Latest News

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

Latest News

26 May 2022 (SCILT)

This term we are hosting a series of interactive seminars for secondary languages teachers, based on some of the main themes from our workshops this year, and covering some of the big questions that you might be asking about teaching languages today.

We now have just a few places remaining on Seminar 3: Teaching controversial issues. This session will feature the chance to hear from a guest speaker, and the opportunity to discuss and share with fellow teachers, and hopefully together to come up with some answers to the big questions!

  • Seminar 3: Teaching controversial issues
    4-5pm, Thursday 9 June
    In this seminar we will look at how can we approach controversial issues such as gender, race, politics and climate in the context of language learning. We will explore strategies for tackling controversial issues safely and effectively in the languages classroom. Our guest in this session will be Lynne Jones of SCILT who will be sharing particularly around areas of gender and immigration.

Seminars are free to attend and are open to all secondary languages teachers and student teachers. The session will be hosted on MS Teams and will not be recorded.

Read more...

25 May 2022 (The Children's Poetry Archive)

The Children’s Poetry Archive is a place where you can listen to poems read out loud. There are poems read by the poets who wrote them as well as poems which other people have recorded.

SCILT is delighted that The Children's Poetry Archive has uploaded a collection of the winners of this year's Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition. Why not listen to the winning poems on the Archive's website?

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25 May 2022 (British Council)

This free online practical 4-week course begins 7 June. Participants will learn effective strategies and techniques to help make the classroom a safe environment:

  • How to create a trauma-sensitive learning environment
  • How to work with limited resources
  • How to manage challenging behaviour.

Read more...

23 May 2022 (The British Academy)

The British Academy is surveying language provision across Further Education in the UK.

Members of staff at Further Education Colleges can complete the survey Languages in Further Education: Staff Survey.

Students at Further Education Colleges can complete the survey Languages in Further Education: Student Survey.

23 May 2022 (ECML)

The purpose of the present paper is to provide an overview of the most significant language policies and innovations implemented in the Greek educational system focusing on the years 2019-22, namely:

i) The introduction of the English language in kindergarten through an innovative pedagogical approach,

ii) The design of new curricula and educational material for primary and secondary education, based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR),

iii) The legal consolidation of alternative methods of student assessment and the development of learners’ transversal and soft skills, through the new curricula and the introduction of the “21st Century Skills Labs” in the programme of study of Kindergartens, Primary and Lower Secondary Schools.

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23 May 2022 (UK-German Connection)

Calling all young people aged between 12 and 25! Want to have your voice heard on the future of UK-German youth relations? Have your say below!

So much has changed in the last few years. From lockdowns and learning from home, to travel restrictions and political upheaval, it’s affected us all, young and old, no matter where we are in the world.

Whilst the world may be a different place, connections between Germany and the UK are still important. That’s why we’ve put together our ‘Have your say’ survey to get your input on reimagining youth connections with Germany.

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19 May 2022 (SCILT / Polish Social and Educational Society in Glasgow)

Following the successful launch of the Ten Steps to Polish online resource and introductory Polish classes for teachers last session, in collaboration with the Polish Social and Educational Society in Glasgow, we are delighted to announce that the Polish classes for teachers will run again in session 2022/23. The interactive Ten Steps to Polish handbook is designed for teachers to introduce Polish as an L3 and the online classes provide teachers with the opportunity to learn basic Polish in order to support the implementation of the resource in their classroom.

Chris Sagan, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Polish Social and Educational Society in Glasgow, who has led the programme from its infancy states: 

“We are delighted with the response we have had to our Ten Steps to L3 Polish course. In our introductory year we have taught, via Zoom, basic Polish to teachers across Scotland enabling them to provide L3 Polish to their classes. We look forward with enthusiasm to another year of helping teachers teach Polish in classrooms across Scotland.”

Primary teachers who are interested can register by 12 June 2022 for a block of free online Polish language lessons, led by a native Polish speaker and an experienced primary practitioner. These online classes:

  • begin on Tuesday 30th August
  • will take place 4-5pm on MS Teams
  • will be an hour in length, once a week, for 6 weeks
  • support Ten Steps to L3 Polish and aim to give the class teacher the confidence to lead exciting Polish lessons in school

These classes are aimed at teachers planning to introduce Polish as an L3. Places are limited and offered on a first-come first-served basis. 

For more information about Ten Steps to L3 Polish and/or language classes, please contact SCILT.

Wszystkiego najlepszego.

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19 May 2022 (SCILT)

We have collated a range of materials to provide practitioners with useful information, including examples of practice across sectors, about engaging parents and families with language learning. This guide features a variety of reading materials, resources, and case studies to equip practitioners working in a variety of contexts with the tools to actively consider how to get parents and families engaged with their child’s language learning.

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19 May 2022 (Herald)

Spending on interpreter and translation services by the NHS in Scotland rose by more than 20 per cent in the five years leading up to the pandemic, new research shows.

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18 May 2022 (RZSS)

An exciting opportunity for senior students studying French or Mandarin to take part in this programme and to put their language skills into practice. Two groups will be chosen, one studying French and one studying Mandarin, to create sound files and new resources for a programme called 'Stripy Tails'. Stripy Tails compares two different animals from two different countries and looks at two different languages: the ring-tailed lemurs from Madagascar and the red panda from China, linking French and Mandarin. 

Musselburgh Grammar School took part in the 'Giants' programme over 2021-2022 which compared Spanish and Mandarin, looking at the giant anteater from South America and the giant panda from China. The students created sound files which are now on the Beyond the Panda website, under 'Giants'. In addition, they designed a fantastic game about a tour around Edinburgh Zoo - also available to download. 

“This was a highly valuable and enjoyable experience for our Senior pupils. It was fantastic to give them an opportunity to put their language skills into practice and see how languages can benefit them in the world of work. Pupils loved using their language skills to learn about other countries, cultures and animals across the globe. This opportunity gave pupils the chance to work together as a team, gain experience of the world of work and combine what they are doing across a range of subjects. I have seen how much my pupils' confidence has increased from doing this, which has consequently increased in uptake as pupils who didn't think about a career in languages have found that it opens other doors.”  Ms Coats, Musselburgh Grammar. 

Excellent opportunity for an employability group. If you have a French or Mandarin group of students who would like to take part in this over 2022-2023, ask them to think of innovative ways to complete the following sentence: "We would like to take part in this opportunity because..."  Any questions and replies email to Sandie Robb by the end of August 2022. Please state which language. For this year, only French and Mandarin will be considered. Judges will decide on the best answers and the chosen classes will be contacted in September 2022 with further details. 

Anyone interested, please take a look at the 'Giants' programme as an example. The students would be expected to create the individual sound files (just as mp3 or mp4) and design one game resource. Design of all the games and activities incorporating the sound files along with the other resource materials are created by the RZSS Language Project Coordinator. 

18 May 2022 (RZSS)

The new five week progressive course has four virtual sessions followed by an in-person outreach visit. For full details with key objectives and CfE links in science, topical science, social studies, language and literacy see the Beyond the Panda website. Over the five weeks, the pupils learn a short introduction in Mandarin, using the phrases and sentence structures they learn about the animals and then relating it to themselves. 

Bookings taken now for this hybrid course starting in August 2022. Contact Sandie Robb for more information and to book.

Key objectives are attached

17 May 2022 (Filmhouse)

The Filmhouse in Edinburgh is delighted to host Scotland’s annual showcase of Italian cinema, with a diverse selection of some of the best films of the past twelve months. Family dramas, atmospheric noirs, dazzling comic book adventures, neo-westerns, historical biopics, offbeat fables and much more, most of the titles are either UK or Scottish premieres.

Visit the Filmhouse website for more information and to book.

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17 May 2022 (Consejería de Educación)

Any plans for this summer? Sign up for the Teaching and Culture course in León for Spanish Secondary School and University teachers.

We are offering grants for Secondary School and University teachers of Spanish to enrol in our course in León in collaboration with the University of León and Mester Academy during August 2022.

The course content includes a number of areas in relation to teaching Spanish as a foreign language along with cultural activities. There are three starting dates to choose from 31 July-6 August, from 7-13 August, or from 14-20 August 2022. This course will be delivered fully in Spanish therefore we recommend that teachers should have at least a B2 level.

Visit the Spanish Education office website for more information and to apply by 31 May 2022.

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13 May 2022 (SCILT)

The latest edition of the SCILT newsletter has been published!

Read about SCILT’s work to support the learning and teaching of languages, including our professional learning opportunities, our motivating competitions and our online classes and events. Find out how schools celebrated Languages Week Scotland 2022, and hear from local authorities about their latest inspiring initiatives. There is also the opportunity to read about the work our partners have been doing to support language learning in Scotland.

This edition also features a special article from Mandy Reeman-Clark, who reflects on 18 years at SCILT and CISS on the occasion of her retirement. 

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

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12 May 2022 (CinemaAttic)

ADRIFT is an exciting new film season organised by CinemaAttic. A six-week celebration of contemporary and classic cinema from around the world, workshops with filmmakers and special events to delight Scottish audiences from 26 May to 30 June 2022.

The programme comprises:

  • Film currents (a selection of 8 contemporary features from around the world)
  • Cult classics (an unmissable 16mm double-bill of Chris Marker & Luis Buñuel films)
  • Short films (two selections of shorts)
  • Workshops (three interactive workshops bringing experimental animators from Spain & Latin America to Edinburgh and Glasgow)

Visit CinemaAttic's ADRIFT webpage for full details and booking information.

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11 May 2022 (Google)

For years, Google Translate has helped break down language barriers and connect communities all over the world. And we want to make this possible for even more people — especially those whose languages aren’t represented in most technology. So today we’ve added 24 languages to Translate, now supporting a total of 133 used around the globe.

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10 May 2022 (Big Think)

Bilingual people are incredibly attractive. If you don’t agree with me, I’m afraid you’re in the minority. Being able to speak two or more languages comes with a whole host of benefits (not least for your love life). A great and growing body of research has focused on the psychological, economic, and health benefits of being bilingual. Speaking many languages improves a host of cognitive functions, across all stages of life, and it affects our emotional and social attitudes, as well. The scientific world is starting to take seriously the life-changing advantages to speaking multiple languages.

That’s great, but what benefits are we talking about exactly? What specific advantages would learning French or Spanish give you?

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10 May 2022 (British Council)

As part of our programme to recognise and celebrate World Refugee Day on 20 June, join our Language for Resilience online course for teachers. Throughout the course you will learn effective strategies and techniques to help make your classroom a safe environment. You will learn about the following:

  • How to create a trauma-sensitive learning environment
  • How to work with limited resources
  • How to manage challenging behaviour

Visit the British Council website for more information and to register for the free course commencing 7 June 2022.

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9 May 2022 (Bilingualism Matters)

Bilingualism Matters is delighted to be a dissemination partner on the Multimind Project, a multidisciplinary and multisectorial training network on multilingualism. 

Visit the website to find out about the MultiMind Project Final Conference, taking place in a hybrid format from Konstanz, Germany, from 27 to 29 June 2022, and how to access free resources on multilingualism, including a fun quiz, flyers and videos on multilingualism and developmental language disorders, and policy reports for professionals.

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9 May 2022 (Babel Magazine)

This year's competition for a young linguist to be published in Babel and win a year's subscription is now open!

Guidelines below:

  • Deadline: Wednesday 31 August 2022
  • Length: No more than 2,500 words
  • Topic: Any topic to do with languages and linguistics – accessible and interesting for Babel readers
  • Format: Word file
  • Submission: Email to babelthelanguagemagazine@gmail.com

Examples of former winning entries can be found on the Babel website.

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9 May 2022 (Bilingualism Matters)

University of Edinburgh PhD candidate Mariel Deluna is investigating teacher perspectives on the relationship between “race”, language, ethnicity, and nationality.

All current Scottish secondary school language teachers are invited to participate in the study.

More information is available on the Bilingualism Matters website.

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8 May 2022 (The Travel)

If one goes to the United Kingdom - what language can one expect people to speak? The easy answer is of course English - and naturally, everyone speaks English there. But there are actually many languages in the British Isles. For the purposes of this article, we will include the British Crown Dependencies of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands - even though technically they are not part of the UK.

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7 May 2022 (BBC)

Actress and Strictly Come Dancing champion Rose Ayling-Ellis is to become the first celebrity to sign a CBeebies bedtime story this Sunday.

Ayling-Ellis, 27, who has been deaf since birth, will tell the tale Can Bears Ski? in British Sign Language (BSL), to mark Deaf Awareness Week.

The story of a young bear draws on the author's own experience to show how it feels to be deaf in a hearing world.

Ayling-Ellis said she hoped it would inspire children to learn to sign.

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6 May 2022 (TES)

Why are so many students choosing to drop modern foreign languages (MFL) at GCSE and A level?

It's a problem that Emma Marsden, a professor of foreign language education at the University of York, is determined to analyse, and ultimately, help to resolve. 

The work has been ongoing for six years. In 2016, Marsden and a colleague, Dr Rachel Hawkes, contributed towards the MFL Pedagogy Review, which resulted in 15 recommendations to boost the quality of MFL in key stages 3 and 4, and the number of students opting to study languages throughout their time in school. 

To ensure that these recommendations were achievable and effective in schools, in 2018, the Department of Education established the National Centre for Excellence for Language Pedagogy (NCELP), with Marsden and Hawkes as co-directors working with Dr Rowena Kasprowicz and Professor Suzanne Graham from the University of Reading, and Robert Woore from the University of Oxford, along with 18 specialist teachers and a network of 45 schools. 

They had the task of ensuring that teachers were supported in understanding and delivering some of the pedagogical recommendations of the review. 

Here, Marsden discusses NCELP's work, and what teachers can to do within their own classrooms to deliver quality MFL lessons and improve uptake. 

(Note - subscription required to access full article).

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5 May 2022 (Daily Record)

Three high school students from Linlithgow Academy were declared West Lothian’s ‘Languagenut champions’ - awarded by a national language learning resource company.

The language education company, Languagenut, ran the competition regionally in both Glasgow and West Lothian throughout the month of March.

The Languagenut resource is accessible to students via an app or website, and supports young people in learning a modern language.

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4 May 2022 (Stephen Spender Trust)

The Stephen Spender Prize is an annual competition for poetry in translation, with categories for young people (14-and-under, 16-and-under, and 18-and-under) as well as an open category for adults. All entrants must be UK or Irish citizens or residents, or pupils at a British School overseas. Translate into English any poem from any language – ranging from Arabic to Uzbek, from Danish to Somali—and win cash prizes!

Open for entries from 4 May until midnight on Friday 15 July, visit the competition website for more details on how to enter, to meet the judges, and to explore the different prize categories!

Read more...

2 May 2022 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow is delighted to be offering screenings of contemporary German films in Glasgow and in Edinburgh in collaboration with the Institut français d'Écosse. Admission is free for both but booking is required. The films are in German with English subtitles. Follow the relevant link below for more information:

  • Cleo - Institut français, Edinburgh (24 May 2022) - The adventure, coming-of-age comedy explores the title character's desire to be able to turn back time and reverse a past misfortune. 
  • Le Prince - Goethe-Institut, Glasgow (26 May 2022) - A story of romance challenged by cultural differences.

29 April 2022 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection offers a range of initiatives and support to help UK-German school partnerships thrive. Follow the appropriate link below to learn more about the opportunities available to schools and young people:

  • Host a teacher from Germany - UK schools interested in hosting a teacher from Germany in 2022-23 can register now. Q&A webinars are also being offered during May and June for all UK schools interested in finding out more.
  • Funding programmes - A range of grants are available for joint activities between schools and youth groups. Primary, secondary, FE colleges and youth groups can apply now.
  • Still & Sparkling: UK-German Youth Newsletter - Written by young people, for young people, the newsletter is aimed at ages 14-25, and includes content in both English and German. The latest edition is now available online.
  • Café Connect - Sessions are a great opportunity for 14-18 year-olds to practise their German and explore cultural topics with peers in the UK and Germany. Meetings are free to attend and give young people an informal and comfortable environment to make friends and develop linguistic and intercultural skills. 

The organisation is keen to hear from young people about their views on the future of UK-German youth relations and invites young people aged 12-25 to complete a 'Have your say' survey. The survey closes on 24 June 2022.

29 April 2022 (SCILT)

This term we are hosting a series of interactive seminars for secondary languages teachers, based on some of the main themes from our workshops this year, and covering some of the big questions that you might be asking about teaching languages today.

Each session will feature the chance to hear from a guest practitioner, and the opportunity to discuss and share with fellow teachers, and hopefully together to come up with some answers to these questions!

Seminars are free to attend and are open to all secondary languages teachers and student teachers; attend as many or as few as you wish. Register for each seminar separately via the links below. 

  • Seminar 1: Employability and languages
    4-5pm, Tuesday 17 May
    In this seminar we will consider why and how to make meaningful connections between language learning and the Developing the Young Workforce agenda. Sarah Coats from Musselburgh Grammar School will be our guest in this session, sharing some of the work that she has been involved with in this area, which led to the school achieving the Scottish Languages Employability Award this year.
     
  • Seminar 2: Encouraging uptake
    4-5pm, Wednesday 25 May
    Across Scotland, we are all facing the challenge of how to encourage learners to continue studying languages when faced with the choice. In this seminar we will have the chance to share ideas and strategies that we have tried or would like to try. France Reid from Dunblane High School will be our guest in this session, sharing the issues that they have faced and how they are seeking to address them.
     
  • Seminar 3: Teaching controversial issues
    4-5pm, Thursday 9 June
    In this seminar we will look at how can we approach controversial issues such as gender, race, politics and climate in the context of language learning.  We will explore strategies for tackling controversial issues safely and effectively in the languages classroom. Our guest in this session will be Lynne Jones of SCILT who will be sharing particularly around areas of gender and immigration.
     
  • Seminar 4: Building confidence in talking
    4-5pm, Wednesday 15 June
    Talking is often the area of our subject that learners find most challenging and stressful. In this seminar we will discuss and share practical ideas and activities which help build learner confidence in talking in the target language. Lisa Hanna from SCILT, who is a Visiting Assessor for talking with SQA, will be our guest in this session.

The sessions will be hosted on MS Teams and will not be recorded.

We look forward to seeing you there!

19 April 2022 (Goethe-Institut)

Primary schools in Scotland have the opportunity to secure a face-to-face workshop in schools with the author of The House by the Lake, Thomas Harding, in Autumn 2022.

The book tells the history of Germany through the story of a house inhabited by a succession of five different families. The author tour aims to facilitate an authentic contact with German culture and history and raise awareness of the German language among schools, teachers and students. 

Teachers in Scotland who would like to participate, please visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to register interest.

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19 April 2022 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection offers a safe space for young people aged 14-18 to participate in an online meet-up group, Café Connect, with the chance to get to know other young people through fun, interactive activities, and group discussions on current topics. 

Taking place twice a month, these online meet-ups are a unique opportunity to exchange with other young people from the UK and Germany in a friendly atmosphere – on topics that interest you! You can join as many sessions as you like and you can get involved even if you don’t speak any German - Tuesday Cafés are mainly in English, whilst Thursday Cafés give learners of German the opportunity to practise speaking the language in an informal atmosphere.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information and to register for a meeting. 

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19 April 2022 (British Council)

With the Commonwealth Games due to take place in Birmingham this summer, this schools resource is designed to celebrate the Commonwealth Games of 2022 and the ongoing work that the Commonwealth is doing to improve the lives of its citizens. 

The pack includes a variety of activities for primary learners and offers opportunities to partner with other schools across the Commonwealth to exchange ideas and work together. 

Whilst not specifically aimed at the languages curriculum, there is scope to adapt activities to contain a language focus and explore the cultures of different Commonwealth countries.

Read more...

19 April 2022 (Scottish Book Trust)

The Scottish Book Trust currently has open projects and competitions for aspiring writers! Follow the relevant link below to find out more about each one:

  • Young Scots Writer of the Year Award - Open to ages 11-18. Writing should be in Scots, whether you write a story, poem, play, song or make a short video.
  • Your Stories: Scotland's Stories - Category for under-16s as well as adults. Write about real life experiences. Entries can be in any form you like – a story, poem, comic strip, play, video, audio file, or letter. Entries welcome in Gaelic, Scots and English.

Both competitions have deadlines in June 2022.

If you need some inspiration, try some of the creative tasks on the StoryCon webpage. StoryCon is Scotland's biggest creative writing and illustration conference for young people which returned in March this year. Recordings of events are available online for a limited time.

5 April 2022 (SCILT)

We have collated resources to help support children and families arriving from Ukraine. We hope teachers will find these useful in welcoming young people and their parents into Scottish schools. Please share with your networks!

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18 March 2022 (SCILT/OU)

TeLT is the Teachers Learning to Teach Languages programme offered by the Open University in partnership with SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages. This professional learning opportunity is aimed at educators working in the primary sector and carries GTCS Professional Recognition.

Students learn a language – French, German, Mandarin or Spanish - and in parallel, get to put primary language pedagogies into practice with their own pupils. The programme is offered at two levels – beginners and post-beginners. More information here about how the course works.

Registration for 2022-23 intake is now open. Enrolment closes 8 September. Modules begin in October. More details here on how to register.

Information sessions for local authority officers and prospective applicants will take place in May and June. Dates are to be confirmed.

Read more...

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