Email alert service

We provide a selection of language news, events and resources in a weekly email bulletin. To subscribe, please complete this form.

You can also follow us on Twitter.

Chinese Arts and Culture Festival, Edinburgh 3-5 August 2018

18 March 2018 (SCEN)

Last year over 2,000 people attended the Third Chinese Arts and Culture Festival at Edinburgh Fringe. This year a Chinese Youth Arts and Culture Festival will be added. Jie Song, Chairman of the Scotland-China Chamber of Commerce, says that the organisers are now selecting and registering Chinese youth performances, all from famous schools/youth organisations in China

Jie Song explains that during the festival, she is looking for more engagements and links with local education sectors in Scotland. If any local education sectors/companies/organisations would like use these opportunities to build up relationships and business links with these Chinese visitors, please forward your proposal to Jie Song, so that it can be included in the Festival plan.

SCEN Digital Map

18 March 2018 (SCEN)

After the work of the Mapping Chinese Working Group, driven by SCEN and the Confucius Institute for Scotland, SCEN has created a Digital Map of schools, colleges and universities in Scotland involved in the teaching and learning of Chinese and about China. The principal aim is to encourage more sharing and collaboration.


‘Inequity for students’ as secondary subject options narrow

16 March 2018 (TESS)

Fewer subjects studied at some Scottish schools means some pupils are losing out, says study. New analysis of schools’ curricular offerings has found that, as pupils enter the crucial senior years of secondary, the range of courses they can take is shrinking.


SCILT Digital Internship

16 March 2018 (SCILT)

Do you love languages?

Are you currently in fifth year?

Would you like to work with other young people and enhance your CV?

Do you enjoy sharing your news, views and opinions on social media?

Well, this role might be for you!

We are looking for committed, dynamic young people to join our team as SCILT interns. This would see you using social media regularly and collaborating effectively with a team to demonstrate your love of languages and where they can take you, on a national, international and global level. This is an excellent opportunity for the right person to experience a professional work internship and enhance their sixth year at school.

Please note that interns will be home-based and the opportunity is open to young people across the country. Successful applicants must commit to attending a training day in Glasgow on Tuesday 12 June 2018.

Application details

Please download and read the Information Pack. It includes the Job Description and Person Specification.

Please download and complete the Application Form. Applications must be submitted with a letter of reference from your Principal Teacher of Modern Languages or your Head Teacher.

Completed applications must be returned by email to SCILT by 8 April 2018.

For any further information, please contact SCILT.

Teachers, please raise awareness of this opportunity amongst your S5 pupils.

1+2 Case Study - James Young High School

16 March 2018 (SCILT)

The James Young High School (JYHS) is a six year, non-denominational, co-educational, comprehensive school with four associated primary schools in West Lothian. This case study focuses on the partnership approach between the secondary and associate primaries in the implementation of the 1+2 policy. 

In the JYHS cluster all learners study French as L2 throughout the broad general education until the end of S3 and German is delivered as an L3 on the continuum model.

Read the case study on the 1+2 section of our website.


SQA course reports for Higher Modern Languages 2017

16 March 2018 (SCILT/SQA)

We have summarised the Course Reports for Higher Modern Languages. These reports highlight areas where candidates performed well in the 2017 exam and areas where they encountered difficulty. They contain sound advice for both teachers and pupils in the run up to this year's exam diet. They can be found in the Senior Phase section of our website.

The full report for each language can be accessed on the SQA website under the Verification and Course Reports tab.


SCHOLAR Modern Language webinar

16 March 2018 (SCHOLAR)

SCHOLAR’s last Modern Language webinar of the session is for Advanced Higher French, German and Spanish. Douglas Angus will give advice on tackling the reading paper, in particular the overall purpose question. Afterwards he will look at suggestions for revising for the final exam, and answer any questions on writing either the discursive writing or the folio. 

The session is on Monday 19 March at 6pm. Like all the other sessions, it is recorded and available on the SCHOLAR website. Enter as a guest. No password necessary!


Community Languages in Schools: Interview with Professor Terry Lamb

15 March 2018 (Creative Multilingualism)

In this interview, Professor Terry Lamb shares his insights into the role of community languages in schools and discusses how they should be celebrated, in both formal and informal school spaces.

He also explains how his interest in languages was inspired by a poster for cheese, and explores how language learning can open minds and help to challenge fears and prejudices.

Terry Lamb is Professor of Languages and Interdisciplinary Pedagogy, and Head of the Centre for Teaching Innovation at the University of Westminster. He spent 16 years teaching languages (French, German, Spanish, Turkish) in secondary schools before moving into higher education. He has also played a large role in the development of language policy, both nationally and internationally.


OU/SCILT languages course for primary practitioners

15 March 2018 (Open University in Scotland/SCILT)

Due to the success of the initial pilot of the course developed by the OU and SCILT, LXT192/4 Learning to teach languages in primary school (French/Spanish), we are delighted to now be able to extend the offer to all Local Authorities. The course will be offered for the following languages: French (LXT192), German (LXT193), Spanish (LXT194) and Mandarin (LXT197).

For the next presentation of this course starting in October 2018, registration will open on 1 April 2018. The course fee is £240.00 per student.

The course will be available to all primary practitioners but also secondary teachers who teach at primary level. We have produced an FAQ document with further detail about the course for your information.

In order to make the enrolment process as smooth as possible, we advise that in the first instance Development Officers contact Sylvia Warnecke at the Open University ( ) with a list of the names and email addresses of teachers planning to study this in their Local Authority. We aim to complete enrolment by late June 2018 to allow time for planning staffing and timetabling.

And last but not least, we are planning to offer teachers, who enrol on the course, a summer school experience which will offer immersion in the language to boost confidence and provide ample opportunities to learn more about the cultures in which the language they are studying is spoken. The summer school is not part of the course, it is optional and can be booked separately. More information on this will be published in due course.

Healthy Linguistic Diet website

15 March 2018 (Healthy Linguistic Diet)

Created as a result of collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and UCL, the newly launched Healthy Linguistic Diet (HLD) website aims to initiate and facilitate a shift in thinking about learning another language/other languages as a key skill or an academic subject, to understanding that using two languages is a key ingredient in our cognitive development and well-being.

Visit the website to find out more.


Multilingual Debate 2018

15 March 2018 (Heriot-Watt University)

The Multilingual Debate 2018 takes place on Wednesday 21 March at Heriot-Watt University's Edinburgh campus. As with previous years, the event is being streamed live over the internet. Schools should visit the website for information on how to participate in the online stream.


IberoDocs 2018

13 March 2018 (Consejería de Educación)

IberoDocs is the first showcase for Ibero-American culture in Scotland, focused on documentary films by Spanish, Portuguese and Latin- American filmmakers. The event takes place 4-8 April in Edinburgh and 4-5 May in Glasgow.

This year IberoDocs has organised “Family Day”, a special event aimed at younger audiences, where attendees will have the chance to take part in some interesting workshops. If your school is interested, please have a look at the attached programme and contact the organisers. More information is also available on the website.


Related Files

Six reasons why everyone should learn Español

12 March 2018 (The Independent)

We've read the arguments for learning French, but let's be honest: Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Russian, or any other language with growing global importance would be a better choice.

Spanish may be the best choice of all for a second language, which is why its popularity in schools is soaring worldwide.

In honour of Hispanic Heritage Month, here are some reasons why you should estudiar.


Employ a language assistant for 2018/19

12 March 2018 (British Council)

Language Assistants provide an interactive language resource for your classroom. We recruit our assistants directly from their home countries, meaning their language and resources are always up-to-date and, importantly, authentic.

Native speakers of French, Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese and Irish, they help pupils to build their confidence, develop conversational skills, boost motivation for learning, and better understand other cultures. Feedback from schools with a Language Assistant noted an improvement in pupils’ listening and speaking skills.

Not only that, many teachers have found that having a native speaker to talk to and share teaching ideas with can reinvigorate both their teaching practice and their own love for language learning. 

So, with applications now open for the 2018/2019 academic year, there hasn’t been a better time to ensure your classroom has access to the best language learning resource around – a native speaker.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to apply for your language assistant by 31 March 2018. Please note that the deadline for Chinese Language Assistants is 1 June 2018.


Sweden's Finns fear minority language rights are under threat

13 March 2018 (The Guardian)

As rising immigration increasingly puts Scandinavia’s reputation for tolerance to the test, Sweden’s largest national minority fears its language rights are threatened and children will grow up with little or no knowledge of their mother tongue.

Finnish-speaking Swedes, known as Sweden Finns (sverigefinnar), make up more than 7% of the country’s 10 million-strong population and are entitled to Finnish lessons in school since Sweden reversed an earlier postwar approach of forced assimilation.

But complaints that minority language policies are not being respected are mounting. Reports for the Swedish government in the past 12 months point to failures with respect to Sweden Finns in particular, but paint “a dark picture” of the situation for national minority languages in Sweden as a whole.


Le Petit Monde - Puppet shows & Picture Book Launch

12 March 2018 (Le Petit Monde )

Le Petit Monde, bilingual puppet theatre company, will be on tour with The Wonderful World of Lapin throughout Scotland as part of the Puppet Animation Festival during the Easter holidays.

Artistic Director and now author Tania has also written Lapin is Hungry, a bilingual picture book based on her French puppet characters. The Book Launch Party will be on the 21st April at the Institut Francais d'Ecosse in Edinburgh.

The company is preparing Teaching Packs and is planning to tour schools with shows and book readings. Please get in touch with Tania for more details.


Sharp drop in subject specialists at Scottish secondary schools

10 March 2018 (Herald)

The number of specialist teachers in secondary schools has plummeted over the past decade amid claims heavy workloads and static pay are driving staff away [...] Most modern languages have also seen numbers decline steeply with a 32% drop in French teachers and a 44% drop in German teachers.


Online course: Learning for Sustainability: Connecting Classrooms through critical thinking and problem solving

9 March 2018 (British Council)

This professional learning initiative by the University of Edinburgh, in partnership with the British Council, is a timely opportunity for teachers to grapple with what Learning for Sustainability means, what existing and new skills and knowledge are required, and how this might all look in the your school context. The10-week active learning course takes a Learning for Sustainability approach, which involves critical thinking and problem solving, participation, and practitioner enquiry.

This online course runs from 16 March - 26 May 2018.


SQA course reports for Advanced Higher Modern Languages 2017

9 March 2018 (SCILT/SQA)

We have summarised the Course Reports for Advanced Higher Modern Languages. These reports highlight areas where candidates performed well in the 2017 exam and areas where they encountered difficulty. They contain sound advice for both teachers and pupils in the run up to this year's exam diet. They can be found in the Senior Phase section of our website.

The full report for each language can be accessed on the SQA website under the Verification and Course Reports tab.


Ten years of “Me gusta” – Facebook celebrates a decade in Spanish

8 March 2018 (El País)

Facebook is celebrating its 10th year in Spanish, buoyed by having broken the barrier of two billion active monthly users. The language was the first choice for translation of the site, and after English continues to be the most popular on the social network, being used by 290 million people. Around 80 million people use Facebook in European Spanish, which is officially called Castilian by the site.


Foreign Language Enrollments Drop Sharply

12 March 2018 (Inside Higher Education)

Foreign language enrollments dropped 9.2 percent from fall 2013 to fall 2016, according to new data from the Modern Language Association. The drop is the second largest since the MLA started tracking such information in 1958.


Could languages help young women break the glass ceiling?

7 March 2018 (MEITS Blog)

The gender pay gap is persistent and while the number of female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies is at an all-time high, according to the 2017 list released by Fortune magazine, it still only amounts to 32, or 6.4%. But young women might have an ace up their sleeves ...


Calls for Doric to have same status as English and Gaelic

6 March 2018 (Scotsman)

Doric is to be promoted and protected on a new scale in Scotland with a body now set up in Aberdeen to secure the same status for North-East Scots as English and Gaelic. The North-East Scots Language Board is being led by academics, key figures and institutions in the region to normalise the use of the language in civic life, media, business and education.


Launch a British Sign Language GCSE, MPs urge

6 March 2018 (BBC News)

British Sign Language should be turned into a GCSE that is taught in schools, MPs were told. The appeal came as a petition calling for British Sign Language to be made part of the national curriculum attracted more than 32,500 signatures. It also follows the success of Oscar winning film The Silent Child, starring profoundly deaf Maisie Sly, aged six.


Oscars 2018: Ex-Hollyoaks star uses sign language in acceptance speech

5 March 2018 (BBC)

A film starring a six-year-old deaf British girl and made by two former Hollyoaks stars has won an Oscar.

The Silent Child, which tells the story of a girl who struggles to communicate, was named best live action short film.

It stars Maisie Sly, aged six, from Swindon, and Rachel Shenton, who played Mitzeee Minniver in the Channel 4 soap.

Shenton also wrote it and used sign language in her acceptance speech. It was directed by Chris Overton - AKA Hollyoaks cage fighter Liam McAllister.

"I made a promise to our six-year-old lead actress that I would sign this speech," Shenton said while accepting the statuette at Sunday's ceremony in Hollywood.


New 'Science in the Language Class' packs available along with a new website

2 March 2018 (RZSS)

'Science in the Language Class' is an educational programme which provides resources that link language learning to RZSS conservation projects across the world, or to the conservation breeding programmes within RZSS sites.

Our language packs cost £50 +VAT (£6 post and packing) and contain at least 5 different educational games and activities with all game boards and associated cards. In order to offer these packs at an economical cost, the individual game cards require to be cut out. All game boards and game cards are produced on high quality card and we advise laminating for a longer life. All packs are supported by the virtual platform and on purchasing a pack you will gain access to additional copies of the games and activities to download.

We also have a few free resources on the platform and we will in future expand and develop more materials.

Full details and pictures of the resources along with how to order online

The Spanish pack is available now, Japanese following very soon and French should be available end May/beginning of June.

Of course we have an extensive programme for Mandarin called 'Beyond the Panda'. There are a fantastic range of free resources available on the platform and we also offer China Mobile Library, China outreach sessions and look out later in the year for opportunities through the RZSS Confucius Classroom - the first science Confucius Classroom in the world! Full details, costs etc for Beyond the Panda.

Calling all language teachers - Easter competition alert!

1 March 2018 (Kidslingo)

If you teach languages to children, you’ll know that games and resources can be a great way of enhancing the learning experience.

That’s why we’ve teamed up with award-winning children’s language learning franchise, Kidslingo, to offer you the chance to win a fabulous Easter hamper that contains a host of useful (and tasty) goodies.

The language learning hamper includes: Kidslingo audio CDs, French and Spanish story boxes from One Third Stories, Lil’ollo posters and flashcards, family and animal finger puppets, a cuddly bear and a selection of posters and cards from Cartes Cochons. Oh, and as Easter is coming up, it’d be rude not to include a selection of chocolate too!

To win, all you have to do is email your name, contact number and position to: by the 31st of March* and you will go into a random prize draw. Bonne chance!

Kidslingo teaches French and Spanish to over 8,000 babies, toddlers and primary school kids through a national network of over 100 franchisees and tutors. Its innovative approach is based on the science of learning, and uses a clever mix of music, games, role-play, drama and storytelling.

*By entering this competition, you agree to Kidslingo contacting you with news, views and offers. We may also share your information with a small selection of our trusted partners.

SCILT postcard competition – can your learners help to promote languages?

SCILT (29 January 2018)

SCILT is inviting pupils in S1-S3 to design a promotional postcard that SCILT will use at events to give to pupils to promote the importance of language learning.

The winning postcard will contain key messages on the value of language skills and will have an eye-catching design.

The pupil who designs the winning postcard will be awarded £25 amazon vouchers and be invited to attend the Word Wizard finals in the Scottish Parliament on 11 May 2018 to receive their prize.

  • Postcards should be designed on two sides of A4. Please bear in mind that this will be shrunk to postcard size.
  • The maximum word count for each side of the design is 100 words. 
  • Postcards should contain key messages on language learning. Please visit our website to find reports and suitable sources ( Reports and facts can be found on the Business pages, the Beyond School pages and in the leaflets in the Learners & Parents pages. 
  • Teachers may wish to work with a group of pupils or a class on this, but students should each submit their own work and entries will be judged on an individual basis. 
  • Pupils can design their own visuals or download pictures from the Internet. Any images need to be covered by CC0. We have listed some suitable websites below. 
  • If any photos of pupils are used, appropriate permissions need to be in place. The postcard will be uploaded onto our website and will be printed and distributed widely. It may also be used on social media. 
  • All sources for statements and images should be clearly stated on the cover sheet. 
  • We will add logos and web addresses. SCILT reserves the right to edit as appropriate. 
  • Entries must be submitted with cover sheet
  • Entries should be sent electronically to SCILT by 30 March 2018.
Some suggested websites for images

Unsplash: High-resolution photos licensed under CC0 which means you can copy, modify, distribute, and use the photos for free, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash. You don't need to create an account to download.

Pexels: No attribution needed and you don't need an account to download the photos. These photos are also licensed under CC0.

Pixabay: All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyright under CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty free for anything you like. Attribution is not required and there are thousands of photos to choose from.

The 1+2 Languages Leadership Programme

26 January 2018 (SCILT/Education Scotland)

The 1+2 Languages Leadership Programme, the flagship national leadership programme, is now open for registration.

Hosted by SCILT and Education Scotland, The 1+2 Languages Leadership Programme is aimed at those who have, or aspire to have, a responsibility for leading languages and developing colleagues’ capacity to deliver the 1+2 approach to languages in their context. The programme is completely free of charge for educators in the public sector and begins with a summer school. This year the summer school takes place from Monday 2 July to Thursday 5 July 2018 at the University of Strathclyde’s city centre campus in Glasgow.

The programme features inputs from a wider variety of speakers with a broad range of expertise in teaching and leading languages from Education Scotland, SCILT, CISS, cultural organisations, local authorities, independent consultancies and other professionals. The inclusion of parallel sessions will offer choice to participants, and the content is a balance of theory, policy and practice around language learning and teaching, leadership, personal reflection and professional evaluation. Get a flavour of the most recent summer school on our website.

The themes of the 2018 summer school are:

  • 1+2 languages: the national picture and the position of languages within the National Improvement Framework and the Scottish Attainment Challenge 
  • Strategic leadership in languages: planning and evaluation 
  • Progression in language learning 
  • Parental and wider engagement in language learning 
  • Raising attainment: practical ways to develop literacy skills across languages 
  • L3 – existing models, diversity of languages 
  • Inclusive practice in languages

The 1+2 Languages Leadership Programme:

  • supports local authorities by building capacity and helping them achieve a sustainable model for leading language learning and teaching for all, and  
  • has the option of Professional Recognition from the GTCS for participants

We are offering up to 50 free places at the summer school. Before submitting your application, we would ask you to discuss with your head teacher/line manager the purpose and aims of any subsequent leadership role and how best to capitalise on this professional learning experience.

Attendees will be responsible for claiming all travel expenses directly from their own local authority. This excludes Orkney, Shetland and Western Isles who can claim from SCILT.

Refreshments and lunch will be provided by SCILT for the duration of the week.

Registration opens at 9am on Monday 29 January 2018 through the link below. The link will go live at this time

Registration closes on Saturday 31 March 2018.


Oral Revision Courses: Higher and Advanced Higher French

1 December 2017 (Alliance Française Glasgow )

The AF Glasgow will be running special revision courses for pupils who are sitting their Higher and Advanced Higher French oral examinations in early 2018.


Threlford Memorial Cup 2017 - Call for nominations now open

26 May 2017 (Chartered Institute of Linguists)

Do you know someone who's done something truly amazing for language learning?

Chartered Institute of Linguists is looking for nominations for the Threlford Memorial Cup 2017. The Cup is presented annually to a person, an organisation, or for a project that has inspired others with an original language initiative. The Cup will be presented by Royal Patron HRH Prince Michael of Kent at our Awards Evening in London in November.

The deadline for nominations is Friday 28 July 2017.


Disclaimer: These news stories do not claim to be comprehensive and the views expressed do not necessarily represent the views of SCILT.

Latest News

View all news

Chinese Arts and Culture Festival, Edinburgh 3-5 August 2018 More...

SCEN Digital Map More...

‘Inequity for students’ as secondary subject options narrow More...

SCILT Digital Internship More...