A selection of language-related events. Does not claim to be comprehensive or represent the views of SCILT.

Events List


How well do you know France and French culture? Join the Alliance Française online quiz to test your knowledge and  to answer questions on various topics: language, general knowledge, history & music.

Visit the website for more information.

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The Ramshorn

Due to the current situation concerning COVID-19 this event has been postponed until further notice. Please keep an eye on the SCILT e-bulletin for details of further Living Languages events in the future.

Living Languages 2020 is a joint initiative from Languages@Strathclyde and SCILT, focusing on employability

Karen Betts, Chief Executive, Scottish Whisky Association

Karen Betts was appointed CEO of the Scottish Whisky Association (SWA) in May 2017 after a 16-year career in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Karen held a variety of posts in London and overseas with the FCO. Most recently, she was British Ambassador in Morocco. She was also Counsellor to the British Embassy in Washington and held roles at the UK's Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels and the British Embassy in Baghdad. In London, she served in the Cabinet Office and the Joint Intelligence Committee, as well as in a variety of roles in the Foreign Office.

Prior to joining the FCO, Karen worked as a lawyer for Clifford Chance in London and Hong Kong. She studied law at the College of Law in Guildford and history at The University of St Andrews.

Karen is an Adviser to the UK Government’s Board of Trade, the Chair of the CBI's International Trade and Investment Council, a member of the Scottish Government's Trade Board and a Trustee of Raleigh International.

Deadline to register Tuesday 21 April. Register through the link above.

More about the Living Languages series

Living Languages offers language learners at all stages an opportunity to hear from high-profile guests and early career graduates, from a variety of sectors, on the role of languages in their professional lives.

Guests will share their experiences through a relaxed conversation format and the audience will be encouraged to ask questions. These events allow learners to hear about languages in the workplace as well as practise their own language skills.


Start an international classroom project this March! Apply now to attend a fully funded multi-lateral CPD workshop.

Who: this event is for teachers:

  • of primary school pupils aged 4-11
  • of all subject areas
  • who are new to eTwinning or have registered but have not been active, or who have carried out one or two simple eTwinning projects.

What: Climate change, environmental challenges and the sustainable development goals will be the theme of this multi-lateral workshop. Teachers from across Europe will network, share ideas and best practice. The key aim is for participants to start a collaborative eTwinning project with other schools in Europe (and some neighbouring countries). 

Where: Holyrood Macdonald Hotel , Edinburgh, UK.

When: 15:00, Thursday 23 April until 13:00, Saturday 25 April. 

How: Apply now  (deadline for submissions is 23.59, Wednesday 11 March 2020).

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University of Aberdeen

Migration and the global movement of people and languages have become a significant factor in everyday life. The number of languages spoken in Scotland in 2018 exceeded 140 (Pupil Census Supplementary Data, 2018), and around 5% of Scotland’s population over the age of three speaks another language other than English at home (Strategy for Adults in Scotland, 2015). Calls have been made to recognise the UK as a multilingual society (Stafford, Press release, 2019).

Nevertheless, BBC reports that “Foreign language learning is at its lowest level in UK secondary schools since the turn of the millennium” whilst Professor Michael Kelly, an advisor to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Modern Languages, warns about the UK being in a language crisis (Kelly, 2019).

UK governments invest in policies promoting language learning, but so far, as some language experts remark, schools exceed at turning multilinguals into monolinguals instead (TES, 2019). The Scottish government intends for the 1+2 language initiative to reflect Scotland as a multilingual society – yet language uptake in schools continues to decline. At the same time, not much attention is given to adult speakers of other languages than English who live in the UK. Adults who do not speak English but live in an English-speaking country can be regarded as “having no language”(Strategy for Adults in Scotland, 2015).

The monolingual paradigm prevails in the public debate, language classes are perceived as boring, learning languages (other than English) useless and misconceptions about multilingualism proliferate. In the ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) context, it has been recognised that English skills are essential for New Scots, however, not much attention is given to how to teach adult learners and their needs in the learning context (Strategy for Adults in Scotland, 2015).

The urgent need to address this situation has been recognised by the AHRC Open World Research Initiative seeking to establish a new and exciting vision for languages research.

This conference inscribes itself into this ambitious endeavour, exploring the potential of creativity and art for language learning, teaching and research.

The questions we want to focus on are: Can creativity and art help us to understand more about the way we use and learn languages? What is creativity in the language learning context and what are its implications for language learners and teachers? What is the best practice to use creativity and art in language research and teaching that we can identify and promote? What are the most effective ways to do so?

Through inviting both researchers and practitioners we hope to create a platform for knowledge exchange and capacity building as well as an opportunity to make connections that can result in future collaborations.

We invite proposals from researchers, language teachers (including MFL, ESOL, mainstream, private, community schools and higher education), primary school teachers, EAL teachers as well as language learners and creative practitioners.

We welcome proposals for presentations, demonstrations, workshops and posters as well as creative presentations or performances that range beyond traditional academic format.

Visit the website for more information about the conference and submitting a proposal. Deadline for abstracts submission: 29 February 2020.

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Language Acts and Worldmaking is pleased to announce that registration for its 2020 Conference, Languages Future, taking place at King’s College London, Monday 27 – Tuesday 28 April 2020, is now open.

The guiding principle of Language Acts is that language holds the key to how we understand and construct the world and ourselves. This we call worldmaking. This principle has governed our commitment to connecting research and teaching in our work to regenerate and transform Modern Languages. So far, we have worked with several hundred co-researchers and practitioners from a wide range of educational, social and cultural organisations. In our 2020 conference we want to strengthen these communities who share the aim of making language-learning inclusive, socially engaged and international in scope.

Languages Future consolidates our research by considering as a community how our work in languages and worldmaking should intervene in the major debates of our time. A key question is about capacity building for future language learners, researchers and activists. Languages Future is a call for action. How do we boldly communicate the impact of the work languages do in the world?

Conference themes include:

Changing the conversation Schools, university students, youth and community groups propose presentations and interventions around the question: ‘How will the study of languages make the world a better place?’

Ways of Worldmaking Fiction and the imagination of new linguistic worlds; Nationalism and languages; Storytelling; Translanguaging

Language Actions Activism; Changing attitudes to language-learning; Connecting communities; Framing policy; Innovative pedagogy; Setting agendas

New Horizons Digital culture and technology; Internationalism, transnationalism and the future of languages; Language, gender and sexuality; Translation and new media

PLUS Special Guest Speaker Professor David Crystal

The conference is free to attend but registration is essential. For further information, including a draft programme and details about the venue include access, catering and other facilities, visit the event website. 

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Durham University

The UK Lingua Multilingual Language Learning and Teaching Colloquium at Durham University is scheduled to take place 2-3 May 2020.  The theme for this year's conference is Learning Gain.

How do we ensure our students keep learning?

Learning gain has been defined as the ‘distance travelled’ or the learning acquired by students between two points of their education. (The Ofsted EIF for Schools refers to progression as ‘knowing more and remembering more).

This learning is not just knowledge of content - vocabulary retention, improvement in comprehension or oral/ aural / written skills in a particular language; it may include those soft or transferable skills such as problem solving, learning to learn, time management, communication skills, open-mindedness, critical thinking, and so on.

The focus of this year’s UK Lingua conference will be “Learning Gain”, understood in the widest sense of the term, and we invite the submission of papers on this and associated aspects of MFL learning and teaching. Submission deadline: 10 February 2020.

Visit the website for more information about the conference and how to submit your proposal, or simply to register to attend one or both days of the event.

More information

University of St Andrews

Contact: Annette Zimmermann



The School of Modern Languages at the University of St Andrews is hosting a Languages Open Day for secondary schools. Pupils have the opportunity to try out new languages and attend mini-lectures in order to get a flavour of the different subjects and to obtain an idea of what it is like to study Modern Languages at university. St Andrews currently offers Arabic, French, German, Italian, Persian, Russian and Spanish.

There is also the chance to meet and talk to undergraduates and teaching staff on the day. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Deadline for registration is Tuesday 5 May 2020 and enquiries should be sent to Annette Zimmermann at A flyer about the event is also attached.

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