Supporting schools

Business Language Champions

SCILT is based at University of Strathclyde and our Business Language Champions scheme (BLC) helps schools and businesses to build partnerships through languages to equip young people with the international communication and employability skills that they will need for their future careers.

We are currently working with Michelin, the SFA and Loch Duart in the development of projects to link their businesses with local schools and demonstrate the importance of language skills in their workplace.  Read about the partnership between Michelin and Grove Academy and that between Loch Duart and Montrose Academy.

It's not only secondary schools who can benefit from partnering with a business organisation.  Pupils from Priorsford Primary learned about the story of wool, incorporating French songs and vocabulary.  Read more about the partnership between Holland & Sherry and Priorsford Primary.

This BLC project is a great way of showing young people that languages are a key tool in today’s increasingly international market place. The experience will hopefully make them think more positively about carrying on with their language learning at school and beyond.

The Working Group recommends that [...] languages departments in universities play a greater role in working with schools.
Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 Approach (Scottish Government, 2012)

School support activities from Scottish universities

This table provides a single point to discover how Scottish universities can support language teaching in schools across the country. Teachers are encouraged to follow the links and contact details below to access these opportunities.
UniversityType of activityContact details 
AberdeenA variety of activities 
Visit the university website
Edward Welsh

Sonia Domingo
DundeeBusiness and Languages in the Digital World
Annual competition for Dundee schools. A joint initiative between Dundee local authority and the University’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS), organised between Languages (School of Humanities) and School of Business.
CASS Day for primary school pupils 
Annual event for Dundee primary schools attending workshops in CASS-based subjects , amongst them languages workshops (normally, French , German, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese…)
School tutoring programme 
Placement programme for students in schools in Dundee and surrounding areas aiming to assist teachers in Primary / Secondary / Nursery schools. (Languages and other subjects)
More information
Distance learning courses 
In French, German , Spanish, Chinese and Gaelic. ( Graduate Diplomas GTCS accredited for teachers). 
More information
CPD workshops 
Language modules as part of MA in Education ( School of Education) 
Language promotion events with Goethe Institut 
On ad hoc basis, involving University students in school.
Marion Spöring (German) 

Brigitte Edelston (French, Chinese, Gaelic)

Mayra Crowe (Spanish)
EdinburghA variety of activities
Visit the university website
Peter Dayan
Glasgow

A variety of activities
Visit the university website

Penelope Morris
Heriot WattA variety of activities with specific focus on interpreting and translation
See university website
Annual multilingual debate
More information
SCHOLAR online revision workshops and materials
More information
Isabelle Perez
Napier

Workshops: 
Languages in the Workplace
Languages Learning: the Transition from School to University
More information

Mary Fischer            
Open University

Young Applicants in Schools (YASS)
YASS is a unique opportunity for S6 students in Scottish schools to bridge the gap between school and full-time university through independent learning. Run by The Open University in Scotland, YASS offers motivated and able students a chance to study a range of university level modules in school alongside their other studies. Language options are available in French, German, Spanish, Italian and Chinese.
More information

Page Munro
Stirling
Language Linking Global Thinking 
(Partnership with NUS Scotland, Project Trust, British Council Scotland and SCILT) 
Linking up of local schools with University Stirling students of Education currently teaching abroad under the Language Assistant scheme.  Aiming to promote language learning in Secondary schools and increase pupils’ knowledge of another country.  
More information
Jean-Michel DesJacques


St Andrews

Visits to and from local schools
Master classes, taster sessions and subject-specific as well as career talks; CPD events, auditing of lectures and seminars, invitations to attend student productions of plays and film viewings etc.
Student Shadowing scheme
Organised locally at School level as well as across the University to enable students to get a fist-hand experience of what life as a University student is about.
Diary of events
Overview of Language activities (including those organised by students and the various Language Societies) suitable for pupils and teachers from local schools to engage in.
Taller programme
An annual one-day workshop for Scottish teachers of Spanish, tailored for topics studied at Higher and Advanced Higher levels.
Languages Open Days
Regular range of activities from language tasters and mini lectures to games, songs and films as well as an interactive tour of MUSA, the museum of the University of St Andrews, designed to give pupils an insight into life as a Language student at University and to promote the importance of language learning for personal and professional development.
Module ID4002
Interdisciplinary module open to final-year students in semester one and providing direct teaching experience through a mentoring scheme with teachers in local schools.
Language Competitions
WORD WIZARD spelling competition organised in conjunction with SCILT.
More information
Involvement in various summer schools 

  • Sutton Trust: The scheme, aimed at helping young people fulfill their desire to progress to higher education, operates for a period of one week per year and focuses on those Scottish school pupils who may have become the first generation of their families to attend university or who attend schools which have little history of generating pupils who progress to university.
  • First Chances: The rationale behind First Chances is for the school to select ten pupils at the start of S3 who they feel can be aided in raising their aspirations and attainment. Pupils attend a residential summer school at the University and then over the period of the year, with the help of St Andrews student mentors, complete a project report and deliver a PowerPoint presentation. At the start of S4 the pupils return for phase two of their residential experience to take part in feedback sessions, academic workshops as well as a graduation ceremony.
  • Reach: The University of St Andrews works with Fife secondary schools to support S4 – S6 pupils. Reach members receive support and guidance throughout the university application process, aiming to give pupils the tools, know-how and confidence to stretch themselves and succeed in higher education. The Reach Project at the University of St Andrews provides advice regarding school subject choices and a variety of events and workshops to learn more about studying a variety of subjects. 
Annette Zimmermann


Strathclyde

Language Ambassadors Programme
School visits for Secondary / Primary schools aiming to raise the profile of languages amongst pupils and promote further study of languages both at school and university.
More information
Language Taster days
Shadowing scheme where pupils follow a language student on a typical day at university, attending lectures, tutorials, oral classes…
CPD courses
Certificate in Continuing Education for Spanish and Italian.
More information

Cédric Moreau (Language Ambassadors)

Lidia Acosta (Spanish)

Paul Hare (Italian)
UHI

A variety of activities with focus on Gaelic 
More information

Donna Heddle
UWSEngineering and education students Erasmus projects
Student and school links to support the 1+ 2 policy in schools 
CPD for teachers

More information
Laurence Giraud Johnstone
In addition to accessing resources from Scottish universities, why not access a native speaker through the British Council's Language Assistant's scheme, which brings undergraduates from other countries to support language learning in Scotland's schools.

Language Assistants give your school the opportunity to broaden pupils' understanding of the world, improve their language skills and increase their cultural awareness.

Native speakers of either French, Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese (Mandarin), Russian and Irish, Language Assistants are usually undergraduates, aged between 20 and 30 years old. This differs for Chinese Language Assistants who are qualified and experienced teachers, or teaching graduates with at least one year's experience of teaching overseas.

In schools a Language Assistant can:

  • help to introduce language learning
  • support teachers
  • increase pupils' confidence
  • improve overall standards
  • enhance teachers' knowledge of languages
  • prepare for exams
  • support implementation of the 1+2 languages policy
A Language Assistant will provide the cultural awareness and language learning skills that can only be gained from a native speaker. Because they are native speakers, their language is authentic and up to date.

More information is available from the British Council website.

  • Scottish universities
  • British Council
  • SCILT BLC
  • Postcard
  • Further resources

Latest News

View all news

Sessional workers for Club Soletes-Familias More...

Commission gives a boost to youth mobility in Europe More...

Bad language: why being bilingual makes swearing easier More...

ECML online questionnaire "Language in subjects" More...