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Oxford German Olympiad 2019

16 November 2018 (Oxford German Network)

The Oxford German Olympiad is now open! There are four age categories enabling students aged from 9 to 18 to take part.

This year's theme is about animals and monsters - Tiere und Monster. 

All entries should be submitted in German, unless otherwise stated within the instructions.

Additionally, there is the option of a Discover German - Taster Competition for pupils with no prior knowledge of the language.

Visit the website for full details and how to enter. The entry deadline is 12 noon on 15 March 2019.


NEW! Languages in a nutshell

16 November 2018 (SCILT)

NEW! 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.

If you are interested in ordering this leaflet for your school please visit our Leaflets page.

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

European Charlemagne Youth Prize 2019

16 November 2018 (European Parliament)

Young people aged between 16 and 30 from any EU Member States can submit projects for the European Charlemagne Youth Prize.

Projects can be submitted individually or, preferably, in groups. They should promote European and international understanding; foster the development of a shared sense of European identity and integration; and provide role models for young people living in Europe and offer practical examples of Europeans living together as one community. UK projects will continue to be eligible.

The three winners will be chosen from the projects nominated by national juries and representatives from all countries will be invited to the award ceremony in Aachen in May 2019.

Visit the website for more information. Entries should be submitted by 28 January 2019.


Parlons français: A competition for students of AH French

16 November 2018 (AMOPA)

The AMOPA Advanced Higher French speaking competition has been running for eight years and is going from strength to strength. This year AMOPA are in partnership with the Franco-Scottish Society who share many of the aims of AMOPA.

To enter, all you need to do is submit a short recording of students as they prepare for their speaking test. The panel will assess it and give everyone some feedback. Prizes and certificates will also be awarded.

We hope that taking part in the competition is a way to support your pupils’ learning and exam preparation, and it's a great opportunity for them to receive feedback. 

Full details of how to enter can be found in the attached document. Submission deadline is 15 February 2019.

Finn Russell, Scotland stand-off, on Racing 92, life in Paris and learning French

15 November 2018 (The Scotsman)

Finn Russell admits he hasn’t visited the Louvre or been up the Eiffel Tower yet but he has thrown himself into one aspect of Parisian culture – eating out.

“I thought about cooking, but I thought, as I am by myself, by the time I go out and buy all the bits I need I might as well just go out and eat – it costs like 18 euros and, if I buy it in and don’t use it, then it’s a waste,” said the Scotland stand-off as he gave the media an entertaining update on his big-money move from Glasgow Warriors to Racing 92.

The 26-year-old, who will win his 39th Scotland cap against South Africa tomorrow, has made an instant impact in the French capital, impressing in the No 10 pale blue and white hooped jersey, and says he has loved immersing himself in a new culture and learning a new language, even though that remains a work in progress.


International Education Week 2018

15 November 2018 (British Council)

#BeInternational: eTwinning, ISA and me

Claire Mackay, EAL Teacher at St Andrew's Learning Community in Glasgow, on her school’s international journey.

Our world is changing. As teachers, it is our duty to teach children the skills needed to navigate and actively take part in our society, locally and globally. It is important that we leave the next generation capable for the challenges of the future. This is one of the reasons I chose to become a teacher.

International education and global citizenship have always interested me. I have often worked with my learners on international education and, for me, taking part in eTwinning  as a pedagogical method for delivering these skills to learners seemed a good next step in my journey. 

Taking part in eTwinning has been one of the most positive and motivating experiences in my teaching career. To see children interact with their peers around the world is a sheer joy! Families tells us that pupils often talk about their faraway friends and when a project is finished, they ask when we can start a new one.  

I am lucky enough to currently work in a richly diverse school in the East End of Glasgow. Many of our learners are EAL and come from a multicultural heritage. Their experiences add to the classroom dynamics in many positive ways. 

As a school, we have identified the importance of international education and have been awarded a British Council International School Award  (full accreditation). As a staff, we encourage children to see themselves as global citizens and find their place in our world. So, how did we start our journey?


Our Erasmus+ project – the halfway point

Brian Campbell, Deputy Head Teacher of Trinity Academy in Edinburgh, reflects on a successful Erasmus + project for International Education Week 2018.

In September 2017, Trinity Academy started on the exciting journey of our new Erasmus+ project in conjunction with schools from Germany, Sweden, and The Netherlands. The aim is to develop toolkits that schools and other partners can adopt to assist with the support of inclusive practices in education and is an opportunity to make a difference at both a local, national and international level. We are now at the half way stage and this is a summary of our journey so far. 


Arabic Language and Culture Programme

15 November 2018 (British Council)

The British Council and Qatar Foundation International are working together to promote the teaching and learning of Arabic language and culture in the UK.

The new phase of this collaboration aims to make Arabic a realistic choice for UK Schools, Headteachers, parents and students. 

Recent research into long-term language needs, looking at a variety of economic, geopolitical, cultural and educational indicators, identified Arabic as the second most necessary language for the UK over the next 20 years. 

However the gap between this need and current provision is particularly great: Arabic is taught in only five or six per cent of secondary schools in the UK, the majority of which are Muslim faith schools, and often only as an extracurricular subject or in the supplementary sector. 

The British Council and QFI are working to develop Arabic to the same standards expected of the other major world languages in the British school system as a viable option for any student of any background to explore.

UK schools are invited to work together with us to provide Arabic in the curriculum, with three-year funding and support available.

Visit the British Council website to find out more about our funding offer to schools and how to apply.


Duaisean na Gàidhlig – The Scottish Gaelic Awards 2018

14 November 2018 (Scottish Gaelic Awards)

SCILT’s Gaelic Professional Development Officer Eòghan Stewart was amongst a range of winners at Duaisean na Gàidhlig – The Scottish Gaelic Awards 2018 at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow on Wednesday 14th November. 

Eòghan was awarded the prize for Innovation in Education, thanks to his involvement in Gaelic Learners’ resource Gàidhlig Gu Leòr which uses Apple’s Clips app to create short, snappy Gaelic learning videos.

Others honoured included rock legends Runrig who received the Urram nan Gàidheal (Honour of the Gael) Award and Professor Boyd Robertson (formerly of University of Strathclyde) and John Norman MacLeod for their work over many years for Gaelic, but over the last decade together at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI.

The Awards were sponsored by Bòrd na Gàidhlig and the Daily Record.

photo of Eoghan Stewart receiving his award at the Scottish Gaelic Awards 2018

Visit the website for the full list of winners.


BBC newsreader 'speaks' languages he can’t

14 November 2018 (BBC)

BBC newsreader Matthew Amroliwala only speaks English, but by using artificial intelligence software he suddenly appears to be speaking Spanish, Mandarin and Hindi.

The technique uses software that replaces an original face with a computer-generated face of another.

Amroliwala was asked to read a script in BBC Click’s film studio and the same phrases were also read by speakers of other languages.

The software, created by London based start-up Synthesia, then mapped and manipulated Amroliwala’s lips to mouth the different languages.


Gaelic education: your ideas wanted

14 November 2018 (GTCS)

In issue 76 of the GTCS publication, Teaching Scotland, read about the role Gaelic Medium Education (GME) is playing in delivering Bòrd na Gàidhlig's National Gaelic Language Plan 2018-2023 (see pages 20-21). 

GTCS is committed to supporting the Gaelic education agenda and readers are invited to submit their suggestions on what more might be done to take Gaelic education forward.


Inspiring the future global workforce in North Ayrshire

12 November 2018 (SCILT)

Young people from seven North Ayrshire schools had the opportunity to engage with local businesses at Prestwick Airport on 6 November 2018. Over 80 S3-S6 pupils heard from a range of business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company.

The event “Broaden your horizons with languages” demonstrated the relevance of language skills in a work context and aimed to encourage pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education, and beyond school.

Pupils attended from Ardrossan Academy, Arran High School, Auchenharvie Academy, Greenwood Academy, Irvine Royal Academy, Largs Academy and St Matthew’s Academy.

A teacher from Greenwood Academy said:  “The event made languages very relevant to our pupils. All the opportunities and perks that languages bring had not crossed their minds before.”

A teacher from Irvine Royal Academy added: “Today’s event gave learners real life examples of how people need languages in a wide range of jobs.  The messages around the value of languages were very clear from each presenter.”

Jim Fleeting, former Director of Football Development at the Scottish Football Association, stated: “It is so exciting to be involved in a session like this. I would encourage young people to be ambitious to take up the challenge of learning languages. They will be a valuable asset for their future.”

The event was organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages based at University of Strathclyde, in partnership with Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Ayrshire. Companies attending included Choice Language, Alex Begg, Skills Development Scotland, KF German Translations, Project Trust, Radio Lingua, ARCS Partnership and easyJet.

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT said: “Events such as these are a really important way of providing young people with high quality careers advice delivered by the business people themselves and of demonstrating to them the value of language skills in our increasingly globalised world.”

Meaningful employer engagement and providing relevant careers advice are both key recommendations of Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy, “Developing the young workforce”. This event supported these aims by giving young people the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the role of languages in the business world. The targets laid out in the Scottish Attainment Challenge are about achieving equity in educational outcomes, with a particular focus on closing the poverty-related attainment gap. Through hearing from a range of business leaders and interacting with employees, the aspirations of the young people who attended were raised.

This collaboration between schools and businesses supported Scotland’s International Policy to equip young people with international communication and employability skills that they will need in our increasingly globalised society and economy.

The event is one of a series of employer engagement events being held across Ayrshire during this academic session. These events are organised by SCILT and DYW Ayrshire and aim to promote language skills.

More information on the work of SCILT to promote languages for employability.

Win a trip to Paris

12 November 2018 (ULIP)

Studying French at AS/A Level (or equivalent) and fancy a weekend away to the City of Light? 

The University of London Institute in Paris’ (ULIP) annual Win a Trip to Paris competition is now open for students of AS/A-Level French (or equivalent)! The weekend offers the perfect chance to explore the French capital, try out your taste for croissants, and see what it might be like to live and study for your undergraduate degree in one of Europe’s most cosmopolitan cities.

For your chance to spend a weekend in Paris, simply visit the website to watch the video and answer a few questions before midnight UK time 31 January 2019.


Students discover how language skills translate into jobs in world of tourism

9 November 2018 (Springboard UK)

Perthshire S3 pupils take part in interactive workshops highlighting career opportunities

Students studying languages at four schools across Perth have been given a first-hand insight into jobs opportunities in the Scottish hospitality and tourism sector as part of the region's £500,000 young workforce strategy.

Pupils took part in the event organised by Developing the Young Workforce Perth and Kinross (DYW P&K) in partnership with Springboard UK, which supports people into careers in hospitality, leisure and tourism.  The event was kindly hosted by Historic Environment Scotland within their Stanley Mills visitor attraction.

Four organisations representing the sector supported the event - including, Historic Environment Scotland, Costa Coffee, Crieff Hydro and The Crannog Centre. Each organisation hosted interactive workshops which highlighted real career opportunities available for young people when they leave school.

Keynote speeches were delivered by Anne Kinnes CEO at the Blackwatch Museum and Dr Meryl James from SCILT (Scotland’s National Centre for Languages)

Dr Meryl James of SCILT added “Our message is a little language goes a long way. Tourism businesses, the world of sport, textiles, the food and drink industry all tell us that good communication skills are No. 1!  Learning a language can really help young people develop these skills and learning about other cultures helps prepare them to have a more flexible mindset. These skills are invaluable to us in the world of work, no matter what the young person may decide to do!”

Vicki Sutherland, Regional Manager at Springboard, said: "Events like this are a fantastic way to raise the profile of an exciting and varied industry with real job prospects, bringing together future potential recruits with industry employers. It has also highlighted the many local opportunities that exist in the sector."

Following the event, 53% of pupils said they had changed their opinion and would now be likely to consider a career in the tourism and hospitality sector.

In Perth and Kinross, the DYW programme is focusing on encouraging more of the region's 6,000 employers to offer work experience opportunities, promoting apprenticeships and helping ensure young people from all backgrounds can build the right skills to enter the workplace.

Steven Stewart, Chair of DYW PK, said: "We know Scotland’s tourism and hospitality sector is facing recruitment challenges and it’s our job to encourage industry and education to work together to help build a more skilled workforce for the future through our young people. This event is a fantastic example of the kind of partnership working that can make a real difference for our young people and our region."


New job profile on the SCILT website

9 November 2018 (SCILT)

The job profiles on our website cover a range of professions where languages are being used. 

We have a new profile from David Cant, Managing Director of Albion (Overseas) Ltd, a company which helps UK businesses to enter the Russian market. After learning French and German at school, David tells us that he took up Russian by chance at university - a choice which became life-changing.

Teachers use our profiles in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how languages can play a part.


Lost in translation: leaders speaking other languages

8 November 2018 (The Telegraph)

As Jeremy Hunt addressed a Parisian audience in French we take a look at polygot politicians past and present.


Benefits of being bilingual highlighted in new video

8 November 2018 (Highland Council)

The Highland Council is to launch a new video this week “Educational Growth” aimed at parents who are thinking of enrolling their children in Gaelic Medium Education.  The video will be viewed by parents, pupils and staff at Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Inbhir Nis on Thursday 8 November 2018.

The video features a range of different people who explain the benefits of Gaelic Medium Education and of being bilingual.

Professor Antonella Sorace from the University of Edinburgh gives an insight into how young children can pick up languages quickly and the skills a person can gain from learning more than one language.

The video also features the experiences of parents who enrolled their children into Gaelic education without speaking the language themselves. It answers fears and questions parents may have about the opportunity, such as how they are able to help with homework and how they can still feel very much included in their child’s education.


Survey: Education & careers abroad with #Globescotters

7 November 2018 (Young Scot)

As part of Scotland’s Year of Young People, Young Scot have partnered with British Council Scotland to encourage you to embrace the international experiences available to you at home and abroad as part of our joint campaign, ‘GlobeScotters’.

In this short survey we want to find out your thoughts on all things international when it comes to education and careers abroad!

Visit the website and complete the survey by 17 December 2018 to earn reward points!


SCHOLAR online tutor sessions for Modern Languages

7 November 2018 (SCHOLAR)

SCHOLAR online tutor sessions for Modern Languages start again on Monday 12 November 2018. At 6pm it will be Higher, and the session will be on translation. It will be accompanied by worksheets sent out in advance to teachers for pupils to help prepare for the interactive parts of the session. Languages addressed are French, German and Spanish at both levels. Access is by:, and you do not need a SCHOLAR password to attend, just log in as a guest.  

The new ‘Directed Writing’  for Higher will form a session on 26 November, again at 6pm.

Advanced Higher translation and the overall purpose question will form a session on 3 December.


Slump in school language learning hits Scottish universities

6 November 2018 (The Herald)

The number of students from Scotland learning a modern language at university has fallen by more than 500 in the past five years.

New figures show 3,400 students chose languages at a Scottish university in 2016/17 compared to nearly 4,000 in 2012/13.

The decline, which shows numbers are falling for German, French, Russian and Spanish, has sparked fears Scotland will become increasingly isolated in the world, particularly following Brexit.

This summer, opposition politicians called on the Scottish Government to launch an inquiry into the decline in the number of pupils studying modern languages at school.

The drop has been blamed partly on curriculum reforms which mean pupils experience a broader education in the first three years of secondary.

That means exam subjects are chosen a year later than previously with a shorter time to prepare - resulting in some subjects getting squeezed out.

Professor Vicente Perez de Leon, Head of the School of Modern Languages at Glasgow University, said the school squeeze was hitting university recruitment.

And he argued language learning at school should be protected and resourced to ensure numbers increase.

“Languages are something that can open possibilities for employment abroad or having better jobs here,” he said.

“They can open minds and allow students to make connections with new people, new cultures and new literature. It should be a priority within the curriculum.”

Dr Dan Tierney, an independent languages expert, said the decline was also fuelled by the closure of some university departments.


40% more MFL teacher trainees needed for 2020

5 November 2018 (TES)

An extra 641 teacher trainees in modern foreign languages are needed to start work in schools by 2020, according to government forecasts.

But this is among “challenging targets” for teacher recruitment which the government will yet again fail to meet, training providers have said.

Figures released by the Department for Education show that the number of MFL trainees for postgraduate initial teacher training needed for 2019-20 is 2,241 – compared to 1,600 this year – in order to provide sufficient numbers of newly qualified teachers for the autumn of 2020.

This represents a 40 per cent increase in postgraduate ITT places for MFL compared to 2018-19.

But James Noble-Rogers, executive director of the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers, said the government had already failed for the last five years to meet recruitment targets for secondary schools and said this was another target which was unlikely to be met.


Language Trends Scotland

5 November 2018 (SCILT)

SCILT has published Language Trends Scotland 2012-2018.

Finding include:

  • Entries at Higher in Modern Languages have recently experienced a drop in entries but are still above 2012 levels. Relative to the S5-S6 cohort, however, there has been an increase.
  • Entries at Advanced Higher in Modern Languages are on an upward trend overall, with a slight decline in 2018. Relative to the S6 cohort, uptake has also increased.
  • Entries at Advanced Higher in the lesser studied languages (Gaelic Learners, Italian and Mandarin) have been variable.
  • Entries below Higher in Modern Languages dropped significantly after 2012, the year which marked the official end of the 'Languages for All policy. Relative to the S4-S6 cohort, languages have higher percentage uptake than two of the three sciences (Biology, Physics), with only Chemistry showing a percentage increase.


Queen Elizabeth II Can Speak This Foreign Language After Learning It Privately

5 November 2018 (International Business Times)

Queen Elizabeth II can speak at least one foreign language fluently after getting a private education by governess Marion Crawford.

Harriet Mallinson, a journalist for Express, revealed that Her Majesty can speak French fluently. French is regarded as the official language in 29 countries. But the Queen has used her knowledge in the language during her visits to France and Canada.

In 2014, the Queen went to Paris for a state visit and met with former President Francois Hollande. The two discussed the weather in French. During her fifth French State Visit at the Elysee Palace in Paris, the monarch also gave an address in both English and French. A year later, the Queen spoke with a schoolgirl from Dagenham in French.

But Mallinson noted that the most impressive instance was when the Queen went to Quebec in Canada and gave a speech in French for a straight 10 minutes. French language expert Camille Chevalier-Karfis commented on the Queen’s French-speaking videos.

“Her reading skills were excellent – both pronunciation and rhythm were very good, but you could feel she was quite tense,” she said.

In related news, the Queen isn’t the only royal that can speak French fluently. Prince Charles and the Queen’s three other children can all speak the language.


Related Links

Prince Harry greets audience in 6 languages (CNN, 31 October 2018)

SCAT - Scotland Catalan Film Festival 2018

5 November 2018 (SCAT)

Cinemaattic’s Catalan Film Festival returns to Scotland bigger than ever with ten days celebrating Catalan culture.

The festival runs from 2-5 November in Glasgow and 13-18 November in Edinburgh. Scotland Catalan Film Festival is back with a new name – SCAT –  and an extended programme of films where music, poetry and performance will also be part of this year’s edition. 

Visit the website for full details.


Report on language provision in Modern Foreign Languages Departments 2018

2 November 2018 (UCML)

The UCML has issued a new report on the language provision in UK modern languages departments.

The report investigates the provision of language modules (ie modules whose object of study is language) in MFL departments alongside models of collaboration between Languages departments and Institution-Wide Language Provision (IWLP) in UK universities. 


Related Links

Modern (Foreign) Languages: time to rename? (University of Oxford blog, 8 November 2018)

An Comunn Gaidhealach's newsletter

1 November 2018 (An Comunn Gaidhealach)

The organisers of the Royal National Mòd have published their latest newsletter which is available to view online.


La Jolie Ronde free trials

29 October 2018 (La Jolie Ronde)

FREE TRIALS available of La Jolie Ronde's two award winning French and Spanish resources and classes.

La Jolie Ronde Languages For Children is a leading early language learning organisation offering a proven method of teaching young children French and Spanish. La Jolie Ronde’s award winning programmes are unique, modern and of the highest quality. FREE TRIALS on their resources are available as follows:

P1-P3 - Little Languages Resource - FREE TRIAL AVAILABLE

Little Languages is a unique resource for introducing languages to P1-P3. It provides the perfect solution for introducing some of the different languages and cultures from around the world. To support the non-specialist and as a guide to aid the expert language teacher, Little Languages enables you to start teaching straightaway!

Activities demonstrated in French and Spanish:

  • Additional vocabulary & songs in Italian, Chinese, Hindi and African Shona
  • Includes fun, play-based activities including IWB material
  • Real life DVD clips featuring children from around the world

Product contains detailed lesson plans in a sturdy ring binder & software featuring:

  • Lesson plans
  • Resources
  • IWB activities and games
  • Colourful classroom wall frieze (5 x 2m lengths)
  • DVD clips
  • Also includes French and Spanish traditional and original songs plus songs from other languages
P4-P7 - French and Spanish Resource - FREE TRIAL AVAILABLE

La Jolie Ronde’s award winning resource contains everything you need to help plan and implement your policy for teaching a language in one go. The resource is a flexible four-year programme providing support to teachers with no previous experience of teaching languages and a guide for the more experienced, who can modify to suit. One of the biggest benefits of the resource is that everything is already pre-prepared and planned, so you can literally start teaching straightaway!

  • Perfect for the non-specialist or an aid for the more experienced languages teacher
  • Split into two schemes – for years P4-P5 and P6-P7
  • Plenty of material to fill two years and four years
  • Pre-prepared lessons, divided into short sessions for flexibility
  • Comprehensive and detailed lesson notes
FREE French or Spanish Class

Years of development, dedication and experience in the sector of early language learning, La Jolie Ronde has become the market leader, committed to offering the best possible start to young learners. Through their loyal network of over 560 tutors, who teach in over 1,660 centres, they currently teach in the region of 20,500 children. To find your nearest French or Spanish class and book your FREE TASTER CLASS, visit La Jolie Ronde website.

For your FREE RESOURCE OR CLASS TRIALS simply email your request to La Jolie Ronde quoting SCILT - email

Try the Unuhi iPad app for FREE! Read bilingual books to your kids in any 2 languages of your choice

16 October 2018 (Unuhi)

No matter what languages you speak in your family, Unuhi wants to help your children learn. Unuhi claims to be the most comprehensive bilingual book platform in the world and includes 4 launch books in almost 200 different language combinations.

Unuhi is offering a free trial of its bilingual book app for kids, free to any schools that have iPads (Android version out by Christmas) in return for feedback and spreading the word!

The app currently contains 4 original books in 20 languages, beautifully illustrated with interactive sound and flashcards to support learning.

Visit Unuhi and find out more

Find out how to trial the app for free

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.

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