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Gaelic row over Scotland’s hygge campaign

14 December 2017 (Scotsman)

It was meant to sum up that feeling of being all cosy, warm and settled indoors as the cold and the dark lurk outside. But the Gaelic word picked by VisitScotland to promote its’s own version of Danish hygge - a way of life characterised by candlelight, warm glows and logs on the fire - appears to have ruined the moment for some.


LfS: Connecting Classrooms ONLINE course

14 December 2017 (British Council)

Bookings are now open for tried and tested fully online British Council Learning for Sustainability: Connecting Classrooms course 19 January – 30 March 2018

Please spread the word and invite others in your school to participate by registering online.

There are also upcoming face to face/online courses in:

These courses are fully funded until June 2018, please encourage anyone you think might be interested to sign up and get involved.

SCILT newsletter - latest edition published

14 December 2017 (SCILT)

The latest edition of the SCILT newsletter has been published. Read how schools have developed partnerships with other schools in the area, with business and other external partners, and with schools across Europe, and the impact this has had on learning and teaching. Find out how European Day of Languages was celebrated, about Spanish at the zoo and about SCILT’s own work to celebrate and promote languages, including Word Wizard, our Business Brunches and Language Linking Global Thinking.


School of Modern Languages and Cultures (SMLC) working with schools

11 December 2017 (University of Glasgow)

Dr Elizabeth Geary Keohane (French) and Dr Eamon McCarthy (Hispanic Studies), along with SCILT (Scotland's National Centre for Languages) colleagues Louise Whyte and Janette Kelso at the University of Strathclyde, have organised and facilitated two workshops to date as part of the SMLC Cross-Sector Schools Outreach Workshops for Secondary Teachers and Pupils.


#ToYouFromTes: Why schools need to speak the same language on EAL support

11 December 2017 (TES)

Despite one in five pupils now speaking English as an additional language, Sameena Choudry says schools are still not doing enough to support EAL pupils. She sets out seven steps to put that right.

Across the globe, being bilingual is the norm. It is estimated that more than half of the world’s population can speak at least two languages. Yet in the UK, primarily as a result of the dominance of English in the world, a child that converses in more than one tongue is still viewed as being “different”, particularly within education.

This is despite the number of bilingual pupils in our schools increasing. Over 1 in 5 (1.25 million) of our pupils are recorded as having English as an additional language (EAL), according to 2016 government figures.

Have schools adapted to this? Not enough, in my view. For example, EAL pupils tend to be seen as a homogenous group, a remnant of that view of bilingualism as being a deviation from the norm, not the standard. But they are nothing of the sort.


‘Languages After Brexit’, edited by Michael Kelly

11 December 2017 (Financial Times)

If managers in decent-sized UK companies need someone who speaks German, Finnish or Polish, all they need to do is send a group email or wander through the office and ask. More than four decades of EU membership have made British employers lazy about languages: freedom of movement has brought hundreds of thousands of European workers to the UK, and their languages have come with them. What will happen if fewer of them arrive, and more go home, as is already happening?


Scottish Education Awards - nominations now open

8 December 2017 (Education Scotland)

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.

Nominations are now open and language practitioners will want to consider applying for the following categories:

  • The 1+2 Languages Award (primary and secondary cluster working)
  • Gaelic Education Award


Text in mither tongue — we help develop the first Scots-speaking smartphone keyboard

8 December 2017 (The National)

TEXTS in a fankle because your phone disnae ken whit yer oan aboot? Dinnae fash, the world’s first Scots-speaking predictive text keyboard is here — and The National helped developers build it. Techies at Microsoft subsidiary SwiftKey used material from this newspaper to teach their programme how to recognise, autocorrect and autopredict in Scotland’s ither national language. The system uses artificial intelligence (AI) to adapt to the user’s writing style and is capable of running between both Scots and English at once.


High school move paves way for city's first secondary dedicated to Gaelic

8 December 2017 (The Herald)

Plans to move a Gaelic school in Edinburgh will pave the way for the city's first high school dedicated to the language, if demand grows.

Edinburgh City Council is consulting on plans to move its existing Gaelic medium education (GME) provision from James Gillespie's High School in Marchmont to Drummond Community High School in Bellevue. The informal consultation is to begin in the new year after reports that projections for James Gillespie's suggest it will have issues accommodating pupil intake in the future.

The council said transfer of GME provision to Drummond Community High School means it could become a dedicated Gaelic secondary in several years' time.


Duolingo Rolls Out New Language-Learning Podcast

8 December 2017 (Language Magazine)

The language-learning app, Duolingo has decided to add NPR style podcasts to their arsenal of tools to get people speaking. 

The company, which is typically known for gamifying language in their app, has launched Duolingo Spanish Podcast, aimed at English speakers who are seeking to learn Spanish. The first podcast is available here and is about reporter Rodrigo Soberanes meeting his childhood soccer hero. Soberanes is a seasoned journalist, and his and host Martina Castro’s banter is not only easy to understand for intermediate Spanish speakers, but is also interesting and engaging.


Map: How the number of Scottish Gaelic speakers has changed since 1891

8 December 2017 (The Scotsman)

The prevalence of Scottish Gaelic speakers has waned dramatically in the last 100 years. The language was once widely spoken across much of the Highlands and western regions of Scotland but now only around 1 in 100 Scots can speak it.

This video from UK Languages Mapping charts the decline in the language from 1891-2011 using census date.


James Eglinton: Why Gaelic speakers talk about God in English

7 December 2017 (The Scotsman)

At present, the Gaelic language is both blossoming and vulnerable. The number of young and new Gaelic speakers is increasing, although this upturn is overshadowed by the declining number of elderly speakers.

In its commitment to grow the number of fluent speakers, the Scottish Government continues to support Gaelic in education and the media. In 2017, Gaelic is doing fairly well as a language of education, media and entertainment: it is heard in news broadcasts, spoken in classrooms across the country, and enjoyed by children in the form of cartoons like Peppa and Charlie is Lola. 

Against this backdrop the Scottish Bible Society has unveiled a new translation of the New Testament in modern Scottish Gaelic.


Christmas competition for primary schools

7 December 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

Christmas time in Germany is special and possibly a little different from the UK’s traditions during the festive season. The film Christmas time in Germany explains mostly in pictures, what usually happens in Germany in December and can be used in your lessons. Teachers can print out the entry form for their pupils (versions with questions in English or German depending on what level is needed are downloadable). Pupils are supposed to watch the film at home again and answer the questions on the entry form in order to receive a small gift. They should add a greeting for Felix and Franzi in German. Teachers can either send their pupils’ entry forms to the Goethe-Institut in one batch or pupils send us their entries individually. We will send small presents via the schools to everyone doing his homework.


Competition: German Olympics 2018 (IDO)

7 December 2017 (Goethe-Institut)

The German Olympics (IDO) is the biggest competition for the German language. Every two years over 100 students from all around the world meet to compete in their most beloved foreign language. We are happy to welcome the German Olympics for schools worldwide to the United Kingdom in 2018 for the second time. The final will take place in Freiburg, 15 to 28 July 2018. The United Kingdom are eligible to send two secondary school students born 2001 to 2004. The German Olympics promotes young people from all around the world to encounter one another thanks to the fact they all study German. They will become friends and build up an international network.


Glasgow home to largest number of Gaelic speakers outwith highlands and islands

7 December 2017 (GlasgowLive)

A public consultation has been launched on Glasgow City Council's draft Gaelic language plan for the next few years. Views are being sought for the 2018 - 2022 proposals, designed to ensure a sustainable future for the language in Scotland's biggest city and recognise its contribution to the history of the local area. Glasgow City Council currently operates three Gaelic nurseries, two primary schools and one secondary school. There are more than 1,000 young people aged from three to 18 years in Gaelic Medium Education in the city and, in response to demand, the council is currently in discussions about the creation of another school.


Certificate exams in German

8 December 2017 (Goethe-Institut Glasgow)


Goethe-Institut examinations are well known throughout the world and the associated certificates are accepted as a qualification by employers and further education institutions in many countries. The Goethe-Institut Glasgow offers certificate exams twice a year, in February and in June. For details about the exams and practice materials, please check our webpage.

Forthcoming exam dates:

02.02.2018 (level C1 & C2)

09.02.2018 (levels B1 & B2)

10.02.2018 (levels A1 & A2)

Registration deadline:

12 January 2018 for exam levels C1 & C2.

19 January 2018 for exam levels A1 to B2

Registrations can be made online.


SQA Spanish Opportunity: Advanced Higher Visiting Assessors

7 December 2017 (SQA)

SQA is currently recruiting Visiting Assessors for Spanish Advanced Higher Performance-talking in 2018.

A Visiting Assessor visits centres to assess candidate performance against national standards, in accordance with SQA policy and instructions.

Support and training will be provided for this role. Successful applicants will complete a training exercise prior to attending a briefing event, which will be held on the morning of Saturday 3 February 2018.

Attendance at the briefing event in 2018 is mandatory for new Visiting Assessors.

Centre visits will be carried out during the period 12 February-23 March 2018. Up to 5 days release will be required. Release fees and/or own time fees will be paid, as well as expenses.

Further detail about the role is available at the link below, where applications may be submitted. Closing date is Sunday 7 January 2018.

More information is available through the link below. If you have any queries, please contact Elaine Clusker, Qualifications Officer.


Plan for more school pupils to study foreign languages

4 December 2017 (The Irish Times)

An ambitious Government strategy aims to dramatically increase the number of students taking two foreign languages in the State exams despite an acute shortage of qualified teachers for these subjects.

The 10-year foreign language strategy seeks to prepare Ireland for Brexit through a series of steps such as potential bonus Central Applications Office (CAO) points for studying foreign languages, boosting the availability of languages in schools and the introduction of Chinese to the curriculum.


Barcelona summer school on bilingualism and multilingualism

4 December 2017 (Bilingualism Matters)

In September, the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona hosted the Barcelona Summer School on Bilingualism and Multilingualism, a renowned school for postgraduate students and researchers to gather, present and discuss the newest developments in their respective fields.

A few members of Bilingualism Matters Edinburgh were able to attend this year, promoting their research either in an oral presentation or a poster session.

The overarching theme was, as the name suggests, research concerning bilingualism and multilingualism: ranging from neuro-cognitive factors and the implications for ageing and health to the sociolinguistic development in bilingual children. The talks and posters provided an interesting and broad overview of the work that has been conducted in the field.


Scottish pupils release Gaelic Christmas song to highlight its importance in North Lanarkshire

2 December 2017 (The National)

A new Christmas song is highlighting the importance of Gaelic in North Lanarkshire.

’S e Nollaig a th’ ann! (It’s Christmas!) was recorded by Làn Chomais, a rock band made up of pupils from Greenfaulds High School in Cumbernauld, with the backing of almost 1000 young voices from the area.

Gaelic teacher Kevin Rodgers mentored the young musicians and helped them make their first recording, and was supported by North Lanarkshire Council and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

Rodgers said: “At Greenfaulds High School, we have been searching for a way to make the North Lanarkshire community more aware of the fact that Gaelic is alive and well in our area.”


French the new lingua franca of the world – vraiment?

2 December 2017 (Guardian)

Are we turning into a French-speaking planet? That was the surprising possibility raised by president Emmanuel Macron on a recent visit to Burkina Faso. “French will be the first language of Africa,” he said, plausibly, before adding, “perhaps the world.” Ah, oui? C’est vrai?


SCHOLAR online sessions - Higher Modern Languages

1 December 2017 (SCHOLAR)

SCHOLAR’s upcoming online sessions include:

Higher Modern Languages on Monday 4 December 2017 at 6:00 pm

Join a session and enter as a guest.

For more information on how to take part in our Online Sessions as well as upcoming sessions, please visit: SCHOLAR's Live Online Sessions.

Please note that worksheets will be available and should be attempted before some sessions.

Oral Revision Courses: Higher and Advanced Higher French

1 December 2017 (Alliance Française Glasgow )

The AF Glasgow will be running special revision courses for pupils who are sitting their Higher and Advanced Higher French oral examinations in early 2018.


Oh là là! The appeal of international picturebooks

1 December 2017 (TES)

Picturebooks enable language learning using a familiar, non-intimidating format that is accessible across all reading levels.

Subscription required to access article


Scotland-Russia Forum bulletin

1 December 2017 (SRF)

The latest bulletin has been published by the Scotland-Russia forum.


SCILT Christmas webpage now live!

1 December 2017 (SCILT/CISS)

Are you looking for ways to bring the festive season to your languages classroom?

SCILT have compiled a range of online resources for use with your pupils, from songs and games to interactive advent calendars. Find out how Christmas is celebrated in France, Germany, Spain and around the world!


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.


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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