Latest News

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


Language Learning

Struggling to learn a language? 6 tips on how pop songs can help

30 June 2022 (The Conversation)

Traditional approaches to adult language teaching often use resources such as textbooks and generic learning materials that are less than inspiring for learners. New research shows using popular song, as well as films and TV series, for language learning can help connect with people’s interests and motivate them. Based on this research, we have developed six tips for using popular songs to learn a language.

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Children learn sign language to support classmate

28 June 2022 (BBC)

Primary 2 pupils at Omagh Integrated Primary School have learned sign language this year.

They were keen to learn the new skill to support their classmate Callum.

They have also inspired their local neighbourhood police and other emergency services to learn the new skill.

Read more...

Stephen Spender Prize 2022

9 June 2022 (Stephen Spender Trust)

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

Spotlight prize

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

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

Read more...

SCILT 2022-23 workshop menu open for group bookings

9 June 2022 (SCILT)

Today we are delighted to launch SCILT’s CLPL menu for next session. 

If you are looking for high quality professional learning related to languages pedagogy for groups of experienced colleagues, newly qualified or student teachers in your school, cluster, local authority or RIC, then look no further.  

Note that open access workshops will be scheduled across the year for individual bookings. Find out more information about the first online and open access series of 2022-23.

Always interactive, SCILT menu workshops give you the opportunity to explore practice through exemplification and discussion with colleagues.

Primary

  • Engaging parents with languages in the primary and early years
  • Cultural contexts: an engaging approach to primary language learning
  • Get multilingual with DYW in your primary classroom
  • Active assessment in primary languages
  • Multilingual approaches to primary pedagogy

Secondary

  • Policy, planning and practice in BGE (in partnership with Education Scotland)
  • Emerging contexts for language learning
  • Tackling controversial issues in challenging times
  • Talking and listening
  • Using language skills across the curriculum

For more detail about the menu workshops and to book for a group follow the link below.

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Open access Wednesdays

9 June 2022 (SCILT)

Paging primary teachers and primary education students across Scotland. Keep your Wednesdays free! On the last Wednesday of each month between August and November 2022, SCILT’s primary professional development officers will host a series of online workshops.  

These workshops are free and open to all primary teachers and primary education students in Scotland.

Karen and Lynne look forward to welcoming you to explore one or more of these areas of primary languages pedagogy.

The sessions will be hosted on MS Teams and will not be recorded. Register for each event separately via the links above.

Plus, there are even more open access workshops to come:

  • Five primary workshops with a creativity twist between January and May 2023
  • A series of online, open access secondary workshops in May and June 2023

Keep an eye out in the ebulletin for further details. 

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

9 June 2022 (SCILT / University partners)

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

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

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

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

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

University of Strathclyde MEd Education Studies - New languages modules

7 June 2022 (University of Strathclyde)

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

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

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

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

Japanese Language Local Project Support Programme 2022-2023 – Applications open

7 June 2022 (Japan Foundation)

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

Projects that fit into one of the four following categories are prioritised:

  • Category 1 - Newly introducing Japanese into the curriculum
  • Category 2 - Supporting GCSE or A-level courses
  • Category 3 - Japanese clubs
  • Category 4 - Projects that enable links between primary/secondary institutions and institutions of higher education

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information, application guidelines and forms.

Apply by 16 June 2022.

Read more...

Information webinar for primary teachers in Scotland keen to learn a new language and how to teach it in their classrooms

7 June 2022 (SCILT)

Teachers Learning to Teach Languages, or TeLT for short, is a blended professional learning programme lasting 9 months that is aimed at practitioners who want to develop their practice in teaching languages to primary aged pupils.

Two information webinars for prospective students on the OU/SCILT TeLT programme are scheduled for:

  • Thursday 16 June, 7pm - 8pm
  • Tuesday 21 June, 7pm - 8pm

These webinars are open to teachers that teach languages primary schools in Scotland. Register here for your preferred webinar date.

Each 60-minute online event will introduce interested primary teachers to the primary languages programme delivered in collaboration by the Open University and SCILT from October 2022 to June 2023, where teachers can study one of four languages from scratch, learn how to teach it and apply their new skills directly as part of the course.

Participants will learn what the programme has to offer, what is required to succeed in becoming a primary languages teacher and gain professional recognition from the GTCS for the study.

Participants will hear about the impact of the study on attitudes and practice of teachers, pupils and the entire school community from OU and SCILT colleagues and find out how the course enables teachers to collaborate with primary schools across Scotland and Wales through in-programme eTwinning.

In addition, they will learn first-hand about experiences studying the course from former students, in-service primary teachers, who are now working as guest tutors on the programme. The guest tutors will also share how studying this programme has boosted their professional opportunities and employability skills.

Teachers working in other parts of the UK can find the information for the programme in their area on the Open University website

Le Foot et la Francophonie

31 May 2022 (SCILT)

Congratulations to Lourdes Secondary School, winners of SCILT’s inaugural edition of Le Foot et la Francophonie!

Le Foot has generated huge enthusiasm in the four Glasgow schools involved in the pilot project. During the autumn of 2021, teachers of French at Knightswood Secondary School, Lourdes Secondary School, Shawlands Academy and St. Roch’s Secondary School, supported by staff from SCILT, produced some high quality teaching materials based on football and the French-speaking world. To ensure that this project was truly interdisciplinary, all stakeholders collaborated on a guidance document outlining benchmarks, experiences and outcomes from Modern Languages, Physical Education and Health and Wellbeing curricular areas. They were supported in this endeavour by input from Physical Education staff in their respective schools, as well as by Cara Lamb, who leads the PGDE Secondary Physical Education course at the University of Strathclyde.

In January, Le Foot was rolled out in S2 classrooms and on school playing fields. Engagement among pupils who had previously shown limited interest in languages was particularly evident, with one of the teachers involved noting that this was “French disguised as football”! The outstanding resources produced and shared by each school cover the four core skills of reading, listening, talking and writing, encompassing the Francophone world and including strong anti-racism messages. Just as importantly, the 750 pupils who took part learned of the relevance of languages to a range of careers in professional sports – an area in which many have a keen interest.

The competitive final took place at the University of Strathclyde on 12 May. The event involved teams of pupils from each of the schools, together with classmates who came along to support them. On the panel of judges were Cédric Moreau (Subject Leader for French, University of Strathclyde), Lisa Hanna (Depute Director, SCILT), Jordan Allison (Head of Charity, Kilmarnock FC) and Mark Cunningham (final-year student in Spanish and Education, and qualified football coach). After presenting a football-themed video in French, the teams performed football drills, which included commands in French. They then heard video messages from John Collins, Christophe Berra and Ismaila Soro, before the winner’s announcement saw Lourdes Secondary School claim the trophy, together with a visit to Hampden Park, where the winning team will be given a French-focussed tour of the stadium and the Scottish Football Museum.

Watch this space for information on Le Foot et la Francophonie being rolled out nationally in 2022-23, together with further details on how your school can get involved.

Spanish course for teachers: blended learning programme (León, 2022)

31 May 2022 (Consejería de Educación)

The University of León and Mester Academy have organised a Spanish course aimed at British and Irish teachers interested in learning or improving their Spanish language skills.

The blended learning programme consists of 33 hours of self-study online from mid-June plus one week Spanish language course in León (Spain) in August 2022.

  • ONLINE + ONSITE COURSE
  • 3 DIFFERENT LEVELS: absolute beginners, beginners and intermediate
  • A GRANT to cover most of the costs will be offered
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE: 13 June

All information regarding dates, course content, the grant and the application form can be found on the Spanish Embassy Education Office website.

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Meet the Arabic teacher who is passionate about languages and introducing her culture to NI

31 May 2022 (Belfast Live)

When Rym Akhonzada first moved to Northern Ireland from Tunisia just over 20 years ago, she had the advantage of a good education and a strong grasp of languages.

Fluent in Arabic, French, and English and a bit of Italian, the mother-of-three went on to establish the Interlingua School of Languages in Lisburn.

The school offers language classes for those with either a professional or leisure interest in foreign languages.

Soon, schools across Northern Ireland were also kicking off their new terms in Arabic.

Read more...

The Big Question: final spaces remaining!

26 May 2022 (SCILT)

This term we are hosting a series of interactive seminars for secondary languages teachers, based on some of the main themes from our workshops this year, and covering some of the big questions that you might be asking about teaching languages today.

We now have just a few places remaining on Seminar 3: Teaching controversial issues. This session will feature the chance to hear from a guest speaker, and the opportunity to discuss and share with fellow teachers, and hopefully together to come up with some answers to the big questions!

  • Seminar 3: Teaching controversial issues
    4-5pm, Thursday 9 June
    In this seminar we will look at how can we approach controversial issues such as gender, race, politics and climate in the context of language learning. We will explore strategies for tackling controversial issues safely and effectively in the languages classroom. Our guest in this session will be Lynne Jones of SCILT who will be sharing particularly around areas of gender and immigration.

Seminars are free to attend and are open to all secondary languages teachers and student teachers. The session will be hosted on MS Teams and will not be recorded.

Read more...

The Children's Poetry Archive: Mother Tongue Other Tongue 2022

25 May 2022 (The Children's Poetry Archive)

The Children’s Poetry Archive is a place where you can listen to poems read out loud. There are poems read by the poets who wrote them as well as poems which other people have recorded.

SCILT is delighted that The Children's Poetry Archive has uploaded a collection of the winners of this year's Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition. Why not listen to the winning poems on the Archive's website?

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Polish classes for teachers - registrations open

19 May 2022 (SCILT / Polish Social and Educational Society in Glasgow)

Following the successful launch of the Ten Steps to Polish online resource and introductory Polish classes for teachers last session, in collaboration with the Polish Social and Educational Society in Glasgow, we are delighted to announce that the Polish classes for teachers will run again in session 2022/23. The interactive Ten Steps to Polish handbook is designed for teachers to introduce Polish as an L3 and the online classes provide teachers with the opportunity to learn basic Polish in order to support the implementation of the resource in their classroom.

Chris Sagan, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Polish Social and Educational Society in Glasgow, who has led the programme from its infancy states: 

“We are delighted with the response we have had to our Ten Steps to L3 Polish course. In our introductory year we have taught, via Zoom, basic Polish to teachers across Scotland enabling them to provide L3 Polish to their classes. We look forward with enthusiasm to another year of helping teachers teach Polish in classrooms across Scotland.”

Primary teachers who are interested can register by 20 June 2022 for a block of free online Polish language lessons, led by a native Polish speaker and an experienced primary practitioner. These online classes:

  • begin on Tuesday 30th August
  • will take place 4-5pm on MS Teams
  • will be an hour in length, once a week, for 6 weeks
  • support Ten Steps to L3 Polish and aim to give the class teacher the confidence to lead exciting Polish lessons in school

These classes are aimed at teachers planning to introduce Polish as an L3. Places are limited and offered on a first-come first-served basis. 

For more information about Ten Steps to L3 Polish and/or language classes, please contact SCILT.

Wszystkiego najlepszego.

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ADRIFT: Essential World Cinema

12 May 2022 (CinemaAttic)

ADRIFT is an exciting new film season organised by CinemaAttic. A six-week celebration of contemporary and classic cinema from around the world, workshops with filmmakers and special events to delight Scottish audiences from 26 May to 30 June 2022.

The programme comprises:

  • Film currents (a selection of 8 contemporary features from around the world)
  • Cult classics (an unmissable 16mm double-bill of Chris Marker & Luis Buñuel films)
  • Short films (two selections of shorts)
  • Workshops (three interactive workshops bringing experimental animators from Spain & Latin America to Edinburgh and Glasgow)

Visit CinemaAttic's ADRIFT webpage for full details and booking information.

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Language for resilience: Teaching English to refugees and displaced learners

10 May 2022 (British Council)

As part of our programme to recognise and celebrate World Refugee Day on 20 June, join our Language for Resilience online course for teachers. Throughout the course you will learn effective strategies and techniques to help make your classroom a safe environment. You will learn about the following:

  • How to create a trauma-sensitive learning environment
  • How to work with limited resources
  • How to manage challenging behaviour

Visit the British Council website for more information and to register for the free course commencing 7 June 2022.

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Babel Young Writers' Competition 2022

9 May 2022 (Babel Magazine)

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

Guidelines below:

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

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

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West Lothian students show they have gift of the gab in language comp

5 May 2022 (Daily Record)

Three high school students from Linlithgow Academy were declared West Lothian’s ‘Languagenut champions’ - awarded by a national language learning resource company.

The language education company, Languagenut, ran the competition regionally in both Glasgow and West Lothian throughout the month of March.

The Languagenut resource is accessible to students via an app or website, and supports young people in learning a modern language.

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Stephen Spender Prize 2022

4 May 2022 (Stephen Spender Trust)

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

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

Read more...

Parents more influential over MFL success than teachers

3 May 2022 (TES)

A study of 1,300 Year 8 pupils has revealed that parents' beliefs are a bigger influence on children's views of themselves as language learners than are teacher opinions.

Parents are twice as likely as teachers to influence pupils' success in modern foreign languages (MFL), according to research by the University of Cambridge published today.

The Cambridge researchers say their findings show that measures to reverse the national decline in language learning at GCSE and A level should target families rather than just children.

Professor Linda Fisher, from the university's Faculty of Education, said: "Students' personal commitment to languages is determined by their experiences, their beliefs and their emotional response to speaking or using them. Slightly surprisingly, the people who feed into that most appear to be their parents."

"This can be a positive or negative influence, depending on the parents' own views. Its importance underlines the fact that if we want more young people to learn languages, we need to pay attention to wider social and cultural attitudes to languages beyond the classroom. Waning interest in these subjects is a public communication challenge; it's not just about what happens in schools."

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Best UK student of Spanish 2022

3 May 2022 (Consejería de Educación)

Do you have any exceptional S6 students of Spanish in your school? Why not nominate them for this year's Best Spanish Student in the UK award? There's still time to submit nominations as the deadline is 15 May 2022. 

The award consists of a three-day trip (two nights) to Castilla y León for two people, including transport, accommodation and meals.

Visit the website to check the nomination criteria and submit nominees.

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French Slogan Writing Competition

3 May 2022 (Durham University)

UK learners of French, from National 5 upwards, are invited to invent a slogan in French on the themes of ‘le français et moi’ and ‘apprendre le français’. Make it catchy, concise and creative with an accompanying image.

Visit the Durham University website for more information and submit entries by 23 May 2022.

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Contemporary German films

2 May 2022 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow is delighted to be offering screenings of contemporary German films in Glasgow and in Edinburgh in collaboration with the Institut français d'Écosse. Admission is free for both but booking is required. The films are in German with English subtitles. Follow the relevant link below for more information:

  • Cleo - Institut français, Edinburgh (24 May 2022) - The adventure, coming-of-age comedy explores the title character's desire to be able to turn back time and reverse a past misfortune. 
  • Le Prince - Goethe-Institut, Glasgow (26 May 2022) - A story of romance challenged by cultural differences.

UK-German connections

29 April 2022 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection offers a range of initiatives and support to help UK-German school partnerships thrive. Follow the appropriate link below to learn more about the opportunities available to schools and young people:

  • Host a teacher from Germany - UK schools interested in hosting a teacher from Germany in 2022-23 can register now. Q&A webinars are also being offered during May and June for all UK schools interested in finding out more.
  • Funding programmes - A range of grants are available for joint activities between schools and youth groups. Primary, secondary, FE colleges and youth groups can apply now.
  • Still & Sparkling: UK-German Youth Newsletter - Written by young people, for young people, the newsletter is aimed at ages 14-25, and includes content in both English and German. The latest edition is now available online.
  • Café Connect - Sessions are a great opportunity for 14-18 year-olds to practise their German and explore cultural topics with peers in the UK and Germany. Meetings are free to attend and give young people an informal and comfortable environment to make friends and develop linguistic and intercultural skills. 

The organisation is keen to hear from young people about their views on the future of UK-German youth relations and invites young people aged 12-25 to complete a 'Have your say' survey. The survey closes on 24 June 2022.

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

29 April 2022 (SCILT)

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

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

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

Read more...

The Big Question: SCILT secondary seminar series

29 April 2022 (SCILT)

This term we are hosting a series of interactive seminars for secondary languages teachers, based on some of the main themes from our workshops this year, and covering some of the big questions that you might be asking about teaching languages today.

Each session will feature the chance to hear from a guest practitioner, and the opportunity to discuss and share with fellow teachers, and hopefully together to come up with some answers to these questions!

Seminars are free to attend and are open to all secondary languages teachers and student teachers; attend as many or as few as you wish. Register for each seminar separately via the links below. 

  • Seminar 1: Employability and languages
    4-5pm, Tuesday 17 May
    In this seminar we will consider why and how to make meaningful connections between language learning and the Developing the Young Workforce agenda. Sarah Coats from Musselburgh Grammar School will be our guest in this session, sharing some of the work that she has been involved with in this area, which led to the school achieving the Scottish Languages Employability Award this year.
     
  • Seminar 2: Encouraging uptake
    4-5pm, Wednesday 25 May
    Across Scotland, we are all facing the challenge of how to encourage learners to continue studying languages when faced with the choice. In this seminar we will have the chance to share ideas and strategies that we have tried or would like to try. France Reid from Dunblane High School will be our guest in this session, sharing the issues that they have faced and how they are seeking to address them.
     
  • Seminar 3: Teaching controversial issues
    4-5pm, Thursday 9 June
    In this seminar we will look at how can we approach controversial issues such as gender, race, politics and climate in the context of language learning.  We will explore strategies for tackling controversial issues safely and effectively in the languages classroom. Our guest in this session will be Lynne Jones of SCILT who will be sharing particularly around areas of gender and immigration.
     
  • Seminar 4: Building confidence in talking
    4-5pm, Wednesday 15 June
    Talking is often the area of our subject that learners find most challenging and stressful. In this seminar we will discuss and share practical ideas and activities which help build learner confidence in talking in the target language. Lisa Hanna from SCILT, who is a Visiting Assessor for talking with SQA, will be our guest in this session.

The sessions will be hosted on MS Teams and will not be recorded.

We look forward to seeing you there!

BSL as an L3 - register now

28 April 2022 (SCILT / Garvel Deaf Centre)

SCILT, in collaboration with Garvel Deaf Centre in Gourock, Inverclyde will be offering online British Sign Language (BSL) classes to support L3 in primary schools in the 2022-23 school session. 

Applications are now open for schools to register their interest in the ‘BSL as an L3’ programme. The weekly lessons will be suitable for pupils in P5-P7 and are free of charge. In addition to the live lessons, supplementary resources such as video clips will be provided on Teams to support asynchronous learning opportunities.

The block of online classes will:

  • begin on Thursday 8 September
  • run for 10 weeks, with a two-week break in October
  • take place live on Glow Teams 
  • be 45 minutes in length
  • be delivered by an experienced deaf tutor, supported by a BSL interpreter
  • raise deaf awareness
  • promote inclusion and diversity

Schools selected to take part in the programme must attend an information session on Tuesday 7 June at 3.30pm on Teams.

Register your interest by Monday 16 May 2022 via the link below. For more information please contact SCILT. 

Read more...

MOOC: Plurilingual Classrooms in Action

25 April 2022 (SCDE Languages Group)

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

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

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

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

Visit the FutureLearn website to register for the online course.

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Scottish Languages Employability Award - next deadline 20 May!

21 April 2022 (SCILT)

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

The next deadline for submissions is Friday 20 May 2022

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

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

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

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

20 April 2022 (The Guardian)

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

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

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

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Author tour with Thomas Harding - The House by the Lake

19 April 2022 (Goethe-Institut)

Primary schools in Scotland have the opportunity to secure a face-to-face workshop in schools with the author of The House by the Lake, Thomas Harding, in Autumn 2022.

The book tells the history of Germany through the story of a house inhabited by a succession of five different families. The author tour aims to facilitate an authentic contact with German culture and history and raise awareness of the German language among schools, teachers and students. 

Teachers in Scotland who would like to participate, please visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to register interest.

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Café Connect

19 April 2022 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection offers a safe space for young people aged 14-18 to participate in an online meet-up group, Café Connect, with the chance to get to know other young people through fun, interactive activities, and group discussions on current topics. 

Taking place twice a month, these online meet-ups are a unique opportunity to exchange with other young people from the UK and Germany in a friendly atmosphere – on topics that interest you! You can join as many sessions as you like and you can get involved even if you don’t speak any German - Tuesday Cafés are mainly in English, whilst Thursday Cafés give learners of German the opportunity to practise speaking the language in an informal atmosphere.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information and to register for a meeting. 

Read more...

Writing projects and competitions

19 April 2022 (Scottish Book Trust)

The Scottish Book Trust currently has open projects and competitions for aspiring writers! Follow the relevant link below to find out more about each one:

  • Young Scots Writer of the Year Award - Open to ages 11-18. Writing should be in Scots, whether you write a story, poem, play, song or make a short video.
  • Your Stories: Scotland's Stories - Category for under-16s as well as adults. Write about real life experiences. Entries can be in any form you like – a story, poem, comic strip, play, video, audio file, or letter. Entries welcome in Gaelic, Scots and English.

Both competitions have deadlines in June 2022.

If you need some inspiration, try some of the creative tasks on the StoryCon webpage. StoryCon is Scotland's biggest creative writing and illustration conference for young people which returned in March this year. Recordings of events are available online for a limited time.

Disney and Taylor Swift lyrics used to increase Latin appeal

7 April 2022 (BBC)

Latin teaching in many schools is based on 1950s models and a fresh approach would attract more state-educated pupils, according to a new guide from the University of Cambridge.

Disney and Taylor Swift are referenced in a handbook for teachers as examples of how to engage pupils.

Cambridge academic Steven Hunt says Latin is not only for the "lucky ones in the few schools which provide it".

A scheme rolling out in September aims to help more state schools teach Latin.

Mr Hunt, the guide's author, who has been teaching Latin for 35 years and trains new teachers, believes students should be taught to speak in Latin as well as learning written grammar and vocabulary.

He told the BBC that Latin should be structured in the same way as modern foreign languages - based on the four skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing,

But he said his handbook was not a criticism of teachers, who "work very hard under difficult circumstances".

"The examination system at GCSE tends to force teachers to use quite traditional approaches - much teaching to the test - rather than exploring other approaches which might be more engaging, contain more variety, and reflect what we know of how young people learn languages," he said.

Read more...

Ukrainian resources for schools and families

5 April 2022 (SCILT)

We have collated resources to help support children and families arriving from Ukraine. We hope teachers will find these useful in welcoming young people and their parents into Scottish schools. Please share with your networks!

Read more...

MTOT 2021-22 - Finalist poems now online!

1 April 2022 (SCILT)

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

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

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

Read more...

CISS NQ Mandarin offer 2022-2023

31 March 2022 (CISS)

CISS is happy to be able to share the first details of our offer of live-streamed Mandarin NQ classes for the upcoming 2022-2023 session. This will allow schools to expand their provision for Mandarin, particularly those who do not have access to a GTCS registered teacher of Mandarin and are therefore unable to offer NQ classes. The details in the attached document will allow these courses to be added to course choice forms. The offer consists of three courses: National 4, National 5, and Higher. The start date is tentatively scheduled for early to mid-June 2022.

Please see the attached document for further information and register your interest by Friday 8 April at this link: https://hass.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_dcG8IXkQ4ZLsTf

Related Files

French language learning with Alliance Française

29 March 2022 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow offers a range of opportunities to learn about French culture and the French language. Follow the relevant link below for more information on the latest offerings:

Information about the organisation's other activities can be found on their website.

Read more...

Grants for joint activities between UK-German schools and youth groups

28 March 2022 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection offers a range of grants to primary and secondary schools (including SEN schools), FE colleges and youth groups for UK-German activities. 

They also offer school partnership bursaries to help schools maintain existing links with Germany.

Funding applications are now open! Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information on the grants available.

Read more...

Talking a good game: Big dreams of national side for Gaelic speakers

26 March 2022 (The Times)

It was in Canada and New Zealand that Calum Ferguson was inspired to create a national football team to represent the Scottish Gaels.

The 27-year-old striker, who has been close friends with Ryan Christie since their childhood in Inverness, is now on a mission to forge opportunities for Gaelic speakers at all levels of the game in this country, having witnessed how other nations seek to cherish and maintain minority languages and cultures.

Ferguson’s first awakening came in the Canadian Premier League, where he spent a season with Winnipeg-based Valour FC. One of their rivals was Halifax Wanderers in Nova Scotia, who make a major play on connecting with the Scottish and Gaelic roots in the community. Their motto is in Gaelic and translates as: “our harbour, our home, our soul.”

Ferguson, a former Albion Rovers player who studied and spoke Gaelic all the way through school but fell out of using it when he went full-time with Inverness Caley Thistle, was immediately taken with the approach.

Read more...

Online language NQ courses for school pupils with Edinburgh College

25 March 2022 (Edinburgh College)

Edinburgh College offers a range of online NQ language courses. These can be accessed across Scotland and all Scottish school pupils qualify for a full fee waiver. The courses provide a great option for pupils whose schools may not currently offer the language course on their curriculum. 

The following options are available, with German and Italian new additions this year at Advanced Higher level:

  • Advanced Higher and Higher: French, German, Italian and Spanish
  • National 5: French, German and Spanish

Exam arrangements: Though enrolled with Edinburgh College, pupils still sit their exams at their own school (including the Adv Higher speaking exam).

See the attached flyer for more information and how to enrol.

More than one million learners for Duolingo's Gaelic course

24 March 2022 (The Herald)

More than a million people have taken on a Scottish Gaelic course on the language-learning app Duolingo. 

A total of 1.12m people have started learning the language with the help of the popular app which first launched its Gaelic course on St Andrew's Day in 2019. 

(Note - subscription required to access full article).

Read more...

Where will languages take me?

18 March 2022 (British Council)

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

Read more...

Registration now open for OU/SCILT TeLT programme

18 March 2022 (SCILT/OU)

TeLT is the Teachers Learning to Teach Languages programme offered by the Open University in partnership with SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages. This professional learning opportunity is aimed at educators working in the primary sector and carries GTCS Professional Recognition.

Students learn a language – French, German, Mandarin or Spanish - and in parallel, get to put primary language pedagogies into practice with their own pupils. The programme is offered at two levels – beginners and post-beginners. More information here about how the course works.

Registration for 2022-23 intake is now open. Enrolment closes 8 September. Modules begin in October. More details here on how to register.

Information sessions for local authority officers and prospective applicants will take place in May and June. Dates are to be confirmed.

Read more...

Birmingham teen sign language teacher stars in animated class

15 March 2022 (BBC)

A teenager who helped thousands of people learn British Sign Language (BSL) during the first Covid-19 lockdown is being turned into an animated character in new lessons.

Tyrese Dibba, who has Charge Syndrome, created a series of BSL videos which were watched by more than 80,000 people.

His character will be the head teacher of charity Sense's Sign School.

Tyrese said he loved to be able to continue his work.

For his work during the pandemic, Tyrese received a Points of Light award from the prime minister and the Stephen Sutton Inspiration Award at the Pride of Birmingham Awards 2021.

"Deaf people shouldn't be excluded," he said.

"You should be able to chat to everyone, regardless of disability."

Read more...

Resources for teachers

15 March 2022 (ECML)

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

Joy Dunlop and Calum Maclean 'blown away' by BBC SpeakGaelic response as round two launches

14 March 2022 (The National)

After reaching half a million people since its launch last year, Scotland’s biggest Gaelic initiative is back for round two.

SpeakGaelic launched in 2021 with a multiplatform campaign to teach Scots Gaelic, with podcasts, a BBC Alba programme, social media posts and online resources at learners’ disposal.

The first instalment of the project was aimed at total beginners and those with little knowledge of Gaelic.

Now, SpeakGaelic has returned for season two and it’s aiming to build on the success of the first rollout.

Speaking to The National, BBC Alba’s SpeakGaelic presenter Joy Dunlop said the team were “blown away” by the response to the initiative.

Dunlop said: “We were all blown away by the response to SpeakGaelic. There have been over half a million people reached since its launch. And you could definitely feel that, particularly on social media that folk got really involved.

“This is a new way to learn Gaelic... There's a website, programming and podcasts, resources. And I think it's time for Gaelic learners to try something new.

“We've had some wonderful courses in the past. But it definitely felt like there was an appetite out there to get involved particularly after a lockdown and with the success of Duolingo. So many people had been doing a wee bit anyway on their phone and it was the next step for them.

“People really jumped in there and embraced every part of it and it was really lovely to see.”

Read more...

SQA update to Advanced Higher Modern Languages revision support

14 March 2022 (SQA)

The SQA has published updated revision support notes for learners of Advanced Higher modern languages.

Visit the SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages webpage. Updated documents can be found in the 2022 revision support for learners dropdown section.

Read more...

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

7 March 2022 (Modern Languages Open)

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

Read more...

ECML Language Gazette: Issue 59

7 March 2022 (ECML)

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

Visit the ECML website to access.

Read more...

The Language Learning Blueprint

7 March 2022 (Coffee Break Languages)

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

Read more...

Best Spanish student award

2 March 2022 (Consejería de Educación)

The Spanish Embassy Education Office is delighted to announce the call for nominations towards the Best Spanish student award 9th edition (for S6 students, in the case of Scotland).

If you have any students in your school who meet the criteria and that you would like to nominate for the award, check the information on the website

The award consists of a three-day trip (two nights) to Castilla y León for two people, including transport, accommodation and meals.

Deadline for submitting nominations: 15th of May 2022.

Read more...

Teaching in a Chinese bilingual school: a guide

1 March 2022 (TES)

Co-teachers, a Chinese curriculum, different pedagogies – teaching in a bilingual school in China can be a steep learning curve but very rewarding, too, as these teachers explain.

Read more...

Mandarin for BGE

25 February 2022 (CISS)

Do you want to include Mandarin in your school's curriculum but don't currently have the resources?

CISS is offering 10-week blocks of live-streamed language and culture classes commencing September 2022. Two courses are available, one for Primary learners, the other for S1-S3. To find out more about each, follow the relevant link:

Register interest by 18 March 2022.

Royal Zoological Society of Scotland programmes for schools

22 February 2022 (RZSS)

The RZSS offers a variety of activities for schools. Bookings are now open for the following programmes:

Beyond the Panda

A 5-week progressive programme for P4-P7. Four weeks live virtual sessions and 5th week in person outreach. Bookings open now for sessions starting in August 2022. Over the 5 weeks pupils will learn about various Chinese animals, threats, solutions, some Chinese culture while also learning about the Mandarin language and Chinese characters. Key objectives are in the attached pdf. 

Giants

This new live virtual session looks at two very different animals from two very different areas of the world and at two very different languages. The giant anteater from South America and the giant panda from China. The session will introduce some basic vocabulary in both Spanish and Mandarin and will be aimed at upper primary level. Suitable for any class already studying Spanish or Mandarin or both. Bookings open now for a limited number of sessions starting April 2022. 

Further information for both programmes at beyondthepanda.org.uk

Read more...

Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators 2021-22

22 February 2022 (University of Oxford)

The Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators 2022 is now open! Teachers from all over the UK can submit their students' translations of poetry, fiction and non-fiction in French, German, Italian [new!], Mandarin and Spanish, covering all year groups at secondary school from age 11 to 18. Submission deadline is 8 April 2022.

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

Read more...

MTOT 2021-22 - Winners announced!

21 February 2022 (SCILT)

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

Mother Tongue

Award

Pupil

School

Language

P1-P4

Winner

Simon Cronje

Netherlee PS

Afrikaans

Highly commended

Fabian Choromanski

Gallowhill PS

Polish

P5-P7

Winner

Sabihah Tubasem

West Primary

Urdu

Highly commended

Lovelyn Asare

St Catherine’s PS

Italian

Highly commended

Sabina Rodrigues da Rosa

West Primary

Brazilian Portuguese

Highly commended

Tanazzal Shah

West Primary

Urdu

Highly commended

Zamin Amjad Sheikh

Netherlee PS

Urdu

S1-S3

Winner

Melice Monga Lubengi

Lourdes Secondary

French

Highly commended

Marcel Zuk & Oskar Kolodziej

St Thomas of Aquin’s

Polish

Highly commended

Helen Joseph

Lourdes Secondary

Malaylam

Highly commended

Sarah Alradi

Craigmount High

Arabic

S4-S6

Winner

Regina Wyllie

Loudoun Academy

Bulgarian

Highly commended

Camran Kouhy

Madras College

Farsi

Highly commended

Wiktoria Sapko

St Andrew’s Secondary

Polish

Other Tongue

Award

Pupil

School

Language

P1-P4

Winner

Hayley Cowe

Westhill PS

Doric

Highly commended

P2 Class

Newcraighall PS

Spanish

P5-P7

Winner

Lucia Conetta

Glasgow Academy

French

Highly commended

Malaika Ali

Golfhill PS

Urdu

S1-S3

Winner

Grace Ross

Madras College

French

Highly commended

Deepak Kumaar

Craigmount High

French & German

Highly commended

Caitlin Fraser

Arran High

French

S4-S6

Winner

Brooklynn Faichnie

Aboyne Academy

French, Spanish & Italian

Highly commended

Iona Kellas

Aboyne Academy

Latin

Highly commended

Charlotte Reynolds

Aboyne Academy

Russian

 

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

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

Congratulations again to all our finalists!

Why do children learn languages more effortlessly than adults?

21 February 2022 (UNRIC)

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

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

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

Read more...

Express Yourself 2022 - Celebrating Speaking

21 February 2022 (ALL/British Council)

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

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

Read more...

SCILT spring newsletter - send us your stories!

17 February 2022 (SCILT)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Seachdain na Gàidhlig - 21-27 March

17 February 2022 (Seachdain na Gàidhlig)

‘Seachdain na Gàidhlig’, is the first official nationwide language and culture week to be held in Scotland, from 21-27 March 2022.

The week promotes Gaelic to all, both at official events and community initiatives, such as Irish Language Week in Ireland and Gaelic Awareness Month in Nova Scotia. It will enable Gaelic speakers and non-speakers to participate in a variety of ways that suit them; both in Scotland and abroad.

Visit the website for more information or see the flyer for ways to get involved.

Read more...

TECLA magazine for Spanish language teachers

15 February 2022 (Consejería de Educación)

A new issue of the magazine TECLA with lots of ideas and resources for Spanish classes is now available. It includes an article by Louise Glen: “Implementación de la política de idiomas 1+2 en centros educativos escoceses”. Free download! 

Read more...

PASCH football camp with the St Pauli Football Club in Hamburg

14 February 2022 (Goethe-Institut)

Want to take part in a PASCH football camp with the St. Pauli Football Club in Hamburg with other young people from all over Europe?

Then register NOW!

Expect a fantastic coaching session with the St Pauli FC in Hamburg, where you will be working with other (PASCH) students to improve your football skills while also having the opportunity to enhance your German language skills. If you are between 16 and 17 years old and speak German an A2 or B1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and are interested in growing your football and German skills in a European camp then sign up fast as places are limited to 30 people only - 20 from PASCH schools, 10 places for non-PASCH schools.

The football camp takes place 30 April – 8 May 2022. 

In addition to the "working aspect" of the football camp with daily training and German lessons, there will of course also be an additional activities, some of which will be exclusive, such as the opportunity to tour around the Millerntor Stadium, to play black-light mini-golf or to visit Hamburg harbour and climb aboard one of city’s former sailing ships and enjoy a view of the Elbphilharmonie concert hall.

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

Read more...

SQA update to Advanced Higher Modern Languages visiting assessing

14 February 2022 (SQA)

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

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

Read more...

10th Anniversary Gift Design Competition

8 February 2022 (CISS)

The Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools (CISS) will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2022. To celebrate this milestone CISS is launching an interdisciplinary competition for secondary students across the nation to showcase their business, design and language skills.

We have set two categories which students can choose from and encourage school departments - be that business, design technology or languages - to support and encourage interested students as they develop their pitch.

See the attached flyer and visit the competition webpage for more information. Submit entries by 27 May 2022.

Read more...

By the numbers: languages uptake in Scotland

4 February 2022 (TES)

The Scottish government's policy is that children should start learning their first additional language when they start school in P1 and then start learning another language from P5. The government says "language learning is an entitlement for all from P1 to S3".

This is known as the 1+2 languages policy, since the expectation is that pupils will learn two languages, as well as their mother tongue.

But to what extent is this long-established policy - which the government originally pledged to fully implement by the beginning of this school year (August 2021) - a reality in Scottish schools?

To mark Languages Week Scotland 2022, we take a look at the data.

Read more...

Virtual Summer Courses: ‘Deutschland online erleben’

4 February 2022 (UK-German Connection)

Although our face-to-face summer programmes (German Pupil Courses and German Scholarships Programme) won't be taking place again this year, these free week-long virtual courses during the summer give pupils aged 15-17 an opportunity to practise and improve their German skills and immerse themselves in the language with like-minded peers from many different European countries. It’s a unique opportunity to exchange on topics relevant to their lives, gain new perspectives and make friends, all under the guidance of specialist German teachers.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information and apply by 1 March 2022.

Read more...

Polish through Art - online exhibition now open!

3 February 2022 (SCILT / Bilingualism Matters)

The Polish through Art online exhibition is now open! Visit our website to see the children's multilingual artwork, which explores their diverse identities, their linguistic competencies and their cultural heritage. Browse their wonderful creations, read their commentaries in their own words, and see the impact of a languages rich classroom. 

About the project

SCILT’s Polish through Art project, developed in collaboration with Bilingualism Matters, showcases through art, a multilingual approach to language teaching. A multilingual approach recognises that each learner has their own individual repertoire and opens the classroom door to languages and experiences learners bring to the classroom. The online exhibition showcases the artwork of each pupil involved in the project from the four particpating mainstream and complementary schools. 

Read more...

Covid: Learning abroad in pandemic invaluable, say students

2 February 2022 (BBC)

For Elin Griffiths, 22, studying in France and Spain during the pandemic under the EU's Erasmus programme was "challenging" but invaluable.

The UK left that scheme following Brexit.

A £65m Welsh government education exchange programme called Taith is launching on Wednesday, which aims to provide similar opportunities.

Elin, a Cardiff University modern languages student, moved to Paris in October 2020 to work in a school. That was a week before a second national lockdown was announced in France.

Those restrictions stayed in place for six months, which meant bars and restaurants were closed.

She said: "It was challenging to move abroad in a pandemic, but I had so many opportunities that maybe I wouldn't have had if life was normal."

In her second placement, in Spain, she worked for Sevilla Football Club for three months.

The student, from Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, Anglesey, said there were a number of benefits to working abroad.

She said: "It's inevitable if you're immersed in a different society your language skills are going to improve, your academic skills are going to improve.

"But at the same time there are so many personal advantages as well."

Read more...

JaViChamp - Japanese Video Championship for Young Learners UK

1 February 2022 (Japan Foundation)

This is a brand-new event for primary and secondary school students studying Japanese in the UK organised by the Japan Foundation, London.

The world is currently changing very quickly. Technology is advancing, and nowadays if you have a computer or a smartphone you can send a message to anyone in the world. In a time like this, we should always have the following questions in our mind: “What message do I want to convey and how?” It is important for us to deliver messages clearly and easily for others to understand.

This event is a contest for young Japanese learners in the UK to use their Japanese and make a video on a topic provided. You can apply individually or as part of a group.

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information and apply to take part by 3 May 2022.

Read more...

Competition: Around the World with Stamps 2022

1 February 2022 (StampIT)

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

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

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

Read more...

Related Files

Franco-Scottish Society of Scotland - French Essay Prize 2022 - Register your interest now!

28 January 2022 (SCILT/Franco-Scottish Society of Scotland)

Following on from the inaugural French essay competition in 2021, the Franco-Scottish Society of Scotland wish again to award an essay prize in 2022 to commemorate the long life and work of Madame Jacqueline Munro-Lafon and her service to the Franco-Scottish Community.

This competition is aimed at Advanced Higher learners of French. This year, we would like you to reflect on the changes that you would like to see happen within your lifetime. All essay submissions must present a reflection on society in France and Scotland.

The winning entry will be awarded a prize of £500, and their essay will also be published in the annual Bulletin of the Franco-Scottish Society. Two runner-up prizes of £100 will be awarded by SCILT.

  • A maximum of three entries can be submitted from each school. Register your interest for your school to get involved by 5pm on 25 February.

Visit the Eventbrite webpage for further information and how to register.

Read more...

Glasgow Film Festival 2022

27 January 2022 (Glasgow Film Festival)

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

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

Read more...

Calling all P6 teachers!

27 January 2022 (SEET)

Have you signed up to take part in SEET's Euroquiz this year? There may still be time to register your team. Please visit our website or email jane@seet.org.uk for more information.

About Euroquiz

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, sport, culture and European affairs. Heats take place in local authorities from February to April, with the winning teams from all areas progressing to the National Euroquiz Final held in the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament in June.

Read more...

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

21 January 2022 (SCILT)

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

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

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

Recordings of all sessions are available on our website.

Read more...

Discovering the World of Arabic 2022-23 - primary course

21 January 2022 (SCILT / QFI)

SCILT, in partnership with Qatar Foundation International and the Scottish Refugee Council, is currently looking for local authority primary schools in Scotland who would be interested in opening the door to the Arab world through our Discovering the World of Arabic programme.  

The collaboration will provide an opportunity for primary schools to offer L3 learning experiences in Arabic language and culture. Courses have been co-created by the SCILT team and a specially commissioned writing team, with language lessons delivered online by a teacher of Arabic. 

For learners in local authority primary schools the course will be offered as a ten-week interdisciplinary block of learning and is aimed at P5-P7 pupils. The course is delivered using a mix of live and recorded classes, with supplementary materials being shared via Glow Teams. 

The lessons give learners the chance to explore aspects of Arab cultures as well as providing a solid linguistic foundation for learning the world’s fifth most spoken language.

Live classes are provisionally scheduled as follows:

  • Thursdays 14.00-14.45, starting September 2022 

In addition, participating schools will receive ongoing support from the SCILT team and a grant of £2000. This can provide schools with resources and experiences that enhance and support the language learning and promote a positive experience of Arab cultures.

Places are limited for this opportunity, so if you would like your school to be considered to take part, please complete the note of interest form via the link below by Friday 18 February.

Please contact SCILT if you have any questions. 

Read more...

Discovering the World of Arabic 2022-23 - secondary course

21 January 2022 (SCILT / QFI)

SCILT, in partnership with Qatar Foundation International and the Scottish Refugee Council, is currently looking for local authority secondary schools in Scotland who would be interested in opening the door to the Arab world through our Discovering the World of Arabic programme.  

The collaboration will provide an opportunity for local authority secondary schools to offer L3 learning experiences in Arabic language and culture. Courses have been co-created by the SCILT team and a specially commissioned writing, with language lessons delivered online by a teacher of Arabic. 

The course will focus on developing conversational Arabic which will enhance learners’ employability skills. It is aimed at learners who are seeking to enhance their language learning experience and develop their portfolio of skills. 

The course is delivered using a mix of live and recorded classes, with supplementary materials being shared via Glow Teams. The lessons give learners the chance to explore aspects of Arab cultures as well as providing a solid linguistic foundation for learning the world’s fifth most spoken language.

Classes are provisionally scheduled as follows and run from August 2022 until March 2023:

  • S1-S3 - Wednesdays 13.30-14.30
  • S4-S6 - Mondays 13.30-14.30

In addition, participating schools will receive ongoing support from the SCILT team and a grant of £2000. This can provide schools with resources and experiences that enhance and support the language learning and promote a positive experience of Arab cultures.

Places are limited for this opportunity, so if you would like your school to be considered to take part, please complete the note of interest form via the link below by Friday 18 February.

Please contact SCILT if you have any questions. 

Read more...

British Council Year of the Tiger education pack

18 January 2022 (British Council)

According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, we enter the Year of the Tiger on 1 February 2022.

Our Year of the Tiger education pack celebrates Chinese New Year. Featuring activities to help teachers and pupils learn more about this important spring festival and explore Chinese culture, you can learn about the South China tiger, make a kite, and take part in a Chinese language lesson. 

Visit the British Council website to download the education pack.

Read more...

Plan for pupils to learn 1,700 words for language GCSEs gets go-ahead

14 January 2022 (The Guardian)

The government is to push ahead with changes to languages teaching in schools that will result in pupils in England memorising lists of 1,700 words to pass GCSEs in Spanish, French or German.

The decision by the Department for Education (DfE) comes despite opposition from language associations, teaching unions and headteachers at state and independent schools, as well as concerns it could cause an exodus of languages teachers from the profession.

Simon Hyde, the general secretary of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference of independent schools, said his members feared the narrow focus on grammar and vocabulary would put pupils off studying modern foreign languages (MFL).

“This model will not give students the confidence in their language, both at examination level and as a life skill, to take forward into further studies, careers and personal endeavours,” Hyde said.

Read more...

Express Yourself 2022 - Celebrating Speaking

14 January 2022 (ALL/British Council)

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

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

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

Read more...

MyFrenchFilmFestival 2022

14 January 2022 (MyFrenchFilmFestival)

This year's MyFrenchFilmFestival has now launched!

Running from 14 January until 14 February 2022, movie enthusiasts around the world will be able to access films selected in the 12th edition of the world's first online French-language film festival.

With 30 films on offer: features and shorts, all subtitled in 10 languages, there's something for everyone.

There is a charge for feature films, however all short films are free to view. Choose the winner of the Audience Prize by voting for your favourite.

Visit the MyFrenchFilmFestival website for more details and register to access the film selection.

Read more...

SCILT professional learning programme 2021-22 - available to book now!

14 January 2022 (SCILT)

Are you looking for high quality professional learning for colleagues in your school, department, cluster, local authority or regional improvement collaborative? 

SCILT's programme of professional learning workshops are now available to book for the rest of this session. Choose from our range of primary or secondary workshops, and request a date and time that suits you and your colleagues. 

Whatever your professional learning needs, we will endeavour to meet them. If you have specific requirements we are happy to collaborate with you to develop bespoke input and support. In addition to practical suggestions, SCILT workshops are designed to explore the pedagogy that underpins practice through discussion and reflection with local colleagues. 
 
Please visit the professional learning page of our website for further information and details of each of the workshops available. Please note, these workshops are intended for group bookings only. 
 
During 2021-22, we are running webinars and drop-in sessions which are open to everyone. Registration for those will be on an event–by–event basis and will be publicised via the SCILT e-bulletin.

Read more...

DAAD German Language Competition 2022

13 January 2022 (DAAD UK)

This year's German Language Competition from the DAAD London and the Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London focuses on coming together, celebrating friendship and collaboration between people, countries and institutions beyond borders and across cultures. 

The competition therefore asks entrants to explore what does Zusammen – Together Across Cultures mean for you? Submissions can be about friendship across borders or about initiatives across cultures within the German-speaking countries; perhaps imagine a future without borders altogether? We invite you to write a story, a poem or a song, make a video or podcast, draw a comic or cartoon, choose any form you like – in written or spoken German. Entry categories available for learners or native speakers.

Visit the competition website for more information and submit entries by 6 March 2022.

Read more...

Alliance Française French classes for the new term

13 January 2022 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow offers a range of French classes for adults, young people and children. Enrolment is now open for the new term commencing 7 February 2022. For more information about upcoming sessions click on the relevant link below:

The organisation also provides a variety of cultural events. Visit their website for more details.

Read more...

Scottish Languages Employability Award - next deadline 21 January!

12 January 2022 (SCILT)

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

The next deadline for submissions is Friday 21 January 2022

Visit the SLEA page on our website to read about Danestone Primary School, whose partnership with Subsea 7 recently earned them a Bronze award. You can also access the full award guidelines and watch videos from previous winners.

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

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

Read more...

Pick the habit: the best podcasts to get you into a new hobby

11 January 2022 (The Guardian)

Want to learn a language, start gardening, read more, or get into meditation for the new year? There’s a podcast for that …

Coffee Break Languages

Radio Lingua was among the first to recognise the potential of podcasts for language learning, launching Coffee Break Spanish in 2006. Now the network has a huge range of free materials for learners at every level – and not just Spanish but also French, German, Italian, Chinese, Swedish and English.

Read more...

Fokus: Films from Germany

11 January 2022 (Goethe-Institut)

The seventh edition of Fokus: Films from Germany is returning to cinemas and we are very happy to show Fokus physically again.

We are presenting a particularly exciting and eclectic snapshot from the contemporary film scene in Germany. Alongside a selection of documentaries, we are showcasing some beautiful new feature films. Come and join us for screenings in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Ayr, Dundee, St. Andrews or up north in Shetland!

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for full programme details.

Read more...

“Learning environments where modern languages flourish”

5 January 2022 (ECML)

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

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

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

Read more...

People flocked to language apps during the pandemic – but how much can they actually teach you?

31 December 2021 (The Guardian)

In March 2020, as the Covid pandemic took hold, the language learning app Duolingo reported double its usual number of sign-ups. Stuck inside under lockdown orders, people had time on their hands and were looking for ways to occupy it.

It wasn’t long before I joined its 500 million users in an attempt to recapture the feeling of learning Portuguese during three months spent in Brazil several years ago: that heady thrill of realising I had conveyed the meaning I meant to, the strange alchemy of suddenly understanding what people around me were saying. Could an app give me that?

Ninety days, hundreds of new words and plenty of lessons, “crowns” and “streaks” later, it didn’t feel like it. Was the app teaching me anything at all?

Entering 2022 with renewed enthusiasm to learn the language, I decided to see what the experts say.

Read more...

CISS Chinese New Year Poster Competition 2022

17 December 2021 (CISS)

Chinese New Year poster competition image

The Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools has announced a competition to celebrate the forthcoming year of the tiger! The competition is open to all primary schools in Scotland and the winner will be selected by CISS staff.

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT AN ENTRY - entries submitted by email will not be accepted.

Deadline for entries: Friday 21 January 2022.

DETAILS:

Design a poster to celebrate the Year of the Tiger!

  • Make sure to include the tiger in some way.
  • Include what you know or have learnt about Chinese language and culture.
  • Entries can be handmade (a high quality photo or scan of entry) or designed on the computer/tablet etc.

The winning entry will receive a prize and be featured online, and the poster will be used as the CISS Chinese New Year e-card!

CISS Winter 2021 Newsletter

17 December 2021 (CISS)

The Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools is delighted to publish the brand new Winter 2021 Newsletter, featuring news and updates from CISS projects, Confucius Classroom Hubs, Chinese Exchange Teachers and more updates on Mandarin learning across Scotland. 

Read more...

Write Away! - Call for submissions

17 December 2021 (Light Bulb Languages)

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

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

Read more...

Words for the World winning entries published!

17 December 2021 (SCILT)

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

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

Read more...

'My friends are learning to sign with me'

17 December 2021 (BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing's Rose Ayling-Ellis has helped shine the spotlight on sign language users like Phoebe.

The first-year pupil at a school in Gourock, Inverclyde, is profoundly deaf and, like Rose, is learning to dance.

Phoebe's teacher says Strictly has increased interest in the school's deaf unit and that Rose has been a great deaf role model.

The signing club also involves Phoebe's friends, who have come along to learn British Sign Language (BSL) so they can all chat together.

Read more...

Mind Games: Cracking Code in Maths and Languages

20 January 2022 (SCILT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

European Language Gazette no. 58

14 December 2021 (ECML)

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

Read more...

The Language Ambassadors

14 December 2021 (University of Strathclyde/SCILT)

The Language Ambassadors are back……and they have gone VIRTUAL!

Get your learners involved to discover the joys of learning and being able to use another language by organising a Virtual Language Ambassadors visit to your school!

Our Language Ambassadors are students of French, Italian or Spanish, on various degrees, including BA Honours in French and Spanish, International Business and a Modern Language, Law and a Language but also Engineering and Science degrees.

This programme is free of charge and provides student role models to promote languages to young people and encourage your learners to choose languages as part of their high school curriculum.

We can deliver a range of activities online, such as:

  • A virtual presentation about their experiences as university language learners and their experiences abroad;
  • Q&A sessions about the benefits of studying a language;
  • A small group discussion for Senior phase students who have already selected a language;
  • Micro-presentations as part of a school-wide event

Visit our website to find out more, and how to book a virtual visit for your school!

If you have any questions about The Language Ambassadors programme, please contact Cédric Moreau.

Read more...

Language GCSEs: Under 100 'to take French, German in Wales by 2030'

9 December 2021 (BBC)

Schools in Wales could have fewer than 100 French and German GCSE entries by 2030, a report has found.

The Language Trends Wales report, which reviews foreign language teaching, called for a national strategy on languages amid a drop in GCSE entries.

The report found GCSE entries for French and German had almost halved between 2015 and 2021.

The Welsh government said the new curriculum would help expand international language teaching.

Entries for GCSE French and German declined by 11% and 12% in the past year alone, and while GCSE Spanish saw a noticeable increase over the period, numbers have "see-sawed" recently, the report said.

Read more...

French Pop Video Competition 2022

9 December 2021 (Institut français)

Give the mic to your students and shoot a music video with them! If you believe your class has got talent, this competition is for you!

The Institut français du Royaume-Uni, in association with Francophonie UK, is inviting all teachers of French to submit a short video or animated clip of their class's own French rap or song.

Get the chance to be streamed on our dedicated UK YouTube channel and to compete for the national Francophonie UK School Music Awards as part of the Fête de la Musique in June 2022!

Visit the website for more information and to register for the competition. Submission deadline: 15 April 2022. 

Read more...

Teach abroad as an English Language Assistant

9 December 2021 (British Council)

Apply to be an English Language Assistant in 2022-23! Placements are open to candidates with language skills in French, German, Italian and Spanish – as well as selected destinations open to those from other disciplines.

Visit the British Council website to find out more and check eligibility. Apply by 1 February 2022.

Read more...

Online workshops for Spanish teachers (January-March 2022)

9 December 2021 (Consejería de Educación)

La Consejería de Educación en el Reino Unido e Irlanda and Extenda will be organising a new series of online training workshops for teachers of Spanish in the United Kingdom and Ireland during the months of January to March 2022.

Each online session will include a workshop on different methodological aspects related to the teaching of Spanish. Teachers can sign up to attend one or more of the workshops as the themes, the registration and the certification of each session will be independent. In this way teachers can choose to follow the workshops that interest them the most.

The two first of the workshops will take place on Saturday 15 January 2022 (from 10:00 to 12:00). Registration is free and can be done through this link: https://forma.administracionelectronica.gob.es/form/open/corp/7695/qlvi

For more information about the workshop series, visit the La Consejería de Educación website.

Read more...

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

7 December 2021 (School of Advanced Studies)

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

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

Read more...

Can you say Squid Game in Korean? TV show fuels demand for east Asian language learning

4 December 2021 (The Guardian)

Whether it’s down to Squid Game or kawaii culture, fascination with Korea and Japan is fuelling a boom in learning east Asian languages. Japanese is the fastest growing language to be learned in the UK this year on the online platform Duolingo, and Korean is the fourth fastest.

Most of the interest is driven by cultural issues, the firm said in its 2021 Duolingo language report, which will be published tomorrow and analyses how the 20 million downloads of its platform are used.

Established elements of Japanese popular culture, such as Pokémon and video games, have been joined by a global surge in the popularity of anime such as Dragon Ball and My Hero Academia.

Duolingo said that 26% of language learners had been influenced by key cultural moments, such as the Tokyo Olympics and Euro 2020, and by TV shows such as Squid Game, which saw a 76% rise in Korean learners after it launched in September. A third of learners said they had chosen to watch a film or TV programme in another language.

Globally, Japanese overtook Italian to become the fifth most popular language in 2021.

Read more...

Related Links

2021 Duolingo Language Report (Duolingo, 6 December 2021)

Mathématiques sans Frontières

3 December 2021 (UWS)

The University of the West of Scotland (UWS) is once again organising the world-wide Mathematics and Language competition “Mathématiques sans Frontières” in Scotland (and also branching out to England and Northern Ireland!).

We are hopeful that, after an interrupted competition in 2021, we continue to offer a stimulating and light-hearted competition which combines Mathematics and Modern Languages.

For those of you who have not taken part previously, this competition aims to motivate pupils in these subjects, promote teamwork throughout pupils of all abilities, and bridge borders between countries across the world.

Please find attached a training (“Discovery”) test for “Mathématiques Sans Frontières” and one entry form for the competition proper.

S4 classes should attempt questions 1-10 and S5 classes questions 1-13. A whole class should attempt the test with questions divided up between groups to ensure that the questions can be completed in the allotted time of 90 minutes. Question 1 will require an explanation in a foreign language. We hope that this encourages cross-curricular working and teamwork. Answers are also attached, in French, which provides another opportunity for teamwork in the translation.

The competition proper will be held on Thursday 10 March 2022. Social-distancing restrictions permitting, the prize-giving will be held in June at UWS when the achievements of the top ten schools at each level are recognised. All schools competing will receive a certificate.

Schools who would like to register for the competition are kindly requested to complete the proforma attached and return by 28 January 2021.

We will send out the actual test as a PDF file by e-mail on the Friday prior to the test. This has proved to be very popular and we intend continuing to issue the test in this format. We would therefore kindly ask you to ensure that the e-mail address provided is legible or, preferably, typed. It would also be beneficial to provide an alternative e-mail address, possibly a personal address, which may help prevent firewall issues.

We hope you will give serious consideration to entering the competition and look forward to hearing from you.

Related Files

SCILT Christmas 2021 webpage - now live!

2 December 2021 (SCILT)

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

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

Read more...

Oral revision courses 2022

30 November 2021 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow is running online Revision Courses in February for pupils who are due to sit their Higher and Advanced Higher oral examinations in 2022.

Visit their website for more information and to book.

Read more...

New resources to support bilingualism

30 November 2021 (Twinkl/SCILT/Bilingualism Matters)

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

Read more...

Gleans Challenge

29 November 2021 (Gleans Alba)

Gaelic L2 and L3 schools the latest Gleans Challenge is here. Why not have a go at singing our Winter song or make your own colourful bodach-sneachda! 

Read more...

Write Away! - Call for submissions

26 November 2021 (Light Bulb Languages)

Write Away! is an exciting project from Light Bulb Languages. It's a magazine celebrating the writing that primary children do in their language lessons.

Submissions for issue 8 are now being accepted. Visit the website for submission guidelines and submit work by Friday 10 December 2021.

Previous issues of Write Away! can also be viewed on the website along with lots of language resources for the primary classroom.

Read more...

Words for the World competition winners!

26 November 2021 (SCILT)

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

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

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

P1-P4

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

P5-P7

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

S1-S3

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

S4-S6

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

SCILT Winter 2021 newsletter published!

26 November 2021 (SCILT)

The latest edition of the SCILT newsletter is here!

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

Read more...

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

25 November 2021 (TES)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Learning Languages by Distance Learning at the University of Dundee

23 November 2021 (University of Dundee)

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 offer the opportunity of learning languages at various levels 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.

Short Courses:

  • If you are interested in starting to learn a new language, you could enrol in our 25-Week Intensive distance learning courses (Languages modules offered in Chinese, French, Gaelic, German and Spanish). These courses start in the week commencing 10 January 2022. Registration is now open.
  • If you already have some knowledge of Chinese, French, Gaelic, German or Spanish, such as a rusty Higher, GCSE, or O-level, then you may consider enrolling in the 10-week revision languages courses. These courses start in the week commencing 25 April 2022.  10-Week Revision Courses. Registration is now open.

2-Year online French, German and Spanish Graduate Diplomas

These 2-Year 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, and also attract a wide range of professionals from across Britain, Europe and beyond.

The Graduate Diplomas aim to provide the challenges of an undergraduate curriculum in the relevant language. At the end of their studies, students achieve an advanced understanding and knowledge of the language being studied.

 Through an interdisciplinary process (Teaching Spanish in addition to French for example) and by interacting and exchanging ideas with other students from other parts of the UK, Europe and Overseas, students will be able to develop a critical understanding of their practice and education as a whole.

The Graduate Diplomas 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 at Higher level (or equivalent) in the language. This level can be achieved through completion of one of the University of Dundee‘s Distance Learning Intensive or Revision courses Languages | University of Dundee.

The diplomas place emphasis on reflection, inquiry, critical analysis, personal consideration of research findings and actively promotes the values, principles and practices of equality, social justice, integrity, trust and respect, and professional commitment in all areas of work.

Registration of the 2022-2024 Graduate Diplomas (2-Year part-time French , German and Spanish graduate-level diploma courses) is now open. The diplomas start in the week commencing 26 September 2022.

For more information visit the University of Dundee website, or to discuss any aspects of the courses or your application , please contact humanities@dundee.ac.uk.

Read more...

£1,000 towards your UK-German partnership - apply now!

15 November 2021 (UK-German Connection)

As travel plans and exchange activity begin to pick up once more, UK-German Connection are again offering partnership bursaries of £1,000 to help schools to keep their UK-German partnerships alive.

The bursaries can support pupil visits and joint activities taking place in 2022 and are open to both UK and German partner schools. Application is via a short online form. Deadline: 31 January 2022.

Find out more and apply on the UK-German Connection website.

If you have any questions, please contact funding@ukgermanconnection.org

Read more...

From four-year-old to 90, age is no barrier to learning a second language

13 November 2021 (The Irish News)

From four-year-old to 90, age is no barrier to learning a second language.

That's according to South Eastern Regional College (SERC), which says it is never too late, or early, to pick up a new language.

The college's language students' range in age from Alec Thompson (4), a pupil at Bangor Central Integrated Primary School, to David McShane (90) from Helen's Bay - both of whom are enjoying learning French.

Mr McShane has progressed from basic French to an advanced level speaker (level 4) after attending the college for several years.

"A second language is a social skill and I have found it does help when you get older," he said.

"If you don't use it, you can quickly lose the vocabulary and the feel for the language.

"I think it is so important for children to learn a second language from a young age and the younger they start, the better."

Read more...

November Bitesize: Making languages work for your primary pupils

12 November 2021 (SCILT)

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Tool use and language skills are linked in the brain – and practising one improves the other

11 November 2021 (The Conversation)

Language has traditionally been considered a complex skill which mobilises brain networks specifically dedicated to linguistic processing. But in recent years, neuroscience research has returned to this idea and offered new insights.

Notably, studies have suggested that areas of the brain which control certain language functions, such as processing the meaning of words, are also involved in the control of fine motor skills.

Syntax, the ability to correctly structure words into a sentence, is one of the most important features of language. While evidence had yet to link syntax skills specifically with motor control in the brain, research published in 2019 revealed a correlation between having good syntactic ability and being skilled at using tools.

With this in mind, our international research team was interested to know whether the use of tools engages parts of the brain similar to those mobilised when we’re thinking about the construction of sentences.

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SQA vacancies - Visiting Assessors (VAs) of Advanced Higher Modern Languages performance-talking

9 November 2021 (SQA)

SQA is currently recruiting additional Visiting Assessors (VAs) of Advanced Higher Modern Languages performance-talking. VAs who have previously carried out this role do not need to reapply.

We would welcome applications for the following languages:

  • French
  • Gaelic (Learners)                       
  • German
  • Mandarin (Simplified)
  • Spanish

VAs will receive training/support and will complete a training exercise prior to attending a briefing event on Saturday 29 January 2022 in Glasgow.

Centre visits (dependent on Scottish Government health guidance) will be completed throughout mid-February to late March 2022. Up to 5 release days may be required to fulfil this role (number of release days is flexible).

Release fees and/or own time fees would be paid, as well as travel expenses.

Further detail, including selection criteria, is available via the link below, where you can submit your application. Deadline: 12 December.

If you need any further information, please contact elaine.clusker@sqa.org.uk.

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

9 November 2021 (ECML)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Opportunities from LFEE

9 November 2021 (LFEE )

Festival of Languages… connecting with schools from Scotland, France, Spain and Germany…

Our first Connected Learning Festival celebrates the learning and teaching of English, French and Spanish for upper primary and secondary school pupils.

Through short videos and 3D animations, our characters and their avatars take teachers and their learners from the comfort of their classroom to our virtual land where everything is possible!  

Please click on the link below for free access to the Characters presentations in English, French and Spanish.

https://connectlearn.eu/learn-more/meet-characters/

Share what learners produce with other schools from other countries on Padlet. Practitioners are given ideas on how to record what is produced by their learners and to create an exhibition which can be shared on Padlet and/or within their own school.

The Turing Programme... Send your learners to France, Spain and Germany….

LFEE Europe will build a consortium to support pupil mobilities in 2022 – 2023.

Should you be interested in sending your learners to one of the above 3 countries, get in touch with us. We will put in a bid which, if successful, will allow schools to get funding to send pupils abroad. The grant will cover all costs for pupils and accompanying teachers: travel expenses and subsistence.

We have partnered with many primary and secondary schools in France, Spain and Germany where the trip will take place. Alternatively, you can find a partner of your choice.

Should you be interested, please email us on: info@lfee.net

It would be good to write a little description of a specific theme/project you might be interested in exploring whilst abroad: sustainability, history, geography etc.

SQA update to Advanced Higher Modern Languages visiting assessing

9 November 2021 (SQA)

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

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

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Competition Time - Win a French Storybook

8 November 2021 (Little Linguist)

Joyeux Noël, Petite taupe ! is a simple story in French about a mole who is feeling lonely on Christmas Eve. One by one her friends arrive, each bringing something to help her celebrate Christmas. French story-book expert, Nathalie Paris from Nattalingo has selected this book to feature in our competition this month as she thinks it's an excellent choice for Christmas.

Visit the Little Linguist website to enter by 15 November 2021 for your chance to win the book.

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

5 November 2021 (SCILT)

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

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

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Poésíæ 2022

4 November 2021 (Poesiae)

Poésíæ and Poésíært, the global poems recitation and art competitions, start on 4 January 2022.

The competitions are free to enter and open to all pupils aged 7-15. Teachers can select from the suggested poems offered in French, German, Italian, Spanish, English or Welsh. Pupils can enter the recital strand of the competition or, for those less confident in doing so, the art competition offers pupils a different medium to express their understanding of the poem.

Visit the Poésíæ website for more information.

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All the World is Our Stage

4 November 2021 (AtWiOS)

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

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

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

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Film series about Climate Change and Sustainability

2 November 2021 (Goethe-Institut)

In a cooperation between the Goethe-Institut Dublin and Glasgow, the Alliance Française Dublin, the Alliance Française Glasgow, the Institut Français Ecosse and the Climate Crisis Film Festival, a series of seven films is available on Goethe on Demand accompanying the COP26.

This online film series exemplarily addresses different aspects in the context of climate change and environmental policy. All films are free to access from 1 November and are in the original language with English subtitles.

Read more...

Resources and activities for COP26

29 October 2021 (Highland Council)

The Northern Alliance has put together the following resources which they are happy to share with schools nationally to link in with COP26.

NEW French Dossier! Climate change and the COP26 Conference

29 October 2021 (PowerLanguage)

The PowerLanguage team has created a new French Dossier to help you tackle some topical and essential climate issues with your class, ahead of COP26 in Glasgow. Why not encourage your learners to prepare a podcast or video to present themselves and mention some of the things they care about and want to protect? Adults are welcome to send their testimonies too! You and your learners can use any language you are learning. 

Visit the PowerLanguage website for more information. *Please note the French Dossier is only available to PowerLanguage members.*

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Climate Crisis Film Festival

29 October 2021 (CCFF)

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

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

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A Conversation with Lilian Thuram

29 October 2021 (SCILT)

On Thursday, 10 June 2021, SCILT hosted an online conversation with the French anti-racism campaigner and World Cup winning footballer, Lilian Thuram, to mark the launch of My Black Stars, a translation of Thuram’s bestselling 2010 volume, Mes Etoiles Noires. Over the past decade, the Lilian Thuram Foundation for Education against Racism has been at the forefront of the fight for racial equality in France, and this was a great opportunity to bring its work to the attention of an English-language audience.

The conversation, led by Cédric Moreau and David Murphy, from Modern Languages at the University of Strathclyde, took place in French, and a video of the event is now available on YouTube (with the option of French or English sub-titles).

This should be a great resource for French teachers looking to introduce students to issues around racism and inclusion. In addition, the publisher of My Black Stars has a great resource on its blog: a recording of Lilian Thuram reading the introduction to the book in French, plus readings in English by students from the Universities of Strathclyde and Stirling of some sample chapters.

SQA Understanding Standards materials for session 2021-22

25 October 2021 (SQA)

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

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

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SCHOLAR Modern Languages homework sessions

25 October 2021 (SCHOLAR)

SCHOLAR is hoping to supplement the work of e-Sgoil by covering some areas which they do not. We are offering online homework sessions for Higher German and National 5 French, German and Spanish. The sessions should help prepare learners for dealing with Reading, Directed Writing and Listening. The sessions will be on Mondays at 6pm.

Led by Douglas Angus, our online tutor, the first session will be:

  • Monday 1 November 2021 - Higher Reading and Translation. The sessions are interactive, and for Higher a dictionary would be useful to have handy!
  • Monday 8 November 2021 - Reading at National 5 for French, German and Spanish.

Access is through the SCHOLAR website, but no registration is needed to join in!

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Discovery Film Festival - 'Migrants' short animation

25 October 2021 (Highland Council/DCA)

Migrants (a French production) is an 8 minute animation about 2 polar bears who are forced to leave their home due to climate change and they meet brown bears. The film is particularly relevant for COP26 and 1+2 Languages, exploring the issues of global warming. Migrants could be used for primary and secondary. There are excellent free resources to download too with lots of cross curricular activities for primary, and second and third level resources for French.

Originally the film was part of the Shorts for Middles ones Bundle that could be purchased to stream online by schools. However, Migrants has now been made available to stream for £1 during the film festival, up until 7 November. Anyone who wants to watch the film has to create an account and has 48hrs to watch the film once they select Play Now. They can watch the film as many times as they want in the 48hr period.  

DiscoverEU travel pass

19 October 2021 (DiscoverEU)

DiscoverEU offers young people the opportunity to participate in a travel experience enabling them to take advantage of the freedom of movement throughout the European Union, explore the diversity of Europe, learn about European cultural heritage and history, and connect with people from all over the continent. Furthermore, DiscoverEU enables young people to develop valuable life skills such as independence, confidence, and openness to other cultures.  

If you're 18 years old and a citizen of the European Union, apply now for your DiscoverEU travel pass. Please note UK nationals are still eligible for this round of DiscoverEU.

Visit the DiscoverEU website for full details and apply by 26 October 2021.

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Königspost German Writing Competition

19 October 2021 (King's College London)

The competition for year 12 and 13 students of German (S5 and S6 in Scotland) is being run by the Department of German at King's College London. Students are invited to write an article in German (see the attached flyer for more details); the winning entry will be published in the department's popular newspaper, the Königspost, and there will be further prizes for the winner and runners-up.

The submission deadline is 22 November 2021.

Related Files

UK-German Exchange Fellowships

18 October 2021 (UK-German Connection)

This pilot programme provides pupils aged 15-18 in the UK and North Rhine-Westphalia with the opportunity to spend one, two or three weeks at an existing partner school in Germany and carry out a project on a theme of their choice.

Application deadline: 15 November 2021.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information about the programme. There's also an option to register for a Q&A webinar on Wednesday 3 November 2021.

Read more...

Teach children Polish and Arabic to reflect ‘modern Britain’, schools minister says

18 October 2021 (iNews)

The teaching of foreign languages in schools should be more reflective of “modern Britain”, with greater numbers of pupils learning languages such as Arabic and Polish, the schools minister has said.

Robin Walker said he wanted to expand the “breadth” of languages being offered in England’s schools.

Mr Walker, who was appointed schools minister in last month’s reshuffle, made the comments after a visit to Cardinal Hume Catholic School in Gateshead – one of the “hubs” which the Government is using to roll out new methods for teaching languages.

He told i England had an opportunity to “drive up the capability of people to engage with language teaching”, and that there was scope for teaching more languages beyond the traditional big three of French, Spanish and German.

“One of the things we should be looking at is that actually the UK has a lot of people who speak multiple languages,” Mr Walker said.

“It was interesting looking at the figures from the language school we visited… not only were they entering lots of students in French and Spanish, but they were also entering smaller numbers in Polish, in Arabic, in GCSEs in home second languages.

“One of the things I’m interested in exploring is how we can make modern foreign languages reflect modern Britain a little bit more, and reflect the breadth of languages that we have in our communities, but also our aspirations around the world.”

Read more...

Leading awarding organisation announces British Sign Language for beginners’ course

11 October 2021 (FE News)

Signature (@SignatureDeaf) the UK’s leading awarding organisation in deaf communication qualifications have today announced a new online course – British Sign Language (BSL) for beginners.

BSL for beginners is a comprehensive online course developed alongside language experts and Deaf teachers to provide communication skills and knowledge. Signature have drawn on 40 years of experience enabling hundreds of thousands of learners to complete a British Sign Language qualification.

The 2-hour immersive learning course introduces you to deaf people who share their personal experiences, and teach BSL through a range of informal clips, receptive practice, short quizzes, and vocabulary.

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Beairteas - Gaelic sessions for secondary pupils

7 October 2021 (e-Sgoil / Fèisean nan Gàidheal)

Beairteas is an intergenerational programme to match community-based fluent Gaelic speakers with schools and community groups.

In partnership with e-Sgoil, three sessions are planned during October and November 2021 giving S1-S6 pupils the opportunity to listen to some of our best known Gaelic personalities talk about their lives and interests. Pupils will also have an opportunity to join in the conversation and ask questions which will help to develop their own Gaelic. 

Visit the Fèisean nan Gàidheal website for more information and to register for the sessions.

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Oxford German Olympiad 2022

5 October 2021 (Oxford German Network)

The tenth Oxford German Olympiad is now open! This year's topic is der Rhein.

Open to upper primary and secondary learners, entrants choose one of the tasks within their age category and complete the task in German. Individuals, groups or classes can take part.

There's also a Discover German - Taster Competition for those with no prior experience of studying German. 

Visit the competition website for full details. The closing date for all entries is Thursday 10 March 2022 at 12 noon.

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Discovery Film Festival 2021

5 October 2021 (Discovery Film Festival)

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

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

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

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Words for the World competition

5 October 2021 (SCILT)

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

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

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

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French Film Festival Learning Programme 2021

5 October 2021 (French Film Festival)

The French Film Festival UK’s Learning Programme will be bringing French-speaking cinema into schools again FREE of charge this autumn, between 25 October and 10 December. To accompany the selection of films for different age groups, practitioners will be able to download learning resources to use with their classes.

Students are also invited to submit a review of a film screened in this year's learning programme. The best reviews will be awarded a prize from the Franco-Scottish Society.

See the attached brochures for more information about the programme for schools and how to book.

'Some people find it very unusual that I speak Gaelic'

4 October 2021 (BBC)

Gaelic speakers of African and Caribbean descent have shared their experiences of the language in a new BBC Alba documentary.

Glaswegian student and musician Cass Ezeji says some people she meets think it is unusual she is fluent in Gaelic and also has African heritage. Her paternal grandfather is Nigerian.

Growing up, Cass went to the Glasgow Gaelic School, Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu, which teaches at both primary and secondary school levels.

Cass' parents, who do not speak Gaelic, chose the school because they thought she would get a good education there.

But Cass says she felt "a little lost" in immersive Gaelic-medium education, and among peers whose families were from the Highlands and Islands - the Western Isles are Gaelic's "heartland".

She says she argued with her mum about having to go to the school, and even felt angry about it.

The 27-year-old says: "The impression I had when I left school was that I didn't feel part of the Gaelic world.

"I didn't see myself represented in the culture so there was something of a disconnect."

But she says she has since gained an appreciation of her education and describes herself as an Afro-Gael.

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Espacios Increíbles 2021-22 - Register your interest now!

1 October 2021 (SCILT)

SCILT is delighted to announce Espacios Increíbles is back for its 3rd year and it is bigger and better than before! We are looking for lots of budding architects and designers from S2 and S3 to take part in our Spanish competition to create an ‘Amazing Space.’

This competition combines aspects of design with Spanish language skills as they present their Espacio Increíble to a panel of judges and a live audience. Espacios Increíbles is a great way of introducing your pupils to different career pathways open to them when they study a language and encouraging uptake of Spanish in the Senior Phase.

To find out more visit our Espacios Increíbles webpage and register your school’s interest, by Monday 8 November.

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New UK-German activities for Autumn 2021

30 September 2021 (UK-German Connection)

Young people, schools and youth groups can get involved in UK-German Connection's programmes. There are several new activities for autumn so let your pupils and colleagues know what's on offer!

Follow the relevant links below to find out more:

For young people

  • Virtual Conference on climate change (COP26) Taking place against the backdrop of the COP26 Climate Conference and Youth Summit, this two-part virtual youth conference will explore the outcomes of the climate conferences, and give young people the chance to exchange on the role of local communities, cities, and regions in the fight against the climate crisis. Age group: 15-18. Deadline: 4 October 2021.
  • Youth Webinar Series ‘Together: Reflecting on Life After Conflict’ Run together with Never Such Innocence, this three-part webinar series gives young people the chance to get creative with poetry, photography and song to reflect on what conflict means to them. Includes creative workshops with experts, the chance to exchange with other young people and a final presentation event with special guests from the UK & Germany. Age group: 12-14. Deadline: 14 October 2021.
  • Youth Webinar ‘Green Cities’ To mark 75 years of friendship between the United Kingdom and North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), this two-part webinar will bring together young people from the UK and NRW to discuss how to make cities more environmentally friendly. Participants will learn from city experts and exchange with young people in the UK & Germany about green & sustainable cities. Age group: 16-18. Deadline: 19 October 2021.

For schools & youth groups

  • UK-NRW School Partnerships Seminar This partner-finding event will bring teachers from the UK and North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) together to set up new school partnerships and discuss future partnership projects with a focus on ‘Skills for the Global Workplace’. Teachers will have the chance to take part in partnership development workshops, group discussions and excursions, including a visit to the Christmas markets. Deadline: 1 November 2021.
  • Café Connect for school & youth partnerships Do you have a partner school or youth group in Germany? Would you like to connect with them in a safe and informal virtual space? We now offer facilitated 'Café Connect' meet-ups to enhance your partnership!

For schools & youth groups with a partner institution in North Rhine-Westphalia

  • UK-German Exchange Fellowships This pilot programme provides pupils aged 15-18 in the UK and North Rhine-Westphalia with the opportunity to spend one, two or three weeks at an existing partner school in Germany and carry out a project on a theme of their choice. Deadline: 15 November 2021.
  • UK-NRW Capture Your Connection Do you have a connection with North Rhine-Westphalia? To mark 75 years of UK-NRW friendship we've launched our ‘Capture Your Connection’ challenge. Simply share a creative representation of your partnership to help us showcase and give recognition to the fantastic connections that you have established over the years. There will be small goodies for all submissions and the most creative entries will receive special prizes! Deadline: 31 December 2021.

MTOT 2021-22 - registration deadline approaching!

30 September 2021 (SCILT)

Our multilingual poetry competition offers schools and learners the opportunity to use their language skills creatively, by producing an original poem, song or rap in a language they speak at home (Mother Tongue) or are learning at school (Other Tongue). With a focus on the spoken word, entries are invited in video or audio format.

Teachers, help us find the next generation of multilingual poets! The deadline to register your school is 7 October 2021 (National Poetry Day), and all entries should be submitted by 3 December 2021. 

Visit our MTOT webpage for full details and to sign-up.

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New project alert! Polish through Art

30 September 2021 (SCILT / Bilingualism Matters)

Primary teachers, would you like to be involved in an exciting and innovative project focusing on language learning (Polish) through Art? This project, in partnership with Bilingualism Matters, aims to explore and develop skills in applying multicultural and multilingual approaches to (Polish) language teaching in the primary school. We are looking to recruit primary teachers working in mainstream schools and teachers working in the Polish complementary schools.

The project will run over a 5-month period and will feature 4 online workshops/sessions scheduled to take place on:

  • Wed 27 Oct 15.30-17.30 
  • Wed 3  Nov 15.30-17.30 
  • Wed 17 Nov 15.30-17.30
  • Wed 19 Jan 15.30-17.30

All workshops will be delivered on MS Teams and will be a blend of professional learning and practical activities. 

You will work in pairs or small groups with colleagues in the mainstream/complementary schools and will have the chance to plan and share knowledge with each other. There will be the opportunity to contribute to SCILT’s knowledge exchange event taking place in February where you will be able to share your experience from participating in the project with colleagues from across the country. To showcase the pupil’s art, an online gallery will be created in which you and your pupils will have the opportunity to contribute.

If you would like to participate in this new project, please register via the link below. By registering you are committing to attending all 4 workshops.

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Faktendetektive / Fact scouts - competition

30 September 2021 (Goethe-Institut)

What is fake news? Are our favorite YouTubers always telling the truth? Can we always tell if a post on Instagram or Tik Tok is true or false? Why do fake news exist? How can we identify them?

To answer these questions, we are looking for “fake news hunters” in Germany, England, Scotland, France, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands.

Are you a German, English, French or Spanish teacher? Then you are welcome to participate with your students, aged 15-19.

Submit your short video or text entry by 15 October 2021.

Visit the competition website for more information.

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StampIT - 'Stamp over October’

30 September 2021 (StampIT)

StampIT is re-launching ‘Stamp over October’. This series develops various skills and increases knowledge across the curriculum for the broad general education phase. The range of activities cover experiences and outcomes in many areas within expressive arts; language and literacy; mathematics; sciences; social studies and technologies. The activities will also last beyond October! Take part in as many or as few as you want. StampIT also has it’s ‘Language of Stamps’ series with Spanish, French, Mandarin and Japanese.

There are many challenges and competitions throughout October, please see the website for the activity plans. In addition there are 5 free packs available with some StampIT games, craft materials and stamps to the classes who can send in the best ending to the following sentence: 

'We would love to take part in Stamp over October because...'

Entries by end October. Visit the StampIT website for more information.

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Climate change and language learning

28 September 2021 (British Council)

If you weren't able to join the British Council's webinar on Climate Change and Language Learning, which took place on Wednesday 22 September 2021, the recording is now available.

In the webinar, the global teacher panel explored ways to bring environmental issues and the fight against the climate crisis into the language classroom. This was followed by audience questions.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to view the recording.

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Why learning a new language is good for the whole family

28 September 2021 (National Geographic)

Scientists have long known that learning a new language is good for a child’s brain development. By rearranging and creating new connections in the brain, language learning can help kids focus more easily and resist distractions, deal better with tasks that require switching from one activity to another, and perform better in school.

Learning a new language has benefits for an adult’s brain, too—plus new research suggests that it’s not as difficult as experts previously thought for adults to pick up a new language. And immersing yourself in a new language as a family might just be one of the most effective—and easiest—ways to learn a new language. 

“You’re constantly communicating with your family at home already,” says Christine Jernigan, author of Family Language Learning: Learn Another Language, Raise Bilingual Children. “All you have to do is switch to your new language and you have built-in conversation partners to practice with whenever you want—no commute or classroom needed.”

So learning a new language together? Tons of brain benefits—and maybe getting them even faster. Here are some ideas for making learning a new language your family’s newest favourite activity.

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Stranded British teenager opens up world of Disney to deaf people

25 September 2021 (The Times)

Stranded thousands of miles from her school during lockdown, Mariella Satow decided to learn sign language when her GCSEs were cancelled.

Not satisfied with that challenge, she used money from dog walking to create a signing app that allows deaf children to enjoy Disney films.

Parents say it has transformed their children’s lives and Mariella, 17, is hoping to see her invention take off around the world. She is working on a similar product for Netflix, with several approaches from Silicon Valley start-ups.

(Note - subscription required to access full article)

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The Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators

24 September 2021 (Queen's College Oxford)

Registration is now open for the second year of the Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators, open to all teachers of French, German, Italian [new this year!], Mandarin and Spanish.

The prize launches this month with ready-made teaching resources designed to be used around European Day of Languages (26 September) and International Translation Day (30 September). The prize is for students of French, German, Italian, Mandarin, or Spanish aged 11-18.

Bringing more international culture into the classroom is a central aim of the prize, and so all texts will be rich in cultural content, and creativity in the translation will be rewarded.

All interested teachers will receive a teaching pack for the first lessons, to be run any time from late September onwards. Following the first lesson, which focuses on translating poetry, teachers will be asked to confirm their registration for two further teaching packs (on translating fiction and non-fiction) and for the competition phase. The competition phase will be open from 21 February to 1 April 2022.

For more information and to register, please see the prize webpage.  

Read more...

Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival: 1st-10th October in person and 14th-17th October online

24 September 2021 (Consejería de Educación)

The 8th edition of ESFF is taking place 1st-10th October in person and 14th-17th October online.

We want to shine a light on the best Spanish language cinema and TV and we are thrilled to be able to bring everyone back together, in the cinema. Our aim is to show a broad range of all different genres of films and so the festival will feature a selection of regional productions including: Ane (David Pérez Sañudo), representing Basque cinema, and Chavalas (Carol Rodriguez Colás) will be providing a glimpse in Catalan cinema. Interspersed with these will be the new TV series Maricón Perdido (Bob Pop) and the highly acclaimed Mientras dure la guerra (Alejandro Amenábar). 

To immerse yourself even more in the programme, make sure to check out the Q&As and panel discussions taking place throughout the festival. We are privileged to be joined by a number of leading academics including: Professor Nuria Capdevila-Argüelles (University of Exeter) who will present the audio-visual project, Cartas Vivas, in which women's voices from the 20th century are brought to life, embodied by leading actresses from the Spanish-speaking world.

We are also proud to commemorate the centenary of Luis García Berlanga with a screening of El Verdugo and A conversation with Spain. This will be followed by a round table discussion to highlight the importance of Berlanga, both in cinema and the cultural legacy he has left us.

School programme of the ESFF includes the film “Klaus” (Primary) and “Los Lobos” (Secondary).

For more information and to book tickets visit the Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival website.

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Flexible Funding Scheme

23 September 2021 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection's Flexible Funding Scheme supports joint activities and projects between UK and German partner schools and youth groups, including visits or virtual activities.

The grant is open to primary, secondary and SEN schools, FE colleges and youth groups in the UK and Germany. Grants of up to £10,000 are available.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information and apply by 1 October 2021.

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A-level pupils should be required to study humanities subject, maths and foreign language, report suggests

23 September 2021 (The Independent)

A-level pupils should be required to study a humanities subject, mathematics and a foreign language to tackle a decline in humanities enrolments at universities, a report suggests.

The report, published by the Higher Education Policy Institute, argues that requiring maths as an A-level subject would improve the numerical abilities of humanities graduates and boost their employment prospects.

Dr Gabriel Roberts, an English teacher at a London secondary school and the report’s author, argues that the number of humanities students may rise if studying a humanities subject at university was made compulsory.

“Requiring pupils to continue a foreign language until the end of school might stem the decline in applicants for Modern Languages courses at university and lessen the social exclusivity of Classics and Modern Languages courses at leading universities,” he said.

Mandating foreign languages may also stem the long-term shortage of linguistic skills identified by employers, Dr Roberts said, a move that would benefit students following the “loss of international links likely to result from Brexit.”

Read more...

Sign language could be taught to Glasgow's councillors

22 September 2021 (Glasgow Times)

British Sign Language (BSL) classes should be available to members of Glasgow City Council according to councillors who are campaigning to support those with hearing impairments.

The importance of sign language has been in the spotlight over the past year, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon having a BSL interpreter for all her briefings during the Covid pandemic.

As it stands there are just 50 BSL interpreters for the whole of Scotland, and while the council is committed to providing training for workers in key sectors, it was not clear if councillors could be provided with help learning to sign.

Earlier this week members of the general purposes committee asked if councillors and council staff could have the opportunity to attend a BSL class to help them communicate more effectively with their constituents. 

Read more...

Into Film Festival 2021

21 September 2021 (Into Film)

The Into Film Festival is a free, annual, nationwide celebration of film and education for children and young people aged 5-19.

For so much of the last year and a half, we have all been deprived of the big screen experience, so it's a joy to once again be able to offer free screenings and special events to young people and teachers across the UK from 10-26 November 2021. 

The programme includes something for everyone, from the latest blockbusters, beloved old favourites, stimulating documentaries, animated adventures, modern foreign language titles, and much, much more.

All films and events are mapped against curricula from across the four UK nations and are accompanied by Into Film resources.

Booking is now open, so visit the Festival website for full programme details and to reserve places. Use the filter to discover foreign language screenings. 

Read more...

Euroscola

21 September 2021 (European Parliament)

Euroscola is an educational project that brings together secondary school pupils from all other the EU (including the UK, as a former member) to part in a simulation of the work of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Although forced to cancel all onsite sessions which were due to take place since March 2020, the European Parliament is now holding online sessions, called "Euroscola Online", in order to enable students and teachers alike to take part in the Euroscola programme remotely, while keeping its educational and interactive nature focused on EU issues.

Each Euroscola Online session, led by two facilitators present in the hemicycle of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, lasts two hours.

It alternates between presentations, short videos, a question-and-answer session with a MEP, a discussion with an expert from the European Parliament, opinion polls and interactive discussion sessions.

Sessions are scheduled to take place during November and December 2021. Schools interested in participating in one of the online sessions should contact the UK representative, whose contact details can be found on the Euroscola website.

Alternatively, schools can follow the sessions online via the livestream which will be available on the European Parliament website and social media platforms.

Read more...

The UK Linguistics Olympiad (UKLO)

21 September 2021 (UKLO)

UKLO is a competition, like the Mathematical Olympiad or the National Cipher Challenge, for students who are still at school (or equivalent college) – any age, any ability level; but unlike other competitions, our competitors have to solve linguistic data problems. Thanks to our generous academic supporters, it’s completely free to both competitors and schools.

The first round of the competition will take place during February 2022.

Visit the UKLO website to find out more and to register your school.

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Maths Week Scotland 2021 - Maths wi nae Borders

21 September 2021 (Maths Week Scotland)

Maths Week Scotland takes place 27 September - 3 October 2021! 

Every day during Maths Week Scotland a new puzzle is set from the Scottish Mathematical Council. Inspired by the annual Mathématiques sans Frontières contest, the Maths wi nae Borders mini-competition contains a language element and is for any class to complete together.

Visit the Maths Week Scotland website for full details and to download a competition pack (available from 27 September 2021).

Read more...

SQA update to Advanced Higher Modern Languages coursework

21 September 2021 (SQA)

The SQA has published Advanced Higher Modern Languages Portfolio Answer Booklets. These can be found under the Coursework section of the SQA's AH Modern Languages webpage.

Read more...

Case study: Strengthening links to literacy across languages

21 September 2021 (SCILT)

Professional Learning Partnerships (PLPs) are a bespoke part of the SCILT CLPL offer. A PLP is a collaborative and enquiring means of challenging thinking, considering practice and bringing about improvement.

In a recent PLP that ran over two years, teachers in several West Lothian primary schools chose to focus on strengthening literacy skills across languages. They were supported variously by local authority development officers with responsibility for Literacy, PEF and 1+2 Languages, as well as by SCILT and a bilingual theatre practitioner. In year 1, eight schools considered the needs of their learners and the demands of their school improvement plan before settling on a particular pedagogical approach and/or a selection of resources that they were interested in transferring to the context of teaching additional languages. In year 2, three schools collaborated to produce interdisciplinary learning materials and pupil-led drama activities to support reading and performance in L2. Read the West Lothian PLP Case Study on our website.

Each Professional Learning Partnership is unique and based on the needs of the audience and talents of the participating professionals. Examining evidence together, engaging in professional discussion and exploring practical ways forward, each partnership aims to effect positive change that impacts on learners. If you would like to discuss developing a PLP with us, please email scilt@strath.ac.uk with PLP in the subject line.

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FilmG competition 2021

16 September 2021 (FilmG)

FilmG is MG ALBA’s Gaelic short film competition which is delivered by Cànan Graphics Studio, the multi-media company based on the Isle of Skye. FilmG was launched in 2008 in order to develop new talent for the Gaelic channel BBC ALBA which was launched in the same year. Over this time it has received more than 700 short films and seen many young people begin their careers in Gaelic television broadcasting.

This year's FilmG is now open for entries. In the Youth category the competition is open to high school classes, independent filmmakers, and primary schools. High school Gaelic classes across Scotland can also take up the offer of 2 day filmmaking workshops to support entrants. 

Visit the FilmG website for more information and get entries in by 13 December 2021.

Read more...

Turkish and Turkish culture courses starting soon

16 September 2021 (Turkish Consulate General Edinburgh)

The Office of the Education Attaché of the Turkish Consulate General in Edinburgh is now launching a programme aiming to teach children and adults some basic language skills such as reading, writing, speaking and listening in Turkish, and the Turkish culture.

The language programme is going to be conducted by expert teachers and offered for free. The courses will be held alongside the school terms in Scotland and will be supplemented by social, cultural and other educational activities whenever possible.

The courses will be offered to the children of Turkish families living in Scotland, the Northern Ireland and the North of England (including York). Our classes will be held face-to-face in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and start online in other cities.

If there are any other locations that has not been mentioned and if you are interested attending please do fill in the application form with your requirements and we will try and accommodate the request via online courses.

If you are Interested please fill in the attached form and send it to edinburgea@gmail.com.

After receiving applications, the Education Attaché’s Office will announce the timetable and the venues for the courses.

Students between the ages of 6 and 16 will be able to attend our courses however should there be a demand for different age groups this will also be considered.

Should you have any enquires please contact us at edinburgea@gmail.com.

Related Files

September Bitesize: Early Years creative puppetry and language learning drop-in

16 September 2021 (SCILT)

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

In September 2021, we’re looking at language learning in the Early Years and exploring the use of creative puppetry to support this. So join the drop-in on 29 September, share your ideas and experiences and hear what others do too!  

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

Read more...

SCILT winter newsletter - send us your stories!

16 September 2021 (SCILT)

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

We are currently taking submissions for our winter 2021 newsletter. This is a great opportunity to promote what has been happening in your school or local authority with regard to languages. This could cover work going on in schools before the summer break, innovative projects taking place during Covid-19, or other language learning celebrations or initiatives. 

We are looking for articles of a maximum of 300 words, with a couple of colourful photos. The deadline for contributions is Friday 8th October 2021.

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

Read more...

Filmhouse cinema programme for secondary pupils

16 September 2021 (Glasgow Filmhouse)

Glasgow Filmhouse is delighted to be re-opening its doors to schools with an engaging programme of films for all ages and stages. As well as welcoming regular partners such as the Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival, French Film Festival UK and Into Film, the Filmhouse will be showcasing films picked by the education team to mark Black History Month, COP 26 and to celebrate Christmas!  

Visit the website for more information about the programme for schools and to book screenings.

Read more...

e-Sgoil study support webinars 2021

14 September 2021 (e-Sgoil)

During Autumn 2021 e-Sgoil is offering a programme of real time interactive Study Support Webinars.

A variety of subjects are on offer at different levels from National 4 to Advanced Higher. 

The webinars include sessions for students of French, Spanish and Gaelic. Classes have just started so there's still time for pupils to register.

Visit the e-Sgoil website for more information.

Read more...

Opportunities from UK-German Connection

10 September 2021 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection is dedicated to increasing contacts and understanding between young people in the UK and Germany. The organisation offers a number of initiatives, funding, materials and courses enabling joint activities between young people, schools and youth groups in both regions.

Find out about hosting a teacher from Germany, the Café Connect online meet-ups for young people, funding for partnership activities and more on the UK-German Connection website.

Read more...

Japanese Language Local Project Support Programme 2021-2022

6 September 2021 (Japan Foundation)

Institutions can apply for up to £3000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which promote Japanese language education in the UK. We prioritise projects that fit into one of the five following categories:

  • Category 1 - Newly Introducing Japanese into the curriculum
  • Category 2 - Supporting GCSE or A-level courses
  • Category 3 - Japanese clubs
  • Category 4 - Projects that enable links between primary/secondary institutions and institutions of higher education
  • Category 5 - Purchasing Japanese language teaching materials and/or books related to Japan (Please note that this Category is for applicants who ONLY wish to apply for these materials)
  • The application deadline for Categories 1-4/Other of the September 2021-22 programme is 30 September 2021.
  • The application deadline for Category 5 of the September 2021-22 programme is 31 October 2021.

Visit the Japan Foundation website for full details and to download an application form.

Read more...

RZSS Beyond the Panda FREE virtual programmes

6 September 2021 (RZSS)

P1-P3 Two live virtual sessions available after the October break until December but only on Thursdays. Advisable to book now as limited places. Choose from 'Intro to the giant panda' or 'I can see, hear, smell, taste and touch'. Both are based around the giant panda and include some basic Mandarin language learning. Limited places. Contact Sandie Robb - srobb@rzss.org.uk for further details and booking. 

P4-P7 Seven week progressive programme through live virtual sessions. Book now for delivery in January to March 2022 (already fully booked for 2021). Covers many topics on China, its wildlife, endangered species and culture. Ideal for L3 Mandarin or China topic. Includes some basic Mandarin language learning. Key objectives are on the flyer. Limited places. Contact Sandie Robb - srobb@rzss.org.uk for further details and booking. 

All sessions are delivered on Microsoft Teams within GLOW. Enabled by our partnership with CISS and eSgoil. 

Further details and additional resources can be found on the Beyond the Panda website.

Read more...

Related Files

Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival: programme for schools

6 September 2021 (Consejería de Educación)

The Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival is back for its eight edition and would like to invite you once again to participate in the School Programme aimed at Spanish Learning students.

Due to COVID-19, we are changing the regular format to a Hybrid Event. This means we will be offering two films tailored to Primary and Secondary schools.

Please see attached the information about the films and a pre-recorded virtual workshop by Intersect Madrid for secondary schools.

Related Files

TECLA 3/2021, magazine for Spanish language teachers

6 September 2021 (Consejería de Educación)

The new issue of TECLA review for Spanish language teachers in the UK and Ireland is now available. Lots of ideas and resources for the Spanish class. 

Read more...

MTOT 2021-22 - Our multilingual poetry competition is back!

3 September 2021 (SCILT)

We are delighted to announce the launch of MTOT 2021-22! This competition offers schools and learners the opportunity to use their language skills creatively, by producing an original poem, song or rap in a language they speak at home (Mother Tongue) or are learning at school (Other Tongue). We are continuing our focus on the spoken word, so entries can be in video or audio format.

Last year, despite all the challenges, MTOT went from strength to strength, and the creativity shown by all those who entered was truly uplifting. Our winners were featured on the Kid’s Poetry Club podcast, and MTOT now has its own dedicated section on the UK Children’s Poetry Archive. As if that wasn’t enough, this year we are also partnering with the Dictionaries of the Scots Language, who are offering a special prize for winning entries in Scots. 

Whatever your language, we want you to find your voice and share it with us. We can’t wait to see what this year’s young poets will produce!

Teachers should register interest by 7 October 2021 (National Poetry Day), and all entries will be submitted by 3 December 2021. 

Visit our MTOT webpage for full details.

Read more...

World Wide Napier magazine - Call for submissions

2 September 2021 (Napier University)

World Wide 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 issue eight of the publication. The next issue's overarching theme is 'Revolution'. Pick a subject associated with revolution and turn it into an engaging article. 

Students at secondary school, college or university are invited to submit contributions by email by 10 November 2021.

Visit the World Wide Napier website for more information and submission guidelines.

Read more...

French courses for children and teens

2 September 2021 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française Glasgow offers French courses for children aged between 3 and 17 years old as well as Exam Support classes for secondary schools pupils sitting their National 5 or Higher French exams at the end of the academic year and who need extra support with their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.

Follow the relevant link below to find out more about these course options:

How Language Classes Are Moving Past the Gender Binary

1 September 2021 (New York Times)

Languages that contain only “he” and “she” pronouns pose problems for communicating about gender identity. Here’s how some language teachers are helping.

Tal Janner-Klausner teaches Hebrew. There is nothing unusual about that, but the language presents a frustration that Mx. Janner-Klausner, who is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns in English, feels compelled to discuss with their students.

Hebrew, as well as French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and other languages, uses binary pronouns, which means that gender identities outside of he/she and male/female don’t exist in any formal capacity.

In Hebrew, even the word “they” is gendered. In French, “ils” refers to a group of men or a mixed-gender group, and “elles” refers to a group of all females. All nouns in gendered languages — including people — are categorized as either masculine or feminine, and any adjectives associated with these words must reflect that gender.

That presents a problem for students who are gender-nonconforming, and, of course, for the speakers of the language in general. Is it possible for learners of a gendered language to refer to themselves and others when their identities are not represented?

Read more...

Our World 2021-22

31 August 2021 (SEET)

Our World is a languages and citizenship based filmmaking project for S3 - S6 pupils. It's designed to complement the Curriculum for Excellence and help tackle the Attainment Challenge by providing a free project which uses an interdisciplinary approach to encourage pupils to become more engaged in their language learning.

Teams of 4 (S3-S6) design a storyboard which outlines the film they propose to make. This year's films will explore the idea of global citizenship, must include the use of a language other than English, and should touch on the theme of the Sustainable Development Goals. Each team must choose at least one of the 17 SDGs to focus their film on.

Registration for the 2021-22 project is now open - https://ourworldproject.wufoo.com/forms/z1fa1wdl0fdqs2a/

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

Read more...

European Day of Languages 2021 - how is your school celebrating?

27 August 2021 (SCILT)

The European Day of Languages (EDL) is celebrated on 26 September each year. Now celebrating its 20th year, it aims to promote the rich linguistic diversity of Europe and raise awareness of the importance of lifelong language learning for everyone. What is your school doing in 2021?

If you're looking for inspiration SCILT has compiled lots of ideas for primary, secondary and parents & families on our EDL webpage. Perhaps a Eurovision-style song contest, a QR code scavenger hunt, or a food festival? You will also find links to competitions, blogs and websites with a huge range of celebration ideas and activities. 

Let us know how you celebrate and we'll include you in our EDL 2021 blog. Send a short description and some colourful photos to scilt@strath.ac.uk or tag @scottishcilt on Twitter. Use the hashtags #coeEDL #20EDL or #happybirthdayEDL to share your celebrations with schools across Europe!

Read more...

Alliance Française French classes 2021-22

24 August 2021 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow is now enrolling for the next academic year. There are a range of courses on offer for adults and children, including exam support sessions for young people. Follow the relevant link below for more information:

The organisation also holds conversation classes, talks, cultural events and the opportunity to obtain formal proof of your level in French by sitting the DELF/DALF official diplomas awarded by the French Ministry for Education certifying competency in French for foreign candidates. More information can be found on the Alliance Française website.

Read more...

French Workshops for Higher and Advanced Higher

24 August 2021 (Edinburgh College)

With funding from the Franco-Scottish Society, Edinburgh College is pleased to offer free online courses for Higher and Advanced Higher French pupils, which will be delivered from September 2021. Their aim is to provide additional support to pupils who get limited time for speaking practice so that they feel more confident for their speaking exam. Open to any Higher or Advanced Higher French pupil who would benefit from additional input, wherever they are in Scotland.

Follow the appropriate link below for further information and an application form:

The Kilted Otter initiative - An extended Scots Gaelic video game jam

19 August 2021 (The Kilted Otter)

Are you creative? Can you draw, sing, tell stories, play music, write poems, think out of the box? Do you want to learn more about Scots language and culture?

No experience necessary! We will take you from zero to game hero in two months!

Teams and individuals are welcome to apply.

Visit the website for more information and to sign up when registration opens on 1 September 2021.

Read more...

Global Britain needs to improve its language learning

17 August 2021 (Financial Times)

In a classroom this summer at Azbuka, a London bilingual primary school of which I am a governor, the children switched easily between English and Russian as they designed colourful posters in the two languages to help learn about coronavirus, climate change and mental health. Not all have a Russian parent, including my son, who attended its Saturday complementary school some years ago. But their ability to absorb languages and cultures in a creative and engaging way is impressive and provides a lesson for Britain’s global ambitions. 

Read more...

SQA update to Advanced Higher Modern Languages course overview

16 August 2021 (SQA)

Visit the SQA website for the updated Advanced Higher Modern Languages course overview for session 2021-22.

Read more...

The Jacqueline Munro-Lafon Essay Prize 2021 - Winners announced!

16 August 2021 (SCILT/Franco-Scottish Society)

The Franco-Scottish Society of Scotland, in partnership with SCILT (Scotland's National Centre for Languages), established an essay prize in honour of Madame Jacqueline Munro-Lafon’s long and active life in the Franco-Scottish Community and to mark her one hundredth birthday.

Pupils from across Scotland took part in the competition and produced a high quality of essays. The winners were announced at an awards ceremony held by Zoom on Tuesday 15 June 2021. A recording of this, along with a list of the winning entries, is now available on the Franco-Scottish Society of Scotland website.

Read more...

New SCEN website

14 August 2021 (SCEN)

The Scotland China Education Network (SCEN) has just launched their new website designed to be more accessible, informative, and user friendly. The website hosts information about SCEN and its work, as well as from partner bodies involved in the teaching of Mandarin across Scotland.

The main new features of the site are the Learning Zone, Teaching Zone, and the Opportunities section. 

Read more...

Opportunities from UK-German Connection

12 August 2021 (UK-German Connection)

Despite the UK no longer being part of the EU, UK-German Connection remains dedicated to supporting partnerships, offering intercultural opportunities, and facilitating connections between schools, youth groups and young people themselves in both countries. 

Current opportunities include the following. Click on the relevant link for more information:

  • Funding for UK-German exchange activities - Schools and youth groups with a partner in Germany can apply for grants for planning visits, taster trips and joint activities, including virtual projects. A series of Q&A webinars will take place throughout September for anyone interested in finding out more about this funding offer.
  • Host a Teacher from Germany - Whether travel is going to be possible or not, you can still bring authentic German language and culture to your classroom in 2021/22. Through the Host a Teacher from Germany programme, your school can host a German teacher (virtually or face-to-face) for one, two or three weeks during the academic year, at no cost. Register by 28 September 2021 (to host in spring and/or summer 2022).
  • UK-German Youth Council - Do you know any top-notch communicators with an interest in UK-German youth relations? There's still time for young people between the ages of 14 and 25 to apply for our UK-German youth council. This network will develop ideas and help co-design programmes and activities for young people in both countries. Applicants from all backgrounds are welcome and German language skills are not a requirement. Deadline: 24 August 2021.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for a full overview of their opportunities and initiatives for young people. Or register to receive their newsletters.

Read more...

Modern Languages GCSE/National 5 Results, 2021

12 August 2021 (UCML)

A breakdown of languages results across the UK from the UCML.

Read more...

Related Links

GCSE results: Language drive falters after German lessons shunned (The Times, 13 August 2021)

ALLNet Cultural Partner Special: The Goethe-Institut

6 August 2021 (ALL)

In this e-bulletin Special from the Association for Language Learning, find out all about the activities and opportunities for teachers and schools from their partner organisation, the Goethe-Institut.

In addition to professional development for teachers of German, and German language resources, there are also initiatives for pupils with no prior knowledge of the language, such as Gaming in German and the Green Sauce Cookery Show.

Read more...

Latin to be introduced at 40 state secondaries in England

31 July 2021 (The Guardian)

Latin is to be taught at state schools across England in an effort to counter the subject’s reputation as one that is “elitist” and largely taught at private schools.

A £4m Department for Education (DfE) scheme will initially be rolled out across 40 schools as part of a four-year pilot programme for 11- to 16-year-olds starting in September 2022.

According to a British Council survey, Latin is taught at key stage three in less than 3% of state schools, compared with 49% of independent schools.

The education secretary, Gavin Williamson, said: “We know Latin has a reputation as an elitist subject which is only reserved for the privileged few. But the subject can bring so many benefits to young people, so I want to put an end to that divide.”

He added that there should be “no difference in what pupils learn at state schools and independent schools”, adding: “Which is why we have a relentless focus on raising school standards and ensuring all pupils study a broad, ambitious curriculum.”

Latin, Williamson said, can help students with learning other languages and other subjects such as maths and English.

Read more...

Coronation Street's Gemma wows fans with her impressive use of sign language

30 July 2021 (Daily Star)

Corrie fans on Twitter were impressed with actress Dolly-Rose Campbell, who plays Gemma Winter on the soap, for being able to learn British Sign Language for her role during a sensitive storyline on deafness.

Read more...

Social media duo set to front Gaelic language initiative

11 July 2021 (Grampian Online)

BBC presenters and social media stars Joy Dunlop and Calum Maclean are to lead SpeakGaelic, a new language learning initiative aiming to transform take up of the language.

SpeakGaelic’s exciting and ambitious new Gaelic learning resources will provide a comprehensive framework for Gaelic language learning across TV, iPlayer, BBC Sounds, web, face-to-face classes, YouTube and other social media to attract and inspire learners and speakers.

Read more...

GCS-Si: Spanish to become most popular language in British classrooms within five years

8 July 2021 (The Telegraph)

Spanish will become the most popular language in British classrooms by 2026, figures suggest.

It took over from French as the most popular A-level language in 2019 and is now set to become the modern language of choice for GCSEs in the next five years.

Spanish has soared in popularity in recent years, while uptake of both French and German has seen a sharp decline.

“For the first time since records began, Spanish attracted over 100,000 entries, almost double the 2005 statistic,” the British Council’s annual language trends report said.

“If current trends continue, it is likely that Spanish will be the most popular GCSE language by 2026.”

Read more...

Millions of pupils in England had no language teaching in lockdowns – survey

8 July 2021 (The Guardian)

Millions of children did not receive any language tuition during lockdowns in England, the British Council has said.

The council’s annual survey of English primary and secondary schools found that more than half of primary school pupils and 40% of those at secondaries did not do any language learning during the first national lockdown. And in January and February’s lockdown, 20% of all pupils had no language education.

This will inevitably affect take-up at GCSE and A-level. The report shows that the government will fail to meet its target of three-quarters of pupils taking a modern language GCSE by 2022, if current trends continue.

Read more...

Related Links

Most primaries stopped teaching languages in lockdown (TES, 8 July 2021) - note, subscription required to access full article

Online language NQ courses with Edinburgh College

18 June 2021 (Edinburgh College)

Higher and Advanced Higher French workshops

With funding from the Franco-Scottish Society, Edinburgh College is pleased to offer free online courses for Higher and Advanced Higher French pupils, which will be delivered from September 2021. Their aim is to provide additional support to pupils who get limited time for speaking practice so that they feel more confident for their speaking exam. Open to any Higher or Advanced Higher French pupil who would benefit from additional input, wherever they are in Scotland.

Follow the appropriate link below for further information and an application form:

Free online language NQ courses for school pupils with Edinburgh College

School pupils who find their chosen language qualification is not offered in their school can study their NQ language course online for free with Edinburgh College. The following options are available:

  • National 5 and Higher: French, German, Italian and Spanish.
  • Advanced Higher: French and Spanish.
  • Exam arrangements: Though enrolled with Edinburgh College, pupils still sit their exams at their own school (including the Adv Higher speaking exam).

These online courses can be accessed across Scotland and all Scottish school pupils qualify for a full fee waiver.

See the online modern languages course flyer for more information. 

UK-German Youth Council 2021-22

17 June 2021 (UK-German Connection)

Do you want to join a lively network of young people and support UK-German Connection in the development of new opportunities for young people? Applications are now open for our UK-German Youth Council!

Young people from both countries aged 14-25 can join this consultation forum to develop new ideas and help co-design UK-German programmes and activities. We welcome applications from young people from all backgrounds and with a range of experiences and interests. German language skills are not a requirement. 

Deadline: 24 August 2021.

For more information about other current opportunities for schools, such as funding for UK-German partnership activities and the Host a Teacher from Germany programme, follow the relevant links below.

Read more...

e-Sgoil Gaelic courses from August 2021

15 June 2021 (e-Sgoil)

Formal registrations are now invited for e-Sgoil's national offer of Gaelic courses for the academic session commencing August 2021.

Visit the website for further information and to register pupils (Glow login required).

Read more...

Online training courses for Spanish teachers (October-November 2021)

15 June 2021 (Consejería de Educación)

The Spanish Ministry of Education through the Consejería de Educación offers places to Spanish teachers in British and Irish schools for 30-hour online courses that will take place between October and November 2021 and will be given by the Spanish National Distance Education University (UNED).

Application deadline is on 27 June 2021. These are free of charge training sessions on grammar, language skills, methodology and resources for teaching Spanish in Primary, etc.

Visit the Spanish Ministry of Education website for full details.

Read more...

Thirty-five jobs at Loganair saved from the axe after upskilling initiative

14 June 2021 (Glasgow Times)

Jobs at a Scottish airline have been saved from the axe thanks to a new training course.

Thirty-five cabin crew members at Loganair, who are based at Glasgow Airport, were at risk of redundancy. Through Unite the union and Scottish Union Learning, the stewards negotiated with the company to use the Covid Response Fund to mitigate compulsory redundancies and provide them with opportunities to upskill. This included courses on British Sign Language, Autism Awareness and Spanish delivered by City of Glasgow College.

Loganair have now signed no compulsory redundancy agreements which has given workers job security.

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Can digital learning be a good thing? How e-Sgoil is creating success stories across Scotland

6 June 2021 (Press and Journal)

Emily Crawford had never met her teacher when she won a UK-wide mandarin speaking competition.

She proved the value of digital learning when she took first place at the British Council Mandarin Speaking Competition in May, outperforming students who had more experience with the language and more traditional instruction.

Emily started her language journey through e-Sgoil, the Stornoway-based digital learning school that connects students to learning opportunities they can’t get where they live.

The school was founded to connect schools spread across the Western Isles. Now it connects students and teachers around the world.

When schools were closed during lockdowns, digital learning dominated conversations about education. At e-Sgoil, leaders, teachers and students hope to prove digital learning can be a positive experience.

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How many languages can Novak Djokovic speak?

5 June 2021 (Essentially Sports)

Most of the sporting personalities in Europe are accustomed to multiple languages. Coming to tennis, all the top, well-established players are familiar with a number of languages. Especially, when it comes to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, the Serb speaks 11 different languages and one can easily term him a ‘polyglot’.

One of the most interesting qualities of Novak Djokovic is his desire to learn a few sentences, well enough to converse with locals belonging to that particular region. For instance, when the 34-year-old player travels to various tournament destinations on Tour, he has a will to pick up a few local lines, such are his liking for languages.

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Host a Teacher from Germany - virtually or face-to-face!

4 June 2021 (UK-German Connection)

Whether travel is going to be possible or not, you can still bring authentic German language and culture to your classroom next academic year.

Registration is now open to ‘Host a teacher from Germany’ - virtually or face-to-face - in 2021-22.

We’ll put you in touch with a teacher from Germany and help you to plan your hosting experience, with ideas for presentations, interactive lessons, group language practice sessions and other bilateral activities between your classes.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information and to register. You can also sign up there to one of the Q&A webinars to find out more about the scheme. 

To find out about other opportunities offered by UK-German Connection, including the next Café Connect meet ups for young people, see their Summer Newsletter.

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BSL as an L3 - register now

4 June 2021 (SCILT / Garvel Deaf Centre)

SCILT has been working, in collaboration with Garvel Deaf Centre in Gourock, Inverclyde to develop a series of online British Sign Language (BSL) classes to support L3 in primary schools. We are delighted that registration is now open for schools to register their interest in the ‘BSL as an L3’ programme. The weekly lessons will be suitable for pupils in P5-P7 and are free of charge. In addition to the live lessons, supplementary resources such as video clips will be provided on Teams to support asynchronous learning opportunities.

The block of online classes will:

  • begin in early September
  • take place live on MS Teams 
  • be 45 minutes in length, once a week, for 10 weeks
  • be delivered by an experienced deaf tutor, supported by a BSL interpreter
  • raise deaf awareness
  • promote inclusion and diversity

Register your interest by 21 June 2021 via the link below. For more information please contact SCILT. To hear of more opportunities from Scotland’s National Centre for Languages please subscribe to our weekly bulletin - http://bit.ly/sciltnewsbulletin

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Related Files

School trips to UK from EU could halve as Brexit hits cultural exchanges

4 June 2021 (The Guardian)

French and German educational trip organisers bringing as many as 750,000 school pupils to the UK every year have warned that tougher post-Brexit entry requirements are likely to cut the number of young Europeans visiting Britain by half.

“We’ve already seen a big fall-off in interest,” said Edward Hisbergues, the sales manager of a leading French operator, PG Trips. “My business was 90% UK, 10% Ireland; now it’s all about Ireland. Schools are inquiring about visits to the Netherlands or Malta.”

The British government has rejected requests from organisers to exempt children taking part in short organised educational trips from new passport and visa measures due to come into effect on 1 October, saying they are needed to strengthen Britain’s borders.

The organisers said many thousands of UK host families, language schools, hotels and other businesses around the country, and especially in cities such as Canterbury that specialise in the educational market, risked suffering a significant economic impact.

They also said the new border restrictions could inflict broader and longer-term damage to Britain’s relations with Europe.

School trips “foster intercultural understanding and reduce prejudice”, wrote the German federation of leading school trip organisers, whose members run 7,000 trips a year to the UK representing more than 1.5m overnight stays.

“They forge lifelong connections with the UK, increase tolerance for people, cultures and different ways of living and thinking, and help the acquisition of language skills in the internationally most important language.”

Hisbergues said school trips abroad “really open eyes. They can inspire kids and change the course of young lives.”

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Polish classes for primary teachers – registration deadline approaching

3 June 2021 (Polish Social and Educational Society in Glasgow / Polish Consulate / SCILT)

SCILT has been working, in collaboration with the Polish Social and Educational Society in Glasgow, and supported by the Polish Consulate in Edinburgh, to produce the much-anticipated resource for primary teachers to support the teaching of L3 Polish in the classroom. We are delighted to announce that this resource will soon be launched and made available to primary teachers ahead of session 21/22. This interactive handbook has been designed for teachers, by teachers and is supported by online classes where primary practitioners can build their confidence for teaching Polish. 

Primary teachers who are interested can register by 11 June 2021 for a block of free online Polish language lessons, led by a native Polish speaker and an experienced primary practitioner. These online classes:

  • begin on Tuesday 31st August
  • will take place on MS Teams
  • will be an hour in length, once a week, for 8 weeks
  • take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays – choose the day that suits you best
  • support Ten Steps to L3 Polish and aim to give the class teacher the confidence to lead exciting Polish lessons in school

This L3 programme has been developed to provide a rich language and cultural learning experience, suitable for children from P5-P7.

Chris Sagan, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Polish Social and Educational Society in Glasgow, has led the programme from its infancy and looks forward to seeing the resource being used in classrooms across the country. He states, “Since 1989 when Poland was released from the grip of Soviet Russia, the country has grown and developed exponentially so that today Poland is one of the new tiger economies of Europe. Poland now takes her place as an equal among the Nations of Europe.

“It is fitting then that we are going to now introduce to classrooms in Scotland an interactive, web-based handbook to assist teachers who choose to teach Polish as an L3 language. The Ten Steps to L3 Polish handbook has been designed to introduce learners and teachers to the customs, culture and traditions of Poland while learning the basics of the language.

“In addition to the handbook, free language lessons for teachers will be offered to provide support and encouragement. We are eager to welcome Scotland’s teachers to both the handbook and lessons and look forward to hearing enthusiastic Polish voices in classrooms across the country.”

These classes are aimed at teachers planning to introduce Polish as an L3. Places are limited and offered on a first-come first-served basis. 

For more information about Ten Steps to L3 Polish and/or language classes, please contact scilt@strath.ac.uk.

Wszystkiego najlepszego.

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Related Files

#giesascotsphraseday

2 June 2021 (Scottish Book Trust)

Friday 4 June is our #giesascotsphraseday day and we are looking for folks to:

  1. Try Scots if they haven’t spoken it before and
  2. Get speakers to video / record themselves saying their favourite Scots phrase and upload to social media with the hashtag #giesascotsphraseday.

We have a website for beginners www.giesascotsphraseday.com

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Catching up with the rest of the world: The foreign languages revolution in Scottish schools

30 May 2021 (Press and Journal)

Scottish schools are undergoing a revolution in foreign language learning in an attempt to reverse generations of neglect.

After years of being derided as ‘lazy’ linguists abroad, there are plans to produce a multilingual workforce.

Few school systems demand less foreign language learning from their children than those in the UK.

This is not helped by having a native language that is the ‘lingua franca’ of the world.

But a Scottish Government policy is setting out to change all that.

Under the 1+2 Languages initiative, pupils will learn their own language (L1) plus two others (L2 and L3).

The L2 will be taught from Primary 1, and the L3 from Primary 5 to 7. There will be compulsory teaching of at least one foreign language until S3.

Education bosses will fully implement the “ambitious” policy for the start of the 2021-22 school year.

Based on the last Scottish Government survey in 2019, 88% of primary schools – approximately 1,760 schools – were delivering the full L2 entitlement.

This already represents significant progress. Anyone in their 30s who went to a Scottish state school won’t have studied foreign languages until secondary school.

The Scottish Government has spent more than £45million since 2013 on increasing foreign language learning in schools.

Teachers are currently being provided with training and support in readiness for the changes.

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Portuguese language and culture

27 May 2021 (Lusofonias-OP)

Lusofonias-OP is a Scottish registered charity based in Edinburgh. They are currently trying to reach out to children and young people (aged 4-17) from the Scottish Portuguese-speaking community. To find out more about their work, please download the flyer or visit their website.

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Related Files

The trials of teaching a ‘new’ script in a virtual world

24 May 2021 (THE)

Imagine you’re 18 years old and you’re just beginning to learn how to read and write in a language you’ve never heard or spoken before. Not only that, but you have to learn it remotely, sitting online in front of a machine with a keyboard that, most likely, doesn’t have the letters of the language you’re about to learn. You’d be forgiven for asking yourself why you’re learning this language. And why you’re learning these strange-looking scripts.

This is likely the current situation of many students who are willing to learn a non-Roman language with a completely different script and great heritage, such as Arabic, Chinese or Hebrew.

But there are many other challenges that will arise during the learning process, particularly when doing so online. First, students face scripts that are inherently different from Roman languages. In the case of Arabic and Hebrew, students have to write from right to left. Written Chinese, as a logo syllabic script, contains different components and needs to follow certain stroke orders to write each character appropriately. 

When choosing a tech tool to incorporate in a language classroom, teachers need to examine the tool closely because many technological tools are Roman-languages oriented.

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5 ways to teach global citizenship and collaboration

24 May 2021 (TES)

With global citizenship more important than ever, here are some ideas for international collaboration between schools.

Whether students were locked down in London or Lagos, millions of young people around the world experienced what it was like to have their learning disrupted and now understand, to some degree, what it means not to have free movement or access.

“The pandemic has created a unique window of insight into the global challenges that we all face,” says Carl McCarthy, executive headteacher at GLF Schools multi-academy trust.

And this is something he’s tried to delve into with his students, noticing the disparity in provision that some young people face nationally, as well as globally. But he has also been celebrating the staggering kindness, innovation and teamwork we’ve witnessed, and he has been harnessing the technology that brings together citizens in opposite corners of the world.

“In this new, post-Brexit, global-facing context, we have the opportunity for our students to build knowledge and understanding together with fellow students from around the world – all who have been facing similar challenges at the same time and all who have seen similar strengths in human spirit and the triumph of science and technology to offer solutions to some of the greatest problems that we have collectively faced,” says McCarthy.

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Bòrd na Gàidhlig new website

20 May 2021 (Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

The recently renewed website from Bòrd na Gàidhlig includes useful information about all sectors of gaelic education in Scotland, along with guidance documentation.

Resources are all available in the Education section of the website.

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The 2021 Language Show is looking for speakers

18 May 2021 (The Language Show)

Would you like be a speaker at the 2021 virtual Language Show? The show is being delivered online via Zoom between 12-14 November 2021 so you can be based anywhere! Speakers for up to 100 talks in the following areas are being sought:

  • Seminars for language teachers  especially those working in secondary and primary
  • Seminars for learners and language professionals – ways to learn and improve
  • Cultural talks – performances, demonstrations, presentations and experiences that can be delivered on Zoom

Visit the website for more information and submit your suggestion by 6 June 2021.

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Re-launch of grants for UK-German Partnership activities

17 May 2021 (UK-German Connection)

We’re delighted to announce the re-launch of our new grants for UK-German partnership activities! 

Our refreshed funding offer is similar to the grants we offered before but has been adapted to recent external developments and the changing landscape of international activity.

Schools and youth groups with a partner in Germany can now apply for the following grants: 

  • Partnership Visit Fund - staff planning visits. Visit your partners to kick-start your link and plan future activities. Deadline: rolling.
  • Instant Impact - first-time taster trips for young people. Give your pupils / young people the chance to meet their peers in Germany and gain an insight into the life and culture of your partner school or group. Deadline: rolling.
  • Flexible Funding Scheme - joint thematic projects and activities, including virtual partnership activities and/or reciprocal visits. Work together on thematic activities and engage in intercultural dialogue. Deadlines: 16 July, 1 October 2021.

For an overview of the grants available, as well as guidelines and application forms, please visit the UK-German Connection funding webpage. The page includes the option to sign up for Q&A webinars to find out more about the funding offer. Follow links to the individual grant pages to register for the webinars.

If you have plans for upcoming activities and would like to discuss your ideas, please contact us via funding@ukgermanconnection.org - we’re here to help!

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Radio Lingua resources

14 May 2021 (Radio Lingua)

This week's round-up of resources from the team at Radio Lingua:

Q and A videos

Each week we are publishing Question and Answer videos, discussing language learning queries from our listeners. This week we talked about the use of Bitte in German, how to apologise in Spanish, Italian possessive adjectives and the phrase ça te dit in French. You can watch all these videos on our YouTube channel here.

Travel Diaries

This week sees us on our fourth episode of our Spanish and German Travel Diaries. Join our Spanish travellers as they head to the wondrous Machu Picchu, while our German tourists reach the historic city of Würzburg. 

SCILT Spring 2021 newsletter published

14 May 2021 (SCILT)

The latest edition of the SCILT newsletter is here!

Read about SCILT’s work to support the learning and teaching of languages, including our professional learning offer, our motivating competitions and our online events. Find out how schools celebrated Languages Week Scotland 2021, and hear from local authorities about their latest inspiring initiatives. There is also the opportunity to read about the work our partners have been doing to support language learning in Scotland.

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Babel young writers' competition

13 May 2021 (Babel)

Individuals and groups studying linguistics at sixth form, college or university are invited to enter this year's young writers' competition for a chance to be published in the Autumn edition of Babel magazine.

This year's theme is 'Attitudes to languages' and invites entrants to give their views about and experience of attitudes towards languages in a piece no longer than 2,500 words.

See the website for full details and enter by 27 August 2021.

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All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages' statement ​on the MFL GCSE Subject Content review and consultation - 13 May 2021

13 May 2021 (APPG)

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages (APPG MFL) notes widespread concern and disquiet in relation to the review. At a time when languages are already uniquely fragile in English schools, the proposals in their present form represent a fundamental change to the nature of language learning, with unclear evidence that the approach would be successful in relation either to raising standards or increasing take-up. The APPG MFL believes that changes to the GCSE specification should be suspended to allow time for further evidence and expertise to be taken into account to avoid unintended consequences.

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French Film Festival UK 2021

13 May 2021 (French Film Festival)

The French Film Festival UK’s Learning Programme continues to bring French-speaking cinema to Scotland’s schools throughout May and June 2021.

A selection of films on DVD are available on request and will be sent directly to schools. To accompany the selection of films for different age groups, school screenings are enhanced by online learning resources prepared by Lise Morel. Participating teachers will be able to download these Learning Packs as PDFs to use in the classroom. These resources have been designed in accordance with the Modern Languages Experience and Outcomes for Curriculum for Excellence.

Please note that for schools within attainment challenge authorities, this resource is available free of charge. For further information, email schools@frenchfilmfestival.org.uk

Zoo Fun with Mandarin (virtual course)

12 May 2021 (RZSS)

This unique course introduces you and your family to the Mandarin language and Chinese characters while also learning about some Chinese animals and their habitats. Designed for 8 years right through to adults but children must be accompanied by an adult. The course is a series of three, one hour live virtual sessions spread across three days. Two opportunities to book. The course will run Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10am on 20-22 July and repeated on 27-29 July. The course is for beginners and has had great reviews from previous participants: "Great balance of listening, interaction and engagement. Brilliant resources and a great experience."  Booking is through Eventbrite - Zoo Fun with Mandarin

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May Bitesize: Parental Engagement in Schools – Primary & Secondary drop-in

11 May 2021 (SCILT)

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

In May 2021, we’re looking at parental engagement and how schools approach this in a languages context. So join the drop-in on 26 May, share your ideas and experiences and hear what others do too!  

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

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Partial Early Level Experiences & Outcomes and Benchmarks for modern languages have been published!

11 May 2021 (Education Scotland)

Es & Os and Benchmarks for modern languages for a Primary 1 start to language learning were published on the NIH on Monday, 10th May and represent an important piece of national curricular support for the 1+2 policy. The original Es & Os published in 2009 for modern languages were for curriculum levels 2, 3 & 4 only, as language learning in primary schools at that time traditionally began in P6. When the 1+2 policy was introduced in 2012/13 in schools, Education Scotland provided First Level Es and Os to support practitioners with planning to introduce language teaching from an earlier stage in primary schools; these represented a sufficient resource for a number of years, however, a measure of success of the implementation of the policy has meant that many more schools have language learning fully in place from Primary 1, hence the need for a partial suite of Es & Os and Benchmarks to support teachers with a P1 start to language learning (as the 1+2 policy begins in P1 and is not funded for pre-P1 learning) and comprise eight Es, Os and benchmark statements.

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Write Away! - Call for submissions

11 May 2021 (Light Bulb Languages)

Write Away! is an exciting project from Light Bulb Languages. It's a magazine celebrating the writing that primary children do in their language lessons.

We are now accepting submissions for issue 6 up until 23.59 on Friday 21 May 2021.

Visit the website for full submission guidelines.

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The Stephen Spender Prize

6 May 2021 (Stephen Spender Trust)

The Stephen Spender Prize is an annual competition for poetry in translation, with categories for young people (14-and-under16-and-under, and 18-and-under) as well as an open category for adults. All entrants must be UK or Irish citizens or residents, or pupils at a British School overseas. Translate into English any poem from any language – ranging from Arabic to Uzbek, from Danish to Somali—and win cash prizes!

This year the prize will open for entries on 6 May and close on 16 July 2021.

Each year also features a Spotlight Prize encouraging young people to engage with community languages. For 2021 the focus is on Urdu.

More information about both competitions can be found on the Stephen Spender Trust website.

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Radio Lingua resources

6 May 2021 (Radio Lingua)

Here’s a round up of the latest news from Radio Lingua:

French 

  • Did you have a chance to watch our new Question and Answer video last week? Our latest video about how to form questions in French is sure to be of use to your learners. You can find it on our YouTube channel here and if you have any language questions the team could answer in future videos, simply submit your request here: coffeebreakquestions.com.
  • Our Coffee Break French Facebook page focused on pronunciation last week and how words which have very different spelling are pronounced the same way. Why don’t you use our short gap-fill exercise in which you have to put the words vertverre and vers into 3 sentences with your learners? Click here.

Spanish

  • Our second episode of the latest Spanish Travel Diaries has now been published and this week our intrepid travellers are in the city of Cuzco. Did you know there is a unique piedra de 12 ángulo there? Find out more about this city here.
  • In our new Spanish Q and A video,  Marina and Mark talk about the various ways to ask for the bill. Which phrases would you normally use?

Italian

  • If you are learning or teaching Italian, we are sure you will find our latest short videos helpful, as we take a specific language point and talk it through with our native speaker Francesca. This week’s lesson looks at the difference between giorno and giornata. 
  • Do your learners confuse when to use bene or buono? This Facebook Grammar Activity post gives you the chance to practise in class.

German

  • The second episode of our new German Travel Diaries series finds us in Cologne. You can find out how Karl and Birgit spent their time in this beautiful city.
  • We shared a post all about Modalpartikel with our German learners on Facebook last week. Modalpartikel are words which add stress to a sentence, but which don’t really change the meaning. This means they can be quite hard to translate. Click here to see some examples of these words being used in sentences

Coffee Break English

We are delighted to announce a new podcast for pre-intermediate learners of English, which is sure to be of use to learners in your schools and the wider school community. You can check out the first three lessons now.

Ofsted plan to hit 90% MFL target is 'unrealistic'

6 May 2021 (TES)

School leaders say primaries and secondaries working more closely on languages won't be enough to meet EBacc target.

Headteachers’ leaders have warned that schools cannot be expected to meet the government English Baccalaureate (EBacc) targets without more language teachers coming into the system.

Ofsted has suggested that getting primary and secondary schools to work together more closely on languages could help to meet the government targets of having 90 per cent of students studying the subjects needed for the EBacc by 2025.

However, the Association of School and College Leaders has said that Ofsted’s idea is unrealistic and warned that achieving the Department for Education’s target will be impossible because of a lack of language teachers in the system.

Ofsted has been producing a series of reports looking in depth at subject teaching following a series of inspections carried out before the Covid pandemic.

In its most recent blog on the teaching of foreign languages, inspectors said that they did not see much evidence of a joined-up approach to language teaching between key stage 2 and key stage 3.

It is suggested that more focus on progression between primary and secondary schools would support the government's EBacc target for 2025 of having 90 per cent of students studying for the qualifications needed.

(Note - subscription required to access full article)

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Beyond the Panda CLPL

5 May 2021 (RZSS)

Beyond the Panda is the RZSS giant panda and Mandarin education programme. RZSS is a science specialist Confucius Classroom and offers a unique programme covering science while learning some of the Mandarin language and Chinese characters. It is designed for cross curricular learning where students investigate and discover more about China, its culture, language, geography, giant pandas and other Chinese wildlife. 

This virtual CLPL course will hope to engage and inspire teaching staff to use the Beyond the Panda online resources with their students in order to develop a love of nature, animals and conservation and in particular to realise the biodiversity of China and the relevance of the Chinese language and culture. Delivered through Microsoft Teams within Glow. 

In partnership with DYWLive and eSgoil, there are three opportunities to book, starting at 4pm on either Tuesday 25th May, Thursday 10th or Thursday 17th June. Booking is through DYWLive, under Professional Learning - Beyond the Panda CLPL 

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Applications for the Japanese Local Project Support Programme 2021-2022 are open!

4 May 2021 (Japan Foundation)

Institutions can apply for up to £3000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which promote Japanese language education in the UK. Please check out our website for information on the type of projects we support, such as newly introducing Japanese into the curriculum or funding Japanese clubs. Alternatively if you're considering applying for funding but aren't sure how to go about it, or have a project in mind but aren't sure if it's eligible, you can sign up to take part  in our Online Seminar and Q&A session. During this one-hour session, a member of our staff will talk participants through the application process, and then open the floor to questions and answers. We want to make sure the application process is as easy-to-understand as possible.

This session will be held twice on Friday 14 May 2021:

  • First Session: 13:00 to 14:00
  • Second Session: 18:00 to 19:00

Register for one of the seminar sessions on the Japan Foundation website by 12 May 2021.

Deadline for funding applications: 28 May 2021.

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Scotland's main political parties back Fife girl's call for free BSL tuition

4 May 2021 (Planet Radio)

We can reveal every main political party in Scotland is backing a Fife girl's campaign for free sign language tuition.

Niamdh Braid's calls for extra funding to allow every deaf child to get support from the age of 5 have been heard.

The 12-year-old, who taught herself BSL, hopes it'll ensure no other youngster goes without.

I'm really excited that my campaign's been taken on as it means deaf children have the opportunity to learn BSL and it makes communication a lot easier for them," she said.

The Glenrothes schoolgirl started her push for change two years ago, shortly after her rendition of Lewis Capaldi's Someone You Loved caught the popstar's attention.

Niamdh later met with the singer at an event backstage, and performed a sign language duet alongside him.

The SNP pledged to provide additional funding for councils to roll out free tuition in its manifesto, with Scottish Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Greens following suit.

Mum Sam believes it's a vital step forward for many families.

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French language learning with the Alliance Française and Institut français

4 May 2021 (Alliance Française/Institut français)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow and Institut français in Edinburgh offer a range of opportunities for learners of French. The following are some of their forthcoming activities.

  • AF online Summer Classes for adults between June and September 2021
  • To celebrate the Cannes Festival in July, IFcinéma à la carte is offering a special selection of French films from 10 May to 10 June 2021
  • A selection of online resources including cinema reviews, podcasts, virtual tours of French museums and monuments, a baking workshop and news about the IF Beyond Words literary festival from 17 May 2021

Further information can be found on the Alliance Française website.

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Free Gaelic lessons for Glasgow City Council staff

3 May 2021 (BBC)

Fèisean nan Gàidheal has developed a course for Glasgow City Council staff as part of the authority's aim to develop Gaelic in the city.

The Gaelic arts organization is working with the council after many staff indicated that they would like to learn the language.

The online lessons for adults will be available over nine weeks and the course will start on the 4th of May.

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MTOT 2021 - winner videos now available!

30 April 2021 (SCILT)

In academic session 2020-21, after a short hiatus, SCILT relaunched the Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition, with a new focus on the spoken word. Learners were invited not only to write a poem in their mother or other tongue, but to perform it so that their words could be heard in their own voice. The work produced by all the young poets who took part was wonderful, especially during this most challenging year. The winning and highly commended video entries from this year's competition in Scotland are now available to view on the MTOT Awards page of SCILT's website.

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Scottish Languages Employability Award - next deadline 21 May!

29 April 2021 (SCILT)

The Scottish Languages Employability Award (SLEA) encourages innovation and creativity in the promotion of language skills through meaningful engagement between employers and schools. The award aims to help schools and businesses to build partnerships through languages and supports teachers in raising awareness of the importance of languages in their school community.

The next deadline for submissions is Friday 21 May 2021

Due to restrictions over the past year, online events and activities will be accepted as evidence towards the award. To read the full guidelines, watch videos from the pilot schools and read case studies from previous winners, visit the SLEA page on the SCILT website. 

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

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Radio Lingua resources

29 April 2021 (Radio Lingua)

Travel Diaries

We hope you enjoyed the second seasons of both our French and Italian Travel Diaries podcasts which finished last week. However, you can still access our trips round Northern France here,  or join our travellers as they end their trip in Trento here.

It is with much excitement then, that we announce the release of two new Travel Diaries and would love you to join us on season 2 of our Spanish Travel Diaries round western South America. You can listen here as we set off from Lima in Peru. 

Or, you may prefer to join us on a virtual river cruise through Germany and Austria in our German Travel Diaries, as we have also released Season 2 which you can access for free here.

Q and A videos

We have recently launched a new series of Question and Answer videos on your YouTube channel which are sure to be helpful to you and your learners. Our latest videos cover topics from how to say “I miss you” in French, the difference between muy and mucho in Spanish, how to say good luck in German and the differences between potere and riuscire in Italian.

If you have a language query, you can get in touch with us at coffeebreakquestions.com and we may feature this on a future video. 

Café Connect

27 April 2021 (UK-German Connection)

Our meet-up group, Café Connect gives you the chance to get to know other young people aged 14-19 through fun, interactive activities, and group discussions on current topics. Take part and make new friends, learn about the other culture, and practise (or even pick up) some German!

Taking place twice a month, these online meet-ups are a unique opportunity to exchange with other young people from the UK and Germany in a friendly atmosphere – on topics that interest you! You can join as many sessions as you like and you can get involved even if you don’t speak any German.

Visit the UK-German Connection website to find out more and to register to take part.

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Stornoway Primary School Boy Wins Gaelic Award Four Years After Arriving From Syria

26 April 2021 (Stornoway Gazette)

A Stornoway Primary School Pupil, whose family moved to Lewis from war-torn Syria, has gone viral this week after receiving an award for the progress he has made in learning Gaelic.

Ten year old Abdullah Al Nakeeb moved to Stornoway from Homs, four years ago. Now in Primary Six, Abdullah has a good grasp of the local language.

The Al Nakeeb family said: “We are really proud of Abdullah, he loves going to school here and Gaelic has become one of his favourite subjects.

"Addullah always works really hard and it is nice to see him get praise for all his efforts.

“We never expected our son to learn the language but since moving here he has managed to pick up Gaelic very quickly.

"His younger brother Majd has also got a good grasp of the language and received a certificate for his progress in December.

“Hopefully Abdullah’s brothers will continue to follow in his footsteps, it would be great to have them all speaking a new language.”

Read more...

Cuach Na Cloinne 2021 - The Player

24 April 2021 (FC Sonas/CnaG)

FC Sonas, the bilingual football service, is delighted to be working in partnership with CnaG to offer 4 online sessions to pupils in Gaelic medium education (primary and secondary) across the country to celebrate Cuach na Cloinne 2021.

FC Sonas will speak to some of the Gaelic speakers to be found in the world of football, both players and experts. There will be debates, questions, challenges and much more.

Visit the website for more information and to register your child/class by 5 May 2021.

Read more...

Just published: European Language Gazette no. 55 (April-May 2021)

24 April 2021 (ECML)

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

Enjoy the latest issue which can be accessed on the ECML website.

Read more...

Turing Scheme - final call for schools seeking international visit funding

22 April 2021 (British Council)

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to receive funding for international pupil placements through the Turing Scheme.

Deadline and support - although the schools deadline is fast approaching (midday 7 May 2021) there is a range of support tools to help you apply, including application tutorials and guidance documents.

Finding partners - you will not be required to provide specific details of your partners at application stage, but you will need to detail the type of partnership you intend to establish. Find out more about finding partners.

Number of participants - there are no limits imposed on the number of participants you can take on your international visit. Remember to include all your proposed costs for pupils who may require extra support – grants can always be revised downwards but you cannot request additional funds later. 

Consortia - if you are applying as a consortium on behalf of multiple schools, a single application can cover all your proposed activity. Alternatively, you may wish to submit more than one application. It is important that each application covers different schools and activities.   

Jane Racz, Director, Turing Scheme Delivery Partner, says, “The Turing Scheme will enable young people to gain life experience of other cultures, languages and classrooms across the globe. It will open doors to learners, broadening horizons, raising self-esteem, improving attainment and ensure a more equitable learning environment for young people.”

Apply now for activities that can take place in the academic year 2021/22.

As the Delivery Partner for the Turing Scheme for schools, British Council is here to help – please get in touch if you have any queries.

'A German Classic' essay writing competition

21 April 2021 (Oxford German Network)

A German Classic is Oxford's essay competition for sixth-formers with prizes up to £500. This year's set text is Heinrich von Kleist's "Die Verlobung in St. Domingo". For more information about this year's competition visit the website and request a free study pack by 25 June 2021.

Read more...

e-Sgoil Study Support

21 April 2021 (e-Sgoil)

e-Sgoil's Term 4 study support sessions for senior phase students in Scotland will commence 26 April 2021. They offer a wide range of real-time, interactive Study Support webinar lessons to help consolidate pupils' school-based learning. The timetable includes sessions for N5, Higher and Advanced Higher French and Spanish.

Visit the e-Sgoil website for full details and to book. Pupils will need their Glow login details and Scottish Candidate Number.

Read more...

Presentations now available! Scotland’s Languages Landscape: Equity in Diversity Event, 26 February 2021

20 April 2021 (SCILT)

If you missed any part of this event, then we have good news for you! Materials are now available on our website to view at your own leisure, including video presentations from Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, Keynote speaker, Dr Stacey Margarita Johnson, Assistant Director of the Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and Plenary speaker, Louise Glen, Senior Education Officer at Education Scotland, highlighting the importance of providing all learners with access to a wide range of language and intercultural experiences.

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

Read more...

Teachers Learning to Teach Languages: OU-SCILT Programme

1 April 2021 (Open University/SCILT)

Registration for the Open University (OU) and SCILT online CPD programme in primary languages, known as TELT, is now open for the 2021 intake. The modules begin on 2 October with induction activities starting on 20 September, and finish in July 2022. The fee in Scotland is £264.00 per module place. Please request registration packs by 30 June 2021.

You can find important information about the programme at our dedicated TELT programme websiteThere you can see which languages and levels we offer, FAQs and what our past students say.

To register, please contact the OU corporate registrations team by writing to corporate-enquiries@open.ac.uk. NB please also copy scotland-languages@open.ac.uk into your email.

Please note it is important for prospective TELT students to plan ahead and ensure that they will be able to dedicate sufficient time to their study, because, once the module start date has passed, deferral is not possible. The fee will still be payable and cannot be refunded if students decide to defer or withdraw from studying the module.

Should you have any questions about this programme please contact scotland-languages@open.ac.uk.

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The Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators

1 April 2021 (University of Oxford)

The Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators is a brand new competition for MFL learners aged 11-18. The scheme is inspired by the life and work of the great translator Anthea Bell. It aims to promote language-learning across the UK and to inspire creativity in the classroom. By providing teachers with the tools they need to bring translation to life, we hope to motivate more pupils to study modern foreign languages to National 5, Highers and beyond.

In its first year, the prize is for learners of French, German, Mandarin and Spanish.

All interested teachers receive teaching packs for the prize, with ready-made resources designed to be used in class, for home learning or for extra-curricular activities.

See the attached document for more information and visit the website to register.

Read more...

Related Files

Radio Lingua resources

25 March 2021 (Radio Lingua)

Reading Club for Schools

We are continuing to publish a daily French or Spanish Cultural Reading text for schools on our RLN Education Facebook page. We’d love to hear your thoughts on their use in schools so we’ve sent a short questionnaire to all those who signed up.

French

  • Have you been listening to our brand new episode from Season 2 of the Coffee Break French Travel Diaries? In this episode, our friends spend their final day in Normandy visiting the Abbaye aux Hommes before wandering around the around streets of the city centre. Discover many interesting phrases using the verb être, including être fou de qqch and être inspiré par qqch. We also learn about the difference between en fait, en effet, and au faitListen to the episode here to find out more.
  • As you know Saturday 20th March marked United Nations French Language Day.The day was also marked by the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie as being the International Day of La Francophonie, celebrating Francophone culture around the world. To recognise the event, we're taking a look back at our blog post where we share four aspects of québécois French which prove that learning another dialect of a language can be a wonderfully enriching experience. Click here to learn more about some of the differences between phrases you'd hear in France compared to those you might encounter in Quebec, the one province of Canada whose sole official language is French.

Spanish

  • If you are looking for some challenges for individual pupils, be sure to check out our One Minute Spanish course where they can work independently through this 10 lesson series in short, easy-to-follow video lessons. They can learn just enough Spanish to express themselves in a variety of situations. The course is also the perfect starting point to get a taste of this amazing language. Click here to access all 10 lessons for free over on our YouTube channel.
  • Do your pupils know lots of vocabulary about household chores? In last week’s Spanish vocabulary post on Facebook, we reviewed some words related to just that topic. Do you know how to talk about doing the dishes, ironing, and sweeping the floor in Spanish? It might not be the most appealing type of vocabulary to learn, but it’s definitely useful. Click here to read the full post, including a list of 13 different chores.

Italian

  • The adventure continues for Simone and Anna as they they finally make it to the Tre Cime di Lavaredo in the latest episode of the Coffee Break Italian Travel Diaries, Season 2. Join them as they make the most of the view before having lunch in a mountain retreat while enjoying a bombardino. There's much more food-related vocabulary in this episode as well as some interesting grammar points which Mark and Francesca explore. Click here to listen now .
  • One classic question that all Italian learners are bound to ask at some point in their language-learning journey is ‘what is the difference between essere and stare?’. To help our learners practise the use of these two verbs, we shared a quick gap-fill exercise on Facebook last week, and 40 of our Italian learners had a go at answering. Click here to try it yourself

German

  • Listening to songs in German is an effective and enjoyable way to practise and develop your language skills. It can help improve your listening comprehension and your pronunciation and, on top of this, music is catchy! This means that the new words, phrases and structures that you hear within a song may be easier to remember and reuse in your own speaking or writing. The only difficulty is that there are an almost infinite number of songs which exist throughout the German-speaking world which can make it difficult to know where to start. In this article, we’ve done the hard work for you as we have found a selection of songs to listen to which will help you practise your German.

Virtual Summer Courses: 'Deutschland online erleben'

25 March 2021 (UK-German Connection)

Although our face-to-face summer programmes (German Pupil Courses and German Scholarships Programme) won't be taking place this year, these virtual courses give pupils aged 15-17 an opportunity to practise and improve their German skills and immerse themselves in the language with like-minded peers from many different European countries. It’s a unique opportunity to exchange on topics relevant to their lives, gain new perspectives and make friends, all under the guidance of specialist German teachers. 

The programme consists of a week-long practical language course, run by the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (PAD), which will be embedded in a wider programme delivered by UK-German Connection. This will include a network of UK participants, complementary language support from a UK teacher, and an opportunity to engage with German peers. The programme is completely free.

Find out more on our website and apply by 15 April 2021. 

If you have any questions, you can contact us at pupilprogrammes@ukgermanconnection.org

Read more...

French Film Festival UK 2021

25 March 2021 (French Film Festival)

The French Film Festival UK’s Learning Programme is delighted to bring French-speaking cinema to Scotland’s schools between April and June 2021.

A selection of films on DVD are available on request and will be sent directly to schools. To accompany the selection of films for different age groups, school screenings are enhanced by online learning resources prepared by Lise Morel. Participating teachers will be able to download these Learning Packs as PDFs to use in the classroom. These resources have been designed in accordance with the Modern Languages Experience and Outcomes for Curriculum for Excellence.

Please note that for schools within attainment challenge authorities, this resource is available free of charge. For further information, email schools@frenchfilmfestival.org.uk

IberoDocs

25 March 2021 (IberoDocs)

IberoDocs, Scotland's Ibero-American Documentary Film Festival, will be running for the first time online in the entire UK and Ireland from the 19 April to 2 May. The 2 week-long event boasts a programme of 20 films: all are Scottish premieres, 13 are UK premieres, three international premieres and one world premiere.

The Festival, which has consistently celebrated equality, diversity and accessibility as its core values, will apply them even further when bringing this years’ festival to life since all the feature-length films in the main programme will include subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing and the opening film will also have audio description available.

The pandemic has brought on several challenges for the festival, but this year IberoDocs is reaching a wider geographical area by hosting the festival online, and some of the films will be available to watch in 22 Ibero-American countries including Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, Peru and Brazil.

In addition to the film programme, the festival will offer a series of complementary activities such as a virtual exhibition, Q&As with filmmakers and artists - BSL interpreted - and a masterclass in collaboration with Scottish Documentary by Lupe Perez Diaz, winner of new waves best director at the Seville Film Festival 2020 with her film Never Look Back.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

Learn German on TikTok and Instagram

23 March 2021 (Goethe-Institut)

"Goetheinstitut.Deutsch" is an offer by the Goethe-Institut for German-learners on TikTok and Instagram. With expert knowledge and humor, our host Alexander explains in short videos what you always wanted to know. With tips, tricks, and explanations, you will steadily improve your knowledge of German and gain insights into what Germany is really like.

Read more...

Radio Lingua resources

18 March 2021 (Radio Lingua)

French

  • Our French Travel Diary series continues this week with episode 5 where our friends take a guided Jeep tour of the Normandy landing beaches. From a language point of view, the word dont and the verb accueillir are discussed. You can listen here.
  • In our cultural post on Facebook last week, our French community learned about les 'gibouléesde mars: a weather phenomenon which takes place in France and other parts of the Northern Hemisphere around this time of year. Have you heard this French phrase before? Click here to read more.

Spanish

  • If you’re looking for some supplementary material for your intermediate learners, then Season 3 of Coffee Break Spanish may be of interest to you. There’s a topic discussed in each episode as well as our very own Spanish telenovela called Verano Español. Have a listen to episode 1 here.
  • We hope you continue to find our social media posts of use to you and your learners. Over on our Instagram page, we shared a Spanish idiom: estar de mala leche. Do you know what it means in English? Click here to find out in the full post, which is also linked to our blog article about food-related idioms in Spanish.

Italian

  • Italian Travel Diaries also continue this week. Join Anna and Simone in Episode 5 as they have a go at ice skating on the Lago di Dobbiaco. Of course, we guarantee you'll pick up some interesting grammar points and pieces of vocabulary along the way. All’idea di, tanto che and per sicurezza are just some of the useful phrases which Mark and Francesca discuss in this episode.
  • Last week our Italian vocabulary post was based on the topic of feminine nouns when talking about jobs. In Italian, the spelling and pronunciation of some job titles change depending on a person’s gender, while some others are always written the same way, regardless of gender. Click here to learn more about this in our post.

German

  • Would you like to give your learners some extra practice on asking how someone is feeling in German? To ask someone how they are you can say wie geht's dir?, or in a more formal situation, wie geht es Ihnen? In this episode from Season 1 of Coffee Break German To Go, our host Julia asks this question to passers-by in the streets of Berlin. We hear lots of interesting responses from the native German speakers featured in the episode. Take a look at the video and use the answers of our interviewees to help your learners.
  • In our cultural post last Friday, we played a little game of ‘guess who?’ on Facebook. We gave them some clues and asked them to guess which Austrian figure we were describing. Here’s one of the clues to get your started: Er war Arzt, Religionskritiker und KulturtheoretikerClick here to see the rest of the clues and to have a go at guessing.

UK-German Connection initiatives

17 March 2021 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection offers a range of initiatives to help connect young people in the UK and Germany. To find out more about their latest opportunities, follow the relevant link below:

  • 'Welcome to my World 2': UK-German Video Competition - Travel may still be off limits right now, but the exploration of another country and culture doesn’t have to be! We’re calling on all young people aged 12-19 from across the UK and Germany to take us on a virtual tour of your country. So get creative, start filming and share a glimpse of your world! Submit your 20 second clip by 30 March 2021.
  • Café Connect - Our new, UK-German cultural exchange 'café' gives young people the chance to connect with peers through fun, interactive activities, group discussions on current topics and informal chat. It's a great opportunity to make new friends, learn about the other culture, and practise (or even pick up) some German! Starts 30 March 2021.
  • 'Still & Sparkling' UK-German youth newsletter - Featuring UK-German perspectives on music, sustainability, remote learning in lockdown, our youth newsletter brings young people from both countries closer together and helps them discover both cultures through the eyes of other young people.
  • German Pupil Courses 2021 and German Scholarship Courses 2021 - These courses will not take place as face-to-face courses in Germany in 2021. They will instead be week-long virtual courses with a focus on the practical use of German language skills in a cultural context. Courses will be in mixed-nationality groups and will take place in July and August. Register interest now.

Read more...

Around the world with stamps

15 March 2021 (StampIT)

StampIT has launched its first worldwide competition which is open to 5-15 year olds worldwide!  

Create a presentation linked to postage stamps for a chance to win e-vouchers. Stamps are a great medium to learn about language and culture. The competition encourages children to include some elements in a second language to their own.  

The entry can be a written or video presentation and full details are at the StampIT website. Please read the attached flyer and rules carefully.  

Entrants don’t have to own the stamp or stamps they choose to do their project. They can see a range of stamps within the games and activities on the website which link to Spanish, French, Mandarin, Japanese and Gaelic but they can also choose any stamp from any country worldwide.  

The closing date is 30 April 2021. 

Read more...

Related Files

Radio Lingua resources

11 March 2021 (Radio Lingua)

French

We hope you have been enjoying season two of our French Travel Diaries. Our latest instalment continues in northwestern France, as our travellers head toward the port city of Caen. Share someuseful vocabulary featured in Charlotte’s diary entry this week, including: démarrer qqchse reconvertir and requinquer qqn Listen here. 

  • In the latest chapter of La Vérité éclate toujours you can hear some interesting structures in the pluperfect tense and examples of modal verbs in the conditional perfect tense, such as: elle aurait dû (she should have), elle n’aurait jamais pu (she never could have). Click here to catch up on the episode if you missed it.
  • If you are looking for ways to bring more culture into your classroom, follow us on social media for some ideas. Last week, we tried something a bit different and asked our Facebook community to share one piece of cultural knowledge from the French-speaking world with their fellow learners.One learner shared a fact about different types of cheese in France, while other learners shared their favourite French-language Netflix shows. Click here to read their recommendations and cultural curiosities, and leave your own too.

Spanish

  • Are you teaching the topic of hobbies and pastimes with your learners? If so, our Coffee Break Spanish season to go asks the question ¿Qué haces en tu tiempo libre? (What do you do in your free time?). Your pupils can hear native speakers give their answers by , checking out this episode from Season 1 of Coffee Break Spanish To Go over on our YouTube channel. 
  • Do you have a favourite word in your own language? How about in Spanish? Mine is paulatinamente! We asked our learners to share their favourite Spanish word with us on Facebook last week, and absolutely loved reading everyone’s answers. Why don’t you ask your learners their opinions?  You can read more answers here or even leave us your own..

Italian

  • We're back with the latest episode from Season 2 of the Coffee Break Italian Travel Diaries! This time, Simone and Anna are visiting the village of Ortisei where they go sledging and enjoy a traditional dinner with canederli. Listen out for a range of adjectives mentioned in this diary entry, including accoglientefiabesco and innevato. As always, Coffee Break Italian hosts, Mark and Francesca are on hand to explain the language featured in Simone's diary entry throughout the episode. The next instalment is ready and waiting for you, just click here to get started..
  • Over on our Instagram page last week, we shared an Italian idiom with our community: sogni d’oro. When someone is heading to bed, you might wish them 'sweet dreams' in English, but, in Italian, you wish people 'dreams of gold'... che bello! Click here to see the full post and many more like this.

German

  • Do you have any pupils who want to the basics of German but don't have time to commit to one of our Coffee Break German courses? Or perhaps you would simply like a taster of the language. If so then check out our One Minute German course where you can do exactly that. Throughout the 10 lessons you can learn to use the basics of the language confidently and accurately in short, easy-to-follow video lessons. You’ll learn just enough German to express yourself in a variety of situations. It's the perfect starting point to get a taste of this wonderful language! Click here to access all 10 lessons for free over on our YouTube channel.
  • What do you know about the iconic edelweiss flower? Our cultural post last week on the Coffee Break German Facebook page talked all about this tiny, white flower and what makes it so special, particularly in Austria. Click here to find out more about it.

e-Sgoil Easter study support

11 March 2021 (e-Sgoil)

e-Sgoil is offering an Easter programme (6-16 April) of real-time, interactive webinars covering Nat 4 to Advanced Higher, for Scottish learners in the Senior Phase. The programme is not designed to deliver whole course content but will focus on key aspects of the subject(s) and hints and tips on how to be successful in assessments.

Visit the e-Sgoil website for full programme details and to book.

Read more...

Mois de la Francophonie 2021 – Royaume-Uni

8 March 2021 (Institut français)

Every year on 20 March, countries around the world celebrate Francophonie through cultural events honouring the French language. On this occasion, the Institut français du Royaume-Uni, the Institut français d’Ecosse, the UK network of Alliances Françaises and the Francophonie UK partners in the UK, dedicate the whole month of March to events and initiatives celebrating the language of Molière, Ramuz and Senghor!

This year, festivities include the National Finals of the Joutes Oratoires Lycéennes, the 3rd edition of the French Pop Video Competition open to all primary and secondary schools across the 4 nations, the return of the Grand Quiz de la Francophonie, a panel discussion on the importance of learning languages for the UK post-Brexit, an exclusive webinar on how to integrate the diversity of Francophone cultures in the French language classroom, the Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators and much more. 

Full programme details can be found on the Institut français website. Find out now how you can get involved in celebrating la Francophonie!

Read more...

SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages update

8 March 2021 (SQA)

The SQA has updated information in the Understanding Standards section of their Advanced Higher Modern Languages webpage. The section contains additional resources for the 2020-21 session.

Read more...

French senior citizens link up with language students in lockdown

7 March 2021 (The Guardian)

After spending a third of his placement in France stuck in lockdown, modern languages student Elliot Bellman was worried that his conversation skills might suffer. But his weekly chats with Mme Tolu, a Parisian care home resident in her 80s, have helped keep his fluency up to scratch.

“During the pandemic it’s difficult to travel and have those normal experiences, going out and talking to new people,” said Bellman, 20, a third year student at the University of Warwick. “So this allows me to keep talking to someone in French. And Mme Tolu doesn’t have any family around her any more, so I feel like I am helping somewhat with the loneliness. It’s mutually beneficial.”

He is one of 107 students across the world who have been matched with a senior citizen in France as part of the ShareAmi scheme, which aims to combat the isolation felt by many older people during France’s strict lockdowns while helping language students unable to travel abroad to develop their skills.

Read more...

PM should learn Welsh language to save the UK, says linguistics professor

4 March 2021 (Nation Cymru)

A linguistics professor has suggested that the Prime Minister should learn the Welsh language to help prevent the UK from breaking up.

Professor Emeritus Peter Trudgill wrote in the New European that it would demonstrate a “strong desire” to “remain in a union with Wales”.

He said that the UK should follow the example of the multi-lingual nation of Switzerland, where the government has a policy of getting everyone to learn at least one of the country’s other national languages, and suggested that teaching the Welsh language in all British schools could help with that aim.

The professor, who has previously taken aim at what he has described as “horribly ignorant” comments about the Welsh language, says in the federal republic learning other national languages is viewed as a “very important factor for maintaining the cohesion of the Swiss nation.” Switzerland’s national languages are German, French, Italian, and Romansch.

The professor describes Welsh as “one of the world’s biggest languages” and asks “why shouldn’t English people learn” it just as the “Germanophone Swiss learn Italian.”

Professor Trudgill said: “What better way would there be for English supporters of a cohesive United Kingdom, such as the prime minister and his cabinet, to show how strong their desire is to remain in a union with Wales and Scotland than by learning Welsh or Gaelic themselves?”

Read more...

Beyond the Panda free virtual sessions

2 March 2021 (RZSS)

Beyond the Panda is taking bookings now for live virtual sessions for next school year, we are fully booked for this year until end of June. Beyond the Panda has an exciting 7/8 week progressive programme for upper primary level, P4-P7. The key objectives are detailed on the second page of the pdf attached. This programme is an exciting introduction to the Mandarin language while learning lots of science. Sandie Robb, a registered teacher but has been working with RZSS for many years and manages the Science Specialist Confucius Classroom delivers these interactive sessions using skulls, models and language games. The programme also links with a native Chinese teacher. Sessions 1- 7 are delivered as live virtual sessions but it is hoped that the 8th session may be delivered as an outreach when restrictions are lifted. In addition, there are two individual sessions for lower primary, P1-P3. Sessions are delivered on Microsoft Teams within Glow.

Further information on the Beyond the Panda website. To book contact srobb@rzss.org.uk 

Read more...

Related Files

Fête de la Francophonie

1 March 2021 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow is hosting a selection of events between 9-22 March for the 24th edition of the International Francophonie Week, including a special Quiz in partnership with the Institut Français d'Ecosse.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

‘SQA has been dumbing down languages exams for years’

25 February 2021 (TES)

In 2017, I looked back on my 46 years of modern languages teaching. Despite fond memories, I felt unease. I sensed a disconnect between pupils’ competences and Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) results. I have met Higher pupils whose A grade left them floundering and unable to create spontaneous, simple German.

Three years’ research answered the question: have German teaching and testing – which I used as an exemplifier for modern languages – failed Scottish pupils? 

The SQA decision at the end of January to ditch the talking element of Advanced Higher shows that they continue to fail Scottish pupils and confirms my research findings.

Read more...

Radio Lingua resources

25 February 2021 (Radio Lingua)

Reading Club for schools resources

  • We hope you are continuing to enjoy our short Reading texts which are a useful supplement for your Senior Phase learners of Spanish and French. Last week we published an article about La Fête des Voisins and another about how to make the perfect Tortilla Española. Each text is available to download for free and comes with an audio file and answer scheme here.

French

  • It still looks like a while before we can travel abroad again. In the meantime, we published our latest episode of our second series of Travel Diaries in French. Episode two is en route to Rouen in Normandy and includes an explanation about the phrase manger sur le pouce. You can set this link as extra listening practice for your pupils.
  • Have you been following our crime series La vérité éclate toujours for Advanced learners of French? Meet a brand new character in this week’s episode by clicking here.

Spanish

  • We know that translation is an essential skill for all learners of languages. However, there are sometimes words and phrases which are just not translatable at all. Have a look at our blog post ¡Es intraducible!  and share this with your learners to help them understand the challenge of trying to translate word for word.
  • Did you see our Live lesson, where Marina and Mark practised Listening and Writing as a dictation exercise? This type of activity is very useful and could be used during online lessons. You will find the video on our YouTube channel here.

Italian

  • Our Italian Travel Diaries also continue. In this episode, our hosts visit the medieval castle in Thun. Listen here to find out more.
  • Each week on our Facebook page for Italian, we publish a grammar post. Last week we looked at expressions of time. Why don’t you challenge your learners to the translation challenge ?

German

  • If you want to introduce your learners of German to film in the foreign language, look no further than our blog article in which we list our top six film recommendations for German learners. Click here to read the full article.
  • Each Tuesday we publish a language idiom over on Instagram, and  last week was the phrase auf Wolke sieben sein, where we would say to be on cloud nine, but in German it is to be on cloud seven. Click here to read the full post 

Multilingual Debate 2021

25 February 2021 (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 Multilingual Debates 2021 will take place online via Zoom on Wednesday 24 March and Friday 26 March. 

Visit the Heriot-Watt Multilingual Debate webpage for more information and to register for the free event.

Read more...

Ciné Club

25 February 2021 (High Commission of Canada)

To celebrate la Francophonie the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom and Délégation générale du Québec in London, with the support of the Francophonie UK group, is offering free screenings of six Canadian / Quebec films and documentaries during March.

Visit the event website for more information about the screenings on offer and to book tickets.

Read more...

MTOT 2021 - winners announced!

25 February 2021 (SCILT)

Whilst the current pandemic prevented us from hosting this year's Mother Tongue Other Tongue celebratory awards event in the stunning Ramshorn Building in Glasgow, we managed to host our very own online red carpet event instead! Pupils, teachers and parents joined us online to hear the winners announced on the afternoon of Friday 19 February, a date especially chosen to tie in with International Mother Language Day on 21 February celebrating all world languages.

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

Mother Tongue

Award

Pupil

School

Language

P1-P4

Winner

Zayne Emengo-Okpo

St Aloysius College JS

Hausa

Highly commended

Eloïse Harkins

St Aloysius College JS

French

P5-P7

Winner

Lucja Lubanska

St Charles’ Primary

Polish

Highly commended

Ahmad Raza

Newmains Primary

Urdu

S1-S3

Winner

Pranay Neppalli

Craigmount High

Telugu

Highly commended

Filip Strzalka

Craigmount High

Polish

S4-S6

Winner

Chancelvie Bembo

St Benedicts

French

Highly commended

Lovely Selwyn

Bishopbriggs Academy

Tamil

Other Tongue

Award

Pupil

School

Language

P1-P4

Winner

Abbie Rettie

Goodlyburn Primary

Gaelic

Highly commended

Haroon Majid

Braidbar Primary

French

Highly commended

Stephanie Mackay-Watt

Goodlyburn Primary

Gaelic

P5-P7

Winner

Isobel Ross

Braidbar Primary

BSL

Highly commended

Evelina Finkova

Goodlyburn Primary

Gaelic

S1-S3

Winner

Rona Bryden

Loudoun Academy

German

Highly commended

Anna d’Alessio

Bishopbriggs Academy

Italian

Highly commended

Alistair Hillis

Jordanhill

Mandarin

S4-S6

Winner

Lewis Fleming

St Thomas Aquinas

Spanish

Highly commended

Anya Jarvis

Loudoun Academy

French

Highly commended

Ellie McGill

Carrick Academy

French

 

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

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

Congratulations again to all our finalists!

German Educational Trainees Across Borders 2021/22

25 February 2021 (Get Across Borders / 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 2021/22 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 2021 to March/April 2022. 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 26th March. For more information and to register your interest please contact SCILT

Glasgow Film Festival 2021

23 February 2021 (Glasgow Film Festival)

Glasgow is one of the friendliest film festivals on the planet with a wide-ranging programme that celebrates every corner of world cinema and provides a fantastic showcase for the best of Scottish film. The 2021 edition will take place from Wednesday 24 February to Sunday 7 March.

There are several foreign language screenings available for learners to practise listening skills.

If you haven't already secured your tickets, visit the website for full programme details and buy now.

Read more...

Thousands of UK language students left in limbo as Brexit hits travel plans

23 February 2021 (The Guardian)

Thousands of UK students hoping to spend the year abroad are caught in limbo after facing major disruption to their travel plans due to post-Brexit red tape and costs, in respect of which universities say they received inadequate guidance from the government.

Coordinators of academic years abroad who spoke to the Guardian said there had been limited information from the Foreign Office ahead of Brexit on the onerous requirements that the shift in their status would incur in EU countries.

Current advice differs according to the consulate and often conflicts with information from local embassies, with the result that many students have had to cancel or postpone placements, the academics said.

“I don’t think anybody was fully aware of the extent of the entanglement of the UK with the EU. Like any sector – the same goes for fishing, transport and logistics – the university sector is grappling with the complexities of the situation that weren’t known until it happened,” said Claire Gorrara, dean of research and innovation at Cardiff University and chair of the University Council of Modern Languages.

As of 1 January 2021, students arriving in EU countries must submit large amounts of paperwork to obtain visas for their stay, with requirements differing by country. Students must also demonstrate that they can afford their stay in some countries, including proof of more than €6,000 (£5,194) in their bank account in Austria, Italy and Portugal, or of an income of €700-€800 a month in Germany, Denmark and Sweden.

Nigel Harkness, a pro-vice-chancellor and French professor at Newcastle University, said academics and students were unable to prepare for these changes before 1 January. “Most EU countries weren’t in a position to confirm what their own arrangements were because we hadn’t confirmed them on our side, so this has created extra bureaucracy, and it’s been frustrating. We’ve all been developing policy and processes on the hoof.”

Despite the new rules coming into force nearly two months ago, academics said many students were still stuck in the UK awaiting further instructions or attempting to decipher conflicting information. Some students who remained in EU countries over Christmas to avoid Brexit complications have been told they must return to the UK to apply for their visas.

Read more...

How I create fun and effective Mandarin Chinese lessons

22 February 2021 (British Council)

Mandarin teacher Frank Fan tells us how he uses learning activities and games in his classroom – as well as a sense of humour.

Mandarin Chinese is not difficult, just different.

I believe that anyone with positive learning attitude can make good progress in Mandarin Chinese language learning. 

Chinese is a tonal language. When we join words and tones together, the rhythm and tone is a bit like rap music. 

Many of my students like the visual aspect of written Chinese. Chinese characters originate from drawings. These origins can be seen in many characters, for example:  

日 Sun  

月 Moon 

火 Fire 

人 Person  

When introduced to these characters, many of my students tell me: ‘Sir, it’s like a picture and I can see the meaning!’

The Chinese language is also logical. Some students can use their imagination to figure out the meaning of words, for example: 

Rocket 火箭 (literally ‘fire’ and ‘arrow’) 

Train 火车 (meaning ‘fire’ and 'vehicle’ – in reference to coal-fuelled trains) 

Computer 电脑 (literally ‘electric’ and ‘brain’) 

Telephone 电话 (the words for ‘electric’ and ‘talking’) 

I introduce and reinforce vocabulary in the classroom through learning games.

Read more...

Fears language degrees at risk as Erasmus replacement focuses on UK trade agenda

19 February 2021 (The Guardian)

The dramatic fall in students taking language degrees in the UK could accelerate if the government fails to fund the year abroad in Europe after next year, universities are warning.

Students of modern languages have to spend their third year studying or working abroad in order to pass their degree, and academics say this is the main attraction of many courses. Now, with the UK no longer taking part in the EU Erasmus scheme, there are fears for the future of the traditional European year abroad and for many language courses, with 2020 admissions already down 38% on 10 years ago.

About 15,000 British students a year, across all subjects, used Erasmus to travel to universities in Europe for three to 12 months during their degree. But the universities minister, Michelle Donelan, said earlier this month that Erasmus did not offer “value for money” for taxpayers.

Instead, the government’s replacement programme, the £110m Turing scheme, has a new emphasis on “worldwide” rather than European travel, to countries such as Australia or the US. It is only a one-year commitment, running from September 2021 to August 2022, which leaves a big question mark over placements starting next autumn – when those now in their first year of a language course will be due to set off abroad.

Prof Adam Watt, head of modern languages and cultures at the University of Exeter, a member of the Russell group, says: “If I’m an 18-year-old signing up to do a language degree now, I want to know I’ll have a guaranteed place on a year abroad in two years’ time with financial support. But we can’t make that promise. We can’t confirm there is definitely a scheme in place.”

Language degrees have taken a battering, with numbers of modern language undergraduates more than halving between 2008-9 and 2017-18, and universities fear the current uncertainty could cause even more serious damage. According to the admissions service, Ucas, 3,830 students were accepted on to modern language degrees in 2020, down 38% from 6,165 in 2010. At least nine modern languages departments have closed in the past decade.

Read more...

Arabic, Roma and Spanish on offer as Bhasha Glasgow Language Festival events revealed

18 February 2021 (Glasgow Evening Times)

From learning a few words to communicate with Roma neighbours to finding out more about British Sign Language - the Bhasha Glasgow language festival has lots to offer lockdown learners.

Now in its third year, the event takes place online from February 21 to 27.

A celebration of the city’s many languages and the people who speak them, this year’s festival is being hosted by the Thriving Places Govanhill initiative.

The week is jam packed with free daily activities that will explore Glasgow’s linguistic heritage and the vital role of its multilingual citizens, including quizzes, interactive language sessions, talks, and a radio show.

Read more...

Concours de la Francophonie 2021

18 February 2021 (Institut français)

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

The competition is open to all Scottish primary and secondary schools offering French. Enter by submitting a short video of classroom activity in French by 15 March 2021.

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

Read more...

Mandarin for BGE 2021

18 February 2021 (CISS)

Do you want to include Mandarin in your school's curriculum but don't currently have the resources? CISS is offering 10 week blocks of live-streamed language and culture classes for Primary P5-P7 and Secondary S1-S3 to start in August 2021.

Further information can be found in the attached flyer. Register interest by 12 March 2021.

Related Files

SCILT spring newsletter - send us your stories!

16 February 2021 (SCILT)

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

We are currently taking submissions for our spring 2021 newsletter. This is a great opportunity to promote what has been happening in your school or local authority with regard to languages. This could cover work going on in schools before Christmas, as well as innovative projects taking place during school closures, Languages Week Scotland celebrations or other languages initiatives. 

We are looking for articles of a maximum of 300 words, with a couple of colourful photos. The deadline for contributions is Friday 12th March 2021.

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

Read more...

Radio Lingua resources

11 February 2021 (Radio Lingua)

French

  • It's time for some virtual travel once more! This Thursday (11th February) we're launching a brand new series of the Coffee Break French Travel Diaries and you can join Swiss student Charlotte and her friends Lucas and Théo as they take a trip through historic locations in northwestern France. They'll visit the castles of the Loire Valley, the Normandy beaches and the Mont St-Michel among other fascinating locations, and you can improve your French as you join them on this journey. Episode 1 of the new series will be available from Thursday 11th February and you'll find it in the podcast feed on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts
  • Do you know your famous French-speakers? We played a fun game of ‘Guess Who?’ on the Coffee Break French Facebook page last week, in which we provided learners with some clues and they had to guess who we were describing. Here’s one clue to get you started: j'ai combattu dans la guerre de Cent Ans. Think you know who it is? Click here to see the full post and to have a guess. A great idea to share with your remote learners!

Spanish

  • ¿Qué tiempo hace hoy? (What's the weather like today?) Can your learners answer this question confidently in Spanish? We're taking you back to Lesson 21 from Season 1 of Coffee Break Spanish this week to talk about this very common conversation starter. Join Coffee Break Spanish teacher Mark and student Kara where we learn not only some useful phrases for talking about the weather, but also an explanation of the constructions behind these phrases so that you can build on these in future. By the end of this episode you'll be able to plan your activities around the weather forecast in the Spanish-speaking area you're visiting. Share the link with your classes for some extra online practice.
  • Each week we share a cultural post last week on our social media pages and last week we thought it would be interesting to learn about the Spanish painter Joaquín Sorolla, who was known as the ‘master of light’ for his dazzling works. We asked members of our community to have a look online at some of Soralla’s paintings, and to let us know what they thought of his work. We had a very positive reaction, with lots of our learners saying me gustan mucho sus pinturasClick here to see the full post. You could share this with your learners of Spanish or simply enjoy finding out more for yourself.

Italian

  • Our Coffee Break Italian Travel Diaries Season 2 also launches on Friday 12th February. Have you managed to guess where we're going yet? Here's a clue - you may need to wrap up in your winter clothes this time! We hope you're looking forward to discovering a different part of Italy and building your language skills along the way. The podcast episodes will be published weekly on SpotifyApple Podcasts and Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Enjoy this season’s journey and encourage your intermediate learners to join you.
  • Have you heard of the English expression ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’? If you want to convey this idea in Italian, you can use the expression volere è potere (literally ‘to want is to be able to’). This expression was the topic of our latest weekly #tuesdayidiom post on Instagram. Click here to see the full post and to access the rest of our Instagram content.

German

  • Was war der letzte Film, den du gesehen hast? (What was the last film you saw?) Many of us have more time to watch films and TV shows at the moment and so this may be a common topic of conversation among your German-speaking friends. Think about the last film you watched and how you could describe it in German. How would you review the film? Which adjectives would you use to describe it to your friends? As a starting point, take a look at this episode from Season 2 of Coffee Break German To Go where our German host, Julia, takes to the streets of Berlin to ask passers-by about the last film they watched. You may hear some useful words and phrases which you could use to talk about the last film you or your learners saw.
  • Our Friday German culture post got the weekend off to a great start last week. We were learning all about Schlager (German pop) and the Schlagerkönigin (Schlager queen), German singer, Helene Fischer. We shared a link to Fischer’s song Atemlos durch die Nacht, which became synonymous with the genre after its release in 2014. Click here to view the full post and have a listen (or a dance) to the upbeat song.

Reading Texts

  • Have you been downloading our free reading texts for secondary schools? Each day on the RLN Education Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/rlneducation we are posting a new cultural text, with accompanying audio and answer scheme. Just follow the link to sign up and give your learners some extra reading material while they are learning remotely.

Madame Jacqueline Munro-Lafon essay competition

11 February 2021 (SCILT/Franco-Scottish Society Scotland)

Jacqueline Munro-Lafon essay competition flyer

In honour of Madame Jacqueline Munro-Lafon’s long and active life in the Franco-Scottish Community, the Franco-Scottish Society of Scotland wish to award an essay prize in her name this year to mark her one hundredth birthday.

This competition is aimed at Advanced Higher learners of French. All essay submissions must present a reflection on life and society from 1921 to 2021 in France and Scotland, to take into account Madame Munro-Lafon’s life and interests.

The winning entry will be awarded a prize of £500, and their essay will also be published in the annual Bulletin of the Franco-Scottish Society. Two runner-up prizes of £100 will be awarded by SCILT.

  • A maximum of three entries can be submitted from each school. Register your interest for your school to get involved by 5pm on 1 March.

Visit the Eventbrite webpage for further information and how to register.

Read more...

Latest SLEA recipient announced!

9 February 2021 (SCILT)

We are delighted to announce Renfrew High School in Renfrewshire as the latest recipient of the Scottish Languages Employability Award (SLEA) in recognition of their successful partnership working in promoting languages as a key skill for employment.

The school received a Bronze Award for the 'Braehead Brochure' project with their partner Braehead shopping centre. The awarding panel commented: “Renfrew High School’s project and submission is a really interesting and practical one. It has a strong sense of purpose and a tangible, useful outcome.”

Congratulations to everyone involved on their excellent achievement! 

The SLEA, developed by SCILT in partnership with Bòrd na Gàidhlig, encourages innovation and creativity in the promotion of language skills through meaningful engagement between employers and schools. Read more about Renfrew High School's project, and find out how to submit your own entry for the Award, on the SCILT website.

Read more...

Radio Lingua resources

4 February 2021 (Radio Lingua)

Reading resources for Senior Phase

Each day on the RLN Facebook page we are releasing a short cultural reading text, freely available to teachers. To access the downloadable and one page pdf, along with the audio file and an answer scheme, just follow the link on the text. The texts will alternate between French and Spanish each day and are ideal to share with pupils working remotely.

French

  • We’ve released a brand new episode of La Vérité éclate toujours here, our series for advanced learners of French. In this episode, we hear many examples of the following relative pronouns: dans laquelle, sur lequel, que and qui, as well as an example of the ne explétif in a comparative structure .
  • As language learners, we all know the power of verbs: the more verbs you learn in different tenses, the greater number of topics you are able to talk about in French. Our Coffee Break French Verbfix course is here to help your learners stay on top of your verbs so that they can use them accurately and effectively in both written and spoken French. Click here to get started with the lesson.

Spanish

  • On our Coffee Break Spanish Facebook page last week we talked about the phrase por los pelos. This extremely useful expression literally means ‘by the hairs’ but really means ‘by very little’. So, for example, you can say that someone passed an exam por los pelos if they only just scraped through. Click here to see the full post and encourage your learners to use this phrase in their written or spoken language this week.
  • For beginner learners of Spanish it’s important to know which prepositions to use when talking about different modes of transport. In English we travel ‘by foot’ or ‘by train’, but what about in Spanish? Click here to read our most recent Grammar Builder Facebook post, in which we explain the simple rule for getting this right.

Italian

German

  • Take a look at this episode from Season 1 of Coffee Break German where we help you learn how to speak confidently about birthdays and dates in German. Not only that, native speaker Thomas also teaches learner Mark how to talk about the important topic of jobs. In our Grammar Guru segment, Kirsten focuses on prepositions which can take either the accusative or dative case, and Julia visits Vienna in the Cultural Correspondent segment to round off the episode. This is a great introduction for beginner learners of German, or for pupils to spend time at home consolidating language they’ve already met.
  • Continuing with the theme of birthdays, we found out how to wish someone a happy birthday in German in one our recent weekly Word Builder post. We also provided our community with some useful birthday-related vocabulary so you can take everything you learn in the episode above a step further. Click here to see the full post.

SCILT Lessons from Lockdown Learning

4 February 2021 (SCILT)

During the first period of lockdown last year, from early May until the end of June, SCILT delivered a series of online live language classes which were open to learners across Scotland. With the help of feedback from learners and parents, and the input of external observers, we have examined and evaluated this online learning and teaching experience, and in the report, we share these evaluations and the key lessons learned during this time. We hope that it might prove helpful to teachers in the planning and delivery of online lessons.

We would also love to hear from you! We would really value your thoughts about your experiences of online teaching and any suggestions that you have, either for Professional Learning or support which we could provide, or advice that you would wish to pass on to fellow practitioners. Get in touch at scilt@strath.ac.uk!

Read SCILT Lessons from Lockdown – A review of online learning and teaching

Chinese New Year resources

4 February 2021 (CISS)

Learn about Chinese New Year and the Year of the Ox with a range of resources collated on the CISS website. They include some fun videos on this important festival created by the CISS Chinese Exchange Teachers. 

Read more...

Host a Teacher from Germany - virtually!

3 February 2021 (UK-German Connection)

You can still bring authentic German language and culture to your classroom this year, even if travel isn’t possible at the moment.

Registration is now open to ‘Host a teacher from Germany’ virtually(*) in spring or summer 2021. We’ll put you in touch with a teacher from Germany and help you to plan your virtual hosting experience, with ideas for presentations, interactive lessons, group language practice sessions and other bilateral activities between your classes.

(*) Please note that in registering to host virtually, there will also be the possibility to transfer your hosting experience to a face-to-face visit if you wish, as and when travel is possible again.

Visit the UK-German Connection website to find out more and to register by 23 February 2021.

Read more...

CISS Nat 4, Nat 5 and Higher online Mandarin offer 2021-2022

2 February 2021 (CISS)

CISS is happy to be able to share the first details of our offer of live-streamed Mandarin NQ classes for the upcoming 2021-22 session. This will allow schools to expand their provision for Mandarin, particularly those who do not have access to a GTCS registered teacher of Mandarin and who have, therefore, been unable to offer NQ classes.  The following details will allow these courses to be added to course choice forms.  The official start date is still to be decided and will be confirmed as soon as circumstances allow.

Please register your school’s interest now

The offer consists of three courses: National 4, National 5 and Higher.

National 4

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

14.00-15.00

 

14.00-15.00

9.30 – 10.30

 

National 5

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

 

14.00-15.00

 

14.00-15.00

9.30 – 10.30

Higher

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

9.30 – 10.30

15.00-16.00

9.30 – 10.30

15.00-16.00

14.00-15.00

 

Please read carefully the following information:

  • Learners can access the course from at school or at home. All they will require is access to the internet and their Glow account. All assessments will need to be undertaken in school under controlled conditions, supervised by a teacher.
  • The online teacher is PVG checked and GTCS registered.  She will provide and mark all teaching and assessment materials, and gather evidence of learners’ attainment. Schools will be responsible for:
  • obtaining approval to present these qualifications from SQA
  • presenting candidates for the relevant SQA qualifications
  • administering exams
  • ensuring that any assessment arrangements to which pupils are entitled are in place.

A designated GTCS class teacher must be assigned to support the delivery of Mandarin in your school. This teacher will be responsible for:

  • attendance and supervision of learners for each lesson
  • regular liaison with the GTCS Mandarin teacher via email/ virtual face-to-face conversation
  • co-ordinating reporting to parents
  • accessing and distributing class materials on Glow and uploading pupil work.
  • facilitating assessments.

The class teachers will not have responsibility for language teaching.  However, there is an expectation that they will help facilitate the learning.  They will also require time to deal with the administration associated with the course(s). This, therefore, requires a timetabled commitment from a member of staff.

Teaching materials, resources and assessments will be available for download.

Once notes of interest have been collated, further details will follow.  An online meeting will be arranged for all participating schools.  This will give an opportunity for staff to network with each other and to clarify any questions they may have.

Please get in touch at ciss-info@strath.ac.uk should you require additional, specific information.

Language education in Europe: the impact of Covid - Take part in the survey!

2 February 2021 (ECML)

The Covid pandemic has had – and is continuing to have - a profound impact on most of our activities, not least on language education. The ECML, in cooperation with its Professional Network Forum, is today launching a Europe-wide project to gather information and exchange views on how language educators are coping with the challenges, and to reflect on the lessons to be learnt from their experiences.

The first step is a survey addressed especially to language educators, though administrators, language students and parents are also welcome to contribute to it. Visit the ECML website to access the survey and submit responses by 28 February 2021.

Read more...

AR sign language book for children leads UK’s immersive tech boom

1 February 2021 (Design Week)

The first Augmented Reality (AR) British Sign Language (BSL) book for children and a virtual stage-building platform have joined the government’s tech innovation scheme Digital Catapult.

Read more...

Languages Week Scotland 2021 quiz

1 February 2021 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française Glasgow has produced a fun and instructive digital quiz on a variety of French related topics such as language, sport, music, gastronomy, and more to celebrate Languages Week Scotland.

Interested schools should visit the website for information on how to obtain a link to the quiz, which will be available beyond Languages Week.

Read more...

Dundee Scots: ‘We have to make sure the language keeps going otherwise the Dundee essence will pass away’

31 January 2021 (The Courier)

Michael Alexander speaks tae twa weel-kent faces fae Dundee’s cultural scene – Alistair Heather and Sheena Wellington – who have launched free online sessions helping participants develop their understanding of Dundee’s Scots language.

For Dundee born and bred traditional singer Sheena Wellington, the Scots language has always been an important part of life.

Coming from a family of weavers, the 76-year old former Blackness Primary and Harris Academy pupil was brought up in a Dundee Scots speaking household.

Yet despite being surrounded by her Dundee Scots speaking father, grannies and aunts at home, she vividly remembers being discouraged from speaking her mither tongue in school.

Read more...

Speaking removed from modern languages qualifications

29 January 2021 (TESS)

Modern languages teachers have hit out at Scotland’s exam body over its decision not to assess students' ability to speak the language they are learning as part of the Advanced Higher qualification this year.

In the most recent guidance produced by the Scottish Qualifications Authority, published last week, modern languages teachers have been told that, at Advanced Higher level, they are to base their teacher-estimated grades on reading, translation, listening and writing, but not on their students' ability to speak the language.

Modern languages teachers who spoke to Tes Scotland described the move as a “dumbing down” of the qualification, arguing that the key skill for a linguist to acquire is the ability to communicate. 

Read more...

New French and Spanish reading resources

28 January 2021 (Radio Lingua)

As we continue through these interesting times of online learning, we are delighted to announce that we will be sharing with teachers a free reading resource each day starting on Monday 1 February. Each cultural text will have accompanying comprehension questions, a translation challenge and an audio file , as well as an answer grid. These texts will be available on the RLN Education website, but each day the link to the new text will be posted on our Facebook page here.  We hope you find them a useful addition to your online resources and your learners enjoy the cultural content.

Read more...

Engage with the wider school community and develop blended learning

28 January 2021 (PowerLanguage)

In order to support Schools and their wider communities, we have created a new package to strengthen Home Learning and promote Home-School Partnership

Our Online Home Learning Courses for Families - available in French or Spanish - have been successfully running in many parts of Scotland since 2016. They were designed to develop the partnership between Schools, pupils and the wider community. Parents and carers can embark on a meaningful and exciting language journey shared by all family members!

The courses are accessible online or through an App. They each contain 6 lessons which follow a gentle progression, reinforcing the key language introduced in Primary Schools. 

In each lesson, new structures are presented in French or Spanish, as well as in English, by a native tutor or in an animation. Watch an extract on Vimeo or Youtube

The cultural podcasts introduce slices of French or Spanish life and focus on playground games, songs, special monuments and various landscapes. Small tasks are attached to each video. Watch an extract on Vimeo or Youtube.

Families can assess their progress through short challenges at the end of each lesson. One of the 3 challenges can be delivered at School or in a blended learning context, thus reinforcing the link between School and home learning.

A case study on the impact of this Course on families and schools was produced in Scotland in 2016 by Scotland’s National Language Centre (SCILT). Find out more at: https://scilt.org.uk/Parents/Forpractitioners/FifeCouncilFamilyLearning/tabid/8319/Default.aspx

You can also watch this video to see the impact of our Course for Families on a school and its wider community in Western Australia.

Cost: in order to make the Course available to all, a licence can be bought by the School and shared with their wider community in the form of a coupon. 

The cost of the licence is £100 per course (French or Spanish) and covers up to 200 families (users)

The coupon will give parents, carers and learners access to all videos and resources for a 3-month duration from the date of activation. 

Schools will be responsible for sharing the coupon with parents and carers within 6 months of the date of purchase of the course.

Some schools which have previously purchased this Course used their Pupil Equity Funding to cover the cost. 

Level: The course is available in French or Spanish for primary school learners and their families who are beginners/post beginners.

Please contact us by email: info@powerlanguage.net or visit our website powerlanguage.courses

Read more...

Discovering the World of Arabic 2021-22

28 January 2021 (SCILT)

SCILT, in partnership with Qatar Foundation International and eSgóil, is currently looking for schools in Scotland who would be interested in opening the door to the Arab world through our Discovering the World of Arabic programme.  

The collaboration will provide an opportunity for both primary and secondary schools to offer L3 learning experiences in Arabic language and culture. Courses have been co-created by the SCILT team and a specially commissioned writing team of native speakers, with language lessons delivered online by a native speaker of Arabic via e-Sgoil. For learners in primary schools the course will be offered as a ten-week interdisciplinary block of learning and is aimed at P5-P7 pupils. For secondary schools, the course will focus on developing conversational Arabic which will enhance learners’ employability skills and runs until March 2022. It is aimed at S6 senior phase learners who are seeking to enhance their language learning experience and their CVs. Both courses are delivered using a mix of live and recorded classes, with supplementary materials being shared via Glow Teams. Participating schools will also receive the support of a fully-trained, native speaking, language assistant. The lessons give learners the chance to explore aspects of Arabic culture as well as providing a solid linguistic foundation for learning the world’s fifth most spoken language.

Classes are provisionally scheduled as follows:

  • Primary - Tuesdays and Thursdays 13.30-14.30, starting August 2021
  • Secondary - Mondays and Wednesdays13.30-14.30, starting June 2021

In addition, participating schools will receive ongoing support from the SCILT team and a grant of £2000. This can provide schools with resources and experiences that enhance and support the language learning and promote a positive experience of Arabic culture.

Places are limited for this opportunity, so if you would like your school to be considered to take part, please contact SCILT at scilt@strath.ac.uk before close of business on Friday 19 February 2021. Please include the following information in your note of interest:

  • Name of school and your nominated contact person
  • Brief reasons for your establishment's interest in this project, and how it would fit into your school's provision for language learning.
  • What ideas you have, if any, for spending the bursary associated with the project.
  • How you would share this learning experience with your wider community (this could be both within your school and externally)?

TECLA 1/2021, magazine for Spanish language teachers

25 January 2021 (Consejería de Educación)

We have published a new number of our review for Spanish language teachers TECLA. It includes:

  • National Languages Estrategy in the UK and opportunities for Spanish
  • Interview with the Consul General of Manchester
  • The experience of a Spanish visiting teacher in the UK
  • A sequence for the classroom playing with Rayuela
  • Irish Film Institute Schools Programme 2020-2021
  • Spain as a destination for school and language tourism
  • Quino and Mafalda: a sequence for the classroom

Read more...

Express Yourself in Lockdown

21 January 2021 (British Council)

Speaking a language confidently and coherently is an important part of the curriculum throughout the four devolved education departments in the United Kingdom, and forms a critical part of linguistic and cultural development for all learners of languages.

However, the impact of Covid-19 has meant that many pupils have had fewer opportunities to speak the languages they are learning.  Therefore, the Association for Language Learning , the British Council and the cultural and linguistic bodies in the United Kingdom have combined efforts to devise an exciting event entitled ‘Express Yourself in Lockdown’.

This will be an opportunity to showcase language learners’ enjoyment of a language that they are learning or that is normally used in their home community from home (except for English!). 

Visit the British Council website for more information and share performances on the designated social platforms by 28 February 2021.

Read more...

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

Languages Week Scotland 2021 - Using film to teach languages

21 January 2021 (Screen Scotland)

Screen Scotland has put together a resource for Languages Week Scotland 2021 on using film to teach languages. See the attached document. There's also a Microsoft Team available to join for all subject teachers looking to teach with film: Screen Scotland: Film Education

British Council Mandarin Speaking Competition 2021

18 January 2021 (British Council)

The British Council is pleased to announce that a digital Mandarin Speaking Competition will take place in a series of online events. The competition provides a great opportunity for secondary school students to practise and improve their Mandarin language skills.

Taking part in the competition:

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

Applications are now open until 12 February 2021. Visit the British Council website for more information.

Read more...

Four tips for learning language through film and TV

14 January 2021 (The Conversation)

Films and TV shows can be great tools to help you become a more competent speaker of another language. By captivating your attention and arousing your curiosity, these formats can instil a positive attitude towards learning. They can also help you be a more active participant and keep you motivated to spend more time on language-related tasks.

There are a host of wonderful and gripping series and films available at our fingertips, from Netflix’s Spanish drama La Casa de Papel (Money Heist, which is the streaming site’s most watched non-English language show) to film classics like Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita or last year’s Oscar winner, the Korean film Parasite.

Learning a language this way, however, is easier said than done. I’m sure many of us have made it to the end of a gripping Scandi noir without actually learning much. So here are four tips to help you make the most of language learning through TV and film.

Read more...

SCILT Live Lessons for Senior Phase Learners

14 January 2021 (SCILT/eSgoil)

During the current lockdown, SCILT is delighted to support our partners at eSgoil by offering live language lessons. These will be available to all Senior Phase learners in Scotland – learners can register through the eSgoil website.

Daytime Study Support

  • Higher French – Thursdays at 11.15
  • National 5 French – Tuesdays at 11.15
  • Higher Spanish – Tuesdays at 14.15
  • National 5 Spanish – Wednesdays at 09.30

You can register for Daytime Study Support Sessions here- http://www.e-sgoil.com/daytimestudysupport2020/

SCILT is continuing to offer evening support sessions for Advanced Higher:

  • Advanced Higher Spanish – Wednesdays at 17.00
  • Advanced Higher French – Thursdays at 17.00

You can register for Evening Study Support Sessions here - http://www.e-sgoil.com/studysupport2020/

eSgoil is offering a wide range of support for learners of all ages throughout lockdown, and SCILT is proud to support them and Scotland’s educational community through these challenging times.

World of Languages

14 January 2021 (Stride Magazine)

Sheena Bell, professional development officer at SCILT, explores the many ways in which Learning for Sustainability makes a great context for modern language learning.

“Learning other languages enables children and young people to make connections with different people and their cultures and to play a fuller part as global citizens.”

As this quote from the Scottish Government’s Modern Languages Principles and Practice document clearly shows, Modern Languages classrooms are uniquely positioned to incorporate Learning for Sustainability into their teaching and learning. Learning a language in school is not simply about learning vocabulary and grammatical structures; it offers a window into other cultures, traditions, ways of life and ways of thinking. Every day, pupils in our classes are being made aware in a very real way of their interconnectedness with the wider world, both socially and environmentally. The Modern Languages curriculum, particularly within the Senior Phase, already includes topics such as equality, social justice, environmental issues and gender – as Modern Languages teachers we are very often already teaching around Learning for Sustainability without even realising it!

(Note - The full article includes links to associated professional learning and classroom resources.)

Read more...

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...

Online French resources

12 January 2021 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française Glasgow has collated a selection of online resources to explore French culture and language learning at home. There's something for all ages - check out the links on the website.

Read more...

Engage with the wider school community and develop blended learning

12 January 2021 (PowerLanguage)

In order to support Schools and their wider communities, we have created a new package to help with home learning. 

Our PowerLanguage Online Course for Families - available in French or Spanish - has been successfully running in many parts of Scotland since 2016. It was designed to develop the partnership between Schools, pupils and the wider community. Parents and carers can embark on a meaningful and exciting language journey shared by all family members!

  • The course is accessible online or through an App. It contains 6 lessons which follow a gentle progression, reinforcing the key language introduced in Primary Schools. 
  • In each lesson, new structures are presented in French or Spanish, as well as in English, by a native tutor or in an animation. Watch an extract on Vimeo or Youtube
  • The cultural podcasts introduce slices of French/Spanish life and focus on playground games, songs, special monuments and various landscapes. Small tasks are attached to each video. Watch an extract on Vimeo or Youtube.
  • Families can assess their progress through short challenges at the end of each lesson. One of the 3 challenges can be delivered at School, thus reinforcing the link between School and home learning.

A case study on the impact of this Course on families and schools was produced in Scotland in 2016 by Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT). 

You can also watch this video to see the impact of our Course for Families on a school and its wider community in Western Australia.

Cost: in order to make the Course available to all, a licence can be bought by the School and shared with their wider community. The annual cost is £100 per course (French or Spanish). Schools can also buy the course for a one-off fee of £500 per course for indefinite use. (Schools who have previously purchased this Course used some of their PEF funding to cover the cost). 

Level: The course is available in French or Spanish for primary school learners and their families who are beginners/post beginners.

Scottish Schools may wish to launch this Course in advance of Languages Week Scotland (1-5 February 2021). 

Please contact us info@powerlanguage.net to find out more or visit our website. 

Read more...

Home learning in Scotland: How to access the new BBC resources for lockdown learners on offer

11 January 2021 (The Scotsman)

BBC Scotland has launched a variety of programmes and resources for school pupils across Scotland as the country begins home school learning today.

The broadcaster is offering TV programmes on BBC Scotland from 10 am this morning for primary and secondary school pupils across the country.

The educational programmes will be on week days and will last till around 11.30 am- 12 pm most days.

As well as a catch-up service for missed programmes, there will also be ‘Stories in Scots’ available via the BBC Scotland website and via BBC Sounds.

Read more...

Year of the Ox Education Pack

11 January 2021 (British Council)

According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, we enter the Year of the Ox on 12 February 2021.

These education resources contain information and activities to help teachers and pupils learn more about this important spring festival and explore Chinese culture. Your pupils can read a version of the traditional story of the New Year Race, create shadow puppets of the main characters and make a traditional Chinese lantern.

These resources are suitable for primary years and adaptable for early secondary years and older.

Read more...

La Jolie Ronde French and Spanish Free Trials

11 January 2021 (La Jolie Ronde)

During Languages Week Scotland, 1-5 February 2021, FREE TRIALS will be available of La Jolie Ronde's two award winning French and Spanish resources.  

La Jolie Ronde Languages for Children is a leading early language learning organisation offering a proven method of teaching young children French and Spanish. La Jolie Ronde’s award winning programmes are unique, modern and of the highest quality. FREE TRIALS on their resources are available as follows:

  • Little Languages Resource (P1-P3)
  • French and Spanish Resource (P4-P7)
  • French or Spanish free taster Online class

For more information email schools@lajolieronde.co.uk

#scotlandloveslanguages

Read more...

SEET's Our World project update

11 January 2021 (SEET)

Due to the new lockdown measures introduced by the Scottish Government on 4 January, including the closure of schools, SEET have pushed back the storyboard submission deadline to Friday 5 February 2021. They have also adapted the project and expanded the project's reach by increasing participation options for home learning and accommodating for both individual and group participation. Please see below for a summary of the changes:

  • S1-6 may take part in 2021, not only S3-6 pupils.  
  • Storyboard submission deadline extended to Friday 5 February 2021 (extra 3 weeks) 
  • Accompanying video/audio clip explaining the storyboard is now optional. Storyboard and links to SDG theme and languages must be clear if no additional description is provided. 
  • We are accepting storyboard entries from teams AND entries from individual pupils if pupil collaboration is no longer possible. More guidance on team participation available. 
  • We will be able to invite more pupils to take part in the filmmaking stage, as we are no longer limited to in-person venue workshop capacity.  
  • Creation of password protected online portal to support pupils through the filmmaking stages. This will include video tutorials from filmmakers, written guidance and tutorials, resources, and clear instructions for pupils.

Visit the SEET website for more information about the Our World project.

Read more...

French Pop Video Competition 2021

7 January 2021 (Institut français)

Do you think you could sing or rap in French? Do you have the skills to make a video clip for your song? If so, this competition is for you!

Open to any student or groups of students in full time primary or secondary education in the UK. Entries will be judged in 3 age-group categories: 7-11, 12-15, and 16-18.

Visit the competition website for more information. Register and submit entries by 31 March 2021.

Read more...

Languages Week Scotland

7 January 2021 (SCILT)

Languages Week Scotland 2021 will take place during the week 1–5 February. The theme is ‘Celebrating Scotland’s languages landscape’ and the aim is to amplify the voices of people, organisations and events that celebrate multilingualism and the many ways it manifests in Scottish communities. 

Follow the hashtag #scotlandloveslanguages or the dedicated Twitter account @LangsWeekScot to find out what is happening or to share anything you will do with your learners to mark the week.

Schools can download the Languages Week Scotland logo from the SCILT website (Resources for Languages Week Scotland). Please add to emails and other promotional materials to show your support. 

Keep your eye out for daily challenges from 1-5 February, which will engage learners whether in the classroom or at home.

French oral revision courses

7 January 2021 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française Glasgow is running online revision courses during January and February for those scheduled to sit Higher and Advanced Higher French exams in 2021.

Visit the website for more information and to enrol.

Read more...

Why are we learning languages in a closed world?

6 January 2021 (BBC)

Language learning spiked during lockdowns, commercial providers say. But when no-one can travel, and the job market looks unstable, why have people turned toward language now?

When the UK’s second lockdown hit in November, I was learning to decipher a Luwian curse.

Luwian, a language spoken and written in ancient Turkey some 3,000 years ago, may not seem like the most obvious choice for a new hobby. It survives mainly in the form of enigmatic symbols carved into scattered rock monuments. But spending a couple of hours a week cracking this code, under the guidance of a Luwian expert, turned out to be an almost magical form of stress relief. I’d signed up to the course shortly before the lockdown, and after each session, I felt that ­my mind had been cut loose from endless pandemic-related worries, and was free to roam and discover – if only for an evening.

As obscure as Luwian may be, my urge to explore a foreign language was right on trend in 2020. During the first lockdown in March, user numbers for language-learning apps including Duolingo, Memrise and Rosetta Stone rocketed, according to data from the companies. Duolingo reported a 300% jump in new users. The numbers generally eased over the summer, but saw another bump during the second lockdown. While Spanish, French and German were popular choices, Brits also tried out a wide range of other languages. The uptake of Welsh and Hindi soared, for example, with learners citing brain stimulation, cultural interest and family ties as motivating factors. Cultural curiosity also boosted the popularity of Japanese.

Of all the pursuits people have adopted amid the pandemic – making sourdough, working on screenplays – learning a language may seem like an odd choice. After all, the world is effectively closed, with much of international travel off limits. And even for those hoping that language learning could improve their career prospects, the job market remains unstable, with some in no position to change careers. But turning to language may be able to uniquely connect us to something many have longed to feel again.

Read more...

Nihongo Cup 2021

4 January 2021 (Japan Foundation)

The Nihongo Cup is the Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School students. Applications for the 2021 contest are now open. Finalists will be invited to perform their speeches as part of an online Finals Day on Saturday 10 July. They will also have a chance to win some fantastic prizes!

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information and the application pack. The closing date for applications is 29 March 2021. 

Read more...

Brexit: Boris Johnson's decision to quit Erasmus betrays lie that Britain is leaving EU, not Europe

30 December 2020 (The Scotsman)

There is an old Czech proverb which says that you live a new life for every language you speak. It was coined in a country where even minority languages are widely spoken, but its relevance is universal.

My family, like so many others, has its own stories of how language opened doors and made possible fantastic journeys into new countries and new cultures.

It began with my aunt, the daughter of a shipyard machinist, who had a natural aptitude for languages from a young age. Her skill and interest was encouraged as much as possible in 1960s Port Glasgow, but it was only when she enrolled at the old Langside College that others realised her potential.

Within a few years, she found herself working as a translator in Geneva for the United Nations. In time, she returned home to start a family, but the friendships she forged in Switzerland nearly half a century ago remain strong, and her love of languages was passed on.

Her daughter read French and German at Oxford, and recently graduated with a first class honours degree. That, of course, was simply a nice bonus. The greatest achievement was spending time living and learning abroad, and discovering the very best beer gardens the banks of the Rhine have to offer.

Read more...

Bonjour Europe: Britons are turning to learning languages like never before

26 December 2020 (The Guardian)

With our exit from the European Union just days away, we should be saying a very firm and British goodbye. Yet for many in the UK, it seems that on the eve of departure it is more a case of au revoir.

The number of people learning a language in Britain has risen twice as fast as the rest of the world in the last year, according to online learning platform Duolingo, and one of the fastest growing groups is those learning French.

Thousands more are learning Spanish, German, Italian, or other EU languages – with some of them hoping to improve their language skills to a level where they qualify for citizenship of a European country.

Maxine Brown, a 27-year-old second year economics student, has been learning Danish for the last six months with the intention of moving to Denmark to pursue a postgraduate degree and work in environmental projects.

“I’m interested in the resource side of economics and Denmark is really leading the way,” she said. “So I started learning Danish in May. Very quickly I was able to start reading newspapers and I joined online forums to really immerse myself and started listening to the radio to pick up the tones and the sounds.”

Since British citizens will no longer have the right to live and work in EU countries after 31 December, Brown will need to pay tuition fees in full and needs a residence permit which requires a grasp of Danish.

Read more...

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.

Covid: Students and retirees form long-distance friendships

10 December 2020 (BBC)

Millie Jacoby met her new "French grandma" for the first time last week via video call.

The 21-year-old British student signed up to a scheme pairing language students with elderly French people, some of whom have been left isolated by the coronavirus pandemic.

"I thought it would be a great way to improve my language skills and get to know somebody who was possibly lonely," Millie said.

"My French grandma, as we call them, is in a retirement home and might not be having too much social interaction because of the pandemic so I thought it was the perfect time to do something like this."

Despite the 70-year age gap between the Warwick University student and the senior citizen living near Paris, they instantly hit it off.

"She was just so lovely from the first few sentences," Millie told the BBC.

Read more...

Why Speak Chinese 2020

8 December 2020 (Chinosity)

Create and share a 1-minute engaging video about any shocking, funny, or weird experiences you had while learning Chinese for the chance to win two round trip flights to China! Please showcase your Chinese speaking skills in the video as well. Open to all learners of Mandarin aged 13 and over. Submission deadline 15 January 2021.

Visit the Chinosity website to find out more.

Read more...

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...

Cook and learn with Linguacuisine

8 December 2020 (Linguacuisine)

The free Linguacuisine app helps you learn French, German and Spanish while you’re cooking a festive treat! Have fun baking with a friend, learn some new words and then feed your family and friends with a French Bûche de Noël, German Lebkuchen or Spanish Mantecados. You can do it online or by using the attached recipe card. 

Visit the website for lots more recipes in a wide range of languages.

Read more...

Related Files

Mathématiques sans Frontières

7 December 2020 (University of the West of Scotland)

The University of the West of Scotland (UWS) is again organising the world-wide Maths and Language competition “Mathématiques sans Frontières” in Scotland.

You are invited to participate in this stimulating and light-hearted competition which combines Mathematics and Modern Languages and aims to motivate pupils in these subjects, promote teamwork, and bridge borders.

Please find attached a training test for “Mathématiques Sans Frontières”, and one entry form for the competition proper.

S4 classes should attempt 10 questions and S5 classes 13 questions. A whole class should attempt the test with questions divided up between groups to ensure that the questions can be completed in the allotted time of 90 minutes. Question one will require an explanation in a foreign language. We hope that this encourages cross-curricular working and teamwork. Answers are also attached, in French, another opportunity for teamwork in the translation.

The competition proper will be held on Thursday 11 March 2021. The prize-giving will be held in June (hopefully!) at UWS when the achievements of the top ten schools at each level are recognised. All schools competing will receive a certificate.

Schools who would like to register for the competition are kindly requested to complete the proforma attached and return by 29 January 2021.

We will send out the actual test as a PDF file by e-mail on the Friday prior to the test. This has proved to be very popular and we intend continuing to issue the test in this format. We would therefore kindly ask you to ensure that the e-mail address provided is legible or, preferably, typed. It would also be beneficial to provide an alternative e-mail address, possibly a personal address, which may help prevent firewall issues.

Related Files

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.

SCILT Christmas 2020 webpage - now live!

4 December 2020 (SCILT)

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

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

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Discovering China is back!

3 December 2020 (CISS)

Duolingo Gaelic app deemed a huge success worldwide

1 December 2020 (The Herald)

More than 560,000 people around the world have signed up to learn Gaelic - nearly ten times the official number of native speakers. 

Bosses at language learning app Duolingo hailed their Scottish Gaelic course a 'huge success', following a surge in popularity - despite only launching last year. 

Around a third of learners on the site are from Scotland, with another third from the US, and the remainder from around the world, including 8 per cent from Canada. 

It comes after Scottish campaign groups issued stark warnings over the decline of the language - claiming for first time in history there is a danger it could become extinct.

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Oral revision courses 2021

30 November 2020 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow is holding special online Revision Courses in January/February for pupils who are due to sit their Higher and Advanced Higher oral examinations in 2021.

Visit the website for more information and to book.

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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.

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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.

Making Space for Languages (1 October) – Event recordings now available!

26 November 2020 (SCILT)

We are delighted to confirm the recently launched toolkit for Phase Two of our ERASMUS+ project, Generation Global, now includes recordings of the sessions that took place at the virtual launch event on 1 October. Entitled Making Space for Languages, the event brought together education professionals, from a range of organisations and backgrounds, to discuss the importance of languages and intercultural studies to all fields of study.

As well as compelling contributions by Fhiona Mackay (Director of SCILT), Laurence Findlay (Director of Education and Children’s Services, Aberdeenshire Council), Louise Glen (Senior Education Officer for Languages, Education Scotland), Dr Paul Hare (Professional Development Officer, SCILT) and partners from Denmark and Norway, visitors to the website will be able to view a fascinating panel discussion involving professionals from a broad range of academic disciplines, all of whom agree that a knowledge of languages gives an extra dimension across the full spectrum of careers.

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Connecting Classrooms partnership funding

24 November 2020 (British Council)

There’s no more authentic way for pupils to learn about global issues than by working with their peers in another country.

Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning can help UK-based schools find partner schools in more than 30 countries across Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.

Once you’ve made a connection we have a range of support to help you get started and build a strong and sustainable school partnership, including the best online platforms to use for your international school collaboration. One to one partnerships or cluster groups can also apply for funding to cover a range of activities to share learning. The next funding deadline is 2 December 2020.

Visit the website for more information.

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SEET's Our World project

24 November 2020 (SEET)

SEET's logo

The Scottish European Educational Trust (SEET) have launched their annual Our World language learning and filmmaking project. With a specific focus on building a sense of gobal citizenship and cultural understanding amongst participants, the project asks S3-S6 pupils to create multilingual films based on topical issues. Teams of 4 have the chance to create their films at an online workshop with professional filmmakers on hand to provide assistance and practical filmmaking tuition. Films must include at least one language other than English, and should be based on, this year, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

If you are interested in entering a team or multiple teams, please sign up here and ensure your pupils send us a storyboard of their film idea by the revised deadline of January 15th, 2021. Tons more information available on SEET's website, or by emailing alex@seet.org.uk. We look forward to receiving entries!

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Inside the MFL Student Mentoring Project

20 November 2020 (British Council)

The MFL Student Mentoring Project was designed as a response to the ongoing decline in the number of learners choosing to study a (modern foreign) language past the compulsory stage of KS3 in Wales. 

The project focuses on changing attitudes and perceptions of languages by training undergraduate students in four Welsh universities ( Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea) to mentor Year 8 and 9 learners (12-14 years old) in Welsh secondary schools to appreciate the value and benefits of language learning. The scheme has inspired the development of comparable projects in the UK.

Find out more on the British Council Wales website.

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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.

Fèis Rois launches new songwriting project for young Gaels passionate about the environment

18 November 2020 (The Herald)

Young Gaelic speakers who have a passion for the environment and a talent for songwriting could have their chance to shine, thanks to a new songwriting project launched by Highland arts organisation, Fèis Rois. 

The competition, which is open to applicants until November, Monday 23, is calling on budding Gaelic songwriters from secondary schools across the Highlands to come up with new Gaelic material, connected to the environment and Scotland's landscape. 

Fèis Rois, an arts organisation based in Dingwall, Ross-shire, has collaborated with NatureScot to launch 'Caithream na Cruinne', aimed at emerging Gaelic songwriters who take their inspiration from nature and the current environmental challenges. 

Read more...

Beyond the Panda free virtual sessions

18 November 2020 (RZSS)

Beyond the Panda flyer

FREE virtual Beyond the Panda sessions available for all primary levels linking science with Mandarin language learning. Delivered on Microsoft Teams within Glow. Fully booked this term but taking bookings now for the new year. Booking up fast! Email srobb@rzss.org.uk.

Also see the Beyond the Panda website for follow-on resources.

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2020 Virtual Language Show. Now available on catch-up!

17 November 2020 (Language Show Live)

If you weren't able to join this year's online Language Show which took place 13-15 November, all the brilliant speakers can now be watched on-demand and entirely free of charge.

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4 quick and easy ways to make language learning fun

14 November 2020 (TES)

Why can't a student have a three-eyed cat at home? After all, if it makes language learning fun and engaging it should be welcomed, says this teacher.

It really doesn’t matter where I get my hair cut, or what remains of it at least.

As a French and Spanish teacher, the response is inevitable as soon as the stylist asks what I do. “Ooh, I’m jealous. I did French at school and I wish I’d kept it up, but I wasn’t interested when I was younger.”

At this point, I imagine many language teacher colleagues across the globe are nodding their head, all too familiar with having to justify their subject’s place in the curriculum to students and, occasionally, even to school administrators.

In a world where a rapidly growing number of people use English as a second language and where tran