Article Details

Article Details

Language Linking, Global Thinking

Author: Meryl James and Janette Kelso, SCILT

Language Linking, Global Thinking (LLGT) is a project that links a student on their year abroad to a class in a school in Scotland. The project has the aim of encouraging young people to understand the value of languages by raising their awareness of another culture, thus increasing motivation and making language learning fun and relevant.

The pilot for LLGT began in 2013-14 with contributions from SCILT, British Council Scotland, Project Trust and the University of Strathclyde. Thanks to the positive impact it has had in both primary and secondary schools, from August 2016-17 the initiative will extend through additional partnerships with the universities of Dundee, Stirling, Aberdeen and St Andrews.

The students attend a training day, organised by the partners, in June before they go abroad. The student also visits the class to introduce themselves and to find out what the class would like to learn about life in the destination country. This also helps them to establish the best way to share their experiences with the class.

The student makes at least six contacts with the class during their time abroad. This could be by email, letter, blog, video, or a combination of these. We have also found that simple packages including things like postcards, tickets, posters and photos have been well-received by classes.

Once the student returns to Scotland, they visit the class again in order to share the experience in greater depth.

Pupils who have taken part in this initiative have commented that it has increased their interest in language learning and made them want to speak in the target language more:

“It was fun and a good opportunity to use my French and also to expand my knowledge of French.” (S2 pupil)

Teachers who have taken part said that it was a great opportunity for pupils to find out more about the culture in the country where the student was spending their year abroad, and there were plenty of opportunities to link festivals in the country with topics in the Scottish classroom.

Louise Hall spent her year in France with the British Council and was linked with Kingussie High School in Highland. In response to a postcard the class received from Louise, pupils developed their own set of postcards in French.

Kara Warner spent her year in France and was linked with Wallacestone Primary School in Falkirk. Pupils were able to test their French vocabulary when Kara sent them a photo of her suitcase.

Nicole Downey spent her year in Spain and was linked with Crookfur Primary School in East Renfrewshire. Pupils were able to expand their vocabulary as Nicole wrote about festivals in Spain, including Christmas and Karnival.

For more information and to register for LLGT 2017- 18, please contact Alice Lister. Please note LLGT 2016-17 is now full.

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