Language Teaching

Language Teaching

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.

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.

Support language attainment in class with a Modern Language Assistant

20 April 2017 (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 and Mandarin Chinese, 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.

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 deadline for applications has been extended to 31 May 2017.

For more information and to apply visit the British Council website.


All Junior Cert pupils to study a foreign language under new plan

19 April 2017 (News Talk)

(Applies to Ireland) All pupils will study a foreign language for their Junior Cert by 2021 under ambitious new plans being announced by the Education Minister.

The strategy also aims to increase the number of Leaving Cert students studying a foreign language by 10%.

Chinese will be introduced as a Leaving Cert subject for the first time, while so-called 'heritage languages' such as Polish, Lithuanian and Portuguese will get a proper curriculum.

Speaking to Pat Kenny, Minister Richard Bruton explained: "We are going to have to, post-Brexit, realise that one of the common weaknesses of English speaking countries - that we disregard foreign languages - has to be addressed in Ireland.

"We need now to trade in the growth areas - and many of those speak Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin. Those are the languages that we need to learn to continue to trade successfully."

On the subject of Eastern European languages, he observed: "We now have many Lithuanians and Polish here, and we can develop those languages.

"We also need to use programmes like Erasmus - we want to increase our participation there by 50%. Clearly it has to become more immersed in the language.

"At the moment if you look at Leaving Cert and Junior Cert, French dominates. French is a lovely language, but we need to recognise that we need to diversify into other languages."


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.


China visit a Scottish first for brass band

14 April 2017 (Guide and Gazette)

Carnoustie High School Brass Band will play in the People’s Republic of China following a concert they performed earlier this year in the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow.

The concert was for the Confucius Institute for Scotland who were so impressed by their standard of playing that they set in motion a plan to have the youngsters visit China in a cultural exchange.

The institute contacted Donald Currie, headteacher at Carnoustie High School, and requested the band make the trip next year.

Carnoustie High is the Confucius Hub for Angus and the Confucius classrooms are hubs based in schools and serving the local community.

The hub concept promotes joint planning of cultural activities, sharing ideas and resources to stimulate the learning and teaching of Chinese language and culture.


If Theresa May really wants to make Brexit a success, why is her Government making it so hard to learn a language?

13 April 2017 (The Independent)

I can still remember a conversation I had as a teenager about GCSE subject. I had the choice between doing Spanish or Geography. My late father was unequivocal: do Spanish because you have no idea how many doors another language will open for you. Three decades later I am still thankful for heeding his advice, given just how much of an influence it has had on my career and my personal life.

The Conservative Party political broadcast this week, and its 2017 local election campaign, talk about us becoming a new "Global Britain". But this Government is simultaneously failing to address the problem to achieving that ambition – that so many British people cannot speak a second language.

Boris Johnson enjoyed travelling the world to promote London at any opportunity when he was Mayor. But while Boris speaks very good French, as did Tony Blair, these politicians are hardly representative of the rest of the country. Our inability to speak other languages is an international joke which ranks as embarrassing as our perpetual failure to progress in international football tournaments. Three quarters of adults surveyed by YouGov back in 2013 admitted they were unable to hold a conversation in another major foreign language.


Related Links

This is the best way to prepare kids for Brexit (The Independent, 15 April 2017)

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.


Prepare British children for life after Brexit – teach them another language

10 April 2017 (The Conversation)

The formal negotiations to untangle the UK from the intricacies of the European Union are now well underway. And it is clear that looking forward, Britain’s new relationship with the EU will necessitate conducting trade and political communications in a new dynamic – one which is unlikely to be done in the medium of English.

When the UK leaves the EU there will be no member state remaining where English is the lead official language. “Ah”, you say, “what about Ireland, they speak English there”. Yes they do, but in Ireland, Irish Gaelic is considered the first official language.

So to trade with the EU, the UK will need high-level negotiators fluent in German, French and Spanish, which it currently does not have.

Additionally, leaving the EU will result in a restriction of immigrants from across EU member states. The need for visas will drastically reduce the number of workers who can come to the UK to fill jobs British people are either unwilling or unable to do.

And recognising this gap, the Foreign and Common Wealth office and the Ministry of Defence have opened in-house training centres to provide lessons in up to 80 different languages for their staff.


Japanese Language Local Project Support Programme

10 April 2017 (Japan Foundation)

The Japan Foundation London is looking for non-profit-making projects or activities which promote Japanese language education. You can apply for up to £3,000.

We prioritise projects that fit into one of the three following categories:
  1. Introducing Japanese into the curriculum at a primary or secondary school
  2. Supporting GCSE or A-level Japanese courses
  3. Introducing Japanese extracurricular club or enrichment subject at a primary or secondary school
The next deadline for the 2017-18 programme is 27 April 2017.

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information and to submit your application.


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.


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.


Japanese for young learners - 6 week teacher course

30 March 2017 (Japanese for Young Learners project)

This course, organised by the Japanese for Young Learners Projects, aims to introduce teachers to Japanese language and culture for use in the classroom. Teachers will be introduced to Japanese language for beginners and to cultural learning activities such as origami and Japanese food.

The course will include developing literacy in Japanese and an introduction to Japanese reading and writing - easier than you think!

The course is being delivered in partnership with the University of Edinburgh and the Japan Foundation, UK. It takes place over six weeks, commencing Thursday 20 April.

Visit the website to register for this free professional development opportunity and see the press article below relating to the project's pilot in Liberton Primary School, Edinburgh.


Related Links

Edinburgh primary leads way with Japanese lessons pilot (Edinburgh Evening News, 27 March 2017)

Language Linking Global Thinking 2017/18 - Registrations of interest

30 March 2017 (SCILT)

SCILT is now inviting schools to register their interest in taking part in the Language Linking Global Thinking initiative in session 2017/18. 

The project links students on their year abroad with primary and secondary schools. Students communicate with a designated class in their partner school during the course of the year to illustrate how enriching it is to spend a year abroad using a language other than English. 

While the student is abroad, the partner school keeps in regular contact with the student by emailing, sending postcards and other resources. The two-way correspondence between student and class brings the language alive for pupils and shows them the real relevance of learning a language. 

If you would like to take part in this project for session 2017-18, please complete the registration form

Visit the SCILT LLGT webpage for more information on Language Linking Global Thinking, including the blogs students have used to facilitate their contact with the schools.


Online Spanish Courses for Primary and Secondary School Teachers in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and PGDE students

30 March 2017 (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 and Northern Ireland, and 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.

The course is suitable for those with or without previous knowledge of Spanish.

The next course commences 10 April 2017 and lasts for 11 weeks.

Visit the Instituto Cervantes website for more information and to enrol.


How London's Goethe-Institut is fighting for foreign languages amidst Brexit

29 March 2017 (Deutsche Welle)

What does Brexit mean for language-learning and cultural exchange in the UK? The head of London's Goethe-Institut told DW that the impact is already being felt - but she remains optimistic for the future.


ECML online questionnaire "Language in subjects"

27 March 2017 (ECML)

This online questionnaire is part of an ECML project called "Developing language awareness in subject classes". It targets subject teachers (mathematics, history, science, physical education etc.) and teacher trainers who:
  • are experienced in teaching students at the age of 12/13 with a different language background, and/or
  • take an interest in developing their students’ academic, subject specific language.
It takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Visit the ECML website to access the questionnaire.


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.


Mary Glasgow invites language students to get their work published!

23 March 2017 (Mary Glasgow Magazines)

Calling all language teachers! Get your students' French, Spanish, German or English writing published on the Mary Glasgow Magazines website.

One of the most popular features of the website is Student News. We publish articles and videos sent by students from around the world who want to share their stories, interests and culture with peers. Students earn points for their stories and comments for a chance to win a prize.

Visit the website to find out more information and to read some sample stories.


Consultation on Erasmus+

20 March 2017 (Erasmus+)

The March 2017 edition of the Erasmus+ newsletter invites organisations and individuals to complete a questionnaire to share experiences and opinions to help shape how the programme might look after 2020.

The newsletter also contains news on upcoming events and activities.


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.


New job profile on SCILT's website

17 March 2017 (SCILT)

For relevant, labour-market focused career advice on languages, direct from the workplace, read our latest Job Profile from Lynn Sheppard, Masters Student and travel writer, former English teacher, diplomat and civil servant.

Lynn tells how languages have not only helped in all her diverse job roles, but in developing and maintaining personal and professional relationships around the globe. Language skills have given her a cultural insight into how others think and behave.

Teachers, use this resource in your classroom to enhance learning about the world of work.


Gaelic e-bulletin

17 March 2017 (Education Scotland)

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


Learning a language should be compulsory in schools, says report

16 March 2017 (BBC News)

(Applies to Northern Ireland) Learning a foreign language should be made compulsory in primary schools here, a new report has said.

In Northern Ireland, learning a second language is not a statutory part of the primary school curriculum.

In England and Scotland, by contrast, primary school pupils are expected to learn a foreign language.

The review of primary languages in Northern Ireland has been carried out by researchers from Stranmillis University College. The authors surveyed language learning at over 100 schools.

They found that Spanish and French were most popular in schools where languages were taught. Some pupils also learned German or Mandarin.

However, not all primary schools taught an additional language.

This led the authors to conclude that there was "a lack of equity in provision for children" across the country.


Language teachers sought for PhD study

16 March 2017 (Glyn Jones)

Language teachers are invited to take part in this study which aims to replicate that undertaken by Brian North and Günther Schneider in the course of developing the CEFR descriptors.

Participants can be teaching adult or secondary school learners at any level and are asked to:
  • Rate two of their students using CAN DO descriptors
  • Supply samples of written work by the same two students
  • Rate some samples of written work supplied by other participants, again using CAN DO descriptors

For more information about the study and to register to take part, please visit the website.


Trilingual music project hits the right notes in schools

15 March 2017 (British Council)

A pilot project called Listening to Language/ Cerdd Iaith, which aims to encourage language learning using music as a resource, is being delivered in ten primary schools across South West Wales. The trilingual music project addresses the decline of language learning in Wales.

Led by BBC National Orchestra of Wales, British Council Wales, ERW (Education through Regional Working) and University of Wales Trinity Saint David, musicians from the orchestra alongside language specialists have been working with teachers in schools across Swansea, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion to develop creative approaches to learning Welsh, Spanish and English.

The project, which is funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, looks at how musical elements of language such as rhythm, repetition and rhyme can aid learning. The workshops are encouraging pupils to listen to the sounds of languages, to enhance the process of developing and understanding new vocabulary.


Should pupils have to learn sign language?

15 March 2017 (BBC News)

"When I meet hearing children who can sign, I feel happy and confident," says Emmanuel, seven.

"I want to teach everyone British sign language - the whole world."

Faiza, 11, says: "If children learnt more sign, it would mean I'd try to play with them more. Communication would be easier.

"If my hearing friends didn't sign, I would feel lonely and sad."

For these deaf children at Blanche Nevile School in north London, helping hearing peers learn British sign language (BSL) is a chance to break down barriers and make new friends.
Their school shares a site with Highgate Primary School, and the schools work in partnership so that deaf and hearing children can learn alongside each other.

While BSL was recognised as a language in its own right 14 years ago, it is not included in the national curriculum in England.

Now, an online petition set up by Wayne Barrow, who grew up with deaf parents, is aiming to change that.


Related Links

Should hearing children learn sign language? (BBC News, 15 March 2017) - meet school pupils learning to sign and learning alongside deaf children (video report)

Sign language costs 'too high' for some families
(BBC News, 15 March 2017)

Watch as MP uses British Sign Language in the House of Commons (Daily Mirror, 16 March 2017)

MP Dawn Butler praised for using sign language in Commons (BBC News, 16 March 2017)

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)

Chinese L3 resources

13 March 2017 (CISS)

In order to build capacity for L3 in Scottish schools throughout Scotland, CISS has focused on developing a variety of resources. The latest L3 materials can be used to support the introduction of Mandarin as the L3 by using stimulating cultural contexts, whilst carefully building in progression. They are the first of a series of L3 resources which will support non-specialist Chinese teachers – including complete beginners! – as well as specialist Chinese teachers. The resources favour a gentle progression and will help practitioners embed Chinese into their learning context. These resources can be used as stand-alone resources or in conjunction with The Happy Emperor ebooks 1-5.


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.


Languages and IT staff are ‘leaving and won’t return’

10 March 2017 (TESS)

Brexit will “impoverish” pupils’ education by driving away staff, removing opportunities to study abroad and diminishing language teaching, independent schools are warning.

John Edward, director of the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS), told TESS that teachers of modern languages and IT were leaving the UK “and not coming back”.

Mr Edward predicted that the departures would mount steadily in the next three to four years and have a “big impact” on Scottish schools.

The full article can be accessed via TESS online, 10 March 2017 (subscription required).


Cash-strapped schools axing classes and cutting back on trips, headteachers say

10 March 2017 (The Independent)

Schools are being forced to scrap GCSE and A-level courses, increase class sizes and cut back on trips and after-school clubs as a result of a funding crisis, headteachers have warned.

Design and technology, languages and arts are among the subjects being dropped as schools struggle to deal with severe budget pressures, according to the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL).

In a new report, based on a poll of more than 1,000 members, the union warned that pressure to cut costs is having an impact on all areas of school life.

Interim general secretary Malcolm Trobe said school leaders are being forced to make “impossible choices”.

The Government has argued that school funding is at its highest ever level.


Related Links

Warning over schools axing courses amid funding crisis (ITV News, 10 March 2017) - Of the language course cuts, German in particular is suffering.

New job profile on SCILT's website

10 March 2017 (SCILT)

We have a range of Job Profiles on our website designed for teachers to use in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

Our latest addition comes from Kirsten Matthews, a Distillery Tour Guide and Public Service Interpreter. Kirsten tells us her language skills make it possible for her to perform a service and to help people in her roles.

You can see Kirsten's profile on our website.


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.


Glasgow says ‘fáilte’ to a new Gaelic primary school

9 March 2017 (The Herald)

Soaring demand for Gaelic education in Scotland’s largest city has led to the need for a third primary school.

Glasgow City Council is recommending a formal consultation on a new school because the two existing primaries are already full with demand expected to grow.

The increasing numbers of primary pupils in Gaelic Medium Education (GME) also means there is a need to ensure enough places are available at secondary.


Related Links

Call for third Gaelic school in Glasgow (BBC News, 10 March 2017)

Glasgow needs new Gaelic school amid growing demand (The Scotsman, 10 March 2017)

UK-German Connection initiatives for schools

7 March 2017 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German connection have the following opportunities they'd like teachers and schools to be aware of:
  1. What do you need now? Have your say.
    It’s now more important than ever to maintain connections with Europe. With this in mind, we’re reviewing the opportunities and support we offer schools and are asking teachers for their input on what schools currently need in order to keep links with Germany alive. We’ve put together a short questionnaire for you to have your say and would be grateful for your feedback. Complete the survey.

  2. Plastic Pirates
    There’s now another chance for UK and German partner schools to apply for funding to get together in Germany and undertake research on Germany’s rivers and oceans.

The teaching of Arabic language and cultures in UK schools

7 March 2017 (British Council / Alcantara Communications)

This report was commissioned by the British Council in March 2016 as part of its Arabic Language and Culture programme, which is now in its fourth year. It builds on previous research undertaken by Alcantara Communications and published as The teaching of Arabic Language and Culture in UK Schools. As a result of this initial research, the British Council developed and tailored its programme, continued to build its contacts with stakeholders in the field, and commissioned further in-depth research into key themes identified. These were contracted as separate strands, since they required different types of expertise. This report covers Strand 2 of the research: ‘Review of the teaching of Arabic language and culture in UK schools’.


Taking the leid: Scots needs more promotion at a national level

3 March 2017 (Holyrood)

Across Scotland, 30 per cent of the population identified themselves as Scots speakers in the 2011 census, and in Aberdeenshire the figure was almost half, 49 per cent, yet there is no public body equivalent to Bòrd na Gàidhlig responsible for the promotion of Scots at a national level. Scots tends to feature as part of culture studies, through Burns poetry or folk music, but not so much promoted as a living daily language.


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!


New Job Profile on the SCILT website

3 March 2017 (SCILT)

For relevant, labour-market focused career advice on languages, direct from the workplace, read our latest Job Profile from Sandie Robb, Senior Education Officer for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS).

Working on conservation projects around the globe, Sandie explains how knowing even a little of a language is respectable and polite when working with colleagues worldwide.

Teachers, use this resource in your classroom to enhance learning about the world of work.


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.


Fairtrade Fortnight

28 February 2017 (SCILT / Traidcraft)

#mfltwitterati it’s Fairtrade Fortnight! Please tweet @scottishcilt and @FairtradeUKEd the lesson ideas and resources that you’re using with your learners as a meaningful context for language learning #Fairtrade.

We’ve already found these from @traidcraft, tell us what you think.
  • Explore the world of cocoa production in Côte d’Ivoire with a range of teaching resources for learners of French at 2nd level, 3rd level and in the Senior Phase.
  • Explore a range of resources relating to Apicoop - honey and blueberry producers in Chile. Aimed at 2nd level learners of Spanish materials include a poster, an advert and a game.


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!


Languages Teacher Training Scholarships

23 February 2017 (British Council)

Are you passionate about French, German or Spanish? If so, you could receive a languages scholarship of £27,500 to train as a secondary school teacher in England.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to apply by 31 July 2017.


Do we need modern language graduates in a globalised world?

23 February 2017 (THE)

Six academics offer their views on the state of language learning in a populist climate.


UK-German Connection latest news

21 February 2017 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection offers a number of opportunities for schools in the UK and Germany to develop and maintain partnerships. In their latest Spring 2017 newsletter they highlight the following:
  • With the changing landscape of international relations, we want to make sure we're still offering you the right kind of support to keep your connections with Germany alive.We're currently reviewing the opportunities and services we offer and would like to invite you to tell us what you need now for your schools and pupils. Complete the short survey.
  • Deadline reminder of 1 March for applications for the following summer courses in Germany:

For upcoming deadlines for the rest of the school year, download our calendar of opportunities for 2016-17.

For further information about UK-German Connection and their activities, visit their website.


Passeport pour la Francophonie

14 February 2017 (SCILT)

SCILT are delighted to announce that Passeport pour la Francophonie is now live on its website.

This online resource focuses on French-speaking countries around the world. Angus, from Scotland invites you to join him on a journey as he travels to member countries of the Oranisation Internationale de la Francophonie and meets new friends.

Aude from France, Assouan from Egypt, Nyanga from Gabon, Menembe from Madagascar and Takakoto from Polynesia describe their daily lives, as well as the history and geography of the countries.

The website includes:

  • Information for primary practitioners about teaching language skills and developing learners’ cultural awareness through interdisciplinary learning.
  • Activities and resources for supporting interconnected teaching of languages.

Use together with the European Language Portfolio and pupils can record their achievements and progress in languages.

Please note this resource was developed by Education Scotland in 2012 and given to SCILT to host from 2017 onwards.


Midlothian foreign language students settle in

12 February 2017 (Midlothian Advertiser)

Following the success of the French Modern Language Assistant (MLAs) last year, Midlothian has been lucky enough to employ six MLAs again this year.

They are working across all 32 primary schools, assisting with the implementation of the 1+2 initiative which means that French is being taught in all our primary schools from P1 to P7. Staff have already seen an increase in the confidence and language skills of teachers as well as enthusiasm and progress from pupils!

The MLAs completed a diary of their first impressions and experiences, excerpts of which are below.


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.


Doric could be taught in all north-east schools

11 February 2017 (The Press and Journal)

Aberdeenshire Council has unveiled ambitious plans to start teaching youngsters the Doric dialect.

The local authority has drawn-up proposals to give primary and secondary pupils lessons in the “valued language”.

Councillors will be asked next week to back the scheme aimed at promoting the Doric and north-east culture across the region.

Traditionally spoken by residents of Aberdeenshire, the dialect – one of many across Scotland – is identified as the native tongue in many rural and fishing communities.


Related Links

Doric could be good fit for pupils in Aberdeenshire (STV News, 16 February 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


UCML and others send Brexit letter

10 February 2017 (UCML)

This letter has been written by a number of heads of UK modern languages and linguistics subject associations, including UCML, and endorsed by several others. It will be sent to the media and a number of leading UK politicians.


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).


Join the EOL network

9 February 2017 (ECML)

Do you feel passionate about the learning and teaching of languages? Do you believe that your learners will benefits from acquiring language skills? Would you like to improve your school environment in relation to language teaching and learning? Are you interested in working with the ECML (European Centre for Modern Languages) of the Council of Europe?

Then why not join the EOL network? The EOL project team is delighted to work with all stakeholders in education in order to develop learning environments where modern languages flourish. More than 40 schools are already involved in the EOL project.

To find out more about the project and to join, visit the ECML website.


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.


Gaelic pupils outperforming their peers in literacy skills

4 February 2017 (The Herald)

Primary pupils taught in Gaelic are outperforming children in mainstream Scottish schools, according to new figures.

Scottish Government statistics show pupils in Gaelic primary schools are doing better at reading, writing, listening and talking at nearly every stage of primary.

Gaelic medium education - where pupils are taught most or all of their lessons in Gaelic as well as studying English - is increasingly popular in Scotland with more than 3,500 children taught in 2014.


New and inclusive!

3 February 2017 (SCILT)

Content for the ‘Languages for all’ area of our website is now up. The blog has launched. Pointers to professional learning opportunities are there. Links to relevant materials already on SCILT are listed.

We promise even more to come in the months ahead, so check back regularly for updates.

We’re also very interested to hear your comments about your experiences of inclusive practice in languages. To contact the group, please email SCILT or tweet @Lynne_SCILT using the hashtag #langs4all.


eTwinning Workshops

3 February 2017 (British Council eTwinning)

Interested in eTwinning and partnering with schools across Europe on collaborative projects? Check out the professional development opportunities in the UK and overseas for both primary and secondary sectors.

Visit the British Council eTwinning website for more information.


Summer courses in Germany: Deadline 1 March 2017

1 February 2017 (UK-German Connection)

UK-German Connection has the following summer courses in Germany, which are currently open for applications:
Both programmes combine language learning with cultural trips and excursions, as well as staying with host families.

Not sure about applying? Our mentors are happy to answer your questions. Pupils can contact us to be put in touch.
The application deadline for all programmes is 1 March 2017.

For more information about the courses in Germany and other activities undertaken by UK-German Connection, visit their website.


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).

Rescuing and reviving the curriculum is not enough to restore modern foreign languages to their rightful position

28 January 2017 (TES)

It's not enough to grandstand the fact that languages have been introduced at primary school and leave it at that, writes this veteran journalist.

I can remember my first German lesson at school only too clearly.

The first two phrases that I was taught were "Mutti bleibt zu hause" and "Vater geht zu arbeit". For the uninitiated, that means "mother stays at home" and "father goes to work". 

Apart from giving a rather forlorn view of the state of society in the early 1960's, it also shows how mind-bogglingly dreary were the German textbooks of the day.


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.


New Job Profile on SCILT's website

27 January 2017 (SCILT)

Inspire the future generation with relevant career advice on languages direct from the workplace via the Job Profiles on our website. These resources are designed for teachers to use in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

Our latest addition comes from modern languages teacher, Olivia Ingleby, who tells how language skills helped her discover new places, cultures and the varied opportunities that brought prior to becoming a languages teacher.


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.


UK-German Connection Funding

26 January 2017 (UK-German Connection)

A reminder that the next deadline for grants for UK-German activities is 31 January 2017.

For an 'at a glance' overview of our grants and details about each programme, please visit the UK-German Connection website.


German Educational Trainees Across Borders 2017-18

26 January 2017 (SCILT/German Consulate General)

Expressions of interest are now being taken from local authorities who would like to host a German student teacher for a 6 month placement during the 2017-18 school session.

German trainee teachers from Universities in Mainz, Leipzig, Koblenz and Saarland are available to work in Scottish schools for a six month placement from September/October 2017 to March/April 2018. Participating students are native German speakers, training to become secondary teachers of English. 

German Educational Trainees (GETs) support language teaching and intercultural understanding, bringing language alive for learners with a trained and motivated native speaker. 

For more information please see the attached 'GET_2017_Information Sheet'. 

Local authorities interested in hosting GETs should complete and return the Note of Interest form by Friday 10th February.

Related Files

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.

New STEM job profile on SCILT's website

20 January 2017 (SCILT)

If you're looking for relevant career advice on languages direct from the workplace, read the Job Profiles on our website. These resources are designed for teachers to use in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how language skills can play a part.

Our latest addition comes from John Barry, a former petroleum engineer and manager with Shell, who explains how his language skills helped him to develop his career with the company.


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.


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.


Britons 'should learn Polish, Punjabi and Urdu to boost social cohesion'

18 January 2017 (The Guardian)

The government is being urged to create more opportunities for British people to learn languages such as Polish, Urdu and Punjabi as a means of improving social cohesion in local communities.

Recent inquiries looking into obstacles to social integration in the UK have highlighted the importance of immigrants learning English to enable them to integrate and engage fully in society.

Now Cambridge professor Wendy Ayres-Bennett is calling for British people to be encouraged to learn community languages, particularly in areas where there are high numbers of residents who speak these languages, to build on social cohesion.

Ayres-Bennett, who is a professor of French philology and linguistics and is a lead investigator in a major project looking at multilingualism, said rather than putting the onus solely on newcomers, social integration should be seen as a two-way street.

“Considering the issue from the point of view of language learning, we rightly expect immigrants to learn English but, as a nation, we often don’t see the need ourselves to learn another language, and consider it to be something difficult and only for the intellectual elite.

“I would like to see more opportunities for British people to learn some of the community languages of the UK, such as Polish, Punjabi and Urdu, particularly in areas where there are high numbers of those speakers, so that there is some mutual effort in understanding the others’ language and culture.”


Why making languages non-compulsory at GCSE is a step backwards

17 January 2017 (The Telegraph)

I am nervous as I take my seat in front of the Head of Languages; it is GCSE choices evening and the school gym has been transformed, criss-crossed by rows of tables and chairs with eager parents and their offspring gathered around harried-looking teachers.

“I'd like to do Triple Language,” I say, “French, Spanish and Italian.”

She regards me over the top of her sheet full of names, in front of her.

“Oh no, I don't think so. You could do Spanish, maybe, but you'll find three too difficult.”

Seven years later and I am on the brink of successfully completing my undergraduate degree in, you guessed it, languages. And whilst I look back on that exchange now with a certain degree of victorious pride, I still can't help but wonder what prompted her to turn a perfectly capable student away from her course.

In this performance-obsessed climate where a pupil's grades are often put before their education, it is unsurprising that even some of the best teachers find themselves advising students against courses which are deemed too challenging. But we must do away with the notion that languages are an elite subject if we are to improve the dire situation in which we now find ourselves.


United Kingdom Linguistics Olympiad 2017

17 January 2017 (UKLO)

UKLO is a competition for students who are still at school (or equivalent college) – any age, any ability level – in which they have to solve linguistic data problems. Thanks to our generous academic supporters, it’s completely free to both competitors and schools.

The UK Olympiad also enters at least one team in the International Linguistics Olympiad.

The United Kingdom Linguistics Olympiad (UKLO) for 2017 will soon get underway with round 1 taking place from 6-10 February.

If you are interested in finding out more about the competition and registering your school to take part, visit the UKLO website.


Language exchange trips ‘killed’ off by safeguarding worries and costs

16 January 2017 (Schools Week)

Schools trying to organise language exchange trips face increasing hurdles including costs, visas and “unclear” government guidance on safeguarding, according to speakers at a Westminster education forum held today in London.

The “dull” content of modern foreign languages lessons, which one delegate said was “intellectually insulting” to pupils, was being made worse by a decline in exchange trips that would otherwise bring vocabulary to life.

Mike Buchanan, chair of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference for independent schools (HMC), told teachers and policy makers that “the bureaucracy and hurdles in the way of exchange visits is killing them”.

Buchanan, who is also headteacher of Ashford school in Kent, said the desire among teachers to organise trips “had not diminished” but guidance from the Department for Education (DfE) – Keeping Children Safe in Education – updated in September last year was “less clear” on the issue of foreign exchange trips than previously and placed an onus on schools to carry out vetting and barring checks on host families in England.

“The impact is that schools are less inclined to engage in exchanges and trips.”


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.

UCML January Plenary 2017: Post-Brexit Implications for HE Languages

13 January 2017 (UCML)

Presentations of most of the speakers at the Workshop held on 6 January 2017 are now available to view on the UCML website.


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.


New Job Profile on the SCILT website

13 January 2017 (SCILT)

Our Job Profiles provide relevant, labour-market focused career advice on languages, direct from the workplace.

Teachers, use them in your classroom to enhance learning about the world of work.

Read our new Job Profile from Dawn Hartley, Head of Creative Learning at Scottish Dance Theatre.


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.


SQA updates January 2017

9 January 2017 (SQA)

The SQA has updated the Course Assessment Specification document and several Specimen Question Papers on the Advanced Higher Modern Languages page of their website.


New term French classes in Glasgow

9 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.


Erasmus+ application support

9 January 2017 (Erasmus+)

The next Erasmus+ funding deadline for Key Action 1 School Staff Mobility is 2 February. For UK schools and colleges, the UK National Agency has guidance documentation, and videos on an introduction to Schools Key Action 1 and completing the eForm.

There is also a Q&A webinar at 4-5pm on 19 January.


European Language Gazette issue 35 (December 2016)

6 January 2017 (ECML)

The latest edition of the European Language Gazette has just been published. This provides up-to-date news about the ECML (events, projects, resources), its partners and other relevant sectors of the Council of Europe. It focuses on language education and national developments in the member states and beyond.


LFEE Europe immersion courses in France and Spain 2017-18

6 January 2017 (LFEE)

LFEE Europe has been an international course provider since 2002. Our team of experienced and fully qualified native teachers are committed to promoting French and Spanish language and culture throughout Europe. Funding for all our courses is available through the European Union Erasmus+ Programme.

For more information see the attached flyer or visit the LFEE website.


English Language Assistants Programme

4 January 2017 (British Council)

Students and graduates - work across the world as an English Language Assistant. There is no better way to explore and experience life in another country than by living in it.

The English Language Assistants programme provides a unique opportunity for UK students and graduates to experience living abroad and make their CV stand out from the crowd by supporting the teaching of English in an overseas school or university.

Language Assistants can gain a wealth of transferable skills as well as proficiency in a foreign language by becoming immersed in another culture. Placements are paid and teaching time is limited to between 12 and 20 hours a week which puts assistants in a great position to be able to travel, learn and pursue new interests.

Placements are available in fourteen countries worldwide including France, Spain, Germany, Italy, China, Switzerland, Austria, Canada and Latin America.

Visit the British Council website and see where becoming an English Language assistant can take you. Applications for the 2017-18 academic year are now open and will close on 28 February 2017.


Meet The Refugees Taking On The UK’s Language Skills Deficit

1 January 2017 (Huffington Post)

What do a dentist, a human rights lawyer and a maths teacher have in common?

Certainly, they’re all qualified professionals. What you might not guess - blog title aside - is that they have all sought, and found, refuge in the UK in the last few years. They fled from Syria, Sudan and North Korea respectively. None of them have (yet) been able to practise their professions here, but that hasn’t stopped them helping the Brits in need of their skills. They all now work for a new tech for good startup, through which they share their native language and culture - online and in person - with people in the UK.

The startup is called Chatterbox. By training and employing refugees ​as language tutors, the venture catalyses refugee integration into the UK labour market whilst tackling the country’s language skills deficit.


Related Links

Want to learn Arabic, Korean or Swahili? Refugee language tutors can help (Thomson Reuters Foundation, 16 January 2017)

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.


Glasgow Gaelic School performs Christmas pantomime

16 December 2016 (BBC News)

A traditional Christmas panto would be nothing without the familiar catchphrases. But what do they sound like in Gaelic? BBC Scotland's very own fairy godmother, Aileen Clarke, has been to find out.


ELEO: Spanish Centres of Resources Digital Library

15 December 2016 (Consejería de Educación)

The Consejería de Educación has recently launched a digital library. If you are a teacher of Spanish, you can have an access to a myriad of resources.

Visit the site for more information and register now!


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.


Report shows progress in promoting modern foreign languages in Welsh schools

14 December 2016 (Welsh Government)

The number of pupils learning Mandarin has more than doubled according to a new report on a drive to increase the use of modern foreign languages in Welsh schools (Weds 14th Dec).

In October 2015 the Welsh Government published Global Futures, a plan to improve and promote modern foreign languages in Wales and today a new report on the progress made has been published.

It comes as the Education Secretary will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Spanish Government to improve and promote the teaching and learning of the Spanish language in Wales.

The MOU builds on a range of activity being carried out in Wales by the Spanish Embassy Education Office.


Language Futures

13 December 2016 (ALL)

Language Futures is an exciting approach for schools interested in developing languages beyond the classroom.

Initially a KS3 approach, Language Futures is now being adopted by primary schools with a range of primary-focused guidance and resources being developed over 2016-17.

Its core purpose is to generate deep engagement with learning and to encourage learners to take responsibility for their learning both within and beyond the classroom. Increasing motivation and engagement are integral to the approach with learners not only choosing the language they wish to learn, but also exercising choice in elements of what and how to learn. A core feature of the approach is the personalised support offered to pupils by mentors who are volunteers from the local community with an in-depth knowledge and fluency in a particular language, recruited to provide good models of the language.

Visit the ALL website for further information on launching Language Futures in your school.


European Language Gazette N° 34

13 December 2016 (ECML)

The latest edition of the European Language Gazette has just been published.

The ECML's e-newsletter provides up-to-date news about the ECML (events, projects, resources) and other relevant sectors of the Council of Europe, as well as our partners. It focuses on national developments in the field of language education in the member states and beyond.


A map showing how many foreign languages children study at school in different European countries

3 December 2016 (The Independent)

Learning foreign languages is key to getting ahead. The UK used to be much better teaching languages in schools, but in recent years we've been outdone by our fellow Europeans.

Recently data from Eurostat was transformed into a map by linguist and cartographer Jakub Marian.

Based on their most recent data from 2013, it shows what European countries teach foreign languages to their young populations.


Ofsted annual report: Primary emphasis on spelling and grammar risks narrowing the curriculum

1 December 2016 (TES)

Report also warns that secondary heads do not realise that the primary curriculum has changed and still think that pupils' progress is measured in levels
The emphasis on reading, writing, spelling and grammar at primary school risks narrowing the curriculum, today's Ofsted annual report states.

This means that subjects such as science and modern foreign languages can suffer as a result.

The report says: “The underlying importance of literacy means that reading, writing, spelling and grammar remain of the utmost importance in the primary curriculum.

“However, this clear emphasis, which has been embraced successfully by the vast majority of primary schools, can create a risk that the curriculum becomes narrowed.”

Evidence from inspections shows that science and foreign languages end up suffering, because not enough time is available for in-depth study, the report stated.

Foreign languages were particularly affected. None of the primary schools inspected this year spent more than two hours a week on language study. The majority – more than two thirds – spent less than an hour on foreign languages.


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.


Which languages should be taught in schools and why?

29 November 2016 (The Guardian)

The Polish prime minister Beata Szydło has called on Theresa May to introduce Polish classes for children in English schools.

It raises interesting questions about what languages we teach in schools and why. Szydło also called for more support for the 831,000 Poles living in Britain. Introducing the language could help communities feel more integrated.

In the past language choices have been for different reasons. In 2010 the government decided to train 1,000 Mandarin teachers to work in secondary schools in England due to China’s increasing influence on the global economy. Those in favour of the move said the next generation would need to understand Chinese culture and use its language.

Which languages do you think children should learn and why? Should an emphasis be put on how useful that language may be in the future? Or should the decision be made based on the needs of the local community?

Which languages have been most or least helpful to you? Which one did you enjoy learning and why? Did you grow up speaking another language at home? How would you have felt if your fellow pupils had studied it in school? Share your views with us.


Related Links

The importance of Polish lessons in a post-Brexit world (The Guardian, 29 November 2016)

The ten greatest shortcomings of modern language provision in England

29 November 2016 (TES)

Being an MFL teacher has never been as challenging as in this day and age. Ironically so, considering that this is a time in human history in which mastering foreign languages is not only desirable, but truly essential for business, politics and education.

In today’s globalised society, foreign language learning ought be aligned with the most recent acquisitions in neuroscience and be given more prominence in school curricula, whilst teachers ought to be given more trust, space and opportunities to grow professionally and stay motivated. Instead, the status quo the current MFL teaching landscape is one of work overload, stress, low self-efficacy and demotivation – thousands of teachers whose professional efficacy and health are undermined by a plethora of prescriptive pedagogic obligations which do not chime with research nor with common sense and are a source of daily professional and persona frustration for many.

The rationale for this article is the same that has motivated me to publish my teaching resources on the TES platform, write my blog ‘The Language Gym’ and co-author ‘The Language Teacher Toolkit’ with legendary blogger and educator Steve Smith, i.e.: to attempt to address the deficits which have been undermining the effectiveness of MFL provision in England for decades and which the government has constantly failed to address.

These are, in my opinion, the top-ten reasons why MFL provision in England is still largely defective.


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.


School Partnership Bursaries

29 November 2016 (UK-German Connection)

Do you have a link with a German school? Have your schools engaged in any joint activities in 2016?

Keeping up connections between the UK and Germany is now more important than ever. To help you to keep your school partnership alive, UK-German Connection is offering schools special partnership bursaries of £1,000.

It's easy to apply. Just complete a short online questionnaire by 7 December 2016.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information.


Pedagogy review offers help to revitalise languages education

23 November 2016 (SecEd)

Modern foreign languages are “at risk” and face becoming the domain of “certain types of school and certain sections of the pupil population”.

The warning has come from Ian Bauckham, chair of the Modern Foreign Languages Pedagogy Review, which published its report into MFL teaching at key stages 3 and 4 this week.

The Teaching Schools Council, which set-up the Review, is now encouraging schools to use the findings, alongside related evaluation documentation, to review and improve their MFL provision.


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.


Making teaching more conversational could help tackle languages crisis

18 November 2016 (TES)

Foreign language teachers should teach more commonly used words and conversational subject matter to engage pupils in their subjects, a report published today recommends.

The Teaching Schools Council argues that such changes would help more students persist in studying foreign languages, which the research described as being in “crisis” beyond GCSE.

The council's Modern Foreign Languages Pedagogy Review report points out that fewer than half of pupils take a GCSE in a language. It recommends that the "vast majority of young people" should study a modern foreign language up to age 16 and take a GCSE in it.

The report, designed to provide advice for secondary school languages teachers, suggests some language teaching uses vocabulary that is too specialised because it sticks with set themes, such as "free-time activities" and the "environment".


Rapping up Mandarin

18 November 2016 (TESS)

If you want to get an insight into what your YouTube-fixated, viral-hungry students are looking at online this year, you won’t go far wrong if you spend some time with a few Asian hip hop artists. Be it the viral thrust and wry wit of Indonesia’s Rich Chigga, the America-breaking ferocity of South Korea’s Keith Ape or China’s hottest new hip hop property, Higher Brothers, this is one of the year’s most dominant, and credible, trending genres.

This rise of Asian hip hop comes at a fortuitous time for London teacher Adam Moorman. While his approach to teaching Mandarin to key stage 5 students at Fortismere School in North London was not inspired by his students’ preoccupation with the new stars of rap, it certainly feeds into it: he’s getting his class to rap in Mandarin themselves.

“It’s much easier than you think,” Moorman says. “Mandarin is a monosyllabic language with a much more limited range of sounds than English. If you discount tones, there are around 400 syllables in Mandarin, compared with more than 8,000 in English. So it’s a lot harder to come up with rhymes in English than in Mandarin.”

Students are asked to create raps as preparation for their speaking exam. Guided on content by the key topics in the qualification (pollution, for example) and on complexity by the exam marking criteria, they write, practise and then perform the raps, which are recorded. Moorman explains that rap is a useful tool to get students talking for a number of reasons. First, he says that Mandarin is an inherently musical language, so it lends itself to the genre. Second, learning a language requires repetition, and keeping that engaging is tough – writing and performing a rap gives students a compelling reason to go over sentences again and again. Third, the nature of rap means that dexterity of vocabulary is rewarded – so there is an incentive to learn more phrases and be innovative with them.

“Many teachers find that, as students move through KS4-5, they become frustrated by the difficulty of constructing longer passages of speech,” Moorman explains. “Some of the fun, freshness and simplicity of language-learning at KS3 disappears.

“This approach tackles that by combining rhythm, rhymes and repetition in an enjoyable and memorable way that shifts the focus from painstaking book-based learning, but achieves the rewards of independent research, drafting and practising.”

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


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).


UK-German Connection news

9 November 2016 (UK-German Connection)

The latest funded opportunities from UK-German Connection can be found on their website via the appropriate links below:

For more information about UK-German Connection and their full range of activities, visit their website.


Formal consultation of new extended CEFR

8 November 2016 (SALT / Council of Europe)

An invitation to participate from Villano Qiriazi, Education Department of the Council of Europe.

Fifteen years after its publication, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: learning, teaching, assessment (CEFR) remains one of the best known and most used Council of Europe policy tools. Since its official publication in 2001, an impressive ‘toolkit’ has been built around the CEFR: samples illustrating the reference levels in a number of languages, a databank of descriptors, manuals for examination bodies, guides for different categories of users… A number of policy documents also further develop the underlying principles and education objectives of the CEFR. And, of course, the European Language Portfolio has largely contributed to the implementation of these principles, strongly promoting objectives such as reflective learning and learner autonomy.

You are invited to take part in a formal consultation process concerning the proposed new version.

Visit the website for more information.


LFEE Europe immersion courses 2017-2018 in France and Spain for primary and secondary teachers

8 November 2016 (LFEE)

The dates for our immersion courses 2017-2018 have just been released. Please visit the LFEE website to find out new dates and further information or see the attached brochure.

Successful applicants receive a grant from the British Council that covers all costs, including flights, accommodation and subsistence, as well as the course fee.

NEW: Immersion follow up

If you have already attended our immersion course in France in the past and wish to attend another course with us, we have created a follow up immersion which will take place in the beautiful city of Avignon in Provence. Please contact us for further information.

Should you wish to participate in our immersion courses in France or Spain from July 2017 to April 2018, please pre-register at and we will send you further information on how to apply to the Erasmus+ European funding for schools.

Do not hesitate to visit our website and blog for more information and to see what your colleagues have said about their course last summer.

A bientôt!


First Chinese classroom to open for Moray school pupils

4 November 2016 (Press and Journal)

School pupils in Moray will be transported from the north-east to the Far East with the opening of the region’s first Chinese classroom.

The Confucius base is scheduled to open at Elgin Academy at the end of the month with language and culture lessons for students. Two Chinese-speaking teachers will be based in the classroom, but will take lessons at five other secondary schools and eight primary schools in the region.

The initiative will also open up the opportunity for pupils and staff to take part in courses in the Asian country.


Closed borders will lead only to closed minds

4 November 2016 (TESS)

It’s been just over four months since Britain voted to leave the European Union, and we still know very little about how Brexit will affect life in the UK. That is, of course, largely because it will be another few months until the process of the UK’s departure formally starts, and so, really, nothing has actually changed.

That is not to say it won’t, of course.

[..] And as Scotland’s modern language teachers prepare to come together for the Scottish Association of Language Teachers annual conference this week, its chair, Gillian Campbell-Thow, told me that Brexit would “either be a force for great change in the respect that it will give us a massive opportunity to further enhance the need for young people who are culturally aware and can communicate on many levels; or it will be another nail in the coffin to language learning as real life opportunities to work and live in other countries may not be as easy or accessible as they once were.”

Read the full article in TESS online, 4 November 2016 (subscription required).


European Language Gazette (September/October 2016)

3 November 2016 (ECML)

The European Language Gazette, the ECML's e-newsletter, provides up-to-date news about the ECML (events, projects, resources), the Language Policy Unit and other relevant sectors of the Council of Europe, as well as our partners. It focuses on national developments in the field of language education in the member states and beyond.

The latest edition is now available to view online.


Fokus: Films from Germany 2016/17

3 November 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

Returning to Scottish screens from 25 November 2016 to 28 January 2017, is this nation-wide event featuring 12 innovative, inspiring and challenging films by Germany-based directors. We have selected a wide array of topics and cinematic styles that shed light on current debates and discourses in Germany.

The following screenings are specifically for school groups:

For full programme details visit the Goethe-Institut website.


Lords debate on Brexit impact for HE funding and research

3 November 2016 (They Work For You)

The motion was raised in the House of Lords on 3 November 2016 that the House takes note of the potential impact of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union on funding for universities and scientific research.

During the debate, Baroness Garden of Frognal raised the importance of increasing and improving the UK's ability to communicate with the world in languages other than English following withdrawal from the EU.

The full debate can be accessed online.


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

Japan Foundation Funding Programme 2017

1 November 2016 (Japan Foundation)

The Japan Foundation is now accepting applications to several Annual Grant Programmes which support organisations and individuals in the fields of Arts and Culture, Japanese Language Education and Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange.

Visit the website for more information about each programme and how to submit your application.


Related Links

Funding for Japanese Language Education Projects held in the UK - the next deadline for applications for funding to introduce and support Japanese in schools is 18 November 2016.

A-levels choice 'reduced by funding squeeze'

27 October 2016 (BBC News)

Funding pressures mean pupils at sixth-form colleges in England must choose from an increasingly narrow range of A-level subjects, a study has found.

The Sixth Form Colleges Association's annual survey suggests two-thirds of colleges have had to drop courses.

[..] Over a third of colleges (39%) have dropped courses in modern foreign languages...


International Education Week 2016: Make Time for Languages

26 October 2016 (British Council)

The British Council celebrates International Education Week every year, promoting the benefits of international learning and cultural exchange to a huge community of teachers and school leaders in the UK and all over the world. We believe that international learning, global communication and language learning is more important now than ever. That’s why this year’s IEW theme is ‘Make Time For Languages’.

We’ve got a whole raft of offers, opportunities and resources to help you celebrate International Education Week and make time for languages in your schools and classrooms.

Visit the British Council IEW website to find out how you can get involved from 14-18 November.


Digital Days competition for schools

21 October 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut London invites German teachers and their pupils to take part in this competition series requiring language and computer skills alike! The topic this year is Digital D.

Several categories for different levels of language skills are provided. Primary teachers and secondary teachers can choose which competition they think suits their students’ best.

To take part in the competition, visit the website and submit the registration form by 10 November 2016.


Erasmus+ 2017 deadlines announced

21 October 2016 (Erasmus+)

All the deadlines and information on the types of activities you can apply for are contained in the 2017 Call for Proposals document and the 2017 Programme Guide both of which you can download from the Key Resources page of our website. The Call for Proposals is an overview document containing all the deadlines for 2017, while the Programme Guide contains all the detailed information on how to apply for Erasmus+ funding. You will need to read both documents when planning an application.


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

'It's a crying shame': teachers on scrapped A-level subjects

21 October 2016 (The Guardian)

There has been an outcry this week over minority A-levels that are being cut from the curriculum, with news that archeology and history of art will no longer be offered to sixth-form students.

Suzanne O’Farrell, Curriculum and assessment specialist for the Association of School and College Leaders discussed modern languages.

O’Farrell fell in love with languages at school. She studied French and German at A-level, then at degree level and went on to teach modern languages in schools for 28 years. This year her son started his A-levels but there was no longer an option to study either French or German. Now she’s trying to teach him herself.


Europe's first ever bilingual Chinese-English school to open in London

19 October 2016 (The Independent)

The first school in Europe to teach all its students in both English and Chinese is to open in London next year.

Founders of Kensington Wade, a dual language independent prep school, say children as young as one will be taught in Chinese, and all those who attend the school will leave fluent.

Provisions for the school’s opening come amid renewed emphasis from the British government on the importance of teaching Chinese as a second language, in order to prepare future generations for the global market.


French Film Festival school screenings

17 October 2016 (Institut français)

This year's French Film Festival takes place from 4 November - 1 December and is the only festival of francophone films in the UK.

There are screenings for primary and secondary school pupils taking place around Scotland during this time.

See the attached flyer for details of the school screenings and contact information for bookings.

Visit the French Film Festival website for the full programme.


Related Files

Films for language learning

13 October 2016 (ALL)

The Association for Language Learning (ALL) has a focus on film this fortnight. Visit the website for links to useful film resources and the upcoming film festivals taking place this autumn around the UK. Each festival offers a selection of foreign language film screenings.

  • Discovery Film Festival (22 October - 6 November 2016) - Scotland's international film festival for young audiences.
  • Into Film Festival (9 - 25 November 2016) - a free nationwide celebration of film and education for 5-19 year olds.
  • French Film Festival (4 November - 1 December 2016) - the only festival of francophone films in the UK.
Visit the ALL website for more information.


My French PE lesson

13 October 2016 (TES)

I have the privilege to work with one of the best PE teachers I know. Her name is Charlotte and we’ve been sharing not only the same office this year, but the same ideas, sometimes, and the same passion for teaching.

[..] But the event I have enjoyed the most was sports week, at the end of the summer term. It was a great chance for me to familiarise myself with one of the new methods in teaching a foreign language: Content and Language Integrated Learning. Shortly- CLIL.


Final LangOER Conference: “Open Education: promoting diversity for European Languages”

12 October 2016 (ECML)

The conference, held in Brussels on 26-27 September 2016, was an initiative of the European funded network LangOER, and was co-organised with the Educational Repositories Network – EdReNe. The event brought together experts in open education and digital content repositories, educational researchers and policy makers concerned with language education, pedagogical use of ICT, and social integration and inclusion.

Presentations and livestreams from the conference are now available online.


ALL Language Teacher of the Year Awards 2017

11 October 2016 (ALL)

Calling all head teachers, heads of department, language coordinators and ALL primary hub leaders! Do you know a very special primary or secondary language teacher?

If you know a teacher who inspires pupils through superb teaching and supports colleagues by sharing their expertise and ideas, then why not nominate them for an Association for Language Learning (ALL) Language Teacher of the Year Award 2017?

Open to teachers throughout the UK.

Visit the ALL website for full details and submit your nomination by Friday 21 October 2016.


£3.9 million modern languages research project launched in Manchester

11 October 2016 (University of Manchester)

A consortium led by The University of Manchester has launched a four-year language research project which aims to demonstrate the UK’s critical need for modern languages research and teaching. The project will collaborate with schools and universities to develop curriculum innovations, and strengthen university commitments to local community heritage.

The launch of ‘Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community’, which is funded by an AHRC Open World Research Initiative (OWRI) grant, took place at The University of Manchester. They are leading a consortium which includes 11 other universities, city councils, the Royal Opera House, Tyneside Cinema, political think tank Chatham House, and a sixth-form college known for its strengths in modern languages.


Celebrate National Poetry Day!

6 October 2016 (SCILT)

Today is National Poetry Day and the theme this year is 'Messages'. To mark the occasion we've created our own triolet poem in French on this theme.

You can see the poem on the National Poetry Day webpage of our MTOT website. We hope it will provide some inspiration for those taking part in the Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition in Scotland! There are lots of other poetry resources on our website too. So take a look and get creative!


Top private schools help launch national training centre for languages teachers

4 October 2016 (TES)

Private schools will help form a new national teacher-training centre for linguists in a bid to stop the crisis in modern foreign language skills in the UK.

The government-backed scheme, which will be based in Sheffield, aims to bring together schools from across the state and independent sector to train language teachers.

It will coordinate the training of student teachers in some of the best languages departments across the country.

It follows widespread concern from the government and education professionals about the decline in the number of students choosing to study languages.

Mike Buchanan, chairman of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC), said: “This is not only culturally impoverishing, but likely to put UK pupils at a major disadvantage in a global marketplace in which 75 per cent of people do not speak English.

“The reasons for this are complex but include the difficulty of achieving a top grade compared with other subjects, leading to less take up, smaller departments and fewer teachers.”

Speaking to 300 independent headteachers at their annual conference in Stratford-upon-Avon, Mr Buchanan said that the scheme was the first national project of its kind.


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.

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

Latin should be taught in every state primary school, says leading academic

22 September 2016 (The Independent)

Latin and Classics should be taught in every primary school and not limited to the middle and upper classes, a leading academic has said.

Professor Dennis Hayes, an expert from the University of Derby and Chair of the College of Education Research Committee, has warned that Latin and ancient Greek along with modern languages are in danger of becoming “the preserve of public schools”.


Promoting Excellence in Sign Language Instruction

21 September 2016 (ECML)

The ProSign 2 project Promoting Excellence in Sign Language Instruction aims to raise the profile of sign language (SL) teachers in Europe and to support them in their efforts to achieve excellence in their teaching, both content-wise and didactically.

PRO-Sign 2's goal is to disseminate high quality materials aligned to the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) and to facilitate the exchange and strengthening of expertise amongst Europe's sign language teachers to support them in their work and to raise the quality of sign language teaching and learning.

Find out more on the ECML website.


UK-German FLA/ELA Ambassadors

21 September 2016 (UK-German Connection)

Applications for the UK-German Connection's FLA/ELA Ambassador network 2016-17 are now open.

The FLA/ELA Ambassadors are a network of language assistants who are working in schools in the UK and Germany. They run small projects, activities, events or clubs in order to inspire and motivate young people in their schools for the language and culture of the other country.

FLA/ELA Ambassadors run at least one project within their school or in conjunction with other schools in the area. The project is bilateral, run either with a partner Ambassador from the other country, or with an existing partner school. The aims are to enable young people to have direct, meaningful contact with young people in the other country and to make lessons come to life through active involvement in a UK-German partnership.

To find out more about the scheme and previous Ambassador projects which have taken place, visit the UK-German Connection website and apply by 14 October 2016.


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.


Erasmus+ information sessions: Autumn 2016 series

19 September 2016 (Erasmus+)

Erasmus+ will be holding a series of free half-day information sessions in 6 venues across the UK.

The sessions are for any organisation in the UK working in the sectors of education, training, youth or sport. These events will provide an overview of the funding opportunities available under Erasmus+ in 2017, and are primarily intended for newcomers to the programme.

There will be a session in Glasgow on Wednesday 2 November 2016.

For information on all the locations and to register your place, visit the Erasmus+ website.


Chryston HS part of the Smart Choice: German Network

19 September 2016 (Chryston High School)

Chryston High School has now been named as the first Scottish school on the Goethe Institut’s Smart Choice: German network.

The network recognises the school’s commitment to German as a foreign language and the support that the school offers to our feeder primary schools.

Part of the project involves setting up a digital network which will allow us to strengthen our partnership with our feeder primary schools while promoting the benefits of learning German.


Related Links

The Smart Choice: German - Schools' Network - Goethe-Institut website containing information about the network and how schools can get involved.

Deutsch mit Karla and Kai

9 September 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

‘Deutsch mit Karla & Kai’ is a scheme of work that follows on from the ‘Deutsch mit Felix & Franzi’ programme. It is intended for children who have finished two years of German at primary level, having had around 40 minutes of German per week.

‘Deutsch mit Karla & Kai’ consists of 6 chapters, each of which opens with a video clip. The films introduce the new learning and teaching content in a playful way. The learners will already have a basic knowledge of German. They will therefore be able to access completely new structures and vocabulary in the context of the stories.

Access the resource on the Goethe-Institut website.


Pupils across England start intensive lessons in Mandarin

7 September 2016 (UK Government)

A new £10 million Mandarin excellence programme will see at least 5,000 young people on track towards fluency in Mandarin Chinese by 2020.

Hundreds of secondary school pupils in England have already begun intensive lessons in Mandarin Chinese as the first initiative of its kind is rolled out across the country.

Secondary school pupils will study Mandarin for 8 hours a week over the course of the next 4 years through the programme - a significant increase on the time pupils currently spend on the subject.

Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world, and is seen as important for young people in the UK to master in order for the country to remain globally competitive in the future.


Launch of ELTon Awards Nominations 2017

6 September 2016 (British Council)

The British Council is calling for worldwide nominations for its 2017 ELTons award scheme which recognises innovation in English language teaching.

The annual awards are into their fifteenth year and celebrate innovation and excellence in different aspects of English language teaching (ELT) around the world.

Any ELT professional can apply for consideration for one of the categories including authors, teachers, trainers and publishers.

The deadline for submissions is 4 November 2016 and a shortlist will be drawn up by March 2017.

Visit the British Council website for more information and to download an application pack.


ALL Language Teacher of the Year Awards 2017

5 September 2016 (ALL)

Calling all head teachers, heads of department, language coordinators and ALL primary hub leaders!

Do you know a very special primary or secondary language teacher?

If you know a teacher who inspires pupils through superb teaching and supports colleagues by sharing their expertise and ideas, then why not nominate them for an Association for Language Learning (ALL) Language Teacher of the Year Award 2017?

Now open to teachers throughout the UK.

Visit the ALL website for full details and submit your nomination by Friday 21 October 2016.


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!


Funding for Japanese Language Education Projects held in the UK

1 September 2016 (Japan Foundation)

Institutions can apply for up to £3000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which promote Japanese language education in the UK. We prioritise projects that fit into one of the three following categories:

  • Introducing Japanese into the school curriculum
  • Supporting formal Japanese courses and qualifications
  • Japanese clubs
The next funding application deadline is 16 September 2016.

For more information about the programme and how to apply, visit the Japan Foundation website.


Residential training courses in Germany 2017

30 August 2016 (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.

Available are language courses, courses on "Landeskunde", methodology and teaching strategies and also courses for teacher trainers.

Apply now for a scholarship from the Goethe-Institut Glasgow. Deadline for applications is 15 October 2016.

Details and application form are available on the Goethe-Institut website.


Every language matters

26 August 2016 (TES)

We need to spread the word about our subject's worth.

If ever we needed to extend our world view and encourage young people to value languages, that time is now. The message that every language is important is more relevant than ever, whether that is learning a new language or developing one that you speak at home.

Read the full article in TES online, 26 August 2016, pages 44-45 - the piece also includes some resource suggestions. (Subscription required).


PG Cert Streap: Gaelic Medium Education

26 August 2016 (University of Aberdeen)

Applications are now invited for a limited number of places remaining on Streap, the Postgraduate Teaching Certificate for teachers of GME, commencing in September 2016.

This part-time programme is fully funded by the Scottish Government.

For more information, visit the University of Aberdeen website.


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.


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)

European Language Gazette

19 August 2016 (ECML)

The latest issue of the European Language Gazette is now available on the ECML website. This edition has a focus on European Day of Languages. The publication is available in English and French


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.


Host a teacher from Germany 2016-17

18 August 2016 (UK-German Connection)

Add an international dimension to your classroom by hosting a teacher from Germany for two or three weeks. It's free, flexible and provides schools with authentic cultural input.

Schools have until 21 September 2016 to apply.

For more information about the scheme and to apply, visit the UK-German Connection website.


Calendar of UK-German opportunities 2016-17

18 August 2016 (UK-German Connection)

Plan ahead for the new school year with this at-a-glance overview of UK-German opportunities and deadlines, now available on the UK-German Connection website.


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.


Boosting foreign language GCSE entries is not the way to improve our country’s language skills – but there is a better way, insists David Harbourne

27 July 2016 (Schools Week)

The Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, wants 90% of 16-year-olds to take a foreign language GCSE.

In a recent House of Commons debate on the EBacc, he said this is necessary because “some 77% of employers say that they need more employees with foreign languages”. I take the figure with a pinch of salt, because this would mean over 3.8 million employers are clamouring for better language skills – frankly, I don’t believe it.

Nevertheless, I am instinctively in favour of languages for all. I did French O-level at school and scraped a pass. I learned French properly when I had the chance to live and work in Paris, and became a convert to the cause.

However, I’m emphatically not in favour of Nick Gibb’s crude target.


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.


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!

Language Assistant adds Spanish flavour to Central Scotland

20 June 2016 (British Council)

In 1989 Mark Milarvie worked as an English Language Assistant in Spain. Now, he is the Principal Teacher of Modern Languages at St Margaret’s High School, North Lanarkshire and has over 20 years’ experience teaching foreign languages. This year he is working with Rafael, a Spanish university student and Modern Language Assistant. Rafael’s time is split between St Margaret’s High School and one of the local feeder primary schools. He is very active in both, helping to enhance the curriculum, and implement the 1+2 language policy.

Read more on the British Council website where you can also find out how to apply to host a language assistant in your school.


How to…support new EAL learners

17 June 2016 (TESS)

Teachers are dealing with increasing numbers of new arrivals to the UK, so here's a guide to ensure every learner with English as an additional language can succeed.

Read the full article in TESS online, 17 June 2016, page 32-33 (subscription required).


LanguageStrathclyde: A conversation about Language Learning

17 June 2016 (SCILT)

SCILT, Scotland's National Centre for Languages and the School of Education, University of Strathclyde hosted an afternoon of seminars led by language practitioners, students and academics on various strands of language learning including bilingualism, motivation and translanguaging.

SCILT has used Storify to summarise the discussions from the day. Visit our Storify page for a flavour of the event.


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.


Competition for teachers: 'Deutsch für dich' in the classroom

15 June 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut is looking for the best ideas on how to use the 'Deutsch für dich' community in class. Teachers, take part in the competition and win an iPad!

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and submit your ideas by 30 June 2016.

If you're not already familiar with the Deutsch für dich resource, find this and other packages on the Goethe-Institut website to help learners practice German free of charge.


The Smart Choice: German schools' network

15 June 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

This opportunity is currently not available.

Just published - Issue no. 31 of the European Language Gazette

15 June 2016 (ECML)

The latest edition of the ECML's European Language Gazette is now available and can be accessed, in English and French, via the ECML website.


Host a Teacher from Germany 2016-17 - deadline approaching

13 June 2016 (UK-German Connection)

Add an international dimension to your classroom by hosting a teacher from Germany. Schools can now apply to host a teacher from Germany for two or three weeks. Application deadline: 21 September 2016*

* Please note: If you're planning to host a teacher in the autumn term, please make sure that your application reaches UK-German Connection before the end of the summer term.

For more information about the scheme and to apply, visit the UK-German Connection website.


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.


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.


An effective way to kick start primary languages

7 June 2016 (ilanguages)

In September 2014 KS2 modern language teaching became compulsory in English primaries for children from the age of 7. Given that the vast majority of primary teachers are not trained or confident linguists this has been a challenge for many schools; especially as the new curriculum requires considerable learner progress in the four years leading up to secondary school.

Juliet Park and Wendy Adeniji, practising teachers and nationally renowned trainers and authors of creative resources decided to develop a scheme of work which would support teachers of all linguistic abilities. Additionally, they wanted to ensure that teachers had a comprehensive set of integrated resources which would work in harmony and be easy to follow.

The resources include pedagogical approaches which were presented at the language show in Glasgow in March such as Kagan co operative learner and Talk4Writing. These approaches raise engagement and also literacy levels and are equally useful to other areas of the curriculum.

The packs also include two effective approaches to teaching French and Spanish phonics, a key element for improving learner confidence in pronunciation and making the sound spelling link. Songs have also been embedded into the scheme from the Aberdeen based company The Language Factory.

To ensure children can get further practice between lessons, an app to support the scheme is being launched in the autumn.

The reaction from teachers using the ilanguages resources has been overwhelming and it is fast becoming the scheme of choice in England.

Helen Walker from Hursthead school says ‘my learners have made double the progress than in the past and I am an experienced teacher’

Richard Williams from High Lane school commented that he is a complete beginner in French but he ‘can rely on the resources do the talking because it’s such a user friendly scheme’.

Teachers can download free starter packs from the ilanguages website.

Juliet and Wendy are now looking to set up regional hubs in Scotland to support teachers in the 1+2 initiative. This will include expert training on the delivery of French and Spanish to regional networks and access to free resources.

If you would like to become a regional hub to support your local network please contact Juliet on First come first served! 

Find out more about ilanguages and what they can offer to primary and secondary schools on their website.


Visit China with Chinese Bridge for UK schools

6 June 2016 (British Council)

Are you interested in encouraging the teaching and learning of Mandarin in your school?

Chinese Bridge is offering an exciting opportunity for school leaders, heads of languages, and local authorities. If you want to invest in your own professional development, link with a school in China, or encourage teaching Mandarin and Chinese culture in school, this Hanban funded visit could be just what you need.

Travel, accommodation and expenses in China will be covered by the programme, but schools must pay for their own flights.

Successful applicants will be offered a place on a week’s visit to China from 22- 29 October 2016 and will be invited to take part in a pre-departure briefing to prepare for the visit.

Only 60 places are available, so visit the British Council Schools Online website to find out more and make sure you apply online by 12 noon on 7 July.


MOOC: Multilingual Learning for a Globalised World

3 June 2016 (Future Learn)

This free 3-week online course, commencing 13 June 2016, will explore multilingual education and how it can impact and improve education and even wider society.

Our languages are an essential part of who we are as human beings. They are instruments of communication and are often a source of dignity and of human pride. Our life experiences and views of the world are bound up in our languages.

In week 3 you can hear about the Mother Tongue Other Tongue multilingual poetry competition, where school pupils are invited to express themselves either in the language they speak at home or in one they are learning at school, and which will be run again in Scotland by SCILT in the new term.

For more information about the course and to enrol, visit the Future Learn website.


The UK-German Bears project - apply now to host Alex and Ben

3 June 2016 (UK-German Connection)

Alex and Ben, our UK-German bears, are preparing for their travels again and can't wait to find out who they'll visit next! We can match you up with a German partner school to work with on this fun, interactive three-week project for primary children, which helps them learn about each other's language and culture.

Find out more about the project and available hosting dates on the UK-German Bears website.

UK-German Connection offers a variety of funded activities including professional development opportunities for teachers to visit Germany, the chance to host a German teacher at your school, as well as a Youth Ambassadors programme for young people interested in German language and culture.  See the calendar of opportunities available on the UK-German Connection website for full details.


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.


LACS: Empowering language networks

2 June 2016 (ECML)

The LACS (Language associations and collaborative support) network mediates between ECML projects and language teacher associations and other networks at regional and national levels. Its purpose is to raise awareness of existing ECML projects and resources, and to motivate teachers and others involved in language education to adapt these to their local environment, in order to facilitate widespread impact on learning and teaching.

Discover the searchable online directory of language associations and organisations and how it can be used on the ECML LACS website, along with guidelines and examples of using ECML resources in different contexts.


Funding for Japanese Language Education Projects held in the UK

1 June 2016 (Japan Foundation)

Institutions can apply for up to £3000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which promote Japanese language education in the UK. We prioritise projects that fit into one of the three following categories:

  • Introducing Japanese into the school curriculum
  • Supporting formal Japanese courses and qualifications
  • Japanese clubs

The next funding application deadline is 17 June 2016.

For more information about the programme and how to apply, visit the Japan Foundation website.


Schools say au revoir to languages, while universities proclaim Guten Tag

31 May 2016 (The Guardian)

Universities are offering languages such as French and German from scratch to counteract the decline of modern foreign languages at A-level.


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.


New ECML publications and websites now available

27 May 2016 (ECML)

The results of 14 projects from the Learning through languages programme are now available online. A summary of these rich resources and websites is presented in the online brochure, offering
  • a brief description of each resource, including the key target audience;
  • the languages in which each resource is available;
  • the thematic area on the ECML website where each resource has been located.
Over the coming weeks the results from each of the projects will also be showcased individually on the ECML website.


The benefits of teaching languages outdoors

24 May 2016 (Innovate my school)

In the beginning, human beings were not designed to spend hours each day surrounded by brick walls. They were naturally programmed for survival, for the great outdoors with its unpredictability, and each day provided naturally occurring learning opportunities which were a necessity if our ancient ancestors were to survive. 

[..] Combining language learning with being outside, enjoying nature and teaching the use of natural resources and the local environment around learners makes for a stimulating, enriching opportunity. This is relevant to the context of a school or community, and which can be developed and linked to a much wider global context. One very effective way to do this in Scotland, and beyond, is by combining language learning with the John Muir Award.


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.


Football and German - Materials for your German classroom

23 May 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

Popular events like the European Football Championship 2016 provide ample opportunities for motivating young learners. The Goethe-Institutes in France have developed some practice materials for the German classroom suitable for various levels and ready for kick off.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website to download the free resources.


Schadenfreude and déjà-vu: Reasons to learn languages 2

12 May 2016 (TES)

So you’ve told them what the point is. And why it matters. Then some bright spark who thinks adults have made rather a mess of things says: ‘But wouldn’t it be more sensible if we all spoke the same language?’ Prompting someone else to chime in: ‘Yeah, why didn’t the people who invented language just stick with one?’

Once again, this is a gift. Not least to the biblically minded: never will there be a better opportunity to rehearse the story of Babel, and to reinforce the point that yes, had we humans been a better-behaved bunch, and not cheeked our teachers so much in our infancy, then no, maybe the nightmarish multiplicity of languages would not have been visited upon us as some kind of torturous punishment. Which is how some youngsters with a penchant for melodrama like to perceive it.

More fruitfully, there is the chance to reflect on how language works. To dispatch any notion of a benevolent deity bestowing a fully-fledged fully-functioning language upon the world (even the Book of Genesis has Adam doing the job in a rather tentative, experimental way), and to consider instead the way language evolves organically alongside the humans who use it.


Film producer aims to raise questions about language in the classroom

11 May 2016 (The Herald)

There are 72 indigenous languages spoken in Zambia. In the classroom, however, pupils are taught in none of them. As a new Scottish film, The Colours of the Alphabet, reveals, English is the language of education in the country.

Current estimates suggest that nearly 40 per cent of the world’s population lack access to education in their own language. It is a problem that is increasingly felt in Scotland too as the country becomes increasingly multicultural.

In Zambia, the film’s Scottish producer Nick Higgins points out, teaching in English is something of a colonial hangover. It also is a result of an impoverished education system that can’t afford to produce material in indigenous languages. But he hopes the film will also raise questions about our own attitudes towards language in schools in Scotland and beyond.


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.


eTwinning improves teachers' cross-curricular skills and much more!

4 May 2016 (eTwinning)

A recent survey carried out as part of the eTwinning project, which celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2015, shows incredibly positive results about its impact on the teachers' community. An overwhelming majority of the project's participants say that it has helped them improve their skills in various different areas.

eTwinning is, evidently, affecting teachers’ professional practice and development substantially. More than 90 per cent of the 6,000 teachers who participated in the survey said eTwinning had improved their competence in teaching transversal skills. In other words, team work, creativity, problem-solving and decision-making.

What’s more, 89 per cent of the teachers reported that their foreign language skills for teaching and project-based teaching skills were improved due to the eTwinning community. 80 per cent said that they were better prepared for multicultural and multilingual scenarios after joining eTwinning projects.


Related Links

eTwinning online training, workshops and courses - information about webinars and short online sessions taking place between May and June 2016.

Burscough Village Primary celebrate eTwinning Day (eTwinning UK, 11 May 2016) - Year 5 pupils from the school tell in this video what eTwinning means to them.

eTwinning webinar training May 2016

3 May 2016 (eTwinning)

Want to get started on your eTwinning journey? The following two webinar sessions will help you find out all you need to know.

  • Step 1 - Finding your eTwinning partner (17 May, 4.30-5.30pm)
  • Step 2 - Starting your eTwinning project (19 May, 4.30-5.30pm)

Visit the webinar website to find out more and sign up for one or both of the sessions.

For more information about eTwinning generally and see example projects, visit the British Council's eTwinning website.


German for children - films in lessons

2 May 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

Children love films. They ensure variety and entertainment in lessons – and support the learning process. What should teachers look out for when they use them in lessons? Here are some tips and practical examples.


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.


Colours of the Alphabet screenings in Scotland

29 April 2016 (Colours of the Alphabet)

Liz Lochhead will be launching the Scottish preview tour of 'Colours of the Alphabet' at the GFT on 11 May and taking part in a post screening discussion on the relationship between language and childhood with director Alastair Cole and producer Nick Higgins.

The launch event will mark the opening night of a run of 11 screenings and discussions across Scotland during which the filmmakers and guest contributors will discuss the issue of mother-tongue education and the impact of teaching additional languages in primary schools.

Visit the website for a full list of dates and venues and to secure your tickets. Places are limited.


The Language Magician - German for children

28 April 2016 (Goethe-Institut)

One of the main aims of this Erasmus+ project is to develop an assessment tool to be used in primary schools called THE LANGUAGE MAGICIAN. The game will be fun for the children, build on their language and IT-skills and provide information on their progression. It will support teachers by giving them a tool to assess their pupils’ abilities using non-threatening testing methods and hopefully also increase the enjoyment of learning a foreign language at this age.

The project is still under development, but visit the Goethe-Institut website to find out more.


Ojalá and Adiós: Reasons to learn languages

28 April 2016 (TES)

'Why bother?', they ask. 'Everyone speaks English anyway.' Or worse still: 'What's the point? I'm never going to go to France/Germany/Spain/Argentina.'

There isn't a language teacher in the land who hasn't been confronted with these truculent questions, usually at some critical transitional moment when whichever child it is has started taking too much notice of his or her parents (or possibly Jeremy Paxman). Younger children tend to be more open-minded and inclusive.

It's a gift actually: an open door to serious discussion. And the great thing is, there are so many compelling answers.


Speaking your language blog

25 April 2016 (SCILT)

Speaking your language is a new blog showcasing current classroom practice. The first post from Dalmarnock Primary School highlights the importance of:

  • having lots of staff who have undertaken language upskilling,
  • celebrating the cultural diversity of the school community, and
  • learning about the culture(s) as well as the language
Read their entry on our new blog now.


German Teacher Award 2016

25 April 2016 (German Embassy)

If you know a truly outstanding German teacher at your school – make sure that their dedication and excellence get the recognition they deserve!

The German Embassy is pleased to invite nominations for the annual German Teacher Award, now in its 13th successful year.  Further information on the nomination process and selection criteria is available on their website as well as on the documents attached. 

Please note, only head teachers can make a nomination.  Submissions from German teachers themselves or their pupils will not be accepted.

The deadline for nominations is 1 May 2016.


Community languages saved to ensure diverse curriculum continues

22 April 2016 (UK Government)

Government action means GCSEs and A levels in a range of community languages such as Panjabi, Portuguese and Japanese are to continue to ensure young people can carry on studying a diverse range of foreign languages.

The news, announced today (22 April 2016) by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, marks a significant step for the government in its efforts to extend opportunity to young people and equip them with the skills they need in what is an increasingly global economy.

It follows a government commitment in 2015 to protect a number of language GCSEs and A levels after the exam boards announced that from 2017 they would be withdrawing several courses. In May 2015, the Secretary of State for Education wrote to the exam boards during the pre-election period to convey her concern about their decisions to stop offering GCSEs and A levels in certain languages.


Related Links

Community languages continue as vital part of our curriculum (Speak to the Future, 22 April 2016)

Nicky Morgan: How we are reversing Labour’s failure to teach modern languages in Britain

22 April 2016 (Conservative Home)

As Education Secretary, and as a Conservative, I am passionate about making sure every child can access a great education. We have more pupils than ever before in good or outstanding schools, but I want to go further and make sure that every single child can fulfil their potential.

 That commitment includes making sure that children study a range of core subjects, including foreign languages. The ability to speak and understand a foreign language isn’t just a skill that is valued by employers: it helps pupils understand different cultures and countries, broadening horizons and preparing them to succeed in an increasingly globalised world.

After all, one of Britain’s strengths is its rich and diverse society. Ensuring young people have the opportunity to study the widest range of languages is integral to that. I want every child to have that chance – regardless of their background, gender or race.


Have your say on the SCILT CLPL menu for 2016/17

21 April 2016 (SCILT)

Here at SCILT we are always striving to provide relevant and instructive career long professional learning opportunities for teachers and educators across Scotland. 

In light of this we have created an online evaluation where we are asking teachers, development officers and others to provide feedback on our CLPL menu for the 2015/16 session.

We have contacted a random selection of people who have attended or organised one of our CLPL sessions since September and asked them to complete the evaluation. However the evaluation is open to anyone, and if you would like to have your say on what the SCILT CLPL menu for 2016/17 should offer then follow the 'Read more' link below to complete the evaluation. 

The evaluation will be available online until Friday 29th April:

Thank you in advance for your time.


Summer courses for UK teachers of Spanish

20 April 2016 (Consejería de Educación)

The Spanish Embassy Education Office offers 11 grants for summer courses in Santander (Spain), aimed at teachers of Spanish in the UK.

These grants are awarded by the Ministry of Education of Spain in collaboration with Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (UIMP), and cover course fees, materials, accommodation, meals and activities (journey not included).

If you are interested, please apply from 18 April to 2 May 2016 by following the instructions on the website.


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.


The Languages Trends Survey 2016

18 April 2016 (British Council / Education Development Trust)

Teachers have expressed 'deep concerns' about the current state of language learning in schools in England, according to a new report from the British Council and Education Development Trust.

The Language Trends Survey 2016 - now in its fourteenth year - identifies numerous challenges currently facing language teaching in England and highlights that teachers and school leaders see the exam system as one of the principal barriers preventing its successful development.

[...]The Language Trends Survey 2015/16 is the 14th in a series of annual research exercises, charting the state of language teaching and learning in schools in England. The research is based on an online survey completed by teachers in 492 state secondary schools, 556 state primary schools and 132 independent secondary schools across the country. This year, case studies from both primary and secondary schools have been included to provide a more detailed picture of what is happening on the ground.


How with primary as a secondary MFL teacher

15 April 2016 (TESS)

Teaching younger pupils may seem daunting at first, but it is both affirmative and fun.

See the full article in TESS online, 15 April 2016, page 38-39 (subscription required).


Robots teach Germany's refugees a foreign language

2 April 2016 (Deutsche-Welle)

Fancy learning a new language from a robot? As Europe struggles to integrate the largest influx of refugees since the end of WWII, scientists have designed a robot that can interact with children learning German.


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.


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).


Welsh footballers help pupils go global

23 March 2016 (Welsh Government)

Players from the Wales National Football team have been doing their bit to help pupils concentrate on their modern foreign languages lessons by launching a new learning resource pack linked to this year’s Euros.

The educational resources have been produced as part of the Welsh Government’s Global Futures plan which aims to improve and promote modern foreign languages in Wales.

The Euros-based resources have been published on Hwb, the digital learning platform for schools, so teachers can capitalise on their pupil’s excitement in the run up to June’s tournament, and use the packs to promote the importance and relevance of modern foreign languages.


Summer courses in France for French teachers and teacher trainers

21 March 2016 (CLA)

The Centre de Linguistique Appliquée (CLA) in France offers summer pedagogical training courses during July and August for French teachers and teacher trainers.

There are six different courses available, each designed to encourage exchange of ideas and networking.

The courses qualify for Erasmus+ funding. 

More information about the programmes on offer can be found on the attached pdf files or by visiting the CLA website.


Related Files

3,500 more language teachers needed for EBacc to work

20 March 2016 (Schools Week)

Nearly 3,500 extra language teachers must be found to meet the government’s demand that modern foreign languages are included in the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), an almost 40 per cent increase on the number first announced by data experts.

Every pupil who started year 7 last September is now expected to study English, maths, science, history or geography and a modern foreign language (MFL) until they are 16.

The government wants 90 per cent of pupils to sit these subjects. Currently, just 39 per cent do.

Last June, Schools Week revealed nearly 2,500 “missing” language teachers were needed to meet the government’s EBacc manifesto pledge.

The revised figure of 3,500 more staff was released by research body Education Datalab last Friday. It also revealed that an extra 15,000 classrooms are needed to cope with the bulge of pupils entering schools in the coming years.


Gaelic Virtual School for Scotland

18 March 2016 (Stornoway Gazette)

Bòrd na Gàidhlig today announced funding to support the creation of a Gaelic virtual school for Scotland, E-Sgoil.

The announcement was made by the Cathraiche of Bòrd na Gàidhlig at the National Gaelic Language Plan 2017-2022 Seminar in Edinburgh to open discussions on the creation of the 3rd National Plan for Gaelic.

E-Sgoil will look to design and develop an online learning environment that will provide connectivity initially, between all secondary schools throughout the Western Isles and beyond.

It will provide greater quality of subject access, vocational choices and learning opportunities across Gaelic medium secondary schools nationally.


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!

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!


LFEE Europe launching its new blog

10 March 2016 (LFEE)

Our super trainee, Chiara Mazzeo, has been working hard to produce a simple and creative blog which will keep you updated with all our activities (Immersion Courses, training sessions, events, achievements, deadlines, news), as well as our tweets, pictures and videos.

You can use the blog to move easily between the Powerlanguage (PLL online French course) and the LFEE websites, our You Tube Channel, and the other social networks. It’s easy: just go to and explore! Don’t forget to leave a comment to let us know what you think and… share to your heart's content! We look forward to hearing from you on the blog! You can also read feedback from teachers who signed up for our PLL online French course in the 'news' section of the blog and can contact should you require any further information about the course.


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.


New ECML projects

8 March 2016 (ECML)

2016 sees the start of two new projects run by the ECML. Follow the relevant links for more information.

  • 'Digital literacy for the teaching/ learning of languages' - started in January 2016 and will run until December 2018. In response to the shortage of teacher training opportunities in digital literacy across Europe, the project provides a basis for a teaching methodology which integrates digital technologies. This will be done through a range of online interactions for teachers, plus a critical use of digital tools and resources to develop language and intercultural skills.
  • 'Languages at the heart of learning' (2016-19) - along with a new 'Language for Work' project with the focus being on the professional development of practitioners involved in work‐related language learning for adult migrants including refugees and ethnic minorities, who are often facing language difficulties by the integration into the labour market. The project creates tools and resources to support teachers, teacher educators, providers and other actors in the field.

Find out more about the ECML and their range of activities on their website or via their most recent newsletter, the European Language Gazette 30 - February/March 2016..


How to…teach a trilingual primary curriculum

4 March 2016 (TES)

Blending English, Thai and Mandarin Chinese into a seamless experience.

(Read the full article on pages 44-45 of TES online - subscription required).


Summer courses in Germany

4 March 2016 (UK-German Connection)

Only a week to go until the application deadline for UK-German Connection's funded summer courses in Germany!

Visit the website to find out more about the options available, check eligibility criteria and to apply by 10 March 2016:

  • German Pupil Courses - two-week courses in Germany during July or August for UK secondary pupils studying German.  Find out what one pupil has to say about the German Pupil Courses in the video 'Rachel's experiences'.
  • German Pupil Courses Group Leaders - 3 posts available for qualified UK teachers with experience of teaching German up to GCSE/S5 or A Level/S6 to lead groups on the GPC.
  • German Scholarships Programme - a four-week programme for senior pupils to spend in Germany during July or August to improve their language and learn more about the German culture.


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.


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

Job opportunity for Scottish teachers in China

18 February 2016 (CISS)

The school principal of the newly built Suzhou Experimental School which is affiliated to Nanjing Normal University has asked for our assistance in recruiting at least one Foreign Teacher of English. The school sees it as crucial to the quality of their English Language teaching effort to employ a native English speaker as part of their team and is very keen to recruit a suitable person from any sector who has had experience of the Scottish education system.

In addition to a full competitive salary calibrated to be commensurate with expectations in Scotland, they would provide: on-site accommodation of a very high standard; all meals; and airfares to and from UK. The school would expect the successful candidate to commit to a two year contract; starting date open to negotiation.

Please note your interest with Natasha Bowman before 29 February 2016

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.


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.


Mind your language! Teacher takes on Government over cuts to foreign language budget

10 February 2016 (Cambridge News)

A petition launched by a Cambridgeshire teacher to save the provision of languages teaching in schools is closing in on its target of 10,000 signatures.

Language teacher Jane Driver is calling on the Government not to cut funding for the Routes into Languages (RiL) organisation, which is due to stop in July.

Ms Driver, of Godmanchester, has said it is vital RiL continues to be funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and her petition has now been signed by 7,500 people.

She said: "Unlike other organisations, they [RiL] work together with schools and teachers to develop collaborative projects aimed at promoting language-learning at GCSE and beyond.

"The ability to speak another language is a skill that is in high-demand by UK businesses, who are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit UK residents with foreign language skills.

"We have a shortage of linguists – businesses are desperate for people with languages. It's not the right time for the government not to re-fund this project."


North-east councillors assert commitment to Doric… and Mandarin

5 February 2016 (The Press and Journal)

Aberdeenshire councillors have cemented their commitment to both the region’s native dialect – and a far Eastern tongue.

Both Doric and the Chinese language of Mandarin have been earmarked as priorities in Aberdeenshire’s schools.

Councillors were given an update on the implementation of the “one and two languages initiative” across Aberdeenshire Council’s schools at yesterday’s education, learning and leisure committee.

The progress of the scheme – which ensures that youngster learn two languages in addition to their mother tongue – was hailed by councillors.


Ditch boring old textbooks and bring languages to life

29 January 2016 (TESS)

Children aren't happy just learning the days of the week - give them the vocabulary for topics that excite them.

(page 39, TESS online - subscription required to access).


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.


French courses in Glasgow

28 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.


LLAS e-learning symposium 2016

26 January 2016 (LLAS)

Recordings from the LLAS e-learning symposium held on 21-22 January 2016 are now available online.


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).


J-Basic online Japanese course for teachers!

22 January 2016 (Japan Foundation)

J-Basic Online for Teachers, the online course for teachers with a basic level of Japanese will close permanently on 30 June 2016. Applications for all stages will be accepted until 31 March 2016.

This online course is for teachers with a basic level of Japanese who would like to build up their language skills. Through the course, you will develop a basic working knowledge of Japanese grammatical structures and build up your confidence and skills in using Japanese effectively in your classroom.

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information and to enrol.


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.


Dyslexia and Foreign Language Teaching - free online course

12 January 2016 (FutureLearn)

Registration is now open for this online course commencing 18 April.

This free online course is designed for current and trainee teachers of additional languages. It offers you practical tools, as well as theoretical insights, to best accommodate and meet the needs of students with dyslexia in foreign or second language classes.

The course gives an up-to-date overview of current theoretical knowledge about the nature of dyslexia and how it affects the learning of additional languages.

You will learn about a variety of useful techniques, including recent computer-assisted tools, which you can take into your classroom, to help students with dyslexia in acquiring another language.

Sign up on the FutureLearn website.


European Language Gazette (December 2015)

11 January 2016 (ECML)

The latest edition of the ECML's European Language Gazette is now available.

The newsletter provides news about the ECML's events, projects and resources, the Language Policy Unit and other relevant sectors of the Council of Europe as well as their partners. It focuses on national developments in the field of language education in the member states and beyond.

Access French and English versions of the bulletin on the ECML website.


German Educational Trainees Across Borders 2016/17

7 January 2016 (SCILT)

Expressions of interest are now being taken from local authorities who would like to host a German student teacher for a 6 month placement during the 2016-17 school session.

German trainee teachers from Universities in Mainz, Leipzig and Koblenz are available to work in Scottish schools for a six month placement from September/October 2016 to March/April 2017. Participating students are native German speakers, training to become secondary teachers of English. 

German Educational Trainees (GETs) help to boost language learning and intercultural dialogue in schools whilst providing an invaluable opportunity to enhance their classroom practice.

For more information please see attached the 'GET Flyer' and 'GET_2016_Information Sheet'. 

Local authorities interested in hosting GETs should complete and return the Note of Interest form by Friday 29th January.  

Related Files

Leadership Award Gaelic Education

7 January 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 26 and 27 February 2016.

For more information and to enrol see Education Scotland's learning blog.


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.


REMINDER - Immersion courses for teachers in France and Spain – Apply now

5 January 2016 (LFEE)

LFEE Europe has been an international course provider since 2002, delivering expert professional development training for primary teachers. Our Immersion Courses in France and Spain match all criteria set by the EU for “professional development courses for school teachers and staff”.

Our training programmes provide a balanced combination of language, methodology and cultural activities, delivered in the target and have been created specifically for primary and secondary teachers. You can download our brochure.

Funding for all our courses is available through the European Union Erasmus+ Programme. More than one teacher can apply from a school and successful schools will receive a grant from their Erasmus+ National Agency of up to 2,165€ per teacher*. The total cost of our one-week course (course registration and tuition fees, accommodation and subsistence fees) is 1,700€, which leaves up to 465€ for travel expenses.

Places are still available and applications have to be submitted before 2 February 2016 to the UK Erasmus+ National Agency. Places are allocated on a first come first served basis so interested participants must contact us as soon as possible to check availability/reserve a place.

For further information, you can download our brochure and watch a short video describing our courses on our website


How short films are encouraging more pupils to study languages

13 December 2015 (TES)

Despite huge demand for employees who speak multiple languages (Baroness Jean Coussins, chair of All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages, stated in 2014 that the UK economy was losing up to £48 billion worth of contracts each year due to a lack of language skills among employees), fewer students are choosing to pursue MFL subjects at A-level or degree level. How can we turn this around?

The BFI suggests the key may be short films. Over the past two years, the charity has run the Screening Languages project, involving 19 schools, 27 teachers and about 800 students.


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


CPD workshops for primary teachers in 2016

9 December 2015 (Alliance française)

The Alliance Française de Glasgow will be running 10 CPD workshops for primary school teachers between February and April 2016.

Visit the website for full programme details and to enrol by 29 January 2016.


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.


MTOT blog

2 December 2015 (SCILT)

In the latest MTOT blogpost we share 10 fun poetry ideas.


British Council news

30 November 2015 (British Council Schools Online)

The British Council has a number of resources and partnership working opportunities they offer to schools in the UK.  Below are some of their forthcoming developments with a language or international element which may be of interest to teachers:

  • Shakespeare lives - Designed as a cross-curricular activity pack which could also be part of project with a partner school overseas, this resource will be available mid-December and will be available in Welsh, Chinese and Arabic.
  • Teaching the core skills - In today’s globalised world children not only need to be able to communicate and collaborate; they also need to be prepared to do so interculturally, in diverse and often multilingual settings. More information about teaching the communication and collaboration module can be accessed on page 14 of the brochure: Unlocking a world of potential. Sign up to Schools Online to access the training package.
  • Employ a language assistant in Scottish schools - Employing a British Council Language Assistant is a unique way to broaden your pupils' understanding of the world, improve their language skills and increase their cultural awareness. See the online video. Applications open 4 January 2016.
  • International School Award (ISA) - Read about Portlethen Academy's cross-curricular project which took them to France and earned them an ISA in recognition of the global dimension of their work.

Task Based Language Teaching Survey

30 November 2015 (PETALL)

The SCILT e-bulletin of 12 November carried information about a project involving modern foreign languages and ICT. The University of the West of Scotland’s School of Education is involved in this innovative project which has the acronym PETALL (Pan European Task Activities for Language Learning. It is funded by the European Commission and involves 10 European Universities working jointly to create, trial and evaluate activities for modern foreign languages classrooms which are ‘task based’. Exactly what constitutes a ‘task based’ lesson or series of lessons is wide ranging. The key element, however, is that it should involve a language activity which is communicative, has a real-life connection and which has an end product or outcome.

By way of example, some of the tasks created by the consortium include tasks such as buying a house, making a documentary using Windows moviemaker or iMovie, planning a visit to a town abroad, poor party – rich party, presenting you town, webquests on energy issues, creating a wiki, creating animations using free software such as Voki or Go-animate, creating a Blog, using on-line dictionaries, uploading short videos to YouTube and so on.

Eventually all the tasks created by the project team will be freely available on the project website. For more information about the project visit the PETALL website.

The project team is conducting an international on-line survey on teachers’ awareness of a TBLT approach and invite all teachers involved in MFL to take part in a short survey. The survey takes no more than 10 minutes to complete. Your participation would be greatly appreciated.


French language resources from the Institut français d'Ecosse

25 November 2015 (Institut français)

The Institut français d'Ecosse in Edinburgh offers a variety of events and resources for French language learning and teaching.  Follow the appropriate link below to find out more.

  • Primary French Ecosse - free French resources for your P1 class. Lessons cover topics such as colours, days of the week, feelings, and greetings and include a PowerPoint presentation with recorded voices, games and songs
  • French Book Day - join the team on 28 November 2015 for storytelling and activities based around the very best of children's literature in French
  • Immersion Days for S1 to S6 students - workshops can be organised at the Institut français or in your school
  • New concours de la francophonie - a student led competition for all pupils from P1 to S6
  • Dis-moi dix mots 2015-16 - resources to help explore the 10 words competition in class

For more information about the Institut français d'Ecosse and their activities, visit their website.


1+2 - an update

24 November 2015 (Education Scotland)

If you missed Education Scotland's Glow TV event on 18 November supporting the 1+2 approach to language learning you can view the replay now on the Glow TV Watch Again channel.

Please note, a Glow login is required to access the recording.


French language classes from Alliance Française de Glasgow

24 November 2015 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow is offering the following opportunities for French language learners:  Click on the appropriate link for more information.

For more information about the Alliance Française in Glasgow visit their website.


Opinion: My four-point manifesto for transforming language teaching in your school

21 November 2015 (TES)

Brits maybe notoriously monolingual, writes one leading educationalist, but that doesn't mean we should give up on teaching MFL
Anglophones are victims of our own success. English spread around the world on the back of British imperialism and economic clout, becoming the first, second or official language from Auckland to Athabasca and from Kolkata to Cape Town; and the business language from Beijing to Buenos Aires. Admittedly, the global language status of English was secured on the back of US co-ownership.

Brits are notoriously monolingual, but it is neither laziness nor arrogance. There just isn’t an urgent need to learn an additional language; and there are fewer opportunities. In Chomsky’s terms, it amounts to the “poverty of the stimulus”.

Learning environments tend to be monolingual. Pupils learning Spanish have little opportunity for immersion. Lessons take place in timetabled isolation – Iberian atolls in an Anglophone ocean. Spanish young people by contrast immerse themselves in English outside class – on the internet, in magazines and books, on radio and TV, through film.


LFEE immersion courses for 2016-17

20 November 2015 (LFEE)

LFEE Europe has been an international course provider since 2002 offering structured Courses for Primary and Secondary teachers of French and Spanish.

Visit the LFEE website to watch a short video to learn more about LFEE Immersion courses in France, Spain and Scotland.


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.


Language teaching and learning in multilingual classrooms

19 November 2015 (European Commission)

Growing numbers of schoolchildren in the European Union have a mother tongue other than the main language of instruction used in school. Migrant children bring a multitude of languages and language skills to the classroom. This is a potential asset to the individual, schools and society at large. Linguistic diversity raises the issue of how schools can make best use of this potential.

The Commission has worked together with the EU countries to identify successful strategies for language learning in multilingual settings and to facilitate the sharing of good practices in the field. The results of this collaboration and of a comprehensive literature review on the topic, have resulted in a report entitled Language teaching and learning in multilingual classrooms.

You can access the report on the European Commission Multilingual Classrooms website.


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.


'Now is surely the time to renew our commitment to the teaching and learning of French'

16 November 2015 (TES)

The emotional high of a Twitter response is the educational equivalent of the holiday romance, writes one languages teacher. Learning a language, on the other hand, is a commitment for life
Solidarity has come back into fashion, as both word and concept. But this time it's global, and it's happening right now, mostly on your Twitter timeline. There is no doubting the power and glory of #jesuischarlie, #ridewithme and #porteouverte, or the inspirational idealism of the Eiffel Tower peace symbol. But the euphoria they induce is sadly ephemeral.

Hashtags and icons come and go, wave after wave of them, like the atrocities to which they respond. At least #ridewithme and #porteouverte were grounded in practical action. But what we need is a more lasting engagement.

Now is surely the time to renew our commitment to the teaching and learning of French in our schools. France is our nearest neighbour but we have yet to meet the French halfway in terms of the effort we invest in mutual understanding. Just think for a moment of the countless compelling interviews we have listened to over the last few days, from French people of all ages and faiths, communicating in often impeccable, always expressive English. And we're not talking about buying a baguette or booking a hotel room, but the impressive ability to articulate a world view, virtually under siege, live on television and radio.


Classics in Communities project

16 November 2015 (University of Oxford)

The Classics in Communities project provides one-day training workshops for primary or secondary teachers throughout Scotland. The workshops give teachers the confidence and support to begin teaching Latin or Ancient Greek. Detailed information is shared about teaching approaches, available resources (course books, online resources), and funding.

On-going support and additional funding is also available to assist teachers who choose to introduce Latin or Classical Greek.

The project held a very successful workshop in Glasgow in 2014. Future workshops are planned in Scotland, and we can be flexible about locations. Please see the website or contact if you would like further details.


New German ebook

13 November 2015 (SCILT)

SCILT, the Goethe Institute and LFEE are pleased to announce the launch of a new German e-book aimed at learners from P7 to S2. If your school has taken part in the Goethe Institute’s German Adventure project, or even if it hasn’t, you will be find this interactive book an enjoyable way to develop German language skills while discovering more about the culture of the EU’s most populated country.


PETALL Project

12 November 2015 (PETALL)

The Pan European Task-based Activities for Language Learning (PETALL) Project is funded as part of the European Commission's Lifelong Learning Programme.  It aims to help teachers teach young people how to communicate effectively in other languages through ICT by using task-based activities in the language classroom.

To learn more about the project and how you can get involved, see the attached leaflet or visit the PETALL Project website.


Related Files

'More inspiring teachers' needed to tackle UK's language skills shortage

11 November 2015 (Cambridge News)

More inspiring teaching is needed to prevent Britain falling further behind in foreign language skills, a Cambridge linguist has claimed.

Last week Professor Wendy Ayres-Bennett welcomed over 100 representatives from assorted Whitehall departments, including the MOD and GCHQ, to Murray Edwards College, for a debate on the future of the UK's language policy.

Speaking to the News after the conference she said improving language teaching in schools would have far-reaching benefits for the nation as a whole.

She said: "It was a very wide-ranging group of people, with a lot of civil servants coming together, which is very important."

"Language policy is not just about education, but what we were trying to shown is the lack of languages in the UK is such a problem for cases like diplomacy, conflict resolution and business."


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.


Fokus: Films from Germany - Screenings for schools

5 November 2015 (Goethe-Institut)

Fokus: Films from Germany is a Scotland-wide event featuring innovative, inspiring and challenging films by Germany-based directors.

We’re delighted to be screening two films to schools: one; Rettet Raffi!, an entertaining comedy about the adventures of a boy and his pet hamster, aimed at young children, and the other one, Who Am I – Kein System Ist Sicher, a gripping thriller set in the world of underground computer hackers aimed at older children.

The festival is jointly organized by Goethe-Institut Glasgow and Filmhouse Edinburgh.

See the ;attached flyers for further information about the screenings and how to book or visit the Goethe-Institut website..


Primary classroom resources on SCILT website

3 November 2011 (SCILT)

SCILT have updated the primary classroom resources hosted on the SCILT website for French, German and Gaelic.

These resources are for primary teachers to use in their classrooms and have been developed by SCILT and our partner organisations. Further updates to Spanish and Chinese are to follow.


Modern Languages teacher supply - House of Lords debate

4 November 2015 (Parliament TV)

Baroness Coussins asks what steps the UK Government intends to take to reverse the shortfall of modern language teachers in light of the proposal to make the EBacc compulsory in England. 


Languagenut supports 1+2

3 November 2015 (SALT)

Languagenut is a professional teaching tool that offers teaching resources across 19 world languages, including French, Spanish, German, Italian, Gaelic and Mandarin. Languagenut also supports EAL students by offering 80 native languages as support to learn English.

It is the perfect tool to support the 1+2 approach to language learning, as all audio files are recorded by native speakers. With a range of games, songs and stories, Languagenut supports the four key skills of language learning: listening, speaking, reading and writing.

In addition, Languagenut offers special integrated tools which allow teachers both create their own classes and content, and also set and track homework, generate certificates and evaluate students’ progress in real time. These timesaving tools help teachers to deliver more personalised teaching and customise lessons to fit each individual.

Accessible at school and at home and through GLOW, Languagenut helps to bridge the gap between classroom and home learning and is free for all Scottish schools.


1+2 Case Study - Corseford School

30 October 2015 (SCILT)

Corseford School in Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire supports children and young people with complex health, education, movement and communication needs. They are using inclusive pedagogies and technologies such as alternative and augmentative communication systems to support the teaching and learning of Spanish. One of two schools in the country run by Capability Scotland, Corseford School was the proud recipient of the 'Making Languages Come Alive' category in the Scottish Education Awards 2015.

Read about their experiences and how other schools are implementing the 1+2 languages policy in the Case Studies on the 1+2 section of our website.


What if...? Learning beyond flag waving

26 October 2015 (TES)

School is an alternative reality. This thought is prompted by José Picardo's recent comment (in the TES magazine) that banning mobile devices from the classroom would be tantamount to 'forcing students to enter an alternative reality every morning'. Turns out it's already happening.

Step across the threshold of the school gates and you enter an artificial world with its own set of rules. This artifice takes as many different forms as there are institutions and head teachers, but can be encapsulated by the common phenomenon of 8-year-olds decked out in collar and tie and chanting 'good morning' in unison. Where else does that happen?

But perhaps the most artificial aspect of school is the most invisible: the exclusion of other languages and the construction of a fictional monoculture. This is not to say that schools only admit English-speaking children. Nor is it to say that they show no interest in other cultures: on the contrary, other cultures are a gift, the making of many an enrichment day and school trip, and integral to the Humanities and Arts in particular. In school, children learn about other cultures, as objects of curiosity and interest, dropping in and out in touristic fashion, falling foul of the myth of exoticism dismantled by Edward Said in Orientalism. They learn about other languages, in carefully circumscribed chunks of time, hygienically quarantined in tucked-away corners of the timetable.

Irrespective of the diversity within school communities, we act on a day-to-day basis as though we lived in a one-language world. Which is, when you think about it, an extraordinary act of self-deception, on a national scale. Teachers teach in English, children learn in English, and English is what they teach and learn about.

Yet when I step out of my door in London in the morning on the commute into work, English is relatively unlikely to be the first language I hear. Or even if it is, it is more often than not being used by someone whose first language is not English. Every day I am impressed by the ability of almost everyone to converse with me in my own language, however diversely accented. I am blessed to live in a multicultural society in a multicultural world.


Ulster University language staff in Confucius Institute closure warning

23 October 2015 (BBC News)

Modern languages staff at Ulster University (UU) have warned its vice-chancellor that its Confucius Institute may have to close.

Opened in 2012, the institute aims to develop academic, economic and social ties with China.
The university's vice chancellor Prof Paddy Nixon has said the institute is not at risk.

UU decided to close its school of modern languages earlier this year as part of a response to budget cuts.

However, it said they would "continue to support the teaching of Chinese" in schools across Northern Ireland.


LFEE immersion courses new dates for 2016-2017

23 October 2015 (LFEE)

LFEE Europe has been an international course provider since 2002 offering structured Courses for Primary and Secondary teachers of French and Spanish. We run courses in Lyon, Salignac and Malaga for language teachers from all over the UK and the rest of Europe.

Funding for all our courses is available through the European Union Erasmus+ Programme (KA1) and covers course fees, accommodation, subsistence as well as travel expenses. All our courses are GTCS accredited.

Should you be interested in taking part in one of our courses in 2016-2017, please see the course brochure and visit the LFEE website in the first instance.


The Language Dimension in all Subjects – A handbook for curriculum development and teacher training

16 October 2015 (ECML/Council of Europe)

Mastery of the language of schooling is essential for developing in learners those skills that are necessary for school success and for critical thinking. It is fundamental for participation in democratic societies, for social inclusion and cohesion.

This Handbook is a valuable resource for education authorities and practitioners in Council of Europe member states. It will help them to reflect on their policy and practice in language education, and support them in developing responses to the current challenges of education systems.


New online resource for teaching the Scots language

10 October 2015 (The Falkirk Herald)

A new online resource featuring support materials and educational resources to help improve learning and teaching of Scots language was unveiled at this year’s Scottish Learning Festival in Glasgow.

The new Scots Language hub sits within the languages section of the Education Scotland website and will feature educational resources including a short animated history of the Scots language as well as a range of materials to support learning and teaching of the mother tongue in primary education and the senior phase.


Related Links

Education Scotland's Scots Language hub.

‘British students should jump at the chance to learn Mandarin', says Chinese School teacher

6 October 2015 (TES)

One of the stars of 'Are Our Kids Tough Enough? Chinese School' says schools should embrace the opportunity to teach the language as an essential 21st-century skill.

This is proving an exciting year for Chinese Mandarin teachers in this country. Despite education facing budget cuts, putting thousands of teaching posts at risks and threatening the quality of teaching and learning, chancellor George Osborne announced a £10 million investment towards helping schools to teach Mandarin, with the aim of getting an additional 5,000 students speaking the language by 2020.

It might be controversial to many British teachers, who teach core subjects and deliver the essential knowledge and skills, but it is certainly music to the ears of many Mandarin teachers, and to those who are about to train to teach the language in the UK.


Innocence and experience: Walking on the wild side

5 October 2015 (TES blog)

Language is all about the rules. You learn them, you stick to them. You become, thereby, a good citizen, linguistically speaking. Discipline and rigour. Result. But you also have to let go, just occasionally (maybe even quite often).

One problem facing language teachers is the sheer scale of the enterprise: it is tempting to assume there is no time for digression or divertissement. Grammar, vocab, pronunciation, more grammar, vocab… Which is when you choose madness – before it chooses you. This pro-active solution also allows you to preserve the element of the unexpected and continue surprising your pupils i.e. it keeps them awake. And you. So it turns out the opposite is true: however tight your time allocation, you cannot afford not to stray from the straight and narrow.


Last chance to enrole for pnline Spanish course for teachers and PGCE students

2 October 2015 (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 and PGCE 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.

The course is suitable for Primary and Secondary School Teachers and PGCE students with or without previous knowledge of Spanish and will run from October 2015 to March 2016.

See the attached flyer for more details and enrolment information.

Related Files

Nearly half of MFL teacher-training places are left unfilled, Ucas reveals

1 October 2015 (TES)

(Applies to England) Official figures on recruitment to teacher-training courses released this morning show drastic shortages in key subjects in the final days before training courses began.

The figures, published by university admissions body Ucas, paint a disastrous picture across a range of core subjects, and could make the growing recruitment crisis across England's teaching profession even worse in the years ahead.

For modern foreign languages, an English Baccalaureate subject, only 810 places had been filled – just 54 per cent of the 1,514 trainees needed according to the government’s teacher-supply model.


SQA events - Understanding Standards, National 1-5 and Higher

30 September 2015 (SQA)

SQA are hosting a series of Understanding Standards events for a selection of Courses, Awards and Units at National 1 - 5, and for Higher Course assessment.

The National 1 - 5 events began on 28 August 2015 and focus on the standards and assessment of the relevant Course/Award/Unit.  The event covering Text for Scots Language Award takes place in Glasgow on 27 January 2016.

The Higher events began on 7 September 2015 and run until January 2016. They are for subject specialists who wish to develop their understanding of the standards required in the Course Assessment at Higher.  The Higher modern languages event takes place in Stirling on 3 December 2015.

Full programme details and how to book your place can be found on the SQA website.


Into Film Festival 2015

23 September 2015 (SecEd)

The annual Into Film Festival takes place from November 4 to 20, with a host of screenings, workshops and resources available for schools, including foreign language options.

This article previews the event.  For further information and to book tickets visit the Into Film Festival website.


Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival

23 September 2015 (Consejería de Educación)

The second Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival is just round the corner. From 2-10 October 2015 there will be screenings of 16 contemporary films in Spanish at the Filmhouse Edinburgh, plus a number of talks/discussions by experts and directors. A week of wonderful varied cinema. An event worth making time for! Please come and enjoy this with us, and spread the word to all your friends.

See the festival website for full programme details and how to obtain tickets.


What is Modern Languages Research? Podcasts Now Online

23 September 2015 (Institute of Modern Languages Research)

Podcasts from the pilot workshop held on 15 July are now available.

Organised in conjunction with the AHRC-sponsored project ‘Translating Cultures’, the event aimed to establish what constitutes Modern Languages as a disciplinary field and to identify the defining features of Modern Languages research as practised in the UK.

The workshop engaged with the strategic objectives of several studies, reports and initiatives, and provided a framework for informed discussion between the 50-60 academics and experts representing Modern Languages researchers based in the UK, researchers from other European countries, and researchers from cognate disciplines such as English, history, and linguistics.


Mandarin lessons to get £10m boost, says Chancellor

22 September 2015 (BBC News)

Mandarin in English schools will get a £10m boost, and 5,000 more pupils will learn it by 2020, George Osborne has said on a visit to China.

The cash will be used to recruit and train teachers to teach the language to GCSE level, said the Chancellor in a speech to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Mr Osborne suggested Mandarin would be more "relevant" than traditional options like French or German.

He revealed his daughter, Liberty, was already learning China's main language.


Related Links

Mandarin teaching in schools to receive £10m boost (TES, 23 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. 


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.


Lesson 1: How to get cracking in languages

4 September 2015 (TES)

Teaching a new language class this year? Don't begin at the beginning, writes Dr Heather Martin.


Carey Mulligan, Sir Ian McKellen and Michael Sheen lend support to schools' film festival

2 September 2015 (TES)

Major film stars including Carey Mulligan, Sir Ian McKellen and Michael Sheen are backing the Into Film festival this year.

The Into Film festival is the world’s largest film festival for pupils and teachers. Supported by TES, it invites 450,000 primary and secondary children to participate in watching and making films.

The event, which will be held between 4 and 20 November in 520 cinemas around the country, will include preview screenings, film-making workshops and question-and-answer sessions with industry experts. These will all be accompanied by teaching resources.

Tickets are now available for more than 2,700 screenings of more than 150 films, held around the country. This includes a number of foreign language films.  Check the Into Film Festival website for full details and to book.


Beginner French course for primary teachers in Scotland

27 August 2015 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française de Glasgow will be running a new 10-week Beginners 1 French course for Primary School teachers between October and December 2015.

Visit the Alliance Française website for full details and register using the attached enrolment form.


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.


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).


Science A-levels cut in sixth form college cash squeeze

11 August 2015 (BBC News)

Sixth form colleges in England say they have had to cut the number of science and foreign language courses they offer, because of financial pressures.

[..] A-levels in modern languages have been cut in 28 colleges (over a third), while 17 (just under a quarter) reported cuts in science, technology, engineering and maths subjects.


The teaching of Chinese in the UK

10th August 2015 (British Council)

Alcantara Communications have published a report on the teaching of Chinese in the UK. The report puts forward a framework of seven key objectives with recommendations within each mapped to different groups of stakeholders. These are:
Policy-focused recommendations:
1. Align high level aspirations with appropriately-targeted and resourced action on the ground
2. Build a UK-based teaching force for Chinese in UK school systems
3. Coordinate efforts and monitor the success of the strategy
Recommendations relating to teaching and learning:
4. Provide a coherent ‘learning journey’ for pupils starting in primary school or in the first years of secondary school through to higher education
5. Develop capacity in the management of Chinese in UK school systems
6. Develop a body of expertise and shared professional understanding in the teaching of Chinese language and culture in a UK context
7. Provide advocacy for Chinese to enhance appreciation of the benefits of a knowledge of Chinese language and culture amongst pupils, parents, teachers, school leaders and the general public.


Insight: Why Scots face a language barrier

8 August 2015 (The Scotsman)

Our children’s lack of foreign language skills cry out for a shake-up in education policy, and yet constant upheaval in our schools may be one of the problems, writes Dani Garavelli.


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.


Host a teacher from Germany

14 July 2015 (UK-German Connection)

Provide your school with authentic German cultural input by hosting a teacher from Germany for two or three weeks, at no cost to you. Schools do not need to be teaching German to apply and visits can take place at any time between September 2015 and July 2016.

For more information and to apply by 18 September 2015, visit the UK-German Connection website.


Education Grants for Gaelic Teaching Students 2015-2016

13 July 2015 (Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

Bòrd na Gàidhlig has set up this fund to support those currently working towards a career in Gaelic teaching. Applications for funding should be submitted to Bòrd na Gàidhlig as soon as possible and no later than Tuesday 15th September 2015.


How teaching English on my year abroad improved my French

13 July 2015 (The Guardian)

Students planning their years abroad might worry about teaching English. It seems counterintuitive – you go to another country to learn the language and end up speaking your mother tongue.

But in my experience, it can be a rewarding job and is perhaps even the best way to immerse yourself in another culture and learn the language.


East Ren plan to boost Gaelic language use

6 July 2015 (The Extra)

Residents in East Renfrewshire are being asked their views on a new draft Gaelic language plan.

The ERC plan is aimed at promoting and developing the use of the language, from encouraging communication with it to integrating it into day-to-day council business.

The council proposed making certain documents available in Gaelic, as well as having a Gaelic language section of its website.

The proposals are part of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 passed by Scottish Government, aiming to secure the language status as an official Scottish tongue.


Call for Japanese language lessons in Scottish schools

4 July 2015 (The Herald)

Japan's top diplomat in Scotland has called for the introduction of Japanese language exams in Scottish schools.

Japanese Consul General Hajime Kitaoka believes there is a enough demand for the language and culture of his homeland to be taught alongside other modern languages.

Mr Kitaoka has approached the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and asked them to consider the introduction of Japanese qualifications - including a Higher.


Related Links

We should do what we can to boost our links with Japan (The Herald, 8 July 2015)

English Language Assistant on Chinese dating show

12 June 2015 (British Council)

Robbie Stanley-Smith from the UK signed up for the British Council English Language Assistants programme and found himself on a Chinese dating show! Watch snippets of his appearance.


Advanced Higher Route Maps online

11 June 2015 (Education Scotland)

Assessment route maps providing key guidelines, advice and support for qualifications at Advanced Higher modern languages are now available on the Education Scotland website.


Out now: CISS and SCILT’s 2015-16 Career Long Professional Learning menu!

5 June 2015 (SCILT/CISS)

The new menu of workshops from SCILT and CISS are now available for bookings from August!

SCILT and CISS aim to provide high quality professional learning opportunities to support the teaching and learning of languages across all sectors and all parts of the country. Authorities, clusters or schools may be interested in booking one or more of the workshops from the SCILT and CISS Professional Learning Programmes for 2015-16. 

Whatever your professional learning needs, we will endeavour to meet them. If you have specific requirements we are happy to develop bespoke input and support.

Visit the pages below to view the menus for 2015-16, to read testimonials from previous workshop attendees and for information on how to book a workshop:

Book now for the start of the new session and remember all our services and workshops are absolutely free of charge!

Italian courses at Strathclyde University

8 June 2015 (SALT)

Anyone interested in adding Italian to the languages they teach, or simply interested in studying the language to degree level, may be interested in a new three-year cycle of our GTC accredited Certificate of Continuing Education in Italian, at the University of Strathclyde which is due to get underway (numbers permitting) in September 2015.

Direct entry to second year (September 2016) is also possible for suitably qualified applicants.

Apply by 30 June 2015 for September 2015 entry.


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!


Jonathan Goddard: Meet the man using rap to make Latin a hip new subject

30 May 2015 (The Independent)

Rapper Jonathan Goddard is using his skills to motivate his students in a classroom in a deprived area of London. The children, some as young as eight, are rapping, singing and gesturing in unison, but the language they’re using isn’t English. It’s Latin.

The groundbreaking approach, using a language more closely linked to Virgil and Ovid than Jay Z and Kanye West, is designed to teach children how to conjugate verbs and grasp complex grammatical rules using the classical language as a conduit.


ECML website relaunched

30 May 2015 (ECML)

The European Centre for Modern Languages website has just been relaunched with a new look and a series of new features.


Over the coming months we plan to further develop this area on an ongoing basis with new resources from the Centre’s current projects as well as news, related research, videos, interactive materials and details of activities, conferences and experts.

A new video on the homepage explains in 2 minutes how the Centre operates and what it can offer to professionals involved with education and in particular language education. The clip was developed through the project ECML publications for plurilingual and intercultural education in use (PIU) and is now available in English, French and German.


Updated learning maps for 1+2 languages

26 May 2015 (Education Scotland)

The updated learning maps with first level Es and Os for 1+2 languages are now available on the Education Scotland website.


New Dyslexia Scotland publication in Gaelic

13 May 2015 (Dyslexia Scotland)

Dyslexia Scotland is pleased to announce the launch of one of its publications in Gaelic. ‘Dè th’ann an diosleacsia?’ gives an overview of dyslexia, including a definition, as well as the strengths and barriers associated with dyslexia.

Dr Fiona Lyon, Educational Consultant, said: ‘The possibility that pupils receiving Gaelic medium education may have dyslexia will be just as relevant as for pupils receiving their education in English; therefore it is important that Gaelic medium teachers and parents are aware of the barriers associated with dyslexia and how they may affect an individual."

Dyslexia Scotland has developed a number of tools to help teachers including a free online Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit which includes information about pupils in Gaelic medium education.


Vacancies: Professional Development Officer (2 posts)

12 May 2015 (SCILT)

SCILT requires two Professional Development Officers to support secondary schools as they continue to develop their strategy for the implementation of the 1+2 languages policy. This is an exciting opportunity to work at national level and drive forward the strategic languages agenda in Scotland. The Professional Development Officers will be responsible for developing and delivering a broad range of support measures for teachers of languages. This would include, for example, leading professional learning workshops and managing projects, national awards/competitions and other promotional events. It is expected that the post holders will support practitioners to turn policy into practice to create a positive impact on learners. This will be based on identification of practitioners’ needs, with particular reference to the aims of Curriculum for Excellence and the implementation of the 1+2 languages policy.

For the full job specification and how to apply visit the Stathclyde University vacancies webpage.

Closing date for applications is 25 May 2015.


Streap: Postgraduate course for Gaelic teachers

11 May 2015 (Scottish Government)

Streap, the postgraduate course for Gaelic teachers, is seeking new recruits for 2015-16.

Find out more about the course and application process on Aberdeen University's website.


How to innovate the languages classroom

6 May 2015 (Innovate my School)

Aside from doing the Spanish rap from Community, how can teachers bring their MFL classrooms to life? Writer and linguist Brian Powers gives his opinion on how to get students into their languages lessons.


Host a teacher from Germany 2015-16

6 May 2015 (UK-German Connection)

Would you like to have authentic German cultural input in your school? Schools can now apply to host a qualified teacher from Germany for 2 or 3 weeks at no cost.

Why host a teacher from Germany?

  • It’s a free, flexible programme that can be adapted to mutual interest 
  • It’s a great way to exchange resources and share best practice 
  • Pupils gain a unique perspective into the German culture 
  • It’s an excellent professional development opportunity 
  • Pupils and teachers benefit from linguistic support 
  • It can stimulate ideas for future projects

Schools do not need to be teaching German in order to participate in the programme and visits can take place at any time between September 2015 and July 2016.

Teachers receive comprehensive support throughout with ideas of how to maximise the benefit of the programme for all teachers and pupils.

You can find more information and how to apply on the UK-German Connection website. 
Application deadline: 18 September 2015(*)

(*)Please note that forms can be submitted at any time up to the deadline, and schools wishing to host in the autumn term should submit their hosting form before the end of the summer term 2015.
If you have any questions or would like any further information, please contact Carla Johnson by email on or 020 7824 1572.


EPOSTL presented at GlobELT 2015 Conference

4 May 2015 (ECML)

The European Portfolio for student language teachers (EPOSTL) was presented at the GlobELT 2015 Conference. The EPOSTL is a self-assessment tool for language teachers in initial training, helping them to monitor and reflect on their experiences, performance and progress in the course of their teacher education programme. It builds on insights from the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) and the European Language Portfolio (ELP), as well as the European Profile for Language Teacher Education. Since its publication in 2007, the EPOSTL has been widely used at universities and teacher education institutions throughout Europe. In the meantime, interest in the EPOSTL, which is available in 14 languages, is growing beyond the borders of Europe.


Modern Foreign Languages: Depth, mastery and intrinsic motivation

1 May 2015 (ASCL)

Read the latest blog by ASCL Immediate Past President and Headteacher, Bennett Memorial Diocesan School Ian Bauckham.


MOOC: Games in schools (2nd round)

29 April 2015 (European Schoolnet Academy)

Primary and secondary teachers are welcome to join this exciting MOOC exploring the potential of games-based learning in schools. The course is being run jointly by European Schoolnet and ISFE (The Interactive Software Federation of Europe) and is entirely free. The course will examine the opportunities but also challenges offered by integrating games into our teaching and learning and will provide practical examples of gaming tools and activities to use in your daily teaching practice. We will be learning through a mix of video, interactive activities and discussions as well as sharing of resources.

The first question we will explore is, why use computer games in schools? We will then look at a range of games which do not necessarily have an educational purpose but can be used nicely for thematic learning on topics such as gravity, planets, construction, and many others. However, we will also explore games that have an explicit pedagogical focus and are designed to help students learn anything from Maths to Languages.

The course commences on 18 May 2015 and runs for 6 weeks. Visit the European Schoolnet Academy website for more information and to sign up.


French Education Minister sparks diplomatic situation with Germany by proposing to abolish 'two-language' classes for 11-year-olds

29 April 2015 (The Independent)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel believes the political friendship between the two countries will never be complete unless more youngsters from both nations speak both languages - and will raise the subject with French President François Hollande.


Teaching union fears impact of Mandarin lessons for Fife pupils

28 April 2015 (The Courier)

The Fife branch of Scotland’s largest teaching union, the EIS (Educational Institute of Scotland), has voiced concerns about the potential impact of teaching Mandarin in Fife schools.

The union has reflected the concerns of some teachers who are worried about the potential impact of Chinese teaching on the uptake of traditional modern languages such as French, German and Spanish.


Related Links

Worldwide campaign launched against Confucius Institutes (The Herald, 24 April 2015)

Wanted: home-grown teachers of Mandarin

27 April 2015 (Schools Week)

The Conservatives are promising more Mandarin teachers – and in an ideal world every young person should be able to learn it as a language of their choice. But is this a manifesto pledge that can be implemented?


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 

Languages partnership project with Madrid

1 April 2015 (Edinburgh Council - Bright Futures)

For the past two years, schools in the James Gillespie’s cluster have been involved in a partnership with schools in the Comunidad de Madrid in Spain. The partnership has offered the teachers the chance to share good practice and enrich their lessons through the exciting cultural experiences gained when visiting the partners’ country.


GLOW Meet replay - 1+2: Focus on Listening and Talking

31 March 2015 (Education Scotland)

The languages team at Education Scotland hosted the second in a series of GLOW meets aimed at development officers and practitioners to support the 1+2 policy. The second GLOW meet focused on two of the significant aspects of learning – Listening and Talking. If you missed the presentation, you can view it online.  (GLOW userid and password required.).

The third GLOW meet in the series supporting the 1+2 languages policy will take place on Wednesday 29 April at 4.00pm. This session will focus on Reading and Writing in a 1+2 context.  Details of how to join the event will be made available shortly.


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.


Learning events coming soon!

27 March 2015 (SCILT)

Senior phase learning events

Recommendation 16 of the ‘1+2 Report’ states: ‘The Working Group recommends that schools provide all young people with flexible opportunities and encouragement to study more than one modern language to the level of a National Qualification Unit or course, in the senior phase, whether in their own school or through cluster arrangements with other schools.’

Would you like to:

  • expand provision in the senior phase? 
  • boost the number of young people continuing with a language beyond the broad general education? 
  • hear what others are doing and have an opportunity to discuss possibilities with colleagues?

If so, you may find inspiration at the senior phase learning events in May. Each event will have three different speakers talking about the courses they offer in the senior phase. They will say what they do to attract young people to study languages. There will be an opportunity to ask questions and engage in discussion with colleagues and representatives from SCILT and Education Scotland.

The dates are:

  • Saturday May 9 in Aberdeen 
  • Saturday May 16 in Dunfermline

Venues to be confirmed. Each event will last a morning. The opportunity to register for one or both of these events will be available soon.

L3 learning events

Recommendation 4 of the ‘1+2 Report’ states: ‘The Working Group recommends that a second additional language (L3) be introduced for pupils at a later stage in the primary school. The time for introduction of the L3 language would be…….no later than P5.’

Recommendation 11 states: ‘The Working Group recommends schools develop language learning for L3 during the broad general education, choosing from a range of approaches………’

As one would expect, schools and authorities are at different stages in their preparations for L3. Further guidance on L3 has been produced by Education Scotland and is available on their website and the SCILT website - 'A 1+2 approach to language learning - Further guidance on L3 within the 1+2 policy' under the Guidance tab. A range of approaches to the delivery of L3 in both primary and secondary schools is described in the guidance. Understandably, L3 remains the area where most schools and local authorities are still at the planning stage or are at the early stages of delivery.

There will be two learning events for L3.

  • Saturday 30 May in Glasgow - L3 in the primary school 
  • Saturday 6 June in Stirling - L3 in the secondary school

Venues to be confirmed but both events will last a morning and will take place in the central belt. Each will involve three presentations where speakers describe how they have begun working on L3 in their school or local authority. Much of this work is relatively new and some is at the trialling stage. Each speaker offers a different approach.

There will be dedicated time to ask questions and to engage in discussion with colleagues. Each event will be supported by representatives from SCILT and Education Scotland. The opportunity to register a place for one or both of these events will be available soon.

MOOC - Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching

26 March 2015 (Futurelearn)

This free online course offered by the British Council and University of Southampton introduces some key concepts in the effective teaching and learning of languages.

The course commences on 20 April and lasts for 4 weeks.

Visit the Futurelearn website for more information and to register.


How to teach ... Italian

23 March 2015 (Guardian)

Europe’s language of romance (and pizza) will be vital to the UK over the next 20 years. Here’s how to tackle it in your classroom.


Scottish Parliament discusses foreign language courses in schools

18 March 2015 (Scottish Parliament)

Scottish Parliament discusses foreign language courses in schools at Meeting of Parliament on 18 March 2015.


Essential tips for teachers of modern languages

19 March 2015 (British Council)

How can teachers bring modern languages to life in the classroom? Davinia Hardwick, formerly a British Council English language assistant and now Head of French at a UK school, gives her tips.


Post graduate certificate - Streap (Gaelic Medium Education)

17 March 2015 (University of Aberdeen)

Aberdeen University and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig invite applications for the post graduate certificate, Streap, from practitioners in early learning and childcare centres, primary and secondary schools.

This distance-learning course forms part of master-level learning. It has a particular focus on terminology, skills and knowledge connected to teaching in Gaelic Medium Education.

For more information, please contact or visit the Aberdeen University website. This course is fully funded by the Scottish Government.


Speaking in Tongues - Thinking Differently on Language Learning

17 March 2015 (Huffington Post)

Look at it through a child's eyes...They're soaking up English effortlessly at home, in the playground in different subjects; like a sponge, listening, absorbing, trying new words, getting some wrong - and trying on the odd rude one they shouldn't.

All perfectly natural, organic, evolving, improving, developing, growing, interesting and useful...

Now off to your French lesson - avez vous un chat; ferme le fenetre - no that's feminine don't forget the circumflex and the correct pronunciation ends 'tchhrrre'. Sadly for a lot of students that means Zzzzz. Can't wait to see you next week for another half hour.

But there are great Heads, Teachers and Innovators who are trying new things. I opened a terrific event at the British Council last week looking for new ideas and innovation in language learning from lots of different places.



16 March 2015 (Eurocall)

The latest edition of the European Association for Computer-Assisted Language Learning review is now available online.


Press Release – A Fresh Look at Languages

11 March 2015 (Routes into Languages Cymru)

Yesterday, Routes into Languages Cymru launched a new website at an exciting international event at the Senedd, Cardiff Bay. The event was held by British Council Wales and was an opportunity for the British Council and their many partners to showcase their international work in Wales. The opening address was given by Huw Lewis AM, Minister for Education and Skills.

The new website, Routes into Languages Cymru, highlights the fantastic work that is done by Student Language Ambassadors, includes contributions from school pupils in the guest blog section and offers visitors the opportunty to take full advantage of the range of resources produced by Routes Cymru.


Creating a climate for innovation in language learning

11 March 2015 (British Council)

If you weren’t able to join the British Council's online workshop to explore what we might do to promote new ideas in language learning you can see the replay now on YouTube.


Warnings over Chinese 'propaganda' in Scottish schools

9 March 2015 (The Herald)

Scottish children are at risk of hearing Chinese 'propaganda' in schools, a human rights group has warned.

Free Tibet has accused councils of "nodding through" deals putting teachers controlled by China's ruling regime in to classrooms.

The campaign group believes cash-strapped local authorities unquestioningly accepted Chinese money - and influence - to pay for and carry out teaching they could not otherwise afford as part of so-called Confucius Classrooms.

It now fears a "whitewash" of serious issues in China, such as its continued occupation of Tibet.


ECML Call for submissions 2016-2019 "Languages at the heart of learning"

5 March 2015 (ECML)

Are you thinking of applying for the ECML programme 2016-2019? Find out more details concerning the Call on the ECML website (available in English and French).


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)

Welcome to Mexico

3 March 2015 (British Council)

To celebrate the visit of the President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto to the UK, we have put together some resources to help schools to celebrate Mexico and the Spanish language. These include

  • A PowerPoint presentation about Mexico that can be used in an assembly
  • A story in Spanish and in English by the Latin American Children’s laureate Francisco Hinojosa (who is from Mexico) El peor senora del mundo/The worst woman in the world 
  • Two lesson ideas using the story – a writing activity and a Spanish activity 
  • An art activity based on the work of Mexican artist Diego Rivera

Access the resource pack on the British Council website.


'Teaching languages to Caregivers' free resources pack

3 March 2015 (TLC Pack Project)

The European project TLC Pack, 'Teaching languages to Caregivers' has completed its first phase of development and published FREE language learning resources. The resources are primarily aimed at migrants entering or working in the care sector, but as we have found through our pilot testing, they are equally valued by language teachers.

The project will continue to produce a total of 30 video dialogues with accompanying in-class and out-of-class activities; currently printable but ultimately available via an online interactive platform. 

The pilot videos in German, Italian and Spanish can be accessed on the website.  You can also download the attached newsletter giving further details about the project.


Related Files

Funding for Japanese Language Education Projects held in the UK

2 March 2015 (Japan Foundation)

Institutions can apply for up to £3000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which will have a significant and wide impact on the promotion of Japanese language education throughout the UK, or in their local area. For example, conferences on Japanese language education, seminars for teachers, projects to produce Japanese language teaching materials, etc. We also welcome projects that introduce Japanese into the curriculum, or bring it into the timetable at Schools or Universities.

For further information and to apply by 1 April 2015 visit the Japan Foundation website.


Modern Languages: Oral answers to questions in the House of Commons

2 March 2015 (They Work For You)

Question from Nigel Evans, Conservative MP to ask what steps are being taken to encourage pupils to study modern languages.


German Teacher Award 2015

27 February 2015 (Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany)

If you know a truly outstanding German teacher at your school – make sure that their dedication and excellence get the recognition they deserve!

Please note that headteachers must nominate the German teacher; unfortunately applications by German teachers submitted by themselves and applications submitted by pupils cannot be accepted. Application deadline: 12 May 2015.


Beginners 1 and Beginners 2 French courses for primary school teachers

26 February 2015 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française de Glasgow will be running new 10-week French courses for Primary School teachers between March-May 2015.

  • The Beginners 1 course is suitable for complete beginners and will take place on Thursdays from 3.45 to 5.45pm.
  • The Beginners 2 course is suitable for teachers who have studied French before (’false beginners’) and/or for those who completed one of our previous Beginners 1 classes.  This course takes place on Tuesdays from 3.45 to 5.45pm.

Enrol by Friday 6 March.

Further information and enrolment forms are available on the Alliance Française website.


Skype and the teaching of languages! What are your thoughts?

20 February 2015 (Microsoft UK teachers blog)

With Skype with its real time translation feature (Skype users to get real-time language translating tool, BBC News, 16 December 2014)  and other software that offer translation into language and even Klingon. Is there a need to teach languages in schools?

Helene Fyffe, one of our ex-interns is looking into that very question through her dissertation. She would like to get your thoughts and ideas. Please take some time to complete her survey.


Related Links

Skype's real-time translator – the end of language learning? (British Council blog, 12 February 2015)

Why UK teachers needn't fear teaching Chinese

17 February 2015 (British Council Voices)

Is teaching Mandarin Chinese as daunting as it sounds? The British Council's Charlotte Ogilvie hears from a few UK teachers, and shares some useful resources for teaching the language to primary school children.


How to teach … German

16 February 2015 (The Guardian)

Deutschland ist wunderschön! Our collection of lesson ideas and resources will help you get students excited about learning German.


Scots language being revived in schools

13 February 2015 (BBC)

A scheme has been launched to encourage the use of the Scots language in schools.

Specially recruited ambassadors are working to raise the status of the language and to help teachers incorporate it across the curriculum.

BBC Scotland's education correspondent Jamie McIvor reports from a school where they have found Scots a useful part of the timetable.


Beginners 1 (full beginners) and Beginners 2 (follow-up/false beginners) class for primary school teachers

12 February 2015 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française de Glasgow will be running a new French course for primary school teachers, suitable for complete beginners and teachers who completed our Beginners 1 course or have a false beginners level

  • 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
  • Thursdays, 3.45-5.45pm 
  • 12 March to 28 May 2015 inclusive. (Please note there will be no classes on Thursday 9 and 16 April) 
  • The cost to attend this course is £80/teacher. Please note this is a special fee offered by the AF Glasgow to promote modern languages
  • A certificate of attendance will be handed out by the end of the course
  • Places are limited so early booking is recommended

If you wish to enrol in this course, please contact or visit the Language Office at the Alliance Française by Friday 6 March.

  • Alliance Française de Glasgow - 3 Park Circus, Glasgow, G3 6AX
  • Tel. +44 (0)141 331 4080
  • email:

Or visit the website to download the enrolment form.


Dyslexia and Foreign Language Teaching

10 February 2015 (Future Learn)

Gain practical tools and theoretical insights to help dyslexic students learn second languages with this free online course, commencing 20 April 2015.


Most inspirational use of film in the classroom award

9 February 2015 (Into Film)

We are partnering with the Guardian Teacher Network for this award and are looking for the most inspirational examples of using film or film-making activities in the classroom.

See the Into Film website for entry criteria.  Submission deadline is 26 February 2015.


Six Western Isles primary schools given Gaelic status

6 February 2015 (BBC)

Six primaries where lessons are mainly taught in English will switch to learning in Gaelic later this year.

Bernera, Breasclete, Castlebay, Iochdar, Leverhulme Memorial and Sgoil an Taobh Siar on the Western Isles have been given Gaelic Schools Status.

Learning and Scotland's Languages Minister Dr Alasdair Allan made the announcement during a visit to Breasclete School.

In 1986 it was the first school on the islands to offer pupils Gaelic.

Dr Allan said: "The Scottish government has been happy to provide the capital support to the project and hopes that other schools will see the benefit from the status that Gaelic can bring.

"This is a milestone in the delivery of Gaelic primary education in Scotland, which has an important role in developing future generations of speakers."


Schools: Foreign Languages — Question to House of Lords

26 January 2015 (They Work For You / Hansard)

Question put to the House of Lords by Lord Sherbourne of Didsbury – ‘To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of progress in teaching foreign languages in schools.’


BSL and Makaton signing classes for Highland pupils

25 January 2015 (The Scotsman)

Nursery and primary school pupils in the Highlands will be the first in Scotland to be taught sign language as part of the new curriculum.

Smithton Primary, on the outskirts of Inverness, will teach youngsters both British Sign Language (BSL) and Makaton – a form of signing for those with special educational needs or communication disorders that is popularly used by Mr Tumble on the CBeebies show Something Special.

The move at the school has been welcomed by the British Deaf Association and the Scottish Association of Sign Language Interpreters.

It has come about after the Scottish Government’s announcement that all primary age children should have two additional languages as well as their first language.


Les Ateliers du Secondaire

23 January 2015 (Institut français d'Écosse )

It's still time to sign up for the first workshop of Institut français d'Écosse new monthly rendez-vous for secondary teachers on Thursday 29 January. These free workshops happen every last Thursday of the month and provide you with tools and resources for your class. The January session will be about video resources for your S1-S6 class.


CILT Cymru January 2015 newsletter

22 January 2015 (CILT Cymru)

See the January newsletter from CILT Cymru outlining the latest language news and events in Wales.  There are lots of useful resources and ideas for language teachers to use. 

Related Files

News from LFEE

22 January 2015 (LFEE)

See the attached newsletter from Le français en Ecosse (LFEE) for information on the following:

  • Erasmus+ guidelines for teachers wishing to apply to LFEE courses in France and Spain 2015-16.
  • Primary professional learning opportunities for teachers in Scotland.
  • Training for secondary teachers, including spaces available for 3 week course in Lyon and resources on embedding ICT into teaching practice.

You can also visit the LFEE website for more information about the training available for Scottish language teachers.


Related Files

Open access case studies in good practice using technology in language teaching

LLAS (19 January 2015)

Open access case studies in good practice using technology in language teaching have been made available to mark 10 years of the LLAS elearning symposium.


Call for submissions for the ECML 2016-2019 programme of activities “Languages at the heart of learning”

16 January 2015 (ECML)

The Call for submissions for the ECML 2016-2019 programme of activities is now open. The Call, reflecting current priorities in language education across the Centre’s member states, has been developed in close collaboration with the ECML Governing Board and Professional Language Forum as well as ECML experts. The deadline for submissions is 1 May 2015.

More information is available on the ECML website.


My best lesson – Turn a Spanish lesson into a race against time

16 January 2015 (TES)

I am a big believer in language learning being purposeful. As a result, I make my Spanish lessons cross-curricular whenever possible.

When my Year 4 class was struggling to tell the time using an analogue clock, I saw an opportunity. Telling the time is a skill that is diminishing as the popularity of digital devices grows, so I planned a problem-solving lesson where the children had to tell the time in Spanish and English.


Understanding Language - Taking on a MOOC

13 January 2015 (Languagenut blog)

A blogger tells how this MOOC, 'Understanding Language', helped her learn more about language teaching and technology in the classroom.


Do boys need male teachers to learn a language?

8 January 2015 (British Council Voices)

Women tend to dominate modern foreign language departments in the UK, but what effect can employing male language assistants have on schools and their pupils? The British Council’s Charlotte Ogilvie finds out.


CPD Workshops for Primary School Teachers in 2014/15

8 January 2015 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française de Glasgow is running a programme of CPDs in French for Primary School teachers. There are still some spaces left for the five remaining topics and dates during February and March 2015.

Details of the programme and how to enrol are available on the Alliance Française website.


YouTube video session with Greg Horton, CILT Cymru Languages Wales 2014 - Engaging Language Learners in Key Stage 3

8 January 2015 (CILT Cymru)

How do we ensure that as many pupils as possible opt to study GCSE languages? This session demonstrates tried-and-tested ways of engaging pupils across the ability range while at the same time achieving maximum linguistic progression.


Confucius Institutes at UK universities - BBC Radio 4

22 December 2014 (BBC)

BBC Radio 4's Today programme features an item about Confucius Institutes at UK universities.

The UK now has more than twenty Confucius Institutes at our Universities - they're centres for the study of Chinese language and culture. It might sound like a good thing, but not everyone's convinced.

Listen from 49:50.


Real Madrid and Lidl: recommended topics for A-level languages

18 December 2014 (TES)

(Applies to England) Real Madrid, French rap music and Germany’s Aldi and Lidl supermarkets are among the topics that university academics have recommended for study in new “academically rigorous” foreign language AS- and A-levels unveiled today.  The subject areas are listed in suggestions for individual project work from the A-level content advisory board (Alcab), made up of university academics and other subject experts.

[..]The recommendations from universities come as the government has published new “academically rigorous” compulsory subject content for reformed AS- and A-levels in languages, maths and geography this morning (see related item below).


Related Links

GCE AS and A Level Modern Foreign Languages guidance (Department for Education, 18 December 2014)

Pupils 'should learn about Gareth Bale in A-level Spanish'(The Telegraph, 18 December 2014)

Vacancy: Depute Director - CISS

17 December 2014 (CISS)

The Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools, based within Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, urgently requires a Depute Director to support Confucius Classroom hubs across Scotland. There are currently 12 hubs but new hubs will be developed over the next two years giving Scotland a total of 21 Confucius Classroom hubs. This is an exciting opportunity to work at national level and drive forward the strategic languages agenda in Scotland.

The Depute Director will be responsible to the director for the overall running of CISS. They will take a lead role in the development and promotion of Chinese language and culture in response to the Scottish Government’s China Strategy and the 1+2 languages policy. They will also oversee the work of the CISS team and contribute to the development of corporate and operational plans in order to achieve the strategic aims and objectives of CISS, in line with priorities determined by Scottish Government, Hanban and the University of Strathclyde.

For more information and an application form, visit the University of Strathclyde's vacancy webpage (vacancy ref 233/2014).  Closing date for applications: 11 January 2015.


Vacancy: Depute Director - SCILT

17 December 2014 (SCILT)

SCILT urgently requires a Deputy Director to support schools as they continue to develop their strategy for the implementation of the 1+2 languages policy. This is an exciting opportunity to work at national level and drive forward the strategic languages agenda in Scotland.

The Depute Director’s key role will be to assist the Director in the strategic decision making process that will ensure that SCILT becomes the “one stop shop” for support services for modern language practitioners in schools; establishes itself as a key national partner for government in terms of language policy and implementation and is considered a key reference point for all organisations involved in language education.

For more information and an application form, visit the University of Strathclyde's vacancy webpage (vacancy ref 232/2014). Closing date for applications: 11 January 2015.


Give training a lingua franca, say experts

12 December 2014 (TESS)

Scotland’s ambitious new primary school languages policy must be backed up by better training and resources if it is to stand a chance of success, according to teacher organisations and other experts.

They spoke out as TESS research revealed considerable variations in the amount and type of training that teachers received, depending on their local authority.

Our survey shows that, on average, only about one in five primary teachers has received training to deliver foreign languages in primary since the 1+2 policy was announced in 2012. But in some council areas, more than half of teachers have undertaken CPD to help them implement the policy, which will require every child to learn one foreign language from P1 and a second from no later than P5.


The issue – Flying high on an exchange

12 December 2014 (TES)

Even after 22 years as a modern languages teacher, those first few moments of a school exchange still have the same impact for me. There is nothing quite like the excitement and apprehension as the coach goes quiet, the lights of the destination town come into view and the pupils begin to wonder what lies ahead in the homes of their host families.

So I was dismayed when I read in TES last month that exchange visits are now run by just 39 per cent of schools (“Zut alors! Is the exchange trip over?”, 21 November). I strongly believe in the linguistic and cultural value of exchanges. And despite students’ (and teachers’) fears, I can honestly say that the exchange partners get on fantastically well 99 per cent of the time and the tears of apprehension turn to tears of sadness when we have to drag them away from their newfound friends at the end of the trip.


New Spanish resources on the SCILT website

10 December 2014 (SCILT)

The Professional Development Officers at SCILT have developed materials for use with Spanish learners. 

New Higher
  • Gang Culture
  • Media
  • Volunteering

Access these materials through the Classroom Resources section of our website.


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.



2 December 2014 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has just launched their new learning community, Babelon, on GLOW. The learning community is there to support and share all things languages related.  To sign up to the Babelon community you'll need a GLOW userid and password.


Beyond the Panda education project - new website!

2 December 2014 (RZSS)

Thanks to a partnership with Jaguar Land Rover (China), Sandie Robb, Senior Education Officer for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland got the opportunity recently to visit Chengdu and Ya'an - along with 10 students and 4 staff from Lasswade High School. You can see an excellent video of the trip on the 'Beyond the Panda' new website, which not only includes a wealth of information on the giant panda project but has excellent lesson plans and activities.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland outreach sessions 'Beyond the Panda' and 'Giants' are still available for schools, however they are always revised and redeveloped each year to build on new resources and ideas. Please email Sandie Robb,, for full details.


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.


Hi-tech schools rescuing an ancient language

30 November 2014 (BBC)

Technology and education have a long, complicated and sometimes exaggerated relationship.

[...] So you might not expect to find tablet computers being deployed to defend a language first written down 1,700 years ago when "writing on a tablet" would have meant carving on a stone.

But in an innovative blend of ancient and modern, online technology is being used to keep alive teaching in the Irish language.


Motivate and inspire - new French and German resources on the SCILT website

27 November 2014 (SCILT)

Looking for interesting resources to inspire and motivate your learners? The Professional Development Officers at SCILT and Kirsten Herbst-Gray from Langholm Academy in Dumfries and Galloway have developed these materials for use with German and French learners. 

Access these new resources through the following pages of our website:


  • S1-S3
     - Tourism: my home town
     - Projekt Deutschland
     - Trading with Germany

  • New Higher


Quality language teaching: Which challenges for Europe in the XXIst century?

24 November 2014 (ECML)

Presentation by ECML’s Sarah Breslin from the conference held in Madrid on 7 November is now available.


Giant Pandas - Modern languages: Second level resource

24 November 2014 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has developed a new website on the Giant Pandas.  The website provides access to relevant, contextualised resources to support learning and teaching about giant pandas through Curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes.

The resource features information about the arrival of Scotland’s giant pandas, current information about their life at Edinburgh Zoo, an image gallery, videos and learning journeys for languages, sciences and health and wellbeing.

Language teachers will particularly appreciate the second level learning resources which develop understanding and knowledge of the giant pandas through the medium of the modern language.

A learning journey takes learners through a number of foreign language tasks that will build on their knowledge of pandas and allow them to make comparisons between life in Scotland and life in China.

There are also two activity booklets - one in French and one in German - which contain a variety of challenges linked to cross-curricular themes.


Language teachers must be 'thorn in side of British insularity', says private school head

21 November 2014 (TES)

Language teachers should be a “thorn in the side of British insularity” and must go beyond teaching “functional” phrasebook expressions, according to the head of a leading private girls’ school.

The best teachers help students to “immerse themselves in other cultures” and overcome the belief that languages are harder to achieve top grades in, Bernice McCabe, headmistress of the elite North London Collegiate School, will suggest later this morning.

She will make the comments at a two-day teacher training course on modern foreign languages being held by the Prince’s Teaching Institute (PTI) in Oxford this weekend.


Language lessons 'should aim for more than phrasebook competence'

15 November 2014 (BBC)

Language teachers should aim beyond "functional phrasebook competence" and encourage self-expression in pupils, a leading headmistress is to say.

Bernice McCabe, headmistress of North London Collegiate School, will say teachers should be "a thorn in the side of British insularity and reticence".

[...] The aim is to bring "new life" into language lessons, Mrs McCabe says.


A day in the life of Julian Morgan

14 November 2014 (TES)

Commuting through forests, over rivers and across borders is a daily undertaking for this British teacher at a German school, who delights in languages and gets his ideas from a ‘tree of inspiration’


'Tis the season to win a language lab!

14 November 2014 (Sanako)

Sanako is celebrating our new look website and are excited to announce that we are giving away a 20 position language lab…. just in time for Christmas!

The winning School/College/University will receive a 20 position Sanako Study 700 Language lab, our basic-level software language laboratory for the classroom environment. The Study 700 is ideal for the language lab novice and is an entry level system which incorporates all the basic language laboratory functions such as monitoring, discussion, pairing, listening activities and two-track recording as well as many more innovative features!

For a chance to win this fantastic prize, visit the competition website.


Majority want Welsh and English bilingual push in schools - poll

10 November 2014 (BBC News)

Most people in Wales would like to see school pupils taught to speak both Welsh and English, a survey claims.

A YouGov poll was commissioned by Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (the Welsh Language Society), who said the results were a "challenge" for the government.
It shows 56% of people agree that schools should aim to ensure pupils can communicate effectively in both languages.


How my school integrates languages into the primary curriculum

10 November 2014 (Guardian Teacher Network)

Teacher Heather Martin on why integrating Spanish in every aspect of her school – such as assemblies, tutor time, history and geography – is the key to language learning success.


2014 SALT Conference Report

8 November 2014 (SALT)

Around 250 delegates from across Scotland and beyond attended this year's SALT conference on 1st November at the John Anderson Buildings in Strathclyde University, Glasgow.

[...] We've put together this special conference newsletter as a souvenir for delegates, and the SALT Executive Committee hope that everyone gained something from the day and that you will all come back and join us again next year.


Write a Christmas Card to Felix and Franzi

6 November 2014 (Goethe-Institut)

Primary teachers of German, along with their students, are invited to send a Christmas Card in German to Felix and Franzi in order to win a great surprise.

Visit the Goethe-Institut London website for more information.

Don’t forget there are also lots of fun ideas and teaching materials for primary learners on the German with Felix and Franzi webpage.


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.


Vacancy: Professional Development Officer

4 November 2014 (SCILT)

SCILT urgently requires a Professional Development Officer to support schools as they continue to develop their strategy for the implementation of the 1+2 languages policy. This is an exciting opportunity to work at national level and drive forward the strategic languages agenda in Scotland.

The Professional Development Officer will be responsible for developing and delivering a broad range of support measures for primary language learning. This would include, for example, leading professional learning workshops and managing projects, national awards/competitions and other promotional events.

For more information and an application form, visit the University of Strathclyde's vacancy webpage (vacancy ref 211/2014).  Closing date for applications: 16 November 2014.


Double Club German

31 October 2014 (UK-German Connection)

With Germany as the current winners of the World Cup, now has never been a better time to kick-start a programme combining football and learning German! Double Club German is an award-winning educational programme for primary and secondary pupils using Arsenal FC to show pupils that language learning can be fun! Teachers have access to a range of recently updated resources, including detailed, step-for-step teachers' notes, interactive PowerPoint presentations and a brand-new, bright and colourful pupils' workbook.

If you are interested in taking part, please contact Steve Eadon, Double Club Languages Coordinator at - expressions of interest will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Note: if organising Double Club German sessions as an after-school activity is not feasible at your school, it can also be run as an activity in lessons or during the lunch-hour.

Double Club German is a project developed and run in partnership between Arsenal FC, the Goethe-Institut London and UK-German Connection.  More information is available on the Arsenal Double Club website.

New resources now include interactive video activities with Arsenal winger and German U19 international, Serge Gnabry. The full set of videos is available to all teachers participating in Double Club: German, however two sample videos are publicly available. 


Voyage Kids: St Martin's Day special

31 October 2014 (UK-German Connection)

St. Martin's Day is fast approaching (11 November), and children throughout Germany are looking forward to making lanterns and singing songs at a traditional St. Martin's Day procession. Why not teach your pupils about these fascinating German customs with the voyage kids St. Martin's Day Special?

  • Teach your pupils how kids celebrate St. Martin's Day in Germany
  • St. Martin's Day memory game. How quickly can your pupils find the pairs? 
  • Basteln - Make a colourful St. Martin's Day lantern
  • Laterne, Laterne & Ich geh' mit meiner Laterne songs – sing along with your pupils! (featuring recordings from UK primary schools)

Access the resources on the UK-German Connection website.


Vacancy: Professional Development Officer

23 October 2014 (SCILT)

SCILT urgently requires a Professional Development Officer to support primary schools as they continue to develop their strategy for the implementation of the 1+2 languages policy. This is an exciting opportunity to work at national level and drive forward the strategic languages agenda in Scotland.

The Professional Development Officer will be responsible for developing and delivering a broad range of support measures for primary language learning. This would include, for example, leading professional learning workshops and managing projects, national awards/competitions and other promotional events.

For more information and an application form, visit the University of Strathclyde's vacancy webpage.


Modern Languages National 1 - Professional Focus Paper

22 October 2014 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has produced a comprehensive range of Professional Focus Papers to assist those supporting learners as they work towards the new qualifications and highlight important features of learning which are enhanced or different from previous arrangements.

The papers are available on the Education Scotland website where the document for Modern Languages National 1 can be downloaded.


Understanding Language: learning and teaching - new MOOC in development

10 October 2014 (Future Learn)

The University of Southampton is currently working with the British Council to produce a free, open online course on the topic of language teaching.

Understanding Language: learning and teaching will be offered through FutureLearn from November 17th – December 15th, and will consist of four weeks offering a taster of topics related to language learning and teaching: what it means to learn language; consideration of how language classrooms impact on learning; the use of technology for language learning, and a case study of the most learnt language in the world -English.

These are topics which feature in the British Council/University of Southampton online MA in English Language Teaching.


Related Links

Creating a MOOC: in insider's view (Kate Borthwick, LLAS blog, 3 October 2014)

A day in the life of Helen Malandrakis

10 October 2014 (TES)

Restoring the status of the French language is a labour of love for this Canadian teacher. Despite a long commute and a relentless timetable, she is heartened by calls of ‘Bonjour!’ in the hallways.


MTOT blog: The Creative Bag of Tricks

9 October 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 fourth item, “I am” poems, is available to read now.


Glasgow modern languages newsletter - Autumn 2014

9 October 2014 (Glasgow City Council)

Read about the latest language activities and events which have been taking place in Glasgow's schools in the attached Autumn newsletter.

Beginners German for Primary Teachers, 8 Nov to 2 Dec 2014

7 October 2014 (Goethe-Institut)

Language learning in Scotland is presently facing exciting new opportunities and challenges whereby in 2020 pupils in Scotland will learn two languages in addition to their mother tongue.

This specially tailored course offers a first step for teachers who want to embrace and contribute to these new developments with confidence. Participants will learn linguistic, intercultural and methodological skills.

For full course details and to register by 24 October 2014 visit the Goethe-Institut website.


‘Every learner a language learner, every teacher a language teacher’

3 October 2014 (British Council)

The British Council organised an evening event on 26 September on the European Day of Languages to celebrate language diversity and language learning in UK schools.

‘Every learner a language learner, every teacher a language teacher’ featured case studies from Bordesley Green school in Birmingham and St Austin’s Primary in Liverpool on how they support MFL, CLIL, and EAL learners.

For those who were unable to attend the event, the presentations can now be viewed on YouTube.


Immersion courses in France and Spain 2015-16

3 October 2014 (LFEE)

LFEE now has course dates available in 2015 and 2016 for both primary and secondary teachers in either France or Spain.

The courses are fun and motivating and will help you implement the Scottish Government 1+2 language initiative and enhance your Professional Review and Development profile.

Funding for all courses is available through the European Union Erasmus+ Programme (formerly Comenius In-Service Training).  Please contact LFEE as soon as possible to pre-register and receive guidelines to help you apply for the Erasmus+ funding. Expected Erasmus+ application deadline: January 2015.

Full course details and how to register are available on the attached brochure or visit the LFEE website.

Along with LFEE we have other partner/cultural organisations who also offer professional learning opportunities both in Scotland and overseas.  Details can be accessed via the professional learning page on our website.


RELAUNCH! 'Vorsprung mit Deutsch' Webportal for the Young Global Citizen

26 September 2014 (Goethe Institut)

'Vorsprung mit Deutsch' is a web project for young people with an interest in learning German or improving their existing German language skills while gaining experience in a professional or leisure context. Under several headings young people can find ideas for planning holidays or work experience, for job opportunities or career prospects as well as study options and scholarships. This is a great way to motivate and guide pupils towards making German part of their potential career pathways.


Resources for the German classroom

26 September 2014 (Goethe Institut)

Web links, teaching materials for Secondary and Primary, ideas for cross-curricular projects, films to compliment classroom teaching as well as content for Broad General Education within the context of Modern Language teaching – all this and more is listed as downloads or available online for German learners and practitioners.


Spanish teacher training seminars in Ávila, Spain

12 September 2014 (IEMA)

Instituto Español Murallas de Ávila (IEMA) the institution for Spanish Language and Culture in Ávila, Spain, invites British Spanish teachers to participate in one of the following teacher training seminars in the World Heritage City of Ávila, Spain:

Some grants are available. Also, you may apply for an Erasmus+ grant. For more information please contact IEMA School director: Dr. Rainer Rutkowski by email (Dr. Rainer Rutkowski) or by telephone on 0034-920 222 773.

For more information about the IEMA and other available courses, visit their website.


Scottish Learning Festival (SLF) 2014 - Modern languages

11 September 2014 (Education Scotland)

This year at the Scottish Learning Festival the modern languages team from Education Scotland will be focusing on two key areas:

Their seminar “A 1+2 approach to language learning: policy into practice” will take practitioners and local authority representatives through the key elements and stages towards implementation of the 1+2 policy. The session includes an input from Emma Sowerby, Scottish Borders Council, who will share experiences of implementation from school and local authority perspectives. Information about the support and resources on offer from Education Scotland and SCILT, as well as the latest national guidance and support will also be shared.

In their conversation slots “Encouraging modern languages to flourish in the Senior Phase” they will engage practitioners in a professional dialogue about the strategies used by successful modern languages departments to maintain and increase uptake in modern languages beyond the Broad General Education.

For full details and to book your seminar place, see the conference programme on the Education Scotland website.


CPD Workshops for Primary School Teachers in 2014/15

11 September 2014 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française de Glasgow will be running a programme of CPDs in French for Primary School teachers:

  • 10 topics covered over ten weeks, tailored to the needs of Primary School teachers
  • Suitable as a follow-up to our Beginners class or for French teachers in Primary schools
  • Thursdays, 4.15-5.45pm between 30th October 2014 and 26th March 2015.

For full programme details, visit the Alliance Française website.  Enrolment deadline: 24 October 2014.


Love Languages - French (resource)

10 September 2014 (Into Film)

Interactive languages resource using film to teach French in primary. This is a cross-curricular second level resource with CfE links for Technologies, Expressive Arts, Social Studies, as well as Literacy and Languages and comes with teachers' notes, activity sheets and an accompanying Powerpoint.


£1.8 million training boost for language teaching

9 September 2014 (Government Dept for Education)

(Applies to England) Thousands of teachers will receive extra training and support to improve the teaching of foreign languages, thanks to £1.8 million of government money to fund a series of new school-led programmes, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan announced today (9 September 2014).

From this week schools across England will teach the new, more challenging languages curriculum - including a new requirement for languages to be compulsory for children aged 7 to 11 years. This will ensure that children in England learn the languages they need to succeed in the modern world.


Languages and the Christmas Truce

9 September 2014 (British Council)

Learn some new languages and all about the Christmas truce during WW1 with this activity from the Football Remembers pack.


Spanish Online Courses for Teachers

9 September 2014 (Consejería de Educación)

The Spanish Embassy Education Office in the UK is offering Spanish Online Courses for Primary and Secondary School Teachers in Britain through the Aula Virtual de Español (AVE), an interactive platform specifically designed by the Instituto Cervantes for the teaching and learning of Spanish.

The course lasts for 20 weeks, starting on 13/10/14 and finishing on 08/03/15.

Full details and application form are available on the attached flyer.  Or you can apply online at the website.  The application deadline is 26 September 2014.


Primary languages starter pack

9 September 2014 (British Council)

Our primary languages starter pack contains materials to support teaching of languages in UK primary schools.


Professional learning opportunities from Cultural Organisations

8 September 2014 (SCILT)

A number of SCILT's partner cultural organisations provide language courses for teachers. These courses aim to train teachers in a new language or to upgrade their current language skills and can range from half-day workshops to immersion courses abroad.

SCILT has compiled a grid of the immersion courses available from our partner cultural organisations, with information on the required level of language for participants, the teaching stage for which the course prepares them and whether there is funding available. We have also provided links to the cultural organisations that provide language courses for teachers here in Scotland. 

Visit the Professional Learning pages in the School Managers section of our website to view the courses on offer.


Launch of Gaelic immersion course for teachers

5 September 2014 (University of Strathclyde)

Gaelic language teaching in Scotland's schools is being boosted by a University of Strathclyde training programme. The Gaelic Immersion for Teachers (GIfT) course at Strathclyde offers qualified teachers who have learned Gaelic to intermediate level the chance to become fluent speakers of the language and learn the specialist skills needed for working in Gaelic medium classrooms.


Related Links

Teachers to start Gaelic course (Evening Times, 6 September 2014)

Language teaching help announced for teachers

5 September 2014 (BBC News)

A network of foreign language teaching hubs is to be set up across England to boost the language skills of teachers. It follows fears that many teachers do not have the skills to implement the new curriculum which requires foreign language teaching in primary schools.


Japanese teaching resources

1 September 2014 (Japan Foundation)

The Japan Foundation has released two new resources for teaching Japanese - the Japanese Taster Lesson Sample Activity Pack, and the JFL Scheme of Work for Primary Schools. These resources are absolutely free to download and use straight away!

You can find out more about the resources on the Japan Foundation website.


Why we need to value the learning of languages other than English

1 September 2014 (British Academy)

Article by Professor Nigel Vincent published in British Academy Review, Issue 24, Summer 2014.


How I teach – Making the foreign familiar

29 August 2014 (TES)

Combat fear of new languages by using phonics techniques. 

When I began teaching languages, I found that speaking was the biggest obstacle for most pupils. They needed to work on pronunciation, but at that time I had never heard of phonics being used in MFL. However, after speaking to primary teachers about how they used phonics and looking at phonics websites used by French schools, I built up a bank of resources suitable for children from beginners upwards.


Speaking in tongues – Issue 56

August 2014 (Teaching Scotland)

The Scottish Government's Strategic Implementation Group outlines their commitment to give all young people the chance to learn two additional languages

In 2011, the Scottish Government pledged: "We will introduce a norm for language learning in schools based on the European Union 1+2 model - that is we will create the conditions in which every child will learn two languages in addition to their own mother tongue. This will be rolled out over two Parliaments, and will create a new model for language acquisition in Scotland."

This commitment was made against a background that had seen the learning of languages eroded across the UK. In the same year, a study revealed the country's schoolchildren were less likely to learn multiple languages than those in almost any other EU member state.

The 1+2 policy is designed to reverse that trend. Here, we explain what 1+2 means for schools, teachers and heads.


SALT Conference 2014

22 August 2014 (SCILT)

The Scottish Association for Language Teaching is holding its annual conference on Saturday 1 November at the University of Strathclyde from 8.45 to 15.30. Online bookings can be made from mid September so watch this space for further information.

You can find out more about SALT on their website.


Scottish Learning Festival 2014

21 August 2014 (SCILT/Education Scotland)

Attending the Scottish Learning Festival? Come along and hear how forging a link with an external organisation or business can enhance the language learning experience for pupils in Scottish schools. The Business Language Champions: Making language learning real! seminar will demonstrate how the business partnership between the Scottish Football Association and the Modern Languages Department in Kilwinning Academy enhanced the learning experience and impacted on up-take in the Senior Phase.

For further details on this and the other language-related seminars at the September event, see the Scottish Learning Festival brochure on the Education Scotland website, where you can also book your seminar place. 


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.


Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching

19 August 2014 (Futurelearn)

A free online course from the University of Southampton and British Council commencing 17 November 2014. The 4-week course will introduce you to some of the latest ideas in research and practice in language learning and teaching.

For more information and to register for the course, visit the 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.


1+2 Pilot Schools: planning and materials published

13 August 2014 (SCILT)

New to the 1+2 section of our website is the ‘Planning and materials from pilot schools’ page. Here yo