Business Brunch 2017 events webpage now live!

25 April 2017 (SCILT)

A series of five successful Business Brunch events organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland took place this year where 535 learners from S3-S6 were given the opportunity to hear from a wide range of exciting business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company.

The events demonstrated the relevance of language skills in a work context and aimed to encourage pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education, and beyond school.

Find out more about the events on our new Business Brunch 2017 webpage.


UCMLS 1+2 action plan published!

25 April 2017 (SCILT / UCMLS)

Following our final consultation with stakeholders at the national UCMLS conference in Glasgow on 10 March 2017 we have produced our cross-sector Action Plan in support of Scotland's 1+2 language policy, and it is now available online. Click below for more details but please REFRESH THE PAGE to get the latest version of the webpage!
Marion Spöring, UCMLS chair.


Public Consultation on the Third National Gaelic Language Plan 2017-22

21 April 2017 (Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

A public consultation process has been launched for the third National Gaelic Language Plan, 2017-2022. The plan sets out a strategy designed to grow the numbers learning and using Gaelic in Scotland.

The consultation period will close at 5pm on 17 May 2017.

Visit the Bòrd na Gàidhlig web survey to access the plan and take part in the consultation.


Photo exhibition workshops for primary schools: “Objectif sport”

20 April 2017 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow is organising educational workshops around sport and the French language in May and June. Through games and activities in French, pupils will learn about sport, sporting events and the values attached to them.

The workshops are designed for primary school pupils and their teachers (P3/P6) who visit the photo exhibition and are free of charge.

See the attached flyer for more information and booking instructions.

Biscuits galore!

20 April 2017 (CISS)

For some S2 pupils from Elgin Academy, the term began with a busy and exciting visit to Walkers Shortbread HQ in Aberlour, Moray.

The pupils have been studying Mandarin since January with the support of the Hanban teacher Sufang Wang and under the guidance of Jerome Lestienne, PT of Modern Languages. The pupils presented to members of the International team from Walkers and the HR team. The presentations reflected what they had learnt so far, which included simple greetings, some numbers (and how to express numbers with hand gestures) and explanations of what is peculiar to the Chinese language such as learning tones, characters, etc.

The presentations also incorporated advice on effective “dos and don’ts” of Chinese Business Etiquette. These were well received by the International Team, who later explained they are increasingly doing business with China. It is now one of the top ten countries with whom they deal and in the near future will be opening an office in Shanghai.

Pupils were judged on presentation skills, clarity of delivery, content, structure and language skills. (The latter were judged by members from CISS and the Hanban teacher.) The winning group were generously rewarded with a prize and all pupils left with a goodie bag.

Pupils were asked questions by the team regarding how they found learning Chinese. They replied they had found it interesting and were grateful to have the chance to learn some Chinese whilst at school.

The Director of the International Team thanked them for the useful and stimulating presentations. He highlighted the fact that future employees with such knowledge would be most welcome for the company to employ.
Walkers' staff enjoying the presentationElgin Academy pupils presenting

The 1+2 Languages Leadership Programme

20 April 2017 (SCILT)

Summer School is on! The national leadership programme formerly known as Train the Trainer has undergone an extensive review over the last year.

Under its new name, The 1+2 Languages Leadership Programme, this flagship national leadership programme will be open for registration from Monday. Invitations will go out to local authority representatives and teacher education institutions. The programme has Professional Recognition accreditation from GTCS and is completely free of charge for educators in the public sector. Beginning with a Summer School which will take place from Monday 3rd to Friday 7th July 2017 at the University of Strathclyde’s city centre campus in Glasgow.

Hosted by SCILT and Education Scotland, The 1+2 Languages Leadership Programme is aimed at those who have, or aspire to have, a responsibility for leading languages and developing colleagues’ capacity to deliver the 1+2 approach to languages.

The revised programme features inputs from a wide variety of speakers with an extensive range of expertise in teaching and leading languages. The inclusion of parallel sessions offers choice to participants, and the content is a balance of theory, policy and practice around language learning and teaching, leadership, personal reflection and professional evaluation.

The themes of this updated Summer School are:
  • 1+2 languages: the national picture and the position of languages in the National Improvement Framework and the Scottish Attainment Challenge
  • Strategic leadership in languages: planning and evaluation
  • Progression in language learning
  • Parental and wider engagement in language learning
  • Raising attainment: practical ways to develop literacy skills across languages
  • L3 – existing models, diversity of languages
  • Inclusive practice in languages
  • Supporting bilingual learners
Interested in participating in The 1+2 Languages Leadership Programme? Contact your local authority QIO.

Education Scotland Modern Languages newsletter - April 2017

18 April 2017 (Education Scotland)

The latest edition of Education Scotland's Modern Languages newsletter is now available.


Polish ambassador calls for Polish to be taught in Scottish schools

12 April 2017 (Press and Journal)

The Polish ambassador has called for his country’s language to be taught in Scottish schools.

Arkady Rzegocki said he had raised the issue with ministers since taking up his post last year.

He also told the Press and Journal that schools in Poland have “much more knowledge” about Britain and Scotland than their counterparts here.

Mr Rzegocki, who visited Scotland two weeks ago, said: “From my perspective it’s a really great opportunity and great chance because we need more information about Poland and about central Europe generally in British schools, in Scottish schools.

“And also the Polish language should be learned as a foreign language.”

He added: “This lack of knowledge is a real barrier from my perspective, a real barrier to better economical cooperation.

“It’s fair to say we have much, much more knowledge about Britain, about Scotland in Polish schools, in Poland, so we have to make it more equal.”

He also said he is trying to encourage more Polish people to visit Scotland and vice versa.

And he highlighted Polish Heritage Day next month, which he described as an opportunity for British and Polish people to learn more about each other’s history and customs.


Related Links

Polish language advocates lament lack of classes (The Times, 14 April 2017)

Blantyre primary school children celebrate the language and culture of Spain

12 April 2017 (Daily Record)

St Joseph’s Primary School in Blantyre embraced the Scottish Government’s approach to modern languages learning by celebrating the language and culture of Spain last week.

During a dedicated Spanish week of events aimed at developing learners’ use of the Spanish language pupils learned about the Spanish culture and Spanish-speaking countries worldwide.

Learners participated in a range of stimulating experiences and opportunities which supported them in their journey towards Global Citizenship by enabling them to deepen and extend their knowledge and understanding of Spanish cities, food, music, dance, architecture, sport, famous people, festivals, film and media.


Gaelic Enrichment Course for GLE & GME Teachers

7 April 2017 (Ceòlas)

Ceòlas will be running teacher training courses again this year, in July during the Summer School (2--7/7; Dalabrog) and the symposium (23-27/7; Ìochdar).

Six different levels will run, making this course suitable for teachers who are beginners up to fluent who wish to learn Gaelic as it is used within the community. Teachers really enjoy this course, many of whom have not 'experienced' a Gaelic community before.

See the attached flyer or visit the website for more information.


Dingwall Academy's pioneering sign language work hailed at Holyrood

2 April 2017 (Ross-shire Journal)

Dingwall Academy’s leadership in promoting British Sign Language (BSL) has been applauded by the Scottish Parliament – after the school was highly praised by Strathpeffer-based MSP, Maree Todd.

She used the recent debate on the consultation on the Draft BSL National Plan to highlight the initiative of Dingwall Academy’s unit. During her speech, she used BSL to welcome former Dingwall Academy pupil, Caitlin Bogan, who was watching the debate from the viewing gallery.

The MSP later said: “We should all be proud of what is being done in the Highlands. Dingwall Academy is one of the few schools to deliver a BSL unit – all students in first year, including my son Gregor this year, take BSL classes as a taster along with other languages, including French, Gaelic and German.


SQA National 5 Modern Languages webinars

31 March 2017 (SQA)

The SQA is running a series of subject-specific continuing professional development (CPD) webinars to help you prepare for the revised National 5 course assessments that are being introduced in session 2017-18. The Modern Languages webinars will take place on Thursday 20 April, Monday 24 April and Thursday 4 May, and will focus on the requirements of the revised assessments.

Further details of the webinars are provided on the SQA's NQ events page. Please note that places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please note also that the content of Modern Languages webinars is the same, and colleagues need only attend one of the three scheduled.

For those unable to secure a place, recordings of the webinars will be published on the SQA website within six weeks of the webinar date. This will be accompanied by a transcript of any questions and answers discussed during the webinars.

Details of published webinars will be provided in SQA Centre News over the coming months.


Sessional workers for Club Soletes-Familias

28 March 2017 (Club Soletes-Familias)

Club Soletes is a registered charity based in Glasgow, which has been supporting Spanish-speaking families in Glasgow since 2003. Our weekly family group aims to offer a Spanish-speaking environment, to learn and share knowledge and understanding of the Hispanic cultures, and encourage the use of the minority language (Spanish). Since September 2016, our Big Lottery funded mobile library project - La Biciteca - has been travelling around Early Years establishments, parks and public spaces in North West Glasgow offering storytelling and play sessions in Spanish to both our members and the wider community.

We are currently seeking sessional workers to assist in delivering our activities, as and when required.

See the attached document and application form for further information.

Apply by Friday 14 April 2017.

French at the Alliance Française in Glasgow

27 March 2017 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française has a number of upcoming opportunities for French language learners in Glasgow. Follow the relevant link below for more information:
  • Spring Break Revision Classes April 2017 (3-7 April) - preparation courses for pupils sitting Nat 5, Higher and Advanced Higher French this year and University students due to sit exams later this year.
  • Easter workshop for primary school pupils (3-7 April) - children will learn about French language and culture through fun Easter-themed activities.
  • Term D adult courses now enrolling - classes available at all levels from Beginner to Advanced, along with specialised courses such as Conversation, Current Affairs, Grammar and Phonetics. New term commences 18 April 2017.
  • New adult classes - Beginners, Lunchtime Conversation Class, Phonetics Class, Grammar Class commencing from 18 April 2017.

For further information about the Alliance Française and their full range of activities, visit their website.


Edinburgh primary leads way with Japanese lessons pilot

27 March 2017 (Edinburgh Evening News)

They already love manga, Pokemon and Nintendo and now schoolchildren in the Capital have been given the chance to learn about the language behind some of their favourite pastimes.

Liberton Primary School has become a language trailblazer thanks to a new scheme designed to introduce youngsters to Japanese from an early age.

The Japanese for Young Learners project has seen two P5 classes give the language a go, as well as learning about the history and culture of the far eastern country.

While Liberton already teaches a number of other languages – such as French, German, Spanish and Mandarin – it is the first Edinburgh primary school in many years to add Japanese to its offering.


Jackie Kay celebrates pupils’ multilingual poetry success

24 March 2017 (SCILT)

The multilingual talents of budding young poets from across Scotland were celebrated at a prestigious award ceremony in Glasgow. Jackie Kay, Scotland's Makar, presented the prizes.

Primary and secondary students from Aberdeenshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Stirling and West Lothian used their language skills to create and share poetry for this year’s Mother Tongue Other Tongue multilingual poetry competition. Winners received their prizes on the main Piazza stage at the SEC Glasgow on Saturday 11 March 2017 as part of the wider Languages Show Live Scotland event. Their work is published in an anthology.

Mother Tongue Other Tongue is an exciting project which celebrates linguistic and cultural diversity through creative writing and showcases the many languages which are used by children and young people across Scotland, in school and at home. The competition is organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, based at University of Strathclyde. Jackie Kay is the patron of the competition.

One teacher said of the event: “Taking part in the Mother Tongue Other Tongue poetry competition was a very worthwhile endeavour. Pupils really enjoyed creating poems in another language and interesting language based discussions were generated. The emphasis on celebrating all languages from across the globe was a great message to share with pupils and they especially enjoyed mixing their own language with the languages they are learning at school. We will definitely be taking part again next year.”

Whilst one of the pupils summed up their feelings: “I feel happy, proud and special.”

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT, says: “Mother Tongue Other Tongue is a celebration of the many languages that are spoken and learned by children and young people across Scotland. The collection of their poems weaves a rich tapestry of voices that honours cultural diversity and pays testament to the wealth of Scotland’s many languages and cultures. We were delighted to see such a high calibre of entries this year, submitted in 35 different languages. Our congratulations go to the winners and to all who took part in the competition.”

Mother Tongue invites children who do not speak English as a first language to write a poem, rap or song in their mother tongue and share their inspiration. Other Tongue encourages children learning another language in school to use that language creatively with an original poem, rap or song in that other tongue. Prizes are awarded in both categories.

Mother Tongue Other Tongue supports the Scottish Government initiative, ‘Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 approach’ by allowing pupils to apply their language learning in a creative way. The competition provides children who do not have English as their first language an opportunity to celebrate their mother tongue.

The targets laid out in the Scottish Attainment Challenge are about achieving equity in educational outcomes, with a particular focus on closing the poverty-related attainment gap. One of the key drivers is improved literacy. Through reflecting on poetry in their mother tongue and creating poetry in another tongue, learners are developing their literacy skills.

Mother Tongue Other Tongue is supported by the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland, creative writer Juliette Lee and the Scottish Poetry Library.

Details of the winners and the anthology are published on the SCILT website.
MTOT 2016-17 winners with Jackie Kay


Curriculum for Excellence Benchmarks

23 March 2017 (Education Scotland)

The Benchmarks in modern languages provide clarity on the national standards expected from first to fourth curricular level.

They draw together and streamline a wide range of previous assessment guidance (including significant aspects of learning, progression frameworks and annotated exemplars) into one key resource to support teachers’ and other practitioners’ professional judgement of children’s and young people’s progress.

The Benchmarks will also support consistency in teachers’ professional judgements and will help teachers to ensure that young people achieve the pace of progress they need right across the Broad General Education.

The Benchmarks can be accessed on Education Scotland's National Improvement Hub along with Benchmarks exemplification to support practitioners to use the Benchmarks.


Summary of SQA Course Reports for National 5 Modern Languages

23 March 2017 (SCILT)

We have summarised the Course Reports for National 5 Modern Languages and Gàidhlig. These reports highlight areas where candidates performed well in the 2016 exam and areas where they encountered difficulty.

They contain sound advice for both teachers and pupils in the run up to this year's exam diet.

The full report for each language can be accessed on the SQA website under the Verification and Course Reports tab.

The summary reports are attached below and can also be found on the Senior Phase, Essentials for Planning page on the SCILT website under the SQA Qualifications tab.


Sabhal Mòr Ostaig to offer new degree course for Gaelic teachers

20 March 2017 (SALT)

The BA (Hons) Gaelic and Education recently received validation from the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) and accreditation from the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS ) and the first cohort of students will begin the course in September.

The course will be part of Sabhal Mòr’s degree pathway and will be taught through the medium of Gaelic and will focus on immersion and bilingual teaching practices in schools. This is the first time that SMO has taken the lead role in delivering a teacher training degree, and the course is designed for either secondary teaching (Gaelic as a subject) or Gaelic-medium primary teaching.

Previously SMO had delivered teacher training in partnership with the University of Aberdeen, but with the new course the College is now a lead provider of Gaelic teacher training giving students a unique opportunity to learn in a Gaelic-rich environment. Students can complete the BA (Hons) Gaelic and Education through SMO or Lews Castle College, and the course can be undertaken via distance learning or on campus.


Young Scots whae hae

20 March 2017 (The Southern Reporter)

Galashiels Academy played host to the annual Eildon West Primary Schools Celebration of Scots Language and Culture, held on Friday, March 3.

All primary schools, from Tweedbank to Heriot, were represented. Medals, presented by Alistair Christie, vice-president of the Galashiels Burns Club, were awarded for Scots writing and recitation of Scots poetry.


Gaelic e-bulletin

17 March 2017 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland's March e-bulletin for Gaelic education is now available online.


Summary of SQA Course Reports for Higher and AH Modern Languages 2016

16 March 2017 (SCILT)

We have summarised the Course Reports for Higher and Advanced Higher Modern Languages and Gàidhlig. These reports highlight areas where candidates performed well in the 2016 exam and areas where they encountered difficulty.

They contain sound advice for both teachers and pupils in the run up to this year's exam diet.

The full report for each language can be accessed on the SQA website under the Verification and Course Reports tab.

The summary reports are attached below and can also be found on the Senior Phase, Essentials for Planning page on the SCILT website under the SQA Qualifications tab.


Language Show Live Scotland 2017

14 March 2017 (SCILT)

Thank you to everyone who came to see us at Language Show Live Scotland at the SEC last weekend! It was a fabulous event and great to meet so many teachers, pupils and language professionals and to find out how we can help support you all in learning, teaching and promoting languages. If you left an enquiry with us, we’re currently working our way through these and you should have a response within the next week or two, if you haven’t had one already.

We were so proud of our Mother Tongue Other Tongue multilingual poetry winners who came along to the event and recited their poems for us on Saturday morning. Thank you so much to the teachers who took this initiative forward in school and of course to all the pupils who took part. We will be uploading the winners’ anthology and photos from the event to the website in due course, so keep watching the bulletin for updates on this.

If you didn’t make it along, our PDO Lynne Jones provides a flavour of the show in this video:

Teachers ‘ill-prepared’ for primary language strategy

14 March 2017 (The Herald)

Teachers have warned an ambitious strategy to expand language learning in Scottish primary schools lacks direction.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) teaching union said training for school staff was variable and had led to lower confidence levels in some areas.

The criticism centres on the Scottish Government’s flagship 1+2 languages policy under which primary pupils are to be taught at least two modern languages in addition to their mother tongue, starting in the first year of schooling and adding a second foreign language no later than P5.

The government has argued primaries should incorporate as large a pool of languages as possible, including Portuguese, Punjabi, Urdu and Polish.

However, critics say schools and teacher training universities need a much smaller group of languages to focus on to ensure continuity of study and expertise among staff.

In a letter to councils, Andrea Bradley, EIS assistant secretary for education, said information from primary teachers had identified training that was not of a consistently appropriate standard.

She said members had highlighted a “lack of direction” as to which languages would be taught at which stage as well as “variable quality of teachers’ experience of training course delivery”.

She also said there was “inconsistency” in the duration of training courses and therefore inconsistency in “outcomes for our members in terms of their levels of confidence to teach foreign languages”.

She added: “The EIS therefore calls upon all local authorities to work with Scottish Government to address the issues that are raised here, with a view to ensuring coherence of approach and adequate resourcing in order that the worthy aims of the policy can be met.”

The concerns were echoed by Gillian Campbell-Thow, chairwoman of the Scottish Association for Language Teaching.


Related Links

SALT's response to EIS (SALT, 15 March 2017)

SALT schools competition 2017

11 March 2017 (SALT)

There are four categories in this years competition: Primary & BGE, National 5, Higher, and Advanced Higher.

The theme is I love Languages Because and students can submit their entries in any format (PowerPoint, poster, song, poem, etc).

Visit the SALT website for further information and to submit entries by 26 May 2017.


Emotional celebration of Perth Polish Saturday School's 10th year in the Fair City

10 March 2017 (Daily Record)

A school in Perth has been hailed for keeping Polish children and those with connections to the eastern European community in touch with their history and culture.

The Perth Polish Saturday School celebrated its 10th anniversary and a special ‘Jubilee’ reception was held at North Inch Community Campus on March 4.

On Saturdays the school based at St John’s Academy teaches Polish history, geography, culture and language from 10.30am to 1.30pm.

Many children from Polish families have been born in the Fair City and the school provides them with a link to their family’s origins.

They learn nursery rhymes, songs and poems which keep their culture alive, as well as mastering the notoriously difficult Polish spellings and grammar.


Pupils celebrate success at multilingual poetry competition

9 March 2017 (Renfrewshire 24)

Six bilingual pupils from Renfrewshire have scooped up awards at a national poetry competition for their creative writing talents.

Of the 14 awards up for grabs through the ‘Mother Tongue Other Tongue’ competition run by SCILT – Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, six were awarded to pupils from St John Ogilvie Primary School, St James Primary School and Castlehead High School, who had written poetry in their native tongue in order to share their “other voices”.

Renfrewshire EAL (English as an additional language) teachers helped support bilingual pupils to create a collection of poems written in languages such as; Polish, Hungarian, Chinese, Punjabi, Catalan, Arabic, Greek, Filipino, Korean and Dutch.


Mapping Chinese survey

9 March 2017 (SCEN)

At the meeting of Confucius Institute Directors last year, we all decided that it would be a great help if we shared information about the teaching and learning of Mandarin at all levels in Scotland. We want to map all the opportunities to learn Chinese accurately, and to share it with everyone to help with productive links between schools, colleges, universities and businesses.

We would like to invite primary and secondary school teachers to complete our online survey to help gather this data.

Visit the SCEN website for the survey link. Please complete by 31 March 2017.


Dumbarton Academy get to grips with business and language

6 March 2017 (Dumbarton Reporter)

Pupils from Dumbarton Academy had the opportunity to learn the language of business at a recent school event.

Third year students heard from a range of local business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company.

The event demonstrated the relevance of these skills in a work context and aimed to encourage pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education, and beyond school.

Cara Brown, subject leader for Modern Languages at Dumbarton Academy, said: “The event was a success, emphasised by the positive feedback given by pupils. The presentations delivered by the range of speakers were well received by everyone involved and really engaged the learners who discovered the value of language skills for employment and for life beyond school.”

One of the pupils added: “I enjoyed hearing different peoples’ stories and learning about what they had been able to do through learning another language. I was surprised to find out how many ways languages can be useful.”


Just 1 Week Until Doors Open on Language Show Scotland 2017!

3 March 2017 (Language Show Live)

Language Show Live, 10-11 March at the SEC, Glasgow.

Europe’s largest event dedicated to language teaching and learning is just 1 week away and new performances are still being announced every day, with salsa classes and an additional Gaelic introduction class added today! Every seminar at this free-to-attend event is fully CPD accredited and packed full of exclusive content. Head online today to claim your free ticket and enjoy all the content that Europe’s premier language event has to offer.

Remember: Alongside our trademark seminar, workshop and panel session line ups we also have our fantastic cultural piazza stage, free language taster classes, over 80 exhibitor and much, much more! Take advantage of our pre-show discount on our Language Plus Classes too. These two hour intensive classes are the only thing at the event that we charge for as we bring in some of the world’s top teachers and charge just £18 for the full two hours. Don’t miss out!

Visit the Language Show Live website today!


Visit the French Zone at Language Show Scotland in Glasgow

3 March 2017 (Institut français)

The French Zone is happy to welcome you to Stand 208 at Language Show Live, 10-11 March 2017, and to offer you a variety of French resources from the Institut français and other key actors of French teaching and learning.

Visit the Institut français website for more information.


French at the Alliance Française de Glasgow

2 March 2017 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française has a number of upcoming opportunities for French language learners in Glasgow. Follow the relevant link below for more information:

To find out more about the Alliance Française and all their activities, visit their website.


Consultation on the British Sign Language (BSL) National Plan

1 March 2017 (Scottish Government)

This consultation on the Draft British Sign Language (BSL) National Plan seeks to gather your views about the proposed actions. The plan has been produced in collaboration with the BSL National Advisory Group.

The consultation is open from 1 March to 31 May 2017.


Language Show Live Scotland 2017

24 February 2017 (Language Show Live)

There's still time to get your tickets for this year's Language Show Live Scotland event at the SEC, Glasgow!

The event, dedicated to language teaching and learning, is just a fortnight away and all programme details, teaching seminars and language classes are now live online. Every seminar at this free-to-attend event is fully CPD accredited and packed full of exclusive content.

For full programme details and to register, visit the Language Show Live website. Don't miss out!


Brian Wilson: Crunch time now for BBC Alba, a Scottish success story

20 February 2017 (The Scotsman)

The Gaelic TV channel reaches far beyond those who speak the language, and can get even better if it is given proper support says Brian Wilson.

Issues surrounding the BBC Charter and its implications for broadcasting are likely to gain a high profile in the coming weeks. It would be a pity if, in the political melee, a quiet Scottish success story was overlooked – BBC Alba.

Although its raison d’etre is as a Gaelic broadcaster, BBC Alba reaches 700,000 viewers each week. It accounts for half the commissions in Scotland from independent production companies. It offers a steady stream of quality programmes which would not otherwise be made, mainly on Scottish subjects.

By any standard of media accounting, BBC Alba has achieved all this on a shoestring budget. It broadcasts for seven hours daily but only 1.9 are filled with original content, including news and live sport. The rest consists of repeats, delving deep not only into BBC Alba’s own modest archive but the entire previous output of Gaelic television.

Some of these, it must be said, are very good. The BBC Gaelic department has a history of producing current affairs programmes in particular where quality was in inverse proportion to quantity. However, there are limits to how often viewers in any language should be asked to endure fascinating throw-backs to the 1970s and 1980s.

The current funding review is a crunch point for BBC Alba. It will either survive at its present level or extend its repertoire and role. There is a particular need, from a language perspective, for more children’s programmes and also a more consistent standard of popular entertainment. The channel’s supporters are sensibly realistic in their demands, which may give them a better chance of being listened to.


Related Links

BBC Launching Scotland Channel With $37.4M Budget (Deadline, 22 February 2017)

Learn French at the Institut français d'Ecosse

17 February 2017 (Institut français d'Ecosse)

The Institut français offers classes and workshops for all ages (toddlers to adults), from complete beginners to fluent speakers.

Enrolment is open for Spring term classes beginning in April.

Students undertaking National 5, Highers and Advanced Highers can also register for a preparation course running 3-7 April.

Visit the website for full details and to enrol.


Translation Course for University Students March 2017

17 February 2017 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française de Glasgow will be running a new translation course specifically designed for students who are currently studying French at University. This course will increase language skills and should greatly help prepare for exams where translation is involved.

This new 5-week course will take place on Wednesdays between 3.45-5.45pm starting Wednesday 1 March.

Visit the website for more information and to enrol by Saturday 25 February.


Agenda: So much to be gained from young people learning modern languages

12 February 2017 (Sunday Herald)

Does language learning have a place in the Scottish curriculum? Yes. Are modern languages and their teachers under pressure in secondary schools? Yes. Has there been a better opportunity for promoting language learning in our schools ? No.

Language learning has a vital place in Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) on a learner journey from 3-18 but in a manner that does not see it as the preserve of the secondary school.

It has always baffled me that traditionally in Scotland, given its place in Europe, we started language learning so late in a child’s development.

The earlier we expose children to learning languages, the better their chance is of seeing this as something that is just part of their culture.

From a child development point of view, there’s much research to confirm that children are more receptive educationally and emotionally to language learning from an early age.

They soak it up and acquire language skills at a great pace. We know that bilingualism not only helps the cognitive development of the child but also that children who are in bilingual education such as Gaelic Medium Education also attain and achieve at least as well as, in many cases better, than their monoglot peers. They are fluent in two languages and are learning a third by the age of 11. In addition, there is another plus to early exposure to acquiring additional languages; most parents like it, understand it and support schools that promote it.

The Scottish Government-led 1+2 languages programme is a long-term policy commitment started in 2011 due to run until 2021, aimed at making it normal for all children and young people in Scotland to learn languages from primary one.


Gaelic Translation Competition!

10 February 2017 (Education Scotland)

This translation competition is open to all children and young people in both Gaelic Learner and Gaelic Medium Education.

There are nine English and eight Gaelic posters of Scotland’s scientists available on the National Improvement Hub. One of the Gaelic posters is missing- Alexander Graham Bell.

Children and young people are invited to translate a short biography on Alexander Graham Bell into Gaelic. This is an exciting opportunity to have your work shared nationally and to feature alongside the other eight scientist biographies available on the National Improvement Hub. Your work could support learners of Gaelic across Scotland.

For more information visit the Education Scotland Learning Blog. Entries should be submitted by 3 March 2017.


New Content Announcement for Language Show Scotland 2017!

10 February 2017 (Language Show Live)

Language Show Live, 10-11 March at the SEC, Glasgow

Europe’s largest event dedicated to language teaching and learning is just 1 month away and the teaching seminar, TEFL forum and language class line ups have all been announced and are now live online! Every seminar at this free-to-attend event is fully CPD accredited and packed full of exclusive content. Head online today to claim your free ticket and enjoy all the content that Europe’s premier language event has to offer.

Remember: Alongside our trademark seminar, workshop and panel session line ups we also have our fantastic cultural piazza stage, free language taster classes, over 80 exhibitor and much, much more!
Language Show Live Scotland logo


Statutory guidance on Gaelic Education published

10 February 2017 (TESS)

Statutory guidance on Gaelic education has been published, spelling out the process that will allow parents under law to request a Gaelic unit for their child. Another key document has also been published: the public consultation on the National Gaelic Language Plan 2017–2022 runs until 6 May.

Read the full item in TESS online, 10 February 2017, under the 'A week in primary' section (subscription required).


MTOT 2016-17 winners announced!

10 February 2017 (SCILT)

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate everyone who took part in this year's Mother Tongue Other Tongue multilingual poetry competition for schools in Scotland. We had a wonderful variety of entries and appreciated the creative effort that went into the submissions.

Selecting the finalists for this year's anthology was incredibly difficult for the judges. However, after considerable deliberation, we're pleased to now be able to announce the winners in each category along with highly commended entries which will also feature in the MTOT anthology of poems.

Mother Tongue





P1 – P3


Jan Piwowarczyk (Polish)

St Benedict’s Primary


Highly commended

Kacper Jodelka (Polish)

St John Ogilvie Primary

P4 – P6


Laith Kabour (Arabic)

St John Ogilvie Primary


Highly commended

Ashley Li (Mandarin)

St James’ Primary


Highly commended

Amira Shaaban and Aidah Abubaker (Swahili)

St Rose of Lima Primary


Highly commended

Caroline Rotimi and Joolade Adekoya (Yoruba)

St Maria Goretti Primary

P7 – S1


Miriam Espinosa (Catalan)

St James’ Renfrew



Highly commended

Lemuel Pascual (Filipino)


St James’ Renfrew


Highly commended

Noemi Dzurjanikova (Slovak)

St Rose of Lima

S2 – S3


Stefan Benyak (Hungarian)

Castlehead High


Highly commended

Éva Tallaron (French)

Royal High

Senior Phase


Boglarka Balla (Hungarian)

Graeme High


Highly commended

Ayesha Mujeb (Urdu)

George Heriot’s


Highly commended

Nadya Clarkson (Russian)

George Heriot’s


Other Tongue





P1 – P3


Julia Gawel (Scots)

Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral Primary

P4 – P6


Nathan Watson and Aiden Wardrop (French)

Johnshaven Primary



Highly commended

Jack Shaw (German)

Gartcosh Primary



Eva Campbell (German)

Gartcosh Primary

P7 – S1


Rosalind Turnbull (French)

Doune Primary


Highly commended

Samuel Kassm, Theo Wilson, Emma Cullen and Darren Campbell (French, Spanish, Italian, Urdu, Scots)

Battlefield  Primary

S2 – S3


Simi Singh (French)

Graeme High


Highly commended

Ciara Wilkie (French)

St Margaret’s Academy

Senior Phase


Jordanna Bashir (French)

Shawlands Academy


Highly commended

Holly Mincher (Spanish)

St Andrew’s


Highly commended

Rachel Cairns (French)

Graeme High

Well done to everyone who took part in the competition. It's been a marvellous celebration of the various languages spoken in our communities. You should all be very proud of your work.

To mark participation in the competition, registered schools will shortly be sent a certificate which can be printed out and presented to pupils who took part. The finalists above will be invited in due course to receive theirs at the MTOT celebration event on 11 March.

Thank you all once again and keep writing!

Boost language attainment with a Modern Language Assistant

8 February 2017 (British Council)

Modern Language Assistants bring authentic language and culture to the classroom. In a recent survey of host schools, Heads of Languages reported improved exam results – raising standards in under-performing students and motivating talented students to achieve more. The support of an Assistant is particularly valuable with the on-going focus on languages in the 1+2 initiative, and can particularly help to complement the development of language teaching in primary schools.

The British Council Language Assistants programme draws on over 100 years of experience with overseas education authorities to provide a trusted, high quality service.

Applications are now open! For more information visit the British Council website.

In 2016 the Erasmus+ UK National Agency awarded nearly €1.2m+ to Scotland’s schools and colleges for Key Action 2 (KA2) Strategic Partnerships, and 70% of Scottish applications for school-only partnerships were successful. The next Erasmus+ funding deadline is 29 March. If you are planning to apply, access our tailored guidance for school-only applications and school education applications; pre-recorded videos; and telephone support sessions.


Le concours de la francophonie competition winners

8 February 2017 (SALT / Institut français)

Winners of the 2017 Concours de la francophonie, a competition run by the Institut français d'Ecosse for schools in Scotland, have now been announced!

Visit the SALT website for more information about the winners in each category.


New semester German courses

7 February 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow has a range of courses for beginners to advanced learners for the new semester commencing 13 February 2017. Classes in general language courses take place on a once-a-week basis for 16 weeks.

See the programme of courses available and visit the website to enrol.


Teacher Volunteers Wanted

1 February 2017 (NUS Scotland)

The Scottish Migrant Institute has been set up as a teaching hub to provide training and education to the asylum seeker, refugee and migrant community. These evening and weekend classes, hosted at the University of Strathclyde, offer a range of subjects to adults who want to learn in their spare time. They are currently recruiting volunteers to teach French and Spanish – this would be an ideal opportunity for ML teachers or students who have some spare time to commit.

For more information please contact Lord Apetsi, NUS Scotland Asylum Seeker & Refugee Officer. An information event will be held at the University of Strathclyde in March/April (date to be confirmed).

Yakety Yak Language Cafés in Glasgow

31 January 2017 (Yakety Yak)

Yakety Yak has some new venues for French and Italian language cafés in Glasgow.

Visit their website for more information.


Promoting Gaelic language

30 January 2017 (Stornoway Gazette)

The Gaelic language is to be promoted through one of the world’s most popular websites thanks to a new role based at the National Library of Scotland.

Dr Susan Ross, who learned Gaelic as a teenager and has since gained a doctorate in Gaelic studies, has been appointed the world’s first Gaelic Wikipedian.

The year-long post will see her working with the Gaelic community across Scotland to improve and create resources on Uicipeid, the Scottish Gaelic Wikipedia.


Professional Learning for Teachers of Gaelic Medium Education (GME)

27 January 2017 (Education Scotland)

Streap, the Postgraduate Teaching Certificate for teachers of GME will start on 4 September 2017. There are a limited number of places available. An induction event takes place in Glasgow on 14 and 15 September 2017. There is now a Facebook page relating to this professional learning. Please email for more information. This programme is currently fully funded by the Scottish Government.

Find out more about the programme on the University of Aberdeen website.


Choice of subjects is ‘not narrowing under CfE’

27 January 2017 (TESS)

Education directors have dismissed fears that pupils’ subject choices are narrowing under Curriculum for Excellence, insisting they have “far greater” choice than in the past.

MSPs have raised concerns that many pupils are only taking six subjects in S4 under new national qualifications, whereas eight would have been typical under the previous system.

Terry Lanagan, executive officer for education directors’ body ADES, said it was a mistake to look at S4 in isolation, since the “senior phase” was built around pupils accruing qualifications over a three-year period.

The former West Dunbartonshire education director also highlighted that schools could take more flexible approaches, such as joining forces to offer certain subjects or bringing in college lecturers to work with pupils. Greater priority was now given to so-called vocational qualifications, he added.

[..] Figures published in December show the numbers of secondary teachers by main subject taught from 2008-16. TESS examined subjects with more than 500 teachers in 2016 and found that French, computing and home economics are under extreme pressure.

The article can be read in full in TESS online, issue 27 January 2017 (subscription required).


French classes for the new semester

26 January 2017 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow has a number of upcoming courses for the new term. Follow the appropriate link below for more information:

For more information about the Alliance Française visit their website.


Language Show Scotland – Free event + 20% discount on language classes!

24 January 2017 (Language Show Live)

Scotland’s biggest and most prestigious event dedicated to all things language is back at the SECC in Glasgow on the 10th – 11th of March 2017. Officially sponsored by Education Scotland and the Scottish Government this free to attend event is a must for anyone interested in learning or advancing their languages, exploring job opportunities in the language industry, considering teaching or working abroad, enjoying a fantastic range of international cultural performances and much, much more!


Sample our extensive free seminar programme, meet over 100 top exhibitors like the European Commission, the Chartered Institute of Linguists and the British Council, meet language professional recruiters, enjoy our fantastic array of cultural performances, free language classes and more.

Find out more and register for free today.

Our trademark intensive 2 hour Language Plus classes are also now available online at a heavily discounted early bird rate (over 20% off the standard price!) of just £18. These optional add-ons can be purchased at the end of the free registration process and are certain to add a productive language experience to your day!

Language Show Live Scotland 2017 logo


Lanarkshire school is bringing Gaelic language and culture into centre of Scotland

24 January 2017 (Daily Record)

Lanarkshire may not be known as a hotbed of Gaelic but a little school are doing their best to reintroduce the language to the wider community.

Gartcosh Primary have been nominated for the Gaelic Education Award at this year’s Scottish Education Awards.

Rachel Neilly is one of four teachers at the village primary who has done the Gaelic Learning in Primary Schools course and teaches the language to primaries five to seven.

All children from primary two upwards learn German but the upper three classes have Gaelic as a third language.

They also learn about the culture in the Highlands and islands as part of their studies.


Principal Assessor and Deputy Principal Assessor - Higher Chinese languages

23 January 2017 (SQA)

SQA is inviting applications for a Principal Assessor in Higher Chinese Languages to lead the team as well as a Deputy Principal Assessor (DPA) in Higher Chinese Languages. The DPA is a new role in a slightly altered structure which will become operational for Diet 2017. The primary role of the Deputy Principal Assessor is to support the Principal Assessor.

Details of both roles can be found by following the relevant link below to the SQA website:

Training and support will be provided for both roles.

Scottish Education Awards 2017

19 January 2017 (Scottish Education Awards)

The Scottish Education Awards celebrate the hard work and success which takes place in Scottish education. They recognise the achievements of people who dedicate their lives to children and young people and showcase the valuable work and innovation in Scottish classrooms.

There's still time to submit nominations for the Awards, so get your entries in for the Making Languages Come Alive (Primary) and Gaelic Education/Duais Foghlam Gàidhlig.awards before the closing date of 15 February 2017.

Visit the Scottish Education Award website to make your nomination.


Cuts forcing schools to axe language and science exams

19 January 2017 (The Herald)

Schools are having to cut the number of subjects they offer to pupils as a direct result of cuts, teachers’ leaders have warned.

An education union said current budgetary pressures meant courses such as extra languages and sciences could not run unless at least ten pupils were interested.

The concerns were raised at a meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s education committee which is examining the roll-out of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) reforms.


Skye shinty player raps way to Gaelic film shortlist

19 January 2017 (BBC News)

A Skye shinty player's comedy rap has helped to get a video on the shortlist of Gaelic short film competition FilmG.

Ally MacLeod performs in Girls, Strì and Macaroni, a short film made by Iain Wilson from Staffin on Skye.

The video is among entries in the running for best mobile short and best comedy. Mr MacLeod has also been shortlisted for the best performance award.

The full list of shortlisted films can be found on the FilmG website.


Pass the Panda across Scotland

19 January 2017 (RZSS)

Conservation charity the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) is excited to announce the official launch of its brand new ‘Panda Pass It On’ game for schools. The game, which is part of the conservation organisation’s Beyond the Panda education programme, launched at four schools in all four corners of Scotland on Tuesday 17 January: St. Patrick’s, South Ayrshire; Lasswade High, Midlothian, Portree Primary, Isle of Skye and Forehill Primary, Aberdeen.

With only four copies of the game available, the intention is for schools to keep the fun, learning resource for a week before passing it on to other schools. The panda games will hopefully make their way across Scotland, with each school logging their location through a QR code on the back of the game, which will allow RZSS to follow the games as they travel.

Sandie Robb, Senior Education Officer at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said: “I’m incredibly excited about the launch of the Panda Pass It On game. It is the first of its kind and is a fun way for children to learn more about China, its history, culture and language as well as their famous animals, the giant pandas. It will be really interesting to track the games as they travel to different schools.”

The game forms an introduction to the Beyond the Panda education programme, which is designed to promote cross-curricular learning, with pupils investigating and discovering more about China. The materials cover Curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes in science, topical science, social studies, language and literacy. This is delivered through an outreach programme with fun, interactive games led by an education officer from RZSS, or in the case of the Panda Pass It On game, by itself.

The programme is sponsored by the Confucius Institute for Scotland at the University of Edinburgh with support from the Scotland China Education Network and the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools at the University of Strathclyde.

For more information, please visit the RZSS Beyond the Panda website.

picture of children playing gamepicture of children playing


Glasgow Film Festival 2017

18 January 2017 (Glasgow Film)

The programme for Glasgow Film Festival 2017 has just been announced!

More than 310 separate events and screenings of films from 38 countries will show across the city from 15 – 26 February in one of the UK’s biggest film festivals. The event offers several special screenings for schools, which this year includes the following foreign language options:

  • Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods (PG) - 6-8 February (French, English subtitles)
  • Ma Revolution (N/C 15+) - 3-8 February (French, English subtitles)
  • The Olive Tree (N/C 15+) - 7 February (Spanish/German with English subtitles)
  • Shorts for Wee Ones (N/C 3+) - 9 February (English, French or dialogue free)
  • The Golden Dream (N/C 12+) - 9 February (Spanish & Tzotzil with English subtitles)
  • Zip Zap & The Captain's Island (N/C 8+) - 9 February (Spanish)

There are also CPD opportunities for teachers and workshops for pupils. Visit the 'What's on for Schools' page of the GFT website for full details and to book.

Tickets go on sale to Glasgow Film Festival Members at noon on Thursday 19 January and on general sale at 10am on Monday 23 January.

Visit the GFT website for more information.


CISS professional learning menu update

16 January 2017 (CISS)

The CISS CLPL menu for 2016-17 'Making Chinese work for you!' has been updated.

Visit the CISS website to view the brochure and for information on booking a professional learning session.


SQA update to AH Modern Languages guidance on past paper usage

16 January 2017 (SQA)

The SQA has produced updated guidance documents on the use of past paper questions for Advanced Higher Modern Languages (Chinese, Italian, French, Spanish, German and Gaelic learners).

These can be found on the SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages webpage under the 'Specimen Question Papers and Marking Instructions' section.


Japan days for schools

16 January 2017 (RZSS)

Come along to our Japan days at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park, held in partnership with the Association of Scottish Philatelic Societies youth StampIT programme.

Experience a day at the park to visit the Japanese macaques along with an educational session using games and activities to learn about Japanese language and culture. Suitable for P6/7 and S1 levels. Entrance to the park is free for these special pilot events but places are limited and booking is essential.

Places available on Wednesday 8 March or Wednesday 15 March 2017. First come, first served. Contact Sandie Robb for further details and booking information.

School languages fear as teacher numbers plummet

13 January 2017 (The Herald)

The number of language teachers in Scottish secondary schools has fallen by more than two hundred since 2010, according to new figures.

Official statistics from the Scottish Government show there were 1,635 language teachers in 2010 compared to just 1,402 in 2016 - a decline of 15 per cent.

The decline comes at a time when there are significant fears over the future of languages with a long-term fall in the number of pupils sitting exams such as French, German and Italian - although Spanish is still proving popular.

Tavish Scott, education spokesman for the Scottish Liberal Democrats, who asked for the figures, called on ministers to explain the falling number.

He said: “It’s extremely disappointing to see such a dramatic fall in the number of secondary school language teachers since 2010.

“Language teaching in schools have been highlighted as a government priority yet the government’s own figures show there are fewer teachers than before, setting language students up for failure.

“If the Scottish Government is serious about getting pupils learning languages then they need to ensure every school has the resources to provide a quality language education.”

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Association of Language Teaching (SALT) blamed changes to the curriculum for the “hugely concerning” fall.


Refreshed and ready for anything in 2017!

13 January 2017 (SCILT)

Here at SCILT, our New Year’s Resolution has been to review and refresh the CLPL menu. With your feedback in mind, we have made a few strategic changes that we hope will make a big difference. New on the SCILT website from today – the new and improved CLPL menu.


Regional Cross-Sector Hub Meetings, Round 2

13 January 2017 (SCILT / UCMLS)

UCMLS (University Council for Modern Languages Scotland) is again holding a second round of regional cross-sector hub meetings during January and February.

Participants will have the opportunity to meet with university colleagues to discuss current and future collaborative events in support of the Scottish Government's 1+2 language policy. Comments will feed into the UCMLS cross -sector action plan in support of 1+2, due to be launched on Friday 10 March 2017 at Glasgow City Chambers.

  • Central Hub: Saturday 14 January 2017, 10-11.30, University of Dundee, Dalhousie Building, Room 2G13 (Registrations for the Central Hub meeting have now closed but if you wish to attend please send an email to
  • North Hub: Wednesday 1 February 2017, 4-5.30 pm, University of Aberdeen, Sir Duncan Rice Library, Top Floor, Room 1. Please register by 25 January
  • West Hub: Thursday, 2 February 2017, 5-6.30 pm, City of Glasgow College, Cathedral Street, Glasgow. Meet in Cafe Zero. Please register by 27 January
  • East Hub: Friday, 24 February 2017, 2-4 pm, Open University, 10 Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh. Room tbc. Registration will open once room details have been confirmed so please look out for the update!

SQA Marker Opportunities

12 January 2017 (SQA)

SQA currently has Marker vacancies in the following areas:

  • AH French Paper 1 and Paper 2 (Reading and Translation and Listening and Discursive Writing) - this is a MFI Central Marking event which takes place from Thursday 1 June - Sunday 4 June 2017 inclusive
  • AH French Portfolio - this is traditionally marked and the Marker meeting take place on Wednesday 10 May 2017.

If you would like to be considered for AH French marking please complete the online application form stating which components you would like to mark confirming your availability to attend either the marking meeting and or the central marking event.

Details can be found in the marker advert on the SQA website.

Current markers who wish to be considered for a change of level should also complete an application form confirming current delivery of AH French for at least 2 years.


Scotland-Russia Forum news bulletin

11 January 2017 (SRF)

The latest news and events from the SRF can be found in their January news bulletin. You can practise your Russian language at the next Чай н Чат (Chai n Chat) in Edinburgh on 2 February.


Police Scotland officers to be encouraged to speak more Gaelic under new five-year plan

30 December 2016 (The National)

Police officers are to take crime reports in Gaelic as part of new efforts to use the minority language.

Police Scotland already puts Poileas Alba branding on uniforms, vehicles and signage in the Highlands and Islands. Now officers all over the country will be encouraged to speak Gaelic on the beat and over the phone as part of a new five-year plan.

From 2017, the force’s logo will be rendered bilingual as standard across the country and in all official material, “demonstrating equal respect for Gaelic and English”.

Senior officers will also help would-be learners pick up the tongue to help create “a sustainable future” for Gaelic and integrate it within policing. Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Cowie said the strategy has been developed in response to a public consultation.


Related Links

Police fight crime armed with their latest weapon . . . Gaelic (The Herald, 30 December 2016)

Local pupils wanting to study Gaelic might not be taken by Glasgow City Council bosses warn

19 December 2016 (Clydebank Post)

Pupils from West Dunbartonshire wanting to study Gaelic may no longer be taken by Glasgow City Council, education bosses have said.

At the education services committee last week, Laura Mason, chief education officer, said Glasgow Gaelic School currently takes their 18 pupils doing their medium language study.

But she said: “We don’t know until we start enrolling in January if parents demand Gaelic education. There is a strong possibility Glasgow City Council will say they’re full.


Calderglen 1+2 Case Study

15 December 2016 (SCILT)

Calderglen is a six-year non-denominational, comprehensive school in East Kilbride, established after the merger of Hunter and Claremont High Schools. It serves approximately 1,600 pupils and shares a campus with Sanderson High School for young people with additional support needs.

The school uses an innovative and dynamic approach to the curriculum. Read how pupils benefit from creative language learning strategies and for interesting ideas for the implementation of 1+2.


SQA Course Reports

15 December 2016 (SQA)

SQA has now published the Modern Languages course reports for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher.

These contain helpful information on candidate performance in the 2017 examinations as well as providing invaluable advice to centres. Teachers may find the information particularly useful in the run up to prelims.

To access the reports for all Modern Languages visit the SQA website and choose National 5, Higher or Advanced Higher.

The course reports can be found under the tab Verification and Course Reports at the bottom of the page.

SCILT will summarise the key messages and publish them on the website early in the New Year.


1+2 languages Development Officers’ conference

15 December 2016 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland, SCILT and UCMLS ran a joint DO conference on Tuesday 29 November with a focus on sharing good practice in implementation strategies for 1+2 languages.

The morning session was given over to a presentation by Professor Angela Scarino, University of South Australia, architect of the Australian languages policy. You can now view Professor Scarino's presentation online.


UCMLS - Second round of regional cross-sector hub meetings

15 December 2016 (SCILT / UCMLS)

We are holding a second round of regional cross-sector hub meetings in January/February where we are seeking your views in preparation for the UCMLS action plan in support of the 1+2 language policy (Launch date: 10 March, in Glasgow!).

Dates for Central and North Hub are already decided, those for East and West Hub will be announced in the New Year.

First up, though is the Central Hub meeting, which will be held at the University of Dundee (Dalhousie, Room 2G13) on Saturday 14 January 2017, 10-12 (Registration from 9.30). The North Hub meeting will be at the University of Aberdeen, on Wednesday 1 February (Library, top floor).

Please check for updates on the SCILT website.


Arabic? Polish? Dutch? Your views on the languages schools should teach

1 December 2016 (The Guardian)

What languages should we teach children in schools, and why? The question came to the fore on Monday after the Polish prime minister, Beata Szydło, called on Theresa May to introduce Polish classes in British schools.

With 831,000 Poles living in Britain – they make up the largest immigrant group in the UK – introducing the language certainly could help communities feel more integrated.

Traditionally in secondary schools in the UK, the most widely taught languages have been French, Spanish and German, according to data from the British Council in collected from 2013 to 2014. In 2010 the government also decided to train 1,000 Mandarin teachers to work in secondary schools in England thanks to China’s increasing influence on the global economy.

How should we select languages for the curriculum? Should we choose those that are spoken the most in Britain? What languages have been most helpful to you? We asked our readers these questions and this is what they said.


Media Release: Two weeks to go! Last chance to enter this year’s FilmG competition

29 November 2016 (All Media Scotland)

The closing date for entries in FilmG 2017 is fast approaching. However, if anyone is yet to complete their film there are still two weeks left, before the competition closes on Wednesday 14 December.

Whether it be a comedy, drama, documentary or even a music video, one of the simplest ways to make a short film, is to use mobile technology.

The FilmG team are hopeful that the increasing availability of technology along with a broader range of prizes than ever before will see a record number of entries this year.

The theme for this year’s FilmG competition is ‘Strì’ meaning to strive or endeavour. All films must be in Scottish Gaelic and can be up to five minutes long for youth category entrants or up to eight minutes in length for open category entrants.


What's Your Story Development Programme 2017

29 November 2016 (Scottish Book Trust)

If you're 14-17 years old, living in Scotland, and care about creative writing and illustration then read on!

What's Your Story? is a Scotland-wide programme of support for teenage writers & illustrators – led by teens, for teens.

Seven teenagers from around Scotland will be selected to join the What’s Your Story? Development Programme for 2017. Thanks to our friends at The Gaelic Books Council there will be one place especially for a Gaelic language applicant, but no matter what language you work in you are welcome to apply.

Visit the website to find out more about the programme and to apply by 3 January 2017.


Media Release: Confucius Classroom launches in Moray

29 November 2016 (All Media Scotland)

A facility dedicated to promoting closer cultural links between school pupils in Moray and their counterparts in China was formally opened today.

The Confucius Classroom is part of a growing network of hubs – currently standing at more than 20 – being set up across Scotland to help promote Chinese language and culture in schools.

The Moray hub is based at Elgin Academy and will be resourced for children and young people from across the area to study all aspects of Chinese life.

It will also serve as a base for two teachers from China who will work closely with a total of 14 local secondary and primary schools during the current session.

The teaching posts are funded by Scotland’s National Centre for Languages at Strathclyde University where the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools is based.

Opportunities will also exist for teachers from Moray schools to undertake exchange visits to China, while pupils will also be able to take part in language immersion courses in Chinese schools.


SEET update

28 November 2016 (SEET)

Find out the latest about the Our Europe and Euroquiz competitions for Scottish schools in SEET's November 2016 newsletter.


Experiencing a Gaelic welcome when visiting Scotland

25 November 2016 (Stornoway Gazette)

A new Welcome Scheme which recognises the special efforts made by tourism businesses to provide for visitors with an interest in Gaelic heritage was launched at the Highland Tourism Conference in Inverness this week.

Scotland’s Experiencing Gaelic is a newly-developed Welcome Scheme and was launched by John Thurso, Chairman of VisitScotland.

VisitScotland is working in partnership with The Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to deliver this year’s conference. More than 180 delegates had the opportunity to attend breakout sessions on the topics of Slow Adventure Tourism, VisitScotland’s iKnow Scotland Programme, Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, Business Gateway support and Marine Tourism.

Recent research show that over half the visitors to Scotland are interested in learning more about the Gaelic language, heritage, culture and traditions.

VisitScotland has developed the Experiencing Gaelic scheme to recognise those businesses that excel in meeting the expectations of visitors who are interested in learning more about this native language, including all accommodation sectors, cafes, restaurants and visitor attractions.

The Experiencing Gaelic scheme is not just about speaking Gaelic but it encourages businesses to spend time researching their local area, providing translations and offering links to local Gaelic heritage centres and places of interest.


Special musical gift delights guests at Celtic and FC Barcelona's pre-game lunch

23 November 2016 (FC Barcelona)

Before today’s game between Celtic and Barça, the directors of the two clubs enjoyed a lunch organised by UEFA in a restaurant close to the hotel where the Catalans are staying.

FCB was represented at the event by vice-president Manel Arroyo, the commissioner for Espai Barça Jordi Moix and directors Silvio Elías, Pau Vilanova and Xavier Vilajoana.

And there was an unexpected surprise for them before the meal was served, when the choir from Dalmarnock Primary School performed the Barça anthem!

See the video on the FC Barcelona website.


Concours de la Francophonie 2017

23 November 2016 (Alliance Française)

L’Institut Français d’Écosse and the Alliance Française de Glasgow, in partnership with SCILT, are delighted to launch the 2nd edition of the Concours de la Francophonie which encourages young French learners and their teachers across Scotland to celebrate French language and the international Journée mondiale de la francophonie taking place in March each year..

To participate, you need to submit a short video (max 5mins) in French such as a dialogue, a song a short drama piece, etc. There are four categories:

  • P1-P4,
  • P5-P7,
  • S1-S3
  • S4-S6.

The four winning teams will be invited to the University of Edinburgh on Friday 17 March 2017 to take part in a special day of workshops in French and the awards ceremony.

For more information and to enter the competition by 14 December visit the Alliance Française or Institut Français website.


French grammar and oral courses for university students

23 November 2016 (Alliance Française)

Studying French at university? Brush up on your grammar and oral skills at the AF !

We will be running two new courses for grammar and oral practice specifically designed for students who are currently studying French at university.

The courses will run for 5 weeks during January/February 2017.

Visit the Alliance Française website for more information and to enrol.


CPD Workshops for Primary School Teachers in 2017

23 November 2016 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française de Glasgow will be running a programme of CPD workshops in French for Primary school teachers between February and April 2017.

Ten topics will be covered, tailored to the needs of Primary school teachers.

For more information and to enrol, visit the Alliance Française website.


French oral revision courses: Higher and Advanced Higher

23 November 2016 (Alliance Française)

As in previous years, the Alliance Française de Glasgow will be running Higher and Advanced Higher Oral Preparation courses for pupils who will be sitting their French oral examinations in 2017.

The sessions will take place during February 2017.

Visit the Alliance Française website for further information and to enrol.


Highland tourism chiefs reveal new scheme to recognise Gaelic heritage efforts

23 November 2016 (Press and Journal)

A new scheme which recognises the special efforts made by tourism businesses to provide for visitors with an interest in Gaelic heritage was launched yesterday.

VisitScotland’s Experiencing Gaelic is a newly-developed initiative and was unveiled by John Thurso, chairman of VisitScotland, at the Highland Tourism Conference in Inverness.

Recent research shows that more than half the visitors to Scotland are interested in learning more about the Gaelic language, and also our Gaelic heritage, culture and traditions.


News from Scotland-Russia Forum

21 November 2016 (SRF)

The latest news and events from the SRF can be found online in their November bulletin.

If you want to practise your Russian language skills, the next Chai n Chat (Tea and Chat) takes place in Edinburgh on 1 December.


Book Week Scotland 2016

18 November 2016 (Scottish Book Trust)

Book Week Scotland is taking place from 21-27 November 2016.

There will be a host of events taking place around the country, including those celebrating Scots and Gaelic languages. Check the events schedule on the Scottish Book Trust website to see what's available near you.


Capable linguists put off by ‘ridiculous’ grade boundary

18 November 2016 (TESS)

Grade boundaries set at “ridiculous” levels are driving pupils away from languages and leaving talented linguists with lower results than they deserve, it has been claimed.

Languages teachers fear their subjects – which are already suffering from falling numbers – will be sidelined further as they gain a reputation among pupils as “hard” options that could put their university places at risk.

Of the 30 most popular Highers, German and French set the bar highest for an A grade (78 per cent and 77 per cent, respectively); Spanish is also above most subjects, with 73 per cent required for an A.

Gillian Campbell-Thow, chair of the Scottish Association for Language Teaching (Salt), said: “Learners who were expecting to get an A, having had high marks all year, were of course disappointed. For some, it impacted on their access to further and higher education.”

As TESS has reported, the situation for modern languages has already been described as “near critical” this year because of a decrease in pupils taking the subjects at S4.

Ms Campbell-Thow said that, at Higher, “we are now seeing learners opting for subjects where they feel they are more likely to get an A”.

Languages teachers are also reportedly narrowing their focus. Ms Campbell-Thow said that one Salt member “felt she had to take out a lot of the creative content…in favour of teaching to a test, which flies in the face of Curriculum for Excellence”.

She added: “We don’t want to find ourselves teaching to an exam, using rote learning and effectively putting a ceiling on skills development and language acquisition, but the worry of letting down learners and parents…has left our practitioners feeling both vulnerable and under pressure.”

The full article can be accessed on TESS online, 18 November 2016 (subscription required).


Outlander coach wins at Scottish Gaelic Awards

17 November 2016 (Daily Record)

Outlander's Gaelic consultant Àdhamh Ó Broin has been honoured at The Scottish Gaelic Awards.

The Gaelic consultant scooped the International Award for his work as a Gaelic language coach on the popular TV series, which has showcased the language to an audience of millions.

Gaelic in the STARZ original series Outlander, now in its third season, is considered integral to the authenticity of the show and its characters

In his role, Àdhamh teaches the actors to deliver complex Gaelic-language scenes despite having no previous spoken ability.


Language assistants risk being lost in translation

11 November 2016 (TESS)

Most schools still do not have access to a modern language assistant, new figures show, amid fears that the scheme will wither away if a key source of funding is stopped.

Native speakers of foreign languages have long come to Scotland to work in schools and help teachers to bring those subjects to life. But as local authorities cut budgets, their numbers fell as low as 72 by 2013-14.

Figures obtained by TESS show that the provisional number of modern language assistants (MLAs) has risen to 146 this year, including 23 in independent schools.

The data from British Council Scotland – which arranges for MLAs to work in the country – show increased numbers in all five languages that are part of the scheme: French, German, Italian, Mandarin and Spanish.

But there is still some way to go to match the 278 MLAs that were working in schools in 2005-06 – the highest number since existing records began in 2003.

The picture also varies markedly around the country: 18 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities have no MLAs, while Edinburgh has the most with 25, and even a small council like Angus has as many as 19.

Lucy Young, head of education at British Council Scotland, said that councils often used funding from the Scottish government’s 1+2 languages programme to recruit MLAs at an annual cost of about £10,000 per assistant.

Under the programme – being rolled out in all primary schools – pupils are expected to have knowledge of two languages other than their own by the time they reach secondary.

But this key funding is due to be stopped in 2020 – putting schools’ access to MLAs at risk.

Read the full article on TESS online, 11 November 2016 (subscription required).


SALT 2016 Schools Poster Competition winners

7 November 2016 (SALT)

After a fantastic response to the 2016 Schools Poster Competition, the winning entries can now be seen on the SALT website.


Pupils enjoy Gaelic careers day at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig

7 November 2016 (Skye Times)

Thirty five Gaelic learners and speakers from Portree and Plockton Secondary Schools attended a Careers Day at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

The event was formally opened by Mr John Norman Macleod, Vice Principal/Director of Academic Studies at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on Skye.

The annual event ‘SIUTHAD!’– GO ON!’ is aimed at both Gaelic Learners and Fluent speakers. ‘SIUTHAD!’ showcases a range of Gaelic related careers and encourages young people to continue with their Gaelic studies.

‘SIUTHAD’!’ is a partnership between The Highland Council, Skills Development Scotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and is organised by the Council’s Gaelic Team, Skills Development Scotland(SDS) and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.


Scottish Gaelic Awards 2016: Full list of nominees who made the shortlist

7 November 2016 (Daily Record)

The finalists have been announced for this year’s Scottish Gaelic Awards with just over a week to go until the big event.

The awards pay tribute to all aspects of Gaelic culture, education and language, highlighting the excellent work done in maintaining its growth and heritage.

The winners will be revealed on Wednesday, November 16 at Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel.

One of the finalists in the Learner Award is radio show Beag air Bheag, aired weekly on BBC Radio nan Gàidheal.

The programme’s title means “little by little” and it introduces Gaelic learners to the language at an accessible pace.


By the numbers: the decline of specialist subjects

4 November 2016 (TESS)

Although archaeology is going to be withdrawn as an A-level option, there are other subjects that attract far fewer students.

[..] In Scotland, the lowest number of entries for a subject at Higher was for Gaelic as a foreign language, with 84, while 92 students took Urdu.

The full list of lowest entry A Levels / Highers is available in TESS online, 4 November 2016 (subscription required).


Scots Makar, Jackie Kay, supports MTOT

4 November 2016 (SCILT)

We are delighted to have Jackie Kay, the national laureate, as patron for this year's Mother Tongue Other Tongue multilingual poetry competition for schools in Scotland.

Hear Jackie's message supporting the aims and values of the competition in the video on our MTOT webpage.


Spanish Immersion Days for secondary students

2 November 2016 (Consejería de Educación)

The Consejería de Educación and the Spanish Academy of Language and Translation (SALT) offer Spanish Immersion Days for pupils studying at Higher and Advanced Higher level.

Trained MLAs are ready to visit schools and spend a day with students giving them the opportunity to practise Spanish meaningfully with native speakers through oral communication activities, workshops and games.

Visit the website or see the attached flyer for more information and the procedure to book.


Related Files

Business Brunches 2017

28 October 2016 (SCILT)

For the third year in succession SCILT, in partnership with University Council for Modern Languages (UCMLS) will be hosting a series of Business Brunch events across Scotland in January and February 2017. These will take place in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness.

Aimed specifically at S3 - S6 pupils, these events will demonstrate the relevance of language skills in a work context with the intention of encouraging pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education.

Registration is now open for the Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen events. (Edinburgh and Inverness will open soon).

To find out more and to register by 21 November, visit our Business Brunch 2017 webpage.


Gaelic awards judges say that the standard is so high that their task is even more difficult

26 October 2016 (Daily Record)

Entrants from across the country and across the generations and will be rewarded for their work promoting Gaelic culture and language.

Judges at this year’s Scottish Gaelic Awards have admitted they face a tough task.

Entrants of all ages delighted the panel with their high standards – but made the task of choosing the best a difficult one, according to chairman Cathy MacDonald.

The broadcaster said: “Once again, there is an excellent standard spanning the generations.

“The awards seek to reward all aspects of Scottish Gaelic culture and language, highlighting some of the excellent work undertaken to maintain its growth and heritage.

"It’s encouraging to see how much they’ve grown, attracting younger Gaelic speakers.

“They create an opportunity for those unsung heroes whom we otherwise wouldn’t have heard of and whose contribution deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated publicly.”


Euroquiz 2016-17

24 October 2016 (SEET)

SEET is very pleased to announce that Euroquiz 2016-17 has now officially launched! We run an annual Euroquiz for P6 pupils, promoting education about Europe and encouraging the development of foreign language skills and intercultural competencies amongst young people in Scotland.

If you are interested in finding out more about Euroquiz, visit the SEET website where you can watch our promo video, or contact Primary schools will receive information via their local authority including a registration form.


Concours de la francophonie 2017

21 October 2016 (Institut français)

The Institut français d'Écosse is pleased to announce the launch of the second edition of our new Concours de la francophonie to encourage all young French learners and their teachers across Scotland.

The competition is open to primary and secondary pupils and involves producing a short video in French which should be submitted by 14 December 2016.

See the attached flyer for more information about the competition and how to take part. You can also see pictures from the first edition competition on the Institut français website.


Related Files

Our Europe - film competition for schools

12 October 2016 (SEET)

Our Europe 2016-17 is now open for registration!

The film-making competition for S3-S6 pupils is an annual competition run by the Scottish European Educational Trust. Teams of 4 design a storyboard outlining the film they propose to make based on the competition theme. This year the topic is global citizenship, specifically addressing one of the following themes:

  • Travel and Leisure
  • Migration and welcome
  • Trade

As always, films must include the use of at least one language other than English. This year any and all languages will be accepted in entries. All teams have to do is put their ideas into a storyboard and send them to SEET by 8 December 2016.

For more information, visit SEET's Our Europe competition website.


Dundee Literary Festival 2016

12 October 2016 (Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

This year's Dundee Literary Festival takes place from 19 October to 25 November and includes Scots and Gaelic language events.

Children will especially enjoy the session on 22 October, 'Rock and Roald Dahl Party' with Matthew Fitt, featuring Scots translations of some of Dahl's classic books.

Visit the website for details.


SCHOLAR support for Advanced Higher modern languages

11 October 2016 (SCHOLAR / Heriot-Watt)

SCHOLAR would like to bring to your attention their support for learners at Advanced Higher French, German and Spanish tackling the Specialist Study and Portfolio. Within the ‘Culture’ area, there is an extensive set of activities taking learners through every aspect of these areas. There is also a record, downloadable as a word document in both French and German, to help learners keep a record in the target language. This has the aim of helping them both prepare for the visit of the external examiner, and collect information to allow them to present their evidence for the Specialist Study Unit in the target language.

Search for Scholar HW, or use the login link.

Log in with your ID and password, which your school has!


Makar Jackie Kay reveals plan for road trip to inspire writing talent

6 October 2016 (The Herald)

A tour of Scotland's islands, a plan for an epic poem and a project to put the languages of Scotland into verse are all part of the plans of Scotland's national poet, or Makar, Jackie Kay.

Ms Kay, who was appointed as the third Makar in March, is to embark on Ferlie Leed, a poetic tour of the Highlands and Islands, with a series of events in the more far-flung spaces of Scotland, beginning in Dunoon and moving on to North Uist, Stornoway and Shetland.

Ferlie Leed, a Scots expression which Ms Kay said has translated to 'wondrous talk', said she wants to visit as much of the country as she can in her five year term as Makar.


Related Links

National Poetry Day (STV News, 6 October 2016) See Jackie Kay and one of last year's MTOT winners, Keren Mingole, talk about poetry in their lives (the programme is available on iPlayer until 13/09/16 - watch from 28:50).

How a deaf teenager from Congo found her voice in poetry

6 October 2016 (STV News)

For most of her life, it seemed as though Keren Mingole would never have a place to call home.

Forced to escape war-torn country of DR Congo, the 16-year-old has been brought up in Scotland from a very early age. Not only faced with the difficulty of communicating with strangers, Keren also had to learn British Sign Language.

[..] In 2015, an opportunity arose for Keren to explore and draw from her difficult experiences as a child through a multilingual poetry contest.

The Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition explores cultural identity, and allows pupils from P1-S6 to enter creative pieces of work and celebrate the many different languages used in schools throughout the UK.

Pupils from across Scotland are currently participating in the multi-cultural competition, which is officially endorsed by Nobel Peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai. Scottish Makar Jackie Kay is also the official patron.

Keren won the 2015 Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition with her poem 'Who am I?' - a composition of her journey from her native home to her current home, Scotland.


Related Links

National Poetry Day (STV News, 6 October 2016) See Jackie Kay and one of last year's MTOT winners, Keren Mingole, talk about poetry in their lives (the programme is available on iPlayer until 13/09/16 - watch from 28:50).

Inverclyde Academy pupils’ modern languages day is a winner

6 October 2016 (Greenock Telegraph)

Inverclyde Academy youngsters explored other cultures as part of a day celebrating modern languages.

Third year pupils also served up coffee and cakes to their guests, who included language ambassadors from Strathclyde University and Mandarin speakers.

Principal teacher Sarah Bell invited along experts in British Sign Language, as she widened out the European day of languages.


Language Ambassadors Programme

6 October 2016 (University of Strathclyde)

Now in its 5th year, the Language Ambassadors Programme is offering visits to Secondary or Primary schools (and other formats too). As Language Ambassadors we will talk about our varied experiences as language learners and do our best to encourage your pupils to follow in our footsteps…

Motivation, experiences abroad, transition to First year at university, job prospects, university courses… This is what we can tell them about.

Boost your young learners’ motivation, invite us in!

For more information see the Language Ambassadors website and to organise a visit, simply contact: Cédric Moreau,

Language Ambassadors at Strathclyde photo


SQA news

29 September 2016 (SQA)

The following news items from the SQA may be of interest to language teachers:

Removal of Higher exemplar question papers

Exemplar question papers (EQPs) were created as a revision resource for learners during implementation of the new Higher and Advanced Higher National Qualifications. As we now have two years' worth of past papers for new Higher as well as a specimen question paper for each subject with an exam, the EQPs will be removed from SQA's open website in the week commencing 24 October 2016. Associated guidance documents and guidance on the use of past papers documents will also be removed at this time.

The Advanced Higher EQPs and associated guidance will remain for session 2016-17 and will be removed from the website in July 2017.

Marker opportunities 2017

Are you an enthusiastic and committed teaching professional looking for a new challenge? Do you want to gain valuable insight that will benefit your students? SQA markers are at the heart of our examination operations, gaining valuable insight into assessment and quality assurance processes.

We are currently recruiting markers across all subjects and levels for the 2017 examinations.

Please note that applicants must have at least two years of teaching experience at the level they wish to mark.  Find out more about becoming an SQA marker.

Scotland strengthens links with China: top Scottish legislator

29 September 2016 (Xinhua)

The links between Scotland and the Chinese side are going from strength to strength in parliamentary, economic, cultural, and educational sectors, said a top Scottish legislator Wednesday evening.

Addressing the reception to celebrate the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China at the Chinese Consulate-General in Edinburgh, Scottish Parliament's Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh reviewed the exchange of visits of top-level officials from both sides, the Chinese language mania in Scotland, the Chinese students studying in Scotland, as well as people-to-people exchanges.


Dundonians should be proud of their ‘rich and beautiful’ dialect, says Scots language expert

27 September 2016 (The Courier)

Eighteen months after schools were urged to increase the use of the Scots language as part of a wider drive to improve literacy, a BBC Radio documentary, compiled by Newport-based broadcaster and Scots language expert Billy Kay, is highlighting the efforts to promote the use of Scots in Dundee. Michael Alexander reports.


BBC Alba future in balance warns operator

25 September 2016 (The Scotsman)

Scotland could lose its dedicated Gaelic channel and see a decline in the use of the language unless BBC Alba wins a better financial deal, its operator has warned.

MG Alba says the future of the station has been left in the balance by the BBC’s new royal charter because it does not spell out specific guarantees on future funding.


More funding for Gaelic learning

23 September 2016 (Scottish Government)

More than 10,000 young people will benefit from additional funding for Gaelic music, drama and language teaching.

The Scottish Government will provide £33,000 to Fèisean nan Gàidheal in 2016-17 to support Gaelic learning.

The new funding will go towards the production of a new Gaelic music, drama and dance show involving children from two Gaelic primary schools – one in the Highlands and one in the central belt.

It will also allow the organisation to offer their Fèisgoil Gaelic language lessons to local authorities that have not experienced them yet.


Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival - Screenings for schools

22 September 2016 (Consejería de Educación)

The University of Edinburgh, in collaboration with Consejería de Educación, will launch the third Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival (ESFF) from 6-20 October 2016 and would like to invite schools to bring their senior phase students along to one of the screenings at the Filmhouse Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness or Glasgow.

See the attached letter of invitation for details of the programme and booking information.

For more information about the Festival, visit the ESFF website.


Related Files

French grammar course for university students

22 September 2016 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow will be running a new grammar course specifically designed for students who are currently studying French at University. This course will increase students' language skills and should greatly help prepare for exams.

The 5-week course takes place on Wednesdays commencing 19 October.

Visit the Alliance Française website for more information and to enrol.


Scotland-Russia Forum news

21 September 2016 (SRF)

The latest news bulletin from the SRF is now available to view online. If you want to learn Russian there may still be a few spaces left on this term's courses. Check out the bulletin for details.


Beginners French 1 course for primary teachers

21 September 2016 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française de Glasgow is running a new 10-week Beginners 1 French course specifically designed for primary school teachers between October and December 2016.

The course is suitable for complete beginners and will take place on Wednesdays 3.45-5.45pm between 5 October and 14 December 2016.

For more information and to enrol, visit the Alliance Française website.


Language Immersion Days for Higher and Advanced Higher

20 September 2016 (UWS)

The Languages for All team at University of the West of Scotland (UWS) are offering language immersion classes in French, German, Mandarin or Spanish to support Higher and Advanced Higher students.

The half-day classes are designed to suit the academic needs of students who wish to enhance essential skills in language such as reading, writing, speaking and listening. These classes will prepare students for their SQA final exams.

The classes can either be held in one of the UWS campuses - Ayr, Dumfries, Hamilton or Paisley. Alternatively UWS lecturers can travel to your local authority facilities.

To find out more and how to arrange a session, visit the UWS website.


Scottish Gaelic Awards 2016

19 September 2016 (Daily Record / Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

As part of the Daily Record's drive to celebrate all aspects of Scottish culture, and following the success of the 2015 Gaelic Awards, we are proud to launch the 2016 campaign with headline sponsors Bòrd na Gàidhlig. 

The Scottish Gaelic Awards reward all aspects of our Gaelic culture, education and language highlighting the excellent work undertaken to maintain growth and heritage.

If you know someone who deserves an award for their contribution to Gaelic, submit your nomination by Friday 25 September. A list of award categories can be found on the Scottish Gaelic Awards website.

The Awards will be presented at a high-quality dinner in Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow on Wednesday 16 November 2016.


New German courses from 27 September 2016

19 September 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

Due to demand the Goethe-Institut in Glasgow has opened another beginners course on Tuesday evenings. There are also some places left on their other courses.

For full details visit the Goethe-Institut website and if you'd like to join, please make sure that you enrol this week.


UCMLS Cross-Sector Initiatives

16 September 2016 (SCILT)

Please check out a new section on our website, dedicated to the cross-sector work by UCMLS, and register for one of the all-important regional cross-sector meetings on 22 September (North and Central Hubs), 28 September (West Hub) and 30 September (East Hub). You'll find out more about the recent cross-sector conference and UCMLS plans for the next six months.


MTOT - Free creative poetry workshops for teachers

9 September 2016 (SCILT)

Once again, we are delighted to be able to offer FREE poetry workshops for primary and secondary teachers at four different venues across Scotland.

Teachers will work with Juliette Lee, a poet and creative writer, for a half-day workshop to develop their own creativity, explore poetry and the impact of language we use. We hope that teachers will leave inspired and able to take back some ideas and examples to work with their own pupils who will then submit their poems/rhymes/raps/songs into the MTOT competition.

Teachers do not have to attend one of the workshops to register their school for the MTOT competition although the workshops are a fantastic opportunity to develop your skills in teaching poetry, languages and to gather ideas to take back into the classroom. Due to the creative and interactive nature of these workshops, places are limited to 15 teachers at each venue, therefore we advise you to book your place early.

Details of the workshops are as follows. Click on the appropriate workshop link below to register for the event.

  • Saturday 24 September, 10.00 – 12.30; Dundee University, Dundee (deadline for registration Friday 16 September)
  • Friday 30 September, 13.30 – 16.00; The Open University in Scotland, Edinburgh (deadline for registration 6pm Monday 26 September)
  • Saturday 1 October, 10.00 – 12.30; Inverness College - UHI, Inverness (deadline for registration 6pm Monday 26 September)
  • Saturday 8 October, 12.00 – 14.30; University of Strathclyde, Glasgow (deadline for registration Friday 30 September) PLEASE NOTE EVENT NOW FULL!
For more information about the competition visit the MTOT page on our website and register your school to take part!


SCHOLAR live online sessions

5 September 2016 (SCHOLAR)

Need help with Computing Science, Maths or Modern Languages? SCHOLAR online homework sessions are back!

The first for Higher and Advanced Higher Modern Languages is 'Using SCHOLAR to help you succeed' on Tuesday 27 September at 6pm.

Visit the website for the full schedule of upcoming sessions this term.


Scottish Parliament marks Gaelic Mòd’s 125th anniversary

4 September 2016 (Stornoway Gazette)

A motion at the Scottish Parliament has congratulated An Comunn Gàidhealach – who organise and run the annual Royal National Mòd – on its 125th anniversary.

Kate Forbes MSP, who previously competed whilst a high school pupil in Dingwall, said she was pleased the Parliament was recognising “the important role the organisation has played in the study of Gaelic literature, history, music and art”.


MTOT 2016-17 launch!

2 September 2016 (SCILT)

We're delighted to announce the launch of this year's Mother Tongue Other Tongue (MTOT) multilingual poetry competition and are thrilled to welcome the new Scots Makar, Jackie Kay, as the competition's patron.

Whether pupils are learning a language at school, or whether they speak a native language at home, everyone can get involved in celebrating their linguistic and cultural diversity through creative poetry writing as there are options to enter in either the Mother Tongue or Other Tongue category.

We are in the process of finalising poetry workshops for teachers, which will take place towards the end of September/beginning of October. Further details will follow soon.

In the meantime, you can find out more about this year's competition and previous events on our MTOT website and register your school to take part!


EDL packs 2016 out of stock!

26 August 2016 (SCILT)

SCILT's packs of materials to celebrate European Day of Languages 2016 have now sold out! We are delighted to know there are so many schools on board to celebrate this year’s event.

Don’t worry if you are too late to order materials. You can still visit our website for a range of ideas and resources to help your school to mark the day. We would love to hear how schools across Scotland celebrate the day. Email us ( with a short summary and some photos, and we will feature your event on this year’s EDL blog.


Film screenings for schools at Edinburgh Filmhouse

25 August 2016 (Edinburgh Filmhouse)

The Edinburgh Filmhouse invites primary and secondary teachers to an informal meeting and introduction to their autumn schools programme on Monday 29 August 2016.

On Monday 5 September there will also be a free screening for teachers to watch one of the films from the forthcoming French Film Festival and discuss practical ways it can be used with pupils.

Visit the Filmhouse website for full details of these events and film screenings for schools during the autumn term.


Bilingualism workshops

25 August 2016 (SCILT)

SCILT is delighted to be able to offer a series of national workshops in collaboration with Bilingualism Matters and Glasgow City Council’s EAL Service which will showcase the benefits of bilingualism and consider practical strategies teachers can use to promote bilingualism in their classrooms. We will offer ideas on how to engage bilingual learners more and support literacy skills across both languages.

These free workshops are aimed at general class practitioners across Early Years, Primary and Secondary, not specifically for the MFL and languages community so please feel free to distribute to all teachers across your network or Local Authority.

Attached is a flyer with further information about dates, venues and how to book.

Please note there are only a few remaining places on the Aberdeen workshop - all other venues are now full.

Related Files

Ambitious virtual Gaelic school wins £700,000 boost

24 August 2016 (The Scotsman)

A scheme aimed to widen the availability of subject choices for teenagers in the Western Isles is to benefit from a massive funding boost.

Gaelic virtual school the e-Sgoil, announced by Gaelic agency Bòrd na Gàidhlig in March, will be based in Stornoway and initially focus on Highers, Advanced Highers and supporting teachers in training.

e-Sgoil will allow secondary pupils across the Western Isles to access more curriculum subjects through online classes.

It will be developed thanks to £550,000 in Scottish Government funding and £150,000 from Bord na Gaidhlig.


National columnist Rab Wilson’s new role a big boost for Scots language

24 August 2016 (The National)

The National’s own Scots language columnist and respected poet Rab Wilson has been appointed the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum’s scriever in residence.

The new writer in residence at the birthplace of Scotia’s bard in Alloway was previously Robert Burns Writing Fellow in Scots for Dumfries and Galloway and is a weel kent figure on the Burns scene.

An award-winning poet, Rab has produced many collections of poetry, chiefly written in the Scots language.


Scotland’s unending battle

21 August 2016 (The News on Sunday)

Hidden behind Edinburgh’s picturesque and dreamy scenery is the Scots’ struggle to bring the indigenous Gaelic language back to life.


Related Links

MSP calls for councils to be able to opt out of controversial Gaelic plans (Press and Journal, 20 August 2016)

The Scots Tongue

20 August 2016 (BBC Radio Scotland)

Listen to the BBC Radio Scotland series exploring the history of the Scottish language.


German courses 2016-17

19 August 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow offers a range of courses at different levels with new term courses starting in September. Visit the Goethe-Institut website for full details and to enrol.


French classes 2016-17

19 August 2016 (Alliance Française / Institut Français)

New session adult and children's classes commence in September at both the Alliance Française in Glasgow and the Institut Français in Edinburgh. Follow the appropriate link below for more details and to enrol:

Ministers consider Polish language exams for Scottish schools

18 August 2016 (The Herald)

Polish could be taught in Scottish schools as part of moves to make EU nationals feel more welcome in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.

The Scottish Government said it would consider introducing Polish language qualifications during a debate on the impact of Britain's decision to leave the EU held in Edinburgh.

Education Secretary John Swinney said he would “look very carefully” at giving Polish a place on the curriculum alongside subjects such as French and German - an idea proposed by a member of the audience.


1+2 Case Study - Douglas Academy

18 August 2016 (SCILT)

Douglas Academy is a six year non-denominational, co-educational, comprehensive school serving Milngavie, Craigton and Baldernock. The current school roll is 994.

The school demonstrates a strong ethos of fairness and equality and encourages a strong pupil voice at both departmental and whole school level. Read how pupils and teachers work together to make the language department such a success and for some interesting ideas on the implementation of 1+2.


1+2 Case Study - Renfrew High School

16 August 2016 (SCILT)

Renfrew High School is a six-year, non-denominational comprehensive school which serves the burgh of Renfrew. It is situated on the south side of the River Clyde several miles to the west of Glasgow. Its associated primaries are Arkleston Primary School, Kirklandneuk Primary School and Newmains Primary School The school was opened in 1975 and has a capacity of 1287.

In addition to the current provision of French as L2, find out how Renfrew High and its associated primaries are taking a cluster approach to delivering Spanish as an L3.


Calls to axe SNP’s flagship Baccalaureate after snub by pupils

15 August 2016 (The Scotsman)

John Swinney is being urged to ditch the SNP’s flagship Scottish Baccalaureate qualification after it emerged that ­only 103 pupils achieved the award this year.

The qualification was introduced seven years ago with the aim of raising the profile of sciences and languages in schools.

But it has suffered from a lack of interest among pupils more focussed on Highers, which are traditionally seen as the route to university and employment.

Labour now say it should be replaced with a new Scottish Graduation Certificate for the senior phase of secondary school, which would involve vocational courses, work experience, voluntary work and traditional exams.


Related Links

Fresh call for scrapping of unpopular Scottish Baccalaureate (The Herald, 15 August 2016)

Enhancing Employability through Language Skills and Intercultural Learning

9 August 2016 (SCILT)

As part of our cross-sector collaboration, SCILT teamed up with the Open University Scotland to hold an event to support and promote language learning in the College sector. ‘Enhancing Employability through Language Skills and Intercultural Learning’ brought together colleagues from Further Education with representatives from both public and private sectors to focus on the importance of languages and intercultural understanding as key skills in developing Scotland’s young workforce. Recognising the benefits of language learning to individuals, trade, business and society as a whole, the Scottish Funding Council has made this one of their strategic priorities, aiming to increase the number of young people with practical language skills.

More information can be found on the attached summary report from the event.

New body on land ownership must have a Gaelic speaker

6 August 2016 (The Herald)

The powerful body established to address the dominance of Scottish landowners who own huge tracts of the country will include a Gaelic speaker among a six-strong panel.

The new Scottish Land Commission will be tasked with transforming land ownership across the country following concerns that fewer than 500 people, some anonymous, own more than half of Scotland’s land.

Set up in the wake the Land Reform Act, ministers are now seeking applications for candidates to sit on the robust new board that could resurrect the most controversial land reform proposal, to impose an upper limit of the amount of land anyone person can own in Scotland.


The small but wonderful world of puppet theatre - Le Petit Monde

4 August 2016 (Creative Scotland)

Le Petit Monde is a puppet theatre company based in Edinburgh, creating shows that introduce young children and their families to the French language and culture through authentic French-speaking puppets.

We spoke to Artistic Director Tania Czajka about developing her practice and her latest creation - The Wonderful World of Lapin - which appears as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe next week.


Beyond the Panda

1 August 2016 (RZSS)

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's 'Beyond the Panda' programme for schools has been designed to enable learners to explore a variety of topics within the overall context of giant pandas and China. The programme offers different activities to cater for primary and secondary pupils.

See the attached flyer for more information and how to get involved. Or visit the RZSS website for more information about the organisation and their work.


Related Files

More money needed to keep the conversation flowing

29 July 2016 (TESS)

Experts say extra funding is vital if the government's 1+2 foreign languages programme is to succeed.

Read the full article in TESS online, 29 July 2016, pages 8-9 (subscription required).


1+2 languages: progress from first to second level

7 July 2016 (Education Scotland)

This publication from Education Scotland is a suite of advice, frameworks and resources to support primary teachers to plan for depth and progression in modern language learning experiences. These resources were developed in conjunction with primary practitioners who deliver L2 and L3 experiences.

Visit Education Scotland's National Improvement Hub website for more information.


Train the Trainer Summer School 2016

5 July 2016 (SCILT)

Get a feel for all the shenanigans during last week’s Train the Trainer Summer School. Hosted by SCILT and Education Scotland at the University of Strathclyde city centre campus TTT4, brought together a committed group of 40 educators from 15 local authorities and 2 teacher education institutions.


ADES 1+2 languages implementation review

5 July 2016 (Scottish Government)

The independent review of the implementation of the 1+2 languages policy recently undertaken by the Association of Directors of Education Scotland (ADES) is now available to download from the Scottish Government’s website.


1+2 languages : L3 audit tools for use in primary and secondary contexts

4 July 2016 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has published L3 audit tools for primary and secondary on the National Improvement Hub website. These tools will help practitioners to gauge whether their proposals fulfil the criteria to provide a suitable L3 experience.

Visit the website for more information.


SCHOLympics competition

24 June 2016 (Heriot-Watt University)

The SCHOLympics is a multi-disciplinary, scholarly competition that is open to all students who have access to SCHOLAR via their individual username and password. It features an extensive range of questions from the subjects that are currently available in the SCHOLAR programme, including a Mandarin listening comprehension which requires speakers or headphones, and questions from our brand new, soon to be published, English courses. The questions are set at Higher level or below.

The competition will be open between Monday 25 July until Wednesday 28 August 2016.

Visit the SCHOLAR website to find out more.


Enquire Connect Engage - leading learning through practitioner enquiry

24 June 2016 (SCEL)

Have you completed a practice-based enquiry project recently? If so, you’re probably looking for a chance to share your findings. In which case, you’ll definitely want to sign up to participate in the Enquire Connect Engage events that SCEL is hosting this autumn.

SCEL supported Pedagoo’s EnquiryMeet last November. Inspired by its success, we have taken the concept of a teacher-led forum to connect over practitioner enquiry and we are running with it!

Enquire Connect Engage, or #scelenquire if you prefer, will provide opportunities for practitioners to share:
  • the findings from their own small scale practice-based enquiry projects, and
  • practical advice on how to go about investigating classroom practice
Visit the SCEL website for information on how to submit your proposal or to register interest in attending.


SQA Understanding Standards events 2016/17

21 June 2016 (SQA)

The SQA will be running a programme of subject-specific Understanding Standards events from October 2016 to January 2017 to help teachers understand the standards required for course assessment in National Qualifications. The majority of these events will focus on course assessment at Advanced Higher, although there will also be a number of additional events for other qualifications where a specific need has been identified.

The events will be led by our Qualifications Development staff and are intended for subject specialists from SQA centres. There will be a maximum of one delegate place per centre, per subject.

Attendance at any of these events can be used to contribute to Continued Professional Development (CPD). CPD certificates will be available on the Events Booking System shortly after each event.

Find out more about the programme of events and how to book your place on the SQA website.


Mathematiques sans Frontieres 2016

20 June 2016 (North Lanarkshire Council)

North Lanarkshire Council in association with Heriot Watt University once again organised winners at mathematiques sans frontieresthe “Mathematiques sans Frontieres” competition across Scotland this year.

63 teams took part from 39 schools and 18 schools entered an S5 team.

The competition requires one question to be answered using a foreign at mathematiques sans frontieres

The winners in S4 were Renfrew High and the S5 winners and overall winners were St Aloysius College.

The prize giving was held on Friday 17 June at Heriot Watt University. Gavin Reid gave an informative talk on probability which resulted in one lucky pupil winning an Amazon gift voucher!

Comic take on French language lessons

16 June 2016 (BBC News)

Children at a Glasgow primary school have been using comics to help them learn French.

Artist Rossie Stone, who is dyslexic, decided to try a different approach to picking up another language and designed the comic strips to be educational and fun.

The move has been popular with teachers and pupils with the project now being rolled out in five schools across Scotland.

BBC Scotland's Catriona Renton has gone back to school to report from Glasgow.

See the video report on the BBC website.


PgCert - Supporting bilingual learners in the mainstream classroom

15 June 2016 (University of Strathclyde)

This is a part-time accredited specialist course for all teachers working with bilingual learners. It’s open to qualified teachers as well as allied professional workers such as speech and language therapists and educational psychologists.

You’ll enhance your knowledge and practice of innovative approaches to curriculum design and delivery for bilingual learners.

Find out more about the course content, entry requirements and how to apply on the University of Strathclyde website.  Application deadline: end of June for September 2016 start.


SQA update - AH Spanish Verification

13 June 2016 (SQA)

The SQA has just published Spanish Verification Key Messages Round 2.  The document can be accessed on the Advanced Higher Modern Languages page of the SQA website, under the Verification and Course Reports section.


Edinburgh International Film Festival modern languages screenings for schools

10 June 2016 (EIFF)

The following modern language screenings are being offered for schools in Scotland:

  • French language primary screening (P4-P7) - The Canterville Ghost
    21 June 2016, 10.00 am, Cineworld Fountain Park
  • Spanish language secondary screening - The Olive Tree
    22 June 2016, 10:00 am, Cineworld Fountain Park
Visit the Edinburgh International Film Festival website for more information and to make a booking.


New SCILT/CISS Professional Learning Menus for 2016-17

10 June 2016 (SCILT / CISS)

It’s Launch Day! The brand new professional learning menus for SCILT and CISS are out now!

The focus of both CLPL menus is on supporting teachers and making connections between languages and other high profile aspects of Scottish education such as the Developing Young Workforce, raising attainment and parental engagement agendas.

As always, our CLPL comes to local authorities for no charge. Nada, zilch, gratis!

There are both sector specific and cross-sector workshop options to choose from. In addition, we are also happy to develop bespoke inputs to match your particular professional learning needs, just get in touch.

Don’t hang about though! Bookings have already started coming in and calendars at SCILT and CISS are filling up fast. Please contact with your request in writing.

P.S. Remember to keep a look out on the bulletin for other professional learning opportunities that will be taking place at SCILT HQ and on Glow during the year. If you don't already receive our weekly e-bulletin, make sure you don't miss out on updates and subscribe now!


Articulate Language Camps

9 June 2016 (Articulate Language Camps)

Articulate Language Camps are based in Scotland and offer a variety of programmes from school day camps to residential summer camps as well as exam revision and CPD for teachers.

Tuition is offered in English, French, Spanish, Italian and German to learners aged 3-17, with a unique method of teaching through digital media projects, such as animation and podcasting, and adventure activities which take learning into the great outdoors. So, whether campers are taking an archery class in German, singing campfire songs in French or making a film in Spanish, they are having fun while learning in a meaningful way.

New this year is the International Camp in Italian. Find out more from camp leader, Lisa, in this short video 'Una breve introduzione ai nostri programmi' and for further information about Articulate Language Camps and all their programmes, visit the website.


Essential German: Intensive course for complete beginners

9 June 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

Are you planning a visit to a German-speaking country, would you like to be able to speak with German-speaking friends in their native tongue or would you like to learn a bit of German just for fun? If you are a complete beginner, this one-week intensive course is for you!

The course will run from 27 June to 2 July 2016. Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and enrol by 17 June.


Scottish Education Award Winners 2016

9 June 2016 (SCILT / Education Scotland)

The Scottish Education Awards took place on 8 June in the Glasgow City Hotel. Congratulations to the winning schools in the language categories!

  • St Michael's Primary, Dumfries & Galloway - Making Languages Come Alive
  • Abercorn School, Glasgow - Gaelic Education
For more information about the awards and the finalists in each category, visit the Scottish Education Awards website.


Funded International Learning Experience

8 June 2016 (Education Scotland)

The European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education has forwarded on this invite from the Italian Ministry for a Scottish secondary school to participate in a learning experience focused on global interdependence, rights, migration, asylum seekers and refugees.

The successful school would engage pupils in preparatory learning experiences in their own school during September to prepare for a conference in Lampedusa, Italy, in October.

Visit Education Scotland's Learning Blog for more information about the opportunity.  Schools should apply by 16 June 2016.


French summer intensive classes in Edinburgh

2 June 2016 (Institut français)

The Institut français offers one-week summer intensive courses in July and August with a concession fee for teachers. This 15 hour-course will focus on speaking skills through theatre or radio workshops.

Four levels are available : beginners (A1), elementary (A2), intermediate (B1) and advanced (B2)

For more information, see the Summer 2016 brochure or visit the Institut français website for details of all the courses, events and resources they offer.


Chinese Consul General Pan Xinchun Attends the Scotland-China Association Primary School Art Competition Prizegiving

1 June 2016 (Chinese Consulate General, Edinburgh)

On 27 May, the Scotland-China Association (SCA) Primary School Art Competition Prizegiving was held in the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. Chinese Consul General Pan Xinchun attended the event and presented the prize to the winners.

Consul General Pan expressed his congratulations to the winners, sayiing he was very pleased to see so many students entered the competition and created lots of excellent art works centered on China. Though they have never been to China, the works of Chinese Dragon, Giant Panda and Zodiac Monkey they created are so lively and impressive. With the development of the China-Scotland relations, Chinese language and culture become more and more popular among Scottish teenagers. So far, 5 Confucius Institutes have been established in Scotland, and more than 20,000 primary and secondary students are learning Chinese language and culture.


Donkey Xote for Primary Schools in the Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival

31 May 2016 (Consejería de Educación)

After the great success of previous years, Edinburgh University, in collaboration with the Consejería de Educación, is going to launch the third Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival (ESFF) from 6-13 October 2016. We would be glad to share this experience with you. For this reason we are currently planning our programme which also includes an animation film particularly suitable for primary school pupils (P6 and P7).

See the attached flyer for more information.

TeachMeet Connect Launch

31 May 2016 (TeachMeet Scotland)

On Wednesday 21 September 2016 TeachMeet Connect is being launched, a series of TeachMeets happening across Scotland on the same day where teachers will get together and share what they do. Coinciding with the Scottish Learning Festival, this will be a celebration of all the good things happening in classrooms across Scotland and a chance to explore how TeachMeets can support professional development.

Whether you’ve been to loads of TeachMeets before or this will be your first, this is your chance to get connected to other teachers in Scotland who want to share too. We’d love you to get involved and hold a TeachMeet Connect of your own.

Why not set up a TeachMeet devoted to language teaching and learning? It's a great opportunity to meet like-minded people and share ideas and best practice. Visit the website to find out more and to register your interest in taking part.


SQA Modern Languages update - May 2016

31 May 2016 (SQA)

The SQA has recently published their National Qualification update for Modern Languages.


Summer language learning at Strathclyde

27 May 2016 (University of Strathclyde)

The University of Strathclyde's 2016 summer programme includes options to learn French, German, Italian and Spanish as well as a taster session 'Break into Hebrew.'

Visit the website to access the programme giving full details of the courses available over the summer.


Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016

25 May 2016 (EIFF)

The programme for the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016 taking place from 15-26 June has just been launched.

There are two foreign language films showing as part of the Junior festival strand. Find out more about each by following the appropriate link:

  • The Canterville Ghost (Le Fantôme de Canterville, French, age 8+) - an aristocratic French ghost tries to prevent a family moving into her castle
  • The Shamer’s Daughter (Skammerens datter, Dutch, age 10+) - a medieval fantasy epic
For more information about this year's festival and all the films on offer, visit the EIFF 2016 website.


Police Scotland mobilises first Polish officers

24 May 2016 (The Herald)

Two Polish police officers have joined Scotland's national force in a pioneering move to tackle criminality in the country's biggest migrant community.

The men have been seconded for six months as a pilot scheme that may be expanded in the future as EU law enforcement agencies tighten co-operation.

Senior officers at Police Scotland say the two officers have already helped on crucial inquiries involving Poles as perpetrators, victims or witnesses of crimes.

Chief Superintendent Paul Main said: "They are here to advise us and to help us on criminal and other inquiries. "They don't have the power to arrest anybody or question anybody so they are always with Scottish officers.

"But they can assist us with understanding cultural and linguistic issues and connecting with law enforcement in Poland to deal with everything from organised crime to domestic abuse."

[..] However, Poles would also like to see Scottish police raise their knowledge of migrant communities, including learning the language.


Scottish Education Awards 2016 - Finalists announced!

23 May 2016 (Education Scotland)

Finalists in the 17 categories for the Scottish Education Awards 2016 have now been announced.

Congratulations and good luck to the schools nominated in the following language categories:

Making Languages Come Alive

  • St Michael's Primary School
  • St Blane's Primary School
  • Dalmilling Primary School

Gaelic Education Award

  • Abercorn School
  • Sgoil an Iochdair agus Sgoil Dhalabroig
  • Bun Sgoil Chnoc a' Chonaisg | Whinhill Primary
More information about the awards can be found on the Scottish Education Awards website.


Launch of High Five Spanish

9 May 2016 (Radio Lingua)

Radio Lingua is delighted to announce the launch of High Five Spanish which follows a similar model to our French resource. Learners can join Scottish learner Sophie who is learning Spanish, in Spain, with her friends Marina and Miguel.

We’re making the trial version of High Five Spanish available to all schools until 30 June. All existing High Five French schools are ‘pre-approved’ and the Spanish trial will automatically appear on their account. Any other schools should register for the free trial on the Radio Lingua High Five Spanish website and we’ll set up trial accounts for them. The free trial provides access to the first ten lessons of the series including video and audio resources, teachers’ notes, classroom ideas and activity sheets for pupils.

Visit the High Five Spanish website for full details about the resource.


"The Art of Music - Ooh La La La"

6 May 2016 (TESS)

Some 1,000 children gathered in Perth for a musical event celebrating an imaginative approach to the national 1+2 primary school languages policy.

"The Art of Music Ooh La La La" brought P5-7s to the city's concert hall to sing French songs inspired by famous paintings.

Read the full item in TESS online 6 May 2016 edition, page 8, 'A week in primary' section (subscription required).


Related Links

Singing days get a French twist in 2016 (Perth & Kinross Council, April 2016)

Business Brunch 2016 events webpage now live!

6 May 2016 (SCILT)

SCILT, in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland (UCMLS), held a series of Business Brunch events (formerly Business Breakfast) across Scotland, during January and February this year where pupils from S3-S6 heard from a range of business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company.

Find out more about the events on our new webpage.


Bookbug Week 2016

5 May 2016 (Scottish Book Trust)

Bookbug Week 2016 will take place between 16-22 May and will celebrate ‘Around the world with Bookbug’.

This international theme will inspire children and adults alike to explore songs and rhymes from around the globe. A whole host of fun story, song and rhyme activities for children will be taking place in local libraries and community venues.

Visit the Scottish Book Trust website for a list of dates and venues around Scotland.


S@S Accelerate Languages Challenge 2016

3 May 2016 (University of Strathclyde)

S@S Accelerate is a one-week programme in July, held at the University of Strathclyde, for pupils at the end of S4, S5 and S6. It aims to provide a targeted focus on the pupils’ chosen area of academic interest, giving them a head start on the road to their chosen career.

One of the ten challenges on offer is the Languages Challenge. A team of academic experts has put together a week-long ‘Giga Challenge’ in the area of languages that will allow pupils to find out all about the area and the career opportunities open to them.

Enabling students to participate in group challenges that use their language skills, and see the role that languages play in the world, will make them feel much more enthusiastic about languages in the school classroom and going on to study them at University.

Further information about the Languages Challenge is available on the attached flyer.

For full details of all the challenges available under the S@S Accelerate programme and information on how to apply, visit the University of Strathclyde Accelerate webpage.


SALT schools modern languages competition 2016

30 April 2016 (SALT)

The SALT schools competition 2016 is open to all students studying a modern language in a Scottish primary or secondary school.

This year’s topic is Friendship and Solidarity and pupils are invited to submit a poster, Powerpoint presentation, or a short video (maximum 3 mins) containing foreign language expressions related to the topic.

Entry deadline is 2 September 2016.

Visit the SALT website for more information and a poster to download for your classroom.


By the numbers: Modern languages

29 April 2016 (TESS)

TESS infographic on modern languages uptake in England and Scotland comparing 2012-13 and 2014-15 academic sessions.

Access the article in TESS online, 29 April 2016, page 11. (Subscription required).


MTOT 2015-16 Celebration Event held at Language Show Live

29 April 2016 (SCILT)

The celebration event for MTOT 2015-16 saw 20 award winners receive their prizes on the main Piazza stage at the SECC on Saturday 12 March 2016 as part of the wider Language Show Live Scotland event.

Pupils took the opportunity to perform their poems and rhymes to the audience, showcasing the many languages used by children and young people both in school and at home. The event drew in a huge crowd, with passers-by stopping to also see and hear their work.

Find out more about the day on our MTOT Celebration Event webpage, where you can also find links to the list of winners, pupil videos and recitals, the anthology, press articles and photos from the event.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone again for their support and participation, which helped make the competition and celebration such a success. We hope to run MTOT again next year, so make sure you sign up to our e-bulletin for updates, or follow us on our social media sites Twitter or Facebook.


French language courses and exams in Glasgow

28 April 2016 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow has a number of courses and exam sessions coming up in the summer. Follow the appropriate links below for more information:

For more information about the Alliance Française and what they can offer, visit their website.


Gaelic language course

22 April 2016 (Staffin Community Trust / Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

Àrainneachd, Cànan is Dualchas (‘environment, language and heritage’) is a ten-day practical course for Gaelic speakers that explores the strong links between the language and the Scottish environment. It is open to all fluent speakers and near-fluent learners of the language who would like to continue to develop their fluency.

It will run again in North Skye in 2016, from 25 to 29 July and from 01 to 05 August. Students can attend either or both weeks.

Visit the website for more information about the course.


To speak in tongues - Gaelic is making a comeback

22 April 2016 (The Economist)

Travellers at the airport in Inverness navigate a revolving door adorned with posters urging them to teach their children Gaelic. “Being bilingual is magic! Bilingual children find it easier to learn a third language,” claims one which depicts a cherubic toddler waving a magic wand over a rabbit in a hat. “Give your child a flying start—learn Gaelic,” says another.

The posters are part of a larger effort in Scotland to preserve its Celtic language, which was disappearing at a precipitous rate until recently. In 1755 almost a quarter of Scotland’s people spoke Gaelic. A new education law in 1872 forbade the language in classrooms, and children caught speaking it got the belt. Another statute in 1918 required authorities to “make adequate provision for Gaelic,” but by 1981 only 1.6% of people in Scotland spoke it. Many of them were older folk or clustered in the Highlands and islands. Their slim ranks thinned by 21% in the ten years from 1981 and by 11% in the one after that.

Now, however, Gaelic is fighting back. The proportion of Scots who speak it barely dipped between 2001 and 2011, when the most recent census was finished. And more than before are under the age of 20.


SQA National 5 Modern Languages Course Reports Summary

19 April 2016 (SCILT)

We have summarised the SQA National 5 Course Reports for all languages. These reports contain important information on how candidates performed in last year's exams. Teachers may find it useful to share some of the key messages of these reports with candidates in advance of this year's exams.

The summary document can be found on the Essentials for Planning in the Senior Phase section of our website.


Advanced Higher French resource: Silence de la mer

19 April 2016 (SCILT)

We have developed a pack of resources on Silence de la Mer which are suitable for Advanced Higher French pupils who have limited teaching input.

The pack includes information on the Specialist Study Unit; suggested timescales; character analysis; themes; suggested portfolio titles and a glossary of vocabulary.

The resource can be accessed on the Senior Phase French AH resources section of our website.


New French and Polish resources

19 April 2016 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland is pleased to launch new resources for French and Polish. Both resources include teacher’s notes, activity packs, film clips and sound files.

The French resource is designed as an L2 learning journey, aimed at second level learners and involves Astérix on a journey to Scotland, based on the story ‘Astérix chez les Pictes’

The Polish resource supports an L3 beginners’ language experience and can be used in either primary or secondary as an L3 insert. The language journey here is based on an animated film, based around the scientist Copernicus.

Links to both resources can also be found in the Primary and S1-S3 classroom resource sections of the SCILT website.

Leadership Award: Gaelic Education

19 April 2016 (Education Scotland)

Social Enterprise Academy and Education Scotland are working in partnership to deliver an Institute of Leadership and Management Award for teachers of Gaelic Education. The next Leadership Award for Gaelic Education will commence on 20 and 21 May 2016. It will be based in Strathpeffer.

If you wish to enrol for this award or require more information visit the Education Scotland learning blog.


A poetry competition has showcased the language skills of primary pupils who speak English as a second language

8 April 2016 (TESS)

Entries to Mother Tongue Other Tongue were submitted in 36 languages.

(Read the item in TESS online, page 8, under the 'a week in primary' feature - subscription required)


Why children should learn a second language

7 April 2016 (EuroTalk blog)

The Scottish Government has committed to every child learning a second language at the age of 5. Alongside this, they’ll learn an additional language in P5, which means children will know 3 languages by the time they leave school. It’s called the 1+2 policy and we think it’s a great pledge, as there are so many reasons why children should learn another language.

Earlier this week an article came out stating that ‘bilingual babies are smarter’. Growing up learning or hearing a second language helps to increase their learning capabilities including problem solving and memory. This means not only do children benefit from knowing a second language; it also helps them improve across all other subjects that they’re learning.


SQA National Qualifications March 2016 update

31 March 2016 (SQA)

Latest updates on the new National Qualifications are available on the SQA website.

If you're a teaching professional looking for a new challenge, included in this update are additional marker opportunities in 2016 for French and Spanish Higher exams.


SQA Modern Languages Audio Presentations

31 March 2016 (SQA)

SQA has published Modern Languages Audio Presentations providing additional support for centres and practitioners. The presentations provide a detailed overview of the standards and assessment for both Unit and Course assessment.

The presentations can be downloaded from the SQA website.


Stonehouse Primary and Nursery launch Scots language book

31 March 2016 (Daily Record)

Stonehouse Primary and Nursery pupils have created and published their own booked called A Daunner Roon Stonehoose.

The book was written in Scots to celebrate the history and continued use of the Scots dialect.

Published by Whitewater Publishing with the support of publisher, Mary Thomson, every child in the nursery and school have contributed to the poems and stories in the book.

Each piece in the book describes life in Stonehouse, from playing in the park to going to school to popping out to the Post Office!


Pupils explore life of the poets

29 March 2016 (Southern Reporter)

The Abbotsford Trust and Burgh Primary School, 
Galashiels have been working on a project exploring Sir Walter Scott’s famous home.

Primary 6 pupils have recently visited Abbotsford to try out three different sessions from the Abbotsford Schools Programme.

Pupils explored the historic house and wrote poems based on the treasures that Sir Walter Scott collected, and met Mrs Oakley, a visitor from Scott’s day with lots of weird and wonderful traditional tales to share.

They also discovered Sir Walter’s life and work in the visitor centre exhibition and created drawings of the house and its grotesque clay gargoyles.

Pupils then used what they discovered and learned back in the classroom to create a timeline of Scott’s life, where they also investigated differences between life then and now using a range of primary sources.

Pupils also created interactive games, thought about planning and budgeting for a visit too Abbotsford, identified French vocabulary to describe some of the artefacts in the house and wrote their own evaluation reports reflecting on their visits.


Language learning for business

29 March 2016 (Scottish Government)

In a global, multi-cultural society, being able to communicate in more than one language is increasingly vital. It is important for the nation’s prosperity that young people are attracted to learning languages and that they become confident in speaking languages other than their own.

According to the CBI's Education and Skills survey 2015, over three quarters of businesses (77%) have a need for language skills among their employees, with over one in ten (11%) stating they would need language skills in the next few years.

The Scottish Government is committed to expanding and improving language learning so that our young people are equipped with the skills and competencies needed for the global economy. That is why we have made an ambitious languages commitment to introduce a norm for language learning based on the EU 1+2 model. This will ensure that all young people in Scotland have excellent language learning opportunities from a young age, as a normal and expected part of a broad, relevant school education.

Ken Lindsay tells us of his experiences of learning languages and how they have helped him in his role as an International Brand Ambassador for Chivas Brothers Ltd.


Gaelic Drama Summer School

28 March 2016 (Fèisean nan Gàidheal)

This year's theatre summer school for Scots Gaelic students aged 14-18 will take place from 4-16 July at Portree in Skye.

Participants receive training and guidance in a wide range of skills - acting, voice, movement, dance, creative skills and props in general. The topics are taught by experienced team of excellent actors and other artists. No prior knowledge of drama or theatre is necessary to take part.

For further information about the summer school, visit the website.


Scottish island authority explores teaching Japanese in primary schools

25 March 2016 (TESS)

Orkney has already started trial projects on Japanese culture and language in its two secondaries, Kirkwall Grammar and Stromness Academy with plans now to extend provision to its primaries.

Read the item in TESS, page 8, under 'A week in primary'. (Subscription required).


New term French courses in Glasgow

24 March 2016 (Alliance Française)

We are now enrolling students for Term D which will take place between Tuesday 19 April and Saturday 13 June. There will be a new Beginners 1 class taking place every Tuesday between 6-9pm.

In addition to our general French classes ranging from Beginner to Advanced levels, we will be running three new add-on classes for Term D to help you improve your French - Conversation, Grammar or Phonetics classes.

To find out more, follow the relevant link below:

For further information about the Alliance Française and what they can offer, visit their website.


Learning English is child's play, thanks to Paisley teacher Ruth

22 March 2016 (Paisley Daily Express)

More than 500 children from all over the world are being helped to speak English fluently by a remarkable council project.

Young people, many from Eastern Europe and some newly-arrived refugees from Syria, are getting to grips with the tongue as it is spoken in Scotland, thanks to Renfrewshire Council’s English as an Additional Language Service.

And not only that – they are also being encouraged to keep in touch with their own native language through literature.

Supporting the primary-age children in the scheme is teacher Ruth Cunningham, who herself speaks fluent Spanish.

As revealed in the Paisley Daily Express, three of Ms Cunningham’s pupils – variously from Norway, Hungary and Lithuania – recently had great success in a poetry competition organised by Scotland’s National Centre for Languages. (Also see the attached, related article courtesy of the Paisley Daily Express).


Volunteering opportunity for French speaking students

21 March 2016 (Xchange Scotland)

Xchange Scotland, a Glasgow-based youth-led charity, has a brand-new unique volunteering opportunity for French-speaking students.

Due to our strong partnership with French organisation, Solidarites Jeunesses, we will be running a 4-week long Glasgow-based volunteering project for 6 young French volunteers which aims to develop their skills and intercultural understanding and also benefit local communities of Glasgow.

We are looking for local French-speaking volunteers/students who would like to join the group of French volunteers and practise their language skills/help us with project organisation. The level of French language of local volunteers should be preferably between A2-C2 level. We will also be looking for a translator for the project.

We believe this is a great opportunity to practise French language with native speakers here in Glasgow and also to develop organisation and communication skills of young people.

Please see the attached PDF for more details about the project and to register interest by 11 April.

Related Files

Spanish course for teachers and PGDE students in Scotland

17 March 2016 (Consejería de Educación)

The Instituto Cervantes and the Spanish Embassy Education Office in the UK offer Spanish online courses for Primary and Secondary school teachers in Scotland as well as PGDE students through Aula Virtual de Español Global (AVE Global), an interactive platform specifically designed by the Instituto Cervantes for the teaching and learning of Spanish.

Information about the new 11-week language course for school teachers (Primary and Secondary) and PGDE students in Scotland, which will take place from 11 April 2016 is available on the attached document.  Enrolment open now!

Mother Tongue Other Tongue 2015-16 finale!

15 March 2016 (SCILT)

Our Mother Tongue Other Tongue (MTOT) multilingual poetry competition came to its finale at the Languages Show Live at the SECC, Glasgow on Saturday 12 March. Pupils, parents and teachers celebrated the children’s creativity at the event which gave the opportunity for the children and young people to perform their poems to the audience.

The event drew in a huge audience, with passers-by stopping to also hear their poetry and see them being presented with trophies and prizes from Atta Yaqub, SFA Equity Officer and actor, and Juana Adcock, bilingual poet and translator. The MTOT 2015/16 anthology was also launched, with children and teachers taking home copies containing their wonderful poems.

With over 400 children participating, the hardest task was to decide upon our winners and highly commended entries from each category. Our award winners are as follows:




Mother Tongue



P1 - 3 (Winner)

Simon Paulicek (Czech)

St Paul’s, Shettleston

P1 - 3  (Highly Commended)

Emili Harris (German)

Preston Street Primary

P4 – 6 (Winner)

Daniel Homstol (Norwegian)   

Bishopton  Primary

P4 – 6  (Highly Commended)

Milmante Dzisevic (Russian)

St Fergus  Primary

P4 – 6 (Highly Commended)

Andras Poszmik (Hungarian)

St Anne’s  Primary

P7 – S1 (Winner)

Weronika Jargielo (Polish)

Douglas Academy

P7 – S1 (Highly Commended)

Blanka Szopa (Polish)

St Paul’s  Primary

P7 – S1 (Highly Commended)

Nina Bourdarias (French)

Inveralmond Community High

S2 – 3 (Winner)

Keren Mingole  (BSL)

St Roch’s Secondary

S2 – 3 (Highly Commended)

Solange Becquart (French)

Ellon Academy

Senior (Winner)

Lin Meng  (Mandarin)

Ellon Academy




Other Tongue



P1 – 3 (Winner)

Freya Mole (BSL)

Preston Street Primary

P4 - 6 (Winner)

Khadidja Chaher (French)

Netherlee Primary

P4 - 6 (Highly Commended

Avelon Mungersdorf (French)

St Ninian’s Primary

P7 – S1 (Winner)

Ailbhe Murphy (Gaelic) 

Glasgow Gaelic School

P7 – S1 (Highly Commended)

Maggie Lawson (French)

Douglas Academy

S2 – 3 (Winner)

Gregor Murray (Spanish)

St Margaret’s Academy

S2 – 3 (Highly Commended)

Aimee Campbell (French)

Inveralmond CHS

Senior (Winner)

Ronan McCart (Spanish)

St Margaret’s Academy

Senior (Highly Commended)

Eleanor Pain (Italian)

George Heriot’s School


Once we have published photographs from the day and the on-line version of the anthology, we will post via the weekly e-bulletin.  If you don't already receive the news bulletin you can sign-up to receive this each Friday during term time.

UWS Research Project on 1+2

15 March 2016 (UWS)

We are seeking to make contact with primaries who would want to take part into our 1+2 Team Research Project.

We are investigating Primary School practitioners' perception of issues associated with the implementation of the 1+2 Language policy in terms of management (recommendations and related issues), staff engagement, pedagogy and methodologies. Other possible aspects to be considered could be the perceived impact on pupils' engagement and attainment. We have started to work with local primaries but we need more to participate in this project!

If interested, please contact:

ASLS Young Writers Competition 2016

14 March 2016 (ASLS)

The Association for Scottish Literary Studies (ASLS) is running a creative writing competition for stories in Scots for S1 and S2 pupils.

Pupils should write a short story of not more than 750 words in length and submit their entries by 31 May 2016.

A slide presentation is attached which can be used to support the teaching of creative writing in Scots.  A further document is also attached containing examples of previous entries. 

Further information about the competition and how to enter can be found on the ASLS website.


Related Files

SCILT at Language Show Live

10 March 2016 (SCILT)

We’ll be at Language Show Live Scotland at the SECC in Glasgow for the 2-day celebration of all things languages this weekend, so if you’re attending come and see us at stand 432. Our CISS colleagues will be based at stand 440 and we’re also running a number of seminars over the course of the event.

See the Language Show Live website for more information. Hope to see you there!


Language learning theatre workshops

10 March 2016 (Theatre sans accents)

At Theatre Sans Accents, we believe that languages should engage with your mouth and your ear before engaging with your hand and pen… The theatrical form provides a safe and relaxed environment out of the classroom ​to explore foreign languages in concrete situations.

We are currently offering workshops in French and English as an additional language.

All levels are welcome with workshops for adults and children.

Term starts week commencing Monday 11 April until Saturday 2 July 2016 (no break over the 12 weeks). Our summer school programme will enable you to improve and learn new linguistic skills through practical theatre techniques , you get the best out of both worlds: languages and Arts!

Visit the website for further information and how to register. Please note there is a charge to attend the workshops.


French Beginners 1 course for primary school teachers

10 March 2016 (Alliance Française)

There are still a few places left on the new 10-week Beginners 1 French course for Primary School teachers being run by Alliance Française de Glasgow between March and May 2016:

  • This course is suitable for complete beginners
  • 20 hours of lessons over 10 weeks tailored to the needs of Primary School teachers: classroom and speaking activities, pronunciation, communication, increase your confidence and feel more comfortable speaking French
  • The course will take place on Wednesdays 3.45-5.45pm commencing 16 March 2016. (Please note this is a week later than originally advertised)

Visit the Alliance Française website for full details and to enrol.


Last chance to book your ticket for Language Show Scotland

9 March 2016 (Language Show Live)

Scotland’s largest language event opens this weekend at 10am! Join us for an incredible celebration of languages and save time on arrival by registering for your ticket now.

At Language Show Live Scotland you’ll find a wealth of language resources, expert advice and networking opportunities to help your professional development.

Top reasons to attend:

  • The best language companies exhibiting on the main show floor
  • Over 30 free CPD certified seminars
  • 1+2 Primary Hub supported by SCILT and Goethe Institut
  • Careers Zone and CV Clinic
  • Gaelic & Scots Festival
  • Networking opportunities

All this and much more on your doorstep this 11-12 March. And here's the best bit: it’s all FREE to attend!

Don't delay! Register in advance for free entry tickets and avoid the queues on the day.

Language Show Live Scotland will take place at the SECC in Glasgow. Visit for more information.


News from the Institut français d'Ecosse

8 March 2016 (Institut français)

The Institut français d'Ecosse supports the learning and teaching of French in Scotland and encourages cross-cultural exchange. The latest opportunities to highlight include:

  • La francophonie - from 12 to 20 March 2016 French language and Francophonie is celebrated around the world. The dis moi dix mots website has a variety of activities to take part in online or in class with your pupils.
  • 1+2 workshops for primary schools - new French workshops for your primary class: French children books, science experiments or geography... Learn both the language and the pedagogy to conduct these activities in your class. Have a look at the training catalogue online.
  • Summer intensive courses - new one-week intensive classes in July and in August. If you are not traveling to France this summer, enjoy our French immersion class in Edinburgh! See the Summer 2016 online brochure for details.
For more information about the Institut français and what they can offer, visit their website.


Scottish European Educational Trust Newsletter

7 March 2016 (SEET)

The Scottish European Educational Trust (SEET) has published its first newsletter for 2016.

In this issue you can find the most up-to-date information regarding their projects and latest news, including Euroquiz heat results, developments in the Our Europe competition and information about a new project, Get Set Go, offering sessions to raise awareness of volunteering and exchange opportunities for 14-18 year olds at home and abroad - a great way to enhance their language skills!


Related Links

Press articles regarding Euroquiz:

Highland Council Primary Schools to Compete in Scotland-Wide Euroquiz (The Highland Times, 7 March 2016)

Highland Council primary schools to compete in Scotland-wide Euroquiz (Community Caithness, 8 March 2016)

Angus Primary Schools to compete in Scotland-wide Euroquiz (Angus Council, 8 March 2016)

Bilingualism Matters Spring 2016 Newsletter

7 March 2016 (Bilingualism Matters)

Bilingualism Matters have just published the Spring edition of their newsletter.

Find out about the organisation's recent activities including research updates, press articles and information on upcoming and recent events around Scotland.


Televerde Selects Glasgow, Scotland for European Headquarters and Contact Center Location

3 March 2016 (Virtual Strategy )

Televerde, the global sales and marketing solutions provider, announces today it has selected Glasgow, Scotland as the location for its European headquarters and contact center.

[..] Over the course of the next 12-24 months, Televerde will hire up to 170 employees, including approximately 130 multilingual contact center agents. The Glasgow contact center will include language capabilities in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Scandinavian and Eastern European languages. Glasgow was specifically chosen as Televerde’s European launching pad based on its ability to serve the company’s customers with its multilingual talent, geographic proximity between the U.S. and continental Europe and through a high-performance partnership with Scottish Development International.


Language Show Live Scotland opens next week!

3 March 2016 (Language Show Live)

Scotland’s largest language event opens next week at the SECC in Glasgow and will bring you the best suppliers and speakers from the language industry all under one roof.

Start planning your visit in advance to make the most of your time at the show. Here’s a few of the highlights we've picked out to get you started: 

  • ‘1+2: A National Overview’ with Louise Glen, Education Scotland 
  • ‘Contextualising Learning in the Broad General Education’ with Julie-Anne Mckenzie, SCILT 
  • ‘Is your Primary Language Teaching Effective?’ with Juliet Park, Yewlands Academy 
  • ‘Using School Partnerships to Support Languages’ with Kate Walker, British Council

This is just a taster of what’s on offer at Language Show Live Scotland. Browse our full seminar programme and discover all the other inspirational sessions we’ve planned.

This is a unique opportunity to meet national and international top industry experts all in one place in Glasgow. Don’t wait any longer and register today to receive your FREE ticket.


Deaf school offers French signing as foreign language

26 February 2016 (TESS)

A school for deaf children has become the first in the country to offer pupils the chance to learn to sign in another language. The step was taken in order to fulfil the government's ambition that every child should learn two languages in primary.

The idea that there is only one international sign language is a widely-held misconception, says Enrique Canton, who is teaching French sign language to pupils at the Hamilton School for the Deaf in South Lanarkshire. Just as there are many spoken languages, each country has its own sign language, he explains, adding, 'Thereafter, there are regional variations, just in the same way that hearing people have regional or local accents.'

Mr Canton, who is deaf, was raised in France and, following a short spell living in Spain, moved to Scotland 15 years ago after meeting a 'Scottish lass.' He knows sign language in French, Spanish and British as well as international sign language.

(Read the full article on pages 8-9 of TESS digital online - subscription required).


The struggle to revive the 'faltering' Baccalaureate

26 February 2016 (TESS)

The government is drawing up urgent proposals to save the Scottish Baccalaureate as interest in the flagship qualification spirals downwards, TESS can reveal.

It aims to publish plans within weeks after a review into the decline of the Baccalaureate. The qualification, available in science, social sciences, expressive arts and languages, was designed to encourage the type of independent learning demanded in universities.

(Read the full article on pages 6-7 of TESS online - subscription required).


Employ a language assistant in Scottish schools

26 February 2016 (British Council)

Employing a British Council language assistant is a unique way to broaden your students understanding of the world, improve their language skills and increase their cultural awareness.

Language assistants are dynamic, enthusiastic native speakers of French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Russian, and are usually undergraduates or recent graduates. As we recruit language assistants directly from their home countries, their language is up-to-date, the classroom resources they provide are relevant and authentic, and they will be well placed to connect with students on their own level . Simply put, employing a language assistant provides the kind of learning experience that cannot be found elsewhere.

The deadline for applications has been extended to 31 May 2016. Visit the British Council website to find out more and to apply. Follow the relevant section on the webpage to find out specifically about employing a Chinese language assistant.


Beginners 1 Course for Primary School Teachers March-May 2016

25 February 2016 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française de Glasgow will be running a new 10-week Beginners 1 French course for Primary School teachers between March and May 2016:

  • This course is suitable for complete beginners
  • 20 hours of lessons over 10 weeks tailored to the needs of Primary School teachers: classroom and speaking activities, pronunciation, communication, increase your confidence and feel more comfortable speaking French
  • The course will take place on Wednesdays 3.45-5.45pm between 9 March and 25 May 2016.

Visit the Alliance Française website for full details and to enrol by Wednesday 2 March.


1+2 Primary Hub, free seminars and much more at Scotland’s largest language event

24 February 2016 (Language Show Live)

It’s not long now until Language Show Live Scotland opens its doors to Glasgow. Don't miss this incredible celebration of languages and register in advance to secure your free ticket.

Stop by the 1+2 Primary Hub where practitioners from SCILT and the Goethe Institut will be on hand to give you advice on the new 1+2 approach for language learning and delivering languages at primary level.

Elsewhere on the show floor you’ be able attend over 30 free seminars and workshops and be inspired by top industry experts. Plus attend language classes, watch cultural performances and meet the best language suppliers over two days of insight and inspiration from the best in the business.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity and register today for your FREE ticket.

11-12 March • SECC, Glasgow

Viewing languages as a luxury? Nuts to that!

19 February 2016 (TESS)

In 1995 I boarded an Aberdeen train for a marathon journey to the picturesque French town of Le Puy-en-Velay, where I was to spend a year as an English language assistant.

I'd done six years of French at school and another two at university. Now I was ready to throw myself into the land of Gainsbourg, Camus, Piaf, Truffant, Depardieu and (my main cultural reference point) Astérix. Or was I?

As the latest of several trains trundled past Bourgogne vineyards, I headed to the buffet car. I had a craving for peanuts.

Only I didn't know the French word for peanuts...

(see the Editorial, page 5 of TESS digital for the full article - TES subscription required).


Related Links

Let’s be clear on foreign languages (TESS online, page 15) - subscription required to access.

Touring Exhibition - Erfinderland Deutschland

18 February 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

Our new touring exhibition "Inventions from Germany" takes place from 21 March to 1 April 2016 and focuses on ground-breaking, German inventions which affect the daily lives of each of us and does so in an interactive way.

The exhibition promotes the concept of STEM teaching combined with German and is suitable for both, German-oriented and science-oriented school classes. We offer a guided programme (one-hour slots) with worksheet activities for school classes (group size up to 30, S4 to S6). Beginners are welcome too as English translations are provided.

Visit the Goethe-Institut Glasgow website for further information and to book a slot.

The exhibition is also accompanied by a dedicated website with more detailed information and resources:


Language Show Live Scotland 2016: Over 30 free seminars and workshops from top industry experts

18 February 2016 (Language Show Live)

March is just a few weeks away so don’t delay and get your FREE ticket to attend Scotland’s largest language event.

Language Show Live is a unique opportunity to network with colleagues and industry experts while attending educational seminars dedicated to teachers and other language professionals.

Plus you’ll be able to meet the best suppliers from the language world and source the latest products – all under one roof.

Don’t miss out! Register today for your FREE ticket and avoid the queues on the day.


CPD - Task-based language teaching using ICT

16 February 2016 (UWS - PETALL)

This Continuing Professional Development course will allow language teachers to further develop their knowledge of a range of ICT applications and ICT mediated strategies.

This course is appropriate for teachers of modern foreign languages in primary and secondary
schools in Scotland. 

This course will introduce and explain the principles of Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT)
with specific reference to the work of Ellis, Willis and Nunan. It will introduce participants to the
EU-funded PETALL project including its background, aims and objectives. Particular focus will be
placed on the samples of good practice that teachers can freely access, download and adapt from
the PETALL project website.

The course will be delivered via two face-to-face sessions on 27 February and 26 March as well as online.

More information is available on the attached flyer.

Language interest grows

11 February 2016 (Scottish Government)

Pupils in the majority of Scotland’s council areas are now learning languages in Primary 1, under the Scottish Government’s 1+2 languages policy.

The Scottish Government made a commitment in 2011 to introduce the model in every council by 2020 – meaning every primary school pupil will start learning a first additional language in P1 and a second by P5, continuing until the end of S3.

Five years on, 21 out of 32 local authorities will be delivering the first additional language for P1 by the end of this school year, with all councils expected to meet the commitment by 2020.

Minister for Learning, Dr Alasdair Allan, met young people speaking French, Spanish and Gaelic when he visited Edinbarnet Primary School in West Dunbartonshire today.

Dr Allan’s visit follows the recent publication of figures from the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey (SSA) in 2015 that show 89 per cent of people in Scotland think that learning a language other than English in school from the age of five is important.


Modern Languages - Progression

11 February 2016 (Education Scotland)

If you were unable to join the second Glow TV event held on 28 January by Education Scotland's modern languages team on progression from first to second level, the recording is now available on the Glow TV Watch Again channel (Glow login required).


Teacher shortage means pupils miss out on foreign languages

11 February 2016 (Press and Journal)

A teacher shortage at an Aberdeen secondary school means some of its pupils are missing out on modern languages.

First, second and third year pupils at Kincorth Academy are not being given language lessons, such as French of Spanish, due to staffing difficulties.

The school is also lacking a teacher for home economics.

Head teacher Grahame Whyte told a meeting of Kincorth and Leggart Community Council that about 15 staff had left before the 2016/17 academic year.


Maribel y la extraña familia- theatre play

10 February 2016 (Consejería de Educación)

The students from Hispanic Studies at Edinburgh University are putting on our annual play, 'Maribel y la extraña familia' an adapted comedy from Miguel Mihura.

I would like to invite you to bring your Spanish students, particularly 5th and 6th years, to see the performance we are putting together this year.

The play will run for three performances at 7pm on 9, 10 and 11 March at Assembly Roxy in Edinburgh.

For more information visit our Facebook page.


Join thousands of language teachers and professionals next month!

10 February 2016 (Language Show Live)

It’s not long now until Language Show Live Scotland opens its doors to Glasgow this 11-12 March. Don’t miss this brand new language event taking place in the heart of Scotland and celebrate languages with thousands of other language teachers and professionals.

Taking place for the first year in Glasgow, the show will offer over 30 free CPD certified seminars, support and advice from industry experts and over 80 exhibiting companies – all under one roof!

Don’t delay and book your free ticket today at Language Show Live.

For more information and full seminar programme please visit our website.


Second round of regional cross-sector hub meetings

29 January 2016 (SCILT/UCMLS)

Back in September 2015 the University Council for Modern Languages in Scotland (UCMLS) in collaboration with SCILT held a series of regional cross-sector hub meetings in the universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, and Strathclyde. The second round of meetings will take place in late February and early March.

As before, we want to offer teachers, 1+2 Development Officers and university languages and education staff the opportunity to network and plan joint initiatives that will support and promote language learning, including building on the Business Brunches that are currently running in January and early February.

The new meeting dates and venues are as follows: 

  • Saturday, 20 February, 10.00-12.00: University of St. Andrews 
  • Wednesday 24 February, 16.30-18.00: University of the West of Scotland, Paisley Campus 
  • Friday, 26 February, 14.00-16.00, Heriot Watt University, Riccarton Campus 
  • Wednesday, 9 March, 17.00-18.30: Inverness College (UHI)

To register your intention to attend, please complete the registration details at this link:

Please note there will be a limited number of places which will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. We aim to confirm your attendance either way by Friday 12 February 2016. Further details, including agenda and room numbers at each venue, will be emailed to attendees about a week before the actual event.


Find inspiration and keep in touch with industry developments - Scotland’s biggest language event • 11-12 March, SECC Glasgow

29 January 2016 (Language Show Live)

Join thousands of other language teachers and find the resources you need to keep up-to-date with this fast-paced industry at Scotland’s biggest language event.

We’ve curated an extensive seminar programme to expand your knowledge, develop new skills and keep you up-to-date with industry changes. Highlights include: 

  • ‘1+2: A National Overview’ with Louise Glen, Education Scotland 
  • ‘Contextualising Learning in the Broad General Education’ with Julie-Anne Mckenzie, SCILT 
  • ‘Using School Partnerships to Support Languages’ with Kate Walker, British Council 
  • ‘Is your Primary Language Teaching Effective?’ with Juliet Park, Yewlands Academy 
  • ‘Exciting Projects to take languages out of the classroom’ with Angela Gallagher-Brett, Routes into Languages

All sessions are free to attend and can be counted towards your CPD as well.

Don’t miss out and register online for free tickets at the Language Show Live Scotland website.


AMOPA Parlons Français competition - deadline approaching

26 January 2016 (AMOPA)

The 'Parlons français' competition, run by AMOPA in collaboration with Total, is now five years old and is going from strength to strength.

To enter all that's required is a short recording of students as they prepare for their speaking test. This is then assessed and feedback given. Prizes and certificates will also be awarded.

The competition is so easy to enter now as the technology is readily available and it supports your own preparation with students, it's not an "extra" task.

To find out more about the competition and how to enter see the attached flyer.

Entries must be submitted by 15 February 2016.

Half of schools make big cuts to courses under CfE

22 January 2016 (TESS)

Almost half of Scottish secondaries have significantly narrowed their curriculum at S4, offering just six courses instead of the eight that was typical before the introduction of Curriculum for Excellence, according to figures released today.

Subjects disadvantaged by the new curriculum include languages, business studies, computing, some of the creative and aesthetic subjects, the sciences and social subjects.

See page 6-7 of TESS digital for the full article.  (TES subscription required).


Multilingual Debate 2016

19 January 2016 (Heriot-Watt University)

Heriot-Watt University's Multilingual Debate is an annual event that showcases the interpreting skills of undergraduate students on our Languages (Interpreting and Translating) degree programme, as well as the developing professional skills of postgraduate students on our MSc Interpreting and Translating programmes. The event takes the form of a formal debate with two multilingual teams arguing for and against a motion of topical interest in a range of languages. The teams deliver their views in their various native languages (French, German, Spanish, English, Arabic, Chinese, British Sign Language (BSL)).

The audience is mainly made up of pupils coming from Scottish and English secondary schools, but also university undergraduate students considering entering the interpreting profession, as well as government and local authority representatives. The audiences participated in the debate by listening to the arguments, putting questions to the speakers in the languages represented and voting on the motion.

The Multilingual Debate 2016 takes place on Wednesday 23 March at Heriot-Watt University's Edinburgh campus.

To find out more about the debate topics and how to sign up to attend a session, see the video presentations in Arabic, BSL, Chinese, English, French and Spanish on the Heriot-Watt website.


1 + 2 approach to language learning 'PanTayside'

19 January 2016 (Education Scotland)

Pan Tayside has produced a video showcasing the 'PanTayside' approach to implementing the 1+2 languages policy. Dundee City Council, Angus Council and Perth and Kinross Council are working together and sharing expertise in order to create the sustainable delivery of language learning across the three authorities.

See the video on the Education Scotland website.


SCEN Learning of Chinese Project

14 January 2016 (CISS)

Plans are once again in action for the SCEN Learning of Chinese Project in East Lothian primary schools. A wide range of schools will be participating in the programme which started in 2012 and which is growing in momentum as the years progress. The programme is supported by Chinese student volunteers from Edinburgh University via EUSA and the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools along with research led by Bilingualism matters and evaluative evidence collected, analysed and presented by an Educational Consultant in languages.

You can read more about this project on the CISS website.


What comes first? Practitioners in Glasgow City Council’s EAL service share their experiences of supporting learners who are new to English

14 January 2016 (Teaching Scotland (Issue 62))

See the article in the latest edition of Teaching Scotland magazine (page 32/33) where EAL teachers in Glasgow share how they're supporting incoming migrants to the city.


Scottish curriculum narrows and attainment drops under new regime

12 January 2016 (TESS)

The number of qualifications being pursued by Scottish pupils – particularly those of lower ability – has dropped sharply since the new curriculum and qualifications were introduced, as has attainment, new research shows.

The situation for modern languages was “near critical” because of the drop in pupils enrolling for these subjects in S4, according to Dr Jim Scott from the University of Dundee.


Scottish Education Awards 2016

11 January 2016 (Education Scotland)

There's still time to make a nomination for the Scottish Education Awards 2016.

The awards celebrate the hard work and success in Scottish education and showcase the valuable work and innovation in learning environments across Scotland.

If you'd like to see a primary establishment be recognised for 'Making Languages Come Alive' or acknowledge an organisation for the Gaelic Education Award, nominations can be made until midday on Monday 15 February and the awards ceremony takes place in June.

Visit the Scottish Education Awards website for more information about the award categories and to submit a nomination.


SQA Higher Modern Languages Course Reports (2015)

7 January 2016 (SCILT / SQA)

We have summarised the Higher Modern Languages Course Reports and highlighted the key messages across all the languages.

These reports contain information on how candidates performed in the 2015 exam diet and give important advice on how to prepare candidates for forthcoming examinations, as well as for the Performance of Talking

The full reports can be accessed on the SQA website.


Languages: a world of opportunity – web page now live

7 January 2016 (Scottish Government)

In September 2015, Michael Russell MSP hosted a parliamentary reception, entitled Languages: a world of opportunity. While celebrating language learning in Scotland, the event set out to inspire people to appreciate language skills as valuable, enabling, achievable, career and life-enhancing.

Through real life examples about how stronger language skills are already making a difference, not only in education, but in employment and on a personal level, attendees were invited to consider how to further promote language skills, and an understanding of their value, in the interests of Scotland’s global position.

As an employability skill, Scotland as a whole stands to gain from language skills becoming the norm for us all. This is why Scottish Government is committed to radically enhance language learning in schools across Scotland through Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 approach.

This webpage contains information from the event, films about and using language and links to websites of organisations who promote, develop and advocate language learning.


French courses from the Alliance Française 2016

6 January 2016 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow are offering the following courses during the next term (Term C - February to April). Follow the appropriate link for more information on the courses and enrolment:

For further information about the organisation and other services they offer, visit the Alliance Française website.


Get your free ticket for Language Show Live Scotland

5 January 2016 (Language Show Live)

We are pleased to announce that you can now register for your free ticket to attend Language Show Live Scotland 2016, taking place from 11-12 March at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) in Glasgow.

Language Show Live Scotland is your chance to join thousands of language teachers, learners, linguists, translators, interpreters and job seekers who love languages as much as you.

The event will bring together 100 exhibitors, free educational seminars, language classes, live forums, careers advice and cultural performances in an incredible celebration of languages.

Register for free tickets


Five ways to welcome refugee pupils to your school

28 December 2015 (TES)

Scotland’s biggest teaching union, the EIS, is preparing advice for schools on how to welcome refugees and migrants.

The union’s advice on steps to welcome pupils from refugee families includes learning simple greetings in the pupils' first language.


Participate in the BBC Trust consultation on Radio and TV coverage in Scotland

21 December 2015 (BBC )

The public are invited to participate in the BBC Trust consultation on Radio and TV coverage in Scotland. This is an opportunity to have your say regarding the use of language (including dubbing of foreign language and use of subtitles) and the content of broadcast about the importance of language in growing the Scottish economy. The consultation closes on 17 January 2016.


Our Films:Our Europe

15 December 2015 (SEET)

We have now reached the end of the first stage in the Our Films:Our Europe project. We are delighted to announce that the following schools will be joining us in one of our three film-making workshops. During the workshop pupils will have all day to work with media professionals to shoot and edit their films, bringing their ideas to life.

  • Balfron High (Stirling)
  • Holyrood Secondary (Glasgow)
  • Lenzie Acadmey (East Dunbartonshire)
  • Drumchapel High School (Glasgow)
  • Harlaw Academy (Aberdeen City)
  • West Calder High School (West Lothian)
  • Larbert High School (Falkirk)
  • Kirkcaldy High (Fife)
  • St Mungos High School (Falkirk)
  • Falkirk Hgih School (Falkirk)
  • Bishopbriggs Academy (East Dunbartonshire)
  • Auchinleck Acadmeny (East Ayrshire)
  • St Roch's Secondary (Glasgow)
  • St Luke's High School (East Renfrewshire)
  • Cardinal Newman (North Lanarkshire)

A big thank you and well done to all of the schools who have participated in the project so far!

You can find out more about the film-making project on the SEET website.


MTOT deadline for submissions – 18 December

15 December 2015 (SCILT)

Last chance to submit entries for this year’s MTOT multilingual poetry competition!  You have until midnight 18 December to get your entries in.

Thanks to all those who have participated. We look forward to seeing all the great work which has been produced and will be in touch again in the New Year once judging has taken place. 

If you still need to submit your pupils’ entries, follow the guidance in the Teacher's Pack within the RESOURCES tab on our MTOT pageOr see the MTOT blog where you can also find submission guidelines.


Concours de la francophonie - coming soon!

15 December 2015 (Institut français)

The Institut français is delighted to present le concours de la francophonie, a new competition for all primary and secondary French learners across Scotland, in partnership with SCILT.

To participate, schools have to submit a video (filmed with tablets, phones or other devices) of a small piece in French: a song, a dialogue, a play etc. So, if you had prepared something with your students for les rencontres théâtrales, you just need to film the performance. This way, all schools across Scotland will be able to take part.

There are four categories:

  • P1/P4
  • P5/P7
  • S1/S3
  • S4/S6.

The competition will be held in two phases, semi-finals at the council level, and finals at the national level. The two best productions of each category will win the following: 

  • P1/P4 students and schools who may not be able to travel to Edinburgh in a day will win an immersion day in their school, with French native speakers. 
  • P5 to S6 students who are able to travel will be invited to celebrate la journée mondiale de la francophonie in Edinburgh on 18 March, with French immersion activities and an award ceremony.

Creativity is a key element of this student led competition; dialogues, reportages, interviews and all other forms are possible. In addition, jury will look at the command of the French language, which will be adapted to your students level. Finally, we encourage the participation of all students in the classroom.

More details about the competition will be available in January.


SQA updates - Advanced Higher Modern Languages

14 December 2015 (SQA)

The SQA has updated a number of files on their Advanced Higher Modern Languages webpage.

A list of updates is attached and the files can be accessed on the SQA website.


Related Files

Winners announced: Secondary school writing competition

14 December 2015 (British Council)

In partnership, Education Scotland and British Council Scotland launched a secondary school writing competition to promote international education in schools and to find pupils' views on how international they thought their school is.

To enter, Scottish secondary school pupils were asked to submit a short essay answering the question below:

‘How international is your school and how International could it be? Please write about how international experience has shaped or could shape your time at school.’

We received an overwhelming number of submissions from pupils across Scotland and the three winning entries can be seen on the British Council website.

Congratulations to the winners and their schools!


Languages e-bulletin December 2015

10 December 2015 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland's latest languages bulletin is now available.  This edition includes information on:

  • Updated guidance on assessing progress and achievement in Modern Languages
  • GLOWmeet sessions:
    • replay of  session on 1+2 policy progress held on 18 November
    • next session - guidance on progression from first to second level, 27 January 2016
  • Language Show Live Scotland
  • Scots language updates


MTOT deadline approaching!

10 December 2015 (SCILT)

Entries have been arriving thick and fast in our inboxes here at SCILT. It is fantastic to see the hard-work and enthusiasm of your pupils in a multitude of languages being creative in such a wide variety of themes from football to holidays, memories of family to recent terrorist events in Paris.

Just a reminder that the closing date for entries is 18 December. All the information and documentation you need to enter pupils' work can be found in the Teacher's Pack within the RESOURCES tab on our MTOT page.  Those of you following our MTOT blog can also find submission guidelines there.


Scottish Education Awards 2016

9 December 2015 (Scottish Education Awards)

Nominations are open for the Scottish Education Awards 2016!

Categories include:

  • Gaelic Education Award - recognising establishments who provide opportunities for children to develop fluency in the Gaelic language and culture
  • Making Languages Come Alive (primary) - recognising establishments who are working effectively to implement the 1+2 policy for language learning

Visit the Scottish Education Awards website for information on all the nomination categories, criteria and to submit your nomination by 15 February 2016.


Our Europe film making competition - deadline approaching

25 November 2015 (SEET)

The deadline for the Our Europe film-making project is fast approaching, but don't worry, there's still time to sign up! Entries must be in by 10 December 2015, so if you want to sign up and haven't yet done so make sure you do it soon! If you have teams of S3-6 pupils who are interested in taking part please complete the registration form.

We are also adding new features to our Script Centre tool, designed to help students with scripting the language component of the project.

We have been extremely busy over the past few weeks making visits to schools all across Scotland and it has been great to see such enthusiasm for the project from students. For more information about the Our Europe project, please visit our website. Remember, it's not too late to sign up!


Scotland-China Association Primary Schools Art Competition 2016

23 November 2015 (SCEN/SCA)

For 50 years, the SCA has been a society of people in Scotland furthering interest in the culture, history and modern progress of China. Help to celebrate this connection in painting, drawing, calligraphy, poetry, video or sound.

There are 3 entry categories:

  • P1-3
  • P4-5
  • P6-7

The closing date for entries is 25 March 2016.  Prize-giving will take place on Friday 27 May 2016, with the Tom Murray Memorial Prize to be awarded to the school with the best standard of entries.

Please register your interest by the end of 2015 with:

For more information, visit the SCA website.


Subject choice is vital in improving children's life chances, researchers say

20 November 2015 (TESS)

The Scottish government’s drive to close the attainment gap will fail to boost the life chances of deprived children because many are not choosing the right subjects, research suggests.

The University of Edinburgh researchers call for academic subjects such as English, maths, sciences and languages to be compulsory for longer and for schools to give pupils better advice about the long-term implications of their decisions.

(Please note a TES/TESS subscription is required to access the online article in full).


Language Show Live is coming to Scotland!

19 November 2015 (Language Show Live Scotland)

Following the continued success of Europe’s longest running premier language event, hosted in London for the past 27 years, Language Show Live is excited to be opening its doors to Glasgow this 11-12 March at the SECC for two inspirational days packed with free educational seminars, language classes, live forums and cultural performances in an incredible celebration of languages.

Language Show Live Scotland is your chance to join thousands of language teachers, learners, translators, interpreters, linguists and job seekers who love languages as much as you.

Applications for the event programme are now open.

If you’re an experienced speaker and would like to be part of the Language Show Scotland programme click on the link to find out more about the several ways to participate and apply.

The deadline to receive all applications is Sunday 29 November.

Visit the Language Show Live Scotland website for more information about the event.


CPD Workshops for Primary School Teachers in 2016

18 November 2015 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française de Glasgow will be running 10 CPD workshops for Primary School teachers between February-April 2016.

  • 10 topics covered over 10 weeks, tailored to the needs of Primary School teachers
  • Suitable as a follow-up to our Beginners 1 class or for French teachers in Primary schools
  • Thursday, 4.15-5.45pm between 11 February and 28 April included
  • The cost to attend these 10 CPDs is £73/teacher. Please note this is a special fee offered by the Alliance Française de Glasgow to promote modern languages
  • Option to enrol in less than 10 CPDs, please contact us for more information
  • Certificates of attendance will be handed out once the programme is completed
  • Places are limited so booking early is highly recommended

If you wish to enrol, please contact or visit the Language Office at the Alliance Française by Friday 29 January 2016.  Visit the website for full programme and enrolment details.


Euroquiz 2016

9 November 2015 (SEET)

The Scottish European Educational Trust (SEET) runs an annual Euroquiz for P6 pupils, which sees teams of four working together to broaden their knowledge of Europe. Subjects covered include history, geography, sport, culture, languages and the European Union.

Heats take place in local authorities from January to March, with the winning teams from all areas going forward to the national final in May.

Plans for Euroquiz 2016 are now underway and schools are invited to register their interest with their local authority Euroquiz co-ordinator.

Further information about the competition and preparation materials are available on the SEET website.


The council where one language isn't enough

6 November 2015 (TESS)

Glasgow to insist on 'dual linguist' specialists in its secondary schools.

Read the article on page 10 of the electronic version of TESS magazine.  Please note this is only available free online until 12 November 2015 after which a subscription will be required to access.


Related Links

Enjoy the digital edition of TES for free (TES, 6 November 2015)

Modern Languages: Assessing progress and achievement in significant aspects of learning

6 November 2015 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has published a revised format of the professional learning paper ‘Assessing Progress and Achievement in Modern Languages’ on their website.

The work in progress on significant aspects of learning was reviewed in June and July 2015
in the light of feedback from practitioners, schools and education authorities and in the
context of developments in national education policy. This has led to a number of changes
both in the overarching paper and in each of the papers related to an area of the

Practitioners are encouraged to use this document to support professional dialogue through quality
assurance and moderation activities. It may be used by individuals to inform reflection on practice
and plan for improvement in approaches to supporting learners in their progress and achievement.


Language Trends 2014-2015

5 November 2015 (SCILT)

We have conducted a brief analysis of published SQA language statistics at SCQF levels 4-7 in 2014 and 2015.

See the 'Language Trends in Scotland 2014-15' report on our website.


SQA National Qualifications Update - Modern Languages

30 October 2015 (SQA)

SQA has published its Course Reports for Modern Languages containing the key messages from the 2014-15 diet.

Read the document on the SQA website.


Scotland’s Census 2011 : Gaelic report (part 2)

29 October 2015 (National Records of Scotland)

This National Statistics publication for Scotland details the use of Gaelic by a variety of categories and sectors in Scotland.

See the report online.


Scottish Funding Council Gaelic Language Plan 2014-19

28 October 2015 (Scottish Funding Council)

The SFC has just published its Gaelic Language Plan 2014-19. This Plan has been prepared under Section 3 of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 and was approved by Bòrd na Gàidhlig on 17 September 2015.

See the SFC publication on their website.


We must develop a tolerance gene to languages, including Gaelic

21 October 2015 (The Herald letters)

Letters in the Herald from readers in support of the Gaelic language policy and language learning.


Related Links

So, who needs Gaelic? (The Herald letters, 19 October 2015)

Support for Gaelic early years

21 October 2015 (Scottish Government)

Children in Gaelic speaking communities will be helped to get the best start in life after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced £100,000 funding for 41 early years’ groups and organisations.

The money will support the running costs of the groups and provide employment opportunities for Gaelic speaking leaders so that children can develop their skills in the language.

The First Minister made the announcement in Skye as she delivered the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig lecture for the first time. She said:

“We want all of Scotland’s children to have the best start in life. That includes providing opportunities for children to learn and improve Gaelic in their early years. Our support for Gaelic medium education is encouraging and enabling more children to learn the language and has helped to slow the decline in our population of Gaelic speakers. I am determined to do all I can to support the future of the language in Scotland. Today’s announcement ensures that children will be able to take up Gaelic at the earliest possible age.”


Related Links

First minister unveils £100,000 for Gaelic speaking children (Press and Journal, 22 October 2015)

Support for Gaelic early years (Stornoway Gazette, 26 October 2015) 

The Language Ambassadors are back!

21 October 2015 (University of Strathclyde)

Boost your pupils' interest in languages by organising a visit to your school as part of the University of Strathclyde’s Language Ambassadors Programme.

Our ambassadors will come to your school and talk about their own experiences of studying languages at university, the joys and challenges they faced living and working abroad during their intercalary year, their motivations for choosing to study languages and their hopes for the future.

The programme has been growing from strength to strength since starting five years ago, now working with both Secondary and Primary schools across the west of Scotland, so don’t be left behind… Join in and organise a visit this year!

For more information see the website and if you would like to set up a visit simply e-mail:


Availability of past papers for all Modern Languages qualifications

21 October 2015 (SCILT/SQA)

We have been advised by the SQA that there are no plans to remove 'old NQ' materials out with the SQA retention policy. That is that all past paper materials on the site is available for 5 years after the examination - so from now 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 materials are available.

SQA only clears copyright for the years the materials are published and therefore centres should not store materials out with that period.

There has been no specific communication to centres on this matter as there has not been a change to policy or practice.

Past materials can be found on the SQA website.


Toni Giugliano: Speaking foreign language opens many doors

15 October 2015 (The Scotsman)

I was delighted to read in the News (October 13) that Edinburgh City Council is taking steps to implement the SNP government’s ambitious policy on modern languages.

Telephoning my mum has always been a source of entertainment for anyone within earshot. I start a sentence in Italian and sometimes finish it in English, switching from one to the other, reflexively and unconsciously. That’s how the bilingual mind works – you could spend the entire day thinking in one language and dream in the other. My bilingualism has profoundly shaped me and my politics – speaking two languages allows a deeper understanding of two cultures, two different ways of life and mentalities.


Related Links

All pupils to learn two foreign languages by high school (Edinburgh Evening News, 13 October 2015)

SCHOLAR Modern Languages sessions

8 October 2015 (Heriot-Watt University)

The SCHOLAR programme offered by Heriot-Watt University offers a number of support sessions in a variety of subjects for students undertaking National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher examinations.

Attached is the programme of online events taking place from October 2015 to March 2016 to support Modern Languages.

For more information about the SCHOLAR programme visit the Heriot-Watt SCHOLAR website.


Related Files

Applause as MSPs unanimously back bill promoting use of British Sign Language

18 September 2015 (The National)

Legislation to promote the use of British Sign Language (BSL) was unanimously backed by MSPs last night.

The passage of the British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill, brought forward by Labour MSP Mark Griffin, was greeted with cheers and applause by campaigners in the Scottish Parliament’s public gallery.

It will require Scottish ministers to develop a national plan for BSL and place an obligation on public-sector bodies to prepare and publish their own plans.

The aim is to increase awareness of BSL and its use in the delivery of services.

During a debate on the bill at Holyrood, Griffin cited statistics from the Scottish Council on Deafness showing that 77 per cent of BSL users who visited hospital could not easily communicate with NHS staff.

He said: “It is that sense of abandonment and isolation – whether it be in a healthcare situation, in a school or an education situation – that I hope the passing of this legislation will address.”

Languages minister Dr Alasdair Allan said the Scottish Government would set up a BSL group to advise on the content of the national plan.

Labour equality spokeswoman Rhoda Grant said the bill “will send a strong message to the deaf and deaf-blind community that we value them and we value their language”.


Related Links

For more information on the Bill itself, visit the page about the British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill on the Scottish Parliament's website and see Parliament TV coverage of the proceedings held in the Scottish Parliament on 17 September 2015.  You can also access the Official Report from the Meeting of the Parliament on 17 September 2015 in which the British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill was discussed.

MSPs support bill to promote British Sign Language (The Herald, 17 September 2015)

The British Sign Language (BSL) (Scotland) Bill passed unanimously (The Edinburgh Reporter, 17 September 2015)

British Deaf Association applauds British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill (BDA, 17 September 2015)

Sign language given formal status in Scotland (Holyrood, 18 September 2015)

New BSL bill is a welcome sign of the times (The Herald, 18 September 2015)

CPD Workshops for Primary School Teachers in 2015/16

17 September 2015 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française de Glasgow will be running a programme of CPDs in French for Primary School teachers in 2015/16.

  • Ten topics covered over ten weeks, tailored to the needs of Primary School teachers
  • Suitable as a follow-up to our Beginners 1 class or for French teachers in Primary schools
  • Thursdays, 4.15-5.45pm between 29 October 2015 and 24 March 2015

Full programme details are available on the Alliance Française website.  If you wish to enrol, please contact or visit the Language Office at the Alliance Française by Friday 23 October. 


Literacy through Latin

16 September 2015 (University of Edinburgh)

The program Literacy through Latin connects volunteers who know Latin with classrooms in Edinburgh Council primary schools. We use Latin to introduce new lessons on language and culture for P5 and P6 students because we believe that the history and culture of Classics remain valuable in the modern world.

Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence aims to shape successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens, and effective contributors. For all of these learning Latin (‘the maths of the humanities’) is incredibly efficient. Short, fun language lessons help students to unlock another side of their creativity. Cultural explorations unfold the significance and memory of the Roman world today.

Autumn 2015 will see the beginning of this program from the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh.

Visit their website for more information.


Scots Language Policy

10 September 2015 (Scottish Government)

A national Scots Language Policy has been launched today by Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland's Languages.

This national Scots policy sets out the Scottish Government's position on the Scots language, its aims and objectives for Scots and the practical steps we will take to achieve these. It has been developed in co-operation with a number of key interests and will be reviewed periodically.


Related Links

Supporting Scots (Scottish Government, 10 September 2015)

Holyrood launches drive to promote Scots language (The Scotsman, 10 September 2015)

Mind your language: Scottish Government to step up promotion of Scots (CommonSpace, 11 September 2015)

Principles and practice: modern languages

8 September 2015 (Educaiton Scotland)

Education Scotland has just published a new principles and practice document for modern languages including new learning statements for P7.

Visit the Education Scotland website for more information.


MTOT - Free Creative Poetry Workshops for Teachers

4 September 2015 (SCILT)

In taking MTOT to a national level this year, we are delighted to be able to offer FREE poetry workshops for primary and secondary teachers at four different venues across Scotland.

Teachers will work with Juliette Lee, a poet and creative writer, for a half-day workshop to develop their own creativity, explore poetry and the impact of language we use, including our Mother Tongue and also experimenting with poetry in an Other Tongue too. We hope that teachers will leave inspired and able to take back some ideas and examples to work with their own pupils who will then submit their poems/rhymes/raps/songs into the MTOT competition.

Due to high levels of interest for the competition in general, we have decided to leave registration for schools open until Friday 9 October. Teachers do not have to attend one of the workshops to register their school for the MTOT competition although the workshops are a fantastic opportunity to develop your skills in teaching poetry, languages and to gather ideas to take back into the classroom.

Spaces are still available at the following workshop:

  • Friday 9 October, 13.30 – 16.30 ; Open University, Edinburgh (deadline for registration Friday 2 October)

Register by completing the MTOT workshop registration form on the SCILT website.

For more information about MTOT and to register your school to take part in the competition visit the MTOT 2015-16 page of our website.


SLF 2015 - “A 1+2 approach to language learning - where are we now?“

1 September 2015 (Education Scotland)

At this year’s Scottish Learning Festival, the Education Scotland modern languages team will host a seminar on “A 1+2 approach to language learning - where are we now?“ where practitioners and local authority representatives can find out about the picture of implementation of the 1+2 policy across the country. The team will also provide information about the support and resources on offer from Education Scotland as well as the latest advice and guidance from HMI. Additionally, representatives from two local authorities will share their approaches to upskilling primary school staff in modern languages.

In our conversation slots “ 1+2 - Time2talk ” the modern languages team will engage practitioners in a professional dialogue about all aspects of the 1+2 approach to language learning including answering questions on L3 ( the second additional language) and the primary and secondary contexts of the policy.

SLF 2015 takes place on 23 and 24 September at the SECC, Glasgow.  Find out more about this year's SLF on the conference webpage.


MTOT 2015-16 registration extended

1 September 2015 (SCILT)

Mother Tongue Other Tongue (MTOT) 2015-16 has launched in Scotland!

The multilingual poetry competition celebrates linguistic and cultural diversity through creative writing. Mother Tongue encourages children who do not speak English as a first language to share a remembered poem from their mother tongue. Other Tongue encourages children learning another language in school to write an original poem in that other tongue.

The competition was successfully piloted in Glasgow last year and we're delighted to now offer all primary and secondary schools in Scotland the chance to participate.

Take a look at our MTOT 2015-16 webpages for full details about this year's competition. You'll also find a section on previous events and testimonials from those who took part, as well as links to the MTOT blog and a host of other useful resources, including the teacher's pack containing the categories, criteria and rules.

During September and October there will be some Saturday workshops available for teachers from schools registered for the competition. There will be a limited number of places which will be allocated on a first come first served basis, so watch for more details about these soon and ensure you don't miss out!

Register your school for MTOT now*! Deadline extended to 9 October 2015.

*Some schools are reporting an issue with accessing the online registration form. If your authority is also blocking the page, we would suggest registering from a home PC or emailing us to be registered manually.


Multicultural Edinburgh school records song with 25 languages

1 September 2015 (The Scotsman)

IT’S the city’s most multicultural school, with dozens of ­different languages spoken by its 300 pupils.

Now a new school song is set to celebrate the diversity of life at Dalry Primary School for the first time.


SQA vacancies - Visiting Assessors for AH Modern Languages

28 August 2015 (SQA)

SQA is currently seeking to recruit additional Visiting Assessors (VA) to conduct Talking assessments at Advanced Higher level in Modern Languages.

Applications can be found following the relevant links below. You will also find information here relating to contract specification, selection criteria and key performance measures.

Closing date for all applications: 1 November 2015.

Orkney schools introduce Japanese to timetables

27 August 2015 (BBC News)

Two secondary schools in Orkney have some of the first in Scotland to introduce Japanese classes into their timetables.

There have been an increasing number of links built up between the islands and Japan in recent years, largely due to a shared interest in the potential of marine renewable energy.

Stromness Academy and Kirkwall Grammar pupils are now learning Japanese.


Residential training courses for teachers of German

26 August 2015 (Goethe-Institut)

Every year the Goethe-Institut offers an attractive range of residential training and language courses for teachers of German (specialists and non-specialists) as well as teacher trainers. There are language courses available on "Landeskunde", methodology and teaching strategies.

Apply now for a scholarship from the Goethe-Institut.  Deadline for applications: 15 October 2015.

Visit the Goethe-Institut Glasgow website for further information and how to apply.


Mother Tongue Other Tongue 2015-16 launch

21 August 2015 (SCILT)

Today sees the launch of Mother Tongue Other Tongue (MTOT) 2015-16 in Scotland!

The multilingual poetry competition celebrates linguistic and cultural diversity through creative writing. Mother Tongue encourages children who do not speak English as a first language to share a remembered poem from their mother tongue. Other Tongue encourages children learning another language in school to write an original poem in that other tongue.

The competition was successfully piloted in Glasgow last year and we're delighted to now offer all primary and secondary schools in Scotland the chance to participate.

Take a look at our MTOT 2015-16 webpages for full details about this year's competition.  You'll also find a section on previous events and testimonials from those who took part, as well as links to the MTOT blog and a host of other useful resources, including the teacher's pack containing the categories, criteria and rules.

During September and October there will be some Saturday workshops available for teachers from schools registered for the competition.  There will be a limited number of places which will be allocated on a first come first served basis, so watch for more details about these soon and ensure you don't miss out!

Register your school for MTOT now*!  Deadline 31 August 2015.

*Some schools are reporting an issue with accessing the online registration form.  If your authority is also blocking the page, we would suggest registering from a home PC or emailing us to be registered manually.


Our Films, Our Europe competition

20 August 2015 (SEET)

Our Films, Our Europe is an innovative film making project run by SEET and supported by the European Parliament. Teams of S3-S6 pupils from all secondary schools in Scotland are invited to take part in the project which encourages European languages, international discussions and creative film making.

The competition will launch on 1 September 2015 with all secondary schools in Scotland invited to take part.

For more information, see the attached press release or visit the SEET website where you can also find details of last year's competitors and the winning films.


Related Files

Language uptake may be blooming, but ‘all is not rosy’

20 August 2015 (TESS)

Recent improvements in uptake do not spell the end of the decline in language learning, the president of the Scottish Association for Language Teaching has warned.

Gillian Campbell-Thow told TESS this week that while there was a “need to be optimistic”, she did not believe “the magic wand has been waved and all is rosy in the garden”.

Figures released by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) on exam results day earlier this month revealed an increase in entries for most modern languages at Higher level, leading some to believe that the decline of recent years had been reversed. The number of students sitting the new or old Higher exam in French was almost 10 per cent more than last year at 4,572 compared with 4,157.

The increase in Spanish was even more significant, with entries rising 28 per cent from 1,880 last year to 2,413 this year. In German, the total increased from 1,006 in 2014 to 1,114. Pass rates were also up.

However, the number of Chinese language Higher entries dropped from 100 to 89. This was despite significant investment in this area and news that a further 21 Confucius Classrooms would be set up to teach Mandarin to primary pupils in Scotland, on top of the 14 that already exist. Funding for the extension of the programme will come from Hanban, a public institution affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education.

“I don’t think we are anywhere near addressing the decline in languages but it is a step in the right direction,” Ms Campbell-Thow said. While there was a mix of old and new Highers, “we don’t really have a firm grasp on how much impact the new qualifications are having on uptake,” she added.


1+2 Factor

17 August 2015 (Glow Scotland)

The 1+2 Factor is a nationwide event taking place on 18 November 2015 in the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow where Scottish educational establishments are invited to share and showcase their work using digital technology to implement the 1+2 languages policy.

Visit the 1+2 Factor site on Glow to find out how your school can take part.  (Glow login required).


Substantial rise in skills for life and work

5 August 2015 (Scottish Government)

43,911 qualifications specifically recognising skills for life and work have been gained this year – a rise of 18.3 per cent compared to last year. [..] With more relevant work-related learning for all young people at the heart of Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce, Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy, key increases in attainment include:

  • Modern Languages for Life and Work SQA Award, has almost doubled at SCQF level 3 and 4 since 2014 with increases from 383 to 720 and 750 to 1,444 respectively


Results day for students

4 August 2015 (Scottish Government)

Students across Scotland achieved a record 156,000 Higher passes this year – up 5.5 per cent on 2014.

Results certificates have been sent to 142,862 candidates sitting a wide range of qualifications – including new Highers for the first year and Nationals for the second year; and existing Access, Intermediates, Highers and Advanced Highers.

Figures released by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) show attainment is again high this year, with Higher English passes up 17.7 per cent to 27,902, and Higher modern languages passes increasing by 15.2 per cent to 7,419.


Related Links

Record numbers of Scottish students pass higher exams (The Independent, 4 August 2015)

Questions over higher Scottish exam pass rate (The Telegraph, 4 August 2015)

Record Highers pass rate triggers concerns about Scottish qualification (The Guardian, 4 August 2015)

First and Second Level Modern Languages Learning Map Updates

27 July 2015 (Education Scotland)

Updates to first and second level learning maps are now available on the Education Scotland website.


Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition going nationwide in 2015-16!

19 June 2015 (SCILT/CISS)

Mother Tongue Other Tongue (MTOT) is an exciting multilingual poetry project which celebrates linguistic and cultural diversity through creative writing, and showcases the many languages which are spoken and learned by young people in school and at home. After a very successful pilot of the competition in the Glasgow area last year, SCILT are excited to announce the roll-out of MTOT across the country from August 2015. 2015/16 will build on the success of last year’s initiative and see the competition go nationwide allowing all pupils from P1 – S6 to participate in collaboration with our partner universities.

The winning poems, as well as a wider selection of commendable entries, will be compiled and published in a Mother Tongue Other Tongue anthology. There will be additional prizes, so start thinking now about how you might get involved.

September will see the official launch of the competition with poetry and creative writing workshops for teachers taking place at our HE partner institutions across the country (dates and venues tbc). Registration to take part in the competition and to attend the teachers’ poetry workshop launch events will open in August 2015. More information on how to register and book a place on a workshop will be available to schools early in the new school year.

Why not visit our MTOT 2015-16 webpage where you'll find all the information you need, including links to our poetry resources page, where we have collated a number of downloadable poetry and language materials as well as links to useful websites. You could also read the 2014 winning poems featured in our anthology for some further inspiration and find out about last year's competition and celebration event, or take a look at the MTOT website from Routes into Languages North West and Manchester Metropolitan University to see how the competition ran in England and Wales last year.


Scottish Education Awards 2015 – winners announced!

10 June 2015 (Education Scotland)

Congratulations to the winners at this year's Scottish Education Awards, particularly those in the languages categories:

  • Gaelic Education Award - Clann Throndairnis - Staffin and Kilmuir Primary Schools (Highlands)
  • Making Languages Come Alive - Corseford School (Renfrewshire)

Details of all the winners and finalists can be found on the Education Scotland website.


Unlocking Languages at Dalmarnock

5 June 2015 (Dalmarnock Post blog)

Hola, Bonjour, Kalh mepa, ciao , – only some of the wonderful greetings you’ll hear first thing every morning in our school. At Dalmarnock we believe that learning languages unlocks many doors for our children and we embraced the new Scottish Language Initiative 1+2. Have a look at all the wonderful experiences the children are enjoying!


Collins Language Learning Survey

5 June 2015 (SALT)

Collins Language Learning Team are very interested in your views and thoughts on the learning and teaching of languages in Scottish schools.

To express their gratitude for your time in completing their questionnaire, you will be entered in a draw to win dictionaries for your school!


Scottish Labour warning over modern languages decline

4 June 2015 (BBC News)

Labour has raised concerns about a drop in the number of students gaining a qualification in modern languages including French, German and Chinese.

At First Minister's Questions, Labour leader Kezia Dugdale also highlighted a drop in the number achieving a qualification in Gaelic.

Research by Strathclyde University, draws attention to a long-term decline in the number achieving a qualification in French or German.

In 1996, around 40,000 got a Standard Grade pass in French at either foundation, general or credit level.

By 2011, the number was down to about 30,000 and in 2014 it fell to below 20,000.

The number studying German roughly halved over the same period and also dropped significantly in 2014.

Such a drop inevitably prompts important questions and will concern some: a qualification in a language can be an important step towards achieving fluency in it and nobody disputes the importance of fluency in second or third languages to the development of a skilled workforce.


Related Links

First Minister's Question Time (Scottish Parliament, 4 June 2015)

Modern Languages in Scotland: Learner Uptake and Attainment 1996-2014 (Scottish Languages Review: James Scott article, June 2015) 

Learners International - new resource for schools!

28 May 2015 (British Council/Education Scotland)

British Council in partnership with Education Scotland has today launched a new online resource to help schools and pre-school centres improve outcomes for pupils and staff through international engagement.

The resource is designed to support schools in their journey of continuous improvement in learning through partnerships with educational establishments in other countries.  Working in partnership the aim is to develop learners' skills and attitudes that are necessary to participate effectively in a globalised world.

International engagement involves learning about other countries:

  • their cultures
  • education systems
  • languages
  • the global themes of interest to us all
  • and by forming a partnership with educational establishments abroad and/or being involved in global learning programmes

The aim of the partnerships are:

  • to improve knowledge and skills across curriculum areas
  • to challenge stereotypes and prejudices
  • and to make learners aware of the possibilities that exist for learning and work outside Scotland

This, by extension, allows learners to understand Scotland and its place in the world. Partnerships allow those involved the opportunity to share ideas in pedagogy and the space to reflect on their own practice; and in so doing, improve the quality of learning and teaching. Partnerships can be developed digitally or can also involve face to face meetings between staff and/or learners.

Find out more about Learners International on the Education Scotland website.


Latin to be taught to deprived kids to improve literacy skills

26 May 2015 (The Scotsman)

A landmark educational programme to improve literacy levels in deprived parts of Glasgow through the teaching of Latin has been given the go-ahead.

The ‘Literacy through Latin’ project will from October involve each student teaching one hour-long class per week throughout the school year.

Latin is the root of many modern European languages, such as French and Italian and English. Studies have shown that introduction to Latin can improve children’s ability to learn foreign languages, as well as improve literacy levels in English.

Literacy through Latin uses storytelling, games and activities to introduce the nuts and bolts of Latin grammar, demonstrating the deep connections between Latin and English.


Related Links

Scottish pupils to be taught Latin to boost literacy (The Herald, 26 May 2015)

Learning Latin has big benefits for children (The Guardian, letters, 3 June 2015)

British Council Language Assistants - still time to apply!

12 May 2015 (British Council)

There are still 2 weeks left to apply for a Language Assistant for 2015/16!

With up to date language, cultural awareness, experience and materials, there is no substitute for a British Council Language Assistant. Giving your students the opportunity to learn with a keen educator who will be speaking in their first language offers benefits that simply cannot be found elsewhere. Unlike local or non-native alternatives, British Council Language Assistants arrive trained and prepared to deliver the highest standards of language teaching and teacher support. Additionally, by working with the British Council your school will benefit from administrative assistance from our dedicated team.

The deadline for applications is 29 May 2015. Don’t delay get your application in today!


Euroquiz 2015 Final

11 May 2015 (SEET/Scottish Parliament)

Well done to all the teams who took part in this year’s Euroquiz final in the Scottish Parliament, but especially to the winners, Carmondean Primary School from West Lothian.

For more information about the competition, see the attached press release or visit the SEET website.


Related Files

Related Links

Primary school Euroquiz 2015 – winners (Education Scotland blog, 12 May 2015)

Edinburgh International Book Festival - Baillie Gifford Schools Programme

4 May 2015 (Edinburgh International Book Festival)

Tickets are now on sale for the Edinburgh International Book Festival Baillie Gifford Schools Programme, with lots of exciting events running from 24 August to 1 September 2015.

This year the programme has a real focus on languages and internationalism, featuring authors with stories from afar; events about translation and adaptation; and an exploration of the different ways that stories can be told. We’ve also got some language-themed CPD events running throughout the Festival.   Find out more through the following links, or visit the website to see the programme and booking details.

CPD events:

  • The Gift of Bilingualism 
    Thursday 20 August, 7.00pm – 8.00pm
    How can bilingual families be supported and each mother tongue acknowledged and respected?
  • Poetic Translation with the Scottish Poetry Library
    Thursday 27 August, 5.00pm–6.00pm
    Think you can’t translate a poem from one language into another? This event will prove you wrong. Piloted in Edinburgh schools, this is a flexible approach to primary school language learning and creative writing with fun, fast-paced exercises.

Event for primary schools:


1+2 learning events - registration now open!

24 April 2015 (SCILT)

To support the 1+2 language learning model SCILT and Education Scotland are offering the following learning events during May/June for language practitioners in Scotland.  Click on the appropriate link for further information and to register your attendance.

Senior phase learning events 

L3 learning events 

SB 15-19 Education (Scotland) Bill

23 April 2015 (Scottish Parliament)

The Education (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Parliament on 23 March 2015. It covers a range of school policy issues, in particular school attainment and Gaelic-medium Education. This briefing sets out the legislative and policy context of the proposals.


Project Trust and SCILT promote global citizenship

21 April 2015 (Project Trust)

Project Trust’s Global Citizenship Programme sends passionate and enthusiastic Returned Volunteers who have become Global Citizenship Ambassadors into primary and secondary schools to provide interactive educational sessions about global issues they’ve had unique first-hand experience of overseas. Lucy Hughes (Cambodia 2012/13) and Ben Haldane (Namibia 2013/14) ran a session at Kinross High School talking about their experiences of learning another language, presenting alongside our partners SCILT (Scotland’s National Centre for Languages).


Call for Mandarin and Arabic to be taught from primary school

9 April 2015 (Holyrood Magazine)

Studying a foreign language should be compulsory from the year children start school in order for Scottish firms to compete in the international export market, a business group has urged.

Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, Arabic and Russian have been pinpointed by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) as “international languages of business” that must be made mandatory in the education curriculum from primary 1 onwards.

It has called on government to implement the measure by 2020 to ensure Scottish businesses have sufficient cultural and language skills to tap into a number of growing economies.

The demand is among a number of 'business asks', which also include staying in the European Union, set out as part of the Scottish Business Voice Campaign, led by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network.


Tongue Tied

7 April 2015 (RT London)

Watch British Council's Vicky Gough and lead researcher Bernadette Holmes from Born Global in this RT news piece on native English speakers being the worst language learners in Europe.

More information about the Born Global project can be found on the British Academy website via the related link below.


Related Links

Born Global: Rethinking Language Policy for 21at Century Britain (British Academy, 2014) A new policy research project into the extent and nature of language needs in the labour market and the implications for language education from school to higher education.

Radio Edutalk

7 April 2015 (Radio Edutalk)

This Radio Edutalk podcast was taken at a recent meeting of the Practitioner Enquiry Network in West Lothian.

Jane Keegan, 1+2 Development Officer and Lynne Jones, Professional Development Officer at SCILT talk about the first phase of a small scale collaborative research project investigating attitudes to learning languages before and after the transition from primary to secondary.

Access the podcast on the Radio Edutalk website.


Working together for languages learning - The 1+2 Factor

27 March 2015 (Education Scotland/SCILT)

Children are growing up in a multilingual world and the ability to communicate effectively is crucial if they are to play their full part as global citizens.

To support the implementation of the 1+2 languages policy, we have organised a national initiative which will culminate in an event at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in September.

The 1+2 Factor is open to all Scottish education establishments and the aim is to showcase the learning and teaching of languages in Scottish schools and encourage the use of digital technology.

Find out more on Glow on the national 1+2 Factor site and 1+2 Factor blog.


Scotland's International Framework

25 March 2015 (Scottish Government)

Scotland's International Framework sets out our internationalisation agenda and objectives, setting the context for delivery. It outlines our ambition for Scotland, its people, businesses and institutions through four strategic international objectives: enhancing our global outlook, strengthening our relationships and partnerships, increasing our reputation and attractiveness, and engaging with the European Union.

The document can be downloaded from the Scottish Government website.


Social inequality and modern languages

17 March 2015 (The Learning Professor)

During the last few weeks, the Scottish Government has faced growing criticism for its perceived neglect of modern languages. Business leaders and European government representatives have lined up to lament the decline of foreign language teaching in Scotland’s schools.


Learning lessons from overseas

12 March 2015 (Scottish Government)

Scottish students that have never studied abroad will be given the chance to learn in a new environment overseas in the coming academic year.

The Outward Mobility Fund is now open for applications for 2015/16, backed by £130,000 funding from the Scottish Government.

The fund supports student to go to Canada, China, India, the USA for any duration of time, or to Europe destinations for a period less than three months. The scheme is particularly aimed at students who had never studied abroad and to date 367 people have been offered places.

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Angela Constance said:

[..]“Heading abroad can help our students gain intercultural understanding, problem solving and language skills, greater self-confidence and better employability prospects. I have heard of a number of success stories from the scheme including one project that took 10 students from the University of the West of Scotland to China to study mechanical and civil engineering techniques.”


UCML Initiative: #languagepolicyUK

9 March 2015 (Women in German Studies)

The University Council of Modern Languages (UCML) has recently announced a new strategy to influence the debate surrounding modern languages, and to highlight the potential languages have to inform UK issues such as immigration, terrorism, and social cohesion in the run up to election day.

Using Twitter as the primary social media platform to encourage this debate, the UCML are calling on corresponding organisations – and individuals – to promote the importance of modern foreign languages, and to connect on the aforementioned issues using the hashtag:#languagepolicyUK.

Every fortnight there will also be a twitter ‘chat’ session that will last for one hour. The first of these #languagepolicyUK hours will take place on Saturday 21 March 10am and will be repeated on Sunday 22 March at 2pm for those who could not take part in the first hour. Both sessions will focus on the topic: ‘Connecting for Languages – Why?’.


How pupils are saying nein, danke to German

6 March 2015 (TESS)

Students can’t seem to get enough of Mandarin but are bidding ‘auf Wiedersehen’ to the language of Scotland’s near neighbour and economic partner Germany. Julia Belgutay asks why

The premise offered hope to foreign language teachers and all those promoting language learning in schools across Scotland. The 1+2 strategy, announced by the government in 2012, was finally going to bring language learning up to speed with other European countries.

Every child in Scotland would study one foreign language from the first year of primary school, and a second from no later than P5 – a pledge that the government backed up with £4 million of funding last year and a further £5 million in 2014-15.

But more than two years into the implementation of the ambitious strategy, it has become clear that not all languages have been winners. Indeed, some are losing – badly.


Related Links

We need to speak up for the value of German (TESS, 6 March 2015)

Business leaders call for action on languages

4 March 2015 (The Herald)

Business leaders have called for greater efforts to be made to ensure the survival of modern language learning in Scottish schools.

CBI Scotland, the Institute of Directors in Scotland and the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said it was essential to the future competitiveness of the Scottish economy that pupils were able to learn a range of languages.

The call comes after the Scottish Government came under fire from some of the most powerful countries in Europe over its languages policy.

Representatives from Germany, Switzerland and Austria have written to Dr Alastair Allan, the minister for learning, warning that current policies to expand language learning may lead to the "ultimate demise" of German in Scottish schools.


Related Links

Change attitudes to language teaching (The Herald, 5 March 2015)

There is no case for extending the teaching of foreign languages in our schools (The Herald letters, 10 March 2015)

New post-graduate language programmes for 2015

10 February 2015 (Heriot-Watt University)

In response to feedback from students, graduates, and the profession Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh has introduced several new language programmes for September 2015 entry:

  • MSc Interpreting 
  • MSc Translating 
  • MSc Arabic-English Translating 
  • MSc Chinese-English Translating 
  • MSc Cultural Resource Management (delivered in English)

More information is available on the Heriot-Watt website.


Language learning in Scotland: A 1+2 approach – further guidance on L3 within the 1+2 policy

10 February 2015 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has now published further guidance on L3 within the 1+2 languages strategy on their website.

This document provides guidance on the second additional language (L3) to be introduced by P5 by the latest, as a key element of the 1+2 policy. Learning a further language will give additional opportunities to build on children’s literacy skills so that they develop a greater understanding of how language works.


SQA Modern Languages Update - January 2015

5 February 2015 (SQA)

The latest update from the SQA on the new Modern Languages qualifications focuses on the development of Advanced Higher, with information relevant to the subject and details of the support available to teaching professionals.

The update also details a series of implementation events for Advanced Higher Modern Languages taking place on the following dates:

  • Friday 20 February (Glasgow) 
  • Monday 23 February (Stirling) 
  • Wednesday 25 February (Edinburgh) 
  • Friday 27 February (Aberdeen)

There is a link within the document to register attendance.


Primary school pupils set to learn three languages by 2020

4 February 2015 (Evening Express)

Primary school pupils look set to learn three languages by 2020 – and one may be Mandarin.

Under a Scottish Government initiative, councils are to ensure all children learn two languages as well as their mother tongue.

The report – called Language Learning in Scotland: a 1+2 Approach – recommends that by 2020, all pupils should have access to modern language classes from P1.

Training for teachers to provide improved language education is already under way in some North-east council areas. And it has emerged one of the languages pupils could take up in primary school is Mandarin.


Scots Language Award - Unit assessment support package 1

3 February 2015 (SQA)

SQA has published package 1 of Unit assessment support for the new Scots Language Award. Package 1 includes Unit assessment support packs for the Understanding and Communicating and History and Development Units at SCQF levels 4 and 5. The Unit assessment support packs are now available from our secure website, and teachers and lecturers can arrange access to them through their SQA Co-ordinator.

Package 2 will be available by the end of February 2015 and will include Unit assessment support packs for the Understanding and Communicating and History and Development Units at SCQF levels 3 and 6.

See the SQA website for more information.


Modern Languages common questions on SQA website

20 January 2015 (SQA)

An updated Modern Languages Common Questions document has been published on the SQA website today.

This can be accessed on the SQA website by selecting the Modern Languages common questions tab.


Yakety Yak Language Cafés

15 January 2015 (Yakety Yak Language Café)

Want to improve your conversational skills in another language?  Yakety Yak Language Café offers opportunities to speak French, Spanish, German, Italian, Gaelic, Portuguese, Chinese or Russian in Edinburgh.

Sessions are held in cafés, bistros and bars and are suitable for those with a basic knowledge of the language and the ability to hold a simple conversation.  A number of options are available both daytime and evening.

Check out the Yakety Yak Language Café website for more information.


Employ a Language Assistant

13 January 2015 (British Council)

Language assistants help bring culture alive in schools across the country and are an ideal way to improve language learning for students and to increase their global awareness, as well as support the implementation of a 1+2 approach to language learning.

Applications to the latest round of the language assistant programme open on January 26 and bids from schools are encouraged to be submitted by the end of March. To help spread the cost, each language assistant can be shared between three schools.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to apply.


British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill

15 December 2014 (Scottish Parliament)

The British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill was introduced into the Parliament on 29 October 2014 by Mark Griffin MSP, and was subsequently referred to the Education and Culture Committee as lead committee. 

The Bill aims to promote the use of British Sign Language including by making provision for the preparation and publication of a British Sign Language National Plan for Scotland and by requiring certain authorities to prepare and publish their own British Sign Language Plans in connection with the exercise of their functions; and to provide for the manner in which such plans are to be prepared and for their review and updating. 

The Committee is curretnly seeking evidence on the Bill. The deadline for responses is 2 February 2015. 

More information on the Bill together with BSL video and audio version of the call for evidence are available on the Scottish Parliament website.

There is also a BSL Bill Group on Facebook.


Scottish Education Awards

5 December 2014 (Scottish Education Awards)

Nominations are now open for the 2015 Scottish Education Awards, which celebrate the hard work and success which takes place in Scottish education. They recognise the achievements of people who dedicate their lives to children and young people and showcase the valuable work and innovation in Scottish classrooms.

There are two language categories this year: 

  • Making Languages Come Alive (Primary) – to recognise establishments who are working effectively to implement the 1+2 policy for language learning
  • Gaelic Education Award – to recognise establishments who are providing opportunities for all children to develop fluency in the Gaelic language and culture

Get your nominations in before the closing date of Monday 16 February 2015.


Foreign language teaching (support)

3 December 2014 (Scottish Parliament)

In the Meeting of the Parliament 3 December 2014 Jamie McGrigor (Highlands and Islands) (Con) asked the Scottish Government how it supports the teaching of foreign languages in schools. Read the text of the discussion on the Scottish Parliament website.


Principal Teacher Languages Post at Kingussie High School

1 December 2014 (Kingussie High School)

Kingussie High School are looking for a dynamic Principal Teacher of Languages, to include leading the work of new Confucius Hub. The successful candidate will also co-ordinate non-manual skills for work courses and be responsible for the schools distance learning, as well as manage the subject group of Languages.

More information is available on the Kingussie High School website.


Teaching this way? C’est impossible

14 November 2014 (TESS)

Teachers are being asked “to do the impossible” in foreign language lessons, a leading figure has warned.

Dr Dan Tierney, a former chair of the Scottish Association for Language Teaching (Salt) who is now responsible for training French, Italian, German and Spanish teachers at the University of Strathclyde, said that modern teaching methods – such as collaborative learning and increased use of technology – could not work with current class sizes.

At Salt’s annual conference in Glasgow earlier this month, Dr Tierney explained that there was a “mismatch between methods, policy and large class sizes”, adding: “We have new methods we are expected to do but old class sizes. We are being asked to do the impossible.”

One solution would be to bring back modern language assistants, he said. “Either we need smaller class sizes or we need assistants to help us do what we are being asked to do.”


Assessors deliver their verdict on National 5

7 November 2014 (TESS)

The reports, compiled by external assessors for the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), identify the main issues picked up by markers. The first batch of reports, published today, covers the 10 most popular subjects.

[..] There is also good news for French teachers, who are told to be “very encouraged” by the first year of National 5 – even though some pupils were “clearly not presented at the appropriate level”.


Spanish Course for Primary Teachers in Scotland

6 November 2014 (Consejería de Educación)

A 25-hour course, organised by the Spanish Embassy Education Office in the United Kingdom in collaboration with SALT, Spanish Academy of Language and Translation in Edinburgh, consisting of two parts: a language-focused one and a methodology-related one, dealing with language teaching strategies and methods for primary teachers.

Further information and enrolment details are available on the Spanish Academy of Language & Translation website or see the attached flyers.


Scotland Goes Global Ambassadors

6 November 2014 (NUS Scotland)

NUS Scotland are looking to work with schools around Scotland between 17th -21st of November to celebrate and promote International Education Week. We will also be able to offer further sessions up to March as needed. The training is absolutely free as it is funded by the Scottish Government and we are ideally looking for S3-S6 cohorts although this is flexible with a training session of roughly 1 hour.

This is an innovative module on study abroad opportunities which was first launched on a pilot basis last year. Funded again by the Scottish Government as part of the Investing in Scotland’s Global Future project, the training module is now ready to be delivered by a Scotland Goes Global Ambassador at your school absolutely free of charge.

Scotland Goes Global Ambassadors are students who have studied abroad as part of their course. This scheme is a pilot project of paid students ambassadors designed to go out to schools, colleges and universities and deliver training on study abroad opportunities to students.

Schools Module
The schools module works from the basis of young people’s experience of global experiences that they might have locally and sets these in the context of their daily lives. It then takes them on a journey to understand why they should consider going global, either locally by opening up their minds to people in their community who might be from other cultures or online opportunities, or how they might go about trying to set themselves apart from the crowd by studying abroad as part of their future college or university choices.

Book a Global Ambassador or download the materials
Booking an Ambassador to come to your school couldn’t be easier. Complete the request form on the Scotland Goes Global website.

For more information on any aspect of our work, please do not hesitate to contact us by emailing or by phoning Helen O’Shea on 07515 575375 or Kate Samuels on 07974305692.


Agenda: Time to speak up on the vital role of modern languages in our schools

1 November 2014 (The Herald)

Scotland's language teachers - the good, the curious, the battle-scarred and the plain worn-out - gather today to share, learn and do some professional hand-holding at the annual conference of the Scottish Association of Language Teaching, or Salt.

With the grim news about the decline in Scotland's ability to talk to the rest of the world; the challenges of the Curriculum for Excellence; the Scottish Government's ambitious 1+2 policy to teach primary school children two languages; and the overhaul of national qualifications, it might be expected that language teachers would be waving the white flag.

But is it really a case of "nil points" for les profs? The keynote speaker at our conference is Dr Dan Tierney, who is championing meaningful continuing professional development for teachers and giving us a voice in national policy.


Primary pupils learn languages in new scheme

30 October 2014 (Evening Telegraph)

Hundreds of thousands of pounds of Scottish Government funds have been pumped into Dundee to give every child the opportunity to learn two foreign languages in primary school.

Currently core languages such as French, German and Spanish are being introduced to the primary school curriculum, but there is scope for children to be speaking Gaelic, Russian and Mandarin in the near future.

Dundee City Council has received £131,170 to finance the 1+2 Approach for the 2014-15 school session in addition to the £103,973 it received in 2013-14.

Last year Hillside Primary School piloted the programme in which they started learning a foreign language as early as P1 before picking up another by P5, and now 16 more primaries are taking on the new language learning.


Oor Wullie has fun weys tae lairn Scots

8 October 2014 (National Library of Scotland)

A website to help primary schoolchildren learn Scots is launched today by the National Library of Scotland.

The 'Oor Wullie guide tae Scots language' site uses the famous cartoon character to get six-to 11-year-olds thinking about and using Scots words.

Several schools across Scotland worked with the Library to develop and test the learning activities, which include quizzes, a 'comic maker' and a word search.


Our Europe Film Competition 2014-15

19 September 2014 (SEET)

“Our Europe is a great way to get young people engaged in language learning and thinking about European Issues. It asks them to form opinions in a fun and creative way.” – John Mulgrew, (Former Director of Education)

The Our Europe Film Competition is set to launch on 23 September 2014 for its third consecutive year. The project is run by the Scottish European Educational Trust, who are planning to make visits to schools over the coming months in order to promote the project and work with pupils.

The Our Europe film competition encourages an innovative approach to education by asking pupils from S3 -S6 to work in teams of four to create story boards, and subsequently films, about how being a European citizen affects them. Through the process of making storyboards, multi-lingual scripts and narratives the pupils are asked to consider European issues in a creative and engaging way.

The six best storyboards are selected and the teams behind them come together for a day’s workshop. During the workshop, pupils will work with media and language professionals to both make their films and develop their skillset. At the end of the day the teams will present their films to a panel of judges who will pick the best two. The two finalist teams chosen, win an educational tour of Brussels where they can meet European experts, practice their language in a real life context and develop their films further.

If you wish to register a team the competition will open on Tuesday 23 September and sign up forms as well as rules and FAQs will be available online at the competition website.

If you have any further questions or would like to discuss the possibility of SEET staff visiting your school please contact:


MTOT blog: The Creative Bag of Tricks

16 September 2014 (SCILT)

To support activities for the Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition, SCILT is sharing practical ideas for developing creative writing skills through the “Creative Bag of Tricks” series published on the MTOT blog. The third item, “Calligrams”, is available to read now.


Isle of Lewis: Language and life inside the Outer Hebrides

16 September 2014 (BBC News)

Inside the Glasgow Rangers football supporters' club there is the usual décor - union flags, team photos, even a portrait of the Queen. Diehard Rangers fans sit in a booth discussing the new season. They are joined by friends kitted out in the green and white of their long-time rivals, Glasgow Celtic. Not a word of English is spoken; the conversation is entirely in Scots Gaelic.


Scottish Gaelic Awards 2014

11 September 2014 (Education Scotland)

Entries are being sought for the annual Gaelic Awards that recognise the contribution the language and culture make to Scottish life. Following the success of the 2013 Gaelic Awards, The Daily Record are proud to launch the 2014 campaign with sponsors Bord Na Gaidhlig. Education Scotland is delighted to sponsor the Innovation in Education Award.

Last year's awards celebrated dozens of individuals and community organisations who had made a huge difference to the Gaelic world. With 10 categories, this year’s awards will highlight education and language and the excellent work done to maintain growth and heritage.

To place a nomination please visit the Scottish Gaelic Awards website.  The deadline for nominations is Friday 26 September.


News at a glance – Language centre announces poetry contest

5 September 2014 (TESS)

A bilingual poetry competition is being launched by Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, backed by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. The competition, initially aimed at Glasgow pupils, includes two strands: a “mother tongue” category that encourages non-native English speakers to write in their own language, and an “other tongue” category, which invites young people to enter using a language they are studying in school. If the pilot goes well, the competition could be extended nationally next year.


Julia Donaldson, James Robertson (trans.) - Room on the Broom in Scots

27 August 2014 (The List)

An already engaging and exciting story becomes even more theatrical when ‘performed’ in a new language.


P2-P7 Primary Language Learning framework

19 August 2014 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has published the Primary Language Learning framework for P2-P7. This part of the framework complements the P1 guidance issued in December 2013.

The framework contains advice and support for practitioners who are introducing, or planning to introduce the teaching of a modern language from P1-P7. It contains learning maps to aid planning for teaching the first modern language (L2) as well as an overview of the essential Knowledge about Language required for children to progress in their language learning. There are film clips of primary language teaching, sound files of useful classroom language, progression grids and useful web links to support practitioners in their preparation and delivery of a contextualised modern language experience.


Related Links

A link to the Education Scotland guidance materials can also be found on SCILT's 'Essentials for Planning in Primary' webpage.

German Language Adventure at the Goethe-Institut Glasgow - register now!

19 August 2014 (Goethe-Institut)

The motivational game, suitable for P7 to S3 pupils, enables classes to discover German culture and language through a series of interactive challenges.  Teachers now have the opportunity to visit the Goethe-Institut with their class and tackle the German Language Adventure.

New bookings are now invited for dates from 20 September onwards.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to see what previous participants have said about the project.


Mother Tongue Other Tongue 2014 - new competition for Glasgow schools

19 August 2014 (SCILT)

Schools in Glasgow have been sent an email inviting them to enter the new multilingual poetry competition, Mother Tongue Other Tongue. The competition celebrates the diversity of cultures and languages spoken and learned by young people at school and at home and invites young people to be creative and find their own voice through poetry, lullabies, rap or songs. Full details are available on our website


Leadership Award for Gaelic Medium Education (GME)

18 August 2014 (Education Scotland Learning Blog)

Education Scotland has worked with Social Enterprise Academy to develop a bespoke leadership award for teachers of Gaelic Medium Education who aspire to be principal teachers, depute headteachers and headteachers of nursery, primary and secondary GME provision. On this programme, you will gain invaluable insight into what it takes to be an effective leader. The leadership award will support teachers to:

  • reflect on your role and identify your key strengths and areas for growth
  • gain clarity on setting direction and developing confidence in communicating change
  • gain confidence in your abilities as a leader
  • develop your skills and knowledge to prepare you for being in a leadership role in GME provision, for example, leading the curriculum, self-evaluation, support those with additional support needs, professional development and review
  • learn to use participatory techniques and other skills to improve your ability to engage in partnership working
  • gain a nationally recognised qualification from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM)

The programme will be delivered in two sessions, 16 & 17 September and 4 & 5 December 2014 at Columba 1400 on the Isle of Skye.

For more information and to apply, please contact Kate McArdle on 01463 238 088 or


1+2 updated support documents

14 August 2014 (SCILT/Education Scotland)

In light of discussions with the languages community, Education Scotland has updated the key messages from the 1+2 report, produced further information about language continuity and developed a support paper to help local authorities and schools identify priorities and plan their strategic approach to 1+2.

To access the most recent recommendations and support documents for schools and local authorities, please visit the 'Supporting self-evaluation and strategic planning' section of our 1+2 webpages.


SQA Attainment Statistics - August 2014

5 August 2014 (SQA)

The Attainment Statistics (August) 2014 report in relation to SQA qualifications has now been published in Microsoft Excel format and can be viewed via the SQA website.


Related Links

Results for National courses and Awards 2014 (SQA, 5 August 2014)

The Free Enclopaedia That Awbody Can Eedit: Scots Wikipedia Is No Joke

5 August 2014 (Slate)

At first glance, the Scots Wikipedia page reads like a transcription of a person with a Scottish accent: "Walcome tae Wikipaedia, the free enclopaedia that awbody can eedit," it says. The main page's Newsins section includes info about the FIFA Warld Cup and a Featurt picture of a Ruddy Kingfisher from Kaeng Krachan Naitional Pairk in Thailand. If you type "scots wikipedia" into a Google search, the first autocomplete suggestion is "scots wikipedia joke," and a top hit is a Wikipedia talk page with a proposal for getting rid of Scots Wikipedia containing the following comment: "Joke project. Funny for a few minutes, but inappropriate use of resources."

But Scots is totally real, "not a joke," as pointed out by one of the Wikipedia editors, who overwhelmingly rejected the proposal. Their final verdict stated that the "proposer should educate him/herself in linguistic diversity," and included a link to the Wikipedia page for Scots.


James Robertson: Scots Literature speaks to all

5 July 2014 (The Scotsman)

Shall There Be a Scottish Literature? It may seem that the question, posed to hundreds of international delegates gathered in Glasgow for the first World Congress of Scottish Literatures, is redundant. But it is worth asking, for three reasons.

First, there was certainly a time when a Scottish Literature did not exist. Second, even when its existence was asserted, it was often disputed. Third, prior or present existence does not guarantee future existence.


Gap-year students to assist pupils with languages

3 July 2014 (The Herald)

Youngsters who take a gap year before starting university, college or employment are being targeted in a drive to improve language learning in the nation's schools.

Under the initiative, volunteers are twinned with primary and secondary schools to demonstrate the importance of learning a language for their trips and to promote wider cultural awareness.

The project also involves university language students who travel overseas on study placements or work as language assistants with the British Council.

Volunteers are linked with secondary schools that are already learning the language of the country they are visiting - either in Europe or further afield, with Spanish prevalent in South America and French commonly spoken in Africa.

In primary schools the focus is on promoting language learning more generally. The volunteers visit pupils before they go, stay in touch when they are overseas and return to the schools when they finish to update them on their progress - with input from teachers throughout to ensure the work fits in with the curriculum.

The Global Citizenship programme, a partnership between the British Council, Scotland's National Centre for Languages at Strathclyde University, NUS Scotland and Scottish-based educational charity Project Trust, has already been run as a pilot in 15 primary and secondary schools in Stirling and Falkirk.


Related Links

Teenager leads the way with lessons on Ghana (The Herald, 3 July 2014)

Visit the Project Trust pages on our website for more information on the partnership project.

Modern languages head claims Scottish teacher of the year award

25 June 2014 (STV)

Scotland's teacher of the year has been named at the Scottish Education Awards.

Languages department head Gillian Campbell-Thow, from All Saints Secondary in Barmulloch in Glasgow, won the title at the Scottish Education Awards earlier in June.


Mr Sunny slays dragons in Sir Tom’s Challenge

24 June 2014 (East Ayrshire Council)

Budding young entrepreneurs from East Ayrshire academies entered Sir Tom Hunter’s Dragons’ Den once more, in a bid to scoop the top prize of £3,000 – and Monsieur Soleil swept the board!

An educational board game in French/English, Monsieur Soleil (Mr Sunny) was the brainchild of the team from Doon Academy, Dalmellington, which took them to victory on the night.

Sir Tom praised the quality and innovation of the game, which could also expand into other languages – and he urged them to consider Mandarin.


Foreign language learning in primary schools – Scottish Parliament enquiry

19 June 2014 (Scottish Parliament)

The European and External Relations Committee will meet on 26 June 2014 and receive a report from Scottish Government on the learning of foreign languages in primary schools.

To read the report, open this PDF Meeting Agenda and scroll down to Annexe C (p16).


Mother Tongue Other Tongue 2014

12 June 2014 (SCILT)

On Wednesday 28th of May, poets and young people from Glasgow schools celebrated the launch of the Mother Tongue Other Tongue (MTOT) multilingual poetry competition at the University of Strathclyde. SCILT is running the pilot competition for Glasgow schools from the start of the 2014-15 session. Take a look at the highlights of the launch event on our website and find out more about the competition and how your school can take part. Invitations to register in MTOT will be issued to schools throughout Glasgow in August so make sure you get involved!


Big Song Relay Sing Along

11 June 2014 (Education Scotland)

As part of the Commonwealth Games, Culture 2014 and the Big Song Relay, Robyn Stapleton and Maeve Mackinnon are coming together to teach the official Big Song Relay song ‘Here’s To All Our Common Wealth’.

We will be teaching it in English, Scots and Gaelic. The song is being sung all over Scotland following the Queen’s Baton and maybe you could join in when it passes.

Join us to find out more on Friday 13th June, 9.45 am, in Glow TV (login and password required).


Word Wizard finals

6 June 2014 (SCILT)

Last Friday, 30th May, saw the final of our new Word Wizard competition take place in the prestigious venue of the Scottish Parliament. 60 pupils from schools across Scotland took part in the semi-finals in the morning, and over 100 pupils, teachers and guests enjoyed the final in the Members’ Restaurant. The day opened with an inspiring speech from Maureen Watt MSP and ended with a vote of thanks from Annette Zimmermann of the University of St Andrews, who supported us in running the competition. We were delighted to have Graham Blythe from the European Commission and Ms. Lv Yanxia from the Chinese Consulate present the shields and cups to the winners. The pupils demonstrated excellent skills in spelling, vocabulary and character recognition, and displayed great confidence in doing so in front of an audience.

The winners in each category were:

French Beginner:

  • 1st Elspeth Nicol – Ross High School
  • 2nd Amelie Davidson – St Joseph’s Academy
  • 3rd Robert Brewer – The Glasgow Academy

French Intermediate:

  • 1st Owen Wilson – Greenwood Academy
  • 2nd Steffi Graham-McGill – James Hamilton Academy
  • 3rd Emma Rattray – Dollar Academy

Gaelic Beginner:

  • 1st Anna Gallagher – St Ninian’s High School (East Renfrewshire)

German Beginner:

  • 1st Fraser Anderson – Stewart’s Melville College
  • 2nd Charlotte Caskie – Lomond School
  • 3rd Florence Macgregor – The Mary Erskine School

German Intermediate:

  • 1st Eilish Murphy – St Margaret’s School for Girls
  • 2nd Freja Arnlund – The Mary Erskine School
  • 3rd Fiona Todman – Queen Anne High School

Mandarin Beginner:

  • 1st Francesca Tassieri – Hillhead High School
  • 2nd Charlotte Johns – Dollar Academy
  • 3rd William Cox – Perth High School

Mandarin Intermediate:

  • 1st Ines Bertaso – St Ninian’s High School (East Renfrewshire)
  • 2nd Ivan Myachykov – Hillhead High School
  • 3rd Jack Mitchell-Luker – Williamwood High School

Spanish Beginner:

  • 1st Paul Gillon – John Ogilvie High School
  • 2nd Georgie Cassidy – Dollar Academy
  • 3rd Erin McIntyre – The Glasgow Academy

Spanish Intermediate:

  • 1st Rosie Hutcheon – The Glasgow Academy
  • 2nd Caitlin Barrie – John Ogilvie High School
  • 3rd Ella McPherson – St Margaret’s School for Girls

We would like to congratulate all pupils who reached the finals and every pupil who took part in the competition in their schools over the past year.

We hope to see lots of you entering the competition next year!

Motion congratulates SCILT and CISS on Word Wizard competition 2014

5 June 2014 (Scottish Parliament)

Maureen Watt, MSP for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine, has lodged a parliamentary motion congratulating SCILT and CISS on the Word Wizard competition 2014. The motion states:

"That the Parliament congratulates Scotland‘s National Centre for Languages and the Confucius Institute for Scotland‘s Schools on the Word Wizard Competition 2014, which was held in the Parliament on 30 May 2014; recognises the S1-S3 pupils, including those from Bucksburn Academy and Hazlehead Academy in Aberdeen, who impressed the judges with their French, German, Spanish, Mandarin and Gaelic skills; notes that, in partnership with the University of St Andrews, and with the support of the Goethe-Institut, the contest encourages pupils nationally to improve their vocabulary, and highlights what it sees as the importance of language and learning."

Motions are used by MSPs to initiate debate or propose a course of action, or simply to generate support, and many other MSPs have signed up in support of this motion. It's very encouraging to have SCILT/CISS work acknowledged in this way.


German language courses for primary teachers

5 June 2014 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut Glasgow has a number of exciting programmes to support teachers in delivering the Scottish Government's initiative of enabling pupils in Scotland to learn two languages in addition to their mother tongue by 2020.

Two specially tailored language courses – locally and in Germany - offer a first step for teachers in the PRIMARY sector, who are keen to embrace and contribute to the new developments with confidence.  Follow the links below to find out more about each course and to secure your place:

Other support also available to language teachers:

  • The German Language Adventure – the popular motivation game for pupils and teachers – will be on offer in the new term throughout Scotland
  • Film resources and screenings for all age groups at the Goethe-Institut and your local cinema will sharpen cultural awareness and classroom practice will be enhanced by our resources and CPD seminars

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for a full listing of events, resources and professional development opportunities.


Your views: Making global citizens of Edinburgh’s pupils

30 May 2014 (TESS)

Edinburgh has been piloting an ambitious approach to modern foreign language learning from nursery onwards in 15 schools. After a very successful evaluation, this approach will be rolled out to all schools from August.

Edinburgh’s “1+2” approach is based on three key principles: accessibility, sustainability and learning together. It acknowledges the opportunities and challenges of implementation noted in the evaluation of the national trials, and seeks creative ways to overcome them.

Making languages part of the everyday life of the school is our starting point. New, engaging and accessible resources, in a wide range of languages, are available for teachers to use as part of their everyday classroom routines, from lining up to counting to 100. The resources also cover class topics, and include sound files recorded by native speakers to support pupils and teachers with pronunciation.


Pupils say ‘oui’ to extra languages

23 May 2014 (TESS)

Scotland’s ambitious policy to have pupils learning two foreign languages by the end of primary school has got off to a “very positive” start, but concerns remain over how to make it a lasting success, TESS can reveal.

Education Scotland’s evaluation of nine trial projects has found enthusiasm for languages among pupils of all ages, including those with additional support needs (ASN).

However, the report also stresses that work remains to be done before the “1+2” languages policy can be considered successful in the long term, with concerns lingering about how to make sure projects do not fizzle out owing to a lack of trained staff.

Children in the pilot schools – six primaries and three secondaries – tended to be “very positive” about language learning, confident about speaking in another language and keen to learn more of them, according to the report.

It also found that the pupils enjoyed the process when it was “engaging and relevant to their lives”. They saw the point of language learning if it was “clearly linked to the real world and relevant to future employment or leisure opportunities”.

A new qualification entitled Modern Languages for Life and Work had further enticed pupils by offering a vocational emphasis on languages with no exam at the end.


1+2 pilot projects: key messages and next steps

23 May 2014 (Education Scotland / SCILT)

Evaluations of the 1+2 pilot projects have been published.

Education Scotland carried out an evaluation visit to each of the ten pilot projects and prepared an overall summary report. The evaluation visits for the ten pilots took place between June 2013 and April 2014. These evaluations indicate interim progress with the original aims of the projects and work is ongoing in the pilot schools.

The pilot programme for the ‘1+2 report’ began in June 2012 with an initial identification of possible pilot schools. The first of the primary pilots began in November 2012. In the case of the secondary school pilots, planning took place over session 2012-13 and the pilots began with the new session 2013-14.

The evaluations represent a very positive start to delivering the recommendations of the ‘1+2 report’.

Read the evaluations on our website.


“Mother Tongue Other Tongue” Poet Laureate Education Project Coming Soon to Glasgow!

2 May 2014 (SCILT)

From August 2014, SCILT will be piloting the inspiring multi-lingual poetry competition and Poet Laureate Education Project, Mother Tongue Other Tongue, in Glasgow schools. If you are a teacher in a Glasgow primary or secondary school who is looking for a creative way to motivate language learning and celebrate all the languages spoken by your learners, go to our webpage to read more about what MTOT can offer you.


Anne Donovan: 'The wonders of Scots Thesaurus brought me closer to my characters'

2 May 2014 (The Independent)

Feilamort: the colour of a dead leaf. Browsing through the Scots Thesaurus, I came across this beautiful word. I use the Scots Thesaurus occasionally as a reference, but mainly for the pure pleasure of the sounds of the words, just as many listen to the Shipping Forecast for its poetry.


£1 million boost for language teaching in schools

23 April 2014 (Scottish Government)

The Scottish Government’s commitment for every child to start learning a second language from P1 onwards and a third no later than P5 by 2020 has been strengthened by a further investment of £1 million.

The increase brings the total, additional funding for languages in schools in 2014/2015 to £5 million. The money will build on the good work already underway in Scotland as part of the 1+2 policy, the most ambitious languages learning programme in the UK.


Book helps Polish speakers learn Scottish slang

14 April 2014 (The Scotsman)

They are the sort of obscure Scots phrases that can leave even a native English speaker scunnered and or possibly black-affrontit. And for those who are learning the language from scratch, some of the phrases used by Scots can be almost impossible to understand – until now.


Soaring success of cabin crew course

4 April 2014 (TESS)

With its opportunities for international travel, plus obligatory high heels and lipstick, the job of the “trolley dolly” or air hostess has long been regarded as a glamorous career choice.
The threat of international terrorism and advent of no-frills travel have served to make the lives of modern cabin crew far less glitzy. But at City of Glasgow College, which has received 353 applications for up to 23 places on its unique airline cabin crew training course, it seems that working at 35,000ft is as attractive as ever.

Languages, essential on international flights, are part of the course, with students required to study German, Spanish and French.


Great Scots!

4 April 2014 (The Economist)

Among the publications that the Scottish Book Trust, a charity funded in part by the Scottish government, sent to bairns last year was “Katie’s Moose: A Keek-a-boo Book for Wee Folk.” In this tale, Katie hunts for a menagerie of beasties, locating a pig “ahint the chair, daein a jig” and a “broon bear” whose “airm looks gey sair.” The Scots language, long derided as bad English with a thick accent or merely a northern dialect, now enjoys the backing of the state.

In 2011 the Scottish census asked for the first time whether people spoke Scots. Some 1.5m said yes.


Census 2011: Identity, Language and Religion in Scotland

19 March 2014 (Scottish Government)

The statistics published today by the Registrar General for Scotland on the Scotland’s Census website, present further details from the 2011 Census in Scotland on Ethnicity, Identity, Language and Religion, from national to local level.

Other tables in this release, within the Standard Outputs menu, present information on: 

  • Gaelic language skills by sex by age 
  • English language skills by sex by age 
  • Language other than English used at home by sex by age


Related Links

Graphical data on languages in Scotland (Scotland's Census 2011)

Pupils Make Language Skills Work

18 March 2014 (Inverclyde Now)

Third Year pupils at Inverclyde Academy put their problem-solving skills to the test during a Languages in Work event.

Working with representatives from local employers BPI Visqueen, IBM, and Concentrix, as well as student language ambassadors from Strathclyde University, pupil teams drew on the skills they have gained during their studies of modern foreign languages to solve a challenge in languages they hadn't studied before, including Dutch and Italian, as well as French and Spanish which they have already had lessons in.


Erasmus+ advice sessions

3 March 2014 (British Council)

British Council are running two Key Action 2 advice sessions in Edinburgh on 11th March, one in the morning, 9.30-12, and one in the afternoon, 14.00-16.30. These are informal sessions providing tailored support to schools who wish to apply for funding for school partnerships under Key Action 2. They will take place at the British Council office in Edinburgh. 

There will also be an advice session for Local Authorities wishing to apply for Key Action 2 funding in our London office on 20th March.

British Council are also running these advice sessions as webinars for those who cannot make the face-to-face dates:
  • Webinars for Local Authorities - 27 March 10:30; 25 March 10:30 
  • Webinars for Schools - 25 March 16:00; 26 March 16:00; 27 March 16:00  
The deadline for Key Action 2 applications is 30th April 2014.

More information and online registration for the sessions can be accessed through the link below.


Related Links

Scottish Government: Foreign language engagement strategy

21 February 2014 (Scottish Government)

At the meeting of the Scottish Parliament on 19 February 2014 during Portfolio Question Time - Education and Lifelong Learning, the Scottish Government was asked for an update on their foreign language engagement strategy.

See the Official Report for details.


Our Europe 2014 – winning films now online!

20 February 2014 (Radio Lingua/SEET)

The winning films from this year’s Our Europe film competition for schools can now be viewed online.


Our Europe Film Competition Winners 2013-14!

6 February 2014 (SEET)

Congratulations to Lenzie Academy who triumphed at the final of the Our Europe Film Competition hosted by the Scottish European Educational Trust on Monday 3rd February.

Six teams of high school pupils (S3-S6) participated in the film-making workshop at SocietyM in Glasgow. With the assistance of technology expert, Mark Pentleton from Radio Lingua, the pupils worked hard throughout the day to turn their storyboard ideas into short films.

Download the attached flyer for details of all the finalists who took part or for more information about the competition visit the SEET website.


Related Files

Slump in number of pupils enrolling for new exams

31 January 2014 (Herald)

The number of Scottish pupils enrolling for new national examinations has dropped sharply, prompting fears that some subjects are being squeezed out of the curriculum. Official figures show entries have slipped about 10% this year after the introduction of National exams, which replace Standard Grades. The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) says pupils will take an average of 6.8 Nationals this summer, against the 7.3 Standard Grades sat last year, fuelling concerns among educationalists that subject choices for young people are being restricted. It is understood enrolments for language exams are down more than 10%, while the decline in sciences is about 8%. Maths and English enrolments have remained stable.


Related Links

Assessment - Why National students remain spoiled for choice (TESS, 31 January 2014)

Scots Language Radio

30 January 2014 (Scots Language Centre)

Episode 2 of Scots Language Radio is available to listen to.  The episode includes information about the new ‘Scots Toun Award’ which encourages communities to get involved to have a chance of winning up to £6000.


Scots language prize launched

22 January 2014 (Scottish Government)

Communities with strong links to their Scots heritage are being urged to nominate themselves for the new Scots Toun Awards.

The first prize of £6,000 will help the winner to develop new projects aimed at encouraging the Scots language, Minister for Scotland’s Languages Alasdair Allan announced today.

The awards have been launched by the Scots Language Centre and applicants have until February 28 to put themselves forward.


Related Links

Scots language prize launched – Awards for communities celebrating Scots heritage (Engage for Education blog, 23 January 2014)

Mandarin immersion course for teachers July 2014

10 January 2014 (CISS)

CISS will be running a Mandarin immersion course for teachers in Scotland this summer in partnership with the Tianjin Education Commission and Hanban. This course is suitable for primary or secondary teachers who are looking to teach beginners’ level Mandarin Chinese or introduce Chinese/China in their schools.

The course will take place in Tianjin between the 12th and 27th July 2014.

All costs for tuition, accommodation and food (3 meals a day) will be covered. In order to ease organisation, CISS will book flights and arrange visas for all participants but we will not cover the cost of this. The estimated cost for flights and visas will be roughly £1000. Participants will also be responsible for the cost of their own insurance.

To register for this course, please email by Friday 31 January.

Summary of National 3, 4, 5 and Higher Qualifications

10 January 2014 (SCILT/SQA)

We have produced an at-a-glance summary of the National 3, 4, 5 and Higher Qualifications for languages in a table format.

The document can be downloaded below, or found on the Senior Phase section of our website.


Qualifications - Recognising Polish would 'open doors'

9 January 2014 (TESS)

School qualifications are failing to keep pace with immigration in Scotland, with the result that the language skills of thousands of children and young people from Poland are not being recognised, campaigners have warned.

According to the latest census, carried out in 2011, Poles are Scotland's largest migrant group. They number 61,000, overtaking the 49,000-strong Pakistani population, which was the largest migrant group at the time of the 2001 census.

However, although it is possible to sit National and Higher exams in Urdu there are no national qualifications in Polish in Scotland. GCSE and A-level qualifications in the language are available in other parts of the UK. But support from Scottish schools and local authorities for Polish students to take these qualifications is patchy, according to Beata Kohlbek, who sits on the Polish Council, a body set up by the Polish Consulate General in Edinburgh to campaign on issues affecting the community.


Glasgow Modern Languages Festive Newsletter 2013

17 December 2013 (Glasgow City Council)

Download the newsletter to learn about the range of language and cultural events which have taken place within Glasgow's schools.

Related Files

CISS Newsletter Autumn 2013

12 December 2013 (CISS)

The latest edition of the CISS newsletter has been published. This edition highlights the promotion of Chinese language and culture around the country. Please download the newsletter if you'd like to find out more.

Related Files

Matthew Fitt blog – Creative Scots: changing lives

9 December 2013 (Engage for Education)

When they use Scots language creatively, children and young people in Scotland regularly make their parents’ and teachers’ jaws drop. As a Scots writer and teacher, I’ve witnessed this time and time again. People recount in detail and with great excitement the moment a child they thought had poor speaking skills or few creative sparks about them suddenly shone, lit up a classroom or wowed an entire school hall at a concert causing family and friends to gasp with astonishment.

When a young Scots speaker who has been told most of their life that speaking Scots is wrong encounters a positive Scots language learning experience, there is often a life-changing transformation and explosion of creative energy within that young person.


‘Duelling Panchos’ learning podcast

5 December 2013 (Insidelearning)

‘Duelling Panchos’ is latest episode from, the learning podcast.

Gillian Campbell-Thow, Chair of Scottish Association for Language Teaching (SALT), Education Support Officer (ML) at Glasgow City Council and PT at All Saints Secondary joined Matthew Boyle, Jay Helbert to consider the Scottish Government’s 1+2 language learning policy and PISA2012. Listen to or download the podcast by following the link below to the website.

Please note that the views expressed in this podcast are not necessarily those of SCILT.


Euroquiz 2014

26 November 2013 (SEET)

The Scottish European Educational Trust runs an annual Euroquiz for P6 pupils, which sees teams of four pupils working together to broaden their knowledge of Europe. Subjects covered include history, geography, sport, culture, languages and the European Union.

Heats take place in local authorities from January to March each year, with the winning team from each authority area competing in the national final, which takes place in the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament in May.

Registration for the 2014 Euroquiz is now open. 

Visit the SEET website for all the details plus a selection of resources to help prepare for the competition.


Academic warns of muddled language strategy

26 November 2013 (The Herald)

A leading academic has issued a warning over the Scottish Government's "muddled" strategy to increase language learning in primary schools.

Dr Dan Tierney, a reader in languages at Strathclyde University, believes the plan is currently unworkable because it lacks national continuity.

The warning comes two years after the Government announced proposals to teach all primary pupils at least two modern languages in addition to their mother tongue - known as the 1+2 model.
Since then, the Languages Working Group has recommended 35 improvements, including better training for teachers and greater support for pupils in the classroom.

Languages identified for primary schools under the plan include Arabic, Chinese, French, Gaelic, German, Italian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish and Urdu.

However, Mr Tierney argues that, unless the Scottish Government prioritises some of these, pupils will arrive at secondary school with a wide variety of different experiences.


Related Links

Greater worries than muddled language strategy (The Herald, Letters, 28 November 2013)

Modern Foreign Languages - New initiative gets chorus of approval

22 November 2013 (TESS)

1+2 boosts enthusiasm and employability, conference hears

Primary children taking part in a pilot of Scotland’s ambitious national languages initiative have made rapid progress, and secondary students on the scheme have found a new enthusiasm for languages, a conference has heard.

The Scottish government is also likely to match, for another two years, the £4 million already given to local authorities to implement the scheme, it has emerged.

Under the approach known as 1+2, all primary schools should by 2020 offer a language other than English from P1 and another by P5. The scheme also demands that progress should not stall after children move up to secondary school.

Staff in primaries piloting the 1+2 initiative have shown greater confidence and commitment to languages, while parents have been very supportive, Education Scotland inspector and modern languages national specialist Fiona Pate told delegates at an event in Stirling last week.


Related Links

Will 1+2 prove to be more than the sum of its parts? (TESS, 21 November 2013)

Vacancy: Development Officer – International Engagement

21 November 2013 (Education Scotland/British Council)

Education Scotland and British Council Scotland are currently looking for a Development Officer on a secondment basis. Candidates should possess a degree-level qualification in teaching (or equivalent), experience of working in an international education context (including school-based programmes such as e-twinning), partnership working and delivering Curriculum for Excellence in a classroom setting. Please visit the Education Scotland vacancy webpage for further information and application details.


Gaelic Awards 2013: BBC host Kirsteen MacDonald hails our language ahead of landmark ceremony

20 November 2013 (Daily Record)

BBC Scotland presenters Kirsteen MacDonald and Alasdair Fraser have both seen Gaelic’s profile raised since they were children. The pair are familiar faces on our screens from Reporting Scotland to BBC Alba, and tonight they host the first Scottish Gaelic Awards at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. And having both begun learning Gaelic at an early age, they’re looking forward to honouring those who have played a part in its growth.


Related Links

Botanics to host Scottish Gaelic Awards this week (The Edinburgh Reporter, 18 November 2013)

Dr Allan blog – The National Language Conference in Stirling

18 November 2013 (Engage for Education blog)

The National Language Conference, held in Stirling, offered a valuable opportunity to harness the expertise and experience of education experts to drive forward our work to ensure that every child in Scotland has the opportunity to learn two languages in addition to their own mother tongue by 2020.

I am fully aware of how ambitious this target is, but I am confident we can and will deliver it. To ensure the nation’s prosperity, it is essential that young people are attracted to learning modern languages, which will help them develop a truly international outlook and, equip them with the skills needed in the new Europe and in the 21st centrury global marketplace.


SQA Frequently Asked Questions - update

12 November 2013 (SCILT/SQA)

In September we compiled and published a list of questions we have been frequently asked at Outreach events regarding the New Qualifications and worked in partnership with SQA to answer these questions.

The SQA have now requested the following amendments to the Q&A document, which are highlighted in bold text:

Section B

How many contexts must be covered at National 4?
A minimum of two of the four contexts of Society, Learning, Employability and Culture, must be covered at National 4 (this previously indicated all four contexts).

Section D

How many contexts must be covered at National 5?
All four contexts of Society, Learning, Employability and Culture, must be covered in order to prepare candidates for the Course Assessment where all 4 contexts are represented across Reading and Listening assessments.

You can see the full list of FAQs on the Senior Phase section of our website.


Vacancy: Professional Development Officer

11 November 2013 (SCILT)

SCILT is currently looking for a new Professional Development Officer on a seconded or fixed term basis. If you are a solution-focussed, creative practitioner, experienced at leading languages in a secondary context and would like to join our dynamic team then please follow the link below to the University of Strathclyde vacancies website. 


New Qualifications Update – October 2013

31 October 2013 (SQA)

The latest update from the SQA on the new qualifications is now available. The following updates will be of particular interest to language practitioners:

  • Updated Unit assessment support for National 3 to National 5 Modern Languages 
  • Case Studies on new Awards – Modern Languages for Life and Work


Matthew Fitt blog – So what is Scots?

31 October 2013 (Engage for Education)

I was on the radio last week talking about a new book in Scots. “So what is Scots?” the presenter asked. I was surprised he didn’t know. After all, Scottish language, Scottish presenter, Scottish radio station. Huge numbers of their listeners speak in Scots every day. Don’t broadcasters get training on these sorts of things? At the very least, a memo? Still, that’s the way it goes and we haven’t answered the presenter’s pertinent question. So what is Scots anyway?


Glasgow Modern Languages Newsletter - Autumn 2013

29 October 2013 (Glasgow City Council)

To read about all the recent exciting events and activities relating to modern languages in Glasgow's schools, download the Autumn newsletter.

Dragon premieres at the Citizens Theatre

15 October 2013 (CISS)

In conjunction with the Confucius Institute at Glasgow University, CISS was given the opportunity to take 350 pupils from all over Scotland to see the premiere of the play Dragon at the Citizens Theatre. This wonderful co-production between the National Theatre of Scotland, Tianjin Children’s Art Theatre and Vox Motus is highly unusual given that there are no words spoken throughout the play. The audience is invited to take a visual and emotional journey using their imagination. The use of puppetry, illusion and music allows this to happen.


Related Files

Celtic player Lukasz Zaluska visits John Ogilvie High for European Day of Languages

11 October 2013 (Daily Record)

Pupils at John Ogilvie High celebrated the diversity of European languages and culture last Thursday to mark the European Day of Languages.

The whole school participated in the celebration, with flags and garlands in the colours of the European nations decorating main areas of the school and youngsters and teachers dressed in various national costumes.

Pupils enjoyed a wide range of activities throughout the school day, including a visit from language ambassadors from the University of Strathclyde, who shared their experiences in Spain, Poland, France and Italy.


Discovery Film Festival 2013 - language films for schools

10 October 2013 (Dundee Contemporary Arts)

The Discovery Film Festival 2013 takes place between 19 October and 3 November and offers a variety of foreign language films for all ages.

Opening this year's festival is the UK premiere of 'Victor and the Secret of Crocodile Mansion' – a hugely enjoyable mystery thriller that will have all the family guessing as to exactly what lies behind the secrets of Crocodile Mansion. Suspenseful and atmospheric, it’s a classic Hitchcockian mystery for thrill seekers aged eight upwards. Screening is in German with English subtitles and open to the public.

For schools, there is a programme of events running from 22 - 31 October, with screenings suitable for primary and secondary students in a variety of languages including French, German, Spanish, Russian and Japanese.

See the DCA website for full programme details.

The schools programme and booking information can also be accessed directly via the link below.


The German Language Adventure: Discover Germany in 16 challenges

8 October 2013 (Goethe-Institut)

Available from mid October 2013, the Goethe-Institut are offering a new opportunity for pupils ready to embrace a new language. This free, motivational game is suitable for P7 to S3, with the main target group being S2 and S3 before subject choice.

This unique motivational game sends its participants on a discovery tour through 16 cities in Germany and Austria cities, each with an interactive task to complete.

A team of native German speakers will visit your school and set up a German adventure course with 16 discovery stations for a half-day of interactive German language fun.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for full details and to register your interest.


It's the Patter but can you speak it

3 October 2013 (Evening Times)

We may all love to banter, but only one in four Glaswegians has the Patter.
That, at least, is the conclusion of the first full-scale survey of how many of us speak "wir ain leid".
More than 142,000 people in the city said they spoke Scots in the 2011 census - around 25% of the entire population old enough to talk.  Glasgow being the biggest city in Scotland, it also has the biggest concentration of Scots-speakers.


Learning journey - Scottish tourism

2 October 2013 (SCILT)

More from Game On! SCILT and Education Scotland have developed a learning journey designed to support the learning and teaching of modern languages at 3rd level.

Using the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games as a context this learning journey suggests opportunities for learners to explore ideas about how to promote Scotland as a destination to foreign visitors and encourages them to consider the importance of being able to communicate in different languages. Learners are also encouraged to consider the sustainability of the tourist industry by considering the impact of tourism on the environment, examining Eco-tourism projects overseas and designing similar projects in Scotland.

A Game On GLOW Meet to introduce all the literacy and languages learning journeys will take place later in the year. On your marks for GLOW tv!

The resource is available to download now at the Game On! website.


2013 National Poetry Day

30 September 2013 (Scots Language Centre)

National Poetry Day 2013 is on Thursday 3 October, and this year's theme is water. Among the poems being promoted is the Scots language poem by George Campbell Hay 'Seeker, Reaper'. Suitable for study by secondary pupils, the following resources have been provided by the Scottish Poetry Library.


Let’s hear it for Scots

30 September 2013 (Southern Reporter)

It is good to see figures being produced for the first time from the 2011 census on the number of those speaking Scots.

Now that we know that 1.54million people speak the language and where they are located, we can begin to plan how to support communities of Scots speakers and encourage these communities to value their language and pass it on to future generations.


Related Links

Action to preserve Scots tongue (The Herald, 28 September 2013)

Dr Alasdair Allan blog – European Day of Languages

26 September 2013 (Engage for Education)

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the European Day of Languages – an annual celebration of the linguistic and cultural diversity across the globe.

Across Scotland, schools are celebrating with a wide range of innovative and fun activities which will fire their imaginations and give them an appetite for other languages. For example, in Edinburgh – where only yesterday I officially opened the city’s first dedicated Gaelic school, Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pairce – pupils will be taking part in French and German language events, bringing pupils together from different schools to join in fun challenges. They will also be welcoming native language speakers and learning from them.


Game On Scotland! Commonwealth Games language resources

26 September 2013 (Education Scotland/SCILT)

Learning ideas around the context of the Commonwealth Games are available at the Game On! website.

SCILT and Education Scotland have developed a learning journey designed to support the learning and teaching of modern languages at primary level.


SQA Frequently Asked Questions

26 September 2013 (SCILT/SQA)

We have compiled a list of questions we have been frequently asked at Outreach events regarding the New Qualifications. We have worked in partnerships with SQA to answer these questions as fully as we can.

Download the attached document.

Related Files

Foreign Language Learning in Primary Schools Inquiry

23 September 2013 (Scottish Government)

The European and External Relations Committee conducted an inquiry into foreign language learning in primary schools during 2012–2013, and published a report of its findings and recommendations in June 2013. The Scottish Government responded to the Committee’s report on 30 July 2013. The response sets out the Scottish Government’s position on each of the Committee’s recommendations (see Annexe A of the 19 September 2013 meeting papers).

The Scottish Government has indicated that it will update the Committee three times a year on its new languages policy and its use of the 1 + 2 languages model, which was scrutinised in the inquiry. This will allow the Committee to monitor the policy and the Committee’s recommendations, and the Committee may wish to carry out further work following these reports once the policy has had sufficient time to become established. These updates will be published on the Committee’s website so that those interested in the inquiry can follow this process.

See the meeting papers and official report from the EERC meeting on 19 September.

Full background information to the Inquiry and related documentation can also be found on the 'A 1+2 Approach to Language Learning' webpages on the SCILT website.


Related Links

A 1+2 Approach to Language Learning (SCILT website)

Word Wizard Competition! New for school session 2013-2014

17 September 2013 (SCILT)

We are pleased to announce that our brand new spelling competition, Word Wizard, will be launched very shortly.

This competition is aimed at encouraging S1- S3 pupils, studying French, German, Spanish, Mandarin and Gaelic, to learn vocabulary, and have fun at the same time.

If you want to motivate your pupils, and take part in this new initiative, watch this space for details of how to register.

Scots students in Europe

16 September 2013 (Scottish Government)

Scotland only UK country to offer support for study in EU.  Up to 500 Scots studying at five European universities will be able to apply for financial support in a pilot that marks the first time any UK students have been offered help with European study.

Scots enrolled at Scottish universities already benefit from the best package of support in the UK, including free tuition fees, Education Secretary Michael Russell said this shows how decisions taken in Scotland benefit Scots.

Now those who choose eligible courses at the University of Southern Denmark, Malmo University in Sweden, Rhein Waal University in Germany, and the universities of Groningen and Maastricht in the Netherlands can have their fees paid by the country they study in and apply for the same package of bursaries and loans as those studying in Scotland.


Related Links

Europe study grants for Scottish students unveiled (The Scotsman, 16 September 2013)

NUS Scotland welcomes new support funds for study abroad students (NUS Scotland, 16 September 2013)

Call to set aside cash for school language skills

6 September 2013 (The Herald)

Plans to expand foreign language teaching in Scotland face being undermined by the lack of overseas assistants in the classroom, it has been claimed.

The warning follows figures that show a lack of progress in boosting the numbers of native language speaking staff in schools.  Now the British Funding Council has called for funding for the assistants to be ring-fenced in an attempt to improve the uptake. Councils have employed only 70 foreign language assistants for the 2013/14 school year despite a campaign to increase their use.

Before the onset of council cuts, Scottish schools employed hundreds of the assistants - native speaking staff who work to bring language learning alive, as well as fine-tuning comprehension and pronunciation.

The foreign language assistant programme, run by British Council Scotland, is funded by the Scottish Government, but the money is no longer specifically set aside and most councils have decided to use funding elsewhere.


New National Qualifications – August 2013 Update

3 September 2013 (Education Scotland)

The latest updates on the new National Qualifications are now on SQA’s website.

The following will be of particular interest to language teachers:


SALT Annual Conference: Promoting Excellence

30 August 2013 (SALT/SCILT)

The Scottish Association for Language Teaching is holding its annual conference on 2 November 2013 in the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

Joe Dale will be keynoting at the conference and presenting our theme "Promoting Excellence" and there will be a wide range of sessions covering language learning from early years to further and higher education. There is a real focus on teaching and learning as well as the chance to get an update on the bigger picture of languages in Scotland. There will be contributions from speakers directly involved in its development and the role of languages in the curriculum as well as sessions for students and NQTs. The specialist publishers' exhibition, including stands from various language organisations, will form an integral part of the conference as well.

The programme will include 3 seminar sessions with a range of seminars/workshops in each for delegates to choose from.

Full details will be available on the SALT and SCILT webpages soon. 

The SALT website is currently under review and due for re-launch in the near future, but you can follow @SALTALBA on Twitter for updates.

1+2 Clarification and Key Messages

26 August 2013 (SCILT/Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has identified the key messages from the 'Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 approach' report to help local authorities and schools identify priorities and plan their strategic approach to 1+2. This can now be accessed on the 1+2 section of our website, alongside the ‘Supporting self-evaluation and planning for improvement’ audit tool Education Scotland also developed to help Local Authorities identify their priorities and next steps for taking forward the recommendations.


Languages - Ad hoc Latin club has 'cult' appeal

23 August 2013 (TES)

Students at an East Dunbartonshire secondary are scoring top grades in Latin - even though the school has no qualified teacher in the subject and no timetabled classes.

Bearsden Academy depute headteacher Annette MacKay said that Latin has become a "cult" favourite among high-achieving students since an after-school club was set up in 2011-12.


Highland Council maps its Gaelic education provision

23 August 2013 (BBC News)

Highland Council has launched an online map showing where it provides Gaelic education in nurseries, playgroups and schools.

The local authority said it hoped the resource would be useful for parents and also help it to identify gaps in provision.

The map shows the locations of primary and secondary schools where the language is taught.


Related Links

Highland Council unveils Gaelic schools map (The Scotsman, 22 August 2013)

Materials for National 4 Added Value Unit

22 August 2013 (SCILT)

Materials created by one of the teachers in North Ayrshire Council have been uploaded onto #mlscilt for National 4 Added Value Unit in French.

You will need a Glow userid/login to access the materials.


Glasgow has started the journey to implementation of 1+2 languages starting at early years!

19 August 2013 (Engage for Education)

Maureen McKenna, Executive Member for Education, Glasgow City Council said: “Glasgow has been working on a sustained and planned approach in the development of languages in the city to enhance the learning and teaching in our schools.

“Glasgow was ably represented on the Scottish Government languages working group by Gillian Campbell-Thow, an experienced principal language teacher who also has a city-wide language remit and support role for our schools in all sectors.

Glasgow is in the process of proactively working to encourage the uptake of 1 + 2 languages in primary schools across the city with more and more teachers being trained. This session primary teachers have the chance to train in French, Spanish, German, Italian and Gaelic. Early years training will be available in French, Spanish, Gaelic, Polish and Arabic.


Chinese Pupils from Tianjin No.42 High School visit St Ninian's High School

2 August 2013 (East Dunbartonshire Council)

A group of 33 pupils and 5 teachers, led by the school’s Director, Mr Hongjie Liu, during their tour of the UK are visiting our East Dunbartonshire Council Confucius Hub, based in St Ninian's High School, Kirkintilloch. This visit will further deepen the partnership between the two schools, St Ninian's HS and Number 42 High School, Tianjin.


Results for National Courses and Awards 2013

6 August 2013 (SQA)

The Scottish Qualifications Authority today announces details of the results for National Courses and Awards 2013.

There was an increase in the pass rate for the Scottish Baccalaureate – 85.9% (+6.7). The percentage point difference from 2012 is indicated in brackets.

The number of candidates sitting Chinese languages across all levels (from Access to Advanced Higher) continues to rise, up 36.3 per cent since 2010. Courses in Mandarin (Simplified) are the most popular and are usually taken by learners from a non-heritage background.

Download the attached pdf for a full summary of the 2013 performance across SQA courses in Modern Languages.


Related Files

Can the 1+2 strategy add up without more funding?

5 July 2013 (TESS)

The Scottish government has set its languages target for 2020, but with a shortage of money and resources the initiative may struggle to succeed.

The scale of the ambition has to be applauded. The size of what the Scottish government hopes to achieve by 2020 with its 1+2 language strategy is vast. All children are to learn a second language from Primary 1 and to start a third language no later than in Primary 5.


Glasgow secondary leading way in modern languages

24 June 2013 (Evening Times)

THE kids at All Saints don't need to be convinced that foreign languages are important.  Because they hear them every day.

Scots-born pupils at this Glasgow comprehensive – thanks to a decade of steady immigration – are now routinely exposed to the chat in an estimated 30 languages.

And, say teachers, it is starting to rub off on them.

So much so that the school is expanding its capacity to teach languages amid solid demand.


Glasgow Modern Languages Newsletter - June 2013

24 June 2013 (Glasgow City Council)

Download a copy of the latest Glasgow Modern Languages Newsletter, packed with articles on language activities from across all the city's schools.

Committee calls for local authorities to teach one foreign language from primary through to secondary school

21 June 2013 (Scottish Parliament)

Local authorities should ensure one language is taught across primary schools and into secondary schools according to a report published today (Friday 21 June) by the European and External Relations Committee.

The report endorses the goal of teaching primary school children two languages in addition to their mother tongue. However, the Committee has highlighted the need for a locally relevant language selected for continuity from primary to secondary school. The Committee also calls for children with Additional Support Needs to be adequately provided for.


Related Links

Scottish schools' language funding 'hard to assess' (BBC News, 21 June 2013)

Concern over cost of school languages (The Herald, 21 June 2013)

MSPs in dark over cost of more language lessons (The Scotsman, 21 June 2013)

More Scots must learn foreign languages (Evening Times, 21 June 2013)


19 June 2013 (SCHOLAR)

In an exciting change to our Annual Conference, we are pleased to announce that this year we will be touring Scottish schools in our own SCHOLAR Bus.

The SCHOLAR Bus timetable has still to be finalised, however, our staff will be on their journey during the 2nd to 6th September 2013. There will be 10 bus stops throughout the central belt of Scotland and we hope to stop at your school or one near you. If this venture is a success, then we will extend it to all of Scotland in future years.

Visit the SCHOLAR website for more information about the SCHOLAR bus and to experience some of the material provided by SCHOLAR for both teachers and students covering a range of subjects, such as Mandarin, Chemistry and Mathematics.


Our Europe Film Competition winners, Bearsden Academy!

19 June 2013 (SEET)

Throughout the past year, the Scottish European Educational Trust has run a film competition called Our Europe: Our People, Our Places, Our Parliament. Teams from all secondary schools in Scotland were invited to take part in this competition. They were asked to create a short film to raise awareness of the positive impact of the European Parliament on the lives of young people in the EU. The competition was organised over three stages and has been designed to offer young people the opportunity to increase their knowledge and understanding of Europe, develop their technology skills, increase their use of European languages and gain a range of transferrable skills through the creative process.

The final was held at Scotland House in Brussels on Wednesday 19 June, where Bearsden Academy claimed the winning title of this year’s Our Europe competition.  Runner's up were Douglas Academy.

Download the attached press release for full details.

Related L