Latest News

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


Senior Phase

Magical Christmas Trips for primary and secondary schools - deadline reminder: 24 September

19 September 2019 (UK-German Connection)

Apply for funding of up to £10,000 for a Christmas trip to a partner school in Germany this year!

These visits offer primary pupils the chance to get a taste of Germany at Christmas time, meet their German peers and get involved in some seasonal cultural activity. Secondary pupils have the opportunity to brush up their German and develop their skills as young leaders.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

Read more...

Maths Week Scotland – Maths wi nae Borders

19 September 2019 (Maths Week Scotland)

Inspired by the annual Mathématiques sans Frontières contest, this mini-competition is for any class to complete together.

The 2019 competition will be launching on 23 September and open for entries until 18 October.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

Our World film making project has launched for 2019-20

18 September 2019 (SEET)

Want to get pupils more engaged in language learning, global citizenship and encourage uptake? Are you keen to improve their confidence and win an award or two? Then get involved!

SEET’s popular Our World film making project has now launched for the 2019-20 year! Our World uses film making and global citizenship as a means to help pupils explore and improve their use of foreign languages. It’s totally free, and all you have to do is sign up. Last year over 70% of participant pupils said they were more likely to continue with their study of languages after taking part.

Teams of four, from S3-S6, need to come up with a creative idea for a film based on one of this year's themes and submit their storyboard by 3 December 2019.

See the attached flyer or visit the website for more information.

Read more...

Related Files

Reigniting the love of languages

17 September 2019 (Erasmus+)

With multilingualism being a key ingredient in making your CV stand out from the crowd, language skills are in high demand.

As well as boosting employability, learning a language also helps people to become more culturally aware, and can even improve cognitive skills in observation, memory and creativity.

In the UK less than half of the working age population can speak a foreign language. The BBC reported earlier this year that foreign language learning was at its lowest level in UK secondary schools since the turn of the millennium.

However, the Erasmus+ programme, which supports language learning in schools, is making a difference by providing funding to UK schools to run vital international activities. 

Ahead of the European Day of Languages on 26 September, let’s take a look at the UK language landscape and how Erasmus+ is helping school staff and pupils to reignite their love of languages.

Read more...

German debating competition for secondary schools

16 September 2019 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut invites secondary school students to take part in a competition to engage with questions about ecology, sustainability and Europe.

There will be different rounds in which the participating schools compete against each other. At the end, all students will be invited to the final in which the two winning teams will show their language skills.
 
The preliminary rounds will take place at participating schools whilst the final will take place at the British Council in London.
 
In order to prepare the students for the competition and to ensure that they can express themselves at the appropriate language level, the Goethe-Institut provides teachers with useful phrases.
 
The debating competition offers a great chance to actively use the German language in an authentic setting and at the same time to get to know other secondary school students from across the United Kingdom. Debating in a foreign language will bring immeasurable benefits to significantly improve the students' communication skills.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to register eligible teams of four by 25 October 2019. Spaces for taking part in the competition are limited and you will be confirmed after the deadline.

Secondary Scottish education must be reviewed, MSPs say

16 September 2019 (TES)

A review of the senior phase of Curriculum for Excellence is needed to ensure that pupils' aspirations are being met and that they have a wide enough range of opportunities in schools, MSPs have found.

This is one of the recommendations of a report published today by the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Skills Committee, following an inquiry into the number of subjects available to pupils and, in particular, concerns over subject choice at S4.

The committee heard that, following the introduction of the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), there had been confusion and inadequate support from Education Scotland and the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

[...] The committee also heard evidence that the changes to curriculum structure have had a negative impact on the number of pupils taking languages and Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects, leading to concerns about the future of these subjects in Scotland’s schools.

Read more...

Related Links

Review of senior phase (Scottish Government, 16 September 2019)

Education review ordered amid subject choice concern (BBC, 16 September 2019)

Work experience opportunity at Radio Lingua

13 September 2019 (Radio Lingua)

Radio Lingua is a leading publisher of language resources including the award-winning Coffee Break French, German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese courses and the High Five courses for primary. Through our podcasts and strong presence on social media we strive to provide a high quality learning experience for a worldwide community of learners, delivering over 2.5 million language lessons every month. Our team is based in Glasgow and we work with a local and remote team of native speakers and teachers to produce our resources.

As part of our outreach programme we are delighted to offer a work experience opportunity to students currently in S6. This will take place from Monday 21st to Friday 25th October 2019 and aims to allow young people with an interest in languages first hand experience of a dynamic workplace where languages are used on a daily basis. There will be a total of six places available.

Before submitting an application, pupils must ensure they meet the following criteria:

• must be intending to study a language at university after leaving school.

• must currently be in S6.

• must have successfully passed at least one Higher in a language in S5.

• must live within one hour’s commuting distance from our Glasgow city centre offices and will be responsible for making their own way to and from the office for a 9:30 start and 4:30 finish each day.

• must have permission from school to be out of school for the duration of this five-day programme.

Interested students should complete the application form on our website by Friday 27 September at the following link: https://radiolingua.com/work-experience-2019/

Read more...

DfE uses Snapchat to continue languages revival at GCSE

11 September 2019 (TES)

Snapchat is being used by the Department for Education to nudge pupils into choosing to study a modern foreign language at GCSE.

A DfE video posted on the social media platform shows pupils reaping the benefits of knowing a foreign language: including playing video games online against opponents around the world, texting people around the world and "playing football in Spain".

The DfE says the video was posted too late to be a factor in helping the revival in GCSE languages entries this year, for which it says it has still to do analysis. 

But the Snapchat video is one of a number of measures being taken to pique pupils' interest. These include the opening of the country’s first modern foreign languages centre for excellence, a £4.8 million centre based within the University of York that coordinates the work of nine MFL hub schools across the country to promote pioneering teaching practices.

“In addition to this, we have launched a pilot project where undergraduates mentor secondary school pupils in MFL to drive up participation in the subjects, specifically targeting areas of high disadvantage to extend access to languages to all pupils,” a DfE spokesperson said.

Read more...

British Council Mandarin Speaking Competition 2019/20

10 September 2019 (British Council)

Applications are now invited for the British Council Mandarin Speaking Competition 2019/20.

The competition provides a great, fun opportunity for secondary school students to practice and improve their Mandarin Chinese language skills along with the chance to win a week in Beijing!

Heats will be held in Belfast, Glasgow and London during November and December 2019 with the final taking place in London on 5 February 2020.

See the attached flyer for more information and visit the website for eligibility and entry criteria.

Entry deadline: 14 October 2019.

Read more...

Scottish Book Trust searching for teenage writers and illustrators

10 September 2019 (The Edinburgh Reporter)

Scottish Book Trust has announced that applications are open for their What’s Your Story? programme. Now in its fifth year, the scheme has helped around 30 young Scots to develop writing, illustration and performance projects. 

14 – 17 year olds living in Scotland are encouraged to apply for an all expenses paid opportunity to learn, grow and create as a writer or illustrator.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said : “Nurturing new young talent in the Scottish literary scene is so important and Scottish Book Trust is proud to launch the fifth year of What’s Your Story, focused on supporting young people.  The programme offers a truly unique opportunity and we urge parents and teachers to encourage the teens in their lives with a passion for writing or illustration to apply.”

[..] The Gaelic Books Council funds a Gaelic-language place. 

Applications close on 27 November 2019, and can be made online.

Read more...

World Wide Napier magazine - call for submissions

10 September 2019 (Edinburgh Napier University)

Building on the success of the first three issues, Worldwide Napier, a magazine in foreign languages designed by our language students to encourage language studies, is currently looking for contributions in French, German and Spanish for its fourth issue.

Students from secondary schools, colleges and other universities are invited to submit articles, written individually or collaboratively in the language they are studying. The magazine will be published by the end of December and will be available in digital and hard copy format, distributed for free in Scottish schools, Edinburgh cafés and cultural institutions.

See the attached flyer for more information. Submission deadline is 1 November 2019.

Related Files

UK-German Connection - Back to School Newsletter 2019

9 September 2019 (UK-German Connection)

As the new school year gets underway, find out about the latest selection of initiatives from UK-German Connection in their autumn newsletter.

This edition includes information about the following opportunities:

  • Host a Teacher from Germany in 2020
  • Youth Seminars in Germany
  • Magical Christmas trips
  • UK-German bears - Alex and Ben

Read more...

SQA Advanced Higher Spanish and French Course Reports

9 September 2019 (SQA)

SQA has published Advanced Higher Spanish and French course reports for the 2019 exam diet.

The reports provide information on candidates’ performance.

Visit the SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages webpage to access the reports.  

Read more...

Working together for Languages evaluation report

6 September 2019 (AHRC)

UCMLS, SCILT and AHRC's evaluation of four collaborative language promotional initiatives is now available. The Working Together for Languages report covers the impact of these initiatives on learner attitudes and uptake in secondary school after a three-year collaboration from 2014-15 up to 2016-17. The report can be accessed on the AHRC website.

Read more...

Host a teacher from Germany

5 September 2019 (UK-German Connection)

There are just over two weeks left to register for this free CPD opportunity to host a teacher from Germany for 1, 2 or 3 weeks in spring/summer 2020.

What are the benefits?

  1. Choose your own timings - it's flexible and fully funded!
  2. Enhance the intercultural dimension in your school community
  3. Share best practice on an international level
  4. Boost speaking confidence in your classrooms
  5. Create a connection with a German school

Deadline: 20 September 2019 to host in spring/summer 2020.

Visit the UK-German Connection website to find out more and to apply.

Read more...

SCHOLAR Modern Languages online tutor sessions

4 September 2019 (SCHOLAR)

Our upcoming Online Tutor Sessions for Higher and Advanced Higher Modern Languages for the academic year 2019/20 have been scheduled.

For more information please visit the SCHOLAR website.

Read more...

World Wide Napier magazine

4 September 2019 (Edinburgh Napier University)

Napier University publishes a magazine filled with interesting and topical articles written by young people learning languages, for young people learning languages. Access to the magazines is free of charge and could be useful classroom resources for those studying higher and advanced higher. Our colleague at Napier is also keen to accept submissions from language learners in schools, offering young people the opportunity to share their learning in print. 

See the attached flyer for more information.

Related Files

International school exchange facilitated seminar

27 August 2019 (British Council)

Would you like to set up a student exchange visit but don't yet have a partner school?

For schools looking for a partner school, we still have a few spaces available on our seminar in Germany in the Autumn term 2019, designed to allow schools to set up a partnership and plan your exchange.

All arrangements will be made by the British Council and travel, accommodation and meal costs will be covered.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to apply by 13 September 2019. Be quick, spaces are extremely limited!

Read more...

Our World film making project 2019-20

23 August 2019 (SEET)

Our World is a languages and citizenship based film making project for S3 - S6 pupils run by the Scottish European Educational Trust (SEET). It's designed to complement the curriculum for excellence and attainment challenge by providing a free project, which uses an interdisciplinary approach to encourage pupils to become more engaged in their language learning.

Participants submit a storyboard outlining the film they propose to make. This year's films should explore the idea of global citizenship and touch on one or more of the following themes:

  • Migration and welcome
  • Sustainable Tourism
  • Trade

The film must also include the use of a language other than English. Entry deadline is 3 December 2019.

Schools wishing to take part should visit the SEET website for more information and to register.

Read more...

What are the most popular subjects in Scotland?

23 August 2019 (TESS)

Earlier this month the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) published annual data on qualifications at all levels.

Tes Scotland has examined the figures to find the most popular subjects at Higher level in 2019, a list that includes all 27 subjects with at least 1,000 entries. Also included are four subjects which had more than 1,000 entries in 2016 – the first year that only the new version of the Higher was run – but which have now dipped below 1,000 entries.

In brackets are the number of Higher entries for each of the 31 subjects in 2016. This offers a better comparison that the figures for 2015, the first year in which the new version of Higher was offered, as for that year only the old Higher was also available.

Finally, below that, we also take a look at which subjects are losing popularity at Higher level, and which are on the rise, by calculating the percentage difference between entries in 2016 and 2019 for each of the 31 subjects.

The figures suggest that social subjects are being squeezed, with geography, in particular, seeing a fall in entries of almost 16 per cent between 2016 and 2019.

But there are even bigger falls in some subjects, including computing science (27.5 per cent) and French (25.4 per cent) and – the biggest fall proportionally – philosophy (34.8 per cent).

Few subjects have seen rises in entries, with Spanish among those to increase (17.5 per cent), although by far the biggest rise proportionally is in politics (55.3%).

For context, overall entries fell from 197,750 in 2016 to 185,914 in 2019, a drop of almost 6 per cent. In italics are all the subjects where the percentage drop in entries is Higher than the overall percentage drop in entries across all subjects.

(Note - subscription required to access full article).

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UK must regain strength in language skills after GCSE results, says British Academy

21 August 2019 (British Academy)

As nationwide GCSE results are published, the British Academy today responds to the modest rise in students choosing to study a language in England.

A rise of 4% in entries for language GCSEs has been driven by growth in French and Spanish, although in entries in German continue to decline.

The British Academy highlights these positive signs in language take-up, but cautions that there is still a long way to go to turn around the long-term decline in language-learning in the UK, noting that 10% fewer pupils took a language GCSE in England this year than in 2014.

The fall in language GCSEs has knock-on effects for take-up at A level, which declined 5% in 2019 compared to last year, and subsequently affects the provision of modern languages in higher education, where at least 10 language departments have closed in the last decade.

While French and Spanish GCSE saw increases in entry numbers, rates of entry for other language GCSEs continued to show a small decline, suggesting that more pupils could be encouraged to take exams in languages that are a vital part of the vibrant multilingual heritage of Britain such as Polish, Arabic and Urdu.

Read more...

Related Links

Education Secretary says post-16 options better than ever, as GCSE results released (Department for Education, 22 August 2019)

GCSE results 2019: Languages enjoy surprise revival (TES, 22 August 2019)

GCSE language entries 2019 (Alcantara Communications, 22 August 2019)

ALL comments on GCSE results (ALL, 22 August 2019)

Youth seminar 'Sustainable Consumption: Why our everyday choices matter'

21 August 2019 (UK-German Connection)

Are your pupils interested in sustainability and in discussing the wider impact of our daily choices? UK-German Connection, in collaboration with the British Embassy in Berlin, is hosting a seminar for young people from the UK and Germany, taking place in Berlin from 1-4 November 2019.
 
The seminar will bring young people from the UK and Germany together to compare everyday consumer habits, explore the wider theme of sustainability and consider the challenges of living sustainably.

Key highlights include:

  • Expert-led workshops on sustainability and consumer choices
  • Excursions in Berlin on the seminar theme
  • Presenting collective ideas about sustainable consumption during an event at the British Embassy in Berlin

German language skills are not required, so the opportunity is open to pupils across the curriculum. Participants are required to pay £25 to confirm their place. Travel and accommodation costs will be met by UK-German Connection.

The deadline for applications is 16 September 2019.

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

Read more...

SQA specimen papers for Advanced Higher Modern Languages

19 August 2019 (SQA)

SQA has updated Listening and Discursive Writing and Reading and Translation specimen question papers for Advanced Higher Modern Languages.

The specimen question paper updates can be accessed on the SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages page.

Read more...

Beyond the Panda resources - update

19 August 2019 (RZSS)

The China Mobile Library panda packs are now available online and free! Although the expert visits and outreach have been free of charge since November 2018, the resources in the panda packs used to be either on loan or available to purchase. They are now available online to all - beyondthepanda.org.uk under the China Mobile Library section. 

Associated expert visits and outreach sessions are still free and include different materials and resources which are only available on booking. These enhance the learning from the panda packs. Free teaching training sessions can also be booked. See the attached document for more information and visit the website.

Read more...

Related Files

Discovery Film Festival 2019

15 August 2019 (Discovery Film Festival)

Discovery is Scotland's International Film Festival for children and young people. Taking place from 19 October to 3 November 2019, the Festival is in its sixteenth year and brings another selection of the best films for young audiences from around the world. With several native language films on offer, language learners have a great opportunity to test their listening and comprehension skills.

Teachers visit the Festival website to take a look at the programme for schools. The programme contains information about associated CPD sessions taking place during August and September which you can attend prior to your school visit.

Read more...

A-level results: Spanish overtakes French

15 August 2019 (TES)

Spanish has overtaken French as the most popular modern foreign language at A level for the first time, figures show.

A total of 8,625 candidates were entered for Spanish A level this year, compared with 8,355 entries in French. In Spanish, the number of entries increased by 4.5 per cent compared with last year, while in French, the number of entries fell by 4.1 per cent.

The change could partly be due to higher numbers of specialist Spanish teachers. Data from the Teaching Regulation Agency’s annual report and accounts published in August showed that 1,365 Spanish-born teachers received QTS in 2018-19 compared with 46 French teachers.

The news backs up provisional A-level entry data from Ofqual released in May, which showed that while Spanish rose from 7,705 to 7,995, French fell slightly, from 7,945 to 7,680. 

It also echoes predictions in a report by the British Council in December 2018 that Spanish would overtake French as the UK’s most popular language at A level.

(Note - subscription required to access the full article).

Read more...

Related Links

ALL comments on A-level results 2019 (ALL, 15 August 2019)

A-level results 2019 (Alcantra, 15 August 2019)

EU Code Week 2019

14 August 2019 (European Schoolnet Academy)

Are you keen on bringing innovation to your classroom but don't know where to start? Why not get involved with Code Week this October? Teachers from all subject areas with no prior experience of coding are invited to join the EU Code Week - Deep Dive MOOC run by the European Schoolnet Academy. The five-week course begins on 16 September 2019. Enrol and discover how you can incorporate coding into your subject lessons.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

Into Film Awards 2020

13 August 2019 (Into Film)

The Into Film Awards is the best place to showcase young filmmaking talent, with categories designed to highlight the large pool of young creatives in the UK. Setting out to discover and honour the most talented filmmakers, reviewers, Into Film Clubs and educators, we encourage children and young people aged 5-19 from all backgrounds and with all abilities to get involved.

The 6th annual Into Film Awards will take place in March 2020, and this year sees some exciting new changes. Entering the Awards now not only gives you the chance to be nominated and join us at our star-studded ceremony in London, but this year, every single verified submission will also be entered into a prize draw to win £1,000 worth of filmmaking equipment for the filmmakers, film clubs or schools!

Visit the Into Film website for more information about the award categories and submit your entry by 6 December 2019.

The site also contains a wide range of films and teaching materials, including a selection for the languages classroom.

Read more...

Inclusion in Practice: The CIRCLE Framework - Secondary

13 August 2019 (Education Scotland)

Inclusion in Practice is a badged professional learning module which has been designed to support equitable professional learning on inclusive practice for education practitioners in secondary schools and local authorities in Scotland.​

It is based on The CIRCLE Framework, a collaboration between practitioners in Edinburgh City, Queen Margaret University and NHS Lothian, that has been adapted for modular learning by Education Scotland.​​

Visit the Education Scotland website for more information about the resource and how to use it to improve practice.

Read more...

Bring the world into your classroom

8 August 2019 (TES/British Council)

We believe every young person should have intercultural and international experience. As the UK’s cultural relations organisation, the British Council creates opportunities for schools and teachers in the UK and worldwide to connect and work together to share ideas and practices.

Our range of international education programmes can help develop teaching skills with funded professional development, connect schools across the globe and bring language learning to life.

TES and the British Council have joined forces to explore different ways to bring the world into the classroom and open the door to a host of international learning opportunities.

Visit the TES and British Council websites to access a wide range of resources and information.

Read more...

eTwinning free 'Culture in a Box' resource

8 August 2019 (eTwinning)

British Council is giving away free classroom resources to UK teachers to help kick start an international project. Culture in a Box is a ready-made, easy-to-run project, making it easy for your class to exchange aspects of UK culture with that of another school in one (or more) eTwinning countries. The resource is designed to help you to kick start an international project with pre-prepared, cross-curricular activities spanning key stages one to five.

Register on the eTwinning platform before 15 September 2019. The 'Culture in a Box' ready-made resource will then be posted to your school in September.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

Language travel still popular for UK students, with Spain gaining foothold

8 August 2019 (The Pie News)

Despite headlines reporting drops in language studies in schools across the UK, youngsters from secondary schools around the UK are continuing to travel overseas in busloads, educational tour operators have said. And Spain – and its language – is becoming increasingly popular.

However, concerns surrounding Brexit and safety have caused issues of their own, and the lower uptake of languages at GCSE level is reflected in language travel industry trends.

The British Council’s Language Trends 2019 report found that entries for GCSE languages had declined by 19% over the past five years. French and German GCSE candidate levels saw reductions of 30%, the report explained.

“Spanish language trips are getting very close to the demand for French language”

At A-level, between 2017 and 2018, German was down by 16%, French by 7%,  and Spanish by 3%. However, provisional entry figures for 2019 show Spanish candidate numbers increasing by 10% and French increasing by 4%.

German instead is set to continue to fall by 2.5%.

Of the 776 primary schools and 845 secondary schools surveyed for this report, 8% said they had offered school trips abroad in the previous year.

In last year’s survey, that number was 12%, but more respondents were included in the 2019 report.

Michelle Evans, head of product & marketing at educational tour operator NST noted that a large proportion of its language trips were for students under GCSE age.

“Teachers are trying to engage the students in lower secondary years in languages, so that they can encourage them to take that subject at GCSE,” she told The PIE News.

Read more...

SQA results day 2019

6 August 2019 (TESS)

Higher computing entries fall by 21%. Setting aside computing, the sciences fared better in terms of changes in uptake than the social subjects.

French experienced a 10% dip in entries, whilst Spanish saw a 9% increase from last year.

Read more...

New for 2019-20! SCILT series of professional learning webinars

24 May 2019 (SCILT)

New for session 2019/20, a series of SCILT professional learning webinars.

These webinars offer an alternative to our face-to-face workshops. Practitioners may wish to get together to participate in the live streaming of events which will include opportunities for online discussion. Alternatively, the recorded version can be used as a stimulus for collegiate discussion, in-service days or as part of individual practitioners’ professional development.

Registration will be advertised via the weekly SCILT e-bulletin and on the National Modern Languages Hub prior to these publicised dates.

  • Glow login will be required
  • Recordings will be available to watch again on National ML Hub under the Anytime Learning tab

Keep an eye on our e-bulletin and social media channels for details of how to register for these webinars in the new session. 

Young culinary and linguistic talents celebrated

21 June 2019 (SCILT)

Thirty-one young learners from across Scotland cooked up a storm on Friday 14 June 2019 at the City of Glasgow College, testing their culinary and language skills in the LinguaChef 2019 competition final. Dunblane High School were crowned as winners in the Secondary category. Glasgow Academy Milngavie were winners in the P1-P4 category, whilst Doune Primary took the honours in the P5-P7 age group.

The competition is a partnership project from Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT) and City of Glasgow College. It brings together languages and food, challenging primary and secondary school pupils to create an international dish from a country whose language they are learning in school, or which is spoken at home.

Participating schools entered the recipe for the dish, including ingredients and instructions, in both the language of the chosen country and in English. Finalists from each of the age categories (P1-P4, P5-P7 and Secondary) were selected to attend the Grand Final where they prepared, cooked and presented their dish to professional chefs and judges.

One teacher said of the competition: “It was an excellent experience for pupils to see the college facilities and to engage with cooking and language skills.”

A participating pupil added: “I liked that it gave us a chance to have a conversation in French and to work in a team.”

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT, said: “Food is a fundamental part of any culture and is inextricably linked with language. Much of the vocabulary used in English to describe food originates in other parts of the world. Words from other languages, such as chef, cuisine, pizza, tapas, paella and frankfurter are all commonplace and English speakers feel particularly comfortable with them. It is therefore very fitting to see our children and young people exploring culture and deepening their language skills while developing their understanding of food, its origins and preparation. The competition provides another great example of the cross-sector work going on in the languages community in Scottish schools, colleges and universities and we are thrilled to be working with our colleagues from City of Glasgow College in this initiative.”

As activities heated up in the kitchen, dishes from France, Greece, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and South America were produced, celebrating culinary and cultural diversity.

The pupils got the chance to discuss their dish with the judges, both in English and the target language, and decorated their presentation table with artefacts representing the country and culture.

Winners were selected based on the culinary success of their dish, presentation and table display and the ability to discuss their recipe in the target language. The successful teams were awarded a trophy. All participants at the event received a certificate and goody bag.

LinguaChef is an annual competition that provides pupils in primary and secondary schools across Scotland with an opportunity to have fun with food and languages whilst honing other important skills such as team-work, communication and IT.

Entries were submitted from schools in East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Shetland, Stirling and West Lothian.

Find out more about the event and winning recipes on the SCILT website.

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.

Read more...

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!

Read more...

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: http://heriot-watt.adobeconnect.com/scholartutorsessions/, 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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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. 

Read more...

Related Links

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

New job profile on the SCILT website

2 November 2018 (SCILT)

We have a range of job profiles on our website where language skills are being used. The latest addition comes from Erin Duffy, a student of Spanish and Linguistics at the University of Glasgow.

Erin is currently teaching in Spain and tells us her knowledge of languages has also enabled her to study and work in China. Her language skills have been integral to the job opportunities she has acquired and helped her form friendships across the globe.

Teachers, share Erin's profile with your pupils to demonstrate the advantages and benefits of learning languages.

Read more...

International Education Week 2018

29 October 2018 (British Council)

Teachers and school leaders in the UK and across the world are being encouraged to bring the world into their classrooms to celebrate International Education Week (IEW).

Each year, the British Council encourages schools to celebrate International Education Week to promote the benefits of international collaboration, languages and cultural exchange. During International Education Week, 12-16 November, The British Council is focusing on global communication and particularly language learning, believing these skills are more important now than ever. That is why this year’s theme is ‘Be International’.

Visit the British Council International Education Week website to find out more about how your students can take part in the Great Schools Online challenge and to access the IEW teaching resources.

Read more...

Open eTwinning: Project-Based Learning and the Community for Schools in Europe

28 October 2018 (School Education Gateway)

Join this course to learn about eTwinning and how it can help you design a project-based learning experience for your students in cooperation with colleagues across Europe and beyond. During the course, you will learn about the principles of project-based learning and how to start a project in the eTwinning community.

Throughout the activities, we will look at the entire life cycle of a project, starting with the initial idea, including finding a partner and negotiations to design a common project, and ending with the implementation and evaluation of the project. We will include principles of project work and collaboration, as well as the educational use of various ICT tools that facilitate project work. We will also look at the social aspect of collaborative projects, showing eTwinning not only as a platform in which to implement educational projects, but also as a meeting place between colleagues, an environment where we can share ideas and participate in various professional development activities.

Visit the website for more information and to enrol on the free course, commencing 5 November 2018.

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Grants for UK-German activities

25 October 2018 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection offers a number of grants for joint activities between schools and youth groups in the UK and Germany.

The next deadline is approaching, so if you have any projects taking place in 2018-19 for which you'd like funding, visit the UK-German Connection website for more information and apply by 31 October 2018.

Read more...

Calls for Scots children to be taught Chinese and Urdu

24 October 2018 (The Scotsman)

A new study suggests more pupils could learn Chinese and Urdu as part of a shake up in learning foreign languages.

The independent think tank, Reform Scotland, has published a report calling for a fresh approach to be taken towards the education of languages in Scottish schools.

The report indicates a practical model of learning should be introduced to help adapt to changing demand.

The number of Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) entries in “traditionally taught” languages has decreased over the last 20 years, with entries for higher grade French down by 18.2% and entries for German at the same level reduced by 58.4%.

In contrast, entries for higher Spanish exams increased by 219.8% increased over the same period, while Chinese entries have increased by 17.8% in the past two years.

Reform Scotland argue this highlights a changing global economy, with Asia seen as a growing economic market.

The report also calls for an end to distinctions between “community” and “modern” languages so that learning reflects the increasing number of communities in Scotland speaking languages such as Polish, Arabic and Urdu.

Reform Scotland Director Chris Deerin said: “If we want to see genuine growth in language skills in Scotland, rather than just paying lip service to the idea, we need to rethink our approach.

“There is a danger the languages currently on offer within the education system are not keeping up with Scottish or global society.

“We need to think much more freely - as many other countries do - about how best to equip ourselves to thrive in the modern global economy. Brexit, the shift of power from West to East, and Scotland’s pressing need to secure greater economic growth, all demand fresh ideas.”

Read more...

ELAPSE – Embedding Languages across Primary and Secondary Education

23 October 2018 (ALL)

In September, we received some fantastic news from the British Council – ALL is part of a successful KA2 ERASMUS +application and along with our partners has been awarded funding for the ELAPSE project.

ELAPSE (Embedding Languages Across Primary and Secondary Education) aims to develop primary and secondary language teachers’ awareness of CLIL and soft CLIL methodology transnationally and build teachers’ confidence and expertise to adopt a cross-curricular approach to the planning and delivery of language lessons. It will involve the creation of a good practice guide as well as resources for teachers of English, French, German and Spanish as additional languages while focusing on Literacy, Numeracy, STEM subjects and Health and Wellbeing. There will also be an online course and training opportunities for teachers in participating countries.

Read more...

Get ready for Hallowe'en!

23 October 2018 (Various)

It's that time of year again and to help celebrate Hallowe'en in the languages classroom we've compiled a range of spooky resources! Click on the relevant link below for more information:

Schools awarded the European Quality Label 2018

23 October 2018 (eTwinning)

We are pleased to announce the schools awarded the European Quality Label 2018! A total of 1204 projects received the Quality Label for their outstanding work. See the list of the distinguished schools, teachers' name and the project that got them their Quality Label.

Congratulations to all the Scottish schools on the list who have been recognised with an award!

If you'd like to get involved with eTwinning and collaborative projects with schools overseas, visit the website to find out how you can get involved and be rewarded with a Quality Label for your school.

Read more...

Language Perfect Northern Championships 2018

12 October 2018 (Education Perfect)

Raise the profile of languages at your school. The competitive element threaded through Education Perfect can excite and engage even the most unenthusiastic students!

The championships are a brilliant chance for revision of vocabulary and celebration of achievements in language learning. Students compete live and online from computers and iPod/Android apps.

The competition runs from 6 - 13 November 2018 and registration is now open!

Visit the website for more information.

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Königspost competition 2018

12 October 2018 (King's College London)

King's College London's Department of German is delighted to announce its 2018 competition for Year 12 and 13 students of German, the equivalent S5 and S6 in Scotland.

Students are invited to write an article of around 400-450 words in German in response to this quotation from a short story by the German-Japanese author Yoko Tawada: ‘Das Monsterbaby erwartet von der Mutter Meer, immer wieder neue Windeln zu waschen. Das Meer wird als eine überdimensionale Waschmaschine benutzt.’

The winner and runners-up will be invited to a prize-giving ceremony and seminar at King's College London in early December 2018.

Entries should be submitted by 22 November 2018. See the attached flyer for more information.

Related Files

Book Week Scotland 2018

12 October 2018 (Scottish Book Trust)

Book Week Scotland is a week-long celebration of books and reading that takes place every November. This year's event is taking place from Monday 19 – Sunday 25 November 2018.

There are a range of events, some with specific appeal to Gaelic and Scots readers. Visit the website to find out more on these and other ways you can get involved. Why not host a foreign language reading club or book sale?

Read more...

Our World film making project 2018-19

11 October 2018 (SEET)

SEET’s popular Our World film making project has now launched for the 2018-19 year! Our World uses film making and language learning as a means to help pupils explore the themes of LfS and the Sustainable Development Goals. It’s totally free, and all you have to do is sign up.

The project has been running for the past 6 years, has a proven track record of encouraging languages uptake at higher secondary levels, and is open to any team of four from S3 - S6 (no previous film making knowledge is required). All teams have to do to enter is come up with a creative idea for a film, based on one of this year's themes. Then, with SEET’s help teams put that idea into storyboard form and send it to us with an audio or video clip explaining it. The deadline for storyboard submissions is 5th December 2018.

Themes:

As part of a team of four, come up with a creative idea for a short film about being a citizen of the world. Your team should consider one of the following themes to get you started:

  • Sustainable Tourism (going on holiday, exploring other countries and cultures and making a positive impact on the environment)
  • Migration and welcome (refugees, moving abroad, how people are treated)
  • Trade (how businesses work in different countries, importing and exporting)

All films must include the use of at least one language other than English - but the more the merrier!

After all the entries are submitted, 18 teams from across Scotland will be invited to one of three regional film making workshop days (roughly 6 teams per workshop) where they will get the opportunity to make their film a reality. Pupils are given technology and professional film-making training on the day to help them, so don't worry if they don't have experience - all they need are their ideas. 

Throughout the project SEET staff are happy to make trips to schools to work with classes and answer any questions you might have. 

If you'd like to register or sign up a team visit the website, where you can also hear previous participants talk about their experience of the project, OR contact Madeleine McGirk at SEET (madeleine@seet.org.uk).

Read more...

Edinburgh Council to open new Gaelic schools by 2024

10 October 2018 (The Scotsman)

The city council will press ahead with proposals to open new primary and secondary Gaelic schools despite a “problematic” shortage of teachers who speak the language.

The authority hopes to open a new primary school in 2023 where pupils are taught through the medium of Gaelic - while a secondary school could follow by 2024. A host of short-term improvements will also be taken forward.

The council is facing a growing demand for Gaelic education but council officers admit that at the Bun-Sgoil Taobh na Pairce primary school, “as the school has grown, the recruitment of sufficient Gaelic-speaking teachers has proven to be problematic.”

Conservative education spokesman, Cllr Callum Laidlaw, said: “Clearly, there’s a demand for it in Edinburgh for primary expansion. There’s a problem with the citywide catchment area for the current primary school with transport, which is provided by the council. If we move forward with any expansion of primary GME, I would like to see that geographic problem tackled by building it in the south west of the city.

“As it stands, the plan demonstrates ambition rather than reality. There’s a significant recruitment challenge the council has to address first before it moves forward. We need to focus on delivering the six priority high schools in the Wave 4 funding before we commit to the GME secondary school.”

The primary school in Bonnington now has 20 Gaelic-speaking teachers. At James Gillespie’s High School, the city’s Gaelic Medium Education (GME) secondary school, a recruitment drive has helped fill vacancies – but fewer lessons than expected have been taught in Gaelic.

Read more...

French Film Festival 2018

9 October 2018 (French Film Festival)

The 26th French Film Festival takes place during November throughout the UK.

School screenings are supported by free Learning Resources prepared by Institut français d’Écosse and Edinburgh Filmhouse. These resources have been designed in accordance with the Modern Languages outcomes and experiences for the Curriculum for Excellence.

Visit the website for full programme details, booking information and to download the accompanying learning resources.

Read more...

The British Council's International School Award

8 October 2018 (British Council)

The International School Award (ISA) can help with your vision for school improvement. If you are writing your School Improvement Plan, and you’re looking for something new that has a proven track record of making a difference, then the International School Award could be what you are looking for.

It works in all profiles of schools: primary and secondary, inner-city and rural, thriving and struggling. Everyone has something to gain.

Experienced head teachers like Kevin McCabe, now Director of Improvement at Drb Ignite Multi-Academy Trust, testify to the ISA’s effectiveness as a tool to change the culture of your school. It does this by opening up the classroom to the world, giving the students the motivation they need to change the way they work and enriching the curriculum with cross-curriculum work.

Visit the website for more information and to register interest. Action plans should be submitted by 18 November 2018.

Read more...

Grants for professional development in Germany

2 October 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut is offering German teachers grants for courses in Germany. The programme includes courses on methodology and didactics, "Landeskunde" as well as specialised language courses for teachers.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and apply now for a course in 2019.

Read more...

German debating competition for secondary schools

2 October 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut invites secondary school students to take part in a competition to engage with questions about the future of Europe.

The debating competition offers a great chance to actively use the German language in an authentic setting and at the same time to get to know other secondary school students from across the United Kingdom. Debating in a foreign language will bring immeasurable benefits to significantly improve the student’s communication skills.

Applications are invited from teams of four year 12 students (4th year of learning German).

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to register by 26 October 2018.

Read more...

Vocab Express League of Champions 2018

2 October 2018 (Vocab Express)

Create a languages buzz around your school by taking part in a global online vocabulary competition.

The competition is free to all existing school subscribers to Vocab Express. There are also a limited number of free places available for schools not currently subscribed. 

Our week-long global competitions are a great way to get your school enthused about language learning. We run our League of Champions competition in the autumn term from the 10th - 16th of October and our Global Challenge competition in spring. 

Each sees 10s of thousands of students competing to win the top spot on our overall and individual language leaderboards. There are competitions in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Latin, Greek, Arabic, Urdu, Hebrew, Mandarin and Japanese.

Applications for the next League of Champions are now open. Visit the Vocab Express website for further information and to register by 9 October 2018.

Read more...

International inspiration at Carluke High School

1 October 2018 (British Council)

It’s not often that I get to visit a school, so I was really pleased when Alan Sinclair, Teacher of Music at Carluke High School, invited me along to a special day of sharing and celebration with not one but two of their international partners, writes our Communications Manager, Jordan Ogg.

Last week, pupils and staff from Institut Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia in Barcelona, Spain, and Mercy College Coolock in Dublin, Ireland, were welcomed as part of their Erasmus+ funded 'What’s Ours is Yours' project. A busy schedule saw the pupils collaborating through a variety of activities, taking in Spanish language tasks, multimedia production, a Ceilidh in the PE department and Scottish cookery classes in the afternoon.

It was an insightful opportunity to see first-hand how the schools have embraced international and inter-cultural learning and, in particular from a Scottish perspective, how Carluke High School's approach has complimented the wider curriculum. For example, I was impressed to see film and home economic students engaging with classes on music technology and modern languages – and all through this one partnership. 

Read more...

SQA course reports for Advanced Higher Modern Languages 2018

1 October 2018 (SQA)

The course reports for Advanced Higher Chinese, French, Gaelic (Learners), German, Italian and Spanish are now available on the SQA website.

Read more...

News from the Alliance Française

21 September 2018 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française offers a range of courses and activities for French language learners. Click on the relevant link below to find out more about upcoming events:

Visit the main Alliance Française website for more information about the organisation and their initiatives.

Read more...

Languages Beyond School

21 September 2018 (SCILT)

As the UCAS application process gets underway, make sure any pupils thinking of continuing their language studies check out the Beyond School section of our website.

This section contains useful information to help senior pupils decide on the different language courses and options available once they have left school, at college, university or as part of a gap year. There are links to courses available in Scotland and across the UK.

Pupils, parents, guidance and careers staff should all find this section of our website useful.

Read more...

Advanced Higher pupil workshops - Glasgow and Edinburgh

21 September 2018 (SCILT)

Due to high demand for our events earlier in September, we are running three more Advanced Higher pupil workshops. These are taking place in:

  • Glasgow - Monday 8th October 10am-12 midday, University of Strathclyde
  • Glasgow - Monday 8th October 2-4pm, University of Strathclyde (this event is now fully booked, you can register on the waiting list on Eventbrite)
  • Edinburgh - Thursday 11th October 11am-1pm, University of Edinburgh

This is a pupil workshop which will focus on what is required at Advanced Higher level. We will look at ways of tackling;

  • the overall purpose question in the reading
  • the discursive writing
  • the portfolio
  • the talking

This will also be an opportunity to meet with your peers and set up links so you could support one another in your studies. 

Schools should register on behalf of their pupils. Please indicate when registering how many pupils will be attending. While this event is for pupils, teachers may wish to attend and this should be reflected in the numbers when you register.

SCHOLAR online tutor sessions for Modern Languages

19 September 2018 (SCHOLAR)

The schedule of online tutor sessions for Higher and Advanced Higher Modern Languages 2018-19 is now available online.

Read more...

Inspire your students with new funding for global learning

19 September 2018 (British Council)

Connecting Classrooms is back, and we have some exciting updates for the new school year.

If you are thinking about taking your school on an international journey this year, it’s time to take a look at how you can join the new Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning programme.

You can apply for Connecting Classrooms opportunities either as an individual school, or part of a cluster, which will be overseen by a lead school.

Becoming a lead school provides a host of benefits, including access to grants to develop your cluster, the opportunity to deliver CPD to other schools in your area and cover support for your co-ordinator’s time. 

Visit the website for more information and apply by 28 October to be included in the first round of grant awards.

Read more...

Into Film Awards 2019

18 September 2018 (Into Film)

Submissions to the 2019 Into Film Awards are now open!

The Into Film Awards is the best place to showcase young filmmaking talent, with categories designed to highlight the large pool of young creatives in the UK. Set out to find the most talented filmmakers, reviewers, Into Film Clubs and educators, we encourage children and young people aged 5-19 from all backgrounds and with all abilities to get involved. 

A great place to start is by entering the 'Film of the Month' competition. These entries are also eligible for submission to the Into Film Awards. Why not get your students to create a short film in the language they are learning?

You have until 14 December 2018 to get your entries in and there are resources and guides on the website to help you.

Read more...

Into Film Festival 2018

18 September 2018 (Into Film)

The Into Film Festival is a free, annual, nationwide celebration of film and education for 5-19 year olds.

This year's festival takes place from 7-23 November with UK-wide events and screenings. There are some foreign language options included in the 'Visions of Europe' selection of the programme.

Visit the website for more information and to find events near you.

Read more...

Erasmus+ funding for schools: twilight sessions

17 September 2018 (Erasmus+)

Interested in funding for international pupil exchanges, staff overseas teaching/training placements and partnerships with schools across Europe?

Erasmus+ and eTwinning offer fantastic opportunities for UK schools to connect with schools across Europe.

Taking place in September to November 2018, we are running free sessions in cities across the UK for school staff interested in beginning or enhancing international collaboration. There's an event in Glasgow on 30 October.

Whilst the twilight session offers a particular focus for schools, there is also a daytime information session more specifically for organisations who are new to the Erasmus+ programme and are considering submitting an Erasmus+ application in 2019.

Read more...

17 September, 2018 - Minister Bruton Launches Campaign to Encourage Learning of Foreign Languages & Announces Funding for School Exchanges

17 September 2018 (Department of Education and Skills (Ireland))

(Applies to Ireland) The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D. today (17th September 2018) launched a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of foreign languages and announced new funding for teacher upskilling and school language exchanges.  

The campaign is aimed at school principals, teachers, guidance counsellors, parents, students and higher level institutions. Embassies, cultural services and bodies such as IBEC and Enterprise Ireland (EI) are also involved in supporting the campaign to raise awareness of the importance of learning foreign languages.  The campaign will be supported by a new website (www.languagesconnect.ie) which will act as a one stop shop for schools, parents and students on language learning. 

Read more...

Mother Tongue Other Tongue (MTOT) multilingual poetry competition 2018-19

14 September 2018 (SCILT)

Today we're launching the 2018-19 Mother Tongue Other Tongue (MTOT) multilingual poetry competition in Scotland.

All students who are learning a language at school, college or university, or who speak a native language at home, can get involved in celebrating their linguistic and cultural diversity through creative poetry writing as there are options to enter in either the Mother Tongue or Other Tongue category. All entries must be the students' own, original work.

For more information about this year's competition and previous events, visit our MTOT website and register to take part! The closing date for registrations is 26 October 2018.

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1+2 Modern Languages in Parliament

13 September 2018 (Scottish Parliament)

Read the First Minister's response when asked at the Meeting of the Parliament 13 September 2018 what action the Scottish Government will take to improve the implementation of the one-plus-two modern languages policy in broad general education.

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The Local Storytelling Campaign

13 September 2018 (SISF)

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival (SISF) takes place 19-31 October. Across Scotland, schools and communities are encouraged to take part in an initiative that celebrates the art of storytelling under the theme Growing Stories. The Local Campaign, running from Monday 17 September – Friday 30 November, aims to highlight how stories help communities connect, grow together and play a vital part in preserving heritage and cultures for new generations.

To celebrate, audiences are invited to book a storyteller for a local event, strike-up new community activity and engagement with storytelling. 

Visit the Scottish International Storytelling Festival website for more information and suggested ways to take part.

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Time to Move T-shirt contest

13 September 2018 (Eurodesk)

The Time to Move T-shirt contest returns in 2018! 

If you are at least 13 years old and not more than 30, design a Time to Move themed T-shirt that best represents the spirit of the campaign, share it with us and have a chance to travel around Europe by train!

Time to Move is a collection of events for young people organised all over Europe during the month of October. The activities focus on introducing hundreds of possibilities through which you can go abroad and take part in an international project, explore Europe or gain experience you need for your future.

Visit the website for more information and submit entries by 31 October 2018.

Read more...

UK Linguistics Olympiad (UKLO) 2019

13 September 2018 (UKLO)

UKLO is a competition for students who are still at school (or equivalent college) – any age, any ability level – in which they have to solve linguistic data problems. It’s completely free to both competitors and schools.

Teachers can now register their school for the United Kingdom Linguistics Olympiad (UKLO) 2019. Round 1 will take place from 4-8 February.

Visit the UKLO website for more information about the competition and registration.

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Lefèvre Trust school grants for French study visits

13 September 2018 (British Council)

The British Council is working in partnership with the Lefèvre Trust to offer a limited number of grants to Scottish secondary schools to facilitate reciprocal visits to partner schools in France. The opportunity marks the final round of Lefèvre funding and recognises the recently re-signed Memorandum of Understanding between Scotland and France. 

Schools interested in applying should have an existing link to France through a partnership or exchange. Projects with a STEM focus, and from schools in underprivileged areas, are encouraged.

A French study visit is the ideal way to instil a love of the French language in learners, give them exposure to authentic language usage and enable them to experience French culture first-hand. Pupils can also benefit from:

  • raised levels of language proficiency in preparation for exams
  • improved confidence in speaking French by practising with peers at the partner school
  • increased motivation in continuing to learn French by exchanging language and culture in an authentic environment
  • strengthened partnership and development of new cross-curricular projects for the whole school.

Visit the British Council website for more information and apply by 19 November 2018.

Read more...

UK-German Connection - Back to School Newsletter 2018

13 September 2018 (UK-German Connection)

Make this a year to remember for your school; welcome a German teacher, take part in our funded Christmas trips to Germany and support your Language Assistant to become a Cultural Exchange Ambassador!

Find out about these initiatives and more in the UK-German Connection 'Back to School' newsletter.

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Worldwide Napier magazine - Call for contributions

12 September 2018 (Edinburgh Napier University)

Do you have young linguists with a passion for writing? Then here's a great opportunity for budding authors!

Worldwide Napier is a free magazine showcasing the work of language students at Edinburgh Napier University.

Senior pupils at secondary school are invited to submit contributions for the second edition of the magazine in French, German and Spanish by 31 October 2018.

You can read the first issue online and see the attached introductory letter and poster for more information.

Read more...

EAL: Working with new arrivals

12 September 2018 (SecEd)

This September, many secondary schools will have new arrivals from abroad who have English as an additional language. Continuing our series on EAL, Dr Ruth Wilson gives some practical advice for you and your schools in meeting the needs of this diverse group of learners

New arrivals with English as an additional language (EAL) are a very diverse group. Their language proficiency can range from “new to English” to “fluent”. The young person can arrive at any age and with widely different socio-economic and educational backgrounds. Some students may come from an advantaged context with a high standard of education; others may have had little or interrupted schooling or experienced traumatic events. A new arrival could for example be a refugee from a war-torn country or a child of a German banker working in the City of London.

Data show that, on average, pupils arriving late into the English school system do less well in external exams than their first language English peers, and that the older the pupils are when they arrive the less likely they are to achieve good results in year 11 (Hutchinson, 2018).

This article gives some practical advice for you and your schools in meeting the needs of EAL learners who are newly arrived from abroad. 

Read more...

DAAD German writing and video competition 2018

10 September 2018 (DAAD)

In addition to accompanying written texts, competitors are asked this year to make a short video on ‘Auf deutschen Spuren - In the footsteps of German-language culture’.

Find out about historical or current traces of German-language culture in your area and create a short film not exceeding 3 minutes featuring German-language dialogue or voice-over. Judges will be looking for creativity and language use - rather than technical ability.

The competition is open to all German speakers upwards from secondary school level.

Find out more about the competition on the DAAD website and submit entries by 5 October 2018.

Read more...

'Host a Teacher' Programme: free CPD opportunity

10 September 2018 (UK-German Connection)

Welcome a teacher from Germany to any department in your school for 1, 2 or 3 weeks in 2019 to give your pupils a real-life learning context for German language and culture.

What are the benefits?

  1. Choose your own timings - it's flexible and free!
  2. Enhance the intercultural dimension in your school community
  3. Share best practice on an international level
  4. Boost speaking confidence in your classrooms
  5. Create a connection with a German school

"The guest teacher's input into our curriculum was excellent. She came equipped with resources and lessons, which she delivered to our classes, helping to boost the numbers opting for German."

To find out how you can take part, please visit the UK-German Connection website and apply by 21 September 2018 to host in spring or summer.

Read more...

Curriculum for GLE and GME

10 September 2018 (Education Scotland)

e-Sgoil is an interactive, real-time teaching facility which uses Glow, Office 365 and Vscene to support the teaching of Gaelic and through Gaelic in any school in Scotland. It supports the curriculum for 1+2, Gaelic Learner and Gaelic Medium Education. A short promotional video is available on the Education Scotland learning blog.

Read more...

Maths Week Scotland - Mathématiques sans frontières / Maths wi nae borders

7 September 2018 (North Lanarkshire Council)

As part of Maths Week Scotland, pupils of all ages can participate in the 'Maths wi nae borders' competition, which requires students to respond to one of the questions in either Gaelic or Scots.

The new competition is inspired by 'Mathématiques sans frontières'. North Lanarkshire Council, the University of the West of Scotland and Heriot Watt University work together to encourage young language learners to apply their knowledge in a Maths setting.

This stimulating and light-hearted competition for secondary schools combines Maths and Modern Languages and aims to motivate pupils in both their Maths and Language Learning.  S4 classes attempt 10 questions and S5 classes 13 questions.  Ideally a whole class should tackle groups of questions in order to complete the test within the 60 minutes allowed.

The first question require an explanation in a foreign language.  It is hoped that this competition will encourage cross-curricular working and teamwork.

This year 42 teams from 27 schools took part in 'Mathématiques sans Frontières', the winning team in S4 was Girvan Academy and the S5 winners and overall winning school was Grange Academy.

Look out for the e-mail invitation inviting you to take part in January 2019.

The return of Business Brunches 18-19: Language skills in the world of work

7 September 2018 (SCILT)

Would you like to invite 10 of your S3-S6 pupils to discover the benefits of language skills in the world of work and engage with a variety of dynamic employers to encourage learners to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their education, and beyond school? Look no further….

For the fifth year in succession, SCILT, in partnership with Developing the Young Workforce and the University Council of Modern Languages Scotland will be hosting a series of five Business Brunch events in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness over the course of December this year, and January 2019.  Registration will open at 9am on Friday 14th September.

Find out more on our Business Brunches webpage.

Read more...

Languages in the Lords

6 September 2018 (They Work For You)

Baroness Coussins, co-chair of the All-Party Group on Modern Languages, calls for language skills to be prioritised in careers advice in schools in today's Lords' debate.

In contributing to the debate she highlighted the specific need for careers education and advice to convey the enormous and increasing value of language skills to school leavers and graduates as they make their career choices. Stating this advice must also start early enough for school students to have the opportunity to choose one or more foreign languages among their GCSE options. 

She went on to stress that it is often wrongly assumed that studying foreign languages is just for the brightest students, and that they can be beneficial for anyone, at whatever level. Foreign language skills are in use in practically every sector in the economy, with higher than average demand in the financial services, IT and telecommunications, passenger transport, fashion and design and hotel and catering industries. They are in use at all levels in the workforce, not just senior management. In fact, the greatest skills gaps are among administrative and clerical staff, and those working at elementary grades. All that is before we even mention the need for languages and linguists in diplomacy, defence and security.

Read more...

CLPL for Beyond the Panda

5 September 2018 (RZSS)

Would you like to find out more about 'Beyond the Panda' and what it offers to assist Mandarin language learning? As the first science specialist Confucius Classroom in the world, we would like to invite you to a FREE session for teachers at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo on Tuesday 6 November 2018. 

Find out answers to these questions and more:

  • What is a 'panda box'?
  • How can our programme mix science with language? 
  • What else does the programme offer?
  • What does a science specialist Confucius Classroom mean? 

Two CLPL sessions available 10.30-12.30 and 3.00-5.00 on Tuesday 6 November. Booking essential as limited to 20 teachers per session. Open to Primary and Secondary teachers. 

Meet Sandie Robb, the RZSS language specialist along with Hù Wáng, our Confucius Classroom teacher. 

Contact srobb@rzss.org.uk  or 07963 070654 to book a place. 

HSBC/British Council Mandarin Chinese speaking competition 2018/19

3 September 2018 (British Council)

A great, fun opportunity for students to practise and improve their Mandarin Chinese language skills. 

Taking part in the competition:

  • increases students’ motivation for learning the language
  • develops vocabulary and improves pronunciation
  • raises confidence for oral examinations
  • encourages students to interact with their classmates
  • inspires students to discover more about Chinese culture.

The prize is a week in Beijing! Students will visit historical sites, interact with Chinese students and experience Chinese culture with the British Council, who have over twenty years’ experience in running cultural exchanges with China.

Applications for the 2018/19 competition are now open. Apply by Friday 5 October 2018.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to download the application form.

Read more...

SCHOLAR

3 September 2018 (SCHOLAR)

SCHOLAR has updated the Higher French, German and Spanish pages to reflect the changes to Higher which are now in place. SCHOLAR on-line tutor, Douglas Angus, will be hosting a webinar on Monday 17 September at 6pm for an hour to look at the changes, and to talk about the implications for teaching and learning of the new format for Higher Modern Languages. To take part in this event please log in as guest. The webinar will be broadcast live and recorded so it can be downloaded if you miss it.

There will be sessions for pupils at Higher and Advanced Higher level this year again, starting in November. For Higher, amongst the sessions will be on on the Assignment-Writing and for Advanced Higher on on the Portfolio and Specialist Study. Meanwhile, last year’s sessions are still available on the SCHOLAR website, but are open to all and do not require a password.

Read more...

Narrowing of secondary options hits Gaelic

30 August 2018 (TES)

A leading light in Gaelic-medium education is calling for the Scottish government to investigate the impact of the narrowing of the curriculum in senior secondary.

He says teenagers are being “lost to the language” and that the teacher supply pipeline is “in danger of drying up” as a result.

(Note - subscription required to read full article).

Read more...

Related Links

Call for the right to be taught in Gaelic (TES, 31 August 2018) Subscription required to read full article.

Where next for Gaelic as it gains ground in education? (TES, 31 August 2018) Subscription required to read full article.

The Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival (ESFF)

27 August 2018 (Consejería de Educación)

The fifth Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival (ESFF) will run from 4 -13 October 2018. Primary and secondary schools are invited to take part in its School Programme.

Also, to link with the Year of Young People, special workshops and screenings have been prepared that will explore Spanish language, cinema and youth.

More information and how to book places can be found on the attached invitation letters.

SQA Higher Modern Languages webinars

27 August 2018 (SQA)

SQA is running three webinars in September covering updates to Higher Modern Languages:

  • Tuesday 4th September 5-6pm

  • Monday 10th September 5-6pm

  • Thursday 27th September 5-6pm

Content will be the same on all three dates. Register on the SQA booking system.

If colleagues are finding they cannot get a place on the webinar they can contact the SQA events team sqaevents@sqa.org.uk or 0345 213 5580 who would in turn contact colleagues if spaces on webinars become available. 

Read more...

Updates from SQA - Modern Languages

24 August 2018 (SCILT/SQA)

Revised Higher Specimen Question Papers for use in session 2018-19 onwards are now available on the main Higher Modern Languages webpage.  Revised marking instructions for Directed Writing are currently only available in the Specimen Question papers.

Exemplars of Higher Directed Writing valid from session 2018/19 with associated commentary written in line with the revised marking instructions for Directed Writing are now available.  There are currently 8 exemplars in French and Spanish with other languages available in due course.

Exemplars of Higher Assignment-writing valid from session 2018/19 with associated commentary written in line with the marking instructions for assignment-writing are now available. There are currently 6 exemplars in French, German and Spanish, with other languages available in due course.

All exemplars can be found on www.understandingstandards.org.uk

Exemplars of talking performances at Higher valid from session 2018/19 are now available. These include associated commentary written in line with the marking instructions for performance-talking.  Exemplars of talking performances at National 5 are also available. Both can be found on the understanding standards area on the SQA secure website.

Read more...

European Day of Languages 2018

24 August 2018 (SCILT)

The European Day of Languages (EDL) is celebrated across Europe on the 26th of September every year. It aims to promote the rich linguistic diversity of Europe and raise awareness of the importance of lifelong language learning for everyone.

SCILT is helping schools across Scotland to celebrate by distributing materials developed by the ECML. These resources are free to order and act as excellent prizes and rewards.

Visit our European Day of Languages 2018 webpage for information on how to order packs, for ideas on how to celebrate, and to find out how your school could feature in our EDL 2018 blog.

Read more...

GCSE results: Language entries rise for first time since 2013

23 August 2018 (TES)

GCSE entries for modern foreign languages have increased for the first time in five years.

The small increase will give linguists hope that modern foreign languages (MFL) have turned the corner after four consecutive years of decline.

Today’s GCSE results show that total MFL entries across the UK rose from 298,066 in 2017 to 299,172 this year – a 0.4 per cent increase.

The increase is more impressive against the backdrop of a 2.7 per cent decline in the 16-year-old population – the age at which most pupils sit their GCSEs.

However, the overall increase in MFL entries masked varying fortunes for different subjects.

French, which continues to be the most popular language subject by a distance, saw its entries decline from 130,509 in 2017 to 126,750 this year – a 2.9 per cent fall.

German entries rose from 43,649 in 2017 to 44,535 this year – an increase of 2 per cent. This was in marked contrast to A-level German, for which entries plummeted by 16.5 per cent this year.

In Spanish, GCSE entries rose by 4.4 per cent from 91,040 in 2017 to 95,080 this year.

Chinese – which is now the third biggest language subject at A-level – saw its GCSE entries rise.

GCSE entries in Mandarin increased by 7.5 per cent from 4,104 in 2017 to 4,410 this year. The subject is now the fifth most popular GCSE language, after Italian.

While total MFL entries rose in 2018, they have a long way to go to regain the ground that has been lost in recent years.

Read more...

Magical Christmas Trip

21 August 2018 (UK-German Connection)

Would you like to take part in a Magical Christmas Trip this year and build on or set up a partnership with a school in Germany?

These visits offer primary pupils the chance to get a taste of Germany at Christmas time, meet their German peers and get involved in some seasonal intercultural activity. Secondary pupils have the opportunity to brush up on their German and practice their skills as young leaders.

There are two options for getting involved:

  • apply to take part in a visit to Berlin run by UK-German Connection to set up a link to a school in Berlin
  • apply for funding and organisational support to run your own Christmas visit to an existing partner school anywhere in Germany.

Application deadline: 18 September 2018.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

Read more...

Runrig say farewell as Stòrlann launch rocking resource

20 August 2018 (Stòrlann)

Legendary Gaelic rock band Runrig said farewell at the end of a 45 year career with a two-night event which attracted 50,000 people to Stirling Castle. At the event were showcases for FilmG, the Gaelic Sort Film Project, and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland’s Gaelic College. FilmG’s theme this year is “In the Blink of an Eye.” Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig have also launched a newly developed Runrig resource for use in schools, alongside redeveloping their Fileanta website for Gaelic Medium Education in Secondary.

Access the resources via the following links:

Gaelic eLearning by eSgoil available to learners all across Scotland

20 August 2018 (eSgoil)

Comhairle nan Eilean’s eSgoil is offering National 5 and Higher Gaelic (Learners) via computer - these will be open to school pupils and adult learners anywhere. All you need is a computer with internet access.

Get in touch with Angus MacLennan or Catriona Currie at esgoil@gnes.net if you or learners within your school would be interested in this opportunity

This is the timetable for the classes.

  • Monday 8:50-10:30 
  • Wednesday 14:00-14:45 
  • Thursday 13:55-15:35 
  • Friday 12:25-13:15

Japanese Language Local Project Support Programme 2018-19

20 August 2018 (Japan Foundation)

If your school is interested in introducing Japanese into the curriculum, supporting Japanese at GCSE or A-Level or starting a Japanese Club, you could be eligible for funding.

Institutions can apply for up to £3000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which promote Japanese language education in the UK.

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information and apply by 22 September 2018.

Read more...

Steep year-on-year drop in languages entries

17 August 2018 (TESS)

French causes particular concern, but ‘more pupils than ever learning languages’ in Scotland

Read more...

A-levels: proportion of students in England getting C or above falls

16 August 2018 (The Guardian)

The proportion of students in England gaining C grades or above in A-levels fell back this year, driven by a relatively weaker performance among girls, as schools and students continue to grapple with the introduction of new, more intensive exams.

[..] Modern languages continued their baleful downward trend, with nearly 8% fewer entries in French, German and Spanish. More A-level students took Chinese this year than German.

Read more...

Concours de la francophonie 2019

16 August 2018 (Institut français)

The Institut français d’Ecosse launched in 2016 le concours de la francophonie, a national school competition to encourage all young French learners and their teachers around Scotland to celebrate the international day of la francophonie.

All Scottish primary and secondary schools offering French may enter this competition by submitting a short video of a classroom activity in French. Entry deadline: January 2019.

Visit the Institut français d’Ecosse website for more information. 

Read more...

Monday Matters: Tourism success shows need for languages in schools

13 August 2018 (Courier)

Figures released by the [Dundee] city council this week revealed a massive increase in the number of people visiting, either for overnight stays or for day-trips.

[...] 

And yet while we as a country rely on and encourage tourism, other figures revealed this week show far more could be done to welcome the world to Scotland.

It emerged that the numbers of pupils in secondary schools passing exams in foreign languages has halved over the past decade.

Read more...

Scottish youth to explore the way of the dragon...

13 August 2018 (4barsrest)

Carnoustie High School Band will head east this September to become the first youth brass band to tour China.

The remarkable opportunity came following a performance at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow in 2016 for the renowned Confucius Institute for Scotland.

Such was the success that it led to the school's head teacher Donald Currie being contacted to set the ball rolling on the ambitious initiative — and now, after almost two years of research and fundraising the band will fly out on 7th September for 15 unforgettable days of music and cultural learning.

Confucius Hubs are based in schools and seek to make links with local communities throughout Scotland — with Carnoustie serving the Angus area. It promotes the joint planning of cultural activities, sharing ideas and resources to stimulate the learning and teaching of Chinese language and culture.

The band will fly out from Glasgow, and after a short stop in Dubai will carry on to China where they will enjoy seven days in Tianjin and seven more in Beijing before their return.

While in Tianjin, the band members will be learning Mandarin, as well as performing three concerts. They will also visit Chinese families and schools, enabling the young musicians to experience Chinese culture first hand with a chance to learn Gongfu (Chinese martial arts), Tai Chi, and the ancient arts of calligraphy and mask painting.

Read more...

Fantastic opportunity to get involved in international work

9 August 2018 (YouthLink Scotland)

YouthLink Scotland, its members and UK/German Connection have teamed up to offer an opportunity to share experiences and make new links between our two countries.

This is an exciting opportunity for workers and the young people (aged 14-21) they work with to get together with German counterparts here and in Germany.

The commitment is two residential weekends taking place in October and December - one in Scotland and one in Berlin.

Places are limited so get in touch soon. The deadline for expressions of interest is 30 August 2018.

Read more...

Thousands more pupils to learn Mandarin ahead of Brexit

7 August 2018 (TES)

An expanding academy chain plans to teach Mandarin to thousands of pupils across its schools, to prepare them for life in post-Brexit Britain.

The Co-op Academies Trust will offer Mandarin Chinese to more than 10,000 students.

The trust, which runs schools in Greater Manchester, Leeds and Stoke-on-Trent, is working with the Swire Chinese Language Foundation, which supports the training of specialist Mandarin Chinese teachers.

(Subscription required to read full article)

Read more...

SQA: Scottish education exam results 2018

7 August 2018 (Relocate Magazine)

Scottish exam results are in - and more than 2/3rds of independent school pupils sitting exams achieved a Higher grade A in foreign languages, including Mandarin. 

Although the number of entries for Highers and the proportion of students who received a pass mark has fallen slightly, data from the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS) reveals that 68% of pupils studying foreign languages have achieved a Higher grade A.

The data, collected from SCIS’s 74 member schools, shows that 72% of students achieved a Higher grade A in Mandarin, while 72% of those studying German, 69% of those studying French and 63% studying Spanish also achieved an A.

Read more...

Related Links

Language exam entries are falling, but pourquoi? (TESS, 17 August 2018) Note - subscription required to read article.

Review call after fall in pupils studying languages and science (The Herald, 10 August 2018)

John Swinney urged to review school subject choice after figures show collapse in modern languages (The Telegraph, 9 August 2018) Note - subscription required to read full article.

Two-thirds fewer Scottish S4 pupils passing French exams under new curriculum (The Telegraph, 8 August 2018) Note - subscription required to read full article.

Attainment Statistics (August) 2018 (SQA, 7 August 2018)

Deaf boy’s campaign for new GCSE in sign language takes step forward

2 August 2018 (ITV)

A GCSE in British Sign Language (BSL) could be introduced in this parliament after the government backed down on a decision to delay it.

Deaf schoolboy Daniel Jillings, 12, is campaigning for the new exam in time for his GCSEs, and his family launched a legal challenge to get one instated as quickly as possible.

The Department for Education had previously said no new GCSEs would be introduced in this parliament, but following submissions from the family’s lawyers it said it may consider making an “exception”.

Daniel’s family’s lawyers argue the lack of a GCSE in BSL may be “discriminatory and unlawful”.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said on Wednesday: “We will consider any proposals put forward for a GCSE in British Sign Language.

“As we have made clear previously, any new GCSE would need to meet the rigorous standards set by both the Department and Ofqual.

“If these expectations are met and a British Sign Language GCSE is ready to be introduced, we will then consider whether to make an exception to our general rule that there should be no new GCSEs in this parliament.”

Read more...

Opportunity for young people during the Fringe

12 July 2018 (Theatre Sans Accents)

Theatre Sans Accents is on the lookout for 4 young people aged 16-25 who are passionate about the performing arts and with an interest in foreign languages and cultures (please note you don't have to be speaking a foreign language or be an experienced artist to apply to this!).

TSA will be running two free (but ticketed) events on Monday 13th August on the topic of Bilingualism and Theatre as part of the Festival at Fringe Central:

  • A practical workshop in the morning exploring foreign languages in theatre 
  • A conversation/debate in the afternoon between a panel of young people, a panel of artists and the audience about the future of British and foreign artists in the UK post Brexit

Award-winning artists and companies Le Petit Monde, Brite Theatre, Jabuti Theatre, Fronteiras Theatre, Ludens Ensemble, Charioteer Theatre and Bilingualism Matters will be present on the day.

If you're selected to be on the panel you can also attend the practical workshop.

All we need from you is a short paragraph about why you wish to participate and why this conversation matters to you.

Any questions, please contact Marion Geoffray at hello@theatresansaccents.co.uk 

Read more...

Manchester’s Language Army

28 June 2018 (CIOL)

Set in the culturally diverse Crumpsall/Cheetham Hill area of Manchester, Abraham Moss Community School is one of very few schools in northwest England to operate a formal programme that identifies bilingual pupils and offers them basic training in the skills required to act as language mediators within the school environment. 

More that 60 languages are spoken at Abraham Moss, which began the programme five years ago with a group of just eight pupils in Key Stage 4 (ages 14-16). Since then it has blossomed into an impressive ‘language army’ – nearly 40-strong – of ‘young interpreters’ aged 12-16, who cover languages as diverse as Arabic, Chinese, Hungarian, Italian, Pashtun, Polish, Spanish, Turkish and Urdu.

Read more...

Spanish exam entries on track to surpass French in English schools

27 June 2018 (The Guardian)

Spanish is expected to overtake French as the main foreign language studied in classrooms in England in the next few years, and experts say German could face extinction from school timetables.

A report by the British Council says that although the study of languages continues to decline, Spanish is bucking the trend, with entries up in both GCSEs and A-levels.

Read more...

Language lesson gap means poorest miss out, says report

27 June 2018 (BBC)

Children from poorer backgrounds in England are increasingly likely to miss out on learning a foreign language, suggests a report.

Some teachers blame new tougher GCSEs for putting lower ability pupils off language learning.

There is also a perception that languages are less important since the vote to leave the European Union, says the British Council study.

The government says its reforms are boosting modern languages in schools.

The Language Trends Survey has published an annual report since 2002 when more than three-quarters of pupils (76%) took a modern language GCSE.

By 2011, only 40% of pupils took a language at GCSE.

The subject has recovered in recent years - in 2016 almost half of 16-year-olds took a language GCSE - but this figure fell to 47% last year.

There has been a similar long-term decline at A-level.

Read more...

Higher Modern Languages webinar recordings

21 June 2018 (SQA)

The SQA has published a recording of the Higher Modern Languages webinar that took place on 19 June. The webinar provides guidance on the revised course assessment for session 2018-19.

Webinars can also be accessed from the Understanding Standards website.

Read more...

Ceumannan 5 - New Health and Wellbeing unit on-line for Gaelic Learners by end of session

20 June 2018 (Stòrlann)

Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig are about to publish online the second unit of the final book in the Ceumannan series for Gaelic Learners. Like all the resources in the series which launched in 2009, Ceumannan 5 Aonad 2 - Slàinte agus Sunnd, has been written by Emma Christie. It is aimed at Higher and Advanced Higher Gaelic (Learners). When the resource becomes available at the end of June 2018, it will be available on the Stòrlann website.

Read more...

FilmG

20 June 2018 (FilmG)

The successful Film G project which encourages the use of Gaelic through film-making has entered it’s 11th year. Film G is run by MG Alba in partnership with CGS and has been a very popular event for Gaelic Learners and Fluent speakers alike over the last decade. Film G organise school visits and more information can be found on their website.

Read more...

A National Framework for Languages supporting implementation of 1+2

19 June 2018 (SCDE)

The Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE) Languages Group, which represents all language strands within the Schools of Education across Scottish Universities, has created a National Framework for Languages (NFfL) and associated digital resource to support teacher educators and teachers at all stages of their careers, with the aim of transforming the 1 + 2 Languages Policy in Scotland into purposeful classroom pedagogies promoting plurilingualism and pluriliteracies.

The NFfL is based on four overarching principles: plurilingualism, diversity, policy and legislation and transformative practice, and reflects the strands of the Professional Standards established by GTCS. For each of these strands the NFfL has identified a series of statements which encourage practitioners to consider a broad and inclusive understanding of the role of language in and for learning. These statements are linked to the associated digital resources: a reflective tool and digital resource bank.
The reflective tool includes a personal biography based on Pepelino and the European Language Portfolio as well as a series of reflective questions. These reflective questions are directly linked to the statements of the NFfL and aim to support teachers in evaluating their own practices.

The digital resource bank was created after a systematic review of the international literature covering formal language learning across all ages and stages, the increasingly complex demands of plurilingual and pluricultural classrooms and the need to develop a shared understanding of the role of languages for learning, which addresses the fundamental role played by languages (including the learners’ first language) in developing global citizens.

The NFfL and accompanying digital resources are now being piloted and can be accessed on the National Framework for Languages (NFfL) website.

Further information can be obtained from Ingeborg Birnie (Ingeborg.birnie@strath.ac.uk).

Read more...

GlobeScotters

18 June 2018 (British Council)

British Council is excited to announce the launch of GlobeScotters! We've partnered with @YoungScot to inspire Scotland's young people to embrace the international opportunities available to them at home and abroad!

Over the next six months the GlobeScotters website will be updated with all things international - from funding opportunities, to fun videos on international foods and some big Young Scot Rewards prizes!

Whether you are studying abroad next term, or want to learn about different cultures in your community, we have you covered!

Read more...

Language Linking Global Thinking

12 June 2018 (University of Edinburgh)

French and Spanish MA (Hons) student, Róisín MacFarlane, describes her involvement in SCILT’s Year Abroad schools initiative.

Róisín and three other students from the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) recently attended a course with Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT) preparing both students and teachers for the Language Linking Global Thinking (LLGT) project.

In this article - her first as Web, Communications and Social Media Intern for LLC - she talks about the LLGT programme and explains why so many schools and students are getting involved.

Read more...

Host a Teacher from Germany

12 June 2018 (UK-German Connection)

Opportunity for UK schools to boost their intercultural dimension by welcoming a teacher from Germany to any department for one, two or three weeks this school year.

This free programme provides pupils with a real-life learning context for German language and culture and offers teachers the chance to share best practice on an international level.

Hosting can take place at any time during the school year.

Application deadlines - 26 July for autumn 2018 hosting slots and 21 September to host in spring/summer 2019.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

Read more...

SQA update for teachers of Higher Modern Languages

11 June 2018 (SQA)

Course support notes and coursework assessment tasks for session 2018-19 are now available, including the new assignment-writing task and performance-talking. Download them from the SQA Higher Modern Languages website ‘2018-19 session’ section.

Read more...

The 50-Word Fiction Competition

8 June 2018 (Scottish Book Trust)

Can you write a story in just 50 words? Each month we’ll provide a prompt to get you started, but where the story goes from there is entirely up to you.

The competition includes four categories, Adult Writers, All-age Gaelic Writers, Young Writers 5-11 and Young Writer 12-18. The entries will be judged by a panel and the four winning stories will be published on our website two weeks after the closing date.

Entries for our June competition are currently open. The prompt is to 'write a story set on a beach'. Submit your story by Tuesday 3 July 2018 at noon. 

Visit the Scottish Book Trust website for more information.

Read more...

New for session 2018-19 - Advanced Higher workshops for pupils

8 June 2018 (SCILT)

New for session 2018-19, SCILT will be delivering three workshops for pupils studying Advanced Higher modern languages. These will take place in:

  • Glasgow - Wednesday 5th September 2-4pm, University of Strathclyde (Please note this event is now full. You can join the waiting list on Eventbrite in case places become available closer to the event)
  • Dundee - Thursday 6th September 2-4pm, University of Dundee (Please note this event is now full. You can join the waiting list on Eventbrite in case places become available closer to the event)
  • Inverness - Monday 10th September 11am-1pm, Millburn Academy

This is a pupil workshop which will focus on what is required at Advanced Higher level. We will look at ways of tackling;

  • the overall purpose question in the reading
  • the discursive writing
  • the portfolio
  • the talking

This will also be an opportunity to meet with your peers and set up links so you could support one another in your studies. 

Schools should register on behalf of their pupils. Please indicate when registering how many pupils will be attending. While this event is for pupils, teachers may wish to attend and this should be reflected in the numbers when you register.

Read more...

Stephen Spender Trust - Polish Spotlight

7 June 2018 (Stephen Spender Trust)

The "Polish Spotlight" is a new strand of the Stephen Spender Prize for 2018, with entries in three categories: 18-and-under, 14-and-under and 10-and-under. You do not have to be fluent in Polish to enter the prize: it is open to all those interested in trying their hand at translation. To enter translate any Polish poem into English.

Resources for teachers to introduce poetry translation as a classroom activity, and suggestions of Polish poems for translation, are available on the Stephen Spender Trust website.

Entries should be submitted by 5 October 2018.

Read more...

International youth event in Berlin: Youth for Peace

7 June 2018 (UK-German Connection)

Are you interested in Europe, history and peace? Do you want to learn more about World War I and its consequences? Do you want to know how other societies experienced the war and how you can personally contribute to a peaceful future in and around Europe?

To commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War, the Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO), along with partners, is organising an International Youth Meeting in Berlin. The event will bring together 500 young people from across Europe and beyond to discuss topics such as war, peace and history in an international setting. It will take place from Wednesday 14 November – Sunday 18 November, 2018.

As a partner organisation, UK-German Connection are recruiting a group of 18-22 year olds from the UK to attend this youth event.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information and apply by 17 June 2018.

Read more...

Briefing on Gaelic Education

7 June 2018 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland's latest briefing on Gaelic Education is now available on their website.

Read more...

eTwinning: European professional development workshops

6 June 2018 (eTwinning)

This term, why not apply to go on a short, fully-funded workshop in another European country?

Applications are now open for teachers of pupils aged 3-19 across a range of subject areas to attend a fully-funded 2-3 day professional development workshop in Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, France and Greece. 

These events are designed to facilitate new eTwinning projects through partner-finding and project planning activities. Workshop themes and subject areas are varied, spanning ICT, Maths, and sustainable development.

Find out about, request a free workshop in the UK or register for one or more of the available opportunities on the eTwinning website. Application deadline: 18 June 2018.

Read more...

Radio Edutalk: Gillian Campbell-Thow on ‘Language Learning in Scottish Education’

5 June 2018 (Radio Edutalk)

Listen to Gillian Campbell-Thow talk about ‘Language Learning in Scottish Education’ broadcast on Radio Edutalk on 5 June 2018.

Read more...

German writing and video competition 2018

23 May 2018 (DAAD)

To all learners and lovers of German, it’s time again to release your creative spirit and enter the annual writing DAAD/IMLR writing competition! 

This – our fifth – jointly organised competition branches out into new territory: after successful (and exciting!) forays into poetry, prose, translation and dramatic dialogue writing, competitors are asked this year to make a short video on ‘Auf deutschen Spuren - In the footsteps of German-language culture’.

Find out more and how to enter on the DAAD website. Submission deadline is 5 October 2018.

Read more...

The Babel Young Writers' Competition

18 May 2018 (Babel)

Our 2018 competition is now open to 16-18-year-olds and undergraduates! Young linguists have until 24 August to enter for the chance to be published in Babel No25, to be published in November. The winner also, of course, receives a year's subscription to Babel!

Entries should be no longer than 2,500 words, and can discuss any topic to do with languages and linguistics.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

SALT Modern Languages competition for schools

18 May 2018 (SALT)

Entries are now being accepted for the #SALT18 competition!

Primary, secondary and senior phase students are invited to produce a promotional video, poster or presentation in the language of their choice. 

Find out more on the SALT website. Entry deadline is 7 September 2018.

Read more...

Business Brunches 2018 webpage now live!

18 May 2018 (SCILT)

The Business Brunches took place earlier on this year across Scotland, and supported DYW and the Scottish Attainment Challenge by giving young people the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the role of languages in the business world. 

Take a journey through the entire series of events and explore some of the highlights for yourself, such as:
  
  • A taste of what really went on at these events and why languages play an important role in the world of work by viewing our Business Brunch video located on the main page
  • Inspiring quotes and uploads of presentations from a handful of business leaders who were present that you can share with your own learners
  • Feedback received from pupils who participated
  • Images, tweets, press releases and more

Read through our resources and materials which you may find useful to promote languages for employability in your own school. 

Important news! Business Brunches will be returning for year 2018/19. Further details will be announced on the SCILT website and through our e-bulletin after the summer with instructions on how you can register your school to attend. Keep your eyes peeled! 

Read more...

SQA Higher Modern Languages webinars

17 May 2018 (SQA)

Dates for the next Higher Modern Languages webinars are now available to book on the SQA website (login required).

Sessions are available:

  • 4 September
  • 10 September
  • 29 September

Read more...

Call out to young film-makers in Scotland

10 May 2018 (National Library of Scotland)

A competition opens today (10 May) which invites young people to show in film what Scotland means to them. The competition has been organised by the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish Youth Film Festival as part of the Year of Young People.

Anyone under 19 years of age can submit a one-minute film on any theme, in any language and in any genre.

Visit the National Library of Scotland website for more information.

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"Developing language awareness in subject classes": join the network of the European Centre for Modern Languages/Council of Europe!

8 May 2018 (ECML)

Are you a secondary school teacher of a non-linguistic subject (other than mathematics or history) working in a linguistically and culturally diverse school? Do you teach 12/13 year olds whose first language is different from the language of schooling? Are you interested in sharing your subject expertise and exchanging experiences with European professionals in the field of language in subject teaching? Then this project is for you!

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Number of Scottish pupils passing foreign language exams has halved in 10 years

6 May 2018 (Daily Record)

The number of Scottish pupils passing foreign language exams has halved over 10 years.

The total at all levels has plunged from 60,176 in 2007 to just 28,503 in 2017.

The fall has been most severe in basic qualifications, raising concerns the figures could get worse in coming years as youngsters lack foundation skills. 

Opposition politicians and business leaders have voiced fears that Scotland’s ability to compete as a global economy could be at risk.

Read more...

EU offers British teenagers free Interrail pass

4 May 2018 (The Guardian)

British teenagers are to be given the chance to bid farewell to Europe with free Interrail passes for up to 30 days this summer.

The free tickets, worth up to £400 each, will be offered to any EU citizens who turn 18 before July as part of a pilot DiscoverEU scheme funded by the EU.

With Brexit on the horizon this is the first and last year British teenagers can apply for the rail bonanza, which has just been launched in Brussels.

“Any future participating depends on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations and the future relationship between the UK and the EU,” said Nathalie Vandystadt, the EU commission spokesperson for education, culture, youth and sport.

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“Beairteas” seeking to add richness to Gaelic education

2 May 2018 (Fèisean nan Gàidheal)

Fèisean nan Gàidheal have launched a new initiative through their Fèisgoil project to help increase Gaelic language skills by creating and strengthening inter-generational links. 

With support from the Scottish Government, Fèisean nan Gàidheal is now seeking assistance from Gaelic speakers to establish Beairteas.

What is it?

Beairteas is an intergenerational programme to match community-based fluent Gaelic speakers with schools and community groups. Their richness of language, specialist knowledge of Gaelic culture and many other subjects about which they could speak in Gaelic, would provide a valuable resource for pupils. This would complement the sterling work being done by teachers in Gaelic education.

Why?

Gaelic education is very successful and an essential component in growing a new generation of Gaelic speakers. Teachers work extremely hard to immerse children in the language and deliver a range of subjects through the medium of Gaelic.

Gaelic speakers involved in almost any walk of life have a tremendous amount to offer Gaelic education. The Curriculum for Excellence encourages work and engagement with people in communities.

Beairteas aims to complement schoolwork, offering opportunities for children to communicate in Gaelic with people other than their teachers. Engaging them with Gaelic speakers with specialist knowledge of the work they do or have done, as well as any interesting pastimes in which they may have been involved, will strengthen the language skills of the young people giving them a breadth of vocabulary they may not pick up through their daily schoolwork.

You may be a police officer, involved in the health service, community work or a trade. You may have specialist knowledge of Gaelic songs, history, traditional stories, war, sport or working in other countries. You may be involved in fishing, crofting, gardening, photography, weaving, cooking or almost anything in which you could engage young people through the medium of Gaelic.

Would you be willing to be involved?

If you would enjoy working with young people and are passionate about the revitalisation of Gaelic, Fèisean nan Gàidheal would like to hear from you. Work will be paid, but dependent on schools engaging with the Beairteas scheme. If you have any questions, please call Eilidh Mackenzie, Fèisgoil Manager on 01463 225559 or e-mail any queries to beairteas@feisean.org.

More information is available on the organisation's website.

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Competition: Eine Welt für dich und mich

30 April 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

The German Foreign Office is looking for children and teens who love writing and who would like to publish their own texts: Along the lines of “A world for you and me” young authors from around the world are invited to depict their fantasies, hopes and dreams.

Children and teens up to 19 years old can participate. Entries can be short stories, essays, poems or songs consisting of no more than 3000 characters (including spaces) and can be written in either German or English.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for further information. Entry deadline is 15 July 2018.

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Work shadowing in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany

30 April 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut is pleased to announce a one week work shadowing visit from 20 October to 27 October 2018 to Schwäbisch Hall in Germany.

The participants should be between 16 and 17 years old with at least GCSE-level German and will have the opportunity to experience work in a small or medium sized German company. They will also have language tuition and guidance on Germany today as well as short excursions in the local surroundings.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for further information and to apply by 15 June 2018.

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Tories attack language teaching ‘failures’

26 April 2018 (The Times)

The number of pupils taking Higher French and German has fallen as interest in Italian and Chinese rises.

The number of pupils studying any Higher modern languages fell 6.2 per cent between 2016 and last year. Pupils studying Higher French fell by 14 per cent to 3,918 and German was down 13 per cent from 1,020 to 89. The number of students taking Higher Spanish hit 2,809, up 8 per cent on 2016; Italian rose 21 per cent to 264; Chinese languages grew in popularity by 16 per cent to 129; and Urdu rose by 13 per cent to 104. Those learning Gaelic at Higher level fell by 18 per cent, to 69.

(Subscription required to read full article).

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Student competition to win a month studying at a Hong Kong university

24 April 2018 (British Council)

The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London is offering sixth form students a chance to boost their CV by spending a month at a Hong Kong university this summer. All they have to do is demonstrate why they think Hong Kong is a unique and attractive place for start-up businesses. 

Visit the British Council website for more information.

Applications close on 8 May 2018.

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National Digital Learning Week (14-18 May)

24 April 2018 (Education Scotland)

National Digital Learning Week is an annual Education Scotland event where teachers and learners from all schools in Scotland are encouraged to take part in digital learning and teaching activities.

There are loads of ways to get involved in #NDLW18; the sky is the limit! 

To help get things started Education Scotland are launching 2 main activities:  

  • An exclusive National Digital Story telling activity for 30 schools across Scotland with famous children’s author Lari Don. 
  • A digital story telling activity schools can enjoy in their local setting.

Why not use the local opportunity to create a digital story with your pupils in the language they are learning?

Find out more on the Education Scotland Glow blog.

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SQA Higher Modern Languages course specification

23 April 2018 (SQA)

SQA has published the revised Course Specification for the Higher Modern Languages course (version April 2018). This is available from the Modern Languages Higher webpage. To access the document please go to the tab ‘2018-19 session’ and under the ‘Essential Information’ heading click on ‘Course Specification’.

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Would you like to explore Europe this summer?

20 April 2018 (European Commission)

Are you 18 years old? Would you like to explore Europe? Then you are the perfect candidate to apply for a new European Union initiative to be officially launched shortly.

In June 2018 the European Commission is selecting up to 15.000 enthusiastic young people to be the lucky recipients of a travel pass to discover Europe.

Travelling is a chance for young people to take advantage of our freedom of movement, to discover the diversity of Europe, enjoy its cultural richness, and make new friends from all over the continent. Ultimately, it’s also a great opportunity to discover yourself.

With 2018 being the European Year of Cultural Heritage, consider yourself particularly lucky. It means that you will also have the opportunity to participate in the many events that are taking place this year all over Europe to celebrate our fantastically diverse cultural heritage.

Applicants must be 18 years old (and not yet 19) at the time of application and have the nationality of one of the EU countries. You can travel up to maximum 30 days and visit up to 4 different country destinations. Moreover, there is the possibility to travel either individually or as a group.

Visit the European Youth Portal website for more information. Applications open in June 2018.

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MTOT celebration event - webpage now live!

20 April 2018 (SCILT)

The celebration event for this year's Mother Tongue Other Tongue multilingual poetry competition took place on Saturday 17 March at the University of Strathclyde. 

Visit the SCILT website to see the full list of winners and to view the anthology of winning poems. You can also find photos from the event and read some of the feedback received from pupils, parents and teachers. 

Read more...

China stories: 500 words competition

17 April 2018 (University of Liverpool)

A new 500-word short story competition – with entries judged by best-selling author Philip Pullman – is being launched ahead of the 2018 Liverpool Literary Festival.

The China Stories competition is looking for submissions across a broad range of categories. Winners will see their work published in a special anthology and take part in a writing session with the Royal Society of Literature, as well as receiving vouchers to spend as they wish.

Stories can be about anything, but to coincide with Liverpool’s China Dream season all entries should have a Chinese theme.

Entries are invited from primary and secondary students and should be submitted by 20 July 2018.

Further information can be found on the University of Liverpool website.

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Language Leaders - training week in Cavilam

16 April 2018 (Institut français)

For the third year, the Institut français is offering grants to six Language Leaders of Scotland to attend a one week training course in France.

The course will take place at the Cavilam Alliance française de Vichy from 30 July to 3 August 2018.

The Cavilam is an international centre of excellence for French teachers and teachers' trainers which welcomes teachers from all over the world.

This course is open to all practitioners with a leading role on your 1+2 strategy: in a school, a cluster, or at the council or regional level.

Further information regarding the grants, programme, accommodation/transport and how to apply can be found in the attached documents. Please note that the Institut français covers only the course fee.

The application deadline is 11 May 2018.

SQA Higher Modern Languages webinar

12 April 2018 (SQA)

The SQA is running an evening webinar on 5 June to provide an overview of the new Modern Languages Higher course assessment arrangements which will be implemented from session 2018-19 onwards.

This will cover the performance–talking and there will be a particular focus on Higher assignment-writing. 

To book a place, please visit the SQA online booking system. 

Additional webinar sessions on the new Higher Modern Languages Course assessment arrangements will be running in September 2018.

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Mandarin will give school leavers career advantage

11 April 2018 (UCL/CISS)

More than three in four British business leaders believe speaking Mandarin will give school leavers a career advantage over their counterparts, according to a survey published today.

Amongst over 1,000 senior business decision makers questioned by YouGov for the UCL Institute of Education-delivered Mandarin Excellence Programme, more than three quarters of respondents said that speaking a high level of Mandarin would be beneficial to school pupils in their future careers. 

On average, 28 per cent thought that the advantage would be ‘significant’ – with this rising to 31 per cent amongst those working for companies with an annual turnover of £10 million or more.  

While 69 per cent of those surveyed felt that Mandarin Chinese skills, particularly speaking, would be important for British business and the economy in future, 66 per cent said that it was currently difficult to recruit fluent speakers from within the UK workforce. When asked about language learning more widely, 82 per cent agreed that language teaching in schools “should reflect important potential growth markets for British trade and business”.

You can read the full article on the UCL website.

Opening Doors in Scotland

There is no doubt that languages, including Mandarin, open doors to a range of opportunities. For example, the pupil immersion course which offers young people the opportunity to attend a language and culture immersion course in China. For more details please see the CISS website.

CISS also offers 6th year school leavers the opportunity to apply for the Tianjin Scholarship. To find out more about this exciting chance to learn mandarin in Tianjin for a year, please see our website where you can read blogs from our present Scholars.

There are also activities provided by CISS through our partners, for example Scottish Opera and Edinburgh Zoo. Please visit the CISS website for more details or get in touch with ciss-info@strath.ac.uk.

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Together arts project for schools

10 April 2018 (UK-German Connection)

Together is a creative arts project, which invites young people to produce poetry, art, or songs on the themes of hope and unity, inspired by the shared history between the UK and Germany to mark the WW1 Centenary.

Open to all young people aged 9-16 working in groups or individually, projects should be on the theme of hope and unity, inspired by the First World War. Poetry and songs can be in English, German, Gaelic or Welsh.  Art work can be in any medium.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information. Entry deadline is Friday 15 June 2018.

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Worldwide Napier magazine

5 April 2018 (Edinburgh Napier University)

Edinburgh Napier University is delighted to announce the publication of the very first issue of Worldwide Napier, a free magazine in which our students in languages (French, German, Italian and Spanish) showcase some of their work. It is available now on digital and soon a few print copies will circulate within Edinburgh.

Secondary school pupils are being invited to contribute articles for the forthcoming issues. View the magazine online and see the attached introductory letter for more information.

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Japan Foundation Local Grant Programmes 2018-19

3 April 2018 (Japan Foundation)

Japan Foundation (JF) London is now accepting grant applications for UK based Japan related projects taking place in 2018-19 through our local support programmes.

Grants of up to £3,000 are available to schools seeking to promote the introduction of Japanese into the curriculum (or onto the main school timetable) at primary and secondary levels, supporting Japanese qualifications in school or introducing the language as an extra-curricular activity. 

For more information and to apply by 4 May 2018, see the online information sheet and application form.

Read more...

European Language Gazette 41 - March/April 2018

3 April 2018 (ECML)

The latest edition of the ECML's Language Gazette is now available on their website. The newsletter includes updates on the organisation's projects along with new initiatives, events and resources of interest to the language teaching community across Europe.

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Graeme High pupil wins multilingual poetry award

2 April 2018 (Falkirk Herald)

The multilingual talents of budding poets from Graeme High and Moray Primary were celebrated in the 2018 Mother Tongue Other Tongue awards. 

Graeme High pupil Danai Nikitea was crowned the winner of the Mother Tongue category during a prestigious ceremony at University of Strathclyde on March 17. 

While Kole Murray from Moray Primary and Harely Ewen and Simi Singh, both from Graeme High, were Highly Commended in the Other Tongue category. 

These students used their language skills to create and share poetry for the ceremony.

Read more...

Residential Study Visits - St Anne's College, Oxford

29 March 2018 (University of Oxford)

Applications are now open for St Anne's College, Oxford one-night Residential Study Visits in Geography, Music and English/Modern Languages! 

These Residential Study Visits are designed to give students from backgrounds and schools with limited experience of Oxford a taste of what it’s like to live and study as an undergraduate at St Anne’s College and Oxford University.

The visits all take place during June 2018 and are open to Year 12 students from all UK state schools/colleges. Accommodation, travel and meals are included.

Visit the website for more information and to apply by 7 May 2018.

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Scottish Education Awards 2018 - Finalists announced!

29 March 2018 (Daily Record)

Following an editorial campaign running in the Daily Record, the finalists for this year's Scottish Education Awards have been announced.

Finalists will attend the prestigious awards ceremony at Glasgow's Doubletree by Hilton Glasgow Central on June 6th, where each of the fifteen winners will be announced.

Details of all the finalists can be found in the Daily Record news article online.

Congratulations and good luck to the schools shortlisted in the language-related categories!

Read more...

Related Links

Falkirk district schools aiming for top marks at Education Awards (Falkirk Herald, 16 April 2018)

Castilla y León Award to the best student of Spanish in the United Kingdom (2018)

27 March 2018 (Consejería de Educación)

The Ministry of Education of the Embassy of Spain in the United Kingdom, with the sponsorship of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Junta de Castilla y León, annually announces the award to the student with the best results in Spanish in the United Kingdom that has, in addition, the best academic record.

Applications are now open for the 2018 award and should be submitted by 30 April. Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

Online learning event: Welcoming refugee and migrant children to mainstream classrooms in Europe

27 March 2018 (British Council eTwinning)

Aimed at teachers of primary and secondary learners aged 4-16, this eTwinning workshop will develop teachers' awareness, confidence and skills in learning about refugee issues, welcoming refugee and migrant children to mainstream classrooms from a social and emotional perspective, and will give a basic introduction to language acquisition and the importance of maintaining and developing mother tongue and home culture.

Visit the website to sign up for the course between 9 - 17 April 2018.

Read more...

New job profile on SCILT's website

23 March 2018 (SCILT)

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

Our latest addition comes from Ross Yuill, a student and front desk associate for the Marriott Hotel whose interest in Korea and its culture led to him learning the language. He's been able to apply these skills in the workplace with visiting guests.

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

Read more...

The state secondary school where the only language taught is Mandarin

22 March 2018 (TES)

In a school serving one of the most deprived areas of Edinburgh, Mandarin is the only language on offer. 

Learning Mandarin has tended to be an opportunity only available to a minority of Scottish pupils, often in private schools.

But in a school serving one of the most deprived areas of Edinburgh, Mandarin is currently the only language on offer.

In October, when Castlebrae Community High's only modern languages teacher left for maternity leave, it struggled to replace her – but then the school received some external investment to teach Mandarin.

This enables it to share a teacher with several other schools in the city. The subject is taught in the first and second year. Next year, some pupils hope to continue it in their third year, with the aim of achieving a national qualification in the language.

In October, 12 pupils will head to Beijing to experience Chinese language and culture for themselves.

Read more...

Young People in Scotland 2018 YOYP - New National Lottery "Spark a Change" Fund

22 March 2018 (YOYP/National Lottery)

To mark the Year of Young People 2018, a new National Lottery fund has been launched to help young people #SparkAChange in their lives. Grants between £3,000 and £10,000 are available for heritage, community and sports projects which are run by and for young people aged eight to 26. Funding is available for projects which encourage positive mental health for young people and inspire them to lead active lives. 

We’re all aware of the positive mental health benefits of language learning, so why not encourage your students to set up a language project, perhaps a community language class or an outdoor language adventure trail? Visit the Lottery Fund website for more information and to apply by one of the two funding deadlines - 30 April 2018 or 18 June 2018.

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European professional development workshops

22 March 2018 (British Council eTwinning)

This term, why not apply to go on a short, fully-funded workshop in another European country?

Applications are now open for teachers of pupils aged 3-19 across a range of subject areas to attend a fully-funded 2-3 day professional development workshop in Turkey, Latvia, Norway and Armenia. These events are designed to facilitate new eTwinning projects through partner-finding and project planning activities. Workshop themes and subject areas are varied, spanning cultural diversity to SEN and the environment.

Visit the website for more information about each event and submit your application by 31 March 2018. 

Read more...

Youth seminar in Berlin: 'Finding our place in history'

22 March 2018 (UK-German Connection)

UK students aged 16-19 with an interest in history, discussing identity, reconciliation and more, are invited to apply for the seminar taking place in Berlin from 1-3 June 2018. We will combine these themes through site visits and lively discussions, which will bring young people from the UK and Germany together to work on projects to promote a better, more united future.

UK-German Connection will cover all seminar costs, including flights, local and domestic travel and full board and lodging.

German language skills are not essential. Some German language elements will be included in the seminar but no prior knowledge is necessary and/or translations will be provided.

Visit the website for full details and to apply by Monday 16 April 2018.

Read more...

SQA course reports for National 5 Modern Languages 2017

22 March 2018 (SCILT/SQA)

We have summarised the Course Reports for National 5 Modern Languages. These reports highlight areas where candidates performed well in the 2017 exam and areas where they encountered difficulty.

They contain sound advice for both teachers and pupils in the run up to this year's exam diet.

The full report for each language can be accessed on the SQA website under the Verification and Course Reports tab.

Read more...

Youth conference: Culture and heritage in a digital world

22 March 2018 (UK-German Connection)

In collaboration with British Council Germany, and as part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage UK-German Connection is holding a three-day Youth Conference on 'Cultural Heritage' in Berlin on 15-17 June 2018. Successful applicants will work together with other young people, from the UK and Germany, to explore both the history and future of cultural heritage.

Applicants should be aged 16-19 and still in full time education. Those who are successful will be expected to do some preparatory work prior to the conference, which will include digital tasks.

German language skills are not required for the conference. Some German language elements will be included in the conference, but you don’t need any prior knowledge and/or translations will be provided.

UK-German Connection will cover all costs, including flights, local and domestic travel and full board and lodging.

Visit their website for more information and to apply by 19 April 2018.

Read more...

German Teacher Award 2018

21 March 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

The German Embassy is pleased to announce to award the 15th German Teacher Award. The award recognises outstanding achievements by individual teachers of German and pays tribute to the work of German language teachers in primary and secondary schools in the UK. 

Teachers will be selected who have made an outstanding and dedicated contribution to German teaching within the curriculum and beyond, e.g. through: 

  • a record of successful teaching at a school, including innovative language teaching 
  • successful introduction of German teaching at a school, e.g. in a primary school as a first foreign language or in a secondary school as a new language 
  • established and successful link activities with Germany, e.g. projects and exchanges, bilingual projects, curriculum projects 
  • use of German language in subjects other than German
  • local or regional outreach activities.  

Nominations must be submitted and signed by the head teacher by Monday 7 May 2018.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to download the application form.

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Scotland-Russia Forum news bulletin

20 March 2018 (SRF)

The latest news and events from the Scotland-Russia Forum (SRF) can be found in their March 2018 news bulletin. This edition includes information about Russian taster events and materials for schools, so why not take a look and find out how to introduce the language to your pupils?

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Young People in Scotland Survey 2017: STEM and language findings

19 March 2018 (Scottish Government)

This report presents data from Ipsos MORI's Young People in Scotland Survey 2017 on the choices young people make regarding STEM and language subjects in school.

The report can be accessed on the Scottish Government website.

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A 1+2 approach to language learning in the secondary sector - FAQs

19 March 2018 (Education Scotland)

These FAQs produced by Education Scotland cover the main points raised during a series of secondary 1+2 ‘roadshows’ held in 2017.

This resource is for those teachers in secondary modern languages departments who are responsible for transition and course planning. It can be accessed on the Education Scotland website.

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‘Inequity for students’ as secondary subject options narrow

16 March 2018 (TESS)

Fewer subjects studied at some Scottish schools means some pupils are losing out, says study. New analysis of schools’ curricular offerings has found that, as pupils enter the crucial senior years of secondary, the range of courses they can take is shrinking.

Read more...

SQA course reports for Higher Modern Languages 2017

16 March 2018 (SCILT/SQA)

We have summarised the Course Reports for Higher Modern Languages. These reports highlight areas where candidates performed well in the 2017 exam and areas where they encountered difficulty. They contain sound advice for both teachers and pupils in the run up to this year's exam diet. They can be found in the Senior Phase section of our website.

The full report for each language can be accessed on the SQA website under the Verification and Course Reports tab.

Read more...

SCHOLAR Modern Language webinar

16 March 2018 (SCHOLAR)

SCHOLAR’s last Modern Language webinar of the session is for Advanced Higher French, German and Spanish. Douglas Angus will give advice on tackling the reading paper, in particular the overall purpose question. Afterwards he will look at suggestions for revising for the final exam, and answer any questions on writing either the discursive writing or the folio. 

The session is on Monday 19 March at 6pm. Like all the other sessions, it is recorded and available on the SCHOLAR website. Enter as a guest. No password necessary!

Read more...

Employ a language assistant for 2018/19

12 March 2018 (British Council)

Language Assistants provide an interactive language resource for your classroom. We recruit our assistants directly from their home countries, meaning their language and resources are always up-to-date and, importantly, authentic.

Native speakers of French, Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese and Irish, they help pupils to build their confidence, develop conversational skills, boost motivation for learning, and better understand other cultures. Feedback from schools with a Language Assistant noted an improvement in pupils’ listening and speaking skills.

Not only that, many teachers have found that having a native speaker to talk to and share teaching ideas with can reinvigorate both their teaching practice and their own love for language learning. 

So, with applications now open for the 2018/2019 academic year, there hasn’t been a better time to ensure your classroom has access to the best language learning resource around – a native speaker.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to apply for your language assistant by 31 March 2018. Please note that the deadline for Chinese Language Assistants is 1 June 2018.

Read more...

SQA course reports for Advanced Higher Modern Languages 2017

9 March 2018 (SCILT/SQA)

We have summarised the Course Reports for Advanced Higher Modern Languages. These reports highlight areas where candidates performed well in the 2017 exam and areas where they encountered difficulty. They contain sound advice for both teachers and pupils in the run up to this year's exam diet. They can be found in the Senior Phase section of our website.

The full report for each language can be accessed on the SQA website under the Verification and Course Reports tab.

Read more...

New competition launched - LinguaChef 2018!

13 February 2018 (SCILT / City of Glasgow College)

We are thrilled to announce that we are working in partnership with City of Glasgow College to host a pilot version of a new SCILT competition called LinguaChef. The competition brings together two of our favourite topics – languages and food! As well as practising linguistic and culinary skills, pupils will work on their wider social, literacy, numeracy and financial skills.

Pupils from P1 – S6 are invited to work in teams of four to submit a recipe for an international dish symbolic of a country where either a language they are learning in school or a language that pupils use at home is spoken. So we are expecting to see some exciting recipes from France, Spain, Germany, South America, the Caribbean, Africa, Poland, Russia, the Middle East or even as far as China or Japan. We are also encouraging pupils to be creative, for example they could incorporate a bit of Scottish ‘fusion’ into their recipe to give it a twist.

Three semi-finalists from each age category will be selected based on their submitted recipes and they will then be invited to the grand finale with a chance to prepare, cook and present their dish in the professional kitchens at City of Glasgow College. An overall winner from each category will be chosen to win a prize for themselves and their school. Their recipes will also feature in the first ever SCILT cook book.

There are four age categories:

o P1-P3


Primary categories to present a
SWEET dish that could be a cake, biscuit, pudding or dessert for example

o P4-P7

o S1-S3


Secondary categories to present a
SAVOURY dish that would be eaten as a main course

o S4-S6

Recipes should include an introduction/explanation of the dish, a list of ingredients and the method. It can be submitted as a video clip (3 mins max) or as a PPT including photos of steps involved and the final dish, and possibly a voice-over too if pupils would like to add audio. Younger primary pupils in particular may find a video clip easier to submit as it does not require writing although if they choose to submit a PPT version we understand they may require some adult help with this.

A costings sheet will also be provided to help pupils with their financial education skills and to stay within budget.

Key dates and deadlines

Friday 9th March - Deadline for teachers to register interest using the online form
Friday 27th April - Submit entries via email to SCILT
Early May (tbc) - Judging of videos/PPTs to select semi-finalists
Friday 22nd June - Grand Finale at City of Glasgow College

After registration closes on 9th March, teachers will receive a further email with detailed guidelines, exemplar entries, costings sheets and an entry form. However, if you have any queries in the meantime then please contact Angela de Britos by email (angela.de-britos@strath.ac.uk ).

Register now via the online form

Business brunches inspire Scotland’s future global workforce in Edinburgh

6 February 2018 (SCILT)

Young people from twenty schools across the Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders areas had the opportunity to engage with local businesses at Dynamic Earth on 30 January 2018. 208 learners from S3 heard from a range of business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company. The Business Brunch 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.

A teacher attending the event said: “The presentations were relevant. Pupils could relate to the speakers, especially those from Scotland. They really highlighted languages as an additional skill that give you the edge, which is an important message for our learners.”

One of the young people added to this, and commented: “I learnt that knowing a language can bring you a lot of opportunities and can be fun.”

Leanne Banks, Industry and Education Partnership Manager at Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Edinburgh, Midlothian and East Lothian regional group, and one of the organisers, stated: “Allowing young people to hear directly from businesses across a wealth of sectors highlighted why continuing with their language(s) at school could be so beneficial to opening up a world of opportunities beyond school. With a variety of industry led workshops and exhibitors speaking directly with young people, everyone had opportunities to be informed and inspired. The day was action packed from start to finish and the feedback received from young people and teachers has been so positive we ought to start planning for the next one to make it bigger and better for 2019.”

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) Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian, West Lothian and Borders regional groups together with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland (UCMLS). Schools represented were Beeslack Community High, Broughton High, Drummond Community High, Dunbar Grammar, Firrhill High, Liberton High, Newbattle Community High, North Berwick High, Portobello High, Preston Lodge High, Ross High, St Augustine's High, St David's High, Galashiels Academy, Kelso High, Peebles High, Armadale Academy, Bathgate Academy, St Kentigern's Academy and Whitburn Academy.

Companies attending included China-Britain Business Council, GlobalScot, The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, NHS, JPMorgan, Skyscanner, Food and Drink Federation Scotland and College Development Network, Asia Scotland Institute and Asia Scotland Partnership for the Environment. Apex Hotels, Dig It! 2017 Archaeology Scotland, Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh College, Farne Salmon, Napier University, University of Edinburgh, Historic Environment Scotland, Laing O'Rourke, Languages by KLothian, Macdonald hotels, Multrees Walk, Project Trust, Royal Air Force, Scotland-Russia Forum, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Tourist Guide Association and The Open University in Scotland supported the event by hosting a stall in the Marketplace.

Marion Spöring, Senior Lecturer (Languages and European Studies) at the University of Dundee and Chair of UCMLS said: “The learning of languages is not only fun, but also essential for the future employment opportunities of our young people in Scotland. Languages set the foundation for varied careers, for future engineers as well as artists and in tourism, to name but a few.”

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT said: “In these times of uncertainty, it is even more important than ever that we equip our young people with the skills they will need for life beyond school. We want them to be outward-looking and able to operate in an interdependent world. Events such as these highlight the importance of language skills and intercultural competencies in the world of work.

“The business leaders who speak at these events give of their own time because they understand how much these skills are needed and valued by employers and how vital they are for Scotland’s business community. This kind of collaboration is an example of how education and business sectors can work together for their mutual benefit so that we can support young people and help them develop the portfolio of skills that employers require in their workforce.”

Meaningful employer engagement and providing relevant careers advice are both key recommendations of Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy, “Developing the young workforce”. This Business Brunch 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 Business Brunches being held across Scotland in January and February 2018.

More information on SCILT’s 2018 Business Brunches.

  

Nihongo Cup 2018 - Applications Open!

8 January 2018 (Japan Foundation London)

Japan Foundation London is delighted to announce that the Nihongo Cup Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary Schools in the UK is open for applications!

Nihongo Cup, the Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School students, is accepting applications across three categories: Key Stage 3, Pre-GCSE Key Stage 4/5, and Post GCSE Key Stage 4 and 5.

Finalists will be invited to perform their speech at Conway Hall in front of a panel of judges and VIPs from the field of Japanese language education and Japan-UK relations, for the chance to win some fantastic prizes – including a trip to Japan!

Applications will close on 23rd March 2018 (Friday) and finals day will take place on 16 June 2018 (Saturday). Finals will take place at Conway Hall in London.

Read more...

AMOPA Advanced Higher French speaking competition

8 January 2018 (Alliance Française Glasgow )

The AMOPA Advanced Higher French speaking competition is been running for seven years and is going from strength to strength. We are delighted to open the competition again this year, with support from Total.

It must be the easiest competition ever to take part in!

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. We also award prizes and certificates.

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. Once again we will have prizes for the best entries and a gift for each school taking part.

Related Files

St Thomas Aquinas Secondary new 1+2 Case Study: language uptake into the senior phase

17 November 2017 (SCILT)

St Thomas Aquinas RC Secondary is a Roman Catholic, co-educational, secondary school based in the West End of Glasgow. As the catchment area is the largest of any school in Glasgow, St Thomas Aquinas serves a very diverse set of local communities that contributes to the multi-ethnic nature of the school. All learners in the St Thomas Aquinas learning community study Spanish throughout the broad general education until the end of S3. This case study focuses on language uptake from the broad general education into the senior phase through a journey of self-evaluation.

Read more...

Spanish Immersion Day

9 November 2017 (Spanish Embassy Education Office)

The Spanish Immersion Day is intended to provide an opportunity for Higher Spanish students or a similar level of examinations to practise their Spanish meaningfully with native speakers on a wide range of topics. The sessions will aim to provide them with strategies to become more effective communicators and to cope with unexpected language.

Read more...

SCHOLAR’s webinars on Higher and Advanced Higher Modern Languages

6 November 2017 (SCHOLAR)

SCHOLAR’s webinars on Higher and Advanced Higher Modern Languages have started again! They are on Mondays at 6pm and are led by Douglas Angus. Last week was a double session on ‘Tackling the Translation’, 45 minutes each for Higher and Advanced Higher.

Next session on November 13 is on improving listening skills, and it will be at 6pm for Higher and 6.45pm for Advanced Higher. These sessions are accessible by all, whether registered for SCHOLAR or not. Simply follow the link below and log in as a guest. The sessions are recorded and are available the next day on the SCHOLAR website to download or watch.

If you have not seen these before, they are very interactive and allow students to ask questions (and have them answered!) at any time. Future sessions planned are:

  • Dec 4 (Higher) - Reading and directed writing: getting it right
  • Jan 15 (AH) - The specialist study and the portfolio
  • Jan 22 (Higher) - Talking: preparing for the speaking exam
  • Feb 5 (AH) - Talking: preparing for the external examiner
  • Feb 26 (AH) - Being successful at discursive writing
  • Mar 5 (Higher) - Opinion writing: the response to listening
  • Mar 12 (AH) - Reading and the overall purpose question

Read more...

SQA recruiting event verifiers

30 October 2017 (SQA)

Develop your knowledge of assessment requirements. SQA is recruiting for Event Verifiers for National Qualifications in ESOL, Chinese, Gaelic (Learners), Gàidhlig, German, Italian, and Urdu.

Read more...

The return of Business Brunches: Language skills in the world of work

27 October 2017 (SCILT)

We are delighted to announce that SCILT, in partnership with Developing the Young Workforce and the University Council of Modern Languages Scotland, will be hosting a series of five Business Brunch events across Scotland over the course of January and February 2018. These events will take place in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.

Aimed specifically at S3 – S6 pupils, these events will demonstrate the relevance of language skills in a work context with the intention of encouraging pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education and beyond.

Schools will be invited to nominate up to ten pupils who will be able to discover how languages can enhance communication skills, motivation and employability opportunities in line with 'Developing the young workforce', Scotland’s youth employment strategy, and the National Improvement Framework.

Young people will hear from a wide range of dynamic business leaders who view languages as a key skill in today’s globalised world and engage with exhibitors whilst enjoying refreshments.

The purpose of the exhibitor gallery is to present opportunities to speak with representatives from a variety of businesses. Young people will be able to ask questions directly and discover more about the range of careers and employment opportunities available within each of the sectors present.

The networking with exhibitors will be followed by a keynote speaker after which pupils will be invited to listen to two interesting presentations. They will be allocated groups prior to the event and will be able to hear first-hand the important role that languages play in the business community. To finish off the day, an inspirational speaker will address pupils.

This is the fourth year we have offered this successful opportunity to schools.

Business Brunches 2018 Registration
  • 10 January 2018: University of Dundee
    Registration will open on 3 November 2017
  • 12 January 2018: University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
    Registration will open on 3 November 2017
  • TBC - 22 January 2018: Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness
    Registration will open on 3 November 2017
  • 30 January 2018: Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh
    For this event only, places are restricted to S3 pupils and to the following authorities:
    City of Edinburgh, East Lothian. Midlothian, Scottish Borders and West Lothian
    Register now via Marketplace.
    You will be asked to create an account if you do not have a login to the Marketplace, and will be directed to the page once you have signed up.
  • 7th February, 2018: The Aberdeen Altens Hotel, Aberdeen
    Registration will open on 3 November 2017

Read more...

Young Europeans Award

23 October 2017 (UK-German Connection)

Calling all pupils interested in European issues! Take part in the Young Europeans Award and win a trip to Warsaw!

This initiative aims to encourage dialogue and exchange between young people in the 'Weimar Triangle' countries - Germany, France and Poland. For the 2017-18 round, the UK has been invited to take part as a guest country.

Teams of young people from within schools in Germany, France, Poland and the UK are invited to enter the competition (with support from their school) in groups of 6+ by sending in a collaborative creative project of their choice addressing the statement: 'To be or not to be...a European'.

Winning teams will have the opportunity to visit the Polish capital, Warsaw.

Applications should be submitted by 1 March 2018.

To find out more about the initiative and how to take part, visit the UK-German Connection website.

Read more...

Koenigspost competition 2017

19 October 2017 (King's College London)

King's College London's Department of German is delighted to announce its 2017 competition for Year 12 and 13 students of German, the equivalent S5 and S6 in Scotland.

Students are invited to write an article of around 400 words in German in response to the question: 'Soziale Netzwerke in der Politik: Welchen politischen Einfluss haben die virtuellen Gemeinschaften?'

The winner and runners-up will be invited to a prize-giving ceremony and seminar at King's College London in early December 2017.

Entries should be submitted by 22 November 2017. See the flyer below or visit the website for more information.
image of Koenigspost competition flyer

Read more...

SQA Spanish Appointee Opportunities – 2018 Exam Diet

18 October 2017 (SQA)

SQA is currently advertising the following 2018 Exam Diet Appointee roles for Spanish:

Team Leaders will assist the Higher Principal Assessor with post-examination procedures and support a team of Markers during marking activity.

The Senior Marker will support the AH Principal Assessor with procedural activity across Talking Performance, Portfolio & Papers 1&2.

Support and training will be provided.

Further detail about the roles is available via the links above, where applications may be submitted. Closing date is Sunday 5 November 2017.
 
Please feel free to forward this information to any practitioners who may be interested in applying.
If you have any queries please contact Elaine Clusker, Qualification Officer: elaine.clusker@sqa.org.uk.

UK-German Connection opportunities

17 October 2017 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection offers a number of initiatives and opportunities for partnerships between schools in Germany and the UK. Click on the relevant link below to find out more about their latest initiatives:

  • School Partnership Bursaries - Special **school partnership bursaries of £1,000** are currently available to help keep you UK-German partnership alive and help cover any costs arising from recent changes to safeguarding regulations. All you need to do is answer a few short questions about your partnership activities this year and your plans for next year by **7 November 2017**.
  • Young Europeans Award - Are your pupils interested in European issues? Encourage them to enter the competition and win a trip to Warsaw! With the UK (and UK-German Connection) as a partner for 2017-18, pupils are invited to team up with young people from Germany, Poland and France and enter with a project on the theme 'To be or not to be... a European.’

To find out more about other activities the organisation provides, you can also visit the UK-German Connection website.

Read more...

Tianjin scholarship

13 October 2017 (CISS)

The application process for the Tianjin scholarship 2018-2019 is now open. Further information about the scholarship which offers young people the opportunity to study Mandarin in Tianjin can be found on our website. The closing date for applications is Monday 6 November 2017.

Please note that we can only accept applications from current 6th years in an authority with a Confucius Classroom hub.

If you have any questions or would like any further information, please contact ciss-info@strath.ac.uk.

Read more...

European Youth Event (EYE) 2018

11 October 2017 (European Parliament)

There's still time to apply for the third European Youth Event (EYE) which will be taking place 1-2 June 2018 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

EYE provides a unique opportunity for young Europeans, aged between 16 and 30, to make their voices heard and to come up with innovative ideas for the future of Europe.

EYE2018 includes a wide range of activities in English, French and German run under the motto "The plan is to fan this spark into a flame." (Hamilton, My Shot). The activities centre around five main themes:

  • Young and old: Keeping up with the digital revolution
  • Rich and poor: Calling for a fair share
  • Apart and together: Working out for a stronger Europe
  • Safe and dangerous: Staying alive in turbulent times
  • Local and global: Protecting our planet

Visit the EYE2018 website for more information. Groups of at least 10 young people who want to take part need to register on the website between October and December 2017.

Read more...

Pupils losing out as schools prepare for GCSE early, says Ofsted

11 October 2017 (TES)

It is unnecessary to shorten key stage 3 to make more time for GCSEs, Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of Ofsted, has said.

An investigation by the schools watchdog has found that schools are often shortening KS3, which means “some pupils never study history, geography or a language after the age of 12 or 13”.

The intensity of exam preparation is getting in the way of pupils receiving the subject knowledge they need, the watchdog has said.

Read more...

eTwinning face to face workshops

10 October 2017 (eTwinning)

This term, why not apply to go on a short workshop in another European country?

Applications are now open for teachers from Early Years to Upper Secondary to attend a 2-3 day professional development workshop in Ireland and Spain. These events are designed to facilitate new eTwinning projects through partner-finding and project planning activities. Workshop themes and subject areas are varied, spanning e-safety to computational thinking, MFL, history and culture.

Visit the website to find out more and apply by 16/19 October 2017 respectively.

Read more...

Juvenes Translatores

10 October 2017 (European Commission)

Juvenes Translatores is the annual translation contest for 17-year old students (those born in 2000). The 2017 contest will take place on 23 November.

To participate, schools must register first — between 1 September and 20 October 2017.

The materials for the Juvenes Translatores are available to download on the day of the competition so that schools can make use of them even if they are not selected to take part.  Perhaps you may wish to use them to organise a competition in your own school?” 

See the website for full details.

Read more...

DAAD/IMLR Competition

9 October 2017 (DAAD)

Jointly organised by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the IMLR, this year sees the fourth writing competition for all learners and lovers of German. The competition is open to secondary schools, undergraduates, postgraduates and anyone else who feels up to the challenge!

This year, the task ties in with the 500th anniversary of Luther’s publication of his 95 theses that sparked the Reformation. Put yourself in the shoes of a time-travelling spy: you overhear a conversation between Luther or one of his German, Austrian or Swiss contemporaries (real or imagined) and a figure from public life in 2017 Britain. Is the German-speaking 16th-century time traveller debating Brexit with Boris Johnson or comparing sporting skills with Andy Murray? Does Jamie Oliver try to revolutionise cooking skills of Reformation Germany? Write down what you hear! The only two rules: the dialogue must be written in German and it must not be longer than 350 words.

Visit the DAAD website for more information and to submit entries by 23 October 2017.

Read more...

What's your story? - Creative writing programme for teens in Scotland

6 October 2017 (Scottish Book Trust)

  • Are you 14-17 years old, living in Scotland, and care about creative writing and illustration?
  • Do you want to meet other teens interested in creative writing and illustration?
  • Do you want to improve your own creative skills?
  • Do you want to help create events and resources for other teens?
  • Do you want to show Scotland that teenagers make brilliant creative work?

If this sounds like you, read on to find out more about our What’s Your Story? Development Programme and how to apply to join us this year! It’s free to apply and to take part.

The programme invites and encourages Gaelic speakers to get involved.

Application deadline: 12 noon on Monday 16 October 2017.

Read more...

National 5 Modern Languages update

6 October 2017 (SCILT/SQA)

The course specification for National 5 has been updated following the Scottish Government announcement that unit assessments will no longer be mandatory from session 2016-17 at this level. As well as extracting the key points providing an overview of the content and assessment requirements, we now have links to SQA's recording of the National 5 webinar held in April/May and repeated in September/October 2017 on our website.

Other National Qualifications will be reviewed and updated in due course.

Read more...

Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition 2017-18

22 September 2017 (SCILT/CISS)

Today sees the launch of this year's Mother Tongue Other Tongue (MTOT) multilingual poetry competition and we're delighted to announce the addition of a category for students in further and higher education, enabling all Scottish educational establishments to participate.

Whether pupils are learning a language at school, college or university, or whether they speak a native language at home, everyone can get involved in celebrating their linguistic and cultural diversity through creative poetry writing as there are options to enter in either the Mother Tongue or Other Tongue category. Even if you've taken part in the competition before, please note and read the new rules and criteria as only original work will be considered.

For more information about this year's competition and previous events, visit our MTOT website and register to take part! Closing date for registrations is 27 October 2017.

Read more...

Keith Grammar and associated primaries – new 1+2 Case Study!

22 September 2017 (SCILT)

Keith Grammar School promotes an inclusive policy where the school and local community are encouraged to work together to provide young people with academic and vocational opportunities. Strong links with local businesses and employers contribute to high numbers of young people moving into positive destinations after leaving school. This Case Study looks at how teachers across sectors (early years through to S6) have worked creatively and collaboratively to ensure that their learners are afforded their full entitlement to learning two languages.

Read more...

Scots language writing competition

20 September 2017 (Education Scotland)

2017 is the year of History, Heritage & Archaeology . To celebrate, Education Scotland are launching a Creative Writing competition at the Scottish Learning Festival on 20 September. Learners of any and all ages are invited to enter to win Scots Language books for their school. Learners should write a poem or short story of not more than 750 words in length. The story or poem must be written in Scots language – though can be in any dialect of Scots, as broad or unique as the writer would like.

Log onto Glow and join the Scots blether to be kept up to date on all information on the competition. Go to the Visit Scotland website for more info on the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

Read more...

Glasgow named one of the top cities in the world to learn about Chinese language and culture

20 September 2017 (Glasgow Live)

Glasgow is officially home to a world leader in the teaching of Chinese language and culture.

The Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools (CISS) has been appointed a Model Confucius Institute by the global headquarters, Hanban.

The centre, based at the University of Strathclyde, is one of only 40 facilities out of 500 across the globe to be given the status.

Bosses have also announced the institute, which is open to people from all over the country, is set for a move to a new HQ at the university's Ramshorn Theatre.

The Grade A-Listed building is being given a £2 million refurbishment - which includes a substantial investment by Hanban - to develop it as a publicly-accessible hub for learning and cultural exchange.

The new premises will have the capacity to host performances, conferences and exhibitions.

A plaque marking the new status of the institute was unveiled at a conference attended by Scottish Higher Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville.

Liu Xiaoming, China’s Ambassador to the UK, was also a keynote speaker at the event, held to mark the fifth anniversary of the foundation of the Institute.

Strathclyde Principal Professor Sir Jim McDonald said: “As a leading international university, we are extremely proud of our academic links around the globe and our diverse student and staff community.

“This prestigious accolade for our Confucius Institute reflects the important role it plays in improving understanding of Chinese language and culture across Scotland, and we congratulate everyone involved on their fantastic achievement.

“I’m particularly pleased that the Institute’s move to its new headquarters on campus will enable even more schools, businesses and community groups to benefit from increased educational and economic opportunities, with a further 10 Confucius Classroom Hubs being announced today.”

Read more...

Related Links

China bolsters Confucius Institute culture scheme in Scotland (The Times, 20 September 2017)

Confucius Hub opens at Braehead Primary (Stirling Council, 21 September 2017)

HSBC/British Council Mandarin Chinese speaking competition 2017/18

19 September 2017 (British Council)

A great, fun opportunity for students to practice and improve their Mandarin Chinese language skills. The competition also offers the chance to win a week in Beijing.

Find out more about the competition and how to apply. Entry deadline is Friday 6 October 2017.

Read more...

Language Perfect Northern Championships 2017

18 September 2017 (Language Perfect)

The 2017 Language Perfect Northern Championships dates have been announced!

Join schools from the northern hemisphere 7-14 November for a week of online competition, and celebration of language learning!

Visit the website to find out about how the competition works and register to take part.

Read more...

eTwinning

15 September 2017 (eTwinning)

eTwinning offers a platform for teachers to communicate, collaborate, share and develop projects with like-minded colleagues across Europe.

Visit the website to find out more about eTwinning and how being part of the community can benefit you and your pupils.

Read more...

Host a Teacher from Germany

15 September 2017 (UK-German Connection)

Would you like to have authentic German cultural input in your school? Through the Host a Teacher from Germany programme, your school can host a German teacher for two or three weeks during the academic year, at no cost.

All schools and FE colleges from the whole of the UK can take part. The UK coordinating teacher does not need to be a teacher of German, and German does not need to be on the school’s curriculum; visiting teachers are either teachers of English or have good knowledge of the English language.

There's still time to apply. Closing deadline is 21 September 2017.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

Read more...

Languagenut and SCILT exclusive

15 September 2017 (Languagenut)

Languagenut is a professional teaching tool that offers teaching resources across 21 modern foreign languages. 

It is the perfect tool to support the 1+2 approach to language learning, as all audio files are recorded by native speakers. With a range of games, songs and stories, Languagenut supports the four key skills of language learning: listening, speaking, reading and writing. 

In addition, Languagenut offers special integrated tools which allow teachers both create their own classes and content, and also set and track homework, generate certificates and evaluate students’ progress in real time. These timesaving tools help teachers to deliver more personalised teaching and customise lessons to fit each individual.

Accessible at school and at home, Languagenut helps to bridge the gap between classroom and home learning.

We’ve collaborated with SCILT to give Scottish schools free exclusive access to Languagenut for 45 days! Visit the website to register.

Read more...

Our World film making project

14 September 2017 (SEET)

Want to get pupils more engaged in language learning and encourage uptake? Are you keen to improve their confidence and win an award or two? Then get involved!

SEET's Our World is a free film making project, run by the Scottish European Educational Trust, which is designed to encourage language learning and uptake among pupils. The project is open to any team of four from S3 - S6 (no previous film making knowledge is required) and last year resulted in over 88% of participant pupils saying they were more likely to take languages into their next year as a result of taking part.

All teams have to do to enter is come up with a creative idea for a film, based on this year's theme. Then, with our help teams put that idea into storyboard form and send it to us with an audio or video clip explaining it. The deadline for storyboard submissions is 4 December 2017.

Visit the website to find out more about the project and how to enter.

Read more...

ECML Think tank - Language learning pathways

13 September 2017 (ECML)

The aim of the new ECML think tanks is to create a network of expertise from across ECML member states and beyond which can advise the ECML secretariat on how to address a range of key priorities in language education.

The first step in the think tank process is the development of an online questionnaire for each theme which is then disseminated as widely as possible so that a picture of the current state-of-play emerges, revealing both success stories as well as challenges. 

You are invited to share your views and experiences on language learning pathways in the online survey by midnight (CET), Sunday 1 October 2017, and you might be selected to participate in the think tank meeting in January 2018.

Visit the ECML website to find out more about the think tanks.

Read more...

Professional development in Germany

13 September 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

Every year the Goethe-Institut offers an attractive range of residential training and language courses for teachers of German: for primary and secondary teachers, for teachers in further education and teacher trainers:

  • Language Courses
  • Landeskunde
  • Methodology/Teaching Strategies

Deadline for applications: 15 October 2017. 

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information. Teachers from Scotland, please apply to Goethe-Institut Glasgow.

Read more...

ALL Language Teacher of the Year Award 2018

7 September 2017 (ALL)

Do you know an inspirational primary or secondary teacher?

The Association for Language Learning (ALL) are now looking for nominations in the two categories for the 2018 awards – which are now open to teachers throughout the UK.

The award scheme aims to support and promote language teaching, recognise the efforts and achievements of language teachers, encourage and disseminate exciting, motivating practice among language teachers and raise the profile of language teaching as a career.

Visit the ALL website for more information about each award and how to make a nomination.

Read more...

Education Scotland Gaelic news

6 September 2017 (Education Scotland)

The latest edition of Education Scotland's Gaelic e-bulletin is now available.

Read more...

News from UK-German Connection

6 September 2017 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection offers a number of funded opportunities for schools in the UK to link with schools in Germany as well as providing resources and activities for the classroom and professional learning for teachers.

In their latest newsletter you can find out more about current opportunities, including:

  • Deadline reminder: seas and oceans youth seminar
  • Host a Teacher in 2018
  • Voyage kids: back to school special
  • Magical Christmas Trips
  • Partnerships Bursaries
  • Young Europeans Award
  • Looking ahead

Find out more on their website.

Read more...

German Debating Competition 2017

5 September 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

This year the Goethe Institute Glasgow is proud to launch a German Debating Competition for Higher and Advanced Higher secondary school students in Scotland.

Debating in German is an innovative method for language teaching and learning and is of major benefit to all students: participants can improve their language and communication skills and develop a higher motivation for further language learning.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to register by 30 September.

Read more...

N5 Modern Languages: assignment-writing understanding standards materials

25 August 2017 (SQA)

Eight pieces of candidate evidence with commentaries for the new Assignment – writing component of the National 5 Modern Languages course for 2017-18 have been published on SQA’s Understanding Standards website. These contain examples in French, German and Spanish. Further examples in other languages will be published as soon as these are developed.

Read more...

History teachers' professional development tour to Berlin

25 August 2017 (German Embassy)

The German Embassy is inviting applications for their next Professional Development Tour for British Teachers of History to Berlin, Germany, 15 – 21 October 2017.

The purpose of the trip is to give participants a wide-ranging impression of present-day Germany as a background for teaching German history in UK schools. The trip will include highlights of contemporary Berlin, talks with history teachers and teachers’ associations, visits to the German Historical Museum, the Jewish Museum, the Federal Foreign Office, the Reichstag and more.

The tour will be conducted in English. All costs relating to the trip will be covered by the German Federal Foreign Office.

Please see the attached flyer and booking form for more information. Apply by 8 September 2017.

Number of language GCSEs plummets as academics warn students are relying on Google Translate

24 August 2017 (The Telegraph)

The number of students taking modern foreign languages has plummeted because British children are have become reliant on English translations and tools like “Google Translate,” academics have warned.

Figures published on Thursday by the Joint Qualifications Council (JCQ) show that the number of entries for modern foreign languages has fallen by more than 7 per cent per cent overall, with the number of French exams falling by a tenth and German by 13.2 per cent.

Similar declines were recorded in last week's A-level results, whilst the number of British students taking languages has almost halved over the last two decades.

Read more...

European Youth Event (EYE) 2018

24 August 2017 (European Parliament)

The third European Youth Event (EYE) will be taking place 1-2 June 2018 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. It provides a unique opportunity for young Europeans, aged between 16 and 30, to make their voices heard and to come up with innovative ideas for the future of Europe.

EYE2018 includes a wide range of activities in English, French and German run under the motto "The plan is to fan this spark into a flame." (Hamilton, My Shot). The activities centre around five main themes:

  • Young and old: Keeping up with the digital revolution
  • Rich and poor: Calling for a fair share
  • Apart and together: Working out for a stronger Europe
  • Safe and dangerous: Staying alive in turbulent times
  • Local and global: Protecting our planet

Visit the EYE2018 website for more information. Groups of at least 10 young people who want to take part need to register on the website between October and December 2017.

Read more...

EBacc failing to reverse decline in language learning, cautions British Academy

24 August 2017 (British Academy)

The British Academy has warned that the English Baccalaureate is failing to halt the decline in young people studying languages at GCSE.

The number of students taking GCSEs, A-levels and university degrees in languages has been falling steadily for many years, due in part to the government’s unfortunate decision in 2004 to make languages optional at Key Stage 4.

The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) recognises pupils who pass five core academic subjects at GCSE, including a modern or ancient language. It was hoped that the EBacc would reverse the decline in language-learning, but this year’s data suggests that the initial positive effect appears to be wearing off.

The fall in students choosing languages at GCSE in 2017 is particularly evident in European languages: entries for German are down by 12%, French by 10% and Spanish by 3%, compared to last year.

The British Academy is deeply concerned that this year’s decline will further erode the numbers of young people studying languages to a higher level, with knock-on effects for the UK as a whole.

Read more...

Related Links

Learning a foreign language is about more than getting by abroad (British Academy blog, 23 August 2017)

Cross-Sector Hub meetings

24 August 2017 (SCILT)

UCMLS, the professional organisation representing languages staff in Scottish universities, is again holding two sets of regional cross-sector meetings during 2017-18, with support from SCILT.

The first round of meetings will be during the week beginning 11 September 2017. We will present our planned events and initiatives for the coming session, including the new Languages Lost & Found events on 18 November.

Language teachers and staff in schools, colleges and universities are warmly invited to attend. For those who live too far to attend in person we are also offering the option of joining us on one of two virtual meetings via Skype.

Please register for your session choice by Friday 1 September 2017.

Read more...

What not to do: Tips from a returning Tianjin scholar

21 August 2017 (CISS)

Having returned from her year on the scholarship programme, Maeve MacLeod shares her experiences and advice on making the most of China.

Read more...

Vocab Express League of Champions 2017

21 August 2017 (Vocab Express)

The next League of Champions competition from Vocab Express will be taking place from 28 September to 4 October 2017.

It's a fantastic way to engage students in vocabulary building by challenging them to compete against other schools across the UK and from around the world.

The challenge will feature French, Spanish, German, Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Urdu, Arabic, Hebrew and Latin competitions.

The challenge is free to all schools subscribing to Vocab Express. In addition, there are 150 free school places available to non-subscribers, each for up to 150 students. Free spaces are still currently available!

Visit the website for more information and to register your school.

Teachers can also sign up for guest access to a free trial of the Vocab Express platform using their school or academic e-mail address.

Read more...

Concours de la francophonie 2018

18 August 2017 (Institut français)

The Institut français d'Ecosse is pleased to launch this year's concours de la francophonie, a national school competition to encourage all young French learners and their teachers around Scotland to celebrate the international day of la francophonie.

All Scottish primary and secondary schools offering French may enter this competition by submitting a short video of a classroom activity in French.

Visit the Institut français website to find out more about the competition and how to enter by 19 December 2017.

Read more...

'The Smart Choice: German' schools network

15 August 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut is accepting applications to join the schools' network 'The Smart Choice: German'.

In 2016 the Goethe-Institut set up 19 Digital German Networks in the United Kingdom. It is now looking to build on this success and to identify further networks of secondary and/or primary schools that have the intention to start, facilitate and strengthen the teaching of German. 

At least three schools need to build a network. The lead partner can apply for the funding with the Goethe-Institut. It can be a secondary school supporting feeder schools or a cluster of primary schools reaching out to a secondary school teaching German. It can also be three primary schools in one area wanting to make a start with German or already having started with it.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website to find out more and to apply by 30 September 2017.

Read more...

Beyond the Panda programme for schools

15 August 2017 (RZSS)

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) Beyond the Panda programme has been further revised and contains some new materials, in particular the new P1-P3 panda boxes. 

The programme now has two main parts:

  1. China Mobile Library - loan of the panda boxes followed by an expert visit
  2. Outreach workshops - Education Officer led workshops

See the attached brochure for full details of the Beyond the Panda programme. 

There's also an opportunity for schools to book a Beyond the Panda special event at Edinburgh Zoo during 'The Giant Lanterns of China' installation between December 2017 and February 2018. The session will include whole class interactive activities and Mandarin language games. See more information and how to book on The Giant Lanterns of China brochure attached.

You can also visit the website for more information about the RZSS and its activities.

Read more...

French classes in Edinburgh

15 August 2017 (Institut français)

The Institut français d'Ecosse is enrolling for their autumn classes commencing September 2017.

Classes and workshops are offered for all ages (toddlers to adults), from complete beginners to fluent speakers.

Visit the website for more information and to enrol.

Read more...

Concours de la francophonie 2017 - final report

15 August 2017 (Institut français)

The Concours de la francophonie was launched in 2016 by the Institut français d'Ecosse to showcase the vitality of the French language in Scottish schools and to encourage all learners from P1 to S6.

To enter the competition schools sent in a short film of a class activity in French.

See the attached document for full details of the 2017 competition, winners and photographs.

Magical Christmas Trips 2017

15 August 2017 (UK-German Connection)

Would you like to take part in a Magical Christmas Trip this year and build on or set up a partnership with a school in Germany?

These visits offer primary pupils the chance to get a taste of Germany at Christmas time, meet their German peers and get involved in some seasonal intercultural activity. Secondary pupils have the opportunity to brush up on their German and practice their skills as young leaders.

There are two options for getting involved:
  • apply to take part in a visit to Berlin run by UK-German Connection to set up a link to a school in Germany
  • apply for funding and organisational support to run your own Christmas visit to an existing partner school anywhere in Germany
To find out more, please visit the UK-German Connection's website and apply by 26 September 2017.

Read more...

French drama workshops

15 August 2017 (Theatre sans Accents)

Whether you want to perfect your French or your English, Theatre Sans Accents has the right workshop to suit your needs and your level!

No need to be fluent or an experienced actor, everyone is welcomed in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere!

Bookings are now being taken for Autumn term classes, with early bird discounts available.

Follow the appropriate link below to find out more about classes for adults and children:

For children:

For adults:

You can find out more about Theatre sans Accents and their other activities on the website.

Read more...

Autumn term French classes

14 August 2017 (Alliance Française)

French classes for adults and children will start at the Alliance Française in Glasgow on 11 September 2017.

Visit the website for full details and to find out about Open Days where you can visit, meet staff and have your language level assessed to establish the best course for you.

Read more...

Gaelic school planned for Edinburgh as demand soars

11 August 2017 (The Times)

A dedicated Gaelic school could open in Edinburgh to cope with rising pupil numbers and soaring demand.

Edinburgh city council expects there to be more pupils than places at James Gillespie’s High School, where Gaelic education is currently provided, as soon as 2021.

The number of new pupils starting this month at Taobh na Pàirce primary, Edinburgh’s only Gaelic primary school, has also been far higher than anticipated.

Read more...

Languages under pressure after fall in pupils taking German and French

9 August 2017 (The Herald)

THE number of pupils choosing key modern languages has fallen sharply.

Figures from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) show the number of entries for Higher French dropped from 4,581 in 2016 to 3,918 this year.

The figures for German have also fallen, with entries declining from 1,019 to 890 year-on-year.

However, the increasing popularity of Spanish has continued, with entries rising from 2,600 last year to 2,809.

Entries at the lower National 5 level for French and German have also fallen.

Read more...

Related Links

'Disappointing' decline in pupils sitting Gaelic qualifications (The Herald, 10 August 2017)

Top marks for pupil who attended three Glasgow schools

9 August 2017 (Evening Times)

One student has defied the odds to become one of Glasgow’s top achievers while attending not one but three city schools. 

Valentina Kanife moved to Glasgow from her home country of Italy in September 2015. When the 16-year-old joined the S4 class in St Margaret Mary’s in Castlemilk, she could not speak any English. Soon after starting the school, it became apparent that Valentina had a skill for languages and began working towards gaining her National 4’s. 

Staff at St Margaret Mary’s staff organised for Valentina to attend Holyrood Secondary for Higher Italian and Kings Park Secondary for Higher ESOL, while being taught Higher Spanish and National 5 maths at her own school. With the help of a bus pass, the teenager travelled between the three schools, sometimes on the same day. After a year of handwork, Valentia managed to gain all three Highers and a National 5 Maths qualifications, all within two years of being in Glasgow.

Read more...

Scottish MSPs warn of narrow curriculum as uptake of creative subjects declines

8 August 2017 (The Guardian)

The number of Scottish school pupils and students taking modern languages, social sciences and arts has fallen, prompting warnings from opposition parties over the dangers of a narrowing curriculum.

Official data showed the number of exam passes at Higher, a near equivalent to English A-levels, across Scotland’s schools and colleges held steady at 77%, falling very slightly by 0.2%.

But Labour and the Conservatives expressed concern that the Scottish curriculum was narrowing after the Scottish Qualifications Authority figures showed the numbers sitting modern languages at Higher fell by 6% overall, with history down by nearly 4% and geography by 2.6%.

Read more...

‘Worrying’ fall in pupils taking foreign languages

31 July 2017 (The Scotsman)

Scotland has seen a “worry-
ing” fall in the number of pupils studying languages, it has emerged.

There are now fears that the next generation will not be equipped to deal with the demands of the global 
economy.

There has been a dramatic fall in the number of 
youngsters sitting French and German, although more are learning Spanish.

Opposition parties called on the SNP to focus on the “day job” of running schools. But ministers insist there has been a rise in the number of pupils gaining languages qualification at Higher level.

There were more than 56,000 pupils taking modern languages at Standard Grade level a decade ago. By last year, under the new exam system, this had fallen to just over 23,000 – a 59 per cent decline.

Labour’s shadow education minister Daniel Johnson said: “Learning a foreign language is such a valuable skill for 
Scotland’s next generation.

“Whether for travel, employment or just breaking down barriers between people from different countries, a new 
language can open up the world to a young person.

“It is therefore incredibly worrying to see such a huge decline in the number of pupils sitting modern language courses. The SNP talks about connecting Scotland with the world, but that can only happen if people are equipped with the 
languages they need. In the 21st century, the workforce is becoming more global and economic growth here in Scotland depends on interaction with our European neighbours.

“We need to reduce as many barriers to economic growth as possible, and these figures show how important it is for SNP ministers to get back to the day job of improving 
standards in our schools.”

Read more...

Related Links

Dramatic decline in number of pupils learning foreign languages (The Times, 31 July 2017)

Scots pupils saying ‘Non’ to languages (Sunday Post, 30 July 2017)

SQA update - National 5 Modern Languages

SQA (23 June 2017)

The following documents will be available for all National 5 Modern Languages courses by the afternoon of Friday 23 June:
  • Coursework assessment task - assignment (writing)
  • Coursework assessment task - performance (talking)
  • Course support notes
The course support notes will be added to the National 5 course specification as an appendix. The course specification will then be updated to version 2.0 and the date will change to June 2017, but there is no further change to the content of this document.

Read more...

European Youth Event (EYE) 2018

23 June 2017 (European Parliament)

The third European Youth Event (EYE) will be taking place 1-2 June 2018 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. It provides a unique opportunity for young Europeans, aged between 16 and 30, to make their voices heard and to come up with innovative ideas for the future of Europe.

EYE2018 includes a wide range of activities in English, French and German run under the motto "The plan is to fan this spark into a flame." (Hamilton, My Shot). The activities centre around five main themes:
  • Young and old: Keeping up with the digital revolution
  • Rich and poor: Calling for a fair share
  • Apart and together: Working out for a stronger Europe
  • Safe and dangerous: Staying alive in turbulent times
  • Local and global: Protecting our planet
Visit the EYE2018 website for more information. Groups of at least 10 young people who want to take part need to register on the website between October and December 2017.

Read more...

New approach to SCILT/CISS promotional events

23 June 2017 (SCILT/CISS)

SCILT and CISS are currently reviewing their strategy for promotional events. In order to ensure all schools have the opportunity to benefit from our involvement, we are now requesting that you complete an online application form. You will be asked to outline how a promotional event might support your uptake in the senior phase and what other measures you are putting in place to address the Attainment Agenda, National Improvement Framework and Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce.

Please contact us at SCILT (scilt@strath.ac.uk) in the first instance. An application form will be sent to you once finalised.

MFL teacher challenge looms

21 June 2017 (Sec Ed)

The recruitment of more suitably qualified languages teachers is “likely to become more critical” because of the need to increase up-take at GCSE.

The annual Languages Trends report warns that schools are finding it “challenging” to recruit language teachers who are able to offer two languages to GCSE and A level standard.

The report states: “This difficulty most affects lower-attaining schools and those working in more disadvantaged circumstances.” Language GCSEs form part of the EBacc and Progress 8 accountability measures and as such schools are incentivised to increase uptake.

However, recruitment has proved challenging for some schools, including for language positions.

Recent research by the NFER has shown that schools are seeing particularly high leaving rates for teachers of maths, science and languages. The recruitment target for trainee language teachers was also missed this year, according to Department for Education figures published in November.

Meanwhile, figures released by Ofqual this week (see story above) show that entries for GCSE languages this year are down on 2016. This includes:

French (Down from 135,200 to 121,800).
German (Down from 48,000 to 42,050).
Spanish (Down from 88,150 to 85,500).
Other MFL (Down from 33,900 to 33,000).

However, the Languages Trends report, which is published by the British Council, says that 38 per cent of state schools plan to increase language GCSE entries year-on-year.

Read more...

Gaelic e-bulletin - June 2017

21 June 2017 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland's latest Gaelic e-bulletin has just been issued and can be accessed online.

Read more...

'A German Classic' - essay prize for senior phase students

12 June 2017 (Oxford University)

The University of Oxford is delighted to announce the launch of a new essay prize competition: ‘A German Classic’. It is aimed at students with a GCSE or equivalent in German and currently in Sixth-form (equivalent to Years 12 and 13 or S5 and S6 in Scotland).

The classic celebrated this year is Goethe’s Faust, Part I. The task is to write an essay in English (between 2000 and 3000 words) so students who are not yet able to write fluently in German can focus on the challenges of engaging with the language, ideas and conflicts of the work itself.

Visit the university's website to find out more about the competition, prizes and how to submit entries by 13 September 2017.

Read more...

UK-German Connection news - Summer 2017

9 June 2017 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection offers a number of opportunities for UK schools to partner with a school in Germany. The following options are currently available. Follow the appropriate link for more information:

Visit the UK-German Connection website to find out more about all their activities.

Read more...

Young Applicants in Schools

8 June 2017 (Open University)

The Open University's Young Applicants in Schools Scheme (YASS) gives S6 students in Scotland the unique opportunity to study a range of university level modules in school alongside their other studies.

YASS is designed to bridge the gap between school and university, college or employment and helps motivated students stand out from the crowd. It encourages independent learning and builds confidence. Key skills like time management and accessing electronic resources are developed.

Registration for YASS modules is organised through the school, although students deal directly with The OU when it comes to their course work and assessment.

See the webpage for an overview of the language modules which can be studied.

Visit the Open University website or contact Sylvia Warnecke for more information about the YASS scheme and to enrol.

Read more...

Japanese Language Local Project Support Programme 2017

5 June 2017 (Japan Foundation)

The Japan Foundation London is looking for non-profit-making projects or activities which promote Japanese language education. You can apply for up to £3,000.

We prioritise projects that fit into one of the three following categories:
  1. Introducing Japanese into the curriculum at a primary or secondary school
  2. Supporting GCSE or A-level Japanese courses
  3. Introducing Japanese extracurricular club or enrichment subject at a primary or secondary school
The next deadline to apply for funding is Friday 16 June 2017.

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information.

Read more...

Host a teacher from Germany

2 June 2017 (UK-German Connection)

Would you like to have authentic German cultural input in your school? Through the Host a Teacher from Germany programme, your school can host a German teacher for two or three weeks during the academic year, at no cost.

All schools and FE colleges from the whole of the UK can take part. The UK coordinating teacher does not need to be a teacher of German, and German does not need to be on the school’s curriculum; visiting teachers are either teachers of English or have good knowledge of the English language.

Offers from UK schools to host teachers from Germany in 2017-18 are now being accepted. Application deadlines are 10 July 2017 / 21 September 2017.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

Read more...

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2017

31 May 2017 (EIFF)

The programme for this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) taking place from 21 June to 2 July 2017 has just been published.

The event will showcase films from 46 countries so there are plenty of opportunities to test your language skills!

For more information about what's on offer, visit the EIFF website.

Read more...

French workshops for Higher and Advanced Higher students

30 May 2017 (Institut français)

The Institut français is offering a series of 4 workshops from September to December 2017 to help S5 and S6 students preparing for their exam.

Visit the Institut français website for further details and to apply by 23 June.

Read more...

1+2 National Events for Principal Teachers of languages and colleagues i/c timetabling : June 2017

30 May 2017 (Education Scotland/SCILT/ADES/GTCS)

These events will focus on 1+2 in the secondary sector and feature inputs from ADES, ES, GTCS, SCILT and a representative from a local business. Purpose of the day:
  • 1+2 – overview of current developments
  • sharing practice across authorities re implementation in secondary
  • transitions between primary and secondary
  • examining the place of languages in BGE and Senior Phase in secondary schools
Scottish Ministers have a clear message to all stakeholders: that learning languages is a normal part of the curriculum from P1 onwards. These regional 1+2 events for the secondary sector are part of the Strategic Implementation Group’s priority to focus on curriculum such that there is clear and effective design which ensures progress through primary and secondary schooling, and on Career Long Professional Learning to ensure practitioners are equipped, enabled and empowered to deliver high quality language learning in primary and secondary schools. Given the significance of the 1+2 policy for secondary modern languages departments, it is important that all schools are represented at these regional events.

Your LA languages contact (usually DO/QIO) will have alerted you to the event for your region, however if you have not yet received the invitation to attend your local event (two invitees per school – PT languages, plus timetabler- usually a DHT) please contact EDSCFE@EducationScotland.gsi.gov.uk

Your regional event will take place as per the schedule below:

Date

Event Location

Authorities involved

Tuesday 20 June

Stirling

Stirling, Falkirk, Clackmannanshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire

Wednesday 21 June

Coatbridge

North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, West Lothian


Venue details, timings and a programme for the day will be emailed to you when you register for the event.

Euroscola dates for autumn 2017

16 May 2017 (European Parliament)

Euroscola brings together about 600 students from all over the European Union for a day in Strasbourg discussing aspects of European integration, in multilingual working groups of 100 students. It is open to students aged 16-18 and the European Parliament offers a subsidy towards the costs of the journey to Strasbourg.

As working groups consist of students from several member states it is essential that participants have a sound knowledge of at least one other European Union language. For practical purposes knowledge of French is necessary as during the "committee" meetings in the afternoon, students are expected to think and speak in a language other than their mother tongue. The debates are held mainly in French and English.

Dates for the autumn term 2017 are now available.

To find out more and to apply, visit the Euroscola website.

Read more...

Young Language Learner Award - 2017

15 May 2017 (B small publishing)

The Young Language Learner Awards are back!

B small publishing are inviting children and young people to write a four-page story in a foreign language they are learning (choose from Chinese, English, French, German, Italian or Spanish) to be in with a chance of winning books worth £50.

One winner will be picked from the under 6 category and one winner from the 6 and over entries.

Visit the website for full details and to submit entries by 15 June 2017.

Read more...

Leaving Certificate language students ‘learning off’ exam answers

11 May 2017 (Irish Examiner)

(Relates to Ireland) In a series of reports on student performance in language exams last June, chief examiners say students must learn how to adapt, instead of using learned-off answers.

The issues were most acute in the 2016 Leaving Certificate exams in Spanish, French, and Italian.

There are many positive aspects, particularly about the competencies of more able students of the six languages, which also included German, Japanese, and Russian.

But in oral exams, which are worth between 20% and 25% of marks in language subjects, a common concern is that students have prepared answers.

The Spanish Leaving Certificate examiner reported, for example, that a number of students had been taught in a “rote-learning” manner that prevented the natural flow of conversation.

“Many candidates had prepared a range of topics in the general conversation, but, when gently disengaged from rote-learned topics, found it difficult to communicate effectively in the target language,” the reports said.

The reports are published today by the State Examinations Commission (SEC), whose chief examiner in Leaving Certificate French said most students were well-prepared for the orals and had a high degree of proficiency and fluency.

However, at the other end of the scale, some of the 25,758 students examined in the subject had difficulty answering even simple questions.

Read more...

Online course: How to succeed in the global workplace

11 May 2017 (British Council)

Beginning your career or starting a new job brings to mind lots of questions, so we’ve designed a course to guide you through those initial weeks and months so you can make a positive start to your career.

You’ll see videos from employers, giving you insights from around the world into what they look for from their employees. You’ll learn how to communicate across cultures and discover the skills to build and maintain relationships with colleagues, managers and clients.

This is a free 4-week course and is hosted online by FutureLearn.

Read more...

EOL network ’Learning environments where modern languages flourish’ - 99 partner schools registered

9 May 2017 (ECML)

The EOL ECML project “Learning environments where modern languages flourish” has already succeeded in recruiting 99 partner schools and teachers in ten different countries; we will continue to accept new partner schools until the end of July 2017.

This European network of project partner schools will not only support one another in developing innovative approaches to establishing language friendly learning environments through an exchange of relevant resources, research and practice, but will have dedicated support from the project team throughout the lifespan of their school projects.

Visit the ECML website for more information and to register to join the EOL network.

Read more...

MTOT 2016-17 celebration event webpage now live

5 May 2017 (SCILT)

We're pleased to announce the SCILT website has been updated and details of this year's Mother Tongue Other Tongue (MTOT) multilingual poetry competition award celebration held at the SEC, Glasgow in March are now available.

Here you can see photos of our winning performers, read the anthology of winning entries, access press articles and see feedback from pupils, teachers and parents.

Read more...

National 5 Modern Languages Course Specification

4 May 2017 (SQA)

SQA has just published the revised National 5 Course Specification.

This document contains important information about the changes to the Performance of Talking and the new Assignment-Writing.

The document can be accessed on the SQA website.

Read more...

New job profile on SCILT's website

28 April 2017 (SCILT)

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

Our latest addition comes from Charlie Foot, founder of Bili, the online language exchange platform for schools. Charlie explains how speaking to people in their own language creates opportunities for much deeper connections and cultural understanding.

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

Read more...

Business Brunch 2017 events webpage now live!

25 April 2017 (SCILT)

A series of five successful Business Brunch events organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland took place this year where 535 learners from S3-S6 were given the opportunity to hear from a wide range of exciting business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company.

The events 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.

Find out more about the events on our new Business Brunch 2017 webpage.

Read more...

Link with a German school

24 April 2017 (UK-German Connection)

Broaden your pupils' horizons and enhance your school's international dimension by linking with a German school. Find out how to set up and develop a partnership with a German school, including practical tips and advice on joint activities, projects and visits to Germany.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

Read more...

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig to offer new degree course for Gaelic teachers

23 April 2017 (SALT)

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig (SMO), the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture, is to deliver a new Gaelic teaching degree.

The BA (Hons) Gaelic and Education recently received validation from the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) and accreditation from the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS ) and the first cohort of students will begin the course in September.

The course will be part of Sabhal Mòr’s degree pathway and will be taught through the medium of Gaelic and will focus on immersion and bilingual teaching practices in schools. This is the first time that SMO has taken the lead role in delivering a teacher training degree, and the course is designed for either secondary teaching (Gaelic as a subject) or Gaelic-medium primary teaching.

Read more...

Setting grade standards in A level modern foreign languages

21 April 2017 (UK Government)

Ofqual has today (21 April 2017) announced that it will take action this summer to ensure standards are set appropriately in A level French, German and Spanish.

The decision stems from new research, published by the regulator today, which suggests that awarding should take into account the fact that native language speakers take these subjects. The adjustment to grade standards will be decided in early summer. If the ability of the cohorts is similar to previous years we would anticipate small increases in the proportion of students getting top grades in each subject this August.

Read more...

Related Links

A-level language grades skewed by results of native speakers - study (The Guardian, 21 April 2017)

A-level language grades skewed by results of native speakers – study

21 April 2017 (The Guardian)

For years the British stereotype of Germans has been that they get the best of everything, from sun-loungers to football trophies – and now it seems they have been achieving the best A-level grades.

Research published by the exam regulator Ofqual has found that German-speaking children in the UK have been sitting A-level exams in their native language – and winning a disproportionate amount of A and A* grades on offer.

The Ofqual research estimated that about 17% of the students taking German A-levels in Britain may be native speakers, and gained about half of the top A* grades on offer – making it harder for non-native speakers sitting the exam.

The new research is good news for pupils taking this summer’s A-levels, with Ofqual suggesting it could increase the number of top grades it hands out, to ensure a level playing field between grades awarded in modern foreign languages and other subjects.

“If the ability of the cohorts is similar to previous years we would anticipate small increases in the proportion of students getting top grades in each subject this August,” Ofqual said in a statement.

The researchers found similar results in French and Spanish, with native speakers gaining higher than average GCSE scores. In Spanish, native speakers are almost 10 times more likely to achieve a grade A or A* than non-native speakers. Native-speaking Germans are 28 times more likely to achieve a grade A, and 11 times more likely to get an A*.

The research comes after complaints from leading schools that modern foreign languages are graded less generously than other subjects. But until now there has been no effort to account for native speakers as exam candidates.

Read more...

All Junior Cert pupils to study a foreign language under new plan

19 April 2017 (News Talk)

(Applies to Ireland) All pupils will study a foreign language for their Junior Cert by 2021 under ambitious new plans being announced by the Education Minister.

The strategy also aims to increase the number of Leaving Cert students studying a foreign language by 10%.

Chinese will be introduced as a Leaving Cert subject for the first time, while so-called 'heritage languages' such as Polish, Lithuanian and Portuguese will get a proper curriculum.

Speaking to Pat Kenny, Minister Richard Bruton explained: "We are going to have to, post-Brexit, realise that one of the common weaknesses of English speaking countries - that we disregard foreign languages - has to be addressed in Ireland.

"We need now to trade in the growth areas - and many of those speak Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin. Those are the languages that we need to learn to continue to trade successfully."

On the subject of Eastern European languages, he observed: "We now have many Lithuanians and Polish here, and we can develop those languages.

"We also need to use programmes like Erasmus - we want to increase our participation there by 50%. Clearly it has to become more immersed in the language.

"At the moment if you look at Leaving Cert and Junior Cert, French dominates. French is a lovely language, but we need to recognise that we need to diversify into other languages."

Read more...

Education Scotland Modern Languages newsletter - April 2017

18 April 2017 (Education Scotland)

The latest edition of Education Scotland's Modern Languages newsletter is now available.

Read more...

Dingwall Academy's pioneering sign language work hailed at Holyrood

2 April 2017 (Ross-shire Journal)

Dingwall Academy’s leadership in promoting British Sign Language (BSL) has been applauded by the Scottish Parliament – after the school was highly praised by Strathpeffer-based MSP, Maree Todd.

She used the recent debate on the consultation on the Draft BSL National Plan to highlight the initiative of Dingwall Academy’s unit. During her speech, she used BSL to welcome former Dingwall Academy pupil, Caitlin Bogan, who was watching the debate from the viewing gallery.

The MSP later said: “We should all be proud of what is being done in the Highlands. Dingwall Academy is one of the few schools to deliver a BSL unit – all students in first year, including my son Gregor this year, take BSL classes as a taster along with other languages, including French, Gaelic and German.

Read more...

SQA National 5 Modern Languages webinars

31 March 2017 (SQA)

The SQA is running a series of subject-specific continuing professional development (CPD) webinars to help you prepare for the revised National 5 course assessments that are being introduced in session 2017-18. The Modern Languages webinars will take place on Thursday 20 April, Monday 24 April and Thursday 4 May, and will focus on the requirements of the revised assessments.

Further details of the webinars are provided on the SQA's NQ events page. Please note that places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please note also that the content of Modern Languages webinars is the same, and colleagues need only attend one of the three scheduled.

For those unable to secure a place, recordings of the webinars will be published on the SQA website within six weeks of the webinar date. This will be accompanied by a transcript of any questions and answers discussed during the webinars.

Details of published webinars will be provided in SQA Centre News over the coming months.

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New job profile on the SCILT website

31 March 2017 (SCILT)

We have a selection of job profiles on our website demonstrating languages being used in a wide range of professions.

Our latest addition comes from Jane Robb, PhD student at the Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich. Jane has studied several languages, including French, German and Spanish and says her Spanish language skills enable her to conduct fieldwork and live and work in Guatemala.

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

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French at the Alliance Française in Glasgow

27 March 2017 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française has a number of upcoming opportunities for French language learners in Glasgow. Follow the relevant link below for more information:
  • Spring Break Revision Classes April 2017 (3-7 April) - preparation courses for pupils sitting Nat 5, Higher and Advanced Higher French this year and University students due to sit exams later this year.
  • Easter workshop for primary school pupils (3-7 April) - children will learn about French language and culture through fun Easter-themed activities.
  • Term D adult courses now enrolling - classes available at all levels from Beginner to Advanced, along with specialised courses such as Conversation, Current Affairs, Grammar and Phonetics. New term commences 18 April 2017.
  • New adult classes - Beginners, Lunchtime Conversation Class, Phonetics Class, Grammar Class commencing from 18 April 2017.

For further information about the Alliance Française and their full range of activities, visit their website.

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Jackie Kay celebrates pupils’ multilingual poetry success

24 March 2017 (SCILT)

The multilingual talents of budding young poets from across Scotland were celebrated at a prestigious award ceremony in Glasgow. Jackie Kay, Scotland's Makar, presented the prizes.

Primary and secondary students from Aberdeenshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Stirling and West Lothian used their language skills to create and share poetry for this year’s Mother Tongue Other Tongue multilingual poetry competition. Winners received their prizes on the main Piazza stage at the SEC Glasgow on Saturday 11 March 2017 as part of the wider Languages Show Live Scotland event. Their work is published in an anthology.

Mother Tongue Other Tongue is an exciting project which celebrates linguistic and cultural diversity through creative writing and showcases the many languages which are used by children and young people across Scotland, in school and at home. The competition is organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, based at University of Strathclyde. Jackie Kay is the patron of the competition.

One teacher said of the event: “Taking part in the Mother Tongue Other Tongue poetry competition was a very worthwhile endeavour. Pupils really enjoyed creating poems in another language and interesting language based discussions were generated. The emphasis on celebrating all languages from across the globe was a great message to share with pupils and they especially enjoyed mixing their own language with the languages they are learning at school. We will definitely be taking part again next year.”

Whilst one of the pupils summed up their feelings: “I feel happy, proud and special.”

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT, says: “Mother Tongue Other Tongue is a celebration of the many languages that are spoken and learned by children and young people across Scotland. The collection of their poems weaves a rich tapestry of voices that honours cultural diversity and pays testament to the wealth of Scotland’s many languages and cultures. We were delighted to see such a high calibre of entries this year, submitted in 35 different languages. Our congratulations go to the winners and to all who took part in the competition.”

Mother Tongue invites children who do not speak English as a first language to write a poem, rap or song in their mother tongue and share their inspiration. Other Tongue encourages children learning another language in school to use that language creatively with an original poem, rap or song in that other tongue. Prizes are awarded in both categories.

Mother Tongue Other Tongue supports the Scottish Government initiative, ‘Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 approach’ by allowing pupils to apply their language learning in a creative way. The competition provides children who do not have English as their first language an opportunity to celebrate their mother tongue.

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. One of the key drivers is improved literacy. Through reflecting on poetry in their mother tongue and creating poetry in another tongue, learners are developing their literacy skills.

Mother Tongue Other Tongue is supported by the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland, creative writer Juliette Lee and the Scottish Poetry Library.

Details of the winners and the anthology are published on the SCILT website.
MTOT 2016-17 winners with Jackie Kay

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Curriculum for Excellence Benchmarks

23 March 2017 (Education Scotland)

The Benchmarks in modern languages provide clarity on the national standards expected from first to fourth curricular level.

They draw together and streamline a wide range of previous assessment guidance (including significant aspects of learning, progression frameworks and annotated exemplars) into one key resource to support teachers’ and other practitioners’ professional judgement of children’s and young people’s progress.

The Benchmarks will also support consistency in teachers’ professional judgements and will help teachers to ensure that young people achieve the pace of progress they need right across the Broad General Education.

The Benchmarks can be accessed on Education Scotland's National Improvement Hub along with Benchmarks exemplification to support practitioners to use the Benchmarks.

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Summary of SQA Course Reports for National 5 Modern Languages

23 March 2017 (SCILT)

We have summarised the Course Reports for National 5 Modern Languages and Gàidhlig. These reports highlight areas where candidates performed well in the 2016 exam and areas where they encountered difficulty.

They contain sound advice for both teachers and pupils in the run up to this year's exam diet.

The full report for each language can be accessed on the SQA website under the Verification and Course Reports tab.

The summary reports are attached below and can also be found on the Senior Phase, Essentials for Planning page on the SCILT website under the SQA Qualifications tab.

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New job profile on SCILT's website

17 March 2017 (SCILT)

For relevant, labour-market focused career advice on languages, direct from the workplace, read our latest Job Profile from Lynn Sheppard, Masters Student and travel writer, former English teacher, diplomat and civil servant.

Lynn tells how languages have not only helped in all her diverse job roles, but in developing and maintaining personal and professional relationships around the globe. Language skills have given her a cultural insight into how others think and behave.

Teachers, use this resource in your classroom to enhance learning about the world of work.

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Gaelic e-bulletin

17 March 2017 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland's March e-bulletin for Gaelic education is now available online.

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Summary of SQA Course Reports for Higher and AH Modern Languages 2016

16 March 2017 (SCILT)

We have summarised the Course Reports for Higher and Advanced Higher Modern Languages and Gàidhlig. These reports highlight areas where candidates performed well in the 2016 exam and areas where they encountered difficulty.

They contain sound advice for both teachers and pupils in the run up to this year's exam diet.

The full report for each language can be accessed on the SQA website under the Verification and Course Reports tab.

The summary reports are attached below and can also be found on the Senior Phase, Essentials for Planning page on the SCILT website under the SQA Qualifications tab.

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SALT schools competition 2017

11 March 2017 (SALT)

There are four categories in this years competition: Primary & BGE, National 5, Higher, and Advanced Higher.

The theme is I love Languages Because and students can submit their entries in any format (PowerPoint, poster, song, poem, etc).

Visit the SALT website for further information and to submit entries by 26 May 2017.

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New job profile on SCILT's website

10 March 2017 (SCILT)

We have a range of Job Profiles on our website designed for teachers to use in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

Our latest addition comes from Kirsten Matthews, a Distillery Tour Guide and Public Service Interpreter. Kirsten tells us her language skills make it possible for her to perform a service and to help people in her roles.

You can see Kirsten's profile on our website.

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Pupils celebrate success at multilingual poetry competition

9 March 2017 (Renfrewshire 24)

Six bilingual pupils from Renfrewshire have scooped up awards at a national poetry competition for their creative writing talents.

Of the 14 awards up for grabs through the ‘Mother Tongue Other Tongue’ competition run by SCILT – Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, six were awarded to pupils from St John Ogilvie Primary School, St James Primary School and Castlehead High School, who had written poetry in their native tongue in order to share their “other voices”.

Renfrewshire EAL (English as an additional language) teachers helped support bilingual pupils to create a collection of poems written in languages such as; Polish, Hungarian, Chinese, Punjabi, Catalan, Arabic, Greek, Filipino, Korean and Dutch.

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Mapping Chinese survey

9 March 2017 (SCEN)

At the meeting of Confucius Institute Directors last year, we all decided that it would be a great help if we shared information about the teaching and learning of Mandarin at all levels in Scotland. We want to map all the opportunities to learn Chinese accurately, and to share it with everyone to help with productive links between schools, colleges, universities and businesses.

We would like to invite primary and secondary school teachers to complete our online survey to help gather this data.

Visit the SCEN website for the survey link. Please complete by 31 March 2017.

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UK-German Connection initiatives for schools

7 March 2017 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German connection have the following opportunities they'd like teachers and schools to be aware of:
  1. What do you need now? Have your say.
    It’s now more important than ever to maintain connections with Europe. With this in mind, we’re reviewing the opportunities and support we offer schools and are asking teachers for their input on what schools currently need in order to keep links with Germany alive. We’ve put together a short questionnaire for you to have your say and would be grateful for your feedback. Complete the survey.

  2. Plastic Pirates
    There’s now another chance for UK and German partner schools to apply for funding to get together in Germany and undertake research on Germany’s rivers and oceans.

New Job Profile on the SCILT website

3 March 2017 (SCILT)

For relevant, labour-market focused career advice on languages, direct from the workplace, read our latest Job Profile from Sandie Robb, Senior Education Officer for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS).

Working on conservation projects around the globe, Sandie explains how knowing even a little of a language is respectable and polite when working with colleagues worldwide.

Teachers, use this resource in your classroom to enhance learning about the world of work.

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Articulate Language Camps 2017

1 March 2017 (Articulate Language Camps)

Articulate Language Camps run an International Camp (12-17 year olds) and Launch Camp (6-11 year olds) each summer in Scotland.

The International camp brings together young people aged 12-17 from across Europe and beyond to share their language and culture and provides the opportunity to learn French, Spanish, German, Italian or English.

The Launch camp gives young campers the chance to experience the same languages in a fun and interactive way, learning through digital media projects and outdoor activities.

Find out more in the Articulate Language Camps videos on YouTube where you will also find links to their online brochure and registration form. Follow the relevant link below for more information about each camp:
You can find out more about Articulate Language Camps by visiting their main website.

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Fairtrade Fortnight

28 February 2017 (SCILT / Traidcraft)

#mfltwitterati it’s Fairtrade Fortnight! Please tweet @scottishcilt and @FairtradeUKEd the lesson ideas and resources that you’re using with your learners as a meaningful context for language learning #Fairtrade.

We’ve already found these from @traidcraft, tell us what you think.
  • Explore the world of cocoa production in Côte d’Ivoire with a range of teaching resources for learners of French at 2nd level, 3rd level and in the Senior Phase.
  • Explore a range of resources relating to Apicoop - honey and blueberry producers in Chile. Aimed at 2nd level learners of Spanish materials include a poster, an advert and a game.

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Languages Teacher Training Scholarships

23 February 2017 (British Council)

Are you passionate about French, German or Spanish? If so, you could receive a languages scholarship of £27,500 to train as a secondary school teacher in England.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to apply by 31 July 2017.

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Do we need modern language graduates in a globalised world?

23 February 2017 (THE)

Six academics offer their views on the state of language learning in a populist climate.

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UK-German Connection latest news

21 February 2017 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection offers a number of opportunities for schools in the UK and Germany to develop and maintain partnerships. In their latest Spring 2017 newsletter they highlight the following:
  • With the changing landscape of international relations, we want to make sure we're still offering you the right kind of support to keep your connections with Germany alive.We're currently reviewing the opportunities and services we offer and would like to invite you to tell us what you need now for your schools and pupils. Complete the short survey.
  • Deadline reminder of 1 March for applications for the following summer courses in Germany:

For upcoming deadlines for the rest of the school year, download our calendar of opportunities for 2016-17.

For further information about UK-German Connection and their activities, visit their website.

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Time to listen to teens on language learning

21 February 2017 (Scholastic blog)

For far too long it seems that media columns have been filled with reports of declining interest of British teenagers in modern foreign languages (MFL).

Take the figures published last summer. The number of children studying French to A-level has fallen by around 50 per cent in eight years to fewer than 10,000. Only around 3,800 youngsters took German. There was also a fall in those studying Spanish, which had previously bucked the anti-languages drift.

The government replied that it has been encouraging pupils to take languages, mainly through the English Baccalaureate – the wrap-around qualification which requires pupils to sit a range of certain GCSEs including a language.

But the problems don’t end there. More university language departments are facing closure if student recruitment continues to decline, and the key problem facing language courses is the drop in the number of students sitting the relevant A-levels that are required for entry. And there is a shortage of MFL teachers.

This ought to worry us – even more so as we head towards Brexit. It has been estimated by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages that our failure to communicate in anything other than English costs Britain up to £50 billion a year in lost trade. Declining numbers of MFL students have led to calls for a joined up strategy where the full contribution of languages to the economy and society is realised, with the National Association of Head Teachers particularly vocal.

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Learn French at the Institut français d'Ecosse

17 February 2017 (Institut français d'Ecosse)

The Institut français offers classes and workshops for all ages (toddlers to adults), from complete beginners to fluent speakers.

Enrolment is open for Spring term classes beginning in April.

Students undertaking National 5, Highers and Advanced Highers can also register for a preparation course running 3-7 April.

Visit the website for full details and to enrol.

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Agenda: So much to be gained from young people learning modern languages

12 February 2017 (Sunday Herald)

Does language learning have a place in the Scottish curriculum? Yes. Are modern languages and their teachers under pressure in secondary schools? Yes. Has there been a better opportunity for promoting language learning in our schools ? No.

Language learning has a vital place in Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) on a learner journey from 3-18 but in a manner that does not see it as the preserve of the secondary school.

It has always baffled me that traditionally in Scotland, given its place in Europe, we started language learning so late in a child’s development.

The earlier we expose children to learning languages, the better their chance is of seeing this as something that is just part of their culture.

From a child development point of view, there’s much research to confirm that children are more receptive educationally and emotionally to language learning from an early age.

They soak it up and acquire language skills at a great pace. We know that bilingualism not only helps the cognitive development of the child but also that children who are in bilingual education such as Gaelic Medium Education also attain and achieve at least as well as, in many cases better, than their monoglot peers. They are fluent in two languages and are learning a third by the age of 11. In addition, there is another plus to early exposure to acquiring additional languages; most parents like it, understand it and support schools that promote it.

The Scottish Government-led 1+2 languages programme is a long-term policy commitment started in 2011 due to run until 2021, aimed at making it normal for all children and young people in Scotland to learn languages from primary one.

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Gaelic Translation Competition!

10 February 2017 (Education Scotland)

This translation competition is open to all children and young people in both Gaelic Learner and Gaelic Medium Education.

There are nine English and eight Gaelic posters of Scotland’s scientists available on the National Improvement Hub. One of the Gaelic posters is missing- Alexander Graham Bell.

Children and young people are invited to translate a short biography on Alexander Graham Bell into Gaelic. This is an exciting opportunity to have your work shared nationally and to feature alongside the other eight scientist biographies available on the National Improvement Hub. Your work could support learners of Gaelic across Scotland.

For more information visit the Education Scotland Learning Blog. Entries should be submitted by 3 March 2017.

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MTOT 2016-17 winners announced!

10 February 2017 (SCILT)

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate everyone who took part in this year's Mother Tongue Other Tongue multilingual poetry competition for schools in Scotland. We had a wonderful variety of entries and appreciated the creative effort that went into the submissions.

Selecting the finalists for this year's anthology was incredibly difficult for the judges. However, after considerable deliberation, we're pleased to now be able to announce the winners in each category along with highly commended entries which will also feature in the MTOT anthology of poems.

Mother Tongue

Category

Award

Name

School

P1 – P3

Winner

Jan Piwowarczyk (Polish)

St Benedict’s Primary

 

Highly commended

Kacper Jodelka (Polish)

St John Ogilvie Primary

P4 – P6

Winner

Laith Kabour (Arabic)

St John Ogilvie Primary

 

Highly commended

Ashley Li (Mandarin)

St James’ Primary

 

Highly commended

Amira Shaaban and Aidah Abubaker (Swahili)

St Rose of Lima Primary

 

Highly commended

Caroline Rotimi and Joolade Adekoya (Yoruba)

St Maria Goretti Primary

P7 – S1

Winner

Miriam Espinosa (Catalan)

St James’ Renfrew

 

 

Highly commended

Lemuel Pascual (Filipino)

 

St James’ Renfrew

 

Highly commended

Noemi Dzurjanikova (Slovak)

St Rose of Lima

S2 – S3

Winner

Stefan Benyak (Hungarian)

Castlehead High

 

Highly commended

Éva Tallaron (French)

Royal High

Senior Phase

Winner

Boglarka Balla (Hungarian)

Graeme High

 

Highly commended

Ayesha Mujeb (Urdu)

George Heriot’s

 

Highly commended

Nadya Clarkson (Russian)

George Heriot’s

 

Other Tongue

Category

Award

Name

School

P1 – P3

Winner

Julia Gawel (Scots)

Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral Primary

P4 – P6

Winner(s)

Nathan Watson and Aiden Wardrop (French)

Johnshaven Primary

 

 

Highly commended

Jack Shaw (German)

Gartcosh Primary

 

 

Eva Campbell (German)

Gartcosh Primary

P7 – S1

Winner

Rosalind Turnbull (French)

Doune Primary

 

Highly commended

Samuel Kassm, Theo Wilson, Emma Cullen and Darren Campbell (French, Spanish, Italian, Urdu, Scots)

Battlefield  Primary

S2 – S3

Winner

Simi Singh (French)

Graeme High

 

Highly commended

Ciara Wilkie (French)

St Margaret’s Academy

Senior Phase

Winner

Jordanna Bashir (French)

Shawlands Academy

 

Highly commended

Holly Mincher (Spanish)

St Andrew’s

 

Highly commended

Rachel Cairns (French)

Graeme High

Well done to everyone who took part in the competition. It's been a marvellous celebration of the various languages spoken in our communities. You should all be very proud of your work.

To mark participation in the competition, registered schools will shortly be sent a certificate which can be printed out and presented to pupils who took part. The finalists above will be invited in due course to receive theirs at the MTOT celebration event on 11 March.

Thank you all once again and keep writing!

Boost language attainment with a Modern Language Assistant

8 February 2017 (British Council)

Modern Language Assistants bring authentic language and culture to the classroom. In a recent survey of host schools, Heads of Languages reported improved exam results – raising standards in under-performing students and motivating talented students to achieve more. The support of an Assistant is particularly valuable with the on-going focus on languages in the 1+2 initiative, and can particularly help to complement the development of language teaching in primary schools.

The British Council Language Assistants programme draws on over 100 years of experience with overseas education authorities to provide a trusted, high quality service.

Applications are now open! For more information visit the British Council website.

In 2016 the Erasmus+ UK National Agency awarded nearly €1.2m+ to Scotland’s schools and colleges for Key Action 2 (KA2) Strategic Partnerships, and 70% of Scottish applications for school-only partnerships were successful. The next Erasmus+ funding deadline is 29 March. If you are planning to apply, access our tailored guidance for school-only applications and school education applications; pre-recorded videos; and telephone support sessions.

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Josh Martin, student of Psychology & German and part-time racing driver

3 February 2017 (SCILT)

Our Job Profiles are designed for teachers to use in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

Our latest addition comes from student and part-time racing driver, Josh Martin, who appreciates how languages are key in helping him communicate with fans around the world and in negotiating sponsorship deals.

Read his profile and others on our website now.

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eTwinning Workshops

3 February 2017 (British Council eTwinning)

Interested in eTwinning and partnering with schools across Europe on collaborative projects? Check out the professional development opportunities in the UK and overseas for both primary and secondary sectors.

Visit the British Council eTwinning website for more information.

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Summer courses in Germany: Deadline 1 March 2017

1 February 2017 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection has the following summer courses in Germany, which are currently open for applications:
Both programmes combine language learning with cultural trips and excursions, as well as staying with host families.

Not sure about applying? Our mentors are happy to answer your questions. Pupils can contact us to be put in touch.
The application deadline for all programmes is 1 March 2017.

For more information about the courses in Germany and other activities undertaken by UK-German Connection, visit their website.

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New Job Profile on SCILT's website

27 January 2017 (SCILT)

Inspire the future generation with relevant career advice on languages direct from the workplace via the Job Profiles on our website. These resources are designed for teachers to use in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

Our latest addition comes from modern languages teacher, Olivia Ingleby, who tells how language skills helped her discover new places, cultures and the varied opportunities that brought prior to becoming a languages teacher.

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UK-German Connection Funding

26 January 2017 (UK-German Connection)

A reminder that the next deadline for grants for UK-German activities is 31 January 2017.

For an 'at a glance' overview of our grants and details about each programme, please visit the UK-German Connection website.

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Refugee Exhibition

26 January 2017 (University of Edinburgh)

Let your senior phase students see a meaningful context in which German is spoken and meet the students who ran the integration project working with refugees in Germany.

The principal aim of the exhibition is to raise awareness, hopefully inspire similar projects and increase learner motivation for those who often don´t see the relevance of learning a language.

The photo exhibition will be open from March until the end of May. Interested schools can arrange to either:
  1. come and see the exhibition at the University of Edinburgh and meet some of the students involved
  2. see the exhibition and have some workshops about the refugee crisis
  3. request photos of the exhibition, the power point presentation and the film clip for those who are too remote to come to Edinburgh

Please email Annette Gotzkes in the first instance to discuss your preferred option.

Further information about the project can also be found on the University of Edinburgh website.

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Language Show Scotland – Free event + 20% discount on language classes!

24 January 2017 (Language Show Live)

Scotland’s biggest and most prestigious event dedicated to all things language is back at the SECC in Glasgow on the 10th – 11th of March 2017. Officially sponsored by Education Scotland and the Scottish Government this free to attend event is a must for anyone interested in learning or advancing their languages, exploring job opportunities in the language industry, considering teaching or working abroad, enjoying a fantastic range of international cultural performances and much, much more!

10TH MARCH – 9:00AM – 6:00PM GLASGOW SECC
11TH MARCH – 9:00AM – 5:30PM GLASGOW SECC

Sample our extensive free seminar programme, meet over 100 top exhibitors like the European Commission, the Chartered Institute of Linguists and the British Council, meet language professional recruiters, enjoy our fantastic array of cultural performances, free language classes and more.

Find out more and register for free today.

Our trademark intensive 2 hour Language Plus classes are also now available online at a heavily discounted early bird rate (over 20% off the standard price!) of just £18. These optional add-ons can be purchased at the end of the free registration process and are certain to add a productive language experience to your day!

Language Show Live Scotland 2017 logo

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Principal Assessor and Deputy Principal Assessor - Higher Chinese languages

23 January 2017 (SQA)

SQA is inviting applications for a Principal Assessor in Higher Chinese Languages to lead the team as well as a Deputy Principal Assessor (DPA) in Higher Chinese Languages. The DPA is a new role in a slightly altered structure which will become operational for Diet 2017. The primary role of the Deputy Principal Assessor is to support the Principal Assessor.

Details of both roles can be found by following the relevant link below to the SQA website:

Training and support will be provided for both roles.

Inspiring Scotland’s future global workforce - Business Brunch launch

23 January 2017 (SCILT)

Young people from thirteen schools across the west of Scotland had the opportunity to engage with local businesses in the first of a series of Business Brunch events, held at University of Strathclyde on 13 January 2017. 130 learners from S3-S6 heard from a range of business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company. The event 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.

A teacher attending the event said: “Today’s event was a fantastic opportunity. It has given my pupils a deeper appreciation that language learning is not just about the words but that being able to speak a language can break down so many barriers in so many different ways, including our own perceptions of people and countries.”

One of the young people added to this and commented: “I learned that cultural awareness and language skills are an important aspect of day-to-day business and also important to bigger companies. Language and cultural awareness is important in helping understand foreign business partners and in earning their trust.”

Eric Balish, Director of Trade Finance Scotland and Ireland at Bank ABC and one of the workshop leaders told the learners: “Life is a competition. Most of your competitors speak at least two and perhaps multiple languages. Speaking English is simply not enough to thrive and prosper now, far less in the future. Our business is anchored in financing international trade. We have a particular focus on trade into the Middle East and North Africa and also Brazil. However, we operate throughout Europe. As a consequence it is vital that we can communicate in a broad range of languages.”

The event was organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland. Companies attending included Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, Radio Lingua, Keppie Design, Bank ABC and Russian Centre ‘Haven’. Schools represented were St Luke's High School, Caldervale High School, Marr College, Duncanrig Secondary School, Shawlands Academy, Holyrood RC Secondary School, Hyndland Secondary School, Largs Academy, Kirkintilloch High School, Trinity High School, St Margaret Mary’s Secondary, Williamwood High School and Clydebank High School.

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 Business Brunch 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 the first of a series of Business Brunches being held across Scotland in January and February 2017.

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Glasgow Film Festival 2017

18 January 2017 (Glasgow Film)

The programme for Glasgow Film Festival 2017 has just been announced!

More than 310 separate events and screenings of films from 38 countries will show across the city from 15 – 26 February in one of the UK’s biggest film festivals. The event offers several special screenings for schools, which this year includes the following foreign language options:

  • Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods (PG) - 6-8 February (French, English subtitles)
  • Ma Revolution (N/C 15+) - 3-8 February (French, English subtitles)
  • The Olive Tree (N/C 15+) - 7 February (Spanish/German with English subtitles)
  • Shorts for Wee Ones (N/C 3+) - 9 February (English, French or dialogue free)
  • The Golden Dream (N/C 12+) - 9 February (Spanish & Tzotzil with English subtitles)
  • Zip Zap & The Captain's Island (N/C 8+) - 9 February (Spanish)

There are also CPD opportunities for teachers and workshops for pupils. Visit the 'What's on for Schools' page of the GFT website for full details and to book.

Tickets go on sale to Glasgow Film Festival Members at noon on Thursday 19 January and on general sale at 10am on Monday 23 January.

Visit the GFT website for more information.

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United Kingdom Linguistics Olympiad 2017

17 January 2017 (UKLO)

UKLO is a competition for students who are still at school (or equivalent college) – any age, any ability level – in which they have to solve linguistic data problems. Thanks to our generous academic supporters, it’s completely free to both competitors and schools.

The UK Olympiad also enters at least one team in the International Linguistics Olympiad.

The United Kingdom Linguistics Olympiad (UKLO) for 2017 will soon get underway with round 1 taking place from 6-10 February.

If you are interested in finding out more about the competition and registering your school to take part, visit the UKLO website.

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CISS professional learning menu update

16 January 2017 (CISS)

The CISS CLPL menu for 2016-17 'Making Chinese work for you!' has been updated.

Visit the CISS website to view the brochure and for information on booking a professional learning session.

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SQA update to AH Modern Languages guidance on past paper usage

16 January 2017 (SQA)

The SQA has produced updated guidance documents on the use of past paper questions for Advanced Higher Modern Languages (Chinese, Italian, French, Spanish, German and Gaelic learners).

These can be found on the SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages webpage under the 'Specimen Question Papers and Marking Instructions' section.

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Refreshed and ready for anything in 2017!

13 January 2017 (SCILT)

Here at SCILT, our New Year’s Resolution has been to review and refresh the CLPL menu. With your feedback in mind, we have made a few strategic changes that we hope will make a big difference. New on the SCILT website from today – the new and improved CLPL menu.

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SQA Marker Opportunities

12 January 2017 (SQA)

SQA currently has Marker vacancies in the following areas:

  • AH French Paper 1 and Paper 2 (Reading and Translation and Listening and Discursive Writing) - this is a MFI Central Marking event which takes place from Thursday 1 June - Sunday 4 June 2017 inclusive
  • AH French Portfolio - this is traditionally marked and the Marker meeting take place on Wednesday 10 May 2017.

If you would like to be considered for AH French marking please complete the online application form stating which components you would like to mark confirming your availability to attend either the marking meeting and or the central marking event.

Details can be found in the marker advert on the SQA website.

Current markers who wish to be considered for a change of level should also complete an application form confirming current delivery of AH French for at least 2 years.

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Gaelic writing competition

9 January 2017 (Acair Books)

Acair Books, an Lanntair and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar have created a new award to encourage original writing in Gaelic for children.

The aim of the award is to:

  • Actively support original writing in Gaelic for children
  • Encourage and nurture new writers in Gaelic

In 2017, the award is for a book for 5 to 8 year-olds and must be between 1000 and 2000 words.

The work must be written in Gaelic by a writer aged 16-years or over, and who has never had a Gaelic book published for children before.

Visit the website for further information and submit your entry by 31 January 2017.

Read more...

SQA updates January 2017

9 January 2017 (SQA)

The SQA has updated the Course Assessment Specification document and several Specimen Question Papers on the Advanced Higher Modern Languages page of their website.

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Erasmus+ application support

9 January 2017 (Erasmus+)

The next Erasmus+ funding deadline for Key Action 1 School Staff Mobility is 2 February. For UK schools and colleges, the UK National Agency has guidance documentation, and videos on an introduction to Schools Key Action 1 and completing the eForm.

There is also a Q&A webinar at 4-5pm on 19 January.

Read more...

Nihongo Cup - Japanese speech contest for UK secondary schools

6 January 2017 (Japan Foundation)

The Nihongo Cup Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School Students in the UK is open for applications!

This contest is open to students in the UK studying Japanese language.

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information and to download the application pack.

Closing date for entries: 24 March 2017.

Read more...

Oxford German Olympiad 2017

6 January 2017 (Oxford University)

The Oxford German Olympiad 2017 is open to UK pupils aged from 9 to 18 with a range of different tasks to suit different age groups. There is also an open competition for groups or classes of 4+ participants.

This year's theme is Deutsch(e) jenseits von Deutschland - German(s) beyond Germany.

Visit the Oxford German Olympiad website for more information and to enter by 17 March 2017.

Read more...

Oxford University Spanish Flash Fiction Competition

6 January 2017 (ALL)

A new competition from the Modern Languages Department at Oxford University invites secondary students to write a story in Spanish of not more than 100 words, and send it to schools.liaison@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk by noon on Friday 31 March 2017 with your name, age and year group, and the name and address of your school.

The judges will be looking for creativity and imagination as well as good Spanish!

Read more...

The Languages Challenge

6 January 2017 (ALL / SOAS)

Run by SOAS, University of London, the Languages Challenge is now in its third year.

The Languages Challenge is a collaborative project aimed at students in year 8, 9 & 10 (S2-S4). Students have a choice of task and a choice of which languages they use in each of them. The aim of the challenge is to:

  • provide students with opportunities to actively engage with languages
  • encourage independent study and a range of soft skills like team-work, planning, leadership and negotiation skills
  • raise awareness of the cross-curricular opportunities in language studies

Students are encouraged to use oral as well as written skills, to plan each task, conduct research and produce multiple drafts. They must take different roles and complete a short reflective report for each task.

Attached is a Teacher Information Pack, which is also available to download on the ALL website along with further information about how to take part.

Read more...

Mathématiques sans frontières

6 January 2017 (North Lanarkshire Council)

North Lanarkshire Council and Heriot Watt University are once again jointly organising the world-wide Maths and Language competition “Mathématiques sans Frontières” in Scotland.

Schools are invited to participate in this stimulating and light-hearted competition for S4 and S5 which combines Maths and Modern Languages and aims to motivate pupils.

The competition itself will be held on Tuesday 7 March 2017 and schools wishing to participate should complete the proforma attached and return by 27 January 2017. There is also a training test available for download.

See the attachments for more information and to register your school.

French writing competition launched from space!

2 January 2017 (Culturethèque)

An exciting French writing competition has just been launched by French astronaut, Thomas Pesquet, from the International Space Station.

Young people, up to the age of 25, are invited to write a short piece in French based on le Petit Prince and submit their entries by 28 February 2017.

See Thomas speaking about the competition on the launch video and find out how to enter on the Culturethèque website.

Read more...

Eilidh’s next year of study is full of Eastern Promise

1 January 2017 (Milngavie Herald)

Eilidh McConnell, a sixth year pupil at Douglas Academy in Milngavie, has won a scholarship to study and work in China next year.

Eilidh, who will defer her University place for a year, competed with other Scottish pupils and was interviewed in Strathclyde University for the place. The opportunity is offered by the Confucious Institute of Scotland which seeks to promote Chinese language and culture in Scotland.

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Calderglen 1+2 Case Study

15 December 2016 (SCILT)

Calderglen is a six-year non-denominational, comprehensive school in East Kilbride, established after the merger of Hunter and Claremont High Schools. It serves approximately 1,600 pupils and shares a campus with Sanderson High School for young people with additional support needs.

The school uses an innovative and dynamic approach to the curriculum. Read how pupils benefit from creative language learning strategies and for interesting ideas for the implementation of 1+2.

Read more...

SQA Course Reports

15 December 2016 (SQA)

SQA has now published the Modern Languages course reports for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher.

These contain helpful information on candidate performance in the 2017 examinations as well as providing invaluable advice to centres. Teachers may find the information particularly useful in the run up to prelims.

To access the reports for all Modern Languages visit the SQA website and choose National 5, Higher or Advanced Higher.

The course reports can be found under the tab Verification and Course Reports at the bottom of the page.

SCILT will summarise the key messages and publish them on the website early in the New Year.

Read more...

Generation UK – China Scholarship programme

14 December 2016 (British Council)

Through Generation UK, the British Council have opened up a range of opportunities in China, giving students the chance to experience the country, language and culture while gaining valuable skills for the future.

One student from the University of St Andrews shares her experience of taking part in the Generation UK - China Scholarship programme.

Read Victoria's story and find out more about the opportunities available on the British Council website.

Read more...

Heriot-Watt Multilingual Debate 2017

12 December 2016 (Heriot-Watt University)

Heriot-Watt University's Multilingual Debate is an annual event showcasing the interpreting skills of undergraduate and postgraduate students.

The 2017 Debates will take place on Wednesday 22 March with two multilingual teams arguing for and against a motion of topical interest in a range of languages. There are two Debates; one in the morning, one in the afternoon.

The Multilingual Debates are open to schools, colleges and universities and aim to stimulate interest and dialogue among young people in the international politics and social issues of the modern world whilst also setting language acquisition in a realistic context.

The topics for the 2017 Debates have just been announced and can be viewed on the YouTube video.

Visit the Heriot-Watt website for further information.

Read more...

Media Release: Two weeks to go! Last chance to enter this year’s FilmG competition

29 November 2016 (All Media Scotland)

The closing date for entries in FilmG 2017 is fast approaching. However, if anyone is yet to complete their film there are still two weeks left, before the competition closes on Wednesday 14 December.

Whether it be a comedy, drama, documentary or even a music video, one of the simplest ways to make a short film, is to use mobile technology.

The FilmG team are hopeful that the increasing availability of technology along with a broader range of prizes than ever before will see a record number of entries this year.

The theme for this year’s FilmG competition is ‘Strì’ meaning to strive or endeavour. All films must be in Scottish Gaelic and can be up to five minutes long for youth category entrants or up to eight minutes in length for open category entrants.

Read more...

What's Your Story Development Programme 2017

29 November 2016 (Scottish Book Trust)

If you're 14-17 years old, living in Scotland, and care about creative writing and illustration then read on!

What's Your Story? is a Scotland-wide programme of support for teenage writers & illustrators – led by teens, for teens.

Seven teenagers from around Scotland will be selected to join the What’s Your Story? Development Programme for 2017. Thanks to our friends at The Gaelic Books Council there will be one place especially for a Gaelic language applicant, but no matter what language you work in you are welcome to apply.

Visit the website to find out more about the programme and to apply by 3 January 2017.

Read more...

School Partnership Bursaries

29 November 2016 (UK-German Connection)

Do you have a link with a German school? Have your schools engaged in any joint activities in 2016?

Keeping up connections between the UK and Germany is now more important than ever. To help you to keep your school partnership alive, UK-German Connection is offering schools special partnership bursaries of £1,000.

It's easy to apply. Just complete a short online questionnaire by 7 December 2016.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

Read more...

Quebec student exchange proposal

28 November 2016 (SALT)

Éducation Internationale (EI), a non-profit cooperative in education founded by Québec Local Education authorities (or school boards), would like to develop student exchanges between Québec and the UK, with a particular focus on Scotland and Wales. If you think this might be of interest to your authority, there is more detailed information, including contact details, in the document on the SALT website.

Read more...

SEET update

28 November 2016 (SEET)

Find out the latest about the Our Europe and Euroquiz competitions for Scottish schools in SEET's November 2016 newsletter.

Read more...

Pedagogy review offers help to revitalise languages education

23 November 2016 (SecEd)

Modern foreign languages are “at risk” and face becoming the domain of “certain types of school and certain sections of the pupil population”.

The warning has come from Ian Bauckham, chair of the Modern Foreign Languages Pedagogy Review, which published its report into MFL teaching at key stages 3 and 4 this week.

The Teaching Schools Council, which set-up the Review, is now encouraging schools to use the findings, alongside related evaluation documentation, to review and improve their MFL provision.

Read more...

Concours de la Francophonie 2017

23 November 2016 (Alliance Française)

L’Institut Français d’Écosse and the Alliance Française de Glasgow, in partnership with SCILT, are delighted to launch the 2nd edition of the Concours de la Francophonie which encourages young French learners and their teachers across Scotland to celebrate French language and the international Journée mondiale de la francophonie taking place in March each year..

To participate, you need to submit a short video (max 5mins) in French such as a dialogue, a song a short drama piece, etc. There are four categories:

  • P1-P4,
  • P5-P7,
  • S1-S3
  • S4-S6.

The four winning teams will be invited to the University of Edinburgh on Friday 17 March 2017 to take part in a special day of workshops in French and the awards ceremony.

For more information and to enter the competition by 14 December visit the Alliance Française or Institut Français website.

Read more...

French oral revision courses: Higher and Advanced Higher

23 November 2016 (Alliance Française)

As in previous years, the Alliance Française de Glasgow will be running Higher and Advanced Higher Oral Preparation courses for pupils who will be sitting their French oral examinations in 2017.

The sessions will take place during February 2017.

Visit the Alliance Française website for further information and to enrol.

Read more...

Capable linguists put off by ‘ridiculous’ grade boundary

18 November 2016 (TESS)

Grade boundaries set at “ridiculous” levels are driving pupils away from languages and leaving talented linguists with lower results than they deserve, it has been claimed.

Languages teachers fear their subjects – which are already suffering from falling numbers – will be sidelined further as they gain a reputation among pupils as “hard” options that could put their university places at risk.

Of the 30 most popular Highers, German and French set the bar highest for an A grade (78 per cent and 77 per cent, respectively); Spanish is also above most subjects, with 73 per cent required for an A.

Gillian Campbell-Thow, chair of the Scottish Association for Language Teaching (Salt), said: “Learners who were expecting to get an A, having had high marks all year, were of course disappointed. For some, it impacted on their access to further and higher education.”

As TESS has reported, the situation for modern languages has already been described as “near critical” this year because of a decrease in pupils taking the subjects at S4.

Ms Campbell-Thow said that, at Higher, “we are now seeing learners opting for subjects where they feel they are more likely to get an A”.

Languages teachers are also reportedly narrowing their focus. Ms Campbell-Thow said that one Salt member “felt she had to take out a lot of the creative content…in favour of teaching to a test, which flies in the face of Curriculum for Excellence”.

She added: “We don’t want to find ourselves teaching to an exam, using rote learning and effectively putting a ceiling on skills development and language acquisition, but the worry of letting down learners and parents…has left our practitioners feeling both vulnerable and under pressure.”

The full article can be accessed on TESS online, 18 November 2016 (subscription required).

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Oxford German Olympiad 2017

16 November 2016 (Oxford German Network)

The Oxford German Olympiad 2017 is now open! This year's theme is Deutsch(e) jenseits von Deutschland - German(s) beyond Germany.

The competition is open to UK pupils aged from 9 to 18 with a range of different tasks to suit different age groups. There is also an open competition for groups or classes of 4+ participants.

Visit the Oxford German Olympiad website for more information. Entry deadline is 17 March 2017.

Read more...

UK-German Connection news

9 November 2016 (UK-German Connection)

The latest funded opportunities from UK-German Connection can be found on their website via the appropriate links below:

For more information about UK-German Connection and their full range of activities, visit their website.

Read more...

Make Time for Languages! - International Education Week 2016

8 November 2016 (British Council)

A reminder that this year's International Education Week (IEW), taking place from 14-18 November, has a focus on languages.

Find out how you can get involved by visiting the British Council's IEW website.

Read more...

LFEE Europe immersion courses 2017-2018 in France and Spain for primary and secondary teachers

8 November 2016 (LFEE)

The dates for our immersion courses 2017-2018 have just been released. Please visit the LFEE website to find out new dates and further information or see the attached brochure.

Successful applicants receive a grant from the British Council that covers all costs, including flights, accommodation and subsistence, as well as the course fee.

NEW: Immersion follow up

If you have already attended our immersion course in France in the past and wish to attend another course with us, we have created a follow up immersion which will take place in the beautiful city of Avignon in Provence. Please contact us for further information.

Should you wish to participate in our immersion courses in France or Spain from July 2017 to April 2018, please pre-register at immersions@lfee.net and we will send you further information on how to apply to the Erasmus+ European funding for schools.

Do not hesitate to visit our website and blog for more information and to see what your colleagues have said about their course last summer.

A bientôt!

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SALT 2016 Schools Poster Competition winners

7 November 2016 (SALT)

After a fantastic response to the 2016 Schools Poster Competition, the winning entries can now be seen on the SALT website.

Read more...

First Chinese classroom to open for Moray school pupils

4 November 2016 (Press and Journal)

School pupils in Moray will be transported from the north-east to the Far East with the opening of the region’s first Chinese classroom.

The Confucius base is scheduled to open at Elgin Academy at the end of the month with language and culture lessons for students. Two Chinese-speaking teachers will be based in the classroom, but will take lessons at five other secondary schools and eight primary schools in the region.

The initiative will also open up the opportunity for pupils and staff to take part in courses in the Asian country.

Read more...

By the numbers: the decline of specialist subjects

4 November 2016 (TESS)

Although archaeology is going to be withdrawn as an A-level option, there are other subjects that attract far fewer students.

[..] In Scotland, the lowest number of entries for a subject at Higher was for Gaelic as a foreign language, with 84, while 92 students took Urdu.

The full list of lowest entry A Levels / Highers is available in TESS online, 4 November 2016 (subscription required).

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Scots Makar, Jackie Kay, supports MTOT

4 November 2016 (SCILT)

We are delighted to have Jackie Kay, the national laureate, as patron for this year's Mother Tongue Other Tongue multilingual poetry competition for schools in Scotland.

Hear Jackie's message supporting the aims and values of the competition in the video on our MTOT webpage.

Read more...

Fokus: Films from Germany 2016/17

3 November 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

Returning to Scottish screens from 25 November 2016 to 28 January 2017, is this nation-wide event featuring 12 innovative, inspiring and challenging films by Germany-based directors. We have selected a wide array of topics and cinematic styles that shed light on current debates and discourses in Germany.

The following screenings are specifically for school groups:

For full programme details visit the Goethe-Institut website.

Read more...

Shakespeare Lives in Schools Day

3 November 2016 (British Council)

Shakespeare Lives in Schools Day will be marked in schools all over the world by children of all ages on Friday 2 December 2016. We are inviting you and your school to join in a global celebration of Shakespeare in this special 400th anniversary year.

Visit the British Council Schools Online website to discover how you can get involved. Many of the suggested activities could be adapted to the languages classroom or worked on with an overseas partner school.

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Spanish Immersion Days for secondary students

2 November 2016 (Consejería de Educación)

The Consejería de Educación and the Spanish Academy of Language and Translation (SALT) offer Spanish Immersion Days for pupils studying at Higher and Advanced Higher level.

Trained MLAs are ready to visit schools and spend a day with students giving them the opportunity to practise Spanish meaningfully with native speakers through oral communication activities, workshops and games.

Visit the website or see the attached flyer for more information and the procedure to book.

Read more...

Related Files

European Charlemagne Youth Prize 2017

28 October 2016 (European Parliament)

Since 2008, the European Parliament together with the ‘Foundation of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen’ have each year been inviting young people from all EU Member States to submit projects run by and for youth showing an active participation in the development of Europe.

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.

This year's competition is now open and invites projects on EU development, integration and European identity issues which must be submitted by 30 January 2017.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

Business Brunches 2017

28 October 2016 (SCILT)

For the third year in succession SCILT, in partnership with University Council for Modern Languages (UCMLS) will be hosting a series of Business Brunch events across Scotland in January and February 2017. These will take place in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness.

Aimed specifically at S3 - S6 pupils, these events will demonstrate the relevance of language skills in a work context with the intention of encouraging pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education.

Registration is now open for the Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen events. (Edinburgh and Inverness will open soon).

To find out more and to register by 21 November, visit our Business Brunch 2017 webpage.

Read more...

DAAD writing competition

25 October 2016 (DAAD)

The DAAD and the IMLR, together with the Goethe-Institut and the Swiss and German Embassies in London, are calling all learners and lovers of German to take part in a writing competition! This time, the task is to write a story in German.

Two German-speaking authors, Anja Tuckermann (Berlin) and Ulrike Ulrich (Zurich), have provided beginnings of stories of migration. Now it’s your turn to take one of these beginnings and continue spinning the yarn. You are free to develop your text in any direction you choose: to write a story of flight or refuge, of identities and self-images, of encounters or new beginnings … . Your story can be set in the past, the present or the future - and in any geographical setting you wish. The only rule: it must not be longer than 250 words.

The competition is open to students at secondary schools, Sixth-Formers, undergraduates, postgraduates and anybody else who feels up to the challenge!

Visit the DAAD website to find out more and submit your entry by 6 January 2017.

Read more...

Digital Days competition for schools

21 October 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut London invites German teachers and their pupils to take part in this competition series requiring language and computer skills alike! The topic this year is Digital D.

Several categories for different levels of language skills are provided. Primary teachers and secondary teachers can choose which competition they think suits their students’ best.

To take part in the competition, visit the website and submit the registration form by 10 November 2016.

Read more...

Erasmus+ 2017 deadlines announced

21 October 2016 (Erasmus+)

All the deadlines and information on the types of activities you can apply for are contained in the 2017 Call for Proposals document and the 2017 Programme Guide both of which you can download from the Key Resources page of our website. The Call for Proposals is an overview document containing all the deadlines for 2017, while the Programme Guide contains all the detailed information on how to apply for Erasmus+ funding. You will need to read both documents when planning an application.

Read more...

Concours de la francophonie 2017

21 October 2016 (Institut français)

The Institut français d'Écosse is pleased to announce the launch of the second edition of our new Concours de la francophonie to encourage all young French learners and their teachers across Scotland.

The competition is open to primary and secondary pupils and involves producing a short video in French which should be submitted by 14 December 2016.

See the attached flyer for more information about the competition and how to take part. You can also see pictures from the first edition competition on the Institut français website.

Read more...

Related Files

French Film Festival school screenings

17 October 2016 (Institut français)

This year's French Film Festival takes place from 4 November - 1 December and is the only festival of francophone films in the UK.

There are screenings for primary and secondary school pupils taking place around Scotland during this time.

See the attached flyer for details of the school screenings and contact information for bookings.

Visit the French Film Festival website for the full programme.

Read more...

Related Files

Films for language learning

13 October 2016 (ALL)

The Association for Language Learning (ALL) has a focus on film this fortnight. Visit the website for links to useful film resources and the upcoming film festivals taking place this autumn around the UK. Each festival offers a selection of foreign language film screenings.

  • Discovery Film Festival (22 October - 6 November 2016) - Scotland's international film festival for young audiences.
  • Into Film Festival (9 - 25 November 2016) - a free nationwide celebration of film and education for 5-19 year olds.
  • French Film Festival (4 November - 1 December 2016) - the only festival of francophone films in the UK.
Visit the ALL website for more information.

Read more...

Our Europe - film competition for schools

12 October 2016 (SEET)

Our Europe 2016-17 is now open for registration!

The film-making competition for S3-S6 pupils is an annual competition run by the Scottish European Educational Trust. Teams of 4 design a storyboard outlining the film they propose to make based on the competition theme. This year the topic is global citizenship, specifically addressing one of the following themes:

  • Travel and Leisure
  • Migration and welcome
  • Trade

As always, films must include the use of at least one language other than English. This year any and all languages will be accepted in entries. All teams have to do is put their ideas into a storyboard and send them to SEET by 8 December 2016.

For more information, visit SEET's Our Europe competition website.

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ALL Language Teacher of the Year Awards 2017

11 October 2016 (ALL)

Calling all head teachers, heads of department, language coordinators and ALL primary hub leaders! Do you know a very special primary or secondary language teacher?

If you know a teacher who inspires pupils through superb teaching and supports colleagues by sharing their expertise and ideas, then why not nominate them for an Association for Language Learning (ALL) Language Teacher of the Year Award 2017?

Open to teachers throughout the UK.

Visit the ALL website for full details and submit your nomination by Friday 21 October 2016.

Read more...

SCHOLAR support for Advanced Higher modern languages

11 October 2016 (SCHOLAR / Heriot-Watt)

SCHOLAR would like to bring to your attention their support for learners at Advanced Higher French, German and Spanish tackling the Specialist Study and Portfolio. Within the ‘Culture’ area, there is an extensive set of activities taking learners through every aspect of these areas. There is also a record, downloadable as a word document in both French and German, to help learners keep a record in the target language. This has the aim of helping them both prepare for the visit of the external examiner, and collect information to allow them to present their evidence for the Specialist Study Unit in the target language.

Search for Scholar HW, or use the login link.

Log in with your ID and password, which your school has!

Read more...

Brexit: Scheme extended to encourage foreign language take up

8 October 2016 (BBC News)

Addressing a serious decline in the number of Welsh pupils learning foreign languages is "urgent" following the Brexit vote, an academic has warned.

There were 700 A-level language entries in 2015 compared with 1,152 in 2009.

A scheme, which sees university students mentoring secondary school pupils, is being extended after making a "clear impact" on class numbers.

Professor Claire Gorrara said the scheme was more important than ever after the Brexit vote.

The Cardiff University professor, who leads the project, said it had led to improvements to the 28 schools involved in the pilot across Wales.

Read more...

How a deaf teenager from Congo found her voice in poetry

6 October 2016 (STV News)

For most of her life, it seemed as though Keren Mingole would never have a place to call home.

Forced to escape war-torn country of DR Congo, the 16-year-old has been brought up in Scotland from a very early age. Not only faced with the difficulty of communicating with strangers, Keren also had to learn British Sign Language.

[..] In 2015, an opportunity arose for Keren to explore and draw from her difficult experiences as a child through a multilingual poetry contest.

The Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition explores cultural identity, and allows pupils from P1-S6 to enter creative pieces of work and celebrate the many different languages used in schools throughout the UK.

Pupils from across Scotland are currently participating in the multi-cultural competition, which is officially endorsed by Nobel Peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai. Scottish Makar Jackie Kay is also the official patron.

Keren won the 2015 Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition with her poem 'Who am I?' - a composition of her journey from her native home to her current home, Scotland.

Read more...

Related Links

National Poetry Day (STV News, 6 October 2016) See Jackie Kay and one of last year's MTOT winners, Keren Mingole, talk about poetry in their lives (the programme is available on iPlayer until 13/09/16 - watch from 28:50).

Language Ambassadors Programme

6 October 2016 (University of Strathclyde)

Now in its 5th year, the Language Ambassadors Programme is offering visits to Secondary or Primary schools (and other formats too). As Language Ambassadors we will talk about our varied experiences as language learners and do our best to encourage your pupils to follow in our footsteps…

Motivation, experiences abroad, transition to First year at university, job prospects, university courses… This is what we can tell them about.

Boost your young learners’ motivation, invite us in!

For more information see the Language Ambassadors website and to organise a visit, simply contact: Cédric Moreau, c.moreau@strath.ac.uk.

Language Ambassadors at Strathclyde photo

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Celebrate National Poetry Day!

6 October 2016 (SCILT)

Today is National Poetry Day and the theme this year is 'Messages'. To mark the occasion we've created our own triolet poem in French on this theme.

You can see the poem on the National Poetry Day webpage of our MTOT website. We hope it will provide some inspiration for those taking part in the Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition in Scotland! There are lots of other poetry resources on our website too. So take a look and get creative!

Read more...

How mentoring can improve modern languages uptake in schools

6 October 2016 (The Conversation)

For some time, there have been many stories told of the “crisis” in modern languages in secondary schools and universities. There is hard evidence to support this. Even though there have been upsurges in modern languages provision – following the introduction of the English Baccalaureate for example – pupil numbers continue to fall.

In Wales, where modern languages are still an optional choice at GCSE, research shows that the number of pupils studying a foreign language declined by 44% between 2002 and 2015. The number of pupils taking French in 2015 was less than half those who took it in 2002.

But why are pupils put off taking a language at GCSE level, and how can we improve attitudes to the subjects? As a bilingual country, it seems counter-intuitive that Welsh pupils cannot see the benefits of studying languages. However, research from an engagement project we have recently been running suggests a range of things are influencing pupils’ decisions not to study a language.

The mentoring project saw undergraduate modern language students from four Welsh universities trained to work with year eight and nine pupils (aged 13 and 14) in 28 schools. The students helped the pupils to practice their language, build confidence and knowledge, and teach them how modern languages can aid personal and professional development.

Our work was part of a push by the Welsh government, to arrest and reverse the decline in modern languages study by 2020.

Read more...

Harsh grading blamed for decline in students sitting modern foreign languages

4 October 2016 (AOL)

Harsh grading is resulting in a decline in the number of students sitting modern foreign languages, with native speakers performing less well than those whose mother tongue is English, it has been claimed.

Independent school headteachers said students sitting Spanish, French and German from GCSE through to A-level had been marked more heavily for the last decade, compared with other subjects.

Members of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC) said poor exam results were "sapping (students') confidence", while entries in A-level Spanish, German and French are all down on the previous year, by 2.7%, 4.2% and 6.4%, respectively.

James Priory, headteacher at Portsmouth Grammar School, said: "We have seen unpredictable language results this year. A number of students predicted B grades, for instance, have received grades below expectation, with the result that they are no longer set on studying languages at university.

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Euroscola 2017

30 September 2016 (European Parliament)

Euroscola brings together about 600 students from all over the European Union for a day in Strasbourg discussing aspects of European integration, in multilingual working groups of 100 students. It is open to students aged 16-18 and the European Parliament offers a subsidy towards the costs of the journey to Strasbourg.

As working groups consist of students from several member states it is essential that participants have a sound knowledge of at least one other European Union language. For practical purposes knowledge of French is necessary as during the "committee" meetings in the afternoon, students are expected to think and speak in a language other than their mother tongue. The debates are held mainly in French and English.

Applications are now open for dates between January and May 2017.

To find out more and to apply, visit the Euroscola website.

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SQA news

29 September 2016 (SQA)

The following news items from the SQA may be of interest to language teachers:

Removal of Higher exemplar question papers

Exemplar question papers (EQPs) were created as a revision resource for learners during implementation of the new Higher and Advanced Higher National Qualifications. As we now have two years' worth of past papers for new Higher as well as a specimen question paper for each subject with an exam, the EQPs will be removed from SQA's open website in the week commencing 24 October 2016. Associated guidance documents and guidance on the use of past papers documents will also be removed at this time.

The Advanced Higher EQPs and associated guidance will remain for session 2016-17 and will be removed from the website in July 2017.

Marker opportunities 2017

Are you an enthusiastic and committed teaching professional looking for a new challenge? Do you want to gain valuable insight that will benefit your students? SQA markers are at the heart of our examination operations, gaining valuable insight into assessment and quality assurance processes.

We are currently recruiting markers across all subjects and levels for the 2017 examinations.

Please note that applicants must have at least two years of teaching experience at the level they wish to mark.  Find out more about becoming an SQA marker.

Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival - Screenings for schools

22 September 2016 (Consejería de Educación)

The University of Edinburgh, in collaboration with Consejería de Educación, will launch the third Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival (ESFF) from 6-20 October 2016 and would like to invite schools to bring their senior phase students along to one of the screenings at the Filmhouse Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness or Glasgow.

See the attached letter of invitation for details of the programme and booking information.

For more information about the Festival, visit the ESFF website.

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Related Files

UK-German FLA/ELA Ambassadors

21 September 2016 (UK-German Connection)

Applications for the UK-German Connection's FLA/ELA Ambassador network 2016-17 are now open.

The FLA/ELA Ambassadors are a network of language assistants who are working in schools in the UK and Germany. They run small projects, activ