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International and national perspectives on language learning policy and practice

Author: Lynne Jones, SCILT

Partnership was the order of the day on 29 November 2016 at Atlantic Quay in Glasgow.

The day began with a presentation by Associate Professor Angela Scarino from the University of South Australia hosted by Marion Spöring, Senior Lecturer at University of Dundee and UCMLS chair. Associate Professor Scarino spoke about the language policies in the different states and territories in Australia and the work she has recently led on reconceptualising the nature of language learning through the development of the Australian national languages curriculum.

The presentation was pre-recorded, but the Q&A session which followed was live between Glasgow and Adelaide.  A number of interesting iss ues were raised including initial teacher education and Australia’s use of language specific frameworks.  The presentation is available to watch again on Education Scotland’s Youtube channel.  Any additional questions for Associate Professor Scarino can be emailed to Louise Glen at Education Scotland.

Later in the day, Bethan Dinning from the British Council gave a presentation about the Erasmus + programme.  Bethan highlighted the funding that is available for staff mobility and strategic partnership projects across Europe under Key Actions 1 and 2 respectively. The presentation contained a wealth of information and Bethan expects ambitious bids to flood in from Scottish schools ahead of the Spring 2017 deadlines.  For more information contact Erasmus+.

The rest of the time was given over to the National Development Officer Conference hosted by Education Scotland and SCILT.  Informed by the findings from the ADES Review of implementation of the 1+2 policy, published in July 2016, the focus of the conference was inter-authority working. In the recently announced education improvement groups, local authority representatives shared ideas and considered solutions in relation to three top priorities:
  • raising the profile of languages at a time of competing priorities in Scottish education
  • sustaining high quality CLPL for primary teachers
  • effective primary-secondary transition
Notes from the day’s discussions will be collated and also used to inform the planning of future leadership events. SCILT will be working in partnership with Education Scotland again later this academic session to offer more professional learning opportunities to local authority representatives. Watch this space – dates for your diary will be coming soon.

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