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Download 'A review of progress in implementing the 1+2 language policy'
Primary – Local Authorities are on track for implementation of a first additional language (L2) from P1 to P7 by 2020. While plans for implementation of the second additional language (L3) are at varying stages across the country, almost all local authorities are confident that the 2020 deadline will be met.
Secondary – Current provision within the BGE is varied. Almost all LAs have L2 provision up to the end of S3 and where this is not the case, planning is underway to ensure the entitlement will be met.
L3 provision is a more mixed landscape. Some schools and LAs are looking at ways in which to deliver entitlement, while some schools may need support with the timetabling of L3 as part of the BGE. A number of secondary schools are currently providing an L3 experience by ‘borrowing’ time from the L2 language provision. This compromises the depth of experience in L2 and leads to concerns regarding sufficient readiness for national qualifications in modern languages further up the school. This is not a recommendation within the policy.
Key recommendations see the Scottish Government explore opportunities for all young people to start learning a second language from P1 and a third language no later than P5, and for primary and secondary schools to work more closely together to ensure better progression in language learning. These recommendations should be implemented across Scotland by 2020.
Download the full report and related documents from the Scottish Government website.
The targets laid out in the Attainment Challenge are about achieving equity in educational outcomes, with a particular focus on closing the poverty related attainment gap. The work of the Scottish Attainment Challenge is underpinned by the National Improvement Framework, Curriculum for Excellence and Getting Right for Every Child.
for all young people.
Each of these priorities is addressed through the effective delivery of languages.
SCILT can work in partnership with primary and secondary colleagues to address these priorities through the following initiatives:
Research clearly demonstrates that language learning can enhance literacy skills and narrow the attainment gap.
W. P. Thomas and V. P. Collier. NCDPI (2010)
This report studies the impact of ‘two-way dual language’ programmes, implemented in North Carolina. English language learners and native English speakers are educated in the classroom together in both English and another languages (the home language of the English learners). The curriculum is presented in English part of the time and a second language at least half the time (Spanish, Chinese, French, German or Japanese).
North Carolina contracted researchers to look into the effectiveness of dual language programs in addressing the gaps in achievement between students whose first language is English and those whose first language is not English.
V. A. Murphy, E. Macaro, et al. Applied Psycholinguistics 36 (2015)
This study investigated whether learning a second language (L2) in primary school has a facilitative effect on first language (L1) literacy. In addition, the study considered whether there is an advantage to learning an L2 where the written symbols closely represent their significant spoken sound (in this case Italian compared to French).
The results presented in this paper suggest there are definite benefits from learning an L2 on L1 literacy skills. The study supports the point that apart from the obvious benefits of learning an L2 – including learning basic L2 language, having a greater appreciation for another culture and providing a good basis for later L2 learning at secondary level – L2 learning can be viewed as language awareness training: developing an appreciation for, and understanding of language as a system of sounds, words, and structure that can be manipulated in different ways. L2 learning at the primary level and heightened language awareness can lead to improvements in the developing L1 in the primary school learner.
For research demonstrating the links between language skills and employability, please visit the Business pages of our website.
Some arguments for the case for languages having a positive impact on health and wellbeing can be seen on our Adult Learners pages.
ADES is an independent professional network for leaders and managers in education and children's services, which informs and influences education policy in Scotland working in partnership with local and national government and other agencies.
The Scottish Government, in conjunction with ADES, deliver annual conferences in support of 1+2. Documents and presentations from the conferences and other events can be downloaded via the links below:
Scottish Government, Scottish Government (February 2016)
, (October 2014)
Dr Allan's video message for the Language Leaders Summit at Westminster (October 2014). He outlines the Scottish Government's commitment and ambition for language learning and teaching in Scotland's schools.
You can also read the transcript of Dr Allan's speech.
The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Modern Languages meets six times a year to discuss a wide range of issues relating to languages and their place in the policy discussions of the day. It also acts to gather evidence and write to ministers and other key figures, when the need arises, to draw attention to key issues.
EERC, Scottish Parliament (October 2013)
At its meeting on 20 October, the Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee (EERC) agreed to undertake an inquiry into the Scottish Government proposal to increase foreign language learning in primary schools. This proposal puts forward plans to introduce the teaching of at least one second language from the first year of primary school onwards. The inquiry was concluded with an event at the Scottish Parliament on 10th May 2013.
European Commission, European Commission (2012)
European Commission, European Commission (September 2012)
Scottish Government, Scottish Government (2011)
Key messages on languages:
European Council, European Council (2002)
In what became known as the 'Barcelona agreement' the Council called for further action' to improve the mastery of basic skills, in particular by teaching at least two foreign languages from a very early age' and ‘establishment of a linguistic competence indicator in 2003'.
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At the University of Strathclyde, SCILT have a number of partnerships with key organisations in Scotland, UK and further afield.
Copyright 2012 by SCILT