Latest News

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


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

Guidance for home learning

20 April 2020 (Scottish Government)

New guidance to support the home learning of children and young people during the new term has been issued.

It aims to build on the significant amount of positive work that has already been undertaken by teachers and education professionals across Scotland to support learning at home, as well as the advice and resources that are already available.

The guidance covers three main areas:

  • learning and teaching at home: this includes support for digital learning; children who are likely to be disproportionately impacted; and learners with additional support needs
  • parental involvement and engagement: this includes details of local and national support and how local authorities/schools will require a different approach to being updated on a child’s development
  • support for teachers and school leaders: including advice on learning resources; supporting pupils’ and staff health and wellbeing; and on leading colleagues and teams during this period

Visit the Scottish Government website for more information.


SecEd Newsletter

2 April 2020 (SecEd)

The latest edition of the newsletter aimed at secondary educators has just been published and is available online. This issue includes advice on remote teaching and learning.


Coronavirus: How can parents help with home schooling?

2 April 2020 (BBC)

Schools are likely to be closed until August in a bid to tackle the spread of Covid-19.

Teachers have provided learning packs and online activities for students and many parents will want to help.

So what should parents be doing?

Education correspondent Jamie McIvor posed some common questions to a number of experts in Scottish education to get a sense of what they would advise.

None of this advice is statutory and there will be a range of different opinions. Parents with specific concerns should speak to their child's school, most practically via e-mail.


Coronavirus: Taking small steps into online learning

28 March 2020 (TES)

The huge amount of 'free' apps and online learning offers can feel overwhelming. Here are seven simple steps to follow.


BBC sets out plan to inform, educate and entertain during unprecedented times

20 March 2020 (BBC)

Today the BBC is setting out how it will ensure it keeps the nation informed, educated, and entertained in unprecedented times.

Director-General Tony Hall says: "We all know these are challenging times for each and every one of us. As the national broadcaster, the BBC has a special role to play at this time of national need.

"We need to pull together to get through this. That’s why the BBC will be using all of its resources - channels, stations and output - to help keep the nation informed, educated and entertained. We are making a series of changes to our output to achieve that.

"We will continue to deliver all the essential news and information - with special programming and content.

"We also will do everything from using our airwaves for exercise classes for older people, religious services, recipes and advice on food for older people and low-income families, and should schools close, education programming for different age groups. We will also be launching a whole new iPlayer experience for children. And of course there will be entertainment - with the ambition of giving people some escapism and hopefully the odd smile.

"Clearly there will be disruption to our output along the way, but we will do our very best.

"It will take time to emerge from the challenges we all face, but the BBC will be there for the public all the way through this."


Coronavirus: 8 tips from closed international schools

13 March 2020 (TES)

With many international schools already closing their doors, Tes has spoken to those in charge to see if best practice amid the crisis is emerging.

International schools around the world were among the first to close owing to the coronavirus outbreak, and so are ahead in their experience of what being closed actually means for teaching, learning and wellbeing. 

But that does not mean they cannot learn from each other and that others in non-international schools cannot learn from them. 

We have compiled their experience here so that key lessons can be learned. 

Article includes the following topics:

1. Closed does not always mean ‘closed’ 

2. Managing communications

3. The school day

4. Adopting new tech and popular online teaching tools

5. The practicalities of remote learning

6. Safeguarding and data

7. Impacting exams

8. Maintaining connections


SCILT Christmas 2019 webpage now live

29 November 2019 (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 songs and games to lesson plans and festive facts. Find out how Christmas is celebrated in France, Germany, Spain and around the world!


Teaching languages: Some tips and a call to action!

7 February 2018 (SecEd)

Language education is under pressure at a time when language learning could not be more important for the next generation.



15 June 2017 (EVALUATE Project)

EVALUATE is a European Policy Experiment project funded by Erasmus+ Key Action 3.

This experimentation will evaluate the impact of telecollaborative learning on student-teachers involved in Initial Teacher Education in the participating European countries and regions. Telecollaboration, also commonly known as Virtual Exchange, involves engaging trainee teachers involved in Initial Teacher Education in task-based interaction and collaborative exchange with fellow trainees in other locations through online communication technologies.

The guiding research question for the study is: “Will participation in telecollaborative exchange contribute to the development of competences which future teachers need to teach, collaborate and innovate effectively in a digitalised and cosmopolitan world?”

A teacher-training event is due to be held in Italy 5-7 July 2017.

Visit the website for more information about the project and how to get involved.


Doric could be taught in all north-east schools

11 February 2017 (The Press and Journal)

Aberdeenshire Council has unveiled ambitious plans to start teaching youngsters the Doric dialect.

The local authority has drawn-up proposals to give primary and secondary pupils lessons in the “valued language”.

Councillors will be asked next week to back the scheme aimed at promoting the Doric and north-east culture across the region.

Traditionally spoken by residents of Aberdeenshire, the dialect – one of many across Scotland – is identified as the native tongue in many rural and fishing communities.


Related Links

Doric could be good fit for pupils in Aberdeenshire (STV News, 16 February 2017)

Rescuing and reviving the curriculum is not enough to restore modern foreign languages to their rightful position

28 January 2017 (TES)

It's not enough to grandstand the fact that languages have been introduced at primary school and leave it at that, writes this veteran journalist.

I can remember my first German lesson at school only too clearly.

The first two phrases that I was taught were "Mutti bleibt zu hause" and "Vater geht zu arbeit". For the uninitiated, that means "mother stays at home" and "father goes to work". 

Apart from giving a rather forlorn view of the state of society in the early 1960's, it also shows how mind-bogglingly dreary were the German textbooks of the day.


Supporting Bilingual Learners in the Mainstream Classroom

13 October 2016 (University of Strathclyde/SCILT)

Do you work with bilingual learners? Would you like to develop your ability to support them to develop their linguistic competence and to learn through English in mainstream primary or secondary classrooms?

This course is designed to enable you to understand and act on theories of bilingual learning and policy to support bilingual learners in Scottish schools, and to gain experience of current classroom-based practice in Scotland and around the world.

The next course starts on 14 January and runs from January to December 2017 at the University of Strathclyde. Classes are held at the University on Saturdays, on average once a month. See the attached leaflet for further information.

For information on other initiatives and organisations supporting bilingualism and multilingualism in Scotland, visit the EAL and Bilingualism webpages in the Learners and Parents section of the SCILT website.


Global Collaboration Day - 15 September

8 September 2016 (Global Education Conference)

Students, teachers, and organisations will celebrate global collaboration on 15 September 2016!

On this day (and beyond), experienced global educators and professionals will host connective projects and events and invite public participation. The primary goals of this whole day event are to demonstrate the power of global connectivity in classrooms, schools, institutions of informal learning and universities around the world, and to introduce others to the tools, resources and projects that are available to educators today.

Between now and 1 October 2016, global educators will design collaborative projects in which other students and teachers may participate during the course of the 2016-2017 school year. The objective is to create and present as many globally connective projects for students and educators as possible.

If you would like to design an activity for Global Collaboration Day (15 September) in which you promote your upcoming project, please get your project submitted by 11 September. Or you can join any of the listed events for an introduction to projects which interest you.

Visit the Global Collaboration Day website for more information and details as to how you can get involved.


Could targeting linguistic talent boost staff diversity?

8 April 2016 (TESS)

A school of education is hoping to boost the number of minority ethnic student teachers on its courses by favouring applicants who speak another language.

As of this year, the University of Edinburgh's Moray House School of Education will take additional languages into account in its selection process, particularly community or heritage languages such as Urdu or Polish.

(Read the full article in TESS online, pages 8-9 - subscription required).


New online resource for teaching the Scots language

10 October 2015 (The Falkirk Herald)

A new online resource featuring support materials and educational resources to help improve learning and teaching of Scots language was unveiled at this year’s Scottish Learning Festival in Glasgow.

The new Scots Language hub sits within the languages section of the Education Scotland website and will feature educational resources including a short animated history of the Scots language as well as a range of materials to support learning and teaching of the mother tongue in primary education and the senior phase.


Related Links

Education Scotland's Scots Language hub.

World Teachers' Day: Language Linking, Global Thinking

5 October 2015 (Project Trust)

Theresa Peteranna is one of Project Trust's 2015/16 Language Linking, Global Thinking volunteers. She’s volunteering as a teacher in Japan and through the Language Linking Global Thinking scheme is linked to a class in Kirkwall Grammar school in Orkney, Scotland. She told us why she wanted to volunteer as a teacher.


Lesson 1: How to get cracking in languages

4 September 2015 (TES)

Teaching a new language class this year? Don't begin at the beginning, writes Dr Heather Martin.


ECML website relaunched

30 May 2015 (ECML)

The European Centre for Modern Languages website has just been relaunched with a new look and a series of new features.


Over the coming months we plan to further develop this area on an ongoing basis with new resources from the Centre’s current projects as well as news, related research, videos, interactive materials and details of activities, conferences and experts.

A new video on the homepage explains in 2 minutes how the Centre operates and what it can offer to professionals involved with education and in particular language education. The clip was developed through the project ECML publications for plurilingual and intercultural education in use (PIU) and is now available in English, French and German.



11 May 2015 (European Commission)

Eurydice has launched their new website on European education systems - descriptions, comparative studies, indicators and statistics.


How schools are breaking down the language barrier for EAL students

5 March 2014 (The Guardian)

The number of students who speak foreign languages at home has risen by 20% in five years. Nick Morrison explores the integration and teaching strategies being used in schools.


Related Links

Translating maths in a multicultural school community (The Guardian, 5 March 2014) English is the second language at Sacred Heart primary school, but specially designed learning programmes and an inclusive environment enable students to thrive.

Students with English as a second language 'outperform native speakers' in GCSEs (The Independent, 5 March 2014) Lord Nash, the Schools Minister, said students who speak English as an additional language (EAL) scored better grades in the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) than native speakers.

Vacancy: Development Officer – International Engagement

21 November 2013 (Education Scotland/British Council)

Education Scotland and British Council Scotland are currently looking for a Development Officer on a secondment basis. Candidates should possess a degree-level qualification in teaching (or equivalent), experience of working in an international education context (including school-based programmes such as e-twinning), partnership working and delivering Curriculum for Excellence in a classroom setting. Please visit the Education Scotland vacancy webpage for further information and application details.


SCILT Glow Meet: Wednesday 20th November

13 November 2013 (SCILT)

The countdown is most definitely on! No, not to Christmas, but to the first of SCILT’s Autumn series of Glow Meets of course.

When: Wednesday 20th November
Time: 4pm-5pm

Title: Using native speakers in the classroom: a guide to good practice 

Host: Dr Hannah Doughty
Suitable for teachers and managers from all sectors, this session will provide information about the types of native speakers you could invite into your classroom and will explore a range of strategies that native speakers could use to complement your language lesson.

If you intend to participate in this Glow Meet, please collect the materials you need from the KEY RESOURCES in the SHARE section of the #mlscilt professional learning community.

Should you have any questions you would like Dr Doughty to address in the Glow Meet, please add a question in the SUPPORT section of #mlscilt or send an e-mail entitled ‘Glow Meet question’ to

To join the meeting on Wednesday 20th November, go to the CONNECT area and select TAKE PART in the grey web meeting room.

The modern languages grading issue is only the tip of the iceberg

15 October 2013 (The Guardian)

Lenient grading at GCSE, curriculum context and teaching methodologies are all also to blame for the decline of language students, says Dr Robert Vanderplank.


Expansion of Gaelic teaching

23 September 2013 (The Scottish Government)

An additional £4 million over the next two years will increase the number of places available in Gaelic Medium Education (GME) across Scotland to meet continually rising demand.

Minister for Languages Alasdair Allan announced the extra funding in the week that Edinburgh’s first dedicated GME school Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pairce will have its official opening.


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.


New benchmarking tool being developed for CfE senior phase

8 November 2012 (Engage for Education)

The Scottish Government and its partners are developing a new benchmarking tool to help local authorities and secondary schools to analyse, compare and improve the performance of pupils in the senior phase of Curriculum for Excellence. The new tool will be available from August 2014 onwards.


Pedagogy unplugged – understanding how children learn

8 November 2012 (SecEd)

From teacher collaboration to how children learn, the work of Professor Bill Lucas is providing a blueprint for 21st century education.


The Modern Language Journal

7 November 2012 (Modern Language Journal)

The Modern Language Journal has provided free access to all articles from its December 2011 issue. One article of note is by Lynn Erler and Ernesto Macaro on ‘Decoding Ability in French as a Foreign Language and Language Learning Motivation’. Go to the MLJ home page and scroll down until you see the 'Most Read' articles on the bottom left.


Teaching in multicultural classrooms: tips, challenges and opportunities

7 November 2012 (The Guardian Teacher Network)

What does a range of nationalities in class bring to the teaching and learning experience? A collection of teachers give us a glimpse into their multicultural classrooms.


Kristen Stewart interview in French

25 October 2012 (Mary Glasgow Plus)

Read the magazine interview with Kristen Stewart, the American actress best known for her role as Bella Swan in the Twilight Saga. The interview is in French and is adapted for different levels from KS3 (P7) upwards.


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