Author: Sarah Spiller, City of Edinburgh
In Edinburgh there continues to be lots of exciting progress with the 1+2 approach to language learning. We have been able to offer a variety of languages CLPL for staff, including different levels of French and Spanish as well as Italian, Chinese and German. We have also been working with the Edinburgh Filmhouse to organise French and Spanish film screenings for primary teachers. We look forward to the screenings in April and know there will be fruitful professional dialogue surrounding how we can use these films as a stimulus for language learning in the classroom.
We have a number of ongoing projects running successfully and helping support language learning in the primaries. Cross-sector collaborations have helped foster confidence and enjoyment of language learning amongst staff and pupils. The Language Ambassador Scheme is a partnership with one of Edinburgh’s independent schools, George Heriot’s School (GHS) which sees senior pupils from Edinburgh City and GHS assist with language learning in local primary and secondary schools. We developed a training and support package for volunteers containing policy information and research as well as practical activities to engage young learners. Senior pupils have been working in classes across the BGE providing support to staff and pupils as well as gaining classroom experience.
Many of our senior pupils were involved in the first ever ‘City of Edinburgh languages talk conference’ on 26 February 2016 at Broughton High School. This exciting event for Higher and Advanced Higher language learners was run in partnership with Institut franҫais d’Ecosse, Goethe-Institut and SALT Edinburgh. The conference provided learners with a completely immersive language learning experience and aimed to boost confidence, improve understanding and provide fun and cultural learning of French, German and Spanish ahead of upcoming assessments.
The afternoon was incredibly successful, with pupils attending from all over the city. Olivia Moore (Broughton High School, S5) said of the experience:
‘I loved all of the activities on offer as they were entertaining and allowed me to see just how useful the French language would be in my working life and on holidays. The best thing about the afternoon was that I was truly immersed in the French language and so it was a great way to challenge my listening abilities. It was also good as it encouraged me to speak in French, which is something I normally shy away from, and so by attending the afternoon my confidence in my speaking abilities has grown.’
Return to March 2016 newsletter