Latest News

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

Latest News

4 March 2021 (SCILT)

Do you love languages?

Are you currently in fifth year?

Would you like to work with other young people and enhance your CV?

Do you enjoy sharing your news, views and opinions on social media?

Well, this role might be for you!

We are looking for committed, dynamic young people to join our team as SCILT interns. This would see you using social media regularly and collaborating effectively with a team to demonstrate your love of languages and where they can take you. This is an excellent opportunity for the right person to experience a professional work internship and enhance their sixth year at school.

Please note that interns will be home-based and the opportunity is open to young people across the country. This is an unpaid internship. Successful applicants must commit to attending a training morning on Tuesday 15 June 2021. This will be held on Zoom.

Application details

Please download and read the Information Pack. It includes the Job Description and Person Specification.

Please download and complete the Application Form. Applications must be submitted with a letter of reference from your Faculty Manager or Principal Teacher of Modern Languages.

Completed applications must be returned to scilt@strath.ac.uk by Thursday 1 April 2021.

Wondering whether to apply? Here’s what some of our previous interns have said about the experience:

  • “The highlight was getting to work with other people I hadn't met before (working on my teambuilding and communication skills), getting to represent a huge national organisation, creating our own content and deciding ourselves how we wanted to run our social media accounts.”
  • “I loved producing high quality content and collaborating with the other interns. It was really exciting later on in the year when we started to get more interaction on Twitter.”
  • “Meeting new people who share my same passion for languages and coming together to create something valuable was a high point for me.”

Teachers, please download the attached flyer to raise awareness of this opportunity amongst your S5 pupils.

2 March 2021 (RZSS)

Beyond the Panda is taking bookings now for live virtual sessions for next school year, we are fully booked for this year until end of June. Beyond the Panda has an exciting 7/8 week progressive programme for upper primary level, P4-P7. The key objectives are detailed on the second page of the pdf attached. This programme is an exciting introduction to the Mandarin language while learning lots of science. Sandie Robb, a registered teacher but has been working with RZSS for many years and manages the Science Specialist Confucius Classroom delivers these interactive sessions using skulls, models and language games. The programme also links with a native Chinese teacher. Sessions 1- 7 are delivered as live virtual sessions but it is hoped that the 8th session may be delivered as an outreach when restrictions are lifted. In addition, there are two individual sessions for lower primary, P1-P3. Sessions are delivered on Microsoft Teams within Glow.

Further information on the Beyond the Panda website. To book contact srobb@rzss.org.uk 

Read more...


Related Files

1 March 2021 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow is hosting a selection of events between 9-22 March for the 24th edition of the International Francophonie Week, including a special Quiz in partnership with the Institut Français d'Ecosse.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

27 February 2021 (The Herald)

For a man whose career has been spent working with words – in Russian, Spanish and Italian as well as in English – it’s no surprise that terms such as ‘deracinated’ flow freely from David Leask’s lips. A university-trained linguist who worked initially as a news translator before moving into a career at the sharp end of Scottish journalism, the 52-year-old is using the word (it means to be uprooted) to describe a childhood which saw him “brought up all over the place,” as he puts it. “I’ve moved around in my life endlessly,” he says, “to such an extent that I don’t really feel at home anywhere”.

Read more...

27 February 2021 (Grantham Journal)

A man who is profoundly deaf has been using social media to raise awareness of hearing loss and sign language.

Paul Woolmer, from Grantham, has been profoundly deaf since birth, and recently sparked awareness of British Sign Language (BSL) in the local community when he posted a video of himself signing the alphabet in the Grantham and Rural Areas Covid-19 Effort (GRACE) Facebook group.

The video received over 200 likes in less than 48 hours, with many commenters expressing their interest in learning more.

Read more...

25 February 2021 (TES)

In 2017, I looked back on my 46 years of modern languages teaching. Despite fond memories, I felt unease. I sensed a disconnect between pupils’ competences and Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) results. I have met Higher pupils whose A grade left them floundering and unable to create spontaneous, simple German.

Three years’ research answered the question: have German teaching and testing – which I used as an exemplifier for modern languages – failed Scottish pupils? 

The SQA decision at the end of January to ditch the talking element of Advanced Higher shows that they continue to fail Scottish pupils and confirms my research findings.

Read more...

25 February 2021 (Radio Lingua)

Reading Club for schools resources

  • We hope you are continuing to enjoy our short Reading texts which are a useful supplement for your Senior Phase learners of Spanish and French. Last week we published an article about La Fête des Voisins and another about how to make the perfect Tortilla Española. Each text is available to download for free and comes with an audio file and answer scheme here.

French

  • It still looks like a while before we can travel abroad again. In the meantime, we published our latest episode of our second series of Travel Diaries in French. Episode two is en route to Rouen in Normandy and includes an explanation about the phrase manger sur le pouce. You can set this link as extra listening practice for your pupils.
  • Have you been following our crime series La vérité éclate toujours for Advanced learners of French? Meet a brand new character in this week’s episode by clicking here.

Spanish

  • We know that translation is an essential skill for all learners of languages. However, there are sometimes words and phrases which are just not translatable at all. Have a look at our blog post ¡Es intraducible!  and share this with your learners to help them understand the challenge of trying to translate word for word.
  • Did you see our Live lesson, where Marina and Mark practised Listening and Writing as a dictation exercise? This type of activity is very useful and could be used during online lessons. You will find the video on our YouTube channel here.

Italian

  • Our Italian Travel Diaries also continue. In this episode, our hosts visit the medieval castle in Thun. Listen here to find out more.
  • Each week on our Facebook page for Italian, we publish a grammar post. Last week we looked at expressions of time. Why don’t you challenge your learners to the translation challenge ?

German

  • If you want to introduce your learners of German to film in the foreign language, look no further than our blog article in which we list our top six film recommendations for German learners. Click here to read the full article.
  • Each Tuesday we publish a language idiom over on Instagram, and  last week was the phrase auf Wolke sieben sein, where we would say to be on cloud nine, but in German it is to be on cloud seven. Click here to read the full post 

25 February 2021 (Heriot-Watt University)

Heriot-Watt University's Multilingual Debate is an annual event that showcases the interpreting skills of undergraduate students on our Languages (Interpreting and Translating) degree programme, as well as the developing professional skills of postgraduate students on our MSc Interpreting and Translating programmes.

The event takes the form of a formal debate with two multilingual teams arguing for and against a motion of topical interest in a range of languages. The teams deliver their views in their various native languages (French, German, Spanish, English, Arabic, Chinese, British Sign Language (BSL)).

The Multilingual Debates 2021 will take place online via Zoom on Wednesday 24 March and Friday 26 March. 

Visit the Heriot-Watt Multilingual Debate webpage for more information and to register for the free event.

Read more...

25 February 2021 (High Commission of Canada)

To celebrate la Francophonie the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom and Délégation générale du Québec in London, with the support of the Francophonie UK group, is offering free screenings of six Canadian / Quebec films and documentaries during March.

Visit the event website for more information about the screenings on offer and to book tickets.

Read more...

25 February 2021 (eSgoil)

Calling all teachers of Advanced Higher French, Spanish or German!

e-Sgoil is currently planning it's Easter Study Support programme. We are looking for experienced teachers who could deliver AH Webinars. There are three one hour sessions over the two weeks (6-16th April). 

Please get in touch for further information - email damacleod1a@gnes.net

25 February 2021 (SCILT)

Whilst the current pandemic prevented us from hosting this year's Mother Tongue Other Tongue celebratory awards event in the stunning Ramshorn Building in Glasgow, we managed to host our very own online red carpet event instead! Pupils, teachers and parents joined us online to hear the winners announced on the afternoon of Friday 19 February, a date especially chosen to tie in with International Mother Language Day on 21 February celebrating all world languages.

We are delighted to announce the following winners and highly commended entries in each category:

Mother Tongue

Award

Pupil

School

Language

P1-P4

Winner

Zayne Emengo-Okpo

St Aloysius College JS

Hausa

Highly commended

Eloïse Harkins

St Aloysius College JS

French

P5-P7

Winner

Lucja Lubanska

St Charles’ Primary

Polish

Highly commended

Ahmad Raza

Newmains Primary

Urdu

S1-S3

Winner

Pranay Neppalli

Craigmount High

Telugu

Highly commended

Filip Strzalka

Craigmount High

Polish

S4-S6

Winner

Chancelvie Bembo

St Benedicts

French

Highly commended

Lovely Selwyn

Bishopbriggs Academy

Tamil

Other Tongue

Award

Pupil

School

Language

P1-P4

Winner

Abbie Rettie

Goodlyburn Primary

Gaelic

Highly commended

Haroon Majid

Braidbar Primary

French

Highly commended

Stephanie Mackay-Watt

Goodlyburn Primary

Gaelic

P5-P7

Winner

Isobel Ross

Braidbar Primary

BSL

Highly commended

Evelina Finkova

Goodlyburn Primary

Gaelic

S1-S3

Winner

Rona Bryden

Loudoun Academy

German

Highly commended

Anna d’Alessio

Bishopbriggs Academy

Italian

Highly commended

Alistair Hillis

Jordanhill

Mandarin

S4-S6

Winner

Lewis Fleming

St Thomas Aquinas

Spanish

Highly commended

Anya Jarvis

Loudoun Academy

French

Highly commended

Ellie McGill

Carrick Academy

French

 

All pupils will receive a certificate and book token. Winning entrants will also receive a trophy as well as the opportunity for their poems to feature in The Children's Poetry Archive and Kids Poetry Club podcast. We will be in contact with schools shortly about taking these extra special opportunities forward.

It is our intention to host each of these poems on the SCILT website and we'll announce when these are available.

Congratulations again to all our finalists!

25 February 2021 (Get Across Borders / SCILT)

Expressions of interest are now being taken from local authorities who would like to host a German student teacher for a 6 month placement during the 2021/22 school session.

German trainee teachers from Universities in Mainz, Leipzig and Koblenz are available to work in Scottish schools for a six month placement from September/October 2021 to March/April 2022. Participating students are native German speakers, training to become secondary teachers of English. 

German Educational Trainees (GETs) support language teaching and intercultural understanding, bringing language alive for learners with a trained and motivated native speaker. 

Local authorities interested in hosting GETs should register with SCILT by Friday 26th March. For more information and to register your interest please contact SCILT

23 February 2021 (German Embassy )

If you know a truly outstanding German language teacher at your primary or secondary school – make sure that their dedication and excellence get the recognition they deserve!

The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in London is pleased to invite nominations for the annual German Teacher Award, now in its 18th successful year. The winners will receive a personal prize and a certificate. The prizes will be presented at a special ceremony in early summer – if Covid-19 restrictions allow.

On this occasion the Goethe-Institut’s Peter Boaks Prize, which recognises outstanding young(er) teachers of the German language, and two special prizes donated by the Austrian Cultural Forum and the Embassy of Switzerland will also be awarded.

Visit the German Embassy website for more information about the nomination process. Deadline: 14 May 2021.

Read more...

23 February 2021 (The Guardian)

From coronamüde (tired of Covid-19) to Coronafrisur (corona hairstyle), a German project is documenting the huge number of new words coined in the last year as the language races to keep up with lives radically changed by the pandemic.

The list, compiled by the Leibniz Institute for the German Language, an organisation that documents German language in the past and present, already comprises more than 1,200 new German words – many more than the 200 seen in an average year.

It includes feelings many can relate to, such as overzoomed (stressed by too many video calls), Coronaangst (when you have anxiety about the virus) and Impfneid (envy of those who have been vaccinated).

Other new words reveal the often strange reality of life under restrictions: Kuschelkontakt (cuddle contact) for the specific person you meet for cuddles and Abstandsbier (distance beer) for when you drink with friends at a safe distance.

The small team of three at the Leibniz institute collect words that are used in the press, on social media and the wider internet and monitor them. Those that are used most often will later make it into the dictionary.

Dr Christine Möhrs, who works at the institute and compiles the words, said the project tells the story of life during the pandemic.

Read more...

23 February 2021 (Glasgow Film Festival)

Glasgow is one of the friendliest film festivals on the planet with a wide-ranging programme that celebrates every corner of world cinema and provides a fantastic showcase for the best of Scottish film. The 2021 edition will take place from Wednesday 24 February to Sunday 7 March.

There are several foreign language screenings available for learners to practise listening skills.

If you haven't already secured your tickets, visit the website for full programme details and buy now.

Read more...

23 February 2021 (The Guardian)

Thousands of UK students hoping to spend the year abroad are caught in limbo after facing major disruption to their travel plans due to post-Brexit red tape and costs, in respect of which universities say they received inadequate guidance from the government.

Coordinators of academic years abroad who spoke to the Guardian said there had been limited information from the Foreign Office ahead of Brexit on the onerous requirements that the shift in their status would incur in EU countries.

Current advice differs according to the consulate and often conflicts with information from local embassies, with the result that many students have had to cancel or postpone placements, the academics said.

“I don’t think anybody was fully aware of the extent of the entanglement of the UK with the EU. Like any sector – the same goes for fishing, transport and logistics – the university sector is grappling with the complexities of the situation that weren’t known until it happened,” said Claire Gorrara, dean of research and innovation at Cardiff University and chair of the University Council of Modern Languages.

As of 1 January 2021, students arriving in EU countries must submit large amounts of paperwork to obtain visas for their stay, with requirements differing by country. Students must also demonstrate that they can afford their stay in some countries, including proof of more than €6,000 (£5,194) in their bank account in Austria, Italy and Portugal, or of an income of €700-€800 a month in Germany, Denmark and Sweden.

Nigel Harkness, a pro-vice-chancellor and French professor at Newcastle University, said academics and students were unable to prepare for these changes before 1 January. “Most EU countries weren’t in a position to confirm what their own arrangements were because we hadn’t confirmed them on our side, so this has created extra bureaucracy, and it’s been frustrating. We’ve all been developing policy and processes on the hoof.”

Despite the new rules coming into force nearly two months ago, academics said many students were still stuck in the UK awaiting further instructions or attempting to decipher conflicting information. Some students who remained in EU countries over Christmas to avoid Brexit complications have been told they must return to the UK to apply for their visas.

Read more...

23 February 2021 (SCILT)

We have a bank of job profiles on our website from a diverse range of occupations where languages are being used. Teachers use these to promote the benefits of language learning to pupils and to encourage uptake in schools.

Our latest addition comes from Leah Duncan-Karrim, who is studying Mandarin at university. Leah tells us how her knowledge of the language has opened up niche opportunities for her in her role as a sales assistant for luxury fashion brands.

Read more...

19 February 2021 (The Guardian)

The dramatic fall in students taking language degrees in the UK could accelerate if the government fails to fund the year abroad in Europe after next year, universities are warning.

Students of modern languages have to spend their third year studying or working abroad in order to pass their degree, and academics say this is the main attraction of many courses. Now, with the UK no longer taking part in the EU Erasmus scheme, there are fears for the future of the traditional European year abroad and for many language courses, with 2020 admissions already down 38% on 10 years ago.

About 15,000 British students a year, across all subjects, used Erasmus to travel to universities in Europe for three to 12 months during their degree. But the universities minister, Michelle Donelan, said earlier this month that Erasmus did not offer “value for money” for taxpayers.

Instead, the government’s replacement programme, the £110m Turing scheme, has a new emphasis on “worldwide” rather than European travel, to countries such as Australia or the US. It is only a one-year commitment, running from September 2021 to August 2022, which leaves a big question mark over placements starting next autumn – when those now in their first year of a language course will be due to set off abroad.

Prof Adam Watt, head of modern languages and cultures at the University of Exeter, a member of the Russell group, says: “If I’m an 18-year-old signing up to do a language degree now, I want to know I’ll have a guaranteed place on a year abroad in two years’ time with financial support. But we can’t make that promise. We can’t confirm there is definitely a scheme in place.”

Language degrees have taken a battering, with numbers of modern language undergraduates more than halving between 2008-9 and 2017-18, and universities fear the current uncertainty could cause even more serious damage. According to the admissions service, Ucas, 3,830 students were accepted on to modern language degrees in 2020, down 38% from 6,165 in 2010. At least nine modern languages departments have closed in the past decade.

Read more...

18 February 2021 (Institut français)

The Institut français d’Ecosse launches le Concours de la Francophonie, a national school competition to encourage all young French learners and their teachers around Scotland and to celebrate the international day of la francophonie.

The competition is open to all Scottish primary and secondary schools offering French. Enter by submitting a short video of classroom activity in French by 15 March 2021.

Visit the Institut français d’Ecosse website for more information.

Read more...

18 February 2021 (CISS)

Do you want to include Mandarin in your school's curriculum but don't currently have the resources? CISS is offering 10 week blocks of live-streamed language and culture classes for Primary P5-P7 and Secondary S1-S3 to start in August 2021.

Further information can be found in the attached flyer. Register interest by 12 March 2021.


Related Files

16 February 2021 (Japan Foundation)

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2021 kicks off from 19 February through to 10 March, returning this year as an online special due to the continuing pandemic restrictions.

There are 18 titles curated under the theme of belonging and existing showcasing how Japanese cinema explores these senses in the complicated modern world. Booking is now open. Visit the Japan Foundation Touring Film website for more information.

Read more...

16 February 2021 (SCILT)

Do you have a story to share with the languages community?

We are currently taking submissions for our spring 2021 newsletter. This is a great opportunity to promote what has been happening in your school or local authority with regard to languages. This could cover work going on in schools before Christmas, as well as innovative projects taking place during school closures, Languages Week Scotland celebrations or other languages initiatives. 

We are looking for articles of a maximum of 300 words, with a couple of colourful photos. The deadline for contributions is Friday 12th March 2021.

Visit our website to read the full submission guidelines, and to view previous editions of the newsletter. Submissions can be sent to scilt@strath.ac.uk

Read more...

16 February 2021 (British Council)

The British Council Language Assistants programme is delighted to announce the launch of the 2021-22  application window. The deadline for requests is April 30 and this date will be final. There are several changes to the programme for the coming year as a result of external circumstances so please read through all the information on the website. We will be organising online information sessions in the coming weeks so watch this space.

Also, follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Languageasst

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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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