Latest News

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


German

French and German GCSEs to be marked less harshly, Ofqual rules

5 November 2019 (The Guardian)

French and German GCSEs are to be marked less severely from next year amid concerns that students are being put off studying modern foreign languages (MFL) because it is more difficult to get top grades in these than in other subjects.

The qualifications regulator Ofqual has ruled there should be an adjustment to grading standards in French and German GCSEs – entries for which have declined dramatically – but not in Spanish where numbers have been more buoyant.

The government also announced a review of the content of its recently reformed GCSEs in MFL after complaints from teachers that some of the questions are too difficult – particularly in listening and reading assessments – and may be discouraging students.

Ofqual said there were no plans to adjust GCSE grades retrospectively, but the regulator will now work with the examination boards in the run-up to next year’s exam season to bring the grading of French and German GCSEs in line with other subjects.

School leaders welcomed the move and called for a comparable adjustment in languages at A-level, where there has been a similar decline. The GCSE grading adjustments may need to be phased in over a longer period, and will affect grades 4 and above.

“We have conducted a thorough review of the evidence that GCSE French, German and Spanish are severely graded in comparison to other subjects,” an Ofqual statement said. “On the balance of the evidence we have gathered, we have judged that there is a sufficiently strong case to make an adjustment to grading standards in French and German, but not Spanish.”

The Ofqual announcement comes amid mounting concern about the dramatic decline in the study of modern foreign languages in schools in England over the past 15 years, with entries for language GCSEs down 48%. German has declined by 65%, while French is down by 62%.

Read more...

FOKUS: Films from Germany 2019-20

30 October 2019 (Goethe-Institut)

The fifth edition of FOKUS: Films from Germany runs from 21 November 2019 to 31 January 2020. Screenings will take place at various venues throughout Scotland. The programme includes two school screenings of 'the Resistance'. The film is suitable for pupils aged 12+ and is screened in German with English subtitles.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for full programme details.

Read more...

School competitions for learners of German

28 October 2019 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut currently has the following opportunities for schools teaching German. Click on the relevant link for more information:

Visit the main Goethe-Institut website for more information about the organisation and the full range of activities offered.

Read more...

Get ready for Hallowe'en!

25 October 2019 (Various)

A selection of spooktastic activities to celebrate Hallowe’en in the languages classroom:

The Ramshorn and Graveyard Digital Trail - now available!

23 October 2019 (SCILT)

If you find yourself in the Merchant City area of Glasgow why not complete our new 'The Ramshorn and Graveyard' digital trail? Pupils from Glasgow Gaelic School, Holyrood Secondary, Shawlands Academy and St Roch's Secondary worked with SCILT and Global Treasure Apps to create a multilingual trail around the new SCILT and CISS premises. The trail encourages visitors to learn about the history of the area by following clues set by the pupils, and gives people the chance to test their language skills.

The Ramshorn and Graveyard Digital Trail is available to download from Global Treasure Apps in Arabic, English, French, Gaelic, German, Italian, Mandarin, Polish, Spanish and Urdu.

Find Global Treasure Apps on the App store or Google Play

Read more...

If Britain’s young love Europe so much why aren’t they learning the lingo?

18 October 2019 (Life Spectator)

Most of my friends are moderate Remainers. There’s the odd fanatic, the sort who go on marches demanding a People’s Vote. What I can’t understand is why none of them can speak French, German, or indeed any European language.

They go on holiday to Europe, but only to those parts where they won’t have to speak the lingo because fortunately Johnny Foreigner has had the good sense to learn English.

Something else that confuses me is the belief, most pungently articulated by David Aaronovitch, that Brexit will be reversed in a few years because those stuck-in-the-past Gammons will shuffle off this mortal coil to be replaced in the electorate by a shiny new Briton: young, cosmopolitan and forward-looking, who believe the sun shines out of the Brussels’ class. In which case, why are fewer school children than ever bothering to learn a foreign language?

According to a report in the BBC this year, the learning of foreign languages is at its lowest level in UK secondary schools since the turn of the millennium. Since 2013 there has been a decline of between 30 to 50 per cent in the numbers taking GCSE language courses with German and French suffering most. That’s in England; in Northern Ireland the drop in pupils learning modern languages at GSCE is 40% while in Scotland there has been a 19% decline since 2014. And there was me thinking those two countries couldn’t get enough of all things European.

Furthermore, in March this year the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Modern Languages released a report stating that since 2000 more than fifty UK universities have cut language courses, or done away with departments entirely.

I blame the parents. In 2013 a report revealed that only a quarter of British adults were capable of holding even a basic conversation in a language other than English; of those, French was the most common, followed by German.

Read more...

Königspost German essay competition 2019

16 October 2019 (King's College London)

The Department of German at King's College London are again holding their Königspost essay writing competition for year 12 and 13 students of German (senior phase in Scotland).

Students are invited to write an article in German on the subject of Jugend und Protest. The winning entry will be published in our popular newspaper, the Königspost, and there will be further prizes for the winner and runners-up.

See the attached flyer for full details about the competition and how to enter or visit the website. Submission deadline is 18 November 2019.

Read more...

Related Files

SQA Advanced Higher Languages Course Reports 2019

14 October 2019 (SQA)

SQA has published Advanced Higher Gaelic (Learners), German, Italian and Chinese languages course reports for the 2019 exam diet.

The reports provide information on candidates’ performance.

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

Read more...

German debating competition for secondary schools

10 October 2019 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

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

Read more...

Discovery Film Festival 2019

8 October 2019 (Discovery Film Festival)

This year's Discovery Film Festival takes place from 19 October to 3 November. Now in its sixteenth year, the festival brings another selection of the best films for young audiences from around the world. With several native language films on offer, and a programme for schools, language learners have a great opportunity to test their listening and comprehension skills.

Read more...

Professional Development in Germany

3 October 2019 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut is again able to offer a number of grants to teachers for training in Germany. The offer is aiming at German teachers just embarking on their career, as well as at teachers expanding their commitments to GCSE and A-level. Those who train German language teachers are also able to benefit from the variety of courses.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to apply.

Read more...

Oxford German Olympiad 2020

3 October 2019 (Oxford German Network)

The Oxford German Olympiad competition 2020 is now open!

The 2020 theme is Natur und Technik.

There are four age categories with different competition tasks for each, which can be found on the competition webpage. There is also a category for group/class submissions as well as a Discover German - Taster Competition for those with no prior knowledge of the language.

Visit the website for full details. Submission deadline is 13 March 2020.

Read more...

UK-German Bears Project

1 October 2019 (UK-German Connection)

The UK-German Bears project is a free two-week bilateral programme, which puts pupils not only in touch with Alex, the teddy bear from Germany, but also with a German school class. The German class hosts Ben, the British teddy bear, at the same time as the UK school hosts Alex, making this a fun, interactive way for primary children to learn about each other’s language and culture! 

If you'd like to host the Bears, dates are still available in the 2019-20 academic session.

Visit the website for more information and to register interest.

Read more...

We're losing the language of Goethe, Bach and handshoes

29 September 2019 (TES)

The German language is the widest-spoken in the EU. It is the key to German culture. And, says Hayley Gray, it is at risk of dying out in schools.

Auf Wiedersehen, Deutsch! After 27 years of sharing my love of all things German with thousands of students aged 11-18, I spent this summer shredding materials, donating books and binning years of precious resources. 

In June, I taught my last-ever German lesson. From this September, in addition to my senior leadership role, I will teach only French. It is with a deep sense of regret that I have had to accept that the subject I fell in love with aged 11 – the language of the country I have lived and worked in, travelled extensively around and developed in as a person – will never again appear on my timetable. Nor will it be formally taught at a school whose values and sense of moral purpose I feel equally passionate about.

As a former head of German, I remain as committed as ever to the importance of teaching languages in our schools. But, as a school leader and manager, I also understand the financial challenges facing schools. Once my own school lost its language-college funding a few years back, our language department could no longer afford the luxury of offering three languages to pupils. 

The decision to drop German was driven by numbers, staffing expertise and tightening budgets, and the benefit of learning German was not able to be a consideration. 

We fought a hard battle to retain German. We reduced our time allocation at key stage 5 to sustain smaller group sizes. We joined forces with the history department to introduce a popular Berlin trip. We delivered assemblies, organised cultural events and set up a key stage 3 German club, but to no avail. 

Our school’s decision merely reflects a national trend. GCSE entries in German were down by 12.5 per cent since last year. Coupled with declining numbers at A level and fewer applicants at university level, this means we no longer have the pipeline of teachers entering the profession. We will soon lose our ability to teach certain languages, and German will disappear from our state schools in the same way Latin did.

Soon there will be a shortage of language skills in general among our young people. This will mean the loss of more than just our ability to converse. To quote Charlemagne: “To have another language is to possess a second soul.”

I believe we nurture those second souls in our teaching of languages. The decision to learn a foreign language is an act of self-care and personal discovery. It’s not just a route to better communication, but also an opportunity to get to know yourself better and to consider your values and your culture, the way you operate and think. 

(Subscription required to access full article)

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

19 September 2019 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

Read more...

German debating competition for secondary schools

16 September 2019 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

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

World Wide Napier magazine - call for submissions

10 September 2019 (Edinburgh Napier University)

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

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

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

Related Files

UK-German Connection - Back to School Newsletter 2019

9 September 2019 (UK-German Connection)

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

This edition includes information about the following opportunities:

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

Read more...

German GCSE skiing question highlights 'class biases'

6 September 2019 (TES)

Applies to England

A recent AQA examiners’ report on GCSE German has highlighted middle-class biases in modern foreign language exams, teachers have said.

Ruth Wilkes, principal of Castle Newnham School in Bedford, posted a photograph of the AQA examiners’ report for a GCSE German oral exam, where it was reported that: “Some students struggled to state advantages and/or disadvantages of a skiing holiday.”

Ms Wilkes said the question would put students from poorer families who did not take foreign holidays at a disadvantage.

“Pupils who’ve experienced a ski holiday are much more likely to be able to infer the answer to that particular question than those who haven’t, whatever their proficiency in the language, making such a question particularly unfair,” she said.

Subscription required to read full article

Read more...

Yakety Yak Language Cafés

26 August 2019 (Yakety Yak)

Improve your foreign language conversation in a local café, in a small group with an experienced tutor. 

We meet

  • in the relaxed atmosphere of local cafes and bistros in Edinburgh and Glasgow
  • in small groups of similar level of fluency
  • with a tutor who is a native speaker for each group 
  • each session normally has a minimum of 2 tutors to cater for most abilities
  • No need to book - just drop in. However, if it is your first time with us, we recommend you phone or email us to discuss your level and the best session for you first

Conversation classes commence from 2 September 2019. Visit the website for details of sessions running in both Edinburgh and Glasgow. 

Read more...

What are the most popular subjects in Scotland?

23 August 2019 (TESS)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Note - subscription required to access full article).

Read more...

New job profile on the SCILT website

23 August 2019 (SCILT)

We have job profiles on our website covering a wide range of careers where languages are in use. Our latest addition comes from Stephanie Mitchell, a Civil Servant in the Scottish Government who has previously worked in Europe and Asia, thanks to her language skills. Stephanie shares her experiences and how vital languages have been throughout her life and career. 

Teachers use this resource with your pupils to support the Developing the Young Workforce initiative and highlight the benefits of language learning as a life skill.

Read more...

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

21 August 2019 (UK-German Connection)

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

Key highlights include:

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

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

The deadline for applications is 16 September 2019.

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

Read more...

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

8 August 2019 (The Pie News)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

OU/SCILT primary languages course

31 May 2019 (SCILT/OU)

We are happy to announce that registration is now open for the OU/SCILT primary languages course, which will be running again from October 2019. In light of positive feedback and popularity of the first year of the course, we are now also delighted to offer a second year, post-beginners’ course. The latter would be suitable for those who have successfully completed year 1 and wish to continue their studies, or for those who are looking to begin studying at a more advanced level.

  • The courses will run from October 2019 to July 2020, and will develop language and pedagogy skills; language learning is provided by the Open University and pedagogy is provided by SCILT.  The courses are aligned to the Scottish curriculum and support the 1+2 languages approach.
  • Both courses are delivered online with two opportunities to attend face-to-face day schools. 
  • Learning is very flexible and participants can study at a time and place of their choosing.
  • Each course carries a fee of £252, reflecting the input and student support for the language and pedagogy strands from both organisations.

Funding may be sponsored through your school or Local Authority who can register on your behalf.   Initial registration information must be submitted to the OU by Monday 17 June 2019 and LAs should contact Scotland-Languages@open.ac.uk.  
Students also have the option to fund the fee themselves. In this case, an interested teacher should contact the OU directly at
Scotland-Languages@open.ac.uk.

Here is some further information:

Beginners level

  • will be offered in a choice of four languages - French, German, Spanish and Mandarin plus study of primary pedagogy with direct application in the classroom.
  • takes students to the end of the equivalent to level A1 of the Common European Reference Framework for Languages.
  • allows students to gain 15 university credits for the language study.
  • also gives students the option to gain GTCS recognition for the pedagogy study; all students will receive a certificate on successful completion from SCILT.
  • study hours will be approximately five hours per week, including time spent on the direct application of the new skills in the classroom.

Post-beginners level

  • teachers who have started studying one language in the beginners level of the course would need to continue studying the same language at post-beginners level.
  • teachers who already have some basic knowledge in one of the four languages can directly enrol on the post-beginners level course to further develop their skills in that language and learn about primary languages pedagogy (without having to have studied beginners level).
  • will follow the same format as the beginners level course and will be offered in the same four languages (French, German, Mandarin and Spanish).
  • will teach primary languages pedagogy in more depth and cover:
    • the skills of writing and reading,
    • IDL with a special focus on outdoor learning as well as links with other key subject areas through CLIL,
    • learning and teaching of languages in multilingual contexts/communities.
  • will have the same:
    • number of study hours,
    • assessment structure,
    • accreditation with 15 university credits,
    • optional GTCS recognition for the pedagogy strand, as above ;
  • in their language study, students will reach the equivalent of the end of level A2 of the Common European Reference Framework for Languages (end of post-beginner level).
  • after completing both courses, students would then be in a good position to go on to study one of the standard language courses at the OU should they want to improve their knowledge of the language even further.

Course codes are as follows:

Beginners level

LXT192 French

LXT193 German

LXT197 Mandarin

LXT194 Spanish

Post-beginners level

LXT191 (language choice will come as a second step once students have registered)

New job profile on the SCILT website

9 November 2018 (SCILT)

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

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

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

Read more...

SCHOLAR online tutor sessions for Modern Languages

7 November 2018 (SCHOLAR)

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

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

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

Read more...

Euroquiz

25 October 2018 (SEET)

SEET is delighted to announce that registration is now open for Euroquiz 2018-19!

Euroquiz is an annual project open to all P6 pupils across Scotland, which sees teams of four working together to broaden their knowledge of Europe and the wider world. Subjects covered include languages, history, geography, culture and European affairs. Heats take place in every local authority from January to March, with the winning teams from all areas going forward to the National Euroquiz Final held in the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament in May.

See the attached flyer to find out more about how your school can get involved and visit the website to watch the Euroquiz Highlights Film for a taste of the Euroquiz journey, including interviews with previous participants and teachers.

Read more...

Related Files

Grants for UK-German activities

25 October 2018 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

Read more...

ELAPSE – Embedding Languages across Primary and Secondary Education

23 October 2018 (ALL)

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

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

Read more...

Get ready for Hallowe'en!

23 October 2018 (Various)

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

I woke up unable to speak English

17 October 2018 (BBC)

Hannah Jenkins speaks English in the morning and German in the afternoon. It's not a routine she chose to adopt - but something her brain requires her to do. It all started with a cycling accident.

Her partner Andrew Wilde was halfway up a mountain in the US state of Montana when he received a baffling text from Hannah.

He understood only two words - "dog" and "hospital" - but knew instinctively something was wrong.

The text was in German, a language Hannah had grown up with, but Andrew didn't really understand. They only ever communicated in English.

Read more...

The problem with German

17 October 2018 (The Linguist)

Does the portrayal of Germans by the UK press stop pupils wanting to study the language, asks Heike Krüsemann.

Working as a secondary school German teacher for over two decades, I became more and more aware of how difficult British students seemed to find learning languages. This was playing out against the background of declining language uptake nationally, which has affected German the most. Currently, fewer than half of all 16-year-olds take a language GCSE. The number studying German has fallen by more than a third since 2010, while German A-level entries have dropped by three-quarters since 1997 to just 3,000. Experts now hold that German as a school subject is “headed for extinction”.

What my students heard about German, Germans and Germany often did not square with what they experienced in lessons, or through travel and contact with German people. This made me wonder whether motivation to learn German, including uptake at school, was related to public discourses around German. This question became a research focus of my PhD. The ’school’ part of my study involved just over 500 learners, their German teachers and head teachers from four English secondary schools; the ‘public’ part consisted of a large number of articles about German, Germans and Germany from a range of UK national newspapers.

Read more...

Königspost competition 2018

12 October 2018 (King's College London)

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

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

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

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

Related Files

Grants for professional development in Germany

2 October 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

Read more...

German debating competition for secondary schools

2 October 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

SQA course reports for Advanced Higher Modern Languages 2018

1 October 2018 (SQA)

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

Read more...

SCHOLAR online tutor sessions for Modern Languages

19 September 2018 (SCHOLAR)

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

Read more...

UK-German Connection - Back to School Newsletter 2018

13 September 2018 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

Read more...

Worldwide Napier magazine - Call for contributions

12 September 2018 (Edinburgh Napier University)

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

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

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

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

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DAAD German writing and video competition 2018

10 September 2018 (DAAD)

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

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

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

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

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'Host a Teacher' Programme: free CPD opportunity

10 September 2018 (UK-German Connection)

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

What are the benefits?

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

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

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

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SCHOLAR

3 September 2018 (SCHOLAR)

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

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

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Juvenes Translatores 2018

1 September 2018 (European Commission)

The European Commission has just launched Juvenes Translatores 2018, a translation contest for schools in the European Union. 

Schools wishing to participate must respond by registering electronically on the website between 1 September and 20 October 2018.

Selected schools will be able to enter between two and five students, who must have been born in 2001. Each student can choose to translate from any official EU language into any other official EU language.

Further information, rules and criteria can be found on the Juvenes Translatores website.

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Magical Christmas Trip

21 August 2018 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

There are two options for getting involved:

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

Application deadline: 18 September 2018.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

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Graduate distance learning Diplomas in French or German or Spanish

20 August 2018 (University of Dundee)

New intake: The online Graduate Diplomas in French, German or Spanish are accredited by the General Teaching Council Scotland GTCS for teachers wishing to teach another language. The course runs 2 years part-time and starts in October 2018, University of Dundee.

The courses are taught online and via Skype and suitable for learners with an entry level comparable to a Higher or equivalent.  On completion graduates are expected to be at C1 level (CEFR) .

For further information please see the distance learning page of the University of Dundee website. 

Please contact us at humanities@dundee.ac.uk if you wish to discuss any aspect of the courses, or your application. 

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Learning German is just the job for savvy millennials

18 August 2018 (The Guardian)

Learning European languages may no longer have much cachet among schoolchildren, but for millennials eyeing the job market, German appears to be more attractive than ever. Growing numbers of young adults aged between 18 and 30 in Britain are learning the language of Friedrich Schiller, Christa Wolf and Thomas Mann, according to the Goethe-Institut, with more than 3,000 people signing up for courses run by the cultural institution.

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German courses for the new term

17 August 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

We offer German courses from beginners to advanced levels. If you are a complete beginner or attended a course in the previous semester, you can enrol by phone or online. New students with some previous knowledge are invited to pop in during our Assessment Open Days. 

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information.

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New job profiles on the SCILT website

17 August 2018 (SCILT)

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

We have two new profiles for the start of the new school session:

  • Lorne Gillies is an award winning journalist whose language skills have enabled her to connect with people around the world, whilst helping her understanding of English.
  • Ian Ross is a specialist in international trade and investment. Dealing with several Chinese companies, he tells us cultural awareness is as important as learning the language.

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

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

16 August 2018 (The Guardian)

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

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

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The lessons Gaelic schools can teach us about learning

15 August 2018 (The National)

[..] Gaelic medium education succeeds in producing new generations of fluent Gaelic speakers because, as its name suggests, it makes use of the Gaelic language to teach other subjects. Kids don’t sit in classes where they are taught Gaelic in the same way that French or other foreign languages are taught in schools.

The difference in the fluency level that is achieved is stark. I was taught Gaelic the old-fashioned way, and am the proud possessor of a Gaelic Learner’s O Grade and a Gaelic Learner’s Higher. I was taught Gaelic in much the same way kids in modern Scottish schools are taught French or German, in a dedicated class, a couple of hours a week. The result is that although I can puzzle out a written text in the language and have a reasonably sized Gaelic vocabulary, I struggle to follow a Gaelic conversation and can’t express myself orally.

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Agenda: It's time to take an interest in cool Germania

11 August 2018 (The Herald)

Sometimes it seems there’s a perception that Germany is somehow ... well, boring. Apparently news stories about Germany, even in the Herald, get far fewer views than average ones. But why should Germany be such a journalistic turn-off for readers?

[...] Wherever one stands on Brexit, leaving the EU means that Germany is going to become more important to the UK and to Scotland, not less. Yet fewer and fewer people are learning German. (Which is odd, since, contrary to the widespread myth, it’s a relatively easy language to learn.)

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Fantastic opportunity to get involved in international work

9 August 2018 (YouthLink Scotland)

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

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

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

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

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Spanish exam entries on track to surpass French in English schools

27 June 2018 (The Guardian)

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

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

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Landeskunde German workshops

21 June 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

These workshop at level B1/B2 combine language training in German with topical information on various aspects of German language and culture.

Various dates are available in July, August and September 2018.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to book your place.

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Host a Teacher from Germany

12 June 2018 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

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

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

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International youth event in Berlin: Youth for Peace

7 June 2018 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

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

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150 hours to learn Mandarin – and teach it

7 June 2018 (TES)

Hundreds of primary school teachers will have the chance to learn and teach new languages within seven months, under a scheme being expanded after a successful trial.

The distance-learning programme - the first of its kind in the UK – sees primary teachers study either French, Spanish, German or Mandarin and develop the skills to teach the language in the primary classroom at the same time.

After a pilot involving 54 teachers from 49 Scottish schools across nine local authorities in 2017-18, next year the scheme will be available throughout Scotland. Welsh and Northern Irish schools are also expected to sign up.

Teachers taking part will spend about five hours a week from October to June - around 150 hours in total - but they will start teaching the languages to pupils before completing the course.

The scheme, run by The Open University and SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, will be launched in Edinburgh today.

Read more...

Press Release: Teachers to learn to teach languages in the classroom

7 June 2018 (SCILT/OU)

An innovative scheme teaching primary teachers languages and how to teach those languages to pupils is being expanded across Scotland for the first time. The first of its kind in the UK, the distance learning programme will see primary teachers study French, Spanish, German or Mandarin and develop the skills to teach the language in the classroom at the same time. 

Launching across Scotland today (Thursday 7 June) at an event in Edinburgh where guests will hear from pupils and teachers, the programme is now available to primary school teachers in all local authorities following a successful pilot which featured 54 teachers from 49 schools across nine local authorities in 2017/18. The programme is a partnership between The Open University and SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages based at the University of Strathclyde.

Designed to support the Scottish Government’s ‘1+2’ language policy, which aims to enable all pupils to learn two additional languages from primary level onwards, the programme will link up with the cultural organisations of France, Spain, Germany and China to facilitate immersive summer schools for participating teachers. At the same time, schools will also have the opportunity to make connections with schools in the countries whose language pupils are learning.

Dr Sylvia Warnecke, lecturer in languages and programme lead at The Open University, said:

“The key thing about this programme is its flexibility, meaning that teachers in every part of Scotland – whether urban or rural – will be able to learn together and share their experiences and ideas, helping each other to bring the language they’re learning to life in the classroom.

“We’ve already had teachers from the pilot project tell us that their pupils love it and are really engaged. They have been instrumental in starting after school language clubs and making links with schools in other countries. It’s exciting that all teachers, schools and pupils in every part of Scotland now have the chance to learn together through this programme.”

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT, said:

“We see this as an important collaboration between our two universities, local authorities and teachers. The course is focused on developing teachers’ confidence so they are able to create exciting and motivating lessons for their pupils. In this way we can make sure that languages feature as an integral part of the Scottish curriculum and that youngsters are given their full entitlement to language learning.

“The teachers’ commitment to developing their skills is humbling. Their willingness to embrace their own learning in order to benefit their pupils’ experience highlights the professionalism and dedication that is the mark of the teaching profession.”

Gwen McCrossan, Principal Teacher for 1+2 Languages, Argyll & Bute, said:

“This course is ideal for the geographical situation of Argyll & Bute. We are delighted to be able to take part, as it provides a quality learning experience for teachers who would otherwise find it difficult to access language training. The course is also unique because it is tailor-made for primary school.”

The pilot project has been shortlisted in the partnership category in this year’s Herald Higher Education Awards. Such is the interest in the programme following its pilot phase and ahead of its wider rollout, it is expected that teachers from Wales and Northern Ireland will join the next presentation starting in October 2018.

A short video featuring teachers who participated in the pilot talking about their experience of the programme is available on YouTube.

Further information on how to sign-up for next year's course is available on SCILT's website

Calling all creative minds! Take part in the Together arts competition and bring a WWI project to life

29 May 2018 (UK-German Connection)

Encourage your pupils to take part in the UK-German Together arts project for a chance to have their work published and visit the British Embassy in Berlin for a special event! Led by Never Such Innocence, Together invites young people to submit art work, poetry or songs on the theme of hope and unity inspired by the WW1 Centenary.

The deadline for submitting creative work is Friday, 27 July 2018.

Further details

If you’d like to submit a joint entry with your German partner school, you could apply for funding through the Flexible Funding Scheme – World War 1.

German writing and video competition 2018

23 May 2018 (DAAD)

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

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

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

Read more...

Word Wizard Final 2018: Motivating young people in their language learning

18 May 2018 (SCILT/CISS)

S1-S3 pupils from across Scotland took part in the national final of Word Wizard at the Scottish Parliament on 11 May 2018. Word Wizard is a multilingual spelling competition for pupils learning French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin and Spanish. Forty-eight learners from ten local authorities and independent schools competed in the final in front of an audience of teachers, supporters and guests.
 
Each year pupils and teachers report that the competition increases motivation, enhances language performance and improves attitudes to language learning. Word Wizard promotes literacy skills amongst pupils and helps schools develop partnership working with universities.

A teacher entering pupils into the final commented: “It provided our pupils with a huge sense of motivation and excitement for learning languages.” 

A pupil competing in the final said: “I liked learning new vocabulary and getting to show it off to everyone.”

Word Wizard is organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages based at University of Strathclyde, in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland. 

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT said of the competition: “It’s wonderful to see so many young people taking part in the Word Wizard competition representing a wide range of local authorities. Having an understanding of another language can really transform a person’s life and encourages the development of a whole range of important skills. Through such events, SCILT aims to offer teachers really motivating ways of enhancing the curriculum so that Scottish young people can reap the benefits of learning languages.”

Word Wizard supports the Scottish Government initiative, “Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 approach” by offering a diversity of languages as recommended by the report. The targets laid out in the Scottish Attainment Challenge are about achieving equity in educational outcomes, with a particular focus on closing the poverty-related attainment gap. One of the key drivers is improved literacy. 

In March 2018, 190 pupils from 14 local authorities and independent schools competed in semi-finals in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh to battle it out for a place at the prestigious final. 

Word Wizard is supported by the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland (UCMLS) and the final was sponsored by Joan McAlpine MSP

Full details of the winners and further information on the competition can be found on the SCILT website.

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German courses in Glasgow

16 May 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow has a two-week intensive course during summer, 'Kickstart your German'. The course is designed for complete beginners who want to pick up some of the language quickly. There are also certificate exams taking place in June for those who need evidence of their German language skills.

To find out more, follow the relevant link below:

For more information about the Goethe-Institut and other opportunities and activities they offer, visit their website.

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Host a teacher from Germany

1 May 2018 (UK-German Connection)

Would you like to have authentic German cultural input in your school? Through the Host a Teacher from Germany programme, your school can host a German teacher for two or three weeks during the academic year, at no cost. Offers from UK schools to host teachers from Germany in 2018-19 are now being accepted.

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

Visit the UK-German Connection website and find out how your school could benefit!

Application deadlines: 26 July 2018 / 21 September 2018.

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Competition: Eine Welt für dich und mich

30 April 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

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

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Work shadowing in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany

30 April 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

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

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Tories attack language teaching ‘failures’

26 April 2018 (The Times)

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

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

(Subscription required to read full article).

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Glasgow hotel to teach staff 10 new languages so they can welcome international guests

16 April 2018 (Glasgow Live)

A city centre hotel is extending a warm welcome to guests from all over the world - and in 10 different languages too.

Apex City of Glasgow’s concierge and reception staff are learning key phrases from 10 of the most commonly spoken languages among the hotel’s guests.

The move is part of a #WarmerWelcome project rolled out across Apex hotels, the Bath Street branch included.

Staff will be learning a how to speak in German, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin, Swedish, Norwegian, Japanese and Danish.

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Together arts project for schools

10 April 2018 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

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Worldwide Napier magazine

5 April 2018 (Edinburgh Napier University)

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

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

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THE LANGUAGE MAGICIAN is live!

4 April 2018 (The Language Magician)

THE LANGUAGE MAGICIAN online game was launched at Language World UK on 23 March 2018, and the game with many of its resources are already available on the website – free for teachers to access thanks to Erasmus+ funding.

THE LANGUAGE MAGICIAN is an online game that draws in Primary children of all ages and challenges their language skills - in French, German, Italian, Spanish or English. It’s a game they like to play again so that they can do better, and it is also a tool for teachers to capture data about how their pupils do.

A final conference of the project is to be held in London on 19 May 2018, by which time all the accompanying project resources will be available.

To find out more about the game and conference see the attached flyer or visit the LANGUAGE MAGICIAN website. 

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Related Files

Franco-German game night

29 March 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow invites you to join them for an evening of fun and friendly competition as they play modern board games from France and Germany!

This event takes place on 18 April 2018 and is primarily aimed at learners of French or German who would like to practice their speaking skills. However, anyone is welcome and choice of language will be adapted to the group.

The event is free to attend, but registration is essential. 

Visit the website for more information and to register.

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Youth Conference ‘Culture & Heritage in a Digital World’

26 March 2018 (UK-German Connection)

As part of the European Union’s Year of Cultural Heritage, young people from the UK and Germany are invited to apply to take part in a youth conference in Berlin from 15-17 June 2018. The youth conference will bring young people from the UK and Germany together, to discuss cultural heritage in a digital world, reflecting on the past and looking towards the future, and sharing their diverse local and regional cultures with one another.

The conference is organised by UK-German Connection in collaboration with the British Council Germany, as part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage.

Deadline 19 April

Except for a small contribution of £25, this event is free of charge for participants.

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Youth Seminar ‘Finding Our Place In History’

26 March 2018 (UK-German Connection)

‘Finding Our Place In History’ will take place in Berlin from 1 – 3 June 2018, and will provide young people from the UK and Germany with the opportunity to discuss history, identity and more through the exploration of personal stories woven into the seminar. The basis for this comes from Thomas Harding's novel ‘The House by the Lake,’ which tells the fascinating journeys of several German families including that of his own, the Alexander family, over a period of 100 years.

The seminar is being organised by UK-German Connection in collaboration with Alexander Haus e.V.

Deadline 16 April

Except for a small contribution of £25, this event is free of charge for participants.

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

22 March 2018 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

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

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Youth conference: Culture and heritage in a digital world

22 March 2018 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

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

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

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Professional development in Germany

21 March 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut is again able to offer a number of grants to teachers for professional development courses in Germany. The offer is aimed at German teachers just embarking on their career, as well as at teachers expanding their commitments to GCSE and A-level. Those who train German language teachers are also able to benefit from the variety of courses.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information about the courses available and how to apply. Please note, teachers in Scotland should apply to the Glasgow office.

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German Teacher Award 2018

21 March 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

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

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

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

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1+2 Case Study - James Young High School

16 March 2018 (SCILT)

The James Young High School (JYHS) is a six year, non-denominational, co-educational, comprehensive school with four associated primary schools in West Lothian. This case study focuses on the partnership approach between the secondary and associate primaries in the implementation of the 1+2 policy. 

In the JYHS cluster all learners study French as L2 throughout the broad general education until the end of S3 and German is delivered as an L3 on the continuum model.

Read the case study on the 1+2 section of our website.

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SCHOLAR Modern Language webinar

16 March 2018 (SCHOLAR)

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

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

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OU/SCILT languages course for primary practitioners

15 March 2018 (Open University in Scotland/SCILT)

Due to the success of the initial pilot of the course developed by the OU and SCILT, LXT192/4 Learning to teach languages in primary school (French/Spanish), we are delighted to now be able to extend the offer to all Local Authorities. The course will be offered for the following languages: French (LXT192), German (LXT193), Spanish (LXT194) and Mandarin (LXT197).

For the next presentation of this course starting in October 2018, registration will open on 1 April 2018. The course fee is £240.00 per student.

The course will be available to all primary practitioners but also secondary teachers who teach at primary level. We have produced an FAQ document with further detail about the course for your information.

In order to make the enrolment process as smooth as possible, we advise that in the first instance Development Officers contact Sylvia Warnecke at the Open University (s.warnecke@open.ac.uk ) with a list of the names and email addresses of teachers planning to study this in their Local Authority. We aim to complete enrolment by late June 2018 to allow time for planning staffing and timetabling.

And last but not least, we are planning to offer teachers, who enrol on the course, a summer school experience which will offer immersion in the language to boost confidence and provide ample opportunities to learn more about the cultures in which the language they are studying is spoken. The summer school is not part of the course, it is optional and can be booked separately. More information on this will be published in due course.

Policy makers, local councils, local authorities, MSPs and Consulates may also be interested in an event celebrating last years' pilot course, Primary school teachers learning to teach languages - A celebration, being held in Edinburgh on 7 June 2018.

Multilingual Debate 2018

15 March 2018 (Heriot-Watt University)

The Multilingual Debate 2018 takes place on Wednesday 21 March at Heriot-Watt University's Edinburgh campus. As with previous years, the event is being streamed live over the internet. Schools should visit the website for information on how to participate in the online stream.

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Employ a language assistant for 2018/19

12 March 2018 (British Council)

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

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

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

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

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

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Summer courses in Germany: Deadline 1 March 2018

30 January 2018 (UK-German Connection)

The following summer courses in Germany are now open for application.

1) two-week part-funded German Pupil Courses for S3 and S5 pupils (separate courses)

2) fully-funded four-week German Scholarships programme for S5 pupils

Both programmes combine language learning with cultural trips and excursions, as well as staying with host families.

"I have a new appreciation for language-learning and I have realised how fulfilling it is to experience different cultures."

3) There’s also a paid CPD opportunity for teachers to act as group leaders on the German Pupil Courses. 

The application deadline for all programmes is 1 March 2018.

German Olympics 2018

29 January 2018 (Goethe-Institut Glasgow)

The German Olympics (IDO) is the biggest competition for the German language. Every two years over 100 students from all around the world meet to compete in their most beloved foreign language.

This year, the German Olympics for schools worldwide is open to pupils in the United Kingdom for the second time. The final will take place in Freiburg, 15 to 28 July 2018. The United Kingdom are eligible to send two secondary school students born 2001 to 2004. The German Olympics promotes young people from all around the world to encounter one another thanks to the fact they all study German. They will become friends and build up an international network.

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Europe in 2018 - what does this mean to you? Enter for the Young Europeans Award and win a trip to Warsaw!

26 January 2018 (UK-German Connection)

Are your pupils interested in Europe-related activities? The Young Europeans Award offers both German language-learners and other internationally-minded pupils the opportunity to team up with their peers from Germany, Poland and France and enter a project idea to win a trip to Warsaw.

Whether you already have a partner school in any of the participating countries or not, we’ll be happy to support you in finding project partners in Germany, Poland or France.

The deadline for submitting your project idea is 1 March 2018, though projects don’t need to have taken place by then.

For further details, please the link below. You can also visit UK-German Connection on Twitter (@ukgconnection) or Facebook for further information.

Please send us a short email to Alison Dolamore if you’d like to take part or if you have any questions. You can contact Alison on +44 (0)20 7824 1570.

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New German courses - enrol now!

17 January 2018 (Goethe-Institut Glasgow)

The new semester of classes at the Goethe-Institut in Glasgow starts on 12 February 2018. Information about the new semester, enrolment details and assessment opportunities are available through the link below.

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German Educational Trainees Across Borders 2018/19

12 January 2018 (SCILT / German Consulate General)

Expressions of interest are now being taken from local authorities who would like to host a German student teacher for a 6 month placement during the 2018-19 school session.

German trainee teachers from Universities in Mainz, Leipzig and Koblenz are available to work in Scottish schools for a six month placement from September/October 2018 to March/April 2019. Participating students are native German speakers, training to become secondary teachers of English. 

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

For more information please see the attached 'GET 2018 Information Sheet'. 

Local authorities interested in hosting GETs should complete and return the Note of Interest form by Thursday 1st February.

Read more...

Related Files

Looking across the North Sea – are Hamburg and Orkney really so different?

9 January 2018 (UK-German Connection)

In November, UK-German Connections 2017-18 cohort of FLA/ELA Ambassadors all met for the first time at the introductory seminar in London. They were given the opportunity to find out more about their new roles as Ambassadors, discuss the three project themes for the year, as well as develop their project plans together in groups.

Hamburg and Orkney are at opposite ends of the North Sea – and what better idea for a project than to compare the regional identity and cultural heritage of these two coastal spots? Read the blog for the project, where they and their students will share posts diving into an analysis of Orcadian and Plattdeutsch dialects. They plan to consider spoken language, as well as the dialect’s prominence in contemporary and past literature, asking what significance it still holds today and – more importantly – “Are these strange tongues really quite so foreign?”

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Christmas competition for primary schools

7 December 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

Christmas time in Germany is special and possibly a little different from the UK’s traditions during the festive season. The film Christmas time in Germany explains mostly in pictures, what usually happens in Germany in December and can be used in your lessons. Teachers can print out the entry form for their pupils (versions with questions in English or German depending on what level is needed are downloadable). Pupils are supposed to watch the film at home again and answer the questions on the entry form in order to receive a small gift. They should add a greeting for Felix and Franzi in German. Teachers can either send their pupils’ entry forms to the Goethe-Institut in one batch or pupils send us their entries individually. We will send small presents via the schools to everyone doing his homework.

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Competition: German Olympics 2018 (IDO)

7 December 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

The German Olympics (IDO) is the biggest competition for the German language. Every two years over 100 students from all around the world meet to compete in their most beloved foreign language. We are happy to welcome the German Olympics for schools worldwide to the United Kingdom in 2018 for the second time. The final will take place in Freiburg, 15 to 28 July 2018. The United Kingdom are eligible to send two secondary school students born 2001 to 2004. The German Olympics promotes young people from all around the world to encounter one another thanks to the fact they all study German. They will become friends and build up an international network.

Read more...

Certificate exams in German

8 December 2017 (Goethe-Institut Glasgow)

CERTIFICATE EXAMS IN FEBRUARY

Goethe-Institut examinations are well known throughout the world and the associated certificates are accepted as a qualification by employers and further education institutions in many countries. The Goethe-Institut Glasgow offers certificate exams twice a year, in February and in June. For details about the exams and practice materials, please check our webpage.

Forthcoming exam dates:

02.02.2018 (level C1 & C2)

09.02.2018 (levels B1 & B2)

10.02.2018 (levels A1 & A2)

Registration deadline:

12 January 2018 for exam levels C1 & C2.

19 January 2018 for exam levels A1 to B2

Registrations can be made online.

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Secondary summer courses in Germany

29 November 2017 (UK German Connection)

A unique opportunity for pupils to immerse themselves in German language and culture in 2018! Places will be available for part- or fully-funded summer courses.

Applications open mid-January 2018

German Pupil Courses

German Scholarships Programme

Group leadership opportunities

For teachers of German: Become a group leader on the German Pupil Courses and accompany a group of 12 pupils to Germany. This is a great opportunity for your professional development, whilst spending two weeks immersed in German language, daily life and culture.

Group leadership opportunities

Young Europeans Award

29 November 2017 (UK German Connection)

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

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

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

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Word Wizard 2018 - new semi-final added!

3 November 2017 (SCILT/CISS)

SCILT's Word Wizard competition is returning for its fifth year and we are delighted to announce we are adding a fourth semi-final date!

In addition to the semi-finals already taking place at the Universities of Strathclyde, Aberdeen and Dundee, in collaboration with the UCMLS, this year we will be holding another semi-final at Edinburgh College. 

Word Wizard is a multilingual spelling competition open to S1-S3 pupils learning French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin or Spanish. The competition provides a perfect opportunity for language teachers to address The Attainment Challenge by allowing pupils of all levels the chance to excel in language learning. Word Wizard develops skills in acquisition of vocabulary, pronunciation, spelling, recall and public speaking; not to mention the many literacy outcomes it addresses. This hugely motivating competition encourages links with other curricular areas and with health and wellbeing, culminating in a high profile celebration of language learning.

Visit SCILT's Word Wizard webpage to find out more about this year's competition and to register your school.

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Goethe-Institut events

27 October 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

Read the latest update from Goethe-Institut Glasgow for events to help keep your language learning fresh. Events include a German board games night, book club, film screening and 'Translators' Stammtisch'.

Related Files

Young Europeans Award

23 October 2017 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

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

Applications should be submitted by 1 March 2018.

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

Read more...

Koenigspost competition 2017

19 October 2017 (King's College London)

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

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

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

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

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UK-German Connection opportunities

17 October 2017 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

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European Youth Event (EYE) 2018

11 October 2017 (European Parliament)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Euroquiz 2018

9 October 2017 (SEET)

Euroquiz, the annual project for P6 pupils in Scotland, is once again open for those wishing to participate in 2018.

The project, which sees team of four working together to broaden their knowledge of Europe and the wider world, includes coverage of foreign languages, history, geography, sport, culture and European affairs.

Heats take place in every local authority from January to March 2018, with the winning teams from all areas going forward to the National Euroquiz Final held in the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament in May 2018.

Visit the Scottish European Education Trust (SEET) website for more information about Euroquiz and how to register your school to take part.

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DAAD/IMLR Competition

9 October 2017 (DAAD)

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

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

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

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Magical Christmas Trips deadline reminder: 26 September

19 September 2017 (UK-German Connection)

There's still time to apply to take part in a Magical Christmas Trip to Germany this year!

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

There are two options for getting involved: either by applying to take part in a visit to Berlin run by UK-German Connection or by applying for funding to run your own Christmas visit to a partner school anywhere in Germany.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information and to apply by 26 September 2017.

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Host a Teacher from Germany

15 September 2017 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

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Professional development in Germany

13 September 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

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

  • Language Courses
  • Landeskunde
  • Methodology/Teaching Strategies

Deadline for applications: 15 October 2017. 

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

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New term German courses in Glasgow

11 September 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow offers German language courses and exams for all levels. Courses for the autumn semester commence on 26 September 2017.

See their online brochure for full details and how to enrol.

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News from UK-German Connection

6 September 2017 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

Find out more on their website.

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German Debating Competition 2017

5 September 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

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

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Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2017: Open Word - Open World

28 August 2017 (Michael Kerins)

This exciting new project will run from 20 to 31 October 2017. The idea is to create new writing using vocabulary that differs by the addition of only one letter - one single letter and the meaning changes. Not only in English - but in a wide variety of languages.  

To find out more about the project and how you can participate, visit the website or contact michael.kerins@gmail.com.

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N5 Modern Languages: assignment-writing understanding standards materials

25 August 2017 (SQA)

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

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History teachers' professional development tour to Berlin

25 August 2017 (German Embassy)

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

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

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

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

European Youth Event (EYE) 2018

24 August 2017 (European Parliament)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Ambassador Ammon’s piece for The Telegraph on the importance of learning foreign languages

23 August 2017 (German Embassy London)

Since my return to London as German Ambassador, the GCSE and A-level results published in August have always been a moment of disappointment for me, as the number of students taking German has kept falling. The relentless decline of modern language teaching and learning across the UK remains both a saddening and troubling trend.

When the author David Cornwell, better known as John le Carré, spoke at the annual German Teacher Awards ceremony at my Residence in June, he said these powerful words:

“The decision to learn a foreign language is to me an act of friendship. It is indeed a holding out of the hand. It’s not just a route to negotiation. It’s also to get to know you better, to draw closer to you and your culture, your social manners and your way of thinking.”

While I recognise the importance and global role of English, I firmly believe that language skills are more vital than ever in the 21st century.

The UK rightly intends to play an even greater role in a globalised world after Brexit. This, I believe, will not be possible unless young Britons are encouraged to be outward-looking from an early age. Learning a foreign language will be key, and German, which is mother tongue to more people in Europe than any other language, would be an ideal choice.

Read more...

Related Links

Britain must reverse the decline in foreign language learning if it's to thrive outside the EU (The Telegraph, 17 August 2017) - the original published article.

Vocab Express League of Champions 2017

21 August 2017 (Vocab Express)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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New job profile on SCILT's website

18 August 2017 (SCILT)

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

Our latest addition comes from Emma Gallacher, whose language skills have taken her from Scotland to the Costa Blanca, where she now works as receptionist for an established Real Estate firm. She firmly believes learning the language has enabled her to settle and integrate into the Spanish way of life.

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

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'The Smart Choice: German' schools network

15 August 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

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

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

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Magical Christmas Trips 2017

15 August 2017 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

Read more...

German workshops in Glasgow

11 August 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow is offering workshops in August and September focusing on speaking and practising communication in authentic everyday situations. There are sessions available for Levels A1.2-A2.2 and B1/B2.

Visit the website for more information and to book.

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Foreign languages set for less ‘harsh grading’

11 August 2017 (TES)

Move set to encourage take-up of subjects and create more language teachers.

The number of top grades awarded in modern foreign language A levels is likely to increase this summer, after a change brought in by Ofqual to help non-native speakers.

Exam boards have been asked to increase the proportion of students expected to achieve a grade A and above by one percentage point for French, German and Spanish A levels.

The exam regulator decided to intervene after carrying out research that showed native speakers were far more likely to achieve A* or A grades than non-native speakers.

If the ability of this year’s cohort is consistent with previous years, the uplift will be applied to the three A-level subjects.

However, relatively few candidates look set to benefit: a Tes analysis of last year’s A-level results suggests that an adjustment last summer would have resulted in around 200 extra A and A* grades being awarded.

The move from Ofqual has been widely welcomed across the sector, but headteacher organisations argue that it should not be the last word in solving what they see as a long-standing problem.

Read more...

Languages under pressure after fall in pupils taking German and French

9 August 2017 (The Herald)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Related Links

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

The Future of French in the EU and Beyond

7 August 2017 (Language Magazine)

While the 2016 UK European Union (EU) Membership Referendum launched the current public conversation on the status of English in the EU, it has been—just as much, if not more—a conversation on the future of French within the EU.

In order to understand the significance of this conversation about language, and languages, it is necessary to begin with the significance of multilingualism as a core value of the EU, which has implemented and supported plurilingualism, often referred to as “mother tongue plus two,” as a pragmatic educational objective.

In alignment with this core value of multilingualism, Europe accounts for more than half (53.9%) of the global language-services sector, which is valued at USD 38.2 billion per year, and the French Hewlett-Packard’s Application and Content Localization group (HPPACG) is the third-largest language-services provider in the world.

From the original four official languages of the European Community, the number has grown to 24, with English, French, and German (in alphabetical order) the informal de facto working/procedural languages, and the French government has long been an active advocate for the use of French.

But as the UK prepares to leave the EU, leaving no member nation with English registered as its official language, the role of English within the EU has been questioned, with suggestions made that French and German should be the sole working/procedural languages.

Read more...

Which language should we teach in school?

2 August 2017 (MEITS blog)

Increasing motivation for language learning in UK schools and encouraging children to maintain their languages study past the point at which they have the chance to stop is an ongoing challenge. One important question here is: to what extent are success and motivation linked to the particular language pupils study?

The myth of the monolingual Brit, who refuses to speak foreign languages, has been supplemented in recent years by the narrative that we are not only unwilling, but also unable to speak foreign languages. For example, the 2012 European Survey on Language Competences, which sought to provide comparable data on standards of achievement in 15-year old learners across 16 participating countries, showed pupils in England languishing at the bottom of the table, where the learning of the first foreign language (French) was concerned.

The figures, however, tell a slightly different story when we consider the learning of the second foreign language. For example, Sweden, which had topped the charts for English proficiency, languished at the bottom when it came to the learning of the second foreign language (Spanish); learners in English secondary schools who were studying German as a second language did better.

Leaving aside the difficulty of providing robust data from such surveys, this study provides support for the idea that the language learned really does matter. Motivation for English learning is so strong in most parts of the world that for many learners it is now a life skill as much as a foreign language. Motivation for studying the second and third foreign languages, however, can be as difficult to achieve in other parts of the world as it is for the first in our own setting.

In Europe and the rest of the world English’s position as the foreign language of choice remains unassailable. For example, the 2017 Eurodice Report, which provides key data on teaching languages at school in Europe, reports that in 2014 virtually all EU students (97.3 %) studied English during the entire period of lower secondary education. After that came French (33.7 %), German (23.1 %) and Spanish (19.1 %), with other languages rarely studied.

The question of which language should we teach our learners in England remains a source of debate.

Read more...

Young Brits to make German connections

19 July 2017 (UK Government)

More British youngsters will be able to learn about German language and culture after a new agreement was made between the Foreign Secretary and the German Foreign Minister.

Boris Johnson and Sigmar Gabriel have signed off on a doubling of funding for UK-German Connection (UKGC), which means an increase in the number of places available on the scheme.

The funding increase, to around £230,000 and matched by the German government, will expand the scheme’s work in bringing together children and teachers in both countries to learn about each other’s language, history, and culture.

Read more...

Why we should learn German - John le Carré

2 July 2017 (Observer)

To help make the European debate decent and civilised, it is now more important than ever to value the skills of the linguist.

Read more...

SQA update - National 5 Modern Languages

SQA (23 June 2017)

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

Read more...

European Youth Event (EYE) 2018

23 June 2017 (European Parliament)

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

EYE2018 includes a wide range of activities in English, French and German run under the motto "The plan is to fan this spark into a flame." (Hamilton, My Shot). The activities centre around five main themes:
  • Young and old: Keeping up with the digital revolution
  • Rich and poor: Calling for a fair share
  • Apart and together: Working out for a stronger Europe
  • Safe and dangerous: Staying alive in turbulent times
  • Local and global: Protecting our planet
Visit the EYE2018 website for more information. Groups of at least 10 young people who want to take part need to register on the website between October and December 2017.

Read more...

Host a Teacher from Germany

21 June 2017 (UK-German Connection)

Provide your school with authentic German cultural input by hosting a teacher from Germany for two or three weeks, at no cost to you.

Schools do not need to be teaching German to apply and visits can take place at any time between September 2017 and July 2018. Deadlines 10 July(*) and 21 September 2017 (**).

(*) If you’d like to host in the autumn term 2017
(**) if you’d like to host in spring / summer 2018

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

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New earpiece translates foreign languages as you have a conversation

20 June 2017 (The Independent)

A new device that delivers foreign language translations directly to your ear almost instantly has just gone on sale.

The Translate One2One has been hailed as a real-world equivalent of the Babel fish, the famous fictional creature from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

It’s powered by IBM’s supercomputer, Watson, and takes between three and five seconds to complete a translation and play it to you.

It currently works across English, Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, German and Chinese.

However, both people in a conversation need to be wearing one.

Lingmo International, the company behind it, claims the Translate One2One is clever enough to avoid common translation stumbling blocks.

Read more...

German Teacher Award Ceremony 2017

13 June 2017 (German Embassy)

On Monday, 12 June, Ambassador Peter Ammon welcomed John le Carré to his Residence for the annual ‘Sommerfest der deutschen Sprache’, where they presented the 14th German Teacher Awards to outstanding teachers of German in the UK.

The annual German Teacher Award and the ‘Sommerfest’ pay tribute to the work of German teachers across the UK and give guests the opportunity to network. Over 220 teachers and representatives from the education and language teaching sectors, business and media from all over the UK joined this year’s celebrations and followed the announcement of the 2017 winners.

Addressing the teachers in his welcome speech, Ambassador Ammon said that "never before has your mission to teach languages as a gateway to another culture encouraging friendship, trust and understanding across borders been more important than today." He was delighted to welcome renowned writer John le Carré as the keynote speaker for the event, who once more proved himself a staunch supporter of language learning as the key to understanding other cultures.

Morag E J Allan of Wellington School in Ayr was one of the teachers awarded a "Special Mention" at the ceremony.

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'A German Classic' - essay prize for senior phase students

12 June 2017 (Oxford University)

The University of Oxford is delighted to announce the launch of a new essay prize competition: ‘A German Classic’. It is aimed at students with a GCSE or equivalent in German and currently in Sixth-form (equivalent to Years 12 and 13 or S5 and S6 in Scotland).

The classic celebrated this year is Goethe’s Faust, Part I. The task is to write an essay in English (between 2000 and 3000 words) so students who are not yet able to write fluently in German can focus on the challenges of engaging with the language, ideas and conflicts of the work itself.

Visit the university's website to find out more about the competition, prizes and how to submit entries by 13 September 2017.

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UK-German Connection news - Summer 2017

9 June 2017 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection offers a number of opportunities for UK schools to partner with a school in Germany. The following options are currently available. Follow the appropriate link for more information:

Visit the UK-German Connection website to find out more about all their activities.

Read more...

Host a teacher from Germany

2 June 2017 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

Offers from UK schools to host teachers from Germany in 2017-18 are now being accepted. Application deadlines are 10 July 2017 / 21 September 2017.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

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German certificate exams - June 2017

1 June 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

Adult certificate exams at the Goethe-Institut Glasgow are taking place in June.

Please register by 6 June 2017.

Visit the website for details of available levels and dates and to apply.

Read more...

Robot priest unveiled in Germany to mark 500 years since Reformation

30 May 2017 (The Guardian)

Five hundred years after revolutionary printing presses spread news of Martin Luther’s radical call for church reform across Europe, technology is again challenging religious tradition in the small German town of Wittenberg.

A robot priest that delivers blessings in five languages and beams light from its hands has been unveiled as part of an exhibition to mark the anniversary of the start of the Reformation, a Europe-wide religious, political and cultural upheaval sparked when Luther nailed his 95 theses to a church door in the town.

Half a millennium later, the robot, called BlessU-2, is intended to trigger debate about the future of the church and the potential of artificial intelligence.

The item includes a short video demonstration in German.

Read more...

Which language would ease our way in the post-Brexit world?

24 May 2017 (The Guardian)

We Brits are pretty settled in our role as monoglots. Our default tactic of “speak English slowly and loudly so others can understand you” served us well enough – and then Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European commission, put the boot in by claiming recently that “English is losing importance.”

Is this really the case? Experts are divided.

Read more...

German Certificate Exams

24 May 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

Goethe-Institut examinations are well known throughout the world and the associated certificates are accepted as a qualification by employers and further education institutions in many countries. Dates for the next season of exams have been published on the Goethe-Institut website.

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Falkirk win at Euroquiz final

16 May 2017 (SEET)

Congratulations to the P6 team from Comely Park Primary School, who won the Scottish European Educational Trust’s National Euroquiz Final 2017, which took place in the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament on 15th May 2017.

Team members Tamsin Gold, Edwin Walker, Robyn Dewar-Young and Jaymie Jones were crowned SEET’s Euroquiz Champions 2017 at the national final. The winners were closely followed by St Leonard’s Primary School team from South Lanarkshire, in a nail-biting final round. Sciennes Primary School from Edinburgh also did incredibly well, winning the prize for third place.

Euroquiz is run by the Scottish European Educational Trust, a non-political charity, which promotes education about language learning, Europe and the wider world amongst Scotland’s young people.

See the attached press release for full details about this year's competition and participating schools.

If your school might like to take part in future competitions, visit the SEET website for more information.

Read more...

Related Files

Related Links

Third Place in Euroquiz 2017! (Sciennes Primary School, 15 May 2017) - post includes photos and links to the event on Parliament TV.

Young Language Learner Award - 2017

15 May 2017 (B small publishing)

The Young Language Learner Awards are back!

B small publishing are inviting children and young people to write a four-page story in a foreign language they are learning (choose from Chinese, English, French, German, Italian or Spanish) to be in with a chance of winning books worth £50.

One winner will be picked from the under 6 category and one winner from the 6 and over entries.

Visit the website for full details and to submit entries by 15 June 2017.

Read more...

Language Perfect World Championships 2017

12 May 2017 (ALL)

This year's Language Perfect World Championships take place from 15 - 25 May.

Students participate in the world's largest online languages event over 10 days with the chance to earn certificates and qualify for awards and prizes by translating between their target language and English. The competition is relevant for everyone, whatever their ability.

The first 500 schools to register will receive 50 free entries. (ALL members can register all students for free).

Find out more about the competition via the ALL webpage and the competition website.

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Leaving Certificate language students ‘learning off’ exam answers

11 May 2017 (Irish Examiner)

(Relates to Ireland) In a series of reports on student performance in language exams last June, chief examiners say students must learn how to adapt, instead of using learned-off answers.

The issues were most acute in the 2016 Leaving Certificate exams in Spanish, French, and Italian.

There are many positive aspects, particularly about the competencies of more able students of the six languages, which also included German, Japanese, and Russian.

But in oral exams, which are worth between 20% and 25% of marks in language subjects, a common concern is that students have prepared answers.

The Spanish Leaving Certificate examiner reported, for example, that a number of students had been taught in a “rote-learning” manner that prevented the natural flow of conversation.

“Many candidates had prepared a range of topics in the general conversation, but, when gently disengaged from rote-learned topics, found it difficult to communicate effectively in the target language,” the reports said.

The reports are published today by the State Examinations Commission (SEC), whose chief examiner in Leaving Certificate French said most students were well-prepared for the orals and had a high degree of proficiency and fluency.

However, at the other end of the scale, some of the 25,758 students examined in the subject had difficulty answering even simple questions.

Read more...

German Teacher Awards 2017

3 May 2017 (Goethe-Institut/German Embassy)

Does your school have a truly outstanding German teacher? There's still time to get nominations in for the 14th annual German Teacher Award offered by the German Embassy in London.

The purpose of this award is:
  • to recognise outstanding achievement by individual teachers of German in the UK
  • to highlight and pay tribute to the work of German teachers in the UK
  • to encourage the commitment of the winners' schools to modern language teaching
Deadline for applications: 17 May 2017. Nominations must be submitted and signed by the headteacher.

Visit the German Embassy's website for detailed information and nomination form.

Read more...

New job profile on SCILT's website

28 April 2017 (SCILT)

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

Our latest addition comes from Charlie Foot, founder of Bili, the online language exchange platform for schools. Charlie explains how speaking to people in their own language creates opportunities for much deeper connections and cultural understanding.

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

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uTalk takes language learning to new heights with Emirates, the world’s largest international airline

26 April 2017 (uTalk)

London-based language experts uTalk are helping passengers on Emirates Airline prepare for arrival with new inflight language videos. They’ve produced a series of films, which can be seen on all Emirates flights, giving travellers an introduction to five languages, with beginner lessons covering first words, food and drink and getting around.

Read more...

Franco-German Film Series at the CCA

24 April 2017 (Alliance Française)

This year’s film collaboration between the Goethe Institut and the Alliance Française will stand under the heading of comedy.

Though the sense of humor varies according to national history and culture, it still manages to reach people regardless of age, gender, race and across country borders.

Visit the Alliance Française website to find out more about the 4 films being screened during May and June at the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Glasgow.

The events are free, but registration is essential.

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Link with a German school

24 April 2017 (UK-German Connection)

Broaden your pupils' horizons and enhance your school's international dimension by linking with a German school. Find out how to set up and develop a partnership with a German school, including practical tips and advice on joint activities, projects and visits to Germany.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

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A-level language grades skewed by results of native speakers – study

21 April 2017 (The Guardian)

For years the British stereotype of Germans has been that they get the best of everything, from sun-loungers to football trophies – and now it seems they have been achieving the best A-level grades.

Research published by the exam regulator Ofqual has found that German-speaking children in the UK have been sitting A-level exams in their native language – and winning a disproportionate amount of A and A* grades on offer.

The Ofqual research estimated that about 17% of the students taking German A-levels in Britain may be native speakers, and gained about half of the top A* grades on offer – making it harder for non-native speakers sitting the exam.

The new research is good news for pupils taking this summer’s A-levels, with Ofqual suggesting it could increase the number of top grades it hands out, to ensure a level playing field between grades awarded in modern foreign languages and other subjects.

“If the ability of the cohorts is similar to previous years we would anticipate small increases in the proportion of students getting top grades in each subject this August,” Ofqual said in a statement.

The researchers found similar results in French and Spanish, with native speakers gaining higher than average GCSE scores. In Spanish, native speakers are almost 10 times more likely to achieve a grade A or A* than non-native speakers. Native-speaking Germans are 28 times more likely to achieve a grade A, and 11 times more likely to get an A*.

The research comes after complaints from leading schools that modern foreign languages are graded less generously than other subjects. But until now there has been no effort to account for native speakers as exam candidates.

Read more...

New job profile on the SCILT website

21 April 2017 (SCILT)

We have a selection of job profiles on our website demonstrating languages being used in a wide range of professions.

Our latest addition comes from David Rodger, Area Manager at Amazon Germany. He tells how people engage with you and realise you're on their side if you demonstrate the willingness to understand their language and culture.

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

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Dingwall Academy's pioneering sign language work hailed at Holyrood

2 April 2017 (Ross-shire Journal)

Dingwall Academy’s leadership in promoting British Sign Language (BSL) has been applauded by the Scottish Parliament – after the school was highly praised by Strathpeffer-based MSP, Maree Todd.

She used the recent debate on the consultation on the Draft BSL National Plan to highlight the initiative of Dingwall Academy’s unit. During her speech, she used BSL to welcome former Dingwall Academy pupil, Caitlin Bogan, who was watching the debate from the viewing gallery.

The MSP later said: “We should all be proud of what is being done in the Highlands. Dingwall Academy is one of the few schools to deliver a BSL unit – all students in first year, including my son Gregor this year, take BSL classes as a taster along with other languages, including French, Gaelic and German.

Read more...

New job profile on the SCILT website

31 March 2017 (SCILT)

We have a selection of job profiles on our website demonstrating languages being used in a wide range of professions.

Our latest addition comes from Jane Robb, PhD student at the Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich. Jane has studied several languages, including French, German and Spanish and says her Spanish language skills enable her to conduct fieldwork and live and work in Guatemala.

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

Read more...

Call for applications - Trends in Translation

30 March 2017 (ALL)

The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, the French Embassy in London, the Institut Français du Royaume-Uni and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) are looking for the next generation of translators into English.

Higher Education Institutions across the UK are being invited to nominate their most promising undergraduate student(s) to take part in a one-day exclusive Masterclass in Translation to be held at Magdalene College, University of Cambridge, on Thursday, 27th April 2017 with the opportunity for two Masterclass students to visit the Frankfurt Book Fair this year.

This call is open to undergraduate students only. Students must have a proficiency in either German or French (Level B1 and higher, according to CEFR). A combination of the two languages is very welcome but not required.

The candidates and the nominators are asked to complete the application form and send it electronically to application@lond.diplo.de by Tuesday 18 April 2017.

For full terms and conditions, visit the Association for Language Learning (ALL) website.

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How London's Goethe-Institut is fighting for foreign languages amidst Brexit

29 March 2017 (Deutsche Welle)

What does Brexit mean for language-learning and cultural exchange in the UK? The head of London's Goethe-Institut told DW that the impact is already being felt - but she remains optimistic for the future.

Read more...

Summary of SQA Course Reports for Higher and AH Modern Languages 2016

16 March 2017 (SCILT)

We have summarised the Course Reports for Higher and Advanced Higher Modern Languages and Gàidhlig. These reports highlight areas where candidates performed well in the 2016 exam and areas where they encountered difficulty.

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

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

The summary reports are attached below and can also be found on the Senior Phase, Essentials for Planning page on the SCILT website under the SQA Qualifications tab.

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UK-German Connection initiatives for schools

7 March 2017 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German connection have the following opportunities they'd like teachers and schools to be aware of:
  1. What do you need now? Have your say.
    It’s now more important than ever to maintain connections with Europe. With this in mind, we’re reviewing the opportunities and support we offer schools and are asking teachers for their input on what schools currently need in order to keep links with Germany alive. We’ve put together a short questionnaire for you to have your say and would be grateful for your feedback. Complete the survey.

  2. Plastic Pirates
    There’s now another chance for UK and German partner schools to apply for funding to get together in Germany and undertake research on Germany’s rivers and oceans.

Articulate Language Camps 2017

1 March 2017 (Articulate Language Camps)

Articulate Language Camps run an International Camp (12-17 year olds) and Launch Camp (6-11 year olds) each summer in Scotland.

The International camp brings together young people aged 12-17 from across Europe and beyond to share their language and culture and provides the opportunity to learn French, Spanish, German, Italian or English.

The Launch camp gives young campers the chance to experience the same languages in a fun and interactive way, learning through digital media projects and outdoor activities.

Find out more in the Articulate Language Camps videos on YouTube where you will also find links to their online brochure and registration form. Follow the relevant link below for more information about each camp:
You can find out more about Articulate Language Camps by visiting their main website.

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New student profile on SCILT's website

24 February 2017 (SCILT)

We have a range of Job Profiles on our website designed for teachers to use in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

Our latest addition comes from Emma Therer, a student of German and Linguistics, whose aim is to become a translator and interpreter. She believes languages are key in getting to know people and to learn about other cultures.

Read her profile and others on our website now.

Read more...

Languages Teacher Training Scholarships

23 February 2017 (British Council)

Are you passionate about French, German or Spanish? If so, you could receive a languages scholarship of £27,500 to train as a secondary school teacher in England.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to apply by 31 July 2017.

Read more...

UK-German Connection latest news

21 February 2017 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection offers a number of opportunities for schools in the UK and Germany to develop and maintain partnerships. In their latest Spring 2017 newsletter they highlight the following:
  • With the changing landscape of international relations, we want to make sure we're still offering you the right kind of support to keep your connections with Germany alive.We're currently reviewing the opportunities and services we offer and would like to invite you to tell us what you need now for your schools and pupils. Complete the short survey.
  • Deadline reminder of 1 March for applications for the following summer courses in Germany:

For upcoming deadlines for the rest of the school year, download our calendar of opportunities for 2016-17.

For further information about UK-German Connection and their activities, visit their website.

Read more...

Absolutely Fabulous 25th anniversary: watch a clip from the show in six different languages

20 February 2017 (The Independent)

Edina and Patsy remain fabulous in every language.

Absolutely Fabulous is now coming up to its 25th anniversary, with the BBC Worldwide Showcase commemorating the occasion by releasing a clip which cuts together a scene in six different European languages: English, Italian, German, Spanish, Czech, and French.

It's all part of an effort to celebrate its expansive global success, which last year saw the release of the pair's own feature film debut in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie; launching stars Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders on their escape to the French Riviera after an incident at a fashion launch party sends Kate Moss tumbling into the Thames.

Read more...

New job profile on SCILT's website

17 February 2017 (SCILT)

For relevant, labour-market focused career advice on languages, direct from the workplace, read our latest Job Profile from Katie Targett-Adams, a professional singer and harpist currently based in Hong Kong. Teachers, use this resource in your classroom to enhance learning about the world of work.

Read more...

Boost language attainment with a Modern Language Assistant

8 February 2017 (British Council)

Modern Language Assistants bring authentic language and culture to the classroom. In a recent survey of host schools, Heads of Languages reported improved exam results – raising standards in under-performing students and motivating talented students to achieve more. The support of an Assistant is particularly valuable with the on-going focus on languages in the 1+2 initiative, and can particularly help to complement the development of language teaching in primary schools.

The British Council Language Assistants programme draws on over 100 years of experience with overseas education authorities to provide a trusted, high quality service.

Applications are now open! For more information visit the British Council website.

In 2016 the Erasmus+ UK National Agency awarded nearly €1.2m+ to Scotland’s schools and colleges for Key Action 2 (KA2) Strategic Partnerships, and 70% of Scottish applications for school-only partnerships were successful. The next Erasmus+ funding deadline is 29 March. If you are planning to apply, access our tailored guidance for school-only applications and school education applications; pre-recorded videos; and telephone support sessions.

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New semester German courses

7 February 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow has a range of courses for beginners to advanced learners for the new semester commencing 13 February 2017. Classes in general language courses take place on a once-a-week basis for 16 weeks.

See the programme of courses available and visit the website to enrol.

Read more...

The made-up language with just one speaker

3 February 2017 (BBC)

When it comes to learning languages, it's often thought the Swedes are rather good at it, the Dutch brilliant, and the British, rather poor. Student, Melissa May, who is from southern England, is perhaps the exception that proves the rule. Not content with mastering many languages including German, French and Spanish, she decided to invent a completely new one, with its own unique script. It is called Skénavánns. She told James Menendez about it.

Read more...

Summer courses in Germany: Deadline 1 March 2017

1 February 2017 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection has the following summer courses in Germany, which are currently open for applications:
Both programmes combine language learning with cultural trips and excursions, as well as staying with host families.

Not sure about applying? Our mentors are happy to answer your questions. Pupils can contact us to be put in touch.
The application deadline for all programmes is 1 March 2017.

For more information about the courses in Germany and other activities undertaken by UK-German Connection, visit their website.

Read more...

UK-German Connection Funding

26 January 2017 (UK-German Connection)

A reminder that the next deadline for grants for UK-German activities is 31 January 2017.

For an 'at a glance' overview of our grants and details about each programme, please visit the UK-German Connection website.

Read more...

German Educational Trainees Across Borders 2017-18

26 January 2017 (SCILT/German Consulate General)

Expressions of interest are now being taken from local authorities who would like to host a German student teacher for a 6 month placement during the 2017-18 school session.

German trainee teachers from Universities in Mainz, Leipzig, Koblenz and Saarland are available to work in Scottish schools for a six month placement from September/October 2017 to March/April 2018. Participating students are native German speakers, training to become secondary teachers of English. 

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

For more information please see the attached 'GET_2017_Information Sheet'. 

Local authorities interested in hosting GETs should complete and return the Note of Interest form by Friday 10th February.

Related Files

Refugee Exhibition

26 January 2017 (University of Edinburgh)

Let your senior phase students see a meaningful context in which German is spoken and meet the students who ran the integration project working with refugees in Germany.

The principal aim of the exhibition is to raise awareness, hopefully inspire similar projects and increase learner motivation for those who often don´t see the relevance of learning a language.

The photo exhibition will be open from March until the end of May. Interested schools can arrange to either:
  1. come and see the exhibition at the University of Edinburgh and meet some of the students involved
  2. see the exhibition and have some workshops about the refugee crisis
  3. request photos of the exhibition, the power point presentation and the film clip for those who are too remote to come to Edinburgh

Please email Annette Gotzkes in the first instance to discuss your preferred option.

Further information about the project can also be found on the University of Edinburgh website.

Read more...

Lanarkshire school is bringing Gaelic language and culture into centre of Scotland

24 January 2017 (Daily Record)

Lanarkshire may not be known as a hotbed of Gaelic but a little school are doing their best to reintroduce the language to the wider community.

Gartcosh Primary have been nominated for the Gaelic Education Award at this year’s Scottish Education Awards.

Rachel Neilly is one of four teachers at the village primary who has done the Gaelic Learning in Primary Schools course and teaches the language to primaries five to seven.

All children from primary two upwards learn German but the upper three classes have Gaelic as a third language.

They also learn about the culture in the Highlands and islands as part of their studies.

Read more...

Scottish Education Awards 2017

19 January 2017 (Scottish Education Awards)

The Scottish Education Awards celebrate the hard work and success which takes place in Scottish education. They recognise the achievements of people who dedicate their lives to children and young people and showcase the valuable work and innovation in Scottish classrooms.

There's still time to submit nominations for the Awards, so get your entries in for the Making Languages Come Alive (Primary) and Gaelic Education/Duais Foghlam Gàidhlig.awards before the closing date of 15 February 2017.

Visit the Scottish Education Award website to make your nomination.

Read more...

Glasgow Film Festival 2017

18 January 2017 (Glasgow Film)

The programme for Glasgow Film Festival 2017 has just been announced!

More than 310 separate events and screenings of films from 38 countries will show across the city from 15 – 26 February in one of the UK’s biggest film festivals. The event offers several special screenings for schools, which this year includes the following foreign language options:

  • Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods (PG) - 6-8 February (French, English subtitles)
  • Ma Revolution (N/C 15+) - 3-8 February (French, English subtitles)
  • The Olive Tree (N/C 15+) - 7 February (Spanish/German with English subtitles)
  • Shorts for Wee Ones (N/C 3+) - 9 February (English, French or dialogue free)
  • The Golden Dream (N/C 12+) - 9 February (Spanish & Tzotzil with English subtitles)
  • Zip Zap & The Captain's Island (N/C 8+) - 9 February (Spanish)

There are also CPD opportunities for teachers and workshops for pupils. Visit the 'What's on for Schools' page of the GFT website for full details and to book.

Tickets go on sale to Glasgow Film Festival Members at noon on Thursday 19 January and on general sale at 10am on Monday 23 January.

Visit the GFT website for more information.

Read more...

SQA update to AH Modern Languages guidance on past paper usage

16 January 2017 (SQA)

The SQA has produced updated guidance documents on the use of past paper questions for Advanced Higher Modern Languages (Chinese, Italian, French, Spanish, German and Gaelic learners).

These can be found on the SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages webpage under the 'Specimen Question Papers and Marking Instructions' section.

Read more...

New term German classes in Glasgow

11 January 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow offers a range of courses for beginners through to advanced learners and is now enrolling for the new term classes, running from 13 February to 26 June 2017.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to enrol by 3 February.

Read more...

Oxford German Olympiad 2017

6 January 2017 (Oxford University)

The Oxford German Olympiad 2017 is open to UK pupils aged from 9 to 18 with a range of different tasks to suit different age groups. There is also an open competition for groups or classes of 4+ participants.

This year's theme is Deutsch(e) jenseits von Deutschland - German(s) beyond Germany.

Visit the Oxford German Olympiad website for more information and to enter by 17 March 2017.

Read more...

Parents think Mandarin is most useful language for children, survey says

5 January 2017 (BT)

Mandarin Chinese is the most useful non-European language for children to learn, UK parents believe.

It will boost their child's career prospects, according to 51%of parents, while 56% felt it would open their children's minds to an "exciting and dynamic" culture.

Arabic and Japanese, which both picked by 14% of parents, were the other key non-European languages.

The figures were gained after 1,138 UK adults with children aged under 18 were questioned in a Populus survey commissioned by the Mandarin Excellence Programme (MEP).

French, Spanish and German were the top choices overall for young people in the UK to learn after being picked by 57%, 54% and 40% of parents respectively.

Read more...

Chris Pratt Impresses Jennifer Lawrence With His German-Speaking Skills

9 December 2016 (Glamour)

Chris Pratt is truly a renaissance man. In addition to being a highly successful actor and a loving father, this 37-year-old is also a master of the French braid, a magician, and apparently a polyglot as well. That last skill is something Pratt decided to showcase during a press tour for his upcoming film Passengers.

Read more...

Heriot-Watt Multilingual Debate 2017

12 December 2016 (Heriot-Watt University)

Heriot-Watt University's Multilingual Debate is an annual event showcasing the interpreting skills of undergraduate and postgraduate students.

The 2017 Debates will take place on Wednesday 22 March with two multilingual teams arguing for and against a motion of topical interest in a range of languages. There are two Debates; one in the morning, one in the afternoon.

The Multilingual Debates are open to schools, colleges and universities and aim to stimulate interest and dialogue among young people in the international politics and social issues of the modern world whilst also setting language acquisition in a realistic context.

The topics for the 2017 Debates have just been announced and can be viewed on the YouTube video.

Visit the Heriot-Watt website for further information.

Read more...

School Partnership Bursaries

29 November 2016 (UK-German Connection)

Do you have a link with a German school? Have your schools engaged in any joint activities in 2016?

Keeping up connections between the UK and Germany is now more important than ever. To help you to keep your school partnership alive, UK-German Connection is offering schools special partnership bursaries of £1,000.

It's easy to apply. Just complete a short online questionnaire by 7 December 2016.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

Read more...

SEET update

28 November 2016 (SEET)

Find out the latest about the Our Europe and Euroquiz competitions for Scottish schools in SEET's November 2016 newsletter.

Read more...

The carefully worded welcome

18 November 2016 (TESS)

Imagine being the leader of a local authority and being told that you suddenly need to deal with an influx of 100,000 men, women and children into your city, and that most of them will not be able to speak the local language.

Now imagine you are in charge of education provision in that city and you need to integrate a large number of these children into your education system. What would you do? How would you best meet the needs of these children while continuing to maintain a high standard of education for the children currently in your schools?

This was the challenge facing Berlin City Council last year. In Britain, we looked on as refugees fleeing Syria and other war-ravaged countries arrived in Germany to open arms, yet we never fully gained an insight into how they were integrated into German society.

Last summer, I travelled to Berlin as part of an Erasmus+ scheme to find out. There I met Gudrun Schreier, whose job it is to oversee the integration of thousands of refugee children into the city’s education system.

How Schreier and her team approached their task should be of interest to schools everywhere – it is a task many of us will soon have to undertake, too.

Schreier was guided by the overall approach of the council. The underlying principle it adopted was Sprache als Schlüssel zur Integration (language as the key to integration). In a school setting, this took the form of Willkommensklassen (welcome classes).

Willkommensklassen are special classes within a school, made up purely of nonnative speaking children who initially have little or no knowledge of German. They are situated within mainstream schools, with language acquisition being their principal function.

The goal of the Willkommensklassen is that within six to 12 months, 90 per cent of the children will have obtained a high enough standard of German to be able to transfer to a Regelklasse (mainstream class).

The full article can be accessed in TESS online, 18 November 2016 (subscription required).

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Oxford German Olympiad 2017

16 November 2016 (Oxford German Network)

The Oxford German Olympiad 2017 is now open! This year's theme is Deutsch(e) jenseits von Deutschland - German(s) beyond Germany.

The competition is open to UK pupils aged from 9 to 18 with a range of different tasks to suit different age groups. There is also an open competition for groups or classes of 4+ participants.

Visit the Oxford German Olympiad website for more information. Entry deadline is 17 March 2017.

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Language assistants risk being lost in translation

11 November 2016 (TESS)

Most schools still do not have access to a modern language assistant, new figures show, amid fears that the scheme will wither away if a key source of funding is stopped.

Native speakers of foreign languages have long come to Scotland to work in schools and help teachers to bring those subjects to life. But as local authorities cut budgets, their numbers fell as low as 72 by 2013-14.

Figures obtained by TESS show that the provisional number of modern language assistants (MLAs) has risen to 146 this year, including 23 in independent schools.

The data from British Council Scotland – which arranges for MLAs to work in the country – show increased numbers in all five languages that are part of the scheme: French, German, Italian, Mandarin and Spanish.

But there is still some way to go to match the 278 MLAs that were working in schools in 2005-06 – the highest number since existing records began in 2003.

The picture also varies markedly around the country: 18 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities have no MLAs, while Edinburgh has the most with 25, and even a small council like Angus has as many as 19.

Lucy Young, head of education at British Council Scotland, said that councils often used funding from the Scottish government’s 1+2 languages programme to recruit MLAs at an annual cost of about £10,000 per assistant.

Under the programme – being rolled out in all primary schools – pupils are expected to have knowledge of two languages other than their own by the time they reach secondary.

But this key funding is due to be stopped in 2020 – putting schools’ access to MLAs at risk.

Read the full article on TESS online, 11 November 2016 (subscription required).

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New job profile on the SCILT website

11 November 2016 (SCILT)

Our Job Profiles are designed to be used in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work. They provide really relevant careers advice on languages, direct from the workplace, and cover a range of sectors. See our latest addition:
  • Claire Murphy, Translator - a translator at the European Commission, Claire speaks Spanish, German and Italian and is currently learning French. She explains how cultural knowledge is as important as language skills in her role.
See this and other job profiles on our website now.

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UK-German Connection news

9 November 2016 (UK-German Connection)

The latest funded opportunities from UK-German Connection can be found on their website via the appropriate links below:

For more information about UK-German Connection and their full range of activities, visit their website.

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Word Wizard 2017 - registrations now open!

4 November 2016 (SCILT/CISS)

SCILT's Word Wizard competition is returning for a fourth year and we are delighted to announce that registrations are now open!

Word Wizard is a multilingual spelling competition open to S1-S3 pupils learning French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin or Spanish. The competition provides a perfect opportunity for language teachers to address The Attainment Challenge by allowing pupils of all levels the chance to excel in language learning. Word Wizard develops skills in acquisition of vocabulary, pronunciation, spelling, recall and public speaking; not to mention the many literacy outcomes it addresses. This hugely motivating competition encourages links with other curricular areas and with health and wellbeing, culminating in a high profile celebration of language learning.

Visit SCILT's Word Wizard webpage to find out more about this year's competition and to register your school. 

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Fokus: Films from Germany 2016/17

3 November 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

Returning to Scottish screens from 25 November 2016 to 28 January 2017, is this nation-wide event featuring 12 innovative, inspiring and challenging films by Germany-based directors. We have selected a wide array of topics and cinematic styles that shed light on current debates and discourses in Germany.

The following screenings are specifically for school groups:

For full programme details visit the Goethe-Institut website.

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DAAD writing competition

25 October 2016 (DAAD)

The DAAD and the IMLR, together with the Goethe-Institut and the Swiss and German Embassies in London, are calling all learners and lovers of German to take part in a writing competition! This time, the task is to write a story in German.

Two German-speaking authors, Anja Tuckermann (Berlin) and Ulrike Ulrich (Zurich), have provided beginnings of stories of migration. Now it’s your turn to take one of these beginnings and continue spinning the yarn. You are free to develop your text in any direction you choose: to write a story of flight or refuge, of identities and self-images, of encounters or new beginnings … . Your story can be set in the past, the present or the future - and in any geographical setting you wish. The only rule: it must not be longer than 250 words.

The competition is open to students at secondary schools, Sixth-Formers, undergraduates, postgraduates and anybody else who feels up to the challenge!

Visit the DAAD website to find out more and submit your entry by 6 January 2017.

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Euroquiz 2016-17

24 October 2016 (SEET)

SEET is very pleased to announce that Euroquiz 2016-17 has now officially launched! We run an annual Euroquiz for P6 pupils, promoting education about Europe and encouraging the development of foreign language skills and intercultural competencies amongst young people in Scotland.

If you are interested in finding out more about Euroquiz, visit the SEET website where you can watch our promo video, or contact jane@seet.org.uk. Primary schools will receive information via their local authority including a registration form.

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New grant post EU referendum and funding deadline reminder: 31 October

21 October 2016 (UK-German Connection)

Apply for a grant to engage your pupils in discussions on our future in Europe as part of our flexible funding scheme. If you’d like to apply for flexible funding, a taster trip or a planning visit to a partner school, these programmes all have a rolling deadline. For other activities, such as joint thematic projects and partnership celebrations, don’t miss the deadline: 31 October 2016.

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Digital Days competition for schools

21 October 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut London invites German teachers and their pupils to take part in this competition series requiring language and computer skills alike! The topic this year is Digital D.

Several categories for different levels of language skills are provided. Primary teachers and secondary teachers can choose which competition they think suits their students’ best.

To take part in the competition, visit the website and submit the registration form by 10 November 2016.

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SCHOLAR support for Advanced Higher modern languages

11 October 2016 (SCHOLAR / Heriot-Watt)

SCHOLAR would like to bring to your attention their support for learners at Advanced Higher French, German and Spanish tackling the Specialist Study and Portfolio. Within the ‘Culture’ area, there is an extensive set of activities taking learners through every aspect of these areas. There is also a record, downloadable as a word document in both French and German, to help learners keep a record in the target language. This has the aim of helping them both prepare for the visit of the external examiner, and collect information to allow them to present their evidence for the Specialist Study Unit in the target language.

Search for Scholar HW, or use the login link.

Log in with your ID and password, which your school has!

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The world's quirkiest phrases

29 September 2016 (BBC)

To celebrate International Translation Day, we asked translators from across the globe to tell us their favourite expressions. Here are 11 of the most surprising.

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Magical Christmas Trips - deadline reminder: Monday 3 October 2016

28 September 2016 (UK-German Connection)

Give your primary pupils the chance to experience Germany's Christmas culture in a real-life setting! This four-day visit to Berlin will give them the chance to meet German children of the same age and get involved in seasonal intercultural activities.

Two options now available: apply for a visit run by UK-German Connection or receive funding to organise your own!

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UK-German Connection flexible funding scheme

27 September 2016 (UK-German Connection)

This special flexible funding scheme is designed to bring young people of the UK and Germany together to facilitate an exchange of ideas, joint learning and open discussions on special topics and current issues.

Funding is available for schools and youth groups in the UK and Germany for grants of between £500 and £5000. Activities must be joint and bilateral (UK-German) with a high level of interaction between the young people.

Current themes available under the flexible funding scheme:

  • World War 1
  • Our future in Europe - maintaining the UK-German connection
Visit the UK-German connection website for further information about the scheme and guidelines for applying.

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The top 9 languages for the highest-paid jobs in Britain

26 September 2016 (The Independent)

Learning a second language can be extremely lucrative for your career opportunities.

And after jobs search engine Adzuna analysed over 1 million live job postings on its website, it found out that some languages are more likely to get you a higher paid job than others in Britain, when employers advertised for jobs looking for someone who was at least bi-lingual.

Considering the UK voted to leave the European Union — dubbed a Brexit — and the nation does not know what that would entail for the jobs market, Adzuna's cofounder pointed out that having a second language could become even more sought-after, especially if businesses look to relocate overseas.

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UK-German FLA/ELA Ambassadors

21 September 2016 (UK-German Connection)

Applications for the UK-German Connection's FLA/ELA Ambassador network 2016-17 are now open.

The FLA/ELA Ambassadors are a network of language assistants who are working in schools in the UK and Germany. They run small projects, activities, events or clubs in order to inspire and motivate young people in their schools for the language and culture of the other country.

FLA/ELA Ambassadors run at least one project within their school or in conjunction with other schools in the area. The project is bilateral, run either with a partner Ambassador from the other country, or with an existing partner school. The aims are to enable young people to have direct, meaningful contact with young people in the other country and to make lessons come to life through active involvement in a UK-German partnership.

To find out more about the scheme and previous Ambassador projects which have taken place, visit the UK-German Connection website and apply by 14 October 2016.

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Language Immersion Days for Higher and Advanced Higher

20 September 2016 (UWS)

The Languages for All team at University of the West of Scotland (UWS) are offering language immersion classes in French, German, Mandarin or Spanish to support Higher and Advanced Higher students.

The half-day classes are designed to suit the academic needs of students who wish to enhance essential skills in language such as reading, writing, speaking and listening. These classes will prepare students for their SQA final exams.

The classes can either be held in one of the UWS campuses - Ayr, Dumfries, Hamilton or Paisley. Alternatively UWS lecturers can travel to your local authority facilities.

To find out more and how to arrange a session, visit the UWS website.

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Chryston HS part of the Smart Choice: German Network

19 September 2016 (Chryston High School)

Chryston High School has now been named as the first Scottish school on the Goethe Institut’s Smart Choice: German network.

The network recognises the school’s commitment to German as a foreign language and the support that the school offers to our feeder primary schools.

Part of the project involves setting up a digital network which will allow us to strengthen our partnership with our feeder primary schools while promoting the benefits of learning German.

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Related Links

The Smart Choice: German - Schools' Network - Goethe-Institut website containing information about the network and how schools can get involved.

New German courses from 27 September 2016

19 September 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

Due to demand the Goethe-Institut in Glasgow has opened another beginners course on Tuesday evenings. There are also some places left on their other courses.

For full details visit the Goethe-Institut website and if you'd like to join, please make sure that you enrol this week.

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New student profiles on the SCILT website

16 September 2016 (SCILT)

New additions to our job profile section this term come from students currently undertaking courses which also allow them to develop their language skills.

Our two latest profiles come from students in the Tourism sector:

  • Amy-Jo Fairbairn, who is studying for a HND in Travel and Tourism at the City of Glasgow college.
  • Gail Leslie who, after completing her HND course in Travel and Tourism, is now embarking on a degree in Business Studies at UWS..
Whilst choosing different languages to learn, both can see the value of language skills for their future careers and personal lives.

Read their profiles and others on our website.

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Magical Christmas Trips to Germany 2016

12 September 2016 (UK-German Connection)

Give your primary pupils the chance to experience Germany's Christmas culture in a real-life setting! This four-day visit will give them the chance to meet German children of the same age and get involved in seasonal intercultural activities.

As part of this programme, a group of primary pupils from the UK travel to Germany with their teachers, as well as 'mentors' from a nearby secondary school to meet their German peers, learn some new German words and get a taste of Christmas in Germany.

To find out more and how to apply, visit the UK-German Connection website.

The organisation offers a number of funded activities for primary and secondary pupils and teachers, details of which can also be found on their website. Visit their funding webpage for all the grant options available.

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German online group course for adult learners

9 September 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut’s German online group course allows you to align your German studies with your time schedule, no matter where you are. However, you will not be learning alone but in a small group.

The next course commences on 19 September 2016 and is available at various learner levels.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more details and to enrol.

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Deutsch mit Karla and Kai

9 September 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

‘Deutsch mit Karla & Kai’ is a scheme of work that follows on from the ‘Deutsch mit Felix & Franzi’ programme. It is intended for children who have finished two years of German at primary level, having had around 40 minutes of German per week.

‘Deutsch mit Karla & Kai’ consists of 6 chapters, each of which opens with a video clip. The films introduce the new learning and teaching content in a playful way. The learners will already have a basic knowledge of German. They will therefore be able to access completely new structures and vocabulary in the context of the stories.

Access the resource on the Goethe-Institut website.

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Travel grants for UK schools with partnerships in Germany

5 September 2016 (British Council)

The UK is the partner country for this year’s Oceans and Seas focussed Year of Science organised by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). Together with our UK partners the British Council Germany, the UK Science & Innovation Network and UK-German Connection, we invite you to take part in a collaborative Citizen Science Project working on the “Plastic Pirates” project together with your German partner school.

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research has agreed to bear the travel and accommodation costs incurred by British partner schools who take part in the project.

Would you and your pupils like to become Plastic Pirates? If so, get in touch with your German partner school if they are also taking part in the programme. They should then let the Editorial Office of the Science Year know who will help you organise your research trip to Germany.

Visit the British Council or UK-German Connection websites for more information.

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Vocab Express League of Champions 2016

1 September 2016 (Vocab Express)

Share in the excitement and energy generated by the Vocab Express League of Champions. The championship will run from Wednesday 28 September until Tuesday 4 October 2016. It's a fantastic way to engage students in vocabulary building by challenging them to compete against other schools across the UK and from around the world.

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

There are currently 84 free non-subscriber school places left. Visit the website for more information and to register now!

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History teacher trip to Berlin: 23 - 29 October 2016

1 September 2016 (German Embassy)

The German Embassy London, together with the Federal Foreign Office, annually organises a professional trip for British teachers of history to Berlin. This year’s History Teacher Tour will take place from 23 to 29 October and is now open for applications until 12 September 2016.

Please pass on this opportunity to your colleagues who teach history.

For more information, please visit the German Embassy website.

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Residential training courses in Germany 2017

30 August 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

Every year the Goethe-Institut offers an attractive range of residential training and language courses for teachers of German (specialists and non-specialists) as well as teacher trainers.

Available are language courses, courses on "Landeskunde", methodology and teaching strategies and also courses for teacher trainers.

Apply now for a scholarship from the Goethe-Institut Glasgow. Deadline for applications is 15 October 2016.

Details and application form are available on the Goethe-Institut website.

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German courses 2016-17

19 August 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow offers a range of courses at different levels with new term courses starting in September. Visit the Goethe-Institut website for full details and to enrol.

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Host a teacher from Germany 2016-17

18 August 2016 (UK-German Connection)

Add an international dimension to your classroom by hosting a teacher from Germany for two or three weeks. It's free, flexible and provides schools with authentic cultural input.

Schools have until 21 September 2016 to apply.

For more information about the scheme and to apply, visit the UK-German Connection website.

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Calendar of UK-German opportunities 2016-17

18 August 2016 (UK-German Connection)

Plan ahead for the new school year with this at-a-glance overview of UK-German opportunities and deadlines, now available on the UK-German Connection website.

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German language courses

29 July 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow offers a range of courses, classes and workshops. The following are currently available for enrolment. Click on the appropriate link for further information:

For more information about the Goethe-Institut and the activities they offer, visit the website.

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SCHOLympics competition

24 June 2016 (Heriot-Watt University)

The SCHOLympics is a multi-disciplinary, scholarly competition that is open to all students who have access to SCHOLAR via their individual username and password. It features an extensive range of questions from the subjects that are currently available in the SCHOLAR programme, including a Mandarin listening comprehension which requires speakers or headphones, and questions from our brand new, soon to be published, English courses. The questions are set at Higher level or below.

The competition will be open between Monday 25 July until Wednesday 28 August 2016.

Visit the SCHOLAR website to find out more.

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Vocab Express League of Champions 2016

20 June 2016 (Vocab Express)

Create a languages buzz around your school to kick-start the new academic year!

Share in the excitement and energy generated by the Vocab Express League of Champions. The championship will run from Wednesday 28 September until Tuesday 4 October 2016. It's a fantastic way to engage students in vocabulary building by challenging them to compete against other schools across the UK and from around the world.

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

The challenge is free to all schools subscribing to Vocab Express. In addition, there are 100 free school places available to non-subscribers.

Visit the League of Champions website to find out more and to register for one of the free school places. 

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New job profile on SCILT's website

17 June 2016 (SCILT)

Highlight the value of languages in the world of work to your pupils. We have a range of job profiles on the SCILT website in which people from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives. See our latest addition:
  • Rosemary Graham, Tour Guide - Rosemary's knowledge of the German language enabled her to live and work in Germany teaching and making jewellery. Now she uses her language skills to guide tourists around Scotland.
See this and other job profiles on our website now.

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Competition for teachers: 'Deutsch für dich' in the classroom

15 June 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut is looking for the best ideas on how to use the 'Deutsch für dich' community in class. Teachers, take part in the competition and win an iPad!

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and submit your ideas by 30 June 2016.

If you're not already familiar with the Deutsch für dich resource, find this and other packages on the Goethe-Institut website to help learners practice German free of charge.

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The Smart Choice: German schools' network

15 June 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

This opportunity is currently not available.

Host a Teacher from Germany 2016-17 - deadline approaching

13 June 2016 (UK-German Connection)

Add an international dimension to your classroom by hosting a teacher from Germany. Schools can now apply to host a teacher from Germany for two or three weeks. Application deadline: 21 September 2016*

* Please note: If you're planning to host a teacher in the autumn term, please make sure that your application reaches UK-German Connection before the end of the summer term.

For more information about the scheme and to apply, visit the UK-German Connection website.

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Word Wizard Final 2016!

10 June 2016 (SCILT/CISS)

S1-S3 pupils from across Scotland took part in the National Final of Word Wizard at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on 24 May 2016. 46 learners from eight local authorities and independent schools competed in French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin and Spanish in front of an audience of teachers, supporters and guests.

Visit our Word Wizard Final 2016 webpage to read the full list of prizewinners and to see photos from the event.

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Articulate Language Camps

9 June 2016 (Articulate Language Camps)

Articulate Language Camps are based in Scotland and offer a variety of programmes from school day camps to residential summer camps as well as exam revision and CPD for teachers.

Tuition is offered in English, French, Spanish, Italian and German to learners aged 3-17, with a unique method of teaching through digital media projects, such as animation and podcasting, and adventure activities which take learning into the great outdoors. So, whether campers are taking an archery class in German, singing campfire songs in French or making a film in Spanish, they are having fun while learning in a meaningful way.

New this year is the International Camp in Italian. Find out more from camp leader, Lisa, in this short video 'Una breve introduzione ai nostri programmi' and for further information about Articulate Language Camps and all their programmes, visit the website.

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Essential German: Intensive course for complete beginners

9 June 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

Are you planning a visit to a German-speaking country, would you like to be able to speak with German-speaking friends in their native tongue or would you like to learn a bit of German just for fun? If you are a complete beginner, this one-week intensive course is for you!

The course will run from 27 June to 2 July 2016. Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and enrol by 17 June.

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An effective way to kick start primary languages

7 June 2016 (ilanguages)

In September 2014 KS2 modern language teaching became compulsory in English primaries for children from the age of 7. Given that the vast majority of primary teachers are not trained or confident linguists this has been a challenge for many schools; especially as the new curriculum requires considerable learner progress in the four years leading up to secondary school.

Juliet Park and Wendy Adeniji, practising teachers and nationally renowned trainers and authors of creative resources decided to develop a scheme of work which would support teachers of all linguistic abilities. Additionally, they wanted to ensure that teachers had a comprehensive set of integrated resources which would work in harmony and be easy to follow.

The resources include pedagogical approaches which were presented at the language show in Glasgow in March such as Kagan co operative learner and Talk4Writing. These approaches raise engagement and also literacy levels and are equally useful to other areas of the curriculum.

The packs also include two effective approaches to teaching French and Spanish phonics, a key element for improving learner confidence in pronunciation and making the sound spelling link. Songs have also been embedded into the scheme from the Aberdeen based company The Language Factory.

To ensure children can get further practice between lessons, an app to support the scheme is being launched in the autumn.

The reaction from teachers using the ilanguages resources has been overwhelming and it is fast becoming the scheme of choice in England.

Helen Walker from Hursthead school says ‘my learners have made double the progress than in the past and I am an experienced teacher’

Richard Williams from High Lane school commented that he is a complete beginner in French but he ‘can rely on the resources do the talking because it’s such a user friendly scheme’.

Teachers can download free starter packs from the ilanguages website.

Juliet and Wendy are now looking to set up regional hubs in Scotland to support teachers in the 1+2 initiative. This will include expert training on the delivery of French and Spanish to regional networks and access to free resources.

If you would like to become a regional hub to support your local network please contact Juliet on julietpark@icloud.com. First come first served! 

Find out more about ilanguages and what they can offer to primary and secondary schools on their website.

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The UK-German Bears project - apply now to host Alex and Ben

3 June 2016 (UK-German Connection)

Alex and Ben, our UK-German bears, are preparing for their travels again and can't wait to find out who they'll visit next! We can match you up with a German partner school to work with on this fun, interactive three-week project for primary children, which helps them learn about each other's language and culture.

Find out more about the project and available hosting dates on the UK-German Bears website.

UK-German Connection offers a variety of funded activities including professional development opportunities for teachers to visit Germany, the chance to host a German teacher at your school, as well as a Youth Ambassadors programme for young people interested in German language and culture.  See the calendar of opportunities available on the UK-German Connection website for full details.

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Deutsch für dich

30 May 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

Register to join the learning and teaching community free of charge to help learn and improve your German.

Find out more in the 'Deutsch für dich' promotional video and visit the Goethe-Institut website to register.

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Summer language learning at Strathclyde

27 May 2016 (University of Strathclyde)

The University of Strathclyde's 2016 summer programme includes options to learn French, German, Italian and Spanish as well as a taster session 'Break into Hebrew.'

Visit the website to access the programme giving full details of the courses available over the summer.

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Schools Modern Languages Question in the House of Lords

24 May 2016 (They Work for You)

Question put by Baroness Coussins in the House of Lords to ask Her Majesty's Government what is their response to the announcement by OCR that they are to discontinue GCSE and A-level examinations in French, German and Spanish.

See the transcript of the debate on the website.

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Certificate exams at Goethe-Institut

23 May 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

Goethe-Institut examinations are well known throughout the world and the associated certificates are accepted as a qualification by employers and further education institutions in many countries. Detailed information about the exam, regarding content as well as practice materials, can be found on the Goethe-Institut website

To register, please send the completed application form to the Goethe-Institut Language Department:

Essential German: Intensive Course for Complete Beginners

23 May 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

Are you planning a visit to a German-speaking country, would you like to be able to speak with German-speaking friends in their native tongue or would you like to learn a bit of German just for fun? If you are a complete beginner, this course is for you! Enrolment: by 13 June. 

For enrolment please contact Goethe-Institut's Language Department.

Football and German - Materials for your German classroom

23 May 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

Popular events like the European Football Championship 2016 provide ample opportunities for motivating young learners. The Goethe-Institutes in France have developed some practice materials for the German classroom suitable for various levels and ready for kick off.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website to download the free resources.

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Exclusive: OCR exam board drops modern foreign language GCSEs and A levels

16 May 2016 (TES)

Applies to England

The OCR exam board is to stop offering GCSEs and A levels in French, German and Spanish, TES can reveal. The awarding body, one of the three biggest in England, will withdraw from modern foreign languages (MFL) from September when reformed school exams in the subjects start to be taught.

OCR had put together proposed new GCSE and A levels in the langauge subjects but they have not been accredited by exams watchdog Ofqual for schools to start using from next term. Today the board said it had taken its decision to pull out of modern foreign languages "reluctantly" and to give teachers time "to make a considered choice about new qualifications for this September".

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German for children - films in lessons

2 May 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

Children love films. They ensure variety and entertainment in lessons – and support the learning process. What should teachers look out for when they use them in lessons? Here are some tips and practical examples.

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The Language Magician - German for children

28 April 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

One of the main aims of this Erasmus+ project is to develop an assessment tool to be used in primary schools called THE LANGUAGE MAGICIAN. The game will be fun for the children, build on their language and IT-skills and provide information on their progression. It will support teachers by giving them a tool to assess their pupils’ abilities using non-threatening testing methods and hopefully also increase the enjoyment of learning a foreign language at this age.

The project is still under development, but visit the Goethe-Institut website to find out more.

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New online group courses in German enrolling now

28 April 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

Would you like to learn German in a group although you can’t come to our institute? Do you travel a lot for work and therefore would like to study at any place and time? Do you prefer a more intensive course? Then join our German online group course! Not only will you learn in collaboration with other students - you will also cover an entire level in 16 weeks (based on 6-7 hours of course work per week).

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to enrol. Course commences 17 May 2016.

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Study a language at LSE this summer

25 April 2016 (LSE careers blog)

Did you know that the LSE Language Centre offers summer courses? Each year, ‘Summer Languages’ has grown to include more languages, levels and courses of different levels of intensity. You may want to consolidate the language skills you have learned during the academic year, or you may want to try learning a language as a beginner. You could even restart learning a language you were taught at school.

More information about all the courses and languages available can be found on the LSE Summer Languages website.

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German Teacher Award 2016

25 April 2016 (German Embassy)

If you know a truly outstanding German teacher at your school – make sure that their dedication and excellence get the recognition they deserve!

The German Embassy is pleased to invite nominations for the annual German Teacher Award, now in its 13th successful year.  Further information on the nomination process and selection criteria is available on their website as well as on the documents attached. 

Please note, only head teachers can make a nomination.  Submissions from German teachers themselves or their pupils will not be accepted.

The deadline for nominations is 1 May 2016.

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SQA National 5 Modern Languages Course Reports Summary

19 April 2016 (SCILT)

We have summarised the SQA National 5 Course Reports for all languages. These reports contain important information on how candidates performed in last year's exams. Teachers may find it useful to share some of the key messages of these reports with candidates in advance of this year's exams.

The summary document can be found on the Essentials for Planning in the Senior Phase section of our website.

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Robots teach Germany's refugees a foreign language

2 April 2016 (Deutsche-Welle)

Fancy learning a new language from a robot? As Europe struggles to integrate the largest influx of refugees since the end of WWII, scientists have designed a robot that can interact with children learning German.

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Goal! Tor! But!

24 March 2016 (Alliance Française / Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut and the Alliance Française in Glasgow together with the Scottish Football Museum present a free month-long celebration of football and community across Glasgow this April.

From 1-30 April pop in to your local library or arts centre to experience a series of free film installations about how communities around the world react to the beautiful game.

Cinemas across the city will play host to some fantastic free football-themed movies.

On 27 and 28 April, join us at Hampden Park for a free and informative two-day symposium on Football and Social Inclusion.

For full details visit the Goal! Tor! But! website.

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Welsh footballers help pupils go global

23 March 2016 (Welsh Government)

Players from the Wales National Football team have been doing their bit to help pupils concentrate on their modern foreign languages lessons by launching a new learning resource pack linked to this year’s Euros.

The educational resources have been produced as part of the Welsh Government’s Global Futures plan which aims to improve and promote modern foreign languages in Wales.

The Euros-based resources have been published on Hwb, the digital learning platform for schools, so teachers can capitalise on their pupil’s excitement in the run up to June’s tournament, and use the packs to promote the importance and relevance of modern foreign languages.

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Summer courses in Germany

4 March 2016 (UK-German Connection)

Only a week to go until the application deadline for UK-German Connection's funded summer courses in Germany!

Visit the website to find out more about the options available, check eligibility criteria and to apply by 10 March 2016:

  • German Pupil Courses - two-week courses in Germany during July or August for UK secondary pupils studying German.  Find out what one pupil has to say about the German Pupil Courses in the video 'Rachel's experiences'.
  • German Pupil Courses Group Leaders - 3 posts available for qualified UK teachers with experience of teaching German up to GCSE/S5 or A Level/S6 to lead groups on the GPC.
  • German Scholarships Programme - a four-week programme for senior pupils to spend in Germany during July or August to improve their language and learn more about the German culture.

Read more...

International German Olympics Competition

29 February 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

Goethe-Institut (London) are happy to welcome the German Olympics for schools worldwide to the United Kingdom in 2016 for the first time. The final will take place in Berlin, 17th to 30th of July 2016 - 65 countries from all around the world will take part. The United Kingdom are eligible to send two secondary school students born 1997 to 2002. The German Olympics - the biggest competition for the German language - promotes young people from all around the world to encounter one another thanks to the fact they all study German. They will become friends and build up an international network.

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Employ a language assistant in Scottish schools

26 February 2016 (British Council)

Employing a British Council language assistant is a unique way to broaden your students understanding of the world, improve their language skills and increase their cultural awareness.

Language assistants are dynamic, enthusiastic native speakers of French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Russian, and are usually undergraduates or recent graduates. As we recruit language assistants directly from their home countries, their language is up-to-date, the classroom resources they provide are relevant and authentic, and they will be well placed to connect with students on their own level . Simply put, employing a language assistant provides the kind of learning experience that cannot be found elsewhere.

The deadline for applications has been extended to 31 May 2016. Visit the British Council website to find out more and to apply. Follow the relevant section on the webpage to find out specifically about employing a Chinese language assistant.

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Deutschland 83 opens the floodgate for a German TV renaissance

23 February 2016 (The Guardian)

The success of the cold-war thriller outside its home country has inspired Amazon, Netflix and Sky to commission German-language shows.

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Touring Exhibition - Erfinderland Deutschland

18 February 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

Our new touring exhibition "Inventions from Germany" takes place from 21 March to 1 April 2016 and focuses on ground-breaking, German inventions which affect the daily lives of each of us and does so in an interactive way.

The exhibition promotes the concept of STEM teaching combined with German and is suitable for both, German-oriented and science-oriented school classes. We offer a guided programme (one-hour slots) with worksheet activities for school classes (group size up to 30, S4 to S6). Beginners are welcome too as English translations are provided.

Visit the Goethe-Institut Glasgow website for further information and to book a slot.

The exhibition is also accompanied by a dedicated website with more detailed information and resources:

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‘Giving it bifters’ in German? Augsburg offer translation tips to Liverpool fans

17 February 2016 (The Guardian)

Liverpool’s Europa League last-32 opponents Augsburg have offered visiting fans a “scouse/German” translation guide to help their trip go smoothly.

As the clubs prepare to meet in the first leg of their tie on Thursday, Augsburg tweeted “a little something to help our @LFC friends out & about in Augsburg, and perhaps even #Klopp back at home.”

Among the translations on offer are: “Mi head’s chocka / Ich kann nicht klar denken” and “Givin it bifters / Dein Bestes geben”.

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Eddie Izzard will make you laugh in four languages

8 February 2016 (PRI / The World in Words)

Eddie Izzard has often joked about language from the silliness of Latin to why English speakers are so stubbornly monolingual. However, in late ‘90’s, Eddie decided that it wasn’t enough to joke about language; he wanted to joke in other languages. So in 1997 he took the stage and did his first set in France in French. It wasn't funny, he admits, but it was the start of a career goal to do stand-up in as many languages as possible. Eventually he did feel funny (and fluent) in French. Now, nearly two decades after that first French show, he has toured in not only French but German and Spanish. He intends to learn Russian and Arabic next.

The World in Words sat down with Izzard to find out why he’s decided to take his humor around the globe and how he’s managed to learn all these languages. (Warning: Parts of this podcast are definitely NSFW.).

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Oxford German Olympiad

29 January 2016 (Oxford German Network)

The Oxford German Olympiad 2016 is open for submissions from primary and secondary pupils.

This year's theme is 'Deutscher Humor - nichts zum Lachen? You can find the full guidelines and instructions for taking part on the website along with a flyer for your school.

Entries should be submitted online before noon on Friday 4 March 2016.

Read more...

New courses in German enrolling now

29 January 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

Enrolment is now open for the next session of courses commencing 13 February 2016 at the Goethe-Institut Glasgow.

If you are unsure of your language level or would like more information and advice, there's an Open Day on Saturday 30 January, from 10.00 - 1.00pm or visit the website for full programme information and to enrol.

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Partnership opportunity with a school in Germany

29 January 2016 (Berufliche Oberschule)

Berufliche Oberschule in Schwandorf, Germany, would like to establish a partnership with a school or college in Scotland.

The German college is located between the cities of Nuremberg and Regensburg, in a culturally and historically rich area in the heart of the European continent. Since all students have to do English as an A-level subject, the vast majority of them have achieved a very pleasing command of
the English language, enabling them to communicate with native speakers of English at ease.

A 'Berufliche Oberschule' is very similar to a British sixth form college and it also shares some features with a college of further education. Most students are aged between 16 and 19 years.

The German college has already gained some fruitful experience from cooperating with the sixth form of a high school and a college of further education in England, doing projects about science and health education, whereby the working language was English. Fortunately, the projects, which
were based on an exchange of the students, were supported financially by "UK-German Connection", an intergovernmental organisation.

Berufliche Oberschule Schwandorf has already prepared an application for funding a project about immigration and integration, but the German college is open to all fields of studies and to other forms of cooperation as well.

All Scottish teachers interested are very welcome to contact their Schwandorf colleagues Natalie Burkardt and Christian Eiblmeier via email natalie.burkardt@gmx.net<mailto:natalie.burkardt@gmx.net or c.eiblmeier@arcor.de<mailto:chris.eiblmeier@arcor.de or phone (0049 941 29
01 13 26 or 0049 941 38 38 76 0).

Glasgow Film Festival and Youth Film Festival 2016

26 January 2016 (Glasgow Film Festival)

This year's Film Festival takes place from 17-28 February, with the Youth Film Festival screenings being held from 12-15 February.  Both events include a number of foreign language film options.

Brochures detailing the screenings available can be accessed from the following Festival websites:

For more information about the Festival and to purchase tickets, visit the main Glasgow Film Festival 2016 website.

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Meet and Learn at the Goethe-Institut Glasgow

22 January 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

A number of regular events for learners of German and everyone interested in German culture and language are available at the Goethe-Institut Glasgow.

All events are free to attend unless otherwise stated and include a regular Book Club, Film Club, and opportunities to practise your German discussing current events or a selected topic relating to German language or culture.

Further details can be found on the Goethe-Institut website.

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Thinking about a degree at Oxford? Why not try us out for a week this summer?

20 January 2016 (Oxford University)

Would you like to spend a week with us this summer, living in an Oxford college, learning about a modern foreign language and its culture, and getting a taste of what it’s like to study here as a student? All entirely FREE of charge, food and accommodation included? (We’ll even pay for your train ticket to get here.)

If you’re currently in Year 12 (S5) of a state school, and have some free time in July this year, please do think about signing up for the course, or for one of the dozens of others on offer, including German, Spanish, or ‘beginner languages’ to give you a little experience of Russian, Portuguese and Italian languages and cultures.

The French summer school runs from 2-8 July this year, the German summer school and the Beginner Languages school both run from 16-22 July, and Spanish is 23-29 July.

Visit the website for more information and to apply by 3 February 2016.

Read more...

Multilingual Debate 2016

19 January 2016 (Heriot-Watt University)

Heriot-Watt University's Multilingual Debate is an annual event that showcases the interpreting skills of undergraduate students on our Languages (Interpreting and Translating) degree programme, as well as the developing professional skills of postgraduate students on our MSc Interpreting and Translating programmes. The event takes the form of a formal debate with two multilingual teams arguing for and against a motion of topical interest in a range of languages. The teams deliver their views in their various native languages (French, German, Spanish, English, Arabic, Chinese, British Sign Language (BSL)).

The audience is mainly made up of pupils coming from Scottish and English secondary schools, but also university undergraduate students considering entering the interpreting profession, as well as government and local authority representatives. The audiences participated in the debate by listening to the arguments, putting questions to the speakers in the languages represented and voting on the motion.

The Multilingual Debate 2016 takes place on Wednesday 23 March at Heriot-Watt University's Edinburgh campus.

To find out more about the debate topics and how to sign up to attend a session, see the video presentations in Arabic, BSL, Chinese, English, French and Spanish on the Heriot-Watt website.

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Pupil summer courses in Germany

19 January 2016 (UK-German Connection)

Applications for UK-German Connection's funded summer courses in Germany are now open.

Visit the website to find out more about the options available and to apply:

  • German Pupil Courses - two-week courses in Germany during July or August for UK secondary pupils studying German.  Find out what one pupil has to say about the German Pupil Courses in the video 'Rachel's experiences'.
  • German Pupil Courses Group Leaders - 3 posts available for qualified UK teachers with experience of teaching German up to GCSE/S5 or A Level/S6 to lead groups on the GPC.
  • German Scholarships Programme - a four-week programme for senior pupils to spend in Germany during July or August to improve their language and learn more about the German culture.

To check full criteria before applying, see the UK-German Connection website for full details.

Application deadline is 10 March 2016.

Read more...

'Pay for foreign exchange trips rather than a week in Majorca,' top headteacher tells parents

11 January 2016 (TES)

Parents should consider sending their child on a school foreign exchange rather than spending money on a week in Majorca, a headteacher has suggested.

Young people are likely to learn more on a cultural break in a city such as Madrid or Barcelona than they are sitting on a beach, according to Caroline Jordan, headmistress of Headington School in Oxford and the new president of the Girls' Schools Association.

Setting up a foreign exchange for students did not have to be expensive, Ms Jordan said.

"It's trying to convince the parents that that's good use of their finances as opposed to a foreign holiday to Majorca, where they may well be in a Spanish environment but they're less likely to be experiencing Spanish as they would be if they were in somewhere like Madrid or Barcelona on exchange," she said.

"Exchange is very important and we know that languages is a real area of concern in this country. The government is doing quite a lot about this by trying to encourage all children to take a language through the English Baccalaureate."

Figures show that last year, there was a drop in language GCSE entries, with French down 6.2 per cent on 2014, German down 9.8 per cent and Spanish down 2.4 per cent.

As well as ensuring that children learned a foreign language, Ms Jordan added that it was important that modern teenagers were given the opportunity to consider studying at a university overseas, arguing that it could be beneficial to them later on.

Read more...

International German Olympics Competition

11 January 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

The International German Olympics competition is coming to the UK for the first time in 2016! It's the biggest competition celebrating the German language and promotes the gathering of young people from around the globe who are united in their study of German and the forging of international friendships.

The final takes place in Berlin from 17-30 July 2016 with 65 countries taking part. Two secondary school students will be selected to attend and represent the UK. To take part in the preliminary selection process, students born between 1997 and 2002 are invited to produce a 2 minute video, upload to YouTube and submit the link to the Goethe-Institut by 31 March 2016.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for full competition details and entry criteria.

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SQA Higher Modern Languages Course Reports (2015)

7 January 2016 (SCILT / SQA)

We have summarised the Higher Modern Languages Course Reports and highlighted the key messages across all the languages.

These reports contain information on how candidates performed in the 2015 exam diet and give important advice on how to prepare candidates for forthcoming examinations, as well as for the Performance of Talking

The full reports can be accessed on the SQA website.

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German Educational Trainees Across Borders 2016/17

7 January 2016 (SCILT)

Expressions of interest are now being taken from local authorities who would like to host a German student teacher for a 6 month placement during the 2016-17 school session.

German trainee teachers from Universities in Mainz, Leipzig and Koblenz are available to work in Scottish schools for a six month placement from September/October 2016 to March/April 2017. Participating students are native German speakers, training to become secondary teachers of English. 

German Educational Trainees (GETs) help to boost language learning and intercultural dialogue in schools whilst providing an invaluable opportunity to enhance their classroom practice.

For more information please see attached the 'GET Flyer' and 'GET_2016_Information Sheet'. 

Local authorities interested in hosting GETs should complete and return the Note of Interest form by Friday 29th January.  

Related Files

UK-German Connection programmes and funding

7 January 2016 (UK-German Connection)

The next deadline for grants to fund projects and partnerships between UK and German schools is 31 January 2016.

See the full programme of opportunities available and deadline dates for each.

Some programmes have rolling dates, such as the UK-German Bears Project, a free three-week bilateral programme, which puts pupils not only in touch with Alex, the teddy bear from Germany, but also with a German school class. The German class hosts Ben, the British teddy bear, at the same time as the UK school hosts Alex, making this a fun, interactive way for primary children to learn about each other’s language and culture! The bears come with a wide range of downloadable resources with ideas for short-term bilateral activities, which tie in with primary curriculum topics wherever possible.  There are still some hosting dates available for February 2016. If you're interested in taking part, find out more on the Bears Project webpage.

For more information about all the programmes offered by the UK-German Connection, visit their website.

Read more...

Do you speak Star Wars?

16 December 2015 (The Conversation)

Unless you are C3-PO, fluent in more than six million forms of communication, you may not understand every Star Wars language. I’m not talking about the languages spoken in the saga such as Shyriiwook, Huttese, Bocce or even Binary (beep beep doop!), but the languages into which the Star Wars films have been translated.

Take the title of the saga, for example. Whereas in most languages the translation has kept the words “war” and “stars” (La guerre des étoiles in French, Krieg der Sterne in German, and Guerre stellari in Italian, for example) the Spanish translation refers to the war of the galaxies (La guerra de las galaxias).

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New semester German courses and certificate exam dates

16 December 2015 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut's new course programme is now online. The enrolment process for the new semester will start from middle of January. We will also offer again Open Days with teachers present for assessment and advice.

Certificate exam dates for February 2016 are also available.  Register by 18 January.

Visit the website for full details.

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Our Films:Our Europe

15 December 2015 (SEET)

We have now reached the end of the first stage in the Our Films:Our Europe project. We are delighted to announce that the following schools will be joining us in one of our three film-making workshops. During the workshop pupils will have all day to work with media professionals to shoot and edit their films, bringing their ideas to life.

  • Balfron High (Stirling)
  • Holyrood Secondary (Glasgow)
  • Lenzie Acadmey (East Dunbartonshire)
  • Drumchapel High School (Glasgow)
  • Harlaw Academy (Aberdeen City)
  • West Calder High School (West Lothian)
  • Larbert High School (Falkirk)
  • Kirkcaldy High (Fife)
  • St Mungos High School (Falkirk)
  • Falkirk Hgih School (Falkirk)
  • Bishopbriggs Academy (East Dunbartonshire)
  • Auchinleck Acadmeny (East Ayrshire)
  • St Roch's Secondary (Glasgow)
  • St Luke's High School (East Renfrewshire)
  • Cardinal Newman (North Lanarkshire)

A big thank you and well done to all of the schools who have participated in the project so far!

You can find out more about the film-making project on the SEET website.

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SQA updates - Advanced Higher Modern Languages

14 December 2015 (SQA)

The SQA has updated a number of files on their Advanced Higher Modern Languages webpage.

A list of updates is attached and the files can be accessed on the SQA website.

Read more...

Related Files

Student Blog: Why study German?

11 December 2015 (Times Higher Education)

Learning German is no mean feat, and the life of a Germanistik student is certainly no Ponyhof, if Mark Twain’s denunciations are anything to go by. Yet, in an academic climate where arts degrees seem to be discredited as dubious and directionless endeavours, I feel it important to encourage and exalt the study of languages and literature.

As I write this, thousands of 17 and 18 year old high-schoolers are mulling over their university choices. They are weighing up parental expectations, grade predictions, personal interests and skills and making their first steps towards university life and ultimately, towards their careers. As someone who knows this confusion all too well, let me argue in defence of the study of Deutsch.

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SCILT Christmas webpage now live!

3 December 2015 (SCILT)

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

SCILT have compiled resources from around the world for use with your pupils, from songs and games to interactive advent calendars. Find out how Christmas is celebrated in France, Germany, Spain and around the world!

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Learning languages through stories - competition

26 November 2015 (One Third Stories)

One Third Stories are keen to get children everywhere excited about speaking foreign languages and are inviting primary pupils to help make a storybook that makes learning a new language simple and fun in their new competition.

Visit the One Third Stories website for more information and to enter your school.  Entries can be in French, German or Spanish and must be submitted by 18 December 2015.

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Word Wizard 2016 - last chance to register!

26 November 2015 (SCILT/CISS)

Registrations for Word Wizard 2016 close on Monday 30th November, don't miss out on the chance to enter this motivating and challenging competition!

Open to S1-S3 pupils to compete in French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin or Spanish, Word Wizard provides learners with the opportunity to improve their vocabulary, pronunciation and memory skills in a competition format. 

In partnership with UCMLS this year we have semi-finals in Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow. Sign up now to receive the first set of word lists and start practising!

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Our Europe film making competition - deadline approaching

25 November 2015 (SEET)

The deadline for the Our Europe film-making project is fast approaching, but don't worry, there's still time to sign up! Entries must be in by 10 December 2015, so if you want to sign up and haven't yet done so make sure you do it soon! If you have teams of S3-6 pupils who are interested in taking part please complete the registration form.

We are also adding new features to our Script Centre tool, designed to help students with scripting the language component of the project.

We have been extremely busy over the past few weeks making visits to schools all across Scotland and it has been great to see such enthusiasm for the project from students. For more information about the Our Europe project, please visit our website. Remember, it's not too late to sign up!

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New German ebook

13 November 2015 (SCILT)

SCILT, the Goethe Institute and LFEE are pleased to announce the launch of a new German e-book aimed at learners from P7 to S2. If your school has taken part in the Goethe Institute’s German Adventure project, or even if it hasn’t, you will be find this interactive book an enjoyable way to develop German language skills while discovering more about the culture of the EU’s most populated country.

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Oxford German Olympiad

10 November 2015 (Oxford German Network)

The Oxford German Olympiad 2016 is open for submissions!

This year's theme is 'Deutscher Humor – nichts zum Lachen?' with different tasks applicable to the various age categories being judged.

You can find the full guidelines and instructions for taking part on the Oxford German Olympiad website along with a downloadable flyer for your school.

Entries must be submitted before the deadline at noon on Friday 4 March 2016.

Read more...

Digital Days competition

10 November 2015 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut London invites German teachers and their pupils to take part in this unique competition series.  The topic for this year's competition is Geschenke - Gifts.

Five categories for different levels of language skills are provided. Primary teachers and secondary teachers can choose which competition they think suits their students best.

Please register by sending an email to roma.schultz@london.goethe.org by 13 November 2015.

More information is available on the Goethe-Institut website.

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Euroquiz 2016

9 November 2015 (SEET)

The Scottish European Educational Trust (SEET) runs an annual Euroquiz for P6 pupils, which sees teams of four working together to broaden their knowledge of Europe. Subjects covered include history, geography, sport, culture, languages and the European Union.

Heats take place in local authorities from January to March, with the winning teams from all areas going forward to the national final in May.

Plans for Euroquiz 2016 are now underway and schools are invited to register their interest with their local authority Euroquiz co-ordinator.

Further information about the competition and preparation materials are available on the SEET website.

Read more...

Word Wizard 2016 - regional semi-finals added!

5 November 2015 (SCILT/CISS)

Registrations for Word Wizard 2016 are now open for your French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin and Spanish pupils to develop their vocabulary, spelling and memory skills.

This year we have 3 semi-finals in venues across the country - in the Universities of Strathclyde, Dundee and Aberdeen. Schools can now choose to attend the semi-final which is most convenient for them.

The Stage 1 word lists were sent to registered schools this week, so sign up now to take part in this exciting and motivating competition!

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Fokus: Films from Germany - Screenings for schools

5 November 2015 (Goethe-Institut)

Fokus: Films from Germany is a Scotland-wide event featuring innovative, inspiring and challenging films by Germany-based directors.

We’re delighted to be screening two films to schools: one; Rettet Raffi!, an entertaining comedy about the adventures of a boy and his pet hamster, aimed at young children, and the other one, Who Am I – Kein System Ist Sicher, a gripping thriller set in the world of underground computer hackers aimed at older children.

The festival is jointly organized by Goethe-Institut Glasgow and Filmhouse Edinburgh.

See the ;attached flyers for further information about the screenings and how to book or visit the Goethe-Institut website..

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Magical Christmas trip 2015

3 November 2011 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection are very excited to announce that their Magical Christmas trip to Berlin will be taking place in mid-December. They will be taking a group of UK primary school pupils, accompanied by mentors from their local secondary school, who will be teaching them about the German culture and language before they go. Follow their adventures around the Christmas markets and their visits to a German primary school on Twitter.

If you're interested in getting involved in future Magical Christmas trips, please contact UK-German Connection.

Read more...

Youth Ambassador up and running!

3 November 2011 (UK-German Connection)

The new cohort of UK-German Youth Ambassadors is now up and running, and this year there are two Youth Ambassadors in Scotland! 

At the introductory seminar in London the ambassadors planned a range of creative projects which aim to create contact and dialogue between young people from both countries and enthuse pupils and their local communities for German and British culture. We are really looking forward to seeing these projects develop!

Find out more about this year's Youth Ambassadors from their profiles. 

Contact UK-German Connection if you would like to be involved in their local projects.

Read more...

Languagenut supports 1+2

3 November 2015 (SALT)

Languagenut is a professional teaching tool that offers teaching resources across 19 world languages, including French, Spanish, German, Italian, Gaelic and Mandarin. Languagenut also supports EAL students by offering 80 native languages as support to learn English.

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

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

Accessible at school and at home and through GLOW, Languagenut helps to bridge the gap between classroom and home learning and is free for all Scottish schools.

Read more...

Word Wizard 2016 - registrations now open!

30 October 2015 (SCILT/CISS)

Scotland's National Centre for Languages and Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools, in partnership with The University of St Andrews, are proud to announce the return of Word Wizard for its third year!

Motivate your French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin and Spanish pupils by taking part in this spellbinding multilingual spelling competition! 

Building on the success of last year's competition, this year we are holding 3 semi-finals across the country - hosted by the universities of Strathclyde, Dundee and Aberdeen. 

Visit our Word Wizard 2016 webpage for more information and to download the Teacher's Pack and Registration form. 

Read more...

More people want to learn sign language than French or German

16 October 2015 (Daily Mirror)

More people want to learn sign language than French and German, a study shows today.

And a survey by the National Deaf Children’s Society shows two out of three adults think sign language is more impressive than speaking a foreign language.

One in four people in Britain say they want to learn sign language, which would total 12.7m adults.

The top three languages people would like to learn are Spanish (28%), British Sign Language (24%) and French (23%).

Read more...

New resources from Voyage Kids

14 October 2015 (UK German Connection)

New resources oare now available from the Voyage Kids website. These will be of particular interest to teachers of German in the primary school. These new articles, quizzes and memory games include Wuppertal's 'flying train' the Schwebebahn, trams in Germany, recycling bottle machines and Münster's famous Petra the Swan.

Read more...

All pupils to learn two foreign languages by high school

13 October 2015 (Edinburgh Evening News)

It's the pioneering programme aimed at making ­language learning as easy as un, deux, trois.

Every pupil in the Capital will receive lessons in at least two foreign languages by the time they leave primary school under radical plans aimed at helping them keep pace with peers across Europe.

City bosses have confirmed they want to introduce the new scheme, called 1+2, by the start of 2017 – three years ahead of a national deadline set for 2020.

Youngsters will be offered classes in core languages including French, Spanish and Mandarin, as well as Gaelic, Scots and “heritage” tongues such as Polish and Farsi.

The Edinburgh roll-out is part of a Scottish Government-led initiative which will see all children learn a second language from P1 and have experience of a third from P5 at the latest.

Parent leaders in the city have hailed the development and said it would help prepare youngsters for the modern world.

Read more...

DAAD Translation Competition

12 October 2015 (Goethe-Institut)

DAAD Translation Competition is open to secondary school pupils, undergraduates, postgraduates and anybody else who feels up to the challenge of translating a passage of German literature into English.

Read more...

Further training in Germany 2016: Apply now for a scholarship from the Goethe-Institut

8 October 2015 (Goethe-Institut)

Every year the Goethe-Institut offers an attractive range of residential training and language courses for teachers of German (specialists and non-specialists) as well as teacher trainers. Available are language courses, courses on "Landeskunde", methodology & teaching strategies and also courses for teacher trainers.

Deadline for application: 15 October 2015.

Apply to: Goethe-Institut Glasgow (language@glasgow.goethe.org).

Read more...

Workshops for Primary Pupils: 'German Outdoors'

8 October 2015 (Goethe-Institut)

Outdoor learning provides a valuable, often non-competitive learning environment as well as an opportunity to develop independence and self-confidence. Learning in the outdoors re- enforces a positive attitude to education and encourages young people to take greater responsibility for their own learning. The outdoor environment can be a highly motivational place for the development of communication skills. Research has shown that children's use of language is five times greater outdoors than indoors.

Suitable for all primary school classes as a taster for complete beginners or to build on pupils’ previous knowledge of German, these workshops are suitable for a class of 30 max.

A German native speaker will visit your school and the workshops can be held at your school grounds or a nearby green space. The children need to be equipped for all weather. All materials will be supplied.

SCHOLAR Modern Languages sessions

8 October 2015 (Heriot-Watt University)

The SCHOLAR programme offered by Heriot-Watt University offers a number of support sessions in a variety of subjects for students undertaking National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher examinations.

Attached is the programme of online events taking place from October 2015 to March 2016 to support Modern Languages.

For more information about the SCHOLAR programme visit the Heriot-Watt SCHOLAR website.

Read more...

Related Files

Competition: Erfinderland Deutschland Inventions from Germany

8 October 2015 (Goethe-Institut)

In preparation for the interactive exhibition, 'Erfinderland Deutschland – Baukasten Zukunft', which will come to Glasgow in March 2016, the Goethe- Institut Glasgow would like to invite young learners to take part in our competition 'Erfinderland Deutschland' (Inventions from Germany). This opportunity provides pupils with a platform to practice their German, to carry out a project as a team or individually, to use their ICT skills and to explore the use and history of inventions from Germany. Participants are asked to submit a short film or photo-story displaying a German invention of their choice, its history and development as well as the participant’s personal view of it. 

This competition is available in two categories: 

  • Category 1: S1 – S3 
  • Category 2: S4 – S6

Deadline for registration is 9 November 2015

Deadline for entires is 14 December 2015.

Related Files

German could face 'extinction in schools', heads warn

7 October 2015 (The Telegraph)

Applies to England

German could face extinction in the classroom as renewed worries emerge over inconsistencies in grading following reforms that were meant to tackle the issue, leading head teachers have said.

The warning emerged as school leaders said they are even writing to admission offices at leading universities to let it be known that they no longer have confidence in the grading system, which is seeing some top students unable to achieve top grades.

They warned of a "crisis in modern foreign languages" - particularly German - as new figures show that inconsistencies in grading seemed to have become more pronounced than ever this year.

Read more...

New school hub to drive modern foreign languages in South Wales

5 October 2015 (Wales Online)

Language teachers at a South Wales girls’ school have been asked to pass on their hints and tips as part of a new drive to raise take-up in French, German and Spanish.

Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, has been named “centre of excellence for modern foreign languages (MFL)” in the Central South Wales region.

It will see Bryn Hafren hosting teachers from schools in Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taf and the Vale – with an aim to raise standards and interest in subjects which have struggled to attract pupils in recent years.

Read more...

UK-German FLA/ELA Ambassadors

21 September 2015 (UK-German Connection)

Do you want to inspire your pupils by providing authentic contact to young people in the other country, whilst also improving your own intercultural skills? Then apply for the FLA/ELA Ambassadors Network 2015-16.

The FLA/ELA Ambassadors are a network of language assistants who are working in schools in the UK and Germany. They run small projects, activities, events or clubs in order to inspire and motivate young people in their schools for the language and culture of the other country. Projects should address themes that are of educational value as well as interesting and relevant for the target group.

Visit the UK-German Connection website to find out more about the Ambassador Network and to apply by 19 October 2015.

Read more...

Who's Watching Who?

15 September 2015 (University of Edinburgh)

Who's Watching Who? (University of Edinburgh) is delighted to invite you and your pupils to a free event being held at The Byre Theatre in St Andrews on Saturday 26 September at 3:30pm.

The event is a rehearsed reading of a play based on research into East Germany so is ideal for those with an interest in German history and/or theatre and is accompanied by a set of specially created educational materials in English and German developed with Higher and Advanced Higher level teaching in mind.  Teachers can find out more on the project's Information for Teachers page.

The play is set in January 1990, in a provincial East German theatre in Friedrich-Engels-Stadt. Two months before the action starts, the Berlin Wall fell, and the world changed. The old certainties and hierarchies have been overthrown, and no one knows the rules. No one knows how many actors will turn up for work. No one knows whether there will be any audience, no one knows what that audience will want. No one really knows what country that audience lives in any more.

Alone in their rehearsal room, the theatre practitioners have to confront the question of what their theatre is for. What should they programme? What should they rehearse? The older members want to stage a play that was a hit in the West and could never be staged in the East - a play written by one of their former colleagues, who was expelled from the GDR. When he turns up out of the blue, old wars, suspicions and accusations rise to the surface...

Free tickets are available to book for the following readings:

  • Saturday 26 September, 3:30pm: The Byre Theatre, St Andrews
    Book on the website or call 01334 475000.
  • Thursday 24 September, 7:30 pm: The Traverse, Edinburgh, tel. 0131 228 1404
  • Friday 25 September, 7:30 pm: Websters, Glasgow

Visit the Who's Watching Who? website for more information about the project.

Read more...

Young Applicants in Schools (YASS)

10 September 2015 (Open University)

The Open University's Young Applicants in Schools Scheme (YASS) gives S6 students in Scotland the opportunity to study at higher education level without leaving friends and family behind. Study fits around school work and social lives, encourages independent learning and builds confidence.

YASS is designed to bridge the gap between school and full-time university and help able and motivated students stand out from the crowd. Over 500 young people from more than 100 schools took Open University modules last year.

YASS is a unique opportunity for S6 students in Scottish schools to bridge the gap between school and full-time university through independent learning. Run by The Open University in Scotland, YASS offers motivated and able students a chance to study a range of university level modules in school alongside their other studies. Language options are available in French, German, Spanish, Italian and Chinese.

Read more...

Sprechen Sie power?

5 September 2015 (The Economist)

Once the language of Schiller and Goethe, then of Hitler, German is hip again.

Read more...

SQA vacancies - Visiting Assessors for AH Modern Languages

28 August 2015 (SQA)

SQA is currently seeking to recruit additional Visiting Assessors (VA) to conduct Talking assessments at Advanced Higher level in Modern Languages.

Applications can be found following the relevant links below. You will also find information here relating to contract specification, selection criteria and key performance measures.

Closing date for all applications: 1 November 2015.

Residential training courses for teachers of German

26 August 2015 (Goethe-Institut)

Every year the Goethe-Institut offers an attractive range of residential training and language courses for teachers of German (specialists and non-specialists) as well as teacher trainers. There are language courses available on "Landeskunde", methodology and teaching strategies.

Apply now for a scholarship from the Goethe-Institut.  Deadline for applications: 15 October 2015.

Visit the Goethe-Institut Glasgow website for further information and how to apply.

Read more...

German language programme - forthcoming courses

14 August 2015 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow offers a range of German language courses and exams for all levels. Enrolment is now open for the Autumn/Winter term.  Follow the links below for more information:

New students with some previous knowledge are invited to our Open Days. There will be teachers present for assessment and advice on suitable classes.  Visit the Goethe-Institut website for dates and further course enrolment information.

Read more...

Funding for UK-German activities

14 August 2015 (UK-German Connection)

Schools can apply for grants for joint projects or activities with a German partner school, anniversary celebrations and preliminary visits for teachers.

The next deadline for grants is 31 October 2015 (the next deadline after this will be 31 January 2016).

Funding deadlines for the various opportunities on offer can be found on the attached document or visit the UK-German Connection website for full details of the opportunities available.

Read more...

A-level results: 'We need a national campaign to reverse the decline of languages'

14 August 2015 (TES)

The number of students getting into university this year may have reached a record high with the lifting of the cap on numbers, but the A-level results paint a picture of stability.

This comes as no surprise: the grading is determined in part by Ofqual's comparable outcomes approach. This means that if a cohort is broadly similar in terms of GCSE results to those who took A-levels last year (which they often will be), the A-level grade distribution should look similar unless an exam board can produce very convincing evidence that the standard has risen or fallen.

[...] The ongoing decline in the numbers taking French and German also comes as no surprise. Despite the increase in Spanish, overall the uptake of modern languages is dire. Shortage of funding for sixth-form colleges is driving them to cut small subjects and modern languages are gradually falling by the wayside at A-level. Nothing less than a national campaign can reverse the situation.

Read more...

Vocab Express League of Champions 2015

14 August 2015 (Vocab Express)

Create a languages buzz around your school to kick-start the new academic year! The championship will run from Wednesday 30 September until Tuesday 6 October 2015. It's a fantastic way to engage students in vocabulary building by challenging them to compete against other schools across the UK and from around the world.

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

The challenge is free to all schools subscribing to Vocab Express. In addition, there are currently still 50 free school places available to non-subscribers, each for up to 150 students.

Read more...

Word Wizard 2015 final - now with photos!

13 August 2015 (SCILT/CISS)

After announcing the Word Wizard 2015 prizewinners back in June, we have now published the photos from the Final in the Scottish Parliament on 29th May. 

Visit our Word Wizard 2015 Final webpage for the full list of prizewinners and to view the photos via our Flickr album. 

You can download any of the photos by right clicking on the image and selecting 'Save as'.

Read more...

Language study bounces back after a decade of decline

10 August 2015 (The Herald)

A long-term decline in the number of pupils studying languages at Higher appears to have been reversed.

New figures show most modern languages have seen an increase in entries in 2015 after years where numbers have fallen.

Statistics from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) show French has seen a 10 per cent increase with entries rising to 4,572.

Spanish continues a remarkable rise over the past decade with entries rising 28 per cent to 2413.

Read more...

Insight: Why Scots face a language barrier

8 August 2015 (The Scotsman)

Our children’s lack of foreign language skills cry out for a shake-up in education policy, and yet constant upheaval in our schools may be one of the problems, writes Dani Garavelli.

Read more...

The German Language Adventure

11 August 2015 (Goethe-Institut)

Start the new school year with a motivational boost for your pupils. New dates are available to visit the Goethe-Institut Glasgow with your class and tackle the 16 challenges on German language and culture.

The game is suitable for pupils P7-S2.  Available dates are:

  • Monday 24 August 2015 (10:30 - 12:15)
  • Monday 31 August 2015 (10:30 - 12:15)

Booking is essential.  Visit the Goethe-Institut website for details.

Read more...

First and Second Level Modern Languages Learning Map Updates

27 July 2015 (Education Scotland)

Updates to first and second level learning maps are now available on the Education Scotland website.

Read more...

Budding police constables must speak second language in Met pilot scheme

20 July 2015 (The Guardian)

Aspiring police constables must speak a second language to join London’s Metropolitan police under a month-long pilot scheme.

Scotland Yard is hoping the new criterion will help police “engage with London’s diverse communities as effectively as possible”.

From Monday, to be considered for one of the sought-after positions with the capital’s police force, applicants must speak one of 14 languages as well as English. 

They are: Arabic, Bengali, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Sinhala (Sri Lanka), Spanish, Turkish or Yoruba (Nigeria).

Read more...

Related Links

Language recruitment campaign launched (Metropolitan Police, 20 July 2015)

Host a teacher from Germany

14 July 2015 (UK-German Connection)

Provide your school with authentic German cultural input by hosting a teacher from Germany for two or three weeks, at no cost to you. Schools do not need to be teaching German to apply and visits can take place at any time between September 2015 and July 2016.

For more information and to apply by 18 September 2015, visit the UK-German Connection website.

Read more...

UK-German Bears Project for primary schools

14 July 2015 (UK-German Connection)

Would your primary school like to take part in UK-German Connection’s Bears project for three weeks in the next academic year?

Two travelling bears Alex and Ben visit primary schools in the UK and Germany at the same time for three weeks. The bears come with downloadable resources, lesson plans and activities, which allow the children to learn German and about Germany in a fun way.

It's a free programme which puts pupils not only in touch with Alex, the teddy bear from Germany, but also with a German school class. Each participating teacher receives access to a special online Bears area, with songs, interactive games and quizzes. In addition, pupils can record Alex's adventures in the Bears blog and online photo album.

If you don't have a partner school for the project, don't worry! UK-German Connection can help you find a partner, also on a short-term project basis.

For more information about the programme visit the UK-German Connection website and if you're interested in hosting, please contact UK-German Connection by using the Bears project sign-up form:.

Read more...

Forget French and Mandarin - Arabic is the language to learn

12 July 2015 (The Independent)

The 10-year-old was looking at the card in front of him which showed an image of a fish. “Samak,” he said decisively.

He and his classmates at Horton Park primary school, in Bradford, have been learning Arabic for three years now, courtesy of a drive by the British Council to boost the take-up of the language in state schools.

Read more...

Word Wizard 2015 Final!

18 June 2015 (SCILT/CISS)

On Friday 29th May 42 talented linguists competed in the National Finals of Word Wizard 2015. 

Visit our 2015 Final webpage to read all about this year's event and our impressive competitors. Photos from the event will be published soon.

Read more...

UK-German Youth Ambassadors 2015-16

8 June 2015 (UK-German Connection)

Do you have pupils who are enthusiastic about the German language and culture, are interested in topical intercultural dialogue, and want to encourage other young people to get involved by running cultural projects and activities? Encourage them to apply to become a UK-German Youth Ambassador!

  • Youth Ambassadors meet twice a year (in London and Berlin) to develop projects and activities.
  • Membership is free and UK-German Connection covers the costs for the twice-yearly meetings.
  • Young people aged between 15 and 19 who are still in school can apply.
  • German language skills are not required for membership.
  • Support from both the school and parent(s)/guardian(s) is essential.
  • There is a limit of three applicants per school, and only one Youth Ambassador can be selected per school. 

Please visit our website for further details about the Youth Ambassadors network and the application process. The application deadline is 15 July 2015.

You can also request a visit from a Youth Ambassador in your area who could come into your school and help to run a project, or support you with an event - see the 'About the Youth Ambassadors Network' page on the UK-German Connection webpage where you'll find a map and links to the Youth Ambassadors' profiles, through which many of them can be contacted directly.  You can also link to some of the project examples the Ambassadors have been involved in.

Read more...

German language programme at the Goethe-Institut Glasgow

27 May 2015 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow is offering the following German courses during June 2015.  Click on the appropriate link for more information and enrolment forms.

Intensive one week course (22 - 26 June)

Certificate exams (enrol by 5 June)

Detailed information about the exam, regarding content as well as practice materials, can be found on the 'Our German Exams' page of the Goethe-Institut website.

Read more...

Interactive Exhibition with Guided Tours: Umdenken von der Natur lernen

26 May 2015 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in partnership with Glasgow City of Science will bring this exciting interactive exhibition to the Glasgow Science Centre. The exhibition presents the four elements - water, fire, earth and air and promotes greater awareness of and a more sensitive attitude towards the environment, nature and natural resources. Our young visitors are encouraged to explore surprising facts, intercultural dimensions and study positive as well as negative examples in order to engage with central environmental themes.

Following an interdisciplinary and intercultural approach and providing customized teaching materials and workshops, the exhibition Umdenken - von der Natur lernen combines linguistic abilities and an interest in learning German with scientific topics and the subject of environment protection.

The interactive exhibition runs from 26 May to 9 June.  Guided tours are available for S2-S5/6 pupils (other age groups on request). 

Slots available:

  • Wednesday, 03 June, 13:00 - 14:30
  • Thursday, 28 May 10:00 - 12:30 
  • Thursday, 04 June, 10:00 - 12:30
  • Thursday, 04 June, 13:00 - 14:30
  • Friday, 05 June: 10:00 - 12:30
  • Friday, 05 June: 13:00 - 14:30
  • Monday, 08 June: 10:00 - 14:30

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for full details and to book your school's tour.  There are also taster materials available to try out in your classroom.

Read more...

Funding for UK-German partnership activities and projects

18 May 2015 (UK-German Connetion)

UK-German Connection would like to remind you of an upcoming funding deadline. Grants are available for joint projects or activities with a German partner school, anniversary celebrations and preliminary visits for teachers. The next deadline for grants is 31 May 2015 (the next deadline after this will be 31 October 2015).


Grants with rolling deadlines:
Please note that you can apply at any time for Instant Impact (for taster trips), the WWI flexible funding scheme, and Partnership Visit Fund (for teacher’s visits).

If you have any questions about the above grants or would like to discuss your ideas, please don’t hesitate to contact UK-German Connection either by email on funding@ukgermanconnection.org or by telephone (020 7824 1573).

Read more...

Revealing the ‘Secret Malts of Aberdeenshire’ In Four New Languages to Mark World Whisky Day

14 May 2015 (Scotland Food & Drink)

Zum Wohl (German), Saúde (Portugese), Santé (French), gān bēi (Chinese), Sláinte (Gaelic) or cheers (English) – there are many ways to toast a dram around the world.

To mark World Whisky Day on Saturday (May 16) four new foreign language translations of the ‘Secret Malts of Aberdeenshire’ guide are being launched this week by Aberdeenshire Provost, Jill Webster, at Glenglassaugh Distillery near Portsoy.

Working in partnership with local whisky producers, Aberdeenshire Council established the ‘Secret Malts of Aberdeenshire’ last year to highlight the less well-known range of small distilleries all within an hour’s drive of Aberdeen, each with its own distinctive history, style and taste.

The guide has been well received by the tourism industry and the printing of the German language version was sponsored by a German tour company specialising in Scotch whisky tours.

The Portuguese, French and Chinese versions of the guide have been produced in response to demand from key international tourism markets.

Read more...

The UK-German Bears Project - new hosting dates available!

12 May 2015 (UK-German Connection)

With a set of resources, a range of interactive online features and a focus on joint Bears activities with a project partner school in Germany, Alex and Ben bring a fun and accessible international dimension to the primary school classroom!

There are new dates now available from Autumn 2015 through to the Summer term 2016 where your school can host Alex the bear.

Visit the UK-German Connection website to find out more and to apply to join the project. There are also links to Alex’s blog and his adventures and discoveries presented on the Voyage Kids website.

Read more...

Funding for UK-German school partnerships

12 May 2015 (UK-German Connection)

Updated funding guidelines and application forms are now on the UK-German Connection website.

The following funds are available for schools:

  • Challenge Fund - for joint thematic projects in all curriculum areas
  • Challenge Fund - World of Work - for 'world of work' projects, with or without pupils' work experience
  • Partnerships in Learning - for peer-learning activities to strengthen school partnerships
  • Partnership Visit Fund - for partnership visits for teachers to plan or revive joint activities for pupils

Next funding deadline is 31 May 2015.

Read more...

Exam board chief: 'Unless we act soon, even GCSE French and German could face the chop'

8 May 2015 (TES)

The furore around the announcement by some exam boards that they will no longer provide GCSEs and/or A-levels in ‘lesser-taught’ languages such as Turkish, Polish, Urdu and Gujarati begs some big questions. Given that the boards are a mixture of not-for-profits and commercial organisations, it is clear this is not simply a matter of money. The challenges are systemic and the root causes are a mixture of cultural attitudes, failed infrastructures and policy failures over many years.

Formal education has seen an overall decline in the study of traditionally taught foreign languages – French, German, etc – while the study of lesser-taught and community languages has failed to grow.

Any rational analysis of trends in school language education reveals that all languages, apart from English, are in danger of becoming ‘lesser taught’. The number of A-levels awarded in all available languages in 2011 was 40,685 and by the summer of 2014 it was 32,680. Many languages departments in universities are facing a real threat of extinction. Unless something is done soon to correct this we will wake up one morning to learn that GCSE French and German are also for the chop.

Read more...

Related Links

Newham lecturer’s concern over end to community language exams (Newham Recorder, 6 May 2015)

Host a teacher from Germany 2015-16

6 May 2015 (UK-German Connection)

Would you like to have authentic German cultural input in your school? Schools can now apply to host a qualified teacher from Germany for 2 or 3 weeks at no cost.

Why host a teacher from Germany?

  • It’s a free, flexible programme that can be adapted to mutual interest 
  • It’s a great way to exchange resources and share best practice 
  • Pupils gain a unique perspective into the German culture 
  • It’s an excellent professional development opportunity 
  • Pupils and teachers benefit from linguistic support 
  • It can stimulate ideas for future projects

Schools do not need to be teaching German in order to participate in the programme and visits can take place at any time between September 2015 and July 2016.

Teachers receive comprehensive support throughout with ideas of how to maximise the benefit of the programme for all teachers and pupils.

You can find more information and how to apply on the UK-German Connection website. 
Application deadline: 18 September 2015(*)

(*)Please note that forms can be submitted at any time up to the deadline, and schools wishing to host in the autumn term should submit their hosting form before the end of the summer term 2015.
If you have any questions or would like any further information, please contact Carla Johnson by email on carla.johnson@ukgermanconnection.org or 020 7824 1572.

Read more...

So, Are Fillers Okay to Use When, Um, Learning a Foreign Language?

1 May 2015 (Lingholic)

Fillers are everywhere: they’re the ums, uhs, and likes that sneak their way into our speech, often times without us even realizing it. Indeed, fillers, also known as disfluencies, carry no semantic value, but they are used abundantly in natural speech, and are different in each language. Despite the bad rap that fillers get from schoolmarms and speech coaches, it’s important for language learners to acquaint themselves with the fillers in their language of study — nothing gives you away as a foreigner quite like saying, “Yo quiero, um, un helado.”

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German language study on the rise worldwide

30 April 2015 (ICEF Monitor)

By population of native speakers, German is the 10th most-widely spoken language in the world. But when measured in terms of economic impact – that is, by the gross national product (GNP) generated by German speakers – it ranks fourth worldwide, after only English, Chinese, and Spanish.

“The world knows that the [European Union] is economically dependent on Germany and that Austria and Switzerland, which are also German-speaking, are also flourishing economically,” says German socio-linguist Ulrich Ammon. “It’s impressive for people that Germany can compete with the large countries as a world export leader. That gives the impression that learning German will give you access to countries that flourish economically and offer good opportunities for business or for a career.”

Professor Ammon may have a point. New data released earlier this month highlights the fact that the number of people learning German as a foreign language has grown for the first time in 15 years.

Read more...

French Education Minister sparks diplomatic situation with Germany by proposing to abolish 'two-language' classes for 11-year-olds

29 April 2015 (The Independent)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel believes the political friendship between the two countries will never be complete unless more youngsters from both nations speak both languages - and will raise the subject with French President François Hollande.

Read more...

Who in the world wants to learn German?

22 April 2015 (Deutsche Welle)

German as a foreign language is booming in emerging countries like India, Brazil or China. In Europe, it remains particularly attractive in Poland, but may be imperiled in France, where schools are cutting down on German classes. Find out where in the world people are learning German and why in our interactive graphic.

Read more...

Related Links

The German Language (This Week in Germany, 26 April 2015) - Why do people learn German? Is the language difficult to learn? Journalist Jonas Schönfelder speaks to German learners on the streets of Berlin to find out more. Listen to the podcast from 02:40.

German as a foreign language – “We’ve reversed the trend”

21 April 2015 (Goethe-Institut)

Interest in German as a foreign language remains very high according to a new study. There is even an upward trend in China, India and Brazil. Johannes Ebert, the secretary-general of the Goethe-Institut, and Heike Uhlig, director of the Language Department, explain why.

Read more...

IoLET unveils new languages for business qualification

31 March 2015 (Chartered Institute of Linguists)

IoLET, the awarding body of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, exhibited at the Association for Language Learning’s annual gathering of teachers, Language World, now in its 25th year.

At the event held in Newcastle on 20-21 March, IoLET presented its newest qualification, the Certificate in Languages for Business (CLB), attracting keen interest from MFL teachers from around the UK. This practical, work-oriented qualification is initially offered in French, German and Spanish, and is already running across a number of secondary schools and universities.

Read more...

Write an Easter Card to Felix and Franzi

24 March 2015 (Goethe Institut London)

All primary school teachers of German with their students are invited to take part in Goethe Institut London's special Easter activity. Let your students write an Easter card in German to our two hand puppets Felix and Franzi.

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Lern Deutsch- Die Stadt der Wörter

24 March 2015 (Goethe Institut London)

"Lern Deutsch - Die Stadt der Wörter" is an online game for learners of German as well as absolute beginners. Beginners are enabled to enlarge their vocabulary and to compare their language skills to others. In addition, basic grammatical structures are learned in a playful way.

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National 5 and New Higher revision guides

24 March 2015 (National Parent Forum of Scotland)

The National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS) has published a series of New Higher Revision guides. These resources provide a clear, straightforward explanation of what learners need to know in order to prepare for the new Higher exams. For each subject, there are links taking you directly to specimen papers, exemplar question papers and sites where you can access other useful information. Please note that these resources are for the new Curriculum for Excellence Highers.  Guides for French, German and Spanish are available.

These NPFS National 5 Revision in a Nutshell subject guides supplement learning and revision in class. They are organised alphabetically, by subject, covering 20 subjects which have exams and for which the SQA has provided relevant past paper questions. Guides for French, German and Spanish are included.

All the guides can be accessed under the 'For Learners' section of the NPFS website.

Read more...

UK-German Bears Project

18 March 2015 (UK-German Connection)

Primary schools, would you like to host our UK-German bears? With a set of resources, a range of interactive online features and a focus on joint Bears activities with a project partner school in Germany, Alex and Ben bring a fun and accessible international dimension to the primary school classroom! New dates are now available for 2015-16.

Read more...

Fewer pupils learning German ‘risks Scots economy’

18 March 2015 (The Scotsman)

A decline in the number of pupils learning to speak German could impact negatively on Scotland’s economic potential, a Conservative MSP has warned.

Figures from the Scottish Qualifications Authority showing a drop in the number of students taking the language at Higher level were highlighted by Murdo Fraser at Holyrood. The SQA statistics show that uptake of German at Higher has dropped by around 20%, from 1,261 in 2009 to just over 1,000 in 2014. The number of specialist German teachers has also almost halved from 261 in 2004 to 136 in 2013.

Read more...

The Open University ‘Young Applicants in Schools Scheme’ (YASS)

12 March 2015 (Open University)

YASS is designed to bridge the gap between school and full-time university, giving S6 students in Scotland the opportunity to fit study around school work and social lives. The scheme is intended to encourage independent learning and build confidence.

On this programme students may study from a wide range of subject areas across the university; from the Department of Languages, we offer beginners and intermediate modules (French, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese and Welsh), an introductory languages and cultures module and also modules in English (academic purposes and professional communication skills for business).

Funding for the scheme is through the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), which fully supports students from local authority schools studying one of the modules on the scheme.

For further information please visit the Open University website and if you have any queries please contact Scotland-languages@open.ac.uk.

Read more...

Articulate Language Camps

12 March 2015 (Articulate Language Camps)

Easter Revision Day

This Easter, we are offering National 5 and Higher pupils the chance to revise for their French exams with the support of qualified language teachers. Pupils can take part in a variety of listening, reading and writing projects to help them prepare for their upcoming SQA assessments. The Revision Day will give them a chance to leave their textbooks for a while, learn in a relaxed and supportive environment and have a little fun with the foreign language.

The revision day camp will take place of Wednesday 8 April. For just £12, pupils can join us from 10am until 5pm at the Glasgow Gaelic School in the city centre. To reserve a place or request an information pack, pupils should call 07791 698945 or email us at info@articulate-languagecamps.com.

Launch Camp

At our two-day residential summer programme for children aged 6-11, young campers get the chance to experience French, Spanish or German or improve their existing language skills in a fun and interactive way. Our camp ‘launches’ campers into the world of language learning through projects, play and songs. From making a film in Spanish and going on a forest scavenger hunt to singing campfire songs in German and taking an archery class in French.

For more information on dates, prices, location and the programme, please visit our website, Articulate Language Camps, or get in touch at info@articulate-languagecamps.com.

International Camp

Our week-long summer programme brings together young people aged 12-17 from all over Europe to share their language and their culture. With options to learn French, Spanish, German or English, campers can teach one another and practise their speaking and listening skills with young native speakers of the languages they are studying. With a variety of digital media project classes and outdoor sport activities, the programme is full of adventure and excitement.

To hear from previous campers or to find out more information about dates, prices, location and the programme, please visit our website, Articulate Language Camps,  or get in touch at info@articulate-languagecamps.com.

Read more...

How do you say “scunnered” in German?

10 March 2015 (The Herald)

I recently emailed a journalist friend in Berlin to ask what he thought about his country's chancellor, Angela Merkel, and her handling of the Ukraine crisis.

It was a work-related matter and I was keen to know how frustrated Mrs Merkel might be getting with Mr Putin, and how any future diplomacy might play out. His short reply took me by surprise."What is this scunnered? There is no such word in my English dictionary. I assume this is a rude word?"

Read more...

How pupils are saying nein, danke to German

6 March 2015 (TESS)

Students can’t seem to get enough of Mandarin but are bidding ‘auf Wiedersehen’ to the language of Scotland’s near neighbour and economic partner Germany. Julia Belgutay asks why

The premise offered hope to foreign language teachers and all those promoting language learning in schools across Scotland. The 1+2 strategy, announced by the government in 2012, was finally going to bring language learning up to speed with other European countries.

Every child in Scotland would study one foreign language from the first year of primary school, and a second from no later than P5 – a pledge that the government backed up with £4 million of funding last year and a further £5 million in 2014-15.

But more than two years into the implementation of the ambitious strategy, it has become clear that not all languages have been winners. Indeed, some are losing – badly.

Read more...

Related Links

We need to speak up for the value of German (TESS, 6 March 2015)

'Teaching languages to Caregivers' free resources pack

3 March 2015 (TLC Pack Project)

The European project TLC Pack, 'Teaching languages to Caregivers' has completed its first phase of development and published FREE language learning resources. The resources are primarily aimed at migrants entering or working in the care sector, but as we have found through our pilot testing, they are equally valued by language teachers.

The project will continue to produce a total of 30 video dialogues with accompanying in-class and out-of-class activities; currently printable but ultimately available via an online interactive platform. 

The pilot videos in German, Italian and Spanish can be accessed on the website.  You can also download the attached newsletter giving further details about the project.

Read more...

Related Files

Scotland angers European allies over "failing" language policy

2 March 2015 (The Herald)

Ministers have come under fire from some of the most powerful countries in Europe over Scotland's school languages policy.

Representatives from Germany, Switzerland and Austria have written to Dr Alastair Allan, the minister for learning, warning that current policies to expand language learning may lead to the "ultimate demise" of German in Scottish schools.

The move comes just weeks after Dr Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian Ambassador to Great Britain and Northern Ireland, urged Scottish ministers to protect the Russian Higher qualification, which is to be axed this year despite a sharp increase in numbers sitting it.

Read more...

Related Links

Grounding in English grammar essential to learning of languages (The Herald, 3 March 2015)

German Teacher Award 2015

27 February 2015 (Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany)

If you know a truly outstanding German teacher at your school – make sure that their dedication and excellence get the recognition they deserve!

Please note that headteachers must nominate the German teacher; unfortunately applications by German teachers submitted by themselves and applications submitted by pupils cannot be accepted. Application deadline: 12 May 2015.

Read more...

Online Group Courses: German levels A1 and A2

27 February 2015 (Goethe-Institut)

This online course, commencing 16 March 2015, is ideal for those who cannot attend classes at the Institute. It covers the whole level A1 respectively A2 in 4 months. You can learn at your own pace interspersed with online group activites and group tutorials.

For further information and enrolment details visit the Goethe-Institut website.

Read more...

UK-German Connection Partnership Visit Fund

27 February 2015 (UK-German Connection)

Our new Partnership Visit Fund provides financial support for teachers who wish to visit their (prospective) partner school in order to gain an insight into the school and/or plan activities between their young people.

Funding is available to help set up, revive or develop partnership activities or to support teachers who have taken on a new role in an existing partnership.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for full details.

Read more...

Discover Germany! funded trip for S1 pupils - project ideas

24 February 2015 (UK-German Connection)

Interested in the UK-German Connection's funded trip to Berlin for your S1 pupils but need some help identifying a project? Take a look at some showcase examples on the UK-German Connection website.

For more information about the trip itself and to apply by 26 March 2015, visit the Discover Germany! webpage.

Read more...

Discover Germany! programme

17 February 2015 (UK-German Connection)

Applications for Discover Germany! 2015 are now open.

The Discover Germany! programme is a 3-4 day taster trip, which gives UK lower secondary pupils (S1) the opportunity to discover some of Germany's most interesting areas, meet German peers and engage in intercultural learning.

The 2015 Discover Germany! trip will take place in Berlin, from 2 to 5 July 2015, and the theme of the trip will be 'accessible travel and culture'. Pupils will have the chance to visit famous and historical places, interact with German peers at a local school and take part in educational activities at cultural heritage sites. Pupils will also spend time on project work related to this year's theme.

See the UK-German Connection website for more details.  Apply by 26 March 2015.

Read more...

How to teach … German

16 February 2015 (The Guardian)

Deutschland ist wunderschön! Our collection of lesson ideas and resources will help you get students excited about learning German.

Read more...

German Pupil Courses Group Leader opportunities

12 February 2015 (UK-German Connection)

Applications are now open for group leaders for the German Pupil Courses 2015. Three posts are available for qualified UK teachers with experience of teaching German up to GCSE/S5 (for course option 2) or A-level/S6 (for course option 1) and experience of taking groups of young people abroad, to act as group leaders on the German Pupil Courses.

You will work alongside other teachers at a German school and will stay – where possible – with a German host family. This is a great opportunity for your professional development, whilst spending two weeks immersed in German language, daily life and culture. Apply by 10 March 2015.

More information is available on the UK-German Connection website.

Read more...

Why the world should learn German - and why Germany should care

6 February 2015 (Deutsche Welle)

Money makes the world go round and fills German language classrooms. Socio-linguist Ulrich Ammon explains how those grammar lessons give you an edge and why Germany should promote its language more actively.

Read more...

Karneval Special

30 January 2015 (UK-German Connection)

Karneval / Fasching is just around the corner! That's right, from 16 to 18 February, large parts of Germany will descend into a jamboree of fancy dress, sweet-throwing and general merrymaking. Why not teach your pupils all about it with the voyage Karneval special?

Our Karneval Special features:

  • an interactive quiz 
  • a fascinating article about the biggest and most famous Karneval celebrations in Germany 
  • a photo gallery 
  • a podcast about the tradition of Karneval a
  • web quest (with worksheet) that you can use in class 
For Broad General Education (Key Stage 3), why not listen to the ever-popular Karneval song by a singing hairdresser on the voyage kids special? (with worksheet and PPTs to teach the vocabulary in the song).

Are you celebrating Karneval with your pupils? Send us a picture and brief description of your Karneval activities, and we'll feature them on the voyage website as a useful project example.



Read more...

Forget selfie and vape, what are the new favourite words in other languages?

29 January 2015 (The Guardian)

It seems 2014 was the year of ‘photobombing’ and ‘oversharing’ in English, but what about in Spanish, German and French?

Read more...

Why Au Revoir les Enfants is the one film you should watch this week - video review

29 January 2015 (The Guardian)

Peter Bradshaw recommends Louis Malle's 1987 autobiographical film, which takes place in a boys' boarding school towards the end of the second world war, explores French guilt surrounding antisemitism and the events that took place during the Holocaust. The film traces the friendship between two 12 year olds during WW2 and is in French/German with English subtitles. Au Revoir les Enfants returns to the cinema on 30 January with a re-release by the BFI in conjunction with Holocaust Memorial Day.

Read more...

Related Links

See the BFI website for a list of screenings, including those in Glasgow and Aberdeen.

Summer courses in Germany for secondary pupils 2015

21 January 2015 (UK-German Connection)

Do you have pupils who are interested in going to Germany this summer? UK-German Connection has two fantastic courses that might be of interest to them, both of which combine language learning with cultural trips and excursions, as well as staying with host families. The application deadline for both courses is 10 March 2015

German Pupil Courses: These two-week language and culture courses are part-funded and are for pupils in S5 or S3. Follow the link for further details and the online application.

German Scholarships Programme: This is a free four-week programme for excellent students of German in S5. Follow the link for further details and the application form.

There are also opportunities for teachers to act as group leaders on the German Pupil Courses.

Funding opportunities for UK-German activities

21 January 2014 (UK-German Connection)

Do you need funding for activities with your German partner school? UK-German Connection has grants available for UK-German projects, activities and anniversary celebrations. The next deadline for grants for UK-German activities is 31 January 2015 (the next deadline after this will be 31 May 2015).

Read more...

German online group course

20 January 2015 (Goethe-Institut)

This online course suits those with busy schedules who want to learn German fast.  The course enables you to study an entire level in four months.

Offered at levels A1 and A2, the course starts on 2 March 2015.

See the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to enrol.

Read more...

Glasgow Youth Film Festival

19 January 2015 (Glasgow Film Theatre)

Glasgow Youth Film Festival runs during the first week of February and will feature films in French, German and Chinese, and all screenings are FREE for Glasgow schools. For more information, visit the secondary school listings on the Glasgow Youth Film Festival website.

Read more...

Dates for exams "Goethe-Zertifikat" (levels A1 to C2)

16 January 2015 (Goethe-Institut)

Certificate Exams - Apply now!

Goethe-Institut examinations are well known throughout the world and the associated certificates are accepted as a qualification by employers and further education institutions in many countries. They are offered twice a year at the Goethe-Institut Glasgow, in February and in June. The next opportunity is as follows: 

Exam dates:
07.02.2015 (levels A1 to C1)
06.02.2015 (level C2).

Registration deadline: 19 January 2015.

Read more...

New Courses in German - Enrolling now!

16 January 2015 (Goethe-Institut)

New semester: 14 February to 22 June 2015.

The Goethe-Institut offer language courses for beginners to advanced learners. Classes in general language courses take place on a once-a-week basis for 16 weeks. New students to the Goethe-Institut with some previous knowledge are invited to pop-in during our Open Days for assessment and advice on suitable classes: Saturday, 24 January: 10:00 - 13:00 Tuesday, 27 January: 17:00 - 19:00 Wednesday, 28 January: 17:00 - 19:00 Thursday, 29 January: 17:00 - 19:00.

Please enrol in time to avoid disappointment (by 2nd February).

Read more...

Yakety Yak Language Cafés

15 January 2015 (Yakety Yak Language Café)

Want to improve your conversational skills in another language?  Yakety Yak Language Café offers opportunities to speak French, Spanish, German, Italian, Gaelic, Portuguese, Chinese or Russian in Edinburgh.

Sessions are held in cafés, bistros and bars and are suitable for those with a basic knowledge of the language and the ability to hold a simple conversation.  A number of options are available both daytime and evening.

Check out the Yakety Yak Language Café website for more information.

Read more...

Employ a Language Assistant

13 January 2015 (British Council)

Language assistants help bring culture alive in schools across the country and are an ideal way to improve language learning for students and to increase their global awareness, as well as support the implementation of a 1+2 approach to language learning.

Applications to the latest round of the language assistant programme open on January 26 and bids from schools are encouraged to be submitted by the end of March. To help spread the cost, each language assistant can be shared between three schools.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to apply.

Read more...

How the Goethe-Institut uses digital technology to make learning German a virtual reality

13 January 2015 (The Herald)

The internet might have brought the English-speaking world closer together, but understanding another language can give you a valuable edge in an increasingly competitive world.

And the good news is that the internet has revolutionised language learning. It hasn't taken away the need to practise, but it has made much easier - and more interesting.

The Goethe-Institut has harnessed the power of online learning for its German courses. "It gives people the flexibility to learn whenever - and wherever - they have the time," says Sylvia Warnecke, the course director at the Goethe-Institut in Glasgow.

Read more...

SQA External Examiner's Higher Modern Languages reports 2014 - key messages

18 December 2014 (SCILT)

We have extracted and summarised the key messages from the SQA external examiner's reports for Higher Modern Languages 2014, which can be found on our website.

Read more...

New job profile on the SCILT website

16 December 2014 (SCILT)

Let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work by visiting the 'Job Profiles' section of the SCILT website. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives.

Our latest addition to the section comes from Verena Gräfin von Roedern, Head of the German Consulate General in Edinburgh, who talks about the many reasons why we should learn German.

See this and other job profiles on our website now.

Read more...

UK-German Youth Ambassadors

6 December 2014 (UK-German Connection)

Read about the exciting projects the new UK-German Youth Ambassadors have just begun in schools.

Read more...

German Pupil Course Feedback

3 December 2014 (UK-German Connection)

Read young people’s impressions of the German Pupil Course programme run by UK-German Connection.

Applications for next year’s courses will open in January 2015.

Read more...

Motivate and inspire - new French and German resources on the SCILT website

27 November 2014 (SCILT)

Looking for interesting resources to inspire and motivate your learners? The Professional Development Officers at SCILT and Kirsten Herbst-Gray from Langholm Academy in Dumfries and Galloway have developed these materials for use with German and French learners. 

Access these new resources through the following pages of our website:

German

  • S1-S3
     - Tourism: my home town
     - Projekt Deutschland
     - Trading with Germany

  • New Higher

French

Giant Pandas - Modern languages: Second level resource

24 November 2014 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has developed a new website on the Giant Pandas.  The website provides access to relevant, contextualised resources to support learning and teaching about giant pandas through Curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes.

The resource features information about the arrival of Scotland’s giant pandas, current information about their life at Edinburgh Zoo, an image gallery, videos and learning journeys for languages, sciences and health and wellbeing.

Language teachers will particularly appreciate the second level learning resources which develop understanding and knowledge of the giant pandas through the medium of the modern language.

A learning journey takes learners through a number of foreign language tasks that will build on their knowledge of pandas and allow them to make comparisons between life in Scotland and life in China.

There are also two activity booklets - one in French and one in German - which contain a variety of challenges linked to cross-curricular themes.

Read more...

The UK-German Bears Project

18 November 2014 (UK-German Connection)

UK primary schools, would you like a visit from our German bear Alex? With a set of resources, a range of interactive online features and a focus on joint Bears activities with a project partner school in Germany, Alex and Ben bring a fun and accessible international dimension to the primary school classroom!

New dates for 2015 are now available.  For more information visit the UK-German Connection website.

Read more...

A day in the life of Julian Morgan

14 November 2014 (TES)

Commuting through forests, over rivers and across borders is a daily undertaking for this British teacher at a German school, who delights in languages and gets his ideas from a ‘tree of inspiration’

Read more...

MTOT blog: The Creative Bag of Tricks - “Cinquains”

12 November 2014 (SCILT)

To support activities for the Mother Tongue Other Tongue (MTOT) competition, SCILT is sharing practical ideas for helping learners to write simple poems in the target language. These are published through our “Creative Bag of Tricks” series on the MTOT blog. The first of our items about short form poetry, “Cinquains”, is available to read now.

This is #6 in the "Creative Bag of Tricks" series.  If you've missed any of the previous activities these can still be accessed via the blog archive.

Read more...

Competition for Secondary Pupils: Sport in meinem Leben

6 November 2014 (Goethe-Institut)

Let your pupils shoot a video about “Sport in meinem Leben“ and win a trip to Berlin or other cool prizes. Register and upload your video by 16 November 2014.

See the Goethe-Institut website for more information.

Read more...

Write a Christmas Card to Felix and Franzi

6 November 2014 (Goethe-Institut)

Primary teachers of German, along with their students, are invited to send a Christmas Card in German to Felix and Franzi in order to win a great surprise.

Visit the Goethe-Institut London website for more information.

Don’t forget there are also lots of fun ideas and teaching materials for primary learners on the German with Felix and Franzi webpage.

Read more...

War Poems on the Underground

3 November 2014 (The Poetry Society)

The autumn 2014 set of Poems on the Underground commemorates the centenary of the First World War. War Poems on the Underground are on display in London Underground cars from 6 October 2014 through November, with additional posters on London Overground and selected station sites in a major expansion of our programme, supported by TfL. Poems by English, French, Italian and Austrian poets, written during the heat of war service, stress themes of brotherhood and reconciliation, and the ways in which “we said goodbye to a whole epoch” (Apollinaire).

Visit the Poetry Society website to see extracts from some of the poems and follow the link to the Guardian's article below with tips on writing war poetry.

Read more...

Related Links

How to teach ... war memorials and war poetry (The Guardian, 3 November 2014) - as Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday approaches, help your students appreciate war memorials and war poetry with our handy lesson ideas.

Languages in schools: put down the textbook and pick up a drum

3 November 2014 (The Guardian)

Recent event for language teachers and pupils explored how music and sport could help increase student engagement.

Read more...

Learning the local language made my year abroad unforgettable

3 November 2014 (The Guardian)

When I started a degree in English language and literature, I hadn’t intended to study abroad, let alone start learning German.

But having recently returned from my year abroad in Germany, I can say that making the effort to learn the language really enhanced my Erasmus experience.

Read more...

Double Club German

31 October 2014 (UK-German Connection)

With Germany as the current winners of the World Cup, now has never been a better time to kick-start a programme combining football and learning German! Double Club German is an award-winning educational programme for primary and secondary pupils using Arsenal FC to show pupils that language learning can be fun! Teachers have access to a range of recently updated resources, including detailed, step-for-step teachers' notes, interactive PowerPoint presentations and a brand-new, bright and colourful pupils' workbook.

If you are interested in taking part, please contact Steve Eadon, Double Club Languages Coordinator at languages@arsenal.co.uk - expressions of interest will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Note: if organising Double Club German sessions as an after-school activity is not feasible at your school, it can also be run as an activity in lessons or during the lunch-hour.

Double Club German is a project developed and run in partnership between Arsenal FC, the Goethe-Institut London and UK-German Connection.  More information is available on the Arsenal Double Club website.

New resources now include interactive video activities with Arsenal winger and German U19 international, Serge Gnabry. The full set of videos is available to all teachers participating in Double Club: German, however two sample videos are publicly available. 

Read more...

Voyage Kids: St Martin's Day special

31 October 2014 (UK-German Connection)

St. Martin's Day is fast approaching (11 November), and children throughout Germany are looking forward to making lanterns and singing songs at a traditional St. Martin's Day procession. Why not teach your pupils about these fascinating German customs with the voyage kids St. Martin's Day Special?

  • Teach your pupils how kids celebrate St. Martin's Day in Germany
  • St. Martin's Day memory game. How quickly can your pupils find the pairs? 
  • Basteln - Make a colourful St. Martin's Day lantern
  • Laterne, Laterne & Ich geh' mit meiner Laterne songs – sing along with your pupils! (featuring recordings from UK primary schools)

Access the resources on the UK-German Connection website.

Read more...

Language Perfect Northern Championships 2014

31 October 2014 (Language Perfect)

The search is on for the top language student and languages department in the northern hemisphere... The Northern Championships, taking place from 3-13 November 2014 , pitches students and schools in the northern hemisphere against one another, ONLINE and LIVE, from computers and iPod/Android apps. Teachers can watch the scoreboards for up-to-the-minute updates on how their school and students are going. Maybe your school will become the champions in 2014?

Visit the Language Perfect website for more information.

Read more...

Word Wizard 2015 now launched!

30 October 2014 (SCILT/CISS)

Our exciting spelling competition Word Wizard has now officially launched for school session 2014-15!

Visit our Word Wizard 2015 webpage to download the Teacher's Pack and registration form. School are advised to register to take part by Friday 28th November.

Read more...

Franco-German Film Series at the CCA

26 October 2014 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française and the Goethe-Institut are delighted to present a new series of German and French films at the CCA. From Nov 2014 to February 2015 the Franco-German film series will explore the themes of modern fairy tales.

For more information, visit the Alliance Française website.

Read more...

Why pupils should say ja to German

24 October 2014 (TESS)

A joint drive has been launched by the University of Edinburgh and the city council to halt the decline in the number of school pupils in the city opting to study German.

To boost the subject’s popularity, German students at the university are going into schools as ambassadors, and the new partnership will also be bringing student teachers over from Germany to give pupils more contact with native speakers.

Read more...

Word Wizard - returning for session 2014-15!

23 October 2014 (SCILT/CISS)

Scotland's National Centre for Languages and Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools, in partnership with The University of St Andrews, are proud to announce the return of Word Wizard for its second year!

Following on from the success of last year's competition we are once again inviting S1-S3 learners of French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin and Spanish to take part in this spellbinding competition.

We are currently taking registrations of interest from schools and the competition will officially be launched at the end of October 2014. If you would like to receive updates on the competition please email scilt@strath.ac.uk indicating which languages you are interested in entering.

Visit our Word Wizard webpage to download our 2014-15 flyer with more information on the competition. 

Read more...

Oxford German Olympiad 2015!

16 October 2014 (Oxford German Network)

The Oxford German Network are delighted to announce the launch of the Oxford German Olympiad 2015! The theme this year is 'Von Pop bis Poesie - Poetry and Music'. Download full details and guidelines for the competition categories from the website below.

Read more...

Paddy Ashdown: ‘Learning six languages has changed my life’

14 October 2014 (Guardian)

From speaking Malay as a young marine, to offending his Chinese teacher with unfortunate translations, Paddy shares the twists and turns of his language adventures.

Read more...

A series of blogs from the British Council on important languages for the UK’s future

10 October 2014 (British Council)

The final post in the British Council's weekly series on the ten most important languages for the UK’s future, as identified by the British Council’s Languages for the Future report, is about Mandarin Chinese. Here, the British Council’s Asmaa Ibrahim explains the characters, tonal differences, and sound similarities that make the language so fascinating.

Related Links

Read the other blogs in the series:

  • Arabic is in great demand and there’s a shortage of well-qualified speakers
  • Russian: beautiful, complex, and a window onto the unknown
  • Turkish: a fascinating structure and huge influence
  • The French language: romantic, precise, close to English
  • German and hipsters: the perfect match?
  • Single Japanese words can contain whole worlds of experience
  • How good is Italian for business?
  • Spanish: learning to speak the language of 400 million people
  • Which languages the UK needs and why

DAAD Poetry-Writing Competition

9 October 2014 (Goethe-Institut)

This poetry-writing competition for students aged 12 and above is organized by the Institute of Modern Languages and the DAAD London in conjunction with the 'Germany: memories of a nation exhibition' at the British Museum.

Accompanying the object-based approach of the exhibition to make German history visible and tangible, the competition wants to draw on the students’ curiosity and creativity by letting them re-sculpt the objects in words. More specifically, they are asked to create a 'Dinggedicht', a poem based on any one of the objects presented at the exhibition.

Poems may be written in English or German; they do not have to rhyme. The only rule is that they must be no longer than 250 words.

In order to take part students do not have to visit the exhibition personally, they may view a number of iconic objects on the British Museum website and blog page which can be accessed via the DAAD competition website.

Submission deadline is Friday 14 November 2014.

Read more...

Flexible Learning: German Online Group Course

7 October 2014 (Goethe-Institut)

This online course suits those with busy schedules who want to learn German fast. The course enables you to study an entire level in just 4 months, starting November 2014. On offer are levels A1 (A1.1 & A1.2) and A2 (A2.1 & A2.2).

The course will be fully online through use of tailor-made online materials. Please plan to spend about 7 study hours per week. There will be written interaction with your fellow students on a dedicated website, regular tutor support and virtual conferences for practising speaking with others.

More information about the course is available on the Goethe-Institut website.  Here you can also experience an online taster and enrol by 20 October 2014.

Read more...

Beginners German for Primary Teachers, 8 Nov to 2 Dec 2014

7 October 2014 (Goethe-Institut)

Language learning in Scotland is presently facing exciting new opportunities and challenges whereby in 2020 pupils in Scotland will learn two languages in addition to their mother tongue.

This specially tailored course offers a first step for teachers who want to embrace and contribute to these new developments with confidence. Participants will learn linguistic, intercultural and methodological skills.

For full course details and to register by 24 October 2014 visit the Goethe-Institut website.

Read more...

Introduction to European Cinema 2014

7 October 2014 (The Little Black Book Edinburgh)

Introduction to European Cinema is now in its tenth year and returns with another fantastic selection of classic films curated by specialists in European cinema at the University of Edinburgh. Each film screening is preceded by a brief introduction by Dr Leanne Dawson (Lecturer in German and Film Studies at the University of Edinburgh and IEC Course Organiser) or another University of Edinburgh academic.

The event runs from 1 October to 26 November and offers some screenings in French, German and Russian.

Read more...

RELAUNCH! 'Vorsprung mit Deutsch' Webportal for the Young Global Citizen

26 September 2014 (Goethe Institut)

'Vorsprung mit Deutsch' is a web project for young people with an interest in learning German or improving their existing German language skills while gaining experience in a professional or leisure context. Under several headings young people can find ideas for planning holidays or work experience, for job opportunities or career prospects as well as study options and scholarships. This is a great way to motivate and guide pupils towards making German part of their potential career pathways.

Read more...

E-Book: Insights – World War I

26 September 2014 (Goethe Institut)

The popular cross-curricular Teaching Unit is now available as E-book. This interactive resource for use on smart boards or computer holds a range of authentic materials which can be explored within the German medium. Interdisciplinary learning and teaching between the Modern Languages and History is supported by this resource.

Read more...

Resources for the German classroom

26 September 2014 (Goethe Institut)

Web links, teaching materials for Secondary and Primary, ideas for cross-curricular projects, films to compliment classroom teaching as well as content for Broad General Education within the context of Modern Language teaching – all this and more is listed as downloads or available online for German learners and practitioners.

Read more...

Most Europeans can speak multiple languages. UK and Ireland not so much

26 September 2014 (Guardian)

Over half of people in the EU can speak at least two languages with 38% able to speak English.

Read more...

GrowStoryGrow

19 September 2014 (GrowStoryGrow)

Every year, to help celebrate the European Day of Languages, GrowStoryGrow opens up its site allowing children all over the world to experience over a hundred enchanting stories, in several different languages, for free.

This year the GrowStoryGrow is free to use from 22 - 29 September 2014 and to link with this year's centenary of World War 1 there is a very poignant story about Remembrance Day.

Visit the website for further information and to access the materials.

Read more...

Languages and the Christmas Truce

9 September 2014 (British Council)

Learn some new languages and all about the Christmas truce during WW1 with this activity from the Football Remembers pack.

Read more...

Professional learning opportunities from Cultural Organisations

8 September 2014 (SCILT)

A number of SCILT's partner cultural organisations provide language courses for teachers. These courses aim to train teachers in a new language or to upgrade their current language skills and can range from half-day workshops to immersion courses abroad.

SCILT has compiled a grid of the immersion courses available from our partner cultural organisations, with information on the required level of language for participants, the teaching stage for which the course prepares them and whether there is funding available. We have also provided links to the cultural organisations that provide language courses for teachers here in Scotland. 

Visit the Professional Learning pages in the School Managers section of our website to view the courses on offer.

Read more...

Scholarships for teacher training in Germany

8 September 2014 (Goethe-Institut)

Every year the Goethe-Institut offers an attractive range of residential training and language courses for teachers of German (specialists and non-specialists) as well as teacher trainers.

Courses include: 

  • Language Courses (2 or 4 weeks) 
  • Landeskunde (1 to 3 weeks) 
  • Methodology/Teaching Strategies (2 to 4 weeks) 
  • Courses for Teacher Trainers (1 or 2 weeks)

Scholarships are available from the Goethe-Institut.  For full details and to apply by 15 October 2014 visit their website.

Read more...

Eurotoolbox 2014-15

4 September 2014 (Goethe-Institut London)

The Eurotoolbox consists of 5 specially chosen collections of children's and youth literature from Europe in the original language - German, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian, with between 12 and 15 books in each language.

The exhibition of books is free to borrow for 2-4 weeks at a time and is available from September.

Visit the Eurotoolbox launch webpage for more information about the collections and contact Mariella Riccobono at the Italian Cultural Institute to arrange a booking slot: maria.riccobono.iic@esteri.it 

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Learn languages to boost your MBA

4 September 2014 (The Guardian)

In the increasingly globalised world of work, multinational companies are looking to hire business high-flyers who can communicate in several different languages.

Europe’s top business schools are responding to this need; courses at Insead, IESE, HEC, and London Business School incorporate a language requirement as well as the opportunity to learn and practise another language. Insead teaches Mandarin at Fontainbleu and in Singapore.

For some schools, a language component is a compulsory part of the MBA. The Insead MBA is taught exclusively in English, so fluency in the language is a pre-requisite, but in addition to that, another language at a practical level is also required for entry – and students are expected to add a third language by the time they finish their MBA. “At Insead we believe strongly in the importance of an international outlook and the ability to work effectively in multiple cultures,” says admissions director Pejay Belland.

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Related Links

Doing an MBA abroad could give you a competitive edge (The Guardian, 4 September 2014)

Voyage Kids - back to school special

3 September 2014 (UK-German Connection)

Why not start the new school year by teaching your pupils all about school life in Germany with the 'voyage kids' Back to School special? If you're feeling creative, you could even get started the German way by making 'Schultüten', using our handy step-by-step instructions!

The Back to School Special includes:

  • Find out: A typical school day in Germany 
  • Basteln: Make a Schultüte! 
  • Memory game: How quickly can your pupils find the matching pairs? 
  • 'School words' quizzes

If you're busy planning lessons, you might be interested in our calendar of features, which gives you a 'heads up' about forthcoming seasonal and topical specials on voyage kids.

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German and hipsters: the perfect match?

29 August 2014 (British Council)

German has a reputation for long words and difficult grammar. But far from being prosaic, it’s actually a language for writers, thinkers and hipsters, writes Martin Steinmetz. In the fourth of our series on the ten languages identified as most important to the UK over the next 20 years, he explains why life isn’t too short to learn German.

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Opportunities for schools with Germany

28 August 2014 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection has a number of current and upcoming opportunities for activities with Germany this term:

  • Host a teacher from Germany - application deadline 19 September 2014.
  • First World War Centenary - call on 020 7824 1570 for information on funding available for thematic UK-German learning activities around the First World War.
  • Funding for UK-German activities - the next deadline for grants for UK-German activities is 31 October 2014.
  • The Bears Project - teddies, Alex and Ben, bring a fun and accessible international dimension to the primary school classroom!
  • FLA Ambassadors network - if you have a language assistant from Germany in your school this year, then do encourage them to apply to be an FLA Ambassador. They can apply for funding to run a small project.  Application deadline 20 October 2014.

You can also find an overview of all deadlines for UK-German activity in 2014-15 on the website.

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How I quadrupled the number of pupils taking German in my school

27 August 2014 (The Guardian)

Award-winning modern languages teacher Sara Davidson explains why the most important language in Europe still has a cloud hanging over it.

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New semester German language courses

26 August 2014 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow have a number of German language courses commencing September 2014:

Full details of all the courses and examinations on offer can be found in the course booklet on the Goethe-Institut website.

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GCSE results: 'Lionel Messi effect' drives rise in Spanish

21 August 2014 (The Telegraph)

Examiners report a rise in the number of pupils taking Spanish GCSEs while entries for French and German drop, prompting claims it could soon become the most popular foreign language in schools.

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German Language Adventure at the Goethe-Institut Glasgow - register now!

19 August 2014 (Goethe-Institut)

The motivational game, suitable for P7 to S3 pupils, enables classes to discover German culture and language through a series of interactive challenges.  Teachers now have the opportunity to visit the Goethe-Institut with their class and tackle the German Language Adventure.

New bookings are now invited for dates from 20 September onwards.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to see what previous participants have said about the project.

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A-level results: pass rate ‘declines for first time in 32 years’

14 August 2014 (The Telegraph)

A-level results published by exam boards show the number of A to E grades awarded to students has declined this year, although elite A* grades are up.

[..] Students continued to desert foreign languages following Labour's decision in 2004 to make them option at GCSE, with French, German and Spanish entries all down.

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Professional Development Tour for British Teachers of History to Berlin, Germany

1 August 2014 (Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany)

The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in London, together with the Federal Foreign Office, is again organising a professional tour for British teachers of history in Berlin from 26 – 31 October 2014 and the German Embassy in London is currently accepting applications.

Further information and the application form can be found on the Embassy website.

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Trench talk: a guide to first world war slang

23 July 2014 (The Guardian)

During the first world war, troops fighting in the trenches used slang to communicate. Read the glossary guide to its meaning or view the interactive documentary, available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic or Hindi thanks to our partnership with the British Academy.

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Word Wizard Final photos and video

20 June 2014 (SCILT)

Photos from the Word Wizard Final, featuring all of our great winners, and now available to view via our Word Wizard Final webpage. 

We also have a short video, filmed throughout the day, giving some background to the competition and showcasing the wonderful skills demonstrated by all of our spellers.

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Sixth-form colleges face closure because of deep budget cuts, with courses in languages, maths and science also being chopped

16 June 2014 (Independent)

Applies to England

Sixth form colleges are under threat with several facing closure this year because of deep cuts to their budgets, claims a new study by the Sixth Form Colleges’ Association (SFCA). A survey of England’s 93 sixth form colleges reveals that more than one in three colleges have already had to axe their language courses – while more than one in five have scrapped courses in the Stem science and maths subjects.

Read more...

Related Links

Cuts 'risk standards' at top sixth form colleges (BBC News, 16 June 2014)

Sixth-form colleges shrinking in face of funding cuts (The Guardian, 17 June 2014)

Word Wizard Final 2014 webpage

13 June 2014 (SCILT)

Following the announcement of the Word Wizard winners last week we now have a web page celebrating the final. We will be publishing photos from this fantastic event soon! 

Details of the 2015 competition will be announced later this year so stay tuned.

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Host a Teacher from Germany

10 June 2014 (UK-German Connection)

Through the Host a Teacher from Germany programme, UK schools have been hosting visiting teachers from Germany. The teachers have carried out a wide variety of activities in their host schools, from discussing the experiences of pupils in Germany during the war to running cookery sessions, running interactive lessons on their own schools and areas to helping with speaking practice, and much more!

UK teachers also reflected on educational issues with their visitors; these included behaviour management and reward systems, transition, and assessment and planning, among many others. Having had the chance to get to know their visitor, many schools will stay in touch with them, bringing the pupils from each school into contact with each other in a variety of ways.

Would you like to host a teacher from Germany at your school next academic year? The programme is free, and has a deadline of 19 September 2014. Enhanced support and guidance on how to get the most out of the teacher's visit will be provided to all participating schools.  Find out more on the UK-German Connection website.

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Word Wizard finals

6 June 2014 (SCILT)

Last Friday, 30th May, saw the final of our new Word Wizard competition take place in the prestigious venue of the Scottish Parliament. 60 pupils from schools across Scotland took part in the semi-finals in the morning, and over 100 pupils, teachers and guests enjoyed the final in the Members’ Restaurant. The day opened with an inspiring speech from Maureen Watt MSP and ended with a vote of thanks from Annette Zimmermann of the University of St Andrews, who supported us in running the competition. We were delighted to have Graham Blythe from the European Commission and Ms. Lv Yanxia from the Chinese Consulate present the shields and cups to the winners. The pupils demonstrated excellent skills in spelling, vocabulary and character recognition, and displayed great confidence in doing so in front of an audience.

The winners in each category were:

French Beginner:

  • 1st Elspeth Nicol – Ross High School
  • 2nd Amelie Davidson – St Joseph’s Academy
  • 3rd Robert Brewer – The Glasgow Academy

French Intermediate:

  • 1st Owen Wilson – Greenwood Academy
  • 2nd Steffi Graham-McGill – James Hamilton Academy
  • 3rd Emma Rattray – Dollar Academy

Gaelic Beginner:

  • 1st Anna Gallagher – St Ninian’s High School (East Renfrewshire)

German Beginner:

  • 1st Fraser Anderson – Stewart’s Melville College
  • 2nd Charlotte Caskie – Lomond School
  • 3rd Florence Macgregor – The Mary Erskine School

German Intermediate:

  • 1st Eilish Murphy – St Margaret’s School for Girls
  • 2nd Freja Arnlund – The Mary Erskine School
  • 3rd Fiona Todman – Queen Anne High School

Mandarin Beginner:

  • 1st Francesca Tassieri – Hillhead High School
  • 2nd Charlotte Johns – Dollar Academy
  • 3rd William Cox – Perth High School

Mandarin Intermediate:

  • 1st Ines Bertaso – St Ninian’s High School (East Renfrewshire)
  • 2nd Ivan Myachykov – Hillhead High School
  • 3rd Jack Mitchell-Luker – Williamwood High School

Spanish Beginner:

  • 1st Paul Gillon – John Ogilvie High School
  • 2nd Georgie Cassidy – Dollar Academy
  • 3rd Erin McIntyre – The Glasgow Academy

Spanish Intermediate:

  • 1st Rosie Hutcheon – The Glasgow Academy
  • 2nd Caitlin Barrie – John Ogilvie High School
  • 3rd Ella McPherson – St Margaret’s School for Girls

We would like to congratulate all pupils who reached the finals and every pupil who took part in the competition in their schools over the past year.

We hope to see lots of you entering the competition next year!

Motion congratulates SCILT and CISS on Word Wizard competition 2014

5 June 2014 (Scottish Parliament)

Maureen Watt, MSP for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine, has lodged a parliamentary motion congratulating SCILT and CISS on the Word Wizard competition 2014. The motion states:

"That the Parliament congratulates Scotland‘s National Centre for Languages and the Confucius Institute for Scotland‘s Schools on the Word Wizard Competition 2014, which was held in the Parliament on 30 May 2014; recognises the S1-S3 pupils, including those from Bucksburn Academy and Hazlehead Academy in Aberdeen, who impressed the judges with their French, German, Spanish, Mandarin and Gaelic skills; notes that, in partnership with the University of St Andrews, and with the support of the Goethe-Institut, the contest encourages pupils nationally to improve their vocabulary, and highlights what it sees as the importance of language and learning."

Motions are used by MSPs to initiate debate or propose a course of action, or simply to generate support, and many other MSPs have signed up in support of this motion. It's very encouraging to have SCILT/CISS work acknowledged in this way.

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German language courses for primary teachers

5 June 2014 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut Glasgow has a number of exciting programmes to support teachers in delivering the Scottish Government's initiative of enabling pupils in Scotland to learn two languages in addition to their mother tongue by 2020.

Two specially tailored language courses – locally and in Germany - offer a first step for teachers in the PRIMARY sector, who are keen to embrace and contribute to the new developments with confidence.  Follow the links below to find out more about each course and to secure your place:

Other support also available to language teachers:

  • The German Language Adventure – the popular motivation game for pupils and teachers – will be on offer in the new term throughout Scotland
  • Film resources and screenings for all age groups at the Goethe-Institut and your local cinema will sharpen cultural awareness and classroom practice will be enhanced by our resources and CPD seminars

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for a full listing of events, resources and professional development opportunities.

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Want to Boost Your Salary? Try Learning German

4 June 2014 (Time)

Fluency in foreign tongues may increase your job options — and your pay. Interpreters and translators are among the top five fastest growing occupations.

The rewards of learning other tongues are many: more potential friends, easier travel, and even, some studies suggest, better decision-making. But what about greater earnings potential?

Research from Wharton and LECG Europe found that studying a second language is correlated with about 2% more in annual income.

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Learning German: Examinations

2 June 2014 (Goethe-Institut)

Goethe-Institut examinations are well known throughout the world and the associated certificates are accepted as a qualification by employers and further education institutions in many countries.

Certificate Exams will be taking place on the following dates:

  • Levels A1 to C1: 28 June 2014
  • Level C2: 17 June 2014

Registration deadline: 10 June 2014

Detailed information about the exam, regarding content as well as practice materials, can be found on the Goethe-Institut website.

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Intensive German courses

2 June 2014 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow is offering intensive German courses during June for both beginner and intermediate levels.  Follow the links below for full details of each course and how to enrol by 9 June.

  • Kickstart your German (from 16 June 2014, 1-3 weeks) - If you want to learn German quickly, enrol in our intensive summer course for complete beginners.
  • Brush Up Your German (from 23-27 June 2014) - Enjoy learning the language in a small group (6 to 9 participants) and gain more confidence and practice in using German.

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UK-German Youth Ambassadors 2014-15

27 May 2014 (UK-German Connection)

The application process is now open for the UK-German Youth Ambassadors network 2014-15.

The UK-German Youth Ambassadors are a network of young people in the UK and Germany who have a genuine interest in the other country and are keen to help promote UK-German activities and encourage other young people to get involved. They do this through engaging with younger pupils in their own school and local area, by planning and running their own projects and activities.

We would welcome applications from young people aged between 15 and 19 who are still in school and who are open-minded, reliable and excellent communicators. German language skills are not required.

Deadline 30 June


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UK-German Connection Scholarships Essays

22 May 2014 (UK-German Connection)

Read this year's winning essays on the UK's EU role, language teaching in the future and youth unemployment, written by participants of the German Scholarships Programme 2014.

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The b small Young Linguist of the Year Award 2014

14 May 2014 (bsmall publishing)

The b small Young Language Learner of the Year Award is open to all children in the UK aged 6 - 11 years and will run throughout the spring and summer terms. Children can enter their stories in French, Spanish, German, Italian, or, for the first time this year, Mandarin.

You can enter in one of two categories according to your age: 6-9 years or 9-11 years. We have included nine year olds in both categories in case you want to enter with your class.

Closing date for entries is 2 June 2014.

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UK-German Youth Ambassadors 2014-15

13 May 2014 (UK-German Connection)

Do you have pupils who are enthusiastic about the German language and culture, and want to share their experiences and provide authentic cultural input for younger pupils? The UK-German Youth Ambassadors are a network of young people in the UK and Germany who have a genuine interest in the other country and are keen to help promote UK-German activities and encourage other young people to get involved. They do this through engaging with younger pupils in their own school and local area, by planning and running their own projects and activities.

Membership of the network is free and UK-German Connection covers the costs for the twice-yearly meetings. The school's support for their Youth Ambassador is essential.

We welcome applications from young people aged between 15 and 19 who are still in school and who are open-minded, reliable and excellent communicators.

Please visit our website for further details about the Youth Ambassadors network, the programme framework and the application procedure. The application deadline is 30 June 2014 (please note the earlier deadline this year) and the first meeting will take place in London in October.

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Football remembers the 1914 Christmas truce

9 May 2014 (British Council)

An education pack from the British Council is launching today to commemorate the truce. The pack contains accounts from soldiers from Germany, France, Belgium and India who were there in 1914 and wrote about what they had seen.

There is a section of the pack with resources in French and German that can be used to support MFL teaching, as well as video material in those languages

The pack acts as preparation for a mass participation call to action in December 2014 when clubs at every level of the game in the UK (and beyond we hope) will play matches to commemorate the Truce.

We hope that schools will select from these activities, adapt the suggestions and resources for their own use and for use with partner schools, and join in this special Centenary event.

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Euroquiz 2014 final - 12 May

8 May 2014 (SEET)

The Euroquiz final will take place on 12 May 2014 in the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament.  31 teams, from primary school across Scotland, have won coveted places in the grand final of the Scottish European Educational Trust's Euroquiz, sponsored by the European Parliament.

Over 1700 pupils from 425 schools have taken part in the local heats between January and April this year, and the winning teams from each of them will now compete in the final.

Euroquiz is a competition for Primary 6 pupils, which encourages them to develop their knowledge about Europe and the European Union. It also helps build on their core skills through communication and teamwork. Questions are asked on history, geography current affairs, culture, languages, sport and the European Union. This is the seventh year the Euroquiz has been held in the Scottish Parliament, and this year’s event is sponsored by the European Parliament and the Scottish Government.

The pupils, representing 31 of Scotland’s local authority areas, take part in 3 rounds. This year’s event includes a language round which we developed with SCILT. The questions test the pupils’ knowledge of French, German and Spanish. The top two teams then go head to head in the fourth and final round.

You can support your local team, or even take the quiz yourself, by watching the event live at: http://www.scottishparliament.tv

Tune in for a 1pm start!

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A small story (Eine kleine Geschichte)

6 May 2014 (Goethe-Institut)

A collaboration between Starcatchers and Theater o.N. (Berlin) this is a wonderfully creative piece of children's theatre (Ages 2 – 4). On tour in Scotland during May 2014. 

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for tour dates and venues.

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Intensive German Courses at Various Levels

2 May 2014 (Goethe-Institut)

The intensive German courses offer immersion in the language and are ideal if you have to learn the language fast. In a relaxed atmosphere you will train all language skills: speaking, listening, pronunciation, reading and writing.

Enrol by 5 June 2014.

See the Goethe-Institut website for full details and the enrolment form.

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German IT Competition: Digital Days - Reisefieber

29 April 2014 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut London invites German teachers and their pupils to take part in this unique competition series requiring language and computer skills alike! Fun and steep learning curves are guaranteed when you take on one of these tasks:

  • Watching a video animation clip to solve a German city puzzle
  • Doing a digital treasure hunt about Germany’s UNESCO sites
  • Taking part in a sports commentary reading competition by recording or filming your class/group (texts will be provided)
  • Completing your own German comic inventing a funny storyboard
  • Using your own creativity to write an e-postcard
  • Doing the sound recording for the Felix & Franzi-Reise animation clip and come up with creative German dialogues
  • Special: Finding German traces in your neighbourhood and present them

… and all you need is a computer.

Seven categories for different levels of language skills are provided. Primary teachers and secondary teachers can choose which competition they think suits their students’ best.

Please register by sending a registration form to roma.schultz@london.goethe.org by 20th May 2014 and you will be sent a USB-stick. All the categories are explained and the relevant materials are provided. The materials are also suitable for work offline.

Visit the Goethe-Institut London website for full details and the registration form.

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German Teacher Award 2014

29 April 2014 (German Embassy)

Calling all German Teachers in the UK!

If you know a truly outstanding German teacher at your school – make sure that their dedication and excellence get the recognition they deserve! 

The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany is pleased to invite nominations for the annual German Teacher Award, now in its 11th successful year. The winners will receive a personal prize and a certificate. The prizes will be presented at a special ceremony at the "Sommerfest der Deutschen Sprache" in June 2014 when the winners will be announced.

Please download the leaflets for detailed information on the selection criteria and the nomination process for the Award. Please note that headteachers must nominate the German teacher; unfortunately applications by German teachers submitted by themselves and applications submitted by pupils cannot be accepted.  The deadline for nominations has now been extended to 12 May 2014.

The Embassy is delighted to work on this great initiative with its partners:

  • Goethe-Institut
  • UK-German Connection
  • Deutsche Schule London
  • Department for Education
  • CfBT
  • Association for Language Learning

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Saturday Live - Bringing children up bilingually

BBC Radio 4 (26 April 2014)

Interview with English-speaker Caroline Sarll who decided to bring her children up to be bilingual. Listen from 25mins. First broadcast 26 April 2014.

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31 May deadline for funding for UK-German activities

25 April 2014 (UK German Connection)

The next deadline for grants for UK-German activities is 31 May 2014. This includes the brand new grant, the Partnerships in Learning Fund. Please note that the guidelines for all of the grants have been updated, so please do read them carefully before submitting an application.

The grants are:

Partnerships in learning: for joint thematic activities, involving a broad range of pupils and with a wide impact across the school. 

Challenge fund: for joint projects between UK and German schools in all curriculum areas.

Challenge fund - world of work: for UK-German school partnerships undertaking work experience or enterprise-related projects. 

Celebratory fund: for projects in celebration of a partnership anniversary between a UK and German school. 

If you have any questions about the above grants or would like to discuss your ideas or your project dates, please contact my colleague Frederike Müller either by email on frederike.mueller@ukgermanconnection.org or by telephone (020 7824 1573).

The next application deadline for these funds after May is 31 October 2014.

Applications for the Instant Impact fund for first-time taster trips to Germany can be submitted at any time, with a minimum of 6 weeks before travel.


New resources for secondary German

25 April 2014 (SCILT)

We have uploaded materials to support secondary German onto the SCILT website. These materials were developed by the Modern Languages Department at Greenwood Academy.

The Gruffalo

Are you looking for a different way to teach descriptions to your German classes? Here is a novel approach one teacher took. By using the German translation of The Gruffalo, S2 German learners were exposed to different and unusual vocabulary in an engaging and interesting way.

Access materials

Erlkönig

Looking for a way to incorporate the literature of another country into the new Higher syllabus and develop literacy skills among your learners? Here is an approach taken by one teacher which links Erlkönig with Rammstein and develops learners literacy skills at the same time.

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I didn't practise any German in bilingual Berlin

11 April 2014 (The Guardian)

I went to Berlin and didn't speak German. What's even worse is that I didn't really try that hard, either.

It all started to go wrong at the hotel reception. The immaculate staff at the Amano spoke perfect English, I'm not talking the level of English you'd expect in a decent hotel, I mean the kind of English where you can't even place the speaker's native accent.

My travelling companion gave it a better shot that I did, at least making attempts in cafes to order in German. But when the staff clocked that we weren't German, they switched to English. In quite a few cases, they were English (or American) themselves.

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Soaring success of cabin crew course

4 April 2014 (TESS)

With its opportunities for international travel, plus obligatory high heels and lipstick, the job of the “trolley dolly” or air hostess has long been regarded as a glamorous career choice.
The threat of international terrorism and advent of no-frills travel have served to make the lives of modern cabin crew far less glitzy. But at City of Glasgow College, which has received 353 applications for up to 23 places on its unique airline cabin crew training course, it seems that working at 35,000ft is as attractive as ever.

Languages, essential on international flights, are part of the course, with students required to study German, Spanish and French.

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