Latest News

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


Senior Phase

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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‘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.

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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...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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

21 August 2019 (British Academy)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Related Links

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

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

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

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

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

21 August 2019 (UK-German Connection)

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

Key highlights include:

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

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

The deadline for applications is 16 September 2019.

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

Read more...

SQA specimen papers for Advanced Higher Modern Languages

19 August 2019 (SQA)

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

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

Read more...

Beyond the Panda resources - update

19 August 2019 (RZSS)

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

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

Read more...

Related Files

Discovery Film Festival 2019

15 August 2019 (Discovery Film Festival)

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

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

Read more...

A-level results: Spanish overtakes French

15 August 2019 (TES)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Related Links

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

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

EU Code Week 2019

14 August 2019 (European Schoolnet Academy)

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

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

Into Film Awards 2020

13 August 2019 (Into Film)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Inclusion in Practice: The CIRCLE Framework - Secondary

13 August 2019 (Education Scotland)

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

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

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

Read more...

Bring the world into your classroom

8 August 2019 (TES/British Council)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

eTwinning free 'Culture in a Box' resource

8 August 2019 (eTwinning)

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

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

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

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

8 August 2019 (The Pie News)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

SQA results day 2019

6 August 2019 (TESS)

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

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

Read more...

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

24 May 2019 (SCILT)

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

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

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

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

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

Young culinary and linguistic talents celebrated

21 June 2019 (SCILT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New job profile on the SCILT website

9 November 2018 (SCILT)

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

We have a new profile from David Cant, Managing Director of Albion (Overseas) Ltd, a company which helps UK businesses to enter the Russian market. After learning French and German at school, David tells us that he took up Russian by chance at university - a choice which became life-changing.

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

Read more...

Survey: Education & careers abroad with #Globescotters

7 November 2018 (Young Scot)

As part of Scotland’s Year of Young People, Young Scot have partnered with British Council Scotland to encourage you to embrace the international experiences available to you at home and abroad as part of our joint campaign, ‘GlobeScotters’.

In this short survey we want to find out your thoughts on all things international when it comes to education and careers abroad!

Visit the website and complete the survey by 17 December 2018 to earn reward points!

Read more...

SCHOLAR online tutor sessions for Modern Languages

7 November 2018 (SCHOLAR)

SCHOLAR online tutor sessions for Modern Languages start again on Monday 12 November 2018. At 6pm it will be Higher, and the session will be on translation. It will be accompanied by worksheets sent out in advance to teachers for pupils to help prepare for the interactive parts of the session. Languages addressed are French, German and Spanish at both levels. Access is by: http://heriot-watt.adobeconnect.com/scholartutorsessions/, and you do not need a SCHOLAR password to attend, just log in as a guest.  

The new ‘Directed Writing’  for Higher will form a session on 26 November, again at 6pm.

Advanced Higher translation and the overall purpose question will form a session on 3 December.

Read more...

Slump in school language learning hits Scottish universities

6 November 2018 (The Herald)

The number of students from Scotland learning a modern language at university has fallen by more than 500 in the past five years.

New figures show 3,400 students chose languages at a Scottish university in 2016/17 compared to nearly 4,000 in 2012/13.

The decline, which shows numbers are falling for German, French, Russian and Spanish, has sparked fears Scotland will become increasingly isolated in the world, particularly following Brexit.

This summer, opposition politicians called on the Scottish Government to launch an inquiry into the decline in the number of pupils studying modern languages at school.

The drop has been blamed partly on curriculum reforms which mean pupils experience a broader education in the first three years of secondary.

That means exam subjects are chosen a year later than previously with a shorter time to prepare - resulting in some subjects getting squeezed out.

Professor Vicente Perez de Leon, Head of the School of Modern Languages at Glasgow University, said the school squeeze was hitting university recruitment.

And he argued language learning at school should be protected and resourced to ensure numbers increase.

“Languages are something that can open possibilities for employment abroad or having better jobs here,” he said.

“They can open minds and allow students to make connections with new people, new cultures and new literature. It should be a priority within the curriculum.”

Dr Dan Tierney, an independent languages expert, said the decline was also fuelled by the closure of some university departments.

Read more...

Language Trends Scotland

5 November 2018 (SCILT)

SCILT has published Language Trends Scotland 2012-2018.

Finding include:

  • Entries at Higher in Modern Languages have recently experienced a drop in entries but are still above 2012 levels. Relative to the S5-S6 cohort, however, there has been an increase.
  • Entries at Advanced Higher in Modern Languages are on an upward trend overall, with a slight decline in 2018. Relative to the S6 cohort, uptake has also increased.
  • Entries at Advanced Higher in the lesser studied languages (Gaelic Learners, Italian and Mandarin) have been variable.
  • Entries below Higher in Modern Languages dropped significantly after 2012, the year which marked the official end of the 'Languages for All policy. Relative to the S4-S6 cohort, languages have higher percentage uptake than two of the three sciences (Biology, Physics), with only Chemistry showing a percentage increase.

Read more...

Report on language provision in Modern Foreign Languages Departments 2018

2 November 2018 (UCML)

The UCML has issued a new report on the language provision in UK modern languages departments.

The report investigates the provision of language modules (ie modules whose object of study is language) in MFL departments alongside models of collaboration between Languages departments and Institution-Wide Language Provision (IWLP) in UK universities. 

Read more...

Related Links

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

New job profile on the SCILT website

2 November 2018 (SCILT)

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

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

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

Read more...

International Education Week 2018

29 October 2018 (British Council)

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

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

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

Read more...

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

28 October 2018 (School Education Gateway)

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

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

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

Read more...

Grants for UK-German activities

25 October 2018 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

Read more...

Calls for Scots children to be taught Chinese and Urdu

24 October 2018 (The Scotsman)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

ELAPSE – Embedding Languages across Primary and Secondary Education

23 October 2018 (ALL)

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

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

Read more...

Get ready for Hallowe'en!

23 October 2018 (Various)

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

Schools awarded the European Quality Label 2018

23 October 2018 (eTwinning)

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

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

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

Read more...

Language Perfect Northern Championships 2018

12 October 2018 (Education Perfect)

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

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

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

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

Königspost competition 2018

12 October 2018 (King's College London)

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

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

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

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

Related Files

Book Week Scotland 2018

12 October 2018 (Scottish Book Trust)

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

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

Read more...

Our World film making project 2018-19

11 October 2018 (SEET)

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

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

Themes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Edinburgh Council to open new Gaelic schools by 2024

10 October 2018 (The Scotsman)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

French Film Festival 2018

9 October 2018 (French Film Festival)

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

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

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

Read more...

The British Council's International School Award

8 October 2018 (British Council)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Grants for professional development in Germany

2 October 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

Read more...

German debating competition for secondary schools

2 October 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Vocab Express League of Champions 2018

2 October 2018 (Vocab Express)

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

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

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

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

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

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International inspiration at Carluke High School

1 October 2018 (British Council)

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

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

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

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SQA course reports for Advanced Higher Modern Languages 2018

1 October 2018 (SQA)

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

Read more...

News from the Alliance Française

21 September 2018 (Alliance Française)

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

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

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Languages Beyond School

21 September 2018 (SCILT)

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

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

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

Read more...

Advanced Higher pupil workshops - Glasgow and Edinburgh

21 September 2018 (SCILT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

SCHOLAR online tutor sessions for Modern Languages

19 September 2018 (SCHOLAR)

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

Read more...

Inspire your students with new funding for global learning

19 September 2018 (British Council)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Into Film Awards 2019

18 September 2018 (Into Film)

Submissions to the 2019 Into Film Awards are now open!

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

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

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

Read more...

Into Film Festival 2018

18 September 2018 (Into Film)

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

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

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

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Erasmus+ funding for schools: twilight sessions

17 September 2018 (Erasmus+)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

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

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

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

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

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

14 September 2018 (SCILT)

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

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

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

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1+2 Modern Languages in Parliament

13 September 2018 (Scottish Parliament)

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

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The Local Storytelling Campaign

13 September 2018 (SISF)

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

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

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

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Time to Move T-shirt contest

13 September 2018 (Eurodesk)

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

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

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

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

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UK Linguistics Olympiad (UKLO) 2019

13 September 2018 (UKLO)

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

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

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

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Lefèvre Trust school grants for French study visits

13 September 2018 (British Council)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

UK-German Connection - Back to School Newsletter 2018

13 September 2018 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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Worldwide Napier magazine - Call for contributions

12 September 2018 (Edinburgh Napier University)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

EAL: Working with new arrivals

12 September 2018 (SecEd)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

DAAD German writing and video competition 2018

10 September 2018 (DAAD)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

'Host a Teacher' Programme: free CPD opportunity

10 September 2018 (UK-German Connection)

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

What are the benefits?

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

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

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

Read more...

Curriculum for GLE and GME

10 September 2018 (Education Scotland)

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

Read more...

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

7 September 2018 (North Lanarkshire Council)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7 September 2018 (SCILT)

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

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

Find out more on our Business Brunches webpage.

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Languages in the Lords

6 September 2018 (They Work For You)

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

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

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

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CLPL for Beyond the Panda

5 September 2018 (RZSS)

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

Find out answers to these questions and more:

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

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

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

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

HSBC/British Council Mandarin Chinese speaking competition 2018/19

3 September 2018 (British Council)

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

Taking part in the competition:

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

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

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

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

Read more...

SCHOLAR

3 September 2018 (SCHOLAR)

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

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

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Narrowing of secondary options hits Gaelic

30 August 2018 (TES)

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

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

(Note - subscription required to read full article).

Read more...

Related Links

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

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

The Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival (ESFF)

27 August 2018 (Consejería de Educación)

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

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

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

SQA Higher Modern Languages webinars

27 August 2018 (SQA)

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

  • Tuesday 4th September 5-6pm

  • Monday 10th September 5-6pm

  • Thursday 27th September 5-6pm

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

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

Read more...

Updates from SQA - Modern Languages

24 August 2018 (SCILT/SQA)

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

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

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

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

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

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European Day of Languages 2018

24 August 2018 (SCILT)

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

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

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

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GCSE results: Language entries rise for first time since 2013

23 August 2018 (TES)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Magical Christmas Trip

21 August 2018 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

There are two options for getting involved:

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

Application deadline: 18 September 2018.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

Read more...

Runrig say farewell as Stòrlann launch rocking resource

20 August 2018 (Stòrlann)

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

Access the resources via the following links:

Gaelic eLearning by eSgoil available to learners all across Scotland

20 August 2018 (eSgoil)

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

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

This is the timetable for the classes.

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

Japanese Language Local Project Support Programme 2018-19

20 August 2018 (Japan Foundation)

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

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

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

Read more...

Steep year-on-year drop in languages entries

17 August 2018 (TESS)

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

Read more...

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

16 August 2018 (The Guardian)

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

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

Read more...

Concours de la francophonie 2019

16 August 2018 (Institut français)

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

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

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

Read more...

Monday Matters: Tourism success shows need for languages in schools

13 August 2018 (Courier)

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

[...] 

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

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

Read more...

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

13 August 2018 (4barsrest)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Fantastic opportunity to get involved in international work

9 August 2018 (YouthLink Scotland)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Thousands more pupils to learn Mandarin ahead of Brexit

7 August 2018 (TES)

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

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

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

(Subscription required to read full article)

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SQA: Scottish education exam results 2018

7 August 2018 (Relocate Magazine)

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

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

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

Read more...

Related Links

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 August 2018 (ITV)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Opportunity for young people during the Fringe

12 July 2018 (Theatre Sans Accents)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Manchester’s Language Army

28 June 2018 (CIOL)

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

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

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Spanish exam entries on track to surpass French in English schools

27 June 2018 (The Guardian)

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

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

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Language lesson gap means poorest miss out, says report

27 June 2018 (BBC)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Higher Modern Languages webinar recordings

21 June 2018 (SQA)

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

Webinars can also be accessed from the Understanding Standards website.

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

20 June 2018 (Stòrlann)

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

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FilmG

20 June 2018 (FilmG)

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

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A National Framework for Languages supporting implementation of 1+2

19 June 2018 (SCDE)

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

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

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

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

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

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GlobeScotters

18 June 2018 (British Council)

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

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

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

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Language Linking Global Thinking

12 June 2018 (University of Edinburgh)

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

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

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

Read more...

Host a Teacher from Germany

12 June 2018 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

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

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

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SQA update for teachers of Higher Modern Languages

11 June 2018 (SQA)

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

Read more...

The 50-Word Fiction Competition

8 June 2018 (Scottish Book Trust)

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

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

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

Visit the Scottish Book Trust website for more information.

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

8 June 2018 (SCILT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Stephen Spender Trust - Polish Spotlight

7 June 2018 (Stephen Spender Trust)

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

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

Entries should be submitted by 5 October 2018.

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International youth event in Berlin: Youth for Peace

7 June 2018 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

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

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Briefing on Gaelic Education

7 June 2018 (Education Scotland)

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

Read more...

eTwinning: European professional development workshops

6 June 2018 (eTwinning)

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

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

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

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

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

5 June 2018 (Radio Edutalk)

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

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German writing and video competition 2018

23 May 2018 (DAAD)

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

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

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

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The Babel Young Writers' Competition

18 May 2018 (Babel)

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

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

Visit the website for more information.

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SALT Modern Languages competition for schools

18 May 2018 (SALT)

Entries are now being accepted for the #SALT18 competition!

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

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

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Business Brunches 2018 webpage now live!

18 May 2018 (SCILT)

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

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

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

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

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SQA Higher Modern Languages webinars

17 May 2018 (SQA)

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

Sessions are available:

  • 4 September
  • 10 September
  • 29 September

Read more...

Call out to young film-makers in Scotland

10 May 2018 (National Library of Scotland)

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

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

Visit the National Library of Scotland website for more information.

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

8 May 2018 (ECML)

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

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

6 May 2018 (Daily Record)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

EU offers British teenagers free Interrail pass

4 May 2018 (The Guardian)

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

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

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

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

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“Beairteas” seeking to add richness to Gaelic education

2 May 2018 (Fèisean nan Gàidheal)

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

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

What is it?

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

Why?

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

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

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

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

Would you be willing to be involved?

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

More information is available on the organisation's website.

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Competition: Eine Welt für dich und mich

30 April 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

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

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Work shadowing in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany

30 April 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

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

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Tories attack language teaching ‘failures’

26 April 2018 (The Times)

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

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

(Subscription required to read full article).

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

24 April 2018 (British Council)

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

Visit the British Council website for more information.

Applications close on 8 May 2018.

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National Digital Learning Week (14-18 May)

24 April 2018 (Education Scotland)

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more on the Education Scotland Glow blog.

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SQA Higher Modern Languages course specification

23 April 2018 (SQA)

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

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Would you like to explore Europe this summer?

20 April 2018 (European Commission)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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MTOT celebration event - webpage now live!

20 April 2018 (SCILT)

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

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

Read more...

China stories: 500 words competition

17 April 2018 (University of Liverpool)

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

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

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

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

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

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Language Leaders - training week in Cavilam

16 April 2018 (Institut français)

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

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

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

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

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

The application deadline is 11 May 2018.

SQA Higher Modern Languages webinar

12 April 2018 (SQA)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Mandarin will give school leavers career advantage

11 April 2018 (UCL/CISS)

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

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

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

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

You can read the full article on the UCL website.

Opening Doors in Scotland

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

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

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

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Together arts project for schools

10 April 2018 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

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Worldwide Napier magazine

5 April 2018 (Edinburgh Napier University)

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

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

Read more...

Japan Foundation Local Grant Programmes 2018-19

3 April 2018 (Japan Foundation)

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

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

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

Read more...

European Language Gazette 41 - March/April 2018

3 April 2018 (ECML)

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

Read more...

Graeme High pupil wins multilingual poetry award

2 April 2018 (Falkirk Herald)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Residential Study Visits - St Anne's College, Oxford

29 March 2018 (University of Oxford)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Scottish Education Awards 2018 - Finalists announced!

29 March 2018 (Daily Record)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Related Links

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

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

27 March 2018 (Consejería de Educación)

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

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

Read more...

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

27 March 2018 (British Council eTwinning)

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

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

Read more...

New job profile on SCILT's website

23 March 2018 (SCILT)

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

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

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

Read more...

The state secondary school where the only language taught is Mandarin

22 March 2018 (TES)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

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

22 March 2018 (YOYP/National Lottery)

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

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

Read more...

European professional development workshops

22 March 2018 (British Council eTwinning)

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

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

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

Read more...

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

22 March 2018 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

SQA course reports for National 5 Modern Languages 2017

22 March 2018 (SCILT/SQA)

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

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

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

Read more...

Youth conference: Culture and heritage in a digital world

22 March 2018 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

German Teacher Award 2018

21 March 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Scotland-Russia Forum news bulletin

20 March 2018 (SRF)

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

Read more...

Young People in Scotland Survey 2017: STEM and language findings

19 March 2018 (Scottish Government)

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

The report can be accessed on the Scottish Government website.

Read more...

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

19 March 2018 (Education Scotland)

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

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

Read more...

‘Inequity for students’ as secondary subject options narrow

16 March 2018 (TESS)

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

Read more...

SQA course reports for Higher Modern Languages 2017

16 March 2018 (SCILT/SQA)

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

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

Read more...

SCHOLAR Modern Language webinar

16 March 2018 (SCHOLAR)

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

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

Read more...

Employ a language assistant for 2018/19

12 March 2018 (British Council)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

SQA course reports for Advanced Higher Modern Languages 2017

9 March 2018 (SCILT/SQA)

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

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

Read more...

New competition launched - LinguaChef 2018!

13 February 2018 (SCILT / City of Glasgow College)

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

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

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

There are four age categories:

o P1-P3


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

o P4-P7

o S1-S3


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

o S4-S6

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

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

Key dates and deadlines

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

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

Register now via the online form

Business brunches inspire Scotland’s future global workforce in Edinburgh

6 February 2018 (SCILT)

Young people from twenty schools across the Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders areas had the opportunity to engage with local businesses at Dynamic Earth on 30 January 2018. 208 learners from S3 heard from a range of business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company. The Business Brunch demonstrated the relevance of language skills in a work context and aimed to encourage pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education, and beyond school.

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

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

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

The event was organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages based at University of Strathclyde, in partnership with Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian, West Lothian and Borders regional groups together with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland (UCMLS). Schools represented were Beeslack Community High, Broughton High, Drummond Community High, Dunbar Grammar, Firrhill High, Liberton High, Newbattle Community High, North Berwick High, Portobello High, Preston Lodge High, Ross High, St Augustine's High, St David's High, Galashiels Academy, Kelso High, Peebles High, Armadale Academy, Bathgate Academy, St Kentigern's Academy and Whitburn Academy.

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

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

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

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

Meaningful employer engagement and providing relevant careers advice are both key recommendations of Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy, “Developing the young workforce”. This Business Brunch supported these aims by giving young people the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the role of languages in the business world. The targets laid out in the Scottish Attainment Challenge are about achieving equity in educational outcomes, with a particular focus on closing the poverty-related attainment gap. Through hearing from a range of business leaders and interacting with employees, the aspirations of the young people who attended were raised.

This collaboration between schools and businesses supported Scotland’s International Policy to equip young people with international communication and employability skills that they will need in our increasingly globalised society and economy.

The event is one of a series of Business Brunches being held across Scotland in January and February 2018.

More information on SCILT’s 2018 Business Brunches.

  

Nihongo Cup 2018 - Applications Open!

8 January 2018 (Japan Foundation London)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

AMOPA Advanced Higher French speaking competition

8 January 2018 (Alliance Française Glasgow )

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

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

To enter, all you need to do is submit a short recording of students as they prepare for their speaking test. The panel will assess it and give everyone some feedback. We also award prizes and certificates.

We hope that taking part in the competition is a way to support your pupils’ learning and exam preparation, and it's a great opportunity for them to receive feedback. Once again we will have prizes for the best entries and a gift for each school taking part.

Related Files

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

17 November 2017 (SCILT)

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

Read more...

Spanish Immersion Day

9 November 2017 (Spanish Embassy Education Office)

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

Read more...

SCHOLAR’s webinars on Higher and Advanced Higher Modern Languages

6 November 2017 (SCHOLAR)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

SQA recruiting event verifiers

30 October 2017 (SQA)

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

Read more...

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

27 October 2017 (SCILT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Young Europeans Award

23 October 2017 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

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

Applications should be submitted by 1 March 2018.

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

Read more...

Koenigspost competition 2017

19 October 2017 (King's College London)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

SQA Spanish Appointee Opportunities – 2018 Exam Diet

18 October 2017 (SQA)

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

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

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

Support and training will be provided.

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

UK-German Connection opportunities

17 October 2017 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

Read more...

Tianjin scholarship

13 October 2017 (CISS)

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

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

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

Read more...

European Youth Event (EYE) 2018

11 October 2017 (European Parliament)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

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

11 October 2017 (TES)

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

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

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

Read more...

eTwinning face to face workshops

10 October 2017 (eTwinning)

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

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

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

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Juvenes Translatores

10 October 2017 (European Commission)

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

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

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

See the website for full details.

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DAAD/IMLR Competition

9 October 2017 (DAAD)

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

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

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

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

6 October 2017 (Scottish Book Trust)

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

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

The programme invites and encourages Gaelic speakers to get involved.

Application deadline: 12 noon on Monday 16 October 2017.

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National 5 Modern Languages update

6 October 2017 (SCILT/SQA)

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

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

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Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition 2017-18

22 September 2017 (SCILT/CISS)

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

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

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

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

22 September 2017 (SCILT)

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

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Scots language writing competition

20 September 2017 (Education Scotland)

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

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

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

20 September 2017 (Glasgow Live)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Related Links

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

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

HSBC/British Council Mandarin Chinese speaking competition 2017/18

19 September 2017 (British Council)

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

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

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Language Perfect Northern Championships 2017

18 September 2017 (Language Perfect)

The 2017 Language Perfect Northern Championships dates have been announced!

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

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

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eTwinning

15 September 2017 (eTwinning)

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

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

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Host a Teacher from Germany

15 September 2017 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

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Languagenut and SCILT exclusive

15 September 2017 (Languagenut)

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

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

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

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

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

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Our World film making project

14 September 2017 (SEET)

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

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

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

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

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ECML Think tank - Language learning pathways

13 September 2017 (ECML)

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

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

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

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

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Professional development in Germany

13 September 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

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

  • Language Courses
  • Landeskunde
  • Methodology/Teaching Strategies

Deadline for applications: 15 October 2017. 

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

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ALL Language Teacher of the Year Award 2018

7 September 2017 (ALL)

Do you know an inspirational primary or secondary teacher?

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

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

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

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Education Scotland Gaelic news

6 September 2017 (Education Scotland)

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

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News from UK-German Connection

6 September 2017 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

Find out more on their website.

Read more...

German Debating Competition 2017

5 September 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

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

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N5 Modern Languages: assignment-writing understanding standards materials

25 August 2017 (SQA)

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

Read more...

History teachers' professional development tour to Berlin

25 August 2017 (German Embassy)

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

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

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

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

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

24 August 2017 (The Telegraph)

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

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

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

Read more...

European Youth Event (EYE) 2018

24 August 2017 (European Parliament)

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

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

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

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

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

24 August 2017 (British Academy)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Related Links

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

Cross-Sector Hub meetings

24 August 2017 (SCILT)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

What not to do: Tips from a returning Tianjin scholar

21 August 2017 (CISS)

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

Read more...

Vocab Express League of Champions 2017

21 August 2017 (Vocab Express)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Concours de la francophonie 2018

18 August 2017 (Institut français)

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

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

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

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'The Smart Choice: German' schools network

15 August 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

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

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

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Beyond the Panda programme for schools

15 August 2017 (RZSS)

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

The programme now has two main parts:

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

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

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

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

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French classes in Edinburgh

15 August 2017 (Institut français)

The Institut français d'Ecosse is enrolling for their autumn classes commencing September 2017.

Classes and workshops are offered for all ages (toddlers to adults), from complete beginners to fluent speakers.

Visit the website for more information and to enrol.

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Concours de la francophonie 2017 - final report

15 August 2017 (Institut français)

The Concours de la francophonie was launched in 2016 by the Institut français d'Ecosse to showcase the vitality of the French language in Scottish schools and to encourage all learners from P1 to S6.

To enter the competition schools sent in a short film of a class activity in French.

See the attached document for full details of the 2017 competition, winners and photographs.

Magical Christmas Trips 2017

15 August 2017 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

There are two options for getting involved:
  • apply to take part in a visit to Berlin run by UK-German Connection to set up a link to a school in Germany
  • apply for funding and organisational support to run your own Christmas visit to an existing partner school anywhere in Germany
To find out more, please visit the UK-German Connection's website and apply by 26 September 2017.

Read more...

French drama workshops

15 August 2017 (Theatre sans Accents)

Whether you want to perfect your French or your English, Theatre Sans Accents has the right workshop to suit your needs and your level!

No need to be fluent or an experienced actor, everyone is welcomed in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere!

Bookings are now being taken for Autumn term classes, with early bird discounts available.

Follow the appropriate link below to find out more about classes for adults and children:

For children:

For adults:

You can find out more about Theatre sans Accents and their other activities on the website.

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Autumn term French classes

14 August 2017 (Alliance Française)

French classes for adults and children will start at the Alliance Française in Glasgow on 11 September 2017.

Visit the website for full details and to find out about Open Days where you can visit, meet staff and have your language level assessed to establish the best course for you.

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Gaelic school planned for Edinburgh as demand soars

11 August 2017 (The Times)

A dedicated Gaelic school could open in Edinburgh to cope with rising pupil numbers and soaring demand.

Edinburgh city council expects there to be more pupils than places at James Gillespie’s High School, where Gaelic education is currently provided, as soon as 2021.

The number of new pupils starting this month at Taobh na Pàirce primary, Edinburgh’s only Gaelic primary school, has also been far higher than anticipated.

Read more...

Languages under pressure after fall in pupils taking German and French

9 August 2017 (The Herald)

THE number of pupils choosing key modern languages has fallen sharply.

Figures from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) show the number of entries for Higher French dropped from 4,581 in 2016 to 3,918 this year.

The figures for German have also fallen, with entries declining from 1,019 to 890 year-on-year.

However, the increasing popularity of Spanish has continued, with entries rising from 2,600 last year to 2,809.

Entries at the lower National 5 level for French and German have also fallen.

Read more...

Related Links

'Disappointing' decline in pupils sitting Gaelic qualifications (The Herald, 10 August 2017)

Top marks for pupil who attended three Glasgow schools

9 August 2017 (Evening Times)

One student has defied the odds to become one of Glasgow’s top achievers while attending not one but three city schools. 

Valentina Kanife moved to Glasgow from her home country of Italy in September 2015. When the 16-year-old joined the S4 class in St Margaret Mary’s in Castlemilk, she could not speak any English. Soon after starting the school, it became apparent that Valentina had a skill for languages and began working towards gaining her National 4’s. 

Staff at St Margaret Mary’s staff organised for Valentina to attend Holyrood Secondary for Higher Italian and Kings Park Secondary for Higher ESOL, while being taught Higher Spanish and National 5 maths at her own school. With the help of a bus pass, the teenager travelled between the three schools, sometimes on the same day. After a year of handwork, Valentia managed to gain all three Highers and a National 5 Maths qualifications, all within two years of being in Glasgow.

Read more...

Scottish MSPs warn of narrow curriculum as uptake of creative subjects declines

8 August 2017 (The Guardian)

The number of Scottish school pupils and students taking modern languages, social sciences and arts has fallen, prompting warnings from opposition parties over the dangers of a narrowing curriculum.

Official data showed the number of exam passes at Higher, a near equivalent to English A-levels, across Scotland’s schools and colleges held steady at 77%, falling very slightly by 0.2%.

But Labour and the Conservatives expressed concern that the Scottish curriculum was narrowing after the Scottish Qualifications Authority figures showed the numbers sitting modern languages at Higher fell by 6% overall, with history down by nearly 4% and geography by 2.6%.

Read more...

‘Worrying’ fall in pupils taking foreign languages

31 July 2017 (The Scotsman)

Scotland has seen a “worry-
ing” fall in the number of pupils studying languages, it has emerged.

There are now fears that the next generation will not be equipped to deal with the demands of the global 
economy.

There has been a dramatic fall in the number of 
youngsters sitting French and German, although more are learning Spanish.

Opposition parties called on the SNP to focus on the “day job” of running schools. But ministers insist there has been a rise in the number of pupils gaining languages qualification at Higher level.

There were more than 56,000 pupils taking modern languages at Standard Grade level a decade ago. By last year, under the new exam system, this had fallen to just over 23,000 – a 59 per cent decline.

Labour’s shadow education minister Daniel Johnson said: “Learning a foreign language is such a valuable skill for 
Scotland’s next generation.

“Whether for travel, employment or just breaking down barriers between people from different countries, a new 
language can open up the world to a young person.

“It is therefore incredibly worrying to see such a huge decline in the number of pupils sitting modern language courses. The SNP talks about connecting Scotland with the world, but that can only happen if people are equipped with the 
languages they need. In the 21st century, the workforce is becoming more global and economic growth here in Scotland depends on interaction with our European neighbours.

“We need to reduce as many barriers to economic growth as possible, and these figures show how important it is for SNP ministers to get back to the day job of improving 
standards in our schools.”

Read more...

Related Links

Dramatic decline in number of pupils learning foreign languages (The Times, 31 July 2017)

Scots pupils saying ‘Non’ to languages (Sunday Post, 30 July 2017)

SQA update - National 5 Modern Languages

SQA (23 June 2017)

The following documents will be available for all National 5 Modern Languages courses by the afternoon of Friday 23 June:
  • Coursework assessment task - assignment (writing)
  • Coursework assessment task - performance (talking)
  • Course support notes
The course support notes will be added to the National 5 course specification as an appendix. The course specification will then be updated to version 2.0 and the date will change to June 2017, but there is no further change to the content of this document.

Read more...