Latest News

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

Language Learning - Primary

Beyond the Panda - P4-P7 course

18 May 2022 (RZSS)

The new five week progressive course has four virtual sessions followed by an in-person outreach visit. For full details with key objectives and CfE links in science, topical science, social studies, language and literacy see the Beyond the Panda website. Over the five weeks, the pupils learn a short introduction in Mandarin, using the phrases and sentence structures they learn about the animals and then relating it to themselves. 

Bookings taken now for this hybrid course starting in August 2022. Contact Sandie Robb for more information and to book.

Key objectives are attached

The two Roses

18 January 2021 (SCILT/Twinkl)

SCILT has worked in partnership with Twinkl Scotland and Nil By Mouth to produce a new eBook with accompanying resources. The Two Roses is a tale about friendship, inclusion and tolerance available in English and Gaelic. This First Level resource gives educators the opportunity to talk about similarities and differences, friendship and kindness, teasing and bullying, through the lens of the two central characters.

Further, the resource discusses the ways rural and urban lifestyles can be vastly different for young children and how to be considerate of these different lifestyles. There are opportunities for cultural learning that challenge the notion that some ways of living are better than others. The light-hearted approach allows teachers and learners to tackle problematic beliefs in a kind way.


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.

Beyond the Panda resources for home learning

30 March 2020 (RZSS)

New online books for home learning. Everyone can access these and they include a good mix of science and Mandarin. These are different from our other online content as they don't require to be downloaded and printed. They also all include sound files and Mandarin learning points. 

At present, there are books which provide an online experience of the giant panda expert visit aimed at upper primary level and the Chinese Endangered Species outreach. In addition there is a book version of the Science Specialist Confucius Classroom 'China's animals and habitats'. Finally, a section comparing China and Scotland. This China/Scotland project is in partnership with the JASS scheme.

All the books are available on the Beyond the Panda website.


Summer camps and intensive language classes

29 May 2018 (Institut français d’Écosse )

Institut français d’Écosse is offering summer camps and intensive language classes this July. Young people can choose from a fun drama and language camp, an intensive three day language course or a four-week long course this summer.

Alliance Française Glasgow newsletter

25 May 2018 (Alliance Française Glasgow )

The latest newsletter from Alliance Française Glasgow includes information on summer classes and a special children's workshop in late June/early July.


There must be easier fads to follow than teaching Mandarin

15 February 2018 (Guardian)

The Foreign Service Institute of the US state department says it takes a native English speaker roughly 2,200 hours to become proficient in Mandarin. To learn Spanish – or French, or any number of other nontonal languages that use the Roman alphabet – the FSI estimates it takes roughly 600 hours. I may be wrong about this, and am happy to be proved so, but my hunch is that my children will never be proficient in Mandarin, in spite of the New York public school system’s vague belief to the contrary.


Concours de la francophonie 2018 - winners announced

5 February 2018 (Institut français d’Écosse )

The winners of Le concours de la francophonie 2018 have been announced. Please see attached file for the full list.

This competition was launched in 2016 to support and encourage teachers and learners in primary and secondary schools and to showcase their progress as teaching of modern languages in primary schools becomes the new norm. The competition was designed to encourage wide participation: schools need to submit a short video of a class production in French. The selection takes place in two phases, a semi-final at the council level, with a special semi-final for independent schools, and a national final, which took place on 1st February.

The international day of la francophonie is celebrated all over the world on 20 March to celebrate the French language.

French Holiday Mini Camps

1 February 2018 (Institut Français Écosse)

The Institut français d’Ecosse has joined forces with Theatre Sans Accents to offer French holiday mini camps for primary and secondary school learners in February, April, and July 2018.


Scotland China Association's Chinese Competition for Primary 5, 6 and 7

23 January 2018 (SCA)

The Scotland-China Association national competition for pupils from Primaries 5, 6 and 7 has been launched. If pupils from your school plan to enter, please let the organisers know by 23 February 2018. Entries should be submitted by 18 May 2018 and winners will be invited to the awards ceremony in June at Edinburgh Zoo, where they will enjoy a talk and a visit to the Zoo, as well as receiving their prizes. The overall winning school will receive a RZSS Beyond the Panda Outreach visit to their school and hold the Tom Murray Trophy until the next competition.

Please see attached document with entry details and a sample of the Chinese Scottish tartan which is a resource for the competition. SCA hope you will encourage your school to take part and that pupils will find the competition interesting and fun!

Related Files

Free places at Japan Day

19 January 2018 (RZSS)

Come along to our Japan Day at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park, Kingussie on Wednesday 14th March 2018. Experience 'The Snow Monkey' educational pack of activities designed for cross curricular learning where pupils investigate and discover more about Japan, its culture, language, geography and wildlife. The pack has been produced with the support of the Japan Foundation and is a fun introduction to learning Japanese but also covers topics in science, topical science and social studies. Suitable for upper primary levels P4-P7.

There are limited free places although you must book by 14th February. Please contact Sandie Robb for further details and booking information.

For more information see the report on a similar event at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo through the link below.


The Scottish Education Awards 2018 – 1+2 Languages Award (primary and secondary cluster working)

16 January 2018 (Education Scotland)

Do you know of  or work in a school with strong cluster-working in languages? Nominate now for the Scottish Education Award for 1+2!

The Scottish Education Awards recognise early learning and childcare settings and schools that have developed a vibrant and progressive culture and climate of continuous innovation in relation to Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 Approach.


Language Futures – The Primary approach

28 November 2017 (ALL)

Before October half term, I had the opportunity to deliver training for the Language Futures initiative as part of a school’s inset day. Sir Edmund Hillary Primary School in Worksop, Nottinghamshire were keen to get underway with the Language Futures approach but needed a staff CPD session covering the main aims of Language Futures, how the approach works, how it differs to ‘normal’ language teaching, and to assist with planning.


Language Futures – opportunities for Scottish schools

25 April 2017 (Association for Language Learning)

Language Futures aims to broaden languages provision and promote linguistic diversity. It is currently being used by schools in England to develop a second or third language both within the curriculum and during after school clubs. The programme has been trialled at a variety of levels at secondary as well as at primary across England and the Association for Language Learning (ALL) are looking to expand the scheme into Scotland.

Language Futures sees pupils choose the language they wish to study. There may be a number of languages being studied in any one classroom, with the teacher as facilitator: the teacher sets up the learning, but will not necessarily know all of the languages studied in the classroom. Pupils are supported in their language learning by mentors who are language proficient individuals from the community. The school is the base camp – it is not seen as the sole place of learning – and pupils are encouraged to learn at home and in a variety of different places. Finally, pupils design, plan and carry out extended projects which aim to build knowledge and develop skills, to incorporate language learning and inter-cultural understanding and to connect learning to the real world.

ALL would be very interested to hear from primary and secondary schools interested in piloting the approach in Scotland. Schools can sign up at no cost. ALL have created resources and guidelines to support schools and these are open access on the ALL website. If an individual school is interested, the Language Futures Project Manager would be very happy to talk them through the approach by phone, Skype etc. in the first instance. If a small group of schools was interested, ALL could explore support from a dedicated Schools Adviser who would visit schools to offer targeted support.

For further information, please contact the Language Futures Project Manager Clodagh Cooney.

Language Futures is funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and has been managed by the Association for Language Learning since summer 2015.


Science and languages 'marginalised in primary schools'

19 May 2016 (BBC News)

Applies to England

Pupils are leaving primary school unprepared for the rigours of science and foreign languages at secondary level, Ofsted's chief inspector says. Sir Michael Wilshaw said the focus on the "three Rs" had pushed other compulsory subjects "to the margins of the curriculum" in primary schools.


The teenagers who teach languages at primary

18 December 2015 (TESS)

Senior pupils with a passion for languages are delivering lessons at schools in Edinburgh, providing welcome support to class teachers.

Please note a TES/TESS subscription is required to access the online article in full.


Primary classroom resources on SCILT website

3 November 2011 (SCILT)

SCILT have updated the primary classroom resources hosted on the SCILT website for French, German and Gaelic.

These resources are for primary teachers to use in their classrooms and have been developed by SCILT and our partner organisations. Further updates to Spanish and Chinese are to follow.


New resources from Voyage Kids

14 October 2015 (UK German Connection)

New resources oare now available from the Voyage Kids website. These will be of particular interest to teachers of German in the primary school. These new articles, quizzes and memory games include Wuppertal's 'flying train' the Schwebebahn, trams in Germany, recycling bottle machines and Münster's famous Petra the Swan.


Workshops for Primary Pupils: 'German Outdoors'

8 October 2015 (Goethe-Institut)

Outdoor learning provides a valuable, often non-competitive learning environment as well as an opportunity to develop independence and self-confidence. Learning in the outdoors re- enforces a positive attitude to education and encourages young people to take greater responsibility for their own learning. The outdoor environment can be a highly motivational place for the development of communication skills. Research has shown that children's use of language is five times greater outdoors than indoors.

Suitable for all primary school classes as a taster for complete beginners or to build on pupils’ previous knowledge of German, these workshops are suitable for a class of 30 max.

A German native speaker will visit your school and the workshops can be held at your school grounds or a nearby green space. The children need to be equipped for all weather. All materials will be supplied.

Scottish Languages Review - latest issue published

1 June 2015 (SCILT)

The latest issue of the Scottish Languages Review has been published. Issue 29 includes:

  • a review of research related to language learning in the primary school, which is very relevant to the implementation of 1+2.
  • two opportunities to look back in time and examine Scotland’s language education from a statistical and qualitative point of view.
  • two discussions on language policy issues in other Anglophone contexts.

The Scottish Languages Review is THE electronic journal for language practitioners in Scotland and aims to provide language teachers, students, and researchers in Scotland with a strong voice in relation to all aspects of language teaching and learning; promote discussion amongst language practitioners across all education sectors about mutual areas of interest or concern;encourage greater debate between language learning theory and practice.


Parlez-vous Francais? — language lessons plan for primary schools in Perth and Kinross

26 May 2015 (The Courier)

French could be the first foreign tongue taught in Perth and Kinross primary schools under plans to ensure children learn a second language.

The Scottish Government has committed to introduce a new norm for language learning based on the European Union’s 1+2 model.

It envisages every child having an opportunity to learn two languages in addition to their first language by 2020.

The first modern language will be introduced from Primary 1, with the second language commencing no later than Primary five.

Following an audit of modern language skills carried out in Perth and Kinross primary schools in November 2013, it was found that French is the most commonly known language among school staff.

Of the 249 identified language skills, nearly two-thirds indicated French as a known language. German was the second most known language, followed by Spanish.

The audit showed that among primary staff 10 languages are spoken to some level, including Mandarin, Italian, Russian and Ukrainian, with some teachers having skills in more than one language.


Summer workshop for children

22 May 2015 (Alliance Française)

Alliance Française will be running a special summer workshop for children aged 5-10 between 29th June and 3rd July! This is an ideal opportunity for children of all levels to find out more about French language and culture through fun activities such as arts & crafts, songs, games, etc... Let us take you on a fabulous 'journey' to France! We look forward to seeing as many children as possible at what is sure to be a fun-filled week of French activities!


Panda boxes

21 May 2015 (RZSS)

Edinburgh Zoo's China Mobile Library provides ‘panda boxes’ to schools for a 3 day loan period. The resources include our unique educational games and jigsaws. An Education Officer will visit the school for one of the days. Teacher sessions are also available on how to use the resources. Costs start at £100 per school for one class use. Each additional class using the panda box only costs an extra £20. For full details contact Sandie Robb, Senior Education Officer:

The UK-German Bears Project - new hosting dates available!

12 May 2015 (UK-German Connection)

With a set of resources, a range of interactive online features and a focus on joint Bears activities with a project partner school in Germany, Alex and Ben bring a fun and accessible international dimension to the primary school classroom!

There are new dates now available from Autumn 2015 through to the Summer term 2016 where your school can host Alex the bear.

Visit the UK-German Connection website to find out more and to apply to join the project. There are also links to Alex’s blog and his adventures and discoveries presented on the Voyage Kids website.


Primary Modern Languages Programme stopped in Northern Ireland

31 March 2015 (BBC News)

Tuesday was the final day of funding for the foreign languages programme for primary schools.
The Primary Modern Languages Programme has been scrapped as part of Department of Education's cuts for the new financial year.

Four hundred and thirteen schools in Northern Ireland have had staff come in to teach Spanish, Irish or Polish. Eighty-six teachers are employed under the scheme, most working in a handful of schools for a few hours at a time.

The Department of Education said the decision was regrettable but necessary, given the budget cuts they are facing and the fact that the scheme cost £900,000 a year.


Bilingual storytelling

24 November 2014 (Gathered Together/BEMIS)

See the YouTube interview with a parent involved in a bilingual storytelling group at St Albert’s Primary School.


Department urged to reinstate language programme at primary level

23 October 2014 (Irish Times)

Calls have been made for the Department of Education and Skills to reinstate a modern language programme at primary level that was shut down two years ago.

In a consultation document on its planned strategy on foreign languages, the department said the decision to terminate the Modern Languages in Primary School Initiative had been made “in light of concerns about curriculum overload at primary level”.


Oor Wullie has fun weys tae lairn Scots

8 October 2014 (National Library of Scotland)

A website to help primary schoolchildren learn Scots is launched today by the National Library of Scotland.

The 'Oor Wullie guide tae Scots language' site uses the famous cartoon character to get six-to 11-year-olds thinking about and using Scots words.

Several schools across Scotland worked with the Library to develop and test the learning activities, which include quizzes, a 'comic maker' and a word search.


Progress and preparedness in primary languages

10 September 2014 (University of Reading)

The Final Report and the Executive Summary from the Nuffield Foundation funded research into the teaching of French in primary schools are now available to download. The site also contains resources, presentations and video from the Primary Languages Conference, held at University of Reading, Institute of Education on 5th June 2014.


Frère Jacques won’t cut it

5 September 2014 (TES)

The sun was strong, the beer was cold and the hotel pool was sparkly and inviting. You don’t get to do much in the way of poolside lounging when you’re accompanied by one child who wants you to dramatise episodes of Peppa Pig and another who is hell-bent on crawling like greased lightning towards the deep end, but Mr Brighouse had corralled them with the aid of a couple of rubber rings.

The pool wasn’t crowded. In the shallow end, two German children aged about 8 and 10 had befriended an English girl. Realising that their new pal wasn’t able to follow their ball game, they switched to confident English. “How is their English so good?” I thought, only to hear the same question asked by the girl’s parents. “They learn it at school, of course,” replied the German parents.

My mind turned to the language ability of children at my primary school. Our website may proudly advertise the teaching of French but we’re still a long way off fluent poolside discussions.


Foreign language learning in primary schools – Scottish Parliament enquiry

19 June 2014 (Scottish Parliament)

The European and External Relations Committee will meet on 26 June 2014 and receive a report from Scottish Government on the learning of foreign languages in primary schools.

To read the report, open this PDF Meeting Agenda and scroll down to Annexe C (p16).


1+2 Case Study – Houston Primary

10 June 2014 (SCILT)

The most recent of our case studies showcasing how schools across Scotland are responding to the recommendations in 'Language Learning in Scotland: A 1 + 2 Approach' has been published on our website. Houston Primary highlights some of the issues to be taken into consideration for progressive planning to introduce the first additional language from nursery through to P7.


New FLAME website

10 June 2014 (ALL)

FLAME is an initiative led by the Association for Language Learning to support the integration of language learning with other curriculum subjects. They hope that the initiative will increase the number of primary and secondary schools that combine subject and language teaching, and that in this way help to transform the quality of language learning in schools. It’s called FLAME Plus and includes information about FLAME and links to cross-curricular primary resources.


Glasgow Schools Modern Languages Newsletter

31 March 2014 (Glasgow City Council)

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

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

Making too much of Mandarin is a ‘fundamental error’

28 March 2014 (TES)

It is a “fundamental error” to make students learn languages such as Mandarin merely because they are perceived as being economically important, the director of a prominent European languages organisation has warned.

Young people need to have their own “intrinsic” motivation for learning languages to be successful in mastering them, rather than being driven by external factors such as economics or better job prospects, said Sarah Breslin, executive director of the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML).

“There’s been this idea of we should all be learning Chinese instead of, say, French, but that is a fundamental error, which overlooks the fact that learning any language is useful,” she told TES. “Young people respond to different languages in different ways – the key is to offer them choice. Schools should have the capacity to teach a variety of languages.”


Gaelic strategy

25 March 2014 (Teaching Scotland)

Bòrd na Gàidhlig has two key aims –to increase the P1 intake from 400 to 800 and see an annual rise of pupils learning the language in English-medium schools.

Download PDF of Issue 54. Article is on page 44.


Young Language Learner of the Year 2014

12 March 2014 (b small)

Calling all promising 6 - 11 year old linguists!

The b small Young Language Learner of the Year Award, supported by Little Linguist, is open to all children in the UK aged 6 - 11 years and will run until 2nd June '14.

Children are invited to submit a simple story or cartoon strip in French, Spanish, German, Italian, or, for the first time this year, Mandarin. We're looking for simple, illustrated stories that will engage and inspire young language learners.

The winning entry will be made into an e-book and the lucky winner will win a library of £100 of b-small language titles for their school.


Related Links

Visit the main b small Little Linguist website for information on last year's winners.

The US could use an unofficial second (and third and fourth) language

8 March 2014 (Guardian)

In Singapore, you’re forced to learn a non-native tongue. And that’s a very good thing for stirring up the melting pot.


How schools cope with teaching children who speak 14 different languages

31 January 2014 (Telegraph)

How the schools where nine in ten pupils do not speak English as their first language help bring their pupils up to speed.


CISS Newsletter Autumn 2013

12 December 2013 (CISS)

The latest edition of the CISS newsletter has been published. This edition highlights the promotion of Chinese language and culture around the country. Please download the newsletter if you'd like to find out more.

Related Files

Euroquiz 2014

26 November 2013 (SEET)

The Scottish European Educational Trust runs an annual Euroquiz for P6 pupils, which sees teams of four pupils working together to broaden their knowledge of Europe. Subjects covered include history, geography, sport, culture, languages and the European Union.

Heats take place in local authorities from January to March each year, with the winning team from each authority area competing in the national final, which takes place in the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament in May.

Registration for the 2014 Euroquiz is now open. 

Visit the SEET website for all the details plus a selection of resources to help prepare for the competition.


Game On Scotland! Commonwealth Games language resources

26 September 2013 (Education Scotland/SCILT)

Learning ideas around the context of the Commonwealth Games are available at the Game On! website.

SCILT and Education Scotland have developed a learning journey designed to support the learning and teaching of modern languages at primary level.



17 September 2013 (GrowStoryGrow)

Every year, to help celebrate the European Day of Languages, GrowStoryGrow opens up its site for two weeks allowing children all over the world to experience over a hundred enchanting stories, in 5 different languages, for free.

Visit the website for further information and to access the materials.


What does the future hold for primary languages?

4 September 2013 (The Guardian)

A shortage of qualified teachers. A mismatch with secondary school options. Can languages in primary schools overcome the challenges ahead?

Despite the fact that you can at least get by using English in many parts of the world, there is a growing recognition that monolingual British schoolchildren are becoming ever more disadvantaged by their lack of language skills – a lack that is mirrored virtually nowhere else on the planet.


Voyage Kids 'Back to School' special

28 August 2013 (UK-German Connection)

The traditional 'Back to School' special is now online on the Voyage Kids website. Why not start the new school year by teaching your primary pupils all about school life in Germany? If you're feeling creative, you could even get started the German way by making Schultüten, using our handy step-by-step instructions!

The Back to School special includes:

  • Find out: A typical school day in Germany 
  • Basteln: Make a Schultüte! 
  • Memory game: How quickly can your pupils find the matching pairs? 
  • 'School words' quizzes

Lesson planning:

To help you plan and get the most out of our seasonal special features, we've created a calendar overview of all of the specials throughout the year. These include our Christmas and Easter specials, as well as topical specials (e.g. the Birthday special), which vary from year to year.


Time to make space for a languages curriculum

4 July 2013 (TESS)

Insufficient funding, no guidance on which languages to teach and a lack of clarity on teacher training are just three of the reported problems. There is no shortage of challenges facing the 1+2 language initiative in Scottish primary schools.

Throw in the vexed implementation of Curriculum for Excellence and securing the success of 1+2 - whereby all children should start a second language in Primary 1 and a third no later than in Primary 5 - starts to look like a tall order.

But it is clear that prioritising languages from as early as possible in the lives of Scottish children is crucial. In 2011, a survey of language provision in secondaries by Scotland's national centre for languages, SCILT, showed that languages uptake in S4 had dropped in a third of schools and remained static in more than half, compared with 2007.


Latin makes comeback in schools

11 June 2013 (The Herald)

Latin has been re-introduced in six primary schools in Fife and could be rolled out across Scotland in a bid to bring the language of Ancient Rome back to Scottish classrooms. The subject dropped from favour during the 1980s and now few state schools, and not even every independent school, offer it.


Beyond the Panda

17 May 2013 (Edinburgh Zoo)

This three part outreach programme from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland is aimed at pupils in P5-P7 and will give them the opportunity to find out more about China and the Society's conservation work as they look at the following topics:

  • The Panda—Learning about the giant panda
  • China—Discovering China - past and present
  • Our World—Taking action in our world

The programme costs £100 which includes a 2 hour workshop, resource pack and additional support. Discounts are available if schools book two workshops. For full details of the programme, please download the Beyond the Panda pdf file or contact Sandie Robb,

This programme is run in partnership with CISS, SCEN, other Confucius Institutes and Confucius Hubs.

Related Files

Languages in UK schools: where we are vs where we need to be

13 May 2013 (Guardian)

What more could and should we be doing with languages in schools? Louise Tickle takes a look at the language learning landscape in the UK.


Junior Language Challenge 2013

10 May 2013 (ALL)

The Junior Language Challenge is an annual competition run by EuroTalk, for children under 11 across the British Isles. Over six months, children can learn up to three new languages, starting with Spanish, and compete against other young linguists for a chance to become Junior Language Challenge Champion 2013. If you already study or speak Spanish, we can change the language to German for you.

Entry costs just £2.50 per child, which is donated to Brighter Start, a charity providing educational resources to schools in Malawi.

For more details, please visit the Eurotalk website, email or telephone 0207 371 7711.


Teaching one plus two languages for under 12s is examined

10 May 2013 (Scottish Parliament)

Teaching primary children two languages in addition to their mother tongue will be examined as the topic of debate in the Scottish Parliament today (Friday 10 May) as part of an inquiry by the European and External Relations Committee. Teachers, policy makers and European organisations are coming together to discuss the findings so far of the Committee’s languages inquiry and look together at the issues before the Committee publishes its report.


Language learning revisited

10 May 2013 (TESS)

In my article "Learning new languages is now a primary concern" (26 April), a particular emphasis was underplayed in the editing of the piece.


Related Links

Learning new languages is now a primary concern (TESS, 26 April 2013)

Mandarin blossoms among Scots language pupils

29 April 2013 (Scotsman)

It's difficult, unfamiliar, and far from a traditional educational choice. So why are more Scottish pupils bucking the UK trend and venturing out of their comfort zone to study Mandarin?


Jewish Community Secondary School young entrepreneurs hope to boost children's language skills

11 March 2013 (Times Series)

Young entrepreneurs are hoping to boost children's love of languages with their hand-designed activities book. Fifteen teenagers at Jewish Community Secondary School in New Barnet made the book Flying Away with Languages as part of their Young Enterprise scheme. The group, known as TryLingual, were inspired by Michael Gove’s plans to provide more emphasis on languages in primary schools and are hoping the book will prove popular with schoolchildren across Barnet.


Fasching / Karneval

8 February 2013 (UK-German Connection)

It's that time of year again when large parts of Germany descend into a jamboree of fancy dress, sweet-throwing and general high jinx. That's right, Fasching / Karneval is almost here, and you can teach your pupils all about it with the 'voyage kids' Karneval special!

This year's special includes an interactive 'through the telescope' feature, an online jigsaw, a quiz, and, of course, the ever-popular Karneval-esque song by a singing hairdresser! (with worksheet and brand new PPTs to teach the vocabulary in the song).


New Glasgow Gaelic school

7 February 2013 (Scottish Government)

The Scottish Government is investing £800,000 in a new Gaelic school for Glasgow, it was announced today. The Gaelic Medium Education primary school will be part of the Glendale Campus in Pollokshields.


Related Links

Glasgow's second Gaelic school to open in Pollokshields area (BBC News, 7 February 2013)

New Gaelic school to open in Glasgow (The Herald, 8 February 2013) 

Languages expert hits out at 'unclear' report

1 February 2013 (TESS)

The government-commissioned report into languages that calls for children to start learning a second language in P1 and a third in P5 has come under fire for lack of clarity.


Learn Languages with Arsenal FC

31 January 2013 (European Commission)

Arsenal Double Club Languages is the north London football club’s innovative education programme for children that are learning French, German, Spanish, Italian or Portuguese at school.

The programme uses Arsenal and football as a theme to inspire school children to learn a language. The Club produces fun, relevant learning materials in collaboration with specialist language partners including the Goethe Institute, Institut Français and the Consejería de Educación. These resources include colourful workbooks that are filled with language activities based around football, and also a DVD featuring one of the Gunners’ players speaking in their native language.


City experts want shake-up to help teach kids languages

25 January 2013 (Evening Times)

A radical shake-up of foreign language teaching is needed in Scotland's primary schools, linguistic experts in Glasgow told MSPs.


Teaching languages in Hamilton primary school examined by MSPs

25 January 2013 (Scottish Parliament New Release)

The teaching of languages in a Hamilton primary school is under the spotlight today as two Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) visit St Elizabeth’s in Eddlewood, Hamilton.


You're never too young to learn Mandarin

January 23 2013 (British Council)

Two UK primary school teachers explain how teaching Mandarin has benefitted learners and teachers alike.


Les Misérables

15 January 2013 (Mary Glasgow Plus)

With the latest Hollywood adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel now released, this article in French can be used to discuss the story in your language class. Different versions are available to suit all levels from P7 to the senior phase.


Modern Languages - Topsy-turvy learning

11 January 2013 (TESS)

Recently, we made a short film in Spanish with a small group of Year 4 (P4) pupils. It won a competition and caused a stir. Now we have a learning epidemic, with children leading the way, writes Heather Martin.


Sounds like a success in any language

11 January 2013 (TES)

Had I read "Buenos dias, bilingualism" (4 January) six years ago, I might have thought: "Here comes a crackpot idea that will cause chaos for 18 months, then be reformed or rethought for a further year, before being forgotten without fanfare." Now I think: "About time too. Why has this taken so long?" It's not as if reforms have been thin on the ground recently.


Related Links

Buenos dias, bilingualism (TES, 4 January 2013)

French film screenings for children

8 January 2013 (Institut français)

The Institut français d'Ecosse will be screening two animated films for young children in January and February:

  • Le Chat du Rabbin (for children aged 6+) - Tuesday 22 January 18:30-20:00 / Wednesday 23 January 11:00-12:30
  • Mia et le Migou (for children aged 3+) - Saturday 16 February 11:00-12:30

Both films are in French with English subtitles.  Visit the website for more information.


Key Findings: Languages in Primary Education

19 December 2012 (Language Rich blog)

Language Rich Europe research provides a rich source of cross-national insights into multilingualism across the education sectors. You can browse all the national/regional profiles or simply focus on primary education by reading on.


Primary adds success by teaching 1+5

14 December 2012 (TESS)

The prospect of teaching 1+2 languages from P1 is a daunting one for many in the primary sector.

But today, the Scottish Parliament's European and External Relations Committee will launch an inquiry into the teaching of languages in primary - at a school where 1+5 is the norm.

At Dalmarnock Primary, in the east end of Glasgow, pupils have access to French, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Greek, in addition to their home language of English.


Inquiry into language teaching

14 December 2012 (BBC News)

A Holyrood committee has launched an inquiry into language teaching in Scottish primary schools.
It follows research suggesting Scotland lags behind many other countries in linguistic skills.


Related Links

Scottish Parliament launches inquiry into foreign language learning (Language Rich blog, 17 December 2012)

Opportunities and resources from the Goethe-Institut

6 December 2012 (Goethe-Institut)

Resources for Primary German 
Presentations on German customs and traditions with Teachers’ Notes - newly added presentations ”German festivals and customs: Christmas” and “Birthday Celebrations”.

Promoting German for your school
A new DVD “The smart choice: German” is available free of charge from the Goethe Institut Glasgow.

"Vorsprung mit Deutsch”.  A website for German learners where you will find a lot of opportunities and ideas of how to take advantage, improve and make the most of your language skills. 

Roald Dahl gets the Gaelic treatment for schools

2 December 2012 (Scotland on Sunday)

His works have been translated into 34 languages but now a new market is opening up for Roald Dahl – Gaelic.


Millionaire sports stars (resource)

28 November 2012 (Mary Glasgow Plus)

Read this article in Spanish about the richest athletes in the world. Different versions are available, adapted for use with pupils from P7 to S4.


CISS Newsletter Autumn 2012

27/11/2012 (CISS)

The first CISS newsletter has now been published. This edition includes stories on Chinese language and cultural activities and events in schools across Scotland, as well as information on the work that CISS has been doing over the past few months. I’m sure you will agree it is a great showcase of all the fabulous work being done across Scotland to promote Chinese language and culture. Many thanks to those of you who contributed.

You can download the newsletter from the CISS website.


French Christmas resources for primary and secondary classes

26 November 2012 (Institut français d'Ecosse)

The Institut français d'Ecosse has produced some new resources about Noël (Christmas) for use with primary and S1-S3 pupils.

The resources can be accessed from the Institut français website.


Related Links

Noël for S1-S3

Voyage Kids - Christmas special (German)

23 November 2012 (UK-German Connection)

The festive season approaches, and the 'voyage kids' website is full of UK-German seasonal cheer with our Christmas Special!

Your pupils can:

  • find out about St. Nikolaus and Knecht Ruprecht - have they earned presents or the 'Rute' on 6 December? 
  • practise their festive vocab with a Christmas memory game and jigsaw
  • sing along to German carols such as 'Stille Nacht' and 'Kling, Glöckchen' 
  • learn Christmas facts, play games and enter this year's Christmas competition in our interactive Advent calendar
  • learn how to bake a 'Lebkuchenhaus' and 'Herrenplätzchen' 
  • upload their own home-made German Christmas cards

If you are singing German Christmas carols such as 'Stille Nacht' or 'Kling, Glöckchen' with your pupils in the next few weeks, just send us a recording as an MP3, and we'll put it online. (All participating classes will receive 'voyage kids' goodies, so don't forget to mention your school name and address, class name, and number of pupils.)


Related Links

Many thanks to the pupils of Vicarage Park Primary School, Kendal, and Logie Primary School, Dunphail, for their marvellous renditions of the St. Martin's Day 'Laterne, Laterne' song.

Welsh parents speak out over bilingual 'enforcement'

23 November 2012 (TES)

Welsh-language primary and secondary schools must immerse pupils in the language and limit the amount of English they are allowed to speak if Wales is to become a bilingual nation, according to campaigners.


Une chanson sur les cadeaux de Noël

22 November 2012 (Mary Glasgow Plus)

Feeling Christmassy? Download this French resource about Christmas presents, which is suitable for P7-early secondary students. You will need to register to access the resource, but registration is free.


New approach to language teaching is unveiled

18 November 2012 (Falkirk Herald)

Bold plans to make language lessons a key part of every child’s classroom experience have been unveiled. The Scottish Government has announced it aims to introduce the European Union 1+2 method of teaching over the course of two parliaments. It will mean putting the resources in place to allow every child to learn two languages in addition to their own mother tongue and is driven by a determination to deliver equality for hundreds of thousands of young Scots


More primary schools to offer Latin and ancient Greek

17 November 2012 (The Telegraph)

Applies to England
Latin and ancient Greek are to make a comeback in state schools under Government plans to introduce compulsory language lessons for seven-year-olds. The list also features Mandarin – because of the growing importance of China as an economic power – plus French, German, Spanish and Italian.


English - MFL - singing their praises

9 November 2012 (TES)

Religion can be hard for small children to grasp as it involves abstract ideas. So it helps to have an activity that allows you to discuss world religions in a way that children of all faiths and none can relate to.

Start by asking pupils what problems people all over the world have. Put these words on the board and teach them in the target language.


Gaelic numeracy questions available in NAR

7 November 2012 (Education Scotland)

The National Assessment Resource now includes approximately 200 numeracy questions in Gaelic, which can be combined to form customised packages for assessment in the classroom at first, second and third level.


Les sports – French interactive wordsearch

6 November 2012 (MFL Sunderland)

Introduce a fun element to learning French sports vocabulary with this online interactive wordsearch from MFL Sunderland. 


Primary Languages Classroom Awards

2 November 2012 (Primary Languages Classroom Awards)

The Primary Languages Classroom Awards are a way of celebrating the teaching and learning of languages (including English) in UK primary schools, highlighting its positive impact on both the whole school and the local community and honouring teachers and schools that support language development in both English and the child’s home language. The awards are sponsored by the French and German Embassies, EMASUK, Little Bridge, Golden Daffodils, Little Linguist, Brilliant Marketing and Brilliant Publications, and are supported by the Association of Language Learning and many others.

Visit the website to find out more, see this year’s winners and download an application form.
Entries are now open and must be received by 31 Dec 2012 for inclusion in the 2013 awards.


James Bond – Skyfall (resource)

30 October 2012 (Mary Glasgow Plus)

Bring 007 to the classroom with this article in French about the new James Bond movie, Skyfall. Several versions are available, adapted for use with pupils from P7 upwards.


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