Latest News

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

Latest News

21 January 2021 (British Council)

Speaking a language confidently and coherently is an important part of the curriculum throughout the four devolved education departments in the United Kingdom, and forms a critical part of linguistic and cultural development for all learners of languages.

However, the impact of Covid-19 has meant that many pupils have had fewer opportunities to speak the languages they are learning.  Therefore, the Association for Language Learning , the British Council and the cultural and linguistic bodies in the United Kingdom have combined efforts to devise an exciting event entitled ‘Express Yourself in Lockdown’.

This will be an opportunity to showcase language learners’ enjoyment of a language that they are learning or that is normally used in their home community from home (except for English!). 

Visit the British Council website for more information and share performances on the designated social platforms by 28 February 2021.

Read more...

21 January 2021 (British Council)

Has lockdown affected the way you teach languages? 

We heard from teachers in a range of different contexts on how they’ve worked to make sure that young people can still increase their knowledge and skills, whether they are learning, in class, at home or online. Recording of the webinar held on 20 January 2021 is available on the British Council website.

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21 January 2021 (Radio Lingua)

French

  • Chapter 15 of our advanced course for French learners, La Vérité éclate toujours has now been published. As we follow the intriguing story, we come into contact with some words and phrases which will help you take your language skills to the next level. Manigancer (to scheme/plot), tueur à gages (hitman), and en avoir vu de toutes les couleurs (to have been through a lot) are just some of the words and expressions you can expect to hear in this episode. Click here to listen to the full episode when it's available.
  • To toast the start of the new year, we welcomed back our Coffee Break French Facebook community after the holiday period with a post all about how to talk about raising a toast in French. You’ve probably heard the word santé, but do you know any other ways to say ‘cheers’ in French? Click here to see the full post and learn some new vocabulary.

Spanish

  • Looking for a quick fix of Spanish to fill those small pockets of downtime during your day? Take a look at our Coffee Break Spanish Espresso series in which we cover key grammar and vocabulary points in just 10-15 minutes. In Episode 3 we learn everything we need to know about how to use the tricky word ni in Spanish. Not only that, our native Spanish speaker, Fernanda helps us get to grips with the subjunctive after es importante que. To round off the episode, we share a Spanish quote of the week, this time, focusing on the theme of the fear of danger. Intrigued? Click here to listen to the full episode.
  • Are you and your learners following us on Instagram for some language learning tips? We kicked off the year with a brand-new Tuesday idiom post. The idiom was the Spanish phrase estar en su salsa which literally means ‘to be in one’s sauce’. Can you work out in which contexts you would actually use this idiom? Click here to find out in the full post.

Italian

  • As we are still unable to travel, we can still do so virtually! Our new series of Coffee Break Italian Travel Diaries will launch very soon. This time, we'll be transporting you to a completely different part of the Italian-speaking world to explore the area and improve your language skills with some brand new characters. Can you guess where we might be going and what we might be doing? We can't wait for our Coffee Break Italian Community to join us on another virtual journey, starting on Friday 12th February. In the meantime, you can catch up on Giulia and Paolo's Tuscan adventure by clicking here to access Season 1, if you haven't already done so. A presto!
  • For our first Coffee Break Italian Facebook post of 2021, we decided to talk all about the Italian word ciaspolata, which translates rather long-windedly as 'the activity of going for a walk in the snow while wearing snowshoes. Ti piace la neve? Click here to let us know in a comment on the post.

German

  • We're revisiting Episode 6 from our Coffee Break German Magazine series this week to draw your attention to author Michael Ende, who wrote one of the most famous works of fiction for younger readers, The Neverending Story, among other books. Click here to find out more about Ende and his work in this edition of the Magazine. Not only do we gain an insight into his work, we also learn about German word order with the help of our question from listener, Soumaya.
  • We jumped straight back into improving our German grammar this year with a post all about using umlauts (the two dots on the German öü and ä). We provided our learners with a list of sentences and asked them to pick whether a certain word in the sentence should be written with or without an umlaut. Here’s an example: Hast du heute schön/schon etwas gegessen?Click here to have a go yourself

21 January 2021 (Screen Scotland)

Screen Scotland has put together a resource for Languages Week Scotland 2021 on using film to teach languages. See the attached document. There's also a Microsoft Team available to join for all subject teachers looking to teach with film: Screen Scotland: Film Education

21 January 2021 (SCILT)

SCILT offers a wide range of professional learning opportunities for pre- and in-service teachers. Primary, secondary. Synchronous, asynchronous. One off, ongoing. Check out our updated CLPL flyer for all the details you need. Download and share with colleagues in your next virtual staff meeting.

Like you, our friendly primary and secondary Professional Development Officers are working online from home at the moment.  Make a booking or send a query to scilt@strath.ac.uk with CLPL in the subject line.  Alternatively, go direct to the Professional Learning area of the website to browse some more.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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19 January 2021 (UKLO)

UKLO is a competition for students who are still at school (or equivalent college) – any age, any ability level, where competitors have to solve linguistic data problems. Teachers should submit competitor information by 25 January 2021 with the first round of the competition scheduled to take place during week 1-5 February.

This year's competition has adopted special arrangements to cope with the pandemic and the fact that UK schools will certainly be closed for Round 1, and probably for Round 2 too.

Visit the UKLO website for further information.

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18 January 2021 (British Council)

The British Council is pleased to announce that a digital Mandarin Speaking Competition will take place in a series of online events. The competition provides a great opportunity for secondary school students to practise and improve their Mandarin 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.

Applications are now open until 12 February 2021. Visit the British Council website for more information.

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15 January 2021 (The Scotsman)

While Christmas and New Year may seem like a distant memory, the Chinese New Year is still to come.

The biggest event on the calendar in China, Chinese New Year celebrates the beginning of the new Lunar calendar.

Learn about the event in the explainer video.

Read more...

14 January 2021 (The Conversation)

Films and TV shows can be great tools to help you become a more competent speaker of another language. By captivating your attention and arousing your curiosity, these formats can instil a positive attitude towards learning. They can also help you be a more active participant and keep you motivated to spend more time on language-related tasks.

There are a host of wonderful and gripping series and films available at our fingertips, from Netflix’s Spanish drama La Casa de Papel (Money Heist, which is the streaming site’s most watched non-English language show) to film classics like Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita or last year’s Oscar winner, the Korean film Parasite.

Learning a language this way, however, is easier said than done. I’m sure many of us have made it to the end of a gripping Scandi noir without actually learning much. So here are four tips to help you make the most of language learning through TV and film.

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14 January 2021 (SCILT/eSgoil)

During the current lockdown, SCILT is delighted to support our partners at eSgoil by offering live language lessons. These will be available to all Senior Phase learners in Scotland – learners can register through the eSgoil website.

Daytime Study Support

  • Higher French – Thursdays at 11.15
  • National 5 French – Tuesdays at 11.15
  • Higher Spanish – Tuesdays at 14.15
  • National 5 Spanish – Wednesdays at 09.30

You can register for Daytime Study Support Sessions here- http://www.e-sgoil.com/daytimestudysupport2020/

SCILT is continuing to offer evening support sessions for Advanced Higher:

  • Advanced Higher Spanish – Wednesdays at 17.00
  • Advanced Higher French – Thursdays at 17.00

You can register for Evening Study Support Sessions here - http://www.e-sgoil.com/studysupport2020/

eSgoil is offering a wide range of support for learners of all ages throughout lockdown, and SCILT is proud to support them and Scotland’s educational community through these challenging times.

14 January 2021 (Stride Magazine)

Sheena Bell, professional development officer at SCILT, explores the many ways in which Learning for Sustainability makes a great context for modern language learning.

“Learning other languages enables children and young people to make connections with different people and their cultures and to play a fuller part as global citizens.”

As this quote from the Scottish Government’s Modern Languages Principles and Practice document clearly shows, Modern Languages classrooms are uniquely positioned to incorporate Learning for Sustainability into their teaching and learning. Learning a language in school is not simply about learning vocabulary and grammatical structures; it offers a window into other cultures, traditions, ways of life and ways of thinking. Every day, pupils in our classes are being made aware in a very real way of their interconnectedness with the wider world, both socially and environmentally. The Modern Languages curriculum, particularly within the Senior Phase, already includes topics such as equality, social justice, environmental issues and gender – as Modern Languages teachers we are very often already teaching around Learning for Sustainability without even realising it!

(Note - The full article includes links to associated professional learning and classroom resources.)

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14 January 2021 (Edinburgh Napier University)

Worldwide Napier, the magazine in foreign languages designed by language students to encourage language studies, is currently looking for contributions in French, German and Spanish for its seventh issue. The next issue's overarching theme is Oblivion. Pick a subject associated with oblivion and turn it into an engaging article. 

Students at secondary school, college or university are invited to submit contributions by email by 1 March 2021.

Visit the website for more information.

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12 January 2021 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française Glasgow has collated a selection of online resources to explore French culture and language learning at home. There's something for all ages - check out the links on the website.

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12 January 2021 (PowerLanguage)

In order to support Schools and their wider communities, we have created a new package to help with home learning. 

Our PowerLanguage Online Course for Families - available in French or Spanish - has been successfully running in many parts of Scotland since 2016. It was designed to develop the partnership between Schools, pupils and the wider community. Parents and carers can embark on a meaningful and exciting language journey shared by all family members!

  • The course is accessible online or through an App. It contains 6 lessons which follow a gentle progression, reinforcing the key language introduced in Primary Schools. 
  • In each lesson, new structures are presented in French or Spanish, as well as in English, by a native tutor or in an animation. Watch an extract on Vimeo or Youtube
  • The cultural podcasts introduce slices of French/Spanish life and focus on playground games, songs, special monuments and various landscapes. Small tasks are attached to each video. Watch an extract on Vimeo or Youtube.
  • Families can assess their progress through short challenges at the end of each lesson. One of the 3 challenges can be delivered at School, thus reinforcing the link between School and home learning.

A case study on the impact of this Course on families and schools was produced in Scotland in 2016 by Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT). 

You can also watch this video to see the impact of our Course for Families on a school and its wider community in Western Australia.

Cost: in order to make the Course available to all, a licence can be bought by the School and shared with their wider community. The annual cost is £100 per course (French or Spanish). Schools can also buy the course for a one-off fee of £500 per course for indefinite use. (Schools who have previously purchased this Course used some of their PEF funding to cover the cost). 

Level: The course is available in French or Spanish for primary school learners and their families who are beginners/post beginners.

Scottish Schools may wish to launch this Course in advance of Languages Week Scotland (1-5 February 2021). 

Please contact us info@powerlanguage.net to find out more or visit our website. 

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11 January 2021 (The Scotsman)

BBC Scotland has launched a variety of programmes and resources for school pupils across Scotland as the country begins home school learning today.

The broadcaster is offering TV programmes on BBC Scotland from 10 am this morning for primary and secondary school pupils across the country.

The educational programmes will be on week days and will last till around 11.30 am- 12 pm most days.

As well as a catch-up service for missed programmes, there will also be ‘Stories in Scots’ available via the BBC Scotland website and via BBC Sounds.

Read more...

11 January 2021 (British Council)

According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, we enter the Year of the Ox on 12 February 2021.

These education resources contain information and activities to help teachers and pupils learn more about this important spring festival and explore Chinese culture. Your pupils can read a version of the traditional story of the New Year Race, create shadow puppets of the main characters and make a traditional Chinese lantern.

These resources are suitable for primary years and adaptable for early secondary years and older.

Read more...

11 January 2021 (La Jolie Ronde)

During Languages Week Scotland, 1-5 February 2021, FREE TRIALS will be available of La Jolie Ronde's two award winning French and Spanish resources.  

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:

  • Little Languages Resource (P1-P3)
  • French and Spanish Resource (P4-P7)
  • French or Spanish free taster Online class

For more information email schools@lajolieronde.co.uk

#scotlandloveslanguages

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11 January 2021 (SEET)

Due to the new lockdown measures introduced by the Scottish Government on 4 January, including the closure of schools, SEET have pushed back the storyboard submission deadline to Friday 5 February 2021. They have also adapted the project and expanded the project's reach by increasing participation options for home learning and accommodating for both individual and group participation. Please see below for a summary of the changes:

  • S1-6 may take part in 2021, not only S3-6 pupils.  
  • Storyboard submission deadline extended to Friday 5 February 2021 (extra 3 weeks) 
  • Accompanying video/audio clip explaining the storyboard is now optional. Storyboard and links to SDG theme and languages must be clear if no additional description is provided. 
  • We are accepting storyboard entries from teams AND entries from individual pupils if pupil collaboration is no longer possible. More guidance on team participation available. 
  • We will be able to invite more pupils to take part in the filmmaking stage, as we are no longer limited to in-person venue workshop capacity.  
  • Creation of password protected online portal to support pupils through the filmmaking stages. This will include video tutorials from filmmakers, written guidance and tutorials, resources, and clear instructions for pupils.

Visit the SEET website for more information about the Our World project.

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7 January 2021 (Institut français)

Do you think you could sing or rap in French? Do you have the skills to make a video clip for your song? If so, this competition is for you!

Open to any student or groups of students in full time primary or secondary education in the UK. Entries will be judged in 3 age-group categories: 7-11, 12-15, and 16-18.

Visit the competition website for more information. Register and submit entries by 31 March 2021.

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7 January 2021 (SCILT)

Languages Week Scotland 2021 will take place during the week 1–5 February. The theme is ‘Celebrating Scotland’s languages landscape’ and the aim is to amplify the voices of people, organisations and events that celebrate multilingualism and the many ways it manifests in Scottish communities. 

Follow the hashtag #scotlandloveslanguages or the dedicated Twitter account @LangsWeekScot to find out what is happening or to share anything you will do with your learners to mark the week.

Schools can download the Languages Week Scotland logo from the SCILT website (Resources for Languages Week Scotland). Please add to emails and other promotional materials to show your support. 

Keep your eye out for daily challenges from 1-5 February, which will engage learners whether in the classroom or at home.

7 January 2021 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française Glasgow is running online revision courses during January and February for those scheduled to sit Higher and Advanced Higher French exams in 2021.

Visit the website for more information and to enrol.

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4 January 2021 (Japan Foundation)

The Nihongo Cup is the Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School students. Applications for the 2021 contest are now open. Finalists will be invited to perform their speeches as part of an online Finals Day on Saturday 10 July. They will also have a chance to win some fantastic prizes!

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information and the application pack. The closing date for applications is 29 March 2021. 

Read more...

7 December 2020 (University of the West of Scotland)

The University of the West of Scotland (UWS) is again organising the world-wide Maths and Language competition “Mathématiques sans Frontières” in Scotland.

You are invited to participate in this stimulating and light-hearted competition which combines Mathematics and Modern Languages and aims to motivate pupils in these subjects, promote teamwork, and bridge borders.

Please find attached a training test for “Mathématiques Sans Frontières”, and one entry form for the competition proper.

S4 classes should attempt 10 questions and S5 classes 13 questions. A whole class should attempt the test with questions divided up between groups to ensure that the questions can be completed in the allotted time of 90 minutes. Question one will require an explanation in a foreign language. We hope that this encourages cross-curricular working and teamwork. Answers are also attached, in French, another opportunity for teamwork in the translation.

The competition proper will be held on Thursday 11 March 2021. The prize-giving will be held in June (hopefully!) at UWS when the achievements of the top ten schools at each level are recognised. All schools competing will receive a certificate.

Schools who would like to register for the competition are kindly requested to complete the proforma attached and return by 29 January 2021.

We will send out the actual test as a PDF file by e-mail on the Friday prior to the test. This has proved to be very popular and we intend continuing to issue the test in this format. We would therefore kindly ask you to ensure that the e-mail address provided is legible or, preferably, typed. It would also be beneficial to provide an alternative e-mail address, possibly a personal address, which may help prevent firewall issues.


Related Files

13 November 2020 (SCILT)

The Scottish Languages Employability Award (SLEA) aims to help schools and businesses to build partnerships through languages in order to develop young people’s learning about the world of work and the value of language skills.

Videos are now available on our website of two of the SLEA pilot schools talking about their experience of working towards, and submitting evidence for, the award. These include advice from teachers and school co-ordinators, and feedback from pupils who took part in the qualifying events, and would be useful for any teachers considering putting their school forward for the award. Huge thanks to the staff and pupils at St Mary’s Primary School and Bishopbriggs Academy for their fantastic contributions!

The next deadline for submissions is Friday 22nd January 2021. In view of the current restrictions, online events and activities will count towards the award. Please get in touch with Sheena Bell if you have any questions about any aspect of the submission process or if you would like more information about the award generally.

Read more...

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