipzig work in Scottish schools for a six month placement from September/October to March/April. Participating students are native German speakers, training to become secondary teachers of English, which means that their level of English is advanced, as is their knowledge of the pedagogy associated with teachers modern languages. They are looking to gain invaluable teaching experience in an English-speaking country, as a compulsory component of their teacher training. This experience can be in either primary or secondary schools, or both.

Find out more on the Get Across Borders website: http://www.get-across-borders.uni-mainz.de/.

Expressions of interest are now being taken from local authorities interested in hosting GETs during the 2022/23 session. Contact SCILT for more information and to complete the note of interest form: scilt@strath.ac.uk.

Feedback on GETs programme: 

"Having the support of a German language speaker has made a huge impact on staff language skills, giving them the confidence to take forward the 1+2 initiative and implement it from early through to second level" - Primary teacher, 2015/16 
"My main task was to provide students with the opportunity to practise their language. I helped them to improve their pronunciation, to expand their vocabulary, and also to speak German and reduce their inhibitions" - GET student 2015/16
"He has helped us develop our confidence in speaking the language and expressing ourselves. Having a native speaker is a great way to learn more about the culture and traditions of a country a get a real impression as to what life is like" - Advanced Higher pupils, 2016/17
"The pupils find it really interesting to have a German native speaker teaching them. They are keen to hear about the German way of life, the culture and the food. They also love learning German proverbs and slang" - GET student 2016/17

The GETs programme is supported by Johannes Gutenberg Universitat Mainz, Goethe-Institut Glasgow and SCILT. 

Cultural organisations

Offers French courses for all levels and ages. which are complemented by a range of cultural and social events.

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Based at University of Strathclyde, this is a national centre promoting Chinese language and culture in Scotland's schools.

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Support for Spanish language and culture to teachers, scholars, students and others interested in Spain and Spanish-speaking countries. For further details contact the Education Officer.

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Organises and promotes German language and culture in Scotland. Provides German courses and runs a programme of cultural events to promote mutual understanding.  

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Offers French courses in Edinburgh and organises cultural events in Scotland. Encourages cross-cultural exchange between France and Scotland, in cooperation with Scottish francophile institutions.

Provides support for French language and culture to teachers, pupils and students interested in French speaking countries. For further details contact the Education Officer.

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Aims to promote greater understanding in Scotland and Russia (plus its neighbouring countries), of each other’s ways of life, history, heritage, and culture, and to create contacts between the peoples of these countries.

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Scottish Languages Employability Award

Developing language skills for the world of work

The Scottish Languages Employability Award (SLEA) is awarded by SCILT. It helps schools and businesses to build partnerships through languages in order to develop young people’s learning about the world of work and the value of language skills.

Find out more about the SLEA through the Employment pages of our website.

Parents as partners

Languages in a nutshell

Languages in a nutshell is a guide to learning languages, produced by SCILT in partnership with The National Parent Forum of Scotland. Aimed at parents, this leaflet explains how the 1+2 Approach will be put into practice and why learning other languages is so important. It also suggests ways parents can support their child’s language learning.

Languages in a nutshell is one in a series of Nutshell leaflets produced by The National Parent Forum of Scotland.

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