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Korean language speakers should take pride in Konglish – it’s another wonderful example of linguistic diversity

14 June 2019 (The Conversation)

Konglish is the term used to describe the variety of English unique to Korea. It is just one of many varieties of the English language that exists far beyond the borders of so-called “inner circle” Englishes – those spoken in countries such as Britain and the US, for example. As such, Konglish is sometimes met with hostility – even by Koreans themselves – and some regard it as synonymous with errors and failed attempts to learn “proper” English. Examples of additional Englishes beyond the inner circle can be found in India, Ghana and Singapore.

Largely on the basis that Konglish does not match up with the grammar and vocabulary that characterises the standard variety of inner circle English, it is hugely frowned upon by some. But why should it be?

Difference does not mean errors, as once a variety of language has taken hold within a society, then it has – for all intents and purposes – become legitimate. Even within the inner circle of British English, some Britons still roll their eyes at so-called Americanisms, such as “have you been menued yet?” (for the uninitiated, to be given your menu).

Call it what you like, but it’s just a different way of using the same language. But if we assert that all varieties of a language must conform to a singular model, then it is easy to indeed label those that don’t as somehow incorrect. This may be arguable from a societal point of view – but never from a linguistic one.


Gap year opportunities with Project Trust

12 June 2019 (Project Trust)

Project Trust is an Educational Gap Year Charity, sending roughly 300 school-leavers overseas every year to volunteer in mainly teaching, Social Care and Outward Bound projects across Africa, Asia and The Americas.

The team is currently recruiting for the 2019/20 Gap Year Programme. Applications to Volunteer overseas in 2020/21 are also now open!

Visit the Project Trust website for more information and to submit an application.


Glasgow's West End Festival 2019

11 June 2019 (West End Festival)

This year's West End Festival is in full swing and with a range of events ongoing until 30 June there's still chance to sample some Gaelic culture or Spanish bilingual storytelling sessions for children.

Visit the West End Festival website for more information.


Britain´s Brexit hangover cure: Start learning languages

9 June 2019 (Shout Out UK)

Britain has a terrible attitude towards learning languages, and consequently, we are one of the least likely countries in Europe to be able to speak another foreign language; following only Hungary and Italy. In 2015, 9 per cent of 15-year-olds in the UK were competent in another language, compared with 42 per cent of Europeans.

Unsurprisingly, languages are not on Westminster´s agenda. However, if we want to better understand ourselves and our culture, a new language-based education system can be the policy to provide the modernizing cultural shift Britain requires.

The benefits of learning a second language are huge. Cognitive studies reveal a link between learning a language and fighting off the onset of dementia. For Brits, it will improve our employability and boost economic growth. Estimates say that the UK loses £50bn a year over its poor language skills: Put that on the side of a bus.

Yet, it is more than just about economics. It is about attitudes and what sort of country we want to be. Our poor language skills facilitate the worst types of Britishness. It is the fuel to our engine of superiority. The vote to leave the EU was a break from the anxieties that Britishness comes with, and it is no surprise that the other two European countries with the worst language skills are plagued by far-right populists.

However, it is important to be aware that language is bound to privilege. For many, learning another language is a form of elitism, reserved only for the few, and to impose language learning insensitively would be dangerous. Crucially, it is an agenda that needs the support of time, and protection from the threat of a new government legislating differently. We must be aware that to work, the policy will require a deep cultural change in Britain.


University Guide 2020: Modern languages and linguistics

7 June 2019 (The Guardian)

Find out more about studying modern languages from around the world and their literatures, as well as linguistics.


Latest edition of the SCILT newsletter published

7 June 2019 (SCILT)

The Summer 2019 edition of the SCILT newsletter has been published. We hear from local authorities about successful language learning initiatives, including partnerships with businesses, cultural trips and creativity in the classroom. Our partners share their latest news on work going on around the country, and you can read all about recent SCILT projects supporting teachers and learners. 


Teachers are now students thanks to Glasgow's modern language boost

6 June 2019 (Evening Times)

Only one Glasgow secondary languages teacher is not a multi-linguist as a new report reveals the success of language learning in city schools.

A Glasgow-wide push for the Scottish Government's 1+2 language scheme - where pupils learn two additional modern languages - has meant teachers are also students again.

And now teachers are trained in everything from British Sign Language (BSL) to Latin while language teachers are adding third languages to their skill set.

Gillian Campbell-Thow, Glasgow City Council's Quality Improvement Officer in Languages and Gaelic, said: "One of the things we are really committed to is ensuring that pupils get a good experience in that first additional language so we start in primary one and take the language right through to S3 - whether that's learning French as part of the Holyrood learning community or Italian in St Mungo's learning community.

"Our teachers have been really open and committed to taking on the challenge of learning a new language."


Edinburgh International Book Festival 2019

6 June 2019 (Edinburgh International Book Festival)

The Edinburgh International Book Festival takes place from 10-26 August 2019.

With over 900 authors representing more countries than ever before, there are events for all ages and all interests. So linguists, there'll be something on offer for you!

Visit the website to find out about the events taking place during this year's programme.


Funded placements with the German Red Cross

5 June 2019 (Red Cross)

The British Red Cross International Youth Volunteering Programme (IYVP) offers young people aged 18-30 residing in the UK the chance to volunteer overseas in another European country for eight to twelve months.

As part of the European Solidarity Corps scheme, we are looking to recruit seven volunteers to support the work of the German Red Cross from September 2019 to August 2020 (TBC). All of our placements are fully funded, with travel, accommodation, health insurance costs all covered and volunteers receive a small monthly allowance to cover additional expenses.

This is the perfect opportunity for those interested in gaining valuable skills, having new experiences and giving back to the community. Experience and fluency in the language are not requirements, although the placements can be challenging and require adaptability and resilience. We're particularly keen to hear from young people who are passionate about the work but may not otherwise have the opportunity to volunteer overseas.

The placements are based at kindergartens or afterschool clubs affiliated with the German Red Cross, who welcome children from all social and cultural backgrounds. The volunteers will be supporting staff in promoting inclusion and tolerance from an early age:

1) Afterschool care "Hort Abenteuerland - Adventure World": The volunteer will support activities whilst emphasising the importance of intercultural integration with the children.

2) Kindergarten "Kita Herweghstrase": The focus here is intercultural understanding in both German and English. The volunteer will be supporting in the daily activities as well as promoting the English language to the children.

3) Kindergarten "Franckesche Stiftungen": The volunteer will help to make children aware of democracy, diversity and moral education whilst excluding xenophobia and racism.

4) Afterschool care "Franckesche Stiftungen": This club follows the same goals as the kindergarten above, with the volunteer also helping children with their homework and other activities promoting intercultural awareness.

5) Afterschool care "Bunte Welt - colourful world": This centre welcomes children and their families. The volunteer will help to promote healthy lifestyles among these families.

6) Registered Society for people with special needs - Lebens(t)raum e.V "Lifetime Dream Room" (2 places): Continuing the focus on integration and inclusion, the volunteers may help children with special needs and their families at kindergartens, afterschool care and living groups.

For more details on the roles and the type of person we are looking for, have a look at the attached Role Description. The main thing we are looking for is clear motivation.

Application deadline: 23 June 2019.

Please note that only UK residents can apply for this role.

Selection days will be held on 10-11 July in Edinburgh. Successful candidates only have to attend one of these days.

Pre Departure Training will be held on 26 July in Edinburgh.

For any further queries about the programme, please email

UCL Japan Youth Challenge 2019

4 June 2019 (Japan Foundation)

Applications are invited for the Japan Youth Challenge 2019.

Hosted at UCL (University College London), the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge (UJYC) brings together pre-university students from the UK and Japan in a 10-day summer school programme. 

Students from both countries will engage in a series of topic-focused activities including workshops, lectures and a symposium. Our highlight is the Grand Challenge Workshop “Accessibility for All: AI and Robotics”, a topic important in our society today.

Running from 20-27 July 2019, non-Japanese sixth-form students residing in the UK, aged 15, 16, 17 and 18 years are welcome to apply.

Visit the Japan Foundation website for more information.


SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages update

3 June 2019 (SQA)

The SQA has updated the Advanced Higher Modern Languages course specification for session 2019-20.

Visit the SQA website to view the document.


Host a Teacher from Germany

3 June 2019 (UK-German Connection)

Applications are open for UK-German Connection's 'Host a Teacher from Germany' programme.

This provides an opportunity for UK schools to boost their intercultural dimension by welcoming a teacher from Germany to any department for one, two or three weeks in the next school year.

This free programme provides pupils with a real-life learning context for German language and culture and offers teachers the chance to share best practice on an international level. 

Hosting can take place at any time during the school year. 

Application deadlines - 12 July for autumn 2019 hosting slots and 20 September to host in spring/summer 2020.

Visit the UK-Germany Connection website for more information and to apply.


Kickstart your German

1 June 2019 (Goethe-Institut)

Are you planning a visit to a German-speaking country, would you like to be able to speak with German-speaking friends in their native tongue or would you like to learn a bit of German just for fun?

This 2-week intensive course is aimed at complete beginners. Immersion in the language, in a relaxed atmosphere, will help you to learn the basics of the language fast.  

This course will train all 4 language skills: listening, reading, writing and above all speaking. At the end the learners will be able to communicate in simple everyday situations.

Course commences 24 June 2019. Visit the Goethe-Institut website for more information and to enrol.


Scotland's National Centre for Languages reviews where we are with Gaelic language learning in Scotland

31 May 2019 (GTCS)

Learning languages can have cognitive benefits for learners of all ages

Research by Bilingualism Matters at the University of Edinburgh explains that children exposed to different languages have a better awareness of other people’s perspectives; tend to be better than monolinguals at multitasking; are often more precocious readers; and generally find it easier to learn other languages. More recent research suggests that learning another language may have benefits in later life, delaying the onset of dementia symptoms and slowing cognitive aging.

Given the benefits of pluri-lingualism, demand for Gaelic Medium Education (GME) is increasing.  Glasgow Gaelic School opened in 2006 with only 33 pupils.  Now it has 343.  Education Scotland Parentzone (see states that:
“Gaelic Medium Education is available in 14 out of 32 Scottish local authorities … It is available in about 60 primary schools and their associated secondaries, including dedicated Gaelic Medium schools. An increasing number of early learning and childcare centres, secondary schools and further education centres also provide learning through the medium of Gaelic.”


OU/SCILT primary languages course

31 May 2019 (SCILT/OU)

We are happy to announce that registration is now open for the OU/SCILT primary languages course, which will be running again from October 2019. In light of positive feedback and popularity of the first year of the course, we are now also delighted to offer a second year, post-beginners’ course. The latter would be suitable for those who have successfully completed year 1 and wish to continue their studies, or for those who are looking to begin studying at a more advanced level.

  • The courses will run from October 2019 to July 2020, and will develop language and pedagogy skills; language learning is provided by the Open University and pedagogy is provided by SCILT.  The courses are aligned to the Scottish curriculum and support the 1+2 languages approach.
  • Both courses are delivered online with two opportunities to attend face-to-face day schools. 
  • Learning is very flexible and participants can study at a time and place of their choosing.
  • Each course carries a fee of £252, reflecting the input and student support for the language and pedagogy strands from both organisations.

Funding may be sponsored through your school or Local Authority who can register on your behalf.   Initial registration information must be submitted to the OU by Monday 17 June 2019 and LAs should contact  
Students also have the option to fund the fee themselves. In this case, an interested teacher should contact the OU directly at

Here is some further information:

Beginners level

  • will be offered in a choice of four languages - French, German, Spanish and Mandarin plus study of primary pedagogy with direct application in the classroom.
  • takes students to the end of the equivalent to level A1 of the Common European Reference Framework for Languages.
  • allows students to gain 15 university credits for the language study.
  • also gives students the option to gain GTCS recognition for the pedagogy study; all students will receive a certificate on successful completion from SCILT.
  • study hours will be approximately five hours per week, including time spent on the direct application of the new skills in the classroom.

Post-beginners level

  • teachers who have started studying one language in the beginners level of the course would need to continue studying the same language at post-beginners level.
  • teachers who already have some basic knowledge in one of the four languages can directly enrol on the post-beginners level course to further develop their skills in that language and learn about primary languages pedagogy (without having to have studied beginners level).
  • will follow the same format as the beginners level course and will be offered in the same four languages (French, German, Mandarin and Spanish).
  • will teach primary languages pedagogy in more depth and cover:
    • the skills of writing and reading,
    • IDL with a special focus on outdoor learning as well as links with other key subject areas through CLIL,
    • learning and teaching of languages in multilingual contexts/communities.
  • will have the same:
    • number of study hours,
    • assessment structure,
    • accreditation with 15 university credits,
    • optional GTCS recognition for the pedagogy strand, as above ;
  • in their language study, students will reach the equivalent of the end of level A2 of the Common European Reference Framework for Languages (end of post-beginner level).
  • after completing both courses, students would then be in a good position to go on to study one of the standard language courses at the OU should they want to improve their knowledge of the language even further.

Course codes are as follows:

Beginners level

LXT192 French

LXT193 German

LXT197 Mandarin

LXT194 Spanish

Post-beginners level

LXT191 (language choice will come as a second step once students have registered)

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2019

29 May 2019 (Edinburgh International Film Festival)

Taking place from 19-30 June 2019, the full programme for this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) has now been announced. With a wide selection of foreign language screenings it's an ideal occasion for some listening practice!

Visit the EIFF website to see what's on.


Write Away!

28 May 2019 (Light Bulb Languages)

Write Away! is an exciting new project from Light Bulb Languages.

It's a magazine celebrating the writing that primary children do in their language lessons.

Open to all primary schools across the UK, submissions are now invited for issue 2. Closing date is 23.59 on Friday 27 September 2019.

Visit the Light Bulb Languages website for full submission guidelines.


New for 2019-20! SCILT series of professional learning webinars

24 May 2019 (SCILT)

New for session 2019/20, a series of SCILT professional learning webinars.

These webinars offer an alternative to our face-to-face workshops. Practitioners may wish to get together to participate in the live streaming of events which will include opportunities for online discussion. Alternatively, the recorded version can be used as a stimulus for collegiate discussion, in-service days or as part of individual practitioners’ professional development.

Registration will be advertised via the weekly SCILT e-bulletin and on the National Modern Languages Hub prior to these publicised dates.

  • Glow login will be required
  • Recordings will be available to watch again on National ML Hub under the Anytime Learning tab

Keep an eye on our e-bulletin and social media channels for details of how to register for these webinars in the new session. 

Related Files

Book now for 2019-20! SCILT professional learning menu

24 May 2019 (SCILT)

The SCILT professional learning menu 2019-20 is now available for booking online! 

Remember all of our professional learning sessions are free to book by teachers and local authorities. You find a date and a venue and get in touch with us. 

Participants last year said:

  • The presenter was very helpful and answered all our questions. I feel more confident now.’ (Teacher, East Dunbartonshire) 
  • It was succinct and gave teachers opportunities to compare experiences and share ideas about how to teach the course.’ (Teacher, East Lothian)

To request SCILT input in your school or local authority, please complete the online form via the link below.

Additionally, look out for our newly published series of webinars, running throughout the year. 


Babel Young Writers’ Competition 2019

23 May 2019 (Babel)

The 2019 Babel Young Writers' Competition is now open, with a 30 August deadline for entries. The winning linguists will be published in Babel No29, to be published in November 2019. The winner also receives a year’s subscription to Babel!

The competition has two different categories – one for 16-18 year old linguists, and another for undergraduate linguists. Entries should be between 1,500 – 2,500 words in length, and can discuss any topic to do with languages and linguistics. The winners are announced in October.

Visit the website for full entry guidelines.


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

3 June 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.

SCILT will award a family prize and class prize in each category of the 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) 

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.



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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Korean language speakers should take pride in Konglish – it’s another wonderful example of linguistic diversity More...

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Glasgow's West End Festival 2019 More...

Britain´s Brexit hangover cure: Start learning languages More...