Evaluation of Partners in Excellence


Professor R. M. Johnstone; Hannah Doughty (formerly, Irene Malcolm and Lone Sorensen)


Partners in Excellence Board, representing Argyll & Bute, East Ayrshire and North Ayrshire


£15,000 per annum, since 2000




Partners in Excellence is a project of three local authorities (Argyll & Bute, East Ayrshire and North Ayrshire) which receives Excellence funding from the Scottish Executive to develop a modern languages community for students at upper secondary school level (aged 15-18) in the authorities' 29 secondary schools. The project has a number of innovatory features, including :

  • A special website which offers students a wide range of modern foreign language input (mainly but not exclusively French, German and Spanish), guidance, incentives and support
  • Immersion visits abroad (e.g. to the European Parliament), during which students make contact with their peers
  • Residential weekends at which students make up their own dramas, soaps etc. and at the same time learn to make digital video-films of these
  • Gala events at which the project, including the video-films, is presented to parents, school and local authority staff, local councillors, the media and others.

The evaluation is being undertaken by Professor Richard Johnstone and Hannah Doughty of Scottish CILT (before Hannah, the researchers were Irene Malcolm, and before her Lone Sorensen). A publicly available evaluation report has been published (2004). It contains data from interviews and questionnaires (students and their teachers) plus data on up-take and attainments in the national examinations. Generally, the picture is very positive, with several students indication that participation in PiE has given them a different and more positive concept of the value of learning and using a modern foreign language.


Partners in Excellence Evaluation Report  , Johnstone, R M, Doughty, H, Malcolm, I, University of Stirling: Scottish CILT (2004), ISBN 1 898689 11 3.



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