Languages in S1-S3

Supporting transition

Scotland's Languages Explorers Programme

Scotland’s Languages Explorers Programme (SLEP) is a mentoring programme, based on the inspirational work carried out at the University of Cardiff, that has a proven track record in raising awareness amongst secondary age learners of the far-reaching benefits of language learning. SLEP consists of a short series of mentoring sessions led by university students with lived experiences of language learning and multiculturalism. It aims to win hearts and minds of young people by giving them time to explore the bigger picture of language learning with a trained, supportive student mentor. Similar schemes running in other home nations have led to an increase in the number of learners continuing with languages into higher levels of study.

SLEP 2023-24 will run in partnership with seven universities: the Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, Strathclyde and the Open University. Weekly online mentoring sessions will run with groups of up to 10 mentees for a six-week block at a time that is agreed between schools and their student mentors.

The benefits of participation in the SLEP are multifaceted: for mentees, working with student mentors can be aspirational and can open their eyes to the possibilities that language learning can offer; for mentors, they have the opportunity to experience the satisfaction of working with learners at secondary school while developing important leadership and employability skills. You can hear from last year’s mentors in the video below.

The programme is free of charge and available to all state schools in Scotland. Find out more.

Scottish Languages Portfolio

The European Language Portfolio (ELP) for Scottish primary pupils has been developed by SCILT and is registered with the Council of Europe. Managed and organised by learners themselves, the Scottish ELP can:

  • encourage learners to reflect on and make decisions about their own learning
  • facilitate evidence gathering and inform profiles
  • share information at times of transition and/or reporting
  • support the 1+2 Approach by allowing learners to transfer their skills across additional languages
  • celebrate wider achievement and learning experiences that take place in and out of the classroom

The Scottish ELP reflects the standards and expectations of CfE, whilst simultaneously benchmarking learning against the Common European Framework. In this way, pupils can see that their language learning corresponds to that of their counterparts of the same age across Europe. 

My European Language Portfolio digital format

The Language Biography encourages pupils to think about and celebrate the languages they experience outside the classroom, at home, in the community or whilst on holiday. It also helps them reflect on their own learning. 

The Language Dossier helps pupils to organise and gather the evidence of what they can do, say, write or make and encourages them to record the skills they feel that they have developed.

The Languages Passport encourages pupils to track their progress and identify their next steps.  It includes a page where the teacher can make a holistic comment about how much and how far pupils have developed their learning. 

The Teacher's Guide (PDF) provides the full rationale for using this model as well as helpful information on each section.

PDF and Word versions of the Portfolio are also available:

My European Language Portfolio (Word)

My European Language Portfolio (PDF)

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