An entitlement for all learners to learn languages from P1 until the end of S3 aims to give every child and young person in Scotland an equal opportunity to develop life-enhancing skills.
When children and young people learn a different language, they take part in activities that help them develop their communication skills, improve their literacy and understand other cultures. Learning other languages has cognitive benefits for learners of all ages. It can also provide opportunities to travel, work and study.
SCILT have recently produced a Case Study on Corseford School in Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire which supports children and young people with complex health, education, movement and communication needs. Read about how they are using inclusive pedagogies and technologies such as alternative and augmentative communication systems to support the teaching and learning of Spanish. One of two schools in the country run by Capability Scotland, Corseford School was the proud recipient of the 'Making Languages Come Alive' category in the Scottish Education Awards 2015.
These references informed the development of our leaflet, Making languages count for my child: A guide for parents on language learning entitlement in Scotland.
Language learning in Scotland: A 1+2 approach (Scottish Government, 2012)
Maximising potential: A resource for teachers supporting inclusion in modern languages (Education Scotland, 2007)
Principles and practice: modern languages (Education Scotland, 2009)
Are children really better at foreign language learning? (Telegraph, 18 September 2013)
Am I too old to learn a new language? (Guardian, 13 September 2014)
Kormos, J., & Smith, A. M. (2012). Teaching languages to students with specific learning differences (Vol. 8). Multilingual Matters.
Bak, T. H., Nissan, J. J., Allerhand, M. M., & Deary, I. J. (2014). Does bilingualism influence cognitive aging? Annals of Neurology, 75(6), 959–963. doi:10.1002/ana.24158
Further links supporting the language learning entitlement for all learners
Bilingualism in children with or without additional support needs (Scottish Languages Review, December 2014) - This article describes personal experiences of bringing up two daughters speaking English and German. It shows how both able and disabled children benefit from being bilingual.
Meet Gary (Capability Scotland, 2014) - Since Gary's Nova Chat has been programmed with Spanish, the 'hola' and 'adios' buttons on his talker have become very popular!
Can children with Down syndrome learn more than one language? (Down Syndrome News and Update, 2003) - Read about one family's experiences of bring up their children bilingually.
Is it possible for someone who is dyslexic to learn a foreign language? (British Dyslexic Association) - This article discusses the benefits and challenges for dyslexic pupils learning foreign languages and offers advice on how to support pupils. Refers to curriculum in England.