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‘Picture a Language’ Easter photo competition

18 April 2019 (MEITS)

How have languages changed your life? The MEITS project is looking for black and white photos (minimum 300dpi) for a forthcoming book, and we are asking you to submit images that capture what languages mean to you, whether that means places, people, events or objects.

Your image could be something thought-provoking and inspiring, or humorous and fun.  Be as imaginative as you like! You don’t need to be a professional photographer, or use special equipment. Use your imagination, but make sure you get the permission of any people included in the photo.

Visit the website for more information and submit your entry by 30 April 2019.


LEARN A LINGO All kids will have to study a foreign language GCSE in a bid to boost Britain’s bilingual skills post-Brexit

18 April 2019 (The Sun)

All schools will be ordered to sign their pupils up for foreign language GCSEs from September - and will be marked down if they don’t, The Sun can reveal.

In a bid to boost Britain’s bilingual skills Schools Minister Nick Gibb has set a target of getting three in four of all pupils studying and taking a foreign language GCSE by 2022.

Currently just under half of kids in England and Wales sit a foreign language GCSE.

But from September all secondary school starters will be expected to study one and take the exam.

And to get the numbers up schools will be assessed on the proportion of pupils studying foreign languages.

As well as being held to account by Ofsted inspections, schools will also be judged on their foreign languages take-up in league performance tables.


Online National 5 Gaelic (Learners) course

18 April 2019 (e-Sgoil)

e-Sgoil are looking for expressions of interest from school pupils who would be interested in doing National 5 Gaelic (Learners) as a live online course in 2019-20.

Priority will be given to those based in the Northern Alliance Scotland region.

E-mail for more information. 

SQA revised Advanced Higher Modern Languages Course Specification

16 April 2019 (SQA)

SQA has published revised course specifications for Advanced Higher languages. Follow the appropriate link below for further information:

The Unuhi Short Story Writing Competition 2019

15 April 2019 (Unuhi)

Calling all school children around the world! Write a short story and become a published author on Unuhi.
Closes 7 June 2019
Enter as a class or an individual

We are inviting primary school classes worldwide to enter our short story writing & illustrating competition where the winning story will be translated, professionally illustrated and published on the Unuhi app for the world to read!

The competition is open to all primary school aged (5-11years old). Entries are accepted from anywhere in the world via primary schools only.

Entries will be reviewed by our panel of judges who will select the winning story based on creativity, plot, originality, enjoyment and how well the story lends itself to illustration and translation.

Unuhi is a new bilingual books app for children. Launched in late 2018, the app offers short stories and flashcards for children aged 2 -10 years. Twenty languages are supported and the app displays any two of these on screen at the same time in a child friendly bilingual eBook format. Native audio narration is currently available in English, Spanish, French and German.

At Unuhi we love original content and we are always looking for a new story to add to the app for the world to enjoy.

Unuhi Story Competition Rules 202019


SCEN news update

15 April 2019 (SCEN)

The latest SCEN newsletter has just been published. In this edition you can read about the SCEN Conference 'Developing Mandarin: Regional models for the future' held on 29 March along with upcoming events and activities, including the SCEN Youth Summit taking place 8 November. 

The network is actively seeking to expand and engage with schools where there is currently little or no Mandarin provision. Find out how you can get involved.


Sky Views: When Brits speak in foreign languages don't reply in English

14 April 2019 (Sky News)

An appeal to anyone outside an English-speaking country: when a Brit visits and attempts to talk in your language please don't reply in ours just because you can.

It's demoralising and actually - unless we're floundering and need help - rather rude.

I've lost count of the number of times I've bucked up the courage to attempt a bit of French in a French-speaking nation only to have the person I'm addressing shoot back in English.

I imagine most times the other person is simply trying to be polite, rather than get in a bit of English-language practice at my expense, but at least give me a chance.


English language usage and politicians’ prowess

14 April 2019 (The Guardian)

Terence McSweeney explains why English is often used internationally, Steve Callaghan says politicians need to invest in modern language teaching across all sectors, Philip Stewart recalls a teacher exchange scheme shunned by Thatcher, Anke Neibig explains why fewer students are taking up languages, and Paul Tattam on how the media can help.


Brexit risks unravelling the ties that bind us to the world

12 April 2019 (TESS)

Young people will lose out if leaving the EU leads to a slow, inexorable deterioration in international connections, writes Henry Hepburn.

Thirty years ago next month, I was one of several dozen pale, freckly young Scots who boarded a bus outside our school in Aberdeen; 24 hours later, we were in Paris. The journey can’t have been comfortable, but all I remember is the excitement and anticipation.

I was 13, had never been outside the UK before, and loved our four days in Paris: the camaraderie of adventurers abroad; the unintelligible trill of a foreign language in its natural habitat; the jutting beauty of picture-book landmarks come to life.

If it weren’t for that trip, I might never have taken French to the end of S6. That year, our studies were bolstered by a language assistant whose name I can’t now recall (Amandine? Manon? Aurélie?). An easy coolness set her apart from our stressed-out teachers. Her presence opened my eyes to the possibilities of studying a language.

Without meeting her, I don’t know if I’d have gone on to study French at the University of Glasgow, a decision that led to my spending a year as an English-language assistant at a lycée in Le Puy-en-Velay, amid Auvergne’s join-the-dots extinct volcanoes. That year gave me a more international outlook and established friendships around the world that have lasted the 23 years since. But my thirst to see and understand the world traces back further, to those few days in Paris as a wide-eyed 13-year-old.


Why don’t pupils want to study languages in the UK?

11 April 2019 (AHRC)

After a BBC report showed drops of up to 50% in the take-up of GCSE language courses since 2013, researchers from the AHRC-funded Open World Research Initiative Creative Multilingualism project ask: Why don’t pupils want to study languages and what can we do about it?

Professor Suzanne Graham and Dr Linda Fisher are researchers on Creative Multilingualism’s 7th strand, Language Learning, which is investigating the impact of using creative teaching materials and methodologies on pupils’ motivation and achievement.

Evidence showing that language learning is at an all-time low in UK secondary schools continues to mount up. Last month, having surveyed more than 2000 secondary schools, the BBC reported that in some areas in England entries to German and French exams have fallen by as much as 30 to 50% since 2013. The pattern is similar in all four UK countries: in Wales entries are down 29%, in Northern Ireland it’s 40%, with Scotland reporting a 19% fall for its equivalent qualifications. Rises in entries for Spanish and Mandarin, while welcome, are not enough to offset the overall drop in numbers.

Not only are fewer pupils choosing to study a language, but languages departments across the regions are limiting the range of languages they offer, mainly because if they haven’t got the uptake they can’t afford the staffing. Naturally, the impact of this continuing decline in numbers is likely to be felt further up the education chain, as even fewer budding linguists come forward to complete A-levels and languages degrees.

This gloomy picture of pupils rejecting languages as soon as they have the chance shores up the narrative that the British don’t or can’t do languages. In a 2015 British Council survey 62% of Britons said they can’t speak any other language apart from English.

It is important to recognise, however, that this narrative of deficit and deficiency is not a phenomenon solely located in the UK, but rather is an Anglophone world problem. 


Vacancy: Professional Development Officer

11 April 2019 (SCILT)

SCILT requires a Professional Development Officer to support secondary schools in the learning and teaching of languages across Scotland. This is an exciting opportunity to work at national level and drive forward the strategic languages agenda in Scotland.  

The Professional Development Officer will be responsible for developing and delivering a broad range of support measures for teachers of languages. This would include, for example, leading professional learning, managing projects, national awards/competitions and other promotional events. 

It is expected that the post holder will support practitioners to turn policy into practice to create a positive impact on learners. This will be based on identification of practitioners’ needs, with particular reference to the aims of the National Improvement Framework and the 1+2 languages policy. The post holder would need extensive experience of leading recent modern language initiatives in a secondary school context. Established expertise in dynamic approaches to learning, teaching and assessment is essential. The post holder should also have a sound knowledge of current education policies and recent changes to SQA requirements. 

Ideally, the post holder will have experience of external partnership working with the aim of developing creativity in languages and will be competent in the use of digital technologies. The successful candidate will have the ability to work not only on her/his own initiative but also as part of a team. Excellent organisational, ICT and communication skills are essential. 

For further information visit the University of Strathclyde's vacancy portal. Application deadline: 24 April 2019.


Improver level Gaelic classes

11 April 2019 (Newbattle Abbey College / Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

Improver Gaelic classes are starting on 25 April at St Thomas of Aquin's RC High School and Tollcross Community Centre in Edinburgh. Classes run on Thursdays for 8 weeks.

See the attached flyers for more information and to book.

Opening up the universe to Scottish schoolchildren with a little help from Erasmus+

11 April 2019 (Erasmus+)

Pupils at an independent day school in Scotland have stars in their eyes - thanks to an Erasmus+ project spanning the breadth of Europe.

Wellington School, in Ayr, already had a strong international pedigree, having won the British Council International Schools Award more than once, so it was natural to turn to its European peers for an initiative that would reach for the skies, quite literally.

The Eurostronomia project sees Wellington collaborating with seven schools that stretch from the westernmost parts of the European Union to the easternmost, encompassing eight languages, cultures and educational systems, with partners from Germany, France, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Portugal and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

“Having Europe come into our schools is very important," said Susan Coontz, Principal Teacher of Modern Languages and International Co-ordinator. "During past projects, parents have commented on how much they and their children have learned and benefitted.

"The aim of this Erasmus+ project is to give our students an increased knowledge of astronomy and an appreciation of how astrophysics has shaped our world, solar system, galaxy and universe.

"We also want to improve the knowledge, understanding and application of key skills, linking many academic areas with science at its core, inciting pupils’ curiosity about the universe and encouraging them to learn how to separate fact from fiction.

"As Astronomy is becoming an increasingly important part of school curricula across Europe, this Erasmus+ project is also helping to build capacity in all the partner schools through enabling us to share best practice.

"Whether it is our 30 years of experience of organising international projects and exchanges or our Slovenian partner’s proficiency in working with gifted science students, each partner school brings an added dimension to collaborative work which enriches the curriculum and enhances the learning experience for all our pupils.”

Andrew McPhee, Principal Teacher of Physics and Science, explained how activities have been specifically tailored to all levels of mathematical, physics and scientific ability and for a wide range of student ages.

“It is helping us to develop pupils’ skills, knowledge and competencies in science and maths, using astronomy to develop observational, research and data-handling skills," he said. "We are exposing our pupils to a style of experimental teaching and learning that some have never previously experienced.

"Pupils are also developing skills in IT, film and video, language and literacy, report writing and presenting, and are developing their self-confidence in the process. They are discovering different approaches to problem-solving and are experiencing new cultures, religions and languages. Erasmus+ is opening doors to the next stage of their lives, be it in work or in higher education.”

Teachers also benefit from Wellington being involved in projects like Eurostronomia.

“Collaboration with staff from other countries is an invaluable form of in-service training," said Susan. "Teachers are able to observe how their subject is taught in other countries and can see different methods of classroom and student management, impacting on their own practice when they return home. The interdisciplinary nature of the project encourages them to embed the activities into their everyday teaching.”


The Stephen Spender Prize 2019 and Polish Spotlight 2019

11 April 2019 (Stephen Spender Trust)

The 2019 Stephen Spender Prize for poetry in translation is open for entries. The categories for the main prize are 14-and-under, 18-and-under and Open (adult).

We are also delighted to be running our 'Polish Spotlight' for a second year, with a special prize for translation from Polish in the categories 10-and-under, 14-and-under and 18-and-under.

The entry deadline for both competitions is Friday 12 July.

Follow the appropriate link below for more information about each of the competitions and how to enter.

Behind the scenes with Coffee Break Chinese in Beijing

10 April 2019 (Radio Lingua)

Come behind the scenes with the Coffee Break Chinese team.

In this video you’ll join Mark on his first trip to China in which he visits the Great Wall, Chángchéng, 长城, the Forbidden City, Gùgōng 故宫, the Hútòngs, 胡同 and records a number of conversations for the final batch of lessons in Season 1. 

Coffee Break Chinese is a series of 40 free podcast lessons for beginners in Mandarin Chinese.


Lord Agnew will take MFL teacher visa suggestion to Home Office

10 April 2019 (TES)

A schools minister will “take back” to the Home Office a recommendation that French, German and Spanish teachers should be given higher priority for visas.

The news comes amid concerns about the teacher recruitment and retention crisis, and a Tes analysis which showed that England will need an extra 47,000 secondary teachers by 2024.

Tes has been running a campaign, #LetThemTeach, which is calling for the government to add the entire teaching profession to the shortage occupation list, which would make it easier for teachers outside the EU to get visas to teach in the UK.


German overtakes French as the language most sought-after by employers

10 April 2019 (The Independent)

German has overtaken French as the language most sought-after by employers, amid fears that companies face a shortfall of linguists, new research suggests.

Jobs site Indeed said vacancies specifying German language skills increased by more than a tenth over the past three years, compared with only a slight rise in demand for French speakers.

Chinese is now the third most popular language for companies seeking to recruit, the study indicated.


Listen to David Beckham ‘speak’ nine different languages to end malaria

9 April 2019 (The Metro)

David Beckham has ‘spoken’ in nine different language calling for an end to the killer disease malaria.

The former football star is given the voices of men and women from around the world – including malaria survivors and doctors fighting the disease. The ‘Malaria Must Die, So Millions Can Live’ campaign invites people to contribute their own voice to help end one of the world’s oldest and deadliest diseases.

According to the World Health Organisation, there were 219,000,000 cases of the disease in 2017.

Of those, 435,000 died – including one child every two minutes. In the short film, Beckham begins by speaking in English before appearing to converse fluently in Spanish, Kinyarwanda, Arabic, French, Hindi, Mandarin, Kiswahili and Yoruba.

Using AI video synthesis technology, producers created a 3D model of the father-of-four which they re-animated with the voices of eight others.


UK schools are turning to foreign governments to fund languages

9 April 2019 (The Guardian)

Some primaries would be unable to afford specialist language teaching without the money they receive from overseas schemes.

In Holly class, Matilda, aged six, calls the register. “Ciao, Tyler,” she says. “Presente,” he replies. “Ciao, Arthur,” she says next. “Ciao, Maestra Matilda,” he says. The class collapses into giggles: Matilda is taking the register as part of today’s Italian lesson. Her teacher, Stefania Cellini, helps the children count aloud to check everyone is there. Even though these year 1 pupils are only five or six, they easily count to 28 in Italian. “You are all bravissimi,” Cellini says.

Today, Cellini – the pupils call her Maestra Stefania – is teaching Holly class the names of common objects used in the classroom. She calls children to come to the front in turn to pick out objects from her pencil case without looking. “Apri l’astuccio e cerca la matita,” she tells Joshie. He rummages about and pulls out a pencil. The class applaud and Joshie smiles proudly.

Cellini is one of 70 Italian teachers paid by the Italian government to work in UK schools and promote the language. The scheme provides 112 primaries and 27 secondaries with an Italian teacher – for free.

Sadly, this level of language tuition is rare.


Why the future of French is African

8 April 2019 (BBC)

French President Emmanuel Macron has described Africa as "the continent of the future", but it may also save his country's language from the decline it is experiencing elsewhere in the world, writes Jennifer O'Mahony.

When Dakar rises each morning, the first port of call is the boulangerie for a baguette.

While chatting away on phone services provided by Orange, a hungry resident of the Senegalese capital might stop to get cash at local franchises of Société Générale or BNP Paribas, or visit a supermarket: there are Auchan, Carrefour and Casino to choose from.

On the surface, France retains a tight grip on its former colonies: major French telecoms companies, banks and retail giants are ubiquitous in countries such as Senegal, and its political influence remains significant.

And as a result of that colonial history, French remains the official language of Senegal, as well as 19 other countries across Africa.

But when that same Senegalese baguette-hunter is speaking, he might say he is going to the "essencerie" (petrol station) or "dibiterie" (restaurant serving meat), something more interesting is going on.

Africa is changing that most sacred of French cows: its language.


The European Language Gazette no. 46

5 April 2019 (ECML)

The ECML's e-newsletter The European Language Gazette provides up-to-date news about the ECML, its partners, as well as relevant sectors of the Council of Europe. It also focuses on national developments in the field of language education in the member states and beyond. 

The March-April 2019 edition has been published and is available to read online.


Sofia Reyes: Meet Mexico's multilingual pop sensation

4 April 2019 (BBC)

"Trilingual empowerment anthem" isn't the sort of phrase that gets bandied about at record label marketing meetings; but that's exactly what Sofia Reyes has on her hands with her new single, RIP.

A vibrant, infectious slice of Latin pop, the song is a collaboration between the Mexican singer, Brazilian artist Anitta and Albanian-British pop star Rita Ora.

Each flits between Spanish, English and Portuguese as they sing about shedding unwanted emotional baggage, before teaming up for the addictive "bim-bari-bom-bom" hook (so it's actually quadrilingual, if you count gibberish).

Reyes' lyrical style evolved naturally from the way she speaks to her friends at home, where Spanish and English are largely interchangeable.

"Growing up in Mexico, we have a lot of American culture," she explains.

"So even though Spanish is my first language, at school English was very important, and we listened to English music all the time. So I wanted to sing in both."


Research update: Linguistic creativity in the language classroom

3 April 2019 (Creative Multilingualism)

Over the last 18 months our classroom-based research project has been exploring the impact of using poems and authentic texts (on such themes as love, death, migration) and different teaching approaches (‘creative’ versus ‘functional’) on 14 year-old language learners’ language development and attitudes towards languages.

We have been working with approximately 600 French and German learners in year 9, and, of course, their teachers, from 16 secondary schools across England. Classes were allocated to a text type (literary or factual) and a teaching approach (creative or functional) for use in their year 9 language lessons, using materials that we designed in collaboration with teachers. Broadly speaking, the creative teaching approach involved activities that asked learners to respond imaginatively and emotionally to the texts, while in the functional approach they focused on learning grammar and vocabulary and gaining factual information from the texts.

In December 2018 we met with a group of enthusiastic project teachers to share with them some of the initial, preliminary findings from our project.


‘Postcode lottery’ warnings as most Scottish schools only offering six subjects in S4

2 April 2019 (The Scotsman)

Most schools in Scotland are only offering six subjects in fourth year of school as teacher shortages and lack of leadership take their toll, a formal survey undertaken by MSPs has revealed.

There are even warnings of a “postcode lottery” from schools themselves, along with fears that the “progression” of youngsters may be thwarted in many subject areas, with languages among those which are likely to suffer.


Related Links

Lack of teachers ‘limiting’ school subject choices (The Herald, 3 April 2019)

Parents of autistic children often face a tough linguistic choice – but bilingualism can be of huge benefit

29 March 2019 (The Conversation)

Bilingual or multilingual families have difficult choices to make if their child is diagnosed with autism. While it is certainly possible to be bilingual if you are autistic, many parents are advised that one language may be easier or more realistic than two. That is despite our research group finding that bilingualism has no negative effect on autistic traits, or in fact on any developmental disorder.

On the contrary bilingualism may be beneficial for autistic children, giving them more opportunities to socialise, more access to their cultural identity and, crucially, the chance to communicate with members of their wider family. In fact, our research suggests that parents of autistic children who are raised in a bilingual home overwhelmingly aspire for their children to grow up speaking two languages.


Young poets’ multilingual talents celebrated

26 March 2019 (SCILT)

The multilingual talents of young poets from across Scotland were celebrated at a prestigious award ceremony at University of Strathclyde on 16 March 2019.

Children and young people used their language skills to create and share poetry as part of this year’s Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition.

Mother Tongue Other Tongue is an exciting competition that celebrates linguistic and cultural diversity through creative writing and showcases the many languages used by children and young people across Scotland, in education and at home.  The competition is organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, based at University of Strathclyde.

This year, over 100 entries were submitted from across the country. Winning and Highly Commended entries came from schools in Argyll & Bute, East Dunbartonshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, Renfrewshire and Stirling.

One teacher said of the competition: “Thanks for this wonderful opportunity to celebrate language, diversity and togetherness through poetry. The young people in today’s ceremony gave us all food for thought.”

A parent commented: “I can only express the pride that all the mums, dads and carers must have felt to witness their children express themselves so fluently and confidently in the language of their homes.”

A participating pupil added: “It was good to see so many different languages spoken by children my age. I found that it was an amazing opportunity to express my thoughts in another language and a good challenge.”

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT, said: “The SCILT team is proud to offer Scotland’s young linguists the opportunity to participate Mother Tongue, Other Tongue. The competition, anthology and celebration event all showcase the diversity of our communities and the wealth of languages being spoken and learned across the country. This year we received very high quality entries in 23 different languages. It is humbling to read these wonderful poems written by youngsters on a range of themes such as migration, the position of women and the need to respect our planet.  We can learn a lot from their words of wisdom and thoughtfulness. Well done to each and every one of you.”

Mother Tongue invites competitors who do not speak English as a first language to write a poem, rap or song in their mother tongue and share their inspiration. Other Tongue encourages competitors learning another language to use that language creatively with an original poem, rap or song in that other tongue. Prizes are awarded in both categories.

Mother Tongue Other Tongue is supported by creative writer Juliette Lee, the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland, Languages in Colleges and the Scottish Poetry Library.

Mother Tongue Other Tongue supports the Scottish Government initiative, “Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 approach” by allowing pupils to apply their language learning in a creative way and by providing children who do not have English as their first language with an opportunity to celebrate their mother tongue.

The targets laid out in the Scottish Attainment Challenge are about achieving equity in educational outcomes, with a particular focus on closing the poverty-related attainment gap. One of the key drivers is improved literacy. Through reflecting on poetry in their mother tongue and creating poetry in another tongue, learners are developing their literacy skills.

Details of the winners and the anthology are published on the SCILT website.

Pupils reciting at the MTOT celebration event 16 March 2019

The 1+2 Languages Leadership Programme 2019

26 March 2019 (SCILT)

SCILT and Education Scotland are accepting applications to attend the flagship national leadership programme that has been running since 2014 and was recognised at GTCS Excellence in Professional Learning Awards in both 2017 and 2018.

The 2019-20 programme comprises a 4 day Summer School in July 2019 with further optional elements in Spring and Summer 2020 that lead towards completion of learning activities on SCEL’s Framework for Educational Leadership and/or the award of GTCS Professional Recognition: leading learning in languages. This year the Summer School will take place from Monday 1st to Thursday 4th July 2019 at the University of Strathclyde’s city centre campus in Glasgow. 

This Masters level programme supports schools, clusters and local authorities to build leadership capacity and is completely free of charge for educators in the public sector. Altogether up to 50 places will be available to post-probationer teachers or teacher educators who have, or aspire to have a role in leading languages education for young people, families and colleagues in and beyond their own workplace.

Before submitting your application, we would encourage you to discuss with your headteacher/line manager which should focus on how you might make the most of this professional learning in your context in the future.

Visit the registration page for more details and how to register your interest to this programme. Applications close at 5pm, 26th April.


Building with lingo – can your families help to promote languages?

22 March 2019 (SCILT)

SCILT is inviting families to share how they learn languages together through films or pictures in our Building with Lingo competition. Winners will have their work uploaded onto the SCILT website to inspire other families to learn languages together.

In addition, SCILT will award a family prize and class prize in each category of the competition:

  • Early years
  • P1-P3
  • P4-P7

Further details of the prizes are at the bottom of this page. Many thanks to the organisations who are generously supporting this competition!

How to enter

There are two ways to enter the competition:

  1. Families can create a video, maximum length one minute, demonstrating how they learn languages together. We have included some examples below.
  2. Families can take a photo of some work they have created together, and submit this with a short description of how they learn languages together.

Families should upload their entry onto Twitter and include the hashtag #buildingwithlingo together with the stage they are entering (early years, P1-P3, P4-P7). Videos will not need any further information, but pictures and photos must be accompanied by a description.

Remember the maximum characters allowed on Twitter is 280.

Entries should be uploaded by midnight on 3 May 2019.

Winners will be contacted by SCILT through Twitter after that date.

Twitter accounts need to be ‘public’ for SCILT to view entries. Parents/carers/families should bear this in mind and be comfortable with their children being visible on social media.

Winners will have their work uploaded onto the SCILT website. Parents/carers/families should bear this in mind and be comfortable with their children being visible on our website.

Entries from bilingual families demonstrating use of their mother tongue will not be eligible. However, families whose mother tongue is not English may demonstrate how they learn English together.


Watch Jennifer count in the video below:

Follow this link to watch this example of Matthew counting garage doors in French.


Many thanks to the organisations who are generously supporting this competition!

Early years class prize

Bilingual puppet session from Le Petit Monde

Goodie pack from KidslingoEarly years family prize

Goodie pack and voucher from Kidslingo
Kidslingo teddy bear, Spanish songs CD, 2 exclusive Kidslingo & My Busy Bots activity packs, Lil'Ollo starter kit of  4 sets flashcards, a colouring bundle (digital) and games guide e-book plus a voucher for a FREE 6-8 week block of Kidslingo classes (subject to location and availability – there is no cash alternative to this prize).

P1-P3 class prize

Bilingual games and songs from SCILT 

P1-P3 family prize

Goodie pack and voucher from Kidslingo 
Spanish songs CD, 2 exclusive Kidslingo & My Busy Bots activity packs, Lil'Ollo A1 world map and map activity kit, bilingual storybook plus a voucher for a FREE 6-8 week block of Kidslingo classes (subject to location and availability – there is no cash alternative to this prize).

P4-P7 class prize

1/2 day workshop from  Theatre Sans Accents

P4-P7 family prize

Place at Articulate Languages Launch Camp (2-day residential) 


Inviting nominations for the German Teacher Award 2019

14 March 2019 (German Embassy)

If you know a truly outstanding German language teacher at your primary or secondary school – make sure that their dedication and excellence get the recognition they deserve!

The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany is pleased to invite nominations for the annual German Teacher Award, now in its 16th successful year. 

Visit the German Embassy website for more information and the nomination form. Submission deadline: 10 May 2019.

Please note that headteachers must nominate the German teacher; unfortunately applications by German teachers submitted by themselves and applications submitted by pupils cannot be accepted.


Espacios Increíbles project

22 February 2019 (SCILT)

Espacios Increíbles – Our learners need you!

You might have seen our tweets with the #getgeorgetothefinal #espaciosincreíbles but what is it all about?!

What is the project?

For the project ‘Espacios Increíbles’, based on the TV show ‘Amazing Spaces’, our young people will be designing ‘un espacio increíble’ in either Bolivia or Chile with whom the department of architecture at the University of Strathclyde run exchange programmes for undergrads. Through this project learners will be researching and finding out about both countries using the internet, looking at photos taken by students at the University of Strathclyde whilst on their exchanges abroad and reading and listening activities which have been developed specifically for this project. When they have completed their research they will design their ‘espacio increíble’ in either Bolivia or Chile and present their final design to their class in Spanish. A winning team from each of the 5 schools will attend a final at the university and present their project to an audience of their peers and a panel of judges.

Who is involved?

SCILT have been working in partnership with the department of architecture at the University of Strathclyde and with teachers across 2 subject areas, languages and design and technology, in 5 schools across 3 challenge authorities to develop this cross-sector interdisciplinary project;

  • St. Peter the Apostle  (West Dunbartonshire)
  • Clydebank High School   (West Dunbartonshire)
  • St. Thomas Aquinas (Glasgow)
  • St. Margaret Mary’s (Glasgow)
  • St. Matthew’s Academy (North Ayrshire)

What role have the schools had in the partnership?

Teachers in the participating schools have led on the development of lessons, resources and activities for the project whose inspiration came from @MrGeorgeClarke programme ‘Amazing Spaces’. Through their participation there has been inter-authority moderation taking place to ensure that all resources developed meet with national benchmarks at level 4 for languages and technologies. The project has also sought to ensure that our young people ‘make well informed choices about learning opportunities and pathways and relate these to possible future careers’ (HWB 4-20a) by giving them an insight into other further education pathways which exist and are not exclusively language based.

How you can you help our learners?

Our learners need your help in this pilot to #getgeorgetothefinal @MrGeorgeClarke. As part of a social media campaign to encourage Mr Clarke to attend our final as a judge at the University of Strathclyde on 24th April learners will be tweeting the various stages of their project via twitter with our hashtags. It would be great if George could attend but we appreciate he is a very busy man so even a video message for the final would be gratefully received. Please follow the hashtags below and retweet your support for our learners

#getgeorgetothefinal #espaciosincreíbles

What’s in it for you?

At the end of the project all resources, lessons and activities will be made available via the SCILT website for you to use in collaboration with design and technology departments in your own context. This is a full unit of work which can be used when doing the topic of town with your own learners.

If you wish any further information about this project please contact via email at or twitter @Louise_SCILT

How does switching between languages impact your body?

18 February 2019 (Euronews)

UAE-based researchers are exploring how switching between languages affects the body and brain.

PhD student Blanco-Elorrieta uses a neuro-imaging technique called Magnetoencephalography to measure how much brain power is exerted when test subjects change between languages.

The areas of the brain predominantly used in language expression are the prefrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex.

Blanco-Elorrieta discovered that when the group naturally alternated between Arabic and English both brain areas showed almost no signs of activity. However, if they were instructed to translate from one language to the other, both cortexes became highly engaged.

The researcher performed tests over two years with about 20 native bilingual speakers.

According to Blanco-Elorrieta, the findings reveal that the brain perceives a specific translation task as ‘harder’ than when the subject instinctively switches language.


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.


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.


Disclaimer: These news stories do not claim to be comprehensive and the views expressed do not necessarily represent the views of SCILT.

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