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.