Latest News

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


German

Welcome back to a new year of language learning with Coffee Break Languages!

21 January 2021 (Radio Lingua)

French

  • Chapter 15 of our advanced course for French learners, La Vérité éclate toujours has now been published. As we follow the intriguing story, we come into contact with some words and phrases which will help you take your language skills to the next level. Manigancer (to scheme/plot), tueur à gages (hitman), and en avoir vu de toutes les couleurs (to have been through a lot) are just some of the words and expressions you can expect to hear in this episode. Click here to listen to the full episode when it's available.
  • To toast the start of the new year, we welcomed back our Coffee Break French Facebook community after the holiday period with a post all about how to talk about raising a toast in French. You’ve probably heard the word santé, but do you know any other ways to say ‘cheers’ in French? Click here to see the full post and learn some new vocabulary.

Spanish

  • Looking for a quick fix of Spanish to fill those small pockets of downtime during your day? Take a look at our Coffee Break Spanish Espresso series in which we cover key grammar and vocabulary points in just 10-15 minutes. In Episode 3 we learn everything we need to know about how to use the tricky word ni in Spanish. Not only that, our native Spanish speaker, Fernanda helps us get to grips with the subjunctive after es importante que. To round off the episode, we share a Spanish quote of the week, this time, focusing on the theme of the fear of danger. Intrigued? Click here to listen to the full episode.
  • Are you and your learners following us on Instagram for some language learning tips? We kicked off the year with a brand-new Tuesday idiom post. The idiom was the Spanish phrase estar en su salsa which literally means ‘to be in one’s sauce’. Can you work out in which contexts you would actually use this idiom? Click here to find out in the full post.

Italian

  • As we are still unable to travel, we can still do so virtually! Our new series of Coffee Break Italian Travel Diaries will launch very soon. This time, we'll be transporting you to a completely different part of the Italian-speaking world to explore the area and improve your language skills with some brand new characters. Can you guess where we might be going and what we might be doing? We can't wait for our Coffee Break Italian Community to join us on another virtual journey, starting on Friday 12th February. In the meantime, you can catch up on Giulia and Paolo's Tuscan adventure by clicking here to access Season 1, if you haven't already done so. A presto!
  • For our first Coffee Break Italian Facebook post of 2021, we decided to talk all about the Italian word ciaspolata, which translates rather long-windedly as 'the activity of going for a walk in the snow while wearing snowshoes. Ti piace la neve? Click here to let us know in a comment on the post.

German

  • We're revisiting Episode 6 from our Coffee Break German Magazine series this week to draw your attention to author Michael Ende, who wrote one of the most famous works of fiction for younger readers, The Neverending Story, among other books. Click here to find out more about Ende and his work in this edition of the Magazine. Not only do we gain an insight into his work, we also learn about German word order with the help of our question from listener, Soumaya.
  • We jumped straight back into improving our German grammar this year with a post all about using umlauts (the two dots on the German öü and ä). We provided our learners with a list of sentences and asked them to pick whether a certain word in the sentence should be written with or without an umlaut. Here’s an example: Hast du heute schön/schon etwas gegessen?Click here to have a go yourself

Worldwide Napier magazine - call for submissions

14 January 2021 (Edinburgh Napier University)

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

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

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

University of Dundee distance learning courses

11 January 2021 (University of Dundee)

Registration for the University of Dundee 25-Week Intensive courses by distance learning in French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin and Spanish is now open and extended until 15 January 2021. 

These courses are accredited at 20 SCQF credits. They will take students from the basics up to a standard equivalent to a Scottish Higher and beyond. They are taught by online distance learning via the University of Dundee virtual learning environment. From week 1, students on the courses will have a weekly online session with a native language tutor to give them the chance to practice what they have learnt and to clarify any queries they may have.  

More information is available on the University of Dundee website. 

Read more...

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

15 December 2020 (UK-German Connection)

Calling all schools hosting a German Language Assistant! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deadline: Monday, 18 January 2021

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

Read more...

Radio Lingua resources

11 December 2020 (Radio Lingua)

Festive Phrases

  • How would you like to share with your learners a festive phrase in 25 different languages? This December we have launched a brand new, updated version of our Festive Phrases series over on our YouTube channel, where we're releasing a new video every day until Christmas Day. Each of these videos will feature a Festive Phrase for you to learn over the next 25 days. Catch up on the first week of our Festive Phrases here. While you're there, leave us a festive phrase in the comments section in the language you're learning.
  • Our Live Lessons continue this week, but don’t forget, you can catch up on them on our YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe while you're there so that you're notified as soon as we publish new videos.

French

  • We continue with our To Go series and this week’s question is As-tu déjà mangé quelque chose de bizarre ? This video works well for perfect tense practice and food topics. Take a look at the video here where we hear a range of interesting responses from passers-by in the streets of Nantes. You'll be sure to improve your food-related vocabulary
  • Are you and your advanced learners following our crime drama La Vérité éclate toujours? Our latest episode has been released and is full of challenging language. Listen out for the following adjectives: comblé (fulfilled), épanoui (blooming), and roublard (sneaky) featured in the episode. click here to find out more information.

Spanish

  • In a similar vein, if you’re looking for a challenge for more advanced learners of Spanish, then check out Season 4 of Coffee Break Spanish. Developed with advanced learners in mind, teacher Mark and native Spanish speaker Carmen help you master the trickiest parts of the Spanish language. This course centres around a story involving characters from different parts of the Spanish-speaking world, and through the story, you'll pick up a huge range of advanced vocabulary, develop a wonderful repertoire of idiomatic expressions and deepen your understanding of complex grammar points. Have a listen to the episodes of Season 4 to get a taste of what our advanced course has to offer.
  • Each week on our Facebook page, we publish language and cultural information. Last week we took a virtual trip to a very luxurious location, where we learned all about the world’s most expensive restaurant, called Sublimotion. But, do you know where in the Spanish-speaking world the restaurant is located? Click here to find out, and to hear about our community members’ favourite places to eat.

Italian

  • We hope you're hungry as the latest episode of Coffee Break Italian To Go is all about food, specifically, the strangest food we've ever eaten. With this in mind, Francesca is in the streets of Stresa, approaching passers-by with the following question: qual è la cosa più strana che hai mai mangiato? Can you encourage your learners to give their own detailed answers to this question in Italian? Take some inspiration and key vocabulary from the answers we received in Episode 9 which you can access by clicking here

German

  • If you’re looking for an different cultural focus for your German learners, we have a historical episode of our Coffee Break German Magazine to share with you this week. Following the events of World War 2, the monumental task of clearing and reconstructing towns and cities fell to the Trümmerfrauen, literally “rubble women”. In Episode 3 of the Coffee Break German Magazine we look at this fascinating period of German history. Not only this, Andrea answers listener Maddie’s question about compound words, and Olivera introduces an interesting idiomatic expression in the Sahnehäubchen.
  • Our cultural post got us all in the festive spirit last week, as we were talking about der Vorweihnachtszeit, or the ‘pre-Christmas season’. We shared a classic recipe for something which will make your home smell like a German Christmas market this year. Can you guess what the recipe was for? Glühwein, of course! Click here to see the full post, and click here to try the recipe yourself at home.

Euroquiz 2021

8 December 2020 (SEET)

Have you registered your teams for the Scottish European Educational Trust (SEET) Euroquiz competition? The annual project is 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 local authorities from January to March, with the winning teams from all areas progressing to the National Euroquiz Final held in the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament in June.

Visit the SEET website for more information and to register.

Read more...

Radio Lingua resources

4 December 2020 (Radio Lingua)

Festive Phrases

This Advent we have updated our Festive Phrases videos on our Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/coffeebreaklanguages

Each day at 9 am sees the release of a new language, and the short video teaches your learners to say Merry Christmas in that language. The new videos show more recent figures on the number of speakers of that language and where in the world it is spoken. 

Live Lessons

Our live lessons continue on Facebook and Youtube. Our latest lessons focused on dictation, an excellent method to improve both listening skills and accuracy in writing. Catch up with our latest French exercise here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ef4NkT3eeQk

French

  • At this time of year, thoughts turn to hopes of travelling again soon. Where would you like to go? Pierre-Benoît discusses this topic with native French speakers in Episode 8 of Coffee Break French To Go. Quelle serait ta destination idéale ?  Can your pupils understand the answers? On the second playing of the video, the French subtitles are shown to help you explain new or complex, but natural language. You can watch the episode for free here. 
  • If you’re following  La Vérité éclate toujoursour crime drama for advanced learners of French, you’ll find the latest instalment available. Don’t forget to pay close attention to the language used along the way, in particular, some subjunctive triggers including avant quefaire en sorte que and le temps que.

Spanish

  • Are you or your learners following us on our social media accounts for free language learning advice? Last week over on the Coffee Break Spanish Facebook page, we had a great reaction from the community to our Monday vocabulary post. We shared a colourful graphic about Autumn weather, and how to talk about the weather in Spanish. We asked all of our learners what the weather was like where they are, and we had lots of great answers. Click here to view the the handy graphic.
  • What are you thankful for? Last week’s Knowledge Builder post on the Coffee Break Spanish Facebook page was all about the Spanish saying: es de bien nacido ser agradecido. The saying expresses the importance of saying thank you; an appropriate saying for this time of year with the US having celebrated Thanksgiving last week. Click here to read the full post in which we provide a list of different ways to give thanks in Spanish.

Italian

  • As with our French To Go series, our latest episode of Coffee Break Italian To Go has been published. This week’s question is - Se potessi andare in qualsiasi posto del mondo, dove andresti? (If you could you anywhere in the world, where would you go?). We're dreaming about our ideal holiday destination in this latest episode .Take some ideas from the words and phrases used by native Italian speakers featured in the episode.
  • In our Grammar Builder post on Coffee Break Italian’s Facebook page last week, we reviewed a very important aspect of Italian grammar. We looked at the verb essere and the fact that it needs to agree with the subject in gender and number when used as an auxiliary verb in the passato prossimo. We gave three example sentences and asked our community to fill the gaps and post their answers in the comments section. Click here to see how they got on, and ask your learners for their own answers. 

German

  • Have you been talking about your town with your German learners? Was gibt es hier zu sehen? (What is there to see here?) or was gibt es hier zu tun? (What is there to do here?) are two useful questions for your pupils. If they would struggle to respond to these questions in German then take a look back at Episode 17 from Season 1 of Coffee Break German where you’ll learn how to talk about what there is to do in your town. By the end of the lesson, you'll also be able to ask important information at the tourist information office when you're visiting a brand new German-speaking area yourself.

FOKUS: Films from Germany

30 November 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

Fokus, films from Germany 2020 is still happening! In keeping with Covid-19 restrictions, and to keep our audiences and performers safe, the annual celebration of German cinema is taking place online between 3-17 December.

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

Read more...

Radio Lingua resources

27 November 2020 (Radio Lingua)

Here's this week's selection of free resources from the team at Radio Lingua:

French

  • If you are looking for some authentic but challenging content for your French learners, why don’t you take a look at the latest episode of Coffee Break French To Go Season 2: qu’est-ce qui t’embête le plus ?  is this week’s question with Pierre Benoît.  Throughout the episode, you'll pick up some useful words and phrases to help you express the things that annoy people the most in life. Click here to hear what annoys the French native speakers we spoke to in the streets of Nantes
  • For advanced learners of French - teachers and pupils alike - the wait for Part 2 of La Vérité éclate toujours is over! The second part of our crime drama for advanced learners of French is now available and episode 11 of the podcast is published in the usual podcast feeds here.

Spanish

  • This week we're revisiting Episode 9 of our Coffee Break Spanish Magazine series aimed at intermediate to advanced learners. In each episode we present cultural topics and grammar study in an enjoyable way, allowing you and your pupils to build your vocabulary and increase your range of expression. We're revisiting Episode 9 this week and we're working up an appetite as we're heading to Mexico to talk about food.Click here to access the episode 

Italian

  • As with our French episode, in this latest episode of Coffee Break Italian To Go Francesca asks the question: cosa ti fa arrabbiare? (What makes you angry?) Join native Italian speakers in the streets of Stresa as they share some interesting words and phrases to express the things that make them angry. Listen to what they have to say about this topic here. You can share this episode with your learners to see how much they understand at the first playing, and then use the subtitles the second time to help discuss any new language or grammar points.
  • If you’re thinking of starting to learn Italian, or have pupils who are interested, why don’t you try out the very first season of Coffee Break Italian. Whatever your language level, you'll be sure to pick up some useful tips in this episode where Mark and Francesca equip you with everything you need to know to acquire the important skill of using the phone in Italian. This episode also features a Caffè Culturale section in which Francesca talks about Italian opera.

German

  • Don't miss out on the valuable content included in Seasons 1 and 2 of our Coffee Break German To Go series. Developed for beginner and intermediate learners of German, we help you put what you've been learning into practice with access to interviews featuring native German speakers. We cover a different topic in each lesson so by the end of the series you and your learners will be well equipped with the necessary vocabulary and expressions to share your opinions in German. Access all episode from Seasons 1 and 2 for free here
  • In Season 2 of Coffee Break German for lower intermediate learners, we take a closer look at grammatical constructions to help you develop a better understanding of how the language works so that you can communicate more confidently in German. This week, we're revisiting  Episode 13 from Season 2 to learn how to translate 'much', 'many', 'some', 'few', and lots more quantifying words – something learners often find difficult. By the end of this lesson you’ll be able to talk confidently in German using the words viel(e), wenig(e)etwasmanche, and say how much chocolate you eat, how many glasses of water you drink, or how many portions of fruit you have.

North Berwick High School teacher Suzanne Ritchie wins 'German Teacher of the Year' award from German Embassy

24 November 2020 (East Lothian Courier)

A teacher at North Berwick High School has been named ‘German Teacher of the Year’ by the German Embassy in London.

Suzanne Ritchie was presented with the award in recognition of her “outstanding dedication to and tireless support of the teaching of the German language”.

Miss Ritchie, a former pupil at Musselburgh Grammar School, lived and worked abroad for several years after university.

Her work mainly consisted of translating for the football organisation FIFA in Zurich in Switzerland.

In 2006, she decided to retrain as a teacher and joined North Berwick High School the following year.

She was encouraged to enter the competition by Ann Robertson, who leads East Lothian Council’s 1+2 languages development programme.

Read more...

Radio Lingua resources

20 November 2020 (Radio Lingua)

Live Lessons

  • Do you and your learners need some help with sounding more like a native speaker when talking in the foreign language? This week saw two live lesson with a focus on pronunciation. You can view the German video here and the Spanish one, where we looked at how to pronounce the r / rr sound  here.

French

  • We're more than halfway through our brand new series of Coffee Break French To Go! In Episode 6, we're discussing different times of the year as we're asking passers-by which season they prefer - summer or winter. Préféres-tu l’été ou l’hiver ? - Do your learners prefer summer or winter? To find out how to express your own opinion in French, join Pierre-Benoît in the latest episode and ask your pupils to state their preference.
  • We are always looking to include different sayings and expressions in our teaching, so why don’t you have a look at our Coffee Break French Facebook page where last week we looked at the expression: faire froid dans le dos, which is the equivalent of ‘to send shivers down your spine’. We asked our community to comment below the post with something that sends shivers down their spine, and we received some great replies, like this one from Jean: Quand je vois une araignée, ça me fait froid dans le dos. Can you encourage your pupils to come up with their own example? Click here to view the full post for some inspiration.

Spanish

  • If you finished our Coffee Break Spanish Travel Diaries and are missing being virtually in Spain, why not join Mark and the Coffee Break Spanish team 'on the road' in the south of Spain with our popular En Marcha series for intermediate learners of Spanish. Throughout the season we visit some beautiful places in the Málaga area and talk to people who live or work in the area or who are visiting the area. In Episode 2 we find out what it's like to live and work in Málaga as Mark talks to Sara who works in the Tourism department of the Ayuntamiento de Málaga. These conversations feature authentic Spanish, with a whole range of different accents and speeds of delivery, so it’s the perfect way to improve your listening comprehension. ¡Vamos!
  • In our Spanish Grammar Builder post last week, we recapped the different uses of the words bien and bueno, which can often be quite confusing for learners. Click here to see the full post and a full explanation of when to use bien and bueno.

Italian

  • Preferisci l’estate o l’inverno? - Do you prefer summer or winter? This is the question Francesca asks native Italians in the streets of Stresa in the latest episode of Coffee Break Italian To Go for intermediate learners. Click here to hear how native Italians express their thoughts on these seasons and listen out for any new words or phrases you're not familiar with.
  • Have you ever had a dream that you’ve set aside, which will hopefully come true one day? In Italian, this type of dream is called a sogno nel cassetto, literally a 'dream in the drawer’. We love the idea of keeping a dream in a drawer until it’s ready to come true! Do you have any 'dreams in the drawer'? Click here to see the full post and to see the impressive dreams shared by our community.

German

  • If you’re looking for help with Grammar in German for yourself or learners, have a look at Season 2 of Coffee Break German for lower intermediate learners. This week, we're revisiting  episode 13 from Season 2 to learn how to translate 'much', 'many', 'some', 'few', and lots more quantifying words – something learners often find difficult. By the end of this lesson you’ll be able to talk confidently in German using the words viel(e), wenig(e)etwasmanche, and say how much chocolate you eat, how many glasses of water you drink, or how many portions of fruit you have.
  • Do you know the English translations of the German words nach and zu? They are both translated as ‘to’ which means it can be quite tricky for an English-speaking German learner to know when to use each word. In our Grammar Builder Facebook post last week, we gave our community an explanation of the differences in use between these two small words. Click here to see the post, then try and come up with two example sentences using nach or zu correctly.

Radio Lingua resources

13 November 2020 (Radio Lingua)

Here's this week's selection of free resources from the Radio Lingua team.

French

  • Are you talking to your learners about the benefits of continuing to study a language? It might be useful to hear how native French speakers respond to the question: pour toi, est-il important d’apprendre une langue étrangère ? (Is learning a foreign language important to you?). How would you respond to this question in French? Take some ideas from the responses we receive in the episode by watching here.
  • With autumn well and truly here in the northern hemisphere, we thought that it would be useful to share some autumn-related vocabulary with our community over on the Coffee Break French Facebook page last week. Do you know the French words for rain, pumpkin, wind, chestnuts and dead leaves? Try and test yourself, then click here to view the post and see if you were right.

Spanish

  • We're going back to basics this week as we're revisiting Episode 14 from Season 1 of Coffee Break Spanish to talk about the town. In this episode we look at places in the town and help learners talk about places in their own town with a very catchy song. After listening to this lesson you'll be able to tell Spanish speakers all there is to offer in the town where you live. 
  • As we mentioned in last week's newsletter, on the 2nd of November, countries around Latin America celebrate El día de los muertos, or the Day of the Dead. We decided to base all of last week’s Spanish Facebook posts around this event, starting with a vocabulary list at the start of the week. Click here to learn a bit more about El día de los muertos, and learn some interesting vocabulary associated with this celebration, from calacas and calaveras to ofrendas.

Italian

  • As with our French series, this time with we're talking about the importance of languages. Francesca asks the question: pensi che sia importante studiare le lingue straniere? (Do you think that studying foreign languages is important?) and we received many interesting responses. Click here to take a look at what native Italians had to say about the subject . Their responses might help your learners see the benefits of continuing to study languages.
  • Over on the Coffee Break Languages Instagram page last week, it was time to share an Italian idiom with our followers. The idiom was tutto fa brodo, which translates literally as ‘everything makes broth’ but is used to express the idea that everything, no matter what it is, can be made into something useful. Had you heard of this idiom before? Can you use it in a sentence? Click here to see the full post.

German

  • If you're looking for some authentic material to use with your beginner or intermediate learners of German then you can take your German 'on the road' with Seasons 1 and 2 of Coffee Break German To Go. In these series, our German presenter, Julia engages with a range of native speakers on location in Germany. We hear their views on a range of topics from family to sport, food, languages, work and more. There are 10 video episodes ready and waiting for you in each season. Access all episode from series 1 and 2 for free here
  • How many different ways of greeting people do you know in German? Have you heard of the phrase Grüß Gott? Used in rural areas of South Germany and in Austria, this greeting literally means “God greet you”. Last week, we challenged our Facebook community to come up with any more regional greetings that they knew, and to share them with their fellow learners.

Facebook Lives

Next week our Facebook Lives are focusing on pronunciation. If you can’t watch the Live, the videos are available to view on YouTube any time after the event. 

  • Wednesday 18 November at 15.30 is German pronunciation
  • Thursday 19 November at 15.30 is Spanish pronunciation

Oxford German Olympiad 2021

10 November 2020 (Oxford German Network)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

SQA Modern Languages course reports

9 November 2020 (SQA)

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

Read more...

Radio Lingua resources

6 November 2020 (Radio Lingua)

French

  • Are you teaching negatives in French to your classes? We cover ne … plus meaning “no longer”, and ne … que meaning 'only', as well as about ne … plus quein this episode of Walk, Talk and Learn French
  • Qu’as-tu fait hier ? (What did you do yesterday?). Being able to use the perfect tense accurately is fundamental for pupils studying for national qualifications.? Click here to watch Episode 4 from our new season of Coffee Break French To Go, to see the ways in which native speakers use the past tenses in their responses.

Spanish

  • We have come to the end of this series of the Coffee Break Spanish Travel Diaries. We hope that you've enjoyed discovering some beautiful locations in the north of Spain from the comfort of your own home as we’ve not been able to travel ourselves this year. We arrive in the vibrant city of Santiago de Compostela and take a look at the Spanish language throughout the episode including the word picoteo and the lo + adjective grammatical structure. Listen to Episode 10 for free here 
  • Our Coffee Break Spanish To Go series allows you to take your Spanish 'on the road'. Learners can join Spanish host Marina, as she takes to the streets in Spain to interview native speakers on a number of interesting topics. From the responses we hear, your learners can develop their comprehension skills and learn new natural words and phrases. Access Series 1 and 2 for free here 

Italian

  • In a similar vein to our French series, in the latest episode of Coffee break Italian To Go, Francesca asks passers-by in the streets of Stresa: cos’hai fatto ieri? (What did you do yesterday?). We hear lots of interesting responses which will help our intermediate Italian learners with the use of the past tense. Click here to see how native Italian speakers responded to this question 
  • Have you joined our Facebook community? We introduced a very useful little expression in a Facebook post last week. The expression was farcela, which means ‘to make it’ or ‘to manage’. Here’s an example of the expression used in context: L'esame era difficile, ma ce l'abbiamo fatta. Can you use farcela in a sentence? Click here to see a more detailed explanation of how to use this phrase

German

  • Join us in the 10th and final episode for this series of the Coffee Break German Travel Diaries. Karin and her family are back in the camper van, driving the last few kilometres of their memorable 450km trip. As they make it to their last stop in Lindau, Karin reflects on the time she has spent travelling with her family and the wonderful places they have visited - einen besseren Familienurlaub kann man sich kaum wünschen (one could hardly wish for a better family holiday). While listening to Mark and Andrea discuss the language in Karin's diary entry, listen out for the use of the perfect tense. 
  • Our cultural post on Facebook last week talked about the popular German Jahrmarkt-Süßigkeit (funfair candy): gebrannte Mandeln (candied almonds). Have you ever tried this delicious treat? If you close your eyes, you can almost imagine the sweet smell wafting through a cosy Christmas market. Click here to see the full post on Facebook, and click here for a recipe to make your own gebrannte Mandeln.

Languages and Music

  • Have you ever tried listening to music in a foreign language as a way of developing your vocabulary and range of expression? Here at Coffee Break Languages we love combining music with language learning which is why we created our Tune for Tuesday series on our blog. In each article, we introduce you to some new styles of music from around the world, while helping you develop your language skills. You can find our full range of carefully selected songs in French, Spanish, Italian and German over on our blog. Be sure to check out our Spotify playlist while you're there.

Still & Sparkling: UK-German Youth Newsletter

5 November 2020 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

Read more...

Learn German with the Goethe-Institut

4 November 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

Youth Webinar Series: Sustainability

3 November 2020 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

FOKUS: Films from Germany

2 November 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

Fokus, films from Germany 2020 is still happening! In keeping with Covid-19 restrictions, and to keep our audiences and performers safe, the annual celebration of German cinema will be an all-digital online affair. The virtual festival will be shorter and smaller than in previous years, and will also move from its usual late November start to December 3-17.

The programme will be available mid-November. Meanwhile you can visit the Goethe-Institut website to find out more about the event and what was on offer last year.

Read more...

Radio Lingua resources

30 October 2020 (Radio Lingua)

Here is this week's selection of resources from the team at Radio Lingua:

French

  • Do you teach daily routines in French to your classes?  In the second episode of Season 2 of Coffee Break French To Go, Pierre-Benoît asked passers-by about their daily routine with the question: C’est quoi une journée typique pour toi? (What is a typical day for you?). How would you answer this in French? Click here to get some inspiration from the answers we received in the streets of Nantes to share with your pupils.
  • Last Friday we decided that the best way to end the week would be with some music, so we asked the Coffee Break French Facebook followers to share the cheeriest French-language songs that they know. We had some great responses in the comments section such as Je veux by Zaz and Alors on danse by Stromae. Click here to see even more toe-tapping recommendations. Please send us any of your own!

Spanish

  • We also recently released Season 2 of Coffee Break Spanish To Go for intermediate learners which you can access for free here. In each episode Marina interviews native speakers about a range of topics but this time she's in the city of Málaga, in the south of Spain. These videos are great starter activities for beginner learners of Spanish.
  • Do you follow us on Instagram? Last week, we shared a Spanish idiom over there with our followers: en un abrir y cerrar de ojos. Have you heard of this expression before? It’s equivalent to the English expression ‘in the blink of an eye’. Follow us by searching for @coffeebreaklanguages on Instagram to help your learners build up a bank of useful and natural phrases to use in their classwork.

Italian

  • We're also back with Episode 2 of our brand-new season of Coffee Break Italian To Go for intermediate learners of Italian. This week, our host Francesca is talking to native Italian speakers in the streets of Stresa to ask the following question: com’è la tua giornata tipica? (What is your daily routine?). Watch the video and listen to the podcast version here to find out what our respondents get up to on a daily basis.
  • Last week in our Grammar Builder post on Facebook, we talked about the verbs portare and prendere: ‘to bring’ and ‘to take’ in English. We provided our community with a gap-filling exercise as an opportunity to practise using these two verbs. See if you can complete this sentence with the correct verb: Laura ____ la sua borsa dalla sedia. What do you think? Click here to see the answer in the comments section, and to have a go at two more exercises. Follow us on Facebook for some more ideas and practice.

German

  • Last Friday, we asked our Facebook learners if they had any cultural recommendations to share with their fellow German learners, whether it be a TV series, book or film. As we said in the post, “no one understands the challenges and tricks to do with learning a language better than the community you're learning with.” Click here to see some great suggestions left in the comments.

Live Lessons

We have started our next series of Live lessons which may be difficult for teachers to access during the day. However the videos will be available to view on both YouTube and Facebook. You can download our full schedule of live lessons planned for October to December from the website: click here for more information.

Königspost German writing competition

20 October 2020 (King's College London)

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

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

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

Read more...

Related Files

15-year Anniversary Challenge: Capture Your Connection

20 October 2020 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

Read more...

Radio Lingua resources

9 October 2020 (Radio Lingua)

This week's selection of freely available resources from the team at Radio Lingua:

French

  • Have you been following our Advanced French novel? This week sees a brand new episode of La Vérité éclate toujours and secrets are revealed!  Listen to Chapter 10 here . Don't forget to pay attention to the spoken register of French featured in this dialogue with words such as les flics (cops) and colloquial questions including comment ça ? (how come?) and où ça ? (where's that?).
  • As we know, learning new verbs and how to conjugate them is key to pupils’ success in developing their range of expression in another language. Knowing which verb to use and of course, how to conjugate it can often be tricky for language learners. That is why we developed our French Verb Fix course, in a bid to help learners 'fix' their verbs with conjugations of various verbs in the present, perfect, imperfect and future tenses. We use the art of repetition, interactive quizzes and even musical backing tracks, to help our learners build their confidence when learning and using verbs. Take a look at the very first lesson of the series where we focus on the verb parler meaning “to speak” or “to talk”. This is an example of a regular -er verb so we not only learn how to conjugate parler in the present, perfect, imperfect and future tenses, but also how to conjugate hundreds, if not thousands, of other regular -er verbs.

Spanish

  • Our latest episode of our Spanish Travel Diaries takes our couple from San Vicente de la Barquera in Cantabria as they make their way to the village of Lastres in Asturias and visit the Bufones de Arenillas geysers and the Playa de Gulpiyuri – an inland beach. Mark and Anabel talk about these places being de ensueño (dreamlike) and discuss the use of the verb madrugar (to get up early) among many other interesting expressions and phrases. Access the podcastAccess the course
  • The Coffee Break Spanish team is in the classical Spanish city of Salamanca for Season 2 of Coffee Break Spanish To Go. Our host Marina, takes to the streets of this beautiful city and approaches native Spanish speakers to hear their views on a number of interesting topics such as, food, film, languages and much more. You can catch up on all 10 episodes for free on our YouTube channel

Italian

  • Are you an intermediate learner of Italian? If so then take a look at our Coffee Break Italian Magazine. In each of the 10 episodes, CBI hosts Mark and Francesca present cultural topics and grammar study, allowing you to build your vocabulary and increase your range of expression. We cover a whole range of topics and in Episode 2 we head south to the region of Puglia and, more specifically, to the area known as Il Gargano. Francesca and Mark also have some advice on how to learn vocabulary, based on listener, Tricia’s question. The episode concludes with a scioglilingua – a tongue twister.
  • Are you following our Coffee Break Italian Facebook page? Our community enjoyed a task we set for them on Italian diminutives, which are used to make nouns sound ‘smaller’. We provided them with three words and asked them to pick the correct diminutive ending from -ino, -ina, -ini or -ine, based on the nouns’ gender and number. Click here to have a go.

German

  • It’s also Episode 6 of the Coffee Break German Travel Diaries where we head to spend a day in Garmisch-Partenkirchenm, one of the most popular German skiing areas. Although skiing isn't on the cards for the family, they still have a fantastic, fun-filled day and even make some new friends. As Mark and Andrea discuss Karin's travel diary entry, we hear examples of the pluperfect tense as well as some interesting expressions and vocabulary including the word hetzen and the demonstrative pronoun diejenige. Listen to the podcast | Access the course
  • If you have completed Seasons 1 and 2 of Coffee Break German and are ready to take the next step then our Magazine might be the right course for you. In each of the 10 episodes, CBG hosts Mark and Andrea focus on a text, based around a particular topic, and discuss the interesting language points alongside some useful cultural information. In this musical episode, our theme is Schlager, an immensely popular style of music with catchy melodies and happy-go-lucky lyrics. Find out more about this cultural phenomenon, and learn about reflexive verbs and using the perfect or Präteritum with als.

German Language Competition 2020

9 October 2020 (DAAD)

Das Wort der Zukunft – The word of the future

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

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

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

Read more...

Calling all schools hosting a German Language Assistant!

5 October 2020 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Application deadline: Monday 26 October 2020

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

Read more...

Autumn immersion week

1 October 2020 (Language Learning Scotland)

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

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

Visit the LLS website for more information and to apply. 

Read more...

Radio Lingua resources

24 September 2020 (Radio Lingua)

The team at Radio Lingua has collated this week's selection of their language learning resources which are freely available.

French

  • The Coffee Break French team is busy preparing materials for Season 2 of our Coffee Break French To Go series in which Pierre-Benoît is talking to locals in Nantes, the town where he studied. Ahead of the launch, why not take a look back at Season 1? Join Pierre-Benoît in the town of Pornic, in the west of France and take a look at this episode where we're talking sport. Quel est ton sport préféré ?
  • In our cultural Facebook post, we were talking about la bise. Despite the need to practise social distancing at the moment, it’s important to know how to do la bise when life goes back to normal. How many kisses should one give? This depends on where you are in the French-speaking world. Here’s a useful video which explains everything you need to know to prepare yourself for la bise in the future.

Spanish

  • Have you seen our Coffee Break Spanish to Go videos?  They are ideal for authentic content in your classes or for sharing for online learning. We took to the streets of Málaga in the south of Spain to ask native Spanish speakers their thoughts on a number of topics. In Episode 9 we ask passers-by: ¿qué haces en tu tiempo libre? - what do you do in your free time?
  • Every Tuesday on our Coffee Break Languages Instagram account, we share an idiom of the week. Our latest idiom was a piece of cake to remember… in Spanish to say something is really easy, we can say that it is ‘eaten bread’ or pan comido. Why don’t you follow our account or share with your learners?  Click here to view the post and see the responses we received.
  • In Episode 4 of the Coffee Break Spanish Travel Diaries, we’re leaving Bilbao behind and heading to the capital city of the Cantabria region of Spain – Santander! Listen out for the interesting vocabulary featured in this episode, as well as some useful phrases such as costarle a alguien (to find something difficult). This is a great way to improve your own Spanish or to challenge your advanced learners. Access the podcast Access the course

Italian

  • One of last week's Facebook posts was centred around the following question: cosa fai nella vita? which literally means: 'what do you do in life?' This question can be used to ask ‘what do you do?' or 'what is your job?'. We loved hearing about our learners’ jobs in the comments. Check out the post here and try answering the question.
  • It's almost time to release Coffee Break Italian To Go Season 2! In the meantime, we're catching up on episodes featured in Season 1 and this week, we're asking passers-by: di dove sei? (where are you from?). Do you know how to explain where you come from in Italian? Watch Episode 2 to find out how to structure a response to this question in Italian.

German

  • In Episode 4 of the Coffee Break German Travel Diaries, Karin and her family approach the Austrian border. They explore the new area and take in the nature around them before having some family fun on the Sommerrodelbahn (summer toboggan on metal tracks). Listen out for an example of the pluperfect tense as well as the preposition bei. Los geht's! Listen to the podcast | Access the course
  • Join Mark and Coffee Break German To Go host, Julia as they take a trip to the beautiful town of Potsdam, where Julia grew up. Mark puts his German into practice with Julia’s help and together they visit various parts of Potsdam including the Russische Kolonie Alexandrowka, the Holländisches Viertel, and Park Sanssouci. We’ve provided English captions for the whole video, and all German used in the video has both German and English subtitles. Click here to watch the video, explore Potsdam and brush up your German along the way.

Radio Lingua resources

17 September 2020 (Radio Lingua)

Here's this week's selection of free language learning resources from the team at Radio Lingua.

French

  • In the latest instalment of La Vérité éclate toujours, our course for advanced learners of French, there’s a huge rebondissement (plot twist) as we discover the identity of the mystery visitor. Tune in to find out.
  • Do you know how to thank someone for something in French? Find out exactly when to use when to use merci de and merci pour in this episode of Walk, Talk and Learn French, the series in which we WALK around the streets of France, we TALK about the language we see around us to help you and your pupils LEARN more French!

Spanish

  • Have you been following our Spanish Travel Diaries? As we all missed out on our trips to Spain, join, Victoria and Abel as they travel through the north of Spain. This episode takes us to the Basque city of Bilbao Access the podcast Access the course
  • The video content included in our Coffee Break Spanish To Go series features our Spanish presenter, Marina in the streets of Salamanca asking passers-by their opinion on a variety of topics. We have two seasons available which are free to watch on our YouTube channel.and are an excellent resource to show authentic Spanish to your learners.

Italian

  • Our Italian Travel Diaries series has now been published and you can access all ten episodes. We discover a different area of Tuscany while discussing the language used in diary entries from protagonists Giulia and Paolo as they travel around the wonderful region. Have a listen to the free podcasts 
  • While we're busy preparing materials for Season 2 of Coffee Break Italian To Go, we're taking a look back at lessons from Season 1. This time, we're talking about family as Francesca is in Milan asking passers-by: hai fratelli?. How would you answer this question in Italian? Click here to take some inspiration from responses we received from native Italian speakers.

German

  • Join Karin, Johannes, Alex, and Janina in this week’s episode of the Coffee Break German Travel Diaries exploring the Wendelstein and the Wasserfall Tatzelwurm before relaxing by the Lagerfeuer (campfire) on the banks of the lake bei Sonnenuntergang (at sunset). As we enjoy the journey, Mark and Andrea review the language used in Karin’s travel diary, this time, focusing on methods of transport and prepositions in German. Listen to the podcast | Access the course
  • For beginner learners of German, our  Coffee Break German To Go Season 1 features simpler questions and answers. In Episode 2, Julia asks the question: woher kommst du? (Where do you come from?). Wondering how you would respond to this question in German? Check out the episode by clicking here.

The Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators

17 September 2020 (University of Oxford)

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

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

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

Read more...

Grants for training in Germany 2021

16 September 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

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

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information.

Read more...

Worldwide Napier magazine - call for submissions

16 September 2020 (Edinburgh Napier University)

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

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

More information is available on the attached document.

Related Files

Fully funded overseas volunteering opportunities

2 September 2020 (British Red Cross)

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

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

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

To apply, please use the links below:

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

German language courses

1 September 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow is now enrolling for new blended learning courses commencing 14 September 2020.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

#oekoropa competition

24 August 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

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

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information.

Read more...

GCSEs 2020: French and Spanish revival continues

20 August 2020 (TES)

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

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

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

(Note - subscription required to access full article)

Read more...

Teachers Learning to Teach Languages: OU-SCILT Programme

20 August 2020 (Open University/SCILT)

Teachers Learning to Teach Languages (TELT) is an innovative, distance learning professional learning programme offered by the Open University in partnership with SCILT. The course begins in October and lasts nine months. TELT is open to all primary teachers, and secondary teachers with a secondment in primary, across Scotland. The course materials and tutorials are all delivered online, and we hope to be able to have an optional face to face day school in May 2021 dependent on pandemic safety advice at that time.

Typically Scottish local authorities sponsor their teachers, however a small number of previous participants have financed themselves. If you are interested in finding out if sponsorship is available for you please contact the Languages Development Officer in your local authority.

For more information about self-funding please contact Scotland-languages@open.ac.uk

The aim of the programme is to increase and improve language provision in primary schools. Teachers simultaneously learn a new language and the skills to teach that language in the classroom. The languages strand is offered in four languages – French, German, Mandarin and Spanish – and at two levels – beginners and post-beginners. The pedagogy strand covers a diverse range of pedagogical approaches i.e. embedding an additional language, exploring target language cultures, play and games, interdisciplinary contexts.

What’s the course really like though?  Hear what Mel and Gwen, two previous participants have to say. 

The modules all begin on 3 October, with some induction activities ahead of that, and the fee per module place in Scotland is £258.00

Details of the commitment in terms of time and effort on these modules at the TELT website’s FAQs.

Potential sponsors can use an online Expression of Interest form to let us know about any teachers who are interested in the programme and would have their fees paid by sponsorship from their local authority or individual school. The deadline to submit Expressions of Interest for sponsored places is 31 August. Submitting the Expression of Interest form doesn't commit organisations to going ahead with sponsorship at this stage, or to a particular number of places. Formal registration paperwork would be issued after submission this online form, and the number of places can be increased or decreased following that.

Teachers who are interested but would be paying their own fees (self-funding), should contact  scotland-languages@open.ac.uk The registration deadline for self-funding students is 10 September.

Visit the Open University TELT webpage for more information on the programme.

Similarly, for any other questions you have please don’t hesitate to contact scotland-languages@open.ac.uk

Read more...

UK-German Tandem Challenge: Connect, learn, share

19 August 2020 (UK-German Connection)

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

How does it work?

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

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

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

Available until: 15 September 2020

Read more...

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

10 August 2020 (TES)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Heriot-Watt’s search for £9m cuts puts university’s languages department at risk

6 August 2020 (The Times)

A Scottish university is reviewing the future of its entire foreign languages department as it looks at how to cut its wage bill by £9 million over two years.

Heriot-Watt in Edinburgh, widely seen as Scotland’s centre of excellence for translation studies, has commissioned an external review into French, German, Spanish and Chinese classes.

Read more...

Host a teacher / Have your say

4 August 2020 (UK-German Connection)

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

Stay international: Host a Teacher from Germany

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

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

Deadlines:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deadline: 15 September

Complete the form on the Have your say webpage.

University of Dundee Graduate Diplomas in French, German and Spanish by Distance Learning

17 June 2020 (University of Dundee)

Registration for the 2020-22 cohort of the Graduate Diplomas in French, German and Spanish by Distance Learning of the University of Dundee is now open until 11 September 2020.

These 2 years online Graduate Diplomas by Distance Learning for part-time study are accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland. They are ideally suited for Secondary MFL teachers seeking an additional qualification in French, German or Spanish.

'A must for any modern languages teacher.' (Diploma student)

They aim to provide the challenge of an undergraduate curriculum in the relevant practical language. They carry a rating of 120 SCOTCAT points (SCQF Levels 9-10). The qualification outcome is bench-marked at C1 in the Council of Europe Reference Framework for Languages. Applicants will normally have a pass in Higher the relevant language (or equivalent, such as the Dundee Intensive/Revision languages courses by distance-learning).

At the University of Dundee, we have a long-established tradition of language teaching, both with students at the University and via distance learning. We use a combination of online tools to give students a range of experiences in the language. Experienced staff are responsible for the course design, delivery and student support.

'I myself am a language teacher. I have been teaching English in Japan for the last 9 years, so it is with a teacher’s perspective in mind that I tell you that the preparation, delivery and assessment of this diploma was excellent.' (French Diploma student)

'The materials were totally relevant as I need the course for teaching and the topics match that very well. I really enjoyed doing the course and would think about doing it for French (down the road)!' (German Diploma student)

'The course is very interesting with its amazing variety of tasks from different domains in different forms and it has opened my eyes to a brand new world so rich with talented people, their literature and arts. Thank you so much for working so hard in making the whole experience so fulfilling and enriching.' (Spanish Diploma student)

For more information visit the Dundee University website or to discuss any aspects of the course or your application, please contact Claire Nicoll c.z.nicoll@dundee.ac.uk 

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German Teacher Award 2020

4 June 2020 (German Embassy)

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

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

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

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

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Goethe on Demand

1 June 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

In collaboration with Filmgalerie 451, the Goethe-Institut has launched Goethe on Demand, an online streaming programme. It contains a small but exquisite selection of films, is free of charge and will be available worldwide through the end of June.

Visit the website for more information and to request your passcode.

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Watch new PowerLanguage Challenge videos

25 May 2020 (PowerLanguage)

Pupils in Scotland have been using their language skills to produce some quality videos. Take a look at these podcasts made by learners, for learners. Why not take up the challenge in your school? 

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Virtual activities for school partnerships

30 April 2020 (UK-German Connection)

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

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German Teacher Award 2020

28 April 2020 (German Embassy)

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

The deadline for nominations has been extended until 31 May 2020. Please note that headteachers must nominate the German teacher. Submissions from pupils or teachers themselves cannot be accepted.

Visit the website for more information.

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Online learning for teachers of German

22 April 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut is running a series of online webinars for trainers and teachers of German as a foreign language. Recordings are also available for those unable to attend the live events.

Visit the website for more information.

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Competition - Ich habe einen Traum (I have a dream)

17 April 2020 (German Foreign Office)

Are you between 5 and 19 years old? Do you love books and stories? Do you like to write? If so, please take part in our competition and get your prose, short story, essay or poem published in the next Foreign Office e‑book!

Tell us about your dream for the future. 

All entries submitted in German or English will be edited by professionals and accepted in the following age groups:

  • 10 years and under 
  • 11‑14 years
  • 15‑19 years

The deadline for entries is 1 July 2020. The e-book will then be published and launched in August, when it will be available to download for free.

Visit the German Federal Foreign Office website for more information about the competition. You can also access previous editions of the e-book.

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The Great Languages Challenge

26 March 2020 (British Council)

The Great Languages Challenge can be completed during a planned lesson or also set as a language-themed homework task. We even have a blank version available that students can use to design their own challenges for their classmates or peers in their partner school overseas.

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Modern Languages webinars

19 March 2020 (SCILT/CISS)

Along with our partners at e-Sgoil, the SCILT and CISS teams are currently working on live webinars to support youngsters working on National Qualifications in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin and Gaelic. This will compliment the work already being done by teachers across the country so that youngsters due to sit National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications do not have their learning interrupted. We will give further information via our usual networks and social media. 

German Teacher Award 2020

6 March 2020 (Education Scotland)

The German Embassy is looking for nominations for the German Teacher Award 2020.

Scottish schools have been notable by their absence from this competition, but thanks to the new German Consul General in Scotland, we are now firmly placed to have our fabulous German teachers in the running for this!  

So if your primary or secondary school has an outstanding German teacher who deserves recognition, visit the German Embassy's website or see the attached flyer for more information about the award and how to submit a nomination by 10 April 2020.

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Taster events at King's College London

5 March 2020 (King's College London)

King's College London is running taster events over the next few months for students in Years 11&12 (S4&S5) who are interested in finding out about what it is like to study German/Modern Languages at university. We would be delighted to welcome your students at these events. Attendance is free, but places are limited so advance booking is required. Further details can be found by clicking on the web links below.

  1. Modern Languages Taster Day. 1st April 2020, 1pm-5.15pm.
  2. Modern Languages and European Studies. 4th June 2020. 10.30am-4.00pm.
  3. German Taster Day. 16th June 2020. 10.30am-4.00pm.
  4. Studying German from Scratch. 18th June 2020. 1.30pm-5.00pm.

The German Olympics (IDO)

3 March 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

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

The competition is open to secondary school students born between August 2002 and July 2006.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information about eligibility and how to enter the competition. Submission deadline is 27 March 2020.

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Work shadowing in Schwäbisch Hall - applications open

3 March 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

We are delighted to announce our call for applications for a work-shadowing week in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany, from 24 to 31 October 2020.

A number of companies and organisations in Schwäbisch Hall are happy to host students to introduce them to the world of work and help them understand the practical details of a profession. The students will have the opportunity to be part of a team in a small or medium-sized company and use their language skills while taking part in the company’s daily operations. Participants will go to the work placement in the mornings, where an expert will accompany them on their introduction to a profession. In the afternoons, a cultural programme will help the participants discover the local surroundings and dive into German culture. 

Applicants should be 16 or 17 years old with at least GCSE-level German.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and apply by 3 April 2020.

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Makeathon: Deutsch Digital 2020

19 February 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

There are different opinions on what good media-based foreign language teaching should look like in the 21st century. In 2020, seven Goethe-Institutes in Northwest Europe will be carrying out a project that deals with this problem and wants to address the following questions:
 
Does digitalisation enable customized learning opportunities? Do digital learning opportunities motivate German learners? Should modern foreign language teaching be project-oriented and multidisciplinary? Does the use of technical devices such as tablets automatically make teaching modern? Does internal differentiation work better with digital media? Does foreign language teaching contribute to the development of media literacy?
 
The aim of our project is the development of digitally supported, task- and action-oriented teaching scenarios for German lessons.

The highlight of the project is a multi-day Makeathon (from 13 to 15 May 2020) in Germany. During the Makeathon, you will work with German teachers from the Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Finland and Norway to develop scenarios for your German lessons with the support of experts. After the Makeathon, you will try out the teaching scenario you have co-developed in your German lessons.
 
Would you like to be part of the Makeathon and develop teaching scenarios together with other German teachers? There are four places available for teachers in Scotland. Apply until February 28, 2020!

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Wee Write 2020

14 February 2020 (Aye Write, Wee Write)

As part of Glasgow's wider Aye Write annual book festival, Wee Write is specifically aimed at children and young people.

Award winning authors, Wee Write favourites and brand new faces will bring books alive at The Mitchell Library and inspire a lifelong love of reading in children. All schools are able to book sessions at the event with Glasgow schools receiving a discounted admission. This year's Wee Write event for schools runs from 2 - 6 March, with a family day also being held on Saturday 7 March.

There are several Scots and Gaelic sessions to be enjoyed and schools can book story sessions at local libraries in a range of foreign languages.

Visit the Wee Write website for more information and booking details.

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Modern Language Assistants 2020-21 applications open

14 February 2020 (British Council)

The British Council Language Assistants team is now welcoming requests from host schools, colleges, universities and local authorities for the 2020-21 academic year.

Language Assistants are an invaluable resource for the development of language skills and the raising of inter-cultural awareness. Language Assistants can help learners build their confidence while gaining new cultural insights. Assistants are native speakers of French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Mandarin from our 14 partner countries around the globe.

Visit the website to apply or contact the Language Assistants team for more information at Languageassistants.UK@britishcouncil.org

British Council Language Assistants banner

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New job profile on SCILT's website

7 February 2020 (SCILT)

We have a variety of job profiles on our website showcasing careers where languages are in use. The latest addition to our collection comes from Cassandra Scott, an independent translator based in Edinburgh.

Cassandra tells us in a competitive job market it's pays to stand out from the crowd with a skill that not everyone has. So if offered the chance to learn a language, her advice is take it!

Teachers share her profile with your pupils to support the Developing the Young Workforce initiative and highlight the benefits of language learning as a life skill.

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Funded summer courses in Germany - applications now open!

6 February 2020 (UK-German Connection)

We offer three summer course opportunities for pupils and teachers, all combining language-learning with cultural trips and excursions, as well as staying with host families. All are part or fully funded. Follow the appropriate link to find out more about each course.

Application deadline for each programme: 1 March 2020.

If you have any questions about the courses, don't hesitate to get in touch with the UK-German Connection team at pupilprogrammes@ukgermanconnection.org

The German Olympics (IDO)

28 January 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

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

We are happy to welcome the German Olympics for schools worldwide to the United Kingdom in 2020 for the third time. The competition is open to secondary school students born between August 2002 and July 2006.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information about eligibility and how to enter the competition. Submission deadline is 27 March 2020.

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German Educational Trainees Across Borders 2020/21

23 January 2020 (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz / SCILT)

Expressions of interest are now being taken from local authorities who would like to host a German student teacher for a 6 month placement during the 2020/21 school session.

German trainee teachers from Universities in Mainz, Leipzig and Koblenz are available to work in Scottish schools for a six month placement from September/October 2020 to March/April 2021. Participating students are native German speakers, training to become secondary teachers of English. 

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

Local authorities interested in hosting GETs should register with SCILT by Friday 31st January. For more information and to register your interest please contact SCILT

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Multilingual Debate 2020

21 January 2020 (Heriot-Watt University)

Heriot-Watt University's Multilingual Debate is an annual event that showcases the interpreting skills of undergraduate and postgraduate students. 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, along with university undergraduate students considering entering the interpreting profession, as well as government and local authority representatives, The audience participates by listening to the arguments, putting questions to the speakers in the languages represented and voting on the motion.

The Multilingual Debate 2020 will take place on Wednesday 25 March at Heriot-Watt University's Edinburgh campus. Two sessions are available and bookings are now being taken. Schools can book up to 15 tickets free of charge.

Visit the website for more information.

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Worldwide Napier magazine - Call for submissions

10 January 2020 (Edinburgh Napier University)

Worldwide Napier, the magazine in foreign languages designed by language students to encourage language studies, is currently looking for contributions in French, German and Spanish for its fifth issue, desirably on [changing] places, our next issue main focus.

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

See the attached flyer and poster for more information. Submission deadline is 1 March 2020.

New job profile on the SCILT website

10 January 2020 (SCILT)

We have a range of job profiles on our website showcasing careers where languages are being used. The latest addition to our collection comes from Ruth Sillars-Mathouillot, a Relationship Manager for a bank based in Luxembourg.

Ruth tells us language learning offers an enriching experience, providing the ability to socialise with people of different cultures and backgrounds. 

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.

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School Partnership Bursaries for 2019-20

9 January 2020 (UK-German Connection)

Did you run any activities with your German partner school last year?

School partnership bursaries are available once more to help you to keep your UK-German partnership alive.

All you need to do is answer a few short questions about your partnership activities last year and your plans for 2020.

For further details and to enter your information, please visit the UK-German Connection website and submit your information by 31 January 2020. 

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Mandarin eclipses French, say private school heads

8 January 2020 (TES)

Mandarin is the best language for pupils to learn in today’s world, while French lags far behind in importance, according to girls’ school headteachers cited in a poll published today.

The survey, conducted by the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA), which represents independent all-girls schools across the UK, found that 38 per cent of heads feel Mandarin is the most important modern language for pupils to learn.

This is despite pupils' quicker progress in European languages, according to a language expert, who also argues that more job opportunities area available for French and German speakers.

Spanish was the second most popular option among the headteachers polled, with 31 per cent choosing it as the most important language, while 7.1 per cent chose Russian.

Just 2 per cent of those surveyed said French is the most important language for pupils to know.

A further 21 per cent selected “other”, with many commenting that any modern foreign language is useful for pupils.

[..] But Teresa Tinsley, who wrote the British Council’s 2019 Language Trends report, said schools needed to consider the practicalities of opting for Mandarin over languages spoken by geographical neighbours, such as French and German.

[..] Ms Tinsley said she supported the introduction of Mandarin to give pupils more variety in the languages they learnt, but said European languages tended to support pupils’ literacy in English, which could not be said of Asian languages.

(Note - subscription required to read full article).

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Why we offer Mandarin and Spanish, not German and French

20 December 2019 (TES)

Secondary head Chris Woolf explains why he ditched the modern language stalwarts in favour of giving all students the chance to learn Mandarin and Spanish.

It was very quiet. There was no one to talk to. There were no phones to ring. There was no one knocking on the door. Getting in early to make some progress before students and staff arrived for the day was pointless: they wouldn’t be here for another nine months. It was June 2015 and I had been appointed founding headteacher of Pinner High School.

Much of the next year was spent making and enacting plans. But foremost in my mind, on those quiet days when the school had not yet come into being, was the curriculum. What should it look like?

A lot of it would be traditional, of course: English, maths, science. However, there was an opportunity to make it a bit more exciting, too. This is how we came to ditch French and German, teaching Mandarin and Spanish to every child in the school instead.

Mandarin teaching has increased over the past 20 years but it is still offered by only a minority of state schools. Even then, it is usually in addition to the more traditional languages. We didn’t want it to be an add-on – we wanted it to be the main event.

Meanwhile, the number of students taking Spanish at GCSE has soared, while French has fallen markedly. But trying to counter the former and respond to the latter were not our only drivers.

Governors asked appropriately challenging questions. Why? What’s wrong with French and German? Through telling audiences about our language options as I toured local primaries to promote the school, I honed my response. When schools first started teaching modern foreign languages, we looked to our nearest neighbours in Europe for the most useful ones to learn: French and German.

But the world has changed. If we look to the future, we want jobseekers of the 2020s to be equipped for success, and that means a more dynamic approach. Teaching students in an English-speaking school Mandarin and Spanish means that they get to study the top three most widely spoken languages in the world. That must be a good thing.

Having settled on Mandarin and Spanish, I had to consider who would be eligible for these languages. This was an easy decision: everyone. We are a truly inclusive school and we believe that everyone can access the same curriculum, given the proper support.

Then I had to actually make it happen. I had expected recruiting Mandarin teachers to be difficult. However, when I advertised, there was a strong field to pick from and we now have brilliant colleagues.

(Note - subscription required to access full article).

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School partnership bursaries

16 December 2019 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection is again offering bursaries of £1,000 to help keep UK-German school partnerships alive. The bursaries can support pupil visits and joint activities taking place in 2020.

Visit the website to find out more and submit your application by 31 January 2020.

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The German Olympics (IDO)

6 December 2019 (Goethe-Institut)

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

We are happy to welcome the German Olympics for schools worldwide to the United Kingdom in 2020 for the third time. The competition is open to secondary school students born between August 2002 and July 2006.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information about eligibility and how to enter the competition. Submission deadline is 27 March 2020.

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Greenock pupils impress First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in a show at the Scottish Parliament

3 December 2019 (Greenock Telegraph)

It's a case of mind your languages for Greenock school pupils who impressed First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as they put on a superb show at the Scottish Parliament.

Whinhill Primary were invited to bring their culture and diversity showcase to Holyrood and blew everyone away with a special performance.

The Greenock school uses performing arts to bring languages to life and the children were able to express themselves in Gaelic, German and Tamil.

Inverclyde MSP Stuart McMillan arranged for them to come to parliament and said they proved great ambassadors.

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UNIQ Spring and Summer Schools 2020

29 November 2019 (University of Oxford)

UNIQ Spring and Summer gives students in UK state schools and colleges an opportunity to sample the Oxford undergraduate student experience. Applicants will live in an Oxford college for a week, attend lectures and seminars in their chosen subject area, and receive expert advice on the Oxford application and interview process. The timetable also allows plenty of time for social activities.

For those unable to attend the Oxford campus, the UNIQ Digital programme provides comprehensive information and guidance on the university admissions process, and aims to provide a realistic view of Oxford student life through videos, activities and quizzes. 

A wide range of courses are on offer, including several language study options.

Visit the UNIQ website for more information about the programmes on offer and to apply. Applications are open from 2 December 2019 to 27 January 2020.

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The best languages to study for future job opportunities

6 November 2019 (The Telegraph)

Your Year 9 French teacher was right: learning a language can open a lot of doors. Not only will your fluency allow you to travel to distant corners of the globe, but having a degree in a language can make you highly employable.

Mastering a language has always been impressive to employers: it shows tenacity and commitment, but can also come in handy if they work with overseas clients. 

Now, language skills are more sought after than ever, given the potential impact of Brexit on British industry, according to the CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Report 2018. “The need for languages has been heightened by the UK’s departure from the European Union,” the report states.

The British Council has also stressed the need for young people to learn a foreign language in order for Britain to become a “truly global nation”. In their most recent Languages for the Future report in 2017, the British Council listed the following as the most important languages for the UK’s prosperity: Spanish, Mandarin, French, Arabic, German, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese and Russian. 

Even though multilingualism is needed for the UK’s prosperity, just 1 in 3 Britons can hold a conversation in a foreign language, according to the report from the British Council. 

So, those who can speak another language are more needed than ever - as is clear from the 2018 CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Report, which surveyed almost 500 British employers and calculated which languages are most desirable to them. The following are the results from that report and, thus, the best languages to study for graduate employment. 

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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%.

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FOKUS: Films from Germany 2019-20

30 October 2019 (Goethe-Institut)

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

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for full programme details.

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School competitions for learners of German

28 October 2019 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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. 

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What are the most popular subjects in Scotland?

23 August 2019 (TESS)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Note - subscription required to access full article).

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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.

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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.

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

8 August 2019 (The Pie News)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Read more...

DAAD German writing and video competition 2018

10 September 2018 (DAAD)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

'Host a Teacher' Programme: free CPD opportunity

10 September 2018 (UK-German Connection)

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

What are the benefits?

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

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

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

Read more...

SCHOLAR

3 September 2018 (SCHOLAR)

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

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

Read more...

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.

Read more...

Magical Christmas Trip

21 August 2018 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

There are two options for getting involved:

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

Application deadline: 18 September 2018.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

Read more...

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. 

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.)

Read more...

Fantastic opportunity to get involved in international work

9 August 2018 (YouthLink Scotland)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Spanish exam entries on track to surpass French in English schools

27 June 2018 (The Guardian)

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

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

Read more...

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.

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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.

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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. 

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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?”

Read more...

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'.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

Host a Teacher from Germany

15 September 2017 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

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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.

Read more...

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.

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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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

UK-German Connection news - Summer 2017

9 June 2017 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

Read more...

Host a teacher from Germany

2 June 2017 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

Leaving Certificate language students ‘learning off’ exam answers

11 May 2017 (Irish Examiner)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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New job profile on the SCILT website

31 March 2017 (SCILT)

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

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

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

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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.

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

16 March 2017 (SCILT)

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

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

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

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

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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.

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Languages Teacher Training Scholarships

23 February 2017 (British Council)

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

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

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UK-German Connection latest news

21 February 2017 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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UK-German Connection Funding

26 January 2017 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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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.

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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.

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SQA update to AH Modern Languages guidance on past paper usage

16 January 2017 (SQA)

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Read more...

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).

Read more...

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.

Read more...

UK-German Connection news

9 November 2016 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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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.

Read more...

DAAD writing competition

25 October 2016 (DAAD)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

SCHOLAR support for Advanced Higher modern languages

11 October 2016 (SCHOLAR / Heriot-Watt)

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

Search for Scholar HW, or use the login link.

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

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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.

Read more...

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!

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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. 

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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".

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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:

Read more...

‘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”.

Read more...

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.).

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

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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.

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'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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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%).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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 va