Latest News

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

Parental engagement

Primary languages workshop series: spring 2022

26 November 2021 (SCILT)

The SCILT Professional Development Team is thrilled to announce that in spring 2022, we will host a series of four free online workshops, each on a different aspect of primary languages pedagogy.

The workshops are open to any primary teacher or student primary teacher in Scotland. You can attend as many of the workshops in the series as you like. You must register for each workshop separately by clicking on the links below. 

  • Workshop 1: Assessing progress in primary languages
    4-5pm, Wednesday 26 January 2022
    We will explore some assessment approaches and tools. We will look at examples of listening, talking, reading and writing in L2 by primary learners. We will refer to Education Scotland’s Modern Languages early – second level benchmarks and first – second level progression framework.
  • Workshop 2: Engaging cultural contexts for primary language learning
    4-5pm, Wednesday 23 February 2022
    We will look at interdisciplinary approaches to support language learning. We will explore a range of activities and resources to develop children’s intercultural understanding, awareness of cultural diversity and multilingualism both globally and locally. We will share examples of current practice in Scottish schools.
  • Workshop 3: Parental engagement for family learning in languages at primary
    4-5pm, Wednesday 27th April 2022
    We will consider the positive impact that parental engagement and family learning with languages can have on pupils and their families. We will consider the importance of parental engagement in relation to other initiatives within Scottish Education, mainly raising attainment and will share examples of current practice on how schools are engaging with parents/families through languages.
  • Workshop 4: Making languages work for your primary pupils: DYW and 1+2
    4-5pm Wednesday 25th May 2022
    We will look at how your school can make meaningful connections between the language learning and the Developing the Young Workforce agenda, and maybe pick up a Scottish Languages Employability Award along the way! Be inspired by examples from primary schools across the country.

All workshops will take place on Microsoft Teams and will not be recorded.

See attached workshop series flyer which can be distributed to colleagues.

Related Files

May Bitesize: Parental Engagement in Schools – Primary & Secondary drop-in

11 May 2021 (SCILT)

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

In May 2021, we’re looking at parental engagement and how schools approach this in a languages context. So join the drop-in on 26 May, share your ideas and experiences and hear what others do too!  

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


BSL:  New case study alert!

23 October 2020 (SCILT)

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


NEW! Languages in a nutshell

16 November 2018 (SCILT)

NEW! Languages in a nutshell

Languages in a nutshell is a guide to learning languages, produced by SCILT in partnership with The National Parent Forum of Scotland. Aimed at parents, this leaflet explains how the 1+2 Approach will be put into practice and why learning other languages is so important. It also suggests ways parents can support their child’s language learning.

If you are interested in ordering this leaflet for your school please visit our Leaflets page.

Languages in a nutshell is one in a series of Nutshell leaflets produced by The National Parent Forum of Scotland.

EAL parents 'can't engage with school life'

1 November 2018 (TES)

More than half of teachers worry that parents whose native language is not English are missing out on critical elements of their children’s education, a survey shows.

Nearly seven out of 10 teachers said they were concerned parents couldn’t help with homework, and 51 per cent worried whether they could identify if their children had learning difficulties.

More than half (56 per cent) of teachers surveyed said they feared parents with English as an additional language (EAL) could not fully engage with school life.


Zoo fun with Mandarin - Free mini classes at Edinburgh Zoo

30 October 2018 (RZSS)

Zoo Fun with Mandarin is a mini Mandarin language course with a difference. It is an opportunity to learn Mandarin whilst also finding out about animals at the zoo and RZSS projects. The course is suitable for 8 years to adult and these are family learning sessions so children must be accompanied by an adult to attend.

RZSS Edinburgh Zoo hosts the first science specialist Confucius Classroom in the world.

Related Files

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.

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