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Update on UCMLS cross-sector initiatives

Author: Marion Spöring, University of Dundee and Chair of UCMLS

On 9 September 2016, UCMLS hosted a cross-sector event to take stock of successes and challenges in the implementation of ‘Language learning in Scotland: A 1+2 approach’. The event was well-received and included the opportunity for participants to take part in a cross-sector debate to establish further action in moving forward.

At the event, UCMLS published 1+2: Looking back and moving forward – survey results, which highlighted the following as some of the key challenges:

  • improve language competence of current teachers in primary school
  • create better transition arrangements for languages between primary and secondary school
  • hold more promotional events in schools highlighting the value and benefits of language learning
  • students on primary ITE programmes need to reach B1 level of proficiency
  • need for further training and on-going support
  • clearer information on how to implement 1+2 in classes with significant proportion of EAL learners
  • clearer guidelines on workable implementation models for L3

Further challenges, as well as successes across sectors, can be read in the survey results.

Do Coyle from the University of Aberdeen continued discussions on the theme and put the results of the survey in the context of ITE and Higher Education. Discussion was then enhanced by keynote speakers from business, a local authority and SALT, all contributing to the subject of ‘looking back and moving forward’. Presentations can be downloaded from the SALT website.

By the time this newsletter is published UCMLS will have held another national cross-sector event (on 29 November), in collaboration with SCILT and Education Scotland, in the form of a video conference with Associate Professor Angela Scarino on the curriculum models derived from Australia’s national language policy.

The third and final national cross-sector conference for 2016-17 will be held on 10 March 2017 where we intend to publish a cross-sector action plan in support of 1+2. Find out more on the SCILT website.

The University Council for Modern Languages represents the interests of Modern Languages, Linguistics and Cultural & Area Studies in Higher Education throughout the UK, but also works with corresponding bodies in other countries. UCMLS is the Scottish branch. To enable closer links with schools, UCMLS in 2015 created four regional hubs with the aim of holding two twilight meetings in each hub per year (eight meetings in total). However, to increase accessibility, we intend to link with SCILT’s professional development menu, so look out for opportunities in the near future in the SCILT weekly bulletin.

Return to December 2016 newsletter

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