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New job profiles on the SCILT website

17 August 2018 (SCILT)

The job profiles on our website cover a range of professions where languages are being used. 

We have two new profiles for the start of the new school session:

  • Lorne Gillies is an award winning journalist whose language skills have enabled her to connect with people around the world, whilst helping her understanding of English.
  • Ian Ross is a specialist in international trade and investment. Dealing with several Chinese companies, he tells us cultural awareness is as important as learning the language.

Teachers use our profiles in the classroom to enhance learning about the world of work and how languages can play a part.

Vive le Fringe ! 2018

16 August 2018 (Institut français)

From 3-27 August, the Institut français d'Ecosse will be hosting Fringe shows from exciting French, Scottish, and European artists based locally and on the continent.

Edinburgh-based Ludens Ensemble will perform Forbidden Stories, a devised multimedia performance, which questions cultural homogeneity, notions of otherness, and religious and nationalist tensions in the context of the partition of Greek and Turk communities on Cyprus.

(Mes)Dames, a contemporary dance piece choreographed by Constant VigierScottish Ballet First Artist trained at the Opera national de Paris School of Dance, and set to the music of Christine and the Queens and Perfume Genius, offers a feminist gaze on the place of woman and femininity in modern society.

Berlin’s Duo Mimikry, composed of Nicolas Rocher and Elias Elastisch, bring Visual Short Stories, a series of non-verbal comedy vignettes, to the Institut français d’Ecosse. The French and German pair uses their expert miming skills and filmlike narrative techniques to deliver pitch black visual comedy.

Rounding out the programming in the Institut’s largest performance space, the Emilienne Moreau-Evrard room, is Out of Place, a show about a man who, despite his best efforts, never seems to find his place in life. Created and performed by Guérassim Dichliev, a gifted mime and physical comedian who trained at the Marcel Marceau International School of Miming, this one-clown show draws upon his experiences of displacement, both working in the theatre and living as a Bulgarian national in Paris for more than 25 years.

In SWAP/TROC, the Paisley-based Sita Pieraccini (much praised for Bird, performed as part of the 2016 Made in Scotland showcase) joins forces with the French clown Corentin Boisset to create a new work to be performed in the Institut’s dedicated children’s space, the Théâtre des Enfants. This poetic and subtle clown show will see Sita and Corentin desperately sashaying their way through the airport’s no man’s land in search of what one lost, and the other found.

Finally, for the youngest of audiences, the Crazy Comics Puppets will transform the Kieffer room into a puppet theatre, performing two different shows, The Carnival of the Animalsand A Cake for CubitusRodrigue and Janvier, two French bande dessinée authors will bring to life some of the most iconic characters from French comics, alternating between English on odd days and French on even days. In addition to these shows aimed at children 5 and up, Rodrigue will also be delivering a series of free illustration masterclasses for participants of all ages and experience levels alongside Janvier and local Scottish writer Scott MacKay.

See the Institut français d'Ecosse website for more information.

Read more...

A-levels: proportion of students in England getting C or above falls

16 August 2018 (The Guardian)

The proportion of students in England gaining C grades or above in A-levels fell back this year, driven by a relatively weaker performance among girls, as schools and students continue to grapple with the introduction of new, more intensive exams.

[..] Modern languages continued their baleful downward trend, with nearly 8% fewer entries in French, German and Spanish. More A-level students took Chinese this year than German.

Read more...

Concours de la francophonie 2019

16 August 2018 (Institut français)

The Institut français d’Ecosse launched in 2016 le concours de la francophonie, a national school competition to encourage all young French learners and their teachers around Scotland to celebrate the international day of la francophonie.

All Scottish primary and secondary schools offering French may enter this competition by submitting a short video of a classroom activity in French. Entry deadline: January 2019.

Visit the Institut français d’Ecosse website for more information. 

Read more...

Institut français d'Ecosse After School Club

16 August 2018 (Institut français)

Paris, c'est parti!

This is the Autumn theme for the new Institut français d'Ecosse After School Club!

The programme, aimed at children from P1 to P7, is the fruit of a collaboration between French Drama company Theatre Sans Accents, the puppet theatre company Le Petit Monde and the institute.

So needless to say, fun and creativity will be at the fore front of all the activities!

For more information, please visit the Institut français d'Ecosse website and click on the 'Autumn Classes 2018' PDF for details.

Read more...

The lessons Gaelic schools can teach us about learning

15 August 2018 (The National)

[..] Gaelic medium education succeeds in producing new generations of fluent Gaelic speakers because, as its name suggests, it makes use of the Gaelic language to teach other subjects. Kids don’t sit in classes where they are taught Gaelic in the same way that French or other foreign languages are taught in schools.

The difference in the fluency level that is achieved is stark. I was taught Gaelic the old-fashioned way, and am the proud possessor of a Gaelic Learner’s O Grade and a Gaelic Learner’s Higher. I was taught Gaelic in much the same way kids in modern Scottish schools are taught French or German, in a dedicated class, a couple of hours a week. The result is that although I can puzzle out a written text in the language and have a reasonably sized Gaelic vocabulary, I struggle to follow a Gaelic conversation and can’t express myself orally.

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Applications for languages degrees plummet, figures show

15 August 2018 (The Herald)

The number of applications for foreign language degrees has plummeted in the last decade, figures show.

Applications for both European and non-European language degree courses have fallen, according to an analysis of Ucas data carried out by the Press Association.

(Note - subscription required to read full article).

Read more...

Related Links

Number of students interested in studying foreign languages drops (The National, 15 August 2018)

SQA changes to Higher Modern Languages

14 August 2018 (SCILT/SQA)

SQA has published several documents relating to the changes to Higher Modern Languages.

  • Higher Course Specification 2018-19 - this document includes information on the structure of the course; requirements for each component, including the new Assignment Writing; marking instructions for Directed Writing and the Assignment- Writing; course support notes and scaling tables.
  • Specimen Question Papers - Higher French, Gaelic, German and Spanish papers have been published to date. These papers reflect the changes to Directed Writing and Listening.
  • Course work assessment task for Higher Modern Languages Assignment-Writing - this includes information on the assessment task; examples of annotated drafts; examples of stimuli; Assignment Writing templates and instructions for candidates.
  • Course work assessment task for Higher Modern Languages Performance of Talking - this includes information on the assessment task; recording documentation; candidate assessment record and instructions for candidates.
  • Understanding Standards - Assignment Writing and Directed Writing candidate evidence and commentaries:
    • There are 6 Assignment Writing examples – 2 French, 2 German and 2 Spanish
    • There are 8 examples of Directed Writing – 4 French and 4 Spanish​
  • Video overview of course assessment from session 2018-19

CPD: Webinar - September 4, 10 and 27

Teachers can book a place on this on the SQA events booking system.

These documents can all be found on the SQA's Higher homepage

Read more...

French courses in Glasgow now enrolling

13 August 2018 (Alliance Française)

Enrolments are now being taken at the Alliance Française for la Rentrée. Click on the appropriate link below to find out more.

Visit the Alliance Française main website for information about their other available activities.

Read more...

Behemoth, bully, thief: how the English language is taking over the planet – podcast

13 August 2018 (The Guardian)

No language in history has dominated the world quite like English does today. Is there any point in resisting?

Listen to the podcast or read the text version online.

Read more...

External review of SCILT published

13 August 2018 (SCILT)

As part of our self-evaluation and quality improvement activities, SCILT commissioned Bruce Robertson OBE to conduct an in-depth, external review of the organisation. The final report was published in August 2018. It has given us important insights into how we can best move forwards in a changing educational landscape. 

Read more...

Scottish youth to explore the way of the dragon...

13 August 2018 (4barsrest)

Carnoustie High School Band will head east this September to become the first youth brass band to tour China.

The remarkable opportunity came following a performance at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow in 2016 for the renowned Confucius Institute for Scotland.

Such was the success that it led to the school's head teacher Donald Currie being contacted to set the ball rolling on the ambitious initiative — and now, after almost two years of research and fundraising the band will fly out on 7th September for 15 unforgettable days of music and cultural learning.

Confucius Hubs are based in schools and seek to make links with local communities throughout Scotland — with Carnoustie serving the Angus area. It promotes the joint planning of cultural activities, sharing ideas and resources to stimulate the learning and teaching of Chinese language and culture.

The band will fly out from Glasgow, and after a short stop in Dubai will carry on to China where they will enjoy seven days in Tianjin and seven more in Beijing before their return.

While in Tianjin, the band members will be learning Mandarin, as well as performing three concerts. They will also visit Chinese families and schools, enabling the young musicians to experience Chinese culture first hand with a chance to learn Gongfu (Chinese martial arts), Tai Chi, and the ancient arts of calligraphy and mask painting.

Read more...

SLR Summer 2018 edition online now

13 August 2018 (SCILT)

Read contributions from the United States, Wales, Finland/France and Scotland on language promotion efforts, mentoring from university students, students' use of the target language in class, the impact of combining art with languages in a primary class, and strategies for increasing language uptake in the senior phase.  Check out our other sections to find links to: the new National Framework for Languages (Selected Publications), more contributions from the American perspective (Selected Articles), the national UCMLS conference for all language stakeholders on 15 September (Selected Events).  

Read more...

Agenda: It's time to take an interest in cool Germania

11 August 2018 (The Herald)

Sometimes it seems there’s a perception that Germany is somehow ... well, boring. Apparently news stories about Germany, even in the Herald, get far fewer views than average ones. But why should Germany be such a journalistic turn-off for readers?

[...] Wherever one stands on Brexit, leaving the EU means that Germany is going to become more important to the UK and to Scotland, not less. Yet fewer and fewer people are learning German. (Which is odd, since, contrary to the widespread myth, it’s a relatively easy language to learn.)

Read more...

Scotland experiencing 'mass movement' of parents seeking Gaelic schools

10 August 2018 (The Herald)

Scotland is experiencing a “mass movement” of parents who want their children to be educated in Gaelic, creating increasing demand for more specialist schools to be built.

Allan MacDonald, chair of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the public body responsible for Gaelic, said there had been a “significant” boost in the number of families interested in Gaelic education in towns and cities.

He said the language was experiencing a “shift in emphasis” away from its heartlands and towards the Central Belt as populations continue to plummet in Scotland’s most rural areas.

He added: “The numbers are growing in the cities and the bigger towns all the time. And that contrasts quite significantly with the economic situation – not just in the Western Isles, but in other areas of the Highlands as well.”

t comes as a series of commitments aimed at boosting the strength of Gaelic were unveiled at a milestone meeting of public bodies chaired by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

This includes plans to publish the first ever Gaelic tourism strategy this autumn to help bring visitors into contact with the language.

Officials also want to increase the number of school subjects which can be taught in Gaelic.

Read more...

Related Links

Perth summit pledges action to accelerate use of Gaelic language (The Courier, 10th August 2018)

Fantastic opportunity to get involved in international work

9 August 2018 (YouthLink Scotland)

YouthLink Scotland, its members and UK/German Connection have teamed up to offer an opportunity to share experiences and make new links between our two countries.

This is an exciting opportunity for workers and the young people (aged 14-21) they work with to get together with German counterparts here and in Germany.

The commitment is two residential weekends taking place in October and December - one in Scotland and one in Berlin.

Places are limited so get in touch soon. The deadline for expressions of interest is 30 August 2018.

Read more...

RCS Haven E-Bulletin - August 2018

8 August 2018 (RCS Haven)

The Russian Centre in Scotland Haven's latest news bulletin is now available. 

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Thousands more pupils to learn Mandarin ahead of Brexit

7 August 2018 (TES)

An expanding academy chain plans to teach Mandarin to thousands of pupils across its schools, to prepare them for life in post-Brexit Britain.

The Co-op Academies Trust will offer Mandarin Chinese to more than 10,000 students.

The trust, which runs schools in Greater Manchester, Leeds and Stoke-on-Trent, is working with the Swire Chinese Language Foundation, which supports the training of specialist Mandarin Chinese teachers.

(Subscription required to read full article)

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Scotland-Russia Forum news bulletin

7 August 2018 (SRF)

The latest news bulletin from the SRF is now available which includes upcoming events and activities in Scotland and beyond.

Read more...

UNESCO launches the website for the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL2019)

7 August 2018 (UNESCO)

The International Day of the World's Indigenous People's is well-timed for UNESCO to launch a special website, IYIL2019, dedicated to the International Year of Indigenous languages (IY2019) which will be commemorated by UNESCO’s members and partners throughout 2019.

The website will contribute to raising the awareness about this International Year and about the urgent need to preserve, revitalize and promote indigenous languages around the world.

Read more...

Scottish Gaelic Awards 2018

7 August 2018 (Scottish Gaelic Awards)

The Daily Record, alongside headline sponsor Bòrd na Gàidhlig are proud to launch the 2018 campaign to celebrate Gaelic culture, education and language highlighting the excellent work undertaken to maintain growth and heritage.

Visit the website for more information and submit your nomination by 25 September 2018.

Read more...

SQA: Scottish education exam results 2018

7 August 2018 (Relocate Magazine)

Scottish exam results are in - and more than 2/3rds of independent school pupils sitting exams achieved a Higher grade A in foreign languages, including Mandarin. 

Although the number of entries for Highers and the proportion of students who received a pass mark has fallen slightly, data from the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS) reveals that 68% of pupils studying foreign languages have achieved a Higher grade A.

The data, collected from SCIS’s 74 member schools, shows that 72% of students achieved a Higher grade A in Mandarin, while 72% of those studying German, 69% of those studying French and 63% studying Spanish also achieved an A.

Read more...

Related Links

Language exam entries are falling, but pourquoi? (TESS, 17 August 2018) Note - subscription required to read article.

Review call after fall in pupils studying languages and science (The Herald, 10 August 2018)

John Swinney urged to review school subject choice after figures show collapse in modern languages (The Telegraph, 9 August 2018) Note - subscription required to read full article.

Two-thirds fewer Scottish S4 pupils passing French exams under new curriculum (The Telegraph, 8 August 2018) Note - subscription required to read full article.

Attainment Statistics (August) 2018 (SQA, 7 August 2018)

Shanghai teacher immersion course 2018

7 August 2018 (CISS)

A group of teachers from Scotland spent two weeks in July immersing themselves in new cultural experiences in Shanghai, China.

A typical day consisted of an early start, breakfast in the Shitang (canteen) followed by Mandarin classes. Everyone greatly enjoyed the lessons as beginners were well supported whilst the more experienced speakers were sufficiently challenged. 

This was followed by a cultuphoto of Shanghai skyline by nightral excursion or experience. For most this was the highlight of the trip as it allowed everyone to apply their learning and to experience authentic Chinese culture.

Highlights in Shanghai included a riverboat cruise by night, showcasing the breath-taking skyline, relaxing from the hustle and bustle experiencing Tai chi, and producing calligraphy and hearing stories behind the characters.

Death of the phrase book and rise of smartphone translation apps leads to holiday faux pas, British Council say

7 August 2018 (The Telegraph)

It was once considered a staple of any holiday packing list, on a par with sunscreen, a pack of cards and flip-flops.

But the phrasebook is now becoming a thing of a past, with its demise hastened by the rise of smartphone translation apps, according to research conducted by the British Council.

Google translate and other apps are increasingly popular among the younger generation, who have complained that inaccurate translations are leading to embarrassing faux pas.

Over 60 per cent of 16 to 34 year-olds said they have used their smartphones and apps to help understand the local language, with just 39 per cent opting for a phrasebook.  

A poll of a poll of 2,000 adults, commissioned by the British Council, found that relying on technology brings its own perils, with more than one in five of this age group reporting that an inaccurate translation on their phone has led to misunderstandings while on holiday.  

Read more...

Americans are losing out because so few speak a second language

6 August 2018 (San Francisco Chronicle)

The United States may be the single most powerful nation in the world militarily, and remains a global economic giant, but we have seen repeatedly that our influence is limited. In part, we are constrained by our inadequate understanding of other nations and peoples, and by our inability to communicate effectively with them.

It is therefore disturbing, and evidence of a dangerous myopia, that we continue to neglect training and education in languages other than English.

In 1979, I was a member of the President’s Commission on Foreign Language and International Studies, which found that “Americans’ incompetence in foreign languages is nothing short of scandalous.” Last year, nearly 40 years later, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences released a similar report, “America’s Languages,” and its findings were eerily similar: “[T]he dominance of English, to the exclusion of other languages, has also had adverse and often unforeseen consequences at home and abroad — in business and diplomacy, in civic life, and in the exchange of ideas.”

Much has changed in the decades between these two reports, including the continuing spread of English globally. Today, English is an official language of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the International Criminal Court, and NATO, as well as the unofficial language of international business.

What has not changed, however, is that English alone — an education in English to the exclusion of other languages — remains insufficient to meeting our needs in a global world.

In times of great national security challenges, such as those we face today, as well as in times of great opportunity, such as the opening of new international markets, we find ourselves scrambling for people who can speak, write, and think in languages other than English. In those moments, we search high and low for people who can communicate in Mandarin, Japanese, Russian, Pashto — and especially for people who understand the idioms and nuances that characterize true communication in any culture.

Because it is difficult to find such people immediately, we are at a disadvantage. Language acquisition is a marathon, not a sprint. By the time we educate and train the experts we need to help us address a particular language gap, we are often too late. The crisis has shifted. Others have captured the new market.

As a matter of public policy, this is a terribly inefficient way to operate.

Read more...

Related Links

What is the future of English in the US? (BBC, 9 August 2018)

Government to Improve Foreign Language Teaching in Schools

3 August 2018 (Good Morning Britain)

The government has announced plans to improve teaching to boost the number of students opting to take foreign languages at GCSE level. Minister for School Standards, Nick Gibb, believes that learning an extra language is good for young people for traveling and opens more opportunities within the workplace. 

See the video interview broadcast on Good Morning Britain.

Read more...

Being bilingual or playing a musical instrument may improve brain function

2 August 2018 (Medical News Bulletin)

Canadian researchers determined whether learning a second language or learning to play a musical instrument can improve brain function.

When it comes to remembering items on a list or phone numbers, previous research has shown that musicians and individuals who are bilingual have a better working memory.  To investigate why this is the case, a team of Canadian researchers conducted functional brain imaging scans on 41 young adults (ages 19-35) to see how various regions of the brain were activated during the completion of spatial and non-spatial memory tasks.

The results of this study, published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, indicated that participants who were bilingual, and in particular, those who played a musical instrument, were better able to locate and identify sounds. In addition, these two experiences seemed to shape which neural networks were used to complete working memory tasks.

Read more...

Deaf boy’s campaign for new GCSE in sign language takes step forward

2 August 2018 (ITV)

A GCSE in British Sign Language (BSL) could be introduced in this parliament after the government backed down on a decision to delay it.

Deaf schoolboy Daniel Jillings, 12, is campaigning for the new exam in time for his GCSEs, and his family launched a legal challenge to get one instated as quickly as possible.

The Department for Education had previously said no new GCSEs would be introduced in this parliament, but following submissions from the family’s lawyers it said it may consider making an “exception”.

Daniel’s family’s lawyers argue the lack of a GCSE in BSL may be “discriminatory and unlawful”.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said on Wednesday: “We will consider any proposals put forward for a GCSE in British Sign Language.

“As we have made clear previously, any new GCSE would need to meet the rigorous standards set by both the Department and Ofqual.

“If these expectations are met and a British Sign Language GCSE is ready to be introduced, we will then consider whether to make an exception to our general rule that there should be no new GCSEs in this parliament.”

Read more...

School where refugees are the teachers

1 August 2018 (BBC)

Teaching his native Arabic to students online has been a game changer for Syrian refugee Sami as he makes a fresh start in the UK.

The Aleppo University engineering graduate says that working for an online language learning platform in London has helped him find his feet and motivation as he begins life anew.

The tutors at the start-up firm Chatterbox are all refugees and their work helps them to integrate and adapt to their new surroundings.

"I think language is building bridges between people, because the language is not only in the language itself, the speaking or the words, it's also the culture," said the 35-year-old refugee, who arrived in the UK about two years ago.

The school is the brainchild of Mursal Hedayat, who came up with the idea during a trip to refugee camps in Calais in the summer of 2016.

Read more...

Free language learning and cooking app now available

1 August 2018 (Linguacuisine)

For anyone interested in languages and food!

The free Linguacuisine web app helps you learn a language while you’re cooking a meal! Choose a foreign language and a delicious recipe from that country. Then your own smartphone or tablet will speak to you in the foreign language and talk you through all of the stages of cooking the recipe in your own kitchen. If you can’t understand, just press a button to get a photo or video explaining what to do. When you’ve finished, eat the food you’ve cooked and learn something about the culture of the country. Linguacuisine has a range of recipes now available for language learning from around the world. We now have recipes available in: English, Greek, Italian, French, Spanish, German, Quechua, Chinese and Korean.

You can also use the free recipe builder app so that you can upload your own favourite recipe in your own language. That means that anyone anywhere in the world will be able to watch videos and listen to audios of you guiding them through cooking your recipe and learning your language! Use your own smartphone or tablet to make recordings of yourself and upload them using our user-friendly software to create your own recipe.

You can also join our worldwide online community so you can rate and discuss other people’s recipes and post information, stories and photos. They can do the same for your recipe, so it’s a good way to make friends in other countries.

So Linguacuisine is a really fun way to learn about foreign languages, cultures and cuisines and you get to eat what you produce. You can also tell other people around the world about your own cooking, language and way of life. You learn foreign words better when you are physically touching food and cooking utensils and using them to prepare food. When you are cooking, you involve all of your senses in the learning experience – touch, smell and taste as well as hearing and seeing. So this is multi-modal and multi-sensory language learning. This is task-based language learning with a real product at the end of it and is intended to improve international understanding and communication.

Linguacuisine is available now for all devices, smartphones, tablets and computers from our website, where the online community will also be located https://linguacuisine.com/

The Linguacuisine app is the end result of a 10-year collaboration between computing scientists and linguists at Newcastle University. The Linguacuisine project is a collaboration between Newcastle University, Action Foundation (UK), Hellenic Open University (Greece), Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (Italy) and the Workers’ Educational Association (UK). It is funded by an Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnership grant of €324K.

For Teachers

The Linguacuisine app can be used for foreign language lessons, but also for cookery lessons and cross-curriculum projects. Students can use the app to cook and learn in the kitchen at home as well as at school.

The app is a good way of preparing students for a foreign trip as it helps engage them with the cuisine, culture and language in advance. Students can also write their own recipes in their own language, informing people abroad about their culture and cuisine.

It is also an excellent way of getting learners to communicate with learners in other countries. Video links have been available for some time, but Linguacuisine means that learners in different countries can do enjoyable shared activities together, cooking recipes from the other countries whilst learning about the other language and culture.

Digital skills can also be developed by using the ‘recipe builder’ authoring software.  This was co-authored with learners and designed to develop a wide range of digital skills using the DIGCOMP 2.1 framework; it has been shown to be successful in improving learner competence.

For Professionals working with Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers

The Linguacuisine app was co-designed with a group of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from Action Foundation, Newcastle, UK and seeks to help them in two ways. Firstly, immigrants to a country can cook the recipes to learn about the language, cuisine and culture of their host country and help their integration. Secondly, immigrants can produce their own recipes in their own language using the recipe builder software, so they are able to have a voice and so people in their host country are able to learn something about their life prior to arrival here. A number of recipes currently on Linguacuisine have been produced by migrants in the UK.

For Catering Professionals

Chefs and other catering staff who are travelling to work abroad can introduce themselves to the language, culture and cuisine of their destination country by using the Linguacuisine app. They can also increase their repertoire and employability by trying recipes from around the world and improving relevant language skills.

Chefs can also produce their own recipes in their own language or English using the recipe builder software. Their recipes can then be tried out by users anywhere in the world. Users can post feedback about the recipes and rate the recipes, so chefs can gain an international reputation and increase their own job opportunities.

Invitation to London Event

Please come to our free London dissemination event in Europe House on 11 September. Book a place.

Try out the app, cook a recipe and learn a new language!

Read more...

Can £27m a year bring a language back from near death?

1 August 2018 (BBC)

The feeling of walking barefoot across a beach in summer and the sun-warmed sand chafing my toes takes me the length of this sentence to describe. My great-great-grandfather, Angus Morrison, would have used one word: driùchcainn. 

That’s because, born and bred on the fringes of Western Europe, on Lewis, in the archipelago of the Outer Hebrides, his mother tongue was Scottish Gaelic.

It’s the ancient Celtic language heard by TV audiences tuning into the Highlands time-travelling saga Outlander.

In real life, working together crofting, fishing, weaving or cutting peat for fires, my ancestors spoke in Gaelic. It was spoken at home, sung at parties, used at church. But education in Angus’s day was strictly in English. As late as the 1970s, children were sometimes punished for speaking Gaelic at school.

Raised alongside Atlantic surf and storms, he became a sailor. Then, in the mid-nineteenth century, moved to Glasgow, and settled there working as a ship’s rigger. Among the principles he instilled in the family was the importance of education. But he did not pass on his cradle tongue.

My family story illustrates what linguistics experts call intergenerational breakdown. In 2018, along with about half of the world’s estimated 6,000 languages, Scottish Gaelic is considered at risk of dying out.

Read more...

Language courses at risk amid staff shortage

30 July 2018 (The Times)

Head teachers may have to cut language courses in schools as a staffing shortage worsens.

With weeks to go until lectures begin, some modern language courses for teachers at leading universities are half empty. There is already a widespread recruitment crisis in the profession.

At the University of the West of Scotland only 11 of 20 places for one-year postgraduate teacher training courses in modern languages in secondary schools had been filled by mid-July.

Read more...

The care home residents proving it's never too late to learn a new language

25 July 2018 (The Guardian)

French and Italian classes are improving self-confidence and wellbeing as well as cognition – even for those with dementia.

Read more...

National languages leadership programme

24 July 2018 (SCILT)

Forty-six teachers from 20 different local authorities across Scotland attended a four-day-long summer school at the University of Strathclyde School of Education at the beginning of July 2018. The summer school takes forward the recommendations from the Scottish Government’s flagship policy, “Language learning in Scotland: A 1+2 approach” by building capacity and leadership within the teaching profession.

The summer school marks the start of a 12-month professional learning programme, “The 1+2 languages leadership programme”, delivered by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, in partnership with Education Scotland. The programme engages lead language educators in designing, promoting and supporting the provision of effective language learning experiences for young people and high quality professional learning for in- and pre-service teachers.

Content is a balance of theory, research, policy and practice relevant to language learning and as such, it carries accreditation from the General Teaching Council Scotland. The programme was recognised at their inaugural Excellence in Professional Learning Awards in September 2017. Key themes at the summer school this time were parental engagement, inclusive practice and interdisciplinary contexts for language learning.

Opening the summer school, Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT explained: “Now more than ever it is vital that, as educators, we equip Scotland’s children and young people with the skills they will require to operate globally. The languages leadership programme develops language advocates so they can make a powerful argument for language learning and empowers them to influence their local decision makers. The participants leave the programme informed by the latest thinking on policy, theory and practice and able to network and share ideas with peers from across the country.”

Louise Glen, Senior Education Officer (Literacy and Languages) at Education Scotland said: “The Languages Leadership Programme offers a unique opportunity for those interested in leading on languages at school, cluster or local authority level, to examine 1+2 policy in detail and make informed decisions on how the Scottish Government’s ambitious vision for language learning can be realised in their own setting. In terms of CLPL, participants benefit from gaining an overview of not only how the policy is progressing nationally, but also of how language learning contributes to closing the attainment gap and how to evaluate language provision in their own setting, with an eye to ensuring full implementation by 2021.”

In its sixth run in five years, the summer school offered workshops delivered by Education Scotland, Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools, East Lothian Council, Glasgow City Council, Goethe-Institut, Institute Français, Lingo Flamingo, North Ayrshire Council, SCILT and the Royal Zoological Society Scotland. Between them, the participants and presenters had knowledge and experience of learning and teaching Chinese, French, Gaelic, German, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, Maori, Russian, Scots and Spanish.

Scottish Government's ambition is to expand and improve language learning by 2021, so that young people are equipped with the skills and competencies they need in an increasingly globalised world. From 2021 every child will be entitled to learn a first additional language from P1 and a second by P5. This entitlement continues until the end of S3. This ambition contributes significantly to the Scottish Attainment Challenge agenda.

 

New for session 2018-19 - Advanced Higher workshops for pupils

8 June 2018 (SCILT)

New for session 2018-19, SCILT will be delivering three workshops for pupils studying Advanced Higher modern languages. These will take place in:

  • Glasgow - Wednesday 5th September 2-4pm, University of Strathclyde (Please note this event is now full. You can join the waiting list on Eventbrite in case places become available closer to the event)
  • Dundee - Thursday 6th September 2-4pm, University of Dundee (Please note this event is now full. You can join the waiting list on Eventbrite in case places become available closer to the event)
  • Inverness - Monday 10th September 11am-1pm, venue TBC 

This is a pupil workshop which will focus on what is required at Advanced Higher level. We will look at ways of tackling;

  • the overall purpose question in the reading
  • the discursive writing
  • the portfolio
  • the talking

This will also be an opportunity to meet with your peers and set up links so you could support one another in your studies. 

Schools should register on behalf of their pupils. Please indicate when registering how many pupils will be attending. While this event is for pupils, teachers may wish to attend and this should be reflected in the numbers when you register.

Read more...

SCILT/CISS supporting promotional events

18 May 2018 (SCILT/CISS)

The SCILT/CISS team are now taking requests for input at promotional events for next session. Input at your promotional event may include:

  • Talks promoting the value of language learning to classes/year groups/assemblies
  • Providing a stall at your event such as careers fairs, parents nights or business and language events
In order to ensure all schools have the opportunity to benefit from our involvement, we are now requesting that you complete an online application form. 

You will be asked to outline how a promotional event might support your uptake in the senior phase, if applicable, and what other measures you are putting in place to address the Attainment Agenda, National Improvement Framework and Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce.

All requests for the 2018/19 session must be received by 31st October 2018 in order for schools and the SCILT/CISS team to plan effectively. 

Please email SCILT in the first instance to receive a link to the request form. 

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...


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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