Latest News

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


Senior Phase

DiscoverEU travel pass

19 October 2021 (DiscoverEU)

DiscoverEU offers young people the opportunity to participate in a travel experience enabling them to take advantage of the freedom of movement throughout the European Union, explore the diversity of Europe, learn about European cultural heritage and history, and connect with people from all over the continent. Furthermore, DiscoverEU enables young people to develop valuable life skills such as independence, confidence, and openness to other cultures.  

If you're 18 years old and a citizen of the European Union, apply now for your DiscoverEU travel pass. Please note UK nationals are still eligible for this round of DiscoverEU.

Visit the DiscoverEU website for full details and apply by 26 October 2021.

Read more...

German language teachers honoured with prestigious German Teacher Award 2021

19 October 2021 (German Embassy)

The German Teacher Award celebrates the best and most dedicated champions of German in primary and secondary schools across the UK.

Today the awards went to Linda McLean (West Calder High School, West Lothian, Scotland), Erica Schwiening (Saffron Walden County High School, Essex), Stamatia Kalogeropoulou (The Sixth Form College Farnborough, Hampshire) and Alexandra Brown (King David High School, Liverpool).

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Königspost German Writing Competition

19 October 2021 (King's College London)

The competition for year 12 and 13 students of German (S5 and S6 in Scotland) is being run by the Department of German at King's College London. Students are invited to write an article in German (see the attached flyer for more details); the winning entry will be published in the department's popular newspaper, the Königspost, and there will be further prizes for the winner and runners-up.

The submission deadline is 22 November 2021.

Related Files

UK-German Exchange Fellowships

18 October 2021 (UK-German Connection)

This pilot programme provides pupils aged 15-18 in the UK and North Rhine-Westphalia with the opportunity to spend one, two or three weeks at an existing partner school in Germany and carry out a project on a theme of their choice.

Application deadline: 15 November 2021.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information about the programme. There's also an option to register for a Q&A webinar on Wednesday 3 November 2021.

Read more...

Making Connections through Learning for Equity and Sustainability

7 October 2021 (Learning for Sustainability Scotland)

Understanding the big issues that shape our world has never been more important. Issues like climate change, health, gender equality, poverty and how to live sustainably affect – and connect – us all: wherever we are in the world.

This is a supported online Professional Learning course for educators. Engagement in this fully funded course will:

  • Support you to create an enabling environment for Learning for Equity and Sustainability in your teaching and setting, and significantly enhance young people's educational experience
  • Inform your own professional development
  • Enhance your participation in the Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning programme, supporting whole setting and cluster approaches
  • Give access to an international network of like-minded teachers

Aligned with current education priorities across UK and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, this fully online professional learning will support you to think about, plan for, and implement, Learning for Equity and Sustainability in your own practice and in your teaching context. 

You will be invited to participate in online discussions and activities in five course modules. Modules will be released fortnightly, starting on 29 October 2021. 

More information and registration for the course on Eventbrite.

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SQA - Markers for 2022 exams

7 October 2021 (SQA)

Recruitment for new markers who would like to be considered for a marking team for 2022 is now underway.

A Marker marks candidates’ work in line with detailed marking instructions and in accordance with SQA policy and procedures. The prime role is to ensure consistent application of national standards when marking candidate submission(s).

Opportunities are available across all subjects and levels, and full training will be provided.

Visit the SQA website for more information and apply by 19 December 2021.

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Beairteas - Gaelic sessions for secondary pupils

7 October 2021 (e-Sgoil / Fèisean nan Gàidheal)

Beairteas is an intergenerational programme to match community-based fluent Gaelic speakers with schools and community groups.

In partnership with e-Sgoil, three sessions are planned during October and November 2021 giving S1-S6 pupils the opportunity to listen to some of our best known Gaelic personalities talk about their lives and interests. Pupils will also have an opportunity to join in the conversation and ask questions which will help to develop their own Gaelic. 

Visit the Fèisean nan Gàidheal website for more information and to register for the sessions.

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Courses: Learning for a sustainable future

7 October 2021 (British Council)

British Council is supporting two courses being delivered by the University of Edinburgh and Sustainability Scotland via FutureLearn on learning for sustainability.

Learning for a Sustainable Future: Live at COP26 - a free short online course

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) is being held in Glasgow between 31st October and 12th November 2021. It will bring together heads of state, climate experts and campaigners to agree and accelerate coordinated global action on climate change.

This two-week course, which runs in parallel with the COP26 conference, offers you an opportunity to examine what COP26 is, why it’s important and reflect on how you can add your voice to the call for collective action for a sustainable future.

You’ll explore the broader context of COP26 and consider other key frameworks such as COP15 (The UN Convention on Biological Diversity) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Explore the issues being discussed at the conference and see and hear responses to the conference themes from children and young people, community groups and ministerial bodies, both nationally and internationally.

There has never been a more urgent need for the world to work together and take collaborative action to secure a sustainable future for people and planet. Do your part and enrol now!:

Learning for a Sustainable Future - 5 week course

There is also still time to sign up for the 5 week course on Learning for a Sustainable Future. Join a personal and professional global learning journey towards a sustainable future. What on Earth could be more important?

On this 5-week course, you’ll explore a range of global, community and school-based contexts and develop an informed personal response to major contemporary challenges faced today. The course is open to everyone and would be suitable for senior learners, or anyone with an interest in sustainability and a willingness to learn and share with others around the world!  Join the course for free today.  Don’t worry if you can’t start on the dates specified – you can enrol once the courses have started.

Oxford German Olympiad 2022

5 October 2021 (Oxford German Network)

The tenth Oxford German Olympiad is now open! This year's topic is der Rhein.

Open to upper primary and secondary learners, entrants choose one of the tasks within their age category and complete the task in German. Individuals, groups or classes can take part.

There's also a Discover German - Taster Competition for those with no prior experience of studying German. 

Visit the competition website for full details. The closing date for all entries is Thursday 10 March 2022 at 12 noon.

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Discovery Film Festival 2021

5 October 2021 (Discovery Film Festival)

The eighteenth year of the Discovery Film Festival brings another selection of the best films for young audiences from around the world. Taking place from Saturday 23 October to Sunday 7 November 2021 screenings are available online and in person for Tayside audiences wishing to view their chosen films at Dundee Comtemporary Arts.

Foreign language screenings are subtitled in English. There's also a selection of short films, which are mainly dialogue free, to promote language practice and development.

Visit the Discovery Film Festival website to view the programme for schools and accompanying film resource packs. 

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Words for the World competition

5 October 2021 (SCILT)

‘We must believe in the power and the strength of our words. Our words can change the world.’ (Malala Yousafzai)

Are you looking for a way to engage your language learners to think about global issues ahead of the COP26 summit in November? Inspired by Malala’s words, our Words for the World competition could be just what you need! SCILT is challenging learners to use their words and their languages to show how the world could be a better place.

More information about the competition is available on our Words for the World webpage. The entry deadline is 25 October 2021. If you'd like to upload submissions to the Words for the World MS Team, please contact us and provide your Glow email address. Please note, the competition is only open to schools in Scotland.

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French Film Festival Learning Programme 2021

5 October 2021 (French Film Festival)

The French Film Festival UK’s Learning Programme will be bringing French-speaking cinema into schools again FREE of charge this autumn, between 25 October and 10 December. To accompany the selection of films for different age groups, practitioners will be able to download learning resources to use with their classes.

Students are also invited to submit a review of a film screened in this year's learning programme. The best reviews will be awarded a prize from the Franco-Scottish Society.

See the attached brochures for more information about the programme for schools and how to book.

Language Teaching: Learning from the Past – Teacher Training Packages are now available!

1 October 2021 (HoLLT)

We are delighted to announce that our five teacher training packages are now live.

The materials use the History of Language Learning and Teaching (HoLLT) to help language teachers reflect on language teaching practice and policy today. Five units each take a key theme, with a short introductory video (8-12 minutes), a handbook of activities, and a facilitator’s handbook with further information and guidance. Each handbook also includes a short historical overview and some reading suggestions.

Our themes are:

  1. Differentiation and diversity
  2. What does it mean to teach culture?
  3. Grammar: “The art of speaking well”?
  4. Target language and (m)other tongue use
  5. Making the case for languages – Policy and advocacy

The project is an AHRC-funded collaboration between the University of Nottingham and King’s College London. Many thanks to our Postdoctoral Fellow on the project, Dr Lina Fisher. 

Visit the University of Nottingham website to access the materials, which we hope teachers will find useful.

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New UK-German activities for Autumn 2021

30 September 2021 (UK-German Connection)

Young people, schools and youth groups can get involved in UK-German Connection's programmes. There are several new activities for autumn so let your pupils and colleagues know what's on offer!

Follow the relevant links below to find out more:

For young people

  • Virtual Conference on climate change (COP26) Taking place against the backdrop of the COP26 Climate Conference and Youth Summit, this two-part virtual youth conference will explore the outcomes of the climate conferences, and give young people the chance to exchange on the role of local communities, cities, and regions in the fight against the climate crisis. Age group: 15-18. Deadline: 4 October 2021.
  • Youth Webinar Series ‘Together: Reflecting on Life After Conflict’ Run together with Never Such Innocence, this three-part webinar series gives young people the chance to get creative with poetry, photography and song to reflect on what conflict means to them. Includes creative workshops with experts, the chance to exchange with other young people and a final presentation event with special guests from the UK & Germany. Age group: 12-14. Deadline: 14 October 2021.
  • Youth Webinar ‘Green Cities’ To mark 75 years of friendship between the United Kingdom and North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), this two-part webinar will bring together young people from the UK and NRW to discuss how to make cities more environmentally friendly. Participants will learn from city experts and exchange with young people in the UK & Germany about green & sustainable cities. Age group: 16-18. Deadline: 19 October 2021.

For schools & youth groups

  • UK-NRW School Partnerships Seminar This partner-finding event will bring teachers from the UK and North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) together to set up new school partnerships and discuss future partnership projects with a focus on ‘Skills for the Global Workplace’. Teachers will have the chance to take part in partnership development workshops, group discussions and excursions, including a visit to the Christmas markets. Deadline: 1 November 2021.
  • Café Connect for school & youth partnerships Do you have a partner school or youth group in Germany? Would you like to connect with them in a safe and informal virtual space? We now offer facilitated 'Café Connect' meet-ups to enhance your partnership!

For schools & youth groups with a partner institution in North Rhine-Westphalia

  • UK-German Exchange Fellowships This pilot programme provides pupils aged 15-18 in the UK and North Rhine-Westphalia with the opportunity to spend one, two or three weeks at an existing partner school in Germany and carry out a project on a theme of their choice. Deadline: 15 November 2021.
  • UK-NRW Capture Your Connection Do you have a connection with North Rhine-Westphalia? To mark 75 years of UK-NRW friendship we've launched our ‘Capture Your Connection’ challenge. Simply share a creative representation of your partnership to help us showcase and give recognition to the fantastic connections that you have established over the years. There will be small goodies for all submissions and the most creative entries will receive special prizes! Deadline: 31 December 2021.

MTOT 2021-22 - registration deadline approaching!

30 September 2021 (SCILT)

Our multilingual poetry competition offers schools and learners the opportunity to use their language skills creatively, by producing an original poem, song or rap in a language they speak at home (Mother Tongue) or are learning at school (Other Tongue). With a focus on the spoken word, entries are invited in video or audio format.

Teachers, help us find the next generation of multilingual poets! The deadline to register your school is 7 October 2021 (National Poetry Day), and all entries should be submitted by 3 December 2021. 

Visit our MTOT webpage for full details and to sign-up.

Read more...

Faktendetektive / Fact scouts - competition

30 September 2021 (Goethe-Institut)

What is fake news? Are our favorite YouTubers always telling the truth? Can we always tell if a post on Instagram or Tik Tok is true or false? Why do fake news exist? How can we identify them?

To answer these questions, we are looking for “fake news hunters” in Germany, England, Scotland, France, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands.

Are you a German, English, French or Spanish teacher? Then you are welcome to participate with your students, aged 15-19.

Submit your short video or text entry by 15 October 2021.

Visit the competition website for more information.

Read more...

StampIT - 'Stamp over October’

30 September 2021 (StampIT)

StampIT is re-launching ‘Stamp over October’. This series develops various skills and increases knowledge across the curriculum for the broad general education phase. The range of activities cover experiences and outcomes in many areas within expressive arts; language and literacy; mathematics; sciences; social studies and technologies. The activities will also last beyond October! Take part in as many or as few as you want. StampIT also has it’s ‘Language of Stamps’ series with Spanish, French, Mandarin and Japanese.

There are many challenges and competitions throughout October, please see the website for the activity plans. In addition there are 5 free packs available with some StampIT games, craft materials and stamps to the classes who can send in the best ending to the following sentence: 

'We would love to take part in Stamp over October because...'

Entries by end October. Visit the StampIT website for more information.

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Grants for professional development seminars in Germany

28 September 2021 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut UK awards scholarships for participation in language courses and professional development seminars (e.g. cultural studies; German as a foreign language theory and practice) in Germany.

You can apply for a scholarship from the Goethe-Institut if you are a teacher of German as a foreign language or are involved in the teacher training of such teachers; this also applies if you work at a PASCH school.

The courses take place at various Goethe-Institut locations around Germany and in Austria. Different options are available depending on your professional requirements.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information about the course choices and submit your funding application by 1 November 2021. 

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Conversation course for secondary German teachers

28 September 2021 (Goethe-Institut)

Are you a secondary school teacher of German teaching at a school in Scotland? Would you like to practice your conversational skills and keep yourself up-to-date with current affairs in German speaking countries?  

This conversation course will be right for you. We will be discussing a wide range of topics based on current newspaper articles, radio programmes and clips from German television. You will be taking away up-to-date materials and, hopefully, inspiration and lots of good ideas for your classroom.

The free online course will be held over Zoom between October 2021 and February 2022.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more details and to register by 4 October 2021.

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The Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators

24 September 2021 (Queen's College Oxford)

Registration is now open for the second year of the Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators, open to all teachers of French, German, Italian [new this year!], Mandarin and Spanish.

The prize launches this month with ready-made teaching resources designed to be used around European Day of Languages (26 September) and International Translation Day (30 September). The prize is for students of French, German, Italian, Mandarin, or Spanish aged 11-18.

Bringing more international culture into the classroom is a central aim of the prize, and so all texts will be rich in cultural content, and creativity in the translation will be rewarded.

All interested teachers will receive a teaching pack for the first lessons, to be run any time from late September onwards. Following the first lesson, which focuses on translating poetry, teachers will be asked to confirm their registration for two further teaching packs (on translating fiction and non-fiction) and for the competition phase. The competition phase will be open from 21 February to 1 April 2022.

For more information and to register, please see the prize webpage.  

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Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival: 1st-10th October in person and 14th-17th October online

24 September 2021 (Consejería de Educación)

The 8th edition of ESFF is taking place 1st-10th October in person and 14th-17th October online.

We want to shine a light on the best Spanish language cinema and TV and we are thrilled to be able to bring everyone back together, in the cinema. Our aim is to show a broad range of all different genres of films and so the festival will feature a selection of regional productions including: Ane (David Pérez Sañudo), representing Basque cinema, and Chavalas (Carol Rodriguez Colás) will be providing a glimpse in Catalan cinema. Interspersed with these will be the new TV series Maricón Perdido (Bob Pop) and the highly acclaimed Mientras dure la guerra (Alejandro Amenábar). 

To immerse yourself even more in the programme, make sure to check out the Q&As and panel discussions taking place throughout the festival. We are privileged to be joined by a number of leading academics including: Professor Nuria Capdevila-Argüelles (University of Exeter) who will present the audio-visual project, Cartas Vivas, in which women's voices from the 20th century are brought to life, embodied by leading actresses from the Spanish-speaking world.

We are also proud to commemorate the centenary of Luis García Berlanga with a screening of El Verdugo and A conversation with Spain. This will be followed by a round table discussion to highlight the importance of Berlanga, both in cinema and the cultural legacy he has left us.

School programme of the ESFF includes the film “Klaus” (Primary) and “Los Lobos” (Secondary).

For more information and to book tickets visit the Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival website.

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European Day of Languages

23 September 2021 (Council of Europe)

The Council of Europe Director General of Democracy, Snežana Samardžić-Marković, has recorded a video message (4 minutes) to mark the 20th anniversary of EDL. The video, in English, which gives a nice overview of the Day, is available via YouTube.

The latest version of the ‘Secret agent’s language challenges app' is now available in 21 languages and can be downloaded for Apple and Android devices.

Chromebook users can also download the app from the Playstore - by searching for "Language challenges" and clicking on the install button.

Flexible Funding Scheme

23 September 2021 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection's Flexible Funding Scheme supports joint activities and projects between UK and German partner schools and youth groups, including visits or virtual activities.

The grant is open to primary, secondary and SEN schools, FE colleges and youth groups in the UK and Germany. Grants of up to £10,000 are available.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information and apply by 1 October 2021.

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A-level pupils should be required to study humanities subject, maths and foreign language, report suggests

23 September 2021 (The Independent)

A-level pupils should be required to study a humanities subject, mathematics and a foreign language to tackle a decline in humanities enrolments at universities, a report suggests.

The report, published by the Higher Education Policy Institute, argues that requiring maths as an A-level subject would improve the numerical abilities of humanities graduates and boost their employment prospects.

Dr Gabriel Roberts, an English teacher at a London secondary school and the report’s author, argues that the number of humanities students may rise if studying a humanities subject at university was made compulsory.

“Requiring pupils to continue a foreign language until the end of school might stem the decline in applicants for Modern Languages courses at university and lessen the social exclusivity of Classics and Modern Languages courses at leading universities,” he said.

Mandating foreign languages may also stem the long-term shortage of linguistic skills identified by employers, Dr Roberts said, a move that would benefit students following the “loss of international links likely to result from Brexit.”

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Into Film Festival 2021

21 September 2021 (Into Film)

The Into Film Festival is a free, annual, nationwide celebration of film and education for children and young people aged 5-19.

For so much of the last year and a half, we have all been deprived of the big screen experience, so it's a joy to once again be able to offer free screenings and special events to young people and teachers across the UK from 10-26 November 2021. 

The programme includes something for everyone, from the latest blockbusters, beloved old favourites, stimulating documentaries, animated adventures, modern foreign language titles, and much, much more.

All films and events are mapped against curricula from across the four UK nations and are accompanied by Into Film resources.

Booking is now open, so visit the Festival website for full programme details and to reserve places. Use the filter to discover foreign language screenings. 

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Euroscola

21 September 2021 (European Parliament)

Euroscola is an educational project that brings together secondary school pupils from all other the EU (including the UK, as a former member) to part in a simulation of the work of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Although forced to cancel all onsite sessions which were due to take place since March 2020, the European Parliament is now holding online sessions, called "Euroscola Online", in order to enable students and teachers alike to take part in the Euroscola programme remotely, while keeping its educational and interactive nature focused on EU issues.

Each Euroscola Online session, led by two facilitators present in the hemicycle of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, lasts two hours.

It alternates between presentations, short videos, a question-and-answer session with a MEP, a discussion with an expert from the European Parliament, opinion polls and interactive discussion sessions.

Sessions are scheduled to take place during November and December 2021. Schools interested in participating in one of the online sessions should contact the UK representative, whose contact details can be found on the Euroscola website.

Alternatively, schools can follow the sessions online via the livestream which will be available on the European Parliament website and social media platforms.

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The UK Linguistics Olympiad (UKLO)

21 September 2021 (UKLO)

UKLO is a competition, like the Mathematical Olympiad or the National Cipher Challenge, for students who are still at school (or equivalent college) – any age, any ability level; but unlike other competitions, our competitors have to solve linguistic data problems. Thanks to our generous academic supporters, it’s completely free to both competitors and schools.

The first round of the competition will take place during February 2022.

Visit the UKLO website to find out more and to register your school.

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Maths Week Scotland 2021 - Maths wi nae Borders

21 September 2021 (Maths Week Scotland)

Maths Week Scotland takes place 27 September - 3 October 2021! 

Every day during Maths Week Scotland a new puzzle is set from the Scottish Mathematical Council. Inspired by the annual Mathématiques sans Frontières contest, the Maths wi nae Borders mini-competition contains a language element and is for any class to complete together.

Visit the Maths Week Scotland website for full details and to download a competition pack (available from 27 September 2021).

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Return to Spain 2021, Segovia edition - Grants for Spanish language teachers - Autumn 2021

17 September 2021 (Consejería de Educación)

Teacher training courses for Spanish teachers based in UK and Ireland (Segovia, October/November 2021).

The deadline for signing up for 1 of the 25 grants of a week’s teacher training programme in Segovia is 26th September. There will be three starting date options to choose from.

Who are the scholarships for?

Teachers (all nationalities can apply) who are at present teaching Spanish in Secondary schools or in Universities in the UK or Ireland.

What is the course about?

The course combines a teacher training programme based on different aspects of teaching Spanish as a foreign language (history, cinema, theatre, games, development of different linguistic skills, gamification, social media…) along with a number of fun and interesting tourist activities. The course is organised by the University of Valladolid, Mester Academy and the Governing Council of Castilla y León.

What is included in the grant?

The course (classes and cultural activities), accommodation and most meals. Those who are selected will only pay 120 euros for administrative fees and their return flight to Madrid. Transfers from Madrid to Segovia are included in the grant.

All information with regards to dates, the course programme, the grant and the application form can be found on the Spanish Embassy Education Office website. 

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Languages beyond school

17 September 2021 (SCILT)

If you have pupils considering language study once they move on from secondary education, the Beyond School section of our website contains a wealth of information about university and college language courses, study abroad and volunteering opportunities overseas. With links to UCAS and university guides it's also a useful resource for careers guidance staff to be aware of and highlight to students as the UCAS application process gets underway.

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FilmG competition 2021

16 September 2021 (FilmG)

FilmG is MG ALBA’s Gaelic short film competition which is delivered by Cànan Graphics Studio, the multi-media company based on the Isle of Skye. FilmG was launched in 2008 in order to develop new talent for the Gaelic channel BBC ALBA which was launched in the same year. Over this time it has received more than 700 short films and seen many young people begin their careers in Gaelic television broadcasting.

This year's FilmG is now open for entries. In the Youth category the competition is open to high school classes, independent filmmakers, and primary schools. High school Gaelic classes across Scotland can also take up the offer of 2 day filmmaking workshops to support entrants. 

Visit the FilmG website for more information and get entries in by 13 December 2021.

Read more...

SCILT winter newsletter - send us your stories!

16 September 2021 (SCILT)

Do you have a story to share with the languages community?

We are currently taking submissions for our winter 2021 newsletter. This is a great opportunity to promote what has been happening in your school or local authority with regard to languages. This could cover work going on in schools before the summer break, innovative projects taking place during Covid-19, or other language learning celebrations or initiatives. 

We are looking for articles of a maximum of 300 words, with a couple of colourful photos. The deadline for contributions is Friday 8th October 2021.

Visit our website to read the full submission guidelines, and to view previous editions of the newsletter. Submissions can be sent to scilt@strath.ac.uk

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Filmhouse cinema programme for secondary pupils

16 September 2021 (Glasgow Filmhouse)

Glasgow Filmhouse is delighted to be re-opening its doors to schools with an engaging programme of films for all ages and stages. As well as welcoming regular partners such as the Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival, French Film Festival UK and Into Film, the Filmhouse will be showcasing films picked by the education team to mark Black History Month, COP 26 and to celebrate Christmas!  

Visit the website for more information about the programme for schools and to book screenings.

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e-Sgoil study support webinars 2021

14 September 2021 (e-Sgoil)

During Autumn 2021 e-Sgoil is offering a programme of real time interactive Study Support Webinars.

A variety of subjects are on offer at different levels from National 4 to Advanced Higher. 

The webinars include sessions for students of French, Spanish and Gaelic. Classes have just started so there's still time for pupils to register.

Visit the e-Sgoil website for more information.

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Opportunities from UK-German Connection

10 September 2021 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection is dedicated to increasing contacts and understanding between young people in the UK and Germany. The organisation offers a number of initiatives, funding, materials and courses enabling joint activities between young people, schools and youth groups in both regions.

Find out about hosting a teacher from Germany, the Café Connect online meet-ups for young people, funding for partnership activities and more on the UK-German Connection website.

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Masters study opportunity for LLP/TTT and TeLT alumni

10 September 2021 (SCILT/University of Strathclyde)

Four questions for Scottish primary and secondary teachers:

  • Are you interested in developing yourself professionally and academically through Masters study?
  • Have you been a participant on the Education Scotland/SCILT course called Languages Leadership Programme (LLP, previously known as Train the Trainer) within the last five years?
  • Have you been a student on the Open University/SCILT programme called Teachers Learning to Teach Languages in Primary School (TeLT) within the last five years?
  • Were you awarded GTCS Professional Recognition from either of these programmes?

If the answer is yes, then you are eligible to accredited prior learning (APL) to the tune of 20 Masters credits, enabling you to transfer onto Masters in Education (MEd) pathways at the School of Education at the University of Strathclyde.

The award of GTCS Professional Recognition from these programmes gives access to the following pathways:

Interested? 

For the MEd Education Studies route contact Angela De Britos angela.de-britos@strath.ac.uk

For the MEd Educational Leadership route contact Joanna Holmes joanna.holmes@strath.ac.uk

European Language Gazette n° 57 - September/October 2021

9 September 2021 (ECML)

The latest edition of the ECML's European Language Gazette is now available. Focusing on the 20th anniversary of the European Day of Languages this issue contains a huge variety of new features, ideas, initiatives and resources to help celebrate the 20th edition in style!

Read more...

Japanese Language Local Project Support Programme 2021-2022

6 September 2021 (Japan Foundation)

Institutions can apply for up to £3000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which promote Japanese language education in the UK. We prioritise projects that fit into one of the five following categories:

  • Category 1 - Newly Introducing Japanese into the curriculum
  • Category 2 - Supporting GCSE or A-level courses
  • Category 3 - Japanese clubs
  • Category 4 - Projects that enable links between primary/secondary institutions and institutions of higher education
  • Category 5 - Purchasing Japanese language teaching materials and/or books related to Japan (Please note that this Category is for applicants who ONLY wish to apply for these materials)
  • The application deadline for Categories 1-4/Other of the September 2021-22 programme is 30 September 2021.
  • The application deadline for Category 5 of the September 2021-22 programme is 31 October 2021.

Visit the Japan Foundation website for full details and to download an application form.

Read more...

Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival: programme for schools

6 September 2021 (Consejería de Educación)

The Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival is back for its eight edition and would like to invite you once again to participate in the School Programme aimed at Spanish Learning students.

Due to COVID-19, we are changing the regular format to a Hybrid Event. This means we will be offering two films tailored to Primary and Secondary schools.

Please see attached the information about the films and a pre-recorded virtual workshop by Intersect Madrid for secondary schools.

Related Files

TECLA 3/2021, magazine for Spanish language teachers

6 September 2021 (Consejería de Educación)

The new issue of TECLA review for Spanish language teachers in the UK and Ireland is now available. Lots of ideas and resources for the Spanish class. 

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MTOT 2021-22 - Our multilingual poetry competition is back!

3 September 2021 (SCILT)

We are delighted to announce the launch of MTOT 2021-22! This competition offers schools and learners the opportunity to use their language skills creatively, by producing an original poem, song or rap in a language they speak at home (Mother Tongue) or are learning at school (Other Tongue). We are continuing our focus on the spoken word, so entries can be in video or audio format.

Last year, despite all the challenges, MTOT went from strength to strength, and the creativity shown by all those who entered was truly uplifting. Our winners were featured on the Kid’s Poetry Club podcast, and MTOT now has its own dedicated section on the UK Children’s Poetry Archive. As if that wasn’t enough, this year we are also partnering with the Dictionaries of the Scots Language, who are offering a special prize for winning entries in Scots. 

Whatever your language, we want you to find your voice and share it with us. We can’t wait to see what this year’s young poets will produce!

Teachers should register interest by 7 October 2021 (National Poetry Day), and all entries will be submitted by 3 December 2021. 

Visit our MTOT webpage for full details.

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World Wide Napier magazine - Call for submissions

2 September 2021 (Napier University)

World Wide Napier, the magazine in foreign languages designed by language students to encourage language studies, is currently looking for contributions in French, German and Spanish for issue eight of the publication. The next issue's overarching theme is 'Revolution'. Pick a subject associated with revolution and turn it into an engaging article. 

Students at secondary school, college or university are invited to submit contributions by email by 10 November 2021.

Visit the World Wide Napier website for more information and submission guidelines.

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French courses for children and teens

2 September 2021 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française Glasgow offers French courses for children aged between 3 and 17 years old as well as Exam Support classes for secondary schools pupils sitting their National 5 or Higher French exams at the end of the academic year and who need extra support with their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.

Follow the relevant link below to find out more about these course options:

Our World 2021-22

31 August 2021 (SEET)

Our World is a languages and citizenship based filmmaking project for S3 - S6 pupils. It's designed to complement the Curriculum for Excellence and help tackle the Attainment Challenge by providing a free project which uses an interdisciplinary approach to encourage pupils to become more engaged in their language learning.

Teams of 4 (S3-S6) design a storyboard which outlines the film they propose to make. This year's films will explore the idea of global citizenship, must include the use of a language other than English, and should touch on the theme of the Sustainable Development Goals. Each team must choose at least one of the 17 SDGs to focus their film on.

Registration for the 2021-22 project is now open - https://ourworldproject.wufoo.com/forms/z1fa1wdl0fdqs2a/

Visit the SEET website for more information and register to take part.

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European Day of Languages 2021 - how is your school celebrating?

27 August 2021 (SCILT)

The European Day of Languages (EDL) is celebrated on 26 September each year. Now celebrating its 20th year, it aims to promote the rich linguistic diversity of Europe and raise awareness of the importance of lifelong language learning for everyone. What is your school doing in 2021?

If you're looking for inspiration SCILT has compiled lots of ideas for primary, secondary and parents & families on our EDL webpage. Perhaps a Eurovision-style song contest, a QR code scavenger hunt, or a food festival? You will also find links to competitions, blogs and websites with a huge range of celebration ideas and activities. 

Let us know how you celebrate and we'll include you in our EDL 2021 blog. Send a short description and some colourful photos to scilt@strath.ac.uk or tag @scottishcilt on Twitter. Use the hashtags #coeEDL #20EDL or #happybirthdayEDL to share your celebrations with schools across Europe!

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SCILT professional learning programme 2021-22 - available to book now!

27 August 2021 (SCILT)

Are you a local authority officer with responsibility for languages? 
 
Are you a Head of Faculty, Head of Department or Principal Teacher of languages in your secondary school? 
 
Are you a lead language practitioner or primary school leader? 
 
Are you looking for high quality professional learning for your colleagues?
 
If so, you can request a SCILT workshop for colleagues in your school, department, cluster, local authority or regional improvement collaborative via the link below. 

Whatever your professional learning needs, we will endeavour to meet them. If you have specific requirements we are happy to collaborate with you to develop bespoke input and support. In addition to practical suggestions, SCILT workshops are designed to explore the pedagogy that underpins practice through discussion and reflection with local colleagues. 
 
Please visit the professional learning page of our website for further information and details of each of the workshops available. Please note, these workshops are intended for group bookings only. 
 
During 2021-22, we will run webinars and drop-in sessions which will be open to everyone. Registration for those will be on an event–by–event basis and will be publicised via the SCILT e-bulletin.

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French Workshops for Higher and Advanced Higher

24 August 2021 (Edinburgh College)

With funding from the Franco-Scottish Society, Edinburgh College is pleased to offer free online courses for Higher and Advanced Higher French pupils, which will be delivered from September 2021. Their aim is to provide additional support to pupils who get limited time for speaking practice so that they feel more confident for their speaking exam. Open to any Higher or Advanced Higher French pupil who would benefit from additional input, wherever they are in Scotland.

Follow the appropriate link below for further information and an application form:

Climate resources for school teachers

23 August 2021 (British Council)

To help you support positive action towards climate change in your school, here’s a round-up of British Council's online events, programmes and classroom resources, which includes a section for language educators.

All activities support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on Climate Action.

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The Kilted Otter initiative - An extended Scots Gaelic video game jam

19 August 2021 (The Kilted Otter)

Are you creative? Can you draw, sing, tell stories, play music, write poems, think out of the box? Do you want to learn more about Scots language and culture?

No experience necessary! We will take you from zero to game hero in two months!

Teams and individuals are welcome to apply.

Visit the website for more information and to sign up when registration opens on 1 September 2021.

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SQA update to Advanced Higher Modern Languages course overview

16 August 2021 (SQA)

Visit the SQA website for the updated Advanced Higher Modern Languages course overview for session 2021-22.

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The Jacqueline Munro-Lafon Essay Prize 2021 - Winners announced!

16 August 2021 (SCILT/Franco-Scottish Society)

The Franco-Scottish Society of Scotland, in partnership with SCILT (Scotland's National Centre for Languages), established an essay prize in honour of Madame Jacqueline Munro-Lafon’s long and active life in the Franco-Scottish Community and to mark her one hundredth birthday.

Pupils from across Scotland took part in the competition and produced a high quality of essays. The winners were announced at an awards ceremony held by Zoom on Tuesday 15 June 2021. A recording of this, along with a list of the winning entries, is now available on the Franco-Scottish Society of Scotland website.

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Opportunities from UK-German Connection

12 August 2021 (UK-German Connection)

Despite the UK no longer being part of the EU, UK-German Connection remains dedicated to supporting partnerships, offering intercultural opportunities, and facilitating connections between schools, youth groups and young people themselves in both countries. 

Current opportunities include the following. Click on the relevant link for more information:

  • Funding for UK-German exchange activities - Schools and youth groups with a partner in Germany can apply for grants for planning visits, taster trips and joint activities, including virtual projects. A series of Q&A webinars will take place throughout September for anyone interested in finding out more about this funding offer.
  • Host a Teacher from Germany - Whether travel is going to be possible or not, you can still bring authentic German language and culture to your classroom in 2021/22. Through the Host a Teacher from Germany programme, your school can host a German teacher (virtually or face-to-face) for one, two or three weeks during the academic year, at no cost. Register by 28 September 2021 (to host in spring and/or summer 2022).
  • UK-German Youth Council - Do you know any top-notch communicators with an interest in UK-German youth relations? There's still time for young people between the ages of 14 and 25 to apply for our UK-German youth council. This network will develop ideas and help co-design programmes and activities for young people in both countries. Applicants from all backgrounds are welcome and German language skills are not a requirement. Deadline: 24 August 2021.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for a full overview of their opportunities and initiatives for young people. Or register to receive their newsletters.

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Modern Languages GCSE/National 5 Results, 2021

12 August 2021 (UCML)

A breakdown of languages results across the UK from the UCML.

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Related Links

GCSE results: Language drive falters after German lessons shunned (The Times, 13 August 2021)

Supported partnerships through Connecting Classrooms

11 August 2021 (British Council)

If you are new to international collaboration a short-term supported partnership with Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning could open the door to a world of opportunities for your school. 

Supported partnerships are designed for state-funded schools that are new to international collaboration who wish to start their global learning journey without grant funding. 

Clusters of participants – representing a maximum of five UK and five overseas schools – work together on a project linked to a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) that is related to Cop26, the UN Climate Change Conference being held in the UK in November 2021. The project will be delivered during a six week period, starting in November 2021, and will be followed by a final evaluation activity. Please note that only one teacher per eligible UK and overseas school can apply to participate in these collaborations.

We will help you develop your project through three one-hour webinars delivered by a global learning practitioner, who will also provide guidance, CPD and support with any questions that you may have.

Visit the Britsh Council Connecting Classrooms website for more information and sign up to take part by 17 September 2021.

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Modern Languages A-Level/Advanced Higher Results, 2021

10 August 2021 (UCML)

UCML congratulates all students gaining University places to study languages and related disciplines! Visit the website for the 2021 A-Level combined results for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and separate information for the Scottish Advanced Highers.

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Posted in: Senior Phase

ALLNet Cultural Partner Special: The Goethe-Institut

6 August 2021 (ALL)

In this e-bulletin Special from the Association for Language Learning, find out all about the activities and opportunities for teachers and schools from their partner organisation, the Goethe-Institut.

In addition to professional development for teachers of German, and German language resources, there are also initiatives for pupils with no prior knowledge of the language, such as Gaming in German and the Green Sauce Cookery Show.

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KCL Königspost - Summer issue

30 June 2021 (King's College London)

If you're a learner of German looking for some summer reading, the latest issue of the KCL Königspost has now been published and can be viewed online. The Königspost is the German-language magazine produced by students in the Department of German at King’s College London. This issue contains articles written by current and graduating students on a wide variety of topics, from Germany’s immigration policy to student accounts of their Year Abroad.

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Online language NQ courses with Edinburgh College

18 June 2021 (Edinburgh College)

Higher and Advanced Higher French workshops

With funding from the Franco-Scottish Society, Edinburgh College is pleased to offer free online courses for Higher and Advanced Higher French pupils, which will be delivered from September 2021. Their aim is to provide additional support to pupils who get limited time for speaking practice so that they feel more confident for their speaking exam. Open to any Higher or Advanced Higher French pupil who would benefit from additional input, wherever they are in Scotland.

Follow the appropriate link below for further information and an application form:

Free online language NQ courses for school pupils with Edinburgh College

School pupils who find their chosen language qualification is not offered in their school can study their NQ language course online for free with Edinburgh College. The following options are available:

  • National 5 and Higher: French, German, Italian and Spanish.
  • Advanced Higher: French and Spanish.
  • Exam arrangements: Though enrolled with Edinburgh College, pupils still sit their exams at their own school (including the Adv Higher speaking exam).

These online courses can be accessed across Scotland and all Scottish school pupils qualify for a full fee waiver.

See the online modern languages course flyer for more information. 

UK-German Youth Council 2021-22

17 June 2021 (UK-German Connection)

Do you want to join a lively network of young people and support UK-German Connection in the development of new opportunities for young people? Applications are now open for our UK-German Youth Council!

Young people from both countries aged 14-25 can join this consultation forum to develop new ideas and help co-design UK-German programmes and activities. We welcome applications from young people from all backgrounds and with a range of experiences and interests. German language skills are not a requirement. 

Deadline: 24 August 2021.

For more information about other current opportunities for schools, such as funding for UK-German partnership activities and the Host a Teacher from Germany programme, follow the relevant links below.

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Save the Date! L3 knowledge exchange event coming soon….

17 June 2021 (SCILT)

L3 Knowledge Exchange Event flyer

We are delighted to announce that our knowledge event Moving Forward with L3: Challenge and Opportunity will take place online on Friday 10 September from 1.30 – 4pm. The event will explore the ways in which primary and secondary schools are incorporating L3 into the curriculum and will consider some of the challenges it poses. Themed parallel sessions will run throughout the afternoon where participants will have the opportunity to consider key points from presentations delivered and engage in professional dialogue with colleagues. This cross sector event is open to primary and secondary practitioners, language leads, PTs, Faculty heads, local authority development officers and relevant members of the school’s leadership team. We are looking forward to welcoming you to this event and further details on how to register will be available soon.

Renew, Refresh, Re-imagine! Scottish Learning Festival theme announced

16 June 2021 (Education Scotland)

The Scottish Learning Festival (SLF) is taking place online on Tuesday 21 September until Thursday 23 September 2021 and the theme for this year’s event has been confirmed: ‘Renew, Refresh, Re-imagine: Learning from our experiences and looking to the future.’

SLF is free to attend and the conference programme is developed to support career long professional learning, helping to keep professional practice fresh, up-to-date and relevant.

Further details will follow soon. Register for updates on the Education Scotland website. 

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e-Sgoil Gaelic courses from August 2021

15 June 2021 (e-Sgoil)

Formal registrations are now invited for e-Sgoil's national offer of Gaelic courses for the academic session commencing August 2021.

Visit the website for further information and to register pupils (Glow login required).

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Online training courses for Spanish teachers (October-November 2021)

15 June 2021 (Consejería de Educación)

The Spanish Ministry of Education through the Consejería de Educación offers places to Spanish teachers in British and Irish schools for 30-hour online courses that will take place between October and November 2021 and will be given by the Spanish National Distance Education University (UNED).

Application deadline is on 27 June 2021. These are free of charge training sessions on grammar, language skills, methodology and resources for teaching Spanish in Primary, etc.

Visit the Spanish Ministry of Education website for full details.

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SCILT will soon be recruiting a new Professional Development Officer to expand its existing secondary team

11 June 2021 (SCILT)

  • Are you a committed and dynamic secondary teacher of Modern Languages looking for a new challenge?
  • Do you have the leadership skills to support colleagues with inspiring and research-informed professional learning?
  • Do you have the creativity to design and lead projects that shape and improve learning for Scotland’s young people?

If so, then this may be the opportunity for you to develop your skills and support learning at a national level.

More details on the post and application process coming soon!

Enquiries and notes of interest to SCILT scilt@strath.ac.uk

SCILT professional learning programme 2021-22 - book now!

11 June 2021 (SCILT)

Are you a local authority officer with responsibility for languages? 
 
Are you a Head of Faculty, Head of Department or Principal Teacher of languages in your secondary school? 
 
Are you a lead language practitioner or primary school leader? 
 
Are you looking for high quality professional learning for your colleagues?
 
If so, you can request a SCILT workshop for colleagues in your school, department, cluster, local authority or regional improvement collaborative via the link below. 

Whatever your professional learning needs, we will endeavour to meet them. If you have specific requirements we are happy to collaborate with you to develop bespoke input and support. In addition to practical suggestions, SCILT workshops are designed to explore the pedagogy that underpins practice through discussion and reflection with local colleagues. 
 
Please visit the professional learning page of our website for further information and details of each of the workshops available. Please note, these workshops are intended for group bookings only. 
 
During 2021-22, we will run webinars and drop-in sessions which will be open to everyone. Registration for those will be on an event–by–event basis and will be publicised via the SCILT e-bulletin.

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Host a Teacher from Germany - virtually or face-to-face!

4 June 2021 (UK-German Connection)

Whether travel is going to be possible or not, you can still bring authentic German language and culture to your classroom next academic year.

Registration is now open to ‘Host a teacher from Germany’ - virtually or face-to-face - in 2021-22.

We’ll put you in touch with a teacher from Germany and help you to plan your hosting experience, with ideas for presentations, interactive lessons, group language practice sessions and other bilateral activities between your classes.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information and to register. You can also sign up there to one of the Q&A webinars to find out more about the scheme. 

To find out about other opportunities offered by UK-German Connection, including the next Café Connect meet ups for young people, see their Summer Newsletter.

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Online taster events: German language and culture

1 June 2021 (King's College London)

King's College London is running two online taster events next month for Year 12 students (S5 in Scotland) who would like to find out about studying German at university. These will include a short talk and Q+A, a language taster class, and a cultural studies session. Follow the relevant link below for further information about each event:

Catching up with the rest of the world: The foreign languages revolution in Scottish schools

30 May 2021 (Press and Journal)

Scottish schools are undergoing a revolution in foreign language learning in an attempt to reverse generations of neglect.

After years of being derided as ‘lazy’ linguists abroad, there are plans to produce a multilingual workforce.

Few school systems demand less foreign language learning from their children than those in the UK.

This is not helped by having a native language that is the ‘lingua franca’ of the world.

But a Scottish Government policy is setting out to change all that.

Under the 1+2 Languages initiative, pupils will learn their own language (L1) plus two others (L2 and L3).

The L2 will be taught from Primary 1, and the L3 from Primary 5 to 7. There will be compulsory teaching of at least one foreign language until S3.

Education bosses will fully implement the “ambitious” policy for the start of the 2021-22 school year.

Based on the last Scottish Government survey in 2019, 88% of primary schools – approximately 1,760 schools – were delivering the full L2 entitlement.

This already represents significant progress. Anyone in their 30s who went to a Scottish state school won’t have studied foreign languages until secondary school.

The Scottish Government has spent more than £45million since 2013 on increasing foreign language learning in schools.

Teachers are currently being provided with training and support in readiness for the changes.

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Bòrd na Gàidhlig new website

20 May 2021 (Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

The recently renewed website from Bòrd na Gàidhlig includes useful information about all sectors of gaelic education in Scotland, along with guidance documentation.

Resources are all available in the Education section of the website.

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The 2021 Language Show is looking for speakers

18 May 2021 (The Language Show)

Would you like be a speaker at the 2021 virtual Language Show? The show is being delivered online via Zoom between 12-14 November 2021 so you can be based anywhere! Speakers for up to 100 talks in the following areas are being sought:

  • Seminars for language teachers  especially those working in secondary and primary
  • Seminars for learners and language professionals – ways to learn and improve
  • Cultural talks – performances, demonstrations, presentations and experiences that can be delivered on Zoom

Visit the website for more information and submit your suggestion by 6 June 2021.

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Re-launch of grants for UK-German Partnership activities

17 May 2021 (UK-German Connection)

We’re delighted to announce the re-launch of our new grants for UK-German partnership activities! 

Our refreshed funding offer is similar to the grants we offered before but has been adapted to recent external developments and the changing landscape of international activity.

Schools and youth groups with a partner in Germany can now apply for the following grants: 

  • Partnership Visit Fund - staff planning visits. Visit your partners to kick-start your link and plan future activities. Deadline: rolling.
  • Instant Impact - first-time taster trips for young people. Give your pupils / young people the chance to meet their peers in Germany and gain an insight into the life and culture of your partner school or group. Deadline: rolling.
  • Flexible Funding Scheme - joint thematic projects and activities, including virtual partnership activities and/or reciprocal visits. Work together on thematic activities and engage in intercultural dialogue. Deadlines: 16 July, 1 October 2021.

For an overview of the grants available, as well as guidelines and application forms, please visit the UK-German Connection funding webpage. The page includes the option to sign up for Q&A webinars to find out more about the funding offer. Follow links to the individual grant pages to register for the webinars.

If you have plans for upcoming activities and would like to discuss your ideas, please contact us via funding@ukgermanconnection.org - we’re here to help!

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Scots leid competition 2021

14 May 2021 (Scottish Book Trust)

Young people aged 11-18 are invited to write a Scots story, poem, play or make a short video inspired by the Scots phrase 'Lang may yer lum reek'. Your story must be in Scots and under 500 words (or five minutes).

Visit the Scottish Book Trust website for more information about the competition and enter by Wednesday 18 August, midday.

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Babel young writers' competition

13 May 2021 (Babel)

Individuals and groups studying linguistics at sixth form, college or university are invited to enter this year's young writers' competition for a chance to be published in the Autumn edition of Babel magazine.

This year's theme is 'Attitudes to languages' and invites entrants to give their views about and experience of attitudes towards languages in a piece no longer than 2,500 words.

See the website for full details and enter by 27 August 2021.

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French Film Festival UK 2021

13 May 2021 (French Film Festival)

The French Film Festival UK’s Learning Programme continues to bring French-speaking cinema to Scotland’s schools throughout May and June 2021.

A selection of films on DVD are available on request and will be sent directly to schools. To accompany the selection of films for different age groups, school screenings are enhanced by online learning resources prepared by Lise Morel. Participating teachers will be able to download these Learning Packs as PDFs to use in the classroom. These resources have been designed in accordance with the Modern Languages Experience and Outcomes for Curriculum for Excellence.

Please note that for schools within attainment challenge authorities, this resource is available free of charge. For further information, email schools@frenchfilmfestival.org.uk

May Bitesize: Parental Engagement in Schools – Primary & Secondary drop-in

11 May 2021 (SCILT)

SCILT monthly drop-ins are free, themed virtual events that are open to teachers and student primary teachers working in Scotland. Drop-ins are an opportunity to share your thoughts on that month’s Bitesize resource and/or share your own experience on the theme.

In May 2021, we’re looking at parental engagement and how schools approach this in a languages context. So join the drop-in on 26 May, share your ideas and experiences and hear what others do too!  

Find out more, along with the registration link, on our Bitesize webpage.

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MASSOLIT Video Essay Competition 2021

11 May 2021 (MASSOLIT)

We’re delighted to present the first ever MASSOLIT Video Essay Competition in partnership with Brasenose College, Oxford.

We're inviting UK-based students in Years 10, 11 and 12 (S3, S4 & S5 in Scotland) to create a “MASSOLIT-style” video lecture running at around 8-12 minutes on any academic topic.

The best entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges made up of academics from Brasenose and members of the MASSOLIT team.

For more information about the competition and how to enter, visit the MASSOLIT website. The deadline for the receipt of entries is 17:00 on Friday 2nd July 2021.

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The Stephen Spender Prize

6 May 2021 (Stephen Spender Trust)

The Stephen Spender Prize is an annual competition for poetry in translation, with categories for young people (14-and-under16-and-under, and 18-and-under) as well as an open category for adults. All entrants must be UK or Irish citizens or residents, or pupils at a British School overseas. Translate into English any poem from any language – ranging from Arabic to Uzbek, from Danish to Somali—and win cash prizes!

This year the prize will open for entries on 6 May and close on 16 July 2021.

Each year also features a Spotlight Prize encouraging young people to engage with community languages. For 2021 the focus is on Urdu.

More information about both competitions can be found on the Stephen Spender Trust website.

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Ofsted plan to hit 90% MFL target is 'unrealistic'

6 May 2021 (TES)

School leaders say primaries and secondaries working more closely on languages won't be enough to meet EBacc target.

Headteachers’ leaders have warned that schools cannot be expected to meet the government English Baccalaureate (EBacc) targets without more language teachers coming into the system.

Ofsted has suggested that getting primary and secondary schools to work together more closely on languages could help to meet the government targets of having 90 per cent of students studying the subjects needed for the EBacc by 2025.

However, the Association of School and College Leaders has said that Ofsted’s idea is unrealistic and warned that achieving the Department for Education’s target will be impossible because of a lack of language teachers in the system.

Ofsted has been producing a series of reports looking in depth at subject teaching following a series of inspections carried out before the Covid pandemic.

In its most recent blog on the teaching of foreign languages, inspectors said that they did not see much evidence of a joined-up approach to language teaching between key stage 2 and key stage 3.

It is suggested that more focus on progression between primary and secondary schools would support the government's EBacc target for 2025 of having 90 per cent of students studying for the qualifications needed.

(Note - subscription required to access full article)

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Vuelve a España - 2021 summer scholarships for Spanish language teachers

4 May 2021 (Consejería de Educación)

Course for Spanish language teachers on language, culture, and gastronomy (University of Valladolid, July 2021)

Open until May 10th the deadline to apply for one of the 50 scholarships to take a week-long course in Valladolid in the month of July 2021.

For whom? For teachers of Spanish in British secondary schools or universities (regardless of nationality (British, Spanish or other).

What? The course combines a varied didactic program (history, cinema, culture, games, language skill development, gamification…) with recreational and tourist activities. It is organized by the University of Valladolid, the Academia Mester, and the Junta de Castilla y León.

What does the scholarship include? The course (classes and cultural program), accommodation, and most of the meals. The selected participants only pay 100€ for management and the plane ticket to Madrid (round trip). Transfers from Madrid airport to Valladolid are also covered by the scholarship.

All the information about the dates, details of the course and the scholarship, and the online application form is available on the Consejería de Educación website.

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MTOT 2021 - winner videos now available!

30 April 2021 (SCILT)

In academic session 2020-21, after a short hiatus, SCILT relaunched the Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition, with a new focus on the spoken word. Learners were invited not only to write a poem in their mother or other tongue, but to perform it so that their words could be heard in their own voice. The work produced by all the young poets who took part was wonderful, especially during this most challenging year. The winning and highly commended video entries from this year's competition in Scotland are now available to view on the MTOT Awards page of SCILT's website.

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Scottish Languages Employability Award - next deadline 21 May!

29 April 2021 (SCILT)

The Scottish Languages Employability Award (SLEA) encourages innovation and creativity in the promotion of language skills through meaningful engagement between employers and schools. The award aims to help schools and businesses to build partnerships through languages and supports teachers in raising awareness of the importance of languages in their school community.

The next deadline for submissions is Friday 21 May 2021

Due to restrictions over the past year, online events and activities will be accepted as evidence towards the award. To read the full guidelines, watch videos from the pilot schools and read case studies from previous winners, visit the SLEA page on the SCILT website. 

If you have any questions about the award or the submission process please contact SCILT

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Café Connect

27 April 2021 (UK-German Connection)

Our meet-up group, Café Connect gives you the chance to get to know other young people aged 14-19 through fun, interactive activities, and group discussions on current topics. Take part and make new friends, learn about the other culture, and practise (or even pick up) some German!

Taking place twice a month, these online meet-ups are a unique opportunity to exchange with other young people from the UK and Germany in a friendly atmosphere – on topics that interest you! You can join as many sessions as you like and you can get involved even if you don’t speak any German.

Visit the UK-German Connection website to find out more and to register to take part.

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Online training scholarships for British French teachers

24 April 2021 (Institut français)

This year, the Cultural Service of the French Embassy in London / Institut français in the United Kingdom are supporting 15 grants for online training in partnership with "CAVILAM-Alliance française". Aimed at primary and secondary school teachers from all over the UK, the training consists of a face-to-face course on issues that are essential for the teachers of the 21st-century, such as holding face-to-face and virtual classes.⠀⠀

Visit the Institut français website for more information and apply by 9 May 2021.

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SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages update

22 April 2021 (SQA)

The SQA has added a new additional resource document on Gathering key evidence and provisional results. This can be found in the Understanding Standards dropdown section of the AH Modern Languages page on their website.

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Climate action in language education

22 April 2021 (British Council)

Today is Earth Day and British Council is bringing people together around the world through The Climate Connection to meet the challenges of climate change.

Amongst their resources on climate for schools there is a collection to help you integrate environmental issues into language teaching, learning and assessment, including a 3-module professional learning course for language teachers. The first module starts on 28 April 2021.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to register for the course.

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'A German Classic' essay writing competition

21 April 2021 (Oxford German Network)

A German Classic is Oxford's essay competition for sixth-formers with prizes up to £500. This year's set text is Heinrich von Kleist's "Die Verlobung in St. Domingo". For more information about this year's competition visit the website and request a free study pack by 25 June 2021.

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e-Sgoil Study Support

21 April 2021 (e-Sgoil)

e-Sgoil's Term 4 study support sessions for senior phase students in Scotland will commence 26 April 2021. They offer a wide range of real-time, interactive Study Support webinar lessons to help consolidate pupils' school-based learning. The timetable includes sessions for N5, Higher and Advanced Higher French and Spanish.

Visit the e-Sgoil website for full details and to book. Pupils will need their Glow login details and Scottish Candidate Number.

Read more...

The Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators

1 April 2021 (University of Oxford)

The Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators is a brand new competition for MFL learners aged 11-18. The scheme is inspired by the life and work of the great translator Anthea Bell. It aims to promote language-learning across the UK and to inspire creativity in the classroom. By providing teachers with the tools they need to bring translation to life, we hope to motivate more pupils to study modern foreign languages to National 5, Highers and beyond.

In its first year, the prize is for learners of French, German, Mandarin and Spanish.

All interested teachers receive teaching packs for the prize, with ready-made resources designed to be used in class, for home learning or for extra-curricular activities.

See the attached document for more information and visit the website to register.

Read more...

Related Files

Virtual Summer Courses: 'Deutschland online erleben'

25 March 2021 (UK-German Connection)

Although our face-to-face summer programmes (German Pupil Courses and German Scholarships Programme) won't be taking place this year, these virtual courses give pupils aged 15-17 an opportunity to practise and improve their German skills and immerse themselves in the language with like-minded peers from many different European countries. It’s a unique opportunity to exchange on topics relevant to their lives, gain new perspectives and make friends, all under the guidance of specialist German teachers. 

The programme consists of a week-long practical language course, run by the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (PAD), which will be embedded in a wider programme delivered by UK-German Connection. This will include a network of UK participants, complementary language support from a UK teacher, and an opportunity to engage with German peers. The programme is completely free.

Find out more on our website and apply by 15 April 2021. 

If you have any questions, you can contact us at pupilprogrammes@ukgermanconnection.org

Read more...

Calling all 1+2 LLP/Train the Trainer participants 2014-2019 – Join the Languages Leadership Programme Team!

25 March 2021 (SCILT)

Did you attend Education Scotland and SCILT’s Summer School for the 1+2 Languages Leadership Programme 2017-2019, or Train the Trainer 2014-2016? If so, then this role might be for you!

Scotland’s new Languages Leadership Programme launches in June of this year. To begin with, participants will attend 2 days of online professional learning led by Education Scotland on 18-19 June through a vibrant online LLP learning community using Teams in Glow.

During 2021-22, participants will then take part in the LLP affiliated professional learning of their choice from a menu of LLP affiliated opportunities from Education Scotland, SCILT and LANGS partners. During this time they will complete a number of critical reflection tasks in relation to their leadership activity and LLP affiliated professional learning. Over the course of the year, Critical Friends will each support a small number of participants, providing regular feedback on their critical reflection tasks.

Wondering whether you could be a critical friend?

  • Have you benefitted from taking part in the 1+2 LLP/TTT programme yourself?
  • Have you previously undertaken or would you like to undertake a coaching, mentoring or critical friend role to support colleagues with their professional development?

If so, then you will bring a wealth of commitment, understanding and skills to the new Critical Friend role on this innovative pilot. You will be involved in the evaluation process at different stages during the year and professional learning and support will be provided to you. In addition, Critical Friends will also be supported to submit an individual application for GTCS Professional Recognition. 

Visit the registration page to find out how you can apply to join the LLP team as a Critical Friend by Monday 17 May.

If you have any questions about applying for this role, please email scilt@strath.ac.uk and include ‘LLP’ in the subject line.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Read more...

UK-German Connection initiatives

17 March 2021 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection offers a range of initiatives to help connect young people in the UK and Germany. To find out more about their latest opportunities, follow the relevant link below:

  • 'Welcome to my World 2': UK-German Video Competition - Travel may still be off limits right now, but the exploration of another country and culture doesn’t have to be! We’re calling on all young people aged 12-19 from across the UK and Germany to take us on a virtual tour of your country. So get creative, start filming and share a glimpse of your world! Submit your 20 second clip by 30 March 2021.
  • Café Connect - Our new, UK-German cultural exchange 'café' gives young people the chance to connect with peers through fun, interactive activities, group discussions on current topics and informal chat. It's a great opportunity to make new friends, learn about the other culture, and practise (or even pick up) some German! Starts 30 March 2021.
  • 'Still & Sparkling' UK-German youth newsletter - Featuring UK-German perspectives on music, sustainability, remote learning in lockdown, our youth newsletter brings young people from both countries closer together and helps them discover both cultures through the eyes of other young people.
  • German Pupil Courses 2021 and German Scholarship Courses 2021 - These courses will not take place as face-to-face courses in Germany in 2021. They will instead be week-long virtual courses with a focus on the practical use of German language skills in a cultural context. Courses will be in mixed-nationality groups and will take place in July and August. Register interest now.

Read more...

Short conversation course for secondary teachers

15 March 2021 (Goethe-Institut)

Are you a secondary school teacher of German teaching at a school in Scotland? Would you like to practice your conversational skills and keep yourself up-to-date with current affairs in German speaking countries?  

This conversation course will be right for you. We will be discussing a wide range of topics based on current newspaper articles, radio programmes and clips from German television. You will be taking away up-to-date materials and, hopefully, inspiration and lots of good ideas for your classroom.

The course will also provide an opportunity for networking and sharing best practice examples amongst German language teachers.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to register by 29 March 2021. Please note, places are limited.

Read more...

Around the world with stamps

15 March 2021 (StampIT)

StampIT has launched its first worldwide competition which is open to 5-15 year olds worldwide!  

Create a presentation linked to postage stamps for a chance to win e-vouchers. Stamps are a great medium to learn about language and culture. The competition encourages children to include some elements in a second language to their own.  

The entry can be a written or video presentation and full details are at the StampIT website. Please read the attached flyer and rules carefully.  

Entrants don’t have to own the stamp or stamps they choose to do their project. They can see a range of stamps within the games and activities on the website which link to Spanish, French, Mandarin, Japanese and Gaelic but they can also choose any stamp from any country worldwide.  

The closing date is 30 April 2021. 

Read more...

Related Files

e-Sgoil Easter study support

11 March 2021 (e-Sgoil)

e-Sgoil is offering an Easter programme (6-16 April) of real-time, interactive webinars covering Nat 4 to Advanced Higher, for Scottish learners in the Senior Phase. The programme is not designed to deliver whole course content but will focus on key aspects of the subject(s) and hints and tips on how to be successful in assessments.

Visit the e-Sgoil website for full programme details and to book.

Read more...

Mois de la Francophonie 2021 – Royaume-Uni

8 March 2021 (Institut français)

Every year on 20 March, countries around the world celebrate Francophonie through cultural events honouring the French language. On this occasion, the Institut français du Royaume-Uni, the Institut français d’Ecosse, the UK network of Alliances Françaises and the Francophonie UK partners in the UK, dedicate the whole month of March to events and initiatives celebrating the language of Molière, Ramuz and Senghor!

This year, festivities include the National Finals of the Joutes Oratoires Lycéennes, the 3rd edition of the French Pop Video Competition open to all primary and secondary schools across the 4 nations, the return of the Grand Quiz de la Francophonie, a panel discussion on the importance of learning languages for the UK post-Brexit, an exclusive webinar on how to integrate the diversity of Francophone cultures in the French language classroom, the Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators and much more. 

Full programme details can be found on the Institut français website. Find out now how you can get involved in celebrating la Francophonie!

Read more...

SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages update

8 March 2021 (SQA)

The SQA has updated information in the Understanding Standards section of their Advanced Higher Modern Languages webpage. The section contains additional resources for the 2020-21 session.

Read more...

SCILT digital internship now open for applications

4 March 2021 (SCILT)

Do you love languages?

Are you currently in fifth year?

Would you like to work with other young people and enhance your CV?

Do you enjoy sharing your news, views and opinions on social media?

Well, this role might be for you!

We are looking for committed, dynamic young people to join our team as SCILT interns. This would see you using social media regularly and collaborating effectively with a team to demonstrate your love of languages and where they can take you. This is an excellent opportunity for the right person to experience a professional work internship and enhance their sixth year at school.

Please note that interns will be home-based and the opportunity is open to young people across the country. This is an unpaid internship, running from August 2021 - May 2022. Successful applicants must commit to attending a training morning on Tuesday 15 June 2021. This will be held on Zoom.

Application details

Please download and read the Information Pack. It includes the Job Description and Person Specification.

Please download and complete the Application Form. Applications must be submitted with a letter of reference from your Faculty Manager or Principal Teacher of Modern Languages.

Completed applications must be returned to scilt@strath.ac.uk by Thursday 1 April 2021.

Wondering whether to apply? Here’s what some of our previous interns have said about the experience:

  • “The highlight was getting to work with other people I hadn't met before (working on my teambuilding and communication skills), getting to represent a huge national organisation, creating our own content and deciding ourselves how we wanted to run our social media accounts.”
  • “I loved producing high quality content and collaborating with the other interns. It was really exciting later on in the year when we started to get more interaction on Twitter.”
  • “Meeting new people who share my same passion for languages and coming together to create something valuable was a high point for me.”

Teachers, please download the attached flyer to raise awareness of this opportunity amongst your S5 pupils.

eSgoil Easter study support

25 February 2021 (eSgoil)

Calling all teachers of Advanced Higher French, Spanish or German!

e-Sgoil is currently planning it's Easter Study Support programme. We are looking for experienced teachers who could deliver AH Webinars. There are three one hour sessions over the two weeks (6-16th April). 

Please get in touch for further information - email damacleod1a@gnes.net

MTOT 2021 - winners announced!

25 February 2021 (SCILT)

Whilst the current pandemic prevented us from hosting this year's Mother Tongue Other Tongue celebratory awards event in the stunning Ramshorn Building in Glasgow, we managed to host our very own online red carpet event instead! Pupils, teachers and parents joined us online to hear the winners announced on the afternoon of Friday 19 February, a date especially chosen to tie in with International Mother Language Day on 21 February celebrating all world languages.

We are delighted to announce the following winners and highly commended entries in each category:

Mother Tongue

Award

Pupil

School

Language

P1-P4

Winner

Zayne Emengo-Okpo

St Aloysius College JS

Hausa

Highly commended

Eloïse Harkins

St Aloysius College JS

French

P5-P7

Winner

Lucja Lubanska

St Charles’ Primary

Polish

Highly commended

Ahmad Raza

Newmains Primary

Urdu

S1-S3

Winner

Pranay Neppalli

Craigmount High

Telugu

Highly commended

Filip Strzalka

Craigmount High

Polish

S4-S6

Winner

Chancelvie Bembo

St Benedicts

French

Highly commended

Lovely Selwyn

Bishopbriggs Academy

Tamil

Other Tongue

Award

Pupil

School

Language

P1-P4

Winner

Abbie Rettie

Goodlyburn Primary

Gaelic

Highly commended

Haroon Majid

Braidbar Primary

French

Highly commended

Stephanie Mackay-Watt

Goodlyburn Primary

Gaelic

P5-P7

Winner

Isobel Ross

Braidbar Primary

BSL

Highly commended

Evelina Finkova

Goodlyburn Primary

Gaelic

S1-S3

Winner

Rona Bryden

Loudoun Academy

German

Highly commended

Anna d’Alessio

Bishopbriggs Academy

Italian

Highly commended

Alistair Hillis

Jordanhill

Mandarin

S4-S6

Winner

Lewis Fleming

St Thomas Aquinas

Spanish

Highly commended

Anya Jarvis

Loudoun Academy

French

Highly commended

Ellie McGill

Carrick Academy

French

 

All pupils will receive a certificate and book token. Winning entrants will also receive a trophy as well as the opportunity for their poems to feature in The Children's Poetry Archive and Kids Poetry Club podcast. We will be in contact with schools shortly about taking these extra special opportunities forward.

It is our intention to host each of these poems on the SCILT website and we'll announce when these are available.

Congratulations again to all our finalists!

German Educational Trainees Across Borders 2021/22

25 February 2021 (Get Across Borders / SCILT)

Expressions of interest are now being taken from local authorities who would like to host a German student teacher for a 6 month placement during the 2021/22 school session.

German trainee teachers from Universities in Mainz, Leipzig and Koblenz are available to work in Scottish schools for a six month placement from September/October 2021 to March/April 2022. Participating students are native German speakers, training to become secondary teachers of English. 

German Educational Trainees (GETs) support language teaching and intercultural understanding, bringing language alive for learners with a trained and motivated native speaker. 

Local authorities interested in hosting GETs should register with SCILT by Friday 26th March. For more information and to register your interest please contact SCILT

Concours de la Francophonie 2021

18 February 2021 (Institut français)

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

The competition is open to all Scottish primary and secondary schools offering French. Enter by submitting a short video of classroom activity in French by 15 March 2021.

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

Read more...

Madame Jacqueline Munro-Lafon essay competition

11 February 2021 (SCILT/Franco-Scottish Society Scotland)

Jacqueline Munro-Lafon essay competition flyer

In honour of Madame Jacqueline Munro-Lafon’s long and active life in the Franco-Scottish Community, the Franco-Scottish Society of Scotland wish to award an essay prize in her name this year to mark her one hundredth birthday.

This competition is aimed at Advanced Higher learners of French. All essay submissions must present a reflection on life and society from 1921 to 2021 in France and Scotland, to take into account Madame Munro-Lafon’s life and interests.

The winning entry will be awarded a prize of £500, and their essay will also be published in the annual Bulletin of the Franco-Scottish Society. Two runner-up prizes of £100 will be awarded by SCILT.

  • A maximum of three entries can be submitted from each school. Register your interest for your school to get involved by 5pm on 1 March.

Visit the Eventbrite webpage for further information and how to register.

Read more...

February Bitesize CLPL - Employability in secondary schools

8 February 2021 (SCILT)

This month, we will consider why and how languages can play a vital role in developing skills for life and work – why not join the debate?

Our special guest at this month’s session is Pam Tosh, Curriculum Leader at Broughton High School and Lead Teacher (Secondary) at City of Edinburgh Council. Pam has extensive experience of developing employability partnerships and integrating DYW to the Modern Languages curriculum. She has worked with SQA in the development of the Modern Languages for Life and Work Award and led her school to a Gold Scottish Languages Employability Award. Pam has also devised a range of online strategies around building partnerships with business in answer to the challenges that this year has brought.

During this session, we will chat to Pam about the challenge of successfully integrating employability and languages, and her strategies and approach towards this. Pam will also be happy to answer questions from participants. These can be asked on the day or submitted in advance.

Find out more and sign up for the drop-in on 24 February 2021 through the link below.

Read more...

SCILT Lessons from Lockdown Learning

4 February 2021 (SCILT)

During the first period of lockdown last year, from early May until the end of June, SCILT delivered a series of online live language classes which were open to learners across Scotland. With the help of feedback from learners and parents, and the input of external observers, we have examined and evaluated this online learning and teaching experience, and in the report, we share these evaluations and the key lessons learned during this time. We hope that it might prove helpful to teachers in the planning and delivery of online lessons.

We would also love to hear from you! We would really value your thoughts about your experiences of online teaching and any suggestions that you have, either for Professional Learning or support which we could provide, or advice that you would wish to pass on to fellow practitioners. Get in touch at scilt@strath.ac.uk!

Read SCILT Lessons from Lockdown – A review of online learning and teaching

Chinese New Year resources

4 February 2021 (CISS)

Learn about Chinese New Year and the Year of the Ox with a range of resources collated on the CISS website. They include some fun videos on this important festival created by the CISS Chinese Exchange Teachers. 

Read more...

Host a Teacher from Germany - virtually!

3 February 2021 (UK-German Connection)

You can still bring authentic German language and culture to your classroom this year, even if travel isn’t possible at the moment.

Registration is now open to ‘Host a teacher from Germany’ virtually(*) in spring or summer 2021. We’ll put you in touch with a teacher from Germany and help you to plan your virtual hosting experience, with ideas for presentations, interactive lessons, group language practice sessions and other bilateral activities between your classes.

(*) Please note that in registering to host virtually, there will also be the possibility to transfer your hosting experience to a face-to-face visit if you wish, as and when travel is possible again.

Visit the UK-German Connection website to find out more and to register by 23 February 2021.

Read more...

CISS Nat 4, Nat 5 and Higher online Mandarin offer 2021-2022

2 February 2021 (CISS)

CISS is happy to be able to share the first details of our offer of live-streamed Mandarin NQ classes for the upcoming 2021-22 session. This will allow schools to expand their provision for Mandarin, particularly those who do not have access to a GTCS registered teacher of Mandarin and who have, therefore, been unable to offer NQ classes.  The following details will allow these courses to be added to course choice forms.  The official start date is still to be decided and will be confirmed as soon as circumstances allow.

Please register your school’s interest now

The offer consists of three courses: National 4, National 5 and Higher.

National 4

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

14.00-15.00

 

14.00-15.00

9.30 – 10.30

 

National 5

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

 

14.00-15.00

 

14.00-15.00

9.30 – 10.30

Higher

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

9.30 – 10.30

15.00-16.00

9.30 – 10.30

15.00-16.00

14.00-15.00

 

Please read carefully the following information:

  • Learners can access the course from at school or at home. All they will require is access to the internet and their Glow account. All assessments will need to be undertaken in school under controlled conditions, supervised by a teacher.
  • The online teacher is PVG checked and GTCS registered.  She will provide and mark all teaching and assessment materials, and gather evidence of learners’ attainment. Schools will be responsible for:
  • obtaining approval to present these qualifications from SQA
  • presenting candidates for the relevant SQA qualifications
  • administering exams
  • ensuring that any assessment arrangements to which pupils are entitled are in place.

A designated GTCS class teacher must be assigned to support the delivery of Mandarin in your school. This teacher will be responsible for:

  • attendance and supervision of learners for each lesson
  • regular liaison with the GTCS Mandarin teacher via email/ virtual face-to-face conversation
  • co-ordinating reporting to parents
  • accessing and distributing class materials on Glow and uploading pupil work.
  • facilitating assessments.

The class teachers will not have responsibility for language teaching.  However, there is an expectation that they will help facilitate the learning.  They will also require time to deal with the administration associated with the course(s). This, therefore, requires a timetabled commitment from a member of staff.

Teaching materials, resources and assessments will be available for download.

Once notes of interest have been collated, further details will follow.  An online meeting will be arranged for all participating schools.  This will give an opportunity for staff to network with each other and to clarify any questions they may have.

Please get in touch at ciss-info@strath.ac.uk should you require additional, specific information.

Speaking removed from modern languages qualifications

29 January 2021 (TESS)

Modern languages teachers have hit out at Scotland’s exam body over its decision not to assess students' ability to speak the language they are learning as part of the Advanced Higher qualification this year.

In the most recent guidance produced by the Scottish Qualifications Authority, published last week, modern languages teachers have been told that, at Advanced Higher level, they are to base their teacher-estimated grades on reading, translation, listening and writing, but not on their students' ability to speak the language.

Modern languages teachers who spoke to Tes Scotland described the move as a “dumbing down” of the qualification, arguing that the key skill for a linguist to acquire is the ability to communicate. 

Read more...

Online course for secondary teachers of French & Spanish

28 January 2021 (LFEE)

In light of the continuing COVID crisis, LFEE in consultation with the GTS has decided to offer their three week immersion course as an online alternative from 26 April to 18 June 2021.

More information can be found on the attached document. Applicants should register by 19 February 2021.

Discovering the World of Arabic 2021-22

28 January 2021 (SCILT)

SCILT, in partnership with Qatar Foundation International and eSgóil, is currently looking for schools in Scotland who would be interested in opening the door to the Arab world through our Discovering the World of Arabic programme.  

The collaboration will provide an opportunity for both primary and secondary schools to offer L3 learning experiences in Arabic language and culture. Courses have been co-created by the SCILT team and a specially commissioned writing team of native speakers, with language lessons delivered online by a native speaker of Arabic via e-Sgoil. For learners in primary schools the course will be offered as a ten-week interdisciplinary block of learning and is aimed at P5-P7 pupils. For secondary schools, the course will focus on developing conversational Arabic which will enhance learners’ employability skills and runs until March 2022. It is aimed at S6 senior phase learners who are seeking to enhance their language learning experience and their CVs. Both courses are delivered using a mix of live and recorded classes, with supplementary materials being shared via Glow Teams. Participating schools will also receive the support of a fully-trained, native speaking, language assistant. The lessons give learners the chance to explore aspects of Arabic culture as well as providing a solid linguistic foundation for learning the world’s fifth most spoken language.

Classes are provisionally scheduled as follows:

  • Primary - Tuesdays and Thursdays 13.30-14.30, starting August 2021
  • Secondary - Mondays and Wednesdays13.30-14.30, starting June 2021

In addition, participating schools will receive ongoing support from the SCILT team and a grant of £2000. This can provide schools with resources and experiences that enhance and support the language learning and promote a positive experience of Arabic culture.

Places are limited for this opportunity, so if you would like your school to be considered to take part, please contact SCILT at scilt@strath.ac.uk before close of business on Friday 19 February 2021. Please include the following information in your note of interest:

  • Name of school and your nominated contact person
  • Brief reasons for your establishment's interest in this project, and how it would fit into your school's provision for language learning.
  • What ideas you have, if any, for spending the bursary associated with the project.
  • How you would share this learning experience with your wider community (this could be both within your school and externally)?

TECLA 1/2021, magazine for Spanish language teachers

25 January 2021 (Consejería de Educación)

We have published a new number of our review for Spanish language teachers TECLA. It includes:

  • National Languages Estrategy in the UK and opportunities for Spanish
  • Interview with the Consul General of Manchester
  • The experience of a Spanish visiting teacher in the UK
  • A sequence for the classroom playing with Rayuela
  • Irish Film Institute Schools Programme 2020-2021
  • Spain as a destination for school and language tourism
  • Quino and Mafalda: a sequence for the classroom

Read more...

Express Yourself in Lockdown

21 January 2021 (British Council)

Speaking a language confidently and coherently is an important part of the curriculum throughout the four devolved education departments in the United Kingdom, and forms a critical part of linguistic and cultural development for all learners of languages.

However, the impact of Covid-19 has meant that many pupils have had fewer opportunities to speak the languages they are learning.  Therefore, the Association for Language Learning , the British Council and the cultural and linguistic bodies in the United Kingdom have combined efforts to devise an exciting event entitled ‘Express Yourself in Lockdown’.

This will be an opportunity to showcase language learners’ enjoyment of a language that they are learning or that is normally used in their home community from home (except for English!). 

Visit the British Council website for more information and share performances on the designated social platforms by 28 February 2021.

Read more...

Languages Week Scotland 2021 - Using film to teach languages

21 January 2021 (Screen Scotland)

Screen Scotland has put together a resource for Languages Week Scotland 2021 on using film to teach languages. See the attached document. There's also a Microsoft Team available to join for all subject teachers looking to teach with film: Screen Scotland: Film Education

SCILT professional learning leaflet

21 January 2021 (SCILT)

SCILT offers a wide range of professional learning opportunities for pre- and in-service teachers. Primary, secondary. Synchronous, asynchronous. One off, ongoing. Check out our updated CLPL flyer for all the details you need. Download and share with colleagues in your next virtual staff meeting.

Like you, our friendly primary and secondary Professional Development Officers are working online from home at the moment.  Make a booking or send a query to scilt@strath.ac.uk with CLPL in the subject line.  Alternatively, go direct to the Professional Learning area of the website to browse some more.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Read more...

UK Linguistics Olympiad (UKLO) 2021

19 January 2021 (UKLO)

UKLO is a competition for students who are still at school (or equivalent college) – any age, any ability level, where competitors have to solve linguistic data problems. Teachers should submit competitor information by 25 January 2021 with the first round of the competition scheduled to take place during week 1-5 February.

This year's competition has adopted special arrangements to cope with the pandemic and the fact that UK schools will certainly be closed for Round 1, and probably for Round 2 too.

Visit the UKLO website for further information.

Read more...

British Council Mandarin Speaking Competition 2021

18 January 2021 (British Council)

The British Council is pleased to announce that a digital Mandarin Speaking Competition will take place in a series of online events. The competition provides a great opportunity for secondary school students to practise and improve their Mandarin 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.

Applications are now open until 12 February 2021. Visit the British Council website for more information.

Read more...

SCILT Live Lessons for Senior Phase Learners

14 January 2021 (SCILT/eSgoil)

During the current lockdown, SCILT is delighted to support our partners at eSgoil by offering live language lessons. These will be available to all Senior Phase learners in Scotland – learners can register through the eSgoil website.

Daytime Study Support

  • Higher French – Thursdays at 11.15
  • National 5 French – Tuesdays at 11.15
  • Higher Spanish – Tuesdays at 14.15
  • National 5 Spanish – Wednesdays at 09.30

You can register for Daytime Study Support Sessions here- http://www.e-sgoil.com/daytimestudysupport2020/

SCILT is continuing to offer evening support sessions for Advanced Higher:

  • Advanced Higher Spanish – Wednesdays at 17.00
  • Advanced Higher French – Thursdays at 17.00

You can register for Evening Study Support Sessions here - http://www.e-sgoil.com/studysupport2020/

eSgoil is offering a wide range of support for learners of all ages throughout lockdown, and SCILT is proud to support them and Scotland’s educational community through these challenging times.

World of Languages

14 January 2021 (Stride Magazine)

Sheena Bell, professional development officer at SCILT, explores the many ways in which Learning for Sustainability makes a great context for modern language learning.

“Learning other languages enables children and young people to make connections with different people and their cultures and to play a fuller part as global citizens.”

As this quote from the Scottish Government’s Modern Languages Principles and Practice document clearly shows, Modern Languages classrooms are uniquely positioned to incorporate Learning for Sustainability into their teaching and learning. Learning a language in school is not simply about learning vocabulary and grammatical structures; it offers a window into other cultures, traditions, ways of life and ways of thinking. Every day, pupils in our classes are being made aware in a very real way of their interconnectedness with the wider world, both socially and environmentally. The Modern Languages curriculum, particularly within the Senior Phase, already includes topics such as equality, social justice, environmental issues and gender – as Modern Languages teachers we are very often already teaching around Learning for Sustainability without even realising it!

(Note - The full article includes links to associated professional learning and classroom resources.)

Read more...

Worldwide Napier magazine - call for submissions

14 January 2021 (Edinburgh Napier University)

Worldwide Napier, the magazine in foreign languages designed by language students to encourage language studies, is currently looking for contributions in French, German and Spanish for its seventh issue. The next issue's overarching theme is Oblivion. Pick a subject associated with oblivion and turn it into an engaging article. 

Students at secondary school, college or university are invited to submit contributions by email by 1 March 2021.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

Online French resources

12 January 2021 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française Glasgow has collated a selection of online resources to explore French culture and language learning at home. There's something for all ages - check out the links on the website.

Read more...

SEET's Our World project update

11 January 2021 (SEET)

Due to the new lockdown measures introduced by the Scottish Government on 4 January, including the closure of schools, SEET have pushed back the storyboard submission deadline to Friday 5 February 2021. They have also adapted the project and expanded the project's reach by increasing participation options for home learning and accommodating for both individual and group participation. Please see below for a summary of the changes:

  • S1-6 may take part in 2021, not only S3-6 pupils.  
  • Storyboard submission deadline extended to Friday 5 February 2021 (extra 3 weeks) 
  • Accompanying video/audio clip explaining the storyboard is now optional. Storyboard and links to SDG theme and languages must be clear if no additional description is provided. 
  • We are accepting storyboard entries from teams AND entries from individual pupils if pupil collaboration is no longer possible. More guidance on team participation available. 
  • We will be able to invite more pupils to take part in the filmmaking stage, as we are no longer limited to in-person venue workshop capacity.  
  • Creation of password protected online portal to support pupils through the filmmaking stages. This will include video tutorials from filmmakers, written guidance and tutorials, resources, and clear instructions for pupils.

Visit the SEET website for more information about the Our World project.

Read more...

French Pop Video Competition 2021

7 January 2021 (Institut français)

Do you think you could sing or rap in French? Do you have the skills to make a video clip for your song? If so, this competition is for you!

Open to any student or groups of students in full time primary or secondary education in the UK. Entries will be judged in 3 age-group categories: 7-11, 12-15, and 16-18.

Visit the competition website for more information. Register and submit entries by 31 March 2021.

Read more...

French oral revision courses

7 January 2021 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française Glasgow is running online revision courses during January and February for those scheduled to sit Higher and Advanced Higher French exams in 2021.

Visit the website for more information and to enrol.

Read more...

Nihongo Cup 2021

4 January 2021 (Japan Foundation)

The Nihongo Cup is the Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School students. Applications for the 2021 contest are now open. Finalists will be invited to perform their speeches as part of an online Finals Day on Saturday 10 July. They will also have a chance to win some fantastic prizes!

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information and the application pack. The closing date for applications is 29 March 2021. 

Read more...

Boost German and intercultural learning in your school with a Cultural Exchange Ambassador

15 December 2020 (UK-German Connection)

Calling all schools hosting a German Language Assistant! 

We’re expanding our network of Cultural Exchange Ambassadors - Language Assistants can apply now to join a dynamic group, already running fun UK-German projects with their pupils!

While travel is out of bounds, give your pupils an authentic taste of Germany: encourage your German Language Assistant to become a Cultural Exchange Ambassador, join a UK-German network and run a class-to-class project with a German school. 

This programme, offered by UK-German Connection, has wide-reaching benefits:

  • Pupils gain an authentic connection to their German peers, helping improve both their linguistic and cultural understanding and increase their motivation
  • Language Assistants learn & strengthen valuable skills, including project management, teamwork & communication, and benefit from peer-to-peer exchange
  • Schools benefit from curricular-focused projects, which connect their pupils with another country, culture & language

“A brilliant initiative by our FLA, thoroughly enjoyed by all participants, most of whom have now opted for GCSE German.” (Head of German department)

For more information about the programme, visit: www.ukgermanconnection.org/cultural-exchange-ambassadors 

You can also sign up for an online Q&A session via the above web page.

Deadline: Monday, 18 January 2021

For questions and further information, please contact ambassadors@ukgermanconnection.org

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Why Speak Chinese 2020

8 December 2020 (Chinosity)

Create and share a 1-minute engaging video about any shocking, funny, or weird experiences you had while learning Chinese for the chance to win two round trip flights to China! Please showcase your Chinese speaking skills in the video as well. Open to all learners of Mandarin aged 13 and over. Submission deadline 15 January 2021.

Visit the Chinosity website to find out more.

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Cook and learn with Linguacuisine

8 December 2020 (Linguacuisine)

The free Linguacuisine app helps you learn French, German and Spanish while you’re cooking a festive treat! Have fun baking with a friend, learn some new words and then feed your family and friends with a French Bûche de Noël, German Lebkuchen or Spanish Mantecados. You can do it online or by using the attached recipe card. 

Visit the website for lots more recipes in a wide range of languages.

Read more...

Related Files

Mathématiques sans Frontières

7 December 2020 (University of the West of Scotland)

The University of the West of Scotland (UWS) is again organising the world-wide Maths and Language competition “Mathématiques sans Frontières” in Scotland.

You are invited to participate in this stimulating and light-hearted competition which combines Mathematics and Modern Languages and aims to motivate pupils in these subjects, promote teamwork, and bridge borders.

Please find attached a training test for “Mathématiques Sans Frontières”, and one entry form for the competition proper.

S4 classes should attempt 10 questions and S5 classes 13 questions. A whole class should attempt the test with questions divided up between groups to ensure that the questions can be completed in the allotted time of 90 minutes. Question one will require an explanation in a foreign language. We hope that this encourages cross-curricular working and teamwork. Answers are also attached, in French, another opportunity for teamwork in the translation.

The competition proper will be held on Thursday 11 March 2021. The prize-giving will be held in June (hopefully!) at UWS when the achievements of the top ten schools at each level are recognised. All schools competing will receive a certificate.

Schools who would like to register for the competition are kindly requested to complete the proforma attached and return by 29 January 2021.

We will send out the actual test as a PDF file by e-mail on the Friday prior to the test. This has proved to be very popular and we intend continuing to issue the test in this format. We would therefore kindly ask you to ensure that the e-mail address provided is legible or, preferably, typed. It would also be beneficial to provide an alternative e-mail address, possibly a personal address, which may help prevent firewall issues.

Related Files

SCILT Christmas 2020 webpage - now live!

4 December 2020 (SCILT)

Are you looking for ways to bring the festive season to your languages classroom?

SCILT have compiled a range of online resources for use with your pupils, from interactive advent calendars and games, to lesson plans and festive facts. Find out how Christmas is celebrated in France, Germany, Spain and around the world!

Read more...

Oral revision courses 2021

30 November 2020 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow is holding special online Revision Courses in January/February for pupils who are due to sit their Higher and Advanced Higher oral examinations in 2021.

Visit the website for more information and to book.

Read more...

Changes to Visiting Assessment Arrangements for National Qualifications

26 November 2020 (SQA)

SQA has reviewed its visiting assessment arrangements for Advanced Higher Gàidhlig performance-talking and Modern Languages performance-talking assessments in session 2020–21.

Visit the SQA website for more information.

Read more...

Connecting Classrooms partnership funding

24 November 2020 (British Council)

There’s no more authentic way for pupils to learn about global issues than by working with their peers in another country.

Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning can help UK-based schools find partner schools in more than 30 countries across Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.

Once you’ve made a connection we have a range of support to help you get started and build a strong and sustainable school partnership, including the best online platforms to use for your international school collaboration. One to one partnerships or cluster groups can also apply for funding to cover a range of activities to share learning. The next funding deadline is 2 December 2020.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

SEET's Our World project

24 November 2020 (SEET)

SEET's logo

The Scottish European Educational Trust (SEET) have launched their annual Our World language learning and filmmaking project. With a specific focus on building a sense of gobal citizenship and cultural understanding amongst participants, the project asks S3-S6 pupils to create multilingual films based on topical issues. Teams of 4 have the chance to create their films at an online workshop with professional filmmakers on hand to provide assistance and practical filmmaking tuition. Films must include at least one language other than English, and should be based on, this year, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

If you are interested in entering a team or multiple teams, please sign up here and ensure your pupils send us a storyboard of their film idea by the revised deadline of January 15th, 2021. Tons more information available on SEET's website, or by emailing alex@seet.org.uk. We look forward to receiving entries!

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The Language Ambassadors

19 November 2020 (University of Strathclyde)

photo of the Language Ambassadors

The Language Ambassadors are back……and they have gone VIRTUAL!

Get your pupils involved to discover the joys of learning and being able to use another language by organising a Virtual Language Ambassadors visit to your school!

Our Language Ambassadors are students of French, Italian or Spanish, on various degrees, including BA Honours in French and Spanish, International Business and a Modern Language, Law and a Language but also Engineering and Science degrees.

This programme is free of charge and provides student role models to promote languages to young people and encourage your pupils to choose languages as part of their high school curriculum.

We can deliver a range of activities online, such as:

  • A virtual presentation about their experiences as university language learners and their experiences abroad;
  • Q&A sessions about the benefits of studying a language;
  • A small group discussion for Senior phase students who have already selected a language;
  • Micro-presentations as part of a school-wide event

From Harris to Hamilton, from Orkney to Paisley, book a virtual visit today by completing our request form!

If you have any questions about The Language Ambassadors programme, please contact Cédric Moreau.

Read more...

Fèis Rois launches new songwriting project for young Gaels passionate about the environment

18 November 2020 (The Herald)

Young Gaelic speakers who have a passion for the environment and a talent for songwriting could have their chance to shine, thanks to a new songwriting project launched by Highland arts organisation, Fèis Rois. 

The competition, which is open to applicants until November, Monday 23, is calling on budding Gaelic songwriters from secondary schools across the Highlands to come up with new Gaelic material, connected to the environment and Scotland's landscape. 

Fèis Rois, an arts organisation based in Dingwall, Ross-shire, has collaborated with NatureScot to launch 'Caithream na Cruinne', aimed at emerging Gaelic songwriters who take their inspiration from nature and the current environmental challenges. 

Read more...

Scottish Languages Employability Award - videos from pilot schools

13 November 2020 (SCILT)

The Scottish Languages Employability Award (SLEA) aims to help schools and businesses to build partnerships through languages in order to develop young people’s learning about the world of work and the value of language skills.

Videos are now available on our website of two of the SLEA pilot schools talking about their experience of working towards, and submitting evidence for, the award. These include advice from teachers and school co-ordinators, and feedback from pupils who took part in the qualifying events, and would be useful for any teachers considering putting their school forward for the award. Huge thanks to the staff and pupils at St Mary’s Primary School and Bishopbriggs Academy for their fantastic contributions!

The next deadline for submissions is Friday 22nd January 2021. In view of the current restrictions, online events and activities will count towards the award. Please get in touch with Sheena Bell if you have any questions about any aspect of the submission process or if you would like more information about the award generally.

Read more...

Our World film making project

12 November 2020 (SEET)

SEET logo

The Scottish European Educational Trust (SEET) have launched their annual Our World language learning and filmmaking project.

Open to all S3-6 pupils across Scotland, teams of 4 have the chance to create films at a workshop (remotely this year!) with professional filmmakers on hand to help them and provide practical filmmaking tuition. As always, films must include at least one language other than English, and should be based on a set theme, which this year is the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

If you are interested in entering a team or multiple teams, please sign up here and ensure your pupils send us a storyboard of their film idea by the deadline of 18 December 2020.

There is lots more information available on SEET's website, or by emailing alex@seet.org.uk. We look forward to receiving entries!

Read more...

Oxford German Olympiad 2021

10 November 2020 (Oxford German Network)

The 2021 Oxford German Olympiad run by the Oxford German Network at the University of Oxford is now open.

A range of age-specific tasks can be found on the competition website along with a taster category for entrants with no prior knowledge of German.

All the activities centre around this year's competition theme of Die Alpen.

Visit the website for more information. Closing date for entries: 11 March 2021.

Read more...

ELAPSE project resources

10 November 2020 (LFEE)

LFEE is delighted to announce that their 2-year Erasmus+ funded project ELAPSE (Embedding Language into Primary and Secondary Education) has been completed.

Visit the LFEE website for information about the lesson plans and resources, all freely available to teachers around the world. 

Read more...

SQA Modern Languages course reports

9 November 2020 (SQA)

Advanced Higher course reports for the 2019 diet have been added to the SQA website for Gaelic (Learners), German and Spanish.

Read more...

National 5 Modern Languages - Guidance on gathering key evidence for producing estimates in session 2020–21

6 November 2020 (SQA)

The SQA has produced a document providing subject-level guidance to SQA approved centres on gathering key evidence to support estimates for National 5 Modern Languages in session 2020–21.

You should read this guidance alongside National Courses: guidance on gathering evidence and producing estimates and the SQA Academy resource, Quality assurance of estimates for National Courses (links are contained in the publication).

This document also includes information on subject-level assessment resources. Available now to view online.

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GCSEs 2021: MFL 'one-off' speaking tests allowed

5 November 2020 (TES)

Teachers will have the choice to assess their students’ spoken language skills during normal classroom activities or as individual, one-off assessments for modern foreign language GCSEs next year.

This is according to new requirements published by Ofqual today in response to disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

(Note - subscription required to access full article).

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Still & Sparkling: UK-German Youth Newsletter

5 November 2020 (UK-German Connection)

With details of upcoming opportunities, fun language features and inspiring alumni stories the UK-German Youth Newsletter brings young people from both countries closer together and helps them discover both cultures through the eyes of other young people.

Written by young people, for young people, the newsletter is aimed at the 14-25 year old age group and contains content in both English and German.

Young people can read the latest edition and sign up to receive the newsletter on the UK-German Connection website. Here they can also find guidance on how to submit a contribution.

Read more...

uTalk Language Games

5 November 2020 (uTalk)

image of uTalk platform

Teachers in Scotland are offered a free trial of an award-winning way of boosting pupils’ spoken language skills which can be used at home or at school.

The uTalk Language Games uses audio of native speakers and interactive games – which run on computers, tablets or smartphones - to boost students’ speaking skills in any of 140 languages including Scottish Gaelic and Scots.

Importantly the uTalk Language Games also give pupils the chance to learn a new language - eg French - from Scottish Gaelic, Scots, Scottish English or 100+ other languages. 

More than 25,000 students have used this language learning method over the last 20 years and for your free trial please contact Vikki at languagegames@utalk.com

Run by London-based education company uTalk, students learn independently by playing language games on their devices, scoring points and competing for ranking on an online leaderboard.

There is no age limit and entry costs £5 per person. For more details see  www.utalklanguagegames.com

Teacher Miss Kaye Smith, who entered pupils in last year’s uTalk Language Games, says: “I was so happy to connect with uTalk which provided the children at The Glasgow Academy with a new, meaningful and challenging way of engaging with languages. I would encourage language practitioners and students to engage with uTalk and all the wonderful possibilities it can offer. It was an enjoyable and enriching experience for all who took part.”

The uTalk Language Games was previously called the uTalk Junior Language Challenge which won the prestigious Threlford Cup from the Chartered Institute of Linguists for making a significant contribution to fostering the study of languages.

Read more...

Learn German with the Goethe-Institut

4 November 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut offers a range of initiatives for language teachers and students of German. Here is their latest selection of upcoming opportunities. Click on the relevant link to find out more:

  • Fun Ways to Teach Syntax and Grammar (10 November 2020) - Presentation of a variety of cooperative games and whole class activities which can be easily adapted to different groups at primary level. Register by 9 November.
  • Arsenal Double Club online workshop (12 November 2020) - Open to primary and secondary teachers, the award winning educational programme combining football and language learning will introduce you to their German language learning resources in this online session. Register by 11 November.
  • German Quiz Challenge drop in session (18 November 2020) - This session is to help teachers get to grips with this new and exciting resource for them and their 13-16 year old learners of German. See a presentation of the new German Quiz Challenge app on YouTube.
  • Poetry workshop with world poetry slam champion Harry Baker (27 November and 4 December 2020) - Pupils in Years 10 and 11 are invited to take part in a poetry workshop allowing them to actively use the German language in a fun setting while also getting to know other secondary school students from across the UK. Register by 20 November.
  • Christmas traditions in the German classroom (1 December 2020) - This session for primary teachers will focus on the traditions and rituals around Christmas and how to integrate them into your German lessons. This is a fantastic way to expand cultural knowledge and motivate your students. Register by 30 November.

Youth Webinar Series: Sustainability

3 November 2020 (UK-German Connection)

This November and December, we’re looking to bring young people together virtually, to discuss the effects of recent events upon your outlook and ability to live sustainably:

  • How has Covid-19 impacted you living sustainably? Have you faced challenges, or maybe seen more positive opportunities for change?
  • What individual changes can we now make to live more sustainably? (Do these look different than one year ago?)
  • How can we encourage wider sustainable change within our communities?

This webinar series will focus on the above questions, with a focus on two key themes of food and fashion. Participants will attend two webinars in November/December 2020, as well as a larger online event in January 2021.

If you're aged 14-19, in full-time education in the UK and have an interest in discussing the themes and topics with peers in the UK and Germany visit the UK-German Connection website to find out more and to register your interest by 13 November 2020.

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

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Bòrd na Gàidhlig calls on young people to help guide Gaelic into a new era

30 October 2020 (Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

Gaelic organisations are asking young people across the country to stand up and be heard as Bòrd na Gàidhlig launch opportunities for their voices to be listened to. 
 
BnG will be running online surveys for young people based on their opinions and ideas for Gaelic usage and how to increase this within their communities. 
 
The two surveys, which will be distributed to schools and community groups, are for Primary 5-7, Secondary pupils S1-S6 and for school leavers. The surveys will run until 15 November as the Gaelic development body collates opinions critical to the future of the language and how young people can help contribute to this across Scotland. 

More information can be found on the attached press release or by visiting the Bòrd na Gàidhlig website.

Read more...

Related Files

Language GCSEs biased against poor pupils, say teachers

29 October 2020 (TES)

The majority of language teachers believe GCSE exams are biased against poorer students, children in care and those with special needs, research reveals.

Being asked to describe the disadvantages of a skiing holiday or to describe family members are among examples highlighted by the National Association of Language Advisers (NALA), which has published its research in a report today.

The research, which investigated the past two years of languages GCSE papers, particularly speaking and writing test questions, found that questions about holidays, family relationships, descriptions of a student’s house, restaurant visits and live events were “potentially problematic for vulnerable and disadvantaged pupils”.

And the NALA now recommends that languages GCSE and curriculum should be reviewed carefully “to ensure that no particular group of students is disadvantaged”.

NALA president Jenny Carpenter said: “One of the things we found was that there were a number of contexts that were beyond the experience of some students. The obvious example of this was the question which asked what are the advantages and disadvantages of a skiing holiday.

“Not only are you asking some pupils to invent an answer, but you’re asking them to express it in a foreign language as well. It’s a double whammy in a sense.”

Read more...

GlobeScotters – supporting young people to embrace international experiences

29 October 2020 (Young Scot)

British Council Scotland, the Scottish Government and Young Scot are teaming up to deliver 'GlobeScotters' – a campaign encouraging young people to embrace the international experiences available to them.

This campaign is a direct response to COVID-19. It aims to support young people in Scotland to connect with international opportunities available to them, whilst supporting them to maintain an international outlook. 

To find out more about their opinions on international education, experiences and what coronavirus has meant to international opportunities, young people are invited to complete the new GlobeScotters survey, which is live until 1 December 2020. 

Read more...

New drive to bring Arabic into Scottish schools

27 October 2020 (TES)

A new initiative aims to bring the teaching of Arabic into both primary and secondary schools in Scotland.

This week the Scottish primaries involved in a new programme offering an insight into Arabic language and culture will receive boxes of Arabic artefacts, such as books, scarves, musical instruments and tea sets.

Scottish schools are open but movement in and out of buildings remains restricted as a result of Covid-19. Scilt, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, has, however, found a way to bring the wider world to pupils at a time when their ability to travel is also much reduced.

The centre, based at the University of Strathclyde, is offering an insight into Arabic language and culture in 15 primary and secondary schools around Scotland. The courses include online lessons from native-speaking teachers of Arabic in the UK and link-ups with native Arabic speakers overseas.

The centre was keen to make the experience tangible, hence the delivery of the boxes.

Scilt director Fhiona Mackay says: “It’s really important that we encourage diversity in language learning. That’s what the 1+2 approach to language learning [in Scotland] should be all about – particularly language three should be an opportunity to explore languages that otherwise children would not be exposed to. It is absolutely right that they should have the chance to experience a language that does not have the same script or alphabet as Latin or Germanic-based languages.

“We also wanted to make sure that children were getting a view of the Arabic world that was not about war, terrorism or refugees. We wanted them to see there is something quite wonderful about this ancient civilisation and help them relate that back to their own experience in Scotland.”

The courses offer learners the chance to explore the secular culture of Arabic nations and to receive a grounding in the Arabic language, which is a first language in more than 20 countries and the fifth most widely spoken in the world.

Read more...

Action on climate change

26 October 2020 (British Council)

British Council eTwinning is offering free live CPD and resources on climate change throughout November. Help your class to tackle #ClimateChange together with pupils from across the world.

Visit the British Council eTwinning website for more information. As well as the Climate Change November programme, you can also find other ready made step-by-step guides to help you start an international project. 

Read more...

French Film Festival 2020

23 October 2020 (French Film Festival)

Running from 4 November to 17 December online and in cinemas up and down the UK, the 2020 Fête du cinéma offers a range of films, documentaries and shorts along with a selection specifically aimed at French language learners in schools.

Visit the French Film Festival website for full programme details.

Read more...

Careers toolkit launched

23 October 2020 (SCILT)

SCILT has launched a toolkit designed to help school and course leaders to incorporate languages into curricula, and to assist young people to identify career pathways which will allow them to utilise knowledge of additional languages and other cultures.

The toolkit, 'Making space for languages,' includes a series of short films that focus on the relevance and value of languages and intercultural skills to a wide range of academic and professional fields.

How can you convince others that making space for languages is important in any curriculum? 

Read more...

International Education Week is back from 16-20 November 2020!

22 October 2020 (British Council)

Every November we come together to recognise the value of bringing the world into the classroom and celebrate international work in schools. This year we are excited to be going online. For the first time ever, we are offering a week of fantastic events that you can access wherever you are in the world.

The line-up is packed with online webinars, ideas and activities to keep us connected by learning and enable young people to take action on the global issues that matter to them today. 

So whether it's a session on increasing language uptake in schools that interests you, or learning about other cultures throughout the world, visit the website for more information about the range of free webinars and activities on offer. 

Read more...

Secondary school Gaelic immersion study reports positive effects of bilingualism on language and cognition

20 October 2020 (Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

A ground-breaking study into how Gaelic is perceived by secondary school pupils and how it develops their linguistic and cognitive skills found significant benefits of speaking the language alongside a global language such as English.

The immersion study, funded by Bord na Gàidhlig, was led by Dr Maria Garraffa and a team from Heriot-Watt University, together with Prof Bernadette O’Rourke from University of Glasgow and Prof Antonella Sorace from the University of Edinburgh.

They worked together with senior pupils from The Glasgow Gaelic School, the largest provider of Gaelic medium education in Scotland, to find out how our younger generation of Gaelic speakers view and use the language. It examined for the first time particularly whether older teenagers, after 15 years of education in Gaelic, continued to speak Gaelic or what might lead them to stop.

The research revealed that speaking Gaelic does not affect the ability to speak well in English – and that being bilingual provides more opportunities for those fluent in both.

Read more...

Time to Move 2020

20 October 2020 (Eurodesk UK)

Covid-19 is no reason to give up on your dream of studying, volunteering, working, or travelling abroad. Many young people have had to change their plans, but this doesn’t mean that the chance is lost forever. Instead, take this as an opportunity to plan and prepare for your trip.

The Time to Move project is back during October 2020 with online and offline events to promote mobility and experience new ways to discover the world. Aimed at young people aged 13-30 the project also provides the opportunity to design a Time to Move themed T-shirt that best represents the spirit of the campaign.

Read more...

Königspost German writing competition

20 October 2020 (King's College London)

The German Department of King's College London is seeking to publish one original piece of writing in German on the topic of Die Digitale Zukunft, written by a student of German in Year 12 or 13 (S5 or S6 in Scotland). 

The winning submission will be published in the winter edition of the Königspost, the Department newspaper, which has a wide circulation among university students and learners of German across the UK.

Visit the website and see the attached document for more information. Submission deadline is 20 November 2020.

Read more...

Related Files

15-year Anniversary Challenge: Capture Your Connection

20 October 2020 (UK-German Connection)

To celebrate our 15th anniversary, we want to showcase the fantastic connections between the UK and Germany that you have built.

Whether it’s a friendship, tandem partnership, school partnership or youth group exchange or other kind of connection, we’re inviting you to share it creatively and inspire others with your story!

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information and submit your entry by 4 November 2020.

Read more...

Tutoring sessions - Higher French & Advanced Higher Spanish

19 October 2020 (Language Learning Scotland)

Language Learning Scotland has added free drop-in tutoring sessions for Higher French and Advanced Higher Spanish to their offering. Open to S5/S6 students these sessions begin week commencing 19 October 2020.

Visit the website to find out more and to sign up. 

Read more...

In Short, Europe ESCAPE

18 October 2020 (EUNIC London)

A free online European Short Film Festival by EUNIC London will take place from 28 October to 4 November 2020.

The second edition of In Short Europe embraces the theme ESCAPE, offering our audience an online collection of short films that negotiate the concept through their form, themes and style. Through a variety of genres and styles, fifteen shorts from all over Europe feature characters and images that appear and disappear, following physical or mental journeys, reaching points of arrival or points of departure, always on the move, seeking an escape that may or may not come.

Whilst most films in the programme are foreign language with English subtitles, there are some with no dialogue providing an opportunity to use these in any language class with learners 16+.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

Discovery Film Festival 2020

18 October 2020 (Discovery Film Festival)

Welcome to the 17th edition of Discovery Film Festival – the first to be online – and another collection of the finest films handpicked for young audiences from around the world.

All films in the online festival programme will be accessible from Saturday 17 October to Sunday 1 November 2020. There's an exciting collection of shorts and brand-new features with accompanying curriculum-linked resource packs. The added benefit this year is that current restrictions and the move online means access to our programme will now be possible for schools across Scotland and the rest of the UK.

The school's programme includes some new shorts for language practice! Visit the festival website for full programme details.

Read more...

German Language Competition 2020

9 October 2020 (DAAD)

Das Wort der Zukunft – The word of the future

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR) are joining forces for the seventh time to invite all learners and lovers of German to take part in a German language competition.

This year’s competition aims to encourage learners of the German language to combine their linguistic creativity with their hopes and thoughts for the future. They say that new words capture the zeitgeist. New circumstances and events encourage us to create new terms to describe the world. Slowly but surely, these new words then become part of our everyday language.

Visit the DAAD website for more information and submit your entry by 8 January 2021.

Read more...

Gathering robust evidence - Secondary drop-in

9 October 2020 (SCILT)

SCILT monthly drop-ins are free, themed virtual events that are open to teachers and student teachers working in Scotland. Drop-ins are an opportunity to share your thoughts on that month’s bitesize resource and/or share your own experience on the theme.

In October 2020, we’re looking at how we can gather robust evidence to support our judgments about learner progress. Share your experiences of evidence gathering in your context. What works well? Or not?

This month, the drop-in will take place on Zoom between 4pm - 4:45pm on Wednesday 28th October. Before the drop-in, you should:

  • Watch the interview, through the link below, at any time before joining the drop-in.
  • Follow and use #SCILT_bitesize on Twitter, tag @scottishcilt.

More information, including the interview and reflective questions, as well as details for how to register for the drop-in, are available through the link below.

Read more...

International Education Week 2020

8 October 2020 (British Council)

To celebrate International Education Week 2020 (16-20 November), British Council is offering three opportunities for pupils and language teachers:

  1. 'Welcome to the Arab World' webinar - Friday 20 November from 13:30-14:30

In collaboration with the Qatar Foundation International’s (QFI) Arabic Language and Culture programme a second ‘Welcome to the Arab World’ webinar event for upper secondary pupils (Year 9 and above) from any school.

This event will include sessions ‘An Introduction to Arabic language and cultures’, a session with Zaina Erhaim, a Syrian journalist who was reporting on the Syrian war from within Syria. She is currently a refugee in the UK and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR)'s Communications Manager. Zaina will speak about her life in Syria before and during the war and as a refugee and a live performance and conversation by Syrian American hip-hop artist Omar Offendum. Now living in Los Angeles, California, Omar is also a designer, poet and peace activist whose work blends Arabic and English words and rhythms.

This event will be a Teams Live broadcast to schools. There will be time for questions from pupils to all the speakers. NB this session is designed for those with no previous knowledge of Arabic

To attend this event, please register by completing our online form

  1. To celebrate International Education Week, British Council and Qatar Foundation International’s (QFI) Arabic Language and Culture programme is delighted to offer two opportunities for primary and lower secondary pupils;
  • An online, traditional, Arabic story-telling workshop for a maximum of 30 participants on Monday 16 November (three slots will be available at 9.00, 10.30 & 13.30).
  • An opportunity to connect your class with a native Arabic speaker through the NaTakallam project  on Tuesday 17 November at 11.00, Wednesday 18 November at 12.00 and Thursday 19 November at 13.00. The speaker will be able to discuss Arabic language and culture with your class, as well as share their own experiences as a refugee.

If you would like to express interest for either of these opportunities please contact TeachingArabic@britishcouncil.org  by Monday 19 October and include your school details. Successful applicants will be chosen at random. 

For more information on the Arabic Language and Culture programme at the British Council please visit our website  or email the team .

  1. Languages for all: how do we get there? A solutions-focussed look at practical steps schools can take to transform MFL uptake and success. 

The British Council and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages are proud to present this webinar hosted by the British Council on Monday 16 November 2020 from 16.30–17.30 GMT on Microsoft Teams.

This event will include the following presentations:

1.    Pedagogy in MFL at KS3 and KS4: ways forward for schools.
Presented by Ian Bauckham, CEO of the Tenax Schools Trust and Chair of the Teaching Schools Council’s Modern Foreign Languages Pedagogy Review.

2.    Successful primary-secondary transition: ways to give students the best possible start in Year 7.
Presented by Suzanne O'Farrell, MFL Consultant, ASCL.

3.    Fresh approaches to bringing languages alive through cultural knowledge and international connections.
Presented by Oliver Hopwood, Languages teacher.

Followed by Q&A and discussion.

Register for the webinar on the British Council website.

Calling all schools hosting a German Language Assistant!

5 October 2020 (UK-German Connection)

*Boost German and intercultural learning in your school with a Cultural Exchange Ambassador*

While travel is out of bounds, give your pupils an authentic taste of Germany: encourage your German Language Assistant to become a Cultural Exchange Ambassador, join a UK-German network and run a class-to-class project with a German school. 

This programme, offered by UK-German Connection, has wide-reaching benefits:

  • Pupils gain an authentic connection to their German peers, helping improve both their linguistic and cultural understanding and increase their motivation
  • Language Assistants learn & strengthen valuable skills, including project management, teamwork & communication, and benefit from peer-to-peer exchange
  • Schools benefit from curricular-focused projects, which connect their pupils with another country, culture & language

“A brilliant initiative by our FLA, thoroughly enjoyed by all participants, most of whom have now opted for GCSE German.” (Head of German department)

More information about the programme can be found on the UK-German Connection Cultural Exchange Ambassadors webpage, where you can also sign up for an online Q&A session on selected dates during October. 

Application deadline: Monday 26 October 2020

For questions and further information, please contact ambassadors@ukgermanconnection.org

Read more...

Apply for the new Erasmus+ Key Action 2 deadline

1 October 2020 (Erasmus+)

In response to COVID-19, the European Commission announced a new decentralised call with the deadline of 29 October 2020, 11am (UK time). Schools are invited to apply for Partnerships for Digital Education Readiness (KA226) and Partnerships for Creativity (KA227).

As virtual cooperation opportunities are key to successful partnerships in the Covid-19 context, schools are strongly encouraged to use the eTwinning and the School Education Gateway to find partners and work together before, during and after the project activities. 

Visit the Erasmus+ website to access application forms and guidance documents.

Read more...

Autumn immersion week

1 October 2020 (Language Learning Scotland)

Calling all S5 and S6 Modern Languages students studying French, German Spanish and Mandarin. From 12-16 October 2020, Language Learning Scotland is running a virtual language immersion week. Come along to learn more about the culture, the course and so much more!

Meet like-minded language lovers and hear talks from native young people and industry professionals. Get help and advice on navigating your way through Higher and Advanced Higher with tips for memorising grammar and vocabulary.

Visit the LLS website for more information and to apply. 

Read more...

eSgoil study support webinars

1 October 2020 (eSgoil/SCILT)

SCILT is proud to partner with colleagues at e-Sgoil in order to offer additional support to sixth year language learners.

Free live webinar lessons for young people studying Advanced Higher French and Spanish are available on line for eight weeks from the beginning of November.

Advanced Higher Spanish

Wednesdays 5 pm from 4 November 2020

Advanced Higher French

Thursdays 5 pm from 5 November 2020

Going by the response to previous live-streamed lessons, interest is likely to be high.  Please encourage young people to sign up as quickly as possible to guarantee their place. They will need their pupil Glow login details and Scottish Candidate Number to register.

More information and the registration link can be found on the eSgoil website.

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MTOT is back!

1 October 2020 (SCILT)

SCILT is delighted to announce the launch of Mother Tongue Other Tongue 2020-21!  This exciting competition is now open, and we want to find the next generation of young multilingual poets in Scotland. The competition has been redesigned to suit our new digital era, and we are inviting young people to submit entries focussing on the spoken word.  Videos, sound files, voiceovers, narrated presentations – whatever format fits best, we want to hear the voices of young linguists showcasing their language and poetry skills. It’s a great time to get involved with the creative side of language learning, so visit our MTOT webpages to find out more.

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Action research communities for language teachers: new ECML resource website

28 September 2020 (ECML)

The 'Action research communities for language teachers' website offers resources to support language teachers use action research as a tool for the development of reflective classroom practice, taking them step-by-step through the process of engaging in action research in their respective contexts. It also provides materials for teacher educators in initial teacher education.

Given the challenges teachers and learners have faced during lockdown and the challenges ahead as schools across Europe attempt to return to some kind of normality, the need for teachers to reflect on their practice and to benefit from professional learning communities is greater than ever. These new resources can strengthen teacher development and the provision of quality inclusive language education.

Read more...

La Fête du Cinéma d’Animation

24 September 2020 (Alliance Française)

The online animated film festival is back with a selection of Francophone animated films which you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home!

From Wednesday 14 to Saturday 31 October you can access and stream for free 2 films and 11 short films.

Visit the Alliance Française website for more information.

Read more...

European Day of Languages 2020 - competition for schools

21 September 2020 (ALL)

ALLNE, NfLNE and partners are once again organising the annual European Day of Languages Competition for Schools and in 2020 it is again open to anyone! The organising committee invites language learners in any key stage to create a piece of text in a language they are learning on the theme: International city.

Submission deadline: Wednesday 7 October 2020.

Visit the ALL website for more information.

Read more...

Lessons learned from lockdown bitesize

18 September 2020 (SCILT)

SCILT monthly drop-ins are free, themed virtual events that are open to teachers and student teachers working in Scotland. Drop-ins are an opportunity to share your thoughts on that month’s bitesize resource and/or share your own experience on the theme.

In September 2020, we’re looking at how learning and teaching of languages has evolved through the experience of lockdown. Share your experiences of delivering language education in innovative ways during an unprecedented situation.

Find out more about the sessions on our Bitesize webpage where you can register for the event relevant to your sector. Both primary and secondary sessions take place 4:00-4:45 on Wednesday 30 September.

Read more...

Our World film making project

17 September 2020 (SEET)

Our World is a languages and citizenship based film making project for S3 - S6 pupils. It's designed to complement the Curriculum for Excellence and help tackle the Attainment Challenge by providing a free project, which uses an interdisciplinary approach to encourage pupils to become more engaged in their language learning.

Apply now to take part in the 2020-21 project. 

Visit the SEET Our World webpage for more information.

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The Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators

17 September 2020 (University of Oxford)

The Queen’s College Translation Exchange is inviting expressions of interest in our new competition for schools, The Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators. The prize launches this month with ready-made resources designed to be used around European Day of Languages (26 September) and International Translation Day (30 September). The competition is for students of French, German, Mandarin, or Spanish across four levels in Key Stages 3-5. 

The competition is inspired by the 'Juvenes Translatores' competition run by the European Commission, for which UK students are no longer eligible. 

More information can be found on the attached document or on the competition website.

Read more...

Grants for training in Germany 2021

16 September 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut is offering teachers of German grants for courses in Germany in 2021. The courses are aimed at teachers of all levels and offer a variety of topics related to teaching German as a foreign language. So if you would like to improve your lessons and get to know Germany first hand apply now. 

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information.

Read more...

Worldwide Napier magazine - call for submissions

16 September 2020 (Edinburgh Napier University)

Worldwide Napier, the magazine in foreign languages designed by language students to encourage language studies, is currently looking for contributions in French, German and Spanish for its sixth issue, desirably on cultural icons of the XXI Century, our next issue's overarching theme. 

Students at secondary school, college or university are invited to submit contributions by 1 November 2020.

More information is available on the attached document.

Related Files

e-Sgoil Study Support Webinars

11 September 2020 (e-Sgoil)

Young people from across Scotland are participating in a series of live study support webinar lessons being delivered by e-Sgoil. 

Building on the success of the e-Sgoil ‘lockdown’ offer - where over 3,000 young people from across the country participated in real-time e-Sgoil lessons from their homes - the package of study support seeks to complement the work being done by schools by providing free, live, interactive webinar lessons in an extensive range of courses at Level 5 (National 5) and Level 6 (Higher). 

Twenty courses are currently on offer in the evenings, in a range of subjects including French, Gaelic, Gaidhlig, Mandarin, Spanish, Business Management, Chemistry, Computing Science, Eachdraidh, English, History, Maths, Music, Physics and RMPS. 

e-Sgoil Study Support live webinar lessons are scheduled to run for a period of eight weeks in the first instance and employ a ‘flipped’ learning approach, where participants undertake prior learning using supplied resources before attending the real-time 45-minute webinar lesson, hosted in Glow. All e-Sgoil live webinar lessons are delivered by subject specialists and are scheduled after school in the evening.  

Angus Mclennan, Head Teacher of e-Sgoil commented:
“e-Sgoil is delighted to offer Senior Phase pupils from across Scotland the opportunity to participate in a wide-range of live webinar lessons that will reinforce school-based learning. Each webinar lesson is a stand-alone learning experience, so new participants are welcome to sign-up to join future sessions”. 

Young people can sign-up directly by simply accessing the e-Sgoil Study Support registration form at www.e-sgoil.com

(Pupil Glow login details and Scottish Candidate Number (SCN) are required as part of the registration process). 

SCILT winter newsletter - send us your stories!

11 September 2020 (SCILT)

Do you have a story to share with the languages community?

We are currently taking submissions for our winter 2020 newsletter. This is a great opportunity to promote what has been happening in your school or local authority with regard to languages. We'd love to hear about any exciting or innovative work which took place during school closures, or any new projects being introduced this year. 

We are looking for articles of a maximum of 300 words, with a couple of colourful photos. The deadline for contributions is Friday 2nd October 2020.

Visit our website to read the full submission guidelines, and to view previous editions of the newsletter. Submissions can be sent to scilt@strath.ac.uk

Read more...

Spanish teacher toolbox: online workshops to spice up the classes (September-November 2020)

10 September 2020 (Consejería de Educación)

The Consejería de Educación in collaboration with Junta de Castilla y León is offering online training sessions for teachers of Spanish during the months of September, October and November 2020.

The first of the workshops will be on Tuesday 22 September (4:30 pm): “The creative process of the student in the Spanish classroom”. Registration for this first workshop ―which is free of charge― is open until 20 September.

Visit the Consejería de Educación website for programme dates and content of the workshops. 

Read more...

Online French exam support classes

8 September 2020 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow will be running online classes to support pupils studying for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher exams and students studying French at university. Follow the relevant link below for more information.

Languages beyond school

4 September 2020 (SCILT)

If you have pupils considering language study once they move on from secondary education, the Beyond School section of our website contains a wealth of information about university and college language courses, study abroad and volunteering opportunities overseas. With links to UCAS and university guides it's also a useful resource for careers guidance staff to be aware of and highlight to students as the UCAS application process gets underway.

Read more...

CLPL on a theme: bitesize and drop-in professional learning each month

4 September 2020 (SCILT)

From September 2020 to March 2021 the SCILT Professional Development Officers are scheduling a series of themed on-demand and live professional learning that will be open to all in-service and student teachers in Scotland. 

Some months, the theme will be applicable to both primary and secondary teachers, in other months the theme will be sector specific.   

Around the middle of the month, we will post a film or a piece of reading (c.15 minutes) on the SCILT website. Registration will open for the live drop-in on the same theme. 

At the end of the month, the PDO team will host a live drop-in to discuss the bitesize stimulus and the theme in general. The session will last 45 minutes and will feature examples of current practice. Registration is free and open to all teachers and student teachers in Scotland. 

Interested?   

In September we’re kicking off with a theme that’s relevant to both secondary and primary teachers. 

Lessons from lockdown: A look at how our learning and teaching of languages has evolved through the experiences of lockdown. Let’s share our experiences of delivering language education in innovative ways during an unprecedented situation. What works well? What doesn’t? What can we continue to use in post-lockdown practice? Are there methods that actually work better for the “new normal”? 

Watch out for the release of our Lessons from lockdown bitesize film. You’ll be able to watch on demand on the SCILT website from Friday 18 September. 

At the same time, you will be able to register to join the drop-in session at 4pm on Wednesday 30 September. There will be separate drop-ins on the same theme for primary and for secondary teachers or ITE students. 

What’s next?  Themes will be revealed in the first e-bulletin of the month, so you’ll get all the latest details straight to your inbox. 

If you do join in either live or on-demand, you can keep the professional learning conversation going on social media by following and using the hashtags #SCILT_CLPL #SCILT_bitesize #SCILT_dropin.  We are looking forward to connecting with lots of you through this new (to us) approach to professional learning in the coming months. 

European Day of Languages 2020 - how are you celebrating?

3 September 2020 (SCILT)

The European Day of Languages (EDL) is celebrated on 26 September each year. What is your school doing in 2020?

If you're looking for inspiration SCILT has compiled lots of ideas for primary, secondary and parents & families on our EDL webpage. You will also find links to competitions, blogs and websites with a huge range of celebration ideas and activities. 

Let us know how you celebrate and we'll include you in our EDL 2020 blog! Send a short description and some colourful photos after your event to scilt@strath.ac.uk.

Read more...

Fully funded overseas volunteering opportunities

2 September 2020 (British Red Cross)

The British Red Cross seeks to support those in crisis, either in the UK or abroad. The International Youth Volunteering Programme (IYVP) offers young people aged 18-30 residing in the UK the chance to volunteer overseas in another European country for eight to twelve months. These placements have a community focus, spanning a wide range of different services and all of our placements are fully funded, with travel, accommodation, health insurance costs all covered and volunteers receive a small monthly allowance to cover additional expenses. This is the perfect opportunity for those interested in gaining valuable skills, having new experiences, and giving back to the community. We are particularly keen to hear from young people who are passionate about the work but may not otherwise have the opportunity to volunteer overseas.

  • We are looking to recruit seven volunteers to support the work of the German Red Cross for an 11-month placement (October 2020-August 2021 - dates TBC). The placements will be in or around Halle, Germany.  These placements are perfect for those who wish to have more experience in childcare, who want to develop their skills and who want to take on the challenge of living and volunteering in Germany. Having a basic level of German would be beneficial but is not a requirement.
  • We are also looking to recruit five volunteers to support the work of the Neinstedt Foundation for 11-month placements (October 2020 - August 2021 – specific dates TBC). These placements are perfect for someone who wants to gain experience working with children and adults with disabilities, and develop personal and professional skills. Due to the size of Neinstedt not everyone speaks English, so having a basic level of German would be beneficial but is not a requirement.

The closing date for applications for both roles is: 20 September 2020.

To apply, please use the links below:

PLEASE NOTE: We continue to monitor the situation in relation to Covid-19 and in accordance with Erasmus+ guidelines. With all the present uncertainty we want to assure everyone that we will always put the safety and wellbeing of any applicants and/or volunteers first and in accordance with national guidelines (and those of Germany where this role is concerned). Any and all changes over the coming months will be communicated to successful applicants.

Japanese Language Local Project Support Programme 2020-21

1 September 2020 (Japan Foundation)

Institutions can apply for up to £3000 for non-profit making activities which promote Japanese-language education in the UK. Priority is given to projects falling within one of the following categories:

  • Introducing Japanese into the curriculum
  • Supporting GCSE or A-level courses
  • Japanese clubs
  • Projects that enable links between secondary institutions and institutions of higher education

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information and apply by 25 September 2020.

Read more...

CLPL on a theme: bitesize and drop-in professional learning each month

28 August 2020 (SCILT)

From September 2020 to March 2021 the SCILT Professional Development Officers are scheduling a series of themed on-demand and live professional learning that will be open to all in-service and student teachers in Scotland. 

Some months, the theme will be applicable to both primary and secondary teachers, in other months the theme will be sector specific.   

Around the middle of the month, we will post a film or a piece of reading (c.15 minutes) on the SCILT website. Registration will open for the live drop-in on the same theme. 

At the end of the month, the PDO team will host a live drop-in to discuss the bitesize stimulus and the theme in general. The session will last 45 minutes and will feature examples of current practice. Registration is free and open to all teachers and student teachers in Scotland. 

Sound interesting? Themes will be revealed in the first e-bulletin of the month, so you’ll get all the latest details straight to your inbox. We will be revealing our first theme for September in next week’s e-bulletin. 

We are looking forward to connecting with lots of you through this new (to us) approach to professional learning in the coming months. 

Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival (ESFF) - School Programme October 2020

24 August 2020 (Consejería de Educación)

The Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival is back for its seventh edition and it includes a School Programme aimed at Spanish learning students (6, 7 and 8 October). 

Due to COVID-19, the regular format has changed to an Online Event: the film will be available for  48 hours. The way this would work would be through a link sent to teachers, allowing them access to watch the films in class within a set time. In this edition, the School Programme films are ‘Los Futbolísimos’ (P7-S2) and ‘Una vez más’ for (S3-S6). 

This programme for Spanish students gives them the opportunity to better their language skills as well as cultural awareness. ESFF has also prepared a set of post-film activities available for students to delve more deeply into films and practice vocabulary. 

Tickets £25 per class. For tickets reservations and further information, please contact info.esff@ed.ac.uk 

#oekoropa competition

24 August 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

#oekoropa is a Europe-wide digital youth competition on sustainable travel.

Pupils between the ages of 16 and 19 and teachers from all EU member states are invited to create innovative proposals for a climate-neutral journey across Europe. With the competition, the Goethe-Institut aims to demonstrate that travel is still possible in these times – at least as a concept, and later in a very real way. 

Form teams online and devise an innovative roundtrip from your hometown to the trio capitals of the EU Council Presidency (Berlin, Lisbon, and Ljubljana) and inspire us with your idea of a sustainable Europe. The deadline for submitting proposals is 1 October 2020.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information.

Read more...

GCSEs 2020: French and Spanish revival continues

20 August 2020 (TES)

New figures show more pupils were entered for GCSE French and Spanish this year than in 2019.

Combined GCSE entries for the main modern languages have risen again this year, with Spanish seeing the biggest increase.

Tables published this morning by Ofqual show that there were 3 per cent more pupils entering either French, Spanish or German in 2020 in England than in the exams of 2019.

(Note - subscription required to access full article)

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SCILT professional learning programme 2020-21 - book now!

20 August 2020 (SCILT)

Are you a local authority officer with responsibility for languages in your region?

Are you a Head of Faculty, Head of Department or Principal Teacher in your secondary school?

Are you a lead language practitioner or primary school leader?

Are you looking for high quality online professional learning for your colleagues?

If so, check out the menu of online workshops that the Professional Development Officers at SCILT can provide for colleagues in your school or department, your cluster, local authority or regional improvement collaborative.

Please note, these online workshops are intended for group bookings only.

As always, we are happy to tailor professional learning sessions to meet your specific needs. Please use the same booking form to request bespoke input and/or online workshops from the menu.

Keep your eye on the e-bulletin for news of other professional learning opportunities we will be offering this session.

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UK-German Tandem Challenge: Connect, learn, share

19 August 2020 (UK-German Connection)

With the UK-German Tandem Challenge pupils can keep in touch with their German friend, tandem partner or host brother or sister while discovering each other’s cultures, having fun taking photos and educating others, too!

How does it work?

  • Partners discuss topics from our specially designed challenge board, exploring interesting aspects of both cultures together
  • They take photos to display the topics they discussed
  • Pairs write about their intercultural discoveries and submit their findings which will be shared across UK-German Connection channels in the autumn

It’s a great way to get to know someone better or rejuvenate an existing partnership. You could even take part as a class, pairing up with a class at your partner school and allocating a topic per pair.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information and how to take part. You don't have to be learning German to join in.

Available until: 15 September 2020

Read more...

French Film Festival UK 2020

18 August 2020 (French Film Festival)

The French Film Festival UK’s Learning programme has always been a class act, bringing French-speaking cinema to thousands of pupils and teachers over the years. In these challenging times instead of welcoming school groups to participating cinemas we will bring the festival to you on either DVDs or blu-rays which can be shown to suit your schedules over a two month period. They will be available from 26 October until 18 December 2020. Accompanying a selection of films for different age groups, teachers can find learning resources online prepared by Lise Morel and Edinburgh Film House.

Visit the Festival website for more information about the programme and to book your dates and titles.

Read more...

The British Academy responds to 2020 A levels data

13 August 2020 (British Academy)

With the release today of this year’s A level results, the British Academy warns that the continuing decline in the number of students in England taking ‘other languages’ poses significant risk to the UK’s linguistic capacity – a key component in trade, soft power and social cohesion.

Today’s Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) data show a continued decline in the number of students taking qualifications in languages, which has fallen 13% this year. There has been a particularly big fall in students taking ‘other languages’ – including languages such as Mandarin, Arabic, Urdu, Turkish, Russian, and Japanese – where entries this year are 40%  down year on year, following a fall of 14% between 2018 and 2019.

Interest in Spanish continues to increase slightly (up 1%), building on the upwards trend seen at GCSE. Numbers for French seem to have stabilised this year, but at historically low levels. Numbers for German have fallen 6% following a slight upturn last year.

Read more...

Related Links

Press Release: A Level Results 2020 (ALL, 13 August 2020)

A levels 2020: Languages see big leap in top grades (TES, 13 August 2020)

The hidden tragedy of this year's A level figures (Alcantara Communications, 17 August 2020)

Revealed: A levels with teacher grades odds-on to stay

10 August 2020 (TES)

New analysis has produced a list of A-level subjects where the grades that teachers have assessed are least likely to be changed.

On Friday Tes revealed that teacher assessed grades will not be used as part of the final grade calculation where GCSE and A-level subjects in a school have more than more 15 entries, with statistical modelling used instead.

By contrast, in subjects with no more than five entries in a school, pupils will be awarded their teacher-assessed grades, as statistical modelling would be inaccurate with such a small cohort. 

Now in a blog by Philip Nye for FFT Education Datalab, A-level subjects with the greatest share of entries coming from schools or colleges with five or fewer entries has been estimated. 

"There are three subjects – German, Latin and music – where we estimate that over half of the total number of entries come from establishments with five or fewer entries," Mr Nye said.

Read more...

Host a teacher / Have your say

4 August 2020 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection provide support to schools in the UK wishing to forge partnerships with schools in Germany. The following opportunities are currently open:

Stay international: Host a Teacher from Germany

You can still bring authentic German language and culture to your classroom next year, without going anywhere: welcome a teacher from Germany to any department for 1, 2 or 3 weeks! This free opportunity is now even more flexible; you can host at a time to suit you.

Applications are open throughout the summer period and up to 18 September / 1 December*, and we're here if you have any questions.

Deadlines:

  • 18 September (to host later in the autumn term)
  • 1 December (to host in spring/summer 2021)

Find out more and sign up on the Host a Teacher webpage. 

*Schools unable to host so far this year due to Covid-19 do not need to re-register.
 

Have your say on the future of UK-German opportunities!

In light of the Covid-19 situation and with the changing landscape of international relations, we’re keen to make sure we’re still offering you the right kind of opportunities and support to keep connections with Europe, and in particular with Germany, alive.

We’re reviewing the opportunities and services we offer and would like you to tell us how we can best support you and work with you and your pupils to bring German and Germany alive in your school.

Deadline: 15 September

Complete the form on the Have your say webpage.

Survey - Resources to support SQA Modern Languages

28 July 2020 (Hodder Gibson)

Publishers, Hodder Gibson, are keen to commission new resources to support Modern Languages departments at National 3-5 and would be grateful to hear directly from teachers to establish what they would find useful.

Please help by taking part in the research survey. It will take about 10 minutes to complete.

Read more...

New partnership offer to improve availability of online learning across Scotland

25 June 2020 (SCILT/Education Scotland/eSgoil)

New support announced today (Thursday 25 June) will increase the availability of online learning across different subjects and support digital inclusion across Scotland.

Education Scotland will expand its close working with e-Sgoil, who will train a number of additional teachers from local authorities to provide online lessons which learners in the senior phase across Scotland can access via Glow. These online lessons will help to support and augment the work of classroom teachers across the country in their local arrangements for schools reopening on 11 August and also for reinforcing learning.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney outlined the partnership offer to develop a strong national e-learning provision in his update to Parliament on Tuesday 23 June. Under the plans, developed in partnership by e-Sgoil, Education Scotland, the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland and Scottish Government, all local authorities and schools in Scotland will be able to access live lessons on a range of subjects, and will take shared ownership for delivering these.

A rich and varied range of lessons will be taught live by these experienced and qualified educators, all with national safeguarding checks, and will be recorded to ensure that pupils have further opportunities to learn. This will increase the availability of learning opportunities for pupils, with a focus initially on lessons to help those following national qualification courses in the senior phase. Partners are working to ensure that a wide range of certificated courses in both English and Gaelic medium education will be available to learners in the senior phase from 11 August 2020.

Since the school closures Education Scotland, the national improvement agency for education, has been working closely with local authorities, teachers and parents to support the education system in a number of ways. This includes creating a well-received online resource bank of learning activities aimed at a variety of ages, introducing new newsletters for parents and educators, and delivering a range of very popular webinars and support sessions for practitioners to support young people to continue with their learning and make progress.

E-Sgoil was established in Comhairle nan Eilean Siar in 2016 to provide a wider and more equitable choice of subjects for pupils, to support the expansion of Gaelic medium education and develop a network of staff who are able to deliver online learning in all subject areas throughout Scotland. During the current term and school closures, e-Sgoil extended its offer to schools across Scotland and many learners benefited. This new offer will build further on that development, involving more local authorities, schools and teachers.

Gayle Gorman, HM Chief Inspector and Chief Executive of Education Scotland, said:

“Education Scotland will play an integral role in the national plan published by the First Minister to reopen Scotland’s schools, and we have been working closely with our partners to consider the best ways to help support continuity in young people’s learning in Term 4 and the new session ahead.

“The development we have announced with our partners today offers a coordinated online approach to supporting all local authorities and schools with opportunities to learn at home and, as the Deputy First Minister stated in his update to Parliament, will deliver a strong national e-learning provision. This will ensure that a range of high quality online lessons is available on a national basis to support in-home learning in the senior phase and to complement schools’ and teachers’ own local arrangements for young people.

“Learners will be able to access this e-learning via Glow, our online learning environment, which continues to support learning outside of the classroom by enabling learners and teachers to access tools and features at any time, on any device with an internet connection.”

Bernard Chisholm, Director of Education and Children’s Services, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said: “eSgoil, over recent weeks, has expanded its provision and is currently supporting approximately 3,500 students. The opportunity to work with all Scottish Local Authorities, Education Scotland, Scottish Government and partners to provide a national on-line school will enable eSgoil to deliver, across a wide range of subjects, a more comprehensive curriculum and accreditation offer at both Primary and Secondary School level. eSgoil will continue to support and complement Local Authorities to provide a more flexible and personalised curriculum offer for learners. I am confident that this approach to learning will become a permanent feature of Scottish Education.”

Carrie Lindsay, Executive Director for Education & Children’s Services, Fife Council and President of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES) said: “ADES is delighted to be able to lead on a National offer of e-learning to support our learners across Scotland as schools reopen from August. Working in partnership with Education Scotland and Scottish Government will allow access to resources to scale up the existing esgoil and SCHOLAR offer for the benefit of our children and young people.

“It's good to see the pioneering work that started in our island communities be able to support our work across Scotland, Esgoil has worked well in the more remote and Northerly parts of Scotland, it now has the opportunity to support far beyond any geographical parameters.”

Education Secretary John Swinney said:

“While the clear ambition and intention is to see all pupils return to school full-time in August, blended learning is a contingency that we may still need to enact. The new national e-learning provision from eSgoil and Education Scotland will enable pupils in the senior phase to access a broad range of high quality lessons devised by qualified teachers trained in online learning.

“These new online lessons – as well as the 70,000 laptops we are giving to children and young people who need them the most – will help to support and augment the work being done by classroom teachers across the country.”

Dr Bill Beveridge, Director of SCHOLAR, said: “Using an approach refined through their years’ of experience in supporting remote learners, e-Sgoil have demonstrated just how effectively, with access to high-quality online course materials, a thriving online learning community can be created. The techniques they have developed allow young people to take full advantage of the benefits that digital learning technology can bring whilst also placing a high premium on the importance of developing and maintaining supportive teacher-learner relationships.”

[SCHOLAR is the not-for-profit partnership between the Association of Directors of Education for Scotland and Heriot-Watt University that provides online learning resources to support blended and independent learning for over 150,000 learners attending schools and colleges throughout Scotland.]

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT, Scotland’s National centre for Languages, said: “Working with e-Sgoil over the period of school closure has given SCILT the unique opportunity to support the learning of thousands of youngsters across the country from P1-S6. We’ve been able to provide them with high quality real time teaching that has either supported the work provided by their schools or encouraged them to use the time to learn a new, lesser-taught language that wouldn’t otherwise have been offered to them. It has been a very positive and rewarding experience, giving SCILT staff a new set of skills that we can share with the profession and a much deeper understanding of how effective online teaching can be.”

Daniel Barrie, Education and Learning Manager at Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented: “Lockdown has led us to completely transform our environmental education programmes and we have been delighted to work with E-Sgoil and other partner organisations to deliver online, real time, interactive teaching courses directly to young people and teachers across the country. We have been thrilled with the positive response and uptake for the courses we offered during term four. We look forward to building on this and supporting the return to school.

“As we ease out of lockdown, environmental education has never been more important and we are keen to enable young people to understand the importance of climate change and the ways in which they can contribute towards a green recovery.”

Ends

Notes to Editors

National e-Learning provision

Partners are working together to offer learners in the senior phase a wide range of certificated courses in both English and Gaelic medium from August 2020. This builds on the success of national pilots already made available by e-Sgoil during the Term 4 lockdown to schools across Scotland. The range of courses offered nationally will be refined and updated as e-Sgoil works with local authorities to train a number of additional teachers.

Subjects from August 2020 - English medium

Art

Business Management

Business Skills (Foundation Apprenticeship)

Children & Young People (Foundation Apprenticeship)

Computing Science

English

Food & Drink Technologies (Foundation Apprenticeship)

French

Gaelic

Geography

Health & Social Care (Foundation Apprenticeship)

History

Home Economics

IT (Software) (Foundation Apprenticeship)

Maths

Music

Physics

RMPS

Spanish

Technical

Subjects from August 2020 – Gaelic Medium

Children & Young People (Foundation Apprenticeship)

Creative & Digital Media (Foundation Apprenticeship)

Posted in: Senior Phase

Furloughed Eurostar staff become French teachers

24 June 2020 (BBC)

Eurostar staff furloughed during the lockdown are helping London schools with online French lessons.

Rail staff not currently working, including train drivers, have volunteered to help pupils learning at home online.

Only a limited number of Eurostar's services to France and Belgium are running - and about 30 staff have been helping with French lessons.

Read more...

SCILT professional learning programme 2020-21 - book now!

18 June 2020 (SCILT)

Are you a local authority officer with responsibility for languages in your region?

Are you a Head of Faculty, Head of Department or Principal Teacher in your secondary school?

Are you a lead language practitioner or primary school leader?

Are you looking for high quality online professional learning for your colleagues?

If so, check out the newly published menu of online workshops that the Professional Development Officers at SCILT can provide for colleagues in your school or department, your cluster, local authority or regional improvement collaborative.

Please note, these online workshops are intended for group bookings only.

As always, we are happy to tailor professional learning sessions to meet your specific needs. Please use the same booking form to request bespoke input and/or online workshops from the menu.

We also have lots of other CLPL options ready to launch after the summer holidays too. There will be a mix of anytime and live virtual sessions on a range of interesting themes across the year. All will be open to pre- and in-service primary and secondary teachers.

Keep your eye on the e-bulletin in the new session for news of other professional learning opportunities. In the meantime, the Professional Development team wish you a restful break.

Read more...

Language GCSE entries up but a mixed picture at A level

11 June 2020 (TES)

Provisional data on GCSE entries in 2020 released today reveals a rise in the number of pupils studying for a modern foreign language at GCSE.

Overall, language entries increased by 2 per cent, from 268,955 to 275,000. Entries for Spanish and German rose by 5 per cent and 3 per cent respectively, while French entries remained stable.

Read more...

Coronavirus: French teacher's Hebridean lockdown

9 June 2020 (BBC)

A French language assistant who remained in the Western Isles during the coronavirus lockdown has been praised for the unique contribution she has made to young people's education.

Mathilde Forgerit arrived in Lewis last August for what was her first experience of teaching French abroad.

During the pandemic she has been able to use the islands' digital learning facilities to deliver classes to young people in other parts of Scotland too.

She said that despite being far from her family, the kindness of islanders stopped her from feeling isolated.

[..] Mathilde returned home to France last week, but the comhairle said she had left behind a positive language learning legacy across island schools.

Senior education officer Mary Clare Ferguson said: "She proved to be such an asset and a natural teacher.

"The pupils loved working with her and gained so much insight from a young person about her life in France, her culture and language. She really motivated them to improve their language skills."

Read more...

German Teacher Award 2020

4 June 2020 (German Embassy)

The deadline for nominations for this year's German Teacher Award has been extended to 30 September 2020.

So if you know of an outstanding German language teacher at your primary or secondary school – make sure that their dedication and excellence get the recognition they deserve!

Please note, pupils and teachers themselves cannot submit a nomination. This must come from the headteacher.

Visit the German Embassy website for more information and to make your nomination.

Read more...

Scots Story Competition 2020

3 June 2020 (The Story Is)

Could you be Young Scots Writer of the Year 2020? Enter our fantastic competition for young people aged 11-18 to write a poem, a story, a play or a song in the Scots language.

Visit the website for more information about the competition and submit entries by 24 June 2020.

Read more...

SEET @ Home: Take Two!

3 June 2020 (SEET)

Whilst we are all carry on with our home learning, SEET continues to offer opportunities for pupils to engage in language learning and citizenship projects from home. Due to such a high demand for our new SEET @ Home project, and the quality of entries for the 'Community in Isolation' theme (judgement of films ongoing), SEET is proud to launch SEET @ Home: Take Two! Once again, all pupils need is access to a smart phone or tablet (any device that shoots video), and to download a free app or two! 

This project is open to all ages (both primary and secondary pupils). We invite pupils to make a short film (maximum 2- minutes) based on the theme 'Sustainability at Home'. We also ask that pupils include at least one language other than English in their films, making this excellent opportunity for pupils to develop and showcase their language learning. Our favourite films will win cinema vouchers! 

If you would like to take part, and we really hope you do, then please get in contact with us by emailing info@seet.org.uk and we will send you more information. Alternatively, you can find more information on our website. We have created an online document that includes a suggested timetable, a list of recommended free apps and a few useful filmmaking tips and tricks which we think will really help.

The deadline for these films is Monday 22 June 2020 at 5pm. Please don’t forget to tweet about your experience using #SEETatHome to @SEET_scotland.

Read more...

eTwinning - Online training, workshops and courses

26 May 2020 (British Council)

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

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

Read more...

Connecting Classrooms - Learning for sustainability

26 May 2020 (Learning for Sustainability Scotland)

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

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

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

Read more...

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

22 May 2020 (UK-German Connection)

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

Entry deadline: 5 June

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

Read more...

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

13 May 2020 (BERA)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

SCILT's COVID response: Live streamed classes

7 May 2020 (SCILT)

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

See the attached timetable with links to enrol.

Related Files

Fancy a PowerLanguage challenge?

7 May 2020 (PowerLanguage)

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

SEET @ Home

4 May 2020 (SEET)

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

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

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

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

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

Virtual activities for school partnerships

30 April 2020 (UK-German Connection)

Have you had to postpone your exchange visits due to the Coronavirus situation? Keep your partnership going with some virtual joint activities!

Read more...

The Stephen Spender Prize and Polish Spotlight 2020

28 April 2020 (Stephen Spender Trust)

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

Stephen Spender Prize

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

The ‘Polish Spotlight’

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

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

Read more...

Education Scotland News Digest

24 April 2020 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland's latest news digest is now available to view online. This edition includes resources available to support schools and parents during closures, information about new Gaelic Bookbug stories and the Young Scots Writer of the Year Competition.

Read more...

Live-streamed classes: SCILT support for schools

22 April 2020 (SCILT/e-Sgoil)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Six ways to bring language learning to life at home

21 April 2020 (BBC Bitesize)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Language learning resources during school closures

21 April 2020 (SCILT/CISS)

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

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

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

Read more...

Guidance for home learning

20 April 2020 (Scottish Government)

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

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

The guidance covers three main areas:

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

Visit the Scottish Government website for more information.

Read more...

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

17 April 2020 (German Foreign Office)

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

Tell us about your dream for the future. 

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

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

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

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

Read more...

SCHOLAR Modern Languages online tutor sessions

17 April 2020 (SCHOLAR)

The schedule for online SCHOLAR tutor sessions for the coming term is now available online. Modern Language students should note next dates are:

  • 20 April - Introduction to Higher Modern Languages
  • 27 April - Introduction to National 5 Modern Languages
  • 4 May - Introduction to Advanced Higher Modern Languages

Sessions are all led by Modern Languages tutor, Douglas Angus, and commence at 6:00 pm.

Visit the SCHOLAR website for more information.

Read more...

Pedagogy Professional Learning for Language Teachers

16 April 2020 (Various)

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

Pedagogy Professional Learning

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

Supporting Bilingual Learners

Further resources are available on our Professional Learning pages.

Read more...

uTalk Classroom

16 April 2020 (uTalk)

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

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

See the attached document for more information.

Interested?

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

Related Files

More Gaelic TV from BBC Alba to help pupils in lockdown

14 April 2020 (The National)

Gaelic broadcasting bosses are to show more children’s content to support young speakers while schools are off.

Extra programmes on science, maths and other curriculum mainstays will be shown on BBC Alba from today.

The Gaelic-medium channel already runs children’s shows from 5pm-7pm every day. Additional content will also be available on the BBC iPlayer.

It is hoped that “children won’t even realise they are learning and developing their skills” when watching the tailored material.

Margaret Mary Murray, head of service at BBC Alba, said: “We hope these fabulous learning programmes will offer useful support to teachers, parents and carers and fun learning opportunities for children.”

Read more...

Coronavirus: ‘Pupils need live online teaching’

13 April 2020 (TESS)

Scotland’s e-Sgoil – based in the Western Isles – has revealed its plans to deliver a national timetable of live lessons that will be streamed online in a bid to support teachers and pupils in the wake of the UK wide school closures, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking exclusively to Tes Scotland the e-Sgoil – which has four years’ experience in beaming lessons into schools across the country – said it was hoping to partner with online learning platform Scholar in order to deliver live national qualification lessons in a wide range of subjects, as well as offering some lessons aimed at primary pupils.

Scholar – a partnership between Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and education directors’ association Ades – runs online courses in a range of National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher subjects, providing pupils with learning materials and assessments.

Meanwhile e-Sgoil – which was set up to ensure equal access to courses and subjects for pupils irrespective of where they live – has a team of teachers on its books who have experience of delivering remote lessons in real time in everything from Higher physics, to primary Gaelic. This year it has had a presence in 15 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

The plan is to start streaming the lessons incrementally, beginning with maths and languages – thanks to Scotland's National Centre for Languages (Scilt), and Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools.

Together the languages bodies and e-Sgoil plan to offer taster courses in Spanish, Arabic, Italian, Gaelic and Mandarin suitable for primary and secondary pupils, as well as delivering national qualification courses in French, German, Italian, Mandarin and Gaelic.

Read more...

Around the World resources

8 April 2020 (British Council)

We all know the importance of keeping connected whilst distancing. That’s why we’ve curated a special collection of our favourite resources about life and culture in different countries around the world. Designed by specialists and tested by teachers, our resources are packed with ideas and projects to help you plan face to face or online classes and support parents with home-learning.

Why not plan a virtual trip around the world for your students and choose which countries you’d like to explore together? We’re always here to help you bring the world into your classroom, wherever your classroom is.

Read more...

SecEd Newsletter

2 April 2020 (SecEd)

The latest edition of the newsletter aimed at secondary educators has just been published and is available online. This issue includes advice on remote teaching and learning.

Read more...

Professional learning for teachers during the school closures

2 April 2020 (SCILT)

Are you a teacher, a student teacher or aspiring student teacher? Are you looking for some professional learning to do online, at your own time and at your own pace?

Visit our professional learning pages to view our collated list of courses, webinars and materials that are free to access. Scroll down to the 'Professional learning for teachers during the school closures' section.

Read more...

uTalk Language Games

1 April 2020 (uTalk)

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

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

Read more...

Addressing the needs of language professionals in times of Covid-19: new ECML resource website “e-lang”

31 March 2020 (ECML)

Are you a language teacher in upper secondary or in the university sector now adapting to the challenge of delivering your classes online? Would you like to discover motivating real-world tasks for your learners which will help develop their learner autonomy?

Are you a language teacher educator looking for creative ways to develop your teachers’ digital literacy skills, so that they in turn can support their language learners?

Are you a language researcher, interested in pedagogies based on social interaction?

If so, this new open-access resource website, developed through expert cooperation in the field of language education across geographic Europe and beyond, is most definitely for you.

Read more...

Online beginner Mandarin classes

30 March 2020 (CISS)

banner advertising upcoming online Mandarin beginner classes

Related Files

Volunteering Opportunity Alert: British Red Cross International Youth Volunteering Programme (IYVP) - Spain placement 2020-21

30 March 2020 (British Red Cross)

The British Red Cross seeks to support those in crisis, either in the UK or abroad. The International Youth Volunteering Programme (IYVP) offers young people aged 18-30 residing in the UK the chance to volunteer overseas in another European country for eight to twelve months. As part of the European Solidarity Corps (EuSC) scheme, all IYVP placements have a community focus, spanning a wide range of different services. All of our placements are fully funded, with travel, accommodation, health insurance costs all covered and volunteers receive a small monthly allowance to cover additional expenses.

This is the perfect opportunity for those interested in gaining valuable skills, having new experiences and giving back to the community. Experience and fluency in the language are not requirements, although the placements can be challenging and require adaptability and resilience. We're particularly keen to hear from young people who are passionate about the work but may not otherwise have the opportunity to volunteer overseas. Please apply using the link IYVP Spain Placement 2020-21. Closing date is 1 May 2020.

Read more...

Coronavirus: Taking small steps into online learning

28 March 2020 (TES)

The huge amount of 'free' apps and online learning offers can feel overwhelming. Here are seven simple steps to follow.

Read more...

Five exciting challenges launched for Year 12 students

26 March 2020 (University of Cambridge)

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

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

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

Read more...

SecEd Newsletter

26 March 2020 (SecEd)

SecEd is the voice of secondary education. Their latest bulletin has a focus on teaching and learning during the Coronavirus pandemic, with a range of advice and links to numerous resources for teachers continuing to practice in schools and parents who are now homeschooling.

Read more...

The 1+2 Languages Leadership Programme 2020 - **CANCELLED**

26 March 2020 (SCILT/Education Scotland)

Unfortunately, due to the current uncertainty relating to COVID-19, it has been decided with careful consideration to cancel the Summer School this year.
SCILT and Education Scotland will continue to work closely and plan for next summer 2021. Further updates will be communicated in due course.

SCILT and Education Scotland's flagship national leadership programme has been running since 2014 and was recognised at GTCS Excellence in Professional Learning Awards in 2017 and 2018.

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Supporting online learning - links for practitioners

25 March 2020 (Education Scotland)

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

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Modern Languages webinars

19 March 2020 (SCILT/CISS)

Along with our partners at e-Sgoil, the SCILT and CISS teams are currently working on live webinars to support youngsters working on National Qualifications in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin and Gaelic. This will compliment the work already being done by teachers across the country so that youngsters due to sit National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications do not have their learning interrupted. We will give further information via our usual networks and social media. 

Young Scots Writer of the Year Competition 2020

16 March 2020 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has a fantastic competition for young people aged 11-18 to write a poem, a play, or a song in Scots Language. The competition is run in partnership with Scottish Book Trust, Scottish Government, Scots Hoose and Hands up for Trad.

Visit the competition website for more details and submit entries by Wednesday 24 June 2020.

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Bring the world into your classroom

13 March 2020 (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.

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SQA Markers

12 March 2020 (SQA)

The SQA is currently recruiting for new markers who would like to be considered for a marking team for 2020.

A Marker marks candidates’ work in line with detailed marking instructions and in accordance with SQA policy and procedures. The prime role is to ensure consistent application of national standards when marking candidate submission(s).

Applications which meet the selection criteria will be accepted on a first come first served basis. Thereafter applications will be reserved for future opportunities in marking in your selected subject.

Visit the SQA website for more information and submit your application by 27 March 2020.

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Never Such Innocence competition

10 March 2020 (Never Such Innocence)

For the 2019/20 academic year, the Never Such Innocence competition will be bigger than ever! We have expanded our focus to include all conflicts throughout history and today, and have broadened the age range to 9-18. We are also delighted to open a new speechwriting category!

This year’s theme is ‘The Impact of Conflict on Communities’ – We invite young people all across the world to write a poem, speech, or song, or create a piece of art reflecting on how a conflict has or is affecting a community. This conflict could be past or present; international, national or local.

Entries can be in any language.

Visit the competition website for more information and submit entries by 20 March 2020.

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DiscoverEU free travel passes for young people

6 March 2020 (Erasmus+)

Do you know an 18-year-old up for an adventure? DiscoverEU is back – giving them the chance to travel across Europe!

If you’re unfamiliar with this European Union initiative, it offers young people aged 18 the opportunity to discover Europe by providing them with a free travel pass. They can travel by themselves or with a group of up to four friends.

The next round of applications takes place from 12 to 26 March 2020 and 30,000 travel passes are available.

Visit the Erasmus+ website for more information, including a short video about the initiative.

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German Teacher Award 2020

6 March 2020 (Education Scotland)

The German Embassy is looking for nominations for the German Teacher Award 2020.

Scottish schools have been notable by their absence from this competition, but thanks to the new German Consul General in Scotland, we are now firmly placed to have our fabulous German teachers in the running for this!  

So if your primary or secondary school has an outstanding German teacher who deserves recognition, visit the German Embassy's website or see the attached flyer for more information about the award and how to submit a nomination by 10 April 2020.

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Living Languages 2020

6 March 2020 (SCILT/University of Strathclyde)

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

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

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

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

Living Languages 2020 Programme

Registrations are now open for the following events in the series:

  • Monday 23 March - A conversation with Paul Sheerin, Chief Executive Scottish Engineering
  • Monday 30 March - A conversation with Ben Sharrock, Writer and Director and Irune Gurtubai, Film Producer
  • Tuesday 28 April - A conversation with Karen Betts, Chief Executive Scottish Whisky Association and former Diplomat

Taster events at King's College London

5 March 2020 (King's College London)

King's College London is running taster events over the next few months for students in Years 11&12 (S4&S5) who are interested in finding out about what it is like to study German/Modern Languages at university. We would be delighted to welcome your students at these events. Attendance is free, but places are limited so advance booking is required. Further details can be found by clicking on the web links below.

  1. Modern Languages Taster Day. 1st April 2020, 1pm-5.15pm.
  2. Modern Languages and European Studies. 4th June 2020. 10.30am-4.00pm.
  3. German Taster Day. 16th June 2020. 10.30am-4.00pm.
  4. Studying German from Scratch. 18th June 2020. 1.30pm-5.00pm.

The German Olympics (IDO)

3 March 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

The German Olympics (IDO) is the biggest competition for the German language. Every two years over 100 students from all around the world meet to compete in their most beloved foreign language.

The competition is open to secondary school students born between August 2002 and July 2006.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information about eligibility and how to enter the competition. Submission deadline is 27 March 2020.

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Work shadowing in Schwäbisch Hall - applications open

3 March 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

We are delighted to announce our call for applications for a work-shadowing week in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany, from 24 to 31 October 2020.

A number of companies and organisations in Schwäbisch Hall are happy to host students to introduce them to the world of work and help them understand the practical details of a profession. The students will have the opportunity to be part of a team in a small or medium-sized company and use their language skills while taking part in the company’s daily operations. Participants will go to the work placement in the mornings, where an expert will accompany them on their introduction to a profession. In the afternoons, a cultural programme will help the participants discover the local surroundings and dive into German culture. 

Applicants should be 16 or 17 years old with at least GCSE-level German.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and apply by 3 April 2020.

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Vacancy: Professional Development Officer

3 March 2020 (SCILT/CISS)

Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT) requires a Professional Development Officer to support the network of Scotland’s Confucius classrooms and the learning and teaching of languages across Scotland. This is an exciting opportunity to work at national level and drive forward the strategic languages agenda in Scotland. The successful candidate will be part of the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools team based within SCILT as the Ramshorn building in Glasgow’s city centre. The centre leads 44 Confucius classrooms across Scotland, including secondary, primary and specialist classrooms.

The Professional Development Officer will be responsible for developing and delivering a broad range of support measures to develop the learning and teaching of Mandarin in Scottish schools and communities. This would include, for example, leading professional learning workshops and managing projects such as national awards/competitions and other promotional events.

The post holder will support practitioners to turn policy into practice in order to create a positive impact on learners. This will be based on identification of practitioners’ needs, with particular reference to the place of Mandarin and languages in general, within the National Improvement Framework and the Scottish curriculum. The post holder would, therefore, need extensive experience of leading recent initiatives that promote and support language learning.

Please note, the successful candidate need not be a fluent Mandarin speaker.

Visit the University of Strathclyde's vacancy portal for full details about the post and to apply by 22 March 2020.

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eTwinning Spring Campaign - Climate Change and Environmental Challenges

2 March 2020 (eTwinning)

We are launching the eTwinning Spring Campaign around the annual theme of Climate Change and Environmental Challenges on 2 March.

Our Spring Campaign in 2020 celebrates eTwinning and eTwinners on a local level while raising awareness on climate change and environmental challenges.

During this campaign, eTwinners are encouraged to get inspired by the annual theme and to create on-site events in their schools and the classrooms! Activities and resources are aimed at both experienced eTwinners and newcomers.

Visit the website for more information about how to get involved.

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Nihongo Cup 2020

2 March 2020 (Japan Foundation)

Last chance to apply for this year's Nihongo Cup, the Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School students.

Finalists will be invited to perform their speech at the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, University of Oxford 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!

Visit the website for more information and to download an application pack. Closing date is 20 March 2020.

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Francophone culture teaching and learning materials

2 March 2020 (University of Stirling)

An English and French fourth-year student at the University of Stirling is carrying out research for her final year dissertation on the representation of the francophone cultures in the French language learning materials of S1/S2 and S5/S6 and the role of culture teaching in French language classes. For this investigation, she has prepared an interview for secondary French teachers asking about the French language learning materials they use in class, the way they teach culture and the cultural aspects that they teach.

If you would like to support her research, please complete the questionnaire.

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Language Linking Global Thinking 2020-21 - registrations now open

28 February 2020 (SCILT)

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

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

Key points for teachers

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

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

Please note places are limited. Please email scilt@strath.ac.uk to request a registration form. 

Read more...

Creativity with Languages in Schools: bringing research into the classroom

27 February 2020 (Creative Multilingualism)

Having already featured some of the inspiring work of the Creative Multilingualism initiative on episode 3 of the #mfltwitterati podcast, I was delighted to have the opportunity to attend one of their recent free events at SOAS in central London in person to find out more, writes Joe Dale.

The day focused on the theme of creativity in languages in schools and showcased the work that the Creative Multilingualism team of researchers have carried out with secondary and primary schools since the start of the project, encouraging students to engage more creatively with language learning.

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SCHOLAR Modern Languages tutor sessions

25 February 2020 (SCHOLAR)

SCHOLAR’s next on line tutor sessions with tutor Douglas Angus will be as follows:

  • Monday 2 March at 6pm - Higher Modern languages and will focus on preparing for external assessment of Reading Listening and Directed Writing. There is an associated worksheet available from SCHOLAR, which includes a task learners can attempt in advance
  • Monday 9 March at 6pm - Advanced Higher, looking at preparing for Reading, Listening and Discursive Writing. There will also be a worksheet accompanying the session.

Visit the website for more information and login.

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Spring break revision courses

25 February 2020 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow is running semi-intensive revision courses in April for Secondary School pupils and University students who are due to sit their French examinations in 2020.

Visit the website for more information and to enrol by 30 March 2020.

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Gaelic CLPL Opportunity - Streap: Postgraduate Certificate in Gaelic Medium Education

24 February 2020 (Sabhal Mòr Ostaig)

The fully funded Postgraduate Certificate in Gaelic Medium Education (Streap) is a Master’s Level qualification of 60 credits at SCQF Level 11. 

The programme is aimed at Gaelic speaking GTCS registered teachers (nursery, primary or secondary) who are seeking Gaelic medium education CLPL, or those who are currently in English medium education and who wish to further develop their skills, knowledge and understanding in order to teach in Gaelic medium education. 

Visit the website for more information and apply now for September 2020 start.

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French pop video competition 2020

24 February 2020 (Institut français)

Do you think you could sing or rap in French? Do you have the skills to make a video clip for your song? If so, this competition is for you!

The competition is open to any student or groups of students in full time education in the national-curriculum primary and secondary schools of England, Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and the Channel Islands, in 3 age-group categories: 7-11, 12-15, and 16-18.

Entries should be original compositions around 3 minutes long and must be performed in French.

Visit the competition website for more information and submit entries by 3 April 2020.

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Cuts to teacher subject advisers could explain declining exam results

23 February 2020 (Brinkwire)

Cuts to subject specialists, advisers and teacher support networks may be the cause of falling exam results, according to a new report.

An analysis of the falling exam pass rates, published on Thursday evening by the Scottish Government, also cites an growing gap in attainment between the richest and poorest pupils in the country.

Bridging that gap, as well as improving education standards, has long been a key priority for the Scottish Government, which critics now argue they have failed on.

Last night, trade unions and experts spoke out about the contents of the report which had been commissioned by Education Secretary John Swinney last year.

[..] The number of teachers who are specialists in their fields has also declined in the past decade, which has been cited by trade union chiefs as part of the decline in standards.

Figures obtained by the Herald in 2018 show that between 2008 and 2018, the number of subject specialists in secondary schools in Scotland had fallen by 11 per cent overall, with some areas seeing as much as a 44% fall in numbers.

The number of English teachers had fallen by 20% in the decade up to 2018, while the number of French teachers had plummeted by 32%.

German teachers fell by 44%, maths teachers by 15% and general science teachers had declined by 11%.

Read more...

Education Scotland Modern Languages Newsletter

21 February 2020 (Education Scotland)

The latest edition of Education Scotland's newsletter for Modern Languages is now available to view online. This issue includes links to the second suite of resources to support progression from Second to Third level.

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Makeathon: Deutsch Digital 2020

19 February 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

There are different opinions on what good media-based foreign language teaching should look like in the 21st century. In 2020, seven Goethe-Institutes in Northwest Europe will be carrying out a project that deals with this problem and wants to address the following questions:
 
Does digitalisation enable customized learning opportunities? Do digital learning opportunities motivate German learners? Should modern foreign language teaching be project-oriented and multidisciplinary? Does the use of technical devices such as tablets automatically make teaching modern? Does internal differentiation work better with digital media? Does foreign language teaching contribute to the development of media literacy?
 
The aim of our project is the development of digitally supported, task- and action-oriented teaching scenarios for German lessons.

The highlight of the project is a multi-day Makeathon (from 13 to 15 May 2020) in Germany. During the Makeathon, you will work with German teachers from the Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Finland and Norway to develop scenarios for your German lessons with the support of experts. After the Makeathon, you will try out the teaching scenario you have co-developed in your German lessons.
 
Would you like to be part of the Makeathon and develop teaching scenarios together with other German teachers? There are four places available for teachers in Scotland. Apply until February 28, 2020!

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Mandarin dream: The UK pupils vying for a trip to Beijing

17 February 2020 (BBC)

Pupils from across the UK headed to London for the national final of a Mandarin speaking competition.

At stake is an all-expenses-paid trip to Beijing where they can test their language skills for real.

See the video.

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Gaelic Sports Leader SCQF Level 4 Award

14 February 2020 (Highland Council)

A Gaelic sports leader’s level 4 will be running in Plockton High School for pupils aged 13+ between Monday 30 March and Thursday 2 April (3 overnight stays).

The feedback from previous courses has been positive and this gives participants a great chance to enhance their leadership whilst also using Gaelic as the tool to do this.

There are up to 16 places available (8 Highland 8 Western Isles to begin with but this could be flexible depending on demand).

The course is free of charge and all accommodation and hot food is provided - breakfast, lunch and dinner all served at the hostel which is on site at Plockton High School.

See the attached flyer for more information and the booking form.

eTwinning 2020 Annual Theme - Climate Change and Environmental Challenges

12 February 2020 (eTwinning)

Supporting the European Green Deal, eTwinning acknowledges that students of today are the adults of tomorrow most likely to experience the effects of climate change. That is why it is imperative to learn to live sustainably in order to counteract climate change and other environmental challenges.

2020 is the year of 'climate change and environmental challenges' for eTwinning. It's free to sign up, meet and partner with teachers from schools in 44 countries and start an international classroom project.

See the website for more information and get involved.

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Issue to action: Teaching toolkit for a fairer world

11 February 2020 (Scotdec)

An online course for secondary school teachers across Scotland with an interest in Global Citizenship Education.

From the comfort of your own home, at a time and location that suits you, you can take part in the Issue to action in a way that fits around your other commitments.

Open to all Scottish Secondary school teachers of Maths, English, Modern Languages, Science and Social Subjects, Issue to action will connect you with a network of teachers across Scotland and equip you with the skills to teach your subject through a Global Citizenship lens. You’ll come away having undertaken a minimum of 12 hours of CLPL and a subject-specific toolkit of classroom activities, along with inspiration, ideas, a network of like-minded practitioners and practical activities that will empower you to teach through a global citizenship lens.

The course kicks off with a face-to-face meet up of all teachers involved across Scotland on 21 March 2020 in Edinburgh. The remainder of the course is delivered digitally.

Read more...

Funded summer courses in Germany - applications now open!

6 February 2020 (UK-German Connection)

We offer three summer course opportunities for pupils and teachers, all combining language-learning with cultural trips and excursions, as well as staying with host families. All are part or fully funded. Follow the appropriate link to find out more about each course.

Application deadline for each programme: 1 March 2020.

If you have any questions about the courses, don't hesitate to get in touch with the UK-German Connection team at pupilprogrammes@ukgermanconnection.org

DiscoverEU is back, with even more travel passes!

4 February 2020 (Eurodesk)

Are you 18 years old? Are you up for an adventure? If yes, get ready to explore other countries by applying for DiscoverEU, a European Union initiative giving young people the opportunity to travel.

Almost 70,000 young people have received a travel pass since the first application round in 2018. Another round is taking place from Thursday 12 March 2020 11am (UK time) until Thursday 26 March 2020 11am (UK time), with 30,000 passes available.

For the most part you will be travelling by rail, but the DiscoverEU pass also covers alternatives such as buses or ferries. 

Visit the website to find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

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SCHOLAR Modern Languages revision sessions

4 February 2020 (SCHOLAR)

The remaining online revision sessions for this year for Modern Languages are as follows. Each will be presented by Douglas Angus, the SCHOLAR online tutor for Modern Languages:

  • 2 March 2020, 6:00pm - Exam skills - HIGHER MODERN LANGUAGES
  • 9 March 2020, 6:00pm - Exam skills - ADVANCED HIGHER MODERN LANGUAGES

Visit the SCHOLAR website for more information and log-in.

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The Linguacuisine ‘LinguaChef’ Prize 2020

3 February 2020 (Newcastle University)

The LinguaChef Prize will be awarded to the person who uploads the best language learning recipe using the Linguacuisine recipe author software during the period 1 February to 15 June 2020. The prize consists of a payment of £200 plus a LinguaChef Gold Certificate. There are 2 runner-up prizes with £50 each plus a LinguaChef Silver Certificate. All will feature on the front page of all Linguacuisine media and the recipes will be promoted around the world on the website.

The language learning recipe can involve learning any language and any recipe. Entry to the competition is open to all and is free.

Visit the website for full details and submit entries by 15 June 2020. For any queries regarding the competition, contact Professor Paul Seedhouse - paul.seedhouse@ncl.ac.uk.

(PLEASE NOTE, NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH THE LINGUACHEF COMPETITION PREVIOUSLY RUN BY SCILT.)

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Short term international youth volunteering opportunity - France

31 January 2020 (Red Cross)

The International Youth Volunteering Programme has one exciting 5 month volunteering opportunity in France coming up in March 2020 (ending August 2020).

As part of the European Solidarity Corps (EuSC) scheme, all IYVP placements are fully funded, with travel, accommodation, health insurance costs all covered and volunteers receive a small monthly allowance to cover additional expenses.

This is the perfect opportunity for those interested in gaining valuable skills, having new experiences and giving back to the community. Experience is not a requirement, although the placements can be challenging and require adaptability and resilience. This volunteer will also need a good-high level of French language skills. We’re particularly keen to hear from young people who are passionate about the work but may not otherwise have the opportunity to volunteer overseas.

The volunteer will be part of the education team, helping to raise awareness of first aid, health issues, international humanitarian law and much more. They will be supported by other French volunteers, and will also be able to take part in other activities in the Red Cross branch.

If you are interested in applying, please visit the volunteer recruitment portal. The deadline for applications is Sunday 16 February 2020.

Any questions? Please email us at IYVP@redcross.org.uk.

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Science Specialist Confucius Classroom / Beyond the Panda

29 January 2020 (RZSS)

The RZSS offer the following education programmes to support the teaching and learning of Mandarin in schools.

  • Science Specialist Confucius Classroom - limited FREE sessions at Edinburgh Zoo extended to June 2020. We have two sessions available within our Specialist Classroom. Please note the updated conditions. Please see the attached pdf for details. 
  • Beyond the Panda - new booklet available which details the overall Beyond the Panda programme and provides guidance on the website. The booklet includes a planning and learning map detailing various Mandarin language topics, the games within the programme and where to find them. See the attached pdf for more information.

The German Olympics (IDO)

28 January 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

The German Olympics (IDO) is the biggest competition for the German language. Every two years over 100 students from all around the world meet to compete in their most beloved foreign language.

We are happy to welcome the German Olympics for schools worldwide to the United Kingdom in 2020 for the third time. The competition is open to secondary school students born between August 2002 and July 2006.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information about eligibility and how to enter the competition. Submission deadline is 27 March 2020.

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New report reveals stark gender gap in foreign languages

27 January 2020 (British Council)

A new report from the British Council reveals a stark gender gap in foreign languages and highlights the methods of schools who are trying to close the gender gap in language learning by tackling boys’ underperformance.

The report, produced by the Education Policy Institute (EPI), found that boys’ entry and performance in GCSE languages is persistently lower than girls, with a pupil’s gender a stronger predictor of outcomes than a pupil’s level of disadvantage: a girl from a poorer background is more likely to outperform a boy from a more affluent background.  

Boys studying modern foreign languages at GCSE in schools in England  was commissioned to investigate the latest trends in the entry and attainment levels of boys, and examine what schools are doing to tackle the growing gender divide.

This comes as overall entries into languages have undergone a significant decline in recent years. In contrast with all other subjects in the government’s ‘EBacc’ group of core academic subjects, such as maths, sciences and English, foreign languages have seen an increasingly low rate of entries.  

Read more...

Related Links

Girls more likely to pass foreign language GCSEs than boys (The Student Room, 28 January 2020)

How do we encourage boys to learn languages? (TES, 28 January 2020 - subscription required to access)

'It's no shock that boys are avoiding languages'

27 January 2020 (TES)

We need to think more about how language-learning in schools is seen through a teenage boy's eyes, says Isabelle Dépreux.

The news that boys are eschewing the learning of languages does, while sad to hear, not come as a shock to me.

As the head of language learning at an all-girls’ school, I am also the mother of two boys, one a teenager. Benefiting from a multilingual mother, my children are, I’m glad to say, language and culturally fluent.

However, had it not been for this parental input, I’m not so sure it would have been the case.

Learning a language is like having a baby: you are far removed from you normal comfort zone.

Beginning a new language at the often emotionally-fragile teenage years is hard enough as it is and, what's more, I find that boys are naturally more inhibited in general.

Not to mention that everyone is familiar with the jokes about women asking for directions while men drive around for hours rather than possibly losing face.

It’s the same in a language class. Girls bounce back from mistakes more easily, while boys are concerned about being seen as weak and having their peers’ judge. 

(Note - subscription required to access full article)

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German Educational Trainees Across Borders 2020/21

23 January 2020 (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz / SCILT)

Expressions of interest are now being taken from local authorities who would like to host a German student teacher for a 6 month placement during the 2020/21 school session.

German trainee teachers from Universities in Mainz, Leipzig and Koblenz are available to work in Scottish schools for a six month placement from September/October 2020 to March/April 2021. Participating students are native German speakers, training to become secondary teachers of English. 

German Educational Trainees (GETs) support language teaching and intercultural understanding, bringing language alive for learners with a trained and motivated native speaker. 

Local authorities interested in hosting GETs should register with SCILT by Friday 31st January. For more information and to register your interest please contact SCILT

Read more...

Language competitions

22 January 2020 (RZSS)

RZSS and our partner StampIT have launched language competitions. All are based on a fantastic activity which covers many curriculum objectives starting with just one postage stamp. Tell the story of a Spanish, French, Chinese or in fact any country/language stamp. Full details are on the attached pdf leaflets. There are specific leaflets for Spanish, French and Mandarin. There is also another leaflet 'Stamps from around the World' and for this competition any topic (including any language) can be entered. This activity links to the RZSS & StampIT language series.

The competition will continue to run each year, therefore there is no time limit for entries. However for entries to be shown in the 2020 Scottish Annual Congress, please send by 1 March 2020. Entries are encouraged from all age groups. Example pages are shown but younger pupils can still enter and possibly draw around the stamp and write a word or two in the language as appropriate. Pupils can enter more than one of the competitions.

Check out the attached leaflets for more information on each of the competitions. If anyone has difficulty in finding stamps, please contact Sandie Robb - SRobb@rzss.org.uk.

e-Sgoil National 5/Higher Gaelic (Learners) course

17 January 2020 (e-Sgoil)

e-Sgoil is taking applications from S4-S6 pupils for its 2020-2021 Nat 5 and Higher Gaelic (Learners) courses. These courses are fully funded by the Scottish Government, are delivered online and are open to pupils from anywhere in Scotland. See the attached flyer for more information.

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Related Files

Scottish Education Awards 2020

16 January 2020 (Education Scotland)

If you haven't already done so, make sure you get your nominations in for the 2020 Scottish Education Awards! The awards celebrate the hard work and success which takes place in Scottish education.

The annual event recognises those who dedicate their lives to children and young people and showcases the valuable work and innovation in Scottish classrooms.

Among the wide range of categories are the awards for Gaelic Education and the Internationalism and Languages award. 

Visit the Scottish Education Awards website for further information and to submit your nomination by 14 February 2020.

Read more...

Erasmus+ funding for UK schools – apply now!

14 January 2020 (British Council)

Want to inspire your students and teachers – and help them to succeed?

The Erasmus+ 2020 Call is now open for applications. Erasmus+ offers funding to UK schools for life-changing international opportunities. You can apply for one or more of the following funding streams:

  • School Education Staff Mobility (Key Action 101):
    Application deadline - 5 February 2020 at 11am (UK time)
    School staff can teach, train or job shadow abroad - to develop their professional practice, build relationships with international peers and gain fresh ideas.
  • School Exchange Partnerships (Key Action 229):
    Application deadline - 24 March 2020 at 11am (UK time)
    Pupils and students can take part in international exchanges and study experiences, and staff can do training and teaching assignments overseas - to develop new skills, get inspired and gain vital international experience.
  • Strategic Partnerships for School Education (Key Action 201):
    Application deadline - 24 March 2020 at 11am (UK time)
    Schools can collaborate with international partners - to drive innovation, share best practice, and offer new opportunities to young people.

The funding is open to UK schools and colleges providing general, vocational or technical education to pupils aged 3 – 18 years. Local and regional authorities, school coordination bodies and consortia can also apply.

Please visit the website to find out more and apply for Erasmus+ schools funding now.  Any questions? Please contact the Erasmus+ UK National Agency at: erasmusplus.enquiries@britishcouncil.org.

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Worldwide Napier magazine - Call for submissions

10 January 2020 (Edinburgh Napier University)

Worldwide Napier, the magazine in foreign languages designed by language students to encourage language studies, is currently looking for contributions in French, German and Spanish for its fifth issue, desirably on [changing] places, our next issue main focus.

Students from secondary schools, colleges and other universities are invited to submit articles, written individually or collaboratively in the language(s) they are studying. The magazine will be published by the end of April 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 and poster for more information. Submission deadline is 1 March 2020.

SCHOLAR Online Tutor Sessions - Modern Languages

10 January 2020 (SCHOLAR)

The next online tutor sessions for Higher and Advanced Higher Modern Languages take place on Monday 13 January 2020.

  • 6:00pm - Higher Modern Languages: Interactive translation
  • 6:45pm - Advanced Higher Modern Languages: Interactive translation

Visit the SCHOLAR website for further information.

Read more...

Discover the Arabic world – A unique experience for Scotland’s schools

10 January 2020 (SCILT)

SCILT, in partnership with Qatar Foundation International and eSgóil is currently looking for ten state schools in Scotland who would be interested in opening the door to the Arab world with an innovative new pilot project. 

The collaboration will provide an opportunity for both primary and secondary schools to offer L3 learning experiences in Arabic language and culture.  Courses will be co-created by the SCILT team and a specially commissioned writing team of native speakers, with language lessons delivered online by a native speaker of Arabic via e-Sgoil. For learners in primary schools the course will be offered as a ten-week inter-disciplinary block of learning.  For secondary schools, the course will focus on developing employability skills and be aimed at S6 senior phase learners who are seeking to enhance their language learning experience and their CVs.  Participating schools will also receive the support of a fully-trained, native speaking, language assistant. The lessons will give learners the chance to explore aspects of Arabic culture as well as providing a solid linguistic foundation for learning the world’s fifth most spoken language.

In addition to teaching support and professional learning opportunities, schools participating in the pilot phase will also receive a grant of £2000.  This can provide schools with resources and experiences that enhance and support the language learning and promote a positive experience of Arabic culture.

If you would like your school to be considered to take part in the pilot, please note your interest at SCILT scilt@strath.ac.uk before close of business on Friday 31 January 2020.

School Partnership Bursaries for 2019-20

9 January 2020 (UK-German Connection)

Did you run any activities with your German partner school last year?

School partnership bursaries are available once more to help you to keep your UK-German partnership alive.

All you need to do is answer a few short questions about your partnership activities last year and your plans for 2020.

For further details and to enter your information, please visit the UK-German Connection website and submit your information by 31 January 2020. 

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Learning foreign languages should be compulsory, says report

9 January 2020 (The Guardian)

Learning a new language should be compulsory for pupils up to the age of 16, according to a new report highlighting the UK’s recent abysmal record in encouraging young people to study languages other than English.

The report published by the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) cites an EU-wide survey showing that just 32% of young people in the UK say they are able to read or write in more than one language, compared with 79% of their peers in France and more than 90% in Germany.

The report calls for the overturning of the government’s 2004 decision to drop compulsory study of languages at key stage four – when pupils take GCSE exams in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – which has led to a steep decline in the numbers in England going on to study languages at colleges and universities.

It also recommends that the government should start subsidising the teaching of languages at universities, “in light of declining enrolments and growing vulnerability for lesser taught languages”, for strategic and cultural reasons.

Read more...

UK Linguistics Olympiad (UKLO)

7 January 2020 (UKLO)

UKLO is a competition for students who are still at school (or equivalent college) – any age, any ability level, where competitors have to solve linguistic data problems. It’s free to enter and offers participants the chance to be the team selected for entry in the International Linguistics Olympiad. In recent years the UK teams in the international competition have been very successful.  

Round 1 of the competition takes place 3-7 February 2020.

To find out more and to register to take part, visit the UKLO website.

Read more...

What are the hardest GCSE subjects? A student's view

6 January 2020 (TES)

When it comes to GCSEs, a mixed bag of results is often expected by teachers and students alike. 

It’s generally accepted that students have stronger and weaker areas; some are more Stem-oriented, while others perform better in English and the arts.

But are all GCSE subjects of the same difficulty? 

And should we be concerned about this?

I propose that the difference in performance across subjects is partially down to disparities in the difficulty of the courses and exams.

I achieved 10 grade 9s last summer, but I did not find it easy. 

These are the subjects that I – and others – found the most difficult.

Read more...

French Pop Video Competition 2020

6 January 2020 (Institut français)

Do you think you could sing or rap in French? Do you have the skills to make a video clip for your song? If so, this competition is for you!

The competition is open to any student or groups of students in full time education in the national-curriculum primary and secondary schools of England, Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and the Channel Islands, in 3 age-group categories: 7-11, 12-15, and 16-18.

Entries should be original compositions around 3 minutes long and must be performed in French.

Visit the competition website for more information and submit entries by 3 April 2020.

Read more...

Nihongo Cup 2020

2 January 2020 (Japan Foundation)

Applications are now open for this year's Nihongo Cup, the Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School students.

Finalists will be invited to perform their speech at the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, University of Oxford 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!

Visit the website for more information and to download an application pack. Closing date is 20 March 2020.

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Why we offer Mandarin and Spanish, not German and French

20 December 2019 (TES)

Secondary head Chris Woolf explains why he ditched the modern language stalwarts in favour of giving all students the chance to learn Mandarin and Spanish.

It was very quiet. There was no one to talk to. There were no phones to ring. There was no one knocking on the door. Getting in early to make some progress before students and staff arrived for the day was pointless: they wouldn’t be here for another nine months. It was June 2015 and I had been appointed founding headteacher of Pinner High School.

Much of the next year was spent making and enacting plans. But foremost in my mind, on those quiet days when the school had not yet come into being, was the curriculum. What should it look like?

A lot of it would be traditional, of course: English, maths, science. However, there was an opportunity to make it a bit more exciting, too. This is how we came to ditch French and German, teaching Mandarin and Spanish to every child in the school instead.

Mandarin teaching has increased over the past 20 years but it is still offered by only a minority of state schools. Even then, it is usually in addition to the more traditional languages. We didn’t want it to be an add-on – we wanted it to be the main event.

Meanwhile, the number of students taking Spanish at GCSE has soared, while French has fallen markedly. But trying to counter the former and respond to the latter were not our only drivers.

Governors asked appropriately challenging questions. Why? What’s wrong with French and German? Through telling audiences about our language options as I toured local primaries to promote the school, I honed my response. When schools first started teaching modern foreign languages, we looked to our nearest neighbours in Europe for the most useful ones to learn: French and German.

But the world has changed. If we look to the future, we want jobseekers of the 2020s to be equipped for success, and that means a more dynamic approach. Teaching students in an English-speaking school Mandarin and Spanish means that they get to study the top three most widely spoken languages in the world. That must be a good thing.

Having settled on Mandarin and Spanish, I had to consider who would be eligible for these languages. This was an easy decision: everyone. We are a truly inclusive school and we believe that everyone can access the same curriculum, given the proper support.

Then I had to actually make it happen. I had expected recruiting Mandarin teachers to be difficult. However, when I advertised, there was a strong field to pick from and we now have brilliant colleagues.

(Note - subscription required to access full article).

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Chinese New Year

19 December 2019 (British Council)

Get ready to celebrate Chinese New Year on 25 January 2020!

This education resource from the British Council is packed full of exciting ideas and activities from across the curriculum, helping you and your pupils celebrate Chinese New Year 2020 and the Year of the Rat.

Play the sound files and practice saying the names of different Chinese festivals and greetings in Mandarin. Read a traditional story about a pair of ambitious rat parents trying to find a husband for their daughter. Get creative making rat finger puppets, Tangram puzzles and steamed rice dumplings. Learn together about Tomb Sweeping Day, the Spring, Moon and Dragon Boat Festivals and read letters from Chinese children about how they celebrate with their friends and families.

This resource is suitable for primary years and adaptable for early secondary years and older.

Read more...

European Language Gazette Issue 49

19 December 2019 (ECML)

The latest issue of the European Language Gazette is now available.

The e-newsletter provides up-to-date news about the ECML (events, projects, resources), other relevant sectors of the Council of Europe, as well as our partners. The current issue is dedicated to the ECML 25th Anniversary Conference "Languages at the heart of learning: 25 years of inspiring innovation" (Graz, Austria, 5-6 December 2019), the forthcoming resources resulting from the ECML programme 2016-19 "Languages at the heart of learning programme" and the launch of the new programme 2020-23 "Inspiring innovation in language education: changing contexts, evolving competences".

Read more...

School partnership bursaries

16 December 2019 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection is again offering bursaries of £1,000 to help keep UK-German school partnerships alive. The bursaries can support pupil visits and joint activities taking place in 2020.

Visit the website to find out more and submit your application by 31 January 2020.

Read more...

Mathématiques sans Frontières 2020

16 December 2019 (UWS)

Mathématiques sans Frontières is an annual international mathematics competition for S4-S6 schoolchildren, centrally run by the Académie de Strasbourg since 1989. This interclass competition involves a number of mathematical puzzles where one of the puzzles is posed, and must be answered, in a foreign language. The University of the West of Scotland (UWS) is organising the competition in Scotland and invites schools to register for the competition by 31 January 2020.

More information can be found in the attached invitation letter. Also attached is the registration form and a competition training test and answer sheet.

Further information about previous competitions can also be found on the UWS Mathématiques sans Frontières website.

Read more...

Related Files

Secondary students urged to learn foreign languages to boost career prospects

6 December 2019 (Irish Times)

Some 3,000 students attended an event in Dublin’s Convention Centre aimed at highlighting the personal, social, professional and economic benefits of language learning.

While most Irish students study foreign languages in school, surveys show Irish adults lag behind other Europeans in language competence.

Karen Ruddock, director of Post Primary Languages Ireland, said the global dominance of English has given rise to the mistaken belief that “English is enough”.

This, she said, can result in complacency and a lack of motivation to learn other languages.

“Today’s event is about delivering a message that learning a foreign langauge will create more work opportunties, more chances to make friends and have great life experiences,” she said.

Read more...

Parlons français 2020

6 December 2019 (AMOPA)

The competition for Advanced Higher students of French has now been running for over ten years and is back again for 2020!

To enter, all that's needed is a short recording of students as they prepare for their speaking test. Judges will assess it, provide feedback to everyone and some will be awarded prizes and certificates. It is hoped that taking part will be a useful exercise to support pupils' learning and preparation and not a distraction. Since they are practising anyway, why not let them have some feedback on that?

For more information and how to enter see the attached flyer.

Related Files

Scottish school pupils show off their language skills in Mandarin Speaking Competition

6 December 2019 (CISS)

Over 40 pupils from 14 Scottish Schools put their linguistic skills to the test on 26 November as they bid to be crowned Scotland’s best Mandarin speakers. They took part in the Glasgow heat of this year’s British Council Mandarin Speaking Competition, held at the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools (CISS) within Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT).

The winners of the heat will be announced next month after all the UK heats have been completed, and they will be put forward to the final in London in February 2020 with the overall winner winning a fully-funded educational and cultural visit to China. Now in its sixteenth year, the national competition aims to build interest in Chinese language and culture.

Mr Jiayi Chen, Teacher of Mandarin at Kinross High, said:

“Learning Mandarin has been incredibly important at Kinross High and our pupils gain so much confidence when using the language and taking part in the competition.  We’ve seen a big impact from the opportunity to put language skills to use outside of a classroom setting. It’s also great to see that many of our students have been inspired to continue studying languages to a higher level.”

As the most spoken language in the world, Mandarin is recognised as a valuable skill for young people in the UK to acquire. 77 per cent of British business leaders surveyed in 2018 saying that speaking Mandarin will give school leavers a career advantage. Research by the British Council has found that Mandarin is the second most important foreign language for the UK’s influence on the global stage.

However, the numbers of pupils studying Mandarin are low when compared to other languages. This year, in Scotland for example, just 232 pupils took the Scottish National 5 exam in Mandarin compared to more than 10,720 students who took French and over 7000 pupils who took Spanish.

Jackie Killeen, Director, British Council Scotland said;

“It’s wonderful to see so many Scottish Schools and pupils involved in the Mandarin Speaking Competition this year – and we’re delighted to help host this event in Glasgow. Mandarin Chinese is a vital language world-wide and this competition provides a powerful way for students not only to enhance their language skills but also to broaden their horizons for life and work in the global economy. We wish all the pupils and Schools the very best for the heats and the final”.

Fhiona Mackay, Director, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, added;

“SCILT is delighted to host the Scottish heats of the British Council’s annual Mandarin Speaking Competition.  These events highlight the importance of languages as key skills for life and work and showcase the talents of youngsters across the country who are enthusiastically learning Mandarin. It’s certainly not easy an easy task to speak in a language you are learning in front of a panel of distinguished judges and I am impressed by the young people’s courage, motivation and commitment.  The confidence that is developed by taking part in such an event will serve them well throughout their school careers.  Regardless of the outcome of the judges’ final decisions, everyone who takes part is a winner!”

Since 2003, around 3,000 young people from across the UK have entered the competition – with some of these pupils later going on to graduate in Mandarin Chinese.

Pupils can compete in the Individual Language Ability or the Group Performance section. In the Individual section, contestants give a short presentation in Mandarin and translate sentences from English into Mandarin. In the Group Performance section, groups of five students of mixed Mandarin experience perform a piece of drama in Mandarin, involving imaginative performances and drama.

The national final of the Mandarin Speaking Competition will take place in London on 5 February 2020.

photos from the Mandarin Speaking Competition

The German Olympics (IDO)

6 December 2019 (Goethe-Institut)

The German Olympics (IDO) is the biggest competition for the German language. Every two years over 100 students from all around the world meet to compete in their most beloved foreign language.

We are happy to welcome the German Olympics for schools worldwide to the United Kingdom in 2020 for the third time. The competition is open to secondary school students born between August 2002 and July 2006.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information about eligibility and how to enter the competition. Submission deadline is 27 March 2020.

Read more...

Professional learning - Issue to action: Teaching toolkit for a fairer world

4 December 2019 (Scotdec)

Scotdec offers this online course for secondary school teachers across Scotland with an interest in Global Citizenship Education.

Open to all Scottish Secondary school teachers of Maths, English, Modern Languages, Science and Social Subjects, Issue to action will connect you with a network of teachers across Scotland and equip you with the skills to teach your subject through a global citizen lens.

From the comfort of your own home, at a time and location that suits you, you can take part in the Issue to action in a way that fits around your other commitments.

Visit the website to find out more and register your interest for the Spring cohort.

Read more...

Teach abroad as an English Language Assistant

4 December 2019 (British Council)

Every year, around 2,500 language assistants from the UK support the teaching of English in 14 countries around the world. 

We offer the opportunity to teach English overseas on a paid six-month or one-year placement working as a language assistant. 

As an English Language Assistant, you will: 

  • strengthen your CV
  • improve your fluency in another language
  • gain a number of skills including communication, presentation, time management, organisation, teamwork, and problem-solving
  • immerse yourself in another culture and improve your cultural awareness
  • develop professional confidence

Teaching time is limited to between 12 and 20 hours a week, giving you plenty of time to experience the country and pursue other interests.

Visit the British Council website to find out more and to apply to be an English Language Assistant in 2020-21. Closing date: 5 February 2020.

Read more...

Scottish Education Awards 2020

4 December 2019 (Scottish Education Awards)

The Scottish Education Awards celebrate the hard work and success which takes place in Scottish education.

The annual event recognises those who dedicate their lives to children and young people and showcases the valuable work and innovation in Scottish classrooms.

Among the wide range of categories are the awards for Gaelic Education and the Internationalism and Languages award. 

Nominations are now invited.

Visit the Scottish Education Awards website for further information and to submit your nomination by 14 February 2020.

Read more...

French courses in Glasgow

2 December 2019 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow is currently enrolling for the following courses taking place during January and February 2020. Click on the relevant link for more information.

Apply for the 2020 edition of Charlemagne Youth Prize

29 November 2019 (European Parliament)

Aged 16-30 and working on a project with a European dimension? Apply for the 2020 Charlemagne Youth Prize and win funds to further develop your initiative.

The European Parliament and the International Charlemagne Prize Foundation of Aachen award the Charlemagne Youth Prize every year to projects by young people with a strong EU dimension. Applications for 2020 open on 6 November and run until 31 January.

Visit the website for more information.

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UNIQ Spring and Summer Schools 2020

29 November 2019 (University of Oxford)

UNIQ Spring and Summer gives students in UK state schools and colleges an opportunity to sample the Oxford undergraduate student experience. Applicants will live in an Oxford college for a week, attend lectures and seminars in their chosen subject area, and receive expert advice on the Oxford application and interview process. The timetable also allows plenty of time for social activities.

For those unable to attend the Oxford campus, the UNIQ Digital programme provides comprehensive information and guidance on the university admissions process, and aims to provide a realistic view of Oxford student life through videos, activities and quizzes. 

A wide range of courses are on offer, including several language study options.

Visit the UNIQ website for more information about the programmes on offer and to apply. Applications are open from 2 December 2019 to 27 January 2020.

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SCILT professional learning menu - available for booking!

29 November 2019 (SCILT)

The SCILT professional learning menu for 2019-20 is available for booking. Authorities, clusters or schools may be interested in booking one or more from our range of workshops for primary, secondary and BGE. 

Remember all of our professional learning sessions are free to book by teachers and local authorities. You find a date and a venue and get in touch with us.

Details of the workshops available and how to submit a request are on the professional learning pages of our website. 

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SCILT Christmas 2019 webpage now live

29 November 2019 (SCILT)

Are you looking for ways to bring the festive season to your languages classroom?

SCILT have compiled a range of online resources for use with your pupils, from songs and games to lesson plans and festive facts. Find out how Christmas is celebrated in France, Germany, Spain and around the world!

Read more...

‘Know your place, show your place’ photo competition

28 November 2019 (Queens University Belfast)

This competition invites you to consider the linguistic ‘ingredients’ that make up place-names, and capture elements of these as they exist today in a photo

  • Entries welcome from individuals and schools
  • Cash prizes for both categories
  • Easy to enter, email some details and the photo to townlands@qub.ac.uk
  • Closes 31st Dec
  • Funded by the ‘Language Acts and World Making project

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages update

25 November 2019 (SQA)

SQA has published updates to the Advanced Higher Modern Languages course. The document outlines changes to take effect from 2020 and can be found on the SQA AH Modern Languages webpage under subject updates.

Read more...

Education Scotland Gaelic Newsletter

20 November 2019 (Education Scotland)

The November 2019 edition of Education Scotland's newsletter for Gaelic Medium Education is now available to view online.

Topics in this issue include:

  • National Improvement Hub resources to support GME in the curriculum
  • Music and wellbeing resources
  • Professional learning and leadership opportunities
  • Early years support
  • Sharing effective practice to support improvement

Read more...

SEET school competitions reminder

20 November 2019 (SEET)

Have you registered your school yet for either of the competitions run by the Scottish European Educational Trust (SEET)?

The Euroquiz project is open to all P6 pupils across Scotland and sees teams of four working together to broaden their knowledge of Europe and the wider world. Subjects covered include languages, history, geography, culture and European affairs. Heats commence January 2020.

Our World is a film making project for S3-S6 pupils asking them to use modern languages to express thoughts on topics such as migration and sustainable tourism through the media of film. Deadline for storyboard submissions is 3 December 2019.

More information about each project and how to register can be found on the attached document or visit the SEET website.

Read more...

Related Files

Hour of Code 2019

19 November 2019 (Turn It On)

The ‘Hour of Code™’ is an initiative by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org to introduce millions of students to one hour of computer science and computer programming and this year will be celebrated in Computer Science Education Week, 9th – 15th December 2019. Try a one-hour tutorial designed for all ages in over 45 languages. Join millions of students and teachers in over 180 countries starting with an Hour of Code.

Now in its fourth year there are even more resources out there for schools to use free of charge. The Hour of Code initiative is a really good opportunity for schools that are not that confident in following the computing curriculum to try it out with students for just one hour as well as some good activities for those that are already teaching it. 

On the Hour of Code website there are activities created by many partners for a variety of subjects so that you can bring an hour of code into any lesson, for students, and teachers, of any ability.

Read more...

Good news for language statistics despite fall in numbers

18 November 2019 (SCILT)

Intrigued?  Read the latest Language Trends Scotland report.

Read more...

Win a trip to Paris

8 November 2019 (ULIP)

Studying French at AS/A Level (or equivalent) and fancy a weekend away to the City of Light? 

The University of London Institute in Paris’ (ULIP) annual Win a Trip to Paris competition is now open for students of AS/A-Level French (or equivalent)! The weekend offers the perfect chance to explore the French capital, try out your taste for croissants, and see what it might be like to live and study for your undergraduate degree in one of Europe’s most cosmopolitan cities.

This year's competition focuses on an important forthcoming event that will take place in Paris. To spur creativity, we have changed our format: this year we are inviting you to create an image caption. Be imaginative and bold! For your chance to spend a weekend in Paris, simply answer two questions and add your snappy caption under the image before midnight UK time 31 January 2020.

Visit the ULIP website for more information and to enter.

Read more...

Advanced Higher pupil workshops - bookings now open

8 November 2019 (SCILT)

Returning for session 2019-20, SCILT will be delivering workshops for pupils studying Advanced Higher modern languages. Bookings are currently open for:

  • Stirling - Tuesday 26 November 10am-12, University of Stirling (this workshop is now fully booked, however you can register on the waiting list via Eventbrite in case of any cancellations)
  • Glasgow - Wednesday 4 December 10am-12, University of Strathclyde (this workshop is now fully booked, however you can register on the waiting list via Eventbrite in case of any cancellations)
  • Glasgow - Friday 6 December 10am-12, University of Strathclyde (this workshop is now fully booked, however you can register on the waiting list via Eventbrite in case of any cancellations)
  • Dundee - Monday 9 December 10am-12, University of Dundee
  • Edinburgh - Tuesday 10 December 10am-12, University of Edinburgh
  • Inverness - Wednesday 11 December 11am-1pm, Millburn Academy

This is a pupil workshop which will focus on what is required at Advanced Higher level and give tips on how to approach key elements of the course. 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 can 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.

Spanish stamp competition

7 November 2019 (RZSS)

RZSS and partner StampIT have launched a great new Spanish competition. It's a fantastic activity which covers many curriculum objectives all starting with just one postage stamp. Tell the story of a Spanish stamp. Full details about the competition and how to enter are on the attached pdf leaflet. This activity links to the RZSS & StampIT Spanish language pack (but you don't need the pack to enter).

The competition will continue to run each year, therefore there is no time limit for entries. Entries will be entered as appropriate to the current year competition, so schools can just send in when complete. All age levels can enter in primary and secondary.

Related Files

International Education Week 2019

5 November 2019 (British Council)

International Education Week takes place 18-22 November 2019, and British Council has a range of ways to help your school #BeInternational.

International partnerships have changed the lives of pupils in thousands of schools. Pupils who have learnt new languages, developed their understanding of different cultures, and discovered more about the global issues that affect us all. Here are some of the ways you can participate in International Education Week 2019:

  • Take the #BeInternational languages quiz 
  • Enter our Unexpected Voices speechwriting competition
  • Partner with a school in Europe through eTwinning 
  • Partner with a school outside Europe with Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning 
  • Download The Great Languages Challenge and get your students to design their own challenges for their classmates or peers in their partner school overseas.
  • Apply for funding to take your students on an international exchange
  • Get recognised for your international work through the International School Award . 
  • Share your international activity with us using the hashtag #BeInternational 

Visit the British Council website to find out more.

Read more...

Entries sought for Scots writing competition

3 November 2019 (Grampian Online)

Entries are being sought for an annual Scots language writing competition.

The Keith branch of the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland are looking for entries for the Charles Murray Writing Competition, which encourages the passing down of the Scots language from generation to generation.

The competition was launched to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Charles Murray, an Alford-born poet, and is now into its sixth year.

Work entered into the competition can be prose or poetry and can be written about anything – but has to be in Scots. The competition is open to anyone, of any age, but must be written by two or more people of different generations – for example mother and daughter or grandfather and grandson.

Read more...

FOKUS: Films from Germany 2019-20

30 October 2019 (Goethe-Institut)

The fifth edition of FOKUS: Films from Germany runs from 21 November 2019 to 31 January 2020. Screenings will take place at various venues throughout Scotland. The programme includes two school screenings of 'the Resistance'. The film is suitable for pupils aged 12+ and is screened in German with English subtitles.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for full programme details.

Read more...

School competitions for learners of German

28 October 2019 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut currently has the following opportunities for schools teaching German. Click on the relevant link for more information:

Visit the main Goethe-Institut website for more information about the organisation and the full range of activities offered.

Read more...

Concours de la Francophonie

28 October 2019 (Institut français)

The Institut français d'Ecosse has launched their annual Concours de la Francophonie for schools, which aims 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.

Entries can be submitted in four categories: P1/P4 - P5/P7 - S1/S3 - S4/S6.

The submission deadline is 20 January 2020. 

This school competition is sponsored by TOTAL E&P, the Franco Scottish Society and is organised in partnership with the Alliance française de Glasgow, SALT, SCILT and the University of Edinburgh.

Visit the Institut français website for more information and to discover previous competition winners.

Read more...

Get ready for Hallowe'en!

25 October 2019 (Various)

A selection of spooktastic activities to celebrate Hallowe’en in the languages classroom:

Prestigious Scottish school to open Chinese campus

22 October 2019 (ECNS)

Architects have begun construction on the Chinese outpost of a top-ranked Scottish school that will offer bilingual education to elementary and high school students.

Fettes Guangzhou is a collaborative venture between Chinese education company Bright Scholar and Edinburgh-based Fettes College, opened in 1870, which counts former United Kingdom prime minister Tony Blair among its alumni.

Set to open in September next year, Fettes Guangzhou will be the brand's first international campus.

The school will be dual-curricular, offering up to 2,000 students aspects of both the British and Chinese education systems. Fettes Guangzhou will teach boys and girls and take full boarders as well as day students.

"Fettes Guangzhou will be a true reflection of Fettes College internationally, fully adopt our ethos, provide an outstanding academic education, focus on sector-leading pastoral care and introduce a wealth of co-curricular activities to broaden the horizons of all of its students," said Bruce Dingwall, who is deputy chair of the Fettes Trust.

Situated on the northern outskirts of Edinburgh, Fettes College was named Scotland's top independent secondary school in 2018 by The Sunday Times School Guide, which uses results from General Certificate of Secondary Education, A-Level, and International Baccalaureate exams to determine its rankings.

Several high-profile individuals have attended Fettes, including 2015's Nobel Prize in Economics winner Angus Deaton, Academy Award-winning actress Tilda Swinton, and sinologist Roderick Mac-Farquhar, who served as director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University.

Bright Scholar is China's largest operator of international and bilingual schools, and the company has made a string of investments in British education in recent years.

Read more...

French Film Festival 2019

17 October 2019 (French Film Festival)

The 27th French Film Festival takes place throughout the UK during November and December 2019.

Visit the Festival website to discover screenings near you. Educational packs are available to accompany the following films:

  • La Famille Bélier
  • Gus petit oiseau, grand voyage
  • Une colonie

Read more...

Königspost German essay competition 2019

16 October 2019 (King's College London)

The Department of German at King's College London are again holding their Königspost essay writing competition for year 12 and 13 students of German (senior phase in Scotland).

Students are invited to write an article in German on the subject of Jugend und Protest. The winning entry will be published in our popular newspaper, the Königspost, and there will be further prizes for the winner and runners-up.

See the attached flyer for full details about the competition and how to enter or visit the website. Submission deadline is 18 November 2019.

Read more...

Related Files

Unleashing the creative potential of linguistic diversity in our classrooms

15 October 2019 (Creative Multilingualism)

Many of our students are already multilingual, but our classrooms often don’t reflect this. In our action research project, we were amazed by the transformation that occurred when we invited students to use their home languages in class.

Imagine walking into any science or humanities-based lesson in a UK school or elsewhere in which all of the students are engaged in the same task yet using different languages. For most of us that would probably be an unusual sight. Yet we have to ask ourselves why. Why does this seem such an unlikely scenario when our schools commonly serve a multicultural and multilingual student body with home languages that are not English? If we are to promote multilingualism and encourage students to learn languages other than English, shouldn’t we also value and welcome all the languages that already exist in our school communities?

Think of the wealth of knowledge and intercultural exchange as well as language learning opportunities that students from different backgrounds can bring to the classroom. Also, when charged with the education of children whose primary home language is not English, we need to consider how we can facilitate and encourage our students’ development in their home language too. Multiple longitudinal studies by UNESCO have consistently revealed that a student’s academic proficiency in their home language plays a significant role in their success in additional language learning and across the whole curriculum.

Read more...

SQA Advanced Higher Languages Course Reports 2019

14 October 2019 (SQA)

SQA has published Advanced Higher Gaelic (Learners), German, Italian and Chinese languages 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...

German debating competition for secondary schools

10 October 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.

Read more...

Discovery Film Festival 2019

8 October 2019 (Discovery Film Festival)

This year's Discovery Film Festival takes place from 19 October to 3 November. Now in its sixteenth year, the festival brings another selection of the best films for young audiences from around the world. With several native language films on offer, and a programme for schools, language learners have a great opportunity to test their listening and comprehension skills.

Read more...

eTwinning – what it is and why UK educators should get in quick

4 October 2019 (London Connected Learning Centre)

London Connected Learning Centre’s Peter Lillington reports back from last week’s UK eTwinning Conference.

If you’re a UK educator of 3-19 year olds and you haven’t yet heard of eTwinning – get up to speed and get in quick (and certainly before 31 October). eTwinning is a free online community for schools in Europe and some neighbouring countries, which allows you to find partners and collaborate on projects within a secure network and potentially access Erasmus+ funding.

This fantastic initiative is supported in the UK by the British Council and of the 670,000 registrations on the platform, more than 27,000 are teachers from the UK. Take a look to get a flavour of some of the projects that show the power of online international collaboration between schools: from coding, robotics, Lego and laughter to challenging perceptions on migration, language learning, history and inclusion.

Read more...

Languages Beyond School

4 October 2019 (SCILT)

Do you have students looking to continue or develop their language studies when they leave school? Our aim is to provide all the information necessary for students to make an informed choice about their future language learning. To that end we invite visitors to the Beyond School pages of our website to submit feedback by completing a short survey. Responses are anonymous and will be used to help improve the user experience. We would appreciate it if teachers could share the survey with learners and encourage them to respond.

Whether they want to follow a course of study in the UK or further afield, work or volunteer abroad, the Beyond School section of our website has links to language courses at further and higher education establishments in Scotland along with opportunities UK-wide and in Europe. The site also outlines the support Scottish universities can provide to teachers and schools in their language learning.

As the UCAS application process gets underway, make sure pupils and careers guidance staff are aware of the information available on our website.

Professional Development in Germany

3 October 2019 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut is again able to offer a number of grants to teachers for training in Germany. The offer is aiming at German teachers just embarking on their career, as well as at teachers expanding their commitments to GCSE and A-level. Those who train German language teachers are also able to benefit from the variety of courses.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to apply.

Read more...

Modern Languages Newsletter - October 2019

3 October 2019 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland's latest Modern Languages Newsletter is now available online. This edition includes an update on 1+2 policy on the delivery of L3 in the secondary context.

Read more...

Into Film Festival 2019

3 October 2019 (Into Film)

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

Taking place from 6-22 November 2019 in various locations across the country, film titles will include premieres and the latest blockbusters alongside old favourites, documentaries, animations, short films, modern foreign language titles and much more, all mapped against curricula from across the four UK nations, and supported by the Festival's various educational resources.

Visit the website to discover screenings near you.

Read more...

Oxford German Olympiad 2020

3 October 2019 (Oxford German Network)

The Oxford German Olympiad competition 2020 is now open!

The 2020 theme is Natur und Technik.

There are four age categories with different competition tasks for each, which can be found on the competition webpage. There is also a category for group/class submissions as well as a Discover German - Taster Competition for those with no prior knowledge of the language.

Visit the website for full details. Submission deadline is 13 March 2020.

Read more...

School links in Spain 2019-20

30 September 2019 (Consejería de Educación)

Looking for a partner school in Spain in the 2019-20 academic year? The Spanish Embassy Education Office in the UK and Ireland can help. They will only promote the links between schools. Any actions decided upon by the schools will be their exclusive responsibility. 

Visit the website to find out more and to make an enquiry.

Read more...

Want to boost language learning? Be creative

27 September 2019 (TES)

Could the recent slump in modern languages entries be down to students being put off by boring texts? Researchers Suzanne Graham and Linda Fisher put this idea to the test, and found that a broader range of literature and more creative teaching reaped rewards.

Describe your living room. Tell me about your local town. What is in your pencil case?

These requests are not the most inspiring starters for a conversation. They certainly would not inspire you to overcome the struggles of learning a new language in order to communicate your ideas and opinions: who wants to wax lyrical about the number of hairdressers and bakers in their home town?

And yet such functional questions are frequently used in language learning in the UK. We suspect that this is driving potential learners to boredom and leading them to ditch languages altogether. Are we right? Our research project, Linguistic Creativity in Language Learning, should tell us. It is exploring the impact of using poems (about such themes as love, death and migration) and different teaching approaches (“creative” versus “functional”) on 14-year-old language learners’ motivation and creativity levels.

Before beginning our classroom-based research, we wanted to understand why pupils weren’t choosing to continue with language study to GCSE level and beyond. We asked around 550 French and German learners (14-year-olds) whether they planned to continue studying languages in the future and what they thought of language learning. We also used a metaphor elicitation task to gain a greater understanding of how they viewed language learning, asking the pupils to finish the following sentence: “Learning a language is like …”

The results showed that, contrary to popular belief, most thought that it was important to learn a language, but this did not have an impact on whether they intended to continue with language study. What did impact on their decisions was instead whether they could imagine themselves using the languages in their future lives, and how confident they were in being able to express their thoughts and feelings in the language.

The metaphors revealed the learners’ lack of efficacy or self-belief in being able to achieve in language learning: “Learning a language is like trying to ice skate – I keep falling over and can’t get the hang of it”; “Learning a language is like trying to fly … I just can’t do it”.

We wanted to see whether we could alter this negative self-perception regarding language learning by using creative teaching methods and texts. Could putting the emphasis on feelings and emotions (through the exploration of creative texts), rather than just on grammar and vocabulary, have an impact on a language learners’ efficacy? And what would be the effects on other aspects of language learning, such as vocabulary development?

We devised an intervention where we compared text types (literary versus factual) and teaching methodologies (creative versus functional). Briefly, in the creative approach, learners engage with the text primarily on the level of personal, emotional and imaginative response. In the functional approach, the focus is on the text as a vehicle for teaching language, vocabulary and grammar, and for developing the skill of identifying key information in a text on a factual level.

The first step was to find poems suitable for use with Year 9 learners. We chose six for French and six for German, in consultation with the teachers involved in the project.

We then modified another 12 authentic texts so that they contained the same core vocabulary and grammar structures as the other chosen poems and were of a comparable difficulty level.

Next, we conducted baseline tests so that we could track the impact of the teaching materials and methodologies.

Then, in collaboration with language teachers, we developed around 50 PowerPoint presentations and lesson plans in French and German for the intervention phase. The themes we covered included some not often featured in language-teaching materials – for example, love, death and war. In the creative approach, we addressed them in some unusual ways.

[..] Based on findings from the research, teaching materials that combine both a creative and a functional approach will be uploaded and freely available on the Creative Multilingualism website.

(Note - subscription required to access full article).

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French classes in Glasgow

24 September 2019 (Alliance Française)

The autumn term has now started at the Alliance Française in Glasgow. Below is information on some of the upcoming events and activities this session. Click on the appropriate link for more information:

To find out more about the full range of courses and activities on offer, visit the Alliance Française website.

Read more...

Newsletter for Gaelic education

24 September 2019 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has published their latest Gaelic education newsletter. This edition includes information on the following:

  • New educational resources
  • Leadership programmes 
  • Sharing effective practice - workshops and resources
  • Professional learning opportunities
  • Links to information and resources from partners supporting Gaelic in the curriculum

Access the newsletter online.

Read more...

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)

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 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. The first question requires an explanation in a foreign language. 

Teachers look out for the e-mail inviting you to take part in 'Mathématiques sans frontières' in January 2020.

Meanwhile get your classes involved this Maths Week in the 'Maths wi nae borders' competition. Entry deadline 18 October 2019.

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).

Read more...

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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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