Latest News

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


Language Learning

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.”

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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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

StampIT - 'Stamp over October’

30 September 2021 (StampIT)

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

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

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

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

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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.  

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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.”

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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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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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#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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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.

Read more...

Babel young writers' competition

13 May 2021 (Babel)

Individuals and groups studying linguistics at sixth form, college or university are invited to enter this year's young writers' competition for a chance to be published in the Autumn edition of Babel magazine.

This year's theme is 'Attitudes to languages' and invites entrants to give their views about and experience of attitudes towards languages in a piece no longer than 2,500 words.

See the website for full details and enter by 27 August 2021.

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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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

Partial Early Level Experiences & Outcomes and Benchmarks for modern languages have been published!

11 May 2021 (Education Scotland)

Es & Os and Benchmarks for modern languages for a Primary 1 start to language learning were published on the NIH on Monday, 10th May and represent an important piece of national curricular support for the 1+2 policy. The original Es & Os published in 2009 for modern languages were for curriculum levels 2, 3 & 4 only, as language learning in primary schools at that time traditionally began in P6. When the 1+2 policy was introduced in 2012/13 in schools, Education Scotland provided First Level Es and Os to support practitioners with planning to introduce language teaching from an earlier stage in primary schools; these represented a sufficient resource for a number of years, however, a measure of success of the implementation of the policy has meant that many more schools have language learning fully in place from Primary 1, hence the need for a partial suite of Es & Os and Benchmarks to support teachers with a P1 start to language learning (as the 1+2 policy begins in P1 and is not funded for pre-P1 learning) and comprise eight Es, Os and benchmark statements.

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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.

Read more...

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 

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

MTOT 2021 - winner videos now available!

30 April 2021 (SCILT)

In academic session 2020-21, after a short hiatus, SCILT relaunched the Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition, with a new focus on the spoken word. Learners were invited not only to write a poem in their mother or other tongue, but to perform it so that their words could be heard in their own voice. The work produced by all the young poets who took part was wonderful, especially during this most challenging year. The winning and highly commended video entries from this year's competition in Scotland are now available to view on the MTOT Awards page of SCILT's website.

Read more...

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

Read more...

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

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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.

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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!

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

FOKUS: Films from Germany

30 November 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

Read more...

Radio Lingua resources

27 November 2020 (Radio Lingua)

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

French

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

Spanish

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

Italian

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

German

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

Making Space for Languages (1 October) – Event recordings now available!

26 November 2020 (SCILT)

We are delighted to confirm the recently launched toolkit for Phase Two of our ERASMUS+ project, Generation Global, now includes recordings of the sessions that took place at the virtual launch event on 1 October. Entitled Making Space for Languages, the event brought together education professionals, from a range of organisations and backgrounds, to discuss the importance of languages and intercultural studies to all fields of study.

As well as compelling contributions by Fhiona Mackay (Director of SCILT), Laurence Findlay (Director of Education and Children’s Services, Aberdeenshire Council), Louise Glen (Senior Education Officer for Languages, Education Scotland), Dr Paul Hare (Professional Development Officer, SCILT) and partners from Denmark and Norway, visitors to the website will be able to view a fascinating panel discussion involving professionals from a broad range of academic disciplines, all of whom agree that a knowledge of languages gives an extra dimension across the full spectrum of careers.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

SEET's Our World project

24 November 2020 (SEET)

SEET's logo

The Scottish European Educational Trust (SEET) have launched their annual Our World language learning and filmmaking project. With a specific focus on building a sense of gobal citizenship and cultural understanding amongst participants, the project asks S3-S6 pupils to create multilingual films based on topical issues. Teams of 4 have the chance to create their films at an online workshop with professional filmmakers on hand to provide assistance and practical filmmaking tuition. Films must include at least one language other than English, and should be based on, this year, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

If you are interested in entering a team or multiple teams, please sign up here and ensure your pupils send us a storyboard of their film idea by the revised deadline of January 15th, 2021. Tons more information available on SEET's website, or by emailing alex@seet.org.uk. We look forward to receiving entries!

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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.

Read more...

Radio Lingua resources

20 November 2020 (Radio Lingua)

Live Lessons

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

French

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

Spanish

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

Italian

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

German

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

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 translation technology is progressing, justifying the need for language learning to unmotivated learners is increasingly difficult.

Yet as practitioners, we know second language acquisition is beneficial to the learner in so many ways. Research has shown motivation may be the second most important factor in successful language acquisition after aptitude.

So, what can we do to motivate our learners during the short time we have with them, and leave them with positive experiences in language learning?

(Note - Subscription required to access full article).

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Radio Lingua resources

13 November 2020 (Radio Lingua)

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

French

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

Spanish

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

Italian

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

German

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

Facebook Lives

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

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

Six in ten UK adults wish they’d kept up the foreign language they studied at school

12 November 2020 (British Council)

A YouGov survey of more than 2000 UK adults was commissioned by the British Council to mark International Education Week, which runs from 16 to 20 November, as part of its work to advocate for the learning of modern foreign languages in the UK. This year’s programme of events has moved online with a series of webinars, activities and resources accessible from anywhere in the world.

  • British Council survey finds that 66 per cent of UK adults did not appreciate benefits of studying a foreign language when they were at school;
  • 64 per cent wish they had kept up the foreign language they studied and 58 per cent regret not spending more time studying;
  • 10 per cent of UK adults tried learning a language during the first lockdown period, with smartphone apps the most popular study method;
  • 66 per cent think languages should be compulsory at primary school and 79 per cent at secondary school;
  • Spanish, French and Mandarin Chinese considered the top three most important languages for young people to learn.

Read more...

“A guide to teacher competences for languages in education”: New resource website for teacher educators and designers of teacher education programmes

12 November 2020 (ECML)

The European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) of the Council of Europe is pleased to announce the completion in both English and French of its resource website “A guide to teacher competences for languages in education”, an output of the ECML programme “Languages at the heart of learning” (2016-2019).

This comprehensive resource platform has been developed for teacher educators and those responsible for teacher education programmes. It provides an overview of frameworks and descriptions of language teacher competences in various contexts, as well as national and regional standards or guidelines for all teachers working in public education. Having considered the overview, users can then examine more closely those frameworks that are potentially useful to them in their specific roles.

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Our World film making project

12 November 2020 (SEET)

SEET logo

The Scottish European Educational Trust (SEET) have launched their annual Our World language learning and filmmaking project.

Open to all S3-6 pupils across Scotland, teams of 4 have the chance to create films at a workshop (remotely this year!) with professional filmmakers on hand to help them and provide practical filmmaking tuition. As always, films must include at least one language other than English, and should be based on a set theme, which this year is the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

If you are interested in entering a team or multiple teams, please sign up here and ensure your pupils send us a storyboard of their film idea by the deadline of 18 December 2020.

There is lots more information available on SEET's website, or by emailing alex@seet.org.uk. We look forward to receiving entries!

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IDL and languages in primary: November Bitesize

11 November 2020 (SCILT)

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

The November Bitesize event looks at examples of using an IDL approach to support language teaching and learning in the primary classroom.

Visit our Bitesize webpage to find out more about the session taking place on Wednesday 25 November and to register.

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Oxford German Olympiad 2021

10 November 2020 (Oxford German Network)

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

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

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

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

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ELAPSE project resources

10 November 2020 (LFEE)

LFEE is delighted to announce that their 2-year Erasmus+ funded project ELAPSE (Embedding Language into Primary and Secondary Education) has been completed.

Visit the LFEE website for information about the lesson plans and resources, all freely available to teachers around the world. 

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SQA Modern Languages course reports

9 November 2020 (SQA)

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

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National 5 Modern Languages - Guidance on gathering key evidence for producing estimates in session 2020–21

6 November 2020 (SQA)

The SQA has produced a document providing subject-level guidance to SQA approved centres on gathering key evidence to support estimates for National 5 Modern Languages in session 2020–21.

You should read this guidance alongside National Courses: guidance on gathering evidence and producing estimates and the SQA Academy resource, Quality assurance of estimates for National Courses (links are contained in the publication).

This document also includes information on subject-level assessment resources. Available now to view online.

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Radio Lingua resources

6 November 2020 (Radio Lingua)

French

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

Spanish

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

Italian

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

German

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

Languages and Music

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

GCSEs 2021: MFL 'one-off' speaking tests allowed

5 November 2020 (TES)

Teachers will have the choice to assess their students’ spoken language skills during normal classroom activities or as individual, one-off assessments for modern foreign language GCSEs next year.

This is according to new requirements published by Ofqual today in response to disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

(Note - subscription required to access full article).

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Still & Sparkling: UK-German Youth Newsletter

5 November 2020 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

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uTalk Language Games

5 November 2020 (uTalk)

image of uTalk platform

Teachers in Scotland are offered a free trial of an award-winning way of boosting pupils’ spoken language skills which can be used at home or at school.

The uTalk Language Games uses audio of native speakers and interactive games – which run on computers, tablets or smartphones - to boost students’ speaking skills in any of 140 languages including Scottish Gaelic and Scots.

Importantly the uTalk Language Games also give pupils the chance to learn a new language - eg French - from Scottish Gaelic, Scots, Scottish English or 100+ other languages. 

More than 25,000 students have used this language learning method over the last 20 years and for your free trial please contact Vikki at languagegames@utalk.com

Run by London-based education company uTalk, students learn independently by playing language games on their devices, scoring points and competing for ranking on an online leaderboard.

There is no age limit and entry costs £5 per person. For more details see  www.utalklanguagegames.com

Teacher Miss Kaye Smith, who entered pupils in last year’s uTalk Language Games, says: “I was so happy to connect with uTalk which provided the children at The Glasgow Academy with a new, meaningful and challenging way of engaging with languages. I would encourage language practitioners and students to engage with uTalk and all the wonderful possibilities it can offer. It was an enjoyable and enriching experience for all who took part.”

The uTalk Language Games was previously called the uTalk Junior Language Challenge which won the prestigious Threlford Cup from the Chartered Institute of Linguists for making a significant contribution to fostering the study of languages.

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Learn German with the Goethe-Institut

4 November 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

FOKUS: Films from Germany

2 November 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

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Japan Foundation funding programme

2 November 2020 (Japan Foundation)

The Japan Foundation's annual grant programmes are now open for applications. There are various grants available in the fields of Arts and Culture, Japanese Language and Japanese Studies. 

Important Information:

Government guidelines on work and travel may affect the application process. Please make sure you contact the relevant department before you begin your application. 

The deadline for most of our programmes is 1 December 2020 (except Support Program for Translation and Publication on Japan: deadline is 20 November).

Visit the website for more information about all the programmes funding is available for.

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4 top tips for using Scots language in the classroom

30 October 2020 (TES)

Student Len Pennie – better known online as Miss Punny Pennie – has become an internet star with videos that share a Scots language word of the day. One of her most popular videos, in which she recites her poem I'm No Havin' Children (see below), has been viewed nearly 250,000 times on Twitter.

Here are her four top tips for using Scots in school.

(Subscription required to access full article).

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Radio Lingua resources

30 October 2020 (Radio Lingua)

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

French

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

Spanish

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

Italian

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

German

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

Live Lessons

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

Bòrd na Gàidhlig calls on young people to help guide Gaelic into a new era

30 October 2020 (Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

Gaelic organisations are asking young people across the country to stand up and be heard as Bòrd na Gàidhlig launch opportunities for their voices to be listened to. 
 
BnG will be running online surveys for young people based on their opinions and ideas for Gaelic usage and how to increase this within their communities. 
 
The two surveys, which will be distributed to schools and community groups, are for Primary 5-7, Secondary pupils S1-S6 and for school leavers. The surveys will run until 15 November as the Gaelic development body collates opinions critical to the future of the language and how young people can help contribute to this across Scotland. 

More information can be found on the attached press release or by visiting the Bòrd na Gàidhlig website.

Read more...

Related Files

Language GCSEs biased against poor pupils, say teachers

29 October 2020 (TES)

The majority of language teachers believe GCSE exams are biased against poorer students, children in care and those with special needs, research reveals.

Being asked to describe the disadvantages of a skiing holiday or to describe family members are among examples highlighted by the National Association of Language Advisers (NALA), which has published its research in a report today.

The research, which investigated the past two years of languages GCSE papers, particularly speaking and writing test questions, found that questions about holidays, family relationships, descriptions of a student’s house, restaurant visits and live events were “potentially problematic for vulnerable and disadvantaged pupils”.

And the NALA now recommends that languages GCSE and curriculum should be reviewed carefully “to ensure that no particular group of students is disadvantaged”.

NALA president Jenny Carpenter said: “One of the things we found was that there were a number of contexts that were beyond the experience of some students. The obvious example of this was the question which asked what are the advantages and disadvantages of a skiing holiday.

“Not only are you asking some pupils to invent an answer, but you’re asking them to express it in a foreign language as well. It’s a double whammy in a sense.”

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P1 & P2 French language teachers needed for Creative Puppetry Research Project

29 October 2020 (Le Petit Monde)

Cover of Lapin is Hungry book

For her Masters in Education’s Final Year Project, Teaching Artist Tania is planning to conduct a case study to research if a play and creative puppetry based approach to learning can bring changes to Early Years language teaching and learning and if any, which ones. Health & Well-Being potential effects will also be analysed and discussed.

For this:

  • She is looking to remotely collaborate with 2 teachers of French language (one P1 and one P2) to deliver 4 lessons each and 2 suitable observers of the sessions. Ideally, the school will be within the Central Belt.
  • The project will be based on the bilingual picture book Lapin is Hungry, which contains food vocabulary and greeting words. Pupils and teachers will make simple puppets and playfully re-enact the story, speaking French in the process.
  • Lessons will be planned and evaluated through a community of practice method (via online chats) and could be part of the usual time allocated to French learning.
  • Teachers’ time could count as CLPL hours.
  • Possible timeline: sparingly from November with lessons delivered in Jan / Feb 2021.

To register your interest or ask any questions, please fill in this short form.

Learn French with Alliance Française Glasgow

28 October 2020 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow provides a range of language learning opportunities for adults and children. Follow the appropriate link below to find out more about forthcoming classes:

  • Free taster sessions (5 & 10 November) - If you have reservations about joining an online class, we are offering free taster sessions so you can find out all the necessary information on how our current classes are being run before enrolling for a course.
  • Adult classes (commencing 16 November) - Enrolling now for the next term.
  • l’heure du conte (10 November and 8 December) - Join us to hear our librarian’s historiettes/short stories, comfortably wrapped in a blanket at home with your little ones. Free and suitable for all.

Visit the Alliance Française Glasgow website to discover the full range of activities and events on offer. 

Read more...

New drive to bring Arabic into Scottish schools

27 October 2020 (TES)

A new initiative aims to bring the teaching of Arabic into both primary and secondary schools in Scotland.

This week the Scottish primaries involved in a new programme offering an insight into Arabic language and culture will receive boxes of Arabic artefacts, such as books, scarves, musical instruments and tea sets.

Scottish schools are open but movement in and out of buildings remains restricted as a result of Covid-19. Scilt, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, has, however, found a way to bring the wider world to pupils at a time when their ability to travel is also much reduced.

The centre, based at the University of Strathclyde, is offering an insight into Arabic language and culture in 15 primary and secondary schools around Scotland. The courses include online lessons from native-speaking teachers of Arabic in the UK and link-ups with native Arabic speakers overseas.

The centre was keen to make the experience tangible, hence the delivery of the boxes.

Scilt director Fhiona Mackay says: “It’s really important that we encourage diversity in language learning. That’s what the 1+2 approach to language learning [in Scotland] should be all about – particularly language three should be an opportunity to explore languages that otherwise children would not be exposed to. It is absolutely right that they should have the chance to experience a language that does not have the same script or alphabet as Latin or Germanic-based languages.

“We also wanted to make sure that children were getting a view of the Arabic world that was not about war, terrorism or refugees. We wanted them to see there is something quite wonderful about this ancient civilisation and help them relate that back to their own experience in Scotland.”

The courses offer learners the chance to explore the secular culture of Arabic nations and to receive a grounding in the Arabic language, which is a first language in more than 20 countries and the fifth most widely spoken in the world.

Read more...

Action on climate change

26 October 2020 (British Council)

British Council eTwinning is offering free live CPD and resources on climate change throughout November. Help your class to tackle #ClimateChange together with pupils from across the world.

Visit the British Council eTwinning website for more information. As well as the Climate Change November programme, you can also find other ready made step-by-step guides to help you start an international project. 

Read more...

£10m Mandarin scheme set for expansion despite teacher recruitment struggles

24 October 2020 (Schools Week)

A £10 million programme to improve children’s fluency in Mandarin is set to be extended.

The government-funded Mandarin Excellence Programme (MEP) was launched in 2016 to get “at least 5,000 young people on track towards fluency in Mandarin Chinese by 2020” and train “at least 100 new qualified Chinese teachers by the end of the programme”.

When the programme, run by University College London’s Institute of Education (IOE) and the British Council, started there were 1,000 pupils across England learning Mandarin.

The IOE said the 5,000-pupil target had been exceeded by the last academic year.

The contract has been extended to this year, with about 7,000 pupils now taking part in 75 schools nationally.

But in contrast, 69 teachers have achieved qualified status on the UCL IOE Chinese Language PGCE – 31 shy of the target.

An IOE spokesperson said by summer next year, 83 IOE PGCE graduates will have finished their courses, adding that “in collaboration with other providers a grand total of more than 100 newly qualified teachers of Chinese will have been trained since 2016”.

A spokesperson for the Association for Language Learning praised the MEP for its success, but said it wanted “to see the funding of such projects extended to other languages to allow everyone access to learning a language”.

Read more...

French Film Festival 2020

23 October 2020 (French Film Festival)

Running from 4 November to 17 December online and in cinemas up and down the UK, the 2020 Fête du cinéma offers a range of films, documentaries and shorts along with a selection specifically aimed at French language learners in schools.

Visit the French Film Festival website for full programme details.

Read more...

BSL:  New case study alert!

23 October 2020 (SCILT)

SCILT is delighted to announce the publication of its new case study on engaging parents with languages. This study, in conjunction with Education Scotland, highlights how Moorfoot Primary and Garvel Deaf Centre in Gourock support parents of deaf and hearing children with learning BSL. It provides insightful information on how BSL features greatly within the school, in addition to the other languages taught. Parents, pupils and staff share their experience of using and learning BSL and emphasise the value, significance and importance of all language learning and the impact it can have locally and beyond.

Read more...

International Education Week is back from 16-20 November 2020!

22 October 2020 (British Council)

Every November we come together to recognise the value of bringing the world into the classroom and celebrate international work in schools. This year we are excited to be going online. For the first time ever, we are offering a week of fantastic events that you can access wherever you are in the world.

The line-up is packed with online webinars, ideas and activities to keep us connected by learning and enable young people to take action on the global issues that matter to them today. 

So whether it's a session on increasing language uptake in schools that interests you, or learning about other cultures throughout the world, visit the website for more information about the range of free webinars and activities on offer. 

Read more...

Secondary school Gaelic immersion study reports positive effects of bilingualism on language and cognition

20 October 2020 (Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

A ground-breaking study into how Gaelic is perceived by secondary school pupils and how it develops their linguistic and cognitive skills found significant benefits of speaking the language alongside a global language such as English.

The immersion study, funded by Bord na Gàidhlig, was led by Dr Maria Garraffa and a team from Heriot-Watt University, together with Prof Bernadette O’Rourke from University of Glasgow and Prof Antonella Sorace from the University of Edinburgh.

They worked together with senior pupils from The Glasgow Gaelic School, the largest provider of Gaelic medium education in Scotland, to find out how our younger generation of Gaelic speakers view and use the language. It examined for the first time particularly whether older teenagers, after 15 years of education in Gaelic, continued to speak Gaelic or what might lead them to stop.

The research revealed that speaking Gaelic does not affect the ability to speak well in English – and that being bilingual provides more opportunities for those fluent in both.

Read more...

Königspost German writing competition

20 October 2020 (King's College London)

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

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

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

Read more...

Related Files

Tutoring sessions - Higher French & Advanced Higher Spanish

19 October 2020 (Language Learning Scotland)

Language Learning Scotland has added free drop-in tutoring sessions for Higher French and Advanced Higher Spanish to their offering. Open to S5/S6 students these sessions begin week commencing 19 October 2020.

Visit the website to find out more and to sign up. 

Read more...

In Short, Europe ESCAPE

18 October 2020 (EUNIC London)

A free online European Short Film Festival by EUNIC London will take place from 28 October to 4 November 2020.

The second edition of In Short Europe embraces the theme ESCAPE, offering our audience an online collection of short films that negotiate the concept through their form, themes and style. Through a variety of genres and styles, fifteen shorts from all over Europe feature characters and images that appear and disappear, following physical or mental journeys, reaching points of arrival or points of departure, always on the move, seeking an escape that may or may not come.

Whilst most films in the programme are foreign language with English subtitles, there are some with no dialogue providing an opportunity to use these in any language class with learners 16+.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

Discovery Film Festival 2020

18 October 2020 (Discovery Film Festival)

Welcome to the 17th edition of Discovery Film Festival – the first to be online – and another collection of the finest films handpicked for young audiences from around the world.

All films in the online festival programme will be accessible from Saturday 17 October to Sunday 1 November 2020. There's an exciting collection of shorts and brand-new features with accompanying curriculum-linked resource packs. The added benefit this year is that current restrictions and the move online means access to our programme will now be possible for schools across Scotland and the rest of the UK.

The school's programme includes some new shorts for language practice! Visit the festival website for full programme details.

Read more...

The Glasgow teacher who has led Gaelic education surge

18 October 2020 (The Herald)

The head teacher who has overseen a surge in demand for Gaelic Medium Education in Glasgow has said her own childhood experience of English-only lessons as a native speaker fuelled efforts to improve access to the language in schools.

Donalda McComb will now say “Beannach Leibh” to teaching after 34 years and heading up the city’s first joint campus, which combines a nursery, primary and secondary that was ranked ninth best performing high in this year’s league tables.

Glasgow is home to the largest number of Gaelic speakers outwith the Highlands and Islands, a mix of native speakers who move for university or jobs and those coming through Gaelic medium education (GME) or learning independently. 

Read more...

Radio Lingua resources

9 October 2020 (Radio Lingua)

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

French

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

Spanish

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

Italian

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

German

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

International Education Week 2020

8 October 2020 (British Council)

To celebrate International Education Week 2020 (16-20 November), British Council is offering three opportunities for pupils and language teachers:

  1. 'Welcome to the Arab World' webinar - Friday 20 November from 13:30-14:30

In collaboration with the Qatar Foundation International’s (QFI) Arabic Language and Culture programme a second ‘Welcome to the Arab World’ webinar event for upper secondary pupils (Year 9 and above) from any school.

This event will include sessions ‘An Introduction to Arabic language and cultures’, a session with Zaina Erhaim, a Syrian journalist who was reporting on the Syrian war from within Syria. She is currently a refugee in the UK and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR)'s Communications Manager. Zaina will speak about her life in Syria before and during the war and as a refugee and a live performance and conversation by Syrian American hip-hop artist Omar Offendum. Now living in Los Angeles, California, Omar is also a designer, poet and peace activist whose work blends Arabic and English words and rhythms.

This event will be a Teams Live broadcast to schools. There will be time for questions from pupils to all the speakers. NB this session is designed for those with no previous knowledge of Arabic

To attend this event, please register by completing our online form

  1. To celebrate International Education Week, British Council and Qatar Foundation International’s (QFI) Arabic Language and Culture programme is delighted to offer two opportunities for primary and lower secondary pupils;
  • An online, traditional, Arabic story-telling workshop for a maximum of 30 participants on Monday 16 November (three slots will be available at 9.00, 10.30 & 13.30).
  • An opportunity to connect your class with a native Arabic speaker through the NaTakallam project  on Tuesday 17 November at 11.00, Wednesday 18 November at 12.00 and Thursday 19 November at 13.00. The speaker will be able to discuss Arabic language and culture with your class, as well as share their own experiences as a refugee.

If you would like to express interest for either of these opportunities please contact TeachingArabic@britishcouncil.org  by Monday 19 October and include your school details. Successful applicants will be chosen at random. 

For more information on the Arabic Language and Culture programme at the British Council please visit our website  or email the team .

  1. Languages for all: how do we get there? A solutions-focussed look at practical steps schools can take to transform MFL uptake and success. 

The British Council and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages are proud to present this webinar hosted by the British Council on Monday 16 November 2020 from 16.30–17.30 GMT on Microsoft Teams.

This event will include the following presentations:

1.    Pedagogy in MFL at KS3 and KS4: ways forward for schools.
Presented by Ian Bauckham, CEO of the Tenax Schools Trust and Chair of the Teaching Schools Council’s Modern Foreign Languages Pedagogy Review.

2.    Successful primary-secondary transition: ways to give students the best possible start in Year 7.
Presented by Suzanne O'Farrell, MFL Consultant, ASCL.

3.    Fresh approaches to bringing languages alive through cultural knowledge and international connections.
Presented by Oliver Hopwood, Languages teacher.

Followed by Q&A and discussion.

Register for the webinar on the British Council website.

Vacancy: General Manager (CISS)

6 October 2020 (CISS)

Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools (CISS), based in Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT) requires a General Manager to support the network of Scotland’s Confucius classrooms across Scotland. This is an exciting opportunity to work at national level and drive forward the strategic languages agenda in Scotland.

The successful candidate will be part of the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools team based within SCILT at the Ramshorn building in Glasgow’s city centre but flexible working is supported. The centre leads 46 Confucius classrooms across Scotland, including secondary, primary and specialist classrooms.

The General Manager will support the Director with the strategic overview, management and quality assurance of CISS projects. S/he/they will take a lead role in the promotion of Chinese language and culture in response to the Scottish Government’s China Strategy and the 1+2 languages policy. S/he/they will contribute to the development of corporate and operational plans in order to achieve the strategic aims and objectives of CISS, in line with priorities determined by Scottish Government, Confucius Institute Headquarters (CIH), the Chinese International Education Foundation (CIEF) and the University of Strathclyde.

The successful candidate will be a fluent Mandarin speaker and able to use language to negotiate and conduct business. The candidate will have substantial management experience within institutions/organisations. An understanding of the Scottish education system would be an advantage. An excellent networker with an entrepreneurial flair, will be able to work effectively with a wide range of Chinese and UK stakeholders in government, academia and industry. S/he/they will be confident to develop strong partnerships with all stakeholders. 

For full details and to apply visit the University of Strathclyde's vacancy portal. Closing date for applications is 19 October 2020. 

Read more...

Calling all schools hosting a German Language Assistant!

5 October 2020 (UK-German Connection)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Application deadline: Monday 26 October 2020

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

Read more...

Class acts: three lockdown teaching stars discuss being back in school

3 October 2020 (The Guardian)

Staff who made headlines for their dedication during closures talk about the joy of reuniting with pupils and the impact of more restrictions.

[..] When James Innes, AKA the “Joe Wicks for French”, made the decision to share videos of his French lessons online over lockdown, he had no idea that he would return to his school a YouTube sensation.

Read more...

'Teachers key to development of Gaelic language in Scotland' claim as new three-year plan unveiled

2 October 2020 (Ross-shire Journal)

The vital role of teachers in the promotion of the Gaelic language in Scotland is acknowledged in a new three-year plan.

The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC Scotland) has launched its revised Gaelic Language Plan.

The plan sets out four key commitments:

  • To raise awareness of Gaelic as a language and to support its use through integrated communications.
  • To support the development of learning and teaching in Gaelic throughout Scotland.
  • To encourage growth of the Gaelic language both within GTC Scotland and externally.
  • To promote and support teacher professional development in the Gaelic language.

It complements the National Gaelic Language Plan which aims to promote the language and culture in Scotland. It outlines the need to explore new routes to promote, recruit, educate and retain the Gaelic education workforce and review existing routes into the profession.

And it acknowledges the role GTC Scotland has to play in addressing these challenges.

Read more...

Related Links

New plan to promote Gaelic revealed (The Northern Times, 3 October 2020)

 

Radio Lingua resources

2 October 2020 (Radio Lingua)

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

French

  • Chapter 9 of La Vérité éclate toujours, our course for Advanced Learners of French has now been released. This episode offers the chance to  look again at the past historic and present subjunctive, as well as the use of the present participle in structures such as tout en + present participle and rien qu’en + present participle. Plenty of challenge here for Advanced Higher pupils and teachers alike. Click here to listen to the episode
  • Our Coffee Break French Magazine series is another course suitable for intermediate learners. Each stand alone lesson helps you build your vocabulary, increase your understanding of grammar and learn to use the French language in a more natural way. Take a look at Episode 5 where we find out more about how the French spoken in Quebec is different from the French spoken in France. We also look at the very useful expression il s’agit de, and learn about how to use this in context.

Spanish

  • Our Spanish Travel Diaries sees us reach the halfway point of our trip around the north of Spain. In Episode 5 we’re making the most of our time in Santander before heading to our next stop in the Cantabria region of northern Spain. We’re visiting Santillana del Mar, often considered one of the most beautiful towns in Spain. Join hosts Mark and Anabel as they discuss the language used in Victoria’s travel diary entry, focusing on interesting vocabulary such as the adverb bien and the phrase en rumboAccess the podcast Access the course
  • If you're a teacher looking to boost or refresh your Spanish, but short on time and would like a quick 'espresso shot' of some Spanish learning then our Coffee Break Spanish Espresso course is for you. The short lessons in this series have been developed to help you deepen your understanding of the language and help you learn to express yourself in a more authentic way. In Episode 7, Mark talks about the word por and also looks at feminine nouns which use masculine articles. Native Spanish speaker Fernanda introduces the expression es una lástima que in the Subjunctive of the Week segment, and we have a quotation to share with you, focusing on knowledge and how little – or how much – we have. Can you guess which quote we're talking about? Click here to find out.

Italian

  • We're almost ready to release Season 2 of Coffee Break Italian To Go so there's not much longer to wait. Until then, we're taking a look back at Season 1 of Coffee Break Italian To Go so that we're ready to move on to the next level in the coming weeks. This time, we're talking sport as Francesca asks the question: qual è il tuo sport preferito? We receive a range of answers from native Italian speakers, featuring a variety of vocabulary and expressions which will help tune your ear to the language used in everyday speech. Click here to hear what passers-by in the city of Milan had to say.
  • It was time to revise a common Italian verb in our Grammar Builder post over on Facebook last Wednesday. The verb was ‘to play’, which is interesting as it can actually be translated in several different ways in Italian, depending on the context. Do you remember which verb would be used for the phrase: ‘to play the guitar’ and which verb would be used for: ‘to play football’? Click here to have a go at translating some sentences which use the verb ‘to play' in different ways.

German

  • We've also reached Episode 5 of the Coffee Break German Travel Diaries which means that we're halfway through our journey along the Deutsche Alpenstraße. This week, we're joining Karin and her family as they climb to the top of the mountain, Der Herzogstand and enjoy the cable car on the way back down before lunch. As Mark and Andrea discuss Karin's travel diary entry, they identify and review a number of verbs, including separable verbs, reflexive verbs and modal verbs. Listen to the podcast Access the course
  • Do you understand station? Over on our Instagram page last week, we learned a curious German idiom. Where English speakers may say 'it's all Greek to me', meaning they don't understand something at all, German speakers say 'I understand only station' or ich verstehe nur Bahnhof. Do you know any similar idiomatic phrases in other languages? Click here to see the post.

Apply for the new Erasmus+ Key Action 2 deadline

1 October 2020 (Erasmus+)

In response to COVID-19, the European Commission announced a new decentralised call with the deadline of 29 October 2020, 11am (UK time). Schools are invited to apply for Partnerships for Digital Education Readiness (KA226) and Partnerships for Creativity (KA227).

As virtual cooperation opportunities are key to successful partnerships in the Covid-19 context, schools are strongly encouraged to use the eTwinning and the School Education Gateway to find partners and work together before, during and after the project activities. 

Visit the Erasmus+ website to access application forms and guidance documents.

Read more...

Autumn immersion week

1 October 2020 (Language Learning Scotland)

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

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

Visit the LLS website for more information and to apply. 

Read more...

eSgoil study support webinars

1 October 2020 (eSgoil/SCILT)

SCILT is proud to partner with colleagues at e-Sgoil in order to offer additional support to sixth year language learners.

Free live webinar lessons for young people studying Advanced Higher French and Spanish are available on line for eight weeks from the beginning of November.

Advanced Higher Spanish

Wednesdays 5 pm from 4 November 2020

Advanced Higher French

Thursdays 5 pm from 5 November 2020

Going by the response to previous live-streamed lessons, interest is likely to be high.  Please encourage young people to sign up as quickly as possible to guarantee their place. They will need their pupil Glow login details and Scottish Candidate Number to register.

More information and the registration link can be found on the eSgoil website.

Read more...

MTOT is back!

1 October 2020 (SCILT)

SCILT is delighted to announce the launch of Mother Tongue Other Tongue 2020-21!  This exciting competition is now open, and we want to find the next generation of young multilingual poets in Scotland. The competition has been redesigned to suit our new digital era, and we are inviting young people to submit entries focussing on the spoken word.  Videos, sound files, voiceovers, narrated presentations – whatever format fits best, we want to hear the voices of young linguists showcasing their language and poetry skills. It’s a great time to get involved with the creative side of language learning, so visit our MTOT webpages to find out more.

Read more...

Why it’s great Scotland is bucking the trend on learning languages

26 September 2020 (The National)

In a report entitled Breaking the Language Barrier, published by Reform Scotland in October 2018, it is noted that the UK Government estimates poor language skills cost the economy £48 billion annually, equivalent to 3.5% of GDP. While Anglophone countries often dismiss other languages, Scotland is demonstrating an appetite to turn the tide.

The flagship for change is the Scottish Government’s 1+2 policy, launched in 2012, providing children with the opportunity to learn a first additional language from primary one and a second from primary five. Seven years later, the 1+2 generation is now starting secondary school.

There are already encouraging signs at Higher level, where, according to recent research by Dr Hannah Doughty on trends over a seven-year period, languages as a whole enjoy a higher percentage uptake than biology or physics.

Further encouragement comes from Holyrood. Ivan McKee, the Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, recently stated that: “It is essential we inspire young people to learn languages, to provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to take full advantage of opportunities in our fast-changing world.”

Crucial here is that McKee mentions “skills”. Languages are not simply about the ability to move between tongues, mechanically expressing information and ideas. Arguably the greatest benefit from the study of languages lies not in their mastery, but in other skills acquired on the journey.

Read more...

Competition: ‘Rethinking Languages through COVID-19’

24 September 2020 (MLOE)

The competition invites Year 9 language students (S2 in Scotland)  to do a little bit of research on how COVID-19 has affected an area in which a language other than English is spoken. This could be a language you speak outside of school, are learning independently, or are studying in school. 

Students can work individually or in groups up to four to produce a poster submission based on their discoveries. Further guidelines and information about the competition can be found on the Modern Languages Outreach and Engagement website. Submission deadline: 18 December 2020.

Read more...

Radio Lingua resources

24 September 2020 (Radio Lingua)

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

French

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

Spanish

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

Italian

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

German

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

La Fête du Cinéma d’Animation

24 September 2020 (Alliance Française)

The online animated film festival is back with a selection of Francophone animated films which you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home!

From Wednesday 14 to Saturday 31 October you can access and stream for free 2 films and 11 short films.

Visit the Alliance Française website for more information.

Read more...

Watch the webinars from the Welcome to the Arab World event

22 September 2020 (British Council)

In June 2020 we held our Welcome to the Arab World event for pupils, and the recordings are now available.

There are four sessions each lasting approximately 20 minutes.

  1. An introduction to Arabic language and cultures by Tony Calderbank from the Qatar Foundation International (QFI).  
  2. A traditional Arab story told by Elias Mattar. 
  3. Stereotypes of the Arab world by Hana Mohamed who works for Caabu (The Council for Arab British Understanding). 
  4. A live performance and conversation from Syrian American hip-hop artist Omar Offendum.

Visit the website for more information and to view the webinar recordings.

Read more...

European Day of Languages 2020 - competition for schools

21 September 2020 (ALL)

ALLNE, NfLNE and partners are once again organising the annual European Day of Languages Competition for Schools and in 2020 it is again open to anyone! The organising committee invites language learners in any key stage to create a piece of text in a language they are learning on the theme: International city.

Submission deadline: Wednesday 7 October 2020.

Visit the ALL website for more information.

Read more...

Radio Lingua resources

17 September 2020 (Radio Lingua)

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

French

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

Spanish

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

Italian

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

German

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

Les Pépites internationales

17 September 2020 (Institut français)

The Institut français is partnering with the Salon du Livre et de la Presse Jeunesse (SLPJ) in Montreuil to promote French-speaking children's literature to French learners around the world.

In addition to literary selections for 3-14 year olds and associated teaching materials, videoconferences between classes and several authors and illustrators from the book selection are available during October and November 2020.

Visit the Pépites internationales website for more information.

Read more...

Our World film making project

17 September 2020 (SEET)

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

Apply now to take part in the 2020-21 project. 

Visit the SEET Our World webpage for more information.

Read more...

The Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators

17 September 2020 (University of Oxford)

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

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

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

Read more...

Worldwide Napier magazine - call for submissions

16 September 2020 (Edinburgh Napier University)

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

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

More information is available on the attached document.

Related Files

All the World is Our Stage: Primary Pupils Never Lost in Translanguaging

14 September 2020 (Creative Multilingualism)

This OWRI-funded project celebrates linguistic diversity and reflects on the multilingual, multicultural and superdiverse society represented in Glasgow today. This multilingual performance supports the teaching and learning journey of primary schooling in non-affluent areas of the city. Pupils work together to choose traditional songs and rhymes and script a multilingual play.

Recordings of a webinar series about the project and associated resources are now available on the Creative Multilingualism website. An article about the project can also be found in TECLA Issue 1/2020 (page 11), the magazine resource for Spanish language learning in the classroom.

Read more...

e-Sgoil Study Support Webinars

11 September 2020 (e-Sgoil)

Young people from across Scotland are participating in a series of live study support webinar lessons being delivered by e-Sgoil. 

Building on the success of the e-Sgoil ‘lockdown’ offer - where over 3,000 young people from across the country participated in real-time e-Sgoil lessons from their homes - the package of study support seeks to complement the work being done by schools by providing free, live, interactive webinar lessons in an extensive range of courses at Level 5 (National 5) and Level 6 (Higher). 

Twenty courses are currently on offer in the evenings, in a range of subjects including French, Gaelic, Gaidhlig, Mandarin, Spanish, Business Management, Chemistry, Computing Science, Eachdraidh, English, History, Maths, Music, Physics and RMPS. 

e-Sgoil Study Support live webinar lessons are scheduled to run for a period of eight weeks in the first instance and employ a ‘flipped’ learning approach, where participants undertake prior learning using supplied resources before attending the real-time 45-minute webinar lesson, hosted in Glow. All e-Sgoil live webinar lessons are delivered by subject specialists and are scheduled after school in the evening.  

Angus Mclennan, Head Teacher of e-Sgoil commented:
“e-Sgoil is delighted to offer Senior Phase pupils from across Scotland the opportunity to participate in a wide-range of live webinar lessons that will reinforce school-based learning. Each webinar lesson is a stand-alone learning experience, so new participants are welcome to sign-up to join future sessions”. 

Young people can sign-up directly by simply accessing the e-Sgoil Study Support registration form at www.e-sgoil.com

(Pupil Glow login details and Scottish Candidate Number (SCN) are required as part of the registration process). 

In Quarantine, Kids Pick Up Parents’ Mother Tongues

10 September 2020 (New York Times)

A few days into the lockdown here in London, I noticed a surprising side-effect of the pandemic: My 3-year-old son was speaking more German.

German is my mother tongue, and I have used it with him since he was born, but because everyone around us speaks English, including my British husband, we settled into a pattern typical of mixed families. I spoke to my son in German, and he replied in English. Then Covid-19 reshuffled our linguistic deck. As all of us quarantined at home, my son embraced German with unprecedented enthusiasm. Now, almost six months on, it has become his preferred language. In a complete reversal, he even replies to my husband in German.

Read more...

Online French exam support classes

8 September 2020 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow will be running online classes to support pupils studying for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher exams and students studying French at university. Follow the relevant link below for more information.

StampIT language learning resources

7 September 2020 (StampIT)

StampIT offers resources to help teach primary learners different languages using the medium of stamps. Follow the relevant link below to find out more about the latest additions to the resource bank:

  • Let's Look at China - StampIT’s new Let’s Look at China Mandarin learning pack with workbooks, Powerpoint presentation for teachers; detailed CfE links across literacy, arts, language and social studies aimed at upper primary level. Investigates the culture and language of China.  
  • Find out all about StampIT - Sandie Robb, Association of Scottish Philatelic Societies Development Officer and Royal Zoological Society of Scotland Language Project Coordinator, explains the concept in this video and how the various courses and resources can assist with language learning but also include links to the wider curriculum.  

Boost your job prospects or do what you love? How to pick the right uni subject

5 September 2020 (The Guardian)

For many students, working out what to study at university is guided by whether they want a route directly to a job, or to keep their options open. But sometimes it’s not easy to decide between the two.

This was Morgan McArthur’s experience. She’s now a 21-year-old languages student at the University of Sheffield – but she nearly became a dentist. 

Read more...

Japanese Language Local Project Support Programme 2020-21

1 September 2020 (Japan Foundation)

Institutions can apply for up to £3000 for non-profit making activities which promote Japanese-language education in the UK. Priority is given to projects falling within one of the following categories:

  • Introducing Japanese into the curriculum
  • Supporting GCSE or A-level courses
  • Japanese clubs
  • Projects that enable links between secondary institutions and institutions of higher education

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information and apply by 25 September 2020.

Read more...

German language courses

1 September 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

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

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

TECLA magazine - Issue 2/2020

1 September 2020 (Consejería de Educación)

The latest edition of TECLA has been published with lots of ideas for the teaching of Spanish. It includes, among other contents:

  • the project HolaCandela.com, with online resources for teachers and students of Spanish;
  • the use of PADLET in the Spanish classroom;
  • a presentation of the 7th edition of Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival, that includes a special program for schools;
  • a sequence for the classroom using posters, labels, signs and other public messages.

Read more...

CISS Alumni Association webinar series

1 September 2020 (CISS)

The CISS Alumni Association has organised a webinar series which aims to showcase the various experiences the alumni have had with further education, jobs, internships and Mandarin.

The webinars take place on Zoom on 8, 15 and 22 September at 6:30pm and will last just over an hour. 

The speakers are all alumni who will talk about their experiences after the scholarship and the impact the scholarship has had on such opportunities. (Please note - the scholarship opportunity is only available to Confucius hub schools, however all pupils considering studying abroad will hear about the resulting benefits of pursuing similar initiatives).

The details of each webinar are below:

  • 1st Webinar – Education
    8 September at 6:30pm
    Speakers: Sara Cassidy, Leah Duncan-Karim, Grace Paterson
  • 2nd Webinar –Jobs
    15 September at 6:30pm
    Speakers: Cameron Smyth, Connor Cloughley, Natalie Hotchkiss
  • 3rd Webinar – Internships and Summer jobs
    22 September at 6:30pm
    Speakers: Erin Duffy, Owen Wilson, Robin Wilson

All school pupils and teachers are welcome and we kindly ask you to pass on these details to all interested parties. 

Please register via this link and the details of the Zoom will be made available to you.

 

Virtual after school programme

26 August 2020 (LFEE)

LFEE Europe has created a virtual after school programme (VASCO programme) to offer live language sessions in French and Spanish for primary pupils.

For more information, see the attached flyer.

Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival (ESFF) - School Programme October 2020

24 August 2020 (Consejería de Educación)

The Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival is back for its seventh edition and it includes a School Programme aimed at Spanish learning students (6, 7 and 8 October). 

Due to COVID-19, the regular format has changed to an Online Event: the film will be available for  48 hours. The way this would work would be through a link sent to teachers, allowing them access to watch the films in class within a set time. In this edition, the School Programme films are ‘Los Futbolísimos’ (P7-S2) and ‘Una vez más’ for (S3-S6). 

This programme for Spanish students gives them the opportunity to better their language skills as well as cultural awareness. ESFF has also prepared a set of post-film activities available for students to delve more deeply into films and practice vocabulary. 

Tickets £25 per class. For tickets reservations and further information, please contact info.esff@ed.ac.uk 

#oekoropa competition

24 August 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

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

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information.

Read more...

GCSEs 2020: French and Spanish revival continues

20 August 2020 (TES)

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

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

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

(Note - subscription required to access full article)

Read more...

How technology kept Scotland's Gaelic-speaking community connected during lockdown

19 August 2020 (The Herald)

With lockdown cutting us off physically from the communities around us, technology has been a vital tool for keeping connected.

This was particularly true for Scotland’s Gaelic-speaking community, with some pioneering young people using online methods to keep the language alive - and its community of speakers connected.

Calum Ferguson, 25, and Donnie Forbes, 23, decided to team up to combine their passion for Gaelic with a love of football. During lockdown, they created YouTube videos that challenged youngsters to practice football tricks while speaking Gaelic phrases.

“If I film myself passing a ball while saying the phrase ‘pass the ball’ in Gaelic, kids eventually put two and two together and learn the language that way,” explains Donnie. “People are seeing us deliver the action, say the action at the same time- that helps the language click.”

“People learn languages in different ways,” adds Calum. “Some will learn by sitting down and reading a textbook, some by speaking it, but others might find that visual learning is best. What we feel is important is giving as many resources as you can to people, to offer plenty of opportunities to speak the language.”

Read more...

French Film Festival UK 2020

18 August 2020 (French Film Festival)

The French Film Festival UK’s Learning programme has always been a class act, bringing French-speaking cinema to thousands of pupils and teachers over the years. In these challenging times instead of welcoming school groups to participating cinemas we will bring the festival to you on either DVDs or blu-rays which can be shown to suit your schedules over a two month period. They will be available from 26 October until 18 December 2020. Accompanying a selection of films for different age groups, teachers can find learning resources online prepared by Lise Morel and Edinburgh Film House.

Visit the Festival website for more information about the programme and to book your dates and titles.

Read more...

The British Academy responds to 2020 A levels data

13 August 2020 (British Academy)

With the release today of this year’s A level results, the British Academy warns that the continuing decline in the number of students in England taking ‘other languages’ poses significant risk to the UK’s linguistic capacity – a key component in trade, soft power and social cohesion.

Today’s Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) data show a continued decline in the number of students taking qualifications in languages, which has fallen 13% this year. There has been a particularly big fall in students taking ‘other languages’ – including languages such as Mandarin, Arabic, Urdu, Turkish, Russian, and Japanese – where entries this year are 40%  down year on year, following a fall of 14% between 2018 and 2019.

Interest in Spanish continues to increase slightly (up 1%), building on the upwards trend seen at GCSE. Numbers for French seem to have stabilised this year, but at historically low levels. Numbers for German have fallen 6% following a slight upturn last year.

Read more...

Related Links

Press Release: A Level Results 2020 (ALL, 13 August 2020)

A levels 2020: Languages see big leap in top grades (TES, 13 August 2020)

The hidden tragedy of this year's A level figures (Alcantara Communications, 17 August 2020)

Why employ a language assistant?

11 August 2020 (British Council)

UK schools, colleges and universities can benefit from a language assistant. They can help enrich classroom activities and bring fresh perspectives to language learning, helping to boost results.

Our language assistants are native speakers of French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Irish, coming from 14 partner countries across the world. They are keen to bring knowledge of their culture and language into your classroom, helping to make your students more socially conscious.

Visit the website to learn about the impact language assistants had in schools in Aberdeenshire and the Western Isles and apply today to host a modern language assistant in your institution.

Read more...

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

10 August 2020 (TES)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more...

StampIT website updated

10 August 2020 (StampIT)

StampIT is the Association of Scottish Philatelic Societies youth programme where children can discover a world of stamps through interactive games and activities. StampIT also provides a number of ideas for teachers to use stamps across the curriculum. Stamps are a great medium for learning about a wide range of subjects including arts, music, history, geography, science, sport, culture and languages.

StampIT is 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!

See the attached flyers for more information and visit the website for a range of games and activities for learners of French, Spanish, Mandarin and Japanese.

Read more...

Related Files

Fall in Welsh-capable teachers risks missing language target, report warns

6 August 2020 (The Guardian)

A “striking” decline in the number of newly qualified teachers able to teach in Welsh could undermine the country’s ambition to have a million speakers of the language in 30 years’ time, a report warns.

The Welsh language commissioner, Aled Roberts, expressed concern about the trend and called for the devolved government to take urgent action to reverse the fall.

Three years ago ministers in Wales launched a plan to almost double the number of Welsh speakers by 2050, with a key plank of the strategy being a steady increase the number of professionals teaching through the language.

Read more...

Host a teacher / Have your say

4 August 2020 (UK-German Connection)

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

Stay international: Host a Teacher from Germany

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

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

Deadlines:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deadline: 15 September

Complete the form on the Have your say webpage.

Survey - Resources to support SQA Modern Languages

28 July 2020 (Hodder Gibson)

Publishers, Hodder Gibson, are keen to commission new resources to support Modern Languages departments at National 3-5 and would be grateful to hear directly from teachers to establish what they would find useful.

Please help by taking part in the research survey. It will take about 10 minutes to complete.

Read more...

Language learning vital to pandemic recovery, the British Academy and partners urge

8 July 2020 (British Academy)

A coalition of partners is today putting forward to the Government a strategy to boost language learning, which has fallen drastically in recent years. The British Academy, the British Council, Universities UK and the Association of School and College Leaders believe this strategy is essential to the economic and social strength of the UK as it emerges from COVID-19.

The economic cost of the UK’s linguistic underperformance, in terms of lost trade and investment has been estimated at 3.5% of GDP. Languages are vital for fostering effective international cooperation and commercial links, as well as for improving educational performance, cognitive function and skills, opportunity, intercultural understanding, and social cohesion.

Towards a National Languages Strategy: Education and Skills is the first UK-wide languages initiative in a generation, and consists of short and medium-term actions for schools, colleges, universities, employers and others. It takes account of the different language and policy landscapes of the UK’s four jurisdictions.

Read more...

The Big Interview: Meet the Moray man helping to keep dying languages alive across the world

29 June 2020 (Press and Journal)

From the age of 10 Finlay Macleod was fascinated with languages – how they are formed, how they are spoken and what they represent.

Today dozens of tongues across the world continue to be spoken due to the work the linguist has done to help keep them alive.

For weeks at a time the Western Isles native, who runs the Moray Language Centre from his home in Portessie near Buckie, travels to the US and Canada to work with indigenous groups to teach techniques about sustaining one of the most sacred parts of their culture.

Some have blossomed again from being spoken by as few as 10 people in remote locations, while others have grown from hundreds to communities of thousands that have spanned entire regions.

The projects the 65-year-old runs with the worldwide Indigenous Language Institute are on top of the work he does to grow Gaelic in Scotland through nursery classes and immersive experiences – a move he says is in opposition to the UK school curriculum for leaning new tongues remaining rooted in centuries-old traditions.

Read more...

Surge in online Gaelic learners during coronavirus lockdown

24 June 2020 (The Herald)

It seemed to be on a one-way road to extinction but now signs of a revival are emerging.

The number of people looking to take online lessons in Gaelic has surged to a record high since the start of the coronavirus lockdown, new data shows.

MG ALBA, the Gaelic media service, said that over 114,000 unique users accessed the LearnGaelic website between March 23 and June 2.

Read more...

Furloughed Eurostar staff become French teachers

24 June 2020 (BBC)

Eurostar staff furloughed during the lockdown are helping London schools with online French lessons.

Rail staff not currently working, including train drivers, have volunteered to help pupils learning at home online.

Only a limited number of Eurostar's services to France and Belgium are running - and about 30 staff have been helping with French lessons.

Read more...

Be a positive messenger - Homework challenge: Refugees and migrants

17 June 2020 (British Council)

Inspired by Refugee Week’s 20 Simple Acts campaign, we’ve created a homework challenge to help your pupils find out more about the lives of migrants and refugees, show support, and celebrate the contributions they make to societies around the world. The pack offers the chance to explore other cultures and languages.

Read more...

‘I just need a connection’: the refugees teaching languages across borders

17 June 2020 (The Guardian)

A unique platform lets teachers from Venezuela to Syria to Burundi earn a living teaching their language online.

Louisa Waugh and Ghaith Alhallak have met for language lessons in seven countries. “We counted it up the other day,” says Waugh, recalling the list of places from which she has video-called Alhallak: Britain, Mali, Senegal and Greece. Alhallak has answered from Lebanon, France and Italy, where he is now studying for a master’s degree in political science at the University of Padua.

“You just need a connection,” he says.

The 770 students and 64 teachers at NaTakallam - “we speak” in Arabic – conduct their lessons entirely online, allowing refugees to speak to students who might not otherwise have contact with displaced people. The service also circumvents restrictions on work for refugees and asylum seekers in their new countries of residence, which means they can earn money.

“I really see it as solving two problems,” says one of NaTakallam’s founders, Aline Sara. “Refugees need access to an income, but with no work permit they’re often stuck in limbo. Yet they have innate talents within them in the form of their language, their story and culture, while so many people want flexible language practice,” she says. “There’s an idea that people always want to train and help refugees, but really they can help us.”

Read more...

Latest SLEA recipients announced!

17 June 2020 (SCILT)

The latest verification round of the Scottish Languages Employability Award (SLEA) has taken place, and two more schools were delighted to receive recognition for their successful partnership working in promoting languages as a key skill for employment.

Bathgate Academy in West Lothian received a Bronze Award for their projects with partners including Clarke Fire Protection Products, Mitsubishi and WL Gore. The awarding panel commented: “The links made with local businesses are strong and purposeful and have excellent long-term potential.”

Broughton High School in Edinburgh received a Gold Award for their projects with a range of partners, including Visit Scotland, The Balmoral Hotel and Social Bite. The awarding panel commented: “The projects are impressive in the variety of ways in which they convey the importance of languages to pupils, fostering the importance of citizenship and cultural understanding as well as language skills.”

Congratulations to both schools on their excellent achievements! 

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. Find out how to submit your entry for the next verification round on the SCILT website.

Read more...

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

17 June 2020 (University of Dundee)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Language learning needs to be protected from becoming a casualty of coronavirus

12 June 2020 (iNews)

With travel limited and schools closed, our ability to speak to the world is under threat.

When learning a new language, you begin with the words you would normally need every day: words for meeting people, going to cafés and restaurants, asking for the way to the station. Now – in a world where a summer holiday, let alone living abroad, feels like a fading possibility – that rule seems ironic.

While terms like self-isolation and social distancing have become basic vocabulary in English, those classic foreign phrases have evoked a strange sort of wanderlust, tainted by a festering frustration.

With millions of pupils now staying at home until September at the earliest – language degrees and lessons could be among the most disrupted – and foreign travel affected for the foreseeable future, it is vital our ability to talk to the world does not turn into another casualty of coronavirus.

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Language GCSE entries up but a mixed picture at A level

11 June 2020 (TES)

Provisional data on GCSE entries in 2020 released today reveals a rise in the number of pupils studying for a modern foreign language at GCSE.

Overall, language entries increased by 2 per cent, from 268,955 to 275,000. Entries for Spanish and German rose by 5 per cent and 3 per cent respectively, while French entries remained stable.

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Coffee Break Conversations: Season preview

10 June 2020 (Radio Lingua)

Coffee Break Conversations is a new podcast in which we talk about life, learning and languages. Over the past 14 years, Coffee Break Languages podcasts have helped millions of language learners around the world learn French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Swedish and English. In this new podcast we’re going to be having conversations with some of these learners.

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IFcinéma à la carte

9 June 2020 (Institut français)

The French and African online film festival, « IFcinéma à la carte » is free and open to all.

From Friday 12 June to Monday 13 July 2020, 11 short films and 10 feature films from France and Africa are available online, free of charge and without registration.

The films are subtitled in various languages (English and Spanish at least as well as, in some cases, Portuguese, Italian, Arabic, etc.) and accessible worldwide.

Visit the website for more information about the programme.

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Coronavirus: French teacher's Hebridean lockdown

9 June 2020 (BBC)

A French language assistant who remained in the Western Isles during the coronavirus lockdown has been praised for the unique contribution she has made to young people's education.

Mathilde Forgerit arrived in Lewis last August for what was her first experience of teaching French abroad.

During the pandemic she has been able to use the islands' digital learning facilities to deliver classes to young people in other parts of Scotland too.

She said that despite being far from her family, the kindness of islanders stopped her from feeling isolated.

[..] Mathilde returned home to France last week, but the comhairle said she had left behind a positive language learning legacy across island schools.

Senior education officer Mary Clare Ferguson said: "She proved to be such an asset and a natural teacher.

"The pupils loved working with her and gained so much insight from a young person about her life in France, her culture and language. She really motivated them to improve their language skills."

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Russian Language & Culture Education Pack

6 June 2020 (British Council)

To celebrate Russian Language Day, the British Council has a new teaching resource to help primary teachers introduce some aspects of Russian language and culture to their pupils. It contains lessons and assembly plans, factual information and resources to help pupils develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of the rich language and culture of Russia and the lives of young Russians.

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Scots Story Competition 2020

3 June 2020 (The Story Is)

Could you be Young Scots Writer of the Year 2020? Enter our fantastic competition for young people aged 11-18 to write a poem, a story, a play or a song in the Scots language.

Visit the website for more information about the competition and submit entries by 24 June 2020.

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SEET @ Home: Take Two!

3 June 2020 (SEET)

Whilst we are all carry on with our home learning, SEET continues to offer opportunities for pupils to engage in language learning and citizenship projects from home. Due to such a high demand for our new SEET @ Home project, and the quality of entries for the 'Community in Isolation' theme (judgement of films ongoing), SEET is proud to launch SEET @ Home: Take Two! Once again, all pupils need is access to a smart phone or tablet (any device that shoots video), and to download a free app or two! 

This project is open to all ages (both primary and secondary pupils). We invite pupils to make a short film (maximum 2- minutes) based on the theme 'Sustainability at Home'. We also ask that pupils include at least one language other than English in their films, making this excellent opportunity for pupils to develop and showcase their language learning. Our favourite films will win cinema vouchers! 

If you would like to take part, and we really hope you do, then please get in contact with us by emailing info@seet.org.uk and we will send you more information. Alternatively, you can find more information on our website. We have created an online document that includes a suggested timetable, a list of recommended free apps and a few useful filmmaking tips and tricks which we think will really help.

The deadline for these films is Monday 22 June 2020 at 5pm. Please don’t forget to tweet about your experience using #SEETatHome to @SEET_scotland.

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Transform your playground into an outdoor classroom

1 June 2020 (La Jolie Ronde)

Outdoor play is great for encouraging children to be physically active as well as improving health and well-being. So why not transform your playground into an outdoor classroom with one of La Jolie Ronde's award-winning language learning Theme Days? The Theme Days are perfect for small groups of children, across the school, to join in a fun and worthwhile language learning activity, in either French or Spanish, plus "no specialist language skills" required so any teacher or teaching assistant can participate.  

Schools why not replace Sports Day with our Olympic Theme Day? Create your own mini Olympic games! Perfect for pupils to learn all about the history of the games. Includes: Mini Olympic events, templates for coloured flashcards of the events, role play activities, templates for passes, ideas for certificates, 3 board games to revise language learning.

French - www.language-resources.co.uk/products/theme-days-fr-olympics

Spanish - www.language-resources.co.uk/products/theme-days-es-olympics

If you're wanting an abundance of playground games, then our Around My School Theme Day ticks all boxes - Such a great topic for everyone to have fun with! There are plenty of outdoor activities in this Theme Day. Includes: Video clips of French/Spanish children showing us their school, lots of typical French/Spanish playground games, a school treasure hunt, and a fun non-uniform day activity to reinforce items of clothing & colours. Buy here:

French - https://www.language-resources.co.uk/products/theme-days-fr-around-my-school

Spanish - https://www.language-resources.co.uk/products/theme-days-es-around-my-school

Celebrate on 14 July, with our Bastille Day Theme Day.  Perfect for teaching pupils all about France's very important holiday. Includes: the story of the storming of the Bastille, ideas for a Bastille Day picnic, traditional French games like pétanque, instructions for making French flags and rosettes. Buy here:

French - www.language-resources.co.uk/products/theme-days-fr-bastille

***SPECIAL OFFER FOR SCILT  - We're giving you 20% OFF all our Theme Day, simply use promotional code TD20 at checkout.

We can invoice you as well - simply email your order to schools@lajolieronde.co.uk quoting SCILT.

Goethe on Demand

1 June 2020 (Goethe-Institut)

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

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

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Genes And Musical Ability Both Affect How People Hear Tonal Languages

27 May 2020 (Forbes)

In some languages, the meaning of each word is not only conveyed by the order of its syllables, but also by the pitch. Tonal languages such as Cantonese, Mandarin or Yoruba are difficult to learn for people who are used to non-tonal languages like English. They require you to be able to pick up on subtle pitch differences, and new research suggests that your ability to do so may be genetic. However, they also noted that genetics only played a small role. Whether or not someone had taken music lessons was more likely to affect how well they hear lexical tones.

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Gary Lineker: Learning a language is one of the most important things you can do – in Spain once I really ballsed it up

27 May 2020 (The Sun)

Want to get a real sense of Spanish? Then learn from a footie legend who picked up the lingo while playing for one of the country’s top teams.

Sports pundit Gary Lineker is among a host of famous faces who have signed up to teach kids on CBBC show Celebrity Supply Teacher.

[..] Gary will be livening up the classroom by helping little ones learn Spanish through football.

The ex-England striker learned the language when he transferred from Everton to Barcelona in 1986. He also attempted to master Japanese during two seasons at League club Nagoya Grampus Eight.

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New Website Harnesses The Power Of Music And Drama To Teach Welsh And Spanish

27 May 2020 (Wales 247)

Primary school teachers and parents can now harness music and drama to help children learn Welsh and Spanish by using a new, free to use website. 

The website includes more than 30 activities, such as simple drama games and songs in three languages.

Everything needed to lead children through the activities is provided, including full instructions, demonstration videos, downloadable sheet music, lyrics, audio files and suggestions for extension and reflection.

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eTwinning - Online training, workshops and courses

26 May 2020 (British Council)

eTwinning offers various free online professional development at both a UK and a European level. 

Visit the website for a full schedule of online events beginning in June 2020, including a one hour introduction to eTwinning.

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Connecting Classrooms - Learning for sustainability

26 May 2020 (Learning for Sustainability Scotland)

Get funding to collaborate locally and internationally on the big issues that shape our world.

Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning is here to help you bring Learning for Sustainability and the Global Goals to life for your learners! There are a host of learning opportunities and support on offer through the Connecting Classrooms programme. Whether you are looking for personal development opportunities, or want to collaborate with other schools.

Visit the website to find out more. Next funding application deadline is 15 June 2020.

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Watch new PowerLanguage Challenge videos

25 May 2020 (PowerLanguage)

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

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Scotland Learns - Gaelic medium resources

21 May 2020 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has created a new portal, Scotland Learns, to help practitioners and parents support children's home learning during school closures.

This week on Scotland Learns the team has added a range of learning activities for parents and carers whose children learn through the medium of Gaelic. Learning activities are also available in English to support parents and carers who may not speak Gaelic. 

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British Council Campaign

19 May 2020 (UCML)

The British Council has been a major disseminator of knowledge about the United Kingdom and of the English language since its foundation in 1934, working with over 50 countries. Since the start of the Covid-19 public health crisis, the British Council has had to close most of its schools and test centres across the globe, leading to a substantial budget deficit. Although a public body under the auspices of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the government response to the council’s financial situation has not been positive, and the council’s future is now significantly under threat.

UCML considers the British Council one of its closest allies in its mission to support study, teaching and research in modern languages, and has therefore launched a campaign to raise awareness of the vital role the British Council plays in languages education. To this end we have written a letter to the Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, as well as other key stakeholders, and support the campaign launched by the Public and Commercial Services Union, which includes an Early Day Motion in Parliament.

Visit the website to read the letter and find out how you can participate in the campaign.

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Online French classes

14 May 2020 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française offers a variety of opportunities for learners of French. Follow the relevant link below to find out more:

For information on all other initiatives offered by the organisation, visit the main website.

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Shadow Heroes

13 May 2020 (RSA)

Gitanjali Patel FRSA believes that translation is a force for change, as well as an untapped resource for teaching students how to harness their linguistic abilities to become critical, yet responsible, global citizens.

Earlier this year, five translators delivered five original workshops in two north London state schools – William Ellis and Camden School for Girls – as part of a Shadow Heroes series supported by the RSA’s Catalyst fund. Our aim was to demonstrate the power of translation in teaching critical thinking and as a socially inclusive endeavour, highlighting the fun, varied and cross-disciplinary nature of working with languages. Following on from our earlier introduction to the series, here are some of our reflections. 

Shadow Heroes workshops aim to introduce students to a range of languages and perspectives from outside western Europe, and this series was no exception. Our opening workshop, got students thinking about how our different perspectives, interests and worldviews influence the way we read and interpret, and what effect this might have on our translations. A second workshop on translating Arabic comics, led by Nariman Youssef and Sawad Hussain, introduced concepts of foreignisation and domestication, helping students to make self-aware decisions as they adapted translations for different audiences. Next, Ayça Türkoğlu’s workshop used Turkish pop songs to offer an in-depth look at voice, idiom and onomatopoeia. This emphasis on the complexities of translating voice continued throughout the series. Yuka Harada-Parr guided students in their retranslations of the Japanese dialogue of a Dragon Ball Z trailer, and the final session, on translating slang, drew on the skills built during previous workshops to highlight the power structures evident in the language(s) we use.

The workshops drew on contemporary fiction, film, music and art from across the world. Each looked to shift the idea of language as simply a system for communication and emphasise its grounding in people and societies, cultures and politics. Feedback showed an enthusiastic response from students and teachers at both schools to a broader presentation of language learning. 

[..] We would love to hear from teachers and educational practitioners who are interested in getting involved with future iterations of our project, or who have questions about this one.

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Tackling the languages ‘crisis’: Supporting multilingualism in the new curriculum for Wales

13 May 2020 (BERA)

A commitment to languages is front and centre of the Welsh government’s education policies. This is evident in the pledge to achieve 1 million Welsh speakers by 2050 (Welsh Government, 2017) and the Global Futures strategy and plan (Welsh Government, 2016) to build a ‘bilingual plus one nation’. Nonetheless, there remains an alarming decline of uptake of GCSE modern foreign languages (MFL).

What can be done to inspire an uplift for modern foreign languages across Wales in the future?

As a non-compulsory subject beyond KS3, the landscape for language learning in Wales (beyond English and Welsh) has been challenging for the last two decades, with entries for GCSEs in MFL falling by 60 per cent between 2002–2019 (Tinsley, 2019). However, in our article, ‘Multilingual perspectives: Preparing for language learning in the new curriculum for Wales’ (part of a new special issue of the Curriculum Journal), we discuss how the New Curriculum for Wales 2022 could offer hope for arresting and reversing the decline (Gorrara, Jenkins, Jepson, & Machin, 2020).

It focusses on the value of promoting a younger learner’s experience of all languages: Welsh, English and what are now termed ‘international languages’ (encompassing all non-indigenous languages in Wales). In this context, languages are positioned as ‘key to understanding the world around us’ (Welsh Government, 2020).

This commitment to the social and cultural benefits of multiple language learning creates opportunities for schools to diverge from a traditional emphasis on transactional language learning towards a multilingual approach. In our article, we argue that such multilingual practices and methodologies can reinvigorate a younger learner’s connection to languages by making them more dynamic and relevant to our globalised and connected world.

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SCILT's COVID response: Live streamed classes

7 May 2020 (SCILT)

This Monday (4 May) saw the launch of the first week of language classes, courtesy of our partnership with e-Sgoil. Demand was far greater than anticipated and despite some issues with registration, valid email addresses and technical challenges, hundreds of youngsters from P1 to Advanced Higher took part in a range of interesting classes. We have now had to stop taking new registrations for BGE and senior phase classes in French and Spanish and Give it a Go Italian as classes are full. Spaces are still available for NQ classes in Gaelic, German, Italian and Mandarin. For secondary pupils who would like to try something new, there are some places available on "Discovering the Arabic World". This gives the opportunity to learn a language that is less frequently taught in schools and explore the fascinating cultures of Arabic speaking countries. Spaces are limited and are allocated on a first come basis.  

See the attached timetable with links to enrol.

Related Files

The future of language education in Europe: case studies of innovative practices

7 May 2020 (ECML)

This new analytical report aims to explore emerging innovative approaches and strategies of language teaching in Europe supporting learners’ plurilingualism, inspire educators and policy makers to innovate and implement forward-looking policies and practices in language education, and contribute to the implementation of the EU Council Recommendation on a comprehensive approach to the teaching and learning of languages (adopted in May 2019).

The publication also refers to the work of the Council of Europe’s European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) and highlights 8 projects and tools promoting plurilingual pedagogies.

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Fancy a PowerLanguage challenge?

7 May 2020 (PowerLanguage)

Get your learners to take the