Professional learning

Professional learning

Are you a teacher of Mandarin, or considering introducing Mandarin to your school? Visit the Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools webpage for details of the support available.

Sign up for webinars led by the Digital Learning Team about the supporting learners with the digital tools within Glow. More webinar dates will be added in due course.

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A collection of online learning activities on a wide variety of areas of practice. Each learning activity is aligned to the GTCS Professional Standards and professional learning recorded here can be uploaded to your MyGTCS. Registration required or login via Glow.

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Free, online professional learning opportunities and educator communities for a range of digital platforms:

A wide range of online offerings to support your professional learning.

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Free apps with a wide variety of languages:

Apps with free content for a range of languages:

Free podcasts from Radio Lingua to learn French, Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese and Swedish. Video materials also available on YouTube.

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This Gaelic Language Learning Training Course is designed for teachers who have little or no knowledge of Gaelic. The aim of the course is that on completion, teachers are equipped with both the necessary Gaelic language skills and teaching methodology to deliver Gaelic as L2 or L3 from early to 2nd level. The course consists of 18 units covering a variety of topics and functional language.

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Free, anytime learning from the Open University. Create an account for free access:

  • track your progress
  • earn a statement of participation
  • access all course activities
  • submit a review of the course
  • available in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Welsh
  • three levels – introductory, intermediate, advanced.
  • length of time ranges from 6 hours to 24 hours of study
  • interesting range of contexts.

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An open learning platform hosted by the Open University. 16 free courses from Level 0 – 3 in languages such as Scots, Gaelic, Welsh, French and Spanish. Ranging from 1 hour to more than 24 hours of notional study. The OLC courses are not OU courses, they are built by teachers, colleges, universities, organisations and individuals.

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Online languages courses for beginners Japanese lasting 6 months, tutor-supported courses and self-study cultural courses introduction to calligraphy, flower arranging and haiku lasting 3 months from the Japan Foundation.

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Glow login required. A virtual learning environment for all practitioners involved in the delivery of languages across all sectors.

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Find collections of online resources to support teaching and learning in a wide range of languages. Visit the Gaelic Education Wakelet and the modern languages Wakelet. Resources will be updated over the period of school closures. 

The “Plurilingual Classrooms in Action” MOOC from the Scottish Council of Deans of Education Languages Group is a free four-week course, hosted through FutureLearn at the University of Glasgow and aligned with the core principles and contexts of the National Framework for Languages: plurilingualism, diversity, policy and legislation, and transformative practices, and aims to support the teaching and learning of languages in primary classrooms.

The course consists of a series of short readings, videos, tasks, and opportunities to reflect on the role of languages in and for education. Each of the activities will take no longer than 5 or 10 minutes to complete and aim to provide an overview of language teaching and learning in the 21st century and foster and enhance the creation of effective and engaging learning approaches which support inclusive practices in the classroom.

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Language teachers adapting pedagogy to online delivery may be interested in two new resources created by the languages education experts at the European Centre for Modern Languages. The Treasure Chest and the Wakelet are packed with resources for engaging activities in multiple languages. Activities are differentiated for multilingual pupils and language learners from pre-school to secondary age and will be updated during the period of school closures.

Repository for past webinars and registration for forthcoming webinars by languages teachers, for languages teachers on a wide range of subjects. Hosted by ALL London

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Recording of the presentation given at the Scottish Learning Festival in September 2019 by Susan Sey, Digital Skills Development Officer, Education Scotland and Sylvia Georgin, Aberdeenshire Languages Development Officer and Northern Alliance Languages Workstream Lead.

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Streap: Teisteanas lar-Cheumnach ann am Foghlam tro Mheadhan na Gàidhlig

Gaelic CLPL Opportunity for Teachers Streap: Postgraduate Certificate in Gaelic Medium Education. 

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Subscribe for recordings of webinars hosted or co-hosted by Joe Dale, independent languages and IT consultant.

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Massive open online courses (MOOCs) starting soon:

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Linguascope organises weekly webinars for Modern Languages teachers on a wide range of topics. If you’d like to register for live sessions, as well as watch all previously recorded sessions on demand, simply log in to the Staffroom section of Linguascope or download the Linguascope Webinars app.

If you are not a Linguascope subscriber, you can still access the webinars by subscribing monthly or annually within the app.

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For teachers of German, covering pedagogy or cultural topics. Webinars last an hour, are free and will be interactive. Join in live or catch up on recordings.

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Hosted by Joe Dale (UK) and Noah Geisel (US): listen to episodes and download show notes for this wide-ranging podcast aimed at celebrating the voices of the modern language teaching community.  

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A podcast from the US about language teaching from the diverse perspectives of teachers.  Wide range of episodes with programme notes.

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Special podcast episode on capturing the essence of fun while teaching online.

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Join this community of languages educators working in all sectors and in a variety of languages (Arabic, Chinese, EFL, French, Italisn, Spanish and Urdu). Find webinars, podcasts, up-to-date study guides, resources, films, discussion boards and more.

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Blog by Gianfanco Conti, co-author of The Language Teacher toolkit.

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Heaps of resources for drama-based language learning from Creative Multilingualism’s Multilingual Performance Project can be accessed at no cost. Includes a starter pack, video clips of drama games, tried and tested ideas for homeschooling and much more.

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A weekly podcast hosted by Dr Liam Printer talking all things education, language teaching, motivation and engagement.

Episodes focus on linking research to practice as well as giving teachers zero-prep comprehensible input activities to boost motivation that can be implemented into classrooms immediately.

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Languages Education Network Scotland (LENS) is a resource bank of studies and research findings from national and international contexts. These findings help us to unravel the complexities of language teaching and learning and why things happen the way they do in classrooms. Key messages from over 300 studies have been organised according to specific themes relating to language teaching and learning in the curriculum.

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Languages Education Academic Portfolio (LEAP) is a reflective tool to support implementation of the NFfL. Its suggested format is a portfolio for ITE and can also be used and developed further for CLPL purposes. It is built on CEFR and GTC(S) recommendations. LEAP is linked to the LENS resource which provides detailed information and guidance.

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The PDC in MFL website features resources and videos of practice. The site was recently updated with materials related to the FLEUR MFL reading study, the Primary Languages Progress and Preparedness study (both funded by the Nuffield Foundation), and The Language Magician assessment tool.

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Find out the research behind the language learning from a collection of one page summaries of research under the following themes: curriculum policy and curriculum modules; literacy and wider academic achievement; the role of age in language learning; pedagogy and teacher expertise; linguistic development and expectations; multilingualism and additional language learning; cultural competence and intercultural understanding.

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Thirty-four issues of the open access online journal from SCILT with varied articles from students, parents, educators and academics.

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OASIS (Open Accessible Summaries In Language Studies) database contains useful one page summaries of language related reports. A great resource for student teachers of foreign languages

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Slideshow produced by Glasgow City Council EAL Service.

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Over 1,700 children, parents, caregivers and teachers from around the world took the time to share how they were coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. They have all influenced this story project. Developed for and by children around the world, the story is available in multiple languages.

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Massive open online course (MOOC) from FutureLearn starting soon:

  • Multilingual Learning for a Globalised World from University of Glasgow. Explore multilingual education and how it can impact and improve education and even wider society. Notionally 4 hours of study per week across 3 weeks.

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PALINGUI – Language learning pathways of young children

Making early language learning visible: webinar recorded on 5th March 2020. Hosted by: Flore Schank, Ministry of Education, Children and Youth, Luxembourg; Ingeborg Birnie, University of Strathclyde, UK; Dana Musilova, Czech School Inspectorate, Czech Republic. Webinar powerpoint slides also available to download.

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Anytime learning module developed in partnership with Education Scotland, Glasgow City Council and SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages.

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This is an interesting and helpful article in the EAL Journal, the termly magazine from the NALDIC website. Published on 8 April 2020.

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Published on 20 March 2020 on the NALDIC blog which includes a crowd-sourced - not exhaustive - compendium of resources.

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NEW: Guidance and resources for schools and teachers to support pupils who use EAL and their families to help mitigate any learning and language loss experienced during school closures. See Parental involvement guidance.

Series of free EAL webinars aimed at providing direct access to expertise in English as an Additional Language to senior leaders and EAL staff in school, policy-makers, Ethnic Minority Achievement Service teams, teacher educators and academics. Join live or watch recordings.


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A reassuring article with some simple ideas and sensible advice by Catriona Stewart in the Evening Times on 17 April 2020.

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This is a short, easy to understand guide for parents of student who use English as an Additional Language. Available in Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese, English, Gujerati, Lithuanian, Polish, Punjabi, Romanian, Somali and Urdu. Share the link to the free download with your families and carers. 

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Are you a local authority officer or teacher educator with responsibility for languages?

Are you a Head of Faculty, Head of Department or Principal Teacher of languages in your secondary school?

Are you a lead language practitioner or primary school leader?

Are you looking for high quality professional learning for experienced colleagues, newly qualified or student teachers?

If so, why not request a SCILT workshop for colleagues in your school, department, cluster, local authority or regional improvement collaborative.

Whatever the professional learning needs of your intended audience, we will endeavour to meet them. If you have specific requirements we are happy to collaborate with you to develop bespoke input and support.

Always practical and interactive, SCILT workshops explore practice through exemplification, discussion and reflection with colleagues. SCILT workshops are designed to support local authority practitioners. Colleagues in the independent sector are welcome to get in touch to discuss their needs. 

Please refer to the SCILT Professional Learning Programme 2022-23 for further details about each of the workshops available and submit your request via the form below. Please note, these workshops are intended for group bookings only.

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Teachers Learning to Teach Languages (TELT) is an innovative, distance learning professional learning programme offered by the Open University in partnership with SCILT. The course begins with induction in September and lasts nine months. TELT is open to all primary teachers, and secondary teachers with a secondment in primary, across Scotland. Typically Scottish local authorities sponsor their teachers, however a small number of previous participants have financed themselves. Find more information about funding.


This programme carries Professional Recognition from the GTCS for all participants working in Scottish schools. The aim is to increase and improve language provision in primary schools. Teachers simultaneously learn a new language and the skills to teach that language in the classroom. The languages strand is offered in four languages – French, German, Mandarin and Spanish – and at two levels – beginners and post-beginners. The pedagogy strand covers a diverse range of pedagogical approaches i.e. embedding an additional language, exploring target language cultures, play and games, interdisciplinary contexts.

What’s the course really like though? Hear what Mel and Gwen, two previous participants have to say. 


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Scotland's National Languages Leadership Programme is offered by SCILT and Education Scotland. It carries GTCS Professional Recognition and is the flagship professional learning programme for all (aspiring) language leads working in primary, secondary or special education and with a minimum of five years post-probation teaching experience.

Participants are supported by critical friends who have experience of the programme and/or experience supporting professional learning and leadership development of colleagues. 

The Masters level programme comprises three elements:

  • Core professional learning days in June: two days of online professional learning coordinated by Education Scotland
  • Choice workshops between August and Easter: personalised selection from a varied menu of optional online workshops related to the leadership of languages education
  • Recall Day in May: share your languages leadership learning journey

Applications for the next intake will open in spring 2023 and will be publicised via the SCILT e-bulletin. In the meantime, to get a flavour of the programme follow #LangsLeadScot on Twitter. 

These offer a collaborative and enquiring means of challenging thinking, considering practice and bringing about improvement. Schools, clusters and local authorities work with a SCILT Professional Development Officer over a period of time to improve an aspect of learning and teaching that schools have identified as requiring development. Examining evidence together, engaging in professional discussion and exploring practical ways forward, the partnership aims to effect positive change that impacts on learners. These partnerships offer professional learning opportunities for teachers wishing to work together, share practice and deepen their professional knowledge. We offer three models to encourage reflective practice:

  • school and cluster-based collaboration (working with local authority and SCILT colleagues)
  • collaborative practitioner enquiry project (individuals and small groups with a SCILT colleague)
  • support for developing an enquiring approach to teaching languages (teacher-led, facilitated by SCILT)

If you are interested, please email SCILT.  

Find out about our previous Professional Learning Partnerships

Additional professional learning opportunities will be offered by SCILT during the year. To keep up-to-date with these opportunities as they arise, please sign up to the SCILT weekly news bulletin.

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'It was succinct and gave teachers opportunities to compare experiences and share ideas'

'An excellent range of interactive approaches and resources to provide stimulating and simple lessons'

'This was a very useful workshop – full of great conversation ideas and well-focused in activities which I know I can immediately use in the classroom'

'It was so refreshing to attend a course which was entirely relevant and where the speaker was so knowledgeable'

'It was a very well informed, well-delivered session'

- Testimonials from SCILT professional learning attendees

Professional Learning Opportunities

SCILT aims to provide high quality professional learning opportunities to support the teaching and learning of languages across all sectors and all parts of the country. Our CLPL flyer summarises our full offer.

Anytime professional learning for teachers

Are you a teacher, a student teacher or aspiring student teacher? Are you looking for some professional learning to do online, at your own time and at your own pace? Listed below are courses, webinars and materials that are free to access.

Recommended reading for language teachers

THE electronic journal for language practitioners in Scotland. The Scottish Languages Review aims to:

  • provide language teachers, students, and researchers in Scotland with a strong voice in relation to all aspects of language teaching and learning.
  • promote discussion amongst language practitioners across all education sectors about mutual areas of interest or concern.
  • encourage greater debate between language learning theory and practice.

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Find out how educational establishments are responding to the recommendations in 'Language Learning in Scotland: A 1 + 2 Approach'.

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In August 2011, SCILT carried out a national survey of language provision in Scottish state-funded primary and secondary schools via two online questionnaires. The data were analysed using both statistical and qualitative analysis tools. These are the results of the survey into Primary Modern Language Provision. 

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SCILT's 2012 analysis of published SQA statistics on language trends in Scottish schools. Because many pupils opt to study a social science instead of a modern language, for our analysis this year we compared trends of uptake in modern languages and social sciences from 2009-2012.

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Useful websites

Creative PLL pedagogy by Clare Seccombe, ML Consultant working in the North East of England, driving force behind Lightbulb Languages (formerly MFL Sunderland); Spanish and French. @lighbulblanguages @valleseco

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Discover a range of activities designed by leading education professionals to help your students explore the world beyond their classroom.

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An educational Spanish blog with lots of creative ideas and resources, including Spanish language cross-curricular materials.

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A free Spanish language learning site from Chile which includes adaptable texts, a learning blog and interactive games. @WoodwardSpanish

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A blog by a secondary French teacher with interesting ideas for lessons in the senior phase especially Higher and Advanced Higher level. Ideas are adaptable to other languages. @spsmith45

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Creative ideas from Lisa Stevens, primary Spanish teacher in Midlands. Spanish & ICT focus. @lisibo

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Blog by primary French teacher Emilie Woodroffe, working in North West England. @EWoodroffe

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Creative PLL pedagogy and frequently updated by Janet Lloyd, ML Consultant and teacher trainer at Manchester Metropolitan University; French, German, Spanish; @JanetLloydnet

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Hear about the latest CLPL opportunities

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SCILT - Scotlands National centre for Languages