Latest News

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

Baccalaureate - Scottish

Calls to axe SNP’s flagship Baccalaureate after snub by pupils

15 August 2016 (The Scotsman)

John Swinney is being urged to ditch the SNP’s flagship Scottish Baccalaureate qualification after it emerged that ­only 103 pupils achieved the award this year.

The qualification was introduced seven years ago with the aim of raising the profile of sciences and languages in schools.

But it has suffered from a lack of interest among pupils more focussed on Highers, which are traditionally seen as the route to university and employment.

Labour now say it should be replaced with a new Scottish Graduation Certificate for the senior phase of secondary school, which would involve vocational courses, work experience, voluntary work and traditional exams.


Related Links

Fresh call for scrapping of unpopular Scottish Baccalaureate (The Herald, 15 August 2016)

The struggle to revive the 'faltering' Baccalaureate

26 February 2016 (TESS)

The government is drawing up urgent proposals to save the Scottish Baccalaureate as interest in the flagship qualification spirals downwards, TESS can reveal.

It aims to publish plans within weeks after a review into the decline of the Baccalaureate. The qualification, available in science, social sciences, expressive arts and languages, was designed to encourage the type of independent learning demanded in universities.

(Read the full article on pages 6-7 of TESS online - subscription required).


Flagship exams 'not worth the effort and should be scrapped'

15 August 2014 (Herald)

Flagship qualifications designed to raise the profile of science and languages in Scottish schools should be scrapped, teachers' leaders have said.


Glasgow Schools Modern Languages Newsletter

31 March 2014 (Glasgow City Council)

The latest Modern Languages Newsletter from Glasgow schools has been published. This issue contains: 

  • Interdisciplinary Projects at Celtic Learning Centre
  • Eurozone Crisis IP at Bellahouston Academy
  • Louis Pasteaur languages / science project
  • Euroquiz 2014 in Thornwood Primary
  • Bannerman High's Chinese events
  • Italian events at St Charles' Primary

3rd year BA research posters blog

4 February 2014 (SCILT)

Along with her Spanish and Italian colleagues, Caroline Verdier, Teaching Fellow in French at the University of Strathclyde, challenged 3rd Year students to work in groups on a research project.  The groups had 'carte blanche' to research any aspect of life or identity in a country where the target language is spoken. Subjects included independence movements in Spain and Scotland, the representation of Ancient Rome in cinema and on television and the status of Paris in the world of fashion.  There were also some case studies about businesses such as of Renault, Zara and Veuve Cliquot.

Information about the rationale, the research process and the findings were distilled and displayed in a poster.  The posters were very creative, many were interactive and had 3D elements.  An exhibition to showcase all the posters took place in the McCance Conservatory in April 2013.  During Spring 2014, posters and abstracts from this year’s 3rd Year students will be added to the blog.

This blog would be a good tool to support pupils involved in research for the IP strand of the Languages Baccalaureate.


Qualification failing to win over youngsters

6 August 2013 (The Herald)

A flagship Scottish Government qualification designed to increase participation in sciences and languages has failed to spark the interest of pupils.

New figures show the take-up of two key Scottish Baccalaureates has fallen over the past year, despite efforts to raise their profile in schools and universities.

This year, just 32 pupils took the languages baccalaureate, down from 34 the previous year, and only 142 completed the science qualification, a reduction from 148 in 2012.


Results for National Courses and Awards 2013

6 August 2013 (SQA)

The Scottish Qualifications Authority today announces details of the results for National Courses and Awards 2013.

There was an increase in the pass rate for the Scottish Baccalaureate – 85.9% (+6.7). The percentage point difference from 2012 is indicated in brackets.

The number of candidates sitting Chinese languages across all levels (from Access to Advanced Higher) continues to rise, up 36.3 per cent since 2010. Courses in Mandarin (Simplified) are the most popular and are usually taken by learners from a non-heritage background.

Download the attached pdf for a full summary of the 2013 performance across SQA courses in Modern Languages.


Related Files

University of Strathclyde Education Scotland British Council Scotland The Scottish Government
SCILT - Scotlands National centre for Languages