SCILT is committed to supporting research into languages education at local, national and international level.
At long last, the Scottish Languages Review is back! Thank you all for your patience since the last issue, which was published in late 2018. With the retirement of the long-serving former editor Hannah Doughty (big boots to fill!) in 2019 came an unplanned hiatus. Then, just as things were falling into place, the world as we knew it changed. Throughout the best part of 2020 and 2021, the new editor and current contributors, all of whom have teaching commitments, had to prioritise other activities, in order to keep the show on the road for our students and learners. I hope you will agree, with its five high-quality contributions, that Issue 36 has been worth the long wait.
The phenomenon of translanguaging is a central theme of the current issue, thanks to two fascinating antipodal perspectives. From New Zealand, Corinne Seals explores translanguaging with reference to research carried out with colleagues in Wellington. She then discusses the findings of this research, which offer compelling evidence of the range of benefits, both qualitative and quantitative, when translanguaging is integrated into a pedagogical approach. Closer to home, meanwhile, Malika Pedley reflects on SCILT’s highly acclaimed Mother Tongue Other Tongue project, which was a central focus of her recent doctoral research on inclusive approaches to languages, concluding that creative writing across different languages can enhance language learning and identity.
The second theme of this issue is the use of L2 in the classroom. Maggie Mroczkowski presents a thought-provoking discussion on the use of L2 in modern language classrooms in Anglophone countries. She presents her research findings in the Scottish context, and highlights the importance of achieving greater understanding of how its use in the classroom affects learners’ perceptions of the target language. Meanwhile, Ingeborg Birnie presents a unique perspective on the ways in which Occitan medium education is delivered in the south of France. She analyses similarities and differences with the situation for Gaelic medium education in Scotland, before exploring some lessons which could be learned.
Last but not least, Sonja Fedrizzi provides some highly perceptive and timely insights into how her secondary teaching has changed over periods of lockdown and blended learning, and reflects on how this experience can be valuable as teachers across Scotland and beyond return to the classroom.
My thanks go to my colleague in SCILT, Sarah Macfarlane, for her priceless help in compiling a list of reports which have been published in recent months. From Issue 37 onwards, by which time, hopefully, restrictions will have eased a little further, we hope to be able to provide detailed lists of forthcoming events, together with a range of links to other languages related articles.
I hope you enjoy reading this issue. It’s good to be back!
Dr Paul Hare
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We are interested in submissions that consider any aspects of language learning/teaching or language policy, in Scotland or in other parts of the world. The SLR is read by linguists and educational stakeholders in many countries, not just Scotland, so your article can really have impact!
Please send your submissions to the SCILT Team