Latest News

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

Genes And Musical Ability Both Affect How People Hear Tonal Languages

27 May 2020 (Forbes)

In some languages, the meaning of each word is not only conveyed by the order of its syllables, but also by the pitch. Tonal languages such as Cantonese, Mandarin or Yoruba are difficult to learn for people who are used to non-tonal languages like English. They require you to be able to pick up on subtle pitch differences, and new research suggests that your ability to do so may be genetic. However, they also noted that genetics only played a small role. Whether or not someone had taken music lessons was more likely to affect how well they hear lexical tones.


Gary Lineker: Learning a language is one of the most important things you can do – in Spain once I really ballsed it up

27 May 2020 (The Sun)

Want to get a real sense of Spanish? Then learn from a footie legend who picked up the lingo while playing for one of the country’s top teams.

Sports pundit Gary Lineker is among a host of famous faces who have signed up to teach kids on CBBC show Celebrity Supply Teacher.

[..] Gary will be livening up the classroom by helping little ones learn Spanish through football.

The ex-England striker learned the language when he transferred from Everton to Barcelona in 1986. He also attempted to master Japanese during two seasons at League club Nagoya Grampus Eight.


New Website Harnesses The Power Of Music And Drama To Teach Welsh And Spanish

27 May 2020 (Wales 247)

Primary school teachers and parents can now harness music and drama to help children learn Welsh and Spanish by using a new, free to use website. 

The website includes more than 30 activities, such as simple drama games and songs in three languages.

Everything needed to lead children through the activities is provided, including full instructions, demonstration videos, downloadable sheet music, lyrics, audio files and suggestions for extension and reflection.


eTwinning - Online training, workshops and courses

26 May 2020 (British Council)

eTwinning offers various free online professional development at both a UK and a European level. 

Visit the website for a full schedule of online events beginning in June 2020, including a one hour introduction to eTwinning.


Connecting Classrooms - Learning for sustainability

26 May 2020 (Learning for Sustainability Scotland)

Get funding to collaborate locally and internationally on the big issues that shape our world.

Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning is here to help you bring Learning for Sustainability and the Global Goals to life for your learners! There are a host of learning opportunities and support on offer through the Connecting Classrooms programme. Whether you are looking for personal development opportunities, or want to collaborate with other schools.

Visit the website to find out more. Next funding application deadline is 15 June 2020.


Watch new PowerLanguage Challenge videos

25 May 2020 (PowerLanguage)

Pupils in Scotland have been using their language skills to produce some quality videos. Take a look at these podcasts made by learners, for learners. Why not take up the challenge in your school? 


UK-German Photo Competition: ‘Welcome to my World’

22 May 2020 (UK-German Connection)

Travel may be off limits right now, but the exploration of another country and culture doesn’t have to be! UK-German Connection is inviting young people (aged 14-25) from the UK and Germany to give each other a glimpse into their world by entering their 2020 photo competition. Entrants do not have to be learning German.

Entry deadline: 5 June

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information and how to enter.


Scotland Learns - Gaelic medium resources

21 May 2020 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has created a new portal, Scotland Learns, to help practitioners and parents support children's home learning during school closures.

This week on Scotland Learns the team has added a range of learning activities for parents and carers whose children learn through the medium of Gaelic. Learning activities are also available in English to support parents and carers who may not speak Gaelic. 


Creative Multilingualism: A Manifesto

20 May 2020 (University of Oxford)

The Creative Multilingualism research team have published a new 10 chapter book, Creative Multilingualism: A Manifesto. It presents four years of collaborative research on multilingualism across disciplines, from the humanities through to the social and natural science. The book is available to read for free from the Open Book Publishers website, under a creative commons licence. The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Episodes of the Linguamania Podcast series are also available based on the same research strands.


British Council Campaign

19 May 2020 (UCML)

The British Council has been a major disseminator of knowledge about the United Kingdom and of the English language since its foundation in 1934, working with over 50 countries. Since the start of the Covid-19 public health crisis, the British Council has had to close most of its schools and test centres across the globe, leading to a substantial budget deficit. Although a public body under the auspices of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the government response to the council’s financial situation has not been positive, and the council’s future is now significantly under threat.

UCML considers the British Council one of its closest allies in its mission to support study, teaching and research in modern languages, and has therefore launched a campaign to raise awareness of the vital role the British Council plays in languages education. To this end we have written a letter to the Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, as well as other key stakeholders, and support the campaign launched by the Public and Commercial Services Union, which includes an Early Day Motion in Parliament.

Visit the website to read the letter and find out how you can participate in the campaign.


Online French classes

14 May 2020 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française offers a variety of opportunities for learners of French. Follow the relevant link below to find out more:

For information on all other initiatives offered by the organisation, visit the main website.


Shadow Heroes

13 May 2020 (RSA)

Gitanjali Patel FRSA believes that translation is a force for change, as well as an untapped resource for teaching students how to harness their linguistic abilities to become critical, yet responsible, global citizens.

Earlier this year, five translators delivered five original workshops in two north London state schools – William Ellis and Camden School for Girls – as part of a Shadow Heroes series supported by the RSA’s Catalyst fund. Our aim was to demonstrate the power of translation in teaching critical thinking and as a socially inclusive endeavour, highlighting the fun, varied and cross-disciplinary nature of working with languages. Following on from our earlier introduction to the series, here are some of our reflections. 

Shadow Heroes workshops aim to introduce students to a range of languages and perspectives from outside western Europe, and this series was no exception. Our opening workshop, got students thinking about how our different perspectives, interests and worldviews influence the way we read and interpret, and what effect this might have on our translations. A second workshop on translating Arabic comics, led by Nariman Youssef and Sawad Hussain, introduced concepts of foreignisation and domestication, helping students to make self-aware decisions as they adapted translations for different audiences. Next, Ayça Türkoğlu’s workshop used Turkish pop songs to offer an in-depth look at voice, idiom and onomatopoeia. This emphasis on the complexities of translating voice continued throughout the series. Yuka Harada-Parr guided students in their retranslations of the Japanese dialogue of a Dragon Ball Z trailer, and the final session, on translating slang, drew on the skills built during previous workshops to highlight the power structures evident in the language(s) we use.

The workshops drew on contemporary fiction, film, music and art from across the world. Each looked to shift the idea of language as simply a system for communication and emphasise its grounding in people and societies, cultures and politics. Feedback showed an enthusiastic response from students and teachers at both schools to a broader presentation of language learning. 

[..] We would love to hear from teachers and educational practitioners who are interested in getting involved with future iterations of our project, or who have questions about this one.


Tackling the languages ‘crisis’: Supporting multilingualism in the new curriculum for Wales

13 May 2020 (BERA)

A commitment to languages is front and centre of the Welsh government’s education policies. This is evident in the pledge to achieve 1 million Welsh speakers by 2050 (Welsh Government, 2017) and the Global Futures strategy and plan (Welsh Government, 2016) to build a ‘bilingual plus one nation’. Nonetheless, there remains an alarming decline of uptake of GCSE modern foreign languages (MFL).

What can be done to inspire an uplift for modern foreign languages across Wales in the future?

As a non-compulsory subject beyond KS3, the landscape for language learning in Wales (beyond English and Welsh) has been challenging for the last two decades, with entries for GCSEs in MFL falling by 60 per cent between 2002–2019 (Tinsley, 2019). However, in our article, ‘Multilingual perspectives: Preparing for language learning in the new curriculum for Wales’ (part of a new special issue of the Curriculum Journal), we discuss how the New Curriculum for Wales 2022 could offer hope for arresting and reversing the decline (Gorrara, Jenkins, Jepson, & Machin, 2020).

It focusses on the value of promoting a younger learner’s experience of all languages: Welsh, English and what are now termed ‘international languages’ (encompassing all non-indigenous languages in Wales). In this context, languages are positioned as ‘key to understanding the world around us’ (Welsh Government, 2020).

This commitment to the social and cultural benefits of multiple language learning creates opportunities for schools to diverge from a traditional emphasis on transactional language learning towards a multilingual approach. In our article, we argue that such multilingual practices and methodologies can reinvigorate a younger learner’s connection to languages by making them more dynamic and relevant to our globalised and connected world.


Issue to action – an online course for secondary teachers across Scotland with an interest in Global Citizenship

12 May 2020 (Scotdec)

This 6 week online course will start on 19 May 2020 and focuses on Modern Languages, English, Science, Maths and Social Subjects.

See the course leaflet for more information. 

Register for the course on the Eventbrite webpage. 

'Visual poetry': taking physical languages beyond the Deaf community

10 May 2020 (The Guardian)

Addressing the camera, Ryan Pendley’s arms swipe the air, his hands fly with ferocity and pent-up frustration, his fingers crawl up his neck and clasp over his mouth. The subtitle explains, “like struggling to breathe”, but you hardly need the translation. What we’re watching looks like sign language, mime and dance rolled into one. It’s actually visual vernacular, or VV, an art form little known beyond the Deaf community (Deaf, with a capital D, refers to a distinctive culture as opposed to a solely audiological condition). And it’s part of a new film Here/Not Here by director Bim Ajadi, that finds connections between three seemingly disparate physical languages: krump dance, football and British Sign Language (BSL).


SCILT's COVID response: Live streamed classes

7 May 2020 (SCILT)

This Monday (4 May) saw the launch of the first week of language classes, courtesy of our partnership with e-Sgoil. Demand was far greater than anticipated and despite some issues with registration, valid email addresses and technical challenges, hundreds of youngsters from P1 to Advanced Higher took part in a range of interesting classes. We have now had to stop taking new registrations for BGE and senior phase classes in French and Spanish and Give it a Go Italian as classes are full. Spaces are still available for NQ classes in Gaelic, German, Italian and Mandarin. For secondary pupils who would like to try something new, there are some places available on "Discovering the Arabic World". This gives the opportunity to learn a language that is less frequently taught in schools and explore the fascinating cultures of Arabic speaking countries. Spaces are limited and are allocated on a first come basis.  

See the attached timetable with links to enrol.

Related Files

PGDE: Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (Gaelic medium)

7 May 2020 (Sabhal Mòr Ostaig)

If you already have a degree and are interested in teaching through the medium of Gaelic, this a post-graduate diploma in teaching could be the ideal opportunity for you.

Offered by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands network, the one year distance learning course is available in pathways for primary and secondary education. 

Visit the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig website for more information.


The future of language education in Europe: case studies of innovative practices

7 May 2020 (ECML)

This new analytical report aims to explore emerging innovative approaches and strategies of language teaching in Europe supporting learners’ plurilingualism, inspire educators and policy makers to innovate and implement forward-looking policies and practices in language education, and contribute to the implementation of the EU Council Recommendation on a comprehensive approach to the teaching and learning of languages (adopted in May 2019).

The publication also refers to the work of the Council of Europe’s European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) and highlights 8 projects and tools promoting plurilingual pedagogies.


Fancy a PowerLanguage challenge?

7 May 2020 (PowerLanguage)

Get your learners to take the PowerLanguage Challenge and to create short podcasts in order to teach their language as well as share their culture and passion, and to learn from other young people around the world. Watch the existing videos on and find out how to publish your own creation!

On-line workshops for teachers of Spanish in the United Kingdom and Ireland

6 May 2020 (Consejería de Educación)

The Education Office of the Spanish Embassies to the United Kingdom and Ireland together with Extenda, the Andalusian Agency for Foreign Promotion, are organising eight on-line training workshops aimed at teachers of Spanish, which will take place during the months of May and June 2020.

The training sessions include a number of independent workshops based on different methodological aspects related to the teaching of Spanish which can be followed as chosen: each teacher can register for only one of the workshops, for several or for all of them, depending on their interest.

Dates and time: every Tuesday from 16:00 to 17:00 during the months of May and June (from May 12th to June 30th).

A certificate of participation will be delivered by the Spanish Education Office.

Visit the website for more information and to register.


Related Files

Thousands sign up for Birmingham teen's BSL lessons

6 May 2020 (BBC)

A 15-year-old has created a series of videos teaching British Sign Language (BSL) during lockdown.

Tyrese Dibba, who has Charge Syndrome, and is deaf and partially sighted, released the videos with charity Sense in a bid to tackle isolation among people with disabilities.

The Birmingham student said more people learning BSL would "help the deaf community feel part of wider society".

More than 7,000 people have signed up for the free classes.


SEET @ Home

4 May 2020 (SEET)

Whilst schools remain closed and we all continue to work from home, we will not let COVID-19 interrupt what SEET does and what we can offer you. We love making films and know that many of you do too. So, whilst schools are out, we are asking you to make short films at home, with a little guidance from us. All you need is a smart phone or tablet (any device that shoots video), and to download a free app or two!

Normally we open our filmmaking project up to young people in S3-S6, but this project is open to all ages  (both primary and secondary pupils). We invite pupils to make a short film (maximum 2-minutes), based on the theme 'Community in Isolation'. As always, we want to see pupils using languages; even if it is just a few words, we want to hear it! Let’s share our films far and wide and connect with communities across the globe. Our favourite films will win cinema vouchers!

If you would like to take part, and we really hope you do, then please get in contact with us by emailing and we will send you more information. This includes a recommended timetable that should allow pupils to make these films within one school week, and some useful tips about filmmaking, amongst other things!

To be in with a chance of winning cinema vouchers, the deadline for film submissions is Monday 1 June 2020 at 3pm. 

Don't forget to tweet about your experiences using the hashtag #SEETatHome to @SEET_scotland. Lights, camera, action!

The Stephen Spender Prize and Polish Spotlight 2020

28 April 2020 (Stephen Spender Trust)

The 2020 Stephen Spender Prize for poetry in translation and the Polish Spotlight are now open for submissions! There are some exciting changes this year – as part of our aim to make the prize more inclusive and vibrant than ever, we are welcoming translations from rap and spoken word, as well as from BSL poetry. There will also be more prizes and commendations in our youth categories.

Stephen Spender Prize

Translate into English any poem from any language – ranging from Arabic to Uzbek, from Danish to Somali—and win cash prizes! There are categories for young people (14-and-under, 16-and-under, and 18-and-under) as well as an open category for adults

The ‘Polish Spotlight’

This is a special strand of the Stephen Spender Prize for the translation of Polish poems. Open to all UK or Irish citizens or residents, or pupils at British Schools overseas, there are usually three age categories for entrants: 18-and-under14-and-under and 10-and-under. Additionally this year there will also be a 16-and-under category. This year, we are inviting entrants to translate one poem from our curated selection of Polish poetry.

Visit the website for more information about both strands of the competition and submit entries by 17 July 2020.


German Teacher Award 2020

28 April 2020 (German Embassy)

If you know a truly outstanding German language teacher at your primary or secondary school – make sure that their dedication and excellence get the recognition they deserve!

The deadline for nominations has been extended until 31 May 2020. Please note that headteachers must nominate the German teacher. Submissions from pupils or teachers themselves cannot be accepted.

Visit the website for more information.


SCILT's languages lockdown playlist

23 April 2020 (SCILT/CISS)

Are you looking for something to lighten your lockdown spirits? Well we might have just the thing!

The SCILT and CISS team have compiled a YouTube playlist of our favourite songs sung in or featuring languages other than English. From French chanteuses to K-pop, there's something for everyone. You might even discover your new favourite artist!

So far you can hear Arabic, Cantonese, Estonian, French, Gaelic, German, Irish, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Mongolian, Romanian, Russian, Spanish and Welsh, and we’ll keep adding more.

Visit our YouTube channel to watch, listen, or dance along in your living room.  


Live-streamed classes: SCILT support for schools

22 April 2020 (SCILT/e-Sgoil)

SCILT is delighted to have partnered with e-Sgoil to contribute to their national offer of timetabled, live, online classes that will support youngsters of all ages throughout the period of school closures. 

These interactive, real-time classes are all led by experienced language educators on a secure platform. All participants will require is access to a computer and their Glow password.

Aimed at supporting youngsters who are about to enter new senior phase classes, the NQ courses will focus on providing an overview of the year ahead and will develop the skills required for success at each level. Complementing what will be offered by their own schools and classroom teachers, these courses will give young people the best possible start to their new language courses under the present circumstances.

It is equally important that we create opportunities for language learning throughout all stages of the school curriculum. We have, therefore, developed a range of classes in a variety of languages that will appeal to learners at all ages and stages of the curriculum. Interactive, culturally rich and suitable for family learning, youngsters can explore new languages and cultures that might not be otherwise available to them.

Download the attached flyer for the full timetable and links to enrol. 

Please share this offer as widely as you can so that the maximum possible number of children and young people can benefit from this innovative and creative partnership.

Online learning for teachers of German

22 April 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut is running a series of online webinars for trainers and teachers of German as a foreign language. Recordings are also available for those unable to attend the live events.

Visit the website for more information.


Six ways to bring language learning to life at home

21 April 2020 (BBC Bitesize)

Learning a new language is a great way to spend your time while staying at home - even Harry Styles is doing it!

And guess what? It doesn’t have to be all vocab lists and verb tables.

The first stages of learning a language are often all about you and your life - what time you get up, what you have for breakfast, what your dog watched on TV last night…

We checked in with the director of languages at the Share Trust in West Yorkshire, Juliet Park, about how to make our homes the perfect location for language learning.

Here are our top tips for bringing languages to life at home.


Teachers Learning to Teach Languages: OU-SCILT Programme

21 April 2020 (Open University/SCILT)

Registration for the next cohort of the ‘Teachers Learning to Teach Languages’ programme is open until 4 September 2020.

This innovative, distance learning professional learning programme is offered by the Open University in partnership with SCILT. The new cohort begins in September and lasts 9 months. TELT is open to all primary teachers, and secondary teachers with a secondment in primary, across Scotland. Typically, Scottish local authorities sponser their teachers, however a small number of previous participants have financed themselves. Find more information about funding on the 'How to register for TELT' webpage.

The aim of the programme is to increase and improve language provision in primary schools. Teachers simultaneously learn a new language and the skills to teach that language in the classroom. The languages strand is offered in four languages – French, German, Mandarin and Spanish – and at two levels – beginners and post-beginners. The pedagogy strand covers a diverse range of pedagogical approaches i.e. embedding an additional language, exploring target language cultures, play and games, interdisciplinary contexts.

What’s the course really like though? Listen to what Mel and Gwen, two previous participants have to say.

Visit the Open University website for more information about the programme and how to register for the TELT cohort of 2020-21.


Language learning resources during school closures

21 April 2020 (SCILT/CISS)

If you are a parent or carer looking for materials to support language learning for your child while the schools are closed, we have compiled a list of materials for children of different ages/stages and in different languages. These resources:

  • are free to access
  • children can do independently and
  • can be enjoyed together as a family

They can be found on the 'Home learning' page of the Parents section of our website.


Guidance for home learning

20 April 2020 (Scottish Government)

New guidance to support the home learning of children and young people during the new term has been issued.

It aims to build on the significant amount of positive work that has already been undertaken by teachers and education professionals across Scotland to support learning at home, as well as the advice and resources that are already available.

The guidance covers three main areas:

  • learning and teaching at home: this includes support for digital learning; children who are likely to be disproportionately impacted; and learners with additional support needs
  • parental involvement and engagement: this includes details of local and national support and how local authorities/schools will require a different approach to being updated on a child’s development
  • support for teachers and school leaders: including advice on learning resources; supporting pupils’ and staff health and wellbeing; and on leading colleagues and teams during this period

Visit the Scottish Government website for more information.


Language Assistants programme 2020-21

20 April 2020 (British Council)

The 2020-21 Language Assistants programme is still due to go ahead and applications are now open for the next academic year. We are monitoring the situation as it evolves and are in close communication with our partners overseas on this matter as well as keeping a close eye on government recommendations. If there are any confirmed delays or changes to the 2020-21 programme year, we will inform all schools and assistants that have applied as soon as possible. 

We know that schools, language departments and teachers around Scotland are performing heroics to ensure that their young people maintain their love for languages. One of our language heroes is Mathilde Forgerit, the first ever French language assistant in the Western Isles. Despite the lockdown and being so far from home, Mathilde has chosen to stay in Stornoway, where she continues to teach virtual classes to students across the Western Isles community. You can watch Mathilde’s story in our latest video to find out the difference her contribution made to language learners across the Western Isles even before social distancing. 

We want language assistants to work for you, and understand that every local authority and school is unique. That’s why we can offer a number of flexible hosting and sharing options, allowing you to spread the costs with other schools in your area. As you know, language assistants are bright and motivated additions to any school and bring current and topical trends from their cultures that students love.

We fully appreciate that the current situation has resulted in unprecedented teaching scenarios and we understand that workloads have increased substantially. If you have any questions about any aspect of the Language Assistants programme, please contact us at

An overview of the application stages and the application form can be found on the British Council website.


Competition - Ich habe einen Traum (I have a dream)

17 April 2020 (German Foreign Office)

Are you between 5 and 19 years old? Do you love books and stories? Do you like to write? If so, please take part in our competition and get your prose, short story, essay or poem published in the next Foreign Office e‑book!

Tell us about your dream for the future. 

All entries submitted in German or English will be edited by professionals and accepted in the following age groups:

  • 10 years and under 
  • 11‑14 years
  • 15‑19 years

The deadline for entries is 1 July 2020. The e-book will then be published and launched in August, when it will be available to download for free.

Visit the German Federal Foreign Office website for more information about the competition. You can also access previous editions of the e-book.


Pedagogy Professional Learning for Language Teachers

16 April 2020 (Various)

The following resources have just been added to our Professional Learning for Teachers during the school closures web section:

Pedagogy Professional Learning

  • On Education Scotland’s Digital Learning Community blog you will find collections of online resources to support teaching and learning in a wide range of languages. Click on the Gaelic Education Wakelet and the Modern Languages Wakelet. Resources will be updated over the period of the school closures.
  • Language teachers adapting pedagogy to online delivery may be interested in two new resources created by the languages education experts at the European Centre for Modern Languages. The Treasure Chest and the Wakelet are packed with resources for engaging activities in multiple languages. Activities are differentiated for multilingual pupils and language learners from pre-school to secondary age and will be updated during the period of school closures.

Supporting Bilingual Learners

Further resources are available on our Professional Learning pages.


uTalk Classroom

16 April 2020 (uTalk)

uTalk Classroom - an offer free for all UK secondary schools from now until the end of July. 

  • Choose 3 languages out of over 140, plus EAL if required.
  • An unlimited number of students can use the award-winning uTalk app to play speaking and listening games in over 60 topics. 
  • Works on any standard device - tablets, phones, laptops... online or offline.
  • Each learner has their own account.
  • Teachers get a dashboard to monitor pupil progress and attainment.
  • Easy set-up; we do the work so your students can start learning immediately!

See the attached document for more information.


Get in touch - 07749288578 so we can get you up and running straight away.

Related Files

uTalk Language Games

1 April 2020 (uTalk)

In case you are looking for fun language learning activities for your schools - we've responded to the need for home learning with a competition, called the uTalk Language Games, the format gives entrants access to any one of our languages -  pupils and teachers from the same school or class can learn together and compete, learning the same language - tracking their scores and rankings on a leaderboard exclusive to their group.

The competition builds on our award-winning Junior Language Challenge competition (JLC) which has helped more than 25,000 children learn languages over the last 15 years, but is now open to all - this has resulted rather amusingly in people of all ages, from grandchildren to grandparents competing against each other - spread around the country - indeed world ... entrance is £5, $5 or €5 and the competition runs until the end of July 2020.


Beyond the Panda resources for home learning

30 March 2020 (RZSS)

New online books for home learning. Everyone can access these and they include a good mix of science and Mandarin. These are different from our other online content as they don't require to be downloaded and printed. They also all include sound files and Mandarin learning points. 

At present, there are books which provide an online experience of the giant panda expert visit aimed at upper primary level and the Chinese Endangered Species outreach. In addition there is a book version of the Science Specialist Confucius Classroom 'China's animals and habitats'. Finally, a section comparing China and Scotland. This China/Scotland project is in partnership with the JASS scheme.

All the books are available on the Beyond the Panda website.


Five exciting challenges launched for Year 12 students

26 March 2020 (University of Cambridge)

Could you imagine how the English language might change in the next 500 years? How about devising a sustainable long-term strategy for freight transport in the UK? Or could you write an object biography to bring history to life?

These are just three of the five exciting challenges Gonville & Caius College have launched this week for Year 12 students in any UK school (S5 in Scotland). This year set in Engineering, History, Linguistics, Modern Languages, and Natural Sciences, our Schools Prizes are designed to prompt lower sixth form students to think creatively and individually about the subjects they love. Each competition carries a first prize of £600, to be split equally between the winning candidate and his or her school or college, and a second prize of £400, which again is to be shared equally between the candidate and his or her school or college.

Visit the website for more information. Entry deadline: Friday 5 June 2020.


Supporting online learning - links for practitioners

25 March 2020 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has compiled resources and links which are intended to support practitioners in developing online opportunities for learning at home. There are resources for all areas of the curriculum which will be supplemented as time goes on. See the Supporting Online Learning webpage on the Education Scotland website.


Language Linking Global Thinking 2020-21 - registrations now open

28 February 2020 (SCILT)

Applications are still being taken for this programme with the intention of it running as planned in session 2020/21. Please get in touch if you have any questions.
SCILT is now inviting schools to register their interest in taking part in the Language Linking Global Thinking project for session 2020-21. 
The project links students on their year abroad with primary and secondary schools. Students communicate with a designated class in their partner school during the course of the year to illustrate how enriching it is to spend a year abroad using a language other than English. 

While the student is abroad they keep in regular contact with the partner school using blog posts, emails and other resources. The correspondence between student and class brings the language alive for pupils and shows them the real relevance of learning a language. New for this year - you can now be linked with a CISS scholar spending a year in China! Just complete the registration form with 'Mandarin' as your preferred language for a link. 

Key points for teachers

  • Please note this is a two-way correspondence, and schools are expected to reply to blog posts, submit questions, and fully engage with their link student. 
  • A representative from the school, ideally the class teacher using the link, must attend the training afternoon on 12th June in Glasgow. 
  • There is no cost for schools to participate in the programme, however schools will need to cover travel costs for teachers attending the training session. Students are expected to visit their link school before they go abroad, and schools may wish to help with the travel costs for that visit.

Visit the LLGT webpage for more information on Language Linking Global Thinking, and to read some of the student blogs from previous years.

Please note places are limited. Please email to request a registration form. 


OU/SCILT primary languages course

31 May 2019 (SCILT/OU)

We are happy to announce that registration is now open for the OU/SCILT primary languages course, which will be running again from October 2019. In light of positive feedback and popularity of the first year of the course, we are now also delighted to offer a second year, post-beginners’ course. The latter would be suitable for those who have successfully completed year 1 and wish to continue their studies, or for those who are looking to begin studying at a more advanced level.

  • The courses will run from October 2019 to July 2020, and will develop language and pedagogy skills; language learning is provided by the Open University and pedagogy is provided by SCILT.  The courses are aligned to the Scottish curriculum and support the 1+2 languages approach.
  • Both courses are delivered online with two opportunities to attend face-to-face day schools. 
  • Learning is very flexible and participants can study at a time and place of their choosing.
  • Each course carries a fee of £252, reflecting the input and student support for the language and pedagogy strands from both organisations.

Funding may be sponsored through your school or Local Authority who can register on your behalf.   Initial registration information must be submitted to the OU by Monday 17 June 2019 and LAs should contact  
Students also have the option to fund the fee themselves. In this case, an interested teacher should contact the OU directly at

Here is some further information:

Beginners level

  • will be offered in a choice of four languages - French, German, Spanish and Mandarin plus study of primary pedagogy with direct application in the classroom.
  • takes students to the end of the equivalent to level A1 of the Common European Reference Framework for Languages.
  • allows students to gain 15 university credits for the language study.
  • also gives students the option to gain GTCS recognition for the pedagogy study; all students will receive a certificate on successful completion from SCILT.
  • study hours will be approximately five hours per week, including time spent on the direct application of the new skills in the classroom.

Post-beginners level

  • teachers who have started studying one language in the beginners level of the course would need to continue studying the same language at post-beginners level.
  • teachers who already have some basic knowledge in one of the four languages can directly enrol on the post-beginners level course to further develop their skills in that language and learn about primary languages pedagogy (without having to have studied beginners level).
  • will follow the same format as the beginners level course and will be offered in the same four languages (French, German, Mandarin and Spanish).
  • will teach primary languages pedagogy in more depth and cover:
    • the skills of writing and reading,
    • IDL with a special focus on outdoor learning as well as links with other key subject areas through CLIL,
    • learning and teaching of languages in multilingual contexts/communities.
  • will have the same:
    • number of study hours,
    • assessment structure,
    • accreditation with 15 university credits,
    • optional GTCS recognition for the pedagogy strand, as above ;
  • in their language study, students will reach the equivalent of the end of level A2 of the Common European Reference Framework for Languages (end of post-beginner level).
  • after completing both courses, students would then be in a good position to go on to study one of the standard language courses at the OU should they want to improve their knowledge of the language even further.

Course codes are as follows:

Beginners level

LXT192 French

LXT193 German

LXT197 Mandarin

LXT194 Spanish

Post-beginners level

LXT191 (language choice will come as a second step once students have registered)

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