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A new initiative to support 1 + 2 in initial teacher education

Author: Ingeborg Birnie, University of Strathclyde (on behalf of the SCDE 1 + 2 Languages Group)

The Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE) 1+2 Languages Group was set up in response to recommendations in the Scottish Government ‘Language learning in Scotland: A 1+2 approach’. It represents teacher education institutes across Scotland. The SCDE Languages Initiative is funded by seven local authorities and is designed to support initial teacher education curricula and involves the teaching and learning of languages and literacies including modern languages, EAL, heritage languages, Gàidhlig, British Sign Language and so on.

Whilst the focus is on initial teacher education, the outcomes can also be used to inform early career development and CLPL. The initiative consists of a number of foci:

  • a National Framework for Languages, intended to set out clear guidelines for initial teacher education
  • a flexible, reflective Languages Education Academic Portfolio (LEAP)
  • a comprehensive, digital resource: the Languages Education Network Scotland (LENS)

LENS is a professional resource which provides quick and easy access to the main findings of national and international studies about language learning across all ages and stages. LENS will be available online to all educational professionals, and will be fully searchable by keywords or themes. It aims to offer practical, research-informed support to further knowledge and understanding of key issues concerning the teaching and learning of languages in Scotland.

LENS will focus on ten main themes, which have been identified through detailed discussions and collaborative work by the group:

  • language(s) in learning
  • language learning and development
  • approaches to language learning – transformative practices
  • successful language learning
  • language and literacy development
  • implications for teachers • Gaelic Medium Education
  • English as an Additional Language
  • British Sign Language

The digital tool will be available to educational professionals by the early part of 2018.

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