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This leaflet is from a suite of printed promotional materials to support teachers, parents and learners. To access the full range of our promotional materials, and to place an order for your school, visit our Learners and Parents pages.
Should you have any other queries which are not covered here, please send your question to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add this to the frequently asked questions list:
Local authorities have the responsibility for delivering MLPS training to primary teachers. There is no set number of days or mode of delivery. However, teachers need to feel that their training gives them confidence to deliver a ML, with support from colleagues in the authority. There is to be more guidance on training.
Whether or not there is time on the secondary timetable for modern languages teachers to do this depends on the circumstances in individual schools. However, should this be considered in some schools, secondary teachers must be aware of the different approaches required to teach primary classes, particularly in the early years.
Partnership working between primary and secondary schools is essential to ensure positive progression for learners in all areas of the curriculum. It is important that schools share what and how children have learned at the primary stages. Local authorities are encouraged to support clusters in sharing practice to ensure positive curricular transitions. Children should be able to continue with the L2 they learned in primary school, from S1 to S3. It is the role of cluster planning to provide the means by which this is possible.
The report does not specify which languages should be taught. Any language, including German, may be taught as L2 or L3. Schools are free to introduce the languages which suit their local circumstances. In the case of L2, this will be where they can ensure progression from P7 into the secondary school.
It is good practice for secondary specialists to work with their primary colleagues in the interest of successful transition. The specific language expertise of modern language specialists can be utilised to support primary colleagues in a variety of ways, where possible. It is up to schools and clusters to work together, as for all subject areas, to see where, in the interests of the learner, they might work together.
There is no hierarchy of languages. Any language may be chosen by schools as L2 or L3, according to their own local circumstances. Schools must, however, be mindful of progression from P7 into S1 for L2.
Modern language learning and literacy develop the same four key skills of talking, listening, reading and writing. Within those key skills, they develop further skills in decoding for example, or making presentations. By making these connections explicit, children will begin to make the connections in their own learning and will begin to recognise their own progress in terms of those skills. The forthcoming P1 to P7 guidance will underline this but it is for teachers to ensure that these connections are reinforced in lessons.
This is not a new situation. In terms of 1+2, the guidance is that children should learn two other languages in addition to their mother tongue. Therefore, bilingual children are already learning English for L2, as are children with EAL. There is clear progression in English, from P7 to S1-S3. They would be introduced to L3 in the same way as other children. Some schools are able to offer bilingual children the opportunity to study a different language as L2, thereby extending their knowledge of languages even further.
There is no specific time allocation for L2 or L3. L3 should offer children and young people a progressive language learning experience which goes beyond word level. There will be additional guidance forthcoming on L3.
For L3, what we want to avoid is a 'one size fits all' approach. However, it has become clear that more guidance is required for L3 and this will be provided. For L2, there is no specific time allocation, in common with other subject areas. Provision for subjects at S1 to S3 must be sufficient to allow young people the opportunity to experience in depth learning at third level.
There is no set time requirement for MLs, as there was previously. This puts MLs on a par with other subject areas. The requirement, as with other subject areas, is that young people should have the opportunity, and hence sufficient time, to experience in-depth learning at third level by the end of the BGE.
There was an initial request that all those embarking on primary ITE would have to have a Higher in a ML. This is no longer the case. While it is for the ITE institutions to design their courses, it remains desirable that ITE courses include a ML component .
As parents/carers, you may have questions about the approach which we hope will be addressed below:
Find out more about these claims.
The ambition of the 1 + 2 model is that, by 2020, all children will start learning an additional language in their first year of primary school. Their studies in this language will continue until at least the end of S3 with opportunities to continue into the senior phase of secondary school.
Your child will be given the opportunity to explore another additional language no later than primary 5. This could be done through project work or a block of learning that explores the culture and the language of a country. The language work will be in enough depth to allow learners to go beyond basic words and will encourage them to experiment with the language so they can progress their language skills.
Whatever languages your child’s school decides to offer will be decided by careful planning between both the primary and secondary schools and will consider the needs of learners in both sectors. The language your child starts in primary one can be any language as long as the school cluster can offer progression into secondary school and to qualifications in the senior phase. This continuity will ensure that learners have the opportunity to develop their skills in enough depth to allow them to go on to gain an SQA qualification. In order to encourage linguistic diversity, the third language can be an exploration of any language that fits the particular circumstances of your child’s school; this could be Gaelic, Scots, French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, Polish, Urdu, Hindi, British Sign Language… the list goes on! Ideally, secondary schools may also offer opportunities for learners to explore the same third language they learned in primary and further progress their skills in that language. This could be done through master classes, projects or electives and could be offered as an option leading to an additional qualification in the senior phase. Whatever language is chosen the learning experience should be high quality and should offer progression in all four skills: talking and listening, reading and writing.
Yes! The 1 + 2 approach applies to all young people in Scotland whatever their mother tongue. All language learning should be seen as important and should be recognised as an achievement. In this case, English could be considered the second language and your child would be given the opportunity to study a third language no later than P5.
In Scotland children and young people can be educated in either English or Gaelic. If you have chosen a Gaelic medium school, then your child will most likely be learning Gaelic through an immersion approach. That means that Gaelic will be the normal language of instruction in every classroom, with English introduced later in the upper primary stages. An additional language such as French or Spanish will be introduced no later than primary five in order to give your child the full entitlement to 1+2 languages. Some GME schools may even wish to offer more language learning should they wish to do so.
All children and young people in Scotland, including those with ASN, have an entitlement to learn another language at whatever level is appropriate to their needs. Children with ASN will, of course, be entitled to support and an appropriate curriculum to help them overcome any barriers to their learning. Parents may wish to discuss this with their school as part of the normal review procedures for support planning.
We will soon be publishing a leaflet, Making languages count for my child: A guide for parents on language learning entitlement in Scotland.
Find out more about the research used to produce this leaflet and access further links supporting language learning entitlement for all learners.
Effective language learning and teaching will encourage children and young people to learn to use their literacy and language learning skills more effectively. Languages are interconnected; your child will be encouraged to see the links between languages and to recognise how languages work.
For some young people in Scotland, additional language learning from the early stages of primary school is already a normal part of life.
Languages will be embedded in the work that our children already do every day. They will use their language learning in the daily routine of the classroom as well as in projects with other curricular areas and in whole school celebrations. They will use a range of interesting, culturally relevant materials and technologies. Also, as they progress, they will use their skills to make links with local and international partners.
In primary schools, language learning will normally be provided by the classroom teacher or a teacher with responsibility for teaching a language, or a combination of both, depending on the school. In secondary schools, the teacher will be a modern languages specialist. You may also find that language assistants, people from business, parents and other language speakers from the wider community may work with the teacher to enhance your child’s language learning experience.
A positive attitude to other languages and cultures will go a long way to keeping your child interested in learning languages. In addition, you could:
Visit the Parentzone section of our website for more ideas and some recommended resources.
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