Latest News

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

Latest News

19 October 2021 (DiscoverEU)

DiscoverEU offers young people the opportunity to participate in a travel experience enabling them to take advantage of the freedom of movement throughout the European Union, explore the diversity of Europe, learn about European cultural heritage and history, and connect with people from all over the continent. Furthermore, DiscoverEU enables young people to develop valuable life skills such as independence, confidence, and openness to other cultures.  

If you're 18 years old and a citizen of the European Union, apply now for your DiscoverEU travel pass. Please note UK nationals are still eligible for this round of DiscoverEU.

Visit the DiscoverEU website for full details and apply by 26 October 2021.


19 October 2021 (German Embassy)

The German Teacher Award celebrates the best and most dedicated champions of German in primary and secondary schools across the UK.

Today the awards went to Linda McLean (West Calder High School, West Lothian, Scotland), Erica Schwiening (Saffron Walden County High School, Essex), Stamatia Kalogeropoulou (The Sixth Form College Farnborough, Hampshire) and Alexandra Brown (King David High School, Liverpool).


19 October 2021 (King's College London)

The competition for year 12 and 13 students of German (S5 and S6 in Scotland) is being run by the Department of German at King's College London. Students are invited to write an article in German (see the attached flyer for more details); the winning entry will be published in the department's popular newspaper, the Königspost, and there will be further prizes for the winner and runners-up.

The submission deadline is 22 November 2021.

Related Files

18 October 2021 (UK-German Connection)

This pilot programme provides pupils aged 15-18 in the UK and North Rhine-Westphalia with the opportunity to spend one, two or three weeks at an existing partner school in Germany and carry out a project on a theme of their choice.

Application deadline: 15 November 2021.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information about the programme. There's also an option to register for a Q&A webinar on Wednesday 3 November 2021.


19 October 2021 (Daily Mail)

There are many languages throughout the world that have survived only in the tiniest of pockets.

There is a language in Nepal that doesn't have a word for green, a language on two Pacific islands invented by the mutineers of HMS Bounty in the late 18th century, a language in the U.S spoken fluently by just six people and one in Mexico that calls a radio 'a thing that stands there singing'.

These and many more are explored in fascinating new book The Atlas of Unusual Languages by Zoran Nikolic (Collins). Here we pick out some of the book's most intriguing revelations, from Mexico to North Carolina and from Nepal to New Zealand.


18 October 2021 (iNews)

The teaching of foreign languages in schools should be more reflective of “modern Britain”, with greater numbers of pupils learning languages such as Arabic and Polish, the schools minister has said.

Robin Walker said he wanted to expand the “breadth” of languages being offered in England’s schools.

Mr Walker, who was appointed schools minister in last month’s reshuffle, made the comments after a visit to Cardinal Hume Catholic School in Gateshead – one of the “hubs” which the Government is using to roll out new methods for teaching languages.

He told i England had an opportunity to “drive up the capability of people to engage with language teaching”, and that there was scope for teaching more languages beyond the traditional big three of French, Spanish and German.

“One of the things we should be looking at is that actually the UK has a lot of people who speak multiple languages,” Mr Walker said.

“It was interesting looking at the figures from the language school we visited… not only were they entering lots of students in French and Spanish, but they were also entering smaller numbers in Polish, in Arabic, in GCSEs in home second languages.

“One of the things I’m interested in exploring is how we can make modern foreign languages reflect modern Britain a little bit more, and reflect the breadth of languages that we have in our communities, but also our aspirations around the world.”


11 October 2021 (FE News)

Signature (@SignatureDeaf) the UK’s leading awarding organisation in deaf communication qualifications have today announced a new online course – British Sign Language (BSL) for beginners.

BSL for beginners is a comprehensive online course developed alongside language experts and Deaf teachers to provide communication skills and knowledge. Signature have drawn on 40 years of experience enabling hundreds of thousands of learners to complete a British Sign Language qualification.

The 2-hour immersive learning course introduces you to deaf people who share their personal experiences, and teach BSL through a range of informal clips, receptive practice, short quizzes, and vocabulary.


7 October 2021 (Learning for Sustainability Scotland)

Understanding the big issues that shape our world has never been more important. Issues like climate change, health, gender equality, poverty and how to live sustainably affect – and connect – us all: wherever we are in the world.

This is a supported online Professional Learning course for educators. Engagement in this fully funded course will:

  • Support you to create an enabling environment for Learning for Equity and Sustainability in your teaching and setting, and significantly enhance young people's educational experience
  • Inform your own professional development
  • Enhance your participation in the Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning programme, supporting whole setting and cluster approaches
  • Give access to an international network of like-minded teachers

Aligned with current education priorities across UK and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, this fully online professional learning will support you to think about, plan for, and implement, Learning for Equity and Sustainability in your own practice and in your teaching context. 

You will be invited to participate in online discussions and activities in five course modules. Modules will be released fortnightly, starting on 29 October 2021. 

More information and registration for the course on Eventbrite.


7 October 2021 (SQA)

Recruitment for new markers who would like to be considered for a marking team for 2022 is now underway.

A Marker marks candidates’ work in line with detailed marking instructions and in accordance with SQA policy and procedures. The prime role is to ensure consistent application of national standards when marking candidate submission(s).

Opportunities are available across all subjects and levels, and full training will be provided.

Visit the SQA website for more information and apply by 19 December 2021.


7 October 2021 (e-Sgoil / Fèisean nan Gàidheal)

Beairteas is an intergenerational programme to match community-based fluent Gaelic speakers with schools and community groups.

In partnership with e-Sgoil, three sessions are planned during October and November 2021 giving S1-S6 pupils the opportunity to listen to some of our best known Gaelic personalities talk about their lives and interests. Pupils will also have an opportunity to join in the conversation and ask questions which will help to develop their own Gaelic. 

Visit the Fèisean nan Gàidheal website for more information and to register for the sessions.


7 October 2021 (British Council)

British Council is supporting two courses being delivered by the University of Edinburgh and Sustainability Scotland via FutureLearn on learning for sustainability.

Learning for a Sustainable Future: Live at COP26 - a free short online course

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) is being held in Glasgow between 31st October and 12th November 2021. It will bring together heads of state, climate experts and campaigners to agree and accelerate coordinated global action on climate change.

This two-week course, which runs in parallel with the COP26 conference, offers you an opportunity to examine what COP26 is, why it’s important and reflect on how you can add your voice to the call for collective action for a sustainable future.

You’ll explore the broader context of COP26 and consider other key frameworks such as COP15 (The UN Convention on Biological Diversity) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Explore the issues being discussed at the conference and see and hear responses to the conference themes from children and young people, community groups and ministerial bodies, both nationally and internationally.

There has never been a more urgent need for the world to work together and take collaborative action to secure a sustainable future for people and planet. Do your part and enrol now!:

Learning for a Sustainable Future - 5 week course

There is also still time to sign up for the 5 week course on Learning for a Sustainable Future. Join a personal and professional global learning journey towards a sustainable future. What on Earth could be more important?

On this 5-week course, you’ll explore a range of global, community and school-based contexts and develop an informed personal response to major contemporary challenges faced today. The course is open to everyone and would be suitable for senior learners, or anyone with an interest in sustainability and a willingness to learn and share with others around the world!  Join the course for free today.  Don’t worry if you can’t start on the dates specified – you can enrol once the courses have started.

7 October 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.

With COP 26 just around the corner, and climate change high on everyone’s agenda, our October Bitesize looks at how we can tackle these topics with our learners in secondary schools. We will consider why and how global citizenship is a perfect fit for the languages classroom, and its role as a motivating and relevant context for language learning – come along on 27 October and join the debate!

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


5 October 2021 (Oxford German Network)

The tenth Oxford German Olympiad is now open! This year's topic is der Rhein.

Open to upper primary and secondary learners, entrants choose one of the tasks within their age category and complete the task in German. Individuals, groups or classes can take part.

There's also a Discover German - Taster Competition for those with no prior experience of studying German. 

Visit the competition website for full details. The closing date for all entries is Thursday 10 March 2022 at 12 noon.


5 October 2021 (Discovery Film Festival)

The eighteenth year of the Discovery Film Festival brings another selection of the best films for young audiences from around the world. Taking place from Saturday 23 October to Sunday 7 November 2021 screenings are available online and in person for Tayside audiences wishing to view their chosen films at Dundee Comtemporary Arts.

Foreign language screenings are subtitled in English. There's also a selection of short films, which are mainly dialogue free, to promote language practice and development.

Visit the Discovery Film Festival website to view the programme for schools and accompanying film resource packs. 


5 October 2021 (SCILT)

‘We must believe in the power and the strength of our words. Our words can change the world.’ (Malala Yousafzai)

Are you looking for a way to engage your language learners to think about global issues ahead of the COP26 summit in November? Inspired by Malala’s words, our Words for the World competition could be just what you need! SCILT is challenging learners to use their words and their languages to show how the world could be a better place.

More information about the competition is available on our Words for the World webpage. The entry deadline is 25 October 2021. If you'd like to upload submissions to the Words for the World MS Team, please contact us and provide your Glow email address. Please note, the competition is only open to schools in Scotland.


5 October 2021 (French Film Festival)

The French Film Festival UK’s Learning Programme will be bringing French-speaking cinema into schools again FREE of charge this autumn, between 25 October and 10 December. To accompany the selection of films for different age groups, practitioners will be able to download learning resources to use with their classes.

Students are also invited to submit a review of a film screened in this year's learning programme. The best reviews will be awarded a prize from the Franco-Scottish Society.

See the attached brochures for more information about the programme for schools and how to book.

1 October 2021 (SCILT)

SCILT is delighted to announce Espacios Increíbles is back for its 3rd year and it is bigger and better than before! We are looking for lots of budding architects and designers from S2 and S3 to take part in our Spanish competition to create an ‘Amazing Space.’

This competition combines aspects of design with Spanish language skills as they present their Espacio Increíble to a panel of judges and a live audience. Espacios Increíbles is a great way of introducing your pupils to different career pathways open to them when they study a language and encouraging uptake of Spanish in the Senior Phase.

To find out more visit our Espacios Increíbles webpage and register your school’s interest, by Monday 8 November.


30 September 2021 (UK-German Connection)

Young people, schools and youth groups can get involved in UK-German Connection's programmes. There are several new activities for autumn so let your pupils and colleagues know what's on offer!

Follow the relevant links below to find out more:

For young people

  • Virtual Conference on climate change (COP26) Taking place against the backdrop of the COP26 Climate Conference and Youth Summit, this two-part virtual youth conference will explore the outcomes of the climate conferences, and give young people the chance to exchange on the role of local communities, cities, and regions in the fight against the climate crisis. Age group: 15-18. Deadline: 4 October 2021.
  • Youth Webinar Series ‘Together: Reflecting on Life After Conflict’ Run together with Never Such Innocence, this three-part webinar series gives young people the chance to get creative with poetry, photography and song to reflect on what conflict means to them. Includes creative workshops with experts, the chance to exchange with other young people and a final presentation event with special guests from the UK & Germany. Age group: 12-14. Deadline: 14 October 2021.
  • Youth Webinar ‘Green Cities’ To mark 75 years of friendship between the United Kingdom and North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), this two-part webinar will bring together young people from the UK and NRW to discuss how to make cities more environmentally friendly. Participants will learn from city experts and exchange with young people in the UK & Germany about green & sustainable cities. Age group: 16-18. Deadline: 19 October 2021.

For schools & youth groups

  • UK-NRW School Partnerships Seminar This partner-finding event will bring teachers from the UK and North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) together to set up new school partnerships and discuss future partnership projects with a focus on ‘Skills for the Global Workplace’. Teachers will have the chance to take part in partnership development workshops, group discussions and excursions, including a visit to the Christmas markets. Deadline: 1 November 2021.
  • Café Connect for school & youth partnerships Do you have a partner school or youth group in Germany? Would you like to connect with them in a safe and informal virtual space? We now offer facilitated 'Café Connect' meet-ups to enhance your partnership!

For schools & youth groups with a partner institution in North Rhine-Westphalia

  • UK-German Exchange Fellowships This pilot programme provides pupils aged 15-18 in the UK and North Rhine-Westphalia with the opportunity to spend one, two or three weeks at an existing partner school in Germany and carry out a project on a theme of their choice. Deadline: 15 November 2021.
  • UK-NRW Capture Your Connection Do you have a connection with North Rhine-Westphalia? To mark 75 years of UK-NRW friendship we've launched our ‘Capture Your Connection’ challenge. Simply share a creative representation of your partnership to help us showcase and give recognition to the fantastic connections that you have established over the years. There will be small goodies for all submissions and the most creative entries will receive special prizes! Deadline: 31 December 2021.

30 September 2021 (StampIT)

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

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

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

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


28 September 2021 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut UK awards scholarships for participation in language courses and professional development seminars (e.g. cultural studies; German as a foreign language theory and practice) in Germany.

You can apply for a scholarship from the Goethe-Institut if you are a teacher of German as a foreign language or are involved in the teacher training of such teachers; this also applies if you work at a PASCH school.

The courses take place at various Goethe-Institut locations around Germany and in Austria. Different options are available depending on your professional requirements.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information about the course choices and submit your funding application by 1 November 2021. 


21 September 2021 (Into Film)

The Into Film Festival is a free, annual, nationwide celebration of film and education for children and young people aged 5-19.

For so much of the last year and a half, we have all been deprived of the big screen experience, so it's a joy to once again be able to offer free screenings and special events to young people and teachers across the UK from 10-26 November 2021. 

The programme includes something for everyone, from the latest blockbusters, beloved old favourites, stimulating documentaries, animated adventures, modern foreign language titles, and much, much more.

All films and events are mapped against curricula from across the four UK nations and are accompanied by Into Film resources.

Booking is now open, so visit the Festival website for full programme details and to reserve places. Use the filter to discover foreign language screenings. 


6 September 2021 (RZSS)

P1-P3 Two live virtual sessions available after the October break until December but only on Thursdays. Advisable to book now as limited places. Choose from 'Intro to the giant panda' or 'I can see, hear, smell, taste and touch'. Both are based around the giant panda and include some basic Mandarin language learning. Limited places. Contact Sandie Robb - for further details and booking. 

P4-P7 Seven week progressive programme through live virtual sessions. Book now for delivery in January to March 2022 (already fully booked for 2021). Covers many topics on China, its wildlife, endangered species and culture. Ideal for L3 Mandarin or China topic. Includes some basic Mandarin language learning. Key objectives are on the flyer. Limited places. Contact Sandie Robb - for further details and booking. 

All sessions are delivered on Microsoft Teams within GLOW. Enabled by our partnership with CISS and eSgoil. 

Further details and additional resources can be found on the Beyond the Panda website.


Related Files

26 August 2021 (SCILT)

‘We must believe in the power and the strength of our words. Our words can change the world.’ (Malala Yousafzai)

Are you look for a way to engage your language learners to think about global issues ahead of the COP26 summit in November? Inspired by Malala’s words, our Words for the World competition could be just what you need! SCILT is challenging learners to use their words and their languages to show how the world could be a better place.


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