Beyond School

The 'Beyond School' section of the SCILT website covers language learning options available post-secondary education.

Language Explorers Scotland

Language Explorers Scotland (previously known as Scotland's Languages Explorer's Programme - SLEP) consists of a short series of mentoring sessions led by university students with lived experiences of language learning and multiculturalism. It aims to win hearts and minds of young people by giving them time to explore the bigger picture of language learning with a trained, supportive student mentor. Similar schemes running in other parts of the UK have led to an increase in the number of learners continuing with languages into higher levels of study.

What it involves:

  • Weekly online mentoring sessions with groups of up to 10 mentees for 6 weeks
  • Sessions run at a time agreed between schools and their student mentors
  • Free of charge to participating state schools in Scotland
  • Schools must have access to Glow and a solid internet connection
  • A supervising member of school staff will oversee each mentoring session

Are you interested in becoming a mentor?

Sign up here to attend the information session on Wednesday 2nd October 2024 3-4pm. Attendance is compulsory for anyone considering applying for the programme.

Hear from the mentors

Scroll through the videos to hear different mentor experiences.


Text in image reads: Building relationships with mentors and attending sessions tailored to their interests have both been highlights for our pupils. Pupils have expanded their thinking about languages and the process of language learning. We will definitely continue with this programme! Text in image reads: I like being able to share what I'm passionate about with young students and inspire and encourage them to continue their language learning journey. Text in image reads: Our link has made [language] learning more relevant for students by relating both the language and cultural elements to real-life situations. Our link has fostered a greater appreciation of language learning in our pupils, stressing its importance in the hugely interconnected nature of today's world.

Monday 23 September 2024 – registrations of interest open for schools 

Tuesday 1 October 2024 – Information session for interested schools (attendance required) 

Monday 4 November 2024 – deadline for registrations of interest from schools 

Week beginning 18 November – successful schools notified and introduced to language mentors. Liaison about timing of mentoring sessions to take place between the school and your mentor.  

Week beginning 25 November – mentor sessions can begin! 

Week ending 24 February 2025 – final week to complete mentoring sessions, if these have not already concluded 

March 2025 – SCILT will request feedback from you and your mentees via a short evaluation survey 

Wednesday 2 October 2024 (3-4pm) – online information session with SCILT to provide more information about the programme and answer any questions you may have prior to submitting your application. Attendance at this information session is a prerequisite for application. 

Friday 11 October 2024 – deadline for submission of your application and short introduction video 

By Friday 18 October 2024 – successful mentors notified 

*Saturday 26 October 2024 (10.30am – 4pm) – In-person training day in Glasgow (travel costs can be reimbursed) 

*Wednesday 30 October 2024 – online training session 1 (2-4pm) 

*Wednesday 6 November 2024 – online training session 2 (2-4pm) 

Friday 8 November 2024 – mentors confirm their commitment to delivering mentoring sessions prior to being paired with schools 

Wednesday 13 November 2024 - optional online training for further practice in delivering mentoring sessions 

Week beginning 18 November 2024 – mentors will be introduced to schools by email. Liaison about timing of mentoring sessions to take place between you and your school.  

Week beginning 25 November 2024 – mentor sessions can begin! 

Week ending 24 February 2025 – final week to complete mentoring sessions, if these have not already concluded 

March 2025 – SCILT will request feedback from you about your mentoring experiences via a short evaluation survey  

* attendance at all three training sessions is mandatory so that you are fully prepared to engage in a confident, meaningful and professional way with your mentees. Please check that you can attend all three sessions before you submit your application as absence at any one of the sessions will disqualify you from participating as a mentor for this session. 

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