Latest News

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


News from language & education organisations

Magical Christmas Trips for primary and secondary schools - deadline reminder: 24 September

19 September 2019 (UK-German Connection)

Apply for funding of up to £10,000 for a Christmas trip to a partner school in Germany this year!

These visits offer primary pupils the chance to get a taste of Germany at Christmas time, meet their German peers and get involved in some seasonal cultural activity. Secondary pupils have the opportunity to brush up their German and develop their skills as young leaders.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

Read more...

Autumn term Chinese classes

19 September 2019 (Confucius Institute for Scotland)

The Confucius Institute for Scotland in Edinburgh offers a diverse programme of evening classes for the general public to enjoy learning Chinese. Autumn 2019 courses will start week beginning 30 September and booking for these classes is now open.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

Maths Week Scotland – Maths wi nae Borders

19 September 2019 (Maths Week Scotland)

Inspired by the annual Mathématiques sans Frontières contest, this mini-competition is for any class to complete together.

The 2019 competition will be launching on 23 September and open for entries until 18 October.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

Our World film making project has launched for 2019-20

18 September 2019 (SEET)

Want to get pupils more engaged in language learning, global citizenship and encourage uptake? Are you keen to improve their confidence and win an award or two? Then get involved!

SEET’s popular Our World film making project has now launched for the 2019-20 year! Our World uses film making and global citizenship as a means to help pupils explore and improve their use of foreign languages. It’s totally free, and all you have to do is sign up. Last year over 70% of participant pupils said they were more likely to continue with their study of languages after taking part.

Teams of four, from S3-S6, need to come up with a creative idea for a film based on one of this year's themes and submit their storyboard by 3 December 2019.

See the attached flyer or visit the website for more information.

Read more...

Related Files

Reigniting the love of languages

17 September 2019 (Erasmus+)

With multilingualism being a key ingredient in making your CV stand out from the crowd, language skills are in high demand.

As well as boosting employability, learning a language also helps people to become more culturally aware, and can even improve cognitive skills in observation, memory and creativity.

In the UK less than half of the working age population can speak a foreign language. The BBC reported earlier this year that foreign language learning was at its lowest level in UK secondary schools since the turn of the millennium.

However, the Erasmus+ programme, which supports language learning in schools, is making a difference by providing funding to UK schools to run vital international activities. 

Ahead of the European Day of Languages on 26 September, let’s take a look at the UK language landscape and how Erasmus+ is helping school staff and pupils to reignite their love of languages.

Read more...

German debating competition for secondary schools

16 September 2019 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut invites secondary school students to take part in a competition to engage with questions about ecology, sustainability and Europe.

There will be different rounds in which the participating schools compete against each other. At the end, all students will be invited to the final in which the two winning teams will show their language skills.
 
The preliminary rounds will take place at participating schools whilst the final will take place at the British Council in London.
 
In order to prepare the students for the competition and to ensure that they can express themselves at the appropriate language level, the Goethe-Institut provides teachers with useful phrases.
 
The debating competition offers a great chance to actively use the German language in an authentic setting and at the same time to get to know other secondary school students from across the United Kingdom. Debating in a foreign language will bring immeasurable benefits to significantly improve the students' communication skills.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to register eligible teams of four by 25 October 2019. Spaces for taking part in the competition are limited and you will be confirmed after the deadline.

Work experience opportunity at Radio Lingua

13 September 2019 (Radio Lingua)

Radio Lingua is a leading publisher of language resources including the award-winning Coffee Break French, German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese courses and the High Five courses for primary. Through our podcasts and strong presence on social media we strive to provide a high quality learning experience for a worldwide community of learners, delivering over 2.5 million language lessons every month. Our team is based in Glasgow and we work with a local and remote team of native speakers and teachers to produce our resources.

As part of our outreach programme we are delighted to offer a work experience opportunity to students currently in S6. This will take place from Monday 21st to Friday 25th October 2019 and aims to allow young people with an interest in languages first hand experience of a dynamic workplace where languages are used on a daily basis. There will be a total of six places available.

Before submitting an application, pupils must ensure they meet the following criteria:

• must be intending to study a language at university after leaving school.

• must currently be in S6.

• must have successfully passed at least one Higher in a language in S5.

• must live within one hour’s commuting distance from our Glasgow city centre offices and will be responsible for making their own way to and from the office for a 9:30 start and 4:30 finish each day.

• must have permission from school to be out of school for the duration of this five-day programme.

Interested students should complete the application form on our website by Friday 27 September at the following link: https://radiolingua.com/work-experience-2019/

Read more...

Translanguaging has made it to Scottish primary education and it is alive and 'coleando'!

11 September 2019 (Creative Multilingualism)

All the World is Our Stage: primary pupils never lost in translanguaging, a multilingual performance showcasing heritage and school languages, has brought pupils and teachers from Whinhill Primary School together with actress-singer, Rebecca Cameron, and creative language learning social enterprise, The Language Hub.

Warm and welcome feelings and emotions engulfed me the first time I set foot in Whinhill. Bilingual signs in English and Gaelic adorn the school, leaving no wall silent, and as you venture inside, the building also speaks through imagery and words in French. What a pleasure to the eye, and a delicacy for the soul!

The school currently offers Gaelic and French under the 1+2 language approach to language learning, and hosts a Gaelic Medium Education (GME) unit allowing pupils to learn through the medium of Scottish Gaelic.

The multilingual realities of our pupils is not always acknowledged, or even recognised, in the school context. English as the societal and school language can stifle pupils’ heritage languages. This project sought to combat that by raising awareness about multilingualism and celebrating linguistic diversity through the performing arts. 

Visit the website to read the full article, which contains links to the resources used in the project.

Read more...

British Council Mandarin Speaking Competition 2019/20

10 September 2019 (British Council)

Applications are now invited for the British Council Mandarin Speaking Competition 2019/20.

The competition provides a great, fun opportunity for secondary school students to practice and improve their Mandarin Chinese language skills along with the chance to win a week in Beijing!

Heats will be held in Belfast, Glasgow and London during November and December 2019 with the final taking place in London on 5 February 2020.

See the attached flyer for more information and visit the website for eligibility and entry criteria.

Entry deadline: 14 October 2019.

Read more...

World Wide Napier magazine - call for submissions

10 September 2019 (Edinburgh Napier University)

Building on the success of the first three issues, Worldwide Napier, a magazine in foreign languages designed by our language students to encourage language studies, is currently looking for contributions in French, German and Spanish for its fourth issue.

Students from secondary schools, colleges and other universities are invited to submit articles, written individually or collaboratively in the language they are studying. The magazine will be published by the end of December and will be available in digital and hard copy format, distributed for free in Scottish schools, Edinburgh cafés and cultural institutions.

See the attached flyer for more information. Submission deadline is 1 November 2019.

Related Files

Council Recommendation on a comprehensive approach to the teaching and learning of languages

9 September 2019 (European Commission)

With increasing mobility to the EU and between its Member States, education and training systems need to adapt to the challenges and opportunities posed by Europe’s linguistic diversity.

Language skills are at the heart of the ambitious vision to create a European Education Area. Being able to speak foreign languages is not only a skill needed for studying abroad, but also on increasingly international job markets. Learning languages enables people to both discover foreign cultures and to broaden their perspectives.

However, studies show that EU Member States are not progressing fast enough towards the goal that every European should be able to speak two foreign languages from an early age, set as part of the vision to create a European Education Area.

Language proficiency levels among students at the end of compulsory education are, on average, low across the EU with large discrepancies between Member States. 

With increasing mobility within Europe and many young people arriving from third countries to study in the EU, it is essential to ensure that multilingualism is central to the European project.

The Commission has made a proposal for a comprehensive approach to the teaching and learning of languages.

Read more...

UK-German Connection - Back to School Newsletter 2019

9 September 2019 (UK-German Connection)

As the new school year gets underway, find out about the latest selection of initiatives from UK-German Connection in their autumn newsletter.

This edition includes information about the following opportunities:

  • Host a Teacher from Germany in 2020
  • Youth Seminars in Germany
  • Magical Christmas trips
  • UK-German bears - Alex and Ben

Read more...

SQA Advanced Higher Spanish and French Course Reports

9 September 2019 (SQA)

SQA has published Advanced Higher Spanish and French course reports for the 2019 exam diet.

The reports provide information on candidates’ performance.

Visit the SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages webpage to access the reports.  

Read more...

'The new frontier of skills development' – growing number of organisations join campaign to double the percentage of UK students studying abroad

6 September 2019 (Universities UK)

Five organisations, Cultural Vistas, Pagoda Projects, Student.com, Common Purpose and The Intern Group, have pledged support to help more UK students study abroad as part the Go International: Stand Out campaign. The pledges include new scholarships for students to study abroad, discounts on visa services, free places on development programmes and discounted accommodation overseas.

The pledges are part of the UK-wide Go International: Stand Out campaign, run by Universities UK International, which aims to double the percentage of UK undergraduates who study, work, or volunteer abroad to 13% by the end of 2020. The five organisations announcing pledges today join five organisations who have already made pledges to the campaign: CRCC Asia, Campus France, DAAD London, The Higher Education Statistics Agency and QS.

Data suggests that there are significant academic and employability benefits to students who study abroad: those who studied abroad were 20% less likely to be unemployed six months after graduating than those who did not. There were especially pronounced benefits for those from a disadvantaged background. For example, BME students who studied abroad were 17% more likely to be in a graduate job six months after graduating than their peers. The campaign aims to widen access to study abroad opportunities.

Read more...

Working together for Languages evaluation report

6 September 2019 (AHRC)

UCMLS, SCILT and AHRC's evaluation of four collaborative language promotional initiatives is now available. The Working Together for Languages report covers the impact of these initiatives on learner attitudes and uptake in secondary school after a three-year collaboration from 2014-15 up to 2016-17. The report can be accessed on the AHRC website.

Read more...

Host a teacher from Germany

5 September 2019 (UK-German Connection)

There are just over two weeks left to register for this free CPD opportunity to host a teacher from Germany for 1, 2 or 3 weeks in spring/summer 2020.

What are the benefits?

  1. Choose your own timings - it's flexible and fully funded!
  2. Enhance the intercultural dimension in your school community
  3. Share best practice on an international level
  4. Boost speaking confidence in your classrooms
  5. Create a connection with a German school

Deadline: 20 September 2019 to host in spring/summer 2020.

Visit the UK-German Connection website to find out more and to apply.

Read more...

SCHOLAR Modern Languages online tutor sessions

4 September 2019 (SCHOLAR)

Our upcoming Online Tutor Sessions for Higher and Advanced Higher Modern Languages for the academic year 2019/20 have been scheduled.

For more information please visit the SCHOLAR website.

Read more...

World Wide Napier magazine

4 September 2019 (Edinburgh Napier University)

Napier University publishes a magazine filled with interesting and topical articles written by young people learning languages, for young people learning languages. Access to the magazines is free of charge and could be useful classroom resources for those studying higher and advanced higher. Our colleague at Napier is also keen to accept submissions from language learners in schools, offering young people the opportunity to share their learning in print. 

See the attached flyer for more information.

Related Files

Education Scotland Gaelic resources

30 August 2019 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has recently published the Gaelic version of the Slavery and Human Trafficking resources. The Gaelic versions of the Review of Family Learning and the Review of Learning at Home are also now available.

International school exchange facilitated seminar

27 August 2019 (British Council)

Would you like to set up a student exchange visit but don't yet have a partner school?

For schools looking for a partner school, we still have a few spaces available on our seminar in Germany in the Autumn term 2019, designed to allow schools to set up a partnership and plan your exchange.

All arrangements will be made by the British Council and travel, accommodation and meal costs will be covered.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to apply by 13 September 2019. Be quick, spaces are extremely limited!

Read more...

Yakety Yak Language Cafés

26 August 2019 (Yakety Yak)

Improve your foreign language conversation in a local café, in a small group with an experienced tutor. 

We meet

  • in the relaxed atmosphere of local cafes and bistros in Edinburgh and Glasgow
  • in small groups of similar level of fluency
  • with a tutor who is a native speaker for each group 
  • each session normally has a minimum of 2 tutors to cater for most abilities
  • No need to book - just drop in. However, if it is your first time with us, we recommend you phone or email us to discuss your level and the best session for you first

Conversation classes commence from 2 September 2019. Visit the website for details of sessions running in both Edinburgh and Glasgow. 

Read more...

Our World film making project 2019-20

23 August 2019 (SEET)

Our World is a languages and citizenship based film making project for S3 - S6 pupils run by the Scottish European Educational Trust (SEET). It's designed to complement the curriculum for excellence and attainment challenge by providing a free project, which uses an interdisciplinary approach to encourage pupils to become more engaged in their language learning.

Participants submit a storyboard outlining the film they propose to make. This year's films should explore the idea of global citizenship and touch on one or more of the following themes:

  • Migration and welcome
  • Sustainable Tourism
  • Trade

The film must also include the use of a language other than English. Entry deadline is 3 December 2019.

Schools wishing to take part should visit the SEET website for more information and to register.

Read more...

Juvenes Translatores 2019

23 August 2019 (European Commission)

The European Commission's Directorate-General for Translation (DG Translation) runs Juvenes Translatores 2019, an online translation contest for secondary schools in the European Union. Up to now, we’ve been asking Juvenes Translatores contestants to put pen to paper. Now we want to bring them closer to the real world of professional translation world by going digital. This time round, contestants will be translating online for the first time. 

Interested schools can enter 2-5 participants who must have been born in 2002. Schools can register on the official website between 2 September, 12 noon (Central European time), and 20 October 2019, 12 noon (Central European time). A random electronic draw will be held to select schools for the contest from among those that have registered. The contest will be held on 21 November 2019.

Visit the Juvenes Translatores website for more information.

Read more...

UK must regain strength in language skills after GCSE results, says British Academy

21 August 2019 (British Academy)

As nationwide GCSE results are published, the British Academy today responds to the modest rise in students choosing to study a language in England.

A rise of 4% in entries for language GCSEs has been driven by growth in French and Spanish, although in entries in German continue to decline.

The British Academy highlights these positive signs in language take-up, but cautions that there is still a long way to go to turn around the long-term decline in language-learning in the UK, noting that 10% fewer pupils took a language GCSE in England this year than in 2014.

The fall in language GCSEs has knock-on effects for take-up at A level, which declined 5% in 2019 compared to last year, and subsequently affects the provision of modern languages in higher education, where at least 10 language departments have closed in the last decade.

While French and Spanish GCSE saw increases in entry numbers, rates of entry for other language GCSEs continued to show a small decline, suggesting that more pupils could be encouraged to take exams in languages that are a vital part of the vibrant multilingual heritage of Britain such as Polish, Arabic and Urdu.

Read more...

Related Links

Education Secretary says post-16 options better than ever, as GCSE results released (Department for Education, 22 August 2019)

GCSE results 2019: Languages enjoy surprise revival (TES, 22 August 2019)

GCSE language entries 2019 (Alcantara Communications, 22 August 2019)

ALL comments on GCSE results (ALL, 22 August 2019)

Youth seminar 'Sustainable Consumption: Why our everyday choices matter'

21 August 2019 (UK-German Connection)

Are your pupils interested in sustainability and in discussing the wider impact of our daily choices? UK-German Connection, in collaboration with the British Embassy in Berlin, is hosting a seminar for young people from the UK and Germany, taking place in Berlin from 1-4 November 2019.
 
The seminar will bring young people from the UK and Germany together to compare everyday consumer habits, explore the wider theme of sustainability and consider the challenges of living sustainably.

Key highlights include:

  • Expert-led workshops on sustainability and consumer choices
  • Excursions in Berlin on the seminar theme
  • Presenting collective ideas about sustainable consumption during an event at the British Embassy in Berlin

German language skills are not required, so the opportunity is open to pupils across the curriculum. Participants are required to pay £25 to confirm their place. Travel and accommodation costs will be met by UK-German Connection.

The deadline for applications is 16 September 2019.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information and to apply.

Read more...

Debunking the fluency myth: how Lingo Flamingo helps relocate the joy in language learning

20 August 2019 (Lingo Flamingo)

As the Volunteer Coordinator at Lingo Flamingo, I am lucky enough to witness first hand the joys of language learning. A social enterprise with the primary mission of delivering accessible and multi-sensory language lessons to older adults, Lingo Flamingo teaches Spanish, French, Italian and German in care homes and day centres across Scotland, and believes, contrary to popular wisdom, that it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks.

This sentiment epitomises Lingo Flamingo’s forward thinking ethos. It understands that older adults living in care homes are individuals who are able to learn new skills, and it views language learning as a powerful tool for education and enjoyment.

These ideas are genuinely radical, and are especially important in light of the abundance of myths which surround language learning, and which act as barriers to language learning for so many people.

Read more...

Languages for All

20 August 2019 (University of Edinburgh)

The Centre for Open Learning at the University of Edinburgh offers short courses in Arabic, BSL, French, Gaelic, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Spanish and 13 other languages.

Courses are two hours a week over ten weeks. Enrolment for Autumn courses (30 September – 6 December) is now open online.

Read more...

SQA specimen papers for Advanced Higher Modern Languages

19 August 2019 (SQA)

SQA has updated Listening and Discursive Writing and Reading and Translation specimen question papers for Advanced Higher Modern Languages.

The specimen question paper updates can be accessed on the SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages page.

Read more...

Beyond the Panda resources - update

19 August 2019 (RZSS)

The China Mobile Library panda packs are now available online and free! Although the expert visits and outreach have been free of charge since November 2018, the resources in the panda packs used to be either on loan or available to purchase. They are now available online to all - beyondthepanda.org.uk under the China Mobile Library section. 

Associated expert visits and outreach sessions are still free and include different materials and resources which are only available on booking. These enhance the learning from the panda packs. Free teaching training sessions can also be booked. See the attached document for more information and visit the website.

Read more...

Related Files

Discovery Film Festival 2019

15 August 2019 (Discovery Film Festival)

Discovery is Scotland's International Film Festival for children and young people. Taking place from 19 October to 3 November 2019, the Festival is in its sixteenth year and brings another selection of the best films for young audiences from around the world. With several native language films on offer, language learners have a great opportunity to test their listening and comprehension skills.

Teachers visit the Festival website to take a look at the programme for schools. The programme contains information about associated CPD sessions taking place during August and September which you can attend prior to your school visit.

Read more...

RCS Haven e-Bulletin – August 2019

15 August 2019 (RCS Haven)

The Russian Centre in Scotland (RCS) latest news bulletin is now available to view online. It contains information on classes for adults and children who are interested in studying Russian language, literature and culture as well as news about upcoming events. 

Read more...

EU Code Week 2019

14 August 2019 (European Schoolnet Academy)

Are you keen on bringing innovation to your classroom but don't know where to start? Why not get involved with Code Week this October? Teachers from all subject areas with no prior experience of coding are invited to join the EU Code Week - Deep Dive MOOC run by the European Schoolnet Academy. The five-week course begins on 16 September 2019. Enrol and discover how you can incorporate coding into your subject lessons.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

My bilingual romance started with a few Italian words

14 August 2019 (British Council)

Language barriers would stop 54 per cent of British people from having a holiday romance, according to a new poll. One British Council colleague tells us about her bilingual relationship. 

Was there a language barrier when you met your husband?

We were talking in English in the queue for a London nightclub and I realised he was probably Italian. I practised my opening line, and when he said he was Italian I said 'Oh, I knew it', in Italian.

We live together in London now. He had been in the UK for less than a year when we met, and so his English wasn't as good as it is now. My written Italian was good at the time, but I wasn't as good conversationally.

Read more...

Into Film Awards 2020

13 August 2019 (Into Film)

The Into Film Awards is the best place to showcase young filmmaking talent, with categories designed to highlight the large pool of young creatives in the UK. Setting out to discover and honour the most talented filmmakers, reviewers, Into Film Clubs and educators, we encourage children and young people aged 5-19 from all backgrounds and with all abilities to get involved.

The 6th annual Into Film Awards will take place in March 2020, and this year sees some exciting new changes. Entering the Awards now not only gives you the chance to be nominated and join us at our star-studded ceremony in London, but this year, every single verified submission will also be entered into a prize draw to win £1,000 worth of filmmaking equipment for the filmmakers, film clubs or schools!

Visit the Into Film website for more information about the award categories and submit your entry by 6 December 2019.

The site also contains a wide range of films and teaching materials, including a selection for the languages classroom.

Read more...

Inclusion in Practice: The CIRCLE Framework - Secondary

13 August 2019 (Education Scotland)

Inclusion in Practice is a badged professional learning module which has been designed to support equitable professional learning on inclusive practice for education practitioners in secondary schools and local authorities in Scotland.​

It is based on The CIRCLE Framework, a collaboration between practitioners in Edinburgh City, Queen Margaret University and NHS Lothian, that has been adapted for modular learning by Education Scotland.​​

Visit the Education Scotland website for more information about the resource and how to use it to improve practice.

Read more...

Scottish Gaelic Awards 2019

13 August 2019 (Scottish Gaelic Awards)

The Scottish Gaelic Awards reward all aspects of the Gaelic language and culture across the length and breadth of the country.

The Daily Record, alongside headline sponsor Bòrd na Gàidhlig are proud to host the most prestigious night of the year within the Gaelic community calendar. Celebrating Gaelic culture, education and language highlighting the excellent work undertaken to maintain growth and heritage.

The awards are now in their seventh year and attended by over 200 guests including finalists, event sponsors and members of the Gaelic community. The event itself will be a celebration embracing traditional and modern entertainment.

The Scottish Gaelic Awards will take place on Tuesday 19 November at the Glasgow Marriott Hotel and returning to host the event will be Scottish Broadcaster and Producer, Cathy MacDonald.

Visit the website for more information and to view the award categories. Submit your nominations by 25 September 2019.

Read more...

Related Links

Gaelic Awards: hail the Gaels (Daily Record, 13 August 2019)

Bring the world into your classroom

8 August 2019 (TES/British Council)

We believe every young person should have intercultural and international experience. As the UK’s cultural relations organisation, the British Council creates opportunities for schools and teachers in the UK and worldwide to connect and work together to share ideas and practices.

Our range of international education programmes can help develop teaching skills with funded professional development, connect schools across the globe and bring language learning to life.

TES and the British Council have joined forces to explore different ways to bring the world into the classroom and open the door to a host of international learning opportunities.

Visit the TES and British Council websites to access a wide range of resources and information.

Read more...

eTwinning free 'Culture in a Box' resource

8 August 2019 (eTwinning)

British Council is giving away free classroom resources to UK teachers to help kick start an international project. Culture in a Box is a ready-made, easy-to-run project, making it easy for your class to exchange aspects of UK culture with that of another school in one (or more) eTwinning countries. The resource is designed to help you to kick start an international project with pre-prepared, cross-curricular activities spanning key stages one to five.

Register on the eTwinning platform before 15 September 2019. The 'Culture in a Box' ready-made resource will then be posted to your school in September.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

French classes in Edinburgh

8 August 2019 (Institut français)

The Institut français d'Ecosse is now enrolling for their autumn term classes. Unsure of your level? Take the free online placement test. Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

French courses in Glasgow

7 August 2019 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow is now enrolling for autumn term courses. Follow the relevant link below for more information:

Write Away!

28 May 2019 (Light Bulb Languages)

Write Away! is an exciting new project from Light Bulb Languages.

It's a magazine celebrating the writing that primary children do in their language lessons.

Open to all primary schools across the UK, submissions are now invited for issue 2. Closing date is 23.59 on Friday 27 September 2019.

Visit the Light Bulb Languages website for full submission guidelines.

Read more...

Students discover how language skills translate into jobs in world of tourism

9 November 2018 (Springboard UK)

Perthshire S3 pupils take part in interactive workshops highlighting career opportunities

Students studying languages at four schools across Perth have been given a first-hand insight into jobs opportunities in the Scottish hospitality and tourism sector as part of the region's £500,000 young workforce strategy.

Pupils took part in the event organised by Developing the Young Workforce Perth and Kinross (DYW P&K) in partnership with Springboard UK, which supports people into careers in hospitality, leisure and tourism.  The event was kindly hosted by Historic Environment Scotland within their Stanley Mills visitor attraction.

Four organisations representing the sector supported the event - including, Historic Environment Scotland, Costa Coffee, Crieff Hydro and The Crannog Centre. Each organisation hosted interactive workshops which highlighted real career opportunities available for young people when they leave school.

Keynote speeches were delivered by Anne Kinnes CEO at the Blackwatch Museum and Dr Meryl James from SCILT (Scotland’s National Centre for Languages)

Dr Meryl James of SCILT added “Our message is a little language goes a long way. Tourism businesses, the world of sport, textiles, the food and drink industry all tell us that good communication skills are No. 1!  Learning a language can really help young people develop these skills and learning about other cultures helps prepare them to have a more flexible mindset. These skills are invaluable to us in the world of work, no matter what the young person may decide to do!”

Vicki Sutherland, Regional Manager at Springboard, said: "Events like this are a fantastic way to raise the profile of an exciting and varied industry with real job prospects, bringing together future potential recruits with industry employers. It has also highlighted the many local opportunities that exist in the sector."

Following the event, 53% of pupils said they had changed their opinion and would now be likely to consider a career in the tourism and hospitality sector.

In Perth and Kinross, the DYW programme is focusing on encouraging more of the region's 6,000 employers to offer work experience opportunities, promoting apprenticeships and helping ensure young people from all backgrounds can build the right skills to enter the workplace.

Steven Stewart, Chair of DYW PK, said: "We know Scotland’s tourism and hospitality sector is facing recruitment challenges and it’s our job to encourage industry and education to work together to help build a more skilled workforce for the future through our young people. This event is a fantastic example of the kind of partnership working that can make a real difference for our young people and our region."

  

Survey: Education & careers abroad with #Globescotters

7 November 2018 (Young Scot)

As part of Scotland’s Year of Young People, Young Scot have partnered with British Council Scotland to encourage you to embrace the international experiences available to you at home and abroad as part of our joint campaign, ‘GlobeScotters’.

In this short survey we want to find out your thoughts on all things international when it comes to education and careers abroad!

Visit the website and complete the survey by 17 December 2018 to earn reward points!

Read more...

SCHOLAR online tutor sessions for Modern Languages

7 November 2018 (SCHOLAR)

SCHOLAR online tutor sessions for Modern Languages start again on Monday 12 November 2018. At 6pm it will be Higher, and the session will be on translation. It will be accompanied by worksheets sent out in advance to teachers for pupils to help prepare for the interactive parts of the session. Languages addressed are French, German and Spanish at both levels. Access is by: http://heriot-watt.adobeconnect.com/scholartutorsessions/, and you do not need a SCHOLAR password to attend, just log in as a guest.  

The new ‘Directed Writing’  for Higher will form a session on 26 November, again at 6pm.

Advanced Higher translation and the overall purpose question will form a session on 3 December.

Read more...

SCAT - Scotland Catalan Film Festival 2018

5 November 2018 (SCAT)

Cinemaattic’s Catalan Film Festival returns to Scotland bigger than ever with ten days celebrating Catalan culture.

The festival runs from 2-5 November in Glasgow and 13-18 November in Edinburgh. Scotland Catalan Film Festival is back with a new name – SCAT –  and an extended programme of films where music, poetry and performance will also be part of this year’s edition. 

Visit the website for full details.

Read more...

Report on language provision in Modern Foreign Languages Departments 2018

2 November 2018 (UCML)

The UCML has issued a new report on the language provision in UK modern languages departments.

The report investigates the provision of language modules (ie modules whose object of study is language) in MFL departments alongside models of collaboration between Languages departments and Institution-Wide Language Provision (IWLP) in UK universities. 

Read more...

Related Links

Modern (Foreign) Languages: time to rename? (University of Oxford blog, 8 November 2018)

An Comunn Gaidhealach's newsletter

1 November 2018 (An Comunn Gaidhealach)

The organisers of the Royal National Mòd have published their latest newsletter which is available to view online.

Read more...

International Education Week 2018

29 October 2018 (British Council)

Teachers and school leaders in the UK and across the world are being encouraged to bring the world into their classrooms to celebrate International Education Week (IEW).

Each year, the British Council encourages schools to celebrate International Education Week to promote the benefits of international collaboration, languages and cultural exchange. During International Education Week, 12-16 November, The British Council is focusing on global communication and particularly language learning, believing these skills are more important now than ever. That is why this year’s theme is ‘Be International’.

Visit the British Council International Education Week website to find out more about how your students can take part in the Great Schools Online challenge and to access the IEW teaching resources.

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La Jolie Ronde free trials

29 October 2018 (La Jolie Ronde)

FREE TRIALS available of La Jolie Ronde's two award winning French and Spanish resources and classes.

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:

P1-P3 - Little Languages Resource - FREE TRIAL AVAILABLE

Little Languages is a unique resource for introducing languages to P1-P3. It provides the perfect solution for introducing some of the different languages and cultures from around the world. To support the non-specialist and as a guide to aid the expert language teacher, Little Languages enables you to start teaching straightaway!

Activities demonstrated in French and Spanish:

  • Additional vocabulary & songs in Italian, Chinese, Hindi and African Shona
  • Includes fun, play-based activities including IWB material
  • Real life DVD clips featuring children from around the world

Product contains detailed lesson plans in a sturdy ring binder & software featuring:

  • Lesson plans
  • Resources
  • IWB activities and games
  • Colourful classroom wall frieze (5 x 2m lengths)
  • DVD clips
  • Also includes French and Spanish traditional and original songs plus songs from other languages
P4-P7 - French and Spanish Resource - FREE TRIAL AVAILABLE

La Jolie Ronde’s award winning resource contains everything you need to help plan and implement your policy for teaching a language in one go. The resource is a flexible four-year programme providing support to teachers with no previous experience of teaching languages and a guide for the more experienced, who can modify to suit. One of the biggest benefits of the resource is that everything is already pre-prepared and planned, so you can literally start teaching straightaway!

  • Perfect for the non-specialist or an aid for the more experienced languages teacher
  • Split into two schemes – for years P4-P5 and P6-P7
  • Plenty of material to fill two years and four years
  • Pre-prepared lessons, divided into short sessions for flexibility
  • Comprehensive and detailed lesson notes
FREE French or Spanish Class

Years of development, dedication and experience in the sector of early language learning, La Jolie Ronde has become the market leader, committed to offering the best possible start to young learners. Through their loyal network of over 560 tutors, who teach in over 1,660 centres, they currently teach in the region of 20,500 children. To find your nearest French or Spanish class and book your FREE TASTER CLASS, visit La Jolie Ronde website.

For your FREE RESOURCE OR CLASS TRIALS simply email your request to La Jolie Ronde quoting SCILT - email schools@lajolieronde.co.uk

Open eTwinning: Project-Based Learning and the Community for Schools in Europe

28 October 2018 (School Education Gateway)

Join this course to learn about eTwinning and how it can help you design a project-based learning experience for your students in cooperation with colleagues across Europe and beyond. During the course, you will learn about the principles of project-based learning and how to start a project in the eTwinning community.

Throughout the activities, we will look at the entire life cycle of a project, starting with the initial idea, including finding a partner and negotiations to design a common project, and ending with the implementation and evaluation of the project. We will include principles of project work and collaboration, as well as the educational use of various ICT tools that facilitate project work. We will also look at the social aspect of collaborative projects, showing eTwinning not only as a platform in which to implement educational projects, but also as a meeting place between colleagues, an environment where we can share ideas and participate in various professional development activities.

Visit the website for more information and to enrol on the free course, commencing 5 November 2018.

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Euroquiz

25 October 2018 (SEET)

SEET is delighted to announce that registration is now open for Euroquiz 2018-19!

Euroquiz is an annual project open to all P6 pupils across Scotland, which sees teams of four working together to broaden their knowledge of Europe and the wider world. Subjects covered include languages, history, geography, culture and European affairs. Heats take place in every local authority from January to March, with the winning teams from all areas going forward to the National Euroquiz Final held in the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament in May.

See the attached flyer to find out more about how your school can get involved and visit the website to watch the Euroquiz Highlights Film for a taste of the Euroquiz journey, including interviews with previous participants and teachers.

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Related Files

Internships in China

25 October 2018 (British Council)

Spend two months in China with a Generation UK – China internship

Live in one of six booming Chinese cities while gaining experience in an industry of your choice. There are start dates throughout the year - choose the date which suits you.  

Applications are open now for current undergraduate and postgraduate students at UK universities, and those who have recently left university. The deadline is 2 December 2018 (23:59 BST).

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New session French courses in Glasgow

25 October 2018 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow is now enrolling for Term B courses running from 12 November 2018 to 26 January 2019. This includes a new class for complete beginners on Monday evenings.

Visit the website for more information and to enrol.

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Grants for UK-German activities

25 October 2018 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection offers a number of grants for joint activities between schools and youth groups in the UK and Germany.

The next deadline is approaching, so if you have any projects taking place in 2018-19 for which you'd like funding, visit the UK-German Connection website for more information and apply by 31 October 2018.

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Gaelic Medium Leadership Award for Teachers & Education Professionals

25 October 2018 (Social Enterprise Academy/SCEL)

There are still a few spaces left on the bespoke leadership programme endorsed by SCEL, designed to meet the needs of emerging leaders in Gaelic Medium Education and Gaelic Learner Education. 

We will explore specific leadership issues faced by the sector, such as implementing CfE, supporting ASN pupils and managing transitions, all within the context of contemporary resource challenges.

You will gain an invaluable insight into your own leadership style and qualities, and a range of tools and techniques to use in your future career.

The programme is for teachers and educational professionals who would like to gain confidence in their ability to be effective, progressive, and self-aware leaders, potentially progressing their careers into head teacher or principal roles.

It will be delivered in Gaelic medium with learning materials provided in both Gaelic and English.

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ELAPSE – Embedding Languages across Primary and Secondary Education

23 October 2018 (ALL)

In September, we received some fantastic news from the British Council – ALL is part of a successful KA2 ERASMUS +application and along with our partners has been awarded funding for the ELAPSE project.

ELAPSE (Embedding Languages Across Primary and Secondary Education) aims to develop primary and secondary language teachers’ awareness of CLIL and soft CLIL methodology transnationally and build teachers’ confidence and expertise to adopt a cross-curricular approach to the planning and delivery of language lessons. It will involve the creation of a good practice guide as well as resources for teachers of English, French, German and Spanish as additional languages while focusing on Literacy, Numeracy, STEM subjects and Health and Wellbeing. There will also be an online course and training opportunities for teachers in participating countries.

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Schools awarded the European Quality Label 2018

23 October 2018 (eTwinning)

We are pleased to announce the schools awarded the European Quality Label 2018! A total of 1204 projects received the Quality Label for their outstanding work. See the list of the distinguished schools, teachers' name and the project that got them their Quality Label.

Congratulations to all the Scottish schools on the list who have been recognised with an award!

If you'd like to get involved with eTwinning and collaborative projects with schools overseas, visit the website to find out how you can get involved and be rewarded with a Quality Label for your school.

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Another record year for Erasmus+ in Scotland

17 October 2018 (British Council)

Scotland's share of Erasmus+ EU funding is up by more than €1m since last year. This means that a record total of €22.3m will be shared by 172 Scottish organisations working across a range of sectors:

€14.1m for universities and higher education institutions
€5.9m for organisations working in vocational education and training
€865k for youth work organisations
€832k for schools
€614k for organisations working in adult education

With further funding results for 2018 yet to be announced, and 2019 calls due to open, the figure will again rise. 

Erasmus+ enables people from the UK to go abroad to study, train, or volunteer and is delivered in the UK by the British Council in partnership with Ecorys UK.

Most of the new funding is for projects between Scotland and European countries. But Erasmus+ also reaches beyond Europe and in turn helps Scotland to do so. 

€3.8m of this year’s figure is shared between ten higher education projects, which will connect Scottish universities and colleges with their counterparts in the USA, South Africa, India, Israel, Palestine, China, Canada, Mexico, amongst many other countries.

If you want to find out more about Erasmus+, information sessions giving an overview of the programme and available funding are being run throughout the UK during autumn. Check the website for more details.

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Pupils teach us why it’s important to learn about other countries

16 October 2018 (British Council)

This year, pupils from Kinlochbervie in the Scottish Highlands took part in our Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning programme by partnering with Sachangwan Secondary School and Nguzu River Primary in Kenya. 

The distance between the schools, which we are reliably told by Kinlochbervie students is exactly 4623 miles as the crow flies, didn’t stop students speaking, giving tours of their schools and teaching each other about their culture.

Via letters, and a video directed by S1 pupils, Kinlochbervie students told their Kenyan peers about otters, lochs, shinty, fishing and snow. In a video response, the Sachangwan students showed off their impressive school grounds, sang, and planted trees in honour of the partnership. There were dance performances on both sides and in footage yet unseen by British Council Scotland, the Kenyan students learned to ceilidh dance.

However the partnership didn’t stop at school tours and dancing. The Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning programme , delivered by the British Council in partnership with the Department of International Development, provides teachers with the resources and training to teach internationally. As part of this, partnered schools work together on a project focusing on one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Kinlochbervie and Sachangwan students chose to focus on gender equality, exploring the issue as part of their Modern Studies (High School) and Citizenship (Primary School) courses. In the summer, P5-S2 pupils hosted an event in Kinlochbervie to celebrate their work on the project. The event featured live performances from the Scottish pupils and video performances by Kenyan pupils around the gender equality theme.

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Language Perfect Northern Championships 2018

12 October 2018 (Education Perfect)

Raise the profile of languages at your school. The competitive element threaded through Education Perfect can excite and engage even the most unenthusiastic students!

The championships are a brilliant chance for revision of vocabulary and celebration of achievements in language learning. Students compete live and online from computers and iPod/Android apps.

The competition runs from 6 - 13 November 2018 and registration is now open!

Visit the website for more information.

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Königspost competition 2018

12 October 2018 (King's College London)

King's College London's Department of German is delighted to announce its 2018 competition for Year 12 and 13 students of German, the equivalent S5 and S6 in Scotland.

Students are invited to write an article of around 400-450 words in German in response to this quotation from a short story by the German-Japanese author Yoko Tawada: ‘Das Monsterbaby erwartet von der Mutter Meer, immer wieder neue Windeln zu waschen. Das Meer wird als eine überdimensionale Waschmaschine benutzt.’

The winner and runners-up will be invited to a prize-giving ceremony and seminar at King's College London in early December 2018.

Entries should be submitted by 22 November 2018. See the attached flyer for more information.

Related Files

Book Week Scotland 2018

12 October 2018 (Scottish Book Trust)

Book Week Scotland is a week-long celebration of books and reading that takes place every November. This year's event is taking place from Monday 19 – Sunday 25 November 2018.

There are a range of events, some with specific appeal to Gaelic and Scots readers. Visit the website to find out more on these and other ways you can get involved. Why not host a foreign language reading club or book sale?

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Our World film making project 2018-19

11 October 2018 (SEET)

SEET’s popular Our World film making project has now launched for the 2018-19 year! Our World uses film making and language learning as a means to help pupils explore the themes of LfS and the Sustainable Development Goals. It’s totally free, and all you have to do is sign up.

The project has been running for the past 6 years, has a proven track record of encouraging languages uptake at higher secondary levels, and is open to any team of four from S3 - S6 (no previous film making knowledge is required). All teams have to do to enter is come up with a creative idea for a film, based on one of this year's themes. Then, with SEET’s help teams put that idea into storyboard form and send it to us with an audio or video clip explaining it. The deadline for storyboard submissions is 5th December 2018.

Themes:

As part of a team of four, come up with a creative idea for a short film about being a citizen of the world. Your team should consider one of the following themes to get you started:

  • Sustainable Tourism (going on holiday, exploring other countries and cultures and making a positive impact on the environment)
  • Migration and welcome (refugees, moving abroad, how people are treated)
  • Trade (how businesses work in different countries, importing and exporting)

All films must include the use of at least one language other than English - but the more the merrier!

After all the entries are submitted, 18 teams from across Scotland will be invited to one of three regional film making workshop days (roughly 6 teams per workshop) where they will get the opportunity to make their film a reality. Pupils are given technology and professional film-making training on the day to help them, so don't worry if they don't have experience - all they need are their ideas. 

Throughout the project SEET staff are happy to make trips to schools to work with classes and answer any questions you might have. 

If you'd like to register or sign up a team visit the website, where you can also hear previous participants talk about their experience of the project, OR contact Madeleine McGirk at SEET (madeleine@seet.org.uk).

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Inspiring schools: John Paul II Primary, Castlemilk

11 October 2018 (British Council)

Every day at British Council Scotland we hear about how international learning benefits Scottish schools, teachers and pupils. Making this happen is a core part of our work, and we are keen to spread the message far and wide.

Last month, we visited John Paul II Primary School in Castlemilk, where a partnership with a school in Spain has had a powerful effect on pupils. We also heard from our partners at Glasgow City Council, which is a leading example of good practice when it comes to local authorities creating international and intercultural opportunities for their schools.  

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Africa in Motion Film Festival 2018

10 October 2018 (Africa in Motion Film Festival)

Africa in Motion is Scotland’s major annual celebration of African cinema, and is delighted to return for the 13th year to bring audiences in Edinburgh and Glasgow a wide variety of creative stories from across the African continent.

Screenings will take place from 26 October to 4 November. Several films in the programme will offer the opportunity to brush up your language skills in French, Arabic, Japanese and Swahili.

Find full programme details on the website.

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French Film Festival 2018

9 October 2018 (French Film Festival)

The 26th French Film Festival takes place during November throughout the UK.

School screenings are supported by free Learning Resources prepared by Institut français d’Écosse and Edinburgh Filmhouse. These resources have been designed in accordance with the Modern Languages outcomes and experiences for the Curriculum for Excellence.

Visit the website for full programme details, booking information and to download the accompanying learning resources.

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The British Council's International School Award

8 October 2018 (British Council)

The International School Award (ISA) can help with your vision for school improvement. If you are writing your School Improvement Plan, and you’re looking for something new that has a proven track record of making a difference, then the International School Award could be what you are looking for.

It works in all profiles of schools: primary and secondary, inner-city and rural, thriving and struggling. Everyone has something to gain.

Experienced head teachers like Kevin McCabe, now Director of Improvement at Drb Ignite Multi-Academy Trust, testify to the ISA’s effectiveness as a tool to change the culture of your school. It does this by opening up the classroom to the world, giving the students the motivation they need to change the way they work and enriching the curriculum with cross-curriculum work.

Visit the website for more information and to register interest. Action plans should be submitted by 18 November 2018.

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The Pushkin Prizes 2019

4 October 2018 (The Pushkin Prizes)

Somewhere out there, in an S1 or S2 class in a school in Scotland, there are ten writers worthy of the title Pushkin Prize-winner. Are you one of them?

What can you write about? ANYTHING! We're looking for stories, poems, plays, articles, memoirs - anything you like on a subject of your choice. You can write in English, Scots or Gaelic.

Visit the website for more information and submit your entries by 20 December 2018.

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National Gaelic Schools Debate 2018

3 October 2018 (Deasbad)

The announcement of the preliminary rounds of the National Gaelic Schools Debate competition has been made and the 2018 competition looks set to be another excellent year! The first two rounds will be held at the Town Hall in Stornoway, on Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th of November 2018. Last year, for the first time ever the first rounds from Stornoway were available online, through e-Sgoil’s You Tube channel and the Deasbad Committee will be making sure that this year’s first round will also be live streamed to a potentially global audience!

Sixteen teams from fourteen schools are due to compete in the 2018 competition. Following on from the positive feedback received from the new competition format, all the schools will participate in debates over the two days, with the four teams with the highest points, across the two days, progressing to the final stages which will be held in Edinburgh on Tuesday and Wednesday the 27th and 28th of November 2018. The Committee welcome Agnes Rennie and Boyd Robertson who will join Iain Stephen Morrison as judges.

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Gaelic Medium Education promotional film previews at An t-Alltan 2018

3 October 2018 (Highland Council)

The 10th annual conference for Gaelic education practitioners, which took place in Aviemore last week, has been hailed a great success.

Around 200 delegates from all over the country attended the conference, held in the MacDonald Aviemore Conference Centre last Wednesday and Thursday (September 26 and 27), which was organised by Gaelic educational resources organisation Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig, with support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig and the Scottish Government.

Through a programme of talks and workshops, the conference provides delegates with an overview of current best practice and a look at new initiatives for teaching and learning. It caters for staff from the Early Years sector as well as primary and secondary schools.

This year, the conference had a focus that was very much on the whole learner journey through the Gaelic Medium Education system, right from the beginning with Cròileagan and play groups through to developing the young workforce.

A powerful new film which has been created to promote Gaelic Medium Education was shown for the first time at the conference. The film has been made by Fàs Foghlaim – Highland Council’s social media vehicle for promoting Gaelic education – and will be made available to the public later in the year but delegates got a welcome preview of it.

Entitled ‘Gaelic Medium Education – A New Perspective’, the film lasts eight minutes and features testimonies from GME parents and teachers as well as perspectives from leading bilingualism academic Professor Antonella Sorace, of the University of Edinburgh, and Tidelines singer and songwriter Robert Robertson, who came through GME himself.

With 90 per cent of connections in the brain being formed by the age of three, the role of Cròileagan and other Gaelic-speaking pre-school groups has long been recognised for their importance in getting learners started on their journey to bilingualism.

As such, the Early Years sector is seen as an important part of the Alltan conference and representatives from that sector said they gained a lot from this year’s event.

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Grants for professional development in Germany

2 October 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut is offering German teachers grants for courses in Germany. The programme includes courses on methodology and didactics, "Landeskunde" as well as specialised language courses for teachers.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and apply now for a course in 2019.

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German debating competition for secondary schools

2 October 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut invites secondary school students to take part in a competition to engage with questions about the future of Europe.

The debating competition offers a great chance to actively use the German language in an authentic setting and at the same time to get to know other secondary school students from across the United Kingdom. Debating in a foreign language will bring immeasurable benefits to significantly improve the student’s communication skills.

Applications are invited from teams of four year 12 students (4th year of learning German).

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to register by 26 October 2018.

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Vocab Express League of Champions 2018

2 October 2018 (Vocab Express)

Create a languages buzz around your school by taking part in a global online vocabulary competition.

The competition is free to all existing school subscribers to Vocab Express. There are also a limited number of free places available for schools not currently subscribed. 

Our week-long global competitions are a great way to get your school enthused about language learning. We run our League of Champions competition in the autumn term from the 10th - 16th of October and our Global Challenge competition in spring. 

Each sees 10s of thousands of students competing to win the top spot on our overall and individual language leaderboards. There are competitions in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Latin, Greek, Arabic, Urdu, Hebrew, Mandarin and Japanese.

Applications for the next League of Champions are now open. Visit the Vocab Express website for further information and to register by 9 October 2018.

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Highland schools come out top at Shinty@the Bught

1 October 2018 (Highland Council)

Iomain Cholmcille – the Gaelic Shinty Project – has worked in partnership with The Highland Council’s Gaelic Team to organise a six aside national Shinty event for P4 to P7 Gaelic Medium pupils from schools across Scotland.

In August Iomain Cholmchille announced funding of £8000, from Bord na Gàidhlig in order to help develop the use of Gaelic in youth Shinty. The project was launched at Bun- Sgoil Ghàidhlig Phort Rìgh and pupils were presented with new Gaelic strips for the school Shinty team. The funding for community projects aims to build on Iomain Cholmcille’s successful work, in partnership with the Highland Council’s Gaelic Team running Cupa Iomain na h-Òige.

Cupa Iomain na h-Òige – Youth Shinty Cup - is in its third year and although based in the Highlands, the competition, which is held entirely through the medium of Gaelic, is open to schools from across Scotland. This year the competition took place at the Bught Park in Inverness which is a national stadium and 14 teams have entered with approximately 100 pupils participating in the event.

Schools from across Scotland entered which include Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dingwall, this is the first time that the smaller schools in Skye have taken part.

Iomain Cholmcille is a project dedicated to encouraging the use of Gaelic in the Shinty world and regularly organises international exchanges with Irish-speaking hurling teams for both men and women.

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International inspiration at Carluke High School

1 October 2018 (British Council)

It’s not often that I get to visit a school, so I was really pleased when Alan Sinclair, Teacher of Music at Carluke High School, invited me along to a special day of sharing and celebration with not one but two of their international partners, writes our Communications Manager, Jordan Ogg.

Last week, pupils and staff from Institut Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia in Barcelona, Spain, and Mercy College Coolock in Dublin, Ireland, were welcomed as part of their Erasmus+ funded 'What’s Ours is Yours' project. A busy schedule saw the pupils collaborating through a variety of activities, taking in Spanish language tasks, multimedia production, a Ceilidh in the PE department and Scottish cookery classes in the afternoon.

It was an insightful opportunity to see first-hand how the schools have embraced international and inter-cultural learning and, in particular from a Scottish perspective, how Carluke High School's approach has complimented the wider curriculum. For example, I was impressed to see film and home economic students engaging with classes on music technology and modern languages – and all through this one partnership. 

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European Day of Languages – 26 September 2018: Statement from Council of Europe Secretary General, Thorbjørn Jagland

26 September 2018 (ECML/COE)

“Understanding each other is the key to benefitting from Europe’s rich cultural diversity. Language education helps us to do this and to embrace other cultures and ways of life.

The European Day of Languages, initiated by the Council of Europe, is held each year on 
26 September. It provides an opportunity to celebrate Europe’s unique linguistic context, and serves as an impetus for people of all ages and backgrounds to broaden their horizons and discover the added value of being able to communicate in other languages.

Languages and culture go hand in hand. This year, which is the EU-designated European Year of Cultural Heritage, hundreds of events are being organised around the continent by schools, universities, and cultural institutions and associations to mark the European Day of Languages and send a powerful message of openness to one another. My best wishes go to all of those taking part.”

www.coe.int/EDL

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Background information on the Day

The European Day of Languages (EDL) is an annual celebration day to encourage language learning across Europe. At the initiative of the Council of Europe, EDL has been celebrated every year, on 26 September, since the European Year of Languages in 2001.

The specific aims of the EDL are to:

  • raise awareness of the importance of language learning in order to increase plurilingualism and intercultural understanding;
  • promote the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe;
  • encourage lifelong language learning in and out of school.

The dedicated website for the EDL is available in 37 languages and hundreds of activities are registered in the events’ calendar. The EDL activities which take place in Europe and increasingly on other continents are organised mainly by schools, universities, language and cultural institutes, associations and also by the European Commission’s translation field offices. In 2017 over 1250 events involving tens of thousands of participants were recorded.

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Wanted: External assessors for Erasmus+ funding applications and project reports

24 September 2018 (Erasmus+)

Erasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport. Each year, UK schools, colleges, universities and youth organisations are invited to apply for funding to support vital international activities, including:

  • International study/traineeship/volunteering placements for students and young people
  • Opportunities for staff to teach or train abroad
  • Collaboration with international partners to drive innovation, cooperation and excellence
  • Opportunities for young people to interact with decision-makers on issues of concern to young people and to influence youth policy

The Erasmus+ UK National Agency (a partnership between British Council and Ecorys UK) is seeking to appoint a pool of external assessors to assess funding applications and project reports submitted under the Erasmus+ programme.

Applicants need to have knowledge and expertise in the sector(s) of the programme which they wish to assess: schools, vocational education and training, adult education, higher education and youth.

If you’re interested, please find out more on the website and register your interest before 6pm on 5 October 2018.

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News from the Alliance Française

21 September 2018 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française offers a range of courses and activities for French language learners. Click on the relevant link below to find out more about upcoming events:

Visit the main Alliance Française website for more information about the organisation and their initiatives.

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SCHOLAR online tutor sessions for Modern Languages

19 September 2018 (SCHOLAR)

The schedule of online tutor sessions for Higher and Advanced Higher Modern Languages 2018-19 is now available online.

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Scottish Parliament draft BSL plan

19 September 2018 (Scottish Parliament)

The Scottish Parliament is looking for feedback on its British Sign Language plan. Contributions invited by 28 September 2018.

Visit the website for more information and to submit your feedback.

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Inspire your students with new funding for global learning

19 September 2018 (British Council)

Connecting Classrooms is back, and we have some exciting updates for the new school year.

If you are thinking about taking your school on an international journey this year, it’s time to take a look at how you can join the new Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning programme.

You can apply for Connecting Classrooms opportunities either as an individual school, or part of a cluster, which will be overseen by a lead school.

Becoming a lead school provides a host of benefits, including access to grants to develop your cluster, the opportunity to deliver CPD to other schools in your area and cover support for your co-ordinator’s time. 

Visit the website for more information and apply by 28 October to be included in the first round of grant awards.

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The Gaelic Language Promotion Trust

19 September 2018 (GLPT)

The purpose of the Gaelic Language Promotion Trust is to support and promote the teaching, learning and use of the Gaelic language in Scotland. The Gaelic Language Promotion Trust offers assistance to full-time and part-time students taking Scottish Gaelic language courses or courses through Scottish Gaelic. 

Currently, the main activity of the Trust is the provision of grants to students of Gaelic at diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate levels. However, the Trust recognises the importance of Gaelic pre-school provision, and following a generous legacy from Urras Gnìomhachas nan Gàidheal, Career Development Funding is now available for Gaelic students studying for an HNC in Childhood Practice, for Gaelic pre-school workers and GLPS primary teachers wishing to improve their Gaelic language skills. Priority is given to individuals currently employed in Gaelic pre-school establishments who are completing their HNC Childhood Practice modules on a part-time basis and primary teachers delivering Gaelic L2.

The Trust acknowledges the contribution that primary schools across Scotland are making to the promotion of the Gaelic language through the 1+2 language model and welcomes applications from GLPS schools for designated funding for Gaelic books. The Trust also provides grants in respect of Gaelic publishing, including digital and traditional printed books, and junior drama projects.

The Cameron Fund, a separate funding stream from the general fund, has been created to support community-based media projects. To this end, the Trust welcomes applications from individuals / communities / organisations for projects involving new media. This might include short films and vlogs which the GLPT would showcase on their website.

The next deadline for grant applications is 19 October 2018. 

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Into Film Awards 2019

18 September 2018 (Into Film)

Submissions to the 2019 Into Film Awards are now open!

The Into Film Awards is the best place to showcase young filmmaking talent, with categories designed to highlight the large pool of young creatives in the UK. Set out to find the most talented filmmakers, reviewers, Into Film Clubs and educators, we encourage children and young people aged 5-19 from all backgrounds and with all abilities to get involved. 

A great place to start is by entering the 'Film of the Month' competition. These entries are also eligible for submission to the Into Film Awards. Why not get your students to create a short film in the language they are learning?

You have until 14 December 2018 to get your entries in and there are resources and guides on the website to help you.

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Into Film Festival 2018

18 September 2018 (Into Film)

The Into Film Festival is a free, annual, nationwide celebration of film and education for 5-19 year olds.

This year's festival takes place from 7-23 November with UK-wide events and screenings. There are some foreign language options included in the 'Visions of Europe' selection of the programme.

Visit the website for more information and to find events near you.

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Erasmus+ funding for schools: twilight sessions

17 September 2018 (Erasmus+)

Interested in funding for international pupil exchanges, staff overseas teaching/training placements and partnerships with schools across Europe?

Erasmus+ and eTwinning offer fantastic opportunities for UK schools to connect with schools across Europe.

Taking place in September to November 2018, we are running free sessions in cities across the UK for school staff interested in beginning or enhancing international collaboration. There's an event in Glasgow on 30 October.

Whilst the twilight session offers a particular focus for schools, there is also a daytime information session more specifically for organisations who are new to the Erasmus+ programme and are considering submitting an Erasmus+ application in 2019.

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17 September, 2018 - Minister Bruton Launches Campaign to Encourage Learning of Foreign Languages & Announces Funding for School Exchanges

17 September 2018 (Department of Education and Skills (Ireland))

(Applies to Ireland) The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D. today (17th September 2018) launched a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of foreign languages and announced new funding for teacher upskilling and school language exchanges.  

The campaign is aimed at school principals, teachers, guidance counsellors, parents, students and higher level institutions. Embassies, cultural services and bodies such as IBEC and Enterprise Ireland (EI) are also involved in supporting the campaign to raise awareness of the importance of learning foreign languages.  The campaign will be supported by a new website (www.languagesconnect.ie) which will act as a one stop shop for schools, parents and students on language learning. 

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ECML Gazette 43 - July-September 2018

17 September 2018 (ECML)

The latest edition of the ECML's newsletter is now available online. This edition has a focus on the European Day of Languages on 26 September with a round-up of events, activities and competitions taking place to celebrate the event.

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1+2 Modern Languages in Parliament

13 September 2018 (Scottish Parliament)

Read the First Minister's response when asked at the Meeting of the Parliament 13 September 2018 what action the Scottish Government will take to improve the implementation of the one-plus-two modern languages policy in broad general education.

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The Local Storytelling Campaign

13 September 2018 (SISF)

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival (SISF) takes place 19-31 October. Across Scotland, schools and communities are encouraged to take part in an initiative that celebrates the art of storytelling under the theme Growing Stories. The Local Campaign, running from Monday 17 September – Friday 30 November, aims to highlight how stories help communities connect, grow together and play a vital part in preserving heritage and cultures for new generations.

To celebrate, audiences are invited to book a storyteller for a local event, strike-up new community activity and engagement with storytelling. 

Visit the Scottish International Storytelling Festival website for more information and suggested ways to take part.

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Time to Move T-shirt contest

13 September 2018 (Eurodesk)

The Time to Move T-shirt contest returns in 2018! 

If you are at least 13 years old and not more than 30, design a Time to Move themed T-shirt that best represents the spirit of the campaign, share it with us and have a chance to travel around Europe by train!

Time to Move is a collection of events for young people organised all over Europe during the month of October. The activities focus on introducing hundreds of possibilities through which you can go abroad and take part in an international project, explore Europe or gain experience you need for your future.

Visit the website for more information and submit entries by 31 October 2018.

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UK Linguistics Olympiad (UKLO) 2019

13 September 2018 (UKLO)

UKLO is a competition for students who are still at school (or equivalent college) – any age, any ability level – in which they have to solve linguistic data problems. It’s completely free to both competitors and schools.

Teachers can now register their school for the United Kingdom Linguistics Olympiad (UKLO) 2019. Round 1 will take place from 4-8 February.

Visit the UKLO website for more information about the competition and registration.

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Lefèvre Trust school grants for French study visits

13 September 2018 (British Council)

The British Council is working in partnership with the Lefèvre Trust to offer a limited number of grants to Scottish secondary schools to facilitate reciprocal visits to partner schools in France. The opportunity marks the final round of Lefèvre funding and recognises the recently re-signed Memorandum of Understanding between Scotland and France. 

Schools interested in applying should have an existing link to France through a partnership or exchange. Projects with a STEM focus, and from schools in underprivileged areas, are encouraged.

A French study visit is the ideal way to instil a love of the French language in learners, give them exposure to authentic language usage and enable them to experience French culture first-hand. Pupils can also benefit from:

  • raised levels of language proficiency in preparation for exams
  • improved confidence in speaking French by practising with peers at the partner school
  • increased motivation in continuing to learn French by exchanging language and culture in an authentic environment
  • strengthened partnership and development of new cross-curricular projects for the whole school.

Visit the British Council website for more information and apply by 19 November 2018.

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One Arabic-English translator shares his experience

13 September 2018 (British Council )

Tony Calderbank has been translating from Arabic to English since 1992. He shares some of the knowledge he has acquired along the way. 

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CBeebies, CBBC go Gaelic

13 September 2018 (Kidscreen)

BBC Studios has inked a deal with Scottish channel BBC ALBA to bring content from CBeebies and CBBC into Scotland starting on September 17. The Gaelic-language channel is run by Gaelic media service MG ALBA, in partnership with the BBC.

Preschool channel CBeebies will run on ALBA for an hour every evening, ending with a nightly bedtime story, and followed by an hour of Gaelic CBBC content.

The partnership effectively quadruples the amount of original Gaelic children’s content on BBC ALBA, where the CBeebies and CBBC branded blocks will have a similar look and feel to their English-language versions, but with some new talent presenting in the Gaelic children’s zones alongside existing BBC personalities.

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UK-German Connection - Back to School Newsletter 2018

13 September 2018 (UK-German Connection)

Make this a year to remember for your school; welcome a German teacher, take part in our funded Christmas trips to Germany and support your Language Assistant to become a Cultural Exchange Ambassador!

Find out about these initiatives and more in the UK-German Connection 'Back to School' newsletter.

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Theatre play for schools - The Arrival

13 September 2018 (Education Scotland)

A new theatre play, The Arrival, will be touring Scotland from 26 September to 26 October 2018.

The story is about a man that travels to a new land in search of a future for his family.

The play and classroom activities are targeted at S1-S2 pupils. The aim is to engage the students in the world of The Arrival throughout the day, setting up playful interventions, happenings and surprises that create the sense of an event, building towards a performance of the play after lunch.

The key fact is that the play is accessible to deaf, hearing and people who have English as a second/other language.

See the trailer and visit the website for more information and to book.

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Worldwide Napier magazine - Call for contributions

12 September 2018 (Edinburgh Napier University)

Do you have young linguists with a passion for writing? Then here's a great opportunity for budding authors!

Worldwide Napier is a free magazine showcasing the work of language students at Edinburgh Napier University.

Senior pupils at secondary school are invited to submit contributions for the second edition of the magazine in French, German and Spanish by 31 October 2018.

You can read the first issue online and see the attached introductory letter and poster for more information.

Read more...

Inspiring language learning and teaching in the early years

12 September 2018 (ECML)

ECML are hosting professionals in early years’ education at a workshop on “Inspiring language learning and teaching in the early years – Why it matters and what it looks like for children aged 3-12 years” in Graz, Austria on 12-13 September 2018.

The project is designed to help professionals harness opportunities inherent in linguistically diverse classrooms and use them for the benefit of all pupils. Those involved in early-years education, at whatever level, can in particular find evidence here of good practice and a variety of teaching and learning tools to develop learners’ language competence. 

Visit the ECML website for more details and developments.

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DAAD German writing and video competition 2018

10 September 2018 (DAAD)

In addition to accompanying written texts, competitors are asked this year to make a short video on ‘Auf deutschen Spuren - In the footsteps of German-language culture’.

Find out about historical or current traces of German-language culture in your area and create a short film not exceeding 3 minutes featuring German-language dialogue or voice-over. Judges will be looking for creativity and language use - rather than technical ability.

The competition is open to all German speakers upwards from secondary school level.

Find out more about the competition on the DAAD website and submit entries by 5 October 2018.

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'Host a Teacher' Programme: free CPD opportunity

10 September 2018 (UK-German Connection)

Welcome a teacher from Germany to any department in your school for 1, 2 or 3 weeks in 2019 to give your pupils a real-life learning context for German language and culture.

What are the benefits?

  1. Choose your own timings - it's flexible and free!
  2. Enhance the intercultural dimension in your school community
  3. Share best practice on an international level
  4. Boost speaking confidence in your classrooms
  5. Create a connection with a German school

"The guest teacher's input into our curriculum was excellent. She came equipped with resources and lessons, which she delivered to our classes, helping to boost the numbers opting for German."

To find out how you can take part, please visit the UK-German Connection website and apply by 21 September 2018 to host in spring or summer.

Read more...

Curriculum for GLE and GME

10 September 2018 (Education Scotland)

e-Sgoil is an interactive, real-time teaching facility which uses Glow, Office 365 and Vscene to support the teaching of Gaelic and through Gaelic in any school in Scotland. It supports the curriculum for 1+2, Gaelic Learner and Gaelic Medium Education. A short promotional video is available on the Education Scotland learning blog.

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Maths Week Scotland - Mathématiques sans frontières / Maths wi nae borders

7 September 2018 (North Lanarkshire Council)

As part of Maths Week Scotland, pupils of all ages can participate in the 'Maths wi nae borders' competition, which requires students to respond to one of the questions in either Gaelic or Scots.

The new competition is inspired by 'Mathématiques sans frontières'. North Lanarkshire Council, the University of the West of Scotland and Heriot Watt University work together to encourage young language learners to apply their knowledge in a Maths setting.

This stimulating and light-hearted competition for secondary schools combines Maths and Modern Languages and aims to motivate pupils in both their Maths and Language Learning.  S4 classes attempt 10 questions and S5 classes 13 questions.  Ideally a whole class should tackle groups of questions in order to complete the test within the 60 minutes allowed.

The first question require an explanation in a foreign language.  It is hoped that this competition will encourage cross-curricular working and teamwork.

This year 42 teams from 27 schools took part in 'Mathématiques sans Frontières', the winning team in S4 was Girvan Academy and the S5 winners and overall winning school was Grange Academy.

Look out for the e-mail invitation inviting you to take part in January 2019.

CLPL for Beyond the Panda

5 September 2018 (RZSS)

Would you like to find out more about 'Beyond the Panda' and what it offers to assist Mandarin language learning? As the first science specialist Confucius Classroom in the world, we would like to invite you to a FREE session for teachers at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo on Tuesday 6 November 2018. 

Find out answers to these questions and more:

  • What is a 'panda box'?
  • How can our programme mix science with language? 
  • What else does the programme offer?
  • What does a science specialist Confucius Classroom mean? 

Two CLPL sessions available 10.30-12.30 and 3.00-5.00 on Tuesday 6 November. Booking essential as limited to 20 teachers per session. Open to Primary and Secondary teachers. 

Meet Sandie Robb, the RZSS language specialist along with Hù Wáng, our Confucius Classroom teacher. 

Contact srobb@rzss.org.uk  or 07963 070654 to book a place. 

HSBC/British Council Mandarin Chinese speaking competition 2018/19

3 September 2018 (British Council)

A great, fun opportunity for students to practise and improve their Mandarin Chinese 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.

The prize is a week in Beijing! Students will visit historical sites, interact with Chinese students and experience Chinese culture with the British Council, who have over twenty years’ experience in running cultural exchanges with China.

Applications for the 2018/19 competition are now open. Apply by Friday 5 October 2018.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to download the application form.

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New School Year – New Season of NALDIC blogging

3 September 2018 (EAL Journal)

NALDIC has an ever-expanding membership, creating a vibrant and supportive national (and increasingly international) community of educators and advocates. If you’re in EAL you need to be in NALDIC! If you’re not yet a member please consider signing up. All members get our flagship magazine The EAL Journal every term, full access to the members’ area of our website, and free or reduced price entry to NALDIC events. 

This year we will be taking the national conference to Leeds on Saturday 17 November, where the theme of the event is Evidence Informed Practice for EAL, and features keynote speaker Jean Conteh author of The EAL Teaching Book, among many other classics on teaching multilingual learners. 

We’d love to hear from you if you would like to write for NALDIC. We are always on the lookout for contributors to the blog. We accept pitches for posts about research, practice, and advocacy around EAL and multilingualism.

Read the blogpost for more information on NALDIC's upcoming events and opportunities.

Read more...

Introduction to Kansai dialect self-study course

3 September 2018 (Japan Foundation)

The new free Introduction to Kansai Dialect A2 self-study course is available at Minato, Japan Foundation's Japanese language learning e-platform.

Kansai is a region in the west of Japan famous for its delicious food, fascinating history and distinctive dialect. Studying the famous dialect of the region is one way to really discover the vibrant culture of Kansai. 

Read more...

SCHOLAR

3 September 2018 (SCHOLAR)

SCHOLAR has updated the Higher French, German and Spanish pages to reflect the changes to Higher which are now in place. SCHOLAR on-line tutor, Douglas Angus, will be hosting a webinar on Monday 17 September at 6pm for an hour to look at the changes, and to talk about the implications for teaching and learning of the new format for Higher Modern Languages. To take part in this event please log in as guest. The webinar will be broadcast live and recorded so it can be downloaded if you miss it.

There will be sessions for pupils at Higher and Advanced Higher level this year again, starting in November. For Higher, amongst the sessions will be on on the Assignment-Writing and for Advanced Higher on on the Portfolio and Specialist Study. Meanwhile, last year’s sessions are still available on the SCHOLAR website, but are open to all and do not require a password.

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Juvenes Translatores 2018

1 September 2018 (European Commission)

The European Commission has just launched Juvenes Translatores 2018, a translation contest for schools in the European Union. 

Schools wishing to participate must respond by registering electronically on the website between 1 September and 20 October 2018.

Selected schools will be able to enter between two and five students, who must have been born in 2001. Each student can choose to translate from any official EU language into any other official EU language.

Further information, rules and criteria can be found on the Juvenes Translatores website.

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Education Scotland Gaelic Newsletter

31 August 2018 (Education Scotland)

The latest edition of Education Scotland's newsletter for Gaelic education is now available online.

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French courses in Edinburgh now enrolling

29 August 2018 (Institut français)

Ready for la rentrée? The Institut français will be commencing classes for adults and children on 18 September 2018.

Open Days are available on 8 and 10 September where you can meet the teachers, have your level assessed and see the premises.

Visit the Institut français website for more information.

Read more...

The Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival (ESFF)

27 August 2018 (Consejería de Educación)

The fifth Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival (ESFF) will run from 4 -13 October 2018. Primary and secondary schools are invited to take part in its School Programme.

Also, to link with the Year of Young People, special workshops and screenings have been prepared that will explore Spanish language, cinema and youth.

More information and how to book places can be found on the attached invitation letters.

SQA Higher Modern Languages webinars

27 August 2018 (SQA)

SQA is running three webinars in September covering updates to Higher Modern Languages:

  • Tuesday 4th September 5-6pm

  • Monday 10th September 5-6pm

  • Thursday 27th September 5-6pm

Content will be the same on all three dates. Register on the SQA booking system.

If colleagues are finding they cannot get a place on the webinar they can contact the SQA events team sqaevents@sqa.org.uk or 0345 213 5580 who would in turn contact colleagues if spaces on webinars become available. 

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Updates from SQA - Modern Languages

24 August 2018 (SCILT/SQA)

Revised Higher Specimen Question Papers for use in session 2018-19 onwards are now available on the main Higher Modern Languages webpage.  Revised marking instructions for Directed Writing are currently only available in the Specimen Question papers.

Exemplars of Higher Directed Writing valid from session 2018/19 with associated commentary written in line with the revised marking instructions for Directed Writing are now available.  There are currently 8 exemplars in French and Spanish with other languages available in due course.

Exemplars of Higher Assignment-writing valid from session 2018/19 with associated commentary written in line with the marking instructions for assignment-writing are now available. There are currently 6 exemplars in French, German and Spanish, with other languages available in due course.

All exemplars can be found on www.understandingstandards.org.uk

Exemplars of talking performances at Higher valid from session 2018/19 are now available. These include associated commentary written in line with the marking instructions for performance-talking.  Exemplars of talking performances at National 5 are also available. Both can be found on the understanding standards area on the SQA secure website.

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Magical Christmas Trip

21 August 2018 (UK-German Connection)

Would you like to take part in a Magical Christmas Trip this year and build on or set up a partnership with a school in Germany?

These visits offer primary pupils the chance to get a taste of Germany at Christmas time, meet their German peers and get involved in some seasonal intercultural activity. Secondary pupils have the opportunity to brush up on their German and practice their skills as young leaders.

There are two options for getting involved:

  • apply to take part in a visit to Berlin run by UK-German Connection to set up a link to a school in Berlin
  • apply for funding and organisational support to run your own Christmas visit to an existing partner school anywhere in Germany.

Application deadline: 18 September 2018.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

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Deaf Science Club

20 August 2018 (Glasgow Science Centre)

Due to popular demand, Glasgow Science Centre is running a second Deaf Science Club starting on Saturday 8 September 2018. 

The fortnightly science club has been created for Deaf, BSL users and those hard of hearing.

Budding scientists aged 6–14 years old can explore the Universe in the Planetarium, see a live science show full of spectacular demonstrations and get hands-on in workshops.

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Graduate distance learning Diplomas in French or German or Spanish

20 August 2018 (University of Dundee)

New intake: The online Graduate Diplomas in French, German or Spanish are accredited by the General Teaching Council Scotland GTCS for teachers wishing to teach another language. The course runs 2 years part-time and starts in October 2018, University of Dundee.

The courses are taught online and via Skype and suitable for learners with an entry level comparable to a Higher or equivalent.  On completion graduates are expected to be at C1 level (CEFR) .

For further information please see the distance learning page of the University of Dundee website. 

Please contact us at humanities@dundee.ac.uk if you wish to discuss any aspect of the courses, or your application. 

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Runrig say farewell as Stòrlann launch rocking resource

20 August 2018 (Stòrlann)

Legendary Gaelic rock band Runrig said farewell at the end of a 45 year career with a two-night event which attracted 50,000 people to Stirling Castle. At the event were showcases for FilmG, the Gaelic Sort Film Project, and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland’s Gaelic College. FilmG’s theme this year is “In the Blink of an Eye.” Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig have also launched a newly developed Runrig resource for use in schools, alongside redeveloping their Fileanta website for Gaelic Medium Education in Secondary.

Access the resources via the following links:

Gaelic eLearning by eSgoil available to learners all across Scotland

20 August 2018 (eSgoil)

Comhairle nan Eilean’s eSgoil is offering National 5 and Higher Gaelic (Learners) via computer - these will be open to school pupils and adult learners anywhere. All you need is a computer with internet access.

Get in touch with Angus MacLennan or Catriona Currie at esgoil@gnes.net if you or learners within your school would be interested in this opportunity

This is the timetable for the classes.

  • Monday 8:50-10:30 
  • Wednesday 14:00-14:45 
  • Thursday 13:55-15:35 
  • Friday 12:25-13:15

Japanese Language Local Project Support Programme 2018-19

20 August 2018 (Japan Foundation)

If your school is interested in introducing Japanese into the curriculum, supporting Japanese at GCSE or A-Level or starting a Japanese Club, you could be eligible for funding.

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

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information and apply by 22 September 2018.

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Leadership Award for Gaelic Education: 2 and 3 November 2018, 30 November and 1 December 2018

19 August 2018 (Education Scotland)

We are delighted to announce that the Leadership Award for educators of Gaelic Medium Education (GME) organised by Social Enterprise Academy, in collaboration with Education Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig, is being offered in November and December 2018. This is a professional learning opportunity which is tailored to build leadership capacity in GME. It is delivered through the medium of Gaelic. The Leadership Award is endorsed by the Scottish College of Educational Leadership (SCEL), with accreditation by the Institute of Leadership and Management Award at SCQF level 9 and is funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

Visit Education Scotland's learning blog for more information.

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German courses for the new term

17 August 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

We offer German courses from beginners to advanced levels. If you are a complete beginner or attended a course in the previous semester, you can enrol by phone or online. New students with some previous knowledge are invited to pop in during our Assessment Open Days. 

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information.

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Vive le Fringe ! 2018

16 August 2018 (Institut français)

From 3-27 August, the Institut français d'Ecosse will be hosting Fringe shows from exciting French, Scottish, and European artists based locally and on the continent.

Edinburgh-based Ludens Ensemble will perform Forbidden Stories, a devised multimedia performance, which questions cultural homogeneity, notions of otherness, and religious and nationalist tensions in the context of the partition of Greek and Turk communities on Cyprus.

(Mes)Dames, a contemporary dance piece choreographed by Constant VigierScottish Ballet First Artist trained at the Opera national de Paris School of Dance, and set to the music of Christine and the Queens and Perfume Genius, offers a feminist gaze on the place of woman and femininity in modern society.

Berlin’s Duo Mimikry, composed of Nicolas Rocher and Elias Elastisch, bring Visual Short Stories, a series of non-verbal comedy vignettes, to the Institut français d’Ecosse. The French and German pair uses their expert miming skills and filmlike narrative techniques to deliver pitch black visual comedy.

Rounding out the programming in the Institut’s largest performance space, the Emilienne Moreau-Evrard room, is Out of Place, a show about a man who, despite his best efforts, never seems to find his place in life. Created and performed by Guérassim Dichliev, a gifted mime and physical comedian who trained at the Marcel Marceau International School of Miming, this one-clown show draws upon his experiences of displacement, both working in the theatre and living as a Bulgarian national in Paris for more than 25 years.

In SWAP/TROC, the Paisley-based Sita Pieraccini (much praised for Bird, performed as part of the 2016 Made in Scotland showcase) joins forces with the French clown Corentin Boisset to create a new work to be performed in the Institut’s dedicated children’s space, the Théâtre des Enfants. This poetic and subtle clown show will see Sita and Corentin desperately sashaying their way through the airport’s no man’s land in search of what one lost, and the other found.

Finally, for the youngest of audiences, the Crazy Comics Puppets will transform the Kieffer room into a puppet theatre, performing two different shows, The Carnival of the Animalsand A Cake for CubitusRodrigue and Janvier, two French bande dessinée authors will bring to life some of the most iconic characters from French comics, alternating between English on odd days and French on even days. In addition to these shows aimed at children 5 and up, Rodrigue will also be delivering a series of free illustration masterclasses for participants of all ages and experience levels alongside Janvier and local Scottish writer Scott MacKay.

See the Institut français d'Ecosse website for more information.

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Concours de la francophonie 2019

16 August 2018 (Institut français)

The Institut français d’Ecosse launched in 2016 le concours de la francophonie, a national school competition to encourage all young French learners and their teachers around Scotland to celebrate the international day of la francophonie.

All Scottish primary and secondary schools offering French may enter this competition by submitting a short video of a classroom activity in French. Entry deadline: January 2019.

Visit the Institut français d’Ecosse website for more information. 

Read more...

Institut français d'Ecosse After School Club

16 August 2018 (Institut français)

Paris, c'est parti!

This is the Autumn theme for the new Institut français d'Ecosse After School Club!

The programme, aimed at children from P1 to P7, is the fruit of a collaboration between French Drama company Theatre Sans Accents, the puppet theatre company Le Petit Monde and the institute.

So needless to say, fun and creativity will be at the fore front of all the activities!

For more information, please visit the Institut français d'Ecosse website and click on the 'Autumn Classes 2018' PDF for details.

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French courses in Glasgow now enrolling

13 August 2018 (Alliance Française)

Enrolments are now being taken at the Alliance Française for la Rentrée. Click on the appropriate link below to find out more.

Visit the Alliance Française main website for information about their other available activities.

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Fantastic opportunity to get involved in international work

9 August 2018 (YouthLink Scotland)

YouthLink Scotland, its members and UK/German Connection have teamed up to offer an opportunity to share experiences and make new links between our two countries.

This is an exciting opportunity for workers and the young people (aged 14-21) they work with to get together with German counterparts here and in Germany.

The commitment is two residential weekends taking place in October and December - one in Scotland and one in Berlin.

Places are limited so get in touch soon. The deadline for expressions of interest is 30 August 2018.

Read more...

RCS Haven E-Bulletin - August 2018

8 August 2018 (RCS Haven)

The Russian Centre in Scotland Haven's latest news bulletin is now available. 

Read more...

Scotland-Russia Forum news bulletin

7 August 2018 (SRF)

The latest news bulletin from the SRF is now available which includes upcoming events and activities in Scotland and beyond.

Read more...

UNESCO launches the website for the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL2019)

7 August 2018 (UNESCO)

The International Day of the World's Indigenous People's is well-timed for UNESCO to launch a special website, IYIL2019, dedicated to the International Year of Indigenous languages (IY2019) which will be commemorated by UNESCO’s members and partners throughout 2019.

The website will contribute to raising the awareness about this International Year and about the urgent need to preserve, revitalize and promote indigenous languages around the world.

Read more...

Scottish Gaelic Awards 2018

7 August 2018 (Scottish Gaelic Awards)

The Daily Record, alongside headline sponsor Bòrd na Gàidhlig are proud to launch the 2018 campaign to celebrate Gaelic culture, education and language highlighting the excellent work undertaken to maintain growth and heritage.

Visit the website for more information and submit your nomination by 25 September 2018.

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Concours de la francophonie 2018 - final report

17 July 2018 (Institut français d'Ecosse)

The Concours de la francophonie was launched in 2016 by the Institut français d'Ecosse to support and encourage teachers and learners in primary and secondary schools and to showcase the vitality of French learning in Scottish schools in the context of the 1+2 policy.

To enter the competition schools sent in a short film of a class activity in French.

See the attached document for full details of the 2018 competition, winners and photographs.

Opportunity for young people during the Fringe

12 July 2018 (Theatre Sans Accents)

Theatre Sans Accents is on the lookout for 4 young people aged 16-25 who are passionate about the performing arts and with an interest in foreign languages and cultures (please note you don't have to be speaking a foreign language or be an experienced artist to apply to this!).

TSA will be running two free (but ticketed) events on Monday 13th August on the topic of Bilingualism and Theatre as part of the Festival at Fringe Central:

  • A practical workshop in the morning exploring foreign languages in theatre 
  • A conversation/debate in the afternoon between a panel of young people, a panel of artists and the audience about the future of British and foreign artists in the UK post Brexit

Award-winning artists and companies Le Petit Monde, Brite Theatre, Jabuti Theatre, Fronteiras Theatre, Ludens Ensemble, Charioteer Theatre and Bilingualism Matters will be present on the day.

If you're selected to be on the panel you can also attend the practical workshop.

All we need from you is a short paragraph about why you wish to participate and why this conversation matters to you.

Any questions, please contact Marion Geoffray at hello@theatresansaccents.co.uk 

Read more...

Higher Modern Languages webinar recordings

21 June 2018 (SQA)

The SQA has published a recording of the Higher Modern Languages webinar that took place on 19 June. The webinar provides guidance on the revised course assessment for session 2018-19.

Webinars can also be accessed from the Understanding Standards website.

Read more...

Landeskunde German workshops

21 June 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

These workshop at level B1/B2 combine language training in German with topical information on various aspects of German language and culture.

Various dates are available in July, August and September 2018.

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

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Stòrlann put Runrig and Sporting Hero resources on-line for Gaelic Medium Education in Secondary

20 June 2018 (Stòrlann)

Stòrlann have also published new literacy resources for Gaelic Medium Education, including a resource about legendary Gaelic rockers Runrig. This multimedia unit comes as the band prepare for their swan song gig in Stirling in August, bowing out after 45 long and successful years promoting Gaelic song and music. It is hoped the resource will teach learners about Runrig’s important legacy for many years to come. There is also a new resource about Highland Sporting Heroes - Laoich Spòrs Gàidhealach.

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Ceumannan 5 - New Health and Wellbeing unit on-line for Gaelic Learners by end of session

20 June 2018 (Stòrlann)

Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig are about to publish online the second unit of the final book in the Ceumannan series for Gaelic Learners. Like all the resources in the series which launched in 2009, Ceumannan 5 Aonad 2 - Slàinte agus Sunnd, has been written by Emma Christie. It is aimed at Higher and Advanced Higher Gaelic (Learners). When the resource becomes available at the end of June 2018, it will be available on the Stòrlann website.

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FilmG

20 June 2018 (FilmG)

The successful Film G project which encourages the use of Gaelic through film-making has entered it’s 11th year. Film G is run by MG Alba in partnership with CGS and has been a very popular event for Gaelic Learners and Fluent speakers alike over the last decade. Film G organise school visits and more information can be found on their website.

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CLAS - Successful Gaelic teachers conference held at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig 2/3 June

20 June 2018 (CLAS)

CLAS - Comann Luchd-Teagaisg Àrd-Sgoiltean, the professional body for Gaelic Secondary Teachers in Scotland, held a successful CLPL conference at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland’s Gaelic College in the Isle of Skye on 2 & 3 June. SCILT was in attendance along with other speakers, as colleagues took the opportunity to share their hopes and concerns about Gaelic Education in the present time.

If you are a Gaelic teacher or a teacher who speaks Gaelic and would like to be come a member, contact Catriona MacPhee via CLAS’ facebook page.

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A National Framework for Languages supporting implementation of 1+2

19 June 2018 (SCDE)

The Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE) Languages Group, which represents all language strands within the Schools of Education across Scottish Universities, has created a National Framework for Languages (NFfL) and associated digital resource to support teacher educators and teachers at all stages of their careers, with the aim of transforming the 1 + 2 Languages Policy in Scotland into purposeful classroom pedagogies promoting plurilingualism and pluriliteracies.

The NFfL is based on four overarching principles: plurilingualism, diversity, policy and legislation and transformative practice, and reflects the strands of the Professional Standards established by GTCS. For each of these strands the NFfL has identified a series of statements which encourage practitioners to consider a broad and inclusive understanding of the role of language in and for learning. These statements are linked to the associated digital resources: a reflective tool and digital resource bank.
The reflective tool includes a personal biography based on Pepelino and the European Language Portfolio as well as a series of reflective questions. These reflective questions are directly linked to the statements of the NFfL and aim to support teachers in evaluating their own practices.

The digital resource bank was created after a systematic review of the international literature covering formal language learning across all ages and stages, the increasingly complex demands of plurilingual and pluricultural classrooms and the need to develop a shared understanding of the role of languages for learning, which addresses the fundamental role played by languages (including the learners’ first language) in developing global citizens.

The NFfL and accompanying digital resources are now being piloted and can be accessed on the National Framework for Languages (NFfL) website.

Further information can be obtained from Ingeborg Birnie (Ingeborg.birnie@strath.ac.uk).

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Language Futures success at Grainville School

18 June 2018 (ALL/Language Futures)

Language Futures is an exciting, highly personalised and innovative approach to languages teaching and learning which aims to broaden languages provision. It has been designed to foster deep learner engagement and enable students to take responsibility for their own learning, which they are encouraged to extend beyond the classroom. Apart from language development, the approach encourages the development of a wide range of skills such as creativity, tenacity and the ability to carry out research and work both independently and in groups.

As part of the approach, students choose a language they wish to study, with several languages being learnt in any one classroom situation.

Find out more about the initiative, how it's being successfully applied at Grainville School in Jersey and how you can launch the approach in your own school.

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GlobeScotters

18 June 2018 (British Council)

British Council is excited to announce the launch of GlobeScotters! We've partnered with @YoungScot to inspire Scotland's young people to embrace the international opportunities available to them at home and abroad!

Over the next six months the GlobeScotters website will be updated with all things international - from funding opportunities, to fun videos on international foods and some big Young Scot Rewards prizes!

Whether you are studying abroad next term, or want to learn about different cultures in your community, we have you covered!

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‘Language Linking, Global Thinking’: The Life-Changing Impacts of Travel

14 June 2018 (University of Stirling)

As you’ll have gathered from this blog, a good number of our students opt to apply for English Language Assistantships every year, whether between their 2nd and 3rd years or as graduates. For the past few years, some of our ELA students have also participated in SCILT’s ‘Language Linking, Global Thinking’ scheme during their year as assistants and we thought it’d be good to get a sense of what this actually involves – from the perspective of the students involved.

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Creative Multilingualism

14 June 2018 (University of Oxford)

Creative Multilingualism is a 4-year research programme aiming to release the creative potential of languages, shine a spotlight on the UK's hidden multilingualism and celebrate the many benefits of language learning.

Visit the Creative Multilingualism website to explore the programme and projects.

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Language Linking Global Thinking

12 June 2018 (University of Edinburgh)

French and Spanish MA (Hons) student, Róisín MacFarlane, describes her involvement in SCILT’s Year Abroad schools initiative.

Róisín and three other students from the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) recently attended a course with Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT) preparing both students and teachers for the Language Linking Global Thinking (LLGT) project.

In this article - her first as Web, Communications and Social Media Intern for LLC - she talks about the LLGT programme and explains why so many schools and students are getting involved.

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New European Commission Proposal for a Council Recommendation on improving the teaching and learning of languages

12 June 2018 (ECML)

On 22 May 2018 the European Commission adopted a set of proposed Council Recommendations and other policy documents under the headline “Building a stronger Europe: the role of youth, education and culture policies”. The press communication and the Recommendation on a comprehensive approach to language teaching and learning, together with its annex and Staff Working Document, which provides the scientific background for the Recommendation, as well as many examples of good practice are all now available online.

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Host a Teacher from Germany

12 June 2018 (UK-German Connection)

Opportunity for UK schools to boost their intercultural dimension by welcoming a teacher from Germany to any department for one, two or three weeks this school year.

This free programme provides pupils with a real-life learning context for German language and culture and offers teachers the chance to share best practice on an international level.

Hosting can take place at any time during the school year.

Application deadlines - 26 July for autumn 2018 hosting slots and 21 September to host in spring/summer 2019.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

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SQA update for teachers of Higher Modern Languages

11 June 2018 (SQA)

Course support notes and coursework assessment tasks for session 2018-19 are now available, including the new assignment-writing task and performance-talking. Download them from the SQA Higher Modern Languages website ‘2018-19 session’ section.

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The 50-Word Fiction Competition

8 June 2018 (Scottish Book Trust)

Can you write a story in just 50 words? Each month we’ll provide a prompt to get you started, but where the story goes from there is entirely up to you.

The competition includes four categories, Adult Writers, All-age Gaelic Writers, Young Writers 5-11 and Young Writer 12-18. The entries will be judged by a panel and the four winning stories will be published on our website two weeks after the closing date.

Entries for our June competition are currently open. The prompt is to 'write a story set on a beach'. Submit your story by Tuesday 3 July 2018 at noon. 

Visit the Scottish Book Trust website for more information.

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Stephen Spender Trust - Polish Spotlight

7 June 2018 (Stephen Spender Trust)

The "Polish Spotlight" is a new strand of the Stephen Spender Prize for 2018, with entries in three categories: 18-and-under, 14-and-under and 10-and-under. You do not have to be fluent in Polish to enter the prize: it is open to all those interested in trying their hand at translation. To enter translate any Polish poem into English.

Resources for teachers to introduce poetry translation as a classroom activity, and suggestions of Polish poems for translation, are available on the Stephen Spender Trust website.

Entries should be submitted by 5 October 2018.

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International youth event in Berlin: Youth for Peace

7 June 2018 (UK-German Connection)

Are you interested in Europe, history and peace? Do you want to learn more about World War I and its consequences? Do you want to know how other societies experienced the war and how you can personally contribute to a peaceful future in and around Europe?

To commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War, the Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO), along with partners, is organising an International Youth Meeting in Berlin. The event will bring together 500 young people from across Europe and beyond to discuss topics such as war, peace and history in an international setting. It will take place from Wednesday 14 November – Sunday 18 November, 2018.

As a partner organisation, UK-German Connection are recruiting a group of 18-22 year olds from the UK to attend this youth event.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information and apply by 17 June 2018.

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ECML European Language Gazette No 42

7 June 2018 (ECML)

The May-June 2018 edition of the ECML's European Language Gazette is now available. In addition to a round-up of activities and initiatives in language education across Europe, this issue includes the opportunity for language professionals to contribute to the brainstorming on priorities in language education for the coming years by completing an online survey. The survey is open until 11 June 2018.

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Briefing on Gaelic Education

7 June 2018 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland's latest briefing on Gaelic Education is now available on their website.

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Scottish Education Awards 2018 - Winners announced!

6 June 2018 (Scottish Education Awards)

Congratulations to all the winners in this year's Scottish Education Awards, particularly those schools who came top in the language categories:

  • Larbert High School Cluster (1+2 Languages Award)
  • Greenfaulds High School (Gaelic Education Award

Visit the Scottish Education Award website for information and photos of all the category winners.

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eTwinning: European professional development workshops

6 June 2018 (eTwinning)

This term, why not apply to go on a short, fully-funded workshop in another European country?

Applications are now open for teachers of pupils aged 3-19 across a range of subject areas to attend a fully-funded 2-3 day professional development workshop in Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, France and Greece. 

These events are designed to facilitate new eTwinning projects through partner-finding and project planning activities. Workshop themes and subject areas are varied, spanning ICT, Maths, and sustainable development.

Find out about, request a free workshop in the UK or register for one or more of the available opportunities on the eTwinning website. Application deadline: 18 June 2018.

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Improve literacy in your classroom with the International School Award

5 June 2018 (British Council)

The International School Award (ISA) can help you to develop your pupils' literacy.

Classroom teachers like Natalie Richardson testify to the ISA’s effectiveness as a tool to improve the motivation of students to improve their spelling, grammar and handwriting. That’s because the international work that schools undertake to complete their journey to the ISA gives students an audience for their work. They want to improve their skills because they want to look good in front of an audience of their own peers.

The ISA changes the culture of a school by opening up the classroom to the world and enriching the curriculum with cross-curriculum work.

The International School Award works for all schools, primary and secondary, urban and rural, multicultural and monocultural, everyone has something to gain.

Register your interest and find out more on the British Council Schools Online website.

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Related Links

How to make an international outlook one of your core skills (TES, 5 March 2018). After achieving the British Council’s International School Award, one teacher explains how their school has taken international learning to the next level with a "fifth floor" approach to different languages and culture. Take inspiration from their experience.

1+2 Advice - Gaelic (Learners)

30 May 2018 (Education Scotland)

The 1+2 Advice has been updated with information on Gaelic (Learners) as L3 and challenge questions. The challenge questions are designed to support senior leaders and teachers with self-evaluation. They are based on the Quality Indicators of How good is our school? The Gaelic version of the 1+2 Advice is available .

Early language learning: "Inspiring language learning in the early years – why it matters and what it looks like for children age 3 to 12"

29 May 2018 (ECML)

The educational landscape of Europe continues to change. An increasing number of teachers and educators find themselves in multilingual classrooms where the language of schooling, or a version of it, is but one means of communication used by their pupils. How can all participants in the learning process negotiate and create educational capital from this ongoing situation? This is one of the main questions of the project “Inspiring language learning in the early years – why it matters and what it looks like for children age 3 to 12“.

This project, established by the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) of the Council of Europe, aims to enable professionals to utilize the full range of their own linguistic repertoires while facilitating the use and development of those of their pupils.

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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.

Institut français d’Écosse is supporting two shows of the Edinburgh International Children's Festival

29 May 2018 (Institut français d’Écosse )

Não Não (for 2-5 yrs) on 2 and 3 June
Le Vent des Forges (France)

Não is a mischievous little boy made of clay who discovers a world of mud, water and talc. Set in a mini amphitheatre of beautifully crafted wood and metal, this humorous performance made entirely out of mouldable clay, explores the sensory and messy escapades of young children.

Watch a preview on YouTube

Ogo (for 2.5-6 yrs) from 28 May to 3 June
Théâtre des Petites Âmes (Canada)
Three strangers have received an invitation to travel with Ogo. But Ogo never comes. This magical show about strangers becoming friends thanks to a mysterious puppet is a wonderful tribute to creativity and imagination, accompanied by live music. A wonderful family show full of surprises.

Watch a preview on YouTube

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Calling all creative minds! Take part in the Together arts competition and bring a WWI project to life

29 May 2018 (UK-German Connection)

Encourage your pupils to take part in the UK-German Together arts project for a chance to have their work published and visit the British Embassy in Berlin for a special event! Led by Never Such Innocence, Together invites young people to submit art work, poetry or songs on the theme of hope and unity inspired by the WW1 Centenary.

The deadline for submitting creative work is Friday, 27 July 2018.

Further details

If you’d like to submit a joint entry with your German partner school, you could apply for funding through the Flexible Funding Scheme – World War 1.

German writing and video competition 2018

23 May 2018 (DAAD)

To all learners and lovers of German, it’s time again to release your creative spirit and enter the annual writing DAAD/IMLR writing competition! 

This – our fifth – jointly organised competition branches out into new territory: after successful (and exciting!) forays into poetry, prose, translation and dramatic dialogue writing, competitors are asked this year to make a short video on ‘Auf deutschen Spuren - In the footsteps of German-language culture’.

Find out more and how to enter on the DAAD website. Submission deadline is 5 October 2018.

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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.

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The Babel Young Writers' Competition

18 May 2018 (Babel)

Our 2018 competition is now open to 16-18-year-olds and undergraduates! Young linguists have until 24 August to enter for the chance to be published in Babel No25, to be published in November. The winner also, of course, receives a year's subscription to Babel!

Entries should be no longer than 2,500 words, and can discuss any topic to do with languages and linguistics.

Visit the website for more information.

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SALT Modern Languages competition for schools

18 May 2018 (SALT)

Entries are now being accepted for the #SALT18 competition!

Primary, secondary and senior phase students are invited to produce a promotional video, poster or presentation in the language of their choice. 

Find out more on the SALT website. Entry deadline is 7 September 2018.

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SQA Higher Modern Languages webinars

17 May 2018 (SQA)

Dates for the next Higher Modern Languages webinars are now available to book on the SQA website (login required).

Sessions are available:

  • 4 September
  • 10 September
  • 29 September

Read more...

German courses in Glasgow

16 May 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow has a two-week intensive course during summer, 'Kickstart your German'. The course is designed for complete beginners who want to pick up some of the language quickly. There are also certificate exams taking place in June for those who need evidence of their German language skills.

To find out more, follow the relevant link below:

For more information about the Goethe-Institut and other opportunities and activities they offer, visit their website.

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An Cuan Sgith / The Little Minch art project connecting islands with Gaelic

14 May 2018 (Sabhal Mòr Ostaig)

A two year visual arts project has connected school pupils from Skye and Benbecula.

The pupils from Bunsgoil Shlèite, Skye and Bunsgoil Baile a' Mhanaich, Benbecula worked with professional artists through the medium of Gaelic.

The project, entitled An Cuan Sgìth/The Little Minch, was led by Lasair Ealain and supported by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

The aim of the project is to inspire and empower young people to draw their own environment, working with professional artists to encourage their individual forms of expression and a greater understanding of where they live.

After a series of drawing and painting workshops in their own landscapes the children from Bunsgoil Shlèite visited the pupils in Benbecula for 3 days enabling the children to work together with the artists in different sites, share evening activities through Gaelic and make new friends. At the end of the visit, the Balivanich pupils made the ferry journey across to Skye over An Cuan Sgìth (The Little Minch) drawing on the ferry with the Skye pupils and their teachers.

The pupils were able to work with professional artists, such as Julie Brook, Kate Macdonald and Kath MacLeod (Arts Development Officer SMO).

Subsequently each group learnt how to create compositions of specific areas of their landscape based on a number of their sketchbook drawings, enabling the children to collaborate and work together on large scale charcoal drawings.

The sketchbooks, framed A1 drawings, large scale charcoal compositions and a film of the project will form the exhibitions that express their artistic and physical journey, in Taigh Chearsabhagh, North Uist and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Skye on 11 May to 23 June 2018.

The project has been funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Western Isles Council, Young Films, Lasair Ealain.

Taigh Chearsabhagh is funded by Creative Scotland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, and Highlands & Islands Enterprise.

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West Dunbartonshire win at Euroquiz final: St Mary’s Primary School Duntocher team crowned Euroquiz Champions 2018

25 May 2018 (SEET)

Congratulations to the P6 team from St Mary’s Primary School, who won the Scottish European Educational Trust’s National Euroquiz Final 2018, which took place in the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament on 14th May 2018.

St Mary’s Primary School were crowned SEET’s Euroquiz Champions 2018 at the national final. The winners were closely followed by Strathblane Primary School from Stirling who took second place in a nail-biting final round. Gullane Primary School from East Lothian also did incredibly well, winning the prize for third place.

Euroquiz is run by the Scottish European Educational Trust (SEET), a non-political charity, which works to promote language learning, skills development and education about Europe and the wider world to young people across Scotland. The project sees events take place locally at first, with every authority hosting their own heat before progressing to the national Grand Final. Over 470 schools from across Scotland took part in Euroquiz Heats from January to March this year, involving more than 2,300 pupils overall. The winning teams from each of the 31 participating Local Authority areas travelled from far and wide to attend the national final at the Scottish Parliament, all hoping to raise the trophy as winners.

Euroquiz started in 1993 as a small quiz for Edinburgh schools, and has now grown to be a Scotland-wide event, becoming an established and popular part of the primary school calendar. Pupils form teams and use free resources to learn about a series of topics including citizenship, democracy, geography, world history, culture and languages. Through participating in Euroquiz, pupils deepen their knowledge of international affairs, but also have the opportunity to develop team building, confidence, language and communication skills.

The finalists were put through their paces by quizmaster Deputy Presiding Officer Christine Grahame MSP and Külli Nurk from the Office of the European Commission in Scotland. Pupils were cheered on by parents and peers in the public gallery, and even remotely, with many schools tuning in to watch the live broadcast of the event. All participants this year were a credit to their schools and thoroughly impressed all guests in attendance with their knowledge of the world around them. Well done to everyone who took part in Euroquiz 2018!

John Swinney MSP, and Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, said:

“The Euroquiz competition seeks to create an enthusiasm for learning about the rich and diverse cultures of our fellow Europeans, increasing young people’s confidence and their range of core skills.  With these new skills and knowledge there will be new opportunities to shine locally, nationally and globally.

As it has an element of language learning it will also develop our young people’s ability to communicate and this supports the learning about others and the development of active global citizens. That is why Scottish Government are committed to ensuring that language learning throughout school is normal for all our young people.

All the more appropriate during this year of young people that we should shine a light on the fantastic contributions young people make to Scotland and celebrate their achievements. 

Congratulations! ¡Enhorabuena! to everyone who has participated in this year’s Euroquiz and in particular to those of you who have reached the National Final here at the Scottish Parliament.

Bonne chance! Gur math thèid leibh! to all the finalists.”

Deputy Presiding Officer and Euroquiz quizmaster Christine Grahame MSP said:

“It’s been a pleasure to welcome so many passionate and talented young people to the Debating Chamber floor today – especially in what is Scotland’s Year of Young People – a time for our young people to truly shine.

Learning about Scotland’s place in the world and our multicultural society is incredibly important, and I would like to congratulate all of the pupils for their hard work in competing in the grand final today.”

Call out to young film-makers in Scotland

10 May 2018 (National Library of Scotland)

A competition opens today (10 May) which invites young people to show in film what Scotland means to them. The competition has been organised by the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish Youth Film Festival as part of the Year of Young People.

Anyone under 19 years of age can submit a one-minute film on any theme, in any language and in any genre.

Visit the National Library of Scotland website for more information.

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Summer French classes in Glasgow

9 May 2018 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow are holding summer classes for both children and adults. Follow the relevant link below to find out more information:

Visit the Alliance Française main website for more information about the activities and opportunities they offer.

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"Developing language awareness in subject classes": join the network of the European Centre for Modern Languages/Council of Europe!

8 May 2018 (ECML)

Are you a secondary school teacher of a non-linguistic subject (other than mathematics or history) working in a linguistically and culturally diverse school? Do you teach 12/13 year olds whose first language is different from the language of schooling? Are you interested in sharing your subject expertise and exchanging experiences with European professionals in the field of language in subject teaching? Then this project is for you!

Read more...

Certificate of Continuing Education in Spanish (CCEd)

4 May 2018 (University of Strathclyde)

The School of Humanities at the University of Strathclyde is delighted to invite applications for the Certificate of Continuing Education in Spanish in the academic session 2018-2019.

The Certificate of Continuing Education (CCEd) is an intensive beginners’ class that will bring you up to first-year university standard in a year, with the option of continuing your studies into second year and up to university pass degree level within three years.

These evening degree programmes comprises undergraduate level modules in the language at first, second and third-year levels. The two first-year modules, Introduction 1A and Introduction 1B, are intensive beginners’ classes. They are suitable for people with some or no knowledge of the language but with previous experience of language learning, and would equally suit those with qualifications in the language from some years ago who wish to refresh their knowledge.

The CCEd provides a General Teaching Council approved qualification and has in previous years appealed to candidates from diverse backgrounds including:
  • professional people with an interest in the Spanish-speaking world and their languages (journalists, marketing consultants, entrepreneurs, etc)
  • secondary school teachers wishing to acquire an additional language
  • teachers of classics
  • primary school teachers
  • musicians

​For more information about the course and how to apply, please see the attached document.

Related Files

Ground-breaking work on sign languages and the CEFR

3 May 2018 (ECML)

Just six years ago there were no references to sign languages in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

With support from the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe (ECML), today we celebrate the existence of the ground-breaking “Sign Languages and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Common Reference Level Descriptors” (2016), a result of the ECML ProSign1 project. 

One of the strengths of the ProSign descriptors is that they are not language specific, because they focus on communication rather than linguistic competencies. They have been developed to support sign language teachers, sign language learners, academics, policy makers, and others who are concerned with quality sign language learning, teaching and assessment.

Read more...

Diversity of subjects essential to national prosperity post-Brexit, warns British Academy

2 May 2018 (British Academy)

The British Academy, the UK’s body for the humanities and social sciences, has urged the Government not to prioritise some subjects over others, arguing that a healthy, prosperous and global Britain needs a diversity of graduates.

It also warns of the risks of relying too much on market-driven solutions in a post-Brexit world.

In its submission to the Government’s review of post-18 education and funding, the British Academy highlights the contribution of graduates from the arts, humanities and social sciences to the UK’s culture, economy and international reputation. Many of the 1.25m who study these disciplines each year go on to work in the service sector, which makes up some 80% of the UK’s economy. They also drive the creative industries, one of the UK’s major cultural exports. Others enter jobs of social importance such as teaching and social work.

The British Academy’s submission highlights a growing trend of universities shrinking or closing courses in subjects such as languages and philosophy. In the last decade, at least 10 modern languages departments have closed and a further nine significantly downsized.

The British Academy cites a report for the government published in 2014 which estimates that a lack of foreign language skills could already be costing the UK billions of pounds.

Read more...

Scotland-Russia Forum news bulletin

2 May 2018 (SRF)

The latest news from the Scotland-Russia Forum (SRF) is now available to read online. Teachers of Russian will be interested to hear the SRF has received funding for their schools project and are looking to organise a teacher exchange. See the bulletin for more information. 

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“Beairteas” seeking to add richness to Gaelic education

2 May 2018 (Fèisean nan Gàidheal)

Fèisean nan Gàidheal have launched a new initiative through their Fèisgoil project to help increase Gaelic language skills by creating and strengthening inter-generational links. 

With support from the Scottish Government, Fèisean nan Gàidheal is now seeking assistance from Gaelic speakers to establish Beairteas.

What is it?

Beairteas is an intergenerational programme to match community-based fluent Gaelic speakers with schools and community groups. Their richness of language, specialist knowledge of Gaelic culture and many other subjects about which they could speak in Gaelic, would provide a valuable resource for pupils. This would complement the sterling work being done by teachers in Gaelic education.

Why?

Gaelic education is very successful and an essential component in growing a new generation of Gaelic speakers. Teachers work extremely hard to immerse children in the language and deliver a range of subjects through the medium of Gaelic.

Gaelic speakers involved in almost any walk of life have a tremendous amount to offer Gaelic education. The Curriculum for Excellence encourages work and engagement with people in communities.

Beairteas aims to complement schoolwork, offering opportunities for children to communicate in Gaelic with people other than their teachers. Engaging them with Gaelic speakers with specialist knowledge of the work they do or have done, as well as any interesting pastimes in which they may have been involved, will strengthen the language skills of the young people giving them a breadth of vocabulary they may not pick up through their daily schoolwork.

You may be a police officer, involved in the health service, community work or a trade. You may have specialist knowledge of Gaelic songs, history, traditional stories, war, sport or working in other countries. You may be involved in fishing, crofting, gardening, photography, weaving, cooking or almost anything in which you could engage young people through the medium of Gaelic.

Would you be willing to be involved?

If you would enjoy working with young people and are passionate about the revitalisation of Gaelic, Fèisean nan Gàidheal would like to hear from you. Work will be paid, but dependent on schools engaging with the Beairteas scheme. If you have any questions, please call Eilidh Mackenzie, Fèisgoil Manager on 01463 225559 or e-mail any queries to beairteas@feisean.org.

More information is available on the organisation's website.

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Host a teacher from Germany

1 May 2018 (UK-German Connection)

Would you like to have authentic German cultural input in your school? Through the Host a Teacher from Germany programme, your school can host a German teacher for two or three weeks during the academic year, at no cost. Offers from UK schools to host teachers from Germany in 2018-19 are now being accepted.

All schools and FE colleges from the whole of the UK can take part. The UK coordinating teacher does not need to be a teacher of German, and German does not need to be on the school’s curriculum; visiting teachers are either teachers of English or have good knowledge of the English language.

Visit the UK-German Connection website and find out how your school could benefit!

Application deadlines: 26 July 2018 / 21 September 2018.

Read more...

Languages for health

1 May 2018 (CIOL)

Can the cognitive benefits of ‘bilingualism’ overcome the ‘English is enough’ fallacy? Dina Mehmedbegovic and Thomas Bak change the narrative on language learning.

Over the last two years, the EU Commission has been facilitating consultation events with a range of education and linguistics experts, with the aim of reviewing EU language policy and recommendations to member states. It is evident that, 16 years after the vision of education in ‘mother tongue plus 2 languages’ (MT+2) was shaped and agreed in Barcelona by EU leaders, this goal remains, for many, a distant vision.1 In the UK, data on language learning in schools is not even available on the Eurostat site, and the only part of the UK committed to the 1+2 policy is Scotland. 

According to reports produced in the UK, such as the British Academy’s 2013 ‘State of the Nation’ report, the deficiency of language skills among the workforce is so severe that some large companies have started deleting language requirements from their job adverts and staff profile requirements, having to focus their business strategies on English-speaking countries only. According to ‘State of the Nation’, this creates “a vicious circle of monolingualism”. Without any doubt, this vicious circle rests on the dominance of English – unrivalled by any language in our history – with one in four people in the world competent in the language, resulting in a feeling of ‘English is enough’.  

Therefore, attempts to promote language learning in the UK need to use new and different arguments to those used in non-English-speaking countries. They need to focus not so much on the immediate advantages of learning a particular language, but more on the general benefits of language learning, multilingualism and active language use, independently of the specific languages involved. Such an approach could also lead to a positive re-evaluation of the role of languages spoken by migrant communities: once we acknowledge linguistic diversity as a benefit, rather than a burden (both to individuals and to society), all languages become valuable and worth preserving.  

Until recently, most arguments for learning languages fell into two broad categories: cultural (e.g. learning French leads to a better understanding not only of French but also English language and history) and economic (e.g. the value of learning German or, more recently, Chinese, as languages of powerful modern economies). However, over the last few decades, a new, third category of arguments started to emerge: the cognitive benefits of language learning and use.

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Competition: Eine Welt für dich und mich

30 April 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

The German Foreign Office is looking for children and teens who love writing and who would like to publish their own texts: Along the lines of “A world for you and me” young authors from around the world are invited to depict their fantasies, hopes and dreams.

Children and teens up to 19 years old can participate. Entries can be short stories, essays, poems or songs consisting of no more than 3000 characters (including spaces) and can be written in either German or English.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for further information. Entry deadline is 15 July 2018.

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Work shadowing in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany

30 April 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut is pleased to announce a one week work shadowing visit from 20 October to 27 October 2018 to Schwäbisch Hall in Germany.

The participants should be between 16 and 17 years old with at least GCSE-level German and will have the opportunity to experience work in a small or medium sized German company. They will also have language tuition and guidance on Germany today as well as short excursions in the local surroundings.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for further information and to apply by 15 June 2018.

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Be part of the first language course designed to fight dementia!

30 April 2018 (Lingo Flamingo)

Research shows that speakers of foreign languages can postpone the effects of dementia by up to 4.5 years later than monolinguists. Language learning acts as a great way of keeping your brain fit and active as well as building up cognitive reserve, making the brain more resilient. 

Lingo Flamingo utilises this research by providing tailored, fun and accessible classes in care homes and day centres across Scotland. We are a not-for-profit organisation whose objective is to use language learning as a way to empower older adults and to battle against dementia and brain ageing. 

We are looking for compassionate and enthusiastic language volunteers who can teach their language in care homes across Scotland. As a language tutor you will go into care homes and teach older adults in classes of 10 students. 

Classes take place 1 hour a week for 10 weeks. We will cover your expenses.

Classes take place Monday to Friday, usually in the early afternoon. You need to commit for at least 10 weeks, for 1 hour a week (same day and same time every week).

In conjunction with the Open University we offer tailored training and support about teaching older adults. Even though it is a language class, it is mainly about having fun! It is a great opportunity to increase your confidence as well as the confidence of the students. 

After you let us know that you are interested, you would need to fill out a registration form and meet us for an informal chat. Once you agree to volunteer, we would enter you onto the database and match you with a care home that is close to you. 

For more information, please contact papoula.romao@lingoflamingo.co.uk or visit our website for more information.

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BSL event at the Scottish Parliament

27 April 2018 (Scottish Government)

To help us prepare our British Sign Language Plan, we will be holding an event at the Scottish Parliament building to gather the views of BSL users. Please come along!

The event will be on the afternoon of Friday 18 May and the morning of Saturday 19 May.

Tours of the Scottish Parliament debating chamber and garden lobby will be available in BSL on both days.

Visit the website for more information and to book.

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SQA is developing new BSL qualifications for schools

26 April 2018 (SQA)

SQA is developing a new range of Awards in British Sign Language. The first two Awards will be available from Autumn 2018, at SCQF level 3 and 4. Further Awards at SCQF levels 5 and 6 will be available from Autumn 2019.

The Awards will be aimed at young BSL learners in schools and colleges. These new qualifications will offer an attractive addition to the choice of languages already available to young learners in Scotland. The Awards will be similar in length and demand to the existing National Courses in Modern Languages available from SQA.

The units that make up the new Awards have been adapted to respect BSL’s difference from spoken/written languages, and learners will also have the opportunity to develop their understanding of the Deaf community and its culture and history.

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Student competition to win a month studying at a Hong Kong university

24 April 2018 (British Council)

The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London is offering sixth form students a chance to boost their CV by spending a month at a Hong Kong university this summer. All they have to do is demonstrate why they think Hong Kong is a unique and attractive place for start-up businesses. 

Visit the British Council website for more information.

Applications close on 8 May 2018.

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National Digital Learning Week (14-18 May)

24 April 2018 (Education Scotland)

National Digital Learning Week is an annual Education Scotland event where teachers and learners from all schools in Scotland are encouraged to take part in digital learning and teaching activities.

There are loads of ways to get involved in #NDLW18; the sky is the limit! 

To help get things started Education Scotland are launching 2 main activities:  

  • An exclusive National Digital Story telling activity for 30 schools across Scotland with famous children’s author Lari Don. 
  • A digital story telling activity schools can enjoy in their local setting.

Why not use the local opportunity to create a digital story with your pupils in the language they are learning?

Find out more on the Education Scotland Glow blog.

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Summer workshops for children

23 April 2018 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française Glasgow is pleased to announce it will be running special French workshops for children aged 5-10 in late June / early 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.

Visit the website for further information.

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SQA Higher Modern Languages course specification

23 April 2018 (SQA)

SQA has published the revised Course Specification for the Higher Modern Languages course (version April 2018). This is available from the Modern Languages Higher webpage. To access the document please go to the tab ‘2018-19 session’ and under the ‘Essential Information’ heading click on ‘Course Specification’.

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Would you like to explore Europe this summer?

20 April 2018 (European Commission)

Are you 18 years old? Would you like to explore Europe? Then you are the perfect candidate to apply for a new European Union initiative to be officially launched shortly.

In June 2018 the European Commission is selecting up to 15.000 enthusiastic young people to be the lucky recipients of a travel pass to discover Europe.

Travelling is a chance for young people to take advantage of our freedom of movement, to discover the diversity of Europe, enjoy its cultural richness, and make new friends from all over the continent. Ultimately, it’s also a great opportunity to discover yourself.

With 2018 being the European Year of Cultural Heritage, consider yourself particularly lucky. It means that you will also have the opportunity to participate in the many events that are taking place this year all over Europe to celebrate our fantastically diverse cultural heritage.

Applicants must be 18 years old (and not yet 19) at the time of application and have the nationality of one of the EU countries. You can travel up to maximum 30 days and visit up to 4 different country destinations. Moreover, there is the possibility to travel either individually or as a group.

Visit the European Youth Portal website for more information. Applications open in June 2018.

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Free trials available of La Jolie Ronde's two award winning resources and classes

20 April 2018 (La Jolie Ronde)

La Jolie Ronde Languages for Children has been at the forefront of Primary Languages since 1983. It offers language learning through weekly extra-curricular French and Spanish classes, the supply of early years and primary language teaching resources and educational visits to Northern France.

P1-P3 - Little Languages Resource - FREE TRIAL AVAILABLE

Little Languages is a brand new and unique resource for introducing languages to P1-P3. It provides the perfect solution for introducing some of the different languages and cultures from around the world. To support the non-specialist and as a guide to aid the expert language teacher, Little Languages enables you to start teaching straightaway!

Activities demonstrated in French and Spanish:

  • Additional vocabulary & songs in Italian, Chinese, Indian & African
  • Includes fun, play-based activities including IWB material
  • Real life DVD clips featuring children from around the world

Product contains detailed lesson plans in a sturdy ring binder & software featuring:

  • Lesson plans
  • Resources
  • IWB activities and games
  • Colourful classroom wall frieze (5 x 2m lengths)
  • DVD clips
  • Also includes French and Spanish traditional and original songs plus songs from other languages
P4-P7 - French and Spanish Resource - FREE TRIAL AVAILABLE

La Jolie Ronde’s award winning resource contains everything you need to help plan and implement your policy for teaching a language in one go. The resource is a flexible four-year programme providing support to teachers with no previous experience of teaching languages and a guide for the more experienced, who can modify to suit. One of the biggest benefits of the resource is that everything is already pre-prepared and planned, so you can literally start teaching straightaway!

  • Perfect for the non-specialist or an aid for the more experienced languages teacher
  • Split into two schemes – for years P4-P5 and P6-P7
  • Plenty of material to fill two years and four years
  • Pre-prepared lessons, divided into short sessions for flexibility
  • Comprehensive and detailed lesson notes

For your FREE TRIALS simply email your request to La Jolie Ronde quoting SCILT

FREE French or Spanish Class

Years of development, dedication and experience in the sector of early language learning, La Jolie Ronde has become the market leader, committed to offering the best possible start to young learners. Through their loyal network of over 560 tutors, who teach in over 1,660 centres across the UK and Ireland, they currently teach in the region of 20,500 children. To find your nearest French or Spanish class and book your FREE TASTER CLASS, visit La Jolie Ronde website.

Spanish sessions at the Zoo!

18 April 2018 (RZSS)

Spanish Days are being replaced with Spanish sessions at Edinburgh Zoo.

Suitable for P4-P7 and S1-S2, schools can now book their own date and time to suit.

Costs as per education rates at Edinburgh Zoo - £7 per pupil, with 1 adult per 7 children free of charge (Primary) and 1 adult per 10 children free of charge (Secondary). See how to book on the website. 

Please use the booking form and choose 'Science in the Language Class - Spanish'.

Free resources are available to download to help your visit.

Spanish Packs are available at £50+VAT and £6 post and packing - details also on the website.

For further information or to purchase a pack contact Sandie Robb.

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China stories: 500 words competition

17 April 2018 (University of Liverpool)

A new 500-word short story competition – with entries judged by best-selling author Philip Pullman – is being launched ahead of the 2018 Liverpool Literary Festival.

The China Stories competition is looking for submissions across a broad range of categories. Winners will see their work published in a special anthology and take part in a writing session with the Royal Society of Literature, as well as receiving vouchers to spend as they wish.

Stories can be about anything, but to coincide with Liverpool’s China Dream season all entries should have a Chinese theme.

Entries are invited from primary and secondary students and should be submitted by 20 July 2018.

Further information can be found on the University of Liverpool website.

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Language Leaders - training week in Cavilam

16 April 2018 (Institut français)

For the third year, the Institut français is offering grants to six Language Leaders of Scotland to attend a one week training course in France.

The course will take place at the Cavilam Alliance française de Vichy from 30 July to 3 August 2018.

The Cavilam is an international centre of excellence for French teachers and teachers' trainers which welcomes teachers from all over the world.

This course is open to all practitioners with a leading role on your 1+2 strategy: in a school, a cluster, or at the council or regional level.

Further information regarding the grants, programme, accommodation/transport and how to apply can be found in the attached documents. Please note that the Institut français covers only the course fee.

The application deadline is 11 May 2018.

SQA Higher Modern Languages webinar

12 April 2018 (SQA)

The SQA is running an evening webinar on 5 June to provide an overview of the new Modern Languages Higher course assessment arrangements which will be implemented from session 2018-19 onwards.

This will cover the performance–talking and there will be a particular focus on Higher assignment-writing. 

To book a place, please visit the SQA online booking system. 

Additional webinar sessions on the new Higher Modern Languages Course assessment arrangements will be running in September 2018.

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Mandarin will give school leavers career advantage

11 April 2018 (UCL/CISS)

More than three in four British business leaders believe speaking Mandarin will give school leavers a career advantage over their counterparts, according to a survey published today.

Amongst over 1,000 senior business decision makers questioned by YouGov for the UCL Institute of Education-delivered Mandarin Excellence Programme, more than three quarters of respondents said that speaking a high level of Mandarin would be beneficial to school pupils in their future careers. 

On average, 28 per cent thought that the advantage would be ‘significant’ – with this rising to 31 per cent amongst those working for companies with an annual turnover of £10 million or more.  

While 69 per cent of those surveyed felt that Mandarin Chinese skills, particularly speaking, would be important for British business and the economy in future, 66 per cent said that it was currently difficult to recruit fluent speakers from within the UK workforce. When asked about language learning more widely, 82 per cent agreed that language teaching in schools “should reflect important potential growth markets for British trade and business”.

You can read the full article on the UCL website.

Opening Doors in Scotland

There is no doubt that languages, including Mandarin, open doors to a range of opportunities. For example, the pupil immersion course which offers young people the opportunity to attend a language and culture immersion course in China. For more details please see the CISS website.

CISS also offers 6th year school leavers the opportunity to apply for the Tianjin Scholarship. To find out more about this exciting chance to learn mandarin in Tianjin for a year, please see our website where you can read blogs from our present Scholars.

There are also activities provided by CISS through our partners, for example Scottish Opera and Edinburgh Zoo. Please visit the CISS website for more details or get in touch with ciss-info@strath.ac.uk.

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Action research communities for language teachers

10 April 2018 (SOAS)

Action Research Communities for Language Teachers (ARC) is a project funded by the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe (2015 to 2018). It aims to support teachers in European language classrooms in using action research as an essential tool for the development of reflective classroom practice and autonomy.

Through this project we are making practical techniques for action research widely available to language teachers across Europe by establishing a community of practice which connects academic expertise on action research with good practice in language classrooms. We are also designing action research tools to support teachers who want to carry out projects and to encourage dialogue between practitioners in schools and universities.

All project results and action research tools will be published on the project website.

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Together arts project for schools

10 April 2018 (UK-German Connection)

Together is a creative arts project, which invites young people to produce poetry, art, or songs on the themes of hope and unity, inspired by the shared history between the UK and Germany to mark the WW1 Centenary.

Open to all young people aged 9-16 working in groups or individually, projects should be on the theme of hope and unity, inspired by the First World War. Poetry and songs can be in English, German, Gaelic or Welsh.  Art work can be in any medium.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information. Entry deadline is Friday 15 June 2018.

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Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee Report on Erasmus+

5 April 2018 (Scottish Government)

The Scottish Government's Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee launched a short and focused inquiry into Scotland's participation in the Erasmus+ programme in November 2017. The purpose of the inquiry was to learn more about the opportunities currently available under Erasmus+ and to consider the implications of Scotland no longer participating in the programme after the UK withdraws from the European Union (EU).

The report highlights that Erasmus+ also plays an important role in supporting the Scottish Government’s 1+2 (mother tongue + 2 additional languages) approach to language learning.

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Worldwide Napier magazine

5 April 2018 (Edinburgh Napier University)

Edinburgh Napier University is delighted to announce the publication of the very first issue of Worldwide Napier, a free magazine in which our students in languages (French, German, Italian and Spanish) showcase some of their work. It is available now on digital and soon a few print copies will circulate within Edinburgh.

Secondary school pupils are being invited to contribute articles for the forthcoming issues. View the magazine online and see the attached introductory letter for more information.

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THE LANGUAGE MAGICIAN is live!

4 April 2018 (The Language Magician)

THE LANGUAGE MAGICIAN online game was launched at Language World UK on 23 March 2018, and the game with many of its resources are already available on the website – free for teachers to access thanks to Erasmus+ funding.

THE LANGUAGE MAGICIAN is an online game that draws in Primary children of all ages and challenges their language skills - in French, German, Italian, Spanish or English. It’s a game they like to play again so that they can do better, and it is also a tool for teachers to capture data about how their pupils do.

A final conference of the project is to be held in London on 19 May 2018, by which time all the accompanying project resources will be available.

To find out more about the game and conference see the attached flyer or visit the LANGUAGE MAGICIAN website. 

Read more...

Related Files

Japan Foundation Local Grant Programmes 2018-19

3 April 2018 (Japan Foundation)

Japan Foundation (JF) London is now accepting grant applications for UK based Japan related projects taking place in 2018-19 through our local support programmes.

Grants of up to £3,000 are available to schools seeking to promote the introduction of Japanese into the curriculum (or onto the main school timetable) at primary and secondary levels, supporting Japanese qualifications in school or introducing the language as an extra-curricular activity. 

For more information and to apply by 4 May 2018, see the online information sheet and application form.

Read more...

European Language Gazette 41 - March/April 2018

3 April 2018 (ECML)

The latest edition of the ECML's Language Gazette is now available on their website. The newsletter includes updates on the organisation's projects along with new initiatives, events and resources of interest to the language teaching community across Europe.

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Residential Study Visits - St Anne's College, Oxford

29 March 2018 (University of Oxford)

Applications are now open for St Anne's College, Oxford one-night Residential Study Visits in Geography, Music and English/Modern Languages! 

These Residential Study Visits are designed to give students from backgrounds and schools with limited experience of Oxford a taste of what it’s like to live and study as an undergraduate at St Anne’s College and Oxford University.

The visits all take place during June 2018 and are open to Year 12 students from all UK state schools/colleges. Accommodation, travel and meals are included.

Visit the website for more information and to apply by 7 May 2018.

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#LanguageforResilience exhibition

29 March 2018 (British Council)

Discover how language can help refugees deal with loss, displacement and trauma in our #LanguageForResilience exhibition. Visit in person if you’re in London or check out the virtual exhibition online.

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Franco-German game night

29 March 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow invites you to join them for an evening of fun and friendly competition as they play modern board games from France and Germany!

This event takes place on 18 April 2018 and is primarily aimed at learners of French or German who would like to practice their speaking skills. However, anyone is welcome and choice of language will be adapted to the group.

The event is free to attend, but registration is essential. 

Visit the website for more information and to register.

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Launch of the new National Gaelic Language Plan

28 March 2018 (Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

The new National Gaelic Language Plan, which sets out the framework for the faster growth of the language across Scotland, has been launched today (Wednesday 28th March) at the Scottish Parliament.

The central purpose of the Plan is to encourage and enable more people to use Gaelic more often and in a wider range of situations. The key messages, aims, priorities and new commitments contained in the Plan all contribute to achieving this increased use of Gaelic.

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Castilla y León Award to the best student of Spanish in the United Kingdom (2018)

27 March 2018 (Consejería de Educación)

The Ministry of Education of the Embassy of Spain in the United Kingdom, with the sponsorship of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Junta de Castilla y León, annually announces the award to the student with the best results in Spanish in the United Kingdom that has, in addition, the best academic record.

Applications are now open for the 2018 award and should be submitted by 30 April. Visit the website for more information.

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French classes in Glasgow and Edinburgh

27 March 2018 (Alliance Française / Institut français)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow and the Institut français en Ecosse in Edinburgh are now enrolling for Term D French classes.

There are a range of courses available to suit all levels. Classes commence 16 April 2018.

Visit the appropriate website through the links below for more information and to book your place.

Online learning event: Welcoming refugee and migrant children to mainstream classrooms in Europe

27 March 2018 (British Council eTwinning)

Aimed at teachers of primary and secondary learners aged 4-16, this eTwinning workshop will develop teachers' awareness, confidence and skills in learning about refugee issues, welcoming refugee and migrant children to mainstream classrooms from a social and emotional perspective, and will give a basic introduction to language acquisition and the importance of maintaining and developing mother tongue and home culture.

Visit the website to sign up for the course between 9 - 17 April 2018.

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Bilingualism Matters Newsletter Spring 2018

26 March 2018 (Bilingualism Matters)

The latest news, events and information from Bilingualism Matters can be found online in their Spring 2018 newsletter.

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Youth Conference ‘Culture & Heritage in a Digital World’

26 March 2018 (UK-German Connection)

As part of the European Union’s Year of Cultural Heritage, young people from the UK and Germany are invited to apply to take part in a youth conference in Berlin from 15-17 June 2018. The youth conference will bring young people from the UK and Germany together, to discuss cultural heritage in a digital world, reflecting on the past and looking towards the future, and sharing their diverse local and regional cultures with one another.

The conference is organised by UK-German Connection in collaboration with the British Council Germany, as part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage.

Deadline 19 April

Except for a small contribution of £25, this event is free of charge for participants.

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Youth Seminar ‘Finding Our Place In History’

26 March 2018 (UK-German Connection)

‘Finding Our Place In History’ will take place in Berlin from 1 – 3 June 2018, and will provide young people from the UK and Germany with the opportunity to discuss history, identity and more through the exploration of personal stories woven into the seminar. The basis for this comes from Thomas Harding's novel ‘The House by the Lake,’ which tells the fascinating journeys of several German families including that of his own, the Alexander family, over a period of 100 years.

The seminar is being organised by UK-German Connection in collaboration with Alexander Haus e.V.

Deadline 16 April

Except for a small contribution of £25, this event is free of charge for participants.

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Building with Lingo

23 March 2018 (SCILT)

Children, young people and their families had the opportunity to discover the benefits of language learning at an action-packed, family learning event held at University of Strathclyde on 17 March 2018.

Participants took part in a wide range of intergenerational activities to celebrate and promote languages and cultural diversity. The varied programme featured interactive workshops and lectures as well as language and cultural taster sessions. These included a French puppet show, a lecture on the benefits of bilingualism, a masterclass in British Sign Language, an opportunity to hear how languages are used in the RAF and an overview of how languages facilitate the conservation work of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.

A parent attending the event said: “This was a wonderful day, brilliant for adults and kids alike! It has reinspired my love of languages.”

Another parent stated: “I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with my son and encourage his love of languages.”

The day was facilitated by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages based at the University of Strathclyde.

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT said: “All parents and carers want the best for their child. Language learning contributes to building stronger, more cohesive communities in which our children can flourish. It offers youngsters a new way of thinking and exploring the world around them and helps lay the important building bricks that will support their learning throughout their life.”

SCILT are grateful for the support of The National Parent Forum of Scotland, Bilingualism Matters, Carmyle Primary School Choir, Classics for All, Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools, Le Petit Monde, Lingo Flamingo, North Ayrshire Council, Radio Lingua, Royal Air Force, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, Russian Centre ‘Haven’, SFS School of Irish Dancing and Theatre Sans Accents.

Parental engagement a key driver in the Scottish Government’s National Improvement Framework and family learning in particular is recognised as a “powerful method of engagement and learning which can foster positive attitudes towards life-long learning, promote socio-economic resilience and challenge educational disadvantage.” (Family Learning Network, 2016).

For more information on the work of SCILT to promote languages across all ages, visit the SCILT website.

   

Young People in Scotland 2018 YOYP - New National Lottery "Spark a Change" Fund

22 March 2018 (YOYP/National Lottery)

To mark the Year of Young People 2018, a new National Lottery fund has been launched to help young people #SparkAChange in their lives. Grants between £3,000 and £10,000 are available for heritage, community and sports projects which are run by and for young people aged eight to 26. Funding is available for projects which encourage positive mental health for young people and inspire them to lead active lives. 

We’re all aware of the positive mental health benefits of language learning, so why not encourage your students to set up a language project, perhaps a community language class or an outdoor language adventure trail? Visit the Lottery Fund website for more information and to apply by one of the two funding deadlines - 30 April 2018 or 18 June 2018.

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European professional development workshops

22 March 2018 (British Council eTwinning)

This term, why not apply to go on a short, fully-funded workshop in another European country?

Applications are now open for teachers of pupils aged 3-19 across a range of subject areas to attend a fully-funded 2-3 day professional development workshop in Turkey, Latvia, Norway and Armenia. These events are designed to facilitate new eTwinning projects through partner-finding and project planning activities. Workshop themes and subject areas are varied, spanning cultural diversity to SEN and the environment.

Visit the website for more information about each event and submit your application by 31 March 2018. 

Read more...

Youth seminar in Berlin: 'Finding our place in history'

22 March 2018 (UK-German Connection)

UK students aged 16-19 with an interest in history, discussing identity, reconciliation and more, are invited to apply for the seminar taking place in Berlin from 1-3 June 2018. We will combine these themes through site visits and lively discussions, which will bring young people from the UK and Germany together to work on projects to promote a better, more united future.

UK-German Connection will cover all seminar costs, including flights, local and domestic travel and full board and lodging.

German language skills are not essential. Some German language elements will be included in the seminar but no prior knowledge is necessary and/or translations will be provided.

Visit the website for full details and to apply by Monday 16 April 2018.

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Erasmus+: Global skills for a global future

22 March 2018 (British Council)

The debate over the details of the UK’s future collaboration with the EU is at a critical stage. Emma Skelton reports on a recent expert seminar on the future of UK-EU partnerships for higher education.

The British Council and the Centre for European Policy Studies recently convened a high-level policy dialogue in Brussels on ‘The Future of the EU-UK Partnership on Higher Education and Student Mobility’. This was part of a series of events between key EU and UK policymakers and influencers examining the implications of Brexit for existing collaboration in the sectors of international development, culture and education. 

Much discussion at the event focussed on the Erasmus+ programme. Erasmus+ is the largest provider of student mobility for British students to countries in Europe and beyond. Contributors to the seminar highlighted the importance of the UK to the scheme as a whole, as one of the most popular destination countries, which speakers attributed in part to the excellent reputation of UK universities. They also emphasised the call from British companies for more talent with international experience, intercultural awareness and language skills, which can all be gained through mobility programmes such as Erasmus+.

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SQA course reports for National 5 Modern Languages 2017

22 March 2018 (SCILT/SQA)

We have summarised the Course Reports for National 5 Modern Languages. These reports highlight areas where candidates performed well in the 2017 exam and areas where they encountered difficulty.

They contain sound advice for both teachers and pupils in the run up to this year's exam diet.

The full report for each language can be accessed on the SQA website under the Verification and Course Reports tab.

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Youth conference: Culture and heritage in a digital world

22 March 2018 (UK-German Connection)

In collaboration with British Council Germany, and as part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage UK-German Connection is holding a three-day Youth Conference on 'Cultural Heritage' in Berlin on 15-17 June 2018. Successful applicants will work together with other young people, from the UK and Germany, to explore both the history and future of cultural heritage.

Applicants should be aged 16-19 and still in full time education. Those who are successful will be expected to do some preparatory work prior to the conference, which will include digital tasks.

German language skills are not required for the conference. Some German language elements will be included in the conference, but you don’t need any prior knowledge and/or translations will be provided.

UK-German Connection will cover all costs, including flights, local and domestic travel and full board and lodging.

Visit their website for more information and to apply by 19 April 2018.

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Professional development in Germany

21 March 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut is again able to offer a number of grants to teachers for professional development courses in Germany. The offer is aimed at German teachers just embarking on their career, as well as at teachers expanding their commitments to GCSE and A-level. Those who train German language teachers are also able to benefit from the variety of courses.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information about the courses available and how to apply. Please note, teachers in Scotland should apply to the Glasgow office.

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German Teacher Award 2018

21 March 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

The German Embassy is pleased to announce to award the 15th German Teacher Award. The award recognises outstanding achievements by individual teachers of German and pays tribute to the work of German language teachers in primary and secondary schools in the UK. 

Teachers will be selected who have made an outstanding and dedicated contribution to German teaching within the curriculum and beyond, e.g. through: 

  • a record of successful teaching at a school, including innovative language teaching 
  • successful introduction of German teaching at a school, e.g. in a primary school as a first foreign language or in a secondary school as a new language 
  • established and successful link activities with Germany, e.g. projects and exchanges, bilingual projects, curriculum projects 
  • use of German language in subjects other than German
  • local or regional outreach activities.  

Nominations must be submitted and signed by the head teacher by Monday 7 May 2018.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to download the application form.

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Scotland-Russia Forum news bulletin

20 March 2018 (SRF)

The latest news and events from the Scotland-Russia Forum (SRF) can be found in their March 2018 news bulletin. This edition includes information about Russian taster events and materials for schools, so why not take a look and find out how to introduce the language to your pupils?

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Arsenal Double Club 2018 World Cup Competition

20 March 2018 (Arsenal Double Club)

Calling all modern language teachers! As we look forward to this summer’s 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Arsenal Double Club are back with yet another FREE languages competition – open to all UK secondary schools – for boys and girls in Year 7 or 8 (S1 or S2 in Scotland).

In small groups, pupils must organise and run a language-themed football match or activity.

Visit the Double Club website for more information and to enter your school by 29 March 2018.

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Young People in Scotland Survey 2017: STEM and language findings

19 March 2018 (Scottish Government)

This report presents data from Ipsos MORI's Young People in Scotland Survey 2017 on the choices young people make regarding STEM and language subjects in school.

The report can be accessed on the Scottish Government website.

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A 1+2 approach to language learning in the secondary sector - FAQs

19 March 2018 (Education Scotland)

These FAQs produced by Education Scotland cover the main points raised during a series of secondary 1+2 ‘roadshows’ held in 2017.

This resource is for those teachers in secondary modern languages departments who are responsible for transition and course planning. It can be accessed on the Education Scotland website.

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New 'Science in the Language Class' - Spanish quiz sessions at Edinburgh Zoo

19 March 2018 (RZSS)

'Science in the Language Class' is an educational programme which provides resources that link language learning to RZSS conservation projects across the world, or to the conservation breeding programmes within RZSS sites.

You can now book a Spanish session at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo. Learn about RZSS projects in South America with our fun and interactive quiz session. Questions and answers are in Spanish and include animal names, threats, numbers, colours and parts of the body. The session includes sound files from a native Spanish speaker. Costs are at the education rates and you can book online or email education@rzss.org.uk

In addition, our language packs cost £50+VAT (plus £6 post and packing) and contain at least 5 different educational games and activities with all game boards and associated cards. These packs complement the sessions and can be used as pre or post activities. Visit the website to find out more about the language packs -  or email srobb@rzss.org.uk

All suitable for P4-P7 and S1-S2 age levels.

French packs and sessions will be available beginning of June. 

Read more...

Chinese Arts and Culture Festival, Edinburgh 3-5 August 2018

18 March 2018 (SCEN)

Last year over 2,000 people attended the Third Chinese Arts and Culture Festival at Edinburgh Fringe. This year a Chinese Youth Arts and Culture Festival will be added. Jie Song, Chairman of the Scotland-China Chamber of Commerce, says that the organisers are now selecting and registering Chinese youth performances, all from famous schools/youth organisations in China

Jie Song explains that during the festival, she is looking for more engagements and links with local education sectors in Scotland. If any local education sectors/companies/organisations would like use these opportunities to build up relationships and business links with these Chinese visitors, please forward your proposal to Jie Song, so that it can be included in the Festival plan.

SQA course reports for Higher Modern Languages 2017

16 March 2018 (SCILT/SQA)

We have summarised the Course Reports for Higher Modern Languages. These reports highlight areas where candidates performed well in the 2017 exam and areas where they encountered difficulty. They contain sound advice for both teachers and pupils in the run up to this year's exam diet. They can be found in the Senior Phase section of our website.

The full report for each language can be accessed on the SQA website under the Verification and Course Reports tab.

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SCHOLAR Modern Language webinar

16 March 2018 (SCHOLAR)

SCHOLAR’s last Modern Language webinar of the session is for Advanced Higher French, German and Spanish. Douglas Angus will give advice on tackling the reading paper, in particular the overall purpose question. Afterwards he will look at suggestions for revising for the final exam, and answer any questions on writing either the discursive writing or the folio. 

The session is on Monday 19 March at 6pm. Like all the other sessions, it is recorded and available on the SCHOLAR website. Enter as a guest. No password necessary!

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Community Languages in Schools: Interview with Professor Terry Lamb

15 March 2018 (Creative Multilingualism)

In this interview, Professor Terry Lamb shares his insights into the role of community languages in schools and discusses how they should be celebrated, in both formal and informal school spaces.

He also explains how his interest in languages was inspired by a poster for cheese, and explores how language learning can open minds and help to challenge fears and prejudices.

Terry Lamb is Professor of Languages and Interdisciplinary Pedagogy, and Head of the Centre for Teaching Innovation at the University of Westminster. He spent 16 years teaching languages (French, German, Spanish, Turkish) in secondary schools before moving into higher education. He has also played a large role in the development of language policy, both nationally and internationally.

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OU/SCILT languages course for primary practitioners

15 March 2018 (Open University in Scotland/SCILT)

Due to the success of the initial pilot of the course developed by the OU and SCILT, LXT192/4 Learning to teach languages in primary school (French/Spanish), we are delighted to now be able to extend the offer to all Local Authorities. The course will be offered for the following languages: French (LXT192), German (LXT193), Spanish (LXT194) and Mandarin (LXT197).

For the next presentation of this course starting in October 2018, registration will open on 1 April 2018. The course fee is £240.00 per student.

The course will be available to all primary practitioners but also secondary teachers who teach at primary level. We have produced an FAQ document with further detail about the course for your information.

In order to make the enrolment process as smooth as possible, we advise that in the first instance Development Officers contact Sylvia Warnecke at the Open University (s.warnecke@open.ac.uk ) with a list of the names and email addresses of teachers planning to study this in their Local Authority. We aim to complete enrolment by late June 2018 to allow time for planning staffing and timetabling.

And last but not least, we are planning to offer teachers, who enrol on the course, a summer school experience which will offer immersion in the language to boost confidence and provide ample opportunities to learn more about the cultures in which the language they are studying is spoken. The summer school is not part of the course, it is optional and can be booked separately. More information on this will be published in due course.

Policy makers, local councils, local authorities, MSPs and Consulates may also be interested in an event celebrating last years' pilot course, Primary school teachers learning to teach languages - A celebration, being held in Edinburgh on 7 June 2018.

Healthy Linguistic Diet website

15 March 2018 (Healthy Linguistic Diet)

Created as a result of collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and UCL, the newly launched Healthy Linguistic Diet (HLD) website aims to initiate and facilitate a shift in thinking about learning another language/other languages as a key skill or an academic subject, to understanding that using two languages is a key ingredient in our cognitive development and well-being.

Visit the website to find out more.

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Multilingual Debate 2018

15 March 2018 (Heriot-Watt University)

The Multilingual Debate 2018 takes place on Wednesday 21 March at Heriot-Watt University's Edinburgh campus. As with previous years, the event is being streamed live over the internet. Schools should visit the website for information on how to participate in the online stream.

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IberoDocs 2018

13 March 2018 (Consejería de Educación)

IberoDocs is the first showcase for Ibero-American culture in Scotland, focused on documentary films by Spanish, Portuguese and Latin- American filmmakers. The event takes place 4-8 April in Edinburgh and 4-5 May in Glasgow.

This year IberoDocs has organised “Family Day”, a special event aimed at younger audiences, where attendees will have the chance to take part in some interesting workshops. If your school is interested, please have a look at the attached programme and contact the organisers. More information is also available on the website.

Read more...

Related Files

Employ a language assistant for 2018/19

12 March 2018 (British Council)

Language Assistants provide an interactive language resource for your classroom. We recruit our assistants directly from their home countries, meaning their language and resources are always up-to-date and, importantly, authentic.

Native speakers of French, Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese and Irish, they help pupils to build their confidence, develop conversational skills, boost motivation for learning, and better understand other cultures. Feedback from schools with a Language Assistant noted an improvement in pupils’ listening and speaking skills.

Not only that, many teachers have found that having a native speaker to talk to and share teaching ideas with can reinvigorate both their teaching practice and their own love for language learning. 

So, with applications now open for the 2018/2019 academic year, there hasn’t been a better time to ensure your classroom has access to the best language learning resource around – a native speaker.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to apply for your language assistant by 31 March 2018. Please note that the deadline for Chinese Language Assistants is 1 June 2018.

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Le Petit Monde - Puppet shows & Picture Book Launch

12 March 2018 (Le Petit Monde )

Le Petit Monde, bilingual puppet theatre company, will be on tour with The Wonderful World of Lapin throughout Scotland as part of the Puppet Animation Festival during the Easter holidays.

Artistic Director and now author Tania has also written Lapin is Hungry, a bilingual picture book based on her French puppet characters. The Book Launch Party will be on the 21st April at the Institut Francais d'Ecosse in Edinburgh.

The company is preparing Teaching Packs and is planning to tour schools with shows and book readings. Please get in touch with Tania for more details.

Read more...

Sharp drop in subject specialists at Scottish secondary schools

10 March 2018 (Herald)

The number of specialist teachers in secondary schools has plummeted over the past decade amid claims heavy workloads and static pay are driving staff away [...] Most modern languages have also seen numbers decline steeply with a 32% drop in French teachers and a 44% drop in German teachers.

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Online course: Learning for Sustainability: Connecting Classrooms through critical thinking and problem solving

9 March 2018 (British Council)

This professional learning initiative by the University of Edinburgh, in partnership with the British Council, is a timely opportunity for teachers to grapple with what Learning for Sustainability means, what existing and new skills and knowledge are required, and how this might all look in the your school context. The10-week active learning course takes a Learning for Sustainability approach, which involves critical thinking and problem solving, participation, and practitioner enquiry.

This online course runs from 16 March - 26 May 2018.

Read more...

Foreign Language Enrollments Drop Sharply

12 March 2018 (Inside Higher Education)

Foreign language enrollments dropped 9.2 percent from fall 2013 to fall 2016, according to new data from the Modern Language Association. The drop is the second largest since the MLA started tracking such information in 1958.

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Could languages help young women break the glass ceiling?

7 March 2018 (MEITS Blog)

The gender pay gap is persistent and while the number of female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies is at an all-time high, according to the 2017 list released by Fortune magazine, it still only amounts to 32, or 6.4%. But young women might have an ace up their sleeves ...

Read more...

Amazon wants Alexa to translate other languages as they're spoken

1 March 2018 (The Sun)

According to Yahoo News, several sources "familiar with the matter" have confirmed Amazon's plans to turn Alexa into an expert linguist. It means that people who own Alexa devices – like Amazon Echo speakers – might not need to learn new languages in the future.

Read more...

Calling all language teachers - Easter competition alert!

1 March 2018 (Kidslingo)

If you teach languages to children, you’ll know that games and resources can be a great way of enhancing the learning experience.

That’s why we’ve teamed up with award-winning children’s language learning franchise, Kidslingo, to offer you the chance to win a fabulous Easter hamper that contains a host of useful (and tasty) goodies.

The language learning hamper includes: Kidslingo audio CDs, French and Spanish story boxes from One Third Stories, Lil’ollo posters and flashcards, family and animal finger puppets, a cuddly bear and a selection of posters and cards from Cartes Cochons. Oh, and as Easter is coming up, it’d be rude not to include a selection of chocolate too!

To win, all you have to do is email your name, contact number and position to: info@kidslingo.co.uk by the 31st of March* and you will go into a random prize draw. Bonne chance!


Kidslingo teaches French and Spanish to over 8,000 babies, toddlers and primary school kids through a national network of over 100 franchisees and tutors. Its innovative approach is based on the science of learning, and uses a clever mix of music, games, role-play, drama and storytelling.

*By entering this competition, you agree to Kidslingo contacting you with news, views and offers. We may also share your information with a small selection of our trusted partners.

Scotland-Russia Forum bulletin

26 February 2018 (SRF)

The latest bulletin from the Scotland-Russia Forum has been published.

Read more...

Opportunities from Alliance Française for teachers and students

22 February 2018 (Alliance Française Glasgow )

Read the latest newsletter from Alliance Française.

The newsletter provides information on exam preparation and revision courses for secondary pupils and university students, spring break workshops for children, CPD workshops for primary teachers and twilight training in French for primary schools, as well as an online courses to learn French.

Read more...

£3 million for language learning

21 February 2018 (Scottish Government)

Schools will be allocated £3 million this year to support pupils learning additional languages, Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn has announced.

A lack of language skills has been estimated to cost Scottish businesses hundreds of millions of pounds a year in lost exports.

The Scottish Government funding will enable every primary school pupil to start learning an additional language in Primary 1 and a second additional language by Primary 5, and for language learning to continue to the end of S3. This includes Mandarin, Gaelic and British Sign Language as well as European languages.

There has been a sustained increase in language Highers and skills-based qualifications in recent years and the Scottish Government’s continued investment will build on this success, ensuring the workforce has the right skills to make the most of international economic opportunities.

Read more...

Related Links

£3m fund for language education confirmed (Holyrood, 21 February 2018)

Learning for Sustainability

20 February 2018 (SCOTDEC )

The Scottish Development Education Centre SCOTDEC is launching a Europe-wide project for secondary teachers which aims to support them to add a Global Citizenship dimension to their subject teaching – probably with a focus on BGE. There is a focus on teaching controversial issues such as climate change and migration as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The first phase of the project is the creation of small teacher working groups around 5 curriculum areas – Science, Maths, English, Modern Languages and Social Subjects who will receive training on Global Citizenship and develop classroom materials. This is a fantastic opportunity for teachers to get involved in a project and network with colleagues across Europe. If you are interested then please contact Charlotte Dwyer at SCOTDEC by email.

Vive la Francophonie Quiz is back!

20 February 2018 (Institut français d’Écosse )

Vive la Francophonie Quiz is back! The Institut Français du Royaume-Uni, in collaboration with Francophonie UK, is pleased to offer a quiz during la Semaine de la Francophonie 2018 to celebrate the French language and the French-speaking countries.

This quiz is open to S1/S2/S3 learners.

It will be available online during la Semaine de la Francophonie week, from 17 to 25 March 2018, and will take a maximum of 45 minutes to complete.

How to take part: register your team (up to 10 participants maximum per team) online before 15 March through the link below.

You need to register each team separately.

Reminder emails and a link to the quiz page will be sent shortly before these dates.

Bonne chance à tous,

Read more...

Enter our 2018 World Cup Competition!

19 February 2018 (Arsenal Double Club)

Calling all MFL teachers! As we look forward to this summer’s 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Arsenal Double Club are back with yet another FREE languages competition – open to all UK secondary schools – for boys and girls in Year 7 or 8 (S1 or S2).

Read more...

Yakety Yak Book Clubs

16 February 2018 (Yakety Yak)

Take the opportunity not only to meet and speak a targetted foreign language in a small group, in a local Café and with an experienced tutor but to experience a glimpse of a targetted foreign culture from through the most common form of art- Litterature! Sessions are offered in French, Spanish, German and Italian. Suitable for intermediate level and above.

Read more...

Opening of the Confucius Hub at Culross Primary School

14 February 2018 (Queen Anne High School)

A group of QAHS pupils and staff attended the opening of the Confucius Hub at Culross Primary School yesterday. The Hub is a fantastic learning and teaching resource for our cluster primary schools and we look forward to working collaboratively with the Culross Hub to deliver an engaging Chinese language and cultural curriculum.

S3 pupils Bethany McIntosh, Katherine Smith and Abbie Carrie gave an eloquent presentation, delivered in Mandarin, about their experiences of learning the language. After musical performances from Culross pupils, three of our senior pupils (Fiona McArthur, Erin Moyes and Matthew Godsell) demonstrated their skills on the Chinese drums to rapturous applause from the audience!

Related Files

RCS Haven e-bulletin

7 February 2018 (RCS Haven)

Read the latest bulletin from RCS Haven, full of information on exciting opportunities connected to Russian language and culture.

RCS Haven is welcoming anyone who is interested in studying Russian language, literature and culture. We have English and Russian language lessons. There are a library, Art studio for children and Web-design Studio. Also, the Centre provides consultations in law, finance and other aspects of work and business in Russia and Britain.

Read more...

SCEL Teacher Leadership Programme? Go for it!

6 February 2018 (SCILT/SCEL)

Recruitment is now open for the next cohort of the Scottish College of Educational Leadership’s Teacher Leadership Programme (aka SCEL TLP).

‘I’d urge any teacher working in Scotland to sign up for this tremendous professional learning opportunity whatever your career stage, sector and curricular specialism,’ says Lynne Jones, SCILT Professional Development Officer. ‘Since August 2017, I’ve been seconded from SCILT one day a week as a tutor on the SCEL TLP. It’s has been a fascinating experience for me to support teachers as they explore the concept of an enquiring approach to teaching and go on to carry out a small scale investigation into an aspect of their own classroom practice.’

The TLP is open to all post-probation classroom teachers in Scotland and is primarily delivered online through Glow. Throughout the programme participants are supported and challenged by a group of their peers as well as a critical friend and a tutor.

‘Since the programme revolves around blogging and online tutorials,’ adds Lynne, ‘I’m particularly looking forward to the TLP Sharing Summit in June. Participants from right across the country will come together to share their experiences of enquiry and the impact it has had on their leadership of learning.’

The deadline for applications is 31st March 2018. You can find out more information about SCEL TLP.

‘There are some teachers on the current cohort who are enquiring into aspects of ML practice,’ reveals Lynne. ‘It would be great to see even more primary, secondary and special education teachers on the next cohort with a focus on learning and teaching languages next time.’

Feel free to email Lynne Jones with any queries about SCEL TLP.

Thanks to SCEL for allowing us to use this image.

International Mother Language Day

6 February 2018 (ALL)

International Mother Language Day takes place on 21 February. It was created by UNESCO to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism: “Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. All moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.”

Looking to mark this event in your school and celebrate multilingualism? Read how Noelia Rivas (ALL Primary Language Teacher of the Year 2017) celebrates Mother Language Day in her school.

Read more...

Keep Your Brain And Body Active: Bilingual Training!

6 February 2018 (Bilingualism Matters)

Want to try learning languages creatively? What about learning a language with exercise and theatre? Join Bilingualism Matters for three exciting workshops in February! Free and open to all.

Read more...

Speaking more than one language can boost economic growth

6 February 2018 (World Economic Forum)

Multilingualism is good for the economy, researchers have found. Countries that actively nurture different languages reap a range of rewards, from more successful exports to a more innovative workforce.

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.

Read more...

Exam Preparation Classes

1 February 2018 (Institut Français Écosse)

IFE offers Exam preparation classes for National 5, Higher and Advanded Higher French during holidays: 

  • from 12 to 16 February 2018, Mon TO Fri, 2-4pm 
  • from 9 to 13 April 2018, Mon TO Fri, 2-4pm  

The team also offer regular classes for S4/S5/S6 on Tuesdays from 4.15 to 5.15pm.

Read more...

Planned changes to Higher Modern Languages from session 2018-19

31 January 2018 (SQA)

Read about the planned changes for Higher Modern Languages that will be introduced from session 2018-19.

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Ricefield workshop and merchandise catalogue

30 January 2018 (Ricefield)

Ricefield has just released its new merchandise and workshop catalogues, offering a range of Chinese art and craft supplies and the opportunity to bring Chinese culture into the classroom for a varied learning experience.

Ricefield Arts & Cultural Centre is Scotland's leading charity and social enterprise for the exploration and promotion of Chinese culture, contributing to the diversity of cultural fabric with an excellent reputation for delivering original and inspiring creative experiences for schools, community organisations, and art audiences.

Please note there is a charge for resources and workshops.

Summer courses in Germany: Deadline 1 March 2018

30 January 2018 (UK-German Connection)

The following summer courses in Germany are now open for application.

1) two-week part-funded German Pupil Courses for S3 and S5 pupils (separate courses)

2) fully-funded four-week German Scholarships programme for S5 pupils

Both programmes combine language learning with cultural trips and excursions, as well as staying with host families.

"I have a new appreciation for language-learning and I have realised how fulfilling it is to experience different cultures."

3) There’s also a paid CPD opportunity for teachers to act as group leaders on the German Pupil Courses. 

The application deadline for all programmes is 1 March 2018.

German Olympics 2018

29 January 2018 (Goethe-Institut Glasgow)

The German Olympics (IDO) is the biggest competition for the German language. Every two years over 100 students from all around the world meet to compete in their most beloved foreign language.

This year, the German Olympics for schools worldwide is open to pupils in the United Kingdom for the second time. The final will take place in Freiburg, 15 to 28 July 2018. The United Kingdom are eligible to send two secondary school students born 2001 to 2004. The German Olympics promotes young people from all around the world to encounter one another thanks to the fact they all study German. They will become friends and build up an international network.

Read more...

Europe in 2018 - what does this mean to you? Enter for the Young Europeans Award and win a trip to Warsaw!

26 January 2018 (UK-German Connection)

Are your pupils interested in Europe-related activities? The Young Europeans Award offers both German language-learners and other internationally-minded pupils the opportunity to team up with their peers from Germany, Poland and France and enter a project idea to win a trip to Warsaw.

Whether you already have a partner school in any of the participating countries or not, we’ll be happy to support you in finding project partners in Germany, Poland or France.

The deadline for submitting your project idea is 1 March 2018, though projects don’t need to have taken place by then.

For further details, please the link below. You can also visit UK-German Connection on Twitter (@ukgconnection) or Facebook for further information.

Please send us a short email to Alison Dolamore if you’d like to take part or if you have any questions. You can contact Alison on +44 (0)20 7824 1570.

Read more...

Young persons jobs roadshows - Edinburgh, Midlothian and East Lothian

23 January 2018 (DYW Edinburgh, Midlothian & East Lothian)

Developing the Young Workforce Edinburgh, Midlothian & East Lothian Regional Group is running three jobs roadshows in March for young people in Edinburgh, Midlothian and East Lothian. More information is in the attached poster. Schools can book through the Marketplace platform on My World of Work that all teachers should have access to. If any teacher needs assistance with booking through Marketplace, please contact the DYW group.

Related Files

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

PhD study - participants required

22 January 2018 (Heriot-Watt University)

A PhD student at Heriot-Watt University is currently selecting Spanish speaking and Catalan speaking families with limited or no English proficiency. Families should have school age children (primary or secondary) who speak English better than their parents. She is looking for families where Dad, Mum, grandparents etc. have help from their children when they have to communicate in day-to-day tasks, such as speaking to teachers, doing the shopping, etc. until their English skills improve.

If you are interested in participating, or know of someone who would be, please download the attached document for further information.

Related Files

Latest news from the Scotland-Russia Forum

19 January 2018 (Scotland-Russia Forum)

The latest bulletin from the Scotland-Russia forum contains information on Recently videoed performances from Moscow theatres that will be screened at the Cameo Cinema, Edinburgh as well as forthcoming Chai n Chat / Чай н Чат opportunities.

Read more...

NEW - School Exchange Partnerships

19 January 2018 (British Council Scotlan)

Erasmus+ Schools-Only Partnerships have changed to School Exchange Partnerships for 2018. If your school wants to expand its international outlook, improve language learning through real life experience, visit eTwinning partners or start a new partnership with a European school, it’s now even easier to arrange exchanges of pupils and staff, through a streamlined application process. Here are some details:

  • Eligible schools, plus colleges involved in secondary education, can send groups of pupils on short-term exchanges, accompanied by staff, lasting from three days to two months excluding travel days, instead of the minimum five day period offered before. For long-lasting partnerships and bigger life experiences, schools can also offer long-term exchanges of between two months and a year for pupils aged over 14.
  • Schools can send staff on short-term joint training events of three days to two months, excluding travel days, and long-term teaching or training assignments of between two months and one year.
  • Partnerships must involve a minimum of two and a maximum of six schools, from at least two programme countries.
  • Funding is limited to €16,500 per school per year of the project.
  • Projects will last between 12 and 24 months, except projects organising long-term exchanges of pupils, which may last up to three years, depending on the project and the applicant’s request.
  • Projects should start between 1 September and 31 December 2018.
  • Schools can choose to be the lead organisation or a partner in a project led by an organisation from another participating programme country. The lead organisation applies to the Erasmus+ National Agency in their country for funding on behalf of the project as a whole.
  • The deadline for applications is Wednesday 21 March at 11am (UK time)

Aims
The main goal of School Exchange Partnerships is to strengthen the European dimension in the participating schools, to build up their capacity for cross-border cooperation and their ability to cope with new challenges. By organising mobility activities for pupils, these partnerships will also promote the values of inclusion and tolerance as underlined in the Paris Declaration.

Benefits
Pupils: The short-term exchange activities are designed to offer international learning experiences to pupils, to develop their understanding of the diversity of European cultures and languages, and to help them acquire social, civic and intercultural competences necessary for their personal development

Teaching and non-teaching staff: A short period abroad enables staff to work together to exchange experience and know-how, or receive joint training.  A longer posting in a partner school can allow staff to develop their knowledge and understanding of other countries' education and training systems, and helps them share and acquire professional competences, methods and practices.

eTwinning
Participating schools in all projects are strongly encouraged to use the eTwinning online platform to work together on the project before, during and after the mobility activities.  See
www.eTwinning.net

 

Summary of funding available:

The maximum funding available for School Exchange Partnerships is €16 500 per year and per participating school, excluding Special Needs Support and Exceptional costs for expensive travel.  This can be made up of:

Project management and implementation – A contribution to the activities of the co-ordinating school of €500 per month, and €250 per month for partner schools (up to a maximum of €2750 per month per project).  This is intended as a contribution towards the following eligible costs:

  • Project management (e.g. planning, finances, coordination and communication between partners, etc.)
  • Small scale learning/teaching/training materials, tools, approaches etc.
  • Virtual cooperation and local project activities (e.g. class-room project work with learners, organisation and mentoring of embedded learning/training activities, etc.)
  • Information, promotion and dissemination (e.g. brochures, leaflets, online dissemination platforms, etc.).
  • Costs linked to the implementation of the partnerships.

Travel costs – A contribution to the travel costs of participants, including accompanying persons, from their place of origin to the venue of the activity. Travel distances are calculated using the distance calculator supported by the European Commission. Amounts vary from €20 per participant for short distances between 10 and 99km, €275 pp for distances between 500 and 1999km, €360 pp for distances of 2000 to 3000km, to €1500 per participant for travel distances of 8000km or more. Please check the Programme Guide for more detailed information on the rates applicable to each distance band.  Applicants will have to justify that mobility activities are necessary to achieve the objectives and results of the project. 

Individual support - Unit costs per day are provided to contribute to the subsistence of participants, including accompanying persons, during the activity.  These vary, depending on the participant, and duration of the activity.  For example short term pupil mobility is €58 per person per day up to 14 days and €42 pp per day for 15 – 60 days.  Short term joint staff training or teaching costs are €106 pp per day up to 14 days and €74 pp per day for 15 to 60 days.

Linguistic support - Contributions can be sought for linguistic support offered to participants in order to improve their knowledge of the language for activities lasting between 2 and 12 months of up to €150 per person.

Exceptional costs and special needs support - Funding is also available to cover exceptional costs and additional costs related to participants with disabilities.  Requests for additional funding must be outlined within the application and will be considered by the National Agency on a case by case basis. 

For full details of eligible funding please see the Erasmus Plus Programme Guide.

For detailed guides for applicants by sector and Key Action, and info on application support webinars, go to www.erasmusplus.org.uk

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 srobb@rzss.org.uk for further details and booking information.

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

Read more...

Brexit and modern languages in the UK curriculum

19 January 2018 (Association for Language Learning)

The recent British Council publication ‘Languages for the Future’ spells out clearly the challenge facing the MFL fraternity in the UK. MFL are fading in both the secondary and HE sectors at precisely the time when we are going to need more English speakers with competence in foreign languages. Although we do not yet know precisely what lies ahead for us after March 2019, the probability is that we will need more people with competence in a wider range of languages than what our current system produces.

Read more...

New German courses - enrol now!

17 January 2018 (Goethe-Institut Glasgow)

The new semester of classes at the Goethe-Institut in Glasgow starts on 12 February 2018. Information about the new semester, enrolment details and assessment opportunities are available through the link below.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

Threlford Cup 2018 - CIOL invites nominations

16 January 2018 (Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL))

CIOL is calling for nominations for the next winner of the Threlford Cup – the prestigious award for inspiration and originality in language teaching and learning.

The cup is presented annually to a person, to an organisation, or for a project that has inspired others with an original language-learning initiative.

Maybe you know of a teacher who has inspired young minds, a business or organisation that has led a project, or someone who works hard within the local community to keep alive a heritage language and culture. If so, CIOL would love to hear from you.

Read more...

Being bilingual may help autistic children

16 January 2018 (EurekAlert)

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) often have a hard time switching gears from one task to another. But being bilingual may actually make it a bit easier for them to do so, according to a new study which was recently published in Child Development.

Read more...

Erasmus+ stories

16 January 2018 (Erasmus+)

Looking for inspiring Erasmus+ examples in the UK? Read these Case Studies on how Erasmus+ has supported language learning.

Read more...

Worrying decline in study of languages, warns British Academy

11 January 2018 (British Academy)

Following today’s publication by HESA of HE Student Statistics (2016/17), the British Academy has expressed concerns at a decline of student numbers choosing languages at undergraduate level. Entries for full-time and part-time undergraduate students taking languages were down 4% and 9% respectively. The British Academy is deeply concerned that this year’s decline will further reduce the already low supply of students who are qualified to go on to careers as language teachers in secondary schools.

Read more...

Bai Meigui Translation Competition now open!

9 January 2018 (Writing Chinese)

The University of Chinese Writing Chinese Network runs an annual translation competition. This year it is open exclusively to secondary school students. The winning writer will be mentored by a professional translator and have their translation published in a journal.

The competition deadline is midnight (GMT) on 26th February 2018.

Read more...

Opportunities from Alliance Française for teachers and students

9 January 2018 (Alliance Française Glasgow )

Read the latest newsletter from Alliance Française and find out more about enrolling for the new term of French classes for adults and children..

The newsletter provides information on oral revision courses for Higher and Advanced Higher pupils, CPD workshops for primary teachers and twilight training in French for primary schools.

Read more...

Looking across the North Sea – are Hamburg and Orkney really so different?

9 January 2018 (UK-German Connection)

In November, UK-German Connections 2017-18 cohort of FLA/ELA Ambassadors all met for the first time at the introductory seminar in London. They were given the opportunity to find out more about their new roles as Ambassadors, discuss the three project themes for the year, as well as develop their project plans together in groups.

Hamburg and Orkney are at opposite ends of the North Sea – and what better idea for a project than to compare the regional identity and cultural heritage of these two coastal spots? Read the blog for the project, where they and their students will share posts diving into an analysis of Orcadian and Plattdeutsch dialects. They plan to consider spoken language, as well as the dialect’s prominence in contemporary and past literature, asking what significance it still holds today and – more importantly – “Are these strange tongues really quite so foreign?”

Read more...

Nihongo Cup 2018 - Applications Open!

8 January 2018 (Japan Foundation London)

Japan Foundation London is delighted to announce that the Nihongo Cup Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary Schools in the UK is open for applications!

Nihongo Cup, the Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School students, is accepting applications across three categories: Key Stage 3, Pre-GCSE Key Stage 4/5, and Post GCSE Key Stage 4 and 5.

Finalists will be invited to perform their speech at Conway Hall in front of a panel of judges and VIPs from the field of Japanese language education and Japan-UK relations, for the chance to win some fantastic prizes – including a trip to Japan!

Applications will close on 23rd March 2018 (Friday) and finals day will take place on 16 June 2018 (Saturday). Finals will take place at Conway Hall in London.

Read more...

AMOPA Advanced Higher French speaking competition

8 January 2018 (Alliance Française Glasgow )

The AMOPA Advanced Higher French speaking competition is been running for seven years and is going from strength to strength. We are delighted to open the competition again this year, with support from Total.

It must be the easiest competition ever to take part in!

To enter, all you need to do is submit a short recording of students as they prepare for their speaking test. The panel will assess it and give everyone some feedback. We also award prizes and certificates.

We hope that taking part in the competition is a way to support your pupils’ learning and exam preparation, and it's a great opportunity for them to receive feedback. Once again we will have prizes for the best entries and a gift for each school taking part.

Related Files

31 ways to make January your best language-learning month ever!

31 December 2017 (Radio Lingua)

There are only a few hours left before we begin a new year, and it’s the best possible time to make a resolution to challenge yourself to become a better language learner next year. And this doesn’t necessarily mean hours and hours of study every day!

At Coffee Break Languages, we champion the idea of making your down-time your do-time: by using any spare moments of time you find yourself with to work on language-learning, you can make real progress. On this basis, we’ve done the hard work for you, and compiled this list of New Year language-learning mini challenges that can be completed in short bursts, on each day of January 2018. Whether it’s your New Year’s resolution to jump into German, or to freshen up your French this coming year, this list of challenges will help you on your way to language mastery in 2018!

Read more...

Erasmus+ 2018 application support

19 December 2017 (Erasmus+)

2018 application deadlines announced
The European Commission has published the Erasmus+ 2018 Call

All the application details are contained in the 2018 Call for Proposals and the 2018 Programme Guide, which are on the Key Resources webpage. You can view and download the full list of deadlines on the funding deadlines page.

The Call for Proposals is an overview document with the deadlines for 2018, while the Programme Guide contains detailed information on project rules, funding levels and application processes for Erasmus+ funding. You will need to read both documents when planning an application.

The two key changes are in Schools Key Action 2 and in Youth Key Action 1:

Schools Key Action 2 strategic partnerships: there is a new name for ‘schools only’ strategic partnerships, which is now called ‘school exchange partnerships’. There is a significant budget increase and a simplified application process.  

Youth Key Action 1 mobility:some elements of European Voluntary Service transfer to the new European Solidarity Corps programme. Information will be published on this as it becomes available.  

Budget

For 2018 there is a budget uplift for the programme. The amount of funding available to UK applicants increases from 148 million euro (in 2017) to almost 170 million euro. 

Erasmus+ and Brexit

There is a reference in the Call for Proposals to the eligibility of UK organisations beyond the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. If the UK leaves the EU without an agreement UK Government has confirmed that the Treasury will underwrite grant agreements for Erasmus+ signed while the UK is still an EU Member State, even if payments continue beyond the point of the UK’s EU exit date.

Practical details regarding how this will be implemented will be discussed with the Department for Education (the UK’s Erasmus+ National Authority) over the coming months. In the meantime UK applicants should to prepare for participation as usual ahead of the 2018 deadlines for funding. More information is on the Brexit update webpage.

One-to-one calls

You can also now book a one-to-one session to discuss your individual 2018 KA2 application and reporting with the UK National Agency. These are being offered from 14 December to 21 February 2018.

Visit the schools section of our webinars page regularly to ensure you hear about the latest webinars and one-to-one sessions as they are announced and watch the recordings for some of those you miss.

Whether you are a school which is relatively new to Erasmus+ or experienced in applying for funding and managing the projects, look out later this month for our December schools blog which will highlight all the information you need to help you find partners and opportunities.

The EC has also produced a new handy schools leaflet that you may find helpful.

Key Action 101 School Application Support Q&A Webinars
  • Wednesday 13 December 2017 15:45 - 17:15hrs - register
  • Wednesday 10 January 2018 15:45 - 17:15hrs - register

Ten top tips for schools applying for Erasmus+ funding in 2018

14 December 2017 (Erasmus+)

Whether you are a school which is totally new to Erasmus+, or experienced in applying for funding and managing the projects, there is plenty of information available on the opportunities, as well as a range of application support and tools to help you find partners and opportunities and even to manage your project.

Read more...

LfS: Connecting Classrooms ONLINE course

14 December 2017 (British Council)

Bookings are now open for tried and tested fully online British Council Learning for Sustainability: Connecting Classrooms course 19 January – 30 March 2018

Please spread the word and invite others in your school to participate by registering online.

There are also upcoming face to face/online courses in:

These courses are fully funded until June 2018, please encourage anyone you think might be interested to sign up and get involved.

School of Modern Languages and Cultures (SMLC) working with schools

11 December 2017 (University of Glasgow)

Dr Elizabeth Geary Keohane (French) and Dr Eamon McCarthy (Hispanic Studies), along with SCILT (Scotland's National Centre for Languages) colleagues Louise Whyte and Janette Kelso at the University of Strathclyde, have organised and facilitated two workshops to date as part of the SMLC Cross-Sector Schools Outreach Workshops for Secondary Teachers and Pupils.

Read more...

Scottish Education Awards - nominations now open

8 December 2017 (Education Scotland)

The Scottish Education Awards celebrate the hard work and success which takes place in Scottish education. They recognise the achievements of people who dedicate their lives to children and young people and showcase the valuable work and innovation in Scottish classrooms.

Nominations are now open and language practitioners will want to consider applying for the following categories:

  • The 1+2 Languages Award (primary and secondary cluster working)
  • Gaelic Education Award

Read more...

Christmas competition for primary schools

7 December 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

Christmas time in Germany is special and possibly a little different from the UK’s traditions during the festive season. The film Christmas time in Germany explains mostly in pictures, what usually happens in Germany in December and can be used in your lessons. Teachers can print out the entry form for their pupils (versions with questions in English or German depending on what level is needed are downloadable). Pupils are supposed to watch the film at home again and answer the questions on the entry form in order to receive a small gift. They should add a greeting for Felix and Franzi in German. Teachers can either send their pupils’ entry forms to the Goethe-Institut in one batch or pupils send us their entries individually. We will send small presents via the schools to everyone doing his homework.

Read more...

Competition: German Olympics 2018 (IDO)

7 December 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

The German Olympics (IDO) is the biggest competition for the German language. Every two years over 100 students from all around the world meet to compete in their most beloved foreign language. We are happy to welcome the German Olympics for schools worldwide to the United Kingdom in 2018 for the second time. The final will take place in Freiburg, 15 to 28 July 2018. The United Kingdom are eligible to send two secondary school students born 2001 to 2004. The German Olympics promotes young people from all around the world to encounter one another thanks to the fact they all study German. They will become friends and build up an international network.

Read more...

Certificate exams in German

8 December 2017 (Goethe-Institut Glasgow)

CERTIFICATE EXAMS IN FEBRUARY

Goethe-Institut examinations are well known throughout the world and the associated certificates are accepted as a qualification by employers and further education institutions in many countries. The Goethe-Institut Glasgow offers certificate exams twice a year, in February and in June. For details about the exams and practice materials, please check our webpage.

Forthcoming exam dates:

02.02.2018 (level C1 & C2)

09.02.2018 (levels B1 & B2)

10.02.2018 (levels A1 & A2)

Registration deadline:

12 January 2018 for exam levels C1 & C2.

19 January 2018 for exam levels A1 to B2

Registrations can be made online.

Read more...

SQA Spanish Opportunity: Advanced Higher Visiting Assessors

7 December 2017 (SQA)

SQA is currently recruiting Visiting Assessors for Spanish Advanced Higher Performance-talking in 2018.

A Visiting Assessor visits centres to assess candidate performance against national standards, in accordance with SQA policy and instructions.

Support and training will be provided for this role. Successful applicants will complete a training exercise prior to attending a briefing event, which will be held on the morning of Saturday 3 February 2018.

Attendance at the briefing event in 2018 is mandatory for new Visiting Assessors.

Centre visits will be carried out during the period 12 February-23 March 2018. Up to 5 days release will be required. Release fees and/or own time fees will be paid, as well as expenses.

Further detail about the role is available at the link below, where applications may be submitted. Closing date is Sunday 7 January 2018.

More information is available through the link below. If you have any queries, please contact Elaine Clusker, Qualifications Officer.

Read more...

Barcelona summer school on bilingualism and multilingualism

4 December 2017 (Bilingualism Matters)

In September, the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona hosted the Barcelona Summer School on Bilingualism and Multilingualism, a renowned school for postgraduate students and researchers to gather, present and discuss the newest developments in their respective fields.

A few members of Bilingualism Matters Edinburgh were able to attend this year, promoting their research either in an oral presentation or a poster session.

The overarching theme was, as the name suggests, research concerning bilingualism and multilingualism: ranging from neuro-cognitive factors and the implications for ageing and health to the sociolinguistic development in bilingual children. The talks and posters provided an interesting and broad overview of the work that has been conducted in the field.

Read more...

SCHOLAR online sessions - Higher Modern Languages

1 December 2017 (SCHOLAR)

SCHOLAR’s upcoming online sessions include:

Higher Modern Languages on Monday 4 December 2017 at 6:00 pm

Join a session and enter as a guest.

For more information on how to take part in our Online Sessions as well as upcoming sessions, please visit: SCHOLAR's Live Online Sessions.

Please note that worksheets will be available and should be attempted before some sessions.

Scotland-Russia Forum bulletin

1 December 2017 (SRF)

The latest bulletin has been published by the Scotland-Russia forum.

Read more...

Concours de la francophonie

1 December 2017 (Institut Français Écosse)

We launched in 2016 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.

Many schools across Scotland have taken part in 2016 and 2017 and we hope to receive great entries this year again.

Who can take part? All Scottish primary and secondary schools offering French may enter this competition by submitting a short video of a classroom activity in French.

4 Categories: P1/P4 - P5/P7 - S1/S3 - S4/S6

Eligible entries: A video in French of maximum 5 minutes. The learners should speak/sing clearly in French. The level of French will be adapted to the learners, not too easy, not too difficult. We will also value the participation of ALL learners in the class and the creativity of the piece.

In primary, you may want to film a regular activity in French: a song you have prepared in class, a game, or a small dialogue etc.

In secondary, students need to show their communication skills in French, so a song is not receivable at that level. Students may want to conduct interviews in their school or create a short drama or else.

How to take part?

State schools: your council will organise a semi-final to choose their local champions in January 2018. Send your entry before Christmas holiday to your Modern Languages Development Officer or your QIO.

Independent schools: a jury composed of representatives of the Alliance Française de Glasgow and the Institut français d’Écosse will choose the Independent schools champions in January 2018. Send your video to concours@ifecosse.org.uk before 19 December 2017.

Semi-final winning entries will enter a national competition in early February 2018.

Prizes:
  • first prize in each category: invitation to attend a special French immersion day on 23 March 2018 in Edinburgh to celebrate the international day of la francophonie. Transport and lunch for the entire classroom will be offered. Winners will take part in French workshops and will receive a selection of French books.
  • second prize in each category: a selection of French books

This school competition is sponsored by TOTAL E&P, the Franco Scottish Society and is organised in partnership with the Alliance française de Glasgow, SALT, SCILT, the University of Edinburgh and TV5 Monde.

Gaelic (Learners) conference materials

30 November 2017 (Education Scotland)

Materials from the conference Gaelic (Learners) in a 1+2 Approach to Languages are now available online and includes a keynote address from the Deputy First Minister.

Read more...

Secondary summer courses in Germany

29 November 2017 (UK German Connection)

A unique opportunity for pupils to immerse themselves in German language and culture in 2018! Places will be available for part- or fully-funded summer courses.

Applications open mid-January 2018

German Pupil Courses

German Scholarships Programme

Group leadership opportunities

For teachers of German: Become a group leader on the German Pupil Courses and accompany a group of 12 pupils to Germany. This is a great opportunity for your professional development, whilst spending two weeks immersed in German language, daily life and culture.

Group leadership opportunities

Young Europeans Award

29 November 2017 (UK German Connection)

Calling all pupils interested in European issues! Take part in the Young Europeans Award and win a trip to Warsaw!

This initiative aims to encourage dialogue and exchange between young people in the 'Weimar Triangle' countries - Germany, France and Poland. For the 2017-18 round, the UK has been invited to take part as a guest country.

Teams of young people from within schools in Germany, France, Poland and the UK are invited to enter the competition (with support from their school) in groups of 6+ by sending in a collaborative creative project of their choice addressing the statement: 'To be or not to be...a European'.

Read more...

Gain recognition for your school’s international work

28 November 2017 (Schools Online)

If you are already planning to do international work in your school over the academic year 2017/18 you could apply for the International School Award and join our prestigious national award ceremony.

Although it’s called an award, everyone who meets a given standard gets the accreditation. That’s because we believe that everyone who is willing to put the work in to enrich the curriculum with international work is worthy of celebration.

Read more...

Your first EURES job

28 November 2017 (European Commission)

Your first EURES job is a European Union job mobility scheme to help young EU citizens to find a job, traineeship or apprenticeship opportunity in another EU country, Norway or Iceland and to help employers find qualified workforce. It aims to match young jobseekers with remunerated employment offers across Europe. Placements must have a duration of at least 6 months (for jobs and apprenticeships) or 3 months (for traineeships).

Read more...

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.

Read more...

Opportunities from Alliance Française for teachers and students

27 November 2017 (Alliance Française Glasgow )

Read the latest newsletter from Alliance Française and find out more about current CLPL opportunities for teachers. These include the twilight training in primary schools and a new programme of workshops for primary teachers.

The newsletter provides information on oral revision courses for Higher and Advanced Higher pupils and on the Concours de la francophonie 2018.  

Read more...

Agon Armonias 2018

27 November 2017 (Hellenikon Idyllion )

Announcement for an international competition for school classes to promote the ancient Greek language and classical philosophy through poetry and composition.

The assignment is to compose the text for a song based around a quote or verse from ancient Greek philosophy or literature. The quote or verse - not more than 20 words - has to appear in its original ancient Greek form. The rest of the lyrics can be in German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, modern or ancient Greek. The music can be composed by the students of the class or an external composer. It is important that the melody and text are easy to learn and will inspire people to sing along. Submissions should be made in video format. One class can submit more than one contribution.

Read more...

Future-proof grads: new study pinpoints arts, humanities and social science graduates’ skills

27 November 2017 (British Academy)

The British Academy has published the first ever evidence of the skills that the 1.25m students who study arts, humanities and social science (AHSS) develop through their degrees. AHSS graduates make up 55% of all university students, but to date it has been unclear which skills they develop and where they work after university.

Researchers found that the skills in demand from employers were the same as those developed by studying the arts, humanities and social sciences:

  • communication and collaboration;
  • research and analysis;
  • independence and adaptability.

With the type of jobs likely to change in the future, the research showed that flexible and adaptable graduates, many of whom have AHSS degrees, were highly valued by employers, even when their degree was unrelated to the business.

Read more...

Related Links

Download The Right Skills: Celebrating Skills in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) (British Academy, 2017)

Key messages on language skills:

  • Skills of critical analysis, problem solving, negotiation and communication, speaking other languages and understanding other cultures have intrinsic value with huge benefits for society, contributing to social cohesion at home and the UK’s prosperity and security abroad.
  • We live in an increasingly diverse, multicultural society. In an increasingly global labour market and with more mobility in the workforce, the world is more interconnected than ever. Language skills, intercultural understanding, global awareness and an international mind set will be crucial for the future of the UK economy, society and for UK security and diplomacy.
  • AHSS graduates are already equipped with many of the skills required to thrive in a global context. These skills are not just limited to language and area studies graduates, but are found in many AHSS disciplines, including for example in history and geography, along with the broader skills of communication, diplomacy, negotiation and empathy which are shared across AHSS disciplines.
  • British Academy recommends that Government, universities and learned societies work together to realise the potential and added value of AHSS as a context in which language, digital and data skills can be developed to ensure that the UK has the skills needed for productivity and growth in the 21st century

Mapping the learning of Chinese and about China in Scotland

23 November 2017 (SCEN)

SCEN are keen to give all young people in Scotland the opportunities they need, and to that end, it is looking to find out the current situation with regard to learning Chinese and about China in Scotland. SCEN has published a report, 'Mapping of the Learning of Chinese and about China in Scotland's Schools' following on from a survey carried out by SCEN and the Confucius Institute for Scotland. Access the report through the link below.

For further information or to comment, please contact Dr Judith McClure, Chair of SCEN.

Read more...

Back in work after a fantastic immersion course. I have to say it’s one of the best things I have done in recent years

22 November 2017 (LFEE)

Another positive and inspired round of immersion courses in France and Spain this summer and autumn, now it's time to plan for next year...

Join our team of native speakers in either France or Spain and top up your French or Spanish language skills and understanding of language methodology.

LFEE Europe has been an international course provider since 2002 and recently won a GTCS award for Pedagogy and methodology for the three-week French/Spanish Immersion Programmes and the 12-month Modern Languages Immersion and Methodology Programme.

More information and dates are available through the link below.

Read more...

Multilingual actors sought for practice-led research project led by Flavia D’Avila of Fronteiras Theatre Lab in partnership with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

21 November 2017 (Fronteiras Theatre Lab)

Actors are sought for practice-led research project led by Flavia D’Avila of Fronteiras Theatre Lab in partnership with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. This project will lay the foundations for the next stage of the company’s practical work and also feature prominently in the director’s PhD thesis submission, comprising of a joint portfolio and critical reflection.

The aim of this research project is to investigate ways in which syncretic theatre (cultural fusion) can be used in a devising process.

This is not a production, commercial or otherwise. There will be no tickets sold and there will not be performances to the general public. Instead, these Performance Research Tests are a laboratory in which rehearsal and performance practice can be explored. Performers from diverse cultural/linguistic backgrounds (including Scottish), of any gender, and any age over 18 are invited to submit their CV and statement of interest. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview and workshop audition in Glasgow in January. The Performance Research Tests will happen over three staggered weeks between February and April 2018.

More information is available through the link below.

Read more...

My World of Work resources for language learners

21 November 2017 (Skills Development Scotland)

Language learners are encouraged to visit My World of Work and find out more about the value of languages in a whole range of careers.

Learners should visit My career options and type in "international" or "languages" into the "I have a career in mind" tab to discover a wide list of careers where language and cultural skills are needed.

There are also live vacancies related to international work, which learners might find helpful as they plan for the future.

Finally, for language teachers, there are new Lesson Inserts related to Modern Languages.

CLPL for primary teachers in 2018

21 November 2017 (Alliance Française Glasgow )

Alliance Française is running a new programme of CLPL workshops in French for Primary School teachers in 2018.

  • 10 topics covered over ten weeks, tailored to the needs of Primary School teachers.
  • Suitable as a follow-up to one of our Beginners 1 classes or for French teachers in Primary schools.
  • 4.15-5.45pm between 6th February and 23rd April included. Days of the week will vary; a detailed programme is available below.
  • The cost to attend 10 workshops is £75/teacher.
  • Option to enrol in less than 10 CPDs, please contact us for more information.
  • Certificates of attendance will be given once the programme is completed.
  • Places are limited so booking early is highly recommended.

If you wish to enrol, please contact or visit the Language Office at the Alliance Française as soon as possible:
Alliance Française Glasgow - 3 Park Circus, G3 6AX Glasgow
0141 331 4080
admin@afglasgow.org.uk

  • Tuesday 6th February 2018: Phonetics / La phonétique
  • Thursday 15th February: Daily life in a Primary School / La vie quotidienne dans une école primaire
  • Thursday 22nd February: Songs from France and the Francophone world / Les chansons françaises/francophones
  • Thursday 1st March: Conducting an activity in French (PE, maths, arts, etc.) / Le français comme langue d’enseignement
  • Tuesday 6th March: Celebrations & calendar / Les fêtes et le calendrier
  • Tuesday 13th March: Resources and activities for year-round festive events / Ressources et activités pour les fêtes
  • Monday 19th March: Indoors and outdoors games / Les jeux d’intérieur et d’extérieur
  • Monday 26th March: Films, Cartoons & TV5 Monde / Les films, dessins animés & TV5 Monde
  • Monday 16th April: Storytelling in French / Raconter des histoires
  • Monday 23rd April: French regions & their delicacies / Les régions de France & leurs spécialités

Gaining international experience and learning new languages enhances careers

17 November 2017 (British Council Scotland)

For International Education Week, we spoke to John Crawford, Team Leader, Education at Scottish Development International, about the importance of being globally mobile.

Read more...

Why should we learn Dutch?

16 November 2017 (British Council)

Dutch recently joined the ranks as one of the top ten languages that the UK needs in 2017. But why is learning Dutch useful? We asked Anna Devi Markus from British Council in Amsterdam.

Read more...

It is essential that education and skills provision builds the knowledge and capability to work well internationally

15 October 2017 (British Council Scotland)

For International Education Week 2017 we asked John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, about the Scottish Government's efforts to engage young people in international activity.

Read more...

Why limited resource models are of limited use, particularly when it comes to languages

14 November 2017 (University of Edinburgh)

In the early 1990s, after the fall of the Berlin Wall and lifting of travel restrictions, Vienna become a favourite destination for Eastern Europeans keen to buy hitherto unavailable Western goods. My West German friend Wilhelm recalled a conversation with an East German colleague while looking at the frantic markets. “Poor Viennese”, said the East German, “those Eastern Europeans will buy everything and leave them with nothing”. “Lucky Viennese”, answered Wilhelm, “they are doing the business of their lifetime”. Obviously, their comments reflected different economic reality under which they grew up, but they illustrate rather well the general contrast between “limited resource” and “added value” models.

Limited resource models are so seductively simple and intuitively compelling, that they tend to be applied implicitly, without much critical reflection (let alone empirical evidence) to a wide range of economic, social and political debates (e.g. immigration). Their major weakness is that, unlike the added value models, they do not take into account interactions between individual components and the capacity of well-functioning systems to adapt and re-configure. People buying goods are not just depleting a storehouse, they stimulate the production of new goods and development of better products. Immigrants do not just take away existing jobs; by stimulating economic growth, they can in fact create new ones.

When I first met Dina Mehmedbegovic in European Commission Multilingualism Panel in Brussels in September 2016, we were stunned to discover how much our two disciplines, education and cognitive science, have in common in terms of implicit assumptions made in respect to language learning and use. In our first joint publication, in May 2017, we explored the idea of a “healthy linguistic diet” (1), from primary school education to cognitive ageing and dementia prevention (2). In the second one, published this week, we examine systematically three important implicit assumptions underlying current controversies around multilingualism (3).

The first one is the above-mentioned limited resources model, well illustrated by the recent “Guardian” debate about the merits and disadvantages of learning foreign languages (4). One of the most commonly used arguments against teaching foreign languages at schools is that they prevent pupils from learning “more useful” subjects, such as maths (limited resources). No mention is usually made how learning languages can in fact improve the performance in other subjects (added value). These arguments continue across the lifespan: a new social enterprise Lingo Flamingo has a lot of work convincing professional carers that teaching languages to dementia patients is not dangerous and can even improve their cognitive abilities.

The second assumption is the “myth of the mother tongue”, the idea that the “normal” state of human brain, mind and society is to have one clearly defined “mother tongue”; other language can be learned, but are only secondary. Census questions like those used in the UK, allowing each individual to name only one “home language”, perpetrate this misconception. The third one is the belief that the only worthwhile aim of language learning is to reach a “native-like” proficiency. Although the drive to reach high proficiency is well meant, ultimately such attitude prevents people from appreciating multiple benefits of language learning.

As we demonstrate, there is hardly any evidence in favour of these assumptions, either in education or in cognitive and brain sciences; in fact, most of current research contradicts them. However, as we discuss in the paper, these assumptions are closely connected to political ideologies, dictating what is considered to be “normal” for individuals and states. We argue that such underlying, often implicit, beliefs can exert a profound influence on our thinking. Participants, whose performance we are examining as well as the researchers who analyse and interpret the data are human beings, deeply rooted in their languages, cultures, societies and values. We cannot study human performance in isolation from human beliefs and attitudes which influence it. Social and cognitive sciences and humanities are usually treated separately and there is remarkably little exchange of ideas between them. But we believe that we have much to learn from each other. As proposed by the added value models, a synthesis is more than the sum of its parts. The path is long, but we hope to have taken a step in the right direction.

Thomas H Bak, University of Edinburgh, Strand Leader of Strand 6 (Cognition, health & wellbeing) of the AHRC Project, “Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies” (MEITS). Co-Director, Bilingualism Matters (Bilingualism in later life, healthy ageing & dementia).

(1) Healthy Linguistic Diet (MEITS blog, June 2017) 

(2) Healthy Linguistic Diet: The value of linguistic diversity and language learning across the lifespan (Languages, Society and Policy, May2017)

(3) European Journal of Language Policy

(4) Just speaking English won’t get us very far in the world (Guardian,August 2017)

Kick start your international project with these free resources!

14 November 2017 (British Council)

Until 7 December 2017, UK teachers who register an eTwinning project can choose to be posted a travelling eTwinning teddy bear or a virtual reality headset. We will also post an eTwinning wall map, homework and a passport challenge.

The pack that we will send to you contains pre-prepared, cross-curricular homework challenges spanning key stages one to five, all designed to help you kick-start your first international project with eTwinning.

COMPETITION

Share your project images and videos with us on Twitter @eTwinningUK via #eTmaps and we will award the class with the most retweeted post with £500 worth of Amazon vouchers on 8 December.

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Which foreign languages will be most important for the UK post-Brexit?

14 November 2017 (British Council)

The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union is fundamentally changing its relationships with the countries of the EU, and with the rest of the world. But which languages will be most important for the UK? And how well is the UK equipped to meet the current and future language need? The British Council's Alice Campbell-Cree, who edited the Languages for the Future report, summarises.

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We must help our young people to embrace internationalism

14 November 2017 (British Council Scotland)

For International Education Week 2017, Jackie Killeen, Director, British Council Scotland, writes about why we need to encourage young people to embrace internationalism.

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Commonwealth Class children's short story writing competition

13 November 2017 (British Council)

What images, emotions or memories come to mind when you think of the word ‘Peace’? Children around the world are invited to capture its meaning for this year’s Commonwealth Class Short Story Writing Competition. The competition offers a unique opportunity for students to become part of the Commonwealth’s rich storytelling heritage and to be in with the chance of winning some great prizes!

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Masters Level Languages Education Study at the University of Strathclyde

10 November 2017 (University of Strathclyde)

Are you teaching a new language to your pupils, or supporting bilingual learners to learn English and keep up with their home language?

Are you ready to start masters level study in 2018? You don’t have to wait until September 2018!

We are now offering a number of Masters level classes relating to modern languages, English as an additional language and support for bilingual learners, starting in January 2018.

Goethe-Institut (London) news

10 November 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

The following opportunities from Goethe-Institut in London will be of interest to teachers in Scotland:

  • New Karla and Kai songs - added new songs have been added to the Karla and Kai resources for the fourth year with German. All lesson plans as well as songs are available as a free download.
  • Christmas competition for primary schools - A new clip, Christmas time in Germany with our popular characters Felix and Franzi, has just been published. Let pupils answer some questions about the film and win great prizes!
  • Free 2018 resources calendar - Primary or secondary German teachers can order a free calendar with images, texts and resources for their classroom. The topic this year is Sport in Deutschland. Just fill in the online form and return it to us to place an order. Stock is limited - first come, first served!
  • The two chairs creative writing competition - Pupils can write in English or in German. Their piece can be a poem, short story or piece of prose no more than 1000 words in length. The entry categories will be: under 18s and over 18s, with one winner in English and one in German selected from age group (four winners in total).

Spanish Immersion Day

9 November 2017 (Spanish Embassy Education Office)

The Spanish Immersion Day is intended to provide an opportunity for Higher Spanish students or a similar level of examinations to practise their Spanish meaningfully with native speakers on a wide range of topics. The sessions will aim to provide them with strategies to become more effective communicators and to cope with unexpected language.

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Report on Sixth China Youth Summit on 3 November 2017

8 November 2017 (SCEN)

Great thanks to distinguished guests, talented presenters, and all delegates! SCEN's Sixth China Youth Summit was a great success. This magnificent set of photos taken by Fraser Nelson of Simon Jones Media provide a taster of the day.

Presenters were described in the adjectives contained in the scores of glorious emails SCEN has received: Fantastic, Impressive, Energetic, Keen, Inspiring, Exciting!

The President of SCEN, Lord Wilson of Tillyorn KT KSMG FRSE, said that he was delighted to hear the presenters of all ages speaking Mandarin with a commendably accurate and natural use of tones and accents.

See the comments of the students brought together by Ellena Zhou from St Ninian's High School, East Renfrewshire.

SQA course reports

7 November 2017 (SQA)

SQA has published the National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher course reports for the 2017 examinations. These reports contain information about the performance of candidates in the examinations as well as advice for teachers. SCILT will summarise these reports in due course, but in the meantime they can be accessed by clicking on the following links and selecting the ‘Verification and Course Reports’ tab:

Tiptoe into French language with bilingual picture book 'Lapin is hungry'

6 November 2017 (Le Petit Monde)

Le Petit Monde, the puppet theatre company specialised in introducing Artistic Director Tania Czajka's native French language to young children since 2008, is currently working on a picture book based on its puppet characters.

Like all Tania's shows, the story is bilingual, features lots of healthy foods and, crucially, can be understood by all non French speakers.

Accompanied by an illustrated glossary, an audio version and a Teaching Pack, it will make a great resource for Early Years French lessons.

Tania and her team are currently crowdfunding to get Lapin is Hungry published. Schools can pledge in exchange of signed copies, shows, workshops and other goodies!

For more information on how to support this unique project, please visit the link below or contact Tania directly.

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1+2 languages : update on advice for L3

6 November 2017 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has published an update on advice for L3 – a further model for delivery of the same L3 in P5, P6 and P7, to allow choice of language on entry into S1 in secondary school.

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IFprofs

6 November 2017 (Institut Français Écosse)

We have just launched IFProfs, the social network for French teachers, language leaders and coordinators, trainers, student teachers, French language assistants and all staff involved with French language education.

It is a collaborative platform where members can share resources for the classroom, find information about trainings, conferences, competitions and other activities for their class or themselves.

IFprofs is an international platform bringing together French teachers from all over the world. By signing up, you will be able to access resources from IFProfs Royaume-Uni, but also from all other participating countries. All members have in common the French language and this is therefore the lingua franca and only language of IFprofs.

We hope you will take part actively in this network, share resources, documents, lessons plans, best practices and more.

IFProfs is free, you just need to become a member by opening an account

Tutorials to help you open your account and post your documents are available.

SCHOLAR’s webinars on Higher and Advanced Higher Modern Languages

6 November 2017 (SCHOLAR)

SCHOLAR’s webinars on Higher and Advanced Higher Modern Languages have started again! They are on Mondays at 6pm and are led by Douglas Angus. Last week was a double session on ‘Tackling the Translation’, 45 minutes each for Higher and Advanced Higher.

Next session on November 13 is on improving listening skills, and it will be at 6pm for Higher and 6.45pm for Advanced Higher. These sessions are accessible by all, whether registered for SCHOLAR or not. Simply follow the link below and log in as a guest. The sessions are recorded and are available the next day on the SCHOLAR website to download or watch.

If you have not seen these before, they are very interactive and allow students to ask questions (and have them answered!) at any time. Future sessions planned are:

  • Dec 4 (Higher) - Reading and directed writing: getting it right
  • Jan 15 (AH) - The specialist study and the portfolio
  • Jan 22 (Higher) - Talking: preparing for the speaking exam
  • Feb 5 (AH) - Talking: preparing for the external examiner
  • Feb 26 (AH) - Being successful at discursive writing
  • Mar 5 (Higher) - Opinion writing: the response to listening
  • Mar 12 (AH) - Reading and the overall purpose question

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Teach abroad as an English language assistant

6 November 2017 (British Council)

Applications to become a British Council Language Assistant for 2018-19 are now open!

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The Go International: Stand Out campaign

2 November 2017 (Erasmus+)

Universities UK International (UUKi) are calling for higher education providers to join the Go International: Stand Out campaign to help reach their goal of doubling the percentage of UK undergraduate students who go abroad as part of their studies by 2020. Here Stephanie Kleynhans, Policy Officer at UUKi, tells us about the new campaign.

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SQA recruiting event verifiers

30 October 2017 (SQA)

Develop your knowledge of assessment requirements. SQA is recruiting for Event Verifiers for National Qualifications in ESOL, Chinese, Gaelic (Learners), Gàidhlig, German, Italian, and Urdu.

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Matthew Fitt presents a fantastic Scots writing website and competition

30 October 2017 (Scottish Book Trust)

SKOOSH! is an exciting new online collection of poems, stories, monologues and plays by young writers - and they're all written in our very own, brilliant Scots language.

SKOOSH! is part of the Scots Hoose website. Funded by Creative Scotland and led by myself, Matthew Fitt, Scots Hoose has got all you need to learn about starting to write in Scots. There are tips, ideas, songs, information, films and muckle mair - and now lots of great new writing by school pupils ready for you to read on SKOOSH!

SKOOSH! is always looking for new Scots writing. It doesn't matter where you live. It doesn't matter which dialect of Scots you know. You can write in Scots just as well as anyone.

And if you're not sure how to get started or what to write about or even what the Scots language really is, visit Scots Hoose, Scotland's best resource for learning and creativity in the Scots language.

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Scotland-Russia Forum bulletin

28 October 2017 (SRF)

The latest Scotland-Russia Forum bulletin has been published. Download and find out about forthcoming opportunities to improve your Russian and experience Russian culture.

Related Files

Leadership opportunity for Gaelic teachers

27 October 2017 (SCEL)

Are you a Gaelic teacher or middle leader looking to enhance you leadership capacity? The SCEL endorsed Award in Leadership programme from Social Enterprise Academy is running next month on 3 and 4 November. This programme empowers practitioners to positively influence the teams in which they work.

Read more...

CLPL opportunities from Alliance Française

27 October 2017 (Alliance Française)

Read the latest newsletter from Alliance Française and find out more about current CLPL opportunities. These include the new term of language classes, new programme of training for primary teachers and information on DELF international diplomas.

Goethe-Institut events

27 October 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

Read the latest update from Goethe-Institut Glasgow for events to help keep your language learning fresh. Events include a German board games night, book club, film screening and 'Translators' Stammtisch'.

Related Files

Conference for Japanese language and culture in Fife

27 October 2017 (Fife Council)

S1-S3 pupils are invited to attend a youth conference on all things Japanese at Bell Baxter High School, Cupar. The event is from 10:00 to 14:00 and will consist of a mixture of workshops, games, showcases, Japanese language lessons, and more. This event is free and we invite learners from across Scotland to join us in Fife. For further information please contact Petra McLay and book your tickets now

Modern Languages autumn update

24 October 2017 (SQA)

SQA has just published the Modern Languages NQ Autumn Update.

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GTCS Excellence in Professional Learning Awards for Universities of Dundee and Glasgow

23 October 2017 (University of Dundee/UCMLS)

On 21 September 2017 GTCS held its first Excellence in Professional Learning Award ceremony at the Hilton Grosvenor Hotel in Glasgow. The event also celebrated professional learning programmes that have been accredited with GTCS Professional Recognition. This included the University of Dundee for its Graduate Diplomas in French, German and Spanish by distance learning and the University of Glasgow for its Postgraduate Certificate ‘Teaching and Learning of Modern Languages in Primary Schools’. UCMLS Chair Marion Sporing said "Universities in Scotland continue to play an important role in supporting teachers in promoting and sustaining the learning of languages in Scottish schools and the wider education sector."

GTCS Professional Recognition for LFEE Programmes

23 October 2017 (LFEE)

LFEE were delighted – and very proud - to collect a GTCS Professional Recognition Accredited Programme Award last month for our three-week French/Spanish Immersion Programmes and the 12-month Modern Languages Immersion and Methodology Programme. This is following on from having achieved course accreditation three years ago.

Representatives from ten Local Authorities from across Scotland attended the PowerLanguage conference to witness the launch of the NEW PowerLanguage Schools (PLS) website. Feedback from those present was extremely positive and the new site is now available to other practitioners!

Our “off the shelf” L3 in Mandarin was also very popular and will be available in Spanish soon.

Last but not least, we’re very excited to say that Caroline Gordon has joined our team 2 days a week and will be helping us with communication and social media amongst other things!

Contact us for information regarding any of the above projects. We look forward to hearing from you!
photo of LFEE staff with GTCS certificate of recognition

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Young Europeans Award

23 October 2017 (UK-German Connection)

Calling all pupils interested in European issues! Take part in the Young Europeans Award and win a trip to Warsaw!

This initiative aims to encourage dialogue and exchange between young people in the 'Weimar Triangle' countries - Germany, France and Poland. For the 2017-18 round, the UK has been invited to take part as a guest country.

Teams of young people from within schools in Germany, France, Poland and the UK are invited to enter the competition (with support from their school) in groups of 6+ by sending in a collaborative creative project of their choice addressing the statement: 'To be or not to be...a European'.

Winning teams will have the opportunity to visit the Polish capital, Warsaw.

Applications should be submitted by 1 March 2018.

To find out more about the initiative and how to take part, visit the UK-German Connection website.

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The need for a national languages policy and a more holistic approach towards languages in the UK

21 October 2017 (MEITS)

In this podcast Wendy Ayres-Bennett from the University of Cambridge talks to Baroness Jean Coussins, Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages, about the need for a national languages policy and a more holistic approach towards languages in the UK.

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Erasmus + 2018 information for schools

20 October 2017 (British Council)

ERASMUS+ 2018

 

If you would like an introduction to the funding opportunities Erasmus+ will provide for schools in 2018, then make sure you book your place at one of the information sessions the UK National Agency is running across the UK this autumn, including 7 November in Belfast and 15 November in Newcastle.

 

The European Commission expects to announce the 2018 application deadlines by the end of October. The UK is taking part in Erasmus+ as normal in 2018 (please see our Brexit webpage if you or your partners need any reassurance). In 2018, the new School Exchange Partnerships (part of Key Action 2) will be supported by a 40% increase in funding and a simpler application process, so that lots more schools can get involved and benefit from Erasmus+.

 

School Exchange Partnerships aim to support short-term exchanges of pupils for a minimum of three days at a time, as well as longer term pupil exchanges of up to a year. You can also still arrange staff training and teaching assignments as before. These new partnership opportunities are an ideal way to enable you to visit your eTwinning partners. More information will be provided at the 2018 information sessions and through the application support process from the UK National Agency, so UK schools should gear up for a bumper Erasmus+ year!

 

If you need any inspiration, please do look at the Erasmus+ schools projects lists for 2017, to see what other schools are doing through Erasmus+:

·         School Staff Mobility funding results (KA101)

·         Schools Education Partnership results (KA201)

·         Schools-only Partnership results (KA219)

 

You can also watch this Brae High School video, of their Erasmus+ project, which brings the programme to life.

Double Gaelic Awards nomination for GME teachers’ resource web-site

20 October 2017 (Stòrlann)

A website of resources for Gaelic Medium Education, run by two primary school teachers from Skye, has been shortlisted for a Scottish Gaelic Award for the second year running.

The website, Lasadh, is managed by Gaelic educational resources organisation Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig and led by teachers Gwen Culbertson and Mairi Macdonald, who both teach in Sleat Primary School (Bun-sgoil Shleite).

Lasadh is up for the Innovation in Education Award in the Daily Record’s Scottish Gaelic Awards, as it was last year, but is also nominated in the Learner Award category this year.

The awards, sponsored by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, will be held in the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow on November 15 and aim to “reward all aspects of our Gaelic culture, education and language” and “highlight the excellent work undertaken to maintain growth and heritage”.

Lasadh is an online, digital and interactive resource for primary school pupils and teachers, created several years ago by Gwen and Mairi who had realised there was a shortage of language-related re-sources for Gaelic Medium Education (GME). Found online at www.lasadh.co.uk, the website focuses on literacy activities and provides a range of resources for use in the classroom or at home and for individual use or group work.

There are many downloads which can be edited as required and the number of available downloads, digital games and other resources is growing all the time.

Recent additions to the website include spelling games, modelled on the ‘look, say, cover, write and check’ system used in schools, as well as jigsaws for the early years.

Use of the website’s resources has been increasing across Scotland. To support this demand, the Stòrlann team including Project Officer Sarah MacEachan, who is based in Uist, have delivered training sessions on Lasadh via video link to teachers on the mainland.

Another new development is that Gwen and Mairi have been seconded onto Lasadh since August for a day a week, thanks to support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig via the Gaelic Language Act Implemen-tation Fund (GLAIF). The money means Stòrlann can fund the necessary class cover for Gwen and Mairi. Previously, the pair were working on Lasadh in their own time. Gwen said: “The day a week each out of class for this year means that we can have a clear focus for development of materials and dedicated time to research and create them. Up until now it has been quite a juggling act with my young family of three and teaching full time, trying to fit it all in.

“Our secondment is only newly established, however thus far it has provided us with much needed opportunities to work together with Stòrlann to meet, discuss and plan the road ahead for Lasadh.”

All GME teachers are warmly invited to contribute their own resources for possible inclusion in Lasadh. The best way to contribute these resources is via a second website, also managed by Stòr-lann, which functions as a repository.

Stòrlann Project Officer Sarah MacEeachan explained how that website, called Seo Sibh!, works. Teachers can upload files to various collections — primary school, high school, etc — on the web-site, www.seosibh.storlann.co.uk. Again, this is a website for GME.

Once the resources have been checked by Stòrlann they will then be uploaded for widespread use, either via Lasadh or the main Stòrlann website, www.storlann.co.uk.

Sarah said: “It’s for teachers to send materials in and we can proof them. We’ll quality assure mate-rials and then they can be made available for other teachers.”

Sarah, whose other projects including the popular www.gaelic4parents.com website, warmly wel-comed the news that Lasadh was again up for an award.

She said: “I was delighted to get the nomination, pleased that they’re recognising Lasadh as some-thing valuable. We’re pleased to be nominated for the second year in a row and looking forward to the grand ceremony in Glasgow.”

Teacher Mairi said: “It’s a great feeling to be nominated again. It’s great to get good feedback on the project and it is an exciting project to be part of.

“The website and project have been growing over the years. More and more resources are being cre-ated and becoming available online. Digital games have become more available and now that Gwen and I have a day a week to work on the project, we hope it will continue to grow and resources will be available quicker and there will be a greater volume available.

“We are getting great feedback from teacher all over the country. This is the only online, accessible resource for Gaelic Medium teachers. They would like to see more resources over the curriculum so that’s something we are hoping to develop with Stòrlann in the future.”

Gwen added: “The response from teachers online and at our workshops has been very positive. This additional time allows us, with support from Stòrlann and their design team at Lumberjack Digital, to address and follow their ideas and further develop Gaelic Medium literacy resources.

“We both hope to attend the award ceremony and are very much looking forward to it. We are not entirely sure who might have nominated us, but Lasadh is very grateful. Fingers crossed for Lasadh on the night!”

In its nomination, Lasadh was described as a “fantastic and much-needed Gaelic Medium language resource”, with resources for reading, writing, talking and listening which were “high quality, easy to use, fun and have filled many of the gaps we had in language resources”.

It added: “They (Gwen and Mairi) are open to suggestions too. They know the struggles that GME teachers have because they are class teachers and resources are made to support us.

“This award would say thank you from all of us for all their hard work and give them the recogni-tion that they deserve.”

Koenigspost competition 2017

19 October 2017 (King's College London)

King's College London's Department of German is delighted to announce its 2017 competition for Year 12 and 13 students of German, the equivalent S5 and S6 in Scotland.

Students are invited to write an article of around 400 words in German in response to the question: 'Soziale Netzwerke in der Politik: Welchen politischen Einfluss haben die virtuellen Gemeinschaften?'

The winner and runners-up will be invited to a prize-giving ceremony and seminar at King's College London in early December 2017.

Entries should be submitted by 22 November 2017. See the flyer below or visit the website for more information.
image of Koenigspost competition flyer

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SQA Spanish Appointee Opportunities – 2018 Exam Diet

18 October 2017 (SQA)

SQA is currently advertising the following 2018 Exam Diet Appointee roles for Spanish:

Team Leaders will assist the Higher Principal Assessor with post-examination procedures and support a team of Markers during marking activity.

The Senior Marker will support the AH Principal Assessor with procedural activity across Talking Performance, Portfolio & Papers 1&2.

Support and training will be provided.

Further detail about the roles is available via the links above, where applications may be submitted. Closing date is Sunday 5 November 2017.
 
Please feel free to forward this information to any practitioners who may be interested in applying.
If you have any queries please contact Elaine Clusker, Qualification Officer: elaine.clusker@sqa.org.uk.

UK-German Connection opportunities

17 October 2017 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection offers a number of initiatives and opportunities for partnerships between schools in Germany and the UK. Click on the relevant link below to find out more about their latest initiatives:

  • School Partnership Bursaries - Special **school partnership bursaries of £1,000** are currently available to help keep you UK-German partnership alive and help cover any costs arising from recent changes to safeguarding regulations. All you need to do is answer a few short questions about your partnership activities this year and your plans for next year by **7 November 2017**.
  • Young Europeans Award - Are your pupils interested in European issues? Encourage them to enter the competition and win a trip to Warsaw! With the UK (and UK-German Connection) as a partner for 2017-18, pupils are invited to team up with young people from Germany, Poland and France and enter with a project on the theme 'To be or not to be... a European.’

To find out more about other activities the organisation provides, you can also visit the UK-German Connection website.

Read more...

Teachers become learners with new languages project

17 October 2017 (Open University/SCILT)

Primary school teachers are being given the confidence to teach languages to their pupils through a new project run by The Open University (OU) in Scotland and SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages.

Fifty one teachers from schools across nine local authorities are participating in ‘Learning to teach Languages in Primary School’ which will see them learn French or Spanish as well as how to teach the language in class.

The project aims to support the Scottish Government’s “1+2” Language Policy, which has the objective that every pupil will learn two modern foreign languages alongside their mother tongue from primary school onwards.

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Inspiring language learning and teaching in the early years – Why it matters and what it looks like for children age 3-12

16 October 2017 (ECML)

With over 40 official languages in the member states of the Council of Europe and more than 70 regional and minority languages officially recognized in addition to a number of languages spoken by migrants, it is important that Europe’s language diversity is recognized and acknowledged.

The reality for many European citizens is that in the course of their lives they will need to develop proficiency, not only in their native language, but in a variety of languages. Demands of study, work, travel, relocation and personal development will also mean that skills in new languages will need to be added to their existing repertoire. Therefore, learning the skills required to learn languages is of paramount importance. Furthermore, language learning and identity construction are closely interlinked.

Recognizing the importance of languages in the lives of Europeans and the benefits that early language learning provides, the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) has launched a two-year project "Inspiring language learning and teaching in the early years – Why it matters and what it looks like for children age 3-12".

The project is focused on early language learning, from 3 to 12 years of age. The innate curiosity and enthusiasm that children bring to learning during this initial period in their formal education makes it the ideal time to introduce, nurture and motivate learners in the area of additional language learning. Strong foundations, built at this stage in children’s development, will facilitate language learning throughout life and openness to, as well as respect for different cultures, values and traditions.

Find out more on the ECML website.

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SQA vacancies: Modern Languages Event Verifiers

12 October 2017 (SQA)

Are you looking for CPD opportunities? Become an appointee for SQA – apply to be an Event Verifier in Modern Languages. It's a really worthwhile role and great professional development in relation to building confidence about national standards.

Visit the SQA website for more information and to apply by 29 October.

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Languages Lost and Found (Being Human Festival)

12 October 2017 (University of Dundee/UCMLS)

A series of events celebrating languages and cultures across Scotland as part of the UK’s annual Being Human Festival of the Humanities, 'Languages Lost & Found' aims to make visible the often hidden richness and diversity of languages and cultures in Scottish society through community-led workshops and demonstrations.

Events will take place simultaneously on 18 November in a number of locations across Scotland, and activities will vary by location. The event series is organised by the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland with support from Scotland's National Centre for Languages and British Council Scotland and financial support by the AHRC Modern Languages Leadership Fellow funds (Prof. Janice Carruthers).

Visit the website for more information.

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NEW: Training in French in your Primary School

12 October 2017 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française Glasgow is now offering special training designed for Primary School teachers to help them (re-)validate their professional development and accreditation.

Our team can travel to your school for a twilight to teach a 10-hour programme (2hrs per week over 5 weeks) suited for beginners/false beginners.

As well as working on your pronunciation and vocabulary skills, this course will provide you with "ready to teach" ideas and materials which can also be transferred to other languages in the 1+2 context.

Visit the Alliance Française website for further details.

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European Youth Event (EYE) 2018

11 October 2017 (European Parliament)

There's still time to apply for the third European Youth Event (EYE) which will be taking place 1-2 June 2018 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

EYE provides a unique opportunity for young Europeans, aged between 16 and 30, to make their voices heard and to come up with innovative ideas for the future of Europe.

EYE2018 includes a wide range of activities in English, French and German run under the motto "The plan is to fan this spark into a flame." (Hamilton, My Shot). The activities centre around five main themes:

  • Young and old: Keeping up with the digital revolution
  • Rich and poor: Calling for a fair share
  • Apart and together: Working out for a stronger Europe
  • Safe and dangerous: Staying alive in turbulent times
  • Local and global: Protecting our planet

Visit the EYE2018 website for more information. Groups of at least 10 young people who want to take part need to register on the website between October and December 2017.

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eTwinning face to face workshops

10 October 2017 (eTwinning)

This term, why not apply to go on a short workshop in another European country?

Applications are now open for teachers from Early Years to Upper Secondary to attend a 2-3 day professional development workshop in Ireland and Spain. These events are designed to facilitate new eTwinning projects through partner-finding and project planning activities. Workshop themes and subject areas are varied, spanning e-safety to computational thinking, MFL, history and culture.

Visit the website to find out more and apply by 16/19 October 2017 respectively.

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Juvenes Translatores

10 October 2017 (European Commission)

Juvenes Translatores is the annual translation contest for 17-year old students (those born in 2000). The 2017 contest will take place on 23 November.

To participate, schools must register first — between 1 September and 20 October 2017.

The materials for the Juvenes Translatores are available to download on the day of the competition so that schools can make use of them even if they are not selected to take part.  Perhaps you may wish to use them to organise a competition in your own school?” 

See the website for full details.

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Euroquiz 2018

9 October 2017 (SEET)

Euroquiz, the annual project for P6 pupils in Scotland, is once again open for those wishing to participate in 2018.

The project, which sees team of four working together to broaden their knowledge of Europe and the wider world, includes coverage of foreign languages, history, geography, sport, culture and European affairs.

Heats take place in every local authority from January to March 2018, with the winning teams from all areas going forward to the National Euroquiz Final held in the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament in May 2018.

Visit the Scottish European Education Trust (SEET) website for more information about Euroquiz and how to register your school to take part.

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DAAD/IMLR Competition

9 October 2017 (DAAD)

Jointly organised by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the IMLR, this year sees the fourth writing competition for all learners and lovers of German. The competition is open to secondary schools, undergraduates, postgraduates and anyone else who feels up to the challenge!

This year, the task ties in with the 500th anniversary of Luther’s publication of his 95 theses that sparked the Reformation. Put yourself in the shoes of a time-travelling spy: you overhear a conversation between Luther or one of his German, Austrian or Swiss contemporaries (real or imagined) and a figure from public life in 2017 Britain. Is the German-speaking 16th-century time traveller debating Brexit with Boris Johnson or comparing sporting skills with Andy Murray? Does Jamie Oliver try to revolutionise cooking skills of Reformation Germany? Write down what you hear! The only two rules: the dialogue must be written in German and it must not be longer than 350 words.

Visit the DAAD website for more information and to submit entries by 23 October 2017.

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What's your story? - Creative writing programme for teens in Scotland

6 October 2017 (Scottish Book Trust)

  • Are you 14-17 years old, living in Scotland, and care about creative writing and illustration?
  • Do you want to meet other teens interested in creative writing and illustration?
  • Do you want to improve your own creative skills?
  • Do you want to help create events and resources for other teens?
  • Do you want to show Scotland that teenagers make brilliant creative work?

If this sounds like you, read on to find out more about our What’s Your Story? Development Programme and how to apply to join us this year! It’s free to apply and to take part.

The programme invites and encourages Gaelic speakers to get involved.

Application deadline: 12 noon on Monday 16 October 2017.

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The 13th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students

2 October 2017 (Japan Foundation)

We are delighted to announce that the 13th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students is open for applications!

This contest gives students the chance to make their voices heard in Japanese, and win some fantastic prizes! Finalists will all perform their speeches on Saturday 24 February 2018 at King’s College London.

The contest is aimed at undergraduate students who are currently studying Japanese as a foreign language at a university in the UK or Ireland.

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information and to apply by 9 November 2017.

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1+2 Development Officers visit European Commission in Brussels

2 October 2017 (Midlothian Council)

A selection of staff who are responsible for the implementation of 1+2 Languages Policy in Scotland were invited for a visit to the European Commission in Brussels on Monday, 18th September 2017. Among those invited were 1+2 Development Officers, Quality Improvement Officers, Heads of Education and representatives from the cultural institutes in Edinburgh. Also present was Toria Fraser who is ‎the Languages Policy Manager at the Scottish Government.

There were presentations about the background and role of the European Commission as well as input from the Translation and Interpretation Services. They also gained an insight into how language learning and linguistic diversity is promoted in Europe and an overview of tools for European cooperation (such as Erasmus+). Midlothian has been very successful in sending teachers on language immersion courses via Erasmus+ , particularly since the launch of 1+2 Languages Initiative in 2014.

It was interesting to see how many Scots are employed by the European Commission and using their languages in the workplace every day. This should hopefully inspire young language learners across Scotland and contribute towards Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) in Scotland.

Do you know an inspirational primary or secondary language teacher?

29 September 2017 (ALL)

Do you know a teacher who inspires pupils through superb teaching and supports colleagues by sharing their expertise and ideas? Association for Language Learning is now looking for nominations in two categories for the 2018 awards – which are now open to teachers throughout the UK.

Read more...

Gaelic World War II project resource

27 September 2017 (Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig)

An interdisciplinary resource which aims to provide Gaelic Medium Education teachers with a ‘one stop shop’ of topic-specific material for the classroom was launched at the national An t-Alltan conference for GME practitioners held in Aviemore last week.

An Dàrna Cogadh was developed by Gaelic educational resources organisation Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig in response to Gaelic Medium Education practitioners’ requests for a comprehensive teaching package, based online, on the subject of World War Two.

The online resource brings together many informative Gaelic texts and books— some created especially for this project — with a rich variety of other material from the wider world, including web, print and video. It is designed to support teachers delivering this subject in the primary sector.

Visit the website to access the resource and for more information see the attached press release.

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Foreign language learning in the EU

26 September 2017 (Eurostat)

Eurostat publishes below two infographics on foreign language learning in the European Union:

  • How many pupils learn two or more foreign languages?
  • Which are the most studied foreign languages?

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New CEFR companion volume with new Descriptors

26 September 2017 (Council of Europe)

The result of over twenty years of research, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment (CEFR) is exactly what its title says it is: a framework of reference. It was designed to provide a transparent, coherent and comprehensive basis for the elaboration of language syllabuses and curriculum guidelines, the design of teaching and learning materials, and the assessment of foreign language proficiency. It is used in Europe but also in other continents.

The CEFR Companion Volume with New Descriptors (Provisional Edition) is now available. It is intended as a complement to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment (CEFR). It represents another important step in a process that has been pursued by the Council of Europe since 1971 and owes much to the contributions of members of the language teaching profession across Europe and beyond.

The “Companion Volume” is the Council of Europe’s response to requests that have been made by the groups involved in the field of language education to complement the original illustrative scales with more descriptors. In addition to the extended illustrative descriptors, it contains an introduction to the aims and main principles of the CEFR.

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Celebrating The European Day Of Languages

25 September 2017 (European Parliamentary Research Service Blog)

The European Parliament has consistently acted to support endangered languages and linguistic diversity in the EU, calling on the EU and the Member States to commit resources to their protection and promotion.

This article from the European Parliament Research Service outlines:

  • Global language diversity
  • Linguistic diversity in the EU
  • Europeans’ linguistic competences
  • Multilingualism in the European Parliament

Scots language writing competition

20 September 2017 (Education Scotland)

2017 is the year of History, Heritage & Archaeology . To celebrate, Education Scotland are launching a Creative Writing competition at the Scottish Learning Festival on 20 September. Learners of any and all ages are invited to enter to win Scots Language books for their school. Learners should write a poem or short story of not more than 750 words in length. The story or poem must be written in Scots language – though can be in any dialect of Scots, as broad or unique as the writer would like.

Log onto Glow and join the Scots blether to be kept up to date on all information on the competition. Go to the Visit Scotland website for more info on the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

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HSBC/British Council Mandarin Chinese speaking competition 2017/18

19 September 2017 (British Council)

A great, fun opportunity for students to practice and improve their Mandarin Chinese language skills. The competition also offers the chance to win a week in Beijing.

Find out more about the competition and how to apply. Entry deadline is Friday 6 October 2017.

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Alliance Française newsletter - September 2017

19 September 2017 (Alliance Française)

The autumn term has just begun at the Alliance Française in Glasgow. In their latest newsletter, find out more about the upcoming courses and events taking place, including:

  • Beginner course for primary school teachers
  • Grammar course and oral skills course for university students
  • October break workshop for children
  • DELF/DALF exams
  • Distance learning with 'Frantastique' - access a free trial
For all this, and more, see the newsletter online.

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Magical Christmas Trips deadline reminder: 26 September

19 September 2017 (UK-German Connection)

There's still time to apply to take part in a Magical Christmas Trip to Germany this year!

These visits offer primary pupils the chance to get a taste of Germany at Christmas time, meet their German peers and get involved in some seasonal intercultural activity. Secondary pupils have the opportunity to brush up on their German and practice their skills as young leaders.

There are two options for getting involved: either by applying to take part in a visit to Berlin run by UK-German Connection or by applying for funding to run your own Christmas visit to a partner school anywhere in Germany.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information and to apply by 26 September 2017.

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October break workshop for children

19 September 2017 (Alliance Française Glasgow )

Alliance Française Glasgow will be running a special Autumn workshop for Primary School children (P1-P7) in October during the school holidays. The course will run from Monday 16th to Friday 20th October, 9am-1pm.

Read more...

Beginners 1 Course for Primary School Teachers Oct-Dec 2017

19 September 2017 (Alliance Française Glasgow )

The Alliance Française Glasgow is running a new 10-week Beginners 1 French course for Primary School teachers between October and December 2017: 

  • This course is suitable for complete beginners 
  • 20 hours of lessons over 10 weeks tailored to the needs of Primary School teachers: classroom and speaking activities, pronunciation, communication, increase your confidence and feel more comfortable speaking French. 
  • Dates: The course will take take place on Thursday 3.45-5.45pm between 5th October and 14th December 2017.

Read more...

Language Perfect Northern Championships 2017

18 September 2017 (Language Perfect)

The 2017 Language Perfect Northern Championships dates have been announced!

Join schools from the northern hemisphere 7-14 November for a week of online competition, and celebration of language learning!

Visit the website to find out about how the competition works and register to take part.

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1+2 approach to language learning: National road shows for the secondary sector - May/June 2017

15 September 2017 (Education Scotland)

This video resource contains the key messages by speakers from the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES), Education Scotland, the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), and SCILT, Scotland's National Centre for Languages, on the 1+2 approach to language learning and the impact of the policy in the secondary sector. The resource also contains key PowerPoint slides.

This resource can be used in modern languages departments, to support discussion around transition, entitlement and effective timetabling for L2 (first additional language) and L3 (second additional language).

Visit the Education Scotland website for more information.

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eTwinning

15 September 2017 (eTwinning)

eTwinning offers a platform for teachers to communicate, collaborate, share and develop projects with like-minded colleagues across Europe.

Visit the website to find out more about eTwinning and how being part of the community can benefit you and your pupils.

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Host a Teacher from Germany

15 September 2017 (UK-German Connection)

Would you like to have authentic German cultural input in your school? Through the Host a Teacher from Germany programme, your school can host a German teacher for two or three weeks during the academic year, at no cost.

All schools and FE colleges from the whole of the UK can take part. The UK coordinating teacher does not need to be a teacher of German, and German does not need to be on the school’s curriculum; visiting teachers are either teachers of English or have good knowledge of the English language.

There's still time to apply. Closing deadline is 21 September 2017.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.

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Languagenut and SCILT exclusive

15 September 2017 (Languagenut)

Languagenut is a professional teaching tool that offers teaching resources across 21 modern foreign languages. 

It is the perfect tool to support the 1+2 approach to language learning, as all audio files are recorded by native speakers. With a range of games, songs and stories, Languagenut supports the four key skills of language learning: listening, speaking, reading and writing. 

In addition, Languagenut offers special integrated tools which allow teachers both create their own classes and content, and also set and track homework, generate certificates and evaluate students’ progress in real time. These timesaving tools help teachers to deliver more personalised teaching and customise lessons to fit each individual.

Accessible at school and at home, Languagenut helps to bridge the gap between classroom and home learning.

We’ve collaborated with SCILT to give Scottish schools free exclusive access to Languagenut for 45 days! Visit the website to register.

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Our World film making project

14 September 2017 (SEET)

Want to get pupils more engaged in language learning and encourage uptake? Are you keen to improve their confidence and win an award or two? Then get involved!

SEET's Our World is a free film making project, run by the Scottish European Educational Trust, which is designed to encourage language learning and uptake among pupils. The project is open to any team of four from S3 - S6 (no previous film making knowledge is required) and last year resulted in over 88% of participant pupils saying they were more likely to take languages into their next year as a result of taking part.

All teams have to do to enter is come up with a creative idea for a film, based on this year's theme. Then, with our help teams put that idea into storyboard form and send it to us with an audio or video clip explaining it. The deadline for storyboard submissions is 4 December 2017.

Visit the website to find out more about the project and how to enter.

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ECML Think tank - Language learning pathways

13 September 2017 (ECML)

The aim of the new ECML think tanks is to create a network of expertise from across ECML member states and beyond which can advise the ECML secretariat on how to address a range of key priorities in language education.

The first step in the think tank process is the development of an online questionnaire for each theme which is then disseminated as widely as possible so that a picture of the current state-of-play emerges, revealing both success stories as well as challenges. 

You are invited to share your views and experiences on language learning pathways in the online survey by midnight (CET), Sunday 1 October 2017, and you might be selected to participate in the think tank meeting in January 2018.

Visit the ECML website to find out more about the think tanks.

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Professional development in Germany

13 September 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

Every year the Goethe-Institut offers an attractive range of residential training and language courses for teachers of German: for primary and secondary teachers, for teachers in further education and teacher trainers:

  • Language Courses
  • Landeskunde
  • Methodology/Teaching Strategies

Deadline for applications: 15 October 2017. 

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information. Teachers from Scotland, please apply to Goethe-Institut Glasgow.

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Indiana University Global Gateway for Teachers

12 September 2017 (Indiana University)

For many years, primary and secondary schools worldwide have hosted final year students as part of Indiana University's Global Gateway for Teachers. The student teachers, who may spend up to 12 weeks in the country, have proven to make valuable contributions to the life and work of school during their stay.

For several years, Highland Council has successfully hosted many students, and the aim is to now extend the programme to include as many Scottish Local Authorities as are interested.

More information about the programme can be found in the attached letter.

Chinese language classes

12 September 2017 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

The Confucius Institute for Scotland's programme of Chinese classes for the autumn term will start 25 September 2017.

Classes on offer range from beginner to advanced levels. This autumn, in addition to our usual evening classes, we will also offer a short daytime course running 2.5 hrs per week for five weeks - Chinese for Travellers. Ideal if planning a visit to China or just as a taster course.  

Visit the website for course details and registration, or to find out about other events and opportunities offered by the Confucius Institute for Scotland.

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SRF Russian classes

11 September 2017 (SRF)

The Scotland-Russia Forum (SRF) will resume Russian language classes in Edinburgh on 18 September. 

Visit the website for more details and to enrol. For those unable to travel to Edinburgh, tuition via Skype can also be arranged.

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New term German courses in Glasgow

11 September 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow offers German language courses and exams for all levels. Courses for the autumn semester commence on 26 September 2017.

See their online brochure for full details and how to enrol.

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ALL Language Teacher of the Year Award 2018

7 September 2017 (ALL)

Do you know an inspirational primary or secondary teacher?

The Association for Language Learning (ALL) are now looking for nominations in the two categories for the 2018 awards – which are now open to teachers throughout the UK.

The award scheme aims to support and promote language teaching, recognise the efforts and achievements of language teachers, encourage and disseminate exciting, motivating practice among language teachers and raise the profile of language teaching as a career.

Visit the ALL website for more information about each award and how to make a nomination.

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Beginners 1 French Course for Primary School Teachers

7 September 2017 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française Glasgow is running a new 10-week Beginners 1 French course for Primary School teachers between October and December 2017.

This course is suitable for complete beginners.

  • 20 hours of lessons over 10 weeks tailored to the needs of Primary School teachers: classroom and speaking activities, pronunciation, communication, increase your confidence and feel more comfortable speaking French.
  • The course will take take place on Thursdays 3.45 - 5.45 pm between 5 October and 14 December 2017.

Visit the Alliance Française website for more information and to enrol.

Read more...

French and Spanish courses for nursery and primary teachers

7 September 2017 (SALT)

Offered by Smalltalk Languages, this course is aimed at nursery/primary staff who are currently introducing French/Spanish as part of their curriculum for excellence/1+2 languages programme or intend to do so. Suitable for both complete beginners and people with prior knowledge of the language, the main focus of the course will be on language learning and practical methodology.

On the day participants will look at language from the children’s perspective. They will be shown how to build both their own and the children’s confidence in language skills while learning the importance of adapting and manipulating language for maximum effect.

Visit the SALT website for available dates and locations.

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Education Scotland Gaelic news

6 September 2017 (Education Scotland)

The latest edition of Education Scotland's Gaelic e-bulletin is now available.

Read more...

News from UK-German Connection

6 September 2017 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection offers a number of funded opportunities for schools in the UK to link with schools in Germany as well as providing resources and activities for the classroom and professional learning for teachers.

In their latest newsletter you can find out more about current opportunities, including:

  • Deadline reminder: seas and oceans youth seminar
  • Host a Teacher in 2018
  • Voyage kids: back to school special
  • Magical Christmas Trips
  • Partnerships Bursaries
  • Young Europeans Award
  • Looking ahead

Find out more on their website.

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German Debating Competition 2017

5 September 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

This year the Goethe Institute Glasgow is proud to launch a German Debating Competition for Higher and Advanced Higher secondary school students in Scotland.

Debating in German is an innovative method for language teaching and learning and is of major benefit to all students: participants can improve their language and communication skills and develop a higher motivation for further language learning.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to register by 30 September.

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Bilingual story book readings

1 September 2017 (The Language Hub)

The Language Hub in Glasgow provides regular bilingual story book sessions at Hillhead Library. The sessions are free to attend and, whilst aimed at pre-school children, everyone is welcome.

The next event takes place on 5 September with a Spanish/English reading of 'The Gruffalo'.

Further readings of different stories in a range of languages will take place during the Autumn. For details of all the available sessions from September to November visit the Language Hub's website.

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Scotland-Russia Forum Bulletin

31 August 2017 (Scotland-Russia Forum)

The latest round up of news, events and resources from the Scotland-Russia Forum (SRF) is now available. If you want to brush up on your conversational skills, Чай н Чат (Chai n Chat) resumes after the summer break on 7 September and in time to celebrate the European Day of Languages, schools can sign up for the 'Look East' workshop in Glasgow on 15 September for an introduction to Eastern European languages and culture.

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The 50-word fiction competition

31 August 2017 (Scottish Book Trust)

To celebrate the opening of the Queensferry Crossing, Scottish Book Trust are inviting writers to enter their 50-word fiction competition for September where a bridge must be incorporated in the story.

Entries in Scots and Gaelic are welcomed. Stories should be submitted by 30 September 2017.

Find out more on the Scottish Book Trust's website.

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European Language Gazette Issue 37

31 August 2017 (ECML)

The May-July 2017 edition of the European Centre for Modern Language's newsletter is now available online.

The European Language Gazette highlights the latest developments, programmes and initiatives in language education in Europe.

Read more...

Scots Language in Curriculum for Excellence

30 August 2017 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has published a report on the impact on literacy of learning Scots. The report ‘Scots Language in Curriculum for Excellence: enhancing skills in literacy, developing successful learners and confident individuals’ is available on the National Improvement Hub.

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Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2017: Open Word - Open World

28 August 2017 (Michael Kerins)

This exciting new project will run from 20 to 31 October 2017. The idea is to create new writing using vocabulary that differs by the addition of only one letter - one single letter and the meaning changes. Not only in English - but in a wide variety of languages.  

To find out more about the project and how you can participate, visit the website or contact michael.kerins@gmail.com.

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British Council Modern Language Assistants have arrived!

28 August 2017 (British Council)

We were very pleased to welcome our new cohort of Modern Language Assistants (MLAs) to Scotland last week with an induction meeting in Edinburgh.

This year, we have almost 80 assistants from 10 different countries in 8 Local Educational Authorities.

Huge thanks to our colleagues at SCILT who supported the event, as well as Louise Glen from Education Scotland and representatives from the Institut Français and the Spanish Consejería.

If you are interested in hosting a language assistant, or would simply like more information, please email languageassistants.uk@britishcouncil.org or visit the British Council website.

photo of MLAs

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N5 Modern Languages: assignment-writing understanding standards materials

25 August 2017 (SQA)

Eight pieces of candidate evidence with commentaries for the new Assignment – writing component of the National 5 Modern Languages course for 2017-18 have been published on SQA’s Understanding Standards website. These contain examples in French, German and Spanish. Further examples in other languages will be published as soon as these are developed.

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History teachers' professional development tour to Berlin

25 August 2017 (German Embassy)

The German Embassy is inviting applications for their next Professional Development Tour for British Teachers of History to Berlin, Germany, 15 – 21 October 2017.

The purpose of the trip is to give participants a wide-ranging impression of present-day Germany as a background for teaching German history in UK schools. The trip will include highlights of contemporary Berlin, talks with history teachers and teachers’ associations, visits to the German Historical Museum, the Jewish Museum, the Federal Foreign Office, the Reichstag and more.

The tour will be conducted in English. All costs relating to the trip will be covered by the German Federal Foreign Office.

Please see the attached flyer and booking form for more information. Apply by 8 September 2017.

European Youth Event (EYE) 2018

24 August 2017 (European Parliament)

The third European Youth Event (EYE) will be taking place 1-2 June 2018 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. It provides a unique opportunity for young Europeans, aged between 16 and 30, to make their voices heard and to come up with innovative ideas for the future of Europe.

EYE2018 includes a wide range of activities in English, French and German run under the motto "The plan is to fan this spark into a flame." (Hamilton, My Shot). The activities centre around five main themes:

  • Young and old: Keeping up with the digital revolution
  • Rich and poor: Calling for a fair share
  • Apart and together: Working out for a stronger Europe
  • Safe and dangerous: Staying alive in turbulent times
  • Local and global: Protecting our planet

Visit the EYE2018 website for more information. Groups of at least 10 young people who want to take part need to register on the website between October and December 2017.

Read more...

Bring the world into your school

24 August 2017 (British Council)

We offer many ways to help enhance learning and teaching in schools in Scotland. Raising attainment, building literacy and numeracy, and helping bridge the attainment gap are high on the schools agenda. An international dimension can be motivational for staff and learners, and has been shown to make a real difference in these priority areas.

Our professional development opportunities, curriculum resources and international linking programmes offer a range of exciting and innovative approaches to learning and raising attainment.

Our Bring the World into your School booklet details each of our programmes and shows how they have been developed to strengthen the delivery of Curriculum for Excellence. We also outline how international education can be used across Scotland to improve whole school performance.

Visit the website for more information about the Bring the World into your School initiative, the Learning for Sustainability programme, eTwinning, Erasmus+ funded projects and Language Assistants programme and how these can support and benefit Scottish schools.

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EBacc failing to reverse decline in language learning, cautions British Academy

24 August 2017 (British Academy)

The British Academy has warned that the English Baccalaureate is failing to halt the decline in young people studying languages at GCSE.

The number of students taking GCSEs, A-levels and university degrees in languages has been falling steadily for many years, due in part to the government’s unfortunate decision in 2004 to make languages optional at Key Stage 4.

The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) recognises pupils who pass five core academic subjects at GCSE, including a modern or ancient language. It was hoped that the EBacc would reverse the decline in language-learning, but this year’s data suggests that the initial positive effect appears to be wearing off.

The fall in students choosing languages at GCSE in 2017 is particularly evident in European languages: entries for German are down by 12%, French by 10% and Spanish by 3%, compared to last year.

The British Academy is deeply concerned that this year’s decline will further erode the numbers of young people studying languages to a higher level, with knock-on effects for the UK as a whole.

Read more...

Related Links

Learning a foreign language is about more than getting by abroad (British Academy blog, 23 August 2017)

Ambassador Ammon’s piece for The Telegraph on the importance of learning foreign languages

23 August 2017 (German Embassy London)

Since my return to London as German Ambassador, the GCSE and A-level results published in August have always been a moment of disappointment for me, as the number of students taking German has kept falling. The relentless decline of modern language teaching and learning across the UK remains both a saddening and troubling trend.

When the author David Cornwell, better known as John le Carré, spoke at the annual German Teacher Awards ceremony at my Residence in June, he said these powerful words:

“The decision to learn a foreign language is to me an act of friendship. It is indeed a holding out of the hand. It’s not just a route to negotiation. It’s also to get to know you better, to draw closer to you and your culture, your social manners and your way of thinking.”

While I recognise the importance and global role of English, I firmly believe that language skills are more vital than ever in the 21st century.

The UK rightly intends to play an even greater role in a globalised world after Brexit. This, I believe, will not be possible unless young Britons are encouraged to be outward-looking from an early age. Learning a foreign language will be key, and German, which is mother tongue to more people in Europe than any other language, would be an ideal choice.

Read more...

Related Links

Britain must reverse the decline in foreign language learning if it's to thrive outside the EU (The Telegraph, 17 August 2017) - the original published article.

Minato Japanese course for teachers

22 August 2017 (Japan Foundation)

A unique opportunity for teachers to start learning Japanese as a complete beginner.

The Marugoto A1-1 (Katsudoo - Activity & Rikai - Grammar) Tutor Support Course gives a comprehensive introduction to Japanese language and culture. This course will combine online self-study with submission of assignments to a real-life tutor, in addition to live lessons with the tutor.

Enrolment deadline: 31 August 2017
Course period: 14 September – 15 December 2017
Course fee: £40 (50% launch discount; usual cost £80)

Each participant needs to have their own individual account and computer (or other suitable internet-enabled device), headphones and webcam to have the opportunity to speak and practice Japanese.

Please note a maximum of 40 people can be accepted on the course. Your suitability for this course will be assessed by the Japan Foundation after your application has been received.

Visit the course website for full details and to register.

Read more...

Connecting Classrooms course: Learning for sustainability

22 August 2017 (British Council / University of Edinburgh)

  • Are you interested in Learning for Sustainability and implementing it in your school?
  • Do you need practical help and support?
  • Would you benefit from sharing your ideas with other professionals?
  • Are you interested in developing or extending a British Council Professional Partnership with a school overseas?

If you have answered ‘yes' to these questions, then this course is for you!

This professional learning initiative by the University of Edinburgh, in partnership with the British Council, is a timely opportunity for teachers to grapple with what Learning for Sustainability means, what existing and new skills and knowledge are required, and how this might all look in the your school context. This 10-week active learning course takes a Learning for Sustainability approach, which involves critical thinking and problem solving, participation, and practitioner enquiry.

Visit the website to find out more and to register for the free online course commencing 22 September 2017.

Read more...

Vocab Express League of Champions 2017

21 August 2017 (Vocab Express)

The next League of Champions competition from Vocab Express will be taking place from 28 September to 4 October 2017.

It's a fantastic way to engage students in vocabulary building by challenging them to compete against other schools across the UK and from around the world.

The challenge will feature French, Spanish, German, Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Urdu, Arabic, Hebrew and Latin competitions.

The challenge is free to all schools subscribing to Vocab Express. In addition, there are 150 free school places available to non-subscribers, each for up to 150 students. Free spaces are still currently available!

Visit the website for more information and to register your school.

Teachers can also sign up for guest access to a free trial of the Vocab Express platform using their school or academic e-mail address.

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'Profoundly democratic': learning Norwegian as a foreign language

18 August 2017 (British Council)

Norway has deep cultural connections with its neighbours across the North Sea. In fact, Norway is Scotland’s closest continental neighbour, only about 200 miles away from Shetland.

Still, as with many lesser-taught languages, people who learn Norwegian always seem to get asked why they made that choice. The most common reasons are having some relationship with Norway, Norwegians and Norwegian culture, but there are plenty of others.

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Concours de la francophonie 2018

18 August 2017 (Institut français)

The Institut français d'Ecosse is pleased to launch this year's concours de la francophonie, a national school competition to encourage all young French learners and their teachers around Scotland to celebrate the international day of la francophonie.

All Scottish primary and secondary schools offering French may enter this competition by submitting a short video of a classroom activity in French.

Visit the Institut français website to find out more about the competition and how to enter by 19 December 2017.

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'The Smart Choice: German' schools network

15 August 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut is accepting applications to join the schools' network 'The Smart Choice: German'.

In 2016 the Goethe-Institut set up 19 Digital German Networks in the United Kingdom. It is now looking to build on this success and to identify further networks of secondary and/or primary schools that have the intention to start, facilitate and strengthen the teaching of German. 

At least three schools need to build a network. The lead partner can apply for the funding with the Goethe-Institut. It can be a secondary school supporting feeder schools or a cluster of primary schools reaching out to a secondary school teaching German. It can also be three primary schools in one area wanting to make a start with German or already having started with it.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website to find out more and to apply by 30 September 2017.

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Beyond the Panda programme for schools

15 August 2017 (RZSS)

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) Beyond the Panda programme has been further revised and contains some new materials, in particular the new P1-P3 panda boxes. 

The programme now has two main parts:

  1. China Mobile Library - loan of the panda boxes followed by an expert visit
  2. Outreach workshops - Education Officer led workshops

See the attached brochure for full details of the Beyond the Panda programme. 

There's also an opportunity for schools to book a Beyond the Panda special event at Edinburgh Zoo during 'The Giant Lanterns of China' installation between December 2017 and February 2018. The session will include whole class interactive activities and Mandarin language games. See more information and how to book on The Giant Lanterns of China brochure attached.

You can also visit the website for more information about the RZSS and its activities.

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French classes in Edinburgh

15 August 2017 (Institut français)

The Institut français d'Ecosse is enrolling for their autumn classes commencing September 2017.

Classes and workshops are offered for all ages (toddlers to adults), from complete beginners to fluent speakers.

Visit the website for more information and to enrol.

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Concours de la francophonie 2017 - final report

15 August 2017 (Institut français)

The Concours de la francophonie was launched in 2016 by the Institut français d'Ecosse to showcase the vitality of the French language in Scottish schools and to encourage all learners from P1 to S6.

To enter the competition schools sent in a short film of a class activity in French.

See the attached document for full details of the 2017 competition, winners and photographs.

Magical Christmas Trips 2017

15 August 2017 (UK-German Connection)

Would you like to take part in a Magical Christmas Trip this year and build on or set up a partnership with a school in Germany?

These visits offer primary pupils the chance to get a taste of Germany at Christmas time, meet their German peers and get involved in some seasonal intercultural activity. Secondary pupils have the opportunity to brush up on their German and practice their skills as young leaders.

There are two options for getting involved:
  • apply to take part in a visit to Berlin run by UK-German Connection to set up a link to a school in Germany
  • apply for funding and organisational support to run your own Christmas visit to an existing partner school anywhere in Germany
To find out more, please visit the UK-German Connection's website and apply by 26 September 2017.

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French drama workshops

15 August 2017 (Theatre sans Accents)

Whether you want to perfect your French or your English, Theatre Sans Accents has the right workshop to suit your needs and your level!

No need to be fluent or an experienced actor, everyone is welcomed in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere!

Bookings are now being taken for Autumn term classes, with early bird discounts available.

Follow the appropriate link below to find out more about classes for adults and children:

For children:

For adults:

You can find out more about Theatre sans Accents and their other activities on the website.

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Autumn term French classes

14 August 2017 (Alliance Française)

French classes for adults and children will start at the Alliance Française in Glasgow on 11 September 2017.

Visit the website for full details and to find out about Open Days where you can visit, meet staff and have your language level assessed to establish the best course for you.

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German workshops in Glasgow

11 August 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow is offering workshops in August and September focusing on speaking and practising communication in authentic everyday situations. There are sessions available for Levels A1.2-A2.2 and B1/B2.

Visit the website for more information and to book.

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Which language should we teach in school?

2 August 2017 (MEITS blog)

Increasing motivation for language learning in UK schools and encouraging children to maintain their languages study past the point at which they have the chance to stop is an ongoing challenge. One important question here is: to what extent are success and motivation linked to the particular language pupils study?

The myth of the monolingual Brit, who refuses to speak foreign languages, has been supplemented in recent years by the narrative that we are not only unwilling, but also unable to speak foreign languages. For example, the 2012 European Survey on Language Competences, which sought to provide comparable data on standards of achievement in 15-year old learners across 16 participating countries, showed pupils in England languishing at the bottom of the table, where the learning of the first foreign language (French) was concerned.

The figures, however, tell a slightly different story when we consider the learning of the second foreign language. For example, Sweden, which had topped the charts for English proficiency, languished at the bottom when it came to the learning of the second foreign language (Spanish); learners in English secondary schools who were studying German as a second language did better.

Leaving aside the difficulty of providing robust data from such surveys, this study provides support for the idea that the language learned really does matter. Motivation for English learning is so strong in most parts of the world that for many learners it is now a life skill as much as a foreign language. Motivation for studying the second and third foreign languages, however, can be as difficult to achieve in other parts of the world as it is for the first in our own setting.

In Europe and the rest of the world English’s position as the foreign language of choice remains unassailable. For example, the 2017 Eurodice Report, which provides key data on teaching languages at school in Europe, reports that in 2014 virtually all EU students (97.3 %) studied English during the entire period of lower secondary education. After that came French (33.7 %), German (23.1 %) and Spanish (19.1 %), with other languages rarely studied.

The question of which language should we teach our learners in England remains a source of debate.

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Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme

1 August 2017 (Japan Foundation)

The Japan Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme exists to create links between schools and Japanese-speaking volunteers. JTS volunteers carry out school visits across the UK to introduce students at any level to the Japanese language, often as part of an International or Japan day. One of the main purposes of JTS is to give schools that do not teach Japanese the opportunity to find out what it is like to learn the language and to provide them with further information should they wish to start offering Japanese. More information about the programme can be found on the Japan Foundation website.

Japan Foundation London currently has a UK-wide network of over 300 volunteers, and are always looking for more! Guidance and training sessions are offered to all members to prepare them for delivering Japanese taster sessions at schools. The next Volunteer Training Day will take place in London on 12 September 2017. If you speak Japanese and are interested in becoming part of the volunteer network, find out more and book your place now!

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From Brexit to Scandi-noir: The Importance of Modern Foreign Languages

31 July 2017 (AHRC)

Many of us will be familiar with the sight of groups of young language students in UK cities over the summer months. Their excitement at being abroad away from their parents often for the first time is obvious. In 2016, he International Association of Language Centres (IALC) reported that there were 2.28 million language students travelling abroad each year, with English language travel making up around 61% of this market.

Whilst these language-learners only represented 0.25% of second language learners across the entire globe, most travelled to English-speaking countries to learn English. If the motivation for learning English in our increasing globalised world is clear, the British often struggle to appreciate the reasons for learning another language.

“The headline news for Modern Languages recently has not been good, with decreasing numbers of entrants at A-level and a number of university departments under threat of closure or severe contraction", said Wendy Ayres-Bennett, Professor of French Philology and Linguistics from the University of Cambridge.

In response to this national concern and its global implications, the AHRC has committed £16m to research in modern foreign languages (MFL) in its Open World Research Initiative (OWRI) project. Its aim is to explore and understand the language learning landscape of the UK, and how it might be transformed.

As part of OWRI, the AHRC has invested in four major research programmes, one of which is Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies (MEITS). Alongside her responsibilities at Cambridge, Prof Ayres-Bennett is Principal Investigator for the MEITS project.

“I think that in the current political climate of Brexit and of extensive migration, the need to learn modern foreign languages has arguably never been more important", says Prof Ayres-Bennett.

“I believe that there are huge benefits from being able to step outside a single language, culture and mode of thought", explains Prof Ayres-Bennett. "It enables you to see the world through other people’s eyes".

Prof Ayres-Bennett argues that the ability to speak another language is valuable to many different areas of society. "Whether we think of international relations, diplomacy, security and defence, or areas such as conflict-resolution and peace-building, or, crucially today, business, international trade, and social cohesion, all of these have languages at their heart."

Linguists are needed to provide vital translation and interpreting services. However, the need for direct communication between parties was well demonstrated by the experience of the British military in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Prof Ayres-Bennett also thinks that through reading literature in the language in which it was written, we can begin to see the world through the linguistic categories and worldview of its speakers.

"The gradual opening up of new worlds and the move from incomprehension to being able to make sense of another language and culture can be truly magical ”, says Prof Ayres-Bennett.

Scandi noir dramas have become very popular and one of the biggest hits of the year has been the Spanish language song 'Despacito'. Many young people in Europe improve their English through listening to music and watching films in English so that they no longer need to depend on subtitles.“TV and the internet increasingly provide opportunities for people to view foreign language material and to learn about other cultures.”

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Certificate of Continuing Education (CCed) in Spanish 2017-18

28 July 2017 (University of Strathclyde)

Applications are open for the University of Strathclyde's Certificate of Continuing Education in Spanish (evening classes).

The CCed course will be of interest to those who wish to learn Spanish, including primary and secondary school teachers and a range of professional people with an interest in the Spanish world and their language. The Certificate provides a General Teaching Council approved qualification, subject to a 13 week residency period in a Spanish speaking country.

See the attached flyer for more information, including how to enrol for the September 2017 intake.

Related Files

Transdisciplinary language experiences using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

27 July 2017 (Language Show London)

This blogpost from Judith McKerrecher outlines the session she will be facilitating on behalf of Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT) and The Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools (CISS) at the Languages Show in London in October 2017.

As well as looking at and discussing the connections to the sustainable development goals, our planet and language learning, the session will explore a variety of contexts for language learning.

Having recently created a new project based professional learning menu, we have carefully considered the SDGs and this is reflected in the choices on offer. For example, the opportunity to combine science experiments with languages, geography, storytelling and outdoor learning or history with language, heritage, culture and nature is a breath of fresh air to language learning. In this way, languages can be used creatively and purposefully in new contexts.

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Spanish Language and DELE Preparation Online Courses

7 July 2017 (University of Strathclyde)

These new online courses are aimed at prospective candidates for the DELE exams. They will cover the different proficiency levels described by the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages): A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2.

Although the courses are aimed at familiarising learners with the format of the DELE exams, they also help to prepare you where a particular level of proficiency in Spanish is needed such as working or living abroad, support for other university courses and primary school language policies.

Related Files

SQA update - National 5 Modern Languages

SQA (23 June 2017)

The following documents will be available for all National 5 Modern Languages courses by the afternoon of Friday 23 June:
  • Coursework assessment task - assignment (writing)
  • Coursework assessment task - performance (talking)
  • Course support notes
The course support notes will be added to the National 5 course specification as an appendix. The course specification will then be updated to version 2.0 and the date will change to June 2017, but there is no further change to the content of this document.

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European Youth Event (EYE) 2018

23 June 2017 (European Parliament)

The third European Youth Event (EYE) will be taking place 1-2 June 2018 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. It provides a unique opportunity for young Europeans, aged between 16 and 30, to make their voices heard and to come up with innovative ideas for the future of Europe.

EYE2018 includes a wide range of activities in English, French and German run under the motto "The plan is to fan this spark into a flame." (Hamilton, My Shot). The activities centre around five main themes:
  • Young and old: Keeping up with the digital revolution
  • Rich and poor: Calling for a fair share
  • Apart and together: Working out for a stronger Europe
  • Safe and dangerous: Staying alive in turbulent times
  • Local and global: Protecting our planet
Visit the EYE2018 website for more information. Groups of at least 10 young people who want to take part need to register on the website between October and December 2017.

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Connecting Classrooms programme

22 June 2017 (British Council)

If you're thinking about collaborating with an overseas partner school next term, Connecting Classrooms could be the programme for you.

The global education programme is brought to you by the British Council in partnership with the Department for International Development (DFID).

It offers a free learning journey which helps you to improve your classroom practice and develop your ideas with like-minded teachers internationally.

By developing and networking with thousands of teachers across the world, the British Council aims to help young people develop the knowledge, skills and values to live and work in a globalised economy.

Listen to participating teachers share their experiences, and learn more about how you can get involved, on the Connecting Classrooms website.

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Bilingual story book readings

22 June 2017 (The Language Hub)

From August 2017 until April 2018, the Language Hub in Glasgow will be running bilingual story book readings at Hillhead and Partick Library. Whilst aimed at pre-school aged children, everyone is welcome. These sessions are free to attend and have been funded by the participatory budgeting project ‘Over to you Glasgow North’ delivered by WSREC (West of Scotland Regional Equality Council).

Visit the website for more information about these events.

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Chinese intensive courses

22 June 2017 (Heriot-Watt University)

The Scottish Confucius Institute for Business and Communication at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh is holding two Chinese summer courses in July.

Follow the appropriate link below to find out more about the course and to book your place:
  • Intensive beginners 1 (10-14 July 2017) - for complete beginners with little or no knowledge of Chinese
  • Intensive beginners 2 (17-22 July 2017) - for those who have either completed Intensive beginners 1 or have equivalent knowledge of the Chinese language

Host a Teacher from Germany

21 June 2017 (UK-German Connection)

Provide your school with authentic German cultural input by hosting a teacher from Germany for two or three weeks, at no cost to you.

Schools do not need to be teaching German to apply and visits can take place at any time between September 2017 and July 2018. Deadlines 10 July(*) and 21 September 2017 (**).

(*) If you’d like to host in the autumn term 2017
(**) if you’d like to host in spring / summer 2018

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information and to apply.

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Gaelic e-bulletin - June 2017

21 June 2017 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland's latest Gaelic e-bulletin has just been issued and can be accessed online.

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Face to face workshops

19 June 2017 (British Council)

This summer, why not apply to go on a short workshop in another European country?

Applications are now open for teachers from Early Years to Upper Secondary to attend a 2-3 day professional development workshop in France, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Slovakia, Tunisia or Spain. These events are designed to facilitate new eTwinning projects through partner-finding and project planning activities. Teachers who register on eTwinning from 19 June until 19 August will also receive free wall maps, passport and homework challenge resources in the post, (designed to help kick-start a simple international project). Workshop themes and subject areas are varied, spanning e-safety to computational thinking, MFL, history and culture.

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French summer classes in Glasgow

19 June 2017 (Alliance Française)

There are still places available on the Summer Classes being run by the Alliance Française de Glasgow between June and September 2017. Classes are available for all levels.

Semi-Intensive Courses: enrol in a 4-week French programme suitable for complete beginners, or reinforce your language skills with revisions.

Intensive Courses: brush-up on your French with revisions over the course of 3 days.

Visit the website for more information and to enrol.

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Language learning gap widens between North and South of England

16 June 2017 (British Council)

The language learning gap between the North and South of England is widening, according to a new report from the British Council.

Analysis of examination statistics in the Language Trends Survey 2017 – now in its fifteenth year – highlights that in summer 2016, 65 per cent of pupils in Inner London took a language GCSE compared to just 43 per cent in the North East. More than that, participation rates over the last three years indicate that London is the only part of the country where the percentage of pupils taking languages to GCSE is currently increasing.

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Modern Language Assistants (MLA) Projects 2016-17

15 June 2017 (SCILT / British Council)

Every year language assistants try to make languages really come alive for young people in Scotland's schools, e.g. by initiating a language exchange, participating in language competitions, or by organising immersion days. 

In this blog you can browse through the work of last year's assistants. You can search the slides either by language or by school year group. Enjoy, and we hope you will be inspired to follow in their footsteps!

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EVALUATE Project

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.

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Island teachers ready to Go! Gaelic after pilot training programme

14 June 2017 (Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig)

Seven primary teachers from the Outer Hebrides are about to complete a pilot training course that will enable them to train colleagues in how to teach Gaelic to children in their class.

The programme has been specially constructed by training experts working for Gaelic educational resources organisation Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig as part of the company’s strategic approach to boost the teaching of Gaelic in English Medium Education. The training demonstrates how to make best use of the Go! Gaelic programme of resources, created by a team of language experts, designers and IT professionals at Stòrlann.

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German Teacher Award Ceremony 2017

13 June 2017 (German Embassy)

On Monday, 12 June, Ambassador Peter Ammon welcomed John le Carré to his Residence for the annual ‘Sommerfest der deutschen Sprache’, where they presented the 14th German Teacher Awards to outstanding teachers of German in the UK.

The annual German Teacher Award and the ‘Sommerfest’ pay tribute to the work of German teachers across the UK and give guests the opportunity to network. Over 220 teachers and representatives from the education and language teaching sectors, business and media from all over the UK joined this year’s celebrations and followed the announcement of the 2017 winners.

Addressing the teachers in his welcome speech, Ambassador Ammon said that "never before has your mission to teach languages as a gateway to another culture encouraging friendship, trust and understanding across borders been more important than today." He was delighted to welcome renowned writer John le Carré as the keynote speaker for the event, who once more proved himself a staunch supporter of language learning as the key to understanding other cultures.

Morag E J Allan of Wellington School in Ayr was one of the teachers awarded a "Special Mention" at the ceremony.

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'A German Classic' - essay prize for senior phase students

12 June 2017 (Oxford University)

The University of Oxford is delighted to announce the launch of a new essay prize competition: ‘A German Classic’. It is aimed at students with a GCSE or equivalent in German and currently in Sixth-form (equivalent to Years 12 and 13 or S5 and S6 in Scotland).

The classic celebrated this year is Goethe’s Faust, Part I. The task is to write an essay in English (between 2000 and 3000 words) so students who are not yet able to write fluently in German can focus on the challenges of engaging with the language, ideas and conflicts of the work itself.

Visit the university's website to find out more about the competition, prizes and how to submit entries by 13 September 2017.

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South American Spanish Day @ The Zoo

11 June 2017 (Preston Street Primary)

Thursday the 8th June was an important date for P6 and not because Theresa May decided to have her snap election that day. P6 at Preston Street Primary managed to secure themselves an opportunity to attend a South American Spanish Day event at Edinburgh Zoo.

To start the day off P6 had a short introduction via a video from Dr. Arnaud Desbiez who manages the RZSS South American projects. This was f