Early Years


Early Years

Tiptoe into French language with bilingual picture book 'Lapin is hungry'

6 November 2017 (Le Petit Monde)

Le Petit Monde, the puppet theatre company specialised in introducing Artistic Director Tania Czajka's native French language to young children since 2008, is currently working on a picture book based on its puppet characters.

Like all Tania's shows, the story is bilingual, features lots of healthy foods and, crucially, can be understood by all non French speakers.

Accompanied by an illustrated glossary, an audio version and a Teaching Pack, it will make a great resource for Early Years French lessons.

Tania and her team are currently crowdfunding to get Lapin is Hungry published. Schools can pledge in exchange of signed copies, shows, workshops and other goodies!

For more information on how to support this unique project, please visit the link below or contact Tania directly.

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Inspiring language learning and teaching in the early years – Why it matters and what it looks like for children age 3-12

16 October 2017 (ECML)

With over 40 official languages in the member states of the Council of Europe and more than 70 regional and minority languages officially recognized in addition to a number of languages spoken by migrants, it is important that Europe’s language diversity is recognized and acknowledged.

The reality for many European citizens is that in the course of their lives they will need to develop proficiency, not only in their native language, but in a variety of languages. Demands of study, work, travel, relocation and personal development will also mean that skills in new languages will need to be added to their existing repertoire. Therefore, learning the skills required to learn languages is of paramount importance. Furthermore, language learning and identity construction are closely interlinked.

Recognizing the importance of languages in the lives of Europeans and the benefits that early language learning provides, the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) has launched a two-year project "Inspiring language learning and teaching in the early years – Why it matters and what it looks like for children age 3-12".

The project is focused on early language learning, from 3 to 12 years of age. The innate curiosity and enthusiasm that children bring to learning during this initial period in their formal education makes it the ideal time to introduce, nurture and motivate learners in the area of additional language learning. Strong foundations, built at this stage in children’s development, will facilitate language learning throughout life and openness to, as well as respect for different cultures, values and traditions.

Find out more on the ECML website.

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eTwinning face to face workshops

10 October 2017 (eTwinning)

This term, why not apply to go on a short workshop in another European country?

Applications are now open for teachers from Early Years to Upper Secondary to attend a 2-3 day professional development workshop in Ireland and Spain. These events are designed to facilitate new eTwinning projects through partner-finding and project planning activities. Workshop themes and subject areas are varied, spanning e-safety to computational thinking, MFL, history and culture.

Visit the website to find out more and apply by 16/19 October 2017 respectively.

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Keith Grammar and associated primaries – new 1+2 Case Study!

22 September 2017 (SCILT)

Keith Grammar School promotes an inclusive policy where the school and local community are encouraged to work together to provide young people with academic and vocational opportunities. Strong links with local businesses and employers contribute to high numbers of young people moving into positive destinations after leaving school. This Case Study looks at how teachers across sectors (early years through to S6) have worked creatively and collaboratively to ensure that their learners are afforded their full entitlement to learning two languages.

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French and Spanish courses for nursery and primary teachers

7 September 2017 (SALT)

Offered by Smalltalk Languages, this course is aimed at nursery/primary staff who are currently introducing French/Spanish as part of their curriculum for excellence/1+2 languages programme or intend to do so. Suitable for both complete beginners and people with prior knowledge of the language, the main focus of the course will be on language learning and practical methodology.

On the day participants will look at language from the children’s perspective. They will be shown how to build both their own and the children’s confidence in language skills while learning the importance of adapting and manipulating language for maximum effect.

Visit the SALT website for available dates and locations.

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Bilingual story book readings

1 September 2017 (The Language Hub)

The Language Hub in Glasgow provides regular bilingual story book sessions at Hillhead Library. The sessions are free to attend and, whilst aimed at pre-school children, everyone is welcome.

The next event takes place on 5 September with a Spanish/English reading of 'The Gruffalo'.

Further readings of different stories in a range of languages will take place during the Autumn. For details of all the available sessions from September to November visit the Language Hub's website.

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Prince George has learnt to count in Spanish

3 May 2017 (The Telegraph)

Prince George can already count to ten in Spanish, the Duchess of Cambridge has disclosed, as she lifts the lid on their idyllic rural Good Life in Norfolk.

The Duchess said Prince George, who is not yet four, and Princess Charlotte, two, are both learning a second language, with the future king already cleverly picking it up.

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Launch of British Sign Language (BSL) Bookbug session in Fife

25 April 2017 (Fife Today)

Bookbug – a free story, song and rhyme session for babies, toddlers, pre-school children and their families is set to launch Fife’s debut British Sign Language friendly group at Kirkcaldy Libraries next month.

All deaf parents with hearing children, hearing parents with deaf children and deaf parents with deaf children are invited to book a place.

Depending on uptake, the hope is to continue these specialised sessions on a monthly basis.

The event, on May 15 at 10.30am, is part of Bookbug Week 2017, which takes place between May 15-21 in celebration of ‘Bookbug’s Big Giggle’. This fun and playful theme will inspire children and adults alike to feel good by sharing songs and rhymes.

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Sessional workers for Club Soletes-Familias

28 March 2017 (Club Soletes-Familias)

Club Soletes is a registered charity based in Glasgow, which has been supporting Spanish-speaking families in Glasgow since 2003. Our weekly family group aims to offer a Spanish-speaking environment, to learn and share knowledge and understanding of the Hispanic cultures, and encourage the use of the minority language (Spanish). Since September 2016, our Big Lottery funded mobile library project - La Biciteca - has been travelling around Early Years establishments, parks and public spaces in North West Glasgow offering storytelling and play sessions in Spanish to both our members and the wider community.

We are currently seeking sessional workers to assist in delivering our activities, as and when required.

See the attached document and application form for further information.

Apply by Friday 14 April 2017.

Language Show Scotland – Free event + 20% discount on language classes!

24 January 2017 (Language Show Live)

Scotland’s biggest and most prestigious event dedicated to all things language is back at the SECC in Glasgow on the 10th – 11th of March 2017. Officially sponsored by Education Scotland and the Scottish Government this free to attend event is a must for anyone interested in learning or advancing their languages, exploring job opportunities in the language industry, considering teaching or working abroad, enjoying a fantastic range of international cultural performances and much, much more!

10TH MARCH – 9:00AM – 6:00PM GLASGOW SECC
11TH MARCH – 9:00AM – 5:30PM GLASGOW SECC

Sample our extensive free seminar programme, meet over 100 top exhibitors like the European Commission, the Chartered Institute of Linguists and the British Council, meet language professional recruiters, enjoy our fantastic array of cultural performances, free language classes and more.

Find out more and register for free today.

Our trademark intensive 2 hour Language Plus classes are also now available online at a heavily discounted early bird rate (over 20% off the standard price!) of just £18. These optional add-ons can be purchased at the end of the free registration process and are certain to add a productive language experience to your day!

Language Show Live Scotland 2017 logo

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Glasgow Film Festival 2017

18 January 2017 (Glasgow Film)

The programme for Glasgow Film Festival 2017 has just been announced!

More than 310 separate events and screenings of films from 38 countries will show across the city from 15 – 26 February in one of the UK’s biggest film festivals. The event offers several special screenings for schools, which this year includes the following foreign language options:

  • Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods (PG) - 6-8 February (French, English subtitles)
  • Ma Revolution (N/C 15+) - 3-8 February (French, English subtitles)
  • The Olive Tree (N/C 15+) - 7 February (Spanish/German with English subtitles)
  • Shorts for Wee Ones (N/C 3+) - 9 February (English, French or dialogue free)
  • The Golden Dream (N/C 12+) - 9 February (Spanish & Tzotzil with English subtitles)
  • Zip Zap & The Captain's Island (N/C 8+) - 9 February (Spanish)

There are also CPD opportunities for teachers and workshops for pupils. Visit the 'What's on for Schools' page of the GFT website for full details and to book.

Tickets go on sale to Glasgow Film Festival Members at noon on Thursday 19 January and on general sale at 10am on Monday 23 January.

Visit the GFT website for more information.

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CISS professional learning menu update

16 January 2017 (CISS)

The CISS CLPL menu for 2016-17 'Making Chinese work for you!' has been updated.

Visit the CISS website to view the brochure and for information on booking a professional learning session.

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Refreshed and ready for anything in 2017!

13 January 2017 (SCILT)

Here at SCILT, our New Year’s Resolution has been to review and refresh the CLPL menu. With your feedback in mind, we have made a few strategic changes that we hope will make a big difference. New on the SCILT website from today – the new and improved CLPL menu.

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Bilingualism workshops

25 August 2016 (SCILT)

SCILT is delighted to be able to offer a series of national workshops in collaboration with Bilingualism Matters and Glasgow City Council’s EAL Service which will showcase the benefits of bilingualism and consider practical strategies teachers can use to promote bilingualism in their classrooms. We will offer ideas on how to engage bilingual learners more and support literacy skills across both languages.

These free workshops are aimed at general class practitioners across Early Years, Primary and Secondary, not specifically for the MFL and languages community so please feel free to distribute to all teachers across your network or Local Authority.

Attached is a flyer with further information about dates, venues and how to book.

Please note there are only a few remaining places on the Aberdeen workshop - all other venues are now full.

Related Files

The small but wonderful world of puppet theatre - Le Petit Monde

4 August 2016 (Creative Scotland)

Le Petit Monde is a puppet theatre company based in Edinburgh, creating shows that introduce young children and their families to the French language and culture through authentic French-speaking puppets.

We spoke to Artistic Director Tania Czajka about developing her practice and her latest creation - The Wonderful World of Lapin - which appears as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe next week.

Read more...

Enquire Connect Engage - leading learning through practitioner enquiry

24 June 2016 (SCEL)

Have you completed a practice-based enquiry project recently? If so, you’re probably looking for a chance to share your findings. In which case, you’ll definitely want to sign up to participate in the Enquire Connect Engage events that SCEL is hosting this autumn.

SCEL supported Pedagoo’s EnquiryMeet last November. Inspired by its success, we have taken the concept of a teacher-led forum to connect over practitioner enquiry and we are running with it!

Enquire Connect Engage, or #scelenquire if you prefer, will provide opportunities for practitioners to share:
  • the findings from their own small scale practice-based enquiry projects, and
  • practical advice on how to go about investigating classroom practice
Visit the SCEL website for information on how to submit your proposal or to register interest in attending.

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LanguageStrathclyde: A conversation about Language Learning

17 June 2016 (SCILT)

SCILT, Scotland's National Centre for Languages and the School of Education, University of Strathclyde hosted an afternoon of seminars led by language practitioners, students and academics on various strands of language learning including bilingualism, motivation and translanguaging.

SCILT has used Storify to summarise the discussions from the day. Visit our Storify page for a flavour of the event.

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New SCILT/CISS Professional Learning Menus for 2016-17

10 June 2016 (SCILT / CISS)

It’s Launch Day! The brand new professional learning menus for SCILT and CISS are out now!

The focus of both CLPL menus is on supporting teachers and making connections between languages and other high profile aspects of Scottish education such as the Developing Young Workforce, raising attainment and parental engagement agendas.

As always, our CLPL comes to local authorities for no charge. Nada, zilch, gratis!

There are both sector specific and cross-sector workshop options to choose from. In addition, we are also happy to develop bespoke inputs to match your particular professional learning needs, just get in touch.

Don’t hang about though! Bookings have already started coming in and calendars at SCILT and CISS are filling up fast. Please contact scilt@strath.ac.uk with your request in writing.

P.S. Remember to keep a look out on the bulletin for other professional learning opportunities that will be taking place at SCILT HQ and on Glow during the year. If you don't already receive our weekly e-bulletin, make sure you don't miss out on updates and subscribe now!

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Articulate Language Camps

9 June 2016 (Articulate Language Camps)

Articulate Language Camps are based in Scotland and offer a variety of programmes from school day camps to residential summer camps as well as exam revision and CPD for teachers.

Tuition is offered in English, French, Spanish, Italian and German to learners aged 3-17, with a unique method of teaching through digital media projects, such as animation and podcasting, and adventure activities which take learning into the great outdoors. So, whether campers are taking an archery class in German, singing campfire songs in French or making a film in Spanish, they are having fun while learning in a meaningful way.

New this year is the International Camp in Italian. Find out more from camp leader, Lisa, in this short video 'Una breve introduzione ai nostri programmi' and for further information about Articulate Language Camps and all their programmes, visit the website.

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Summer French story sessions for children

31 May 2016 (East Lothian Council)

30 minute French story sessions for children aged 4 to 7 years old are being held in different locations across East Lothian during the summer holidays.

Visit East Lothian Council's website for more information.

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Bookbug Week 2016

5 May 2016 (Scottish Book Trust)

Bookbug Week 2016 will take place between 16-22 May and will celebrate ‘Around the world with Bookbug’.

This international theme will inspire children and adults alike to explore songs and rhymes from around the globe. A whole host of fun story, song and rhyme activities for children will be taking place in local libraries and community venues.

Visit the Scottish Book Trust website for a list of dates and venues around Scotland.

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eTwinning webinar training May 2016

3 May 2016 (eTwinning)

Want to get started on your eTwinning journey? The following two webinar sessions will help you find out all you need to know.

  • Step 1 - Finding your eTwinning partner (17 May, 4.30-5.30pm)
  • Step 2 - Starting your eTwinning project (19 May, 4.30-5.30pm)

Visit the webinar website to find out more and sign up for one or both of the sessions.

For more information about eTwinning generally and see example projects, visit the British Council's eTwinning website.

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On her first birthday, Princess Charlotte already knows much about language

2 May 2016 (The Conversation)

Princess Charlotte, the youngest member of the British Royal Family, is turning one. While there will be plenty of focus from sections of the mainstream UK media on the official pictures released by the palace, much has been going on behind the scenes. Many infants say their first word around the time of their first birthday and for most people, this is when language learning really starts. But by the time Charlotte says her first word, she actually already knows a lot about language.

In fact, for hearing children, language acquisition starts in the womb. During the third trimester, the foetus can hear, and it is the mother’s voice that they hear best. Not surprisingly, then, newborns prefer their mother’s voice over other female voices, but not their father’s voice over other male voices. Sorry, dads.

But newborns' preferences are not just about different voices. Newborns also prefer their native language over other languages. For example, two-day-old infants born to English-speaking mothers prefer listening to strangers who speak English than to strangers who speak Spanish, and vice versa. Newborns also recognise stories that were read to them in the womb and can distinguish vowel sounds that exist in their native language from those that don’t. Even the melody of newborns' cries is influenced by their native language.

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Stonehouse Primary and Nursery launch Scots language book

31 March 2016 (Daily Record)

Stonehouse Primary and Nursery pupils have created and published their own booked called A Daunner Roon Stonehoose.

The book was written in Scots to celebrate the history and continued use of the Scots dialect.

Published by Whitewater Publishing with the support of publisher, Mary Thomson, every child in the nursery and school have contributed to the poems and stories in the book.

Each piece in the book describes life in Stonehouse, from playing in the park to going to school to popping out to the Post Office!

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Hatching little Chinese speakers at Britain's first bi-lingual Mandarin-English nursery

31 October 2015 (The Telegraph)

At just two-years-old Barclay can already say “hello”, “bubbles”, “wash hands” and several other words in Mandarin. Ursula, also two, can say “fish”, “horse” and “more food” and her Mandarin vocabulary already stretches to more than 50 words.

But this isn't Beijing or Shanghai, and neither are Barclay's or Ursula's parents Chinese. Both children are English and this is a day care centre housed in a Welsh Presbyterian chapel in the City of London.

Welcome to Hatching Dragons, Britain's first bilingual English-Mandarin nursery.

Here children like Barclay and Ursula are just as likely to sing a Chinese nursery rhyme as an English one. Numeracy games are played with Chinese characters as well as Roman numerals and lunch includes not just sandwiches, but spring rolls and fried rice.

Read more...

Support for Gaelic early years

21 October 2015 (Scottish Government)

Children in Gaelic speaking communities will be helped to get the best start in life after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced £100,000 funding for 41 early years’ groups and organisations.

The money will support the running costs of the groups and provide employment opportunities for Gaelic speaking leaders so that children can develop their skills in the language.

The First Minister made the announcement in Skye as she delivered the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig lecture for the first time. She said:

“We want all of Scotland’s children to have the best start in life. That includes providing opportunities for children to learn and improve Gaelic in their early years. Our support for Gaelic medium education is encouraging and enabling more children to learn the language and has helped to slow the decline in our population of Gaelic speakers. I am determined to do all I can to support the future of the language in Scotland. Today’s announcement ensures that children will be able to take up Gaelic at the earliest possible age.”

Read more...

Related Links

First minister unveils £100,000 for Gaelic speaking children (Press and Journal, 22 October 2015)

Support for Gaelic early years (Stornoway Gazette, 26 October 2015) 

Book readings at the Language Hub

21 October 2015 (The Language Hub)

The Language Hub in Glasgow is pleased to announce that from Winter 2015 it will be adding weekly and monthly reading sessions to its timetable for different age groups and languages.

Information on the readings scheduled for October and November can be found on the attached files.

The events are free, but donations are welcome.

For more information about the Language Hub visit their website.

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Bilingual children 'lag behind in English', research shows

7 August 2015 (The Telegraph)

Bilingual children in their early years lag behind in English, a new study has found as it shows their vocabulary is stunted.

The study found that children under six years of age who learn a second language lag behind in their linguistic performance compared to their peers who only speak English. Their abilities were measured by showing children at three years of age images and asked them to name the objects in the pictures in English. The bilingual children were able to name fewer images than those who only spoke English.

However, the research by Bath University, showed that disadvantage fades away by the age of five and the improvement is more noticeable among children whose at least one parent is British.

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The earlier a second language is learnt the better

4 August 2015 (Day Nurseries UK)

According to British Council research, improving one’s employment prospects is the main driver for people overseas learning English, but many UK pupils are still experiencing a ‘minimal or fragmented’ second language learning because the UK still fails to recognise the many benefits of bilingualism.

In the day nursery sector, more and more providers are realising the need to focus on a bilingual upbringing, for the long-term advantages that learning a second language can have on intellect and life prospects, even though foreign language learning remains non-compulsory during the early years and most UK children will have no exposure to it until later education.

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Our toddler is fluent in Mandarin. Is yours? – The new nursery checklist

9 June 2015 (The Times)

What do you look for when choosing a nursery for your child? As the father of an eight-month-old son, it’s a question I’ve been preoccupied with for a while.  You traipse round the open days, admire the finger paintings and secretly run through an internal checklist. Do the people running the place seem actually to like children? How much outside space is there? Can my son take his stuffed zebra every day? Will he learn how to speak Mandarin? Does the food look healthy? That sort of thing.  (Please note you will need to subscribe to access the full article).

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Vive le Fringe!

9 June 2015 (Institut français)

For the past five years, the Institut Français has been a venue at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Under the banner ‘Vive le Fringe’, we have been bringing French companies to the Fringe and presenting an eclectic and ambitious programme of French theatre, circus and children’s shows.

The 2015 programme features three shows dedicated to young audiences for which we’ve been devising post-performance workshops for schools in order to complement the viewing and allow classes to make the most of their visit to the Institut français and to the Fringe. You can find out more details about each show by clicking on the relevant link below.

Learners International - new resource for schools!

28 May 2015 (British Council/Education Scotland)

British Council in partnership with Education Scotland has today launched a new online resource to help schools and pre-school centres improve outcomes for pupils and staff through international engagement.

The resource is designed to support schools in their journey of continuous improvement in learning through partnerships with educational establishments in other countries.  Working in partnership the aim is to develop learners' skills and attitudes that are necessary to participate effectively in a globalised world.

International engagement involves learning about other countries:

  • their cultures
  • education systems
  • languages
  • the global themes of interest to us all
  • and by forming a partnership with educational establishments abroad and/or being involved in global learning programmes

The aim of the partnerships are:

  • to improve knowledge and skills across curriculum areas
  • to challenge stereotypes and prejudices
  • and to make learners aware of the possibilities that exist for learning and work outside Scotland

This, by extension, allows learners to understand Scotland and its place in the world. Partnerships allow those involved the opportunity to share ideas in pedagogy and the space to reflect on their own practice; and in so doing, improve the quality of learning and teaching. Partnerships can be developed digitally or can also involve face to face meetings between staff and/or learners.

Find out more about Learners International on the Education Scotland website.

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Animated French resource for First Level

11 May 2015 (Education Scotland)

This animated video resource aims to support and stimulate young language learners by exemplifying pronunciation in French and allowing them to match the written and spoken word. They also aim to support practitioners by offering a platform that can lead to wider learning opportunities.

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Launch of AILA Research Network in Early Language Learning

7 May 2015 (BAAL)

We are pleased to announce the launch of the ELL Network – newly accepted as an AILA Research Network for the three-year period January 2015-December 2017. With the launch of this international network we hope to raise the profile of research in early languages learning (including foreign, second and minority languages), contributing to the growth of national and regional research groups and stimulating new research on a range of themes in the field. Over the three-year period our principal aims are:

  1. To create synergies across research areas concerned with young children learning additional languages in school and pre-school contexts worldwide; 
  2. To set out a comprehensive agenda for research in the field of early language learning.

Do visit our Network to learn more. Active researchers in the field of Early Language Learning (ages 3-12 years) are most welcome to join the group, contribute to planned events/publications and help to build our aims.

For any queries please contact Janet Enever - ELL-REN convenor by email at janet.enever@umu.se or by telephone on +46 (0)90 786 56 74.

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Write an Easter Card to Felix and Franzi

24 March 2015 (Goethe Institut London)

All primary school teachers of German with their students are invited to take part in Goethe Institut London's special Easter activity. Let your students write an Easter card in German to our two hand puppets Felix and Franzi.

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Multilingual families: 'Even our dog uses three languages'

13 March 2015 (The Guardian)

No matter what your family’s heritage, parenting has a common lexicon: brush your teeth, look up from that screen or stop bashing your brother can be found in most family phrasebooks.

But what if the language you were born with differs from the one your kids use daily at school, or if you and your partner each have different native languages?

Today almost one in five children in UK primary schools now has a mother tongue other than English. According to Professor Antonella Sorace, director of the Bilingualism Matters centre at Edinburgh University, the demand for information and advice on how to navigate the challenges of bilingual parenting is now “enormous”.

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Mair Scots in Scuils

25 February 2015 (Education Scotland)

Each year throughout January pupils from Kirktonholme Primary and Nursery in East Kilbride take part in a multi disciplinary programme of learning around Scots language and culture. They have fully embedded the teaching of Scots in a whole-school approach. For more details, view their short film.

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BSL and Makaton signing classes for Highland pupils

25 January 2015 (The Scotsman)

Nursery and primary school pupils in the Highlands will be the first in Scotland to be taught sign language as part of the new curriculum.

Smithton Primary, on the outskirts of Inverness, will teach youngsters both British Sign Language (BSL) and Makaton – a form of signing for those with special educational needs or communication disorders that is popularly used by Mr Tumble on the CBeebies show Something Special.

The move at the school has been welcomed by the British Deaf Association and the Scottish Association of Sign Language Interpreters.

It has come about after the Scottish Government’s announcement that all primary age children should have two additional languages as well as their first language.

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Beyond the Panda education project - new website!

2 December 2014 (RZSS)

Thanks to a partnership with Jaguar Land Rover (China), Sandie Robb, Senior Education Officer for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland got the opportunity recently to visit Chengdu and Ya'an - along with 10 students and 4 staff from Lasswade High School. You can see an excellent video of the trip on the 'Beyond the Panda' new website, which not only includes a wealth of information on the giant panda project but has excellent lesson plans and activities.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland outreach sessions 'Beyond the Panda' and 'Giants' are still available for schools, however they are always revised and redeveloped each year to build on new resources and ideas. Please email Sandie Robb, srobb@rzss.org.uk, for full details.

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An Infant’s Brain Maps Language From Birth, Study Says

19 November 2014 (Time)

The infant's brain retains language that it hears at birth and recognizes it years later, even if the child no longer speaks that language.

A new study reveals that an infant’s brain may remember a language, even if the child has no idea how to speak a word of it.

The finding comes from a new study performed by a team of researchers from McGill University’s Department of Psychology and Montreal’s Neurological Institute who are working to understand how the brain learns language.

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Chinese New Year workshops in your school

12 November 2014 (SALT)

Dragons in Europe invite you to bring the wonderfully vibrant and inspiring Chinese New Year celebrations to your school.

The rise of China as an economic and global power has led to the rapid spread of Chinese culture and customs round the world and Chinese language skills are now in high demand. Exploring this fascinating culture is a cross-curricula journey. There will be mythical animal tales, traditional activities, Chinese character writing and lots of smiles. Workshops will include some basic language learning, lots of culture and topical gifts for the children to take away.

*Please note there is a charge for the workshops.*

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Pre-schoolers to learn a second language under Government trial following a decline in the number of high school students studying languages

10 November 2014 (Daily Mail Australia)

It's hoped a new trial, which is set to see pre-schoolers learn a second language, will help to boost the declining numbers of high school students studying languages across Australia.

The federal government has selected 40 pre-schools from more than 1,000 applicants to take part in the trial, called Ella, which will use play based apps starting from next year.

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'Children should start learning languages at age three'

10 October 2014 (The Telegraph)

Our European neighbours shame us by their ability to converse in English. The Government would like that to be a thing of the past. So would Catherine Ford.

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Why “younger” is not always “better” in foreign language learning

8 October 2014 (Birkbeck)

Politicians can be forgiven for not having much time to read the fine print when asking advisers to translate research findings into workable policies. Or does it work the other way round? Do politicians decide on policies first and subsequently ask advisers for appropriate research findings to back up the policy? This seems the case when considering the wide consensus across the world about the benefits of early introduction of foreign languages (FLs) in pupils’ school curriculum. The expression “younger is better” in education sounds perfectly plausible, is simple and convincing, and must be a vote winner.

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Eurotoolbox 2014-15

4 September 2014 (Goethe-Institut London)

The Eurotoolbox consists of 5 specially chosen collections of children's and youth literature from Europe in the original language - German, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian, with between 12 and 15 books in each language.

The exhibition of books is free to borrow for 2-4 weeks at a time and is available from September.

Visit the Eurotoolbox launch webpage for more information about the collections and contact Mariella Riccobono at the Italian Cultural Institute to arrange a booking slot: maria.riccobono.iic@esteri.it 

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Julia Donaldson, James Robertson (trans.) - Room on the Broom in Scots

27 August 2014 (The List)

An already engaging and exciting story becomes even more theatrical when ‘performed’ in a new language.

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European Day of Languages 2014 - SCILT webpage now live

22 August 2014 (SCILT)

Each year September 26th marks the European Day of Languages (EDL). It's all about finding ways to get people in schools, colleges and the wider community excited about languages. How you celebrate is up to you!

SCILT has launched the European Day of Languages 2014 webpage where you can finds lots of ideas for how your school can celebrate. You can also order EDL materials for your school like posters, stickers and pens.

Let us know how you celebrate, and you could even feature in our EDL 2014 blog!

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Parents facing £1300 bills as Gaelic nursery funding is cut

11 August 2014 (Herald)

Parents of children attending Glasgow's only private Gaelic nursery claim they will be £1,300 per year per child worse off after the city council decided without warning not to award it a new contract.

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French courses for Autumn 2014

1 August 2014 (Institut français)

The Institut français d’Ecosse is offering a range of French courses for both teachers and pupils starting in September 2014.  Follow the appropriate links below for full details:

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EU Multilingual Families children's eStoryBooks

22 July 2014 (Multilingual Families)

The EU Multilingual Families children's eStoryBooks have now been published. There are 2 books, for 0 to 6 and 6 to 10.

Are attractive and engaging eBooks that motivate and show why children should learn, use and retain languages. There are two eBooks for pre-primary and primary. They are specific to each of the age groups and include interactive elements.

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Gaelic Bookbug sessions go from strength to strength

26 June 2014 (Argyll & Bute Council)

The establishment of Argyll and Bute Council’s Furan centre in Oban encourages existing Gaelic speakers to meet up to maintain their language skills, provides workshops for new learners and hopefully sparks interest in children and their parents.

As part of this promotion of the use of the Gaelic language, Gaelic Bookbug sessions for very young children and their parents have been established in Oban and Lochgilphead, with strong interest being expressed in Dunoon where a pilot session has been organised.

Read more...

Anger as no primary slot available for Gaelic nursery boy

27 May 2014 (The Evening Times)

Parents who sent their son to a Gaelic nursery have slammed city education bosses for denying him a place at Gaelic primary school.

Christine and Iain Agnew are keen to support Scotland's language and so sent son Archie to a Gaelic nursery school in Anniesland. But the four-year-old has now been denied a place at Glasgow Gaelic School.

Christine, 39, said: "My son has been going to a Gaelic nursery for the past two years. "To get into the Gaelic school they say you have to show commitment to the language. Well, I'm not sure how else I could have shown that commitment. We haven't been given a straight answer as to why Archie has been refused a place and I would really like the council to reconsider."

Christine, from Clydebank, said she has lodged an appeal, as have two other mums who are in a similar position. But she believes there should be enough primary provision in the city to accommodate all children who are in the city's Gaelic nurseries.

Read more...

Related Links

Gaelic is part of Scotland's heritage (Evening Times, 29 May 2014)

Pupils as young as three taught French and Spanish

26 May 2014 (Edinburgh News)

Children at all of Edinburgh’s council nurseries are set to be taught modern ­languages for the first time. Lessons will be piloted at nurseries across Edinburgh ahead of a city-wide rollout over the next three years.

Read more...

e-Stòras, a new resource for Gaelic Medium Education

19 May 2014 (Comhairle nan Eilean Siar)

The Multimedia Unit of the Education and Children’s Services Department of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has developed a new website to support 3-18 Gaelic Medium Education. Resources support Gàidhlig as well as a range of other curricular areas. The website is being continuously updated with new materials to enhance young people’s learning opportunities through the medium of Gaelic.  For more information, visit the website or contact evelyn.coull@cne-siar.gov.uk.

Read more...

A small story (Eine kleine Geschichte)

6 May 2014 (Goethe-Institut)

A collaboration between Starcatchers and Theater o.N. (Berlin) this is a wonderfully creative piece of children's theatre (Ages 2 – 4). On tour in Scotland during May 2014. 

Visit the Goethe-Institut website for tour dates and venues.

Read more...

Saturday Live - Bringing children up bilingually

BBC Radio 4 (26 April 2014)

Interview with English-speaker Caroline Sarll who decided to bring her children up to be bilingual. Listen from 25mins. First broadcast 26 April 2014.

Read more...

Language World 2014: ALL Joined Up - catch up on what you missed!

22 April 2014 (ALL)

Language World is the annual flagship event of ALL, with two days of professional development for teachers, the largest UK exhibition of language teaching resources directly aimed at teachers, a social event, and a chance for teachers from all over the country to meet up with their subject community to celebrate language teaching and learning.

Language World 2014 took place last week at the University of Lancaster, and our theme this year was All Joined Up. The conference focussed on the need for teachers across sectors to work with one another to make language learning from age 7 onwards exciting, meaningful and successful. This year’s successful event showcased valuable and inspiring work which language teachers and language teaching professionals could learn from and use in their own practice.

If you didn't get the opportunity to join us this year, don't worry - we don't want anyone feeling left out! Speakers presentations and handouts are available through the link below.

Read more...

Early start to French & how children learn their own and other languages from an early age - Resources from EduTalk available

28 February 2014 (EduTalk)

Maryse Payen-Roy is part of the Modern Languages Support and Development Team at Glasgow City Council. In this show, Maryse talks about her professional learning and research, the 1+2 languages policy, the work of SALT and SCILT, and the focus of this episode: ‘Early start to French & How children learn their own and other languages from an early age’.

Listen again to this podcast and access the resources from the above CLPL session.

Read more...

Nursery years are an ideal time for children to pick up foreign language skills

31 January 2014 (QA Nursery Magazine)

Second-language teaching is not a core part of the Early Years Foundation Stage, but there are many day nurseries and learning experts who believe it should be if UK-born citizens are ever to become more bilingual.

Read more...

French for bilingual children

31 January 2014 (Institut français)

In association with la petite Ecole, the Institut français offers workshops in French for children who are growing up with a bilingual background using CLIL methodlogy (learning and improving language skills through other topics like science and arts).

Read more...

Teach Scots to kids as standard says leading head

13 January 2014 (The Scotsman)

Scots should be put at the centre of the Scottish Government’s initiative to promote language learning in the country’s schools, it has been claimed.


Headteacher Isabel Lind said the Scots language was a valuable educational tool and should be included in the 1+2 initiative, which seeks to have children learning two foreign tongues alongside English at primary school.

Read more...

Teaching the kids French isn't always fun and games

31 December 2013 (The Guardian)

In month three of teaching her sons French, Louise Tickle hits a few bumps in the road.

Read more...

Guidance for teaching a first modern language in P1

18 December 2013 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland have issued new guidance to support language learning in P1. This resource offers a number of supportive approaches and helpful weblinks, along with examples of how primary teachers are delivering modern languages in the classroom.

The guidance will be useful to practitioners who are teaching, or planning to teach, a modern language in P1.

It contains suggestions on the integration of modern languages into everyday classroom situations. There are also soundfiles to support practitioners in using modern languages in class.

Publication of guidance for P2-P7 will follow in Spring and Summer 2014.

Read more...

New £3m Gaelic school to be built on Skye

16 December 2013 (The Scotsman)

Highland Council is to receive £3 million over two years to build a new Gaelic school in Portree, on the Isle of Skye.

Minister for Scotland’s Languages Alasdair Allan made the announcement during a visit to the site of the new school, where building work will begin in 2015.

An additional £250,000 will also be invested in Gaelic learning for early years, to encourage sustained growth in the number of pupils going through Gaelic medium education (GME) and encourage parents to choose bilingual schooling.

Read more...

Related Links

Funding offered for new Gaelic school (BBC, 16 December 2013)

My best lesson - Turn language learning into a guessing game

22 November 2013 (TES)

What is the eternal fascination with guessing games? Shakespeare's work is full of riddles, the Victorians played charades, my own offspring loved Pictionary and schoolchildren will grab a pen and play hangman at any opportunity.

As a teacher of languages - French, Spanish and English as a foreign language - I have always tried to tap into this fascination as a way of helping students of all ages to learn vocabulary and structures.

Read more...

Monsters University Helps you Learn Spanish with Translated Trailers

28 October 2013 (Learning Spanish for Beginners)

Learn Spanish with ‘Monsters University’! Really engaging way to learn using a movie trailer.

Read more...

Speak three languages? Then you must be a Londoner

24 October 2013 (London Evening Standard)

In a country often slated for its monolingualism, London is emerging as a hub not only of suave bilinguals, switching between French and English in South Ken cafés, but a new polyglot breed: the capital’s trilinguals.

Read more...

The HSBC/British Council Link2Learn Awards 2013

22 October 2013 (British Council)

We are offering a final chance to enter the Link2Learn competition. Please apply for this fantastic awards opportunity by Tuesday 29 October in order to win a grant for your school.

The Link2Learn Awards, supported by HSBC Global Education Programme, recognise and reward UK schools, International Co-ordinators and local authorities for their work in forming and sustaining international school partnerships.

Enter the competition to win a cash prize to support your existing international school partnerships. All educational institutions with students aged 3 to 18 are eligible to enter the competition, i.e. nurseries, schools (including special schools) and colleges. They must have worked with a partner school in another country for at least one year.

Visit the website for further information and how to enter.

Read more...

Auf Wiedersehen, pupils: UK's first Anglo/German state primary school opens

16 October 2013 (The Independent)

There are hopes that it will lead to a more enlightened attitude to learning languages, reports Richard Garner.

This is the country's first bilingual state school in German and English, which began taking pupils from the age of four at the start of the autumn term. For four-year-olds, the German is simple. Morning assembly brings with it a round of "happy birthday" for any child celebrating that day – and it is sung in both languages.

Read more...

Introductions: Meeting & Greeting in French

15 October 2013 (TES)

Simple introductions in French for young beginners. A video to add a bit of joy to learning French if you have online access to YouTube. It introduces them to Billy - star of lots of other free resources by agreenmouse.

You will need a TES userid and password to access these materials.

Read more...

Why I became a primary teacher: to get children hooked on languages

13 October 2013 (The Guardian)

Diana Linford tells Emily Drabble how having her daughter refired her passion for teaching and why she thinks languages must start at primary school.

Read more...

Inspiring Projects

10 October 2013 (Speak to the Future)

We’re highlighting inspiring projects happening across the country which are promoting languages to the wider public – showing those in the languages community what you could do, and helping to give those outside an insight into the value of languages and language learning.

There are a host of projects and websites covering a number of languages for all ages – take a look and see what will inspire you.

Read more...

Toddler brain scan gives language insight

9 October 2013 (BBC)

The brain has a critical window for language development between the ages of two and four, brain scans suggest.

Environmental influences have their biggest impact before the age of four, as the brain's wiring develops to process new words, say UK and US scientists.

It also explains why young children are good at learning two languages.

Read more...

Hallowe’en activities in French

8 October 2013 (La Souris)

A selection of Hallowe’en themed games and activities for your pre-school and primary French learners.

Read more...

CISS 2013-14 professional learning menu now available!

4 October 2013 (SCILT/CISS)

Are you a teacher of Mandarin?  
Are you a teacher considering introducing Mandarin into your school?  

The new Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools professional learning menu offers a variety of workshops to help you introduce, develop and embed Chinese language learning across the 3-18 curriculum. Relevant to practitioners in all sectors, the workshops draw on good practice from across the country and offer an opportunity for professional dialogue and the sharing of ideas and materials. Whether you are an experienced teacher of Mandarin looking for help with the senior phase, or you are just getting started and are looking for practical ways of introducing Chinese culture and language into your class, the CISS team is here to help!

Visit the CISS professional development page to view the 'Chinese Learning - let's work together' menu.

I'm teaching my son to speak French

2 October 2013 (The Guardian)

How hard will it be to teach a five-year-old French? Follow one mother's home-grown linguistic travails over the coming months.

Read more...

Tree Seasons - free resource

1 October 2013 (GrowStoryGrow)

A free Autumn story in English, French and Spanish which teaches colours, weather, seasons and sentence-building, of course!  You can access this story with all its resources from the 1st of October to the 25th.

Read more...

Breaking down language barriers

1 October 2013 (Leicester Mercury)

Pupils as young as four are getting the chance to learn new languages at Uplands Infants.

With many different cultures at the school, staff believe it's never too early to get started. For the past week, children have been immersed in all things French. Not only have they taken part in a simulated flight to Paris, they have also been learning songs in French and enjoying some of its culinary delights, as well as building their versions of the Eiffel Tower.

Read more...

Celebrate EDL 2013 with Babelzone

25 September 2013 (Linguanet)

In celebration of the European Day of Languages 2013 we are allowing everyone to access the popular online learning website 'Babelzone' from now until the end of September for FREE.

This special offer is ideal for MFL teachers celebrating the European Day of Languages, and for young French and Spanish learners. Packed full of songs, animated stories, games, worksheets and phonics, Babelzone is an exciting interactive resource for the classroom.  

To login go to the Babelzone home page http://www.lcfclubs.com/babelzonenew/index.asp and login with these details:

Username: babelzone
Password: LCFCLUBS2013

Read more...

Cartoons in Spanish

24 September 2013 (RTVE)

Ideal for your early Spanish learners. Cartoons including Peppa Pig, Spongebob, Postman Pat and many more favourites from the Spanish channel RTVE.

Read more...

European Day of Languages 2013 - SCILT webpage now live

22 August 2013 (SCILT)

Each year September 26th marks the European Day of Languages (EDL) and is all about finding a way to get people in schools, colleges and the wider community excited about languages. How you celebrate is up to you!

SCILT have launched our European Day of Languages 2013 webpage, where you can finds loads of ideas on how your school can celebrate. You can also order EDL 2013 materials like posters, stickers and pens.

Visit our EDL 2013 webpage here and let us know how you intend to bring languages into your school this year!

Glasgow has started the journey to implementation of 1+2 languages starting at early years!

19 August 2013 (Engage for Education)

Maureen McKenna, Executive Member for Education, Glasgow City Council said: “Glasgow has been working on a sustained and planned approach in the development of languages in the city to enhance the learning and teaching in our schools.

“Glasgow was ably represented on the Scottish Government languages working group by Gillian Campbell-Thow, an experienced principal language teacher who also has a city-wide language remit and support role for our schools in all sectors.

Glasgow is in the process of proactively working to encourage the uptake of 1 + 2 languages in primary schools across the city with more and more teachers being trained. This session primary teachers have the chance to train in French, Spanish, German, Italian and Gaelic. Early years training will be available in French, Spanish, Gaelic, Polish and Arabic.

Read more...

French Number Line – Numbers with words 1-20

9 August 2013 (TES)

A simple French Number Line to be used on display in a classroom. This could be printed full size or reduced to print in multiples to make flashcards. A lovely free teaching resource for an Early Years or Primary classroom.

Read more...

Antonella Sorace

24 May 2013 (TESS)

The founder of Bilingualism Matters and professor of developmental linguistics talks about the common misconceptions around language learning and why children should be taught another language as early as possible.

Read more...

eTwinning Network event in Sofia, Bulgaria, 25nd-28th April

26 March 2013 (eTwinning)

Are you interested in finding a partner school from Europe to start an eTwinning project?

The British Council eTwinning team is giving up to 4 teachers from the UK the chance to travel to Sofia to meet and network with other European teachers at a joint eTwinning event

Taking place from Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th April, this event is open to teachers working with students aged 3-11 teaching any subject. It will include sessions on how to use eTwinning, how to use ICT tools and how to fit eTwinning into your school life.

All workshop sessions will be delivered concurrently in German, French and English, so this event would in particular suit someone who can speak either French or German. However, this is not a prerequisite.

The British Council will cover travel, accommodation and meal expenses as well as your participation fee. Supply cover is not included.

Visit the eTwinning website for further information and to apply by 7 April 2013.

Read more...

Language World 2013: Music to my ears

24 March 2013 (My Languages blog - Isabelle Jones)

Download the slides and reference sheet for my session on using music in the languages classroom presented at Language World 2013.

Read more...

Challenges and tips for raising bilingual children

21 March 2013 (NBC Latino)

As the conversation about bilingualism spreads throughout the country, more and more parents are looking for resources when it comes to raising their children to be multilingual.

Nancy Rhodes, director of Foreign Language Education at the Center for Applied Linguistics, says that over the last 10 years or more, they’ve seen an increase in parents going to school districts and asking them to start language programs for early education classes.

Rhodes says that the reason for the increase is because many parents now recognize that bilingualism is a tremendous asset for future careers. “The current focus appears to be on the globalized economy,” she says. “Parents are thinking about their children’s future in internet jobs, or international and intercultural careers.”

But one of the biggest challenges for parents is how to begin the process.

Read more...

1+2 Case Study published on SCILT website

8 March 2013 (SCILT)

The first of our case studies showcasing how schools across Scotland are responding to the recommendations in 'Language Learning in Scotland: A 1 + 2 Approach' has been published on our website. Westercraigs Nursery in Glasgow celebrates the range of languages spoken by the children at home as well as offering specific learning experiences in French, Italian and Gaelic. Find out more about how the nursery promotes the importance and value of learning languages to the children and their families.

Read more...

Bilingual babies balance different languages

18 February 2013 (news.com.au)

Even before they can talk, infants as young as seven months who grow up in bilingual homes acquire a special ability to distinguish between languages, researchers have found.

Read more...

Young linguists say 'guten Tag'

8 February 2013 (TESS)

A languages project is introducing nursery children to the joys of German, writes Julia Belgutay
Pupils at Springburn Nursery in Glasgow have made a new friend - Hans Hase, a hand puppet helping them to learn words and phrases in German as part of a pilot project with the Goethe Institute.

Read more...

Start of new German courses - enrol now!

6 February 2013 (Goethe-Institut)

The new spring/summer semester at the Goethe-Institut Glasgow will start on 11 February. If you are interested in enrolling in one of our courses, please contact us as soon as possible. If you are unsure about the level or suitable class we will advise further.

Read more...

TES webchat - How learning foreign languages can improve students' understanding of English

31 January 2013 (TES)

TES MFL subject adviser Rachel Hawkes looks at how foreign languages learning can support literacy without us needing to use English. The chat will be an informal way for you to share ideas on the topic as well as ask questions and seek advice from Rachel and each other.

Read more...

Brain Structure of Infants Predicts Language Skills at One Year

22 January 2013 (Science Daily)

Using a brain-imaging technique that examines the entire infant brain, researchers have found that the anatomy of certain brain areas – the hippocampus and cerebellum – can predict children's language abilities at 1 year of age.

Read more...

Inverness Gaelic school set to grow in size

19 January 2013 (BBC News)

A Gaelic medium education school in Inverness at the centre of difficulties with the appointment of a head teacher looks set to increase in size.

Read more...

New semester at the Goethe-Institut

17 January 2013 (Goethe-Institut)

For full details of all the language courses and examinations available at the Goethe-Institut in Glasgow for Spring/Summer 2013 visit the website, or view the information pages below.

Read more...

The Job Profile is Decisive – Foreign Languages in the Workplace

17 January 2013 (Goethe-Institut)

In today's professional world, knowledge of foreign languages is an indispensable skill and a must-have on any resume. Still, studies show that while good foreign language skills play an increasingly important role in the workplace, every situation is different.

Read more...

Modern Languages Newsletter – January 2013

14 January 2013 (Glasgow City Council)

To read about all the latest language events and activities within Glasgow schools, download the January newsletter.

Languages drive is crucial for Scotland's future, MSPs told

10 January 2013 (STV News)

Children as young as nine will be taught three languages amid rising immigration, tourism and increasing demand for workers that speak more than just English, MSPs have heard.

The Scottish Government has set aside £4m for a pilot project to ensure Scotland's economy does not suffer as a result of its citizens' relatively poor language skills.

Read more...

Additional beginners Chinese class now available

9 January 2013 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Due to high demand we have now arranged an additional beginners Chinese class on Thursday evenings starting from 14 January for ten weeks.

This class is suitable for absolute beginners and over the course of the term students will learn the basics of Chinese pronunciation, practice basic conversations and be taught Pinyin.

Read more...

Scotland-Russia Forum news

9 January 2013 (SRF)

The latest round-up of news and events from the SRF is now available to download.

This edition includes a request from a casting agency seeking Russian-speaking actors, including children/teens, for a film to be shot in the UK between March and July 2013. 

If you need to brush up on your Russian first, the next Чай н Чат (tea and chat) at the Scotland-Russia Institute in Edinburgh is on 31 January.

Related Files

“Take Away China 2013”

8 January 2013 (Ricefield Arts Centre)

James Thomson, director of Ricefield Arts Centre, would like to offer an opportunity to schools to take part in the launch of “Take Away China 2013” on 12 February, the beginning of the Year of the Snake. This is the third year of “Take Away China” – the notion being to take a small part of China away with you from each event. Schools are invited to participate in forming a long snake. The idea is to form a snake made of twenty willow lantern sections with each section being supported by 4 or 6 pupils from each school or hub.  Download the attached file for more information.

If you feel your hub or school might be interested in this opportunity, please contact jamesthomson188@btinternet.com

French film screenings for children

8 January 2013 (Institut français)

The Institut français d'Ecosse will be screening two animated films for young children in January and February:

  • Le Chat du Rabbin (for children aged 6+) - Tuesday 22 January 18:30-20:00 / Wednesday 23 January 11:00-12:30
  • Mia et le Migou (for children aged 3+) - Saturday 16 February 11:00-12:30

Both films are in French with English subtitles.  Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

Why study languages calendar 2013

7 January 2013 (Language Box)

The why study languages calendar has been produced by LLAS Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies and includes a variety of languages, beginning in January with Italian. This is the first of a 12-month series lasting until December 2013.  The calendar can be downloaded or printable versions can be ordered.

Read more...

Accent is on language as Scots coaches prepare to start SFA’s UEFA Pro Licence course

6 January 2013 (Daily Record)

Football has become global. And Scotland’s managers are about to follow suit.

The latest candidates for the SFA’s UEFA Pro Licence will gather at Hampden today to kick off the two-year course they now need to boss at the elite level of European football.

But for the first time since the course began in 1999, candidates must learn a second language as part of their studies.

Read more...

Recent reports stress the importance of language skills for business

17 December 2012 (European Commission)

Communication and languages are crucial to business in a globalised economy. New evidence found in two reports published in the UK and in Ireland.

Read more...

Primary adds success by teaching 1+5

14 December 2012 (TESS)

The prospect of teaching 1+2 languages from P1 is a daunting one for many in the primary sector.

But today, the Scottish Parliament's European and External Relations Committee will launch an inquiry into the teaching of languages in primary - at a school where 1+5 is the norm.

At Dalmarnock Primary, in the east end of Glasgow, pupils have access to French, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Greek, in addition to their home language of English.

Read more...

Wirkin Wi Wirds – Modren Scots Grammar

13 December 2012 (Engage for Education)

Modren Scots Grammar: Wirkin Wi Wirds is one of the recent projects undertaken by Scottish Language Dictionaries to celebrate their first ten years.
The book accords with Curriculum for Excellence in that it seeks to give readers an understanding of how language works and to give them the tools with which to discuss Scots, English and other modern languages.

Read more...

A few Christmas activities for the second week of Advent

12 December 2012 (ALL)

Here are some ideas for celebrating Christmas with your class, from ALL.  They cover different languages and different levels.

Language Rich Europe in the Netherlands – Multilingualism in Business and Education

11 November 2012 (Language Rich Europe blog)

As part of the Language Rich Europe project, we are holding workshops across Europe to discuss the findings and plan the next steps. In this blog post, Lorcan Murray, an intern at British Council Netherlands, writes about the workshop held in Utrecht in November.

Read more...

School partnerships improve pupils' and teachers' language skills

11 December 2012 (European Commission)

A new study on the impact of partnerships between schools in different countries has found that pupils significantly improved their skills, including foreign languages.

Read more...

Gap widens for bilingual five years olds for the first time in five years

10 December 2012 (NALDIC)

(relates to England) The publication of the 2012 results of the Early Years Foundation Stage assessments shows that the gap between children learning EAL in England and those with English as a first language has widened for the first time in 5 years.

Read more...

'Speak a foreign language and secure a job here'

7 December 2012 (TESS)

The ability to speak foreign languages is not only important in finding work abroad - it is becoming ever more crucial for getting a job in Scotland.  That was one of the most compelling messages from businesswoman Rebecca Trengove, guest speaker at a languages conference in Stirling.

Read more...

Christmas websites

7 December 2012 (SCILT)

We have pulled together a list of our favourite Christmas websites for teachers to use in class. These websites cover Christmas in France, Germany, Spain and around the world.

Read more...

Festive phrases advent calendar

6 December 2012 (Radio Lingua)

With Festive Phrases you can learn a festive greeting each day of December, and you’ll soon be able to say “Merry Christmas”, “Happy New Year” or “Happy Holidays” to many millions of people around the world. In each short video Radio Lingua director Mark is joined by a native speaker of the language, and we’ll provide some background information about the number of speakers, where the language is spoken and much more.

Read more...

Scottish Education Awards 2013

3 December 2012 (Education Scotland)

Nominations for the 2013 awards are now open. Categories include the Global Citizenship Award, which recognises the achievements of schools and pre-schools that have adopted a whole school approach to global citizenship, and the Gaelic Awareness Award in recognition of schools and pre-schools who are providing opportunities for all children to develop fluency in the Gaelic language and culture. Visit the Scottish Education Awards website for more information and to submit a nomination.

Read more...

New National Qualifications – November 2012 update

30 November 2012 (SQA)

The latest progress on the new national qualifications from the SQA, including a reminder of the CfE subject implementation dates being run throughout Scotland. Modern Language events are taking place in February 2013 and places can be booked via the SQA website.

Read more...

EDL 2012 blog

27 November 2012 (SCILT)

Our EDL2012 blog is now live! For a sneaky peek to see how the prize winning and other schools celebrated 26th September visit our EDL 2012 blog. There’s still time to add details of your school’s EDL, please send a short description of the event and any photos or film you would like included in your post to our Information Officer.

If you are already thinking ahead to 21st February 2013 (International Mother Language Day) or 9th May 2013 (Europe Day) or even the next European Day of Languages on 26th September 2013, all our EDL blogs over recent years have lots of great ideas that you might want to borrow or adapt for your own celebrations.

Read more...

Improving language opportunities for Scotland’s young people

27 November 2012 (Engage for Education)

Sarah Breslin, Director of SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages at the University of Strathclyde, talks about the importance of the Scottish Government’s 1+2 languages policy.

Read more...

Foreign language skills 'cost Scottish businesses'

27 November 2012 (BBC News)

A widespread lack of language skills could be damaging Scotland's ability to trade abroad, a report has suggested.  The British Council study warned there was a tendency among Scottish firms to limit their export markets to English-speaking countries.

Read more...

Related Links

Fears raised for overseas trade as young Scots shy away from studying foreign languages (The Scotsman, 27 November 2012)
A crisis in foreign language teaching across Scottish education is damaging overseas trade, the British Council warns today.

Analysis: Speaking the lingo goes to prove that it’s not only travel that broadens the mind (The Scotsman, 27 November 2012)

Leaders: Greater language skills key to breaking trade barriers (The Scotsman, 27 November 2012)

Crisis in study of languages a risk to trade (The Herald, 27 November 2012)
A lack of foreign language skills is limiting the ability of Scottish companies to tap into lucrative overseas export markets, according to a new report.

Kaye asks why Scots are so bad at learning foreign languages (Call Kaye, BBC Radio Scotland, 27 November 2012) - programme available until 3 December 2012.

Trade danger of language teaching cuts (Scottish Daily Express, 27 November 2012)

Language cuts 'will hit Scottish economy' (Morning Star, 27 November 2012)

Language Rich Europe - Scotland (British Council, 2012)

Booking now open for Jan-Mar 2013 classes

23 November 2012 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

Bookings are now being taken for language classes at the Confucius Institute for Scotland for the winter term starting from week beginning 14 January 2013.

Visit the website for full details of all the classes on offer.

Read more...

Report on SCEN China Youth Summit

23 November 2012 (Confucius Institute Edinburgh)

The SCEN China Youth Summit at Gleneagles on 12 November, known as the G50 after the 50 schools, universities and other organisations represented and in memory of the famous G8 Summit held at Gleneagles in 2005 was an inspiring day for all those who attended the event.

Read more...

New report published on Sustainable International School Partnerships

23 November 2012 (Education Scotland)

British Council Scotland and Education Scotland have recently published ‘Sustainable International School Partnerships – Make the Difference’.

Effective practices, challenges, opportunities and a framework for reflection combine to illustrate how the development of sustainable international school partnerships can ‘make the difference’ within Curriculum for Excellence. This new publication draws on the experience of practitioners who have been closely involved in developing international school partnerships.

Read more...

Videominute International Contest (2012-2013)

19 November 2012 (Consejería de Educación)

The Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain, is pleased to announce details of the Videominute International Contest 2012-13 with 1000 Euros on offer for the winner. The competition is open to all ages and requires individuals or groups to submit a video lasting no longer than one minute. Any submissions in a language other than Spanish must be subtitled in Spanish or English. A maximum of 5 entries are permitted. For further information and how to apply visit the Videominute website, where you can also view previous competition entries.

Read more...

Feature: Chinese learning flourishes in Scotland

13 November 2012 (Xinhuanet)

Gleneagles, Britain, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- It used to be the place where the G8 summit was held in July 2005, and on Monday another event, dubbed G50, was staged at the same venue.
But this time the participants are 50 high school students from across Scotland who were exchanging their joys and hardships in learning the Chinese language.

Read more...

Pedagogy unplugged – understanding how children learn

8 November 2012 (SecEd)

From teacher collaboration to how children learn, the work of Professor Bill Lucas is providing a blueprint for 21st century education.

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Clipbank MFL learning resources

8 November 2012 (Channel 4)

Follow the links to see previews of Channel 4’s learning portal, Clipbank.  Clips are available for learners of French, German and Spanish, all addressing a particular topic, or area of grammar in the target language:

French 

Spanish 

German 

Please note this is a preview only.  To access the resources you will need to subscribe to the service.

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QR codes for language learning

7 November 2012 (eTwinning)

eTwinning Ambassador Joe Dale shares his fantastic ideas on using QR codes to improve students language skills in today's article 'Bringing Language Learning to Life: teaching tips, tech and ideas' on the Guardian Teacher Network.

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Related Links

If you are a language teacher looking to reenergise your lessons and make language learning more meaningful to a 21st century learner check out the full range of innovative ideas on the Guardian Teacher Network.

Teaching in multicultural classrooms: tips, challenges and opportunities

7 November 2012 (The Guardian Teacher Network)

What does a range of nationalities in class bring to the teaching and learning experience? A collection of teachers give us a glimpse into their multicultural classrooms.

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New SCEN website launched

7 November 2012 (SCEN)

The Scotland China Education Network invites you to visit its new website and discover how it is promoting the learning of Chinese and about China in Scottish schools.

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Memrise vocabulary learning resource

7 November 2012 (Memrise)

Do you have trouble learning new words in a foreign language?  Memrise makes vocabulary learning fast, fun and effective.  Memrise improves your ability to learn vocabulary by adding three powerful ingredients to normal flashcards…what’s more, it’s free to use!

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Related Links

Language Apps

6 November 2012 (Linguascope)

A range of Linguascope apps for individual learners are available from the Apple app store (vocabulary, verbs, word of the day, news, Linguatrivia, Talking Dice...). If you would like to advertise the apps to your students, we have a new colourful A2 poster for you to display in the classroom. If you would like to receive some posters free of charge, simply drop us an e-mail (www.linguascope.com/contact.php) with your name, school, school address and the number of posters required.

For more information about the apps, visit our website.

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Teaching and Learning in the Global Classroom

5 November 2012 (eTwinning)

This week the Guardian Teachers Network are exploring issues around global awareness and understanding in schools. Various articles and blog posts will be available to explore throughout the week.

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Interview: Sarah Breslin

2 November 2012 (TESS)

The director of SCILT, Scotland's National Centre for Languages based at the University of Strathclyde, talks about the 1+2 policy, the benefits of CfE and how to persuade pupils to stick with languages.

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Related Links

A reader's response to the TESS Interview: Sarah Breslin (2 November)

"This has been a most interesting article to read. Many thanks to Sarah for all her hard work and support of the MFL teachers in Scotland. We are lucky to have such a fantastic professional with great personality. The 1+2 is an ambitious but not impossible goal to achieve - if all stakeholders are willing to work together for the benefit of generations to come."  (rosered27, TES Letters, 9 November 2012)

Free CPD workshops for teachers of Chinese

24 October 2012 (SCILT/CISS)

SCILT/CISS are offering two workshops for teachers of Chinese on 9 November 2012 at the University of Strathclyde. These workshops are free and are open to anyone involved in the delivery of Chinese in Scottish schools (teachers, probationer teachers, Tianjin teachers, CLAs etc).

For more information download the flyer.

To book email Katie Hawkins

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