Case studies and further support for teachers who want to engage parents and families in pupils' language learning

For practitioners

Research shows that when parents and carers engage in their children’s learning, and when children and young people live in a supportive home learning environment, it improves their attainment and achievement. Where high quality personalised communication between schools and ELC settings and parents/carers takes place, relationships are strengthened. This supports parents and carers to engage more with their child’s learning.

National Improvement Framework for Scottish Education: Achieving excellence and equity (Scottish Government, 2021)


SCILT has collated a range of materials to provide practitioners with information on engaging parents and families with language learning, including examples of practice across sectors.

Access the toolkit

Read SCILT's case studies highlighting practice in Parental Engagement through languages.

Case Studies

Save the Children

This case study focuses on creative approaches to parental engagement with languages in the primary and early years sectors.

Moorfoot Primary
The school and Garvel Deaf Centre support parents of deaf and hearing children with learning BSL.

Springside Primary

A seven-week project saw the whole school community learn French. Resources available to download.

Fife Council Family Learning
Fife Council and PowerLanguage collaborated on an online course, piloted by families in nine schools.

St Winning's Primary
St Winning's Primary successfully achieved a high level of parental engagement in language learning

University of Glasgow
Explore creative ways of language learning with the creation of a multilingual performance showcasing both home and school languages.

Resources from SCILT

SCILT has collated a range of materials to provide practitioners with information on engaging parents and families with language learning, including examples of practice across sectors.

Visit Website

The 'Languages for all webpages' will provide parents, teachers and learners with information and guidance that is underpinned by the inclusive principles enshrined in Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) and The Interventions for Equity.

Visit Website

Bilingual families come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing they all share is the desire to do the best for their children. This area of the SCILT website is aimed at both parents and practitioners.

Visit Website

Resources to welcome young people and their families from Ukraine to Scotland

Visit Website


Languages in a nutshell

Explains how the 1+2 Approach will be put into practice and why learning languages is so important. Suggests ways parents can support their child’s language learning.

Produced by SCILT in partnership with The National Parent Forum of Scotland.

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Further leaflets from SCILT

Our leaflets support teachers and schools in engaging with parents to reinforce the benefits of learning a language.

Links to further reading Show allHide details

SCILT have selected a series of research and policy to support you in engaging with parents. Click a heading to expand.

author Education Scotland, (last updated: 11/04/2023)

Family Learning encourages family members to learn together as and within a family, with a focus on intergenerational learning.

Family learning activities can also be specifically designed to enable parents to learn how to support their children’s learning.

"Family learning is a powerful method of engagement and learning which can foster positive attitudes towards life-long learning, promote socio-economic resilience and challenge educational disadvantage" (Family Learning Network, 2016)


author Scottish Government, (2016)

Parental and family engagement is a key factor in helping all children achieve the highest standards whilst reducing inequity and closing the attainment gap. (p14)


author Harris and Goodall, DCFS (2007)

  • Parental engagement is a powerful lever for raising achievement in schools. Where parents and teachers work together to improve learning, the gains in achievement are significant.
  • Parents have the greatest influence on the achievement of young people through supporting their learning in the home rather than supporting activities in the school. It is their support of learning within the home environment that makes the maximum difference to achievement.


author Sylva et al, SureStart/DfES (2004)

For all children, the quality of the home learning environment is more important for intellectual and social development than parental occupation, education or income. What parents do is more important than who parents are.


University of Strathclyde Education Scotland British Council Scotland The Scottish Government
SCILT - Scotlands National centre for Languages