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New promotional postcards available designed by learners

21 May 2018 (SCILT)

Earlier this year, SCILT invited pupils in S1-S3 to design a promotional postcard for SCILT to use at events to give to pupils and parents to promote the importance of language learning. The winning postcard was to contain key messages on the value of language skills and to have an eye-catching design.

We received 86 entries from seven schools. There were lots of great designs and many of them contained clear, powerful messages.

In the end we selected two winners:

We are delighted that both winners could attend the Word Wizard final to collect their certificates and prizes.

Their designs are now available for schools to order from the SCILT website.

 

Read more...

The Babel Young Writers' Competition

18 May 2018 (Babel)

Our 2018 competition is now open to 16-18-year-olds and undergraduates! Young linguists have until 24 August to enter for the chance to be published in Babel No25, to be published in November. The winner also, of course, receives a year's subscription to Babel!

Entries should be no longer than 2,500 words, and can discuss any topic to do with languages and linguistics.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

SALT Modern Languages competition for schools

18 May 2018 (SALT)

Entries are now being accepted for the #SALT18 competition!

Primary, secondary and senior phase students are invited to produce a promotional video, poster or presentation in the language of their choice. 

Find out more on the SALT website. Entry deadline is 7 September 2018.

Read more...

Business Brunches 2018 webpage now live!

18 May 2018 (SCILT)

The Business Brunches took place earlier on this year across Scotland, and supported DYW and the Scottish Attainment Challenge by giving young people the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the role of languages in the business world. 

Take a journey through the entire series of events and explore some of the highlights for yourself, such as:
  
  • A taste of what really went on at these events and why languages play an important role in the world of work by viewing our Business Brunch video located on the main page
  • Inspiring quotes and uploads of presentations from a handful of business leaders who were present that you can share with your own learners
  • Feedback received from pupils who participated
  • Images, tweets, press releases and more

Read through our resources and materials which you may find useful to promote languages for employability in your own school. 

Important news! Business Brunches will be returning for year 2018/19. Further details will be announced on the SCILT website and through our e-bulletin after the summer with instructions on how you can register your school to attend. Keep your eyes peeled! 

Read more...

Word Wizard Final 2018: Motivating young people in their language learning

18 May 2018 (SCILT/CISS)

S1-S3 pupils from across Scotland took part in the national final of Word Wizard at the Scottish Parliament on 11 May 2018. Word Wizard is a multilingual spelling competition for pupils learning French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin and Spanish. Forty-eight learners from ten local authorities and independent schools competed in the final in front of an audience of teachers, supporters and guests.
 
Each year pupils and teachers report that the competition increases motivation, enhances language performance and improves attitudes to language learning. Word Wizard promotes literacy skills amongst pupils and helps schools develop partnership working with universities.

A teacher entering pupils into the final commented: “It provided our pupils with a huge sense of motivation and excitement for learning languages.” 

A pupil competing in the final said: “I liked learning new vocabulary and getting to show it off to everyone.”

Word Wizard is organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages based at University of Strathclyde, in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland. 

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT said of the competition: “It’s wonderful to see so many young people taking part in the Word Wizard competition representing a wide range of local authorities. Having an understanding of another language can really transform a person’s life and encourages the development of a whole range of important skills. Through such events, SCILT aims to offer teachers really motivating ways of enhancing the curriculum so that Scottish young people can reap the benefits of learning languages.”

Word Wizard supports the Scottish Government initiative, “Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 approach” by offering a diversity of languages as recommended by the report. 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. 

In March 2018, 190 pupils from 14 local authorities and independent schools competed in semi-finals in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh to battle it out for a place at the prestigious final. 

Word Wizard is supported by the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland (UCMLS) and the final was sponsored by Joan McAlpine MSP

Full details of the winners and further information on the competition can be found on the SCILT website.

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. 

Learning music or another language makes your brain more efficient, researchers find

17 May 2018 (The Independent)

If you’ve taken the time to learn music or to speak another language, you’ve also trained your brain into being more efficient, according to a new study.

Researchers at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute found that musicians and people who are bilingual utilised fewer brain resources when completing a working memory task.

According to the study, published in the journal, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, people with either a musical or bilingual background activated different brain networks and showed less brain activity while completing a task than people who only spoke one language or didn’t have formal music training.

Of the findings, Dr Claude Alain, one of the paper’s authors who works as a senior scientist at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute and a professor at the University of Toronto's Institute of Medical Science, said: “These findings show that musicians and bilinguals require less effort to perform the same task, which could also protect them against cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. "Our results also demonstrated that a person's experiences, whether it's learning how to play a musical instrument or another language, can shape how the brain functions and which networks are used."

Read more...

SQA Higher Modern Languages webinars

17 May 2018 (SQA)

Dates for the next Higher Modern Languages webinars are now available to book on the SQA website (login required).

Sessions are available:

  • 4 September
  • 10 September
  • 29 September

Read more...

German courses in Glasgow

16 May 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut in Glasgow has a two-week intensive course during summer, 'Kickstart your German'. The course is designed for complete beginners who want to pick up some of the language quickly. There are also certificate exams taking place in June for those who need evidence of their German language skills.

To find out more, follow the relevant link below:

For more information about the Goethe-Institut and other opportunities and activities they offer, visit their website.

Read more...

A tongue-lashing over teacher shortage as Gaelic plan agreed

16 May 2018 (The Scotsman)

Parents and pupils at Edinburgh’s only Gaelic high school have demanded action to address a teacher shortage and to stand up for children facing discrimination. The calls came as the city council yesterday agreed its Gaelic Language Plan for 2018-22.

It was revealed the authority only has one Gaelic teacher in employment for Gaelic medium education (GME) at James Gillespie’s High School where pupils are taught primarily through the medium of Gaelic. Speaking at a meeting of the council’s corporate policy and strategy committee, which unanimously agreed the plan, parent Marion Thompson raised worries about protection for GME pupils.

Read more...

Related Links

Edinburgh Council agrees new Gaelic Language Plan (The Scotsman, 15 May 2018)

UK's first sign language poetry slam

15 May 2018 (BBC)

Deaf poets fight it out in the UK's first ever poetry slam for users of sign language. Watch the video.

Read more...

An Cuan Sgith / The Little Minch art project connecting islands with Gaelic

14 May 2018 (Sabhal Mòr Ostaig)

A two year visual arts project has connected school pupils from Skye and Benbecula.

The pupils from Bunsgoil Shlèite, Skye and Bunsgoil Baile a' Mhanaich, Benbecula worked with professional artists through the medium of Gaelic.

The project, entitled An Cuan Sgìth/The Little Minch, was led by Lasair Ealain and supported by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

The aim of the project is to inspire and empower young people to draw their own environment, working with professional artists to encourage their individual forms of expression and a greater understanding of where they live.

After a series of drawing and painting workshops in their own landscapes the children from Bunsgoil Shlèite visited the pupils in Benbecula for 3 days enabling the children to work together with the artists in different sites, share evening activities through Gaelic and make new friends. At the end of the visit, the Balivanich pupils made the ferry journey across to Skye over An Cuan Sgìth (The Little Minch) drawing on the ferry with the Skye pupils and their teachers.

The pupils were able to work with professional artists, such as Julie Brook, Kate Macdonald and Kath MacLeod (Arts Development Officer SMO).

Subsequently each group learnt how to create compositions of specific areas of their landscape based on a number of their sketchbook drawings, enabling the children to collaborate and work together on large scale charcoal drawings.

The sketchbooks, framed A1 drawings, large scale charcoal compositions and a film of the project will form the exhibitions that express their artistic and physical journey, in Taigh Chearsabhagh, North Uist and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Skye on 11 May to 23 June 2018.

The project has been funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Western Isles Council, Young Films, Lasair Ealain.

Taigh Chearsabhagh is funded by Creative Scotland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, and Highlands & Islands Enterprise.

Read more...

Call out to young film-makers in Scotland

10 May 2018 (National Library of Scotland)

A competition opens today (10 May) which invites young people to show in film what Scotland means to them. The competition has been organised by the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish Youth Film Festival as part of the Year of Young People.

Anyone under 19 years of age can submit a one-minute film on any theme, in any language and in any genre.

Visit the National Library of Scotland website for more information.

Read more...

Summer French classes in Glasgow

9 May 2018 (Alliance Française)

The Alliance Française in Glasgow are holding summer classes for both children and adults. Follow the relevant link below to find out more information:

Visit the Alliance Française main website for more information about the activities and opportunities they offer.

Read more...

Public consultation on list of Gaelic shellfish names

8 May 2018 (BBC)

A public consultation on recommended Gaelic names for the most common shellfish in Scotland's seas has been launched.

Scottish Natural Heritage has published a list of 85 marine mollusc names, Gaelic terms for parts of the animals and for different seashell shapes.

The meanings of many of the names have also been explained in English.

The recommendations have been produced by a team from Scottish Natural Heritage and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

Gaelic-speaking environmental educator Roddy Maclean has been leading the project.

He interviewed 14 older Gaelic speakers, mostly from the Western Isles, to obtain guidance on the names they use for marine mollusc species.

Mr Maclean said: "There was a general agreement on the names for the most common species.

"But there were some species where people had different terms, or none at all. This challenged us to make a choice and also provide names for species with no recorded Gaelic form."

Some of the suggested names and terms include:

Mollusc - Moileasg
Seashell - Slige mhara
Filter feeder - Sìoltachair
Shellfish harvested by moonlight - Maorach-èalaidh

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"Developing language awareness in subject classes": join the network of the European Centre for Modern Languages/Council of Europe!

8 May 2018 (ECML)

Are you a secondary school teacher of a non-linguistic subject (other than mathematics or history) working in a linguistically and culturally diverse school? Do you teach 12/13 year olds whose first language is different from the language of schooling? Are you interested in sharing your subject expertise and exchanging experiences with European professionals in the field of language in subject teaching? Then this project is for you!

Read more...

Aberdeen primary school announces official launch of Mandarin language hub

7 May 2018 (Evening Express)

An Aberdeen primary school has announced its new hub for promoting the teaching of Mandarin.

Danestone School launched its Confucius Classroom, which will be a central location for all Aberdeen-based primary schools teaching the language to pupils.

It aims to boost skills in children in line with Scotland’s 1+2 languages policy, which allows every child the opportunity to learn two languages in addition to their mother tongue by 2020.

The hub concept promotes joint planning of cultural activities, sharing ideas and resources to stimulate the learning and teaching of Chinese language and culture. The launch event included children singing in Mandarin, and a mixture of Scottish music and dance.

Read more...

Number of Scottish pupils passing foreign language exams has halved in 10 years

6 May 2018 (Daily Record)

The number of Scottish pupils passing foreign language exams has halved over 10 years.

The total at all levels has plunged from 60,176 in 2007 to just 28,503 in 2017.

The fall has been most severe in basic qualifications, raising concerns the figures could get worse in coming years as youngsters lack foundation skills. 

Opposition politicians and business leaders have voiced fears that Scotland’s ability to compete as a global economy could be at risk.

Read more...

Even when the likes of Macron foul up, multilingual politicians get it right

6 May 2018 (The Guardian)

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, never ceases to surprise his audience, especially when he speaks in English. While some of his compatriots were shocked that he should address the US Congress in its native tongue, it pleased a large number of French people who appreciated how he engaged directly in version originale.

A few days later, however, when President Macron thanked the Australian prime minister’s wife, Lucy Turnbull, for being “delicious” – conjuring up images of cannibalism and Hannibal Lecter – some commentators suddenly thought of Macron as creepy. It was hours before somebody thought to tell the Australians that the word “délicieuse” actually means delightful.

Speaking a foreign language is a minefield for anyone who ventures there but also a source of constant wonder, joy and fun. The rewards are manifold and it is even thought to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

The smartest leaders either know many languages or understand the power of words enough to play with them to their advantage. Perhaps Macron used the word “delicious” on purpose; perhaps, even, the secret behind the strangely warm rapport between Macron, Trump and their wives is built on such deliciously faux amis? 

The fact is that multilinguists rule the world. That Angela Merkel is trilingual (she speaks German, Russian and English) should be no surprise. If David Cameron had not been a monoglot, maybe Britain would not have found itself in a Brexit nightmare. Just a thought.

Read more...

Certificate of Continuing Education in Spanish (CCEd)

4 May 2018 (University of Strathclyde)

The School of Humanities at the University of Strathclyde is delighted to invite applications for the Certificate of Continuing Education in Spanish in the academic session 2018-2019.

The Certificate of Continuing Education (CCEd) is an intensive beginners’ class that will bring you up to first-year university standard in a year, with the option of continuing your studies into second year and up to university pass degree level within three years.

These evening degree programmes comprises undergraduate level modules in the language at first, second and third-year levels. The two first-year modules, Introduction 1A and Introduction 1B, are intensive beginners’ classes. They are suitable for people with some or no knowledge of the language but with previous experience of language learning, and would equally suit those with qualifications in the language from some years ago who wish to refresh their knowledge.

The CCEd provides a General Teaching Council approved qualification and has in previous years appealed to candidates from diverse backgrounds including:
  • professional people with an interest in the Spanish-speaking world and their languages (journalists, marketing consultants, entrepreneurs, etc)
  • secondary school teachers wishing to acquire an additional language
  • teachers of classics
  • primary school teachers
  • musicians

​For more information about the course and how to apply, please see the attached document.

Related Files

EU offers British teenagers free Interrail pass

4 May 2018 (The Guardian)

British teenagers are to be given the chance to bid farewell to Europe with free Interrail passes for up to 30 days this summer.

The free tickets, worth up to £400 each, will be offered to any EU citizens who turn 18 before July as part of a pilot DiscoverEU scheme funded by the EU.

With Brexit on the horizon this is the first and last year British teenagers can apply for the rail bonanza, which has just been launched in Brussels.

“Any future participating depends on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations and the future relationship between the UK and the EU,” said Nathalie Vandystadt, the EU commission spokesperson for education, culture, youth and sport.

Read more...

Host a teacher from Germany

1 May 2018 (UK-German Connection)

Would you like to have authentic German cultural input in your school? Through the Host a Teacher from Germany programme, your school can host a German teacher for two or three weeks during the academic year, at no cost. Offers from UK schools to host teachers from Germany in 2018-19 are now being accepted.

All schools and FE colleges from the whole of the UK can take part. The UK coordinating teacher does not need to be a teacher of German, and German does not need to be on the school’s curriculum; visiting teachers are either teachers of English or have good knowledge of the English language.

Visit the UK-German Connection website and find out how your school could benefit!

Application deadlines: 26 July 2018 / 21 September 2018.

Read more...

Competition: Eine Welt für dich und mich

30 April 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

The German Foreign Office is looking for children and teens who love writing and who would like to publish their own texts: Along the lines of “A world for you and me” young authors from around the world are invited to depict their fantasies, hopes and dreams.

Children and teens up to 19 years old can participate. Entries can be short stories, essays, poems or songs consisting of no more than 3000 characters (including spaces) and can be written in either German or English.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for further information. Entry deadline is 15 July 2018.

Read more...

Work shadowing in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany

30 April 2018 (Goethe-Institut)

The Goethe-Institut is pleased to announce a one week work shadowing visit from 20 October to 27 October 2018 to Schwäbisch Hall in Germany.

The participants should be between 16 and 17 years old with at least GCSE-level German and will have the opportunity to experience work in a small or medium sized German company. They will also have language tuition and guidance on Germany today as well as short excursions in the local surroundings.

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for further information and to apply by 15 June 2018.

Read more...

Would you like to explore Europe this summer?

20 April 2018 (European Commission)

Are you 18 years old? Would you like to explore Europe? Then you are the perfect candidate to apply for a new European Union initiative to be officially launched shortly.

In June 2018 the European Commission is selecting up to 15.000 enthusiastic young people to be the lucky recipients of a travel pass to discover Europe.

Travelling is a chance for young people to take advantage of our freedom of movement, to discover the diversity of Europe, enjoy its cultural richness, and make new friends from all over the continent. Ultimately, it’s also a great opportunity to discover yourself.

With 2018 being the European Year of Cultural Heritage, consider yourself particularly lucky. It means that you will also have the opportunity to participate in the many events that are taking place this year all over Europe to celebrate our fantastically diverse cultural heritage.

Applicants must be 18 years old (and not yet 19) at the time of application and have the nationality of one of the EU countries. You can travel up to maximum 30 days and visit up to 4 different country destinations. Moreover, there is the possibility to travel either individually or as a group.

Visit the European Youth Portal website for more information. Applications open in June 2018.

Read more...

Spanish sessions at the Zoo!

18 April 2018 (RZSS)

Spanish Days are being replaced with Spanish sessions at Edinburgh Zoo.

Suitable for P4-P7 and S1-S2, schools can now book their own date and time to suit.

Costs as per education rates at Edinburgh Zoo - £7 per pupil, with 1 adult per 7 children free of charge (Primary) and 1 adult per 10 children free of charge (Secondary). See how to book on the website. 

Please use the booking form and choose 'Science in the Language Class - Spanish'.

Free resources are available to download to help your visit.

Spanish Packs are available at £50+VAT and £6 post and packing - details also on the website.

For further information or to purchase a pack contact Sandie Robb.

Read more...

SQA Higher Modern Languages webinar

12 April 2018 (SQA)

The SQA is running an evening webinar on 5 June to provide an overview of the new Modern Languages Higher course assessment arrangements which will be implemented from session 2018-19 onwards.

This will cover the performance–talking and there will be a particular focus on Higher assignment-writing. 

To book a place, please visit the SQA online booking system. 

Additional webinar sessions on the new Higher Modern Languages Course assessment arrangements will be running in September 2018.

Read more...

OU/SCILT languages course for primary practitioners

15 March 2018 (Open University in Scotland/SCILT)

Due to the success of the initial pilot of the course developed by the OU and SCILT, LXT192/4 Learning to teach languages in primary school (French/Spanish), we are delighted to now be able to extend the offer to all Local Authorities. The course will be offered for the following languages: French (LXT192), German (LXT193), Spanish (LXT194) and Mandarin (LXT197).

For the next presentation of this course starting in October 2018, registration will open on 1 April 2018. The course fee is £240.00 per student.

The course will be available to all primary practitioners but also secondary teachers who teach at primary level. We have produced an FAQ document with further detail about the course for your information.

In order to make the enrolment process as smooth as possible, we advise that in the first instance Development Officers contact Sylvia Warnecke at the Open University (s.warnecke@open.ac.uk ) with a list of the names and email addresses of teachers planning to study this in their Local Authority. We aim to complete enrolment by late June 2018 to allow time for planning staffing and timetabling.

And last but not least, we are planning to offer teachers, who enrol on the course, a summer school experience which will offer immersion in the language to boost confidence and provide ample opportunities to learn more about the cultures in which the language they are studying is spoken. The summer school is not part of the course, it is optional and can be booked separately. More information on this will be published in due course.

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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