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Scottish Languages Review & Digest – Issue 33 online!

19 January 2018 (SCILT)

Contributing authors and their topics: Jim Cummins (teaching in multilingual classrooms) Julia Hofweber & Suzanne Graham (creative texts in language teaching); Elizabeth Clingan & Sandra Coles (teaching multi-composite classes in Scottish primary schools); Elizabeth Murray (Scottish primary school teachers’ views on 1+2 policy); and Edward Bugler (working as a British Council Language Assistant in Quebec). There are also links to interesting articles in other journals, recent language publications and upcoming events.

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NEW - School Exchange Partnerships

19 January 2018 (British Council Scotlan)

Erasmus+ Schools-Only Partnerships have changed to School Exchange Partnerships for 2018. If your school wants to expand its international outlook, improve language learning through real life experience, visit eTwinning partners or start a new partnership with a European school, it’s now even easier to arrange exchanges of pupils and staff, through a streamlined application process. Here are some details:

  • Eligible schools, plus colleges involved in secondary education, can send groups of pupils on short-term exchanges, accompanied by staff, lasting from three days to two months excluding travel days, instead of the minimum five day period offered before. For long-lasting partnerships and bigger life experiences, schools can also offer long-term exchanges of between two months and a year for pupils aged over 14.
  • Schools can send staff on short-term joint training events of three days to two months, excluding travel days, and long-term teaching or training assignments of between two months and one year.
  • Partnerships must involve a minimum of two and a maximum of six schools, from at least two programme countries.
  • Funding is limited to €16,500 per school per year of the project.
  • Projects will last between 12 and 24 months, except projects organising long-term exchanges of pupils, which may last up to three years, depending on the project and the applicant’s request.
  • Projects should start between 1 September and 31 December 2018.
  • Schools can choose to be the lead organisation or a partner in a project led by an organisation from another participating programme country. The lead organisation applies to the Erasmus+ National Agency in their country for funding on behalf of the project as a whole.
  • The deadline for applications is Wednesday 21 March at 11am (UK time)

Aims
The main goal of School Exchange Partnerships is to strengthen the European dimension in the participating schools, to build up their capacity for cross-border cooperation and their ability to cope with new challenges. By organising mobility activities for pupils, these partnerships will also promote the values of inclusion and tolerance as underlined in the Paris Declaration.

Benefits
Pupils: The short-term exchange activities are designed to offer international learning experiences to pupils, to develop their understanding of the diversity of European cultures and languages, and to help them acquire social, civic and intercultural competences necessary for their personal development

Teaching and non-teaching staff: A short period abroad enables staff to work together to exchange experience and know-how, or receive joint training.  A longer posting in a partner school can allow staff to develop their knowledge and understanding of other countries' education and training systems, and helps them share and acquire professional competences, methods and practices.

eTwinning
Participating schools in all projects are strongly encouraged to use the eTwinning online platform to work together on the project before, during and after the mobility activities.  See
www.eTwinning.net

 

Summary of funding available:

The maximum funding available for School Exchange Partnerships is €16 500 per year and per participating school, excluding Special Needs Support and Exceptional costs for expensive travel.  This can be made up of:

Project management and implementation – A contribution to the activities of the co-ordinating school of €500 per month, and €250 per month for partner schools (up to a maximum of €2750 per month per project).  This is intended as a contribution towards the following eligible costs:

  • Project management (e.g. planning, finances, coordination and communication between partners, etc.)
  • Small scale learning/teaching/training materials, tools, approaches etc.
  • Virtual cooperation and local project activities (e.g. class-room project work with learners, organisation and mentoring of embedded learning/training activities, etc.)
  • Information, promotion and dissemination (e.g. brochures, leaflets, online dissemination platforms, etc.).
  • Costs linked to the implementation of the partnerships.

Travel costs – A contribution to the travel costs of participants, including accompanying persons, from their place of origin to the venue of the activity. Travel distances are calculated using the distance calculator supported by the European Commission. Amounts vary from €20 per participant for short distances between 10 and 99km, €275 pp for distances between 500 and 1999km, €360 pp for distances of 2000 to 3000km, to €1500 per participant for travel distances of 8000km or more. Please check the Programme Guide for more detailed information on the rates applicable to each distance band.  Applicants will have to justify that mobility activities are necessary to achieve the objectives and results of the project. 

Individual support - Unit costs per day are provided to contribute to the subsistence of participants, including accompanying persons, during the activity.  These vary, depending on the participant, and duration of the activity.  For example short term pupil mobility is €58 per person per day up to 14 days and €42 pp per day for 15 – 60 days.  Short term joint staff training or teaching costs are €106 pp per day up to 14 days and €74 pp per day for 15 to 60 days.

Linguistic support - Contributions can be sought for linguistic support offered to participants in order to improve their knowledge of the language for activities lasting between 2 and 12 months of up to €150 per person.

Exceptional costs and special needs support - Funding is also available to cover exceptional costs and additional costs related to participants with disabilities.  Requests for additional funding must be outlined within the application and will be considered by the National Agency on a case by case basis. 

For full details of eligible funding please see the Erasmus Plus Programme Guide.

For detailed guides for applicants by sector and Key Action, and info on application support webinars, go to www.erasmusplus.org.uk

Free places at Japan Day

19 January 2018 (RZSS)

Come along to our Japan Day at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park, Kingussie on Wednesday 14th March 2018. Experience 'The Snow Monkey' educational pack of activities designed for cross curricular learning where pupils investigate and discover more about Japan, its culture, language, geography and wildlife. The pack has been produced with the support of the Japan Foundation and is a fun introduction to learning Japanese but also covers topics in science, topical science and social studies. Suitable for upper primary levels P4-P7.

There are limited free places although you must book by 14th February. Please contact Sandie Robb srobb@rzss.org.uk for further details and booking information.

For more information see the report on a similar event at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo through the link below.

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Brexit and modern languages in the UK curriculum

19 January 2018 (Association for Language Learning)

The recent British Council publication ‘Languages for the Future’ spells out clearly the challenge facing the MFL fraternity in the UK. MFL are fading in both the secondary and HE sectors at precisely the time when we are going to need more English speakers with competence in foreign languages. Although we do not yet know precisely what lies ahead for us after March 2019, the probability is that we will need more people with competence in a wider range of languages than what our current system produces.

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Glasgow Business Brunch inspires Scotland’s future global workforce

16 January 2018 (SCILT)

Young people from fourteen schools across the west of Scotland had the opportunity to engage with local businesses at the University of Strathclyde on 12 January 2018. 128 learners from S3-S5 heard from a range of business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company. The Business Brunch demonstrated the relevance of languages in a work context and aimed to encourage pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education, and beyond school.

A teacher attending the event said: “Pupils were hugely inspired by all of the speakers. It was good for them to hear the many ways in which languages can be used. It was poignant that all of the speakers highlighted the fact that languages will be more important than ever post-Brexit and, furthermore, that languages are not only an asset in terms of job opportunities but help to break down barriers and unite people.”

One of the young people added to this and commented: “I learnt that languages are relevant to a wide range of jobs. I will definitely consider languages going forward.”

Jo Heinemeier from Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, one of the exhibitors, stated: “Being able to communicate with people from other cultures will enrich your life and career in immeasurable ways. Foreign languages are the key to expanding your opportunities across the world.”

The event was organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland. Schools represented were Dumbarton Academy, Grange Academy, St Ninian's High (East Dunbartonshire), Hyndland Secondary, Dalziel High, Linwood High, Shawlands Academy, Renfrew High, St Mungo’s Academy, Kilsyth Academy, Douglas Academy, Carluke High, Marr College and Calderside Academy. Companies attending included Shepherd and Wedderburn, Bank ABC, Keppie Design, Russian Centre ‘Haven’, GlobalScot and Radio Lingua. Project Trust, The Open University in Scotland, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Food and Drink Federation Scotland and College Development Network, Investment 2020 and University of Strathclyde supported the event by hosting a stall in the Marketplace.

Marion Spöring, Senior Lecturer (Languages and European Studies) at the University of Dundee and Chair of UCMLS said: “The learning of languages is not only fun, but also essential for the future employment opportunities of our young people in Scotland. Languages set the foundation for varied careers, for future engineers as well as artists and in tourism, to name but a few.”

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT said: “In these times of uncertainty, it is even more important than ever that we equip our young people with the skills they will need for life beyond school. We want them to be outward-looking and able to operate in an interdependent world. Events such as these highlight the importance of language skills and intercultural competencies in the world of work.

“The business leaders who speak at these events give of their own time because they understand how much these skills are needed and valued by employers and how vital they are for Scotland’s business community. This kind of collaboration is an example of how education and business sectors can work together for their mutual benefit so that we can support young people and help them develop the portfolio of skills that employers require in their workforce.”

Meaningful employer engagement and providing relevant careers advice are both key recommendations of Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy, “Developing the young workforce”. This Business Brunch supported these aims by giving young people the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the role of languages in the business world. 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. Through hearing from a range of business leaders and interacting with employees, the aspirations of the young people who attended were raised.

This collaboration between schools and businesses supported Scotland’s International Policy to equip young people with international communication and employability skills that they will need in our increasingly globalised society and economy. The event is one of a series of Business Brunches being held across Scotland in January and February 2018.

Read more...

The Scottish Education Awards 2018 – 1+2 Languages Award (primary and secondary cluster working)

16 January 2018 (Education Scotland)

Do you know of  or work in a school with strong cluster-working in languages? Nominate now for the Scottish Education Award for 1+2!

The Scottish Education Awards recognise early learning and childcare settings and schools that have developed a vibrant and progressive culture and climate of continuous innovation in relation to Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 Approach.

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Threlford Cup 2018 - CIOL invites nominations

16 January 2018 (Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL))

CIOL is calling for nominations for the next winner of the Threlford Cup – the prestigious award for inspiration and originality in language teaching and learning.

The cup is presented annually to a person, to an organisation, or for a project that has inspired others with an original language-learning initiative.

Maybe you know of a teacher who has inspired young minds, a business or organisation that has led a project, or someone who works hard within the local community to keep alive a heritage language and culture. If so, CIOL would love to hear from you.

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Glasgow pensioners learn Spanish to prevent dementia

16 January 2018 (Glasgow Live)

Pensioners in Glasgow are being given language lessons in a bid to prevent the early onset of dementia.

Over 60s at Bield’s Coxton Gardens development in Glasgow, have been boosting their memory skills thanks to the weekly Spanish classes put on by one of the care assistants.

Mariana Popa, care assistant at Coxton Gardens, said: “I was looking into some activities that we could organise for our tenants here in Glasgow as part of my personal development framework, and was keen to break away from the stereotypical notion that all older people want to play games such as bingo and dominoes."

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Related Links

Bield residents say ‘¡Adios a Dementia!’ (Scottish Housing News, 16 January 2018)

Gaelic language something to embrace: Readers' Letters

16 January 2018 (The Courier)

I was motivated to write in to your letters page following a number of negative comments featured recently relating to the Gaelic language. While I can appreciate individuals’ concerns, I have to say that my own experience within the past year has been very different.

Since travelling around Scotland and taking an interest in local history and culture, I have become aware of the opportunities to learn more about Scots Gaelic. There are many myths that are perpetuated around the money spent on promoting and supporting Gaelic without thinking of the social, cultural and economic benefits to all.

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Erasmus+ stories

16 January 2018 (Erasmus+)

Looking for inspiring Erasmus+ examples in the UK? Read these Case Studies on how Erasmus+ has supported language learning.

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Inspiring Scotland’s future global workforce - launch of 2018 Business Brunch series

15 January 2018 (SCILT)

Young people from twelve schools across Dundee and the surrounding area had the opportunity to engage with local businesses in the first of a series of Business Brunch events, held at the University of Dundee on 10 January 2018. 118 S3 learners heard from a range of business leaders who view language skills as key to the growth and success of their company. The event demonstrated the relevance of languages in a work context and aimed to encourage pupils to continue with their language studies into the senior phase of their secondary education, and beyond school.

A teacher attending the event said: “The Business Brunch showed pupils that knowing a language can have a positive impact on them in a variety of ways and can help at various stages of their lives, both in and out of work.”

One of the young people added to this and commented: “I discovered that a language can be very useful when competing in the jobs market. It was fascinating to discover the practical applications of knowing a language in a work context, for example helping to negotiate with colleagues in another country.”

Donald Mackenzie, Factory Personnel Manager at Michelin Tyre PLC and one of the keynote speakers told the learners: “Speaking and understanding another language allows me to do a job, to connect with more people and to work in a different environment. In my case, knowledge of a language facilitates my role rather than being a job in itself!”

The event was organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages based at University of Strathclyde, in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland (UCMLS). Schools represented were Craigie High, Woodmill High, Blairgowrie High, Beath High, Montrose Academy, Grove Academy, Webster’s High, McLaren High, Graeme High, Holyrood Secondary, Brechin High and Levenmouth Academy. Companies attending included Michelin Tyre PLC, University of Dundee, Valentine International Business Connections LLP, Scottish Dance Theatre, Outplay Entertainment and Tokheim UK Ltd. Scotland-Russia Forum, Project Trust, The Open University in Scotland and Skills Development Scotland supported the event by hosting a stall in the Marketplace.

Marion Spöring, Senior Lecturer (Languages and European Studies) at the University of Dundee and Chair of UCMLS said: “The learning of languages is not only fun, but also essential for the future employment opportunities of our young people in Scotland. Languages set the foundation for varied careers, for future engineers as well as artists and in tourism, to name but a few.”

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT added: “In these times of uncertainty, it is even more important than ever that we equip our young people with the skills they will need for life beyond school. We want them to be outward-looking and able to operate in an interdependent world. Events such as these highlight the importance of language skills and intercultural competencies in the world of work.

“The business leaders who speak at these events give of their own time because they understand how much these skills are needed and valued by employers and how vital they are for Scotland’s business community. This kind of collaboration is an example of how education and business sectors can work together for their mutual benefit so that we can support young people and help them develop the portfolio of skills that employers require in their workforce.”

Meaningful employer engagement and providing relevant careers advice are both key recommendations of Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy, “Developing the young workforce”. This Business Brunch supported these aims by giving young people the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the role of languages in the business world. 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. Through hearing from a range of business leaders and interacting with employees, the aspirations of the young people who attended were raised.

This collaboration between schools and businesses supported Scotland’s International Policy to equip young people with international communication and employability skills that they will need in our increasingly globalised society and economy.

The event is the first of a series of Business Brunches being held across Scotland in January and February 2018.

  

Read more...

‘The future’s still Mandarin’ despite lack of interest

12 January 2018 (TESS)

Undeterred by a low uptake, campaigners vow to keep pushing the language in Scotland

Subscription required to access full article.

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Brexit risks 'major disaster' for biggest exchange programme in the world

12 January 2018 (TESS)

Brexit will cause a “major disaster” for schools and colleges if it removes access to the biggest student exchange programme in the world, politicians have heard. The potential loss of the long-running Erasmus+ scheme would not only deny thousands of young people potentially life-changing opportunities in other countries, but could also harm teachers’ professional development, according to experts.

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German Educational Trainees Across Borders 2018/19

12 January 2018 (SCILT / German Consulate General)

Expressions of interest are now being taken from local authorities who would like to host a German student teacher for a 6 month placement during the 2018-19 school session.

German trainee teachers from Universities in Mainz, Leipzig and Koblenz are available to work in Scottish schools for a six month placement from September/October 2018 to March/April 2019. Participating students are native German speakers, training to become secondary teachers of English. 

German Educational Trainees (GETs) support language teaching and intercultural understanding, bringing language alive for learners with a trained and motivated native speaker. 

For more information please see the attached 'GET 2018 Information Sheet'. 

Local authorities interested in hosting GETs should complete and return the Note of Interest form by Thursday 1st February.

Read more...

Related Files

Dundee lecturer warns of ‘major disaster’ if Brexit kills off Erasmus programme

11 January 2018 (The Courier)

The loss of a European student exchange programme would be a “major disaster” for language teaching in Scottish schools, says a Dundee lecturer.

The Erasmus+ scheme allows young Scots to study for part of their degree elsewhere in the Europe, but its future is uncertain after Brexit.

Marion Spöring, a languages lecturer at Dundee University said the programme is vital in training Scotland’s teachers and improving education standards.

Read more...

Worrying decline in study of languages, warns British Academy

11 January 2018 (British Academy)

Following today’s publication by HESA of HE Student Statistics (2016/17), the British Academy has expressed concerns at a decline of student numbers choosing languages at undergraduate level. Entries for full-time and part-time undergraduate students taking languages were down 4% and 9% respectively. The British Academy is deeply concerned that this year’s decline will further reduce the already low supply of students who are qualified to go on to careers as language teachers in secondary schools.

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SCILT and CISS professional learning programmes

10 January 2018 (SCILT/CISS)

The SCILT and CISS professional learning programmes for 2017-18 are still available to book for the rest of this session. 

Newly added to the SCILT programme, the workshop 'Supporting pupils with the Advanced Higher Portfolio' is now available to request for your local authority.

Remember all of our CLPL workshops are free to book. You find a date and a venue and get in touch with us. 

To make a booking please email SCILT to receive a link to the request form.

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Bai Meigui Translation Competition now open!

9 January 2018 (Writing Chinese)

The University of Chinese Writing Chinese Network runs an annual translation competition. This year it is open exclusively to secondary school students. The winning writer will be mentored by a professional translator and have their translation published in a journal.

The competition deadline is midnight (GMT) on 26th February 2018.

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Opportunities from Alliance Française for teachers and students

9 January 2018 (Alliance Française Glasgow )

Read the latest newsletter from Alliance Française and find out more about enrolling for the new term of French classes for adults and children..

The newsletter provides information on oral revision courses for Higher and Advanced Higher pupils, CPD workshops for primary teachers and twilight training in French for primary schools.

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Looking across the North Sea – are Hamburg and Orkney really so different?

9 January 2018 (UK-German Connection)

In November, UK-German Connections 2017-18 cohort of FLA/ELA Ambassadors all met for the first time at the introductory seminar in London. They were given the opportunity to find out more about their new roles as Ambassadors, discuss the three project themes for the year, as well as develop their project plans together in groups.

Hamburg and Orkney are at opposite ends of the North Sea – and what better idea for a project than to compare the regional identity and cultural heritage of these two coastal spots? Read the blog for the project, where they and their students will share posts diving into an analysis of Orcadian and Plattdeutsch dialects. They plan to consider spoken language, as well as the dialect’s prominence in contemporary and past literature, asking what significance it still holds today and – more importantly – “Are these strange tongues really quite so foreign?”

Read more...

Nihongo Cup 2018 - Applications Open!

8 January 2018 (Japan Foundation London)

Japan Foundation London is delighted to announce that the Nihongo Cup Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary Schools in the UK is open for applications!

Nihongo Cup, the Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School students, is accepting applications across three categories: Key Stage 3, Pre-GCSE Key Stage 4/5, and Post GCSE Key Stage 4 and 5.

Finalists will be invited to perform their speech at Conway Hall in front of a panel of judges and VIPs from the field of Japanese language education and Japan-UK relations, for the chance to win some fantastic prizes – including a trip to Japan!

Applications will close on 23rd March 2018 (Friday) and finals day will take place on 16 June 2018 (Saturday). Finals will take place at Conway Hall in London.

Read more...

AMOPA Advanced Higher French speaking competition

8 January 2018 (Alliance Française Glasgow )

The AMOPA Advanced Higher French speaking competition is been running for seven years and is going from strength to strength. We are delighted to open the competition again this year, with support from Total.

It must be the easiest competition ever to take part in!

To enter, all you need to do is submit a short recording of students as they prepare for their speaking test. The panel will assess it and give everyone some feedback. We also award prizes and certificates.

We hope that taking part in the competition is a way to support your pupils’ learning and exam preparation, and it's a great opportunity for them to receive feedback. Once again we will have prizes for the best entries and a gift for each school taking part.

Related Files

Language skills for industry

8 January 2018 (Parliament Live)

Watch Baroness Coussins speech in Lords debate on need for MFL skills in the UK Government's Industrial Strategy.

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Iran bans English from being taught in primary schools

8 January 2018 (BBC News)

Iran has banned teaching the English language in primary schools, calling the subject a "cultural invasion". The education ministry "envisages strengthening Persian language skills and Iranian Islamic culture of pupils at the primary school stage", its secretary told state media.

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Secret Teacher: subjects like art are being sidelined – but they matter

6 January 2018 (Guardian)

In trying to improve outcomes in a limited range of subjects, we may struggle to realise the potential of those whose strengths lie elsewhere.

Breakthrough in quest for Book of Deer monastery

6 January 2018 (The Scotsman)

The search for the lost Pictish monastery where the first examples of Scottish Gaelic were written down has made a major breakthrough ten years after the quest began. 

Recent finds in Aberdeenshire have brought archaeologists closer to pinpointing the whereabouts of the Christian site which was home to the Book of Deer before the monastery disappeared about 1,000 years ago.

Read more...

Posted in: Gaelic

31 ways to make January your best language-learning month ever!

31 December 2017 (Radio Lingua)

There are only a few hours left before we begin a new year, and it’s the best possible time to make a resolution to challenge yourself to become a better language learner next year. And this doesn’t necessarily mean hours and hours of study every day!

At Coffee Break Languages, we champion the idea of making your down-time your do-time: by using any spare moments of time you find yourself with to work on language-learning, you can make real progress. On this basis, we’ve done the hard work for you, and compiled this list of New Year language-learning mini challenges that can be completed in short bursts, on each day of January 2018. Whether it’s your New Year’s resolution to jump into German, or to freshen up your French this coming year, this list of challenges will help you on your way to language mastery in 2018!

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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.

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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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Latest News

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Scottish Languages Review & Digest – Issue 33 online! More...

NEW - School Exchange Partnerships More...

Free places at Japan Day More...

Brexit and modern languages in the UK curriculum More...