Latest News

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


All Languages

‘Let’s increase language learning education’ – Foysol Choudhury

24 February 2024 (North Edinburgh News)

Labour MSP Foysol Choudhury has this week given a speech at an International Mother Language Day event in Edinburgh City Chambers, highlighting the importance of language learning education and calling for more investment and partnership work to deliver the Gaelic Language Plan.

International Mother Language Day, proposed by Bangladesh and memorialised by UNESCO on 21st February each year, focuses on promoting linguistic diversity and the importance of sharing our differences in culture and languages to foster tolerance and respect in our multi-cultural communities.

The initiative is significant in preserving heritage through language and maintaining multilingual education policies to promote lifelong learning of languages. 

Read more...

Related Links

Let’s take lessons from International Mother Language Day - Foysol Choudhury (Edinburgh Evening News, 24 February 2024)

Mother Tongue Other Tongue 2023-24 winners announced!

23 February 2024 (SCILT)

It gave us great pleasure to welcome pupils, teachers and special guests to our online 10th anniversary Mother Tongue Other Tongue multilingual poetry competition awards on 21 February. The date chosen for the event was significant being International Mother Language Day, a day to celebrate all world languages. We were delighted to announce the following winners and highly commended entries in each category:

Mother Tongue

P1-P4

  • Yuexin Li, St Martin's Primary (Winner)
  • Taras Sukhodolskyi, West Primary (Highly Commended)
  • Vova Abramov, West Primary (Highly Commended)

P5-P7

  • Timothy Ishie, St James' Primary (Winner)
  • Artem Bonardchuk, St John Ogilvie Primary ((Highly Commended)
  • Chizara, Rua, Godwin & Mariama, St Maria Goretti Primary (Highly Commended)
  • Hasnain Ali Shah, West Primary (Highly Commended)
  • Kate Kaludova, West Primary (Highly Commended)

S1-S3

  • Lavina Tsang, Craigmount High School (Winner)
  • Alexia Rigg, Glasgow Gaelic School (Highly Commended)
  • Ewen Darroch, Glasgow Gaelic School (Highly Commended)
  • Jenny, Gemma, Sophie, Tess, Asra & Emma, Craigmount High School (Highly Commended)
  • Mairi Stephen, Glasgow Gaelic School (Highly Commended)

S4-S6

  • Nova Senkowska, Mearns Castle High School (Winner)
  • Anotidaishe Mugwagwa, Kirkintilloch High School (Highly Commended)

Other Tongue

P1-P4

  • Naomi & Caellum, Bunessan Primary (Winner)
  • P4 Class, The Glasgow Academy Newlands & MIlngavie (Highly Commended)

P5-P7

  • Alasdair MacDonald, Salen Primary (Winner)
  • Lauren Stewart, Goodlyburn Primary (Highly Commended)
  • Lilia Fournier, George Watson's College (Highly Commended)

S1-S3

  • Amelia Armstrong, Kirkintilloch High School (Winner)
  • Emma Pacci, Bearsden Academy (Highly Commended)
  • Harrison Williams, Craigmount High School (Highly Commended)

S4-S6

  • Natasha Dickson, Kirkintilloch High School (Winner)
  • Abby Leitch, Graeme High School (Highly Commended)
  • Katie MacNeil, Kirkintilloch High School (Highly Commended)

All our finalists will receive a certificate and book token. Winning entrants will also receive a trophy and be offered the chance for their poems to feature in The Children's Poetry Archive. We will be in contact with schools shortly about taking these extra special opportunities forward.

This year we were also delighted to host a special strand of the competition focusing on Spanish entries. The winning entries in this category were:

  • Emma Llovera Meneses - Kirklandneuk Primary
  • Axel Llovera Meneses - Kirklandneuk Primary
  • The Language Ambassadors (Araav, Vihaan, Grace, Marc, Alexander, Poppy, Anaya & Maya) - The Glasgow Academy
  • Spanish Club (Brooklyn, Bion, Rishi & Tobi) – Craigmount High School

Teachers with students who entered in this category will be contacted separately regarding their awards which are kindly sponsored by the Instituto Cervantes in Manchester.

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

Congratulations again to all our finalists and a big thank you for supporting the Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition!

Global Call to Action for Heritage Languages

16 February 2024 (Global Heritage Language Think Tank)

Launching on UNESCO's International Mother Language Day, 21 February 2024, the newly established Global Heritage Language Think Tank gives recommendations for how to achieve more sustainable heritage language teaching worldwide. The call outlines concrete actions that can be taken by students, caregivers, mainstream teachers and principals, heritage language teachers, libraries, non-profit initiatives, universities, journalists, local businesses, and government officials.

Visit the website to learn more about the call to action and how you can get involved.

Read more...

Branching out with languages – workshop series for mainstream and complementary school teachers

13 February 2024 (Bilingualism Matters / SCILT)

Bilingualism Matters and SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages are offering a series of free, online professional learning workshops for teachers in complementary and heritage language schools, based in the UK and beyond. The remaining workshops in the series are:

February workshop - The Language Learning Buzz: Strategies to engage and motivate learners, both online and in the classroom. This session is run by Karen Faulds and Suzanne Ritchie from SCILT. 

March workshop - The Supportive Classroom: Strategies to support learning and encourage positive mindsets within a group of mixed ability learners. This session is run by Karen Faulds and Suzanne Ritchie from SCILT. 

See the attached flyer for more information. You can book a place at these workshops via the Bilingualism Matters website.

Read more...

Related Files

SQA Modern Languages updates

12 February 2024 (SQA)

The SQA has recently published Common Questions documentation for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher on their Modern Languages webpage.

Read more...

Glasgow Film Festival 2024

8 February 2024 (Glasgow Film Festival)

Taking place from 28 February to 10 March 2024, the Glasgow Film Festival offers a wide range of screenings, including films in different languages.

Visit the GFF website for full programme details.

Read more...

Glasgow Gaelic School students celebrate Languages Week

3 February 2024 (Glasgow Times)

Proud students have shared their love of language after their school spent a week celebrating different cultures.

Fionnlagh Moireasdan, a student at the Glasgow Gaelic School, explained why embracing Gaelic as a second language meant celebrating his family history.

The 15-year-old said: "Gaelic has always been important to me because I'm passionate about keeping the language of my family and ancestors alive."

[..] Last week, pupils were treated to events to promote learning an additional language and reflect on the benefits as part of Languages Week Scotland.

Read more...

Celebrate Speaking!

1 February 2024 (British Council)

Join us during February for our festival of language when your students can show off their language skills. This can be a language they are learning at school or one they speak in their community. It’s about sharing a love of language and celebrating the diversity of people in the UK who speak a language other than English. 

It's easy to take part! Visit the British Council website for more information.

Read more...

English in the multilingual classroom

30 January 2024 (British Council)

English in the multilingual classroom is a self-study training course, which is divided into three hour modules. The course will introduce you to multilingualism and what it means. Enrol now to learn how to make your classroom and teaching multilingual so that your learners can learn to celebrate and use many languages in the real world. Access this free course from 6 February 2024.

Read more...

ECT Language Cafés

26 January 2024 (SCILT)

Are you a Secondary PGDE student, NQT or ECT of Languages? Would you like the chance to network informally with others in the same boat across the country to share ideas and strategies, and even to chat in other languages from time to time? Then come along to our monthly drop-in sessions! These take place online on the last Thursday of each month.

Remaining dates for this academic year are as follows:

  • Thursday 29 February 4.30 – 5.30pm
  • Thursday 28 March 4.30 – 5.30pm
  • Thursday 25 April 4.30 – 5.30pm
  • Thursday 30 May 4.30 – 5.30pm

These sessions will take place on Corporate Teams. Visit our Eventbrite page to book; see you there!

Read more...

The Languages Gateway - The UK's portal for languages

25 January 2024 (The Languages Gateway)

The Languages Gateway is the UK’s new portal for languages. It's a portal for, and on behalf of, everyone engaged in the sector; a collaborative venture through which we can facilitate access to information, and communicate a clear narrative to prospective and future linguists. The Gateway is designed to support all those interested in languages: learners, families, community groups, teachers, school leaders, academics, policymakers, subject associations. 

The attached briefing note document provides more detail around the site's creation, mission and vision.

Visit the Languages Gateway for opportunities, resources and information about languages and how they link to an understanding and appreciation of cultures and societies.

Read more...

Related Files

NEW! Multilingual Approaches through Art activity pack

25 January 2024 (MtA Project Partners)

We are excited to announce that the new Multilingual Approaches through Art (MtA) activity pack is now published!!

Funded by the Glasgow Knowledge Exchange Fund and created by those involved in the MtA project, this free activity pack contains a series of 10 activities which aim to inspire teachers and language educators to use art-based approaches in their teaching of languages. These activities use art as a content, medium and method for young people to explore who they are, how they can communicate multilingually, and how they build positive attitudes towards languages and language learning. The MtA activity pack aligns with the Curriculum for Excellence and Es and Os for each activity are referenced throughout.

We have a limited number of printed copies available* and there is also a downloadable digital version too. If you would like to receive a printed copy, please complete the form below.

To order a printed copy (*while stocks last), please complete this MS form.

Or access a digital version of the MtA activity pack.

Thank you!

Picture of MtA pack cover

SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages updates

22 January 2024 (SQA)

The SQA has added Word versions of the Coursework portfolio writing booklet. These can be found in the Coursework dropdown menu of the Advanced Higher Modern Languages webpage.

Read more...

Languages Week Scotland: SCILT/Scotdec special events!

18 January 2024 (SCILT / Scotdec)

To celebrate the LWS 2024 theme of Languages for a Sustainable World, SCILT and Scotdec are pleased to offer two CLPL opportunities on making language learning relevant and motivating with a Global Citizenship approach.

There will be a session for Primary teachers and a separate session for Secondary teachers. Both sessions will offer insights into how languages education can be a catalyst for fostering global awareness, empathy and a sense of responsibility.

More information and booking details via the following links:

Celebrate Speaking

16 January 2024 (British Council)

Practise and celebrate a language your students are learning or use in their community, and take part in a virtual festival of speaking! 

Join us during February for our festival of language when your students can show off their language skills. This can be a language they are learning at school or one they speak in their community. It’s about sharing a love of language and celebrating the diversity of people in the UK who speak a language other than English. 

It's easy to take part! Visit the British Council website for more information.

Read more...

Global Classroom Pair-Share

16 January 2024 (Global Seal of Biliteracy)

Global Seal of Biliteracy invites language educators to join its third cohort of the Global Classroom Pair-Share.

Global Classroom Pair-Share is a new, innovative way to connect classrooms around the globe with a shared focus on learning language and discovering new places and cultures. If you’re interested in growing your students’ language skills while growing global connections, you are the perfect candidate to participate. Global Classroom Pair-Share provides teachers with FREE professional development, opportunities to collaborate with other language teachers from around the world and participate in multiple real-time and asynchronous classroom interactions.

Teachers can match with another global classroom for three months with an expectation of one shared collaborative project per month. At the end of the three months, teacher participants can receive three free student tests to qualify for a Global Seal of Biliteracy. Signing up for the programme includes free professional development on second language acquisition and lesson design. 

This programme starts in February and is open to language classrooms in mainstream and heritage schools. 

Visit the Global Seal of Biliteracy website for more information and to register by 22 January.

Read more...

Languages Week Scotland 2024 - daily challenges

9 January 2024 (SCILT)

Languages Week Scotland is a celebration of language learning and multilingualism in Scotland. Now in its sixth year, Languages Week Scotland 2024 will take place from 29 January – 2 February and will be a week of activity across the country.

Languages Week Scotland will share a Challenge on X (formerly Twitter) each day throughout the Week. To help teachers to prepare to engage with these Challenges, we have published them in advance on our website.

Follow @LangsWeekScot and #ScotlandLovesLanguages on X.

Read more...

New resource PALINGUI - making language learning pathways visible in young children

19 December 2023 (ECML)

This resource website supports teachers and educators working with children aged 3 to 12 in making all language learning visible in the education system through observation, documentation, and assessment.

PALINGUI offers essential information about early language learning as well as tools and tasks that will help to observe, document, and assess young children's language learning pathways in a multilingual context.

There are also reflective tools for teachers and educators which invite you to reflect on different aspects of your professional practice and the educational context in which you work. 

Read more...

DYW Live eSgoil Languages Week 2024

12 December 2023 (DYW / eSgoil)

To celebrate Languages Week 2024 we’d like to highlight several exciting courses through DYW Live involving languages. We have sessions for Primary, Secondary and a CLPL for Primary Teachers all around the benefits languages can bring to learners and their future pathways.

Visit the webpage for full details.

Read more...

Edward Welch: North would be poorer in so many ways without language learning opportunities

11 December 2023 (Press and Journal)

It was a pleasure recently to visit Cults Academy and talk to S3 pupils about the horizons broadened by language learning.

We were joined by a final-year student from the University of Aberdeen, who enthused them with stories about her placement year in France. As many do, she had found her time abroad transformative.

Being part of daily life and culture in another country is a hothouse for language skills. And living on one’s wits in another language is ideal for building personal confidence and resilience.

With their passion for global languages and cultures, our students are ideal ambassadors. They can inspire the next generation of learners and remind them that all the hard work of “getting the grammar right” is worth the effort, because it unlocks the door to new ways of seeing the world.

In partnership with SCILT, Scotland’s national centre for languages, the University of Aberdeen has developed a new language mentoring scheme that pairs languages students with budding linguists in schools.

Read more...

SCILT Winter newsletter published!

8 December 2023 (SCILT)

The latest edition of the SCILT newsletter has been published. Read about SCILT's work to support language learning and teaching, including our professional learning opportunities, language promotional activities, and support for language learners at all levels. Find out how schools celebrated European Day of Languages 2023 and read about the latest inspiring initiatives from local authorities. There is also an opportunity to read about the work of our partners to support language learning in Scotland.

Read more...

European Language Gazette no. 67

7 December 2023 (ECML)

The European Language Gazette, the ECML's e-newsletter, provides up-to-date news about the ECML (events, projects, resources) and other relevant sectors of the Council of Europe as well as of our partners. It focuses on national developments in the field of language education in the member states and beyond.

The latest edition has just been published and can be viewed on the ECML website.

Read more...

Branching out with languages – workshop series for mainstream and complementary school teachers

7 December 2023 (Bilingualism Matters / SCILT)

Bilingualism Matters and SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages are offering a series of free, online professional learning workshops for teachers in complementary and heritage language schools, based in the UK and beyond.

Workshop 1 - The Bigger Picture: The basics of bilingual language development and the role of teachers, parents and communities. This session is run by Prof Antonella Sorace and Katarzyna Przybycien from Bilingualism Matters and the University of Edinburgh.

Workshop 2 - The Language Learning Buzz: Strategies to engage and motivate learners, both online and in the classroom. This session is run by Karen Faulds and Suzanne Ritchie from SCILT. 

Workshop 3 - The Supportive Classroom: Strategies to support learning and encourage positive mindsets within a group of mixed ability learners. This session is run by Karen Faulds and Suzanne Ritchie from SCILT. 

See the attached flyer for more information. You can book a place at these workshops via the Bilingualism Matters website.

Read more...

Related Files

Pupils say languages not key to careers - report

4 December 2023 (BBC)

Modern foreign languages are being shunned by pupils who do not want to study them at GCSE because they do not think they will need them in their future careers, a new report suggests.

A British Council survey of 2,083 pupils at the end of their first year of secondary school across the UK found just 20% saying they planned to study a language at GCSE.

It comes against a backdrop of declining numbers of pupils taking modern foreign language subjects past the age of 14.

The Department for Education (DfE) said the government was committed to taking "long-term decisions" on modern foreign languages "to ensure every child has a brighter future".

The survey, taken across 36 schools, suggested that many pupils enjoy learning languages and want opportunities to do so.

Read more...

Related Links

Our European neighbours have solutions to our language learning woes (The National, 5 December 2023). Note - subscription required to access full article.

Scotland must embrace and learn the languages of Europe (The National, 6 December 2023). Note - subscription required to access full article.

Are languages disappearing from Scotland's schools?

2 December 2023 (The Herald)

Earlier this month, the German Ambassador raised concerns with the First Minister about the decline in language learning in Scotland. As exclusively revealed by The Herald, Miguel Berger pointed to the “dramatically low” numbers of young people studying German and spoke of his wish to engage with the Scottish Government in order to find ways of reversing the trend.

But how severe has the decline in language learning really been, what is being done to address the issues, and can we ever expect to see student numbers rise again?

(Note - subscription required to access full article)

Read more...

SCILT Christmas 2023 webpage - now live!

1 December 2023 (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 learners, from interactive advent calendars and games, to festive facts, songs and downloadable worksheets. Find out how Christmas is celebrated in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and many other places around the world!

Read more...

Subject Choices online workshops

30 November 2023 (eSgoil)

eSgoil's Subject Choices online workshops will run from 4 - 8 December. This is a week of live input to help students navigate the process of subject choices. Each day has a different focus, and Languages are the focus on Wednesday 6 December.

Visit the eSgoil website for full programme details and to register for the workshops.

Read more...

Teach abroad as an English Language Assistant

27 November 2023 (British Council)

Applications to be an English Language Assistant in 2024/25 are now open! 

Established in 1905, the British Council’s English Language Assistants (ELA) programme is a major UK mobility initiative that offers paid teaching placements abroad, providing the perfect opportunity to travel, teach and gain invaluable experiences along the way.  Every year we send around 2,000 English Language Assistants from the UK to support the teaching of English in 13 destinations around the world.

Living and working overseas is also a great way to enhance language learning and hone language skills. 

Visit the British Council website for full details and to register to join the free information webinar on 18 December.

Deadline for applications is 1 February 2024. 

Read more...

MTOT entry deadline approaching!

24 November 2023 (SCILT)

Schools who’ve registered for this year’s Mother Tongue Other Tongue multilingual poetry competition have until Friday 1 December to submit entries! Submission guidelines are on the SCILT website. 

Read more...

Motivating students to stick with language learning

20 November 2023 (SecEd)

In an increasingly globalised and diverse world, the role of languages in supporting open communication, effective collaboration, and solving some of the world’s greatest shared challenges seems irrefutable.

Indeed, countless organisations have testified to the central role of international languages to the prosperity of the UK as a whole – economically, socially, and culturally (British Academy et al, 2020) – and yet, uptake of international languages at key curriculum stages continues to decline across the UK (Gorrara et al, 2020; Henderson & Carruthers, 2022).

With the belief that languages are more important now than they were 20 years ago, why are languages so overlooked by learners? And how can we, as practitioners, support a renewed and revitalised understanding of the critical role of languages?

Read more...

Aberdeen Postcard Campaign

20 November 2023 (University Council for Languages)

In the context of threats to Modern Languages degrees at the University of Aberdeen, an online postcard campaign has been launched.

The University of Aberdeen is facing a sudden major financial deficit, in the context of which it has announced that it intends to make ‘drastic changes’ to LLMVC (School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture), with a particular focus on Modern Languages. It has been indicated so far that the University will be committed to languages learning but is not necessarily aspiring to maintaining languages degrees (in French, Gaelic, German and Spanish).

Please support the Postcard Campaign to showcase to Senior Management at the University of Aberdeen all the reasons why an ancient university with an international outlook should keep language degrees.

Visit the University Council for Languages website to see how you can take part and disseminate.

Read more...

SQA marker opportunities 2024

20 November 2023 (SQA)

Every year SQA recruits approximately 11,000 teachers and lecturers as markers for the National Qualifications exam diet. Recruitment for the 2024 exams is currently underway, with opportunities available across all subjects and levels including languages.

SQA markers play a key role in supporting the exam diet, ensuring the consistent application of national standards. They gain valuable insight into SQA processes, procedures and national standards for a subject and level. It provides the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge, as well as allowing you to gather evidence for continuing professional development.

You can apply to be a marker if you are currently teaching the subject(s) you wish to mark and have been doing so for a minimum of two years. Full training will be provided.

To find out more about the marker role or apply, please visit the SQA website.

Read more...

The Language Show 2023 recordings

16 November 2023 (The Language Show)

Language learners, language teachers and everyone who loves languages, if you missed this year's Language Show don't worry! Expert seminars, presentations and panel sessions are all available to watch on catchup until March 2024 for just £11.

Visit the website for more information and to secure your pass.

Read more...

CIOL webinars

16 November 2023 (CIOL)

Every month the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) offers new webinars on a variety of topics, free for all to attend as part of the support offered to linguists and the languages profession. Presented by experts in their fields, they give linguists the opportunity to update and broaden their skills and pursue new areas of interest. 

Visit the CIOL website to discover their selection of upcoming sessions and to register attendance.

Read more...

Critical Connections: Multilingual digital storytelling online professional development workshops

14 November 2023 (Critical Connections: Multilingual Digital Storytelling Project)

The Critical Connections Project is about enabling young people across the primary and secondary age range to create and share multilingual digital stories. It offers an approach to language learning, literacy and citizenship which recognises that communication is enhanced when plurilingual and digital resources are drawn upon purposefully and creatively. This asynchronous professional learning opportunity provides free to access workshops and invites educators to explore the possibilities of multilingual digital storytelling.

The Critical Connections online professional development workshops are now ready for you to download from the project website:   

Please note:

  1. A first step, especially for those new to multilingual digital storytelling should be to look at the Critical Connections: Handbook for Teachers.
  2. Workshops are based on experience of working on the project over the years and includes input from teachers.
  3. There is material aimed at colleagues new to digital storytelling as well as those operating at a more advanced level.
  4. We recognise that contexts in which the Critical Connections project is taking place differ in various ways and the resource is intended to be used flexibly.
  5. Comments and suggestions welcome.
  6. Downloading workshops works best with Google Chrome

Read more...

How to successfully increase MFL uptake at GCSE

13 November 2023 (SecEd)

How did one school manage to double the number of students opting for a modern foreign language at GCSE? Raul Ramirez explains.

Read more...

Teaching modern languages without culture will harm global relations

13 November 2023 (Times Higher Education)

Aberdeen’s proposal to close language degree programmes might save money but it will impoverish international understanding.

Read more...

Subject Choices 2023

3 November 2023 (eSgoil)

eSgoil's Subject Choices online workshops will run from 4 - 8 December. This is a week of live input to help students navigate the process of subject choices. Each day has a different focus, and Languages are the focus on Wednesday.

Read more...

International Education Week 2023

31 October 2023 (British Council)

Get ready for International Education Week 2023!

Taking place from 13 to 17 November, the event this year celebrates international partnerships.  

We’ve got lots of information and resources to help you open your students’ eyes to the world and build bridges to other cultures.

Join us to explore the power of partnerships to bring schools together across the globe, engaging and motivating students and helping them discover other languages, countries and cultures.

Visit the British Council website to discover the many ways your school can get involved.

Read more...

SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages updates

30 October 2023 (SQA)

Visiting assessment (performance talking) guidance and STL forms have been published on the SQA's Advanced Higher Modern Languages webpage. These can be found in the Visiting Examining dropdown section.

Read more...

Scottish Languages Employability Award - next deadline approaching!

26 October 2023 (SCILT)

The Scottish Languages Employability Award (SLEA) celebrates schools delivering DYW through languages and school-business partnerships whilst recognising good practice in this area. The award, which is available at bronze, silver and gold levels, supports teachers in raising awareness of the value of language skills in their school community. 

The next deadline for submissions is Friday 17 November 2023. 

Visit the SLEA webpage for more information.

Read more...

Do we need to make learning a language a priority for kids?

19 October 2023 (BBC)

Following a recent survey indicating most adults believe studying a modern language should be compulsory in school, BBC radio broadcaster, Stephen Jardine, asks his guests whether we need to make learning a language a priority for young people.

The broadcast is available to registered users until 18 November 2023 (listen from 2:46).

Read more...

Majority of adults support compulsory language learning in schools – poll

18 October 2023 (The National)

The majority of British adults believe studying a modern language should be compulsory in school, a survey suggests.

Only one in five (21%) UK adults said they can have a conversation in a modern language that is not their mother tongue, according to a poll commissioned by the British Academy.

More than a third (35%) said they were not able to study their preferred language at school, the survey has found.

The YouGov poll of more than 2,000 UK adults suggests most agree that studying a modern language should be compulsory in primary school (64%) and in secondary school (71%).

Read more...

Y-CRED 2023

10 October 2023 (Global Y-CRED)

Y-CRED. Credentialing and Recognising Excellence and Determination is a FREE international language learner event that provides students with connections to native speakers, strategies to improve their skills, ways to leverage their bilingualism and links to future opportunities. Global Y-C.R.E.D.” is all about the “Y.” The “Y” represents “Youth,” but also answers the question, “WHY learn a language?”

Y-CRED. 2023 will offer short, pre-recorded on-demand content for language learners that facilitates flexible viewing for any class schedule.

One of the sessions "Fostering Autonomy: Language Learning with Technology", being led by Joe Dale as part of the "Level Up Your Language Skills" track, looks at how students can use AI to be more independent language learners.

Visit the Y-CRED website for more information and to register for the free online sessions.

Read more...

Languages Week Scotland - save the date!

6 October 2023 (SCILT)

Languages Week Scotland is a celebration of language learning and multilingualism in Scotland. Now in its sixth year, Languages Week Scotland 2024 will take place from 29 January – 2 February and will be a week of activity across the country. The theme for 2024 is “Languages for a sustainable world”.

Read more...

SLEA - Local

6 October 2023 (SCILT)

The SLEA (Scottish Languages Employability Award) family is expanding! We have now launched the SLEA – Local, which aims to encourage and support the development of partnership activities involving a number of schools within a local area or network. The SLEA – Local recognises and rewards employability-focused partnerships organised at a wider local level by teachers, DYW officers or cluster leads.

For more information and details of how to apply, as well as the chance to read about our very first winners from Ayshire Chamber of Commerce and surrounding schools, visit the SLEA – Local webpage.

To find out more about how this fits in with the SLEA family, see the main SLEA award webpage.

And watch this space for the next family member, coming in 2024; the SLEA – Green!

Read more...

Languages beyond school

28 September 2023 (SCILT)

Are you a student, or do you know a student, considering pursuing language studies beyond secondary education? Check out the Beyond School section of the SCILT website. The site lists university and college language courses here in Scotland, links to UCAS and university guides UK-wide, and help and advice on study abroad options and volunteering overseas.

It's a useful resource for teachers and Careers Guidance staff to highlight to students as the UCAS application process is now underway.

Read more...

Primary languages eTwinning in the UK - sign up to participate

28 September 2023 (Open University)

Give your language lessons some real-life purpose and make connections with colleagues across the UK!

Are you looking for some new ideas to make foreign language learning fun, engaging and relevant? Would you like to find new ways of embedding language policy in the classroom whilst developing your own foreign language speaking and teaching skills? Would you appreciate some help and guidance with planning your language lessons, ideas, and have someone with whom to share your reflections, successes and failures?

Then look no further! Frogston Primary School in Edinburgh in collaboration with The Open University are offering a brand-new eTwinning opportunity for all primary practitioners across the UK. It’s free, totally colleague/pupil-led, designed to enhance and practice your languages teaching, learning and assessment.

In this eTwinning initiative, teachers organise and run on-site and online activities with their students. This involves planning with colleagues from other schools around the UK using ready-made lessons and timeframes provided as a guide.

This is an ideal opportunity to meet teachers and educators who share a vision of engaging and impactful learning, using ICT in a meaningful way, and making the most of 21st-century skills. We will provide lessons, resource ideas, guidance, and an online platform where eTwinners can communicate, create projects, share, and learn together at their own pace in line with their interests and the needs of their classes.

The programme begins on 1 November, after the mid-term break. By signing up, you will:

  • Be put in contact with an eTwinning partner… a class of similar age/stage in a school in a different location from your own, who are learning the same language as you.
  • Be given a portfolio of 6 fully planned eTwinning lessons which are completely adaptable and flexible.
  • Be given a secure digital space where you will find all related materials and in which you can plan with your colleagues.

 To participate, sign up on this Eventbrite page and we will contact you by 1 November 2023 to explain the next steps.

Read more...

MTOT registration deadline approaching!

28 September 2023 (SCILT)

Schools in Scotland wishing to take part in this year's Mother Tongue Other Tongue multilingual poetry competition have until National Poetry Day on 5 October to register!

Visit our website to learn more about the competition and discover poetry resources to help you celebrate National Poetry Day in class as well as prepare for the MTOT competition.

It's the 10th anniversary year of MTOT in Scotland, so join in the celebration - visit our website and register your school now!

Read more...

European Day of Languages 2023 - feature in our blog!

28 September 2023 (SCILT)

The European Day of Languages took place on Tuesday 26 September, what has your school been doing to celebrate?

Upload a short description and some photos via our online form and we'll feature you in our EDL 2023 blog! Some entries may even be featured in the SCILT winter newsletter.

Read more...

The revival of language learning is key to a culturally and linguistically rich future

26 September 2023 (British Academy)

We are often presented with two competing narratives surrounding language learning in the UK. On the one hand, we are reminded of the UK's linguistic shortcomings compared with other nations, which presents challenges to maximising economic, social and cultural opportunities. On the other, as demonstrated by the popularity of apps such as Duolingo, there is an unmistakable enthusiasm for language learning across the UK, not least as the country acknowledges its own multilingual heritage. Indeed, in response to a 2022 YouGov poll commissioned by the British Academy, 22% of people said that their interest in modern languages had risen since the pandemic.

In my new role as the British Academy's Lead Fellow for Languages, one of my biggest responsibilities is to try and make sense of this dichotomy, to further understand why people aren’t studying languages, and to help turn things around. 

Read more...

European Day of Languages 2023: a Day to highlight Europe’s linguistic and cultural diversity

26 September 2023 (Council of Europe)

Every year since 2001 the European Day of Languages celebrates the wealth of languages coexisting in Europe and beyond. Over 225 languages are native to Europe alone, not including languages that arrived on the continent through migration.

“The European Day of Languages reminds us that learning a language is a step towards openness and respect for other cultures,” says Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić.

Specific European Day of Languages’ aims:

  • Raise awareness of the importance of language learning to increase plurilingualism and intercultural understanding.
  • Promote the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe.
  • Encourage lifelong language learning in and out of school.

Many countries across Europe are hosting a wide range of initiatives to mark 22 years of linguistic and cultural diversity, including the following: a Multilingual European Day of Languages concert in Espoo (Finland),  a “Bei uns sagt man.....” improvisation comedy show through European languages and cultures in Berlin (Germany), A Say Yes to Languages fair in Belgrade (Serbia), a video challenge for schools Vi elsker sprog (We love languages) followed by an award ceremony for the winners in Copenhagen (Denmark),  an “Olympic games” language week organised by a school on Petite-Île, Réunion (France), Cooking with languages! in Vercelli (Italy), an online event for school pupils in Kherson (Ukraine) and an online conference organised by the European Commission entitled Teaching language skills at the heart of the European Education Area.

Motivating students to study languages

19 September 2023 (SecEd)

How can we motivate our students to do well, to become independent learners and embrace the learning of languages? Esmeralda Saldago discusses the idea of the Big Match and the Goldilocks Effect

Read more...

British Council Language Resources

19 September 2023 (British Council)

The British Council remains committed to supporting the teaching and learning of languages in UK schools.

As part of this the organisation, in partnership with QFI, is restructuring their support for Arabic language teaching and learning in the UK with new events and activities planned for the autumn term. Schools can also apply for grants to introduce the language into their curriculum. Follow the relevant link below for more information:

And with European Day of Languages fast approaching, British Council has developed two new lesson resources to celebrate the event; 'Let's talk about languages' for primary learners and 'Why choose languages' for secondary.

Visit the British Council website to download these resources.

Read more...

DYW Live - Make languages work for you

15 September 2023 (SCILT)

SCILT is delighted to be working with eSgoil and DYW to offer workshops this session aimed at primary (P4-P7) learners.

Hearing from a diverse range of people who use languages in their careers, the workshop aims to encourage pupils to consider how their talents and interests can be enhanced by language skills and intercultural understanding now and in the future.

Three online sessions are taking place:

  • 14 November 2023
  • 13 March 2024
  • 16 May 2024

Visit the eSgoil website for more details and to register. Early booking is advisable as class numbers are limited.

Read more...

Related Links

DYWLive workshops for secondary learners - Languages and your career

European Day of Languages 2023 - Competition for schools

14 September 2023 (Global School Alliance)

Celebrated on 26 September every year, the European Day of Languages (EDL) is designed to promote the importance of language learning and protecting the linguistic heritage.

To get your pupils involved in this year's event, the Global School Alliance has launched a competition ‘For me, learning a language is…’ and are asking students to tell us what learning a language means to them. It is open to schools with students studying a European language worldwide and aims to showcase the magic and importance of language learning.

Visit the website to find out more and register your school. Deadline for entries is 3 October.

Read more...

Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators 2023-24

14 September 2023 (University of Oxford)

Organised by the Queen's Translation Exchange at the University of Oxford, the Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators is a UK-wide creative translation competition for students aged 11-18 studying French, German, Italian, Mandarin and Spanish. The competition also runs from French into Welsh.

The 2023-24 prize will launch on 20 September, when creative translation teaching packs will be shared with teachers in time for European Day of Languages on 26 September and International Translation Day on 30 September. These teaching packs are designed to help teachers bring creative translation into the MFL classroom as well as to help students prepare for the competition task.

The competition itself will run over several weeks from 5 February to 28 March 2024. Area and national winners will be announced in May or June 2023. They will receive certificates and national winners will receive book prizes. Over 15,000 students participated in the competition in 2023.  

For those registered, teaching packs for poetry translation will be circulated on 20 September, fiction will follow after October half term, and non-fiction will be released in early January. 

There are a number of related activities run by the Queen's Translation Exchange that teachers and pupils can participate in, details of which can be found on the Opportunities for Schools webpage.

Visit the Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators website for more information and to register to receive resources and updates about the competition task. You can also see the list of winners and commendations for last year's competition.

If you have any further queries regarding the competition, you should contact the Translation Exchange team at translation.exchange@queens.ox.ac.uk.

Read more...

SCILT winter 2023 newsletter - send us your stories!

12 September 2023 (SCILT)

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

We are currently taking submissions for our winter 2023 newsletter. This is a great opportunity to promote what has been happening in your school or local authority with regard to languages. This is a chance to showcase innovative projects, language learning celebrations or initiatives which took place before the summer break or so far this session. 

We are looking for articles of a maximum of 300 words, with a couple of colourful photos. The deadline for contributions is Friday 13th October 2023.

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

Read more...

DYW Live – Languages and your career is back!

12 September 2023 (SCILT)

We are delighted to be back again this year working together with e-Sgoil and DYW Live to deliver the Languages and Your Career webinar. In this session we will explore how languages can contribute to success in a wide range of jobs and career paths. This webinar aims to introduce secondary learners to the importance of languages and their associated skills in the workplace, break down stereotypes of careers that use languages, identify appropriate career pathways, and hear examples of people who use languages in their daily work. It will be an interactive session with input from people who use languages in their work.

The workshop will repeated each month on different days and times from September until January. The dates on offer are:

Tuesday 26th September: 2.00 – 3.00pm
Wednesday 25th October: 9.30 – 10.30am
Thursday 23rd November: 11.00am – 12.00pm
Monday 18th December: 9.30 – 10.30am
Tuesday 30th January: 2.00 – 3.00pm

All sessions will take place in Glow Teams.

This year, additional materials will be made available to teachers who attend the workshop with their classes to support further promotion of employability with individual languages. Watch this space!

For more information and registration details, visit the e-Sgoil website.

Read more...

Related Links

DYWLive workshops for primary learners - Make languages work for you

S2 pupil survey: Attitudes to languages

5 September 2023 (NICILT)

We have received the following request from our friends in NICILT, Northern Ireland’s Centre for Languages.

NICILT has organised a short pupil survey for S2 pupils, the aim of which is to gather a snapshot of young peoples’ thoughts about languages. NICILT is really keen to hear about attitudes to languages from pupils who have completed their first year of secondary education (surveys have also been distributed to cohorts in Northern Ireland, England and Wales). NICILT would like to distribute the survey to S2 cohorts and publish the findings from the survey in Autumn 2023, funded by the British Council.

The principal information and consent form is attached and can be downloaded below.

Could Modern Languages PTs willing to let their school participate please complete and return the principal consent form to languagetrends@qub.ac.uk within 5 days. Once NICILT receives completed principal consent forms, NICILT will email the survey link to you to be distributed to your pupils. The survey can be completed in school or at home. There are no forms to be collected in by teachers – the process is very manageable.  

SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages updates

4 September 2023 (SQA)

Updates have been added to the SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages webpage.

New specimen question papers can be found in the Past Papers and Marking Instructions section and an assessment resources summary in the Course Support section.

Read more...

Language Cafés

31 August 2023 (SCILT)

Are you a Secondary PGDE student, NQT or ECT of Languages? Would you like the chance to network informally with others in the same boat across the country to share ideas and strategies, and even to chat in other languages from time to time? Then come along to our new monthly drop-in sessions! These will take place online on the last Thursday of each month, starting in September.

Dates are as follows:

  • Thursday 28 September 4.30 – 5.30pm
  • Thursday 26 October 4.30 – 5.30pm
  • Thursday 30 November 4.30 – 5.30pm
  • Thursday 25 January 4.30 – 5.30pm
  • Thursday 29 February 4.30 – 5.30pm
  • Thursday 28 March 4.30 – 5.30pm
  • Thursday 25 April 4.30 – 5.30pm
  • Thursday 30 May 4.30 – 5.30pm

These sessions will take place on Corporate Teams. Visit our Eventbrite page to book; see you there!

Read more...

University of Edinburgh Centre for Open Learning courses

29 August 2023 (University of Edinburgh)

Languages for All, at the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Open Learning (COL), will launch two new Short Courses in General English and Ukrainian this October. These courses will complement the existing range of Short Courses in languages including Arabic, British Sign Language, French, Gaelic, German, Italian, Japanese, Modern Greek, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili and Turkish.

Languages for All have also expanded the University-Wide Language Programme for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students at the University of Edinburgh, offering credit courses in British Sign Language, Gaelic, Swahili and Ukrainian.

Visit our new Languages for All website to view our full offering.

Read more...

European Day of Languages 2023 - how is your school celebrating?

25 August 2023 (SCILT)

The European Day of Languages (EDL) is celebrated on 26 September each year. Now in its 22nd year, it aims to promote the rich linguistic diversity of Europe and raise awareness of the importance of lifelong language learning for everyone. What is your school doing in 2023?

If you're looking for inspiration, SCILT has compiled lots of ideas for primary, secondary and parents & families on our EDL webpage. What about making some multilingual bunting, hosting a languages café, or creating a zine? You will also find links to competitions, blogs and websites with a huge range of celebration ideas and activities. 

Let us know how you celebrate and we'll include you in our EDL 2023 blogUpload a short description and some colourful photos or email scilt@strath.ac.uk.

If you're sharing your celebrations on Twitter tag @scottishcilt and use the hashtag #coeEDL to share your celebrations with schools across Europe!

Read more...

The British Academy responds to 2023 GCSE data

24 August 2023 (The British Academy)

The British Academy welcomes the growing popularity of economics, history and some modern languages such as Spanish, Arabic, Urdu and Chinese at GCSE level, but calls for more work to arrest the decline in other humanities and social sciences.

Earlier this month, the British Academy joined forces with the British Science Association to urge teachers, parents and students to consider the benefits of studying a mix of subjects across the humanities, the sciences and the social sciences, in line with the British Academy’s recently launched Connected Knowledge campaign.

Read more...

Our World 2023-24

22 August 2023 (SEET)

Registration for the SEET’s Our World project 2023-24 is now open and totally free to enter! Just fill in this quick form to sign up your school: https://ourworldproject.wufoo.com/forms/z1fa1wdl0fdqs2a/

Our World is a language learning and global citizenship-based filmmaking project for S1 - S6 pupils. It's designed to complement the Curriculum for Excellence and help tackle the Attainment Challenge by providing a free project which uses an interdisciplinary approach to encourage pupils to become more engaged in their language learning.

Teams of 4 (S1 - S6) design a storyboard which outlines the film they propose to make. This year's films must include the use of a language other than English and should touch on the theme of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Each team must choose at least one of the 17 SDGs to focus their film on.

SEET supports teachers and pupils throughout the whole process, starting with our introductory CLPL session for teachers on Tuesday 12 September 2023.

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

Read more...

Mother Tongue Other Tongue 2024 - 10 year anniversary!

18 August 2023 (SCILT)

SCILT is delighted to announce that MTOT is back for 2024, and it’s an extra special year - MTOT celebrates its 10th anniversary! 

Over the last decade the competition has evolved from written poems in the beginning, to now focussing on the spoken word. Hearing pupils share their voices and language skills helps bring their poetry to life, and we look forward to seeing what creative brilliance emerges from Scotland’s schools this year. In this 10th anniversary year, we are delighted and very excited to work with our partners at Instituto Cervantes to offer a special prize category for entries in Spanish, one of the most widely taught languages in Scotland’s schools.

So, if you have entered MTOT before, we’d love to welcome you back. If you are new to MTOT, what better year to join than our 10th anniversary year? Our multilingual poetry competition is now open. Visit our MTOT page on the SCILT website for more information and register your school now.

MTOT is 10 years old – come join the celebration!

Read more...

Scotland's Languages Explorers Programme - launch of national languages mentoring scheme

18 August 2023 (SCILT / UCFLS)

SCILT and UCFLS will launch Scotland’s Languages Explorers Programme (SLEP) nationally for the first time following last session’s successful conclusion of a pilot languages mentoring programme in Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City. 

Inspired by the success of similar mentoring programmes in the UK, the SLEP aims to raise awareness amongst secondary age learners of the far-reaching benefits of language learning by facilitating a short programme of mentoring sessions led by university students with lived experiences of language learning and multiculturalism. The idea was informed by student mentoring programmes currently running in Wales and Sheffield, which have demonstrated that small group work with a student mentor can have a positive impact on learners in school, and lead to an increase in the number of learners continuing with languages into higher levels of study.

SLEP 2023-24 will run in partnership with 7 universities: the Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, Strathclyde and the Open University. Interested schools can find out more about the mentoring programme and hear from last year’s student mentors on the programme webpage.

We are currently taking registrations of interest from schools. If you would like to take part in this year’s mentoring programme, please register your interest by Monday 11 September.

Please be aware that this programme runs online. While geographical proximity to a university is not a prerequisite, it is imperative that interested schools have an adequate technical set-up and internet connection to allow for remote interactions between mentees and mentors. Further information, including key dates, can be found on the programme webpage.

Read more...

SCILT CLPL workshop menu 2023-24

17 August 2023 (SCILT)

SCILT’s brand new CLPL workshop menu for 2023-24 is available for your booking requests. 

Are you responsible for sourcing high quality professional learning related to languages pedagogy for groups of colleagues in your setting, cluster, local authority or RIC?

You will be interested in our new professional learning offer for all sectors.

The content of the eleven workshops is informed by feedback from teachers and practitioners on their professional learning needs. If your needs are different, we are more than happy to develop the bespoke inputs you and your colleagues require. Just ask.

Always interactive and up-to-date, SCILT workshops provide the opportunity for you and your colleagues to explore aspects of practice with our experienced Professional Development Officers. Our team has a finite capacity, so get in your request as soon as you can.

The focus of workshops for 2023-24 are wide ranging, covering the following issues:

Cross Sector

  • Primary-Secondary Transition

Primary and Early Years

  • Families on board? Developing a family friendly approach to languages in your setting
  • Getting outdoors with languages and learning
  • Celebrating cultural diversity through languages in EY and primary
  • An introduction to multilingual approaches to primary pedagogy
  • Languages in primary: assessing pupils’ learning, evaluating teaching

Secondary

  • Policy, planning and practice in BGE (in partnership with Education Scotland)
  • Emerging contexts for language learning
  • Talking and listening
  • Using language skills across the curriculum
  • Social-Emotional Learning for languages

For more details, and to make a request for a group visit our Professional Learning webpage.

Note that open access online workshops will also be scheduled across the year. Registration for these will be open to individuals and details will be shared in the SCILT ebulletin in due course.

Read more...

A Manifesto for Linguistics in Language Teaching in the UK Context

8 August 2023 (Linguistics in MFL Project)

This document sets out a manifesto for how linguistics could be incorporated into language teaching in the UK context. It responds directly to published calls for change, and identifies challenges and opportunities as well as potential actions.

Available to download from the Linguistics in MFL Project website.

Read more...

The GCHQ National Language Competition 2023

8 August 2023 (GCHQ)

The 2023 GCHQ National Language Competition will run from Monday 6 November to Friday 10 November 2023.

The National Language Competition (NLC) is a virtual competition where teams from schools around the UK compete against each other to solve language-based puzzles and score points. The overall winners are then invited to GCHQ’s headquarters in Cheltenham to receive their trophy!

With the NLC, GCHQ aims to inspire language learning by encouraging students to discover their aptitude for learning languages.

Visit the competition website for more information and to register interest.

Read more...

The Guardian view on language apps: a reminder that millions aspire to be multilingual

8 August 2023 (The Guardian)

Computer tutors such as Duolingo may not create polyglots, but they are a lesson to all who think language teaching is not valued.

Read more...

Parlez-vous Valyrian? Meet the people creating languages for Game of Thrones, Avatar and more

7 July 2023 (The Guardian)

Half a million Duolingo users are currently learning High Valyrian. But how do you make a language out of nothing? The linguists behind top fantasy TV shows and films explain.

Read more...

European Language Gazette no. 64 (June 2023)

30 June 2023 (ECML)

The European Language Gazette, the ECML's e-newsletter, provides up-to-date news about the ECML (events, projects, resources) and other relevant sectors of the Council of Europe as well as of our partners. It focuses on national developments in the field of language education in the member states and beyond.

This special issue is dedicated to the ECML Call for project proposals for its 2024-27 programme entitled “Language education at the heart of democracy”.

The deadline for proposals is 31 August 2023.

Read more...

Students switch to AI to learn languages

23 June 2023 (BBC)

I tell my Argentinian pal that I've been using ChatGPT to practise my Spanish and, excitedly, I explain what it can do.

It can correct my errors, I tell him, and it's able to give me regional variations in Spanish, including Mexican Spanish, Argentinian Spanish and, amusingly, Spanglish.

And, unlike when I'm chatting to him on WhatsApp, I don't have to factor in time zone differences.

My friend is less enthused. "So you've replaced me?" he jokes.

I haven't, of course. The convenience and breadth of an AI chatbot can't compete with the pleasures of chatting with someone whose personality quirks I've learned over the course of years. It is however a useful supplement.

And I'm just one of many people who have discovered in recent months the benefits of AI-based chat for language learning.

Read more...

Related Links

AI Language Learning Apps (Julia Morris blog, 28 June 2023) - List of AI apps with pros and cons.

MTOT 2022-23 and Voices of Hope

16 June 2023 (SCILT)

Finalists' work from this year's MTOT competition can now be viewed on the SCILT website.

As part of our Mother Tongue Other Tongue poetry competition, SCILT received several entries from young Ukrainian refugees displaced by the war in Ukraine. We wanted the world to be able to access these wonderfully creative and emotive pieces of writing. Our Voices of Hope online exhibition, in partnership with AUGB, will be launched on 21 June as part of Refugee Week Scotland 2023 and will be available on SCILT's website following the launch event.

Read more...

Multilingual Approaches through Art - online exhibition is now live!

16 June 2023 (SCILT / University partners)

On Thursday 8 June 2023 SCILT hosted the Multilingual Approaches through Art online exhibition launch event. The event provided the opportunity to hear from pupils, teachers and partners who participated in the project. Parents and families were invited to come along, and we were delighted to welcome those who could us in celebrating the project and the launch of the pupils’ artwork.

The launch commenced with opening remarks from SCILT and CISS Director Fhiona Mackay. Professor Antonella Sorace, Founder of Bilingualism Matters, spoke about the multilingual approach behind the project, and we heard from project partners Dr Lavinia Hirsu from the University of Glasgow, and Jane Catlin from the University of Strathclyde. Following this, the showcase video was shared where attendees had the opportunity to see a snapshot of some of the artworks the children had created. At this point we were blown away by the creativity on view! Here we had a selection of art that included language portraits, exquisite corpse collaborations, calligrams and work inspired by Chagallian idioms.

Attendees then had the chance to hear from participating teachers about their experience taking part in the project. Teachers from Antonine Primary, Bowhouse Primary, Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Loch Abar, Mile End School, St Maria Goretti Primary, and Williamston Primary provided feedback with one teacher commenting:

"Despite my love of languages, art and my excitement for the project, I wasn’t initially sure of the impact it could have in my school as the vast majority of pupils have English as their home language. However, the impact that it had was making multilingualism more visible and giving it more value in the eyes of the pupils."

Another teacher commented on combining art and languages saying:

"It was interesting to look at languages in a different way and the project gave me lots of ideas about how to open up languages that we already have in the classroom. It has been great to give the children a chance to use and share their native languages and make connections with them through the medium of art."

For more information about the project, please visit the Multilingual Approaches through Art webpage on the SCILT website via the link below. Here you will be able to access the showcase video, teacher feedback video and of course the wonderful online exhibition. Happy browsing!

 

Read more...

Guided partnerships

13 June 2023 (British Council)

If you’re new to international collaboration, a short-term partnership could open the door to a world of opportunities for your school. 

To make getting started even easier, you can apply to join a British Council guided partnership, where a dedicated partnership facilitator will guide you through a short-term, collaborative, curriculum-based project with an overseas partner. 

The next round will take the theme of climate change, a major topic of concern for children around the world. Starting in September 2023 and running through the autumn term, we will facilitate your partnership with a range of curriculum-related activities.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to apply by 14 July 2023.

Read more...

Language learning in Northern Ireland ‘slowly recovering from pandemic’ – report

13 June 2023 (The National / British Council)

The popularity of learning languages at Northern Ireland’s schools is “slowly recovering from the pandemic”, a report by the British Council has found.

The Language Trends Northern Ireland report found that the decline in language learning at post-primary schools is plateauing, with Spanish emerging as the most popular, overtaking French.

The research was led by Dr Ian Collen, director of the Northern Ireland Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research (NICILT) at Queen’s University Belfast, and follows a previous report which found that language lessons were “hardest hit” during Covid-19.

This year’s report found that Spanish is now the language most frequently taught in Northern Ireland’s schools at both GCSE and A-level, overtaking French as the most popular GCSE language in summer 2021.

Read more...

SALT conference 2023 - call for proposals now open!

13 June 2023 (SALT)

The SALT annual conference will take place on Saturday 28 October 2023 (am) at the University of Strathclyde. 

The event will be a hybrid event. There will be workshops for people attending in-person and workshops for those joining online. 

The theme of this year’s conference is Learners without borders: empowering and inspiring Scotland’s language learners.

If you would like to offer a workshop on a topic relevant to Scotland’s Modern Languages teachers (from any sectors), fill in the form and we will be in touch with you! We are keen to hear from all over Scotland and highlight the excellent practice that is happening across the country. Your session will last a maximum of 45 minutes and can be on any topic that you think will be interesting to ML teachers. 

Submit SALT 2023 proposals here.

If you are planning on attending the event but not presenting, please save the date and sign up will open in September.

Read more...

Education experts call for 10-year plan to boost foreign language learning in schools

3 June 2023 (National World)

Education experts have told NationalWorld the government needs a 10-year plan for foreign language teaching in schools - after figures showed the number of students taking French, German and Spanish A Levels fell again this year in England.

Business leaders are also calling for a “fundamental change” in approach so the next generation of UK entrepreneurs are “born global”. Ministers say they’re spending nearly £15 million improving teaching and promoting the benefits of language learning.

The exams regulator Ofqual said on Thursday (1 June) there were just 2,210 German A Level entries this summer - a fall of 17% on last year, the biggest percentage drop of any subject on the curriculum, and 24% down on five years ago.

Read more...

Free online courses from British Council

30 May 2023 (British Council / FutureLearn)

The following British Council online courses are due to commence shortly. Click on the relevant link for more information and to enrol:

  • Teaching English to refugees and displaced learners - find out about our free 4-week online course 'Teaching English to refugees and displaced learners' starting on 6 June 2023. Enrolment ends on 26 June 2023 and the course closes on 3 July.
  • Exploring Inclusive Pedagogies - ensure you’re meeting every learner’s needs, including those most at risk of exclusion, by developing inclusive teaching skills in this free online 3-week course commencing 12 June 2023.

SEET's Multilingual Day 2023

19 May 2023 (SEET)

It's our birthday! SEET is proud to be 30 years old this June, and we are using this as an opportunity to raise awareness for language learning in our school communities.

Here at SEET, we are fortunate to work with hundreds of schools each year across the Euroquiz and Our World projects. We would like to use this platform to bring everyone together, have fun with languages and celebrate the hard work of the thousands of young linguists we work with across the country each year.

Interested in taking part? Pupils should work together to organise a language-themed fundraiser at school between March-June. This should be an opportunity to show off creativity and have fun with languages! 50% of proceeds will be allocated to your own school fund, and 50% will be shared with our charity to further support young people with their language learning across Scotland. There will also be prizes for the most unique ideas and for the school that raises the most.

Visit SEET's dedicated web page for full details and to sign up to raise awareness of language learning!

Read more...

Words for the World winning entries now online!

19 May 2023 (SCILT)

Congratulations again to everyone who took part in our recent Words for the World competition.

Following the awards ceremony on 25 April, and the announcement of the winners’ names, we are now delighted to be able to publish the winning, highly commended and other finalist entries in each category. We are sure that you will be impressed by the fantastic linguistic diversity, creativity and passion that all the finalists show. Well done everyone!

At the awards ceremony we were delighted to be able to share a personal video message from Len Pennie, the well-known Scottish poet and Scots language and mental health advocate, which spoke of the huge difference that all of our words can make; watch her video and be inspired!

Read more...

New ECML publication available: Rethinking language education after the experience of Covid – Final report

17 May 2023 (ECML)

Rethinking language education after the experience of Covid offers not only a timely reflection on the challenges faced and the approaches developed over the course of the pandemic but a look into the future at ways in which the skills and insights gained may bring about beneficial lasting changes in the teaching and learning of languages.

Read the publication on the ECML website.

Read more...

The Languages Gateway - The UK's portal for languages - Call for content

12 May 2023 (CIOL)

The Languages Gateway is a new website, aligned to the latest evolving UK national languages strategy, intended to act as a portal for everything to do with languages in the UK. 

[..] We aim to provide a one stop-shop for all things languages in the UK, facilitating links between all those interested in languages: learners, families, community groups, teachers, school leaders, academics, policymakers, subject associations.

We are now putting out this Call for Content so that we can widen participation, increase traffic, and generally make the website more valuable for everyone as a shared endeavour.

Visit the CIOL website for more information.

Read more...

Stephen Spender Prize 2023

12 May 2023 (Stephen Spender Trust)

The Stephen Spender Prize has now launched! It is the leading annual prize for poetry in translation, with categories for pupils, teachers and individual young people in the UK and Ireland, as well as an Open category for adults from all over the world. The rules are simple: translate into English any poem from any language – from French to Farsi, from Spanish to Somali—and win publication and cash prizes! 

There are some changes for the 2023 edition, including a spotlight on poetry from Ukraine.

Visit the Stephen Spender Prize website for further information and to register to take part.

Read more...

SCILT Spring 2023 newsletter published

5 May 2023 (SCILT)

The latest edition of the SCILT newsletter has been published!

Read about SCILT’s work to support the learning and teaching of languages, including our professional learning opportunities, knowledge exchange events, competitions and online lessons. Find out how schools celebrated Languages Week Scotland 2023 and hear from local authorities about their latest inspiring initiatives. There is also the opportunity to read about the work our partners have been doing to support language learning in Scotland.

If you would like to contribute an article to a future edition of the newsletter you can read the submission guidelines on our website, and email your entries to SCILT

Read more...

Words for the World - Winners announced!

4 May 2023 (SCILT)

Congratulations to everyone who took part in this year’s Words for the World competition.

We had a very high standard of entries submitted in a range of formats and different languages. Our young people here in Scotland demonstrated a wealth of linguistic diversity, creativity and immense passion for protecting our planet, our humanity and creating a brighter future for us all.  We were truly humbled and inspired by their work and they should all be incredibly proud of their achievements.

Judging proved exceptionally difficult, but we were delighted to announce the winning entries at an online awards event held last week to celebrate Earth Day. Well done again to the following who were successful in their respective categories and thank you to every pupil who participated in the competition. 

P1-P4

  • Winner – Libby Gow, Goodlyburn Primary
  • Highly commended – Jamie Rettie, Goodlyburn Primary

P5-P7

  • Winner – Sophia Chan, ESMS Junior School
  • Highly commended – Halima Jemal, Toryglen Primary
  • Highly commended – Leena Valluri, Goodlyburn Primary

S1-S3

  • Winner - Deepak Krisna Kumaar, Craigmount High 
  • Highly commended – 1W & 1Q class entry, Holy Rood RC High
  • Highly commended – Rory Turner, Portree High

S4-S6

  • Winner - Dianna-Liza Boychuk, Craigmount High
  • Highly commended - Wessam Kawarit, Craigmount High 

Winners and highly commended entrants will receive a book token and certificate and have their work showcased on the SCILT website in due course, whilst all participants will receive a certificate in recognition of their hard work.

You can find out more about the competition on our Words for the World webpage.

Read more...

Focus On: Is younger always better when it comes to learning a foreign language?

27 April 2023 (Eurydice)

The age at which children in Europe are learning a foreign language is getting younger. In 2002, the Barcelona European Council called for further action ‘teaching at least two foreign languages from a very early age’ to improve the mastery of basic skills in education. The 2023 edition of Key data on teaching languages at school in Europe has found that, since then, around two thirds of education systems for which there are data have lowered the age at which children begin to learn a foreign language. Now, learning at least one foreign language is compulsory before the age of eight in most education systems, and even before the age of six in six education systems.

A common belief is that when it comes to foreign language learning, younger is better. But is this true in the context of European school education?

Read more...

Empowering Young People to Change the World 2023

25 April 2023 (Empowering Young People)

This online series of events is running from April to July 2023. All sessions will be online via Zoom and will start at 16:00 unless otherwise stated.

Language teachers will be particularly interested in the session taking place on Tuesday 23 May with Crista Hazell, Maud Waret and Jane Driver: 'Empowering Young People to Change The(ir) World (life chances) with Languages'.

Visit the Empowering Young People to Change the World website for more information on all the available sessions and to register attendance.

Read more...

Research on 2,400 languages shows nearly half the world’s language diversity is at risk

20 April 2023 (The Conversation)

There are more than 7,000 languages in the world, and their grammar can vary a lot. Linguists are interested in these differences because of what they tell us about our history, our cognitive abilities and what it means to be human.

But this great diversity is threatened as more and more languages aren’t taught to children and fall into slumber.

In a new paper published in Science Advances, we’ve launched an extensive database of language grammars called Grambank. With this resource, we can answer many research questions about language and see how much grammatical diversity we may lose if the crisis isn’t stopped.

Our findings are alarming: we’re losing languages, we’re losing language diversity, and unless we do something, these windows into our collective history will close.

Read more...

Young Language Learner Award 2023

18 April 2023 (b small publishing)

The b small Young Language Learner Award is an exciting story-writing opportunity aimed at 6-11 year olds. Children are encouraged to send in a story or comic written in a language of their choice, other than a mother tongue, with the chance of winning up to 10 books of their choice from the b small website.

Visit the website for more information and to register for the competition entry pack. Entries close 5 June 2023.

Read more...

SEET's Multilingual Day 2023

18 April 2023 (SEET)

It's our birthday! SEET is proud to be 30 years old this June, and we are using this as an opportunity to raise awareness for language learning in our school communities.

Here at SEET, we are fortunate to work with hundreds of schools each year across the Euroquiz and Our World projects. We would like to use this platform to bring everyone together, have fun with languages and celebrate the hard work of the thousands of young linguists we work with across the country each year.

Interested in taking part? Pupils should work together to organise a language-themed fundraiser at school between March-June. This should be an opportunity to show off creativity and have fun with languages! 50% of proceeds will be allocated to your own school fund, and 50% will be shared with our charity to further support young people with their language learning across Scotland. There will also be prizes for the most unique ideas and for the school that raises the most.

Visit SEET's dedicated web page for full details and to sign up to raise awareness of language learning!

Read more...

Stephen Spender Prize 2023

30 March 2023 (Stephen Spender Trust)

The Stephen Spender Prize for poetry translation is open to all ages. This year’s prize will launch on 12 May 2023, but teachers are invited to register to involve their students now. All those who register will receive regular resources and activities to help them to integrate creative translation into their teaching.

The rules are simple: translate into English any poem from any language.

This year sees several new categories in the competition, including a special spotlight on poetry from Ukraine.

Visit the website for more information and to sign-up to take part.

Read more...

'The Languages Local to You' photography competition 2023

28 March 2023 (University of Exeter)

To celebrate the UK's cultural diversity, the Department of Languages, Cultures, and Visual Studies at the University of Exeter are inviting secondary pupils (aged 11-16) to take a photo showing languages other than English in their local area - shop signs, bilingual street signs, film posters, advertisements and so on. Provide a brief caption, describing why and how the language is used in your chosen photograph (up to 100 words).

Schools can select up to three entries to submit to the competition.

The top 30 entries will feature in an exhibition touring Exeter, London, and Sheffield. And there are prizes up for grabs too!

Visit the website for full competition details and how to enter by 28 April 2023.

Read more...

Kirkcaldy pupils celebrate success in national poetry competition

18 March 2023 (Fife Today)

Pupils from Valley Primary School, Kirkcaldy, have been celebrating their success in a National Poetry Competition, Mother Tongue Other Tongue.

Six P7 pupils wrote original poems in their first language to showcase and celebrate the many languages spoken at Valley Primary School.

As well as entering the competition they also shared their poems at school along with pupils reciting a range of Scots poetry.

Read more...

Schools’ Essay Competition 2023

17 March 2023 (Cambridge Language Collective)

The Cambridge Language Collective is delighted to be opening its third annual Schools’ Essay Competition. Following the spirit of the publication’s own personal objective, to ‘broaden horizons beyond the Anglophone world’, the essay competition encourages students from years 10 to 13 (S4-S6 in Scotland) to write about the art & culture, or politics & society, of a non-Anglophone country.

Visit the website for more information and submit entries by 5 April 2023.

Read more...

Words for the World is back!

13 March 2023 (SCILT)

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

Are you looking for a way to engage your language learners to think about global issues and global citizenship? Our Words for the World competition could be just what you need! Returning for the 2022-23 school session, SCILT is challenging learners to use their words and their languages to show how the world could be a better place.

Participants are invited to use a language (or languages) other than English to show their ideas, hopes or even advice for our world. Submissions can be in any written format, for example a poem, an essay, a cartoon – be creative!

More information about the competition is available on our Words for the World webpage below. The entry deadline for entries is 24 March 2023

Read more...

Multilingual Day 2023

9 March 2023 (SEET)

It’s our birthday! SEET is proud to be 30 years old this June, and we are using this as an opportunity to raise awareness for language learning in our school communities.

Here at SEET, we are fortunate to work with hundreds of schools each year across the Euroquiz and Our World projects. We would like to use this platform to bring everyone together, have fun with languages and celebrate the hard work of the thousands of young linguists we work with across the country each year.

Interested in taking part? Pupils should work together to organise a language-themed fundraiser at school between March-June. This should be an opportunity to show off creativity and have fun with languages! See the attached flyer for more information.

Visit SEET's dedicated web page for full details and to sign up to raise awareness of language learning!

Read more...

Related Files

Taking the Lead with Languages

9 March 2023 (Education Scotland)

Have you ever considered how languages could be the key to unlocking leadership potential? Well, this might be the ideal moment to give it some thought as we investigate Scotland’s Languages Leadership Programme as a route worthy of exploration towards leadership opportunities.

Karen Faulds, a primary school teacher prior to joining Scotland's National Centre for Languages (SCILT) in 2019, tells us about her participation in LLP which formed part of her own leadership journey. She describes the programme as a pivotal moment in that journey and confirms it remains the best professional learning experience for her to date. 

Visit the Education Scotland website to read more about Karen's experience. Registration for the 2023-24 is now open. You'll find a link to apply within the article.

Read more...

Susie Dent explores the foreign words for universal experiences that we have no equivalent for

8 March 2023 (Daily Mail)

There are emotions and situations so universal, it's astonishing we don't have a word for them in English.

What, for example, might we call the feeling of exiting the hairdresser's looking worse than when we went in?

Or perhaps, the extra weight we put on after a break-up?

And what about those brilliant ideas you come up with after several bottles of wine that in the cold light of day seem utterly ridiculous?

For all its richness and depth, its breadth and beauty, the English language doesn't always quite cut it when it comes to these sentiments that fall between the cracks of our vocabulary. 

Fear not, however, because the chances are that another language almost certainly will.

One of the joys of learning a foreign tongue is not just the insight we get into a different culture and people, but also the joyful serendipity of coming across a word that we can't believe we lived without.

Read more...

Glasgow Film Festival 2023

28 February 2023 (Glasgow Film Festival)

Glasgow Film Festival takes place 1-12 March screening the best new releases, a host of old favourites, and some undiscovered gems.

Visit the website for full programme details. Search in the 'genre' dropdown on the What's On page for foreign language films.

Read more...

Scotland’s Languages Leadership Programme 2023-24 – Applications are now open!

24 February 2023 (SCILT)

Applications for Scotland's Languages Leadership Programme 2023-24 (SLLP) open until 5pm on Monday 24 April.

The SLLP builds leadership capacity to achieve a sustainable model for leading language learning and teaching for all. Applications are welcome from colleagues with 3 years' teaching experience or equivalent, who are interested in developing approaches to language learning and in implementing change in their own contexts. This might include classroom teachers, principal teachers, heads of department, heads of faculty or languages lead practitioners.

This online programme is free of charge to state schools and offers participants the opportunity to engage with the most up-to-date information from Education Scotland and other agencies involved in the delivery of Scotland’s languages policy.

Visit our Professional Learning page for more information about the programme and how to apply. You can also sign up for an online information session which will be hosted by SCILT and Education Scotland on Thursday 23 March.

Read more...

MTOT 2022-23 - Winners announced!

24 February 2023 (SCILT)

Pupils, teachers and special guests joined us online on 21 February to hear the winners of this year’s Mother Tongue Other Tongue multilingual poetry competition. The date chosen for the event was significant being International Mother Language Day, a day to celebrate all world languages.

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

Mother Tongue

Award

Pupil

School

Language

P1-P4

Winner

Sofia Poliakova

West Primary

Russian

Highly commended

Jiya Srikanth

West Primary

Tamil

P5-P7

Winner

Ariana Misankova

West Primary

Slovakian

Highly commended

Arina Fomenko

Williamsburgh PS

Russian-Ukrainian

Highly commended

Nikola Arimovica

Valley Primary

Russian

Highly commended

Misha Levdykov

Kilbarchan Primary

Russian-Ukrainian

S1-S3

Winner

Shadan Alousy

Bishopbriggs Academy

Arabic

Highly commended

Eve Joshi

Bearsden Academy

Danish

Highly commended

Lynn Januschke

Madras College

German

Highly commended

Michaela Mileva

St Joseph’s Academy

Bulgarian

S4-S6

Winner

Oleksandra Lotytska

Rosshall Academy

Ukrainian

Highly commended

Lucia d’Alessio

Bishopbriggs Academy

Italian

Other Tongue

Award

Pupil

School

Language

P1-P4

Winner

Mabel Sainsbury

Kilmodan Primary

French

Highly commended

P1 Class

Canaan Lane Primary

French

P5-P7

Winner

Kathryn Morley

Kilmodan Primary

French

Highly commended

Giles Leigh

Kilmodan Primary

French

Highly commended

Masha Naumenko

Thorn Primary

Ukrainian

S1-S3

Winner

Caitlin Anderson

Monifieth High

Ukrainian

Highly commended

Laila Strokosch

Mearns Castle High

French

Highly commended

Molly Innes

Madras College

French

Highly commended

Zach Bartlett

Madras College

French

S4-S6

Winner

Jessica Smith

Monifieth High

French

Highly commended

Aiman Mohammad

Renfrew High

French

Highly commended

Aimee Carroll

Mintlaw Academy

German

Highly commended

Jessica Smith

Monifieth High

Spanish

Highly commended

Roux Scott

Loudoun Academy

Spanish

 

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

This year we were also delighted to host a special strand of the competition focusing on Ukrainian languages. The winning entries in this category were:

  • Primary – Arina Fomenko, Williamsburgh Primary
  • Secondary – Dianna-Liza Boyckuk, Craigmount High

Teachers with students who entered in this category will be contacted separately regarding their awards.

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

Congratulations again to all our finalists!

Storytelling in different languages helps improve literacy

21 February 2023 (University of Reading)

Multilingual children in pre-schools across Reading have benefitted from a series of multilingual storytelling sessions to celebrate children’s heritage languages as well as to help improve their early literacy skills and understanding of language.

As part of a project funded through the Community Fund, a joint initiative by the University of Reading and the John Sykes Foundation, a group of 12 student volunteers from the University visited four pre-schools in Reading to read story books to the children in seven community-spoken languages. These included Malayalam, German, Arabic, Urdu and Mandarin.

The idea was to expose both the multilingual children, who speak one or more languages other than English, and monolingual children who speak only English, to multiple languages in their learning environment and to provide a positive example of reading not dependent on English fluency. 

Charlotte Dormer, project volunteer and Academic Liaison Librarian at the University of Reading, said: “Through this project, we wanted to demonstrate the value of storytelling in multiple languages for all children, whether multilingual or not. We know that lockdowns limited the opportunities that children had to experience language rich environments, and this was an opportunity to start to re-address that balance. 

“We also know it is important that children read; the evidence all points towards better social outcomes for children who are read to and who enjoy reading, and for children who are multilingual it is also important that they are encouraged to develop those skills in all their languages.”

Read more...

Education Scotland's language resources

9 February 2023 (Education Scotland)

Languages Week Scotland was celebrated from 30 January to 3 February. If you missed it, don’t worry, there are still plenty of resources to support language learners. Browse our languages wakelet for lots of useful links and resources.

Read more...

‘Most adults’ should be able to speak a foreign language

3 February 2023 (TES)

For a decade it has been government policy in Scotland that children should learn two languages in school - starting their first language in P1 and their second in P5, and continuing with them until at least the third year of secondary.

However, the figures show the policy - which began being introduced in 2013 and was supposed to be fully implemented by August 2021 - has yet to be fully realised.

Research published by the government in April last year, based on a survey of 86 per cent of primary schools and 88 per cent of secondaries, shows that just 69 per cent of primary schools were delivering a second language continuously from P1 to P7.

A further 29 per cent were “partially” delivering a second language and 2 per cent were delivering no second language whatsoever.

All secondaries were delivering a second language in S1 to S3 - but not all of them were doing so continuously: 70 per cent said they were delivering the entitlement to a second language in full.

And that’s before we get to the third language.

Read more...

Your native tongue holds a special place in your brain, even if you speak 10 languages

3 February 2023 (Science Daily)

Most people will learn one or two languages in their lives. But Vaughn Smith, a 47-year-old carpet cleaner from Washington, D.C., speaks 24. Smith is a hyperpolyglot—a rare individual who speaks more than 10 languages.

In a new brain imaging study, researchers peered inside the minds of polyglots like Smith to tease out how language-specific regions in their brains respond to hearing different languages. Familiar languages elicited a stronger reaction than unfamiliar ones, they found, with one important exception: native languages, which provoked relatively little brain activity. This, the authors note, suggests there’s something special about the languages we learn early in life.

Read more...

Scottish Languages Employability Award - re-launched!

27 January 2023 (SCILT)

The Scottish Languages Employability Award was developed by SCILT and Bòrd na Gàidhlig and launched in 2019 as a way of delivering DYW through languages, encouraging school-business partnerships and recognising good practice in this area. Since then we have received fantastic submissions from primary and secondary schools right across the country, and we have awarded recognition at Bronze, Silver, Gold and even Platinum levels! 

Following review, we are delighted to launch our revised documentation, which is designed to streamline the application process and to give as much guidance as possible to schools who would like to apply. Have a look at the new handbook and application form on our website now – we look forward to receiving your submissions!

Read more...

Languages Week 2023

26 January 2023 (SWEIC)

South West Educational Improvement Collaborative (SWEIC) is excited to launch our programme of professional learning opportunities in celebration of languages week. This year we have a wide selection of inputs, including French, Spanish, Ukrainian, Scots, Gaelic and BSL.

Our Keynote delivered by Education Scotland colleagues is A decade of 1+2 and Scotland’s changing languages landscape.

Visit the SWEIC blog to find out what's planned for the week and how to take part.

Read more...

Creative Modern Languages

19 January 2023 (Aberystwyth University)

Creative Modern Languages is a British Academy funded project looking at artistic research and creative assessment in Modern Languages.

We would like to encourage colleagues and students to re-consider the teaching, assessment and researching of Modern Languages through the medium of artistic practice.

This website acts as an open access online hub where you will find examples of good practice in creative assessment and artistic research in Modern Languages. We would encourage you to contribute your own examples to grow the hub.

Read more...

Celebrate Speaking!

16 January 2023 (British Council)

Practise and celebrate a language you are learning, or use in your community, and take part in a virtual festival of speaking!

Prepare a short poem, presentation, sketch or dialogue in the target language and upload to social media.

Visit the British Council website for more information.

Read more...

Sutton Trust Summer Schools 2023

10 January 2023 (Sutton Trust)

Every year the Sutton Trust partners with a number of UK universities to run a series of Summer Schools in each location. With a wide range of subjects to choose from, the summer schools are designed to give pupils a taste of studying at university.

The Summer Schools are a fully immersive experience. You'll live as a student staying in accommodation overnight and meet other students from across the UK. We’ll cover the full costs of your travel, accommodation, food and activities at any partner university, not just one local to you.

If you're a student in Year 12, S5 in Scotland or Year 13 in Northern Ireland visit the website to find out more about the scheme, eligibility criteria and how to apply. Application deadline is 10 March 2023.

Read more...

UK Linguistics Olympiad (UKLO) 2023

10 January 2023 (UKLO)

UKLO is a language-analysis competition for all ages. We create linguistics puzzles and run competitions for school children to encourage a lifelong interest in the world’s languages. The highest scoring students proceed through a couple more rounds of testing and coaching before we present them for the International Linguistics Olympiad (IOL) where they compete against other countries. 

The competition is offered at four levels of difficulty for KS2 – KS5, and provides Gold, Silver and Bronze awards, as well as participation certificates, at each level.

Interested in taking part? Visit the UKLO website to find out more and to register.

Read more...

Digital Empowerment in Language Teaching (DELTEA) project

12 December 2022 (Universities of Southampton & Reading)

Are you a state school primary languages teacher in England or Scotland? Does your school teach French or Spanish to Year 5/Primary 6 students (children aged 9-10 years)? 

Digital Empowerment in Language Teaching (DELTEA) is looking for school partners to work with over our 3-year research project!

If you’re interested in free, research-informed teacher professional development in Digital Literacy skills for the MFL classroom, please get in touch via the form below – we’d love to hear from you!  We can also offer some funding for supply cover.

https://forms.office.com/e/scBXAHZus2

SCILT Winter 2022 newsletter published!

1 December 2022 (SCILT)

The latest edition of the SCILT newsletter has been published!

Read about SCILT’s work to support the learning and teaching of languages in Scotland, including the most recent round of Scottish Languages Employability Awards, our professional learning opportunities, motivating competitions and our support for newly arrived people from Ukraine. Find out how schools celebrated European Day of Languages 2022, and hear from local authorities about their latest inspiring initiatives. There is also the opportunity to read about the work our partners have been doing to support language learning in Scotland.

If you would like to contribute an article to a future edition of the newsletter you can read the submission guidelines on our website, and email your entries to SCILT

Read more...

SCILT Christmas 2022 webpage - now live!

1 December 2022 (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 learners, from interactive advent calendars and games, to festive facts and downloadable worksheets. Find out how Christmas is celebrated in France, Germany, Spain and many other places around the world!

Read more...

New report examines language learning and provision at UK universities

29 November 2022 (British Academy)

Growing regional disparities and long-term shifts in how modern languages are studied in combination with other subjects offer a complex picture of language learning and provision at UK universities. These are the findings of a new report by the British Academy and the University Council of Modern Languages (UCML).

‘Languages Learning in Higher Education: Granular Trends’ examines UCAS data on language learning at a microscopic level, providing original insights on individual languages, shifts in the way languages are studied in combination with other subjects, and regional trends.

Read more...

European Language Gazette (November-December 2022)

28 November 2022 (ECML)

The latest issue of the European Language Gazette has just been published.

The ECML's e-newsletter provides up-to-date news about the ECML (events, projects, resources) and other relevant sectors of the Council of Europe as well as of our partners. It focuses on national developments in the field of language education in the member states and beyond.

Read more...

BBC Future Voices Programme

22 November 2022 (BBC)

Are you over 18, passionate about journalism and able to speak a second language? The BBC Future Voices programme is an exciting six-week journalism training scheme with BBC World Service Languages. Applicants should be available between January and February or March and April 2023.

Visit the BBC careers website for more information about the opportunity.

Read more...

How EAL learners can boost your teaching

14 November 2022 (TES)

The UK is a wonderfully diverse society. Around 19 per cent of pupils in our schools come from a multilingual heritage, and between them, they speak more than 300 different non-English languages. 

Research suggests that teachers can learn from this linguistic diversity - and use that learning to shape how they teach.

Although English is the main language of teaching in schools in England, we must assume there is no hierarchy in languages. 

It’s important to recognise that, even among English speakers, there is variety: English varies from place to place, and the English we use and learn in school - the language of books and texts, of subjects and curricula - is not the same as the language we speak elsewhere. 

Texts are constructed according to the conventions of their discipline. We do not speak like a biology textbook or use the language of fiction to tell our friends what we did at the weekend. 

According to researcher Jim Cummins, we can understand these differences in terms of the distinction between the social language of general communication - basic common interpersonal skills (BICS) and cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP).

In schools, we should be helping all students to develop CALP, but we should also be creating opportunities for multilingual children to draw on all their languages to enhance their learning across the curriculum. 

Studies have shown that when multilingual children are educated in all of their languages, there are detectable and meaningful advantages for all students within that community. For example, we may find that children have developed ideas, knowledge and learning in their home language that they do not yet have the ability to express in English. Providing ways for them to contribute and contextualise that learning adds richness to any classroom.

(Note - subscription required to access full article).

Read more...

International Education Week (14-18 November)

8 November 2022 (British Council)

International Education Week is back!

From 14 to 18 November, we’re coming together to recognise the value of bringing the world into the classroom and celebrate international work happening in schools. 

With this year’s International Education Week taking place during COP27 in Egypt – the UN’s global climate change conference, where world leaders will discuss the future of climate action – we’re focusing on collaborating for a cleaner, greener future. 

As well as offering a range of opportunities to help you and your students take positive action for a greener tomorrow, we’re also showcasing our favourite classroom resources, to help you get started on your international journey. 

Join the free webinar Education Exchange: embedding climate education across the whole curriculum taking place on 16 November which will explore the practice of teachers who are embedding climate education across their whole school curriculum and into some of the harder-to-reach subjects.

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

Read more...

MEd Education Studies course modules for language practitioners

4 November 2022 (University of Strathclyde)

The School of Education in the University of Strathclyde have developed two new modules as part of the MEd Education Studies course that may be of particular interest to languages practitioners (EYs, primary, secondary MFL, FE, EAL/ESOL, Gaelic).

  • Multilingual and Multicultural Education: Policy, Theory and Practice (commencing Jan 2023)

This module is designed to develop your knowledge of multilingual and multicultural contexts within education and wider society. This module will equip you with core skills for language learning and teaching and consider the role of intercultural education. You will extend your confidence in language teaching approaches within and across the curriculum. This class will encourage you to be reflective and adaptive in your practice.

  • Enacting Social Justice in Language Learning and Teaching (commencing April 2023)

As languages educators, how can we achieve the goal of prioritising equity, diversity, and inclusion in the languages classroom? Using theory, research and examples of innovative approaches for promoting social justice, this module is aimed at language educators in all sectors and is designed to develop your knowledge of a range of contemporary issues in language education. This module aims to develop critical thinking and reflection and consider how these impact on social justice pedagogy and agency for social change.

More information can be found in the attached flyer or visit the University of Strathclyde website.

Read more...

DYW Live: Languages and Your Career

27 October 2022 (SCILT)

Following on from the Languages and Your Career workshop offered by SCILT in conjunction with eSgoil last year, this year we are offering a series of sessions over six weeks focusing on different languages and how they are used in the workplace. After a first general session, the remaining five weeks will explore how a different language each week can contribute to success in a range of jobs and career paths. These will be interactive online workshops featuring input from people working with the language of focus each week. The sessions aim to introduce learners to the importance of languages and their associated skills in the workplace, break down stereotypes of careers that use languages, identify appropriate career pathways, and hear examples of people who use languages in their daily work.

These workshops are all stand-alone; schools can sign up for the individual session(s) most relevant to their context. Schools can sign up for as many or as few as they wish!

Sessions take place on Microsoft Teams in Glow.

Session 1: Languages and Your Career - Tues 1 Nov 2-3pm

This session will introduce the importance of languages in the workplace. We will look at stereotypes of careers involving languages, pathways using languages and examples of successful businesses/sectors which use languages regularly.

Session 2: French and Your Career - Wed 9 Nov 2-3pm

Session 3: Spanish and Your Career - Thurs 17 Nov 2-3pm

Session 4: German and Your Career - Tues 22 Nov 2-3pm

Session 5: Gaelic and Your Career - Wed 30 Nov 2-3pm

Session 6: Other Languages and Your Career - Thurs 8 Dec 2-3pm

This session will include other most commonly taught and/or certificated languages in schools, particularly Italian, Mandarin and Arabic.

For details of how to register, please go to the eSgoil website.

Read more...

Why are schools teaching French and German – not Arabic or Somali?

233 October 2022 (Independent)

Earlier this year, Conservative MP Kemi Badenoch stated that the modern foreign languages (MFL) curriculum currently taught in schools does not need decolonising. This is despite Badenoch having no first-hand experience of studying in a UK secondary school, or of teaching in one.

Read more...

Creative Translation

20 October 2022 (SCILT)

Hello SCILT followers!

Are you familiar with the idea of Creative Translation?

Are you a primary or secondary teacher in Scotland?

Have you used any of the amazing Creative Translation teaching resources from the Stephen Spender Trust with your pupils? Have you previously supported your pupils to enter the Stephen Spender Prize or the Queen’s College Translation Exchange’s Anthea Bell Prize?

If so, we’d love to hear from you.

To share your experience, email scilt@strath.ac.uk and put CREATIVE TRANSLATION in the subject line.

ICC languages webinars

11 October 2022 (ICC)

The ICC, the international language association, provides foreign languages teaching and learning with exchange of ideas and know-how and sets standards for a transnational network of language learners. The organisation is pleased to announce their next series of webinars from October to January.

  • 19 October 2022 - Negotiating across borders and cultures
  • 24 November 2022 - After COVID: How online language teaching has changed the profession
  • 7 December 2022 - Intercultural encounters in translingual picture books: Literary and pedagogical perspectives
  • 26 January 2023 - “Engaging presentations – Check!“

Visit the website for more information and to register for the online events.

Read more...

SQA - Markers for 2023 exams

11 October 2022 (SQA)

SQA is recruiting markers for the external assessment of National Courses in 2022-23. Opportunities are available across all subjects and levels, and full training will be provided. Visit the SQA website to find out more.

Read more...

SCILT winter newsletter 2022 - send us your stories!

7 October 2022 (SCILT)

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

We are currently taking submissions for our winter 2022 newsletter. This is a great opportunity to promote what has been happening in your school or local authority with regard to languages. This is a chance to showcase innovative projects, language learning celebrations or initiatives which took place towards the end of last session or so far in the 2022/23 session. 

We are looking for articles of a maximum of 300 words, with a couple of colourful photos. The deadline for contributions is Friday 21st October 2022.

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

Read more...

Mother Tongue Other Tongue multilingual poetry competition

29 September 2022 (SCILT)

A reminder that schools interested in taking part in this year’s MTOT competition have until 6 October (National Poetry Day) to register. The competition provides a great opportunity for all pupils in Scotland P1-S6 to get creative with a language they speak at home (Mother Tongue) or are learning at school (Other Tongue). Students can even enter in both categories!

Read more...

European Day of Languages 2022: “Let us value all languages in Europe” says Secretary General of the Council of Europe

26 September 2022 (ECML)

26 September 2022 marks the 21st anniversary of the European Day of Languages.

On the occasion of the Day, the Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić stated that "The European Day of Languages is a celebration of the rich tapestry of languages which make our continent so special. Linguistic diversity is our cultural heritage. It helps us appreciate difference and helps us understand that diversity is our strength. Let us value all languages in Europe."

Read more...

The Ramshorn Time Capsule competition 2022 – Winners announced!

22 September 2022 (SCILT)

SCILT and CISS presented a poster competition aimed at S2-S3 learners, to design the contents of their own time capsule – past or present – to join in with the celebration of Glasgow Doors Open Day 2022.

Secondary learners from across Scotland took part in the competition which provided a fantastic opportunity to share their cultural heritage, demonstrate their creativity, and showcase their language skills, both learned at school and used at home.

Congratulations to our winners, Abby Slack, S3 learner from Mearns Castle High School who won the ‘past’ category and to Emerald Li, S3 learner from Mearns Castle High School who won the ‘present’ category.

photo of Abby Slack holding her winning posterphoto of Emerald Li with her winning poster

They were awarded with a £30 voucher and their work was featured in The Ramshorn exhibition as part of Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival on 16 and 17 September 2022. Well done to everyone who took part in this competition, the judging panel were impressed by all entries received and hope that you will participate again next year!

Find out more about the competition on our website.

Read more...

Languages beyond school

20 September 2022 (SCILT)

Pupils considering furthering their language studies beyond secondary education will find a wealth of information on the Beyond School section of the SCILT website. The site contains listings of university and college language courses here in Scotland, links to UCAS and university guides UK-wide, as well as help and advice on study abroad options and volunteering overseas.

It's a useful resource for teachers and Careers Guidance staff to be aware of and highlight to students as the UCAS application process is now underway.

Read more...

The Ramshorn, home of SCILT and CISS, will open its doors to the public later in the month

2 September 2022 (SCILT / CISS)

The Ramshorn, home of SCILT and CISS, will open its doors to the public for the very first time at Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 September 2022, to bring you Ramshorn in Flux.

During your visit, you can expect to see our new exhibition area to give you a taste of the Ramshorn’s history, renovation and current uses of the building that supports, promotes and celebrates all languages. Work created by young people in Scotland’s secondary schools will feature throughout the exhibition highlighting the changing place of The Ramshorn in the community and will put a spotlight on the use of language skills, both learned at school and used at home. 

Take a look behind the scenes at the most recent renovation project and book a free guided tour with us to secure your place. Spaces are limited, therefore we recommend booking early to avoid disappointment. 

Interactive workshops in lantern making and Chinese bookmark making will be available during both days. These activities are suitable for all ages and booking is not required.

The Ramshorn is a category A-listed building in the Merchant City, built between 1824-26, and designed by English architect Thomas Rickman in the Gothic Revival style. Come and join us as we take you on a journey and introduce you to the fascinating history of the former ‘Ramshorn Kirk’ and surrounding graveyard. You will also be able to explore the graveyard by completing our digital trail. Created by young people in Glasgow City schools, the trail is available in 10 languages.

Free of charge and open to all ages. We hope to see you there!

Read more...

Languages at University of Edinburgh

30 August 2022 (University of Edinburgh)

The Centre for Open Learning at the University of Edinburgh offers a diverse range of language learning options for adult learners. Follow the relevant link below for more information:

  • Short courses - available in Arabic, British Sign Language, Chinese, French, Gaelic, German, Italian, Japanese, Modern Greek, Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili, and Turkish
  • Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) - learners of the Japanese language can sit the internationally recognised qualification at the University of Edinburgh
  • Open languages - a wide range of language courses open to all undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Edinburgh
  • Access Programme - a part-time programme for adult returners enabling successful participants to progress to studying a language degree

Details of the above courses can also be found on the Beyond School pages of the SCILT website.

Read more...

Rebecca Baird: What language do you dream in? Why every Scottish pupil deserves the chance to be bilingual

26 August 2022 (The Courier)

Scotland has always been bilingual, but never formally.

The national identity is caught somewhere between a renaissance and an existential crisis, and nowhere is that more apparent than on our tongues.

So much of the discourse around Scotland’s languages centres on our native ones – English, Gaelic and Scots.

And there’s no doubt that each has become ever more heavily politicised as debates over Brexit and independence boil on.

To push romantic-sounding Gaelic is seen to be naïve and clinging to an outdated, pastoral vision of Scotland.

Let’s be honest, when non-speakers see all those vowels on road signs, they’re picturing will o’ the wisps leading unicorns through misty old glens.

Or BBC Alba.

Meanwhile Scots has that whole trendy, mildly cringe but lovably sincere thing going on in its current resurgence among forward-thinking young indy activists.

And mumsy old English is cast in the role of the staid, conservative Karen of Scotland’s tongues.

Reliable, sure, but a bit behind the times.

I’m being glib of course – I think all three languages are gorgeous.

But I do reckon each has enough cultural weight to inflame debates about national identity.

Suddenly it’s not just what you say, but the language you say it in, which tells others where you stand politically.

And using these languages (or any languages) as political virtue signals is doing a disservice to our nation – its identity, and more importantly, its children.

Read more...

MTOT is back for 2022-23!

26 August 2022 (SCILT)

SCILT is delighted to announce the return of Mother Tongue Other Tongue, our multilingual poetry competition!

MTOT gives young people of all ages P1 – S6 the opportunity to showcase their language skills and creative talent. Over the years this competition has uncovered a wealth of talented young linguists: they have created songs, rhymes and poems that are unique, funny, clever, emotive and moving. Young people are asked to create an original poem/song/rap in a language other than English:  this can be a language spoken at home, or a language they are learning at school. To enter, the poem should be recorded (audio or video) and sent to us along with a completed entry form. 

Winning entries will receive a range of prizes, including the opportunity to have their poem included in the UK National Children’s Poetry Archive, as well as featuring in a dedicated episode of the international Kids Poetry Club podcast. This year we are highlighting the Ukrainian language, with a special prize on offer for entries from Ukrainian speakers.

Schools are invited to register interest by 6 October 2022 (National Poetry Day). Visit the MTOT webpage for more information.

We look forward to seeing another generation of young poets find their voice!

Read more...

NEW teacher professional development opportunity: Using art-based methods in developing multilingual approaches to language teaching in Scotland

26 August 2022 (SCILT / Bilingualism Matters)

Scotland is a multilingual country. In 2020 the pupils attending Scottish mainstream schools spoke in total 168 languages. These realities call for different pedagogical approaches. SCILT in collaboration with the University of Glasgow and Bilingualism Matters is looking to address it by:

  • developing teachers’ skills in implementing or applying multilingual and multicultural approaches to language teaching and learning
  • developing links across languages and between languages and art
  • developing links between teachers in community and mainstream schools.

Who is it for?   

  • mainstream primary and complementary school teachers interested in developing multilingual and multicultural approaches to language teaching, 
  • mainstream primary and complementary school teachers interested in developing art-based methods in language teaching.

Schedule

Four online workshops culminating in the exhibition of children’s work in the spring/summer term. Dates of workshops will be confirmed to registered participants.

Please note:

  • participants will be expected to actively participate in the workshops, test the approaches in their own context and share their plans and experiences with others during the workshops
  • all art materials will be provided

If participating in this project is of interest to you, please register your interest via the form below.

* This project is subject to the success of the funding application. It builds on Polish through Art and Creative Language Practices projects.

Read more...

Related Files

Scotland’s 2020 future vision for language learning & the European 1+2 model 2025 goal

26 August 2022 (UHI)

University of Highlands and Islands is conducting interviews as part of a research study to increase understanding of what teaching methods students encounter.

As a teacher you are in an ideal position to give us valuable first–hand information about your preferred methods of teaching (e.g. how standardised/bespoke are they?). The lead researcher has a limited set of several questions to conduct an email interview at your convenience. Alternatively, MS Teams interviews will take around 15-20 minutes or so.

Your responses to the questions will be kept confidential. Each interview will be assigned a number code to help ensure that personal identifiers are not revealed during the analysis and write up of findings. There is no compensation for participating in this study. However, your participation will be a valuable addition to our research and findings could lead to better understanding of how to assist future government objectives.

The Scottish government response to Professor Muir’s final report and recommendations submitted to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills in February 2022 has been published; feedback and published responses updated 9 March 2022 include a few ongoing concerns about the uptake of foreign language learning.

The aim of this research is to consider nativist and constructivist approaches to language acquisition–specifically–a psychological component associated with cognition during natural language acquisition and how that might manifest in the classroom/teaching space. Consequently, the lead researcher wishes to ask foreign language teachers about the methods they employ as classroom conventions have changed over the last 40 years.

What is involved? Participation entails an interview via your choice of staggered emails, a phone interview or a video conference interview via MS Teams. The interviews entail several questions that should take half an hour. Experience so far indicates email interviews are convenient and provide more time for interviewees to think on and compose comprehensive answers.

Primarily, the research wishes to hear about your teaching methods and/or anything you feel is important to the future of foreign language learning in Scotland. If you wish to be involved further, interview will be completed from August to October 2022. These interviews will only be offered to consenting adults over the age of 18 who are practicing foreign language teachers.

There is no guarantee of any immediate benefit after taking part in this research.

If you are willing to participate please respond by email to Callum Train with your preferred method of interview. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask. Before commencing you will be provided with a four page participant information sheet that includes data protection details and further UHI contacts.

European Day of Languages 2022 - how is your school celebrating?

25 August 2022 (SCILT)

The European Day of Languages (EDL) is celebrated on 26 September each year. Now in its 21st year, it aims to promote the rich linguistic diversity of Europe and raise awareness of the importance of lifelong language learning for everyone. What is your school doing in 2022?

If you're looking for inspiration, SCILT has compiled lots of ideas for primary, secondary and parents & families on our EDL webpage. Perhaps creating a scavenger hunt, taking a virtual city tour, or designing languages stones? You will also find links to competitions, blogs and websites with a huge range of celebration ideas and activities. 

Let us know how you celebrate and we'll include you in our EDL 2022 blog. Upload a short description and some colourful photos or email scilt@strath.ac.uk.

If you're sharing your celebrations on Twitter tag @scottishcilt and use the hashtag #coeEDL to share your celebrations with schools across Europe!

Read more...

Our World 2022-23

23 August 2022 (SEET)

Our World, the languages and citizenship based filmmaking project for secondary school pupils, is now open for registration!

SEET staff are now offering a CLPL session for teachers to help them feel more confident in taking on Our World with their class. They also offer online school visits for schools who are interested in taking part. These are aimed at pupils participating in the project.

Visit the Our World website for full details.

Read more...

New competition - The Ramshorn Time Capsule

19 August 2022 (SCILT / CISS)

SCILT and CISS present a new poster competition aimed at S2-S3 learners in Scotland. Learners are invited to design the contents of their own time capsule – past or present – to join in with the celebration of Glasgow Doors Open Day 2022! This competition is an opportunity for learners to share their cultural heritage, demonstrate their creativity, and showcase their language skills, both learned at school and used at home.

The Ramshorn, a category A-listed building located in the Merchant City of Glasgow, and home of SCILT/CISS, will open its doors during Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival on 16 and 17 September and celebrations will include an exhibition about the building.

Two winning entries will receive a £30 voucher prize and their work will feature at the exhibition during the festival! 

  • Create a poster that shows the design of your time capsule items! 
  • Include what you know or have learned about the history of The Ramshorn and its place in Glasgow to help create your past or present time capsule.
  • Draw and describe five items: descriptions should incorporate at least one language other than English learned at school and/or used at home.
  • Incorporate elements of your own culture and heritage when deciding items.
  • Entries must be hand-drawn and fit on A3 or A4 size paper (a high quality photo or scan of entry) with aid of colouring tools.
  • Entries will be judged on creativity, content and language use.

When: The competition is now open! 

Who: S2-S3 learners in Scotland (state schools only). 

Entry: Follow the link below to find out how your school can take part.

Winners will be announced on 9 September 2022. Deadline for entries is 12 midday on Monday 5 September 2022.

We look forward to seeing your entries!

Read more...

Survey for complementary and Saturday school teachers

19 August 2022 (SCILT/Bilingualism Matters)

Bilingualism Matters and SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, are opening up opportunities for professional learning and networking for teachers in complementary and Saturday schools throughout Scotland. 

flyer promoting professional learning opportunity for language teachers in Scotland's complementary and Saturday schools

Read more...

EDL t-shirt contest 2023

18 August 2022 (ECML)

The European Day of Languages t-shirt contest is now open for submissions for the 2023 edition.

Send in your design/image/graphic by 31 December 2022 for your chance to have your layout on the official 2023 EDL T-Shirt! Bear in mind the design should be about languages, not countries, so avoid using flags or similar.

Visit the ECML website for full details.

Read more...

The GCHQ National Language Competition 2022

23 August 2022 (GCHQ)

We are running a National Language Competition from 7-11 November 2022 aimed at Year 9 [England/Wales], Year 10 [Northern Ireland] and S3 [Scotland] pupils across the UK. Schools can enter teams of up to four pupils from these year groups to take part. Over the course of five days, teams will score points by tackling a variety of fun, immersive, language-themed challenges hosted on a virtual platform. These will range from easy to difficult, and will involve a mix of different languages, and even made-up languages!

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

Read more...

Experience: I speak more than 50 languages

12 August 2022 (The Guardian)

From a young age, I was fascinated by language. I grew up in Chester, to Merseyside-born parents, with Welsh and English heritage. I absorbed the Welsh words my nan taught me and parroted my relatives’ scouse accents.

I remember a holiday in Spain, aged seven, when two boys asked if I spoke Norwegian. When I couldn’t respond, they ran off, leaving me sad. Back home, I’d search shops for old language books and enjoyed trying all these different words to express what was in my head. I thought it was amazing, and still do.

The first language I learned was French, at school, aged five. I got top marks each year. The teachers wouldn’t let me study German too, though, and I was devastated. In high school, I joined a geography trip to Germany, just to be around the language.

At sixth-form college, I completed Spanish GCSE, then A-level. From there, it became a way of life. I did a combined languages degree at the University of Hull, studying French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. I sat in on Swedish and Old Icelandic lectures, and did language exchanges for Romanian and Catalan. I went to Lyon, playing darts with the French gas and electricity trainees who were sharing my accommodation, then to Málaga. I spent time in Verona, where I read the Bible in Italian (I had never even read it in English).

Read more...

SQA results: huge drop in students studying higher languages ​​and sciences

9 August 2022 (News Headlines UK)

The number of pupils studying modern languages, science and maths at higher level has fallen significantly, figures released by the Scottish Qualifications Authority show.

Only 505 students took higher German in 2022, compared to 780 students in 2020, while the number of students taking French and Spanish at higher level also fell significantly.

Around 3,165 students took Higher Level French in 2020, a number that dropped to 2,500 this year. A total of 2,900 students took Higher Level Spanish in 2020, a drop to 2,465 this year.

The reasons for the sharp drop in the number of students studying modern languages ​​at higher level are not clear, but the question of the affordability of language teaching in schools has been addressed by Holyrood’s inquiry education committee before the pandemic.

Read more...

Related Links

SQA results: Huge drop in pupils taking Higher languages and sciences (The Herald, 9 August 2022) - Note, subscription required to access full article.

Creative translation webinars for teachers

16 June 2022 (Stephen Spender Trust)

Following the successful launch of our brand new series of creative translation webinars for teachers at primary and secondary schools in 2022, and the extremely positive feedback received from participants, we are planning a new series of webinars in the coming school year 2022-23. 

Visit the Stephen Spender Trust website to find out more about the webinars and to register interest in this professional development opportunity. The website also has resources designed to help teachers to integrate creative translation into their teaching.

Read more...

Stephen Spender Prize 2022

9 June 2022 (Stephen Spender Trust)

The Stephen Spender Prize is an annual competition for poetry in translation, with categories for young people (14-and-under, 16-and-under, and 18-and-under) as well as an open category for adults. All entrants must be UK or Irish citizens or residents, or pupils at a British School overseas. Translate into English any poem from any language – ranging from Arabic to Uzbek, from Danish to Somali—and win cash prizes! 

Spotlight prize

Our Spotlight Prize encourages young people to engage with community languages. Our focus for 2022 is Romanian.

Open for entries from 4 May until midnight on Friday 15 July, visit the competition website for more details on how to enter, to meet the judges, and to explore the different prize categories!

Read more...

Moving forward with languages: workshops for Higher and Advanced Higher learners

9 June 2022 (SCILT / University partners)

Bookings open now via our website

SCILT, together with languages departments from universities across Scotland, have teamed up to present this unique series of workshops during term one of the 2022-23 session.

Suitable for pupils studying any language at Higher or Advanced Higher level, learners will get tips, encouragement and support from lecturers which will help with course preparation now, and focus on the future by finding out what it’s like studying languages at university level.

Registrations will open in August 2022, in the meantime you can share the dates and topics with pupils below:

  • Saturday 10 September: The University of Strathclyde team will help you to use news articles to brush up your translation techniques.
  • Saturday 1 October: Join the University of Stirling team who will guide you through critical analysis of film – with a twist!
  • Saturday 29 October: Let the University of Edinburgh team help you unravel the mysteries of grammar!
  • Saturday 12 November: Want to expand your vocabulary? Then this workshop, led by the University of Glasgow team, is one for you.
  • Saturday 26 November: The University of Aberdeen team will help you to develop your skills of critical analysis by working with images and build confidence in expressing your ideas in another language. 
  • Saturday 10 December: The University of Dundee will show you how to become a confident speaker by developing your confidence through presenting in another language.

Please also see attached flyer which can be distributed to pupils or colleagues. 

University of Strathclyde MEd Education Studies - New languages modules

7 June 2022 (University of Strathclyde)

The School of Education in the University of Strathclyde has developed two new modules as part of the MEd Education Studies course that may be of particular interest to languages practitioners (EYs, primary, secondary MFL, FE, EAL/ESOL, Gaelic).

  • Multilingual and Multicultural Education: Policy, Theory and Practice (commencing Jan 2023)
  • Enacting Social Justice and Change in Language Learning and Teaching (commencing April 2023)

Practitioners who have already completed the SCILT professional learning courses (TELT and/or LLP) and have been awarded GTCS professional recognition, are eligible for accreditation of prior learning (20 Masters level credits for each course) towards gaining a full Masters degree. Likewise, teachers who have recently completed an ITE course at the University of Strathclyde may be eligible for further accreditation.

Further information about these modules and the course generally can be found in the attached information document. Details of the full suite of modules are in the attached MEd Education Studies Module Catalogue 2022-23. 

Parental Engagement - NEW - A Practitioner’s Guide

19 May 2022 (SCILT)

We have collated a range of materials to provide practitioners with useful information, including examples of practice across sectors, about engaging parents and families with language learning. This guide features a variety of reading materials, resources, and case studies to equip practitioners working in a variety of contexts with the tools to actively consider how to get parents and families engaged with their child’s language learning.

Read more...

SCILT Spring 2022 newsletter published

13 May 2022 (SCILT)

The latest edition of the SCILT newsletter has been published!

Read about SCILT’s work to support the learning and teaching of languages, including our professional learning opportunities, our motivating competitions and our online classes and events. Find out how schools celebrated Languages Week Scotland 2022, and hear from local authorities about their latest inspiring initiatives. There is also the opportunity to read about the work our partners have been doing to support language learning in Scotland.

This edition also features a special article from Mandy Reeman-Clark, who reflects on 18 years at SCILT and CISS on the occasion of her retirement. 

If you would like to contribute an article to a future edition of the newsletter you can read the submission guidelines on our website, and email your entries to SCILT

Read more...

Google Translate learns 24 new languages

11 May 2022 (Google)

For years, Google Translate has helped break down language barriers and connect communities all over the world. And we want to make this possible for even more people — especially those whose languages aren’t represented in most technology. So today we’ve added 24 languages to Translate, now supporting a total of 133 used around the globe.

Read more...

Multimind Project - Final conference and resources

9 May 2022 (Bilingualism Matters)

Bilingualism Matters is delighted to be a dissemination partner on the Multimind Project, a multidisciplinary and multisectorial training network on multilingualism. 

Visit the website to find out about the MultiMind Project Final Conference, taking place in a hybrid format from Konstanz, Germany, from 27 to 29 June 2022, and how to access free resources on multilingualism, including a fun quiz, flyers and videos on multilingualism and developmental language disorders, and policy reports for professionals.

Read more...

Babel Young Writers' Competition 2022

9 May 2022 (Babel Magazine)

This year's competition for a young linguist to be published in Babel and win a year's subscription is now open!

Guidelines below:

  • Deadline: Wednesday 31 August 2022
  • Length: No more than 2,500 words
  • Topic: Any topic to do with languages and linguistics – accessible and interesting for Babel readers
  • Format: Word file
  • Submission: Email to babelthelanguagemagazine@gmail.com

Examples of former winning entries can be found on the Babel website.

Read more...

Help with research! Looking for Scottish secondary school language teachers for anti-racism study

9 May 2022 (Bilingualism Matters)

University of Edinburgh PhD candidate Mariel Deluna is investigating teacher perspectives on the relationship between “race”, language, ethnicity, and nationality.

All current Scottish secondary school language teachers are invited to participate in the study.

More information is available on the Bilingualism Matters website.

Read more...

Stephen Spender Prize 2022

4 May 2022 (Stephen Spender Trust)

The Stephen Spender Prize is an annual competition for poetry in translation, with categories for young people (14-and-under, 16-and-under, and 18-and-under) as well as an open category for adults. All entrants must be UK or Irish citizens or residents, or pupils at a British School overseas. Translate into English any poem from any language – ranging from Arabic to Uzbek, from Danish to Somali—and win cash prizes!

Open for entries from 4 May until midnight on Friday 15 July, visit the competition website for more details on how to enter, to meet the judges, and to explore the different prize categories!

Read more...

Scotland’s Languages Landscape: The ‘Rights’ Approach event, 25 February 2022 - Recordings are now available!

29 April 2022 (SCILT)

We are pleased to announce that event materials are now available to view on our website, including video recordings from Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, Keynote speaker, Bernardette Holmes MBE, Independent Languages Policy and Pedagogy Consultant and Plenary speaker, Louise Glen, Senior Education Officer at Education Scotland.

Video presentations taken from breakout discussions, including testimonials and speaker biographies are also available to view and will be of interest to the language teaching community and community-based organisations.

The event welcomed language leads, teachers and the wider languages community to share, celebrate and highlight the importance of valuing language skills and ensuring the rights of all children and young people to a language rich curriculum.

Read more...

Report on 2021 language learning survey of local authorities now published

28 April 2022 (Scottish Government)

The Scottish Government, in partnership with ADES, COSLA and Education Scotland, carried out a survey of local authorities last year to gauge progress to implement the 1+2 languages policy in schools. A full report of the findings from this survey has now been published this week. Among the key findings is that nearly all primary and secondary schools are now delivering language learning throughout the Broad General Education from P1 to S3.

Read more...

‘They can really fly’: how to teach a refugee child

27 April 2022 (The Guardian)

Children arriving from war-torn countries such as Ukraine often thrive in their new school and go on to be successful. How do teachers do it?

"Children pick up whether someone cares about them even if they don’t speak the language,” says Kulvarn Atwal, a headteacher in east London. Atwal, who has plenty of experience of welcoming children who are refugees from conflict, is preparing for the arrival of new pupils from Ukraine.

Children connect with each other much faster than adults do, he says. “Sometimes we look at children through the eyes of adults, but they don’t see what adults see. They haven’t developed discriminatory biases so they just dive straight in.”

As the summer term begins, many schools are preparing to welcome children who have fled Ukraine after the Russian invasion. For some schools, particularly in rural areas, it could be their first experience of teaching refugees.

Atwal has told his local council he will take “as many Ukrainian children as possible”, to Uphall primary, his school in Ilford, where 60 languages are spoken, to make use of the school’s experience. He says he also wanted “to send an important message to our children that we are doing something”.

For children who arrive speaking no English, often after traumatic experiences, starting a new school in a new country is daunting. But they typically go on to thrive. The education secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, himself arrived aged nine from Iraq speaking no English. How do teachers manage to help such children to adapt and make progress?

Read more...

Supporting trainee teachers to teach EAL pupils

25 April 2022 (SecEd)

As multilingualism and English as an additional language become an integral feature of school life, how can school-based initial teacher training programmes prepare student teachers to work within linguistically and culturally diverse settings? Sheila Hopkins advises.

Britain has always been multicultural and multilingual; greatly benefitting from diversity over the centuries. Today is no exception. In fact, many British cities are what we now call superdiverse communities where people with vastly different languages, cultures and backgrounds live side by side enhancing our schools and neighbourhoods.

The Department for Education’s (DfE) January 2021 School Census provides us with the current EAL landscape in the UK. Almost 1 in 5 pupils (19.4%) in the UK school system, nursery through secondary, are learners who use English as an additional language (EAL).

This number rises to nearly one third of pupils in nurseries (28.9%), most of whom were born in the UK. These numbers reflect the multilinguistic landscape which our current student teachers will enter.

In an effort to determine the extent to which EAL is taught in initial teacher training (ITT) programmes, and how well student teachers are prepared to work within multilinguistic settings, The Bell Foundation commissioned a study on EAL in ITE with the University of Edinburgh (Foley et al, 2018).

Key findings show that while prevailing policy (National Curriculum, 2013) has prioritised integration and inclusion, little attention has been given to expanding the knowledge-base of trainee teachers to enable them to address the English language and literacy needs within linguistically and culturally diverse classrooms.

The report provides evidence showing many trainee teachers and teacher educators feel that they lack confidence and experience as they work to address the learning needs of pupils using EAL.

Significantly, one-third of trainee teachers felt they had “little” or “little to no” understanding of the English language and literacy needs of multilingual learners.

Read more...

MOOC: Plurilingual Classrooms in Action

25 April 2022 (SCDE Languages Group)

The Scottish Council of Deans of Education Languages Group is very excited to launch their “Plurilingual Classrooms in Action” MOOC on Monday 25 April 2022. 

This free four-week course, which is hosted through FutureLearn at the University of Glasgow, is aligned with the core principles and contexts of the National Framework for Languages: Plurilingualism, diversity, policy and legislation, and transformative practices, and aims to support the teaching and learning of languages in primary classrooms.  

The course consists of a series of short readings, videos, tasks, and opportunities to reflect on the role of languages in and for education. Each of the activities will take no longer than 5 or 10 minutes to complete and aim to provide an overview of language teaching and learning in the 21st century and foster and enhance the creation of effective and engaging learning approaches which support inclusive practices in the classroom. 

More information about the MOOC can be found on the SCDE Languages Group blog along with the National Framework for Languages.

Visit the FutureLearn website to register for the online course.

Read more...

Scottish Languages Employability Award - next deadline 20 May!

21 April 2022 (SCILT)

The Scottish Languages Employability Award (SLEA) celebrates innovation by schools in promoting languages and employability together through partnerships with businesses, public bodies and third sector organisations. The award, which is available at bronze, silver and gold levels, supports teachers in raising awareness of the importance of languages in their school community. 

The next deadline for submissions is Friday 20 May 2022

In January 2022 Musselburgh Grammar School won a bronze award for their 'S3 Life with Languages' careers event. Read about their impressive submission, watch videos from previous winners and access the full award guidelines on our website.

Due to ongoing restrictions, online events and activities will be accepted as evidence towards the award.

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

Read more...

Barcelona’s pro-mother tongue project that inverts the classic rule of migration

20 April 2022 (The Guardian)

Every immigrant knows that the key to integration is learning the language of their new country. For many the language they brought with them is simply a relic of their former life.

In Barcelona, a project is turning that on its head with the philosophy that no one arrives in a host country empty-handed. They may not yet have a job or much of an education, they may even be staying illegally, but they have a language – often more than one.

Since 2020, the Prollema (pro-llengua materna, or pro-mother tongue) project has been helping those from north and west Africa gain confidence by helping them teach their mother tongue, the Berber – or Amazigh – languages, as well as Darija, Fula and Wolof.

Read more...

MTOT 2021-22 - Finalist poems now online!

1 April 2022 (SCILT)

We're delighted to announce the entries from all the finalists of this year's Mother Tongue Other Tongue multilingual poetry competition can now be viewed on the SCILT website.

For the first time judges awarded some special commendations for entries which very narrowly missed making the final shortlist and we have some of these also available online.

We hope many of you will be inspired to take part when the 2022-23 edition launches in the Autumn!

Read more...

‘You’ve got friends’: Birmingham school scheme aims to ease refugee trauma

27 March 2022 (The Guardian)

A pioneering programme hopes to support children newly arrived in the UK until they can integrate into classrooms.

Many of the pupils who arrive in Gemma Patel’s classroom at Birmingham’s City academy don’t speak.

“When students first come to us, they often don’t talk, they don’t communicate,” she said during a break from teaching a lesson on verbs. “It’s not because they can’t, but because they haven’t necessarily felt able to before.”

She is the assistant head of Core Hello, a pioneering programme set up by the Core Education Trust in September 2021 for newly arrived refugee and migrant children who need extra support settling in to school life in the UK.

Over 12 weeks, pupils are taught basic survival language skills, taken on trips into the city centre to help with cultural acclimatisation, and are given support for any trauma they may have experienced, before returning to mainstream school.

The trust has taken on a number of pupils who came to the UK after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan last year, and said it was open to hosting Ukrainian refugees.

“It’s not just language that’s the barrier, it’s dealing with everything that they’ve gone through. Just moving and resettling is very traumatic for young people, let alone maybe coming from a country which is unsettled or has experienced war,” said Rekha Shell-Macleod, the head of school at City academy. “But we’ve found with Core Hello, in a short period of time they make the progress that in a normal school setting may take a year or two.”

Read more...

Join Scotland’s National Languages Leadership Programme Team 2022-23!

25 March 2022 (SCILT/Education Scotland)

Applications are now open for critical friends to support and challenge participants as they progress through the 2022-23 programme.

Description

Scotland's National Languages Leadership Programme supports local authorities by building capacity to achieve a sustainable model for leading language learning and teaching for all.

The critical friend role is suitable for people who:

  • have experience of the national languages leadership programme i.e. 1+2 Languages Leadership Programme (2017-2022) or the Train the Trainer Programme (2014-2016), or
  • are experienced in supporting teacher professional learning either online or face-to-face, preferably at Masters level, and
  • wish to help build the languages leadership capacity in all sectors of Scottish education

As an online programme, Scotland’s National Languages Leadership Programme offers participants the opportunity to engage with the most up-to-date information from Education Scotland and other agencies involved in the delivery of Scotland’s languages policy. The programme provides participants with professional learning and networking opportunities as well as flexible and personalised pathways through Masters level professional learning. 

Objectives of the programme are for participants to develop:

  • an appreciation of leadership skills
  • critical and strategic reflection on their own leadership development
  • an understanding of a range of key issues related to Scotland’s Languages policy

Professional learning and support will be offered to critical friends throughout the year.

For more information, visit the registration page to find out how you can apply to join the LLP team as a critical friend by Tuesday 17 May. A Glow account is required to take part.

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

Related Files

Scotland's National Languages Leadership Programme 2022-23 - Submit your application now!

24 March 2022 (SCILT/Education Scotland)

Scotland's National Languages Leadership Programme supports local authorities by building capacity to achieve a sustainable model for leading language learning and teaching for all. Open to colleagues with 5 years' experience post probation or equivalent, who are interested in developing approaches to language learning and in implementing change in their own contexts, this might include: classroom teachers, principal teachers, heads of department, heads of faculty or languages lead practitioners.

This online programme is free of charge to state schools and offers participants the opportunity to engage with the most up-to-date information from Education Scotland and other agencies involved in the delivery of Scotland’s languages policy.

SCILT hosted an online information session on Tuesday 22 March. A recording of the session is now available to find out more about the programme and hear experiences of current participants.

Participants can visit the website for more information and to submit their application. Deadline date to submit applications is Monday 25 April.

Read more...

Related Files

How to learn a foreign language as an adult: the definitive guide

21 March 2022 (The Times)

On a global scale, it’s monolingualism — only speaking one language — and not multilingualism that is a rarity. Most people in the world learn more than one language. They may speak a local or tribal language with their families, be educated in the country’s official language and conduct business in yet another.

In the EU about two-thirds of working age adults speak more than one language. However, just under two in three Britons are unable to hold a conversation in a language other than their mother tongue.

(Note - subscription required to access full article).

Read more...

Where will languages take me?

18 March 2022 (British Council)

This new collection of videos with accompanying pupil booklet aims to encourage secondary pupils to continue their language education or choose languages as an option.

Read more...

March Bitesize: Learning for Sustainability / IDL (Primary)

17 March 2022 (SCILT)

SCILT monthly drop-ins are free, themed virtual events that are open to teachers and student teachers working in Scotland.

In March, the Bitesize session focuses on the primary school and explores how language learning can be in incorporated into a Learning for Sustainability (LfS) context. We will hear how schools have been exploring the Global Goals in addition to key environmental issues such as plastic pollution and the place of languages within this.

Come and join us for a drop-in session to listen and discuss on Wednesday 30 March 2022, 4:00 - 4:45pm on Zoom.

Visit our Bitesize webpage for more information and to register.

Read more...

Resources for teachers

15 March 2022 (ECML)

The European Centre for Modern Languages encourage excellence and innovation in language teaching and aims to help Europeans learn languages more efficiently. They have just published the following resources which language teachers may find useful. Follow the relevant link for more information:

An Exploration of how Children’s Language Learning can be Transformed when Teachers Place Creativity and Stories at the Centre of the Curriculum and Experiment with Digital Storytelling in the Classroom

7 March 2022 (Modern Languages Open)

This article examines how the teaching of languages can be transformed across the whole-school primary curriculum when teachers and researchers collaborate to make space for creativity and stories. The research presented here looks carefully at this process of transformation and how primary school teachers can become motivated to teach languages in more open-ended and creative ways. The researchers situate the debate within the fractured emergence of Primary Modern Foreign Languages as a subject in England and relate this to the lack of teachers’ proficiency in languages beyond English. In many primary school contexts the teaching of languages is repetitive and highly formulaic, so the researchers wanted to find novel ways to motivate teachers and children to learn languages. This collaborative work on the curriculum by researchers and teachers became part of the Critical Connections Multilingual Digital Storytelling Project (2012–ongoing) where stories and digital technology are used to (re-)engage language learners. The children (7–8 year olds) in this case study created a digital story – Wir gehen auf Drachenjagd (We’re Going on a Dragon Hunt) – for an international digital storytelling festival (June 2019). The research findings demonstrate how the power of stories combined with the digital dimension enabled children to use a new language productively and creatively.

Read more...

ECML Language Gazette: Issue 59

7 March 2022 (ECML)

The latest edition of the ECML's Language Gazette is now available online.

Visit the ECML website to access.

Read more...

The Language Learning Blueprint

7 March 2022 (Coffee Break Languages)

Need some advice for how to stick to your routine when learning a language? Coffee Break Languages has begun a new video series in which they share the secrets to making learning quicker and easier. Episode two provides tips on how to establish - and stick to - a routine. 

Read more...

How to Talk About Migrations? A competition for primary and secondary Scottish schools

4 March 2022 (Migration in Education)

We invite pupils and teachers to participate in this exciting competition that explores how we teach and learn about migration — creatively and with empathy. We live in a world that sees many people on the move, and our pupils may have been part of these experiences themselves. In schools, migration may make the topic of creative projects and classroom activities — a unique opportunity for pupils to learn from each other and about each other.

Through this competition, we want to bring forward the best and most creative ideas on teaching and learning about migrations in Scottish schools. We would like to hear about your teaching activities/practices and/or activities that may enable conversations about migration in schools – from language learning, literature, history, to personal experiences. The competition aims to acknowledge and make visible the cultural and linguistic diversity of Scottish primary and secondary schools. The purpose of this competition is to explore how to raise awareness and learn about migration, and move conversations beyond narrow and often negative stereotypes. We advocate and understand migration as a multifaceted and omnipresent fact of life, and hope that the submissions for this competition will reflect this vision.

Visit the competition webpage for more information and submit entries by 25 April 2022.

Read more...

MTOT 2021-22 - Winners announced!

21 February 2022 (SCILT)

Our awards event to announce the winning entries from this year's Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition was held online today, to coincide with International Mother Language Day. It was a great celebration of the languages being spoken and learned in Scotland and we're delighted to announce the winners and highly commended runners-up in each category as follows:

Mother Tongue

Award

Pupil

School

Language

P1-P4

Winner

Simon Cronje

Netherlee PS

Afrikaans

Highly commended

Fabian Choromanski

Gallowhill PS

Polish

P5-P7

Winner

Sabihah Tubasem

West Primary

Urdu

Highly commended

Lovelyn Asare

St Catherine’s PS

Italian

Highly commended

Sabina Rodrigues da Rosa

West Primary

Brazilian Portuguese

Highly commended

Tanazzal Shah

West Primary

Urdu

Highly commended

Zamin Amjad Sheikh

Netherlee PS

Urdu

S1-S3

Winner

Melice Monga Lubengi

Lourdes Secondary

French

Highly commended

Marcel Zuk & Oskar Kolodziej

St Thomas of Aquin’s

Polish

Highly commended

Helen Joseph

Lourdes Secondary

Malaylam

Highly commended

Sarah Alradi

Craigmount High

Arabic

S4-S6

Winner

Regina Wyllie

Loudoun Academy

Bulgarian

Highly commended

Camran Kouhy

Madras College

Farsi

Highly commended

Wiktoria Sapko

St Andrew’s Secondary

Polish

Other Tongue

Award

Pupil

School

Language

P1-P4

Winner

Hayley Cowe

Westhill PS

Doric

Highly commended

P2 Class

Newcraighall PS

Spanish

P5-P7

Winner

Lucia Conetta

Glasgow Academy

French

Highly commended

Malaika Ali

Golfhill PS

Urdu

S1-S3

Winner

Grace Ross

Madras College

French

Highly commended

Deepak Kumaar

Craigmount High

French & German

Highly commended

Caitlin Fraser

Arran High

French

S4-S6

Winner

Brooklynn Faichnie

Aboyne Academy

French, Spanish & Italian

Highly commended

Iona Kellas

Aboyne Academy

Latin

Highly commended

Charlotte Reynolds

Aboyne Academy

Russian

 

All pupils will receive a certificate and book token. Winning entrants will also receive a trophy as well as the opportunity for their poems to feature in The Children's Poetry Archive and Kids Poetry Club podcast. We will be in contact with schools shortly about taking these extra special opportunities forward. This year also saw a special award sponsored by the Dictionaries of the Scots Language for entries in Scots, which was awarded to Hayley Cowe, our P1-P4 Other Tongue winner!

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

Congratulations again to all our finalists!

Why do children learn languages more effortlessly than adults?

21 February 2022 (UNRIC)

On the occasion of International Mother Language Day, UNRIC spoke to Dr Eleonore Smalle, a post-doctoral researcher at Ghent University (Belgium) and a lecturer at Tilburg University (the Netherlands), about the mechanisms of cognition and language learning.

Languages play a vital role in preserving our traditions, history and mode of thinking. They impact our identity, communication and education. Multilingual societies exist through their languages, which allow them to transmit traditional knowledge and cultures, achieve quality education and build inclusive societies. Mother-tongue based multilingual education is a key component of inclusion in education.

We asked Dr Eleonore Smalle about the recent findings in the field of language learning. We wanted to know why children are thought to be better language learners than adults, and how cognitive development affects language acquisition across the human life span.

Read more...

Express Yourself 2022 - Celebrating Speaking

21 February 2022 (ALL/British Council)

There's still time to practise and celebrate a language you are learning, or use in your community, and take part in a virtual festival of speaking! Individuals or groups are invited to prepare and record a short poem, presentation, sketch or dialogue in the target language and share on social media by 28 February 2022.

Full details can be found in the ALLNet E-bulletin Special.

Read more...

RiPL Classroom Research Scheme March-July 2022: Join our Language Teacher Research Team!

18 February 2022 (RiPL)

Are you a primary school modern languages teacher interested in trying something new? Maybe there is a novel approach to languages teaching that you are curious about, or a resource you have always wanted to explore? As a Classroom Researcher you could receive up to £150 to experiment with teaching ideas.

For more information and how to apply, see the attachment. Submit your proposal by 1 March 2022.

Related Files

Easter study webinars - Call for language specialists

17 February 2022 (e-Sgoil)

As part of the National e-Learning Offer, e-Sgoil will be providing an Easter Study programme of webinars for over seventy courses. e-Sgoil is currently looking to recruit language specialists to deliver webinars on 7, 11 and 13 April. If you would like to contribute, or for further details, please contact Simon Hall, Depute Head Teacher at e-Sgoil, on simon.hall@glow.orkneyschools.org.uk. Learner registration for Easter Study webinars goes live on 28 February.

SCILT spring newsletter - send us your stories!

17 February 2022 (SCILT)

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

We are currently taking submissions for our spring 2022 newsletter. This is a great opportunity to promote what has been happening in your school or local authority with regard to languages. This is a chance to showcase innovative projects, language learning celebrations or initiatives which took place in late 2021 or so far in 2022. 

We are looking for articles of a maximum of 300 words, with a couple of colourful photos. The deadline for contributions is Friday 11th March 2022.

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

Read more...

Speaking in mother tongues shows heritage is a class act

15 February 2022 (Irish Times)

Roll call sounds different in fourth class at Mother of Divine Grace National School in Finglas. Here, students are more likely to respond to their name with a variety of languages such as “thi ni” (Thai) or “tutaj” (Polish) than the traditional “anseo”. Encouraging students to use their heritage language during roll call is just one way teacher Phil McCarthy promotes linguistic diversity in his classroom.

“The Thai answer is really popular because you have to hold the sound at the end. They’re all screaming that every morning,” says McCarthy.

“This is a school with diverse student population. I think there’s about 13 languages spoken in my class this year; it’s a very language-rich environment.”

McCarthy says his initial teacher training did not prepare him for teaching in a multilingual classroom.

Read more...

SQA update to Advanced Higher Modern Languages visiting assessing

14 February 2022 (SQA)

Advanced Higher Modern Languages performance-talking visiting assessment guidance for centres has just been published.

Visit the SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages page, Visiting Examining section for more information.

Read more...

February Bitesize: Gathering Evidence in Secondary

3 February 2022 (SCILT)

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

In February 2022, we’re looking at how we can gather evidence to support our judgments about learner progress. We will be joined by Lisa Waygood, Faculty Head of Ancient and Modern Languages at St Columba’s School in Kilmacolm. Come along on 23 February and share your experiences of evidence gathering in your context. What works well? Or not?

Visit our Bitesize webpage to find out more and to register for the event.

Read more...

Competition: Around the World with Stamps 2022

1 February 2022 (StampIT)

Create a written or video presentation linked to postage stamps. Open to ages 5-15 worldwide. Choose a stamp that inspires you and find out about the person, place, animal or object on the stamp. We encourage you to include some elements in a second language to your own. 

Winners in each age group receive Amazon, equivalent e-vouchers or goods to the value of £40 for the winner and £20 for second place. 

Full details on the attached flyer and more information along with previous winning entries on the StampIT website. Entry deadline: 8 April 2022.

Read more...

Related Files

We launch a Storytelling Month to celebrate multilingualism and your stories

31 January 2022 (National Literacy Trust)

Today we kick off Storytelling Week by launching the brand-new Storytelling Month to celebrate the value and skill of speaking multiple languages and the ways that these voices and stories shape our community.

The virtual initiative, which forms part of the National Literacy Trust’s Connecting Stories campaign, is to run until International Mother Language Day on February 21 and promote community literacies – with an equal focus on speaking and reading.

Across the month various activities and resources will be made available. With free videos ranging from a reading of Enormous Turnip in Czechthe Little Turtle and Little Rabbit Have a Race in Mandarin Chinese and Romanian fairy stories, Storytelling Month is packed with weekly activities and resources that will help young people and parents build new skills and improve their literacy.

Read more...

ECML Colloquium – “The future of language education in the light of Covid – lessons learned and ways forward” – video presentations now online!

31 January 2022 (ECML)

The colloquium “The future of language education in the light of Covid – lessons learned and ways forward” (14 December 2021), which attracted over 1 000 viewers, is part of an ongoing initiative, led by the ECML’s Professional Network Forum and co-funded as part of the ECML-EC Cooperation Agreement, which focuses on the impact of the pandemic on language education.

Through presentations and group discussions, the following questions were addressed:

  • What insights have been gained from using radically different modes of language education during the Covid pandemic – remote, hybrid, socially distanced?
  • How can the challenges of examinations and assessment be overcome?
  • What innovative kinds of support for learners and teachers have been developed?
  • What specific challenges have arisen in relation to ensuring inclusive language education for all?
  • Do we need a new kind of “educational literacy”?

The video presentations from the event are now available online.

Read more...

Prismatic Jane Eyre translation competition

31 January 2022 (Creative Multilingualism)

The Prismatic Jane Eyre Schools Project and the Stephen Spender Trust are running a translation competition which celebrates all languages spoken in homes and taught in schools across the UK.

Entrants are asked to produce a poem in another language inspired by a selected passage from Jane Eyre. The competition accepts submissions in any language from learners in Key Stages 3-5/S1-6. Up to 100 entries to the competition will be published in a printed anthology, which will also be made available online.

The competition is not designed to be a test of grammar or vocabulary, but how students can reimagine the selected passage from Jane Eyre in a different language and through a new form. The deadline for entries to the competition is 1 March 2022.

The competition guidelines, support materials and selected passages are available on the Prismatic Jane Eyre competition website.

Read more...

Glasgow Film Festival 2022

27 January 2022 (Glasgow Film Festival)

Taking place 2-13 March 2022, the Glasgow Film Festival offers a wide-ranging programme that celebrates every corner of world cinema and provides a fantastic showcase for the best of Scottish film. This year's Festival also includes African Stories, a special strand celebrating the rich diversity of life in countries across Africa.

Visit the GFF website for full programme details. There's a great range of foreign language films to choose from!

Read more...

Making Your Future Brighter With Languages (1+2 December 2021) – Event recordings now available!

21 January 2022 (SCILT)

We are delighted to confirm that the recently launched toolkit for Phase Three of our ERASMUS+ project, Generation Global, now includes recordings of the sessions that took place at the virtual launch events on 1+2 December 2021. Entitled Making Your Future Brighter With Languages, the events, like the toolkit, set out to give young people, parents and carers a wealth of information, ideas and advice about the importance of learning languages.

The first event, on 1 December, which was aimed at young people, featured interactive activities and an interesting and informative panel discussion of young professionals talking about how they use languages in their careers. These recordings could be useful for teachers to show to classes of young people around subject choice times.

On 2 December the event focused on parents, carers and teachers. At this event we enjoyed contributions by Dr Paul Hare (Professional Development Officer, SCILT) and partners from Denmark and Norway, a fascinating panel discussion with representation from employers, educators and careers advisers, and a powerful message from Liz Neil of the British Council on the value of language and intercultural skills to the workforce of the future.

Recordings of all sessions are available on our website.

Read more...

Express Yourself 2022 - Celebrating Speaking

14 January 2022 (ALL/British Council)

In 2021, with COVID-19 having had an impact on almost all areas of education but most acutely that of the teaching and learning of MFL, ALL, the British Council and cultural institutes in the United Kingdom combined efforts to devise an exciting event entitled ‘Express Yourself’. This was an opportunity to showcase language learners’ enjoyment of, and commitment to, a language that they are learning, or that is used in their home community (except for English!). We are repeating this in February 2022, in preparation for Spring where we practise and celebrate a language you are learning, or use in your community, and take part in a virtual festival of speaking!

Individuals or groups are invited to prepare and record a short poem, presentation, sketch or dialogue in the target language and share on social media by 28 February 2022.

Full details can be found in the ALLNet E-bulletin Special.

Read more...

CLIL Mondays

11 January 2022 (Learning through Languages UK)

Learning through Languages UK and the Centre for Language Research at Aston are running "CLIL Mondays" on the second Monday of each month from 4.30 to 5.30. This series of online talks is aimed at teachers at primary, secondary and tertiary levels who have an interest in Content and Language Integrated Learning. CLIL Mondays combine short 30-minute talks on aspects of CLIL with Q&A time. One session per term will be open to practitioners for sharing of good practice, you are warmly invited to come and present your CLIL work.

Full programme details and registration links can be found on the CLIL Mondays webpage.

Read more...

Would you like to participate in a study on active trilingualism in children?

11 January 2022 (University of Cambridge/Radboud University Nijmegen)

What’s the project about?

Because multilingual families come in all shapes and sizes, this can affect whether and how well children can speak and understand their multiple languages. There has been plenty of research on this topic concerning bilingual children, but very little on trilingual children. In this study we aim to better understand which circumstances allow trilingualism to thrive, and which factors predict whether children will actively use each of their three languages. We hope that our findings will help parents, teachers and other professionals to make better-informed decisions and offer better advice when it comes to raising children trilingually. The study is part of the Q-BEx project, a collaboration between researchers in the UK, France and the Netherlands, where we have designed a new questionnaire to measure how much contact and what kind of contact multilingual children have with each of their languages.
 
What’s involved?

If you choose to participate, we will ask you to complete the questionnaire. It contains questions about you, your child and the way in which your family members use and understand your different languages. The questionnaire is online and it should take no longer than 20-35 minutes to complete. We will ask you to complete the questionnaire on behalf of one child only, even if you have other children that match the criteria below. 

Who are we looking for exactly?

For this study, we are looking for children who:

  • are between 5 and 10 years old.
  • attend a school where lessons are taught in English, with no more than 2 hours of classes per week in other languages.
  • were born in the UK or Ireland, or moved there before the age of 3 years.
  • heard two languages other than English at home before starting school. This applies even if the child doesn’t speak both languages. For example, if the child’s parents speak one language only to each other but not to the child, we still want you to participate!

How do I take part?

To participate in the project, parents just need to click the following link: https://radboudletteren.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_aXjwh2iB7QFr7Lw.

Any questions?

If you have any questions, please contact James Algie (qbex@ru.nl), doctoral researcher at University of Cambridge (UK) and Radboud University Nijmegen (Netherlands).

“Learning environments where modern languages flourish”

5 January 2022 (ECML)

The European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe and the Tempus Foundation organised an online workshop entitled “Learning environments where modern languages flourish” on 4 November and 9 December 2021.

The goal of the workshop was to help teams create action plans that will be implemented in schools after the workshop to establish a language-friendly environment where foreign languages are taught in a comprehensive way, either as separate subjects or through integration into subjects.

Detailed information about the project along with resources and tools related to the topic are now available on the ECML website.

Read more...

Write Away! - Call for submissions

17 December 2021 (Light Bulb Languages)

Issue 8 of Write Away!, the magazine celebrating work being done in primary languages classrooms, has just been published and can be read on the Light Bulb Languages website.

Submissions for issue 9 are now also being invited. Visit the website for more information and get submissions in by 18 February 2022.

Read more...

Words for the World winning entries published!

17 December 2021 (SCILT)

Congratulations again to everyone who took part in our recent Words for the World competition.

Following our recent awards ceremony, and the announcement of the winners’ names, we are now delighted to be able to publish the winning, highly commended and remaining finalist entries in each category. We are sure that you will agree that the linguistic diversity, creativity and passion that they all show is both impressive and inspiring.

Read more...

Mind Games: Cracking Code in Maths and Languages

20 January 2022 (SCILT)

Two mind-bending workshops are scheduled for in-service and student teachers during Languages Week Scotland 2022. 

We are aware that Mathematics underpins all STEM subjects, but have you ever thought there are connections between learning mathematics and learning a language?

Join mathematicians and linguists from the University of Edinburgh to explore the topic further.

During the interactive workshops you will have a go at some puzzles and activities at the interface between Mathematics and Linguistics. Together we will explore how language works and where Maths comes into play.

You will have a chance to discuss with Mathematicians and Linguists about similarities between their subjects. You will takeaway practical ideas for your classroom to show how these different disciplines can be interconnected.

The activities we are going to use are mainly aimed at children older than 10 years. However, the approach can be applied to all year groups.

Attendance is free of charge and the event will be hosted online on Zoom.

More information and registration for the appropriate workshop via the links below:

European Language Gazette no. 58

14 December 2021 (ECML)

The November 2021 – January 2022 edition of the ECML's European Language Gazette is now available online.

Read more...

Course: Gender equality in language education

9 December 2021 (British Council)

In this practical four-week course, you will learn to recognise the different kinds of gender bias and stereotypes which exist in language education, some of the barriers people face in terms of gender equality and equity, and how these can be overcome.

Learn more about:

  • Representation in teaching materials
  • Equality in teaching practice
  • Working with gender equality in education

Visit the British Council website for more information and to enrol on the free course commencing 14 December 2021.

Read more...

Where next for modern languages? From patterns in recruitment to curriculum reform, six academics examine some of the challenges

7 December 2021 (School of Advanced Studies)

It is no secret that every area of the humanities is experiencing significant change. Questions concerning the coherence, identity, and purpose of modern languages are certainly the subject of a great deal of debate within the education sector.

This edition of Talking Humanities sets out to examine some of the issues that are of most pressing concern to those working in the sector. In the opening post (We have to deploy modern languages in confronting our challenges), Professors Charles Burdett and Claire Gorrara talk about the nature of the challenges that the disciplinary area faces – from patterns in recruitment to reform of the curriculum – and how it is attempting to address those challenges. In the posts that follow, contributors reflect on different elements of the subject area and how it is pursuing reform.

Read more...

Careers toolkit launched

3 December 2021 (SCILT)

SCILT launched our latest toolkit at two events this week, one for young people and one for parents/carers/teachers. The toolkit and events are part of our three-year Generation Global project, which seeks to address the gap in intercultural and language skills that we have in this country.

In the preceding two years of the project, we have published toolkits to support business leaders and careers advisers/school managers. This latest toolkit 'Making your future brighter with languages'  is designed to give young people, parents and carers information, ideas and advice about learning languages; why it is important and how to go about it. As well as this, the toolkit includes a series of short video clips of young professionals talking about the relevance and value of languages and intercultural skills in their career areas. All of this aims to support the young people who are our ‘Generation Global’, our dual-competency workforce of the future.

The launch events this week were recorded, and recordings will be available on our website shortly.

Access the toolkit 

Read more...

SCILT Christmas 2021 webpage - now live!

2 December 2021 (SCILT)

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

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

Read more...

New resources to support bilingualism

30 November 2021 (Twinkl/SCILT/Bilingualism Matters)

What does it mean to be bilingual? Bilingualism is knowing more than one language and the way it affects us is far from simple! Find out all about the different ways we can be bilingual, the effects of bilingualism and some of the benefits to us all with our amazing resources developed for use at First Level alongside the experts at Bilingualism Matters, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, and our teacher team here at Twinkl. The resources are available in English and Gaelic for use in GME contexts and are an ideal way to start celebrating the linguistic landscape in your school.

Read more...

Remote CPD in Creative Translation 2022

29 November 2021 (Stephen Spender Trust)

The Stephen Spender Trust is delighted to be offering a series of webinars for UK teachers for the first time in early 2022, funded by the Foyle Foundation. There are dedicated webinars for Secondary MFL teachers, Secondary English teachers, and Primary teachers.

The 3-webinar course will follow SST's Decode-Translate-Create model, which makes creative translation accessible and easy to adapt to different ages and levels. The first session is scheduled for 12 January 2022.

Visit the website for more information and to register. Sessions are free, but in signing up please note you are committing to attend all three.

Read more...

Words for the World competition winners!

26 November 2021 (SCILT)

Congratulations to everyone who took part in our Words for the World competition.

The standard of entries was incredibly high, with a wide range of formats submitted and an array of languages. We can be proud of the linguistic diversity we have here in Scotland and the creativity and passion our young people demonstrated for protecting our planet, our humanity and creating a brighter future for us all. We were truly humbled and inspired by their work.

Judging proved exceptionally difficult, but we were delighted to announce the winning entries at an online awards event last week. Well done again to the following who were successful in their respective categories and thank you to every pupil who participated in the competition. 

P1-P4

  • Winner - Leena Valluri, Goodlyburn Primary
  • Highly commended - The Glasgow Academy Newlands & Milngavie class entry

P5-P7

  • Winner - Zofia Zajac, St Patrick's Primary
  • Highly commended - Sophie McGrath, St Vincent's Primary
  • Highly commended - Tristan Naylor, Hyndland Primary

S1-S3

  • Winner - Oriana Strahan, Largs Academy 
  • Highly commended - Deepak Krisna Kummar, Craigmount High 

S4-S6

  • Winner - Daniel Smith, Alva Academy
  • Highly commended - Aiman Mohammad, Renfrew High 

SCILT Winter 2021 newsletter published!

26 November 2021 (SCILT)

The latest edition of the SCILT newsletter is here!

Read about SCILT’s work to support the learning and teaching of languages, including our professional learning opportunities, our motivating competitions and our online events. Find out how schools celebrated European Day of Languages 2021, and hear from local authorities about their latest inspiring initiatives including projects involving STEM, virtual live lessons and links with business. There is also the opportunity to read about the work our partners have been doing to support language learning in Scotland, including links to free resources and online learning opportunities.

Read more...

GCSEs: Heads and exam boards reject 'risky' MFL reforms

25 November 2021 (TES)

A group of nine influential education organisations, including headteachers' unions and three exam boards, have united to call on the government to rethink its reforms of GCSE modern foreign languages.

The group - which has issued a joint statement calling on the government to rethink the "risky" plans today - includes the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) and the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC) as well as three exam boards (AQA, Pearson Edexcel and WJEC Eduqas).

Language associations such as the Association for Language Learning, the Independent Schools Modern Languages Association and the National Association of Language Advisers) have also called for revisions to the proposals.

In March, the government launched new draft subject content to make French, German and Spanish GCSEs “more accessible and motivating for students”.

Proposals included “streamlining” course content so that students would only be tested on what they have been taught, with pupils “expected to know” up to 1,700 different words in the language.

In April, during an online panel discussion of the changes hosted by AQA, experts warned that the changes could leave pupils being able to "talk about almost nothing".

Read more...

School competition: How to talk about migrations

16 November 2021 (Migration in Education)

We invite pupils and teachers in primary and secondary schools in Scotland to participate in this exciting competition that explores how we teach and learn about migration — creatively and with empathy. We live in a world that sees many people on the move, and our pupils may have been part of these experiences themselves. In schools, migration may make the topic of creative projects and classroom activities, as a unique opportunity for pupils to learn from each other and about each other.

The competition aims to acknowledge and make visible the cultural and linguistic diversity of Scottish primary and secondary schools. On that basis, submissions could be in English or in other languages to reflect the spirit of the school and of the competition. Teachers or teams of teachers and pupils are invited to submit their best materials that showcase how migration is taught in their respective schools. 

Visit the website for more information and submit entries by Friday 17 December 2021.

Read more...

November Bitesize: Making languages work for your primary pupils

12 November 2021 (SCILT)

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

In November 2021, we are looking at how we can combine employability and language skills in the primary classroom. Come along on 24 November to share your ideas and hear what others do too!

Our special guests will be Leanne Duncan, PT at Danestone Primary School, Aberdeen City and Christina MacGregor, P4-7 GME Teacher at Goodlyburn Primary School, Perth & Kinross. Leanne and Christina will tell us about the last year’s achievements by their pupils with activities that integrated languages and employability skills. The languages taught across the two schools are Gaelic, English, French and Chinese.

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

Read more...

The place of home languages at school: participate in a European survey!

9 November 2021 (ECML)

The RECOLANG team (Resources for assessing the home language competences of migrant pupils) is carrying out a European survey on the place of home languages at school, particularly within different education programmes or curricula involving migrant adolescents aged 11-18.

This survey focuses on the practices of assessing home language skills and their role in different European education systems. 

The survey is made up of two complementary sections aimed at two different target audiences:

  • A section aimed at pupils aged between 11 and 18 (or their families), who are from a migrant background and one or more home languages other than the language(s) of the school. This section is available in Arabic, English, French, German, Persian (Dari/Farsi), Portuguese and Turkish.
  • A section for schools and educational institutions, teaching and supervisory staff in schools, reception centres and organisations involved in initial and further professional development of teachers working with this age group (11-18 years). This section is available in English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian and Portuguese.

Visit the ECML website to access the survey which will be online until the end of 2021. 

Read more...

SQA update to Advanced Higher Modern Languages visiting assessing

9 November 2021 (SQA)

Visiting assessing documents have been added for modern languages subjects at Advanced Higher.

Visit the SQA Modern Languages Advanced Higher webpage for more information.

Read more...

Presentations and recordings are now available! Moving Forward with L3: Challenges and Opportunities Event, 10 September 2021

5 November 2021 (SCILT)

If you missed any part of this event, then we have good news for you! Materials are now available on our website to view at your own leisure, including video presentations from Keynote speaker, Joanna McPake, Reader in Education at the University of Strathclyde and Plenary speakers, Dr Łukasz Lutostański, Consul General and Sylwia Spooner, Head of Cultural Affairs at the Polish Consulate in Edinburgh. The event welcomed language leaders and practitioners to share thoughts, ideas, good practice and discuss the challenges we face in embedding L3 into our curricula, including information on the newly launched 10 Steps to Polish Programme, run in conjunction with SCILT.

PowerPoint presentations used from facilitated discussions, including testimonials and speaker biographies are also available to view and will be of interest to the language teaching community.

Read more...

All the World is Our Stage

4 November 2021 (AtWiOS)

All the World is Our Stage: Primary pupils never lost in translanguaging is a project exploring creative ways of language learning with the creation of a multilingual performance showcasing both home and school languages. 

A new website has been launched featuring outputs and resources from the project produced in collaboration with pupils and teachers and collated by Eneida García Villanueva, the principal investigator in the project. The materials aim to help practitioners embed pedagogical translanguaging in schools.

Visit the website for more information and to access the resources.

Read more...

How teacher collaboration can boost climate education

1 November 2021 (TES)

In this podcast coinciding with COP26, experts explain the importance of sharing best practice on climate change teaching.

Today's young people are more engaged and passionate than ever about saving the environment. In March 2019, it was estimated that 1.6 million young people across 125 countries participated in climate protests, and a new global survey led by the University of Bath reveals that environmental fears are "profoundly affecting huge numbers of young people".

Many school students are currently avidly reading announcements from the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow. Whether it’s from the news, social media or the latest David Attenborough documentary, young people are constantly being exposed to the impact of climate change. And, as the authors of the global survey suggest, it's vital that we counteract young people's anxieties and harness their enthusiasm by giving them information on how they can connect more strongly with nature, contribute to greener choices at an individual level and join forces with like-minded communities and groups.

Yet climate change and sustainability can be challenging subjects to bring into the classroom. For this latest podcast, Tes spoke with two environmental and sustainability education experts, who explained why collaboration and an outward-looking approach to teaching these subjects are key.

Read more...

Climate Crisis Film Festival

29 October 2021 (CCFF)

The Climate Crisis Film Festival taking place 1-14 November showcases stunning, diverse, and eye-opening cinema, providing a systemic perspective behind the raw human stories of climate change. It brings underrepresented voices to the fore. The Festival includes the Scottish première screening of “Above Water” (Marcher Sur L’Eau, 2021), introduced virtually by the director, Senegal-born Aïssa Maïga. This breathtakingly photographed portrait of a young girl’s life in Niger, as water becomes scarcer and scarcer, will be presented in partnership with Goethe Institut, Alliance Française and Institut Français.

Visit the website for more information about the programme and to register.

Read more...

Why mixing languages can improve students’ academic performance

26 October 2021 (The Conversation)

Multilingual skills that allow people to switch from one language to another or mix languages are often considered more as a problem rather than an asset.

Thus, there is no surprise that these multilingual speakers are often condemned using pejorative terms like bahasa gado-gado (“mixed-up language”) in Indonesia for mixing Indonesian language and English in a conversation.

Much research has documented the use of similar pejorative terms elsewhere. This includes bahasa rojak (salad language) in Malaysia, amulumala (verbal salad) in Nigeria, and tuti futi (broken-up) in the Panjabi-speaking community in India.

There are also more neutral-sounding terms like Singlish (Singapore), Japlish (Japan), Franglais (France/Canada), Taglish (the Philippines) and Hinglish (India) to label those who mix multiple languages.

Some argue that such multilingual practices reflect one’s inability to think in a structured and systematic way.

Formal education systems share a similar view, looking at them as a hindrance to students’ academic success as they are believed to delay the process of learning school subjects.

However, many studies have proven otherwise.

Contrary to popular opinion, this research shows multilingual practices do not have any adverse effect on students’ academic achievement. Adopting a multilingual approach in classrooms has proven to be important in increasing students’ academic performance and even closing the achievement gap between students living in cities and those in villages.

It has also been reported that multilingual students’ academic progress, particularly in reading and maths, are two to three times greater than that of their monolingual counterparts.

There are at least three main reasons why multilingual skills give students an academic edge.

Read more...

SQA Understanding Standards materials for session 2021-22

25 October 2021 (SQA)

Understanding Standards resources published for National 5 to Advanced Higher Modern Languages in session 2020-21 have been updated for session 2021-22.  

The resources for Modern Languages are available on SQA Understanding Standards website.

Read more...

SQA - Markers for 2022 exams

7 October 2021 (SQA)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Discovery Film Festival 2021

5 October 2021 (Discovery Film Festival)

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

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

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

Read more...

Words for the World competition

5 October 2021 (SCILT)

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

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

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

Read more...

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

1 October 2021 (HoLLT)

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

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

Our themes are:

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

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

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

Read more...

MTOT 2021-22 - registration deadline approaching!

30 September 2021 (SCILT)

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

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

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

Read more...

StampIT - 'Stamp over October’

30 September 2021 (StampIT)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Climate change and language learning

28 September 2021 (British Council)

If you weren't able to join the British Council's webinar on Climate Change and Language Learning, which took place on Wednesday 22 September 2021, the recording is now available.

In the webinar, the global teacher panel explored ways to bring environmental issues and the fight against the climate crisis into the language classroom. This was followed by audience questions.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to view the recording.

Read more...

Why learning a new language is good for the whole family

28 September 2021 (National Geographic)

Scientists have long known that learning a new language is good for a child’s brain development. By rearranging and creating new connections in the brain, language learning can help kids focus more easily and resist distractions, deal better with tasks that require switching from one activity to another, and perform better in school.

Learning a new language has benefits for an adult’s brain, too—plus new research suggests that it’s not as difficult as experts previously thought for adults to pick up a new language. And immersing yourself in a new language as a family might just be one of the most effective—and easiest—ways to learn a new language. 

“You’re constantly communicating with your family at home already,” says Christine Jernigan, author of Family Language Learning: Learn Another Language, Raise Bilingual Children. “All you have to do is switch to your new language and you have built-in conversation partners to practice with whenever you want—no commute or classroom needed.”

So learning a new language together? Tons of brain benefits—and maybe getting them even faster. Here are some ideas for making learning a new language your family’s newest favourite activity.

Read more...

Bosses hunt for Brits who can speak different languages in hiring sprees

28 September 2021 (Scottish Sun)

Employers have revealed the top skills they’re looking for in job applicants – with the ability to speak foreign languages high on the list.

A study of 200 employers and those involved in the hiring of staff claimed it’s “never been harder” to find candidates with the desired skill set.

Other sought-after abilities include leadership, emotional intelligence, and social media savviness.

Employers said they spend an average of nearly £54,000 a year searching for the right people to fill roles through recruitment companies.

While finding staff with the right skill set is one of the biggest challenges for businesses, according to 78% of those polled.

The research, commissioned by free language learning company Drops, also found 57% of companies look for people who can speak a different language.

Read more...

European Day of Languages

23 September 2021 (Council of Europe)

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

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

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

European Day of Languages 2021 - feature in our blog!

23 September 2021 (SCILT)

The European Day of Languages celebrates it's 20th anniversary on Sunday 26th September. What has your school been doing to celebrate?

Send a description of your activities and a few photos and we'll include you in our EDL 2021 blog! Some entries may even be featured in the SCILT winter newsletter.

Complete the form via the link below or send an email to scilt@strath.ac.uk. And you can tag @scottishcilt on Twitter!

Read more...

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

23 September 2021 (The Independent)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Into Film Festival 2021

21 September 2021 (Into Film)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

The UK Linguistics Olympiad (UKLO)

21 September 2021 (UKLO)

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

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

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

Read more...

Case study: Strengthening links to literacy across languages

21 September 2021 (SCILT)

Professional Learning Partnerships (PLPs) are a bespoke part of the SCILT CLPL offer. A PLP is a collaborative and enquiring means of challenging thinking, considering practice and bringing about improvement.

In a recent PLP that ran over two years, teachers in several West Lothian primary schools chose to focus on strengthening literacy skills across languages. They were supported variously by local authority development officers with responsibility for Literacy, PEF and 1+2 Languages, as well as by SCILT and a bilingual theatre practitioner. In year 1, eight schools considered the needs of their learners and the demands of their school improvement plan before settling on a particular pedagogical approach and/or a selection of resources that they were interested in transferring to the context of teaching additional languages. In year 2, three schools collaborated to produce interdisciplinary learning materials and pupil-led drama activities to support reading and performance in L2. Read the West Lothian PLP Case Study on our website.

Each Professional Learning Partnership is unique and based on the needs of the audience and talents of the participating professionals. Examining evidence together, engaging in professional discussion and exploring practical ways forward, each partnership aims to effect positive change that impacts on learners. If you would like to discuss developing a PLP with us, please email scilt@strath.ac.uk with PLP in the subject line.

Read more...

5 ways immigrant parents support children’s home language learning

20 September 2021 (The Conversation)

It is important to preserve and develop a child’s home language for their cultural, linguistic and social development. Research shows that English plays a dominant role in schools and society at large, while children’s diverse home languages are often marginalized. Languages other than English are often not welcomed or encouraged in classrooms.

Marginalizing languages beyond English in school has negative effects on children and classroom cultures by creating environments that suggest the daily language practices of children whose families speak languages other than English aren’t “good enough.” Unsurprisingly, if children feel unwelcome or disrespected in the classroom, this can adversely affect their learning engagement and academic achievement.

Read more...

Languages beyond school

17 September 2021 (SCILT)

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

Read more...

September Bitesize: Early Years creative puppetry and language learning drop-in

16 September 2021 (SCILT)

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

In September 2021, we’re looking at language learning in the Early Years and exploring the use of creative puppetry to support this. So join the drop-in on 29 September, share your ideas and experiences and hear what others do too!  

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

Read more...

SCILT winter newsletter - send us your stories!

16 September 2021 (SCILT)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Join EDL's 20th Anniversary Great Bake-Off

14 September 2021 (ECML)

The European Day of Languages has been celebrated every 26th of September since 2002 by hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world. This year, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of its inauguration, the European Centre for Modern Languages invites all of you to participate in our EDL's Great Bake-Off.

The goal is to collect birthday recipes from different parts of the world and in different languages to then include the 20 most original (and tasty!) desserts in a special 20th-anniversary-edition recipe book. If you would like your birthday dessert to be included (after a rigorous selection process!), please visit the ECML website for instructions and get ready to bring out the chef in you!

Submission deadline: 30 September 2021.

Read more...

The Guardian University Guide 2022: Modern Languages & Linguistics

11 September 2021 (The Guardian)

Find a course at one of the top universities in the country. The Guardian's league tables rank them all subject-by-subject, as well as by student satisfaction, staff numbers, spending and career prospects. Select Modern Languages & Linguistics from the subject dropdown box for current rankings.

Read more...

Masters study opportunity for LLP/TTT and TeLT alumni

10 September 2021 (SCILT/University of Strathclyde)

Four questions for Scottish primary and secondary teachers:

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

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

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

Interested? 

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

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

European Language Gazette n° 57 - September/October 2021

9 September 2021 (ECML)

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

Read more...

Languages Week Scotland 2022 - save the date!

6 September 2022 (SCILT)

We are pleased to announce that Languages Week Scotland 2022 will run from 31 January - 4 February 2022. The theme is "The 'Rights' Approach - incorporating learners' rights within Scotland's languages landscape" and we hope that schools and learners, universities and colleges, businesses and social enterprises, community and arts organisations across the country will join with us in celebrating the signed and spoken languages used and learned across Scotland.

Follow the dedicated Twitter account @LangsWeekScot for all the latest news, and don't forget to use the hashtag #scotlandloveslanguages to share how you celebrate.

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

3 September 2021 (SCILT)

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

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

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

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

Visit our MTOT webpage for full details.

Read more...

How Language Classes Are Moving Past the Gender Binary

1 September 2021 (New York Times)

Languages that contain only “he” and “she” pronouns pose problems for communicating about gender identity. Here’s how some language teachers are helping.

Tal Janner-Klausner teaches Hebrew. There is nothing unusual about that, but the language presents a frustration that Mx. Janner-Klausner, who is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns in English, feels compelled to discuss with their students.

Hebrew, as well as French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and other languages, uses binary pronouns, which means that gender identities outside of he/she and male/female don’t exist in any formal capacity.

In Hebrew, even the word “they” is gendered. In French, “ils” refers to a group of men or a mixed-gender group, and “elles” refers to a group of all females. All nouns in gendered languages — including people — are categorized as either masculine or feminine, and any adjectives associated with these words must reflect that gender.

That presents a problem for students who are gender-nonconforming, and, of course, for the speakers of the language in general. Is it possible for learners of a gendered language to refer to themselves and others when their identities are not represented?

Read more...

Our World 2021-22

31 August 2021 (SEET)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Bilingual people with language loss due to stroke can pose a treatment challenge

31 August 2021 (The Conversation)

New research shows that computational modeling can predict how bilingual stroke patients will respond to language treatment – and that could help clinicians identify which language to focus treatment on and increase chances for improvement in both.

Aphasia is a speech and language disorder often caused by stroke. Bilingual people with aphasia typically experience difficulty retrieving words in both of their languages. While language therapy can help them improve their ability to communicate, it’s not often clear to clinicians which language to target in treatment.

Read more...

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

27 August 2021 (SCILT)

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

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

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

Read more...

Competition! Words for the World

26 August 2021 (SCILT)

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

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

Read more...

Posted in: All Languages

New on SCILT website! Learning for Sustainability Toolkit

26 August 2021 (SCILT)

Learning for Sustainability is an entitlement for all learners within Curriculum for Excellence, and as languages teachers we are uniquely positioned to incorporate Learning for Sustainability into our learning and teaching. Every day we offer our learners a window into other languages, cultures, traditions, ways of life and ways of thinking.

As Scotland prepares to host the COP26 summit, this is a particularly appropriate time to consider social and environmental issues with our learners, and to look at ways in which these can dovetail with our existing programmes.

Our newly-developed toolkit brings together a wide range of reading and resources aimed at supporting teachers who wish to incorporate Learning for Sustainability and Global Citizenship into their languages curriculum.

Read more...

Posted in: All Languages

SQA update to Advanced Higher Modern Languages course overview

16 August 2021 (SQA)

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

Read more...

Joint Statement by the University Council of Modern Languages and the Classical Association

12 August 2021 (UCML)

The University Council of Modern Languages and the Classical Association jointly welcome the Department for Education’s recent announcement of support for new and existing initiatives to develop in England the teaching of languages, cultures and societies, both modern and ancient. We share a commitment to the belief that language learning fosters not just competence in specific languages, but the analytical, linguistic, intercultural, literacy and communication skills that are vital to the creation of a prosperous, productive, influential, innovative, knowledgeable, culturally richer, more socially cohesive and healthier society. We also share a firm belief that language learning should be accessible for all. 

Read more...

Modern Languages GCSE/National 5 Results, 2021

12 August 2021 (UCML)

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

Read more...

Related Links

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

New project celebrating multi-culturalism in Edinburgh launches first episode in series of diverse films

11 August 2021 (Starcatchers)

Theatre Sans Accents, Starcatchers and Bilingualism Matters, present “Arts in Tongues” a pilot mini-web series of 6 short episodes presented by Marion Geoffray and filmed by Lucas Chih-Peng Kao about the diverse communities of artists present in Edinburgh and with the specific aim to engage with families and young children through the arts, multiculturalism and multilingualism. 

The project showcases and celebrates diverse communities in Edinburgh, representing the many faces and tongues of people living in Scotland, giving visibility to under-represented diverse bilingual artists in the performing arts industry. The project seeks to demystify language learning and foster a positive attitude towards mixing cultures and traditions starting with early childhood.

Episode one of 'Arts in Tongues' can be viewed now on the Starcatchers website, with the remaining episodes being released online throughout August.

Read more...

New British Academy president pledges to monitor decline of modern foreign languages

23 July 2021 (University Business)

The new president of the British Academy has vowed to monitor “the health of SHAPE disciplines”, like modern foreign languages, which have been hampered by dropping provision in higher education institutions. 

SHAPE stands for ‘social sciences, humanities and the arts for people and the economy’ and is a collective name coined last year by the British Academy, London School of Economics (LSE), the Academy of Social Sciences and Arts Council England.

‘’I will commit the British Academy to redoubling its work on monitoring the health of SHAPE disciplines, and particularly those affected by shrinking provision in higher education institutions such as modern languages,” said Prof Julia Black, the 31st president of the British Academy.

Read more...

Millions of pupils in England had no language teaching in lockdowns – survey

8 July 2021 (The Guardian)

Millions of children did not receive any language tuition during lockdowns in England, the British Council has said.

The council’s annual survey of English primary and secondary schools found that more than half of primary school pupils and 40% of those at secondaries did not do any language learning during the first national lockdown. And in January and February’s lockdown, 20% of all pupils had no language education.

This will inevitably affect take-up at GCSE and A-level. The report shows that the government will fail to meet its target of three-quarters of pupils taking a modern language GCSE by 2022, if current trends continue.

Read more...

Related Links

Most primaries stopped teaching languages in lockdown (TES, 8 July 2021) - note, subscription required to access full article

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

17 June 2021 (SCILT)

L3 Knowledge Exchange Event flyer

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

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

16 June 2021 (Education Scotland)

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

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

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

Read more...

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

11 June 2021 (SCILT)

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

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

More details on the post and application process coming soon!

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

SCILT professional learning programme 2021-22 - book now!

11 June 2021 (SCILT)

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

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

Read more...

How many languages can Novak Djokovic speak?

5 June 2021 (Essentially Sports)

Most of the sporting personalities in Europe are accustomed to multiple languages. Coming to tennis, all the top, well-established players are familiar with a number of languages. Especially, when it comes to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, the Serb speaks 11 different languages and one can easily term him a ‘polyglot’.

One of the most interesting qualities of Novak Djokovic is his desire to learn a few sentences, well enough to converse with locals belonging to that particular region. For instance, when the 34-year-old player travels to various tournament destinations on Tour, he has a will to pick up a few local lines, such are his liking for languages.

Read more...

Why monolinguals 'cringe' in a multilingual society

4 June 2021 (Bilingualism Matters)

Do you apologise for your poor foreign language skills in multilingual encounters? Find out about the hidden social effects of this common monolingual practice.

Investigating the language experiences of migrants in multilingual societies like Luxembourg can shed light on principles of international encounters in global cities. A recent phenomenon of interest is the habit of ‘monolingual cringe’ among English-speaking migrants in Luxembourg.

Luxembourg is a small European Union country with about 630,000 inhabitants. It is a very multilingual place, with Luxembourgish, French, German, and German sign language as official languages. The number of languages spoken in public is even higher due to migration, with people of non-Luxembourgish nationality making up nearly half the population!

English is widely used alongside other languages, so that people who have moved to Luxembourg from English-dominant countries don’t necessarily need to use other languages to get by. But how enjoyable is their position if they speak English only? Researchers at the University of Luxembourg spoke to twelve English-speaking migrants who have settled in Luxembourg to find out about this, analysing interview data and drawings of multilingual experiences. An interesting ambiguity emerged in the results.

Read more...

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

30 May 2021 (Press and Journal)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

5 ways to teach global citizenship and collaboration

24 May 2021 (TES)

With global citizenship more important than ever, here are some ideas for international collaboration between schools.

Whether students were locked down in London or Lagos, millions of young people around the world experienced what it was like to have their learning disrupted and now understand, to some degree, what it means not to have free movement or access.

“The pandemic has created a unique window of insight into the global challenges that we all face,” says Carl McCarthy, executive headteacher at GLF Schools multi-academy trust.

And this is something he’s tried to delve into with his students, noticing the disparity in provision that some young people face nationally, as well as globally. But he has also been celebrating the staggering kindness, innovation and teamwork we’ve witnessed, and he has been harnessing the technology that brings together citizens in opposite corners of the world.

“In this new, post-Brexit, global-facing context, we have the opportunity for our students to build knowledge and understanding together with fellow students from around the world – all who have been facing similar challenges at the same time and all who have seen similar strengths in human spirit and the triumph of science and technology to offer solutions to some of the greatest problems that we have collectively faced,” says McCarthy.

Read more...

The 2021 Language Show is looking for speakers

18 May 2021 (The Language Show)

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

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

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

Read more...

SCILT Spring 2021 newsletter published

14 May 2021 (SCILT)

The latest edition of the SCILT newsletter is here!

Read about SCILT’s work to support the learning and teaching of languages, including our professional learning offer, our motivating competitions and our online events. Find out how schools celebrated Languages Week Scotland 2021, and hear from local authorities about their latest inspiring initiatives. There is also the opportunity to read about the work our partners have been doing to support language learning in Scotland.

Read more...

Babel young writers' competition

13 May 2021 (Babel)

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

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

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

Read more...

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages' statement ​on the MFL GCSE Subject Content review and consultation - 13 May 2021

13 May 2021 (APPG)

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages (APPG MFL) notes widespread concern and disquiet in relation to the review. At a time when languages are already uniquely fragile in English schools, the proposals in their present form represent a fundamental change to the nature of language learning, with unclear evidence that the approach would be successful in relation either to raising standards or increasing take-up. The APPG MFL believes that changes to the GCSE specification should be suspended to allow time for further evidence and expertise to be taken into account to avoid unintended consequences.

Read more...

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

11 May 2021 (SCILT)

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

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

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

Read more...

Partial Early Level Experiences & Outcomes and Benchmarks for modern languages have been published!

11 May 2021 (Education Scotland)

Es & Os and Benchmarks for modern languages for a Primary 1 start to language learning were published on the NIH on Monday, 10th May and represent an important piece of national curricular support for the 1+2 policy. The original Es & Os published in 2009 for modern languages were for curriculum levels 2, 3 & 4 only, as language learning in primary schools at that time traditionally began in P6. When the 1+2 policy was introduced in 2012/13 in schools, Education Scotland provided First Level Es and Os to support practitioners with planning to introduce language teaching from an earlier stage in primary schools; these represented a sufficient resource for a number of years, however, a measure of success of the implementation of the policy has meant that many more schools have language learning fully in place from Primary 1, hence the need for a partial suite of Es & Os and Benchmarks to support teachers with a P1 start to language learning (as the 1+2 policy begins in P1 and is not funded for pre-P1 learning) and comprise eight Es, Os and benchmark statements.

Read more...

Threlford Cup

11 May 2021 (Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL))

The Threlford Cup is CIOL’s prestigious award for inspiring the learning of languages. The cup is presented annually to a person, or for a project, or to an organisation for an activity that has inspired others with an original language-learning or teaching initiative.

The winner of the award is selected from nominations received from the wider languages community. Everyone is welcome to nominate.

Visit the CIOL website for more information and nomination criteria. Nominations close at 5pm on Sunday 25 July 2021.

Read more...

Write Away! - Call for submissions

11 May 2021 (Light Bulb Languages)

Write Away! is an exciting project from Light Bulb Languages. It's a magazine celebrating the writing that primary children do in their language lessons.

We are now accepting submissions for issue 6 up until 23.59 on Friday 21 May 2021.

Visit the website for full submission guidelines.

Read more...

Learning a language gives the study of STEM a little 'je ne sais quoi'

7 May 2021 (British Science Association)

The study of foreign languages may not seem closely tied to STEM, but in fact they have a strong relationship. As well as improving cognitive skills that help in STEM study, speaking other languages opens up lines of communication with scientists all around the world, essential for international scientific progress.

Read more...

The Stephen Spender Prize

6 May 2021 (Stephen Spender Trust)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

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

6 May 2021 (TES)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Note - subscription required to access full article)

Read more...

MTOT 2021 - winner videos now available!

30 April 2021 (SCILT)

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

Read more...

Just published: European Language Gazette no. 55 (April-May 2021)

24 April 2021 (ECML)

The European Language Gazette, the ECML's e-newsletter, provides up-to-date news about the ECML (events, projects, resources) and other relevant sectors of the Council of Europe, as well as of our partners. It focuses on national developments in the field of language education in the member states and beyond.

Enjoy the latest issue which can be accessed on the ECML website.

Read more...

SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages update

22 April 2021 (SQA)

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

Read more...

Climate action in language education

22 April 2021 (British Council)

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

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

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

Read more...

10-Minute Talks: More than one language – why bilingualism matters

21 April 2021 (British Academy)

Research shows that multilingualism in any languages, regardless of prestige or worldwide diffusion, can provide a range of linguistic, cognitive, and social benefits at all ages. It enables communication with international partners and understanding of local cultures as well as enhancing metalinguistic awareness, focusing, seeing both sides of an argument, and flexibly adapting to changing circumstances. However, as Antonella Sorace outlines in this talk, there are still many misconceptions about multilingualism and this contributes to the lack of language skills in countries, like the UK, that rely on ‘privileged monolingualism’ in English, which can undermine social cohesion and economic growth.

Read more...

Presentations now available! Scotland’s Languages Landscape: Equity in Diversity Event, 26 February 2021

20 April 2021 (SCILT)

If you missed any part of this event, then we have good news for you! Materials are now available on our website to view at your own leisure, including video presentations from Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, Keynote speaker, Dr Stacey Margarita Johnson, Assistant Director of the Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and Plenary speaker, Louise Glen, Senior Education Officer at Education Scotland, highlighting the importance of providing all learners with access to a wide range of language and intercultural experiences.

PowerPoint presentations used from facilitated discussions, including testimonials and speaker biographies are also available to view and will be of interest to the language teaching community and community-based organisations.

Read more...

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

25 March 2021 (SCILT)

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

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

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

Wondering whether you could be a critical friend?

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

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

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

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

We look forward to hearing from you.

Read more...

Around the world with stamps

15 March 2021 (StampIT)

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

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

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

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

The closing date is 30 April 2021. 

Read more...

Related Files

Cultural contexts for primary language learning - March Bitesize

10 March 2020 (SCILT)

This month, SCILT invites you to join us to consider how aspects of bilingual pupils’ home cultures or cultures related to the L2/L3 languages taught in your school can be sourced and shared meaningfully in class.

Learn from and with others in this month’s drop-in session. Our special guests will be a trio of practising teachers with a host of experience who recently contributed to a presentation at a conference in Spain on this topic:

  • Jennifer Maxwell, NQT, Dykesmain Primary School, North Ayrshire
  • Lindsay Allan, Languages Lead, Neilston Primary Primary School, East Renfrewshire - Scottish Education Award 2020 Internationalism and Languages Category Finalist
  • Kirsten Barrett, EAL teacher and eTwinning Ambassador, St Maria Goretti Primary School, Glasgow

Hear how intercultural and international connections have worked for their pupils. Come and share your own experiences and successes.

For the reflective questions and to join us for a drop-in session to discuss this theme on Wednesday 24th March, click on the link below.

Read more...

The health of UK language study is lost in translation

9 March 2021 (THE)

Grim statistics on single-honours enrolments bely an explosion in joint-honours provision, says Katherine Astbury.

Languages are in decline in UK secondary schools. This is well known and barely counts as news these days. It started well before the Covid pandemic and Brexit piled on additional pressures.

This has had a knock-on effect on universities. The University of Hull is the latest in a growing list of institutions to announce the closure of language degrees. A Times Higher Education article last week with the alarming headline “Languages decline see numbers drop to zero at UK universities” added to a long line of pieces heralding impending doom.

But the figures initially quoted for the universities of Warwick, Southampton and Newcastle baffled colleagues at all three institutions because they bore no relation to the reality on the ground. Why then did the article – and the Ucas figures it was based on – suggest that acceptances had shrunk by so much?  

The answer lies in a shift in student applications away from single-honours degrees and towards combining specialist language learning and a non-language subject. The figures took no account of the fact that students are now much more likely to study two or three languages alongside another discipline than to focus on one language alone.

Of course that term “alone” is itself misleading. Even a single-honours degree will involve the study of the linguistics, literature, film, politics, art and culture of the countries where that language is spoken. 

(Note - subscription required to access full article)

Read more...

SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages update

8 March 2021 (SQA)

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

Read more...

‘SQA has been dumbing down languages exams for years’

25 February 2021 (TES)

In 2017, I looked back on my 46 years of modern languages teaching. Despite fond memories, I felt unease. I sensed a disconnect between pupils’ competences and Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) results. I have met Higher pupils whose A grade left them floundering and unable to create spontaneous, simple German.

Three years’ research answered the question: have German teaching and testing – which I used as an exemplifier for modern languages – failed Scottish pupils? 

The SQA decision at the end of January to ditch the talking element of Advanced Higher shows that they continue to fail Scottish pupils and confirms my research findings.

Read more...

MTOT 2021 - winners announced!

25 February 2021 (SCILT)

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

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

Mother Tongue

Award

Pupil

School

Language

P1-P4

Winner

Zayne Emengo-Okpo

St Aloysius College JS

Hausa

Highly commended

Eloïse Harkins

St Aloysius College JS

French

P5-P7

Winner

Lucja Lubanska

St Charles’ Primary

Polish

Highly commended

Ahmad Raza

Newmains Primary

Urdu

S1-S3

Winner

Pranay Neppalli

Craigmount High

Telugu

Highly commended

Filip Strzalka

Craigmount High

Polish

S4-S6

Winner

Chancelvie Bembo

St Benedicts

French

Highly commended

Lovely Selwyn

Bishopbriggs Academy

Tamil

Other Tongue

Award

Pupil

School

Language

P1-P4

Winner

Abbie Rettie

Goodlyburn Primary

Gaelic

Highly commended

Haroon Majid

Braidbar Primary

French

Highly commended

Stephanie Mackay-Watt

Goodlyburn Primary

Gaelic

P5-P7

Winner

Isobel Ross

Braidbar Primary

BSL

Highly commended

Evelina Finkova

Goodlyburn Primary

Gaelic

S1-S3

Winner

Rona Bryden

Loudoun Academy

German

Highly commended

Anna d’Alessio

Bishopbriggs Academy

Italian

Highly commended

Alistair Hillis

Jordanhill

Mandarin

S4-S6

Winner

Lewis Fleming

St Thomas Aquinas

Spanish

Highly commended

Anya Jarvis

Loudoun Academy

French

Highly commended

Ellie McGill

Carrick Academy

French

 

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

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

Congratulations again to all our finalists!

Glasgow Film Festival 2021

23 February 2021 (Glasgow Film Festival)

Glasgow is one of the friendliest film festivals on the planet with a wide-ranging programme that celebrates every corner of world cinema and provides a fantastic showcase for the best of Scottish film. The 2021 edition will take place from Wednesday 24 February to Sunday 7 March.

There are several foreign language screenings available for learners to practise listening skills.

If you haven't already secured your tickets, visit the website for full programme details and buy now.

Read more...

Fears language degrees at risk as Erasmus replacement focuses on UK trade agenda

19 February 2021 (The Guardian)

The dramatic fall in students taking language degrees in the UK could accelerate if the government fails to fund the year abroad in Europe after next year, universities are warning.

Students of modern languages have to spend their third year studying or working abroad in order to pass their degree, and academics say this is the main attraction of many courses. Now, with the UK no longer taking part in the EU Erasmus scheme, there are fears for the future of the traditional European year abroad and for many language courses, with 2020 admissions already down 38% on 10 years ago.

About 15,000 British students a year, across all subjects, used Erasmus to travel to universities in Europe for three to 12 months during their degree. But the universities minister, Michelle Donelan, said earlier this month that Erasmus did not offer “value for money” for taxpayers.

Instead, the government’s replacement programme, the £110m Turing scheme, has a new emphasis on “worldwide” rather than European travel, to countries such as Australia or the US. It is only a one-year commitment, running from September 2021 to August 2022, which leaves a big question mark over placements starting next autumn – when those now in their first year of a language course will be due to set off abroad.

Prof Adam Watt, head of modern languages and cultures at the University of Exeter, a member of the Russell group, says: “If I’m an 18-year-old signing up to do a language degree now, I want to know I’ll have a guaranteed place on a year abroad in two years’ time with financial support. But we can’t make that promise. We can’t confirm there is definitely a scheme in place.”

Language degrees have taken a battering, with numbers of modern language undergraduates more than halving between 2008-9 and 2017-18, and universities fear the current uncertainty could cause even more serious damage. According to the admissions service, Ucas, 3,830 students were accepted on to modern language degrees in 2020, down 38% from 6,165 in 2010. At least nine modern languages departments have closed in the past decade.

Read more...

Arabic, Roma and Spanish on offer as Bhasha Glasgow Language Festival events revealed

18 February 2021 (Glasgow Evening Times)

From learning a few words to communicate with Roma neighbours to finding out more about British Sign Language - the Bhasha Glasgow language festival has lots to offer lockdown learners.

Now in its third year, the event takes place online from February 21 to 27.

A celebration of the city’s many languages and the people who speak them, this year’s festival is being hosted by the Thriving Places Govanhill initiative.

The week is jam packed with free daily activities that will explore Glasgow’s linguistic heritage and the vital role of its multilingual citizens, including quizzes, interactive language sessions, talks, and a radio show.

Read more...

SCILT spring newsletter - send us your stories!

16 February 2021 (SCILT)

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

We are currently taking submissions for our spring 2021 newsletter. This is a great opportunity to promote what has been happening in your school or local authority with regard to languages. This could cover work going on in schools before Christmas, as well as innovative projects taking place during school closures, Languages Week Scotland celebrations or other languages initiatives. 

We are looking for articles of a maximum of 300 words, with a couple of colourful photos. The deadline for contributions is Friday 12th March 2021.

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

Read more...

British Council Language Assistants 2021-22

16 February 2021 (British Council)

The British Council Language Assistants programme is delighted to announce the launch of the 2021-22  application window. The deadline for requests is April 30 and this date will be final. There are several changes to the programme for the coming year as a result of external circumstances so please read through all the information on the website. We will be organising online information sessions in the coming weeks so watch this space.

Also, follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Languageasst

Read more...

SCILT Lessons from Lockdown Learning

4 February 2021 (SCILT)

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

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

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

Language education in Europe: the impact of Covid - Take part in the survey!

2 February 2021 (ECML)

The Covid pandemic has had – and is continuing to have - a profound impact on most of our activities, not least on language education. The ECML, in cooperation with its Professional Network Forum, is today launching a Europe-wide project to gather information and exchange views on how language educators are coping with the challenges, and to reflect on the lessons to be learnt from their experiences.

The first step is a survey addressed especially to language educators, though administrators, language students and parents are also welcome to contribute to it. Visit the ECML website to access the survey and submit responses by 28 February 2021.

Read more...

Speaking removed from modern languages qualifications

29 January 2021 (TESS)

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

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

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

Read more...

Express Yourself in Lockdown

21 January 2021 (British Council)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Language learning in lockdown

21 January 2021 (British Council)

Has lockdown affected the way you teach languages? 

We heard from teachers in a range of different contexts on how they’ve worked to make sure that young people can still increase their knowledge and skills, whether they are learning, in class, at home or online. Recording of the webinar held on 20 January 2021 is available on the British Council website.

Read more...

Languages Week Scotland 2021 - Using film to teach languages

21 January 2021 (Screen Scotland)

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

SCILT professional learning leaflet

21 January 2021 (SCILT)

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

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

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Read more...

Four tips for learning language through film and TV

14 January 2021 (The Conversation)

Films and TV shows can be great tools to help you become a more competent speaker of another language. By captivating your attention and arousing your curiosity, these formats can instil a positive attitude towards learning. They can also help you be a more active participant and keep you motivated to spend more time on language-related tasks.

There are a host of wonderful and gripping series and films available at our fingertips, from Netflix’s Spanish drama La Casa de Papel (Money Heist, which is the streaming site’s most watched non-English language show) to film classics like Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita or last year’s Oscar winner, the Korean film Parasite.

Learning a language this way, however, is easier said than done. I’m sure many of us have made it to the end of a gripping Scandi noir without actually learning much. So here are four tips to help you make the most of language learning through TV and film.

Read more...

World of Languages

14 January 2021 (Stride Magazine)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

SEET's Our World project update

11 January 2021 (SEET)

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

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

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

Read more...

Languages Week Scotland

7 January 2021 (SCILT)

Languages Week Scotland 2021 will take place during the week 1–5 February. The theme is ‘Celebrating Scotland’s languages landscape’ and the aim is to amplify the voices of people, organisations and events that celebrate multilingualism and the many ways it manifests in Scottish communities. 

Follow the hashtag #scotlandloveslanguages or the dedicated Twitter account @LangsWeekScot to find out what is happening or to share anything you will do with your learners to mark the week.

Schools can download the Languages Week Scotland logo from the SCILT website (Resources for Languages Week Scotland). Please add to emails and other promotional materials to show your support. 

Keep your eye out for daily challenges from 1-5 February, which will engage learners whether in the classroom or at home.

Why are we learning languages in a closed world?

6 January 2021 (BBC)

Language learning spiked during lockdowns, commercial providers say. But when no-one can travel, and the job market looks unstable, why have people turned toward language now?

When the UK’s second lockdown hit in November, I was learning to decipher a Luwian curse.

Luwian, a language spoken and written in ancient Turkey some 3,000 years ago, may not seem like the most obvious choice for a new hobby. It survives mainly in the form of enigmatic symbols carved into scattered rock monuments. But spending a couple of hours a week cracking this code, under the guidance of a Luwian expert, turned out to be an almost magical form of stress relief. I’d signed up to the course shortly before the lockdown, and after each session, I felt that ­my mind had been cut loose from endless pandemic-related worries, and was free to roam and discover – if only for an evening.

As obscure as Luwian may be, my urge to explore a foreign language was right on trend in 2020. During the first lockdown in March, user numbers for language-learning apps including Duolingo, Memrise and Rosetta Stone rocketed, according to data from the companies. Duolingo reported a 300% jump in new users. The numbers generally eased over the summer, but saw another bump during the second lockdown. While Spanish, French and German were popular choices, Brits also tried out a wide range of other languages. The uptake of Welsh and Hindi soared, for example, with learners citing brain stimulation, cultural interest and family ties as motivating factors. Cultural curiosity also boosted the popularity of Japanese.

Of all the pursuits people have adopted amid the pandemic – making sourdough, working on screenplays – learning a language may seem like an odd choice. After all, the world is effectively closed, with much of international travel off limits. And even for those hoping that language learning could improve their career prospects, the job market remains unstable, with some in no position to change careers. But turning to language may be able to uniquely connect us to something many have longed to feel again.

Read more...

Bonjour Europe: Britons are turning to learning languages like never before

26 December 2020 (The Guardian)

With our exit from the European Union just days away, we should be saying a very firm and British goodbye. Yet for many in the UK, it seems that on the eve of departure it is more a case of au revoir.

The number of people learning a language in Britain has risen twice as fast as the rest of the world in the last year, according to online learning platform Duolingo, and one of the fastest growing groups is those learning French.

Thousands more are learning Spanish, German, Italian, or other EU languages – with some of them hoping to improve their language skills to a level where they qualify for citizenship of a European country.

Maxine Brown, a 27-year-old second year economics student, has been learning Danish for the last six months with the intention of moving to Denmark to pursue a postgraduate degree and work in environmental projects.

“I’m interested in the resource side of economics and Denmark is really leading the way,” she said. “So I started learning Danish in May. Very quickly I was able to start reading newspapers and I joined online forums to really immerse myself and started listening to the radio to pick up the tones and the sounds.”

Since British citizens will no longer have the right to live and work in EU countries after 31 December, Brown will need to pay tuition fees in full and needs a residence permit which requires a grasp of Danish.

Read more...

Cook and learn with Linguacuisine

8 December 2020 (Linguacuisine)

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

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

Read more...

Related Files

Mathématiques sans Frontières

7 December 2020 (University of the West of Scotland)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Files

SCILT Christmas 2020 webpage - now live!

4 December 2020 (SCILT)

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

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

Read more...

Pandemic a wake-up call on language learning decline across English-speaking world

1 December 2020 (British Academy)

The COVID-19 crisis demonstrates how essential foreign language skills are to international cooperation and highlights the need for anglophone nations to step up language learning, the British Academy warns today in an unprecedented joint statement with organisations from the USA, Canada and Australia.

Published today, The Importance of Languages in Global Context calls on governments, policy makers, educators and industry to take “concerted, systematic and coordinated” action to increase capacity for easily accessible education in a broad range of languages.

The statement is signed by the British Academy, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Australian Academy of the Humanities, the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and the Royal Society of Canada.

The academies highlight the key role that language skills play in international cooperation, especially during global crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic when researchers, governments and healthcare workers need to share accurate information. However, anglophone nations are not producing enough speakers of languages other than English to meet 21st-century needs and are not doing enough to support those who are already multilingual to use and develop their valuable skills.

Read more...

SCILT Winter 2020 newsletter published

27 November 2020 (SCILT)

The latest edition of the SCILT newsletter is here! Read about SCILT’s work to support the learning and teaching of languages, including our professional learning offer, our motivating competitions and our programme of support during school closures. Find out how schools celebrated European Day of Languages, and hear from local authorities about their latest inspiring initiatives. There is also the opportunity to read about the work our partners have been doing to support language learning in Scotland.

Read more...

Making Space for Languages (1 October) – Event recordings now available!

26 November 2020 (SCILT)

We are delighted to confirm the recently launched toolkit for Phase Two of our ERASMUS+ project, Generation Global, now includes recordings of the sessions that took place at the virtual launch event on 1 October. Entitled Making Space for Languages, the event brought together education professionals, from a range of organisations and backgrounds, to discuss the importance of languages and intercultural studies to all fields of study.

As well as compelling contributions by Fhiona Mackay (Director of SCILT), Laurence Findlay (Director of Education and Children’s Services, Aberdeenshire Council), Louise Glen (Senior Education Officer for Languages, Education Scotland), Dr Paul Hare (Professional Development Officer, SCILT) and partners from Denmark and Norway, visitors to the website will be able to view a fascinating panel discussion involving professionals from a broad range of academic disciplines, all of whom agree that a knowledge of languages gives an extra dimension across the full spectrum of careers.

Read more...

Changes to Visiting Assessment Arrangements for National Qualifications

26 November 2020 (SQA)

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

Visit the SQA website for more information.

Read more...

SEET's Our World project

24 November 2020 (SEET)

SEET's logo

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

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

Read more...

Inside the MFL Student Mentoring Project

20 November 2020 (British Council)

The MFL Student Mentoring Project was designed as a response to the ongoing decline in the number of learners choosing to study a (modern foreign) language past the compulsory stage of KS3 in Wales. 

The project focuses on changing attitudes and perceptions of languages by training undergraduate students in four Welsh universities ( Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea) to mentor Year 8 and 9 learners (12-14 years old) in Welsh secondary schools to appreciate the value and benefits of language learning. The scheme has inspired the development of comparable projects in the UK.

Find out more on the British Council Wales website.

Read more...

2020 Virtual Language Show. Now available on catch-up!

17 November 2020 (Language Show Live)

If you weren't able to join this year's online Language Show which took place 13-15 November, all the brilliant speakers can now be watched on-demand and entirely free of charge.

Read more...

4 quick and easy ways to make language learning fun

14 November 2020 (TES)

Why can't a student have a three-eyed cat at home? After all, if it makes language learning fun and engaging it should be welcomed, says this teacher.

It really doesn’t matter where I get my hair cut, or what remains of it at least.

As a French and Spanish teacher, the response is inevitable as soon as the stylist asks what I do. “Ooh, I’m jealous. I did French at school and I wish I’d kept it up, but I wasn’t interested when I was younger.”

At this point, I imagine many language teacher colleagues across the globe are nodding their head, all too familiar with having to justify their subject’s place in the curriculum to students and, occasionally, even to school administrators.

In a world where a rapidly growing number of people use English as a second language and where translation technology is progressing, justifying the need for language learning to unmotivated learners is increasingly difficult.

Yet as practitioners, we know second language acquisition is beneficial to the learner in so many ways. Research has shown motivation may be the second most important factor in successful language acquisition after aptitude.

So, what can we do to motivate our learners during the short time we have with them, and leave them with positive experiences in language learning?

(Note - Subscription required to access full article).

Read more...

Six in ten UK adults wish they’d kept up the foreign language they studied at school

12 November 2020 (British Council)

A YouGov survey of more than 2000 UK adults was commissioned by the British Council to mark International Education Week, which runs from 16 to 20 November, as part of its work to advocate for the learning of modern foreign languages in the UK. This year’s programme of events has moved online with a series of webinars, activities and resources accessible from anywhere in the world.

  • British Council survey finds that 66 per cent of UK adults did not appreciate benefits of studying a foreign language when they were at school;
  • 64 per cent wish they had kept up the foreign language they studied and 58 per cent regret not spending more time studying;
  • 10 per cent of UK adults tried learning a language during the first lockdown period, with smartphone apps the most popular study method;
  • 66 per cent think languages should be compulsory at primary school and 79 per cent at secondary school;
  • Spanish, French and Mandarin Chinese considered the top three most important languages for young people to learn.

Read more...

“A guide to teacher competences for languages in education”: New resource website for teacher educators and designers of teacher education programmes

12 November 2020 (ECML)

The European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) of the Council of Europe is pleased to announce the completion in both English and French of its resource website “A guide to teacher competences for languages in education”, an output of the ECML programme “Languages at the heart of learning” (2016-2019).

This comprehensive resource platform has been developed for teacher educators and those responsible for teacher education programmes. It provides an overview of frameworks and descriptions of language teacher competences in various contexts, as well as national and regional standards or guidelines for all teachers working in public education. Having considered the overview, users can then examine more closely those frameworks that are potentially useful to them in their specific roles.

Read more...

Our World film making project

12 November 2020 (SEET)

SEET logo

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

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

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

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

Read more...

IDL and languages in primary: November Bitesize

11 November 2020 (SCILT)

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

The November Bitesize event looks at examples of using an IDL approach to support language teaching and learning in the primary classroom.

Visit our Bitesize webpage to find out more about the session taking place on Wednesday 25 November and to register.

Read more...

ELAPSE project resources

10 November 2020 (LFEE)

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

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

Read more...

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

6 November 2020 (SQA)

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

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

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

Read more...

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

5 November 2020 (TES)

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

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

(Note - subscription required to access full article).

Read more...

uTalk Language Games

5 November 2020 (uTalk)

image of uTalk platform

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Language GCSEs biased against poor pupils, say teachers

29 October 2020 (TES)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Action on climate change

26 October 2020 (British Council)

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

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

Read more...

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

22 October 2020 (British Council)

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

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

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

Read more...

In Short, Europe ESCAPE

18 October 2020 (EUNIC London)

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

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

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

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

International Education Week 2020

8 October 2020 (British Council)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This event will include the following presentations:

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

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

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

Followed by Q&A and discussion.

Register for the webinar on the British Council website.

EDL 2020 - how did you celebrate?

1 October 2020 (SCILT)

How did you celebrate European Day of Languages this year? 

Email us a short description and some photos of your activities, and we will feature you in our EDL blog for 2020. We may even include your story in our next SCILT newsletter. 

We already have our first blog entries uploaded, be sure to take a look!

Read more...

MTOT is back!

1 October 2020 (SCILT)

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

Read more...

Action research communities for language teachers: new ECML resource website

28 September 2020 (ECML)

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

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

Read more...

Why it’s great Scotland is bucking the trend on learning languages

26 September 2020 (The National)

In a report entitled Breaking the Language Barrier, published by Reform Scotland in October 2018, it is noted that the UK Government estimates poor language skills cost the economy £48 billion annually, equivalent to 3.5% of GDP. While Anglophone countries often dismiss other languages, Scotland is demonstrating an appetite to turn the tide.

The flagship for change is the Scottish Government’s 1+2 policy, launched in 2012, providing children with the opportunity to learn a first additional language from primary one and a second from primary five. Seven years later, the 1+2 generation is now starting secondary school.

There are already encouraging signs at Higher level, where, according to recent research by Dr Hannah Doughty on trends over a seven-year period, languages as a whole enjoy a higher percentage uptake than biology or physics.

Further encouragement comes from Holyrood. Ivan McKee, the Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, recently stated that: “It is essential we inspire young people to learn languages, to provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to take full advantage of opportunities in our fast-changing world.”

Crucial here is that McKee mentions “skills”. Languages are not simply about the ability to move between tongues, mechanically expressing information and ideas. Arguably the greatest benefit from the study of languages lies not in their mastery, but in other skills acquired on the journey.

Read more...

EU 'CATAPULT' project latest developments

25 September 2020 (TELLConsult)

The latest developments in the EU Project 'CATAPULT' - Computer-Assisted Training And Platforms to Upskill Language for Specific Purposes (LSP) Teachers include the realisation of the beta version of the project's Teachers' Community of Practice (CoP) ‘LinguaCoP’. This platform supports LSP teachers to find and share resources and tips and with its matching tool ‘LinguaClick’ facilitates professionals to offer their services, also internationally.

View this short presentation video to see what this online CoP has in store for you and become a member for free.

Furthermore we gladly announce the start of the second (revised) edition of the free online course (MOOC) based on the LSP competence framework on October 10, 2020. Watch this video to get a sneak peek at what course participants can expect. Those interested can already register here

More information about these and other project developments can be found on the website or by following @ProjectCatapult on Twitter.

Read more...

26 September: The European Day of Languages

25 September 2020 (ECML)

Statement by Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić

Strasbourg, 25.09.2020 – At the Council of Europe’s initiative, the European Day of Languages has been celebrated every year since 2001 on 26 September - together with the European Commission. “The European Day of Languages gives us an opportunity to value and promote all languages and cultures in Europe. This year we are putting special focus on inclusive language education, which supports all learners to reach their potential and play an active part in diverse and democratic societies”, declared Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić.

Background information on the Day

It is estimated that there are over 225 indigenous languages in Europe, without even including languages which have arrived on the continent through migration.

The specific aims of the EDL are to:

  • raise awareness of the importance of language learning in order to increase plurilingualism and intercultural understanding;
  • promote the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe;
  • encourage lifelong language learning in and out of school.

The Council of Europe and the European Commission work closely together on the co-ordination of the Day.

The dedicated website, which is available in 39 languages, provides details of the hundreds of events taking place in celebration of the Day, as well as a wide variety of resources and activities for everyone interested in languages and language learning. A new app, created specifically for the 2020 Day, encourages users to carry out a series of language challenges thereby developing further competence and confidence in using different languages.

Contact: Giuseppe Zaffuto, Spokesperson/Media officer, tel. +33 3 90 21 56 04

Competition: ‘Rethinking Languages through COVID-19’

24 September 2020 (MLOE)

The competition invites Year 9 language students (S2 in Scotland)  to do a little bit of research on how COVID-19 has affected an area in which a language other than English is spoken. This could be a language you speak outside of school, are learning independently, or are studying in school. 

Students can work individually or in groups up to four to produce a poster submission based on their discoveries. Further guidelines and information about the competition can be found on the Modern Languages Outreach and Engagement website. Submission deadline: 18 December 2020.

Read more...

European Day of Languages 2020 - competition for schools

21 September 2020 (ALL)

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

Submission deadline: Wednesday 7 October 2020.

Visit the ALL website for more information.

Read more...

Our World film making project

17 September 2020 (SEET)

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

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

Visit the SEET Our World webpage for more information.

Read more...

All the World is Our Stage: Primary Pupils Never Lost in Translanguaging

14 September 2020 (Creative Multilingualism)

This OWRI-funded project celebrates linguistic diversity and reflects on the multilingual, multicultural and superdiverse society represented in Glasgow today. This multilingual performance supports the teaching and learning journey of primary schooling in non-affluent areas of the city. Pupils work together to choose traditional songs and rhymes and script a multilingual play.

Recordings of a webinar series about the project and associated resources are now available on the Creative Multilingualism website. An article about the project can also be found in TECLA Issue 1/2020 (page 11), the magazine resource for Spanish language learning in the classroom.

Read more...

SCILT winter newsletter - send us your stories!

11 September 2020 (SCILT)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

University of Edinburgh short language courses

7 September 2020 (University of Edinburgh)

The University of Edinburgh offers a range of language courses for adult learners and is now enrolling for the autumn classes commencing week beginning 5 October 2020.

With a wide range of language options, whether you are an absolute beginner or have studied and used the language for several years there will be a course for you. All classes will be taught remotely and synchronously.

Visit the website for more information and to book your place.

Read more...

Languages beyond school

4 September 2020 (SCILT)

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

Read more...

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

4 September 2020 (SCILT)

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

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

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

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

Interested?   

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

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

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

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

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

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

European Day of Languages 2020 - how are you celebrating?

3 September 2020 (SCILT)

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

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

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

Read more...

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

28 August 2020 (SCILT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

The British Academy responds to 2020 A levels data

13 August 2020 (British Academy)

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

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

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

Read more...

Related Links

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

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

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

Turn on the TV to boost your lockdown language learning

10 August 2020 (SW Londoner)

Watching more TV could be the key to language learning for the two-thirds of the UK population unable to speak anything but English.

Two British polyglots who between them speak more than 65 languages, agreed that popular culture was key to learning a language.

Alex Rawlings, 28, a journalist and documentary filmmaker from Ham, said: “Language learning shouldn’t be: ‘I’m learning French because I want to learn all the irregular verbs’, it should be ‘I’m learning French because I want to understand this amazing detective series better and if I don’t speak French I’m going to miss out on it’.

“That’s essentially how English is learnt in other countries – it’s very deeply embedded in popular culture, so people take it for granted that they’re going to learn English.”

Richard Simcott, 43, the languages director for the Social Element who grew up in Chester, said: “Children from Scandinavia particularly learn very very quickly that people don’t speak their language, and they have TV in English, their films tend to be in English with subtitles.

“When they go to school they don’t start with ‘hello, my name is’, they go straight into literature.”

Neither Mr Rawlings nor Mr Simcott live in the UK anymore – Mr Rawlings has been living in Barcelona since 2018, and Mr Simcott calls North Macedonia home.

Mr Rawlings, who currently speaks 15 languages, was crowned the UK’s most multilingual student in 2012, after starting to teach himself languages at the age of 14 (although he was speaking Greek with his mother by age 8).

He said: “I really can’t imagine my life without speaking languages.

“When you speak multiple languages you can go anywhere in the world, you have all sorts of opportunities, you have a very different feeling about foreign places… they become less foreign, because you understand what’s going on.”

Read more...

Will the UK ever love foreign-language pop?

5 August 2020 (The Guardian)

Three summers ago, Despacito’s lilting Spanish lyrics dominated the UK charts, but since then nearly all pop hits have been in English. Is it just a language barrier – or a sign of a narrow culture?

In 2017, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s huge No 1 summer hit Despacito seemed to herald a new age where the domination of the English language in western pop was eroding. Global streaming has since allowed for the overwhelming popularity of slick K-pop titans BTS, the doleful flamenco flourishes of Spanish artist Rosalía and the multilingual Nigerian superstar Burna Boy among others, suggesting that, at last, non-English-language hits are moving beyond novelties such as The Ketchup Song and Dragostea Din Tei.

But three summers on from Despacito, the UK remains dominated by English-language pop. Latin music hasn’t had nearly the same impact here as in the US, and Christine and the Queens’ “Ne me cherche pas, je ne suis plus la, baby” was a very rare burst of French on British radio, via Gone, her hit song with Charli XCX last year.

Read more...

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...

Be a positive messenger - Homework challenge: Refugees and migrants

17 June 2020 (British Council)

Inspired by Refugee Week’s 20 Simple Acts campaign, we’ve created a homework challenge to help your pupils find out more about the lives of migrants and refugees, show support, and celebrate the contributions they make to societies around the world. The pack offers the chance to explore other cultures and languages.

Read more...

Language learning needs to be protected from becoming a casualty of coronavirus

12 June 2020 (iNews)

With travel limited and schools closed, our ability to speak to the world is under threat.

When learning a new language, you begin with the words you would normally need every day: words for meeting people, going to cafés and restaurants, asking for the way to the station. Now – in a world where a summer holiday, let alone living abroad, feels like a fading possibility – that rule seems ironic.

While terms like self-isolation and social distancing have become basic vocabulary in English, those classic foreign phrases have evoked a strange sort of wanderlust, tainted by a festering frustration.

With millions of pupils now staying at home until September at the earliest – language degrees and lessons could be among the most disrupted – and foreign travel affected for the foreseeable future, it is vital our ability to talk to the world does not turn into another casualty of coronavirus.

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...

Coffee Break Conversations: Season preview

10 June 2020 (Radio Lingua)

Coffee Break Conversations is a new podcast in which we talk about life, learning and languages. Over the past 14 years, Coffee Break Languages podcasts have helped millions of language learners around the world learn French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Swedish and English. In this new podcast we’re going to be having conversations with some of these learners.

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...

Creative Multilingualism: A Manifesto

20 May 2020 (University of Oxford)

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

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

Read more...

British Council Campaign

19 May 2020 (UCML)

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

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

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

Read more...

Shadow Heroes

13 May 2020 (RSA)

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

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

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

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

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

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...

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

12 May 2020 (Scotdec)

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

See the course leaflet for more information. 

Register for the course on the Eventbrite webpage. 

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

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

7 May 2020 (ECML)

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

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

Read more...

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!

SCILT Spring 2020 newsletter published

7 May 2020 (SCILT)

The latest edition of the SCILT newsletter has been published. Read about SCILT’s work to support the learning and teaching of languages, including our professional learning partnerships, our support for DYW and our new 'Discovering the Arabic World' initiative. Find out how schools celebrated Languages Week Scotland, and hear from local authorities about their latest inspiring initiatives. There is also the opportunity to read about the work our partners have been doing to support language learning in Scotland.

Read more...

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!

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...

SCILT's languages lockdown playlist

23 April 2020 (SCILT/CISS)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

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...

Survey - Language learning across the lifespan

20 April 2020 (University of Edinburgh)

The University of Edinburgh is hoping to gather the opinions and experiences of both teachers and students in language learning classrooms across the lifespan. The survey should not take more than 10/15 minutes to complete.

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

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...

Coronavirus: top tips on how to learn a language in lockdown

5 April 2020 (The Herald)

Here is some secret good news. Even with planes grounded, borders closing and a deadly virus stalking the planet you can take an exciting journey that will take you right under the skin of other nations and cultures. And from the comfort of your own home. How? By learning another language. 

To be fair, thousands of people in lockdown have figured this out. A lot are dusting down old textbooks or downloading the phone app Duolingo. But can you really learn to speak "foreign" without leaving your house? Can your children? Can you or your family refresh or improve existing skills.

The short answer is yes – thanks to the internet and its incredible resources, especially teachers using Skype, Zoom or other video links.

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...

Scottish Languages Employability Award - apply now!

2 April 2020 (SCILT/CISS)

The Scottish Languages Employability Award (SLEA) celebrates innovation by schools in promoting languages and employability together through partnerships with businesses, public bodies and third sector organisations. The award, which is available initially at bronze, silver and gold levels, supports teachers in raising awareness of the importance of languages in their school community.  

For full guidelines, case studies and futher information visit the SLEA page on the SCILT website.

The next deadline for submissions is Friday 15 May 2020

Read more...

uTalk Language Games

1 April 2020 (uTalk)

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

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

Read more...

Addressing the needs of language professionals in times of Covid-19: new ECML resource website “e-lang”

31 March 2020 (ECML)

Are you a language teacher in upper secondary or in the university sector now adapting to the challenge of delivering your classes online? Would you like to discover motivating real-world tasks for your learners which will help develop their learner autonomy?

Are you a language teacher educator looking for creative ways to develop your teachers’ digital literacy skills, so that they in turn can support their language learners?

Are you a language researcher, interested in pedagogies based on social interaction?

If so, this new open-access resource website, developed through expert cooperation in the field of language education across geographic Europe and beyond, is most definitely for you.

Read more...

Five exciting challenges launched for Year 12 students

26 March 2020 (University of Cambridge)

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

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

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

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

WATCH: How can you home school your children effectively during the coronavirus crisis?

24 March 2020 (East Anglian Daily Times)

With schools closed to all but the children of key workers and the vulnerable, one educator has released a handy guide of how to home school successfully. Watch the video online.

[..] Rosetta Stone is offering children free language classes for three month, while British Sign is offering British Sign Language (BSL) classes online for just £3 for students or those struggling financially during the coronavirus crisis.

Read more...

COVID-19: SCILT and CISS update

24 March 2020 (SCILT/CISS)

Given last week's announcement about the cancellation of the exam diet, the SCILT and CISS teams are refocusing their efforts on supporting the BGE. Officers are currently collating high quality, freely available, online materials into an easily accessible section of the SCILT website. Teachers, parents and youngsters  will be able, therefore, to find interesting resources and activities in a range of languages, appropriate to their age and stage, all in one place. As you can imagine, this is a huge task, but we are determined to have it completed by mid-April. 

In addition, we are currently in discussion with our friends at e-Sgoil so we can provide live streamed classes in Mandarin suitable for beginners in both primary and secondary school stages of the BGE. More news about this and other language learning opportunities via e-Sgoil will be announced nearer the time. 

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on ​Facebook

Sign up to our e-bulletin

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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

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.

Read more...

Exclusive: DfE funds undergrad MFL GCSE volunteer force

28 February 2020 (TES)

The Department for Education has backed a deployment of specially trained undergraduate MFL mentors in secondary schools designed to boost the number of pupils studying languages at GCSE.

The Language Horizons Mentoring Scheme, which is led by Cardiff University's School of Modern Languages, has been awarded a £430,000 grant from the DfE and involves degree students are working with Year 8 and 9 students either through face-to-face or digital sessions.

[..] During a recent pilot in ten schools in South Yorkshire, 53 per cent of students who took part went