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Bonnyrigg school establishes links with China

21 July 2017 (Midlothian Advertiser)

It’s been a very busy time for Hawthornden Primary School.

Following their successful school show ‘Hairspray’, Hawthornden pupils have excelled themselves again by performing at the launch of the Confucius Primary Hub.

The audience was entertained by P7s performing a Dragon Dance, a Fan Dance and Looking for a Friend. P6s performed a colours song in Mandarin. P3 pupils, who attend Mandarin classes at the Children’s University at Queen Margaret, amazed everyone by reading and translating a Mandarin story. Chinese colleagues praised their accents and pronunciation.

S4 Lasswade High School pupils also performed a dance to show primary pupils how Mandarin can be continued in high school.

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Calls to boost Gaelic language with Unesco status

20 July 2017 (The Scotsman)

A campaign to boost Gaelic language and its cultural heritage is seeking Unesco status.

A parliamentary committee is leading the call for UNESCO to award special status to the language.

Currently around 60,000 people speak the language, with numbers drastically decreasing. In the 2011 census, 1.1% of the population stated that they could speak the language.

However, the chairwoman of the cross party committee on Gaelic in the Scottish Parliament, Kate Forbes believes that securing a special UNESCO status would help preserve historical traditions and ensure they are kept alive for future generations.

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Young Brits to make German connections

19 July 2017 (UK Government)

More British youngsters will be able to learn about German language and culture after a new agreement was made between the Foreign Secretary and the German Foreign Minister.

Boris Johnson and Sigmar Gabriel have signed off on a doubling of funding for UK-German Connection (UKGC), which means an increase in the number of places available on the scheme.

The funding increase, to around £230,000 and matched by the German government, will expand the scheme’s work in bringing together children and teachers in both countries to learn about each other’s language, history, and culture.

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Le Petit Prince is printed for first time in Scots

18 July 2017 (The National)

Another classic literary tale has been given the Scots treatment as Le Petit Prince becomes The Wee Prince.

Language specialist Dr Susan Rennie of Glasgow University, author of ABC: a Scots Alphabet, has brought the classic to life in Scots for the first time.

Originally published in 1943, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s timeless tale is believed to have sold 150 million copies worldwide, read by around 400 million readers and officially translated more than 320 times.

The book, released last week, reveals the life of the enigmatic Wee Prince, including the secrets of his dowff an dowie life, his fondness for sundouns and his love for a wondrous bonnie. The poignancy of the original remains, with its message that the things that really matter in life – the muckle maitters – are takkin guid tent of your hame planet, and cultivating the deep ties of friendship and love.

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Scots Emojis

18 July 2017 (Scottish Sun)

A language expert has come up with a Scots meaning for almost every emoji you can think of.

Dr Michael Dempster put together the incredible list spanning around 200 mobile emoticons.

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Babies can distinguish between familiar and foreign languages while still in the womb

18 July 2017 (Daily Mail)

Fetuses can distinguish between someone speaking to them in English and Japanese one month before they are born, researchers have found.

Fetuses can hear things in the womb, including speech - although it's muffled.

But they can still perceive the rhythm of a language, and the study suggests that fetuses discriminate between different types of language based on rhythmic patterns.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Center, has implications for fetal research in other fields, says the lead author.

'Research suggests that human language development may start really early - a few days after birth,' said Dr Utako Minai, associate professor of linguistics and the team leader on the study.

'Babies a few days old have been shown to be sensitive to the rhythmic differences between languages.

'Previous studies have demonstrated this by measuring changes in babies' behavior; for example, by measuring whether babies change the rate of sucking on a pacifier when the speech changes from one language to a different language with different rhythmic properties.

'This early discrimination led us to wonder when children's sensitivity to the rhythmic properties of language emerges, including whether it may in fact emerge before birth.

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Government to spend £10m recruiting 600 foreign teachers to fill maths, physics and languages roles

15 July 2017 (The Independent)

The government is to spend up to £10m recruiting foreign teachers to fill shortages in maths, physics and languages roles.

The multi-million pound sum, to be funded by the taxpayer, will be spent on finding and training 600 new teachers, potentially equating to a cost of more than £16,000 per teacher.

The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) have published a tender outlining plans to recruit the teachers over three years, with the first intake beginning in September 2018.

Last week it was revealed that a quarter of teachers who qualified since 2011 have left the job.

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Ambulance service reveals Gaelic language plan

14 July 2017 (The Oban Times)

The Scottish Ambulance Service has published a Gaelic language plan for the next five years.

The plan, which is a statutory requirement for public bodies in Scotland under the Gaelic Language Scotland Act 2005, sets out how the service will harness and enhance language skills within the organisation.

A key part of the plan is to conduct an audit to establish how many staff members have Gaelic language skills and where the demand for these skills is greatest. This will help to inform training and ensure staff members with language skills are utilised effectively.

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Spanish Language and DELE Preparation Online Courses

7 July 2017 (University of Strathclyde)

These new online courses are aimed at prospective candidates for the DELE exams. They will cover the different proficiency levels described by the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages): A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2.

Although the courses are aimed at familiarising learners with the format of the DELE exams, they also help to prepare you where a particular level of proficiency in Spanish is needed such as working or living abroad, support for other university courses and primary school language policies.

Related Files

N5 Modern Languages: assignment-writing understanding standards materials

4 July 2017 (SQA)

Eight pieces of candidate evidence with commentaries for the new Assignment – writing component of the National 5 Modern Languages course for 2017-18 have been published on SQA’s Understanding Standards website. These contain examples in French, German and Spanish. Further examples in other languages will be published as soon as these are developed.

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Threlford Memorial Cup 2017 - Call for nominations now open

26 May 2017 (Chartered Institute of Linguists)

Do you know someone who's done something truly amazing for language learning?

Chartered Institute of Linguists is looking for nominations for the Threlford Memorial Cup 2017. The Cup is presented annually to a person, an organisation, or for a project that has inspired others with an original language initiative. The Cup will be presented by Royal Patron HRH Prince Michael of Kent at our Awards Evening in London in November.

The deadline for nominations is Friday 28 July 2017.

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New job profile on SCILT's website

21 April 2016 (SCILT)

We have a range of job profiles on the SCILT website to let your pupils see that languages are valuable in the world of work. People from a range of sectors - including sport, marketing, technology and many more - explain how language learning has influenced their professional lives. See our latest addition:
  • Ross Noble, Conference Interpreter - his role as conference interpreter at the European Commission gives him the chance to use all of his languages every day and to learn about varied and interesting topics.
See this and other job profiles on our website now.

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Disclaimer: These news stories do not claim to be comprehensive and the views expressed do not necessarily represent the views of SCILT.

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Bonnyrigg school establishes links with China More...

Calls to boost Gaelic language with Unesco status More...

Young Brits to make German connections More...

Le Petit Prince is printed for first time in Scots More...