Thirty-five teachers from 18 local authorities and 2 independent schools across Scotland attended a four-day-long summer school at the University of Strathclyde School of Education at the beginning of July 2019. The summer school takes forward the recommendations from the Scottish Government’s flagship policy, “Language learning in Scotland: A 1+2 approach” by building capacity and leadership within the teaching profession.
The summer school marks the start of a 12-month professional learning programme, “The 1+2 languages leadership programme”, delivered by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, in partnership with Education Scotland. The programme engages lead language educators in designing, promoting and supporting the provision of effective language learning experiences for young people and high quality professional learning for in- and pre-service teachers.
Content is a balance of theory, research, policy and practice relevant to language learning and as such, it carries accreditation from the General Teaching Council Scotland. Key themes at the summer school this time were parental engagement, inclusive practice and interdisciplinary contexts for language learning.
Opening the summer school, Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT explained: “Now more than ever it is vital that, as educators, we equip Scotland’s children and young people with the skills they will require to operate globally. The languages leadership programme develops language advocates so they can make a powerful argument for language learning and empowers them to influence their local decision makers. The participants leave the programme informed by the latest thinking on policy, theory and practice and able to network and share ideas with peers from across the country.”
Louise Glen, Senior Education Officer (Literacy and Languages) at Education Scotland said: “The Languages Leadership Programme offers a unique opportunity for those interested in leading on languages at school, cluster or local authority level, to examine 1+2 policy in detail and make informed decisions on how the Scottish Government’s ambitious vision for language learning can be realised in their own setting. In terms of CLPL, participants benefit from gaining an overview of not only how the policy is progressing nationally, but also of how language learning contributes to closing the attainment gap and how to evaluate language provision in their own setting, with an eye to ensuring full implementation by 2021.”
In its seventh run in six years, the summer school offered workshops and presentations delivered by Dundee City Council, Education Scotland, Institut Français d’Ecosse, Liberton High School, North Ayrshire Council, St Ambrose High School, St Winning’s Primary School, University of Edinburgh and University of Glasgow.
Scottish Government's ambition is to expand and improve language learning by 2021, so that young people are equipped with the skills and competencies they need in an increasingly globalised world. From 2021 every child will be entitled to learn a first additional language from P1 and a second by P5. This entitlement continues until the end of S3. This ambition contributes significantly to the Scottish Attainment Challenge agenda.