Benefits of language learning

Lowering the age of access to other languages can have beneficial effects on monolingual children's awareness of languages and enhance their natural curiosity.
Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 approach

Developing the Young Workforce

Promotional films

Our series of short films demonstrate the value of languages in a variety of sectors: sport, the creative industries, hospitality and tourism, engineering, business and health. Contributors include Judy Murray and Jim Fleeting from the Scottish Football Association. 


To complement this resource, our Toolkit will support schools in organising their own business and language promotional events and projects:

  • careers fairs
  • promotional talks
  • partnerships between schools and local businesses
Job profiles

Our Job Profiles provide relevant, labour-market focused career advice on languages, direct from the workplace. Enhance learning about the world of work and promote the relevance of language skills.

  • Although researchers have not been able to reach any firm conclusion concerning the existence of a critical age, they agree that young children learn languages differently from older learners and have some advantages over those who start later. 
  • Early learners tend to be more intuitive, less anxious and better at acquiring the sounds and rhythms of the new language. 
  • Starting early allows for more time for language learning overall and a sustained experience with the potential to lead to higher levels of proficiency at the end of secondary school. 
  • There is an easy fit between primary language teaching methodology and good primary pedagogy. 
  • The primary curriculum provides many opportunities which can be exploited for language learning. This is one of the particular benefits of starting early. 
  • The early introduction of literacy in the new language can provide an important focus as well as support for learning. 

Lessons from abroad: International review of primary languages. Teresa Tinsley and Terese Comfort, (CfBT, 2012)

SCILT have produced a selection of resources to reinforce to learners, colleagues and parents the benefits of learning a language, and enable practitioners to make the case for languages in their school and community. These resources cover language learning at different stages of education. Of particular interest to primary practitioners and parents may be the following leaflets: 

Visit SCILT's Parentzone for further ideas and support.

In their own words, language learners from primary children to university students explain why languages matter to them.



Languages in a nutshell

Languages in a nutshell explains how the 1+2 Approach will be put into practice and why learning other languages is so important. It also suggests ways parents can support their child’s language learning.

Produced by SCILT in partnership with The National Parent Forum of Scotland.

Further materials from SCILT

Our leaflets support teachers and schools in engaging with parents to reinforce the benefits of learning a language. These leaflets also enable practitioners to make the case for languages to colleagues and senior management. 

Visit our leaflets pages to order 'Languages in a nutshell' and other resources for your school.


Promotional postcards

These postcards, designed by pupils in Scotland, demonstrate why languages are important. A useful tool for rewarding and motivating your learners.

Why learn a language (PDF)

World at your fingertips (PDF)

Visit our leaflets pages to order these postcards
Resources from our partners

'I love languages - do you?' Fun quiz for young language learners.

Top ten reasons for studying languages 

Why languages matter! In learners' own words.

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