Latest News

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

Latest News

18 June 2024 (Classical Association of Scotland)

The Classical Association of Scotland is thrilled to open registration for the 2024 Ancient Voices Summer Programme!

The Summer School will be held online (via Zoom) from Monday 8 July to Sunday 4 August. As in previous years, CAS aims to offer a range of courses at different levels, representing a friendly, cost-effective and low-pressure environment for learners to enjoy engaging with languages of the ancient past.

Core Latin and Greek options will once again be supplemented with Aramaic, Hebrew, Hieroglyphs, Sumerian and Ugaritic, offering participants a rare opportunity to try some lesser taught languages. There is also the School to University course which aims to provide students with an overview of the opportunities, challenges and expectations connected to the study of Classics subjects at university level. 

Visit the Ancient Voices Summer Programme website for full details and to register by 30 June.

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18 June 2024 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection is inviting applications for a funded school partnership seminar taking place in Mainz, Germany from 21 to 24 November 2024. Open to UK teachers (all sectors and subject areas) with no active UK-German school partnership who are interested in linking with schools in Germany. The seminar includes school visits to gain insights into school life in Germany.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for full details and to apply by 10 July.

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18 June 2024 (French Film Festival)

The French Film Festival UK 2024 Learning Programme will once again be bringing French-speaking cinema into schools free of charge this autumn! The programme of four films, each accompanied by learning packs, will run between 28 October and 18 December. This year we are linking up with the French Institute in Scotland for the Francophonie Competition for schools.

Full details will be available on the French Film Festival website shortly and book up your film from mid-August onwards.

The attached programme flyer contains booking links and email contacts for further information about the learning resources and the Francophonie competition.

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18 June 2024 (SCILT / Education Scotland / BDA)

SCILT, Education Scotland and the British Deaf Association (BDA) have developed a case study that provides an insight into the experiences and challenges of Deaf young people in Scotland attending secondary school, college, or university. The case study focuses on what supported the Deaf young people to effectively engage and achieve in an educational setting. It also considers the benefits and opportunities of having Deaf and hearing parents involved in the wider life of the school and how they engaged in their child’s learning.

This case study highlights the need for understanding the opportunities, challenges, and experiences that Deaf young people can face in education. It also provides an insight into what supportive approaches allow them to engage in their learning which, is key to improving their outcomes.

In addition to the case study, there are reflective questions to help practitioners consider their practice in relation to the experiences and challenges of Deaf children and young people attending school, college, or university in Scotland.

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18 June 2024 (Queen Margaret University)

Teachers in Scotland are invited to take part in a research study examining attitudes and perceptions to international education and the benefits to schools, learners and teachers, as well as the challenges and barriers to participation to international education. International education activity is defined as teacher training with an international element, visits and exchanges and collaborative partnerships.

More information can be found on the survey webpage which can also be accessed via the QR code on the attached flyer.

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17 June 2024 (British Council)

Bring international learning to life by working with an overseas partner school!

Whether you want to increase understanding of global issues or enhance language learning, a school partnership can help you better engage pupils, reinforce existing projects, introduce new teaching approaches and, ultimately, improve learner outcomes.

The British Council offers a range of resources, guidance and learning opportunities for every step of your partnership journey – whether you’re looking for a partner or want to take an existing partnership to the next level. 

Check out the free database of schools around the world looking to partner with a school in the UK.

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16 June 2024 (The Guardian)

The ancient Cornish language has been declared dehwelans dhyworth an marow – back from the dead – amid a rise in popularity thanks to Covid-19 and a critically acclaimed psych-pop star.

There has been a significant rise in the number of people learning Cornish since the pandemic lockdown forced classes online, according to the volunteer network An Rosweyth.

“We have people in America, we have people in Australia, Mexico, Spain, Turkey,” said Emma Jenkin, its support officer, who said her last online lesson had “a couple of people in Cornwall – but mostly people are dotted all over the place”.

Read more...

14 June 2024 (ECML)

At their launch meeting for the new ECML project “AI for language education” in March 2024 team members agreed on an outline of their first deliverable, an online survey on the use of AI in language teaching. 

The aim of the questionnaire is to learn about your professional experience, beliefs and attitudes towards AI and its possible role in language teaching. 

The survey is now open and available in English, Estonian, French, German and Greek. Your views and insights would be appreciated!

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14 June 2024 (SCILT)

Box fresh and open for bookings! SCILT’s menu of CLPL group workshops for 2024-25.

Up-to-date and interactive, SCILT workshops for teachers are a great way for you and your colleagues to explore aspects of languages pedagogy with our experienced Professional Development Officers.

If you are the person in your department, school, cluster or local authority with a remit to source high quality subject specific professional learning for colleagues, then you will definitely be interested in our brand new menu of CLPL workshops.

For 2024-25, our carefully designed inputs cover a variety of topics related to the learning and teaching of languages:

Primary and Early Years

  • First steps in teaching primary modern languages
  • Valuing linguistic diversity in schools, with families
  • Bringing the languages content to primary interdisciplinary learning
  • Making assessment in primary languages active and accessible
  • Give careers education a languages twist for your primary pupils

Secondary

  • Teaching Sprints – Small change, big impact
  • Social-Emotional learning for languages
  • Talking and listening
  • Reading and writing
  • BYOW: Build your own workshop

We are always happy to accommodate bespoke CLP requests too. Whatever your colleagues need, just ask and we will design a workshop with tailored content, just for them. 

For more detail about the menu, and to book one or more workshop for the group of teachers that you support, see the professional learning request form.

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13 June 2024 (The Herald)

An awards ceremony celebrating the indigenous Scots Language will return this year for it’s fifth outing.

The Scots Language Awards 2024, organised by Hands up for Trad, launches today on the Scottish Poetry Library’s ‘Gie’s a Scots Poem Day’, in a bid to highlight the importance of the Scots language in daily life, education, business, arts, and culture.

For the first time, the awards ceremony will be hosted in Ayrshire at Cumnock Town Hall on Saturday 14 September, with the opportunity to nominate an individual or organisation available next month.

Celebrating figures who champion the Scots language, categories at the sixth annual Scots Language Awards will include Scots Business of the Year, Scots Writer of the Year, Scots Teacher of the Year and the widely regarded Janet Paisley Services to Scots Award.

As one of Scotland’s three indigenous languages, organisers say Scots is a growing tongue. The latest census saw the number of people in Scotland with some skills in Scots increase to over 46 per cent, with speakers spanning several dialects, including Doric, and stretching across regions from the Borders to Orkney.

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13 June 2024 (University of Strathclyde)

Are you interested in upskilling your French to GTCS-accredited standard? Then this could be the course for you!

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.

Classes will be in person on campus in Glasgow during term time.

Further information and application details will be advertised via the SCILT bulletin and SCILT website and the University of Strathclyde website and communication channels.

For more information and to register your interest, the course contact is Joan-Emilie Lefever-Rhodes (joan.lefever@strath.ac.uk).

12 June 2024 (Yahoo News)

A new map of Cornwall in the Cornish language has been created – in what is likely to be "the last map" the creator ever makes.

Cities, towns and features across the region are written with accurate Cornish placenames, as are the legend and other map details.

Paul Kavanagh, the writer of the Wee Ginger Dug blog, created the map over the span of ten years along with an academic authority covering the Cornish language.

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11 June 2024 (UK-German Connection)

UK teachers can now apply for the following funded opportunities for 2024-25. Follow the relevant link for more information:

  • Host a Teacher from Germany - Boost your school’s international ethos, pupil motivation and teachers’ professional development by hosting a German teacher (in-person or virtually) for one, two or three weeks during the academic year – no costs involved for UK schools and German does not need to be offered at your school. Register by 1 July for autumn-term visits and by 27 September for visits during the spring and summer term.
  • Professional Enrichment Programme - Funded opportunity for UK teachers to visit a school in Germany for 1-2 weeks, observe lessons and experience the German education system. Throughout the visit, you will have the chance to engage in CPD within an international context and exchange good practice with colleagues. Apply by 12 July to visit a German school in the autumn term, and 27 September for visits during the spring or summer term.

11 June 2024 (Goethe-Institut)

Find out more about the upcoming initiatives for schools and learners of German by following the appropriate link:

  • Discover Careers with German - The Business Lunch Series is a series of live online conversations with different people from the world of work whose careers have been shaped by learning the German language. Aimed at pupils S3 upwards with preparatory materials for teachers. Next event takes place 27 June 2024.
  • Karriere Quantum - New programme for 16-18 year-olds and teachers from all over Europe revolving around quantum technologies and the German language. Apply for a place in one of our five innovative one-week camps taking place over 2024 and 2025 in Dublin, Rome, London, Amsterdam and Madrid. 
  • Comic poster exhibition: "Komplett Kafka" - Introduce learners to the life and work of Franz Kafka with this poster exhibition and associated teaching materials. The exhibition can be ordered via the Goethe-Institut website.

11 June 2024 (SCILT)

Suzanne Ritchie, Professional Development Officer at SCILT, is reaching out to German teachers to join a network for Teachers of German in Scotland (TOGS). This network aims to build a community to share experiences, practice and ideas, to highlight initiatives and potential partnerships, and to build support to enable German to grow in Scottish schools.

If you are a teacher of German in a primary or secondary school in Scotland (either currently teaching it or keen to introduce it) and you are interested in receiving more information in the months ahead, please add your name to the mailing list. Suzanne will be in touch with more information after the summer break. 

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11 June 2024 (Goethe-Institut)

Are you a non-specialist German teacher already delivering German lessons in some shape or form? Would you like to find out why German is the smart choice for your school? Would you like support with getting the ball rolling? Are you interested in setting up a German club at your primary or secondary school?

The Goethe-Institut is offering an exclusive, funded trip to Berlin in November 2024 for primary and secondary school teachers and headteachers that is geared towards introducing German in schools or strengthening its status.

State school teachers and headteachers from the UK  can submit their applications supported by a motivational letter (max 400 words) until 31 August 2024. Successful candidates will be informed soon thereafter.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to apply.

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11 June 2024 (Goethe-Institut)

Boost target language in your classroom! Increase motivation in your young learners! Get to know Germany and the vibrant city of Berlin! 

The Goethe-Institut London is offering secondary school teachers from across the UK the chance to take part in a funded pedagogical training course taking place in Berlin in November 2024.

State school secondary teachers from the UK can submit their applications supported by a motivational letter (up to 400 words) until 31 August 2024. Successful candidates will be informed soon thereafter.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to apply.

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10 June 2024 (UCFL)

UCFL warmly welcomes the British Academy’s Manifesto for the Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts and urges the next UK Government to implement its recommendations as a matter of priority. 

The Manifesto makes a clear case for the need for the next Government to utilise the vast potential of the humanities and social sciences and sets out a series of key actions through which the Government can achieve three overarching goals:  

  1. To support an educational system that is sustainable, sparks creativity and offers opportunities to all; 
  2. To use insights and evidence — from all disciplines —to address society’s biggest challenges; 
  3. To collaborate with partners abroad and nurture research talent in the United Kingdom. 

The University Council for Languages embraces the centrality of languages provision in the measures proposed by the BA to attain these outcomes, including the need for a broad, balanced and interconnected school curriculum which encourages all students to study a range of disciplines and languages for as long as possible.  

Read more...

10 June 2024 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow is looking to recruit a teacher specialising in courses for children and young people to start September 2024.

Visit the Alliance Française website for the job specification and application details.

Read more...

10 June 2024 (SCILT)

Session 2023-24 saw the first national roll-out of Language Explorers Scotland (formerly known as Scotland's Languages Explorers Programme, SLEP), a flagship languages mentoring project run by SCILT in partnership with UCFLS. This mentoring programme was inspired by the success of similar mentoring programmes in the UK. Language Explorers Scotland aims to raise awareness amongst BGE secondary age learners of the far-reaching benefits of language learning by facilitating a short programme of mentoring sessions led by university students with lived experiences of language learning and multiculturalism.

Similar projects currently running in Wales and other parts of the UK have demonstrated that small group work with a student mentor can have a positive impact on learners in school, and lead to an increase in the number of learners continuing with languages into higher levels of study.

Language Explorers Scotland 2024-25 will run in partnership with universities across Scotland, including the Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews, Stirling, Strathclyde, Heriot-Watt University and the Open University. Interested schools can find out more about the mentoring programme and hear from last year’s student mentors on our Language Explorers Scotland webpage.

Please be aware that this programme runs online, therefore it is imperative that interested schools have an adequate technical set-up and internet connection to allow for remote interactions between mentees and mentors. Geographical proximity to a university is not necessary. Further information, including key dates, can be found on the programme webpage where registrations of interest will open in September and the live link will be published. Successful schools should anticipate hosting their languages mentoring sessions between mid-November and the end of February, in liaison with their mentors.

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6 June 2024 (BBC)

Musician and broadcaster Colin Stone is pioneering a new sound for the Gaelic music scene - metalcore.

Linkin Park, Slipknot and Knocked Loose are among bands associated with the music, which is often described as a fusion of extreme metal and hardcore punk.

Stone records his own songs at his studio in Larbert and fronts the band, Gun Ghaol - Gaelic for "without love".

He said: “I think it is very important to write and record music in a different kind of style – it’s about spreading Gaelic around the world."

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5 June 2024 (The Conversation)

Picture this: you find yourself in a Helsinki karaoke bar one night, and someone encourages you to get up and sing a well known song in Finnish. Without knowing a word of the language you grab the microphone and, to your surprise, manage to follow the rhythm of the lyrics appearing on the screen with no idea of what you are actually saying. Fans of Eurovision can try this out for themselves with Käärijä’s 2023 Finnish language hit “Cha Cha Cha”.

But why is this possible? The secret lies in the “transparency” of Finnish, and many other languages.

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5 June 2024 (Japan Foundation)

Following on from The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme (JFTFP) in February and March, we are delighted to announce the Japanese Film Festival Online will now also be held in the UK from 5 June until 3 July.

For the first two weeks of the festival, 18 Japanese films will be available for streaming, with 2 television drama series that were popular in Japan being made available for the festival's second half.

Visit the festival website for full programme details.

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4 June 2024 (University of Edinburgh)

The University of Edinburgh and Queen Margaret University are researching bilingualism and autism. We have developed a new, high-quality, research-backed resource hub on this topic and are currently running a study to test how effective it is. It involves two brief online questionnaires, one month apart. After the final questionnaire participants can enter a prize draw to win one of three £10 vouchers! The whole thing should only take a few minutes of your time, but it will really help us to understand the impact of these resources, and to improve them where we can!

We are looking for any professionals who may work with autistic children in bilingual families, such as SLTs, teachers, GPs and psychologists as well as any parents of autistic children in bilingual families to take part in our study.

If you or anyone you know would be like to get involved, you can do so using the study link or by scanning the relevant QR code in the flyers below. 

flyer containing QR code for teacher surveyflyer containing QR code for parents' survey

4 June 2024 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has recently published an updated version of its BSL Toolkit for Practitioners. This Toolkit provides Information to help practitioners who work with deaf children, young people and their families, understand BSL, Deaf culture and identity. The Toolkit also contains some important definitions for terms used when working with parents and families.

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4 June 2024 (Alliance Française)

Adults looking to start learning French this summer or wanting to brush up on existing skills before going on holiday, our summer classes are tailored to your needs. 

With in-person and online course options, from beginner to advanced, there's something to suit everyone.

If you're unsure of your level you can take a free online test to find what level of French class is suitable for you.

Visit the Alliance Française website for more information.

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4 June 2024 (Institut français)

Summer is coming! Time to catch up on French.

This summer the Institut français d'Ecosse has courses for both adults and kids.

Why not join our Drawing Edinburgh course where you will practice French through an artistic activity. Or if you are interested in sports, join our Olympics and Paralympic Games courses? Wish to brush up your French before the holidays ? Check our French for France courses.

Visit the Institut français website for full details of all our Summer courses. Registration is open now!

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3 June 2024 (Goethe-Institut)

New film on Goethe on Demand! Every month, the Goethe-Institut's film platform makes a film available to stream, free of charge.

The City, Country, River film series takes us through the diversity of German cities, villages and landscapes with a selection of 12 feature films and documentaries. The films focus on regions and locales far from well-known big cities and invite viewers to take a nuanced look at the realities of life in Germany.

The next film in the series, No-one's with the Calves based on the novel of the same name by Alina Herbing, takes a look at life in the provinces and can be streamed from 1 to 30 June 2024.

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2 June 2024 (BBC Ideas)

What does bilingualism do to the brain? Are there benefits to speaking more than one language?

Watch the BBC Ideas video to find out.

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1 June 2024 (Confucius Institute for Scotland)

The Confucius Institute for Scotland in Edinburgh is running a five-week summer programme from 1 July to 2 August. With diverse evening and daytime classes on offer there's an array of opportunities to start and learn Chinese!

For those working in the hospitality and tourism industries there's a course specially tailored for frontline and customer-facing staff who want a short, focused introduction to Chinese language and culture to enable them to engage with Chinese customers and visitors.

Visit the Confucius Institute's website for more information.

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30 May 2024 (The Guardian)

Fewer pupils in England are studying drama, media and performing arts at GCSE and A-level, while the popularity of statistics, computing, physics and maths has gone up.

Provisional figures for exam entries in England this summer, published by the exams regulator Ofqual on Thursday, also reveal a growing enthusiasm for modern foreign languages, which had been in long-term decline.

The number of French A-level candidates has grown by 8% over the last year, Spanish by 2.3% and German by 3.1%, the last albeit from a very low base, taking numbers up to 2,280. The biggest jump at A-level is in further maths, where entry numbers have shot up by almost 20%.

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28 May 2024 (DAAD/ILCS)

The deadline for entries to the DAAD/ILCS German Language Competition 2024 has been extended! All levels of German learners in the UK can take part, use their written German skills and have the chance to win some exciting prizes by putting together the front page of a fictional newspaper in the German-speaking world. 

More information and submission details can be found on the competition website. Submission deadline: EXTENDED TO 20 JUNE.

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28 May 2024 (CISS)

The CISS Spring/Summer newsletter has now been published! Read what our hubs, teachers, and learners have been up to recently in Mandarin teaching and learning across Scotland, as well as updates on CISS projects and articles from our Chinese Exchange Teachers and Scholars. 

Submissions for the CISS Winter Newsletter will open in the Autumn/Winter.

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24 May 2024 (SCILT)

The latest edition of the SCILT newsletter has been published!

Read about SCILT's work to support language learning and teaching, including our language initiatives and research-informed practice. Find out how Languages Week Scotland 2024 was celebrated across the country and hear about the latest inspiring activities from local authorities. There is also an opportunity to read about the work of our partners in supporting and promoting language learning in Scotland.

If you would like to contribute an article to a future edition of the newsletter you can read the submission guidelines on our website, and email your entries to SCILT

Read more...

25 April 2024 (OU)

The Young Applicants in Schools Scheme (YASS) run by the Open University is now accepting applications for 2024-25.

The scheme is fully-funded by the Scottish Funding Council and enables S6 pupils to study first year university-level courses alongside school studies, enhancing skills and UCAS/college applications. 

A range of subjects are offered, including French, German, Spanish and Exploring Languages & Cultures.

Whilst registration for the scheme closes on 2 September, students are encouraged to apply before the summer holidays to ensure they are able to register onto their chosen course.

Visit the YASS website for more information.

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16 April 2024 (RZSS)

RZSS Science in the Language Class has three new FREE language linked outreach sessions aimed at upper primary level and available for August 2024 but as places can fill up fast early booking is recommended. 

French: A one hour outreach session linked to RZSS work in the French Polynesia Islands with the Partula snail. We don't just work with the big charismatic animals. We can't forget the importance to the ecosystem of the wee beasties. Learn more about the conservation work with activities linked to French. 

Gaelic: A one hour outreach session linked to RZSS work in Scotland with the Scottish wildcat. RZSS Highland Wildlife Park has a special centre which is breeding the Scottish wildcat for release to the wild. The first release was in 2023. Learn more about the Scottish wildcat with activities linked to Gaelic. 

Spanish: This can be a one hour outreach session or there is the option for a short 2 week course, where in the first week there is a 45 minute live virtual introductory session, followed by a one hour in-person outreach. The session(s) are linked to the RZSS work in South America with the giant armadillo, the giant anteater and the two-toed sloth. Although they seem very different animals, they all belong to a group called Xenarthra which means strange joints! Learn more about this work with activities linked to Spanish.

All are available throughout Scotland including the Islands. However, if further afield (ie not in the Central Belt) then we do need a cluster of schools booking together to come for a few days or a week. Or possibly one school booking a number of sessions over a few days. Sessions are aimed at P4-P7. Maximum number per session is 33. Contact Sandie Robb - srobb@rzss.org.uk for further details and to discuss options. Also see the Science in the Language Class website. 

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