3rd Report, 2013 (Session 4): Foreign language learning in primary schools

SP Paper 361 (Web Only)

EU/S4/13/R3

3rd Report, 2013 (Session 4)

Foreign language learning in primary schools

CONTENTS

Remit and membership

Report
Background to European and External Relations Committee inquiry into foreign language learning in primary schools
Funding

Scottish Government funding
Possible solutions to make the most of funds
Making the most of resources
European Union funds

Skills and resources

Training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for existing and future teachers
Should all future primary teachers have a languages qualification?
Model of teaching

The importance of learning languages

Effectiveness of the 1 + 2 initiative
Role of languages in economic development
Which languages should be learned?

Policy and development

Overview
Capacity
Continuity in language teaching between primary and secondary schools

Annexe A - Extracts of Minutes of the European and External Relations Committee

Annexe B - Oral and associated written evidence

Annexe C – Other written evidence

Annexe D – Reports of visits to schools

Annexe E – Reports of conference on 10 May 2013

Remit and membership

Remit:

The remit of the European and External Relations Committee is to consider and report on-

(a) proposals for European Union legislation;
(b) the implementation of European Communities and European Union legislation;
(c) any European Communities or European Union issue;
(d) the development and implementation of the Scottish Administration's links with countries and territories outside Scotland, the European Union (and its institutions) and other international organisations; and
(e) co-ordination of the international activities of the Scottish Administration.

(Standing Orders of the Scottish Parliament, Rule 6.8)

Membership:

Clare Adamson
Roderick Campbell
Willie Coffey
Helen Eadie
Hanzala Malik (Deputy Convener)
Jamie McGrigor
Christina McKelvie (Convener)

Committee Clerking Team:

Senior Assistant Clerk
Katy Orr

Assistant Clerk
Lauren Spaven-Donn
Jenny Goldsmith

Foreign language learning in primary schools

The Committee reports to the Parliament as follows—

BACKGROUND TO EUROPEAN AND EXTERNAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE INQUIRY INTO FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNING IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS

1. This inquiry has considered the Scottish Government’s recent initiative to increase foreign language learning in primary schools. The Scottish Government made a commitment to enable all young people to learn two languages (as well as their mother tongue) based on the European Union (EU) 1 + 2 model. The Scottish Government also committed to roll this out over two parliamentary sessions (that is, by 2020). In explaining the initiative to the European and External Relations Committee (the Committee), the Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages (the Minister) said that he wished language learning to be regarded as the norm, and that he wanted to create a cultural and educational environment that attracts young people to learn languages.1

2. This initiative follows the recommendations of the Scottish Government’s Languages Working Group report, ‘Language Learning in Scotland: A 1 + 2 Approach2’. The Working Group recommended that children should learn a second language from Primary 1 and that the learning of a third language should start no later than Primary 5. To implement this, the Scottish Government is running a pilot programme in 2012-13 with the intention of demonstrating “how the 1+2 Barcelona model of language learning can be turned into a reality over the course of two parliamentary sessions”.3 (In 2002, the European Council met in Barcelona and agreed “to improve the mastery of basic skills, in particular by teaching at least two foreign languages from a very early age”. This decision is referred to as both the ‘Barcelona Agreement’ and the ‘Barcelona Model’.) The Scottish Government will set up a separate strategic implementation group, that it will co-chair with the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland, for implementation of the initiative following the pilot phase.4

3. A Scottish Government debate was held in the Parliament on 24 May 2012 where support for the initiative was recorded, although concerns were noted regarding possible barriers including resources issues, skills deficits and cultural attitudes.

4. The Scottish Government’s initiative will cover all early years age and school groups (3–18 years) but the Committee chose to focus on primary schools to ensure an in-depth study in the time available to it to conduct the inquiry. Some overlap into secondary and nursery age proved inevitable given the issues discussed. The Committee decided to focus on learning foreign languages, although once evidence-taking commenced, it became clear that considering Scottish indigenous modern languages (Scots and Gaelic5) - and also sign languages - as 1 + 2 languages was important to gain the most effective overview of language learning in Scotland.

5. The Committee agreed to a three-phase structure for the inquiry to ensure that all those with an interest in this popular topic could participate. Phase 1 was a series of investigative visits to seven primary schools throughout Scotland in Committee members’ constituencies. Visits were made to schools which are piloting the Scottish Government’s 1 + 2 languages initiative as well as to schools nominated by Committee members. These visits allowed members to discuss language learning issues with teachers, parents and pupils who have a first-hand experience of language learning in Scotland. Discussions on social media were initiated to accompany the visits and promote debate on Members’ findings from the visits. The discussions on the Scottish Parliament’s Facebook pages proved very popular with a large number of people engaging via this medium. More detailed reports of the school visits are available in Annexe D.

6. Phase 2 comprised formal evidence-taking in Committee meetings from policy makers and representative bodies, including parent and teacher bodies, teaching unions, academics, the business sector, local authorities and European organisations (a full list of witnesses is contained in Annexe B).

7. Phase 3 of the inquiry was a conference, which was held in the Scottish Parliament on 10 May 2013, to discuss the inquiry’s key findings. The conference aimed to gather evidence from a larger number of stakeholders than could be achieved via formal evidence in committee meetings, and to refine the Committee’s initial findings before publishing a report (a transcript of the plenary sessions of the conference and reports of the delegate break-out sessions are included in Annexe E).

8. Short videos were made at strategic points in the inquiry to generate engagement on social media, and included footage of the visits to schools, interviews with teachers and pupils and the keynote speakers at the conference.6

9. The Committee would like to thank all those who gave their time and expertise across the three phases of this inquiry.

10. The Committee welcomes and supports the Scottish Government’s languages initiative. The Committee recognises the importance of language skills in an increasingly globalised world and that as a consequence there will be a greater need for language skills amongst Scotland’s citizens. The Committee also acknowledges that this will be a long term and ambitious initiative. The Committee looks forward to seeing a marked improvement to the linguistic skills of Scottish citizens and the increased opportunities this will provide for future generations.

THEMES

11. The four themes outlined below emerged during the course of the Committee’s inquiry. The report addresses each of these key themes in turn.

Funding – how to ensure Scottish and EU funds are used efficiently and effectively to implement the Scottish Government’s proposal.

Skills and resources – whether existing and future teaching resources would be sufficient for the new 1 + 2 initiative, and how to approach training teachers.

The importance of learning languages – whether the 1 + 2 initiative was effective; the role of languages in cultural and economic development, and whether specific languages should be targeted.

Policy and development – how to implement the Scottish Government’s proposal effectively; the capacity for further language teaching in the curriculum, the continuity in language teaching between primary and secondary schools, and the need for pupils to be able to continue one language from primary school in secondary school.

FUNDING

Scottish Government funding

12. The Scottish Government has provided £120,000 for 10 pilot school projects in 2012-2013, which will trial different methods of teaching and learning before wider roll out of the 1 + 2 model in the following year. The Scottish Government has allocated £4 million in the budget for 2013-14 for local authorities for its languages fund, plus an extra £4 million for this specific policy as steps are taken to implement it more widely across Scotland in 2013-14.

13. In evidence to the Committee, the Minister explained that an additional £4 million had been made available—

“the £4 million is initial funding for local authorities to start to take forward our aims—it is equivalent to and in addition to the previous languages fund, which local authorities continue to receive in their funding package … Local authorities are best placed to decide how to spend the additional £4 million this year. It could be used for training teachers or creating opportunities for teachers, or for foreign language assistants. It is for each education authority to make those decisions.”7

14. Funding for 2013-14 will be for local authorities and schools to use as they deem necessary to enhance their current language provision, for example through teacher training, refresher training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunities or Foreign Language Assistants. The Scottish Government explained that implementation talks were taking place with COSLA and local authorities under the auspices of its new strategic implementation group.

15. The £4 million for the languages fund from the budget is allocated in accordance with the formula used for the local government settlement (so larger local authorities would receive more to reflect their greater number of schools and pupils in their local authority area). The distribution model for the extra £4 million will be based on a proposal from COSLA on how it can be “best and most fairly distributed among the 32 local authorities”, for example on a pupil or school or teacher basis.8 The Committee members raised the issue with the Minister that working level officials at local authorities might not know about these funds. The Minister confirmed that “the money has been made public, so education conveners will know about it.”9

16. The Committee calls on the Scottish Government to provide more detail on how the extra £4 million will be allocated by local authorities following its discussions with COSLA. It also requests more detail on how information on the £4 million is being provided to local authorities in order to ensure wider knowledge of the funds and the 1 + 2 initiative.

Adequacy of funding levels

17. The Committee has heard contrasting views on whether the funding would be sufficient for all children aged 3-18 across all schools in Scotland. Representatives of parents and teachers, teachers unions and delegates at the Committee’s conference expressed strong concerns that the Scottish Government funding for the 2012-14 period for the 1 + 2 initiative was insufficient (particularly for smaller local authorities due to the proportional allocation, as highlighted by the National Parent Forum of Scotland in relation to West Dunbartonshire Council).10 The Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland (AHDS) described £4 million as a “drop in the ocean.”’11 The Scottish Government’s Languages Working Group estimated that, overall, two to three times the initially allocated £4 million would be required.12 The witnesses who expressed concerns that the funding was insufficient were not able to quantify with any accuracy what funding levels would be sufficient.

18. Some witnesses, including academics, said that there was a need for greater clarity on what the Scottish Government intended to achieve with this initiative before funding levels could be estimated accurately. Specifically, witnesses asked what would be the main aims in terms of each of the two extra languages, for example, cultural awareness, total bilingualism, employability or continuity with secondary schools.

19. Education Scotland provided some clarity on the aims of the 1 + 2 initiative, indicating that the first language would be studied in depth and would enable progression throughout the child’s school career, and the second language would have more of a focus on building language skills, being exposed to other cultures and building confidence in another language.13

20. In evidence from schools and local authorities, the Committee heard differing views on funding depending on how developed language learning already was in the relevant local authority area or in individual schools. It emerged that some schools are more advanced in language teaching and have therefore indicated that they would require smaller amounts of funds.14 Conversely, other local authorities or schools that are currently not able to teach two languages, indicated that they would require much greater financial support and other assistance to achieve the ambitions of the 1 + 2 initiative.

21. Teacher training (and the associated need to backfill posts), Continuing Professional Development and teaching resources were identified as the main areas in which there were funding shortfalls for local authorities and universities responsible for teacher training. Witnesses were unwilling to suggest how much the overall shortage might be without further central guidance, information on how to implement the initiative, and – in particular – before the results of an audit of all local authorities’ skills and resources, which is expected to be completed by 2013. All witnesses agreed that this audit would be of great importance to ascertaining the level of funding which was required and whether existing skills were being effectively utilised.

22. The Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES) described some of the expected specific costs. These were:

  • the likely need to backfill teaching posts for teachers who were receiving training (at an average daily cost of £166 per day per teacher);
  • costs of training (cited as £21k a year for one council’s in-house training of 12 teachers);
  • foreign language assistants (approximately £8k per head); and
  • releasing a teacher to support modern language provision in larger authorities (£42k per annum).

23. They also highlighted likely costs to universities “to enhance … their capacity to deliver the necessary training and the range of languages for which training is needed”.15

24. The timing of the allocation of the funding for 2013-14 was identified as being critical for implementation. Council officials involved in planning for education at the local level had already bid for funding for 2014 and put their training plans in place. However, the results of talks with COSLA on the allocation of funding for the 1 + 2 initiative were expected imminently and were likely to impact on the already formed 2014 training plans.16

25. The Minister stated that feedback on how the money is deployed in 2013-14 will inform future funding, and that he did not wish to anticipate future budgets.17

26. As there will be no accurate information concerning the existing resources and skills for language learning until the audit by local authorities has been completed at the end of 2013, it is not possible to assess accurately what would be required to deliver the 1 + 2 initiative. In light of this, the Committee does not feel that it has sufficient information to determine whether the funding allocated by the Scottish Government is sufficient or not.

27. Once all 32 local authorities have completed the forthcoming audit of resources and skills for language learning, it is expected that the Scottish Government and its implementation partners will be able to assess what funding, resources and skills are required at the national implementation stage. The Committee expects the Scottish Government and its implementation group to transmit the results of this assessment. In particular, the Committee looks forward to an indication of whether the Scottish Government intends to adjust the funding for future years in response to the audit and further information on how local authorities intend to maximise the funding to deliver the languages agenda.

Possible solutions to make the most of funds

Ring-fencing

28. Some witnesses, such as the teachers unions, were concerned that without ring-fencing, there was no guarantee that local authorities would use the Scottish Government funding for language teaching.18 COSLA did not support ring-fencing, regarding it as a retrograde step.19 The Minister explained that there had been an overall move away from ring-fencing by local authorities. He expressed confidence that the money would be targeted specifically at the 1 + 2 initiative without it being ring-fenced, due to expectations raised by parents and communities and the recognition of local authorities of the value of the 1 + 2 initiative.20

Sharing resources

29. Stakeholders at the Committee’s conference suggested various solutions to maximise the funding available. There was general agreement that resources should be shared at the regional level and that regional networks could be set up, which could consist of teachers, universities, parents and local politicians. Representatives of cultural institutions such as the Japan Foundation and the Institut Français highlighted that funding and other assistance was available from these institutions, but that information about what was available needed to be shared more, possibly through head teachers.21

30. The Committee notes the concerns expressed by stakeholders regarding the lack of ring-fencing for the extra funding and the importance of targeting funds to languages. However, the Committee recognises that the Concordat between COSLA and the Scottish Government provides the framework for the local government settlement. Therefore, the Committee asks that the Scottish Government monitors how the 1 + 2 initiative is implemented by local authorities and also updates the Committee regularly on progress. The Committee strongly encourages the Scottish Government and COSLA to work with local authorities to ensure a robust implementation plan.

31. The Committee notes the strength of existing networks and that considerable support is available from external organisations such as the business, cultural and educational sectors and communities. The Committee considers that there may be potential in stakeholders’ suggestions relating to pooling resources and working with external partners such as cultural institutions more effectively. The Committee asks the Scottish Government to detail how it could harness and support this work and strengthen communications networks. The Committee asks the Scottish Government for regular updates on progress in this area so that Committee can monitor outcomes.

Making the most of resources

32. Some witnesses suggested best value approaches to utilising the funds such as a national network approach or greater use of Information Technology (IT), social media and Foreign Language Assistants (FLAs).

IT and social media

33. Stakeholders participating in a break out group at the Committee’s conference argued that a national rather than regional IT system would make a powerful difference to the 1 + 2 initiative. They also added that there is a need for carefully selected and quality assured online resources, as many online materials are not from accredited sources.22

34. The Committee heard from some schools and witnesses that usage of GLOW – an online community for parents, pupils and teachers - was not always successful, with a number of schools that the Committee visited reporting that it was not user-friendly. Nevertheless, the Committee also heard that GLOW has great potential to assist the 1 + 2 initiative and that the Scottish Government was working with Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT) on a major reform to improve accessibility.23 The Committee heard from the Scottish Government and other witnesses of the rapid progress of IT in schools as a result of the impact of popular culture, personal phones or school equipment and the need for GLOW and IT in teaching to keep up with this cultural shift. Stakeholders also said that GLOW had been useful (particularly in rural areas) as an add-on but not as an alternative to training.24

35. The Committee asks the Scottish Government to keep it informed of its reform of GLOW and the use of IT to support the 1 + 2 initiative.

Foreign Language Assistants (FLAs)

36. All witnesses agreed that FLAs represented excellent value for money and were highly effective (despite some issues with additional costs such as national insurance25). The British Council Scotland (BCS) delivers the FLA programme in Scotland. Its written evidence stated that more Scottish FLAs go abroad (365 in 2012-13) than the number of FLAs who come to Scotland to work (70 in 2012-13). BCS said that 7 years ago there had been 300 assistants, although it did indicate that there had been a 20% increase in the last year in the number of FLAs.

37. When questioned by the Committee as to whether the fall in the number of FLAs was due to financial constraints or people choosing to go to other English-speaking countries, the British Council Scotland expressed the view that—

“It is due to a budgetary problem in Scotland. At the time when we had the high number of 300 language assistants, the money was ring fenced by central Government, but it has since been devolved to education authorities, so we have, with all the other pressures on their budgets, seen the money fall.”26

38. COSLA responded to this point in its written submission. It stated—

“We are aware that the British Council has already given evidence to the Committee on this matter and called for ring-fencing of funds for language tuition. Language education cuts across the curriculum, and is part of the broad, general education which all Scottish school pupils receive. As we go on to discuss … language education is not a ‘stand-alone’ subject which means it can only be properly delivered through local government core funding. It will therefore come as no surprise to the committee that COSLA does not support ring-fencing of local government resources and that Ministers agree that local government is best placed to make decisions on local priorities for funding of services.”27

39. The Committee asked the Minister whether he might consider ring-fencing for FLAs, especially in certain circumstances such as rural schools where there might be a great deal of pressure on staff. The Minister indicated that he was not minded to ring-fence specific funds for FLAs, but wanted to allow local authorities to allocate funds as they chose. One local authority had indicated to the Scottish Government that it would recruit FLAs in light of the extra funding for languages, and others are considering whether to follow suit.28

40. In addition, the Minister indicated that there had been a stabilisation in the decline in the number of FLAs—

“There has rightly been a lot of comment about the decline in the numbers of foreign language assistants who are provided in schools. We have managed to stabilise figures this year thanks to quite a lot of contact with a number of European consulates in Edinburgh, the British Council and other bodies.”29

41. The Committee acknowledges the Minister’s recognition that Foreign Language Assistants can deliver a wider cultural global citizenship agenda, and asks the Scottish Government to indicate how it will actively promote Foreign Language Assistants to local authorities as an excellent value and holistic approach to delivering languages in flexible ways in individual schools or across clusters.

42. The Committee notes the argument put forward by the British Council Scotland that the decline in the number of Foreign Language Assistants is due to ring-fencing and budgetary constraints. It also notes that COSLA does not support ring-fencing of local government resources. However, the Committee feels that it does not have sufficient evidence to ascertain the reasons for the decline in the number of Foreign Language Assistants. Therefore, the Committee calls on the Scottish Government to provide an analysis of the reasons for the decline which may be valuable to the Minister’s ongoing efforts to address this issue.

Other approaches

43. Stakeholders suggested that the Scottish Government’s implementation group could use a best practice hub network30 for Scotland for support and idea sharing so networks of implementers in each local authority are not required to ‘reinvent the wheel’. They also suggested an annual event to share and promote best practice and increase knowledge of successful approaches.31 The Japan Foundation and others reinforced the importance of gaining the support of head teachers and their commitment to ensure best value. Throughout the inquiry, the Committee heard that professional will and professional support were of paramount importance to the success of the 1 + 2 initiative.

44. The Minister advocated schools working together in clusters, particularly to ensure good continuity from primary to secondary. However, he stressed that the decision for which model to use should be made by local authorities, and that it would become more apparent what models might be used following the resources and skills audit. The Scottish Government agreed that hub models had proven particularly effective, and were increasingly used to maximise resources in schools in different curriculum areas such as Chinese language or literacy.32

45. The Committee would welcome the Scottish Government’s views on the value of the hub/cluster model, how the Scottish Government intends to gain the support of head teachers for the language learning initiative and the how best practice could be best shared.

European Union funds

46. The Committee heard that the European Union (EU) funding programmes Comenius and Erasmus are currently greatly under-utilised in Scotland compared to other countries.33 Evidence to the Committee indicated that any increase in EU funding availability for Scotland would be strongly welcomed by stakeholders in light of the current economic climate. The British Council Scotland, which delivers the Comenius and Erasmus programmes in Scotland, explained that six Comenius Assistants came to Scotland in 2010-11, whilst 52 assistants from Scotland went to work abroad.34

Barriers to obtaining EU funds

47. The main barriers identified to obtaining EU funds were Scottish teachers not taking up the opportunities available, lack of knowledge of the opportunities, difficulty in applying, and difficulty in teachers securing time off from teaching. Teachers told the Committee that they learned about EU funds randomly, with no systematic or universal approach to ensuring that information was accessible.35

48. The Committee heard evidence indicating that teachers were struggling to find the time to take advantage of these opportunities when they do find out about them. One teacher described how she gave up a week of her holidays so that the school did not have to deal with the difficulties of finding a replacement teacher.36 It became apparent that more thought was needed as to how a replacement teacher could be found and funded to do the work of teachers who are on the Comenius programme, particularly the longer and more immersive programmes of several months.37 Some local authorities, such as West Lothian Council, were identified as having more expertise in accessing EU funds and it was suggested that this could be shared through more effective networks.38

49. Both university student and business representatives supported the greater use of ‘student ambassadors’ in schools to promote the opportunities provided by EU funds. Le Français en Ecosse suggested developing an IT support package and also seeking partner schools between Scotland and other countries. Stakeholders also emphasized the importance of involving head teachers into the application process.39

50. The Scottish Government agreed that the bureaucratic application process was difficult and viewed resolving that as key to accessing more EU resources. The Scottish Government intended to work with the British Council Scotland and other relevant bodies such as SCILT to improve access to EU funds for languages.

51. In the context of FLAs, the Scottish Government stated that it was keen to utilise Comenius funded assistants who could do the same job as FLAs but possibly at reduced cost. The Committee asked the Minister if there could be a central point to which teachers could go for advice and assistance to make application for EU funds easier and effective. The Minister responded—

“I do not want to say that I have an answer to that yet. The issue is being worked on, but we want to avoid the situation that we have had in the past in which - it would be fair to say - Comenius has been underused. We want to find out why that is the case, and if Government can do anything to simplify the process and bring schools together we will certainly try to do it.”40

52. The Minister acknowledged the difficulty in disseminating the appropriate information to teachers who were busy with their work, and hoped that the Scottish Government’s implementation group’s chair would be able to ask local authorities what they are doing collectively to raise awareness of EU funded opportunities.41

53. In light of the barriers presented in evidence to utilising European Union funds and the Scottish Government’s commitment to try and simplify the process, the Committee asks the Scottish Government to provide an update on how it will seek to resolve these difficulties in the context of the new EU funding programmes for 2014-20.

54. The Committee recommends that the Scottish Government gives national direction to ensure teachers and community groups can take advantage of European Union funding opportunities. The Committee also believes that more work is required on how information on the availability of opportunities through Comenius and Erasmus is disseminated to teachers, and asks the Scottish Government whether the information could be covered more effectively in teacher training or by sharing best practice by local authorities.

55. The Committee will return to its on-going work on the wider issue of exploring the potential of all EU funds later in 2013.

SKILLS AND RESOURCES

56. It became apparent during the inquiry that teachers would be a key resource to deliver the 1 + 2 initiative, and that training and continuing professional development (CPD) for existing and future teachers would need to be reassessed.

Training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for existing and future teachers

57. The Committee asked stakeholders at its conference how training and CPD should be delivered to support existing and future teachers.

Training

58. Several suggestions involved bringing training resources together or standardising the approach to training, for example, a national standard of training (as training currently varies between local authorities), possibly designed as a hub approach to avoid multiple approaches across local authorities. Another approach proposed was that there should be more resources and networks made available to connect teachers and allow them to engage in a continuous, professional dialogue (with a less rigid structure between training for primary and secondary teachers).

59. Stakeholders also raised concerns that training currently offered was not sufficient. It was highlighted that at the moment some local authorities, such as Dumfries and Galloway Council, only offer 20 hours training for language teachers within an academic year and this was thought highly inadequate.42

60. Stakeholders suggested a variety of other possible training models, such as South Lanarkshire Council’s approach, which offered a menu of training that allowed teachers to choose the type of training that was most suited to their needs. Peer training was another model which involved secondary teachers training primary school teachers; this having the benefit of improving continuity and connections between primary and secondary schools in one or more areas. Twilight training – whereby training takes place outside of working hours - was another option but this had the disadvantage that teachers would be required to give up their own time. The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) stated that a continuing professional development model would be possible, with certification and qualifications in different areas.43

Continuing Professional Development

61. In terms of CPD, stakeholders thought that the number of language teachers would reduce if they do not receive on-going support and opportunities such as experience in learning languages abroad. Stakeholders also identified a need for follow-up training and a refresher training programme for teachers to ensure continuous development.

62. Some witnesses told the Committee that a clear national plan was required which would establish how CPD would be delivered to teachers, and what the costs would be. Some witnesses advocated more effective resource sharing between schools and local authorities, with centralised support to ensure most effective use of skills and resources. One example raised in evidence was that of secondary schools providing support to primaries by providing a specialist secondary language teacher to assist at the primaries. However, witnesses said this practice had been reduced due to the withdrawal of funding.44

Use of IT

63. Stakeholders at the Committee’s conference said that online facilities are suitable after initial in-depth training. For example, GLOW is used in Highland Council area by schools as an online community for parents, pupils and teachers. Online facilities and forums were perceived by stakeholders as important means of sharing best practice between teachers, and allowing teachers in remote areas to work together. However, although technology was thought useful, stakeholders indicated that it should not be the only resource due to technical problems that can arise and because it is not best practice for training in sign language. It was noted that in Dumfries and Galloway Council areas, use of IT facilities is an addition to face-to-face and in-depth training and not an alternative.

Lessons learned from previous languages training initiatives

64. Witnesses told the committee in formal evidence that lessons could be learned from Scottish languages initiatives in the 1990s. These had foundered on the lack of priority and resources given to languages by those managing the curriculum, and not tracking the teachers that were trained in languages so that they were not properly deployed. Teachers explained that as training had taken place under previous initiatives, skills had been lost in the intervening time and further training would now be required.45

65. The Committee asked how the Scottish Government would ensure that the lessons from previous initiatives could be taken on board for the 1 + 2 initiative. The Minister responded that SCILT and Education Scotland would be providing support for local authorities. For example, the SCILT website has a special toolkit and SCILT was also travelling around the Scotland to provide advice.46 The Minister also referred to the need for an audit of skills and resources, and recognised that languages would be a major part of CPD for primary teachers.47

66. The Committee heard a number of constructive suggestions as to how training and continuing professional development could be reinforced. The Committee asks the Scottish Government to take note of these in the context of its plans for national implementation of the 1 + 2 initiative.

Should all future primary teachers have a languages qualification?

67. The Scottish Government’s Languages Working Group’s report recommended that all future primary school teachers should have a languages qualification. This was partially accepted by the Scottish Government, and has been referred to the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) for a decision. The Minister told the Committee that the GTCS are consulting on the issue and would provide its response to the Scottish Government in June 2013, with any new framework being put in place in 2014.48

68. Witnesses had different views on whether all future primary school teachers should have a language qualification, particularly in relation to what level the qualification should be required, how it should be delivered by teacher training colleges and what the current capacity of those institutions was to deliver it. Those who did not support the need for a qualification were concerned that making such a requirement might exclude some students who might have become good teachers. For example, the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers said—

“Our view is that primary teachers are trained generalists and should remain as such. Making it an absolute necessity for a prospective teacher to have a modern foreign language before they could enter training would add to the qualification barrier. Not everyone is a linguist, just as not everyone is a scientist.

If we are going to go down the route of insisting that every primary school teacher should have a higher in French, German, Spanish, Mandarin or whatever language is chosen, that does not mean that they are inclined to teach the subject, interested in teaching the subject or able to teach the subject.”49

69. Additionally witnesses suggested that the GTCS professional recognition programme could be utilised in language training for teachers to build capacity at differing levels.50 They also thought that entry requirements to teacher training should be reviewed.51

70. The Minister concurred with the view that creating the need for a qualification might exclude some students, and expressed the view that the prevailing consensus was that there were opportunities to provide languages during initial teacher training. He also confirmed that the GTCS’s consultation would provide the appropriate context for the debate in terms of the teaching profession.52

71. The Committee recognises the wide range of views on whether teachers should be obliged to have a language qualification and looks forward to hearing the results of the General Teaching Council of Scotland consultation. The Committee asks the Scottish Government to keep it informed of the results of the consultation and any ensuing new framework of qualifications when this information is available.

Model of teaching

The use of specialist or class teachers

72. The Committee heard varying views on whether languages should be taught by a peripatetic specialist or the existing teacher based at the school (or a combination as commonly used in EU and some international countries). The main discussion centred on the relative advantages of a specialist with a higher level of language teaching skills or a permanent class teacher who would have a better knowledge of the individual needs of the pupils in the class.53

Immersion

73. Immersion - the process by which languages are combined with different subjects in the curriculum and not necessarily taught as a stand-alone subject - was widely agreed by witnesses to be the most purposeful and effective method of teaching based on experiences in Europe and Asia, but unlikely to be possible in all Scottish schools with existing skills, resources and funding levels. The Committee saw and heard about immersion being used to some extent in its visits to schools. For example, at St Elizabeth’s in Hamilton, all lessons were taught in one particular language on a specific day. Some level of immersion teaching across all of Scotland was thought to be possible over the longer term. Native speakers, language assistants, classroom assistants and appropriately qualified teachers were seen as the best available alternative to the provision of total immersion and a more possible option.

74. The Committee asked stakeholders at its conference about the kind of teaching or teaching models that should be used. Stakeholders said that focussed language lessons were important; however, language learning should be embedded and built into other areas of the curriculum, an example of this being the teaching of British sign language (BSL). They also suggested using resources from primary teachers and secondary or specialist teachers in an advisory role - and not always a teaching role - and that pupils’ receptive skills should be developed as well as language learning.

75. Stakeholders provided an example of a specific model used in one of the Scottish Government’s pilot schools where the school collaborated with Le Français en Ecosse to develop a training programme for teachers and a teaching programme for students. This was thought to provide a very structured approach as Le Français en Ecosse were present to provide primary teachers with advice, and as the learning was focussed around real interaction, it was considered to be a good model.

Community languages and input

76. Witnesses agreed that there was great potential for more involvement of communities and community languages to help deliver the Scottish Government’s initiative in a more cohesive and structured way than at present. However, they emphasised that language skills were not the same as teaching skills, and that community input should be seen as an additional contribution to the 1 + 2 initiative. The Committee found through its school visits that parent and community input varies, but it is universally recognised as being very beneficial in complementing formal teaching. However, it was recognised that the capacity of teaching staff to co-ordinate this kind of interaction was crucial. The importance of emphasising the value of all language learning was underlined by the evidence from one school, which highlighted that fact that parents at the school sometimes discouraged their children from speaking their mother tongue as they believed that speaking English was more important.

77. The Committee asks the Scottish Government to report back on the best practise in language teaching from its pilot schools for the period 2012-13. In addition, the Committee asks the Scottish Government to give consideration and report back on how a more cohesive approach to including community languages could feed into any new or existing models of teaching.

THE IMPORTANCE OF LEARNING LANGUAGES

Effectiveness of the 1 + 2 initiative

78. The 1 + 2 initiative is based on the foreign language learning policy of the European Union (EU). The ‘ EU’s guiding principle is that every person should be able to speak two foreign languages in addition to their mother tongue ’54 and this approach is currently being implemented in all member states apart from the UK and Ireland. A 2012 European survey of language competences across EU member states showed that the results of the 1 + 2 initiative were not yet delivering in terms of quantity or quality in most member states. This was due to a pervading perception that speaking English was sufficient. European Commission officials thought that more work was required at an EU level to make the 1 + 2 initiative more effective.55

79. In the context of the 2012 European survey, the Committee asked stakeholders if there were lessons that Scotland could learn from other countries’ experiences of the 1 + 2 model. Additionally the Committee asked whether there were any other lessons on how linguistic skills should be developed in Scotland at the start of Scotland’s 1 + 2 journey.

80. The Early Language Learning in Europe (ELLiE) project and the National Centre for Languages in Wales’s (CILT Cymru) links with Basque Country schools were highlighted as two useful resources that Scotland could learn from.56 Another suggestion was to tap more comprehensively into the community language skills of those who have come to Scotland from other countries (particularly on a cultural basis as this was seen as intrinsic to communicating for leisure and business).57 Teachers and other witnesses told the Committee that practice varied widely across schools as to the extent to which community resources were drawn on, and was dependent on a school or a teacher’s frequently limited capacity to create this connection.58

81. Other evidence advocated providing more teaching time when children start to learn a language, and to build on the experience of teaching Gaelic with the additional range of resources and funds given to it. The benefits of language learning were highlighted as well, particularly the many studies proving the benefits to brain development and the ability to learn other languages throughout life.59

82. The Minister thought that a large cultural and attitudinal shift would be a main element in the Scottish Government’s work to promote more language learning (and this would not happen in the short-term), and that the relationship between schools and parents was fundamental in this regard—

“What we are discussing will require a cultural change; it will not happen overnight but key to the change is what happens at school level…As modern language learning becomes more and more of a feature of life in primary schools, parents will become more conscious of it. As a more general response to your question about attitudes, I would like to think that they are beginning to change slightly. People are more used to hearing someone speaking another language in the street, more used to travelling and more used to the idea that the world might be a multilingual place than they were 30 years ago.” 60

83. The Committee asks the Scottish Government’s implementation group to consider and report to the Committee on how the findings of the EU 2012 survey and the lessons learned from the pilot schools can be used to assist with implementing the 1 + 2 initiative. Additionally the Committee asks the group to consider how the language skills that exist in the wider community In Scotland can be engaged to contribute to the 1 + 2 initiative.

84. The Committee asks the Scottish Government how it will promote the benefits of learning languages to both schools and the wider community to encourage the necessary cultural shift to make the 1 + 2 initiative work. In particular, the Committee calls on the Scottish Government to explain how it will promote the benefits of language learning for brain development and underline the limitations of only speaking English.

Role of languages in economic development

Background

85. The Committee heard that employers are keen to recruit Scots with good language skills, but there is a large gap between supply and demand (particularly in certain sectors orientated towards the export market such as manufacturing and engineering, science and IT).61 One such employer is IBM, which employs a number of people with proficiency in a number of different languages. IBM indicated that it had been obliged to recruit from abroad given the low availability of high level, non-English language skills in Scotland, and is addressing this issue by working with local schools to develop future talent.62

86. It was recognised in evidence that a current shortage of language skills, particularly proficiency in languages, was a barrier to trade development. In one of the conference working groups, evidence was cited from the work of the Scottish Government’s Languages Working Group that a lack of language skills can be measured as an equivalent cost to the Scottish economy over £500 million each year.63 Witnesses emphasized that jobs are being lost both overseas and in Scotland itself because Scottish citizens are not engaging sufficiently with the international agenda, or understanding the importance of learning languages in a global market. However, there was some evidence to suggest that businesses were addressing the current shortage in language skills by providing intensive training for staff, and by making connections with native English speakers in the countries to which they export.64

87. The British Council Scotland highlighted the fact that an increasing amount of business is conducted online, but the predominant language of the internet is no longer English as popular attitudes might presume. Its written evidence stated that—

“Scottish employers tend to circumvent rather than address language skill needs by exporting only to Anglophone countries or those where they can easily find English speakers. This approach is severely limiting Scotland’s economic potential…only 6% of the world’s population speak English as a first language and 75% of the world’s population don’t speak any English.”

88. The European languages most in demand by employers have regrettably largely decreased in take up by pupils, although the picture varies between independent and state schools.65 For example, German is one of the top three languages for employers, but is steadily declining in take up by students at secondary level.66 Business surveys highlight that languages geared to business in China or the Middle East, such as Arabic or Mandarin, are also currently in demand.67 The Committee also considered Urdu and Punjabi to be languages which are of increasing importance. However, current trends for which language is economically useful can change, and some witnesses cautioned against an emphasis on learning certain languages on this basis.

89. Evidence to the Committee suggested a variety of reasons why pupils were not taking up languages, such as a perception that knowledge of English would be sufficient without a need for other languages, or that other subjects were easier when it came to studying for exams.68

90. Representatives of smaller businesses stated that languages were not a main barrier to trade for them. The Federation of Small Businesses Scotland’s written evidence stated that, ‘While we broadly agree that there is an economic case for improved language skills, our evidence suggests that these are not currently priorities for most small businesses considering exporting.’ However other business representatives suggested that business needs could change and expand. It was considered that having staff with language skills was always beneficial on some level, and many employers will view those who have lived abroad as having a wider experience which is value to the workplace.

Links between educational bodies and business

91. The Committee asked stakeholders what would be the most effective means of creating greater links between educational bodies and business to support language learning in schools.

92. One suggested solution was to encourage take up of online language modules, such as the one that NUS Scotland’s ‘Scotland Goes Global’ project has developed for schools. Witnesses also promoted the idea of greater links and communications between educational bodies and businesses so that language provision is more directly aligned with business needs. For example, IBM encourages its native speakers to visit local schools to share their language skills and expertise. The Committee heard from a CBI Scotland representative who confirmed that she had found this experience inspiring during her school years.69 Based on evidence taken, the approach taken by IBM appears successful but not uniformly used or available70.

93. Business representatives fully supported the idea of businesses demonstrating the important of language skills and cultural understanding in the workplace directly to schools. One example of this was the roll out of ‘Business Champions’ in schools in all areas, but businesses stated that this would be more feasible for larger companies or schools that have the capacity to engage, and that a central mechanism would assist them.71 The Scottish Government agreed with business sector witnesses that this kind of relationship would depend heavily on the nature of the local community and local employers.

94. On the issue of connection between educational bodies and business, the Scottish Government agreed that it would need to think further about how the 1 + 2 initiative could tie in with the wider Government agenda on youth employment and skills development in the young workforce.72

95. The Committee notes the current shortage of language skills and its impact on the economy, and that there is some disparity between what languages are being learned, the levels achieved and what languages are in demand by employers. The Committee is of the view that there would be a value in developing greater networks between businesses, higher education institutes and schools. The Committee therefore asks the Scottish Government and its agencies to indicate what support it would be able to provide to promote improved cooperation between business and education providers and support the EU mobility agenda for young people; a possible example being the recently launched Modern Apprenticeship Ambassador initiative by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) in which language skills could be integral.

Which languages should be learned?

96. The Committee received many different views on which languages should be learned, which varied in accordance with economic, social and cultural trends and the viewpoints of those giving evidence. The Scottish Government’s Working Group stated that it did not wish to impose a hierarchy of what should be taught. One common view that the Committee heard repeatedly from many different sectors was that developing the skills to learn languages (which would lead to a lifetime ability to learn other languages) was more important than learning a specific language.

97. The Committee also heard from teachers, academics and others that the earlier a child learns, the more receptive and capable he or she is likely to be of learning other languages throughout a lifetime. This view was not held universally, but the majority of witnesses to this inquiry shared this view on the basis of numerous studies and practical experience of teaching in Scottish schools.

98. Several languages were considered to be easier to learn (such as Spanish and Italian) or better for gaining a job in a certain type of employment. For example, European Commission officials told the Committee that English speakers should have French or German to a good level to be an employee of the European institutions, but only 4% of employees of the European institutions were British owing to lack of language skills in the UK (and that this figure should be nearer 14% given the population).73

99. There are practical reasons why certain languages are likely to be taught in Scottish schools at present and in the near future. Currently French is the predominant language taught in Scotland as this is the language that most teachers are qualified or confident in. Schools or local authority areas can offer teaching based on resources and staff currently available. For example, an audit by one Council revealed that 25% of its primary teaching staff have a qualification at standard grade or above in French, 2% have a qualification in German and the remainder have no qualification in any other language.74

100. In summary, the majority of witnesses did not wish to advocate one particular language due to uncertainty about which languages would be most relevant in the future for employment and economic development purposes. However, witnesses did wish there to be a broad choice of languages in school beyond the usual choice of French and German and sometimes Spanish, and called for more variety. Witnesses also thought that there was a popular viewpoint that only certain languages were important and that this should be dispelled75.

101. In evidence to the Committee, the Minister agreed that there more work needed to ensure a diverse ‘palette of languages’ and more levels of language learning other than studying languages at university. In order to encourage this, the Scottish Government has recently introduced a new modern languages for work and life award which is designed for those who do not want to do a university degree qualification in languages, but do want to be fluent enough to work abroad or speak a language at work.76 The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and Education Scotland explained that SQA were taking a flexible approach towards language provision. SQA said—

“It is important to state that our modern languages for work purposes units are available at the level of SCQF level 7 advanced higher. We are interested in promoting the use of languages for work purposes units together with the baccalaureate interdisciplinary project. That could create an option for students in the senior phase who do not want to do, or cannot commit to, a national course to keep languages in an applied fashion.”77

102. Witnesses supported greater links in the school curriculum between languages and other subjects, an example being STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects where language skills would be valuable for careers. The Minister stated that—

“Probably the biggest thing that we can do to encourage people who are doing science and other subjects to combine them with a language course is to have that model in operation in schools, so that people who are doing highers in physics and chemistry do a language for life and work course in Italian or German. That might lead them to do something similar in university. That is probably where things have to begin.”78

103. The Minister also said that the Scottish Government’s new modern languages for work and life award might assist—

“People might take those courses (the new modern languages for work and life award) in third or fifth year, and they can certainly combine them with highers that have nothing to do with languages or literature. I would like to see that kind of flexibility introduced to our system in schools and universities.”79

Importance of grammar

104. A representative of the National Union of Students Scotland (who is a modern languages and linguistics university student) made the point that it is very important to have knowledge of grammar and language structure as a base for learning other languages. She pointed out that her generation of students found it very hard to acquire languages as they were not taught grammar at school.80 It was suggested at one of the Committee’s school visits that Latin could be used to explain structure (as was being piloted at a school in Fife).81 In response, the Minister observed that grammar skills were being taught in a more detailed way than was the case 10-15 years ago, and that understanding of grammar was increasing in primary schools.82

Additional support needs (ASN)

105. Concerns were expressed that students with additional support needs (ASN) have not been sufficiently considered for the 1 + 2 initiative, and that an equality impact assessment was required.83

106. The Committee asked stakeholders what would be the best approach to ensure students with ASN are sufficiently supported in the 1 + 2 initiative. Several solutions were offered, including more use of interactive media and new technology, and the need to learn from best practice examples such as the pilot project at Langlands school in Forfar, or using teachers from other countries who have the skills. It was also thought that learning language could help children with ASN, and that it was not the case that children with ASN cannot cope with learning languages. Witnesses also said that there was a need to be inclusive in the curriculum, and address the needs of each pupil individually, rather than initiate a programme at national level.84

Sign languages

107. Evidence to the Committee raised concerns that sign language - and specifically British sign language (BSL) - had not been fully considered in the context of the 1 + 2 initiative, for example it was not clear whether BSL would be counted as a language. BSL users have no accredited courses or recognised qualification under the Curriculum for Excellence. Margaret Kinsman of Dingwall Academy explained that Spanish sign language students had worked with deaf and hearing pupils at her school so that these children could acquire qualifications in Spanish and English but not in BSL.85 Written evidence from Rachel O’Neill of the University of Edinburgh highlighted that deaf children rarely got the chance to be bilingual and that the 1 + 2 initiative might offered a greater opportunity for this to happen. The Minister responded that he was sympathetic to the view that BSL is a language, and that he intended to look at whether BSL counts in the 1 + 2 initiative with the Scottish Qualifications Authority.86

108. On the issue of which language should be learned, the Committee concludes that teaching a broad variety of languages in Scotland is important to allow for the changing needs of students, and also to reflect any future changes in Scotland’s cultural or economic needs. Furthermore, the Committee considers that acquiring the skills to be able to learn languages is as important as which language is learned.

109. The Committee also believes that it is important that the levels to which a language can be learned are responsive to the learner’s needs, and also to the wider need for proficiency in languages from employers.

110. The Committee fully supports the call for greater links in the school curriculum between languages and other subjects, such as STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), recognises the Scottish Government’s actions in this area and asks the Scottish Government how it intends to develop this work in association with educational institutions.

111. The Committee is of the view that given the variety of ASN (additional support needs); the best approach would be to promote greater awareness and sharing of best practice and material - as opposed to a national level programme. The Committee calls on the Scottish Government to propose how the 1 + 2 initiative can take into account children with ASN, and calls for implementation of the initiative to ensure that children with ASN are adequately provided for.

112. The Committee welcomed the Minister’s agreement to look further into the issues of sign language and how it could be considered as a language as part of the 1+2 initiative. The Committee calls for British sign language (BSL) to be given parity with other languages covered under the 1+2 initiative. The Committee asks the Scottish Government to report to the Committee once a decision has been made on this issue, and calls for implementation of the initiative to ensure that children who wish to study BSL as a language are adequately provided for.

POLICY AND DEVELOPMENT

Overview

113. Concerns were raised in formal evidence and at the Committee’s conference about the degree of autonomy that local authorities have in relation to language policy, which has led to considerable variation in delivery and learning materials. Dr Dan Tierney described the potential incompatibility where adjoining local authorities choose to teach different languages or had different policies in their areas (as a result of their autonomy over their local strategies).87 The Scottish Parent Teacher Council said—

‘there is inconsistency not only between local authorities, but between the schools in one local authority area. However, dealing with that is not necessarily about resources; it can be about the championing of language teaching in a school or authority, and sometimes it is a matter of teaching methodologies and the work in the classroom.’88

114. The National Parent Forum of Scotland said, ‘Even within authorities, spectacular things will be going on in one primary school but will be non-existent in another. The difficulty is ensuring that these things happen across the board’.89

115. This raised the question of whether a national or local approach would be best to ensure consistency and equality of provision across all local authorities. Stakeholders at the Committee’s conference discussed this issue, and noted that there is such varied practice in how languages are taught across Scotland and such diversity in the capacity of local authorities, that there needed to be some national direction (although it was also recognised that delivery should be local as local authorities are best placed to know local needs).90 The Association of Directors of Education in Scotland said that the “[national] implementation strategy must provide a clear indication of the various ways stages – the small stages that will become slightly bigger steps – and create an infrastructure that support the ambition’. 91

116. Teachers unions advocated that there should be some agreement on what the first language taught would be nationally —

“…equality of provision but … not uniformity of provision, which is perhaps a mistake that we have made in the past. We need some commonality if we are going to manage properly the transition for the first foreign language, although there can be diversity in what is available locally and what people can aspire to with the second foreign language.”92

117. Evidence from witnesses and from the Committee’s conference highlighted the fact that currently some stakeholders were not clear on what objectives the Scottish Government wanted to achieve with its strategy. The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) questioned whether it was about “linguistic competence or … having fluent expert speakers”.93 Stakeholders at the Committee’s conference sought clarity on whether the Scottish Government wanted entirely bilingual children, cultural awareness and diversity, or to create job opportunities.94 Academics said that countries elsewhere in the EU using the 1 + 2 model often have a continuity with the English language as the first foreign language from nursery to university level, and therefore ‘we are in a different situation from the rest of Europe and it is important that we identify our own objectives’.95 They also highlighted that “most European countries tend to have clear targets, or at least measures of attainment, with their programmes … often linked to the common European framework of reference. Therefore, there is an international equivalence in what is being looked for”.96

118. The Committee asks the Scottish Government’s implementation group to address the disparity of language learning provision across local authorities, and how best to provide a national approach to language teaching which would still allow for local flexibility and delivery. The Committee calls for a cultural change in local authority provision of language teaching to ensure greater articulation between primary and secondary schools.

119. The Committee asks the Scottish Government to report to the Committee on how it will provide clarity on the objectives, timescales and targets of the 1 + 2 initiative. This should cover how it will disseminate information to key stakeholders In addition, the Committee asks that the implementation group is cognisant of any European Union policy coordination in relation to Education and Training 2020.97

Capacity

120. Witnesses expressed specific concerns about capacity in the current educations system to deliver the 1 + 2 initiative, namely that there is not enough attention given to succession from primary school language learning to secondary school learning, most secondary teachers are only qualified in one language, and language departments in secondary schools are currently struggling due to budget constraints.98

121. Another issue identified by witnesses was the movement of teachers and pupils between schools or different local authorities, which could result in a lack of continuity for the pupil.99 It was also recognised that similar problems sometimes arise when a teacher leaves, retires or goes on maternity leave. Witnesses emphasized the impact that these changes could have, particularly on small schools with fewer teachers.

122. As one solution to these capacity problems, witnesses highlighted the significant resources that could potentially be tapped into in order to develop more joint working. Academics saw substantial potential in bringing universities as a partner into the 1 + 2 initiative, and also utilising university students who were learning languages or international students by asking them to volunteer in school language classes. The British Council Scotland highlighted their Connecting Classrooms scheme which facilitates “links with partner schools from different countries, introducing aspects of the reciprocal culture into the existing curricula of the schools as well as developing an understanding of the different educational systems across the globe.”100 Similarly cultural institutions in Scotland and the UK had various schemes and funds that could be tapped and more widely known about.101 However, whilst witnesses were enthusiastic about the potential of these schemes, the EIS cautioned that there could be barriers to schools taking up initiatives such as Connecting Classrooms as ‘the take-up depends on the initiative of a particular head teacher or individual’.102

123. The Committee heard at its school visits and in formal evidence that teachers and teachers unions were concerned about fitting extra language teaching into an increasingly full curriculum, and whether existing elements would have to be removed or compressed to make space.103 The EIS described a survey by SCILT in 2012 that had identified the issue of space in the curriculum as the main concern for teachers regardless of whether the funds and teachers were in place.104 The City of Edinburgh Council stated that Primary 7, in particular, would pose a problem in allocating time because the “curriculum was very busy and there are a lot of transition activities”.105

124. In terms of solutions to this issue of capacity, Lochyside Primary School in Fort William said that ‘the best way to accommodate extra language study is through Curriculum for Excellence, where language work can be easily integrated with cross curricular activities.’ The school demonstrated this through its ‘Wee Big Books Project’ where the pupils designed books in French, Scots and Gaelic with the school’s art department.106 In a school visit to Kilmaurs Primary School, the Committee saw children doing Physical Education combined with French.107 Some witnesses thought language learning could be immersed into existing teaching to increase language learning time at school, however it would require teachers to be more confident and have higher language and pedagogical qualifications than at present, and became more difficult at Primaries 6 and 7 due to the more intense curriculum requirements at that stage.108

125. The City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) thought that having a dedicated languages official to co-ordinate and lead on modern languages for a local authority was very beneficial as they could, for example, promote Comenius funding (in CEC’s case, to run a joint project with Spanish schools).109

126. Stakeholders at the Committee’s conference were asked for further suggestions as to how the 1 + 2 initiative could be accommodated in the existing curriculum. They suggested greater use of IT, and a collective hub approach “so we don’t have 32 different approaches”. They also said that training primary teachers to provide daily contact with languages can also improve pupils’ first language. Stakeholders also suggested that a common curriculum across an area cluster would help deliver the policy, and that primary schools should work in collaboration with high schools in their cluster. 110

127. The Scottish Government recognised the challenges for schools in terms of their capacity to deliver the 1 + 2 initiative, and highlighted the need for local authorities to establish an accurate picture of their existing provision and plan ahead.111 Evidence from stakeholders was consistent with this, with a need being recognised for local authorities to develop a strategy which took into account all the resources across the locality as a whole.112 The Minister acknowledged that “teachers are very busy people” and recognised the scale of training, work and planning that would be required. He highlighted the flexibility of the curriculum for excellence to accommodate cross-curricular working and said “the approach is only possible if we allow teachers discretion”.113

128. The Committee recognises that building capacity among teachers to deliver language learning is crucial to the success of the 1 + 2 initiative. It is clear that there needs to be a long-term strategy to deliver the step change in language learning which the 1 + 2 initiative aspires to. The Committee therefore calls on the Scottish Government to consider how resources can be developed and mobilised in a creative way in the short-term to make the best progress possible with the 1 + 2 initiative, for example, by greater use of universities and cultural institutions as working partners, more joint working in hubs/clusters, language assistants from various sources and effective IT resources.

Continuity in language teaching between primary and secondary schools

129. There were widespread concerns expressed in evidence to the Committee that children making the transition from primary to secondary schools might have difficulty in continuing in the languages they had learned in primary school, causing frustrations for children, parents, teaching staff and local authorities.

130. Research carried out by SCILT stated that only a third of primary schools currently have a transition plan for languages with their secondary school. Witnesses highlighted further continuity concerns relating to teacher movement between schools, and said that much closer liaison is required between primary and secondary schools to ensure greater consistency in relation to which languages are taught and at what level.114 As an example of this issue, Dumfries and Galloway Council described how it is currently able to deliver only one language - French - in primary schools because German is no longer available at secondary 1 level, and so continuity of language is no longer possible—

“The language that is largely taught in Dumfries and Galloway schools is French. There are also four schools that teach German, but we heard just this week that the secondary school is no longer going to offer German in S1. As a result, the ideal scenario of pupils continuing to learn the language from primary school through to the end of their broad general education will not happen. The decision has come down to two headteachers, one of whom will not change the provision while the other does not want to offer the language. We are going to come up against that sort of thing, but those headteachers will have to resolve the situation themselves. I do not really think that we can insist on anything.”115

131. Teachers at Donibristle Primary School highlighted the considerable variation in levels of language skills amongst the pupils in the primary schools in their cluster that feed into the local secondary school; they found it frustrating that pupils with more advanced knowledge from Donibristle could be held back by those from other schools with lesser abilities. The local secondary school had an arrangement to allow a specialist languages secondary teacher to work with Donibristle pupils, which all found helpful in terms of continuity from primary to secondary school.116

132. As noted above in relation to the language initiative’s development as a whole, the Committee discussed with stakeholders whether language policy should be managed on a more central level. This might resolve issues such as variation in delivery and learning materials, and continuity in language teaching between primary and secondary schools. Witnesses reiterated again that there should be a national strategy, in this case to improve the continuity issues and provide strong guidance (whilst still managing continuity at local level).117 Greater resource sharing and using hubs and clusters of schools were advocated once again; the recently launched hubs for literacy teaching being promoted as a good practice example118.

133. The Minister agreed that continuity between primary and secondary was fundamental and said ‘that the Government and local government must work together to ensure that it is solved in the coming years’.119

134. The Committee acknowledges the scale of the issue of continuity, and asks the Scottish Government to report back on the implementation group’s progress in this area as the issue is so essential to making the 1 + 2 initiative work effectively. The Committee calls for greater articulation between primary and secondary schools, and asks that local authorities ensure that students are able to continue studying at least one language continuously through primary school and secondary school.

Annexe A - Extracts of Minutes of the European and External Relations Committee

12th Meeting (2012) Session 4, 20 September 2012

2. Decision on taking business in private: The Committee agreed to take item 7 in private.

7. Work programme (in private): The Committee considered its work programme and agreed to the actions on the work programme with the exception of one item upon which Helen Eadie, Hanzala Malik and Jamie McGrigor dissented.

14th Meeting (2012) Session 4, 1 November 2012

1. Decision on taking business in private: The Committee agreed to take items 5, 6 and 7 in private.

5. Foreign language learning in primary schools (in private): The Committee agreed its approach to Phase 1 of the inquiry.

17th Meeting (2012) Session 4, 13th December 2012

1. Decision on taking business in private: The Committee agreed to take item 5 in private.

5. Foreign language learning in primary schools (in private): The Committee agreed its approach to phase 2 of its inquiry.

1st Meeting, 2013 (Session 4), 10th January 2013

Foreign language learning in primary schools: The Committee took evidence from—

Simon Macaulay, Chair, and Gillian Campbell-Thow, Cultural Organisations and Local Authority Advisers representative, Scottish Government Languages Working Group;

John Bissett, Senior Policy Officer, Languages Team, and Tim Simons, Head of Curriculum Unit, Scottish Government.

Foreign language learning in primary schools: The Committee noted a report of the launch of the inquiry.

2nd Meeting, 2013 (Session 4), Thursday 24 January 2013

Foreign language learning in primary schools: The Committee took evidence from—

Dr Judith McClure, Convener, Scotland China Education Network (SCEN);

Professor Antonella Sorace, Professor of Developmental Linguistics, University of Edinburgh;

Mr Brian Templeton, Reader in Pedagogy Policy and Practice, University of Glasgow;

Dr Dan Tierney, Reader in Language Learning, Strathclyde University.

3rd Meeting, 2013 (Session 4), Thursday 7 February 2013

Foreign language learning in primary schools: The Convener and Clare Adamson reported to the Committee on their recent visit to St Elizabeth's Primary School, Hamilton.

Foreign language learning in primary schools: The Committee took evidence from—

Lloyd Anderson, Director, British Council Scotland;

Luca Tomasi, Policy Officer, Directorate-General for Education and Culture, European Commission;

Angeliki Petrits, Language Officer, Directorate-General for Translation, European Commission Representation UK;

Frances Christensen, General Manager, Confucius Institute for Scotland.

4th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4), Thursday 21 February 2013

Foreign language learning in primary schools: The Committee took evidence from—

Tom Hamilton, Director of Education and Professional Learning, and Tony Finn, Chief Executive, General Teaching Council for Scotland;

Richard Tallaron, Director, Le Francais en Ecosse;

Iain Ellis, Chair, National Parent Forum Scotland;

Jeanna Brady, Convener, Scottish Parent Teacher Council;

and then from—

Neil Logue, Representative, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES);

Ann Robertson, Modern Languages Development Officer, City of Edinburgh Council;

Robert Nicol, Chief Officer, and Councillor Douglas Chapman, Spokesperson for Education, Children and Young People, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (CoSLA);

Janice Byers, Curriculum for Excellence Support Officer, Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Foreign language learning in primary schools: Roderick Campbell reported to the Committee on his recent visits to Balmerino and Leuchars primary schools.

5th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4), Thursday 7 March 2013

Foreign language learning in primary schools: The Committee took evidence from—

Hugh Donnelly, Member of the Education Committee, Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS);

Gillian Purves, National Executive Member, Association of Heads and Deputes Scotland (AHDS);

Linda Gray, National Executive Member, National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Reachers (NASUWT (Scotland));

Sarah Breslin, Director, Scotland's National Centre for Languages (SCILT);

Fiona Pate, HM Inspector of Education, Education Scotland;

Jim McDonald, Qualifications Manager, Modern Languages, Scottish Qualifications Authority.

6th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4), Thursday 21 March 2013

Foreign language learning in primary schools: The Committee took evidence from—

Lauren Paterson, Senior Policy Executive, Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Scotland;

Rebecca Trengove, Head of Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Axeon;

Robin Parker, President, National Union of Students (NUS) Scotland.

Foreign language learning in primary schools: The Convener, Clare Adamson, Willie Coffey and Jamie McGrigor will report to the committee on their respective school visits.

7th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4), Thursday 18 April 2013

1. Decision on taking business in private: The Committee agreed to take item 6 in private.

Foreign language learning in primary schools: Helen Eadie reported to the committee on her recent school visit.

Foreign language learning in primary schools: The Committee took evidence from—

Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland's Languages, Tim Simons, Head of Curriculum Unit, and Sue Langlands, Head of Languages Team, Curriculum Unit, Scottish Government.

6. Foreign language learning in primary schools (in private): The Committee considered a summary of evidence to its inquiry.

10th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4), Thursday 30 May 2013

1. Decision on taking business in private: The Committee agreed to take items 4 and 5 in private and to take consideration of draft reports on its inquiry into foreign language learning in primary schools in private at future meetings.

5. Inquiry into foreign language learning in primary schools (in private): The Committee considered a draft report.

11th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4), Thursday 13 June 2013

Foreign language learning in primary schools (in private): The Committee considered and agreed a revised draft report subject to further amendment.

Annexe B - Oral and associated written evidence

1st Meeting, 2013 (Session 4), 10th January 2013

Oral evidence

Supplementary written evidence

Submission from Simon Macaulay, Convener, Scottish Government Working Group on Languages

You will recall that at the conclusion of my presentation to the European & External Affairs Committee on 10 January, the Convener invited me to contact the Committee following a meeting scheduled to take place with GTCS on 16 January to discuss the 1 + 2 languages policy.

I write now to confirm that Sarah Breslin of SCILT and I met yesterday with three members of the GTCS Education Committee along with the GTCS Director of Education and Professional Learning to discuss the contents of the 1 + 2 languages Report and possible implications for GTCS. Sarah & I presented the background to the work of the 1 + 2 Working Group , the recommendations contained in the Report as well as the first stages of implementation of the Report including the initial pilots which have been put in place by Scottish Government and Education Scotland.

Subsequent discussion was detailed, constructive and highly positive. My understanding is that the Education Committee members present will now report back to the full Education Committee to allow GTCS to consider the implications for GTCS of the recommendations in the Report.

I understand that the European & External Affairs Committee has invited representatives of GTCS to attend a future meeting of the Committee to discuss the Report. This will allow the Committee to seek further clarification from GTCS on those parts of the 1 + 2 Report which are relevant to the work of GTCS. I also understand that the Committee intends at a future date to discuss the implications of the Report with Sarah Breslin.

2nd Meeting, 2013 (Session 4), Thursday 24 January 2013

Written evidence

Submission from Dr Judith McClure

1 Personal Background

I taught and did research in History and Medieval Latin at the Universities of Oxford and Liverpool for 8 years. My career in the school teaching profession spanned 34 years, for the last 22 of which I was a Headteacher. For the final 15 years I was Headteacher of St George’s School, Edinburgh, an all-through school where there was vibrant language exposure in the pre-school department, the teaching of French began in Primary 1 and that of Chinese in Primary 4. I was also very fortunate in that for all of these years my teaching and my leadership responsibilities involved communities with strong international student participation. I am currently a member of the Court of Heriot-Watt University, whose strategic plan is entitled Global thinking, worldwide influence and contains Internationalisation as a leading theme. I am a member of the Advisory Board of the Confucius Institute of the University of Edinburgh and its Ambassador for the teaching and learning of Chinese in Scottish Schools, of the Cross Party Group on China and that on Universities and Colleges. I founded the Scotland China Education Network (SCEN) in 2006 and remain its Convener: the mission of SCEN is to promote learning of Chinese and about China in Scottish schools. I have supported the Scottish Government’s work on educational leadership and on its China strategy.

2 Responses to the Committee’s Request for Views

(a) Is there enough funding for the Scottish Government’s proposal (including use of EU money)?

This proposal will inevitably require additional funding, especially in terms of training primary teachers (existing and future) in languages, in planning and co-ordination, and potentially in the employment of new staff. It is worth noting that the teaching of Chinese is supported by the Confucius Institute for Scottish Schools (CISS) and its network of Hubs, which receive funding and visiting teachers from China arranged by Hanban, the Office for Chinese Language International, in Beijing. The Confucius Institute at the University of Edinburgh supports schools. The visiting teachers from China function really as language assistants, as they do not have GTCS qualifications.

The proposal is intended to be implemented over two Parliaments, to be fully operational in 2020. SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, has drawn up a plan for supporting self-evaluation and planning for improvement in local authorities; this is essential and useful, but it will produce 32 answers. Pilot projects sponsored by the Scottish Government are taking place, but it is important that we encourage all kinds of innovation from which we can learn, and which will inspire others to take part. An example is the International Students Languages Project, which I co-ordinated and was led by the University of Edinburgh. This project selects volunteer International Students at University who work in partnership with a primary or nursery class teacher to introduce their own language and culture. The class teacher leads the project but the children have the benefit of hearing a native speaker. The project was evaluated very helpfully by Education Scotland and is now moving into a second phase; details are attached. It is an example of a way in which universities and schools can work together, at low cost, in a programme of language learning that benefits pupils, teachers and university students. These sorts of projects need to be encouraged, so that more and more primary teachers are enthused to support the proposal and, ideally, to begin developing their own language skills.

(b) Do existing teachers have the skills and teaching resources available for language tuition? Are existing teachers and teaching assistants equipped to teach languages? Should there be more training and support for new and existing teachers for language teaching?

There can be no doubt that more teacher training and support is required. However, the Committee’s inspiring visit to Dalmarnock Primary School demonstrates how much can be achieved at low cost by a headteacher with clear leadership qualities, working collegially with enthusiastic teachers and making imaginative use of native language connections. While national and local planning needs to take place, linked with changes in teacher training recommended by Professor Donaldson in Teaching Scotland’s Future, it is important that Headteachers are empowered and supported in leading change in their own schools immediately. This wider engagement and the new partnerships that will be engendered are vital in securing commitment for system change.

(c) What is the capacity within the curriculum to accommodate greater language study? Can language learning be embedded in existing teaching?

The primary curriculum must be designed to accommodate language learning. It can be done and to be successful, does involve embedding language learning in existing teaching through, for instance, project work, assemblies, performances and general classroom interaction. Professor Sorace’s Bilingualism Matters provides excellent research examples and Scotland’s National Centre for Languages provides practical training.

(d) The choice of languages for teaching – which languages should be learning and why? AND

(e) The role of languages in economic development – what languages should children be learning to benefit their future careers, and to help Scotland flourish economically?

I hope you will forgive me if I reply at length to these two questions, as I think they go to the heart of the languages initiative and its immense importance. I understand entirely that our national agencies and our researchers do not wish to promote one language more than another and I accept that, as Professor Sorace will tell you, the research indicates that early learning of and even exposure to any second language promotes cognitive ability. However, I have no doubt of the importance for our pupils of learning one of the three world languages, in addition to English: Spanish or Chinese. I shall rehearse the arguments I made in response to the Scottish Government’s China Plan Consultation:

Why Scotland wants to engage with China, including Hong Kong, on educational matters

(i) Benefits for our young people

Ultimately, the aim of Curriculum for Excellence is to make our education system fit for the modern world and to improve young people’s achievements, attainment and life chances.

www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Education/Schools/curriculum/ACE

An education fit for the modern world, helping young people to understand their role as global citizens and to secure work, must include a knowledge and understanding of China, its history, culture, politics and society. It should also offer the opportunity to learn Mandarin, one of the three most frequently spoken languages in the world. China is the home of 1.3 billion people in the world’s most ancient surviving civilisation, now in the process of becoming a super power and already a top performing economy.

(ii) Benefits for developing the Scottish Economy

Scotland’s Plan for a Stronger Engagement with China already includes the objectives of encouraging greater internationalisation of Scottish companies in China (5) and of expanding connections between businesses in Scotland and China (6). There have been marked successes in these areas, encouraged by the First Minister and his Cabinet colleagues. However, the business world would agree that there is still a long way to go in encouraging a full response to the challenges and opportunities of trade and investment with China, honestly admitting that ignorance of Chinese culture, business methods and language holds companies back in understanding and managing the risks. Stephen Perry, Chairman of the 48 Group Club http://www.48groupclub.org/ and Managing Director of the London Export Corporation www.londonexportcorporation.com/ argues that China is a competitive, transitional market, with a tight hold on the forms and styles of demand; it is very open to the modern world and change, but careful to use its resources for its priority needs. He believes that the Western effort to do business is fragmented and diffuse: doing business with China successfully depends on identifying Chinese policy, its future trends and finding ways to work with that.

It is not China the market any more – it is China the global partner.

Stephen Perry, Chairman of the 48 Group Club, Doing Business with China, Confucius Institute for Business, London, 8 November 2011.

There can be do doubt that Scottish efforts to understand the core drivers of China’s policy and business methods need to be underpinned by a workforce with a better education in Chinese and about China, some of whom have specialist knowledge and understanding of the country and skills in the language. The contribution of learning about China in Modern Studies must not be underestimated. This is another area for the collaboration of universities, colleges, schools and businesses, evidenced for instance by Scotland in Conversation with China, the Autumn 2012 programme planned by the University of Strathclyde and SCEN.

(iii) Benefits for the Scottish educational system

Scotland has responded constructively to China’s own efforts to extend knowledge of its language and culture through the support of Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms throughout the world, and this has been strongly backed by the Education Secretary. It has been clear through these engagements, and through visits such as that of Donald Tsang, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in September 2011 and the work of Archie McGlynn, former Chief HMIe and Director of the Hong Kong Schools Self-Evaluation Network www.edb.org.hk/hkssen/ that there is a great commonality of purpose in educational reform in China, including Hong Kong, and many Western countries, including Scotland.

China has made great strides in educating its population, with Shanghai and Hong Kong as examples of innovation. The main lessons include the government’s abandonment of a system built around ‘key schools’ for a small elite and its development of a more inclusive system in which all students are expected to perform at high levels; greatly raising teacher pay and upgrading teacher standards and teacher education; reducing the emphasis on rote learning and increasing the emphasis on deep understanding, the ability to apply knowledge to solving new problems and the ability to think creatively. All of these are reflected in deep reforms to the curriculum and examinations. These changes have been accompanied by greater curricular choice for students, and more latitude for local authorities to decide on examination content, which in turn is loosening the constraints on curriculum and instruction.

Shanghai and Hong Kong: Two Distinct Examples of Education Reform in China: Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education: Lessons from PISA, OECD 2010

At the current phase of educational reform in Scotland, including not only the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence but the efforts to promote the flexible learner journey to further study and employment and the improvements in teacher education, continuing professional development and school leadership and management, there is no doubt that increased partnership with education in China, at system, local authority, university, college, school and individual teacher and pupil levels, will bring considerable advantages to the improvement of Scottish education. It will also support economic development.

I am glad to say that the new China Plan, produced in December 2012, includes new targets for the teaching and learning of Chinese in Scottish schools.

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/12/7734/1

3 Particular Issues Suggested for the Oral Evidence Session on 24 January 2013

(a) How do you think that the Scottish Government’s 1 + 2 proposal compares with other countries European or otherwise?

I can best use the example of China, where the Ministry of Education made the decision in 2001 that English should be taught in all primary schools. I have observed the swift implementation of this policy and seen it in action in Hong Kong primary schools. I have up-to-date information from Archie McGlynn.

The first language of Hong Kong pupils is Cantonese. Mr McGlynn confirms that now English is taught in all schools, irrespective of district, from Primary 1 and continues all the way to S6 for all pupils. Also in most Hong Kong schools, Mandarin is introduced early in primary and continued through secondary education. So here three languages are part of education for all pupils.

Mr McGlynn is currently completing a review of learning and teaching in a New Territories primary school. The school serves one of the original public housing estates and few, if any, children use English at home. The quality of learning is good to very good (NB he was an HMI in the days when ‘excellent’ was not a category!); even the so-called low achievers manage quite well. The written work is probably as good as any he has seen over the years in primary schools in Scotland. The teachers are all ethnic Chinese and are English Language graduates; their command of English is very good. Grammar features a lot in the work! Mr McGlynn suggests that the Committee may like to look at his website:

www.edb.org.hk/hkssen

Primary school students are invited to contribute to Mr McGlynn’s big conferences; unrehearsed presentations and discussions are shown, including pupils from a primary school located in a public housing estate, whose parents will belong to a low socio-economic group. He recommends that the Committee looks at the section SVSI, and then prepares to sit up watching the video in the section Annual Conference with EDB!

We must believe that Scotland can achieve this.

(b) What are the benefits of learning languages earlier at school? What is the right age to start acquiring languages? Is there an age when it becomes more difficult to learn languages?

Professor Sorace and Dr Sarah Breslin from Scotland’s National Centre for Languages are the best people to respond to the Committee here, together with other researchers giving evidence to it. Professor Sorace’s project Bilfam illustrates that family learning of another language as early as possible works. In my experience, exposure to other languages in pre-school education, from the ages of 3 – 5, has a great impact on children’s interest in languages and ability to communicate with native speakers. In my view early secondary is late to begin languages, because then the pupil is more self-conscious and wary of mistakes. Although I learned languages at my grammar school, my terror at saying anything aloud remains to this day!

(c) Committee members have heard about different methods being used for different ages at their recent visit to Dalmarnock Primary School, for example, speaking the language through songs and games was more appropriate for Primary 2 (rather than reading and writing exercises). They also heard that learning through culture, such as sport, made children more interested in learning. What are your thoughts on how to make learning languages interesting and relevant for children?

We do have ample support for imaginative early language learning approaches, in SCILT, Education Scotland and Bilingualism Matters, for instance.

(d) The Committee has heard concerns that children making the transition from Primary to Secondary School may have difficulty in continuing the languages they have learned in Primary School. Do you have any thoughts on how to resolve this issue?

I acknowledged this is a difficult area, especially in the light of our unwillingness to prioritise world languages. I think this approach has to be considered very carefully. If we are to continue our current approach, and I have no doubt that European languages are important and life-enhancing, then we shall have to work locally in clusters and with universities (and I would hope colleges, if they develop their language provision) to maintain continuity in language learning into secondary school. I do hope that there will be imaginative local partnerships, not necessarily organised by local authorities.

I applaud this proposal and I hope that schools will be keen to put it into effect for the benefit of our children and young people.

Supporting paper from Dr Judith McClure

1 The Aims and Relevance of the Pilot

The Languages Think Tank met at the Confucius Institute of the University of Edinburgh in the second half of 2011 to consider a pilot project aiming to enhance exposure to languages in pre-school and primary education, by providing for class teachers the support of an international student. The fundamental aim of the pilot was that the children would hear another language and that the class teacher would make use of that experience. As Professor Antonella Sorace, of the Department of Developmental Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh and Director of Bilingualism Matters, has shown, early exposure to a foreign language not only assists future language learning but also enhances cognitive ability.

The Languages Think Tank believed that this project could contribute to arousing children’s curiosity about other languages, the first step in tackling the need to improve language learning in Scotland and to respond to the Cabinet Secretary’s support of the 1 + 2 model of language learning for all pupils. This belief was reinforced as the pilot project took shape in 2012 by the Report of the National Languages Working Group, chaired by Simon Macaulay. It was always thought that the languages pilot project would have a part to play in the implementation of the Donaldson Report, Teaching Scotland’s Future, by linking universities and schools practically in improving teaching and learning and in creating more contacts between researchers, lecturers and teachers. It was hoped that it would contribute to the experience of international students by giving them an experience in the local community that would enable them to demonstrate their native language and culture and gain valuable skills in relating to teachers and pupils. The essence of the project was that it would be led in the classroom by qualified and experienced class teachers, who would be able to give lively learning experiences to their pupils and enhance their own confidence in leading early language learning. A great advantage of the pilot was that it could use the established practice of the University of Edinburgh Student Association (EUSA) and in particularly the work of its Volunteer Development Manager, Hilary Wardle. Members of the Think Tank volunteered their time, facilities, expertise and induction support selflessly and the volunteers received only their travel expenses by bus to their schools.

2 The Languages Think Tank and the Evaluation of the Pilot

The initial meetings of the Languages Think Tank in the second half of 2011 at Abden House, the Confucius Institute for Scotland at the University of Edinburgh. The concept and the parameters of the pilot were refined in discussion with the following members:

Dr Judith McClure, Convener of the Scotland China Education Network

Graham Thomson, Director of CEL and SCSSA, Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh

Professor Antonella Sorace, Bilingualism Matters, University of Edinburgh

Richard Easton, Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh

Sarah Breslin, Director of SCILT, Scotland’s Centre for Languages, University of Strathclyde and Chair of Languages Excellence Group

Simon Macaulay, Chair of Languages Working Group at the Scottish Government and Executive Committee of SCEN

Liz Gray, Quality Improvement Officer, Department of Children and Families, University of Edinburgh

David Scott, Education Officer, East Lothian Council

Peter Hogan, Headmaster, Loretto School

Johanna Holtan, Internationalisation Co-ordinator, Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA)

Hilary Wardle, Volunteer Development Manager, EUSA

Finbar Bowie, Community and Volunteering Officer, EUSA

Angela Gayton, Edinburgh Language Ambassadors, University of Edinburgh

Eduardo Lees, British Council Scotland

It was decided from the first that the project should be properly evaluated as it progressed. Bill Maxwell, CEO of Education Scotland, agreed that Fiona Pate HMIe, the national languages specialist, should carry out the evaluation and produce an Evaluative Report see separate document.

3 The Schools Participating in the Pilot

East Lothian Council

Dirleton Primary School

East Linton Primary School

Musselburgh Burgh Primary School

Pinkie St Peter’s Primary School

St Martin’s RC Primary School Tranent

Whitecraig Primary School

Macmerry Primary School

City of Edinburgh Council

Sighthill Primary School, Nursery Class

SCIS

Loretto Junior School

4 The International Students and their Selection

Hilary Wardle, Volunteer Development Manager of EUSA, developed a Volunteer Role Description for interested international students, with the role title of Nursery or Primary School Language and Culture Facilitator. The purpose of the role was to work with the Class Teacher to engage children in lively activities and to enable them to hear the Volunteer’s native language and something about its cultural context. Liz Gray, QIO at City of Edinburgh Council, drew up a more detailed role specification for discussion by the Think Tank, including the characteristics of active, engaging learning approaches.

Volunteers were told that they would need a disclosure check. In practice, East Lothian Council decided that as they would always be working with the class teacher and would have no unsupervised access, this was not necessary.

Hilary Wardle, supported by Angela Gayton, interviewed the international students who applied to take part.

Sixteen international students took part in the pilot: fifteen from the University of Edinburgh and one from Queen Margaret University. The following languages were included:

Dirleton PS, P1/2

Norwegian (with Viking project)

East Linton PS, P4/5

Malay (with Rain Forest project)

Musselburgh Burgh PS, P7a and P7b

P6

P5

P4/5

P3

P3/4

P2

Hindi (for work on India)

German

German

Greek (for work on Greece)

Mandarin

Japanese

German

Pinkie St Peter’s, P5

Gaelic

St Martin’s RC PS Tranent, P6 and P2

Korean

Whitecraig PS, P4/5/6

Gaelic

Macmerry PS, P3/4

German

Sighthill PS (Nursery Class) Edinburgh

Spanish

Loretto Junior School, P4

Mandarin

It is noteworthy that the Headteacher of Musselburgh Burgh Primary School, Karen Fleming, who welcomed so many international students, studied French and Italian at the University of Edinburgh.

Degree Subjects of International Students

Biology

Medicine (2)

MSc Ecological Economics

MSc TESOL

MSc Public Health Practuce QMU

English and Maths for Teaching

Erasmus Programme: Linguistics and Gaelic

MSc Children and Young People's Mental Health and Psychological Practice

Economics and Maths

English Literature and French

Celtic and English Literature

English Language and Literature

Spanish and History

Celtic and Archaeology

English Literature, Linguistic and Cognitive Science

The students made very interesting comments about their work. One, who worked in partnership with another student to introduce Malay in East Linton Primary School, wrote as follows:

For my undergraduate dissertation I examined the linguistic pre-inclinations of urban secondary school children within Malaysia’s multi-lingual linguistic market, and the link this had to education and economic development policies. The cultural and ideological neutrality of language was reviewed with regards to global Anglicisation and the growing economic disutility of other mother tongues.

This experience with the Edinburgh Languages Project has taught me a lot. While I am currently pursuing an MSc in Ecological Economics and will most probably continue on in that line of work, I look forward to the day that I can return to teaching children again!

Another student, who had brought his Norwegian to enhance a Viking project, has decided to embark on a teaching career as a result of his experience.

5 Induction for Teachers and International Students

Peter Hogan, Headmaster of Loretto School, generously hosted a twilight induction session for Teacher Leaders of the project, entitled Why and How? on 18 January 2012. Professor Antonella Sorace from the University of Edinburgh, Director of Bilingualism Matters, explained the research context of early language exposure and acquisition and their impact on cognitive ability – Why? Laura Stewart from Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, SCILT, introduced methods and resources for early language learning – How?

The group included not only Teacher Leaders from the schools participating in the project, but representatives of SCEN, Education Scotland, East Lothian Council, the City of Edinburgh Council, Language Ambassadors from the University of Edinburgh and Moray House School of Education. The resulting discussion was most helpful and ended with a consideration of practical issues, including the importance of teacher leadership, the acceptance that the pilot would involve difficulties as well as strengths, and the process of evaluation by Fiona Pate HMIe.

The Student Training Session took place at the Confucius Institute for Scotland at the University of Edinburgh on 13 February 2012. The same speakers for Why? and How? adapted their presentations for their student audience. The pilot was placed within the context of language developments in Scotland, in particular the 1 + 2 agenda. Professor Antonella Sorace was assisted by her colleague Martha Robinson. In addition, Angela Gayton, a doctoral student in languages at the University of Edinburgh and a Language Ambassador, spoke with Alice and Miri on their experience of supporting language learning in City of Edinburgh Primary Schools. This student participation was of great importance. A striking element of the training session was the commitment and enthusiasm of the international students, coupled with their intelligence and wide range of intellectual interests.

6 Progress of the Pilot

Schools made their own arrangements with students and the pilot took place for a four to six week period, depending on these arrangements, at the end of the Spring and the beginning of the Summer Terms 2012. The Project Co-ordinator received queries and enthusiastic emails and sent out updates. Fiona Pate HMIe conducted the evaluation and the best account of the progress of the project is hers.

At the end of their session each student received a Certificate of Participation from EUSA and the schools provided their own references and thanks. The Evaluative Report was sent to everyone and extremely well received: the students valued its commendation of their work and the honest approach to the areas in need of improvement. Similarly the EUSA Volunteer Development Manager, the Project Co-ordinator and the members of the Think Tank generally were very much encouraged and took the view that the pilot had been very worthwhile and should be taken further.

7 Next Steps

The core members of the Think Tank re-convened to consider the next stage of the project. Representatives of the following groups have given their view:

  • East Lothian Council
  • City of Edinburgh Council
  • EUSA Volunteer Development
  • The University of Edinburgh, Bilingualism Matters
  • Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT)
  • Education Scotland (through the Evaluative Report)

There was strong agreement that the project should be developed in the light of the comments in the Evaluative Report. In particular, it was thought that the need for a sustainable programme should be met by making the next stage of the project run for the whole academic session (in University terms) 2013 – 2014. Improvements would be made to the selection and training process for international students. It would be seen whether it were possible to link class teacher language learning with the classroom pilot.

Hilary Wardle, EUSA Volunteer Development Manager, said that the volunteering service is totally ready to further HMIe recommendations and also thinks that students could travel up to one hour each way by bus or train. That opens up the possibilities of Fife, West and Mid Lothian and possibly the Borders. It may be too that other universities and authorities would be interested in the pilot in their own areas: the Project Co-ordinator will pursue this.

Judith McClure is also in contact with Professor Antonella Sorace, to discuss the continued involvement of Bilingualism Matters with the project. There is also discussion of a separate but linked project to introduce the early learning of Mandarin: the Scotland China Education Network will support this.

The University of Aberdeen is interested in the project and is looking to take it forward with Aberdeen City Council.

The next meeting of the Languages Think Tank, to consider the second stage of the International Student Project for 2013-2014, will take place in February 2012.

Submission from Professor Antonella Sorace, University of Edinburgh

These comments are intended to address some issues related the Scottish Government’s 1+2 proposal. They are based on my academic expertise in the fields of bilingualism and language development, and on my public engagement experience as Director of the information service Bilingualism Matters.

Research shows that children can learn languages better when they are young. Young children don’t need language lesson: they learn best in a spontaneous way, when they hear the language spoken in natural and engaging situations, ideally by different speakers.

There is no evidence that learning another language may compromise knowledge of the native language: in fact, research on bilingualism shows that learning another language benefits the first language in terms of vocabulary, understanding of how language works, and reading abilities. Learning another language at a young age also improves the ability to learn other languages later on.

Continuity of exposure to the same language is an advantage for learning that particular language: children need to hear enough input in a language over time in order to acquire fluency in it. However, even shorter exposure to another language, or a range of languages, is beneficial in terms of the child’s awareness of the existence of other languages and the fact that language learning can be enjoyable. The latter point is particularly important in Scotland (and in the rest of the UK), because of the worldwide status of English and the consequent lack of motivation and incentives to learn other languages.

Children’s learning abilities develop over time. Young children are better at learning the spoken language implicitly, without paying attention to grammar and form. Older children become increasingly able to learn ‘about’ language in an explicit way and can therefore benefit from more formal methods. All children, however, learn best when they hear the language in enjoyable activities that motivate them to use it.

Growing up with more than one language is advantageous for the brain: it improves mental flexibility, focused attention, and awareness of other people’s perspectives. These benefits are not due to particular languages, but by having any two languages in the same brain. All languages are therefore worth learning, regardless of how widely they are spoken and whether they have social prestige. Regional minority languages, like Gaelic in Scotland, provide the opportunity for children to grow up bilingual. Bilingualism is vital for these languages in the realities of today’s world, and bilingualism can be maintained only if the languages are learned by children.

There are no ‘difficult’ languages for young children, especially in the pre-school years when there is exposure only to the spoken language. Languages like Chinese are harder to learn at an adult age, but can be learned by European children as easily as European languages.

The availability of correct information in society ensures that communities are aware of the benefits of early language learning. The better families and teachers are informed, the better they will respond to and engage with the Government’s proposal. It is essential that efforts to implement the proposal are accompanied by a wide-ranging and realistic information campaign focused on the facts and advantages of early language learning.

Submission from Dr Dan Tierney

Introduction

I support the objectives of trying to improve the status of languages and I applaud the Minister for his support for language learning. However, I have serious concerns about the Languages Working Group Committee’s Report and some of the “evidence” provided and I believe your committee is absolutely correct to probe and ensure that we get this right.

The objectives

It is unclear what we are trying to achieve here. We have the economic arguments mixed with the celebration of our diversity, our heritage languages and sign language. There is mention made of 15 languages. If the objective is linguistic competence, to be like our European competitors, then we need to go for one main language (5-16), plus one other. If the objective is to increase language awareness then we can go for the route of taster courses, an encounter with different languages. If the objective is cultural awareness then it can be any languages.

At times, immersion is mentioned and lessons drawn from research in Gaelic Medium or from the Walker Road French experiment in Aberdeen. The latter was stopped due to funding and it would be impossible to replicate Gaelic Medium Education across the entire country without major funding, therefore immersion is not relevant.

Other countries

If we look at a country like Spain, all children learn English from an early age and carry that through to High School. They are taught by primary teachers who have specialised in English at University. They can also be taught another language which may be e.g. Basque or Catalan, but again their teachers have the linguistic competence. In an English speaking country it is not so easy to identify which language the child will need in the future. Jamie McGrigor is right about “grasping the nettle”.

Existing problems

The report recognises the gaps in provision at present in P6/ P7. These can be caused by teacher absence, pressure on the curriculum etc. It also recognises the significant problems of transition from primary to secondary with a “fresh start” approach often taken. It does not mention the problem of mismatch of languages but says it will be left to local clusters. Rather than sorting out the existing situation, it suggests going down to P1. At present with Modern Languages in Primary Schools we have one of 4 languages in P6 / P7, French, German, Italian or Spanish and there are significant problems of continuity. In the new set up, Kamal might learn Spanish in Hamilton and then at P4, his mum might move to Wishaw where he attends a school where French is taught; Sonia might learn Italian in Glasgow throughout primary but her mum then chooses a placing request into East Renfrewshire where French is taught; Ms McPherson has a Higher Spanish and studies that at Aberdeen Univ. but her first school post is in a German school. You can imagine the problems when more languages come into play. Clare Adamson is right to question whether a Higher language will prepare the teacher. When it comes to concurrent degrees Chinese, Punjabi, Arabic, Russian and Portuguese are unlikely to be available.

“Younger is better”

The research evidence is split on this. Some argue that the earlier the better, but others argue that older children are more efficient learners. Obviously, a 3 year old Polish child in Scotland will quickly pick up the language, but that is completely different from learning in a classroom. Mr Macaulay says that they “looked at a considerable body of research evidence” which supports an earlier start. I was unable to find any references in the report to support this and many of the major publications e.g. Burstall, Poole, Martin, Singleton, Sharpe, Van Parreren are missing. My understanding of the research does not support a P1 start.

Embedding

This is where the class teacher drops a language naturally into the day rather than having a stand-alone lesson. This was proposed for P6 / P7 but Head teachers objected to the language teachers being “locked” in to P6/ P7, so in many cases they had to do a swap over of classes. For embedding to happen in the new model every teacher would need to be trained in a language.

Conclusion

I would love to see a result where every child in Scotland was a competent speaker by age 15. I would also be happy if they learned about our diverse language communities. I would be delighted to see an improvement in languages in Scotland. Unfortunately, this report does not provide a clear plan as to how this ambitious agenda will be delivered. This is a complex issue, we have not reached the summit of the present mountain and yet we have set ourselves a higher mountain. I am fearful that a lot of money will be spent, without achieving what the Minister rightly wishes.

Oral evidence

3rd Meeting, 2013 (Session 4), Thursday 7 February 2013

Written evidence

Submission from British Council Scotland

1. About British Council Scotland

Established in 1946 in Edinburgh, British Council Scotland’s purpose was, from the outset, to promote the best of Scottish culture and learning to the rest of the world – bringing foreign academics, students, policy-makers and artists to Scotland and taking counterparts abroad.

Ever since, British Council Scotland has enabled thousands of young people from Scotland to study and work abroad, helped schools and higher education institutions create partnerships in other countries, and supported professional development through international experience.

In addition, British Council Scotland has brought the brightest students from other countries to work, study and teach in Scotland, broadening the cultural horizons of our young people.

In a globalised marketplace, we believe that Scotland must be an outward-looking nation. Building relationships and trust between the people of Scotland and other countries helps remove barriers to overseas trade and business and so boosts Scotland’s economic prosperity.

Today, British Council Scotland is highly valued for its global reach. Through a network of offices in 110 countries, we can pull together overseas knowledge, experience, and perspectives, catalyse relationships and comment on issues affecting Scotland’s profile and standing in the world. Our overseas offices are also an invaluable source of support and assistance to visiting cultural and educational delegates from Scotland.

2. Importance of Language in Primary School

British Council Scotland believes the Committee is correct to highlight the importance of foreign languages in primary schools. Early teaching of foreign languages not only enables children to acquire linguistic skills that they will use later in their life, but also has important indirect benefits. These include120:

  • Enhanced mental flexibility
  • Enhanced problem-solving ability (including organisational skills)
  • Expanded metalinguistic ability (intercultural skills)
  • Enhanced learning capacity
  • Enhanced interpersonal ability (team-working/communication and presentation skills/perception of the perspective of others)
  • Reduced age-related mental diminishment (dementia, Alzheimer’s)

Conclusion 1: The teaching of foreign languages from an early age is essential, both for the direct knowledge it gives children and for the ability that language has to provide cultural education and lift horizons and ambitions

3. Language Rich Europe

In November 2012, ‘Language Rich Europe’, a major consortium project led by the British Council and funded by the European Commission, provided a baseline report on the provision of modern language teaching across Europe was published. The report, entitled ‘Trends in Policies and Practices for Multilingualism in Europe’, examined how different European countries approached the teaching and use of regional, minority and foreign languages and included a chapter on Scotland..

The report highlights that Scotland was an early adopter of primary foreign languages (1992). By 2005, practically all Scottish primary schools taught a foreign language. Today, all young people have an entitlement to learn at least one foreign language from the later stage of primary school, but it is not compulsory. 121 In addition, in most cases, Foreign Language teaching is limited to the final two years of primary school – 10 to 12 year olds - and has a small time allocation, There have also been recent concerns relating to teacher training and local authority support (due to funding reductions). 122

The report concluded by saying that “Although the issue of foreign language learning appears now to be creeping up the political agenda, there is clearly a need to continue to make a strong case for the social, cultural, intellectual and economic benefits to Scotland, as well as to invest in high quality training for teachers.” 123

Conclusion 2: Scotland has led the way in the teaching of foreign languages in the past and it is essential that funding and training is improved if this is to be maintained.

4. Economic Impact of Language

An ability to do business with people in their own language is a crucial skill which demonstrates an enthusiasm towards other countries’ cultures that can help create goodwill and smooth negotiations.

However, further investigation in the Language Rich Europe report found that Scottish employers tend to circumvent rather than address language skill needs by exporting only to Anglophone countries or those where they can easily find English speakers. This approach is severely limiting Scotland’s economic potential when one considers that only 6% of the world’s population speak English as a first language and 75% of the world’s population don’t speak any English. 124

One attitude might be that because an increasing amount of business is conducted online and the predominant language of the internet is English, speaking a foreign language is less important. However, while English was previously the dominant language of the internet, this is no longer the case. In 2000, English represented 51% of language usage on the internet but by 2009 this was down to 29% due to the steady growth in other European languages and in Chinese. 125

Conclusion 3: It is critical to Scotland’s economic success in the future that businesses realise the importance of language being taught from an early age. The “English is enough” attitude must be challenged if Scotland is to prosper in the future.

6. Scottish Government Initiatives

The Language Rich Europe report also commented on three areas of Scottish Government policy: the “1+2” approach, Gaelic Medium Education and the Scottish Baccalaureate in Languages.

i) “1+2” Approach

British Council Scotland welcomes the objectives of the “1+2” approach and the strong commitment from the Scottish Government to the principle that multilingualism is a good thing that can, in part, be delivered through the school system. We await with interest their plans for implementing this approach to language learning.

ii) Gaelic Teaching

The learning of Gaelic has been treated fundamentally differently in Scotland from that of foreign languages, with the setting up, from 1986 onwards, of Gaelic medium units in primary schools throughout Scotland, complemented by Gaelic-medium pre-school provision in many areas.

The most recent HM Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) report found that 2,312 children were being educated in the Gaelic medium. Most of these children do not have Gaelic as first language, while Gaelic is also offered as a second language in a number of primary schools. This focused approach, making Gaelic an early requirement for many schools, has clearly had a strong impact in preserving and promoting the language; something the Scottish Government is clearly keen on continuing given the announcement on 4 January 2013 of an additional £4m of funding. 126

iii) Scottish Baccalaureate in Languages

Although unable to examine this in detail, the Language Rich Europe report found that the Scottish Baccalaureate in Languages is an “interesting and promising initiative” [127] aimed at bridging the gap between school and university and providing skills for learning, life and work.

Conclusion 4: The approach taken to Gaelic-medium education has shown that with focus and investment, language can be taught effectively from an early age and there are early signs that the approach being taken in the “1+2” initiative will be successful as well.

5. Programmes to solve the problems

As well as being engaged in policy work through projects such as Language Rich Europe, British Council Scotland also delivers programmes that seek to have a practical impact on solving the issues identified. Two such programmes, Connecting Classrooms and Foreign Language Assistants are described below, along with testimony from those who have taken part about the benefits. We will continue these programmes in Scotland in the future and are, in fact, looking to grow the number of Scottish schools involved in both.

i) Connecting Classrooms

Connecting Classrooms is a flagship British Council programme for international work in schools. It is a three year programme (2012-2015), undertaken in partnership with Department for International Development (DFID). It builds on many years of experience with Global School Partnerships and Connecting Classrooms to be a more costs effective offer for schools, operating in over 50 countries.

We believe it is vital to engage with pupils in primary and secondary schools so that children and young people start to learn about the world around them through personal contacts with counterparts in other countries.

The Connecting Classrooms offer includes:

  • A partner-finding service through Schools Online
  • International School Award
  • Grant funding partnerships
  • Access to professional development, both online and face to face

In 2010-11, we worked with 351 schools, 19 higher education institutions (HEIs) and 22 further education institutions across Scotland.

Appendix 1 shows a case study, from Mearns High School, describing their Connecting Classrooms project undertaken with a cluster of six local primary schools, and what can be achieved.

ii) Foreign Language Assistants

Foreign Language Assistants (FLAs) – be they native speakers of French, German, Spanish, Italian or Mandarin Chinese – bring a cultural dimension to language learning that energises students and helps them attain greater fluency in their chosen foreign language.

Bringing FLAs to Scotland is a reciprocal arrangement that allows the British Council to send English Language Assistants (ELAs) from Scottish universities to schools in other countries.

British Council Scotland manages the FLA programme with a grant from the Scottish Government. In 2012-2013, 70 FLAs will work in Scottish schools – an increase of 20% on the previous year. Meanwhile, a total of 365 Scottish ELAs are teaching in other countries this academic year.

iii) Comenius Assistants

Comenius, part of the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme, brings together schools, colleges and local education authorities across Europe and enables pupils and staff to travel and experience life within schools in different countries through the four different strands, School Partnerships, Regio Partnerships, In-service training and Assistants.

Since 2009, Comenius partnerships have created links between Scotland and 25 different European countries ranging, from Norway and Turkey to Portugal and Lithuania.

In 2010–11, a total of 72 Scottish schools and further education institutions took part in Comenius. Scotland welcomed six Comenius assistants, while 52 assistants from Scotland travelled to other European countries. 144 participants from Scotland also received funding for in-service training.

Conclusions

  • The teaching of foreign languages from an early age is essential, both for the direct knowledge it gives children and for the ability language has to raise inter-cultural awareness and lift horizons and ambitions
  • Scotland has led the way in the teaching of foreign languages in the past and it is essential that funding and training is improved if this is to be maintained
  • It is critical to Scotland’s economic success in the future that businesses realise the importance of languages being taught from an early age. The “English is enough” attitude must be challenged if Scotland is to prosper in the future.
  • The approach taken to Gaelic-medium education has shown that with focus and investment, language can be taught effectively from an early age. There are early signs that the approach being taken in the “1+2” initiative will be successful as well.

British Council Scotland would be pleased to provide more detail by way or oral evidence to the Committee.

Appendix 1 – Case Studies

Connecting Classrooms – Mearns and Surrounding Primary Schools

Over the past three years, Mearns Castle High School, along with their six Cluster Primary Schools - Mearns Primary, Hazeldene Nursery, Eaglesham Primary, Kirkhill Primary and Calderwood Lodge Primary - have been involved in the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms project. The broad aims of the project have been to forge links with partner schools from different countries, introducing aspects of the reciprocal culture into the existing curricula of the schools as well as developing an understanding of the different educational systems across the globe. Mearns Castle High School found all this to be stimulating, but also realised the huge potential in further strengthening links within their own cluster of primary schools.

In 2009, Mearns Castle and its feeder primaries were awarded £6,000 funding over three years as part of the Connecting Classrooms initiative; to create a link between the Scottish schools and seven counterpart schools in Delhi, India. One of the head teachers from the Indian schools came over for an initial visit and while he was over we held a ‘Scottish Highland Commonwealth Games’ where we invited all of the pupils from the primary schools to come to our school and collaborate in putting on a ‘Commonwealth Games’ to celebrate the Games being held in India and coming to Scotland the next time.

Following this, seven of our members of staff went over to India for 8 days to find out more about the partner schools and they got a really good feel for the culture of India and Delhi in particular. One of the key things we did was to produce an Indian-Scottish recipe book. We got the pupils in the Indian schools to write down their favourite recipes and combined these with recipes put forward by our own pupils. We had this designed, published and sold over 500 copies as part of our fundraising efforts.

It was through such initiatives that the Connecting Classroom teachers really began to collaborate as a team. The Mearns Castle Cluster was already a positive and energetic group of schools, but the Connecting Classrooms projects brought about a new dynamic and ethos to the team. When we hosted the eight Head Teachers from Delhi, the conversations between all parties was based upon a willingness to find out about each other’s cultures and educational systems. As a cluster, we began to further discuss collaborative ideas and further ways to keep the partnerships alive when the British Council funding ends. Indeed, the next event we are hosting as a cluster is an Indian themed sports day.

As the official three years of funding comes to an end, it is clear that we would like to continue to work with our partner schools in India and are currently investigation possible grants to support this. But as a cluster, focusing on international partnerships, the possibilities are endless in terms of what can be achieved. Links between all the schools in our cluster have undoubtedly been further strengthened by the project, with both teachers and pupils developing not only an greater understanding of Indian culture, but also raising awareness of the great work that goes on within each of our schools.


Case Study – Foreign Language Assistance

Zeng Miqun taught Mandarin Chinese at Our Lady’s High School, Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire. She and her students built a ‘Great Wall’ showcasing Chinese culture and pupils’ work.

The Chinese ‘Great Wall’ project enhanced pupils language skills and raised their awareness of Chinese culture. The display of pupils’ work helped them build their confidence and creativity in learning.”

“The Chinese class is great fun. We learnt a lot ‐ not just language but also about the culture. I liked trying some tai chi.” - S6 pupil


Comenius Case Study – Pentland Primary School, Edinburgh

Hosting their first Comenius Assistant prepared Pentland Primary School pupils in Edinburgh, Scotland for true international citizenship, not only through their proficiency at mastering another language but also in their confidence and international outlook.

Guillem Montero from Majorca, Spain spent six months as a Comenius Assistant at the school introducing Spanish language and culture and raising awareness of European issues. He was also instrumental in supporting the first year of their Multilateral Comenius School Partnership. He brought a ‘real life’ dimension to the multilateral Comenius project for pupils, parents and teachers and added authenticity in communication between Pentland and its partner school in Spain.

Guillem was involved in all school activities and took the lead role in the Mother Tongue Month activity within the school. He also coached Year 6 pupils entering the City of Edinburgh Euroquiz in February 2010. His work highlighted the global dimension in active citizenship and cultural awareness.

Rebecca Annand, Principle Teacher at Pentland Primary School said: “Through class lessons the pupils gained invaluable insight into life in Majorca and Spain. They were able to share their Spanish holiday experiences with Guillem, and he made it easy for pupils to identify the similarities and differences between life in Scotland and life in Spain. He engaged and motivated pupils to learn through using everyday experiences that they could relate to school life, holidays, hobbies, Christmas and Easter, for instance. His use of technology like YouTube really brought learning to life for the pupils. He also set up an after school class for teachers and pupils to improve their conversational skills in Spanish.”

With their Comenius Assistant’s support, staff and pupils developed their knowledge and understanding of the diversity of European cultures and languages, and the value of this diversity. It gave pupils an opportunity to build upon their basic life skills, enhance their personal development and their European citizenship. In return, the school provided Guillem with a realistic picture of Scottish education and an opportunity to become involved in language teaching, environmental issues and global citizenship. He relished the opportunity to accompany students on school outings as it gave him a better understanding of UK education outside the classroom.

Guillem described his assistantship as being a “great opportunity to get to know the local people and culture thanks to the school community. It gave me the opportunity to reflect and understand the differences between my country and theirs.”

Plans to continue the international dimension at Pentland Primary School are already in hand as the school has been awarded another Comenius Assistant this year. Marko Neumann from Germany hopes to build on the work which Guillem developed within the school but from a German perspective. The school is also beginning their second year of their Comenius School Partnership.


Oral evidence

Supplementary written evidence

Submission from the European Commission (1)

Here is the information on the European fast stream as promised at the consultation. It was organised by the FCO in the past but is not FCO specific at the moment.

http://faststream.civilservice.gov.uk/The-Fast-Streams/European-Fast-Stream/

Submission from the European Commission (2)

I inquired with my colleagues about the existence of a register of language-related actions with participants/promoters from Scotland, as requested by MSP Helen Eadie, but – as I feared – there is not this degree of detail.

What my colleagues from the Executive Agency recommend is for you to check the compendia published on their website [http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/llp/results_projects/project_compendia_en.php ]

Most projects specifically axed on languages should be found under the 'Key Activity 2 – Languages' heading, but also projects funded by Comenius, Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci and Grundtvig, as well as Key Activity 3 (ICT) could include a language aspect.

Another possibility is to check on our Eve Database [http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/eve/index_en.htm ] that can be interrogated by Member State and by year

(see for example here for multilateral projects related to the UK: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/eve/alfresco/faces/jsp/dialog/advanced-search-eve.jsp;jsessionid=HVtmRvfSF19xltChNgRfw1gLwxyHLYhBVYbG1jJ64pgy13ccTkTv!-1616610530 )

Here are two projects with at least one partner from Scotland

http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/eve/alfresco/navigate/browse/workspace/SpacesStore/951a6f0d-d460-11de-b89b-09f36ec598be?searchPage=true

http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/eve/alfresco/navigate/browse/workspace/SpacesStore/c881d14b-2b00-11e0-816d-9b9d6f52d3cf?searchPage=true

A search based on such words such as 'Edinburgh' or 'Glasgow' will provide more results.

For ideas of financial possibilities untapped by Scottish promoters, I would recommend to consult our webpage on language-related funding opportunities here http://ec.europa.eu/languages/funding/index_en.htm

4th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4), Thursday 21 February 2013

Written evidence

Submission from the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES)

Q1 Is there enough funding for the Scottish Government’s proposal?

We endorse the recommendation of the Languages Working Group that the Scottish Government should fully consider the resource issues which stakeholders will need to address in implementing the 1+2 languages policy. There is, quite clearly, insufficient funding available at this time to deliver the 35 recommendations of the report of the Languages Working Group which we note, from its response of 20 November 2012, the Government accepts either in full or in part.

We are pleased to note that the Government is providing £120,000 to fund pilot projects in the current school session in order to demonstrate ways in which Scottish schools can begin to move towards the 1+2 model of Modern languages provision. More generally, we are pleased to note the Government’s commitment, subject to Parliamentary budget approval, to provide an additional £4 million in the new financial year to support the development of local authority language plans.

ADES is pleased to note the Government’s decision to discuss with COSLA and ADES the longer term planning and resource implications of the 1+2 policy.

Q2 Do existing teachers have the skills and teaching resources available for language tuition? Are existing teachers and teaching assistants equipped to teach languages? Should there be more training and support for new and existing teachers for language teaching?

At present, only a minority of primary teachers in Scotland are equipped to deliver a Modern Languages curriculum. While undoubtedly there will be some teaching assistants who are able to support the teaching of a Modern Language, the current number of such staff across Scotland is likely to be very small.

The implications of the Donaldson Report and the work of the National Partnership Group will clearly result over time in more and better training and support for new and existing teachers. However, the unambiguous and ambitious nature of recommendations 1 and 3 of the Languages Working Group report – accepted by the Scottish Government – will require a significant expansion in language learning and in relevant support in initial and continuing teacher education provision. It is difficult to see how that expansion will be possible without a major increase in language teaching/training capacity both in university Modern Languages departments and teacher education departments.

Steps to enhance language learning capacity across the Scottish education community will require extensive dialogue and planning, involving, as principal stakeholders, Scottish Government, local Government and the university sector. Arrangements to extend and strengthen initial and continuing teacher education in respect of Modern Languages will need to ensure that aspiring primary teachers and secondary teachers are equipped not simply with the linguistic skills but also with the range of pedagogical skills required to provide pupils with high quality and engaging language learning experiences.

Q3 What is the capacity within the curriculum to accommodate greater language study? Can language learning be embedded in existing teaching?

The school curriculum is, of necessity, always ‘work in progress’. It can never be absolutely fixed and, self-evidently, has to evolve to take account of educational and societal changes. The curriculum in Scottish schools has always had to adapt to take account of major innovations, for example, the introduction in the 1980s of Modern Languages in primary schools and the adoption of Information and Communications Technology as a subject in its own right. Aside from Religious and Moral Education, Physical Education is the only area of the curriculum that can, as a matter of right, command a prescribed allocation of time in the school week. One of the advantages of Curriculum for Excellence is the autonomy provided to individual Head Teachers to organise and resource – including through the timetable – the curriculum in ways which best meet the needs and circumstances of individual schools. There is, therefore, undoubtedly an ability to accommodate greater language study in the curriculum of Scottish schools including the introduction of a modern foreign language from P1. Whatever the challenges, it should be noted that such an approach has successfully been put in place in other European education systems. There is, in principle, no reason why the Scottish system cannot respond positively to this proposal. In terms of embedding language learning in existing teaching, there is no shortage of examples across the country of confident teachers effectively integrating elements of a foreign language in other curriculum areas, for example, by providing instructions in Physical Education or by carrying out specific activities such as mental mathematics. There is also a very small number of mainly secondary schools which have adopted a full ‘immersion’ approach in which a particular aspect of the curriculum may be taught exclusively through the medium of another language. The adoption of a full immersion or CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) approach demands, however, a high level of linguistic skill on the part of the teacher. The systematic use of such an approach would require a major commitment to dedicated training and support in initial teacher education and in continuing professional learning provision for existing teachers.

Q4 The choice of languages for teaching – which languages should children be learning and why?

The ambition of the 1+2 approach to learning Modern Languages is, first and foremost, to provide young people in Scotland with a better and richer experience of learning languages. Specific decisions about which languages should be taught need to take account of the context and capacity of individual authorities and schools. Decisions about the languages to be taught will clearly reflect the language qualifications of teaching staff. While the rationale for providing opportunities to learn the languages of emerging or already strong economies is well understood, the absence of graduates, for example, in Portuguese or Mandarin will, for some time, make it difficult to introduce those languages into the school curriculum. If it is expected that national and local language learning strategies take account of key economic considerations, arrangements to introduce into the curriculum the languages of strong economic trading partners will have to result from careful plans rolled out over time. Universities would clearly be key players in preparing and resourcing such a fundamental change. Until a systematic approach is put in place to establish in Scotland more diversified language training/teaching capacity, schools will continue to draw on extant foreign language expertise principally in French, Spanish, German and possibly Italian. In this context, it is worth noting that previous societal expectations in the 1960s/70s about expanding language teaching expertise in Russian resulted in a flurry of conversion training activity targeted at, in the main, then teachers of Latin and Greek. In taking forward the Scottish Government’s ambitious commitment to boost language learning in Scotland and its welcome promotion of a 1+2 model, the disappearance of not just Latin and Greek but also Russian from Scottish schools should give key decision-makers and the Scottish education community pause for thought about the absolute importance of ensuring that sustainability will be a key principle in drafting the various action/implementation plans now required to support the implementation of the agreed recommendations of the Languages Working Group.

Opportunities for children and young people to learn a language will, for the moment, be dictated by the language teaching expertise already present within the system. This realistic perspective was acknowledged by the Languages Working Group whose report notes that “continuing to engage with our nearest neighbours in Europe will remain a priority for young people in Scotland” and that, therefore, “learning French, German, Italian, and Spanish will continue to have an important place.” It is, however, worth noting in this regard that French still dominates language learning and teaching in Scottish schools. It is also worth noting that across Scotland there is a significant number of teachers qualified in only one foreign language, often French.

The need for language teaching in secondary schools to be appropriately diversified is almost unarguable in the context of the Government’s overall ambitions to enhance language learning and foreign language competence. The Languages Working Group has also noted the strong economic case to be made for other languages such as Portuguese (with a principal focus on Brazil), Arabic and Russian as well as other Eastern European languages including Slavonic languages. The utilitarian rationale for learning the languages of emerging or already strong economies is self-evident. However, as has been argued above, unless radical and well planned steps are taken to develop Scotland’s language teaching capacity and expertise, the ambition to provide opportunities, here and now, to learn languages beyond the restricted range of languages currently available in the Scottish education system is not wholly realistic.

From a purely curricular perspective, the choice of foreign languages available to pupils is less important than the commitment to provide pupils with high quality language learning opportunities and to nurture in them the language learning skills that can equip learners to take up with confidence the learning of a foreign language during and beyond their school career, as and when personal or professional circumstances demand. The 1+2 model for learning languages envisaged by the Government will be better served, in the first instance, by schools becoming more successful in instilling in young people a respect for language ‘per se’ and a growing understanding of the value and benefits which derive from the confidence and the ability to ‘tackle’ a new language and converse thereafter with foreign nationals in their mother tongue.

Q5 The role of languages in economic development – what languages should children be learning to benefit their future careers and to help Scotland flourish economically?

The report of the Languages Working Group points up foreign language competence as a potentially important employability skill. Given the observations offered in the previous response, young people are likely to benefit more from opportunities to acquire the confidence, the willingness and the practical skills needed to learn languages. The actual choice of languages in a school context is not hugely important. However, the utilitarian focus on the value of language skills for marketing, commerce or exporting purposes is perfectly understandable in an ever global and an ever more competitive economic world. Against that backdrop, it will be increasingly important – for post-school providers of vocational learning and vocational education opportunities – to offer students practical modern language learning and training opportunities. Commitments along these lines will crucially depend upon the capacity not only of universities but also of further education colleges. The national implementation strategy being developed around the 1+2 approach will almost certainly require to indicate how the decline of language learning opportunities in universities can be arrested and how, in the case of further education colleges, language learning can be resurrected. Given the new ambitions for foreign language provision across the Scottish educational landscape, it is ironic that language teaching/learning in the further education sector is currently almost extinct.

Written evidence from the City of Edinburgh Council

Summary

Local Context

  • A strong commitment by City of Edinburgh (CEC) to Modern Languages (ML) development and the implementation of the 1+2 national policy
  • Delivery of P6/P6 Modern Languages is embedded across CEC schools with an increasing number of schools and cluster groups starting earlier
  • ML until the end of the broad, general education in S3 will be in place in all secondary schools from 2013/2014.
  • Recommendation 16 is cited in the CEC ML policy to encourage schools to develop curricular models which promote accreditation opportunities for all learners.
  • Modern Languages in the Primary School (MLPS) courses have been completely redeveloped in the last three years to reflect the principles and best practice of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE). In 2012-13 they are being delivered in French, German.
  • Spanish MLPS was delivered during sessions 2010 – 2012 and 2011 – 2012.
  • Italian MLPS is to be developed and offered in 2013/2014.
  • Mandarin MLPS course is being delivered from February 2013. 18 teachers are registered on the course.
  • There has been a marked growth in the number of taster and options to pick up L3 (Language 3), L4 (Language 4) and L5 (Language 5) in the secondary sector
  • Extensive support in place for the development of CfE, assessment, reporting, moderation and the new National Qualifications
  • Mandarin Hub Confucius Classroom opening in Leith Academy in February 2013
  • Creation of a permanent CEC Mandarin teaching post.
  • Commitment to the development of Gaelic including maintenance of a permanent Gaelic Development Officer post and the opening of a new Gaelic medium primary in August 2013

Committee Questions – Summary of CEC responses

  • More clarification and longer term commitment required over funding post 2013/2014
  • 22 out of 35 recommendations apply directly to Local Authorities (LAs) and schools. There are large staff development implications and this will prove challenging with the allocated Scottish Government budget and timescale.
  • Variation in provision and support for ML across LAs suggests the need for inter-authority working with appointed lead to coordinate policy and operation across partner LAs. Could potentially lead to a national network which will help achieve a degree of consistency in support and development and sharing of best practice.
  • An embedded approach to ML delivery would be promoted and supported within relevant CPD and resource development.
  • Need for a separate Foreign Language Assistants (FLAs) national strategy and funding
  • Provision of language teaching is currently inconsistent with the minimum entitlement being P6/P7 but many schools opting to start earlier. Where this model is in place, it is usually driven forward by the head teacher.
  • The LA 1+2 audits will give a much clearer idea of levels of teacher language competences and attitudes towards languages. Feedback from these should not just be used to inform planning at local level but also at national level.
  • A wide range of resources is already in place and in development in core languages taught in schools. However there is a need for national ICT based learning and teaching resources across a range of languages to support implementation.
  • The creative use of ICT and virtual approaches to deliver both professional learning for teachers and the learning of languages in the classroom needs to be further explored and trialled.
  • The need for a national Communication Strategy for 1+2.
  • The early setting up of the national implementation group to address such issues nationally is needed to support LAs.
  • CEC will continue to support a diversity of Modern Languages including Gaelic, Mandarin and Community Languages as part of the 1+2 policy and will strive to promote this approach in our schools.

Suggested aspects for further consideration

  • The Scottish Government implementation group explores the possibility of a Hub model for implementation over groups of partner LAs.
  • We would also recommend that consideration be given to the creation of a network of 1+2 Development Officers appointed to work across these Hubs, or groups of geographically close LAs, to coordinate training and strategy and to support the operational implementation of 1+2 in schools. This would help enable the creation of a national network, maintain a degree of national consistency and be cost effective.
  • National guidance and funding should be put in place to support the equitable provision and extension of the FLA resource.
  • There should be further national consideration and work on the innovative role of ICT in delivering the 1+2 agenda. This would include using ICT to support the learning and teaching of ML, for example piloting innovative ways to engage learners from the earliest stages in ML through using ICT in the classroom.
  • The role of ICT in delivering MLPS training for teachers nationally should be further explored.
  • Clear and progressive P1- P7 programme/strategies/activities/approaches/resources, with identified language for teachers to use , should be developed nationally to support the rollout process across schools.
  • Extension of SQA accreditation/qualification to reflect diversity and changing trends in language learning and demographics

    Main Report

    Local Context

    City of Edinburgh (CEC) is committed to the learning and teaching of Modern Languages (ML) and welcomes developments within Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), the 1+2 recommendations, the Scottish Government's China plan, the national and local Gaelic plan and other national strategies which promote and deliver Languages learning.

    Key commitments in Education, Children and Families currently include:

    • The creation in 2012 of a permanent Modern Languages Education Support Officer post for schools
    • The maintenance of permanent part-time Gaelic Development Officer post
    • The creation of a Gaelic medium primary school, opening August 2013
    • The maintenance of the Foreign Language Assistant (FLA) programme (recommendation 30)
    • The redevelopment and growth of the Modern Languages in the Primary (MLPS) teacher training programme across a range of languages, including Mandarin. Open to practitioners from other local authorities. Good and increasing uptake.
    • Gaelic Language in the Primary School (GLPS) training programmes
    • Extensive deployment of native speaking volunteers in schools (recommendation 31)
    • Extensive partnership working with cultural organisations, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT), the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools (CISS) the Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE) sectors and business to enhance and extend provision (recommendation 19)
    • The appointment of a permanent CEC teacher of Mandarin and the successful establishment of the CEC Confucius Classroom Hub at Leith Academy
    • Further development of Modern Languages provision through CEC’s International Unit’s co-ordination of native speaker volunteers and as part of the Edinburgh International City of Learning Let’s Learn a Languages initiative.
    • The delivery of a wide range of Community Languages
    • Extensive support to cluster school groups for the implementation of the Broad, General Education (BGE) in Languages, including planning for learning, assessment, moderation and reporting.
    • By the end of session 2013-14, all schools will be reporting at key stages within CfE levels on learners' progress through the BGE in Modern Languages
    • From the earliest opportunity, extensive support for the implementation of the new National Qualifications (NQs) in Languages, including the writing of exemplar course materials in 5 languages (NB the part played by FLAs as native speakers here is invaluable), exemplar assessments, a wide range of training sessions, including for all ML practitioners and Curriculum Leaders.
    • An extensive programme of training and support on a wider range of aspects of Languages learning
    • A biennial Modern Languages Conference for local practitioners. Also open to practitioners nationally.

    Modern Languages in City of Edinburgh Schools 2012-13

    Current Model

    The current model of an entitlement to ML from P6 at the latest is embedded across the Authority. Almost all schools are now in line with national and local policy of learner entitlement to ML until the end of S3 as part of the Broad General Education. All remaining secondary schools are moving to this model from 2013/2014 onwards. All secondary schools offer a choice of at least two languages in the Senior Phase with a number now offering 3, 4 or 5 different languages in a range of flexible options. From session 2013/14, further opportunities to study Modern Languages in the senior phase at Advanced Higher level will be delivered through virtual learning delivered through consortia approaches and including delivery by the Edinburgh College.

    2012 data shows we deliver French in all 87 primary schools, German in 24 primary schools, Spanish in 12 primary schools, Italian in 5 primary schools and Mandarin in 7 primary schools.

    In addition to this, we also deliver a programme of Gaelic from P5 in 8 primary schools with a Gaelic medium primary school due to open in August 2013. The teaching of Gaelic is supported by the Gaelic Specific Grant and the GLPS (Gaelic Language in the Primary School) training programme.

    The most recent data shows at least 19 primary schools are known to start ML from P3 or earlier. The actual figure is expected to be significantly higher when the planned CEC 1+2 audit has been completed. This will take place shortly and will give a more accurate picture of exactly who is doing what, when and to what extent. It will also show how many of our staff are appropriately trained or have other Languages knowledge and expertise, including being a native speaker.

    Secondary

    With the development of CfE, a focus on learner choice and the flexibility of the new National Qualifications, there has been a marked growth in the delivery of 2nd and 3rd languages in the secondary school.

    Every CEC secondary school offers French plus at least one other language. Most schools are running taster sessions in 2nd, 3rd and occasionally 4th languages over the course of S1 – S3 with Language choices then being offered at various curricular choice points, depending on the curricular model of a particular school.

    Senior Phase

    It is expected that composite S4 – S6 classes will prove to have a positive impact on the uptake of 2nd and 3rd languages as timetabling across more year groups could potentially lead to greater numbers and hence enable 2nd and 3rd language classes to run.

    This will be monitored centrally to measure uptake of languages with the introduction of the new NQs. Improved flexibility in timetabling coupled with improved articulation between the levels of the NQs should also hopefully help to allow schools to run split level classes more practically.

    1+2 recommendation number 16 states that:

    The Working Group recommends that schools provide all young people with flexible opportunities and encouragement to study more than one modern language to the level of a National Qualification Unit or course in the senior phase, whether in their own school or through cluster arrangements with other schools.

    This recommendation will be referenced in our revised CEC ML policy which is currently in development. We aim to launch this policy alongside our 1+2 strategy as part of CEC planned communications and engagement with head teachers. The timing and nature of this are currently under discussion within the recently created CEC 1+2 steering group.

    Our aim is to recommend that schools work to ensure that almost all learners are accredited in ML by the point of leaving school education.


    1. Is there enough funding for the Scottish Government’s proposal (including use of EU money)?

    1.1 Budget Overview

    If the very welcome £4 million earmarked for ML in the financial year 2013 – 2014 is agreed by the Scottish Parliament, we estimate that CEC would receive approximately £230,000. To determine if this would be adequate, we would need a clearer picture of the longer term funding proposed. Without this, it would be difficult for any LA to engage in longer term planning and to fully address sustainability.

    In the Scottish Government 1+2 report there are 35 recommendations, all of which were accepted fully or in part in the Scottish Government response. 22 of the 35 relate directly to actions for LAs and schools. It is too early at this stage to be able to make anything better than an educated guess at the estimated costs of implementing all 22 recommendations in full, but it has already become clear from CEC steering group meetings and discussions with a range of stakeholders that the scale of the task is significant and therefore costly.

    Costs

    Some of the costs which will need to be factored in are:

    Development and delivery of training models, including virtual models

    Development of resources (in Edinburgh, for 6 different languages both for L2 and L3)

    Cover for staff to attend professional learning sessions, engage in professional dialogue with other practitioners, share practice and attend meetings

    Development of a communications strategy and packages for key stakeholders (engagement with head teachers, teachers, parents)

    Funding devolved to schools to support development

    On-going central co-ordination and support to schools for implementation

    CEC draft funding proposals

    In CEC, it is proposed that funding principally be used to support the following:

    • Creation of a temporary 1+2 Development Officer post for 2013-14 – a lead practitioner seconded to take a leading role in coordinating and driving forward the 1 +2 strategy in Edinburgh (potentially with partner LAs). Working with the Education Support Officer and Quality Improvent Officer for Literacy and Languages.
    • CPD including for MLPS trainers, cluster level support, MLPS training, partnership CPD (cultural institutes etc.), top up training in languages, further CPD with a focus on pedagogy (e.g. approaches to embedding language, active learning.), native speaker volunteer and FLA induction and other CPD and resource development
    • Resource development including programmes of work/activities/strategies (in various languages), collating and sharing best practice, communications packages (for head teachers, teachers, learners and parents)
    • Head teacher, practitioner, learner and parental engagement and celebration events
    • Further development of other partnership workinge.g. liaising with FE, HE, cultural institutes, SCILT, CISS, business partners etc.

    Suggested aspects for further consideration

    1. We would recommend that the Scottish Government implementation group explore the possibility of a Hub model for implementation over groups of partner LAs.

    2. We would also recommend that consideration be given network of 1+2 development officers is appointed to work across these Hubs or groups of geographically close LAs to coordinate training, strategy and to support the operational implementation of 1+2 in schools. This would help enable a national network, maintain a degree of national consistency and be cost effective.

    3. It would be more cost effective and support LAs if support could be put in place nationally wherever possible, including the development of a national Communication Strategy to support LAs to engage with all key stakeholders.

    1.2 FLAs

    The provision of FLAs by LAs across Scotland has been declining and is now infrequent.

    CEC makes a substantial and sustained commitment to funding FLAs to work in our schools and finds them a very valuable and effective resource which enriches learning and teaching. CEC provides funding for 15 FLAs, including 2 Chinese Language Assistants, who work across 23 secondary schools. (Where available, native speaker input in primaries is provided by native speaking volunteers co-ordinated by the CEC International Unit).

    In the short-term, CEC would find it extremely difficult to commit to an extension of our provision of FLAs until the sustainability of funding is clearer. Once again, a national approach would support consistency and equity.

    Suggested aspects for further consideration

    1. National guidance and funding should be put in place to support the equitable provision and extension of the FLA resource.

    2. Do existing teachers have the skills and teaching resources available for language tuition? Are existing teachers and teaching assistants equipped to teach languages?

    2.1 Resources and provision

    In terms of resources, MLPS teaching programmes are in place in all primary schools across CEC. These were initially developed on the 5 -14 content models and have been adapted since then to bring them into line with the best practices and principles of CfE.

    Planning for learning, assessment, reporting and moderation

    The curriculum has been updated in 19 out of 23 clusters across CEC. The remaining 4 secondary schools have Modern Languages development within their Cluster Improvement Plan for session 2013/14. This is part of the strategic CEC approach to assessment, reporting and moderation within CfE where there is a rolling programme of implementation, based on cluster choice. This ensures that by the end of session 2013-14, all schools across the city will be reporting on learner progress at key stages within CfE levels 3-15 in all curricular areas.

    To date 19 clusters have elected to report in Modern Languages. This process has been supported by the CEC Modern Languages ESO and schools have had guidance on bringing existing programmes of work into line with CfE principles and practice. There has also been extensive CEC resource development to support this.

    Cluster Liaison

    This process has helped to revitalise cluster working to support curricular progression and sharing of standards and practice primary to secondary (recommendation 8) and has also helped promote consistency of provision and understanding of standards across clusters groups.

    Some schools which are already teaching ML from P1 upwards have developed programmes of work for these levels and have since shared these with other schools who are looking to develop a similar approach.

    2.2 ICT Resources

    Many schools, particularly in the primary sector, are using more online and ICT based resources to support learning and teaching in ML. There are increasing numbers of teachers who implement resources for Ipads, tablets and hand held devices as schools are becoming increasingly well-resourced in terms of ICT. To emphasise this point further, it should be noted that a large number of CEC primary schools now have interactive whiteboards in all classrooms –which are now being used in learning and teaching across the curriculum.

    ICT resources are a particularly effective and supportive means to deliver ML in the primary as they provide teachers with the correct pronunciation from a native speaker of the target language. The importance of this cannot be underestimated particularly as there are very variable degrees of language competency and confidence in primary teaching staff.

    Furthermore, the Internet allows learners to connect with other learners around the world and to see videos etc. of life in target language countries. As a means of opening up other cultures to learners this is second only to actually going to the country itself.

    Education Scotland has produced an excellent 2nd level resource, Passeport pour la Francophonie which is aimed at Level 2/3 learners. If this model could be replicated for P1 – P5 learners, it would be a highly effective support tool for teachers in delivering high quality ML lessons. This resource is currently only available in French and would be required in a range of languages to ensure the maintenance of diversity in languages learned.

    The use of ICT and virtual learning also has a part to play in practitioner training nationally.

    Suggested aspects for further consideration

    1. Further national consideration and work on the innovative role of ICT in delivering the 1 +2 agenda. This would include using ICT to support the learning and teaching of ML for example piloting innovative ways to engage learners from the earliest stages in ML through using ICT in the classroom.

    2. The role of ICT in delivering MLPS training for teachers nationally should be further explored.

    2.3 Provision across clusters

    Whilst there is improved consistency across clusters as a result of the CEC’s CfE assessment, reporting and moderation policy, as might be expected, there is still a level of inconsistency in terms of provision, delivery and quality of learning and teaching in ML.

    For example in one primary school the curriculum may be being delivered from P1 upwards through an embedded classroom approach, by the class teachers who all feel reasonably confident in doing so. In another school there may be only one MLPS trained teacher or teacher with sufficient language competence to be able to deliver the curriculum. In this case, P6 and P7 would be prioritised and they would most likely receive approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour of MLPS teaching per week.

    These illustrations show two extremes. A large number of schools fall somewhere between the two. It is also important to mention at this point that CEC will not have a completely accurate idea of how confident teachers feel as a whole until we have conducted the 1+2 audit.

    Primary head teachers have been key in driving forward the model whereby learners start MLPS from the early stages of primary and this is largely linked to expectations and well-planned, accessible programmes, approaches and activities being in place.

    Dual Language Model

    Many schools have a dual language model which relies on there being adequate numbers of trained staff in two languages to be able to support and deliver the programme. Where this is an operational issue, schools sometimes rely on specialist peripatetic teachers to deliver the MLPS programme. This is particularly true of German.

    This dual model system of delivery, particularly in German and French teaching primary schools, is at risk of moving to a single language (French) only model. CEC however encourages dual language schools as this model offers learners more diversity in their language learning. Therefore, while recognising the practical difficulties, we support schools, through discussion in line with CEC ML policy, to make decisions based on educational benefits when looking at range and choice of languages taught.

    2.4 MLPS Training Course

    CEC is committed to the sustainable provision of MLPS training in a range of languages and resources are in place to support this.

    MLPS Courses

    Over the last 3 years, CEC lead officers have developed new MLPS courses which are line with the principles, practice and pedagogy of CfE and built round the Level 2 Experiences and Outcomes.

    These 60 hour courses focus on a mixture of language, pedagogy and culture. They currently run on a weekly twilight model and teachers attend - voluntarily after school over a considerable period of time - as part of their professional development. This shows a commendable level of commitment on the part of these practitioners and goodwill that is there to be built on.

    The courses have been very positively evaluated by course participants. The training programme currently runs in French (every year), German (every two years) and Spanish (every two years). We are planning to introduce Italian from 2013 – 2014 and in February 2013 we will pilot a 6 week taster course in Mandarin and Chinese Studies in the primary school . The frequency of specific language courses will be reviewed as part of the development of 1+2.

    Participation

    In 2012/2013 we have 60 primary teachers enrolled on our French courses. There are 18 teachers enrolled on the Mandarin MLPS course starting in February 2013. In the past three years, 22 teachers have studied Spanish, 100 have studied French and 9 have studied German through our MLPS training programmes.

    The classes are increasing in number each year with 2 French classes running this year for the first time. The classes are offered to East Lothian, West Lothian, Scottish Borders and Midlothian with participants from each, most notably East Lothian.

    Partnership Working

    As part of CEC plans for 1+2, we aim to develop these courses to create an enhanced MLPS programme. This is due to our evaluations highlighting that the current model (although engaging and very well-received) does not necessarily afford adequate rigour due to the limited time scales and the widely varying language competencies of the participants.

    We are therefore, planning to work with our cultural partners (starting with L’Institut Français) to develop and pilot an access course for teachers prior to starting the MLPS twilight course. This would give teachers the opportunity to develop their language competences more fully and would focus on ensuring the basic skills (pronunciation etc.) were in place. It is envisaged that practitioners would do this course and then move onto the MLPS course.

    Immersion Courses for Teachers

    CEC also promotes the Comenius In-service funding through our MLPS courses and through our primary and secondary ML networks to highlight the funding and courses available. These courses are fully funded and allow teachers to have 1 or 2 weeks of immersion training in the ML. We actively encourage MLPS training teachers to attend these courses wherever possible in order to improve their language skills beyond the 60 hour courses.

    20 primary teachers have registered to attend the Français en Ecosse French and Spanish immersion courses in 2013.

    Top Up Training

    Further to this we also promote MLPS top up training and offer both CEC sessions and sessions in partnership with our cultural partners. L’Institiut Français offers top up MLPS sessions throughout the year which are well attended. These are immersion sessions delivered by native speakers. The Consejeria de Educacion also offers top up classes for primary teachers who are MLPS trained. We promote these classes through our network and through our MLPS classes.

    2.5 Language Skills

    As a result of CEC’s audit for 1+2, we will soon have a clearer picture of language skills across the city. However language skills are not the only issue when it comes to training of practitioners.

    From previous surveys, it is clear that many CEC practitioners are MLPS trained but not currently delivering any MLPS curriculum. In some cases this may change from one year to the next with reorganisation of teaching hours in primary schools. In other cases, teachers may have been trained several years ago and no longer feel confident about teaching the ML curriculum or the pedagogy of Modern Languages.

    As a result, future training needs to take account of the needs of practitioners at different stages in their careers and with differing levels of confidence. As well as addressing language skills and knowledge, training should be centred on pedagogy within CfE with which teachers are already comfortable and familiar, notably active learning.

    3. Should there be more training and support for new and existing teachers for language teaching?

    In terms of newly qualified primary teachers it is imperative, both in terms of school requirements and in terms of their own employability that they are fully aware of what the future expectation is and trained to meet it.

    There has historically been a perception (and this is true both generally, in the wider community as a whole and amongst primary teachers) that languages are for a select few. There is an opportunity to take a significant step forward in attitudes to language learning with the 1+2 strategy but this will require a significant degree of engagement and training within ITE institutions. Ensuring that teachers have a certain degree of proficiency in at least one language (preferably two) by the time they qualify from teacher training is essential if this policy is to succeed on the longer term.

    This could potentially be further supported by local authorities (or local authority groups) over the course of the Teacher Induction year and beyond through MLPS training programmes.

    Please see question 2 for more information regarding MLPS training for teachers.

    4. What is the capacity within the curriculum to accommodate greater language study?

    In order to be able to respond fully to this question, CEC officers need to undertake further consultation with primary colleagues at all levels. This is therefore a key issue for discussion within and beyond CEC 1+2 strategic and working groups.

    Embedding Languages across the Curriculum

    As per question 5, there are opportunities for embedding ML across the curriculum. The success of this and extent to which it is possible is largely dependent on the confidence and ability of the classroom teacher and would most likely require a degree of specialist training and programmes of work to be developed to support this model.

    Whilst there is not a one size fits all way to effectively deliver a ML curriculum within CfE, we encourage schools to look for opportunities to embed the language as much as possible in the day to day life of the school and to aim for a degree of consistency across cluster groups. Again, this requires a degree of practitioner confidence and specific training and resources to support.

    5. Can language learning be embedded in existing teaching?

    There are extensive opportunities for this. Many of the basics of ML learning already reflect wider learning in the primary school such as numbers, times, weather, colours etc. In addition to this, classroom language in the target language can be easily understood by learners if used regularly and repeatedly in the classroom and across the wider curriculum e.g. the daily register. Progression in this leads to learners confidently using the target language in the classroom e.g. Can I have etc.

    In order to be able to do this effectively requires that practitioners have reasonable knowledge of the target language, a good level of confidence and some specific training on how to identify and maximise the ML opportunities across the 4 contexts of learning within CfE.

    Suggested aspects for further consideration

    1. Clear and progressive P1 – P7 programme/set of strategies/activities/approaches/ resources, with identified language which teachers can use, should be developed nationally to support this process.

    6. The choice of languages for teaching – which languages should children be learning and why? The role of languages in economic development – what languages should children be learning to benefit their future careers, and to help Scotland flourish economically?

    There is no one definitive answer to this question as there is educational, social and cultural value in every language learned.

    CEC Context

    The context in Edinburgh is that of a range of languages are being offered and this diversity is supported where possible. This could potentially be through teaching in one school or across the city through consortia arrangements, with the latter model being taken forward as part of CEC planning for the Senior Phase. Currently in CEC, the core languages are French, German, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin. We also currently offer Urdu and Gaelic in one secondary school and Gaelic in 8 primary schools.

    In the long term, the aim is to foster an enthusiasm for and an open minded approach to language learning in learners and to encourage them to see languages as part of a range of skills they develop as they move through their education. This skill should be seen as transferrable and, as learners build confidence in their abilities in one language, they should recognise that they are then able to learn another of their choice. This reflects the aims of CfE to promote life-long learning of ML.

    Progression and Language Choice

    Regarding language choice, the aim is to ensure progression in one language from primary school through the Broad General Education and into the Senior Phase (if this is desirable and attainable for the learner) and for the local authority to provide a choice of languages which are sustainable and chosen for sound educational, economic and cultural reasons. Demographics (i.e. how widely spoken a particular language is), business and economic factors, availability of teaching resources, availability of SQA accreditation and qualifications in a language and personal impact can all help determine which languages we opt to offer at school level.

    Accreditation and Language Choice

    Schools and centres are bound to some extent by which languages are offered by the SQA - a restriction which can be a barrier to, accreditation / qualification for some young people.

    This is currently true for the many native speakers of Polish in CEC schools, where there is currently no SQA qualification available. There is currently one CEC student studying Russian at Intermediate 2 Level. Otherwise, other than stand-alone units, Russian has now been phased out almost entirely by the SQA in recent years. In these cases, presenting centres look to alternative qualifications such as GCSE or A levels to ensure accreditation.

    Suggested aspects for further consideration

    1. Extension of SQA accreditation/qualification to reflect diversity and changing trends in language learning and demographics

    Breakdown by Language

    The European languages are still the most in demand according to the CBI Education for Skills and Growth Survey 2011(please see diagram below). The following diagram, taken from the report, shows where the demand lies in order of language.

     
    This table highlights that French and the other European languages continue to be very much in demand with employers and it should not be forgotten or overlooked that our core languages also reflect which nations are Scotland’s main economic partners.

    French

    • Approximately 130 million speakers worldwide.
    • A major place internationally with a large second language base around the world and 29 official Francophone countries.
    • It is the working language of many of the large international organisations (United Nations, European Union, Council of Europe, International Court of Justice, UEFA, NATO to name a few) as well as being the working language of much of Africa.
    • France is Scotland’s 3rd largest export partner (2010).

    Provision

    As previously stated, French is currently delivered in all 87 CEC primary schools. It has historically been a core language with all other languages being delivered in addition to French. French in the primary school is supported by a large number of French clubs which run in many primary schools around the city.

    In the secondary it is again the main language taught, with all 23 secondary schools offering French until Higher level. Overall, CEC secondary schools have very strong attainment in French with a consistently improving performance over the past 5 years at Higher level.

    S5/6 uptake is also strong, with a significant increase in the last two years.

    An extensive range of resources for French have been developed in the primary and secondary schools. CEC staff are also supported by highly effective working partnerships with L’Institut Français, Le Français en Ecosse the universities and the CEC International Unit. This support ranges from French Institute days for primary teachers to Higher French learner immersion events to CPD run by the universities.

    MLPS

    The CEC French MLPS course remains the most popular and well attended of all local MLPS courses with 100 participants taking part in the training over the past three years.

    There are numerous exchanges and French trips which take place with a number of secondary schools offering exchange trips and cross-curricular trips to France (e.g. history and French).

    German

    • Germany is the largest national economy in Europe
    • Germany is the 2nd largest exporter in the world
    • Germany is the world’s 3rd largest importer
    • Germany is Scotland’s fourth largest market for exports and has a rapidly developing renewable energy market, much like Scotland.
    • Germany is Scotland’s fourth biggest export market and Scottish exports to Germany were worth £1,265 million in 2010. This figure is expected to grow given Germany’s decision to move away from nuclear energy and towards renewable energies, a growing market in Scottish business.
    • Germany has the largest population of all the European nations.
    • It is a leading political force in Europe
    • More tourists visit Scotland from Germany than from any other country except the US.
    • German is the 2nd language of a large number of Eastern European countries.
    • German is often found to be easier for Scottish students to pronounce as many of the sounds are similar and there are also numerous Scots and German cognates with shared words such as loch, kirk and stoor. This also reflects the aims of CfE ML to make links between languages and opens up interdisciplinary opportunities.

    Provision

    German is currently being delivered in 11 Edinburgh secondary schools and 24 primary schools. Despite issues around the continuation of German in many clusters, it remains the second most taught language in Edinburgh schools.

    In CEC, the uptake into the Senior phase has been consistently positive over the past 5 years and well above the national pattern. Similarly, the attainment is very positive with a strong positive trend over the past 5 years.

    Figures show, however, that the teaching of German has declined both nationally and locally over the past decade and has unfortunately come to suffer something of an image crisis over time.

    MLPS

    CEC have offered and ran a German MLPS course this session for 9 primary teachers. The existing MLPS course and support materials are in the process of being translated into German as on-going. The course reflects the principles of CfE and is based around active and cooperative techniques with a focus on German language and culture. The course is run in tandem with the French MLPS course.

    German Working Group

    In CEC, in 2010 we established a German working group to address the decline of German language delivery in our schools as it was identified through an audit of our secondary provision as an area for development. This coincided with work which was going on nationally to address the same issue, led by both the Goethe Institute and the German Consulate in Edinburgh.

    It should be noted that once a language has been dropped from a school curriculum, reversing the process can be very difficult and all partners were keen to ensure that the correct messages about the importance of German were being communicated clearly.

    Over the past two years, the efforts of the CEC German working group and its partners have succeeded in German provision being maintained in schools. For example CEC and its German partners ran a successful German career fair event which was attended by 16 schools nationally, 450 school learners, 20 business representatives and 70 university students. The aim of the event was to change perceptions about German and its use in the world of work. The event was very positively evaluated by the learners, teachers and business representatives in attendance.

    Spanish

    • 2nd most widely spoken language in the world with 350 million speakers
    • 2nd language of the USA with approximately 50 million speakers
    • Spanish is mutually intelligible with Portuguese which is the 6th most spoken language in the world today and the 1st language of Brazil, a member of the BRIC group (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and as such recognised as one of the world’s largest developing economies.
    • Spain is Scotland’s 7th largest export destination
    • Large Scottish-Spanish industries include fishing and fisheries, tourism and financial sectors.
    • Spanish business presence in the UK is growing through business takeover (e.g. Santander takeover of Abbey National, Telefonica takeover of O2, Iberia merge with BA etc.)
    • Spanish culture is often perceived to be accessible to Scottish learners as it is a popular holiday destination.

    Provision

    Spanish is being offered in 17 secondary schools and 12 primary schools across CEC. Spanish language teaching is currently an area of growth in CEC schools. Many schools are taking advantage of new curricular models which promote learner choice to offer Spanish as a taster language or as an L3 option at points of curricular choice. Spanish is a growing language in a large number of CEC secondary schools and their associate cluster primaries. It is now offered in 18 out of 23 secondary schools in Edinburgh

    Large numbers of Spanish exchanges, partnerships and trips are established. There are highly effective working partnerships in place with the Consejeria de Educacion, including top up MLPS training programmes, Advanced Higher immersion events for learners, resource sharing and development of reading resources

    MLPS

    The CEC MLPS course has been delivered by a native speaker over two years to 20 primary teachers. The course and support materials were both very highly evaluated. The course had a large number of beginner students so focussed mainly on basic Spanish language skills, building confidence and Spanish culture. The course reflects the principles of CfE and is based around active and cooperative. The course was run in tandem with the French MLPS course.

    Comenius project

    An application is currently being submitted as part of Edinburgh, International City of Learning to develop a partnership project across a group of 5 primary schools in Madrid, the Edinburgh College and James Gillespie’s cluster in CEC. The project will aim to develop a teacher support package and develop partnership links between the two cities.

    Italian

    • Approximately 60 million speakers worldwide
    • Official language of the Vatican
    • Large demand for Italian speakers in technology, IT and telecoms sectors
    • Historically taught in some denominational Roman Catholic schools
    • Holyrood cluster is one of the largest centres for presentation of Higher Italian in Scotland
    • ighHiHighly Successful programme of Italian and French delivered from Primary 4 throughout the Holyrood cluster
    • Italian offered as a third language option in 4 CEC secondary schools
    • MLPS Italian course to be developed and offered in 2013/2014
    • Effective working partnerships with the Italina Ufficio de Educacion and the Centro Promozione

    Provision

    Italian is currently being delivered in 5 CEC primary schools and 5 CEC secondary schools. Holyrood RC High School is our main provider of Italian and currently runs both French and Italian on a yearly rotation model from P4 (at the latest) until the end of S3.

    There is a consistently good level of uptake and positive attainment for Italian across the city. The delivery of Italian is supported through partnership working with the Italian Ufficio Scolastico.

    MLPS

    An Italian MLPS training programme will be offered in 2013/2014. This will be hosted within the Holyrood cluster as this is our main centre for Italian in CEC. One aim of this will be to ensure greater sustainability in the delivery of Italian. The model which is currently in place is supported by the Italian Ufficio Scolastico (Italian Consulate Department). There will be MLPS taster sessions prior to running the course and it will be open to beginners in order to encourage uptake.

    Mandarin

    • 2nd largest economy in the world
    • Most spoken language in the world with approximately 900 million speakers
    • China is the world’s largest goods exporter and the world’s second largest goods importer.
    • China has the world’s largest foreign exchange reserves, reaching $3.29 trillion at the end of September 2012.
    • Establishment of CEC Confucius Classroom Hub at Leith Academy
    • Appointment of CEC permanent Mandarin teacher
    • Development of Mandarin MLPS course
    • Growing number of primary and secondary schools looking to introduce Mandarin and Chinese studies
    • Head teacher, teacher, school and student trips taking place annually.
    • Wide range of cultural, cross-curricular and interdisciplinary learning and teaching opportunities
    • National 4 Mandarin reading and listening materials are currently in development
    • Very effective working partnerships with a range of partners including Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools, St.George’s School for Girls, East Coast Hub Network, local universities and Scotland-China Education Network.

    Provision

    Mandarin is currently delivered using a range of models in different secondary schools depending on their own circumstances and curriculum. Mandarin is currently being delivered in 6 secondary schools across the city and is another growth area in Languages.

    2 CEC secondary schools deliver Mandarin up to SQA accreditation level with 1 school delivering Mandarin up to Advanced Higher level.

    2 Chinese Foreign Language Assistants are employed and work in 4 secondary schools. The CEC Mandarin teacher is currently working in 2 secondary schools and associated primary schools on a rolling programme. As part of the Hub agreement, we expect to have a Tianjin teacher working in CEC schools in 2013/2014.

    Careful planning will be needed both locally and nationally to enable the growing demand for provision of Mandarin in schools to be met.

    CEC Confucius Classroom Hub

    In February 2013, the City of Edinburgh Confucius Classroom Hub will be officially opened at Leith Academy. This is a significant milestone for Edinburgh in the learning and teaching of Mandarin as we move towards a strategically developed and sustainable model for the delivery of Mandarin across the city.

    In August 2012 a permanent CEC Mandarin teacher was appointed to lead the development and learning and teaching of Mandarin in Edinburgh. A local authority employed teacher ensures that progression within a language to SQA accreditation level is possible. In 2013-14 Senior Phase Mandarin courses will be offered through consortia arrangements across the city.

    MLPS

    As part of our commitment to developing a sustainable model for the delivery and growth of Mandarin, a Mandarin MLPS course has being developed and is due to start in February 2013. 18 teachers (17 primary and 1 secondary) have registered for this course.

    Edinburgh International City of Learning - Let’s Learn a Language

    To further support the delivery of Mandarin, a Chinese student volunteer programme will be put in place in 2013-14 in partnership with local universities and the Scotland China Education Network (SCEN) to support the development of Mandarin teaching in schools. The aim of this will be to enable teachers to develop their own Mandarin language skills in the classroom with the support of a Chinese native speaker. This project is due to start in autumn 2013 and will be part of the Hub development for next year.

    Gaelic

    • Oldest surviving Scottish language
    • Clear links to own language, Scots and Nordic languages
    • Wide range of cultural, cross-curricular and interdisciplinary learning and teaching opportunities
    • Supported by 18 day GLPS (Gaelic Language in the Primary School) programme
    • Wide range of local and national support resources available
    • Supported by Gaelic special grant
    • Gaelic Development Officer in permanent post to support development
    • Gaelic secondary teacher with development remit appointed to CEC and deployed to schools to support development
    • CEC Gaelic medium school opening in August 2013

    Provision

    Gaelic Medium Education (GME) is currently being delivered from nursery onwards in one CEC primary school. A new dedicated Gaelic medium primary school is due to open in August 2013.

    Gaelic Learners Education (GLE) is currently being delivered in 8 CEC primary schools which equates to 350+ primary children receiving GLE every year. The GLE curriculum is mostly delivered in P5 with one school delivering GLE from P5 -P7. The curriculum is delivered by GLPS trained staff, supported in some cases by the GLPS teacher trainer. In CEC one primary school is also delivering some GLE in P1 this session.

    One CEC secondary school currently delivers both GLE and GME programmes. Both are run from S1 onwards. GME through language lessons and social studies and GLE as 6 week taster blocks in S1 and S2 with an option to take Gaelic from S3 onwards.

    GLPS – Gaelic in the Primary School

    3 CEC primary staff are GLPS trained annually.

    There have been approximately 14 members of CEC teaching staff trained in GLPS since 2005/2006.

    The delivery of the GLPS training programme is funded separately thorough the Gaelic specific grant.

    Submission from COSLA

    COSLA welcomes the opportunity to provide a response to the Committee’s Enquiry. We attended the launch event on 27th November 2012, of “Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 Approach – From Policy to Practice” which we welcome.

    We have studied the document issued at the event in detail. We note the Committee’s Enquiry only relates to primary schools and have attempted to provide answers to the questions posed:

    Is there enough funding for the Scottish Government’s proposal (including use of EU money)?

    Since the launch event held by Scottish government in Stirling last November, we have held discussions with Scottish Government officials on the working group report and the Government response. Officials have indicated that Ministers are committed to this policy and will look at adequate resource requirements in consultation with COSLA and other partners. The message on resources is to be welcomed. At the time of writing we have still to carry out an analysis of local authority costs so this makes it difficult to make any assumptions on the extent of the cost to deliver this policy proposal.

    The Minister for Learning, Sciences and Scotland’s Languages has indicated that £4m will be available to local authorities in 2013/14 to progress this policy area. We understand this figure is based on a grant previously provided to local authorities for language tuition which was called “The Languages Fund”. We are aware that the Languages Working Group suggests that there will be need to be at least double or triple the previous language funding to assist local authorities “to take forward the proposed language strategies on a phased basis from 2013-14 and beyond.” As we go on to discuss later in this submission, the resource implications for local authorities will not be apparent until further work is carried out at the local level.

    The Languages Working Group calls for local authorities to hold an audit of resources they currently have in place and to develop plans to deliver the policy. These plans need to be developed in order for the costs to be calculated, so we cannot provide a precise answer to the question on whether there is enough resources to deliver the proposals at this time. Once the full costs have been identified we would expect these to be fully resourced by the Scottish Government. This will form part of our on-going discussion with Scottish Government on the policy implementation.

    The use of EU funding is not discussed in the Language Learning document. We are aware of The Comenius programme which is managed in the UK by The British Council. This programme provides funding for CPD tor teachers and offers them the opportunity to develop their teaching and language skills within Europe. While programmes like this are welcome it is important to emphasise that service delivery and capacity building cannot be wholly reliant on EU funding.

    We are aware that the British Council has already given evidence to the Committee on this matter and called for ring-fencing of funds for language tuition. Language education cuts across the curriculum, and is part of the broad, general education which all Scottish school pupils receive. As we go on to discuss in question 3, language education is not a ‘stand-alone’ subject which means it can only be properly delivered through local government core funding. It will therefore come as no surprise to the committee that COSLA does not support ring-fencing of local government resources and that Ministers agree that local government is best placed to make decisions on local priorities for funding of services.


    Do existing teachers have the skills and teaching resources available for language tuition? Are existing teachers and teaching assistants equipped to teach languages? Should there be more training and support for new and existing teachers for language teaching?

    The languages strategy could have significant implications for initial teacher training. We expect both new and existing teachers and support staff to require training and support.

    The Languages Working Group and Scottish Government have noted that there are a number of primary teachers who have been trained on earlier language initiatives programme such as “Modern Languages in Primary Schools” and “Gaelic Languages in Primary Schools”. The audit that councils are being asked to undertake is designed to identify the number of teachers who have language skills and additionally whether the staff feel confident enough to utilise these skills as part of their current teaching role. The audit will also identify staff without foreign language teaching skills.

    The Committee will be aware that the teaching of languages in schools tends to start in Primary 6, although we are aware that there are some schools across the country which start language education much earlier. In a number of those cases, language education is provided by outside specialists rather than the class room teacher. In moving to language learning from Primary 1 we understand the intention is to have nearly all existing and all new staff trained to provide language tuition throughout primary years. This will require more staff to use existing, or to learn new language skills.

    If this training and re-training of staff takes place in school time, posts will need to be back filled and this has cost implications.

    Utilising people in the community who have foreign languages as their mother tongue and getting them into schools is promoted in both the report and the Scottish Government response. This is something which COSLA strongly supports, although we recognise that this has to subject to teacher supervision. While not an answer to all the challenges of delivering enhanced language education, inviting members of the community into the class room could help enrich the learning experience of pupils. This has to be of long term benefit for both pupils and teachers and is completely consistent with the ethos of the Curriculum for Excellence.


    What is the capacity within the curriculum to accommodate greater language study? Can language learning be embedded in existing teaching?

    With Curriculum for Excellence it may now be somewhat easier to accommodate languages into the curriculum, with subjects being interlinked and embedded rather than being stand alone.

    Local authorities need to provide a balanced curriculum and prioritising any area of education has the potential to impact on other subject areas. In addition to languages there is curricular pressure including a push for sciences and maths in both primary as well as secondary schools.

    There are a number of examples where embedding language learning is used and this is seen as being very effective. This approach is not widespread but the examples are encouraging. It cannot be assumed however that this can be replicated easily in other parts of the country as staff to provide such teaching may not be in place and work to train such staff will be needed.


    The choice of languages for teaching – which languages should children be learning and why?

    While the Languages Working Group did not specify a hierarchy of importance, they acknowledged that the act of learning any foreign language can motivate pupils in other areas of their studies. We would support this view. Learning foreign languages is recognised as beneficial in developing a greater understanding of other cultures.

    When making decisions about which languages to teach, the existing pool of local teaching resources needs to be taken into account as well as local demand and community resources. We cannot make a decision to concentrate on specific languages if there is no capacity to teach them. Currently French is the most widely taught language, which has been the case for several decades although we are aware that teaching of other ‘traditional’ languages, such as German and Italian, has declined in recent years in favour of other language e.g. Spanish. This shows that there is an ‘ebb and flow’ in language popularity in part reflecting cultural attitudes and perhaps the perceived ‘usefulness’ of languages. It also demonstrated the impact that personal choice can have on language education. This also underlines the point which we return to in the next question that it is important not to focus on a specific list of languages, but to ensure young people have the skill set which to enables them to effectively learn any language that they choose.

    In principle, we agree that there is merit in teaching a range of languages. In practice however, there is less scope in certain parts of the country, especially, though not exclusively in rural areas. We are aware that the use of video conferencing is growing and this should be utilised where available. The initiative on widening broadband access should help this grow further as a teaching tool.

    It is important that there is continuity from primary to secondary schools with children having the opportunity to continue with the language they started in primary when they reach secondary school. School clusters already address this, but it should be noted that while the emphasis here is on primary language learning, expectations resulting from the increased primary provision may need to be managed regarding the on-going availability of any specific language teaching at secondary level.


    The role of languages in economic development – what languages should children be learning to benefit their future careers, and to help Scotland flourish economically?

    We acknowledge the comments from the Languages Working Group about the benefits associated with learning Gaelic and other languages. Having a population of young adults with language skills and the enthusiasm and ability to learn further languages and appreciate other cultures should lead to both their personal and Scotland’s economic benefit. But there are caveats that should be recognised.

    We agree that there is a connection but economic growth should not in and of itself be the key driver. We remain of the view that that the beginning of the learning journey needs to focus on a grounding in key skills. Language learning at primary level should be part of the development and enhancement of those skills, in the same way as we would view science, environmental and social studies and music. These subjects should be part of the stimuli offered to children to widen their learning horizons and the link cohesively to Curriculum for Excellence at primary level.

    Teaching children a language from P1 through secondary school is a long process. There is a danger if we prescribe only languages which we see as leading to economic benefit that we pick the wrong languages. We need to be careful not to be drawn into this direction, without first highlighting the importance of a broad education at primary level as the driving principle held by education authorities. To use economic drivers to prescribe language tuition runs a real risk of not acknowledging the long term investment required in language teaching, which cannot be easily diverted to respond to changes in the global economy. Teaching key languages should not be viewed as restricting contributions to economic growth, rather – it should be viewed as a stimulus for learning other languages, once the principles of language are embedded.

    But we do accept that learning foreign languages should have a positive impact on economic outcomes. Future employers will undoubtedly look for such skills and it makes sense that in preparing young people for the job market, they need encouragement to development those skills required to secure their own economic future and that of their country.


    Submission from
    Le Francais en Ecosse

    Personal Background

    I trained to become an MLPS tutor for French in 1999.

    I have since trained Primary Teachers in several Scottish Local Authorities, under different formats: from the original 27 day training programme to a combination of twilight sessions and full days.

    I have been running CPDs throughout Scotland for Primary and Secondary school teachers and pupils, mostly in French but also in Spanish.

    With my organisation, LFEE, I have been running Immersion Courses for teachers in France and in Spain under the EU Comenius “Lifelong Learning” programme. Around 500 Scottish teachers have taken part in one of our 1 week courses over the years. All of them received a grant from the British Council which covers travel expenses, course fee, accommodation and subsistence.

    For the past 3 years, we have been running 1 week shadow programmes also under Comenius. Under that programme, Scottish teachers go to France or Spain to shadow a colleague in his/her school for 5 days (we provide them with a 2 day cultural/language preparation in that country). Some groups of French teachers have also come to shadow a Scottish colleague, which has been wonderful for school exchanges.

    We are currently running 3 of the Scottish Government pilot projects as part of the 1+2 Initiative: in St Elizabeth’s primary School in Hamilton, Hillside Primary School in Dundee, and Langlands Primary School in Forfar. In these schools, we are trying to embed the teaching of L2 from Primary 1, and L3 at P5, in line with the recommendations of the 1+2 Initiative.

    • Is there enough funding for the Scottish Government’s proposal (including use of EU money)? (The money earmarked by the Scottish Government is £120k for the pilot projects, and £4M for after the pilots in 2013-14).

    This new Initiative will require extra funding to train Primary School teachers and to pay for liaison meetings between primary and secondary schools. Introducing L2 from P1 means that all Primary teachers have to be able to teach a language, and primary and secondary schools will have to work together to ensure continuity.

    As far as the training of Primary teachers is concerned, we cannot go back to the original 27-day training programme, which was very expensive to run. I believe we must use a mixture of CPDs and on-line training and support, which will enhance the existing training programmes and make it more cost effective. Linguistic tips and suggested activities could be made available on-line.

    In the longer term, we must make sure that all graduate teachers come out of their initial training programme with the skills to teach a foreign language. The profile of languages must be raised in Secondary schools so that pupils come out of their compulsory education with the required skills should they choose to go into Primary Education, and which they will need in other jobs and in their personal life too!

    We can also use EU money to send our teachers abroad to work on their language and methodology skills.

    We also have fewer schools in Scotland than in Créteil a single suburb of Paris - where we are currently running an exchange programme Fife-Créteil Exchange. Small is beautiful! Let’s use this and the fact that our schools are well equipped with computers and internet to our advantage and let’s connect Scottish schools to the rest of Europe. In other words, yes, we will need extra funding, but there are good cost effective ways of using that money.

    • Do existing teachers have the skills and teaching resources available for language tuition? Are existing teachers and teaching assistants equipped to teach languages? Should there be more training and support for new and existing teachers for language teaching?

    Many of our teachers in Scotland have been MLPS trained, but not all of them teach a language at the moment. However, teachers do need some language skills, and even if we give them extra on-line support (see above), they will still need ongoing language training.

    • What is the capacity within the curriculum to accommodate greater language study? Can language learning be embedded in existing teaching?

    I believe that in order to teach L2 from P1, we must embed it into the curriculum. It has to fit into each teacher’s learning contexts, not be an “add on”. With our 3 pilot projects, we have tried to identify interdisciplinary activities to help embed the language into the life of the schools: teaching L2 through maths, cross-curricular ICT, PE and, very importantly, daily routines.

    • The choice of languages for teaching – which languages should children be learning and why?

    I believe that for historical, cultural and economic reasons, one of the three main European languages (Spanish, French and German) must be taught at primary level. Europe is our main trading partner and we share a common history and culture. We must nurture and enhance these ties!

    The choice of a third language can be left to individual schools to fit their particular context and/or the school community.

    The most important element is continuity from the Primary through to the Secondary schools. The choice of languages must be made in conjunction with all partners and stakeholders.

    Submission from Scottish Parent Teacher Council

    The Scottish Parent Teacher Council (SPTC) thanks the European and External Relations Committee for the opportunity to give evidence to its enquiry into the learning of foreign languages in primary schools. In developing our response we have carried out desk research and discussed the issues extensively with individual parent members and board members.

    Background

    SPTC is a long-standing independent charitable organisation providing support to parents and carers across Scotland. Our membership numbers almost 2000 parent groups all over Scotland. We provide information and support to parents and seek to represent the parental perspective in relation to educational issues.

    Just as our members come from all parts of Scotland, so to do our board members, who are both teachers (primary and secondary) and parents. We are fortunate enough to have a number of linguists within our board and they have contributed significantly to this paper.

    Current Perspective

    Scotland – indeed the UK – has struggled with a poor tradition of language learning for very many years. We have traditionally offered relatively restricted language options in schools, focusing on language learning in early secondary school and offered little encouragement to pupils to work towards a qualification. The challenge is both within and without schools: there is a widely held cultural attitude which is at best disinterested in language learning, and at worst hostile or defensive of English as the international language.

    Recent years have seen a marked drop in language assistants in schools and – despite the work on global citizenship and other initiatives - SQA has reported falling numbers of young people taking language qualifications. There appears to be little coherence in relation to language learning strategies: initiatives (for instance around teaching of Mandarin in schools) come and go and appear to be predicated on the enthusiasm and determination of individual head teachers and faculty heads.

    Although this enquiry relates specifically to primary school, the committee should be aware that parents are expressing concern about the approach of the secondary sector, which appears to be taking us towards a situation where still fewer young people will have the opportunity to pursue languages as the curriculum narrows in the senior phase. Put simply, even if good work is done in the primary sector, it may come to naught if senior phase options mean languages (among other subjects) are frozen out later on.

    Answering your Questions

    The Committee has asked that responses focus on a number of specific questions. The following outlines the thinking of SPTC.

    1. Is there enough funding for the Scottish Government’s proposal (including use of EU money)?

    While we agree with the principle of widening the experience of languages for primary school pupils, we have grave concerns that the resource implications have not been considered sufficiently. This will require that teachers in primary school hold appropriate qualifications in language teaching: this is currently not the case and will require a substantial investment (and significant time) to make this a reality. While we support aspirational approaches, we are concerned that 1+2 is simply an unachievable target within the foreseeable future and feel that an initial target of 1+1 may be more realistic.

    There is of course potential for teachers qualified for secondary teaching to play a part, but we are concerned that there is insufficient resource available and also that language learning would be treated as another ‘subject’ area, rather than an integral part of learning about the culture and other facets of a language, building on the concept of Curriculum for Excellence.

    Indeed, it may be that primary school is already late and that pre-school is the place where language learning should start. There are of course significant implications in such an approach: that debate is for another time and place.

    2. Do existing teachers have the skills and teaching resources available for language tuition? Are existing teachers and teaching assistants equipped to teach languages? Should there be more training and support for new and existing teachers for language teaching?

    The resounding response to this question is No. Teachers may use a wide range of strategies to address language learning (for instance working with bilingual children, using them to help build knowledge of culture and language in other pupils) but we believe there are small numbers who hold appropriate teaching qualifications. We do not believe it is sufficient for teachers to have school or other certificated qualifications in a language: this does not make them qualified to teach that language and may in fact lead to difficulties later in the child’s school career if the foundations have not been properly put in place.

    Visiting specialists may be able to bridge some of the gap but this is a limited resource, with generally a small group of teachers in each cluster. They will not be able to cover the demand of primary schools. As with classroom teachers, increasing their number will involve a substantial investment and time for individuals to achieve qualifications.

    Former secondary school language teachers are likely to be more widely available to act as visiting specialists as the impact of senior phase restrictions really kick in. The implication of this is however not lost on the parents and teachers we have spoken to: shifting more language teaching to primary school may lead to more able pupils during the Broad General Education phase (although schools do not offer Intermediate or equivalent in S1, forcing young people to start again and leading to boredom and dissatisfaction!), but will continue the trend towards fewer young people continuing their learning in the Senior Phase.

    3. What is the capacity within the curriculum to accommodate greater language study? Can language learning be embedded in existing teaching?

    As identified earlier, we believe language learning should not be treated as a discreet subject but rather than be an integral part of learning about the global community, its cultures and history. Treated in this way, language learning does not demand additional capacity within the curriculum but rather requires different approaches to teaching. Again, this sits comfortably within the principles of CfE.

    4. Which languages should children be learning and why?

    There are very many, well documented, cognitive and other benefits to be gained from language learning and we will not rehearse these here, other than to pour scorn on the traditional Scottish perspective that languages are the first curricular area to be removed for young people who are experiencing difficulties: the research clearly demonstrates that for very many children, the opposite is true.

    As indicated earlier, we advocate a model of language learning which is cross-curricular and therefore builds the capacity of our young people to operate effectively in the global community.

    However, children and their parents are likely to want to see a value in the specific language learned. These benefits will come through increased opportunities for work and travel. Currently the focus is on French and German in most schools: while these give opportunities for work in the EU, in terms of the global economy, there appears to be a limited future in either of these (indeed German appears currently to be a dying language in Scottish schools).

    Spanish is taught in some schools and our perception is that the potential benefits are substantial: the number of Spanish speaking countries/populations is significant, with a huge opportunity in the global economy. There are only two other languages which can compete with Spanish: Mandarin and Russian.

    Mandarin is a challenging language to learn which, despite the best efforts of SCEN and other initiatives, may predict its success in our schools (particularly when moving to the Senior Phase). However, the rise of Chinese economy and the opportunities this presents demands that we do not underestimate the importance of Mandarin. Mandarin is probably the most-spoken language in the world (see table below for countries/populations where Mandarin is one of the primary languages) and as such we believe should be a priority in our schools.

    Population of China: 1.4 billion

    Population of Taiwan: 23 million

    Population of Singapore: 4.58 million

    Total of three countries: 1.427 billion

    Similarly, we believe Russian has huge potential in the global economy, but is not widely supported in Scottish schools. The SQA decided in 2007 that qualification in Russian will be abandoned in 2015. The Slavonic departments in universities are facing cut backs, limiting the opportunities for young people to study any Slavonic languages in Scotland, including Russian.

    This Summer Institute for Linguistics (SIL) Ethnologue Survey (1999) (below) lists the top languages by population. This provides an illustration as to the languages which are most spoken: most of these are currently neglected in our schools yet are the prime languages in the globe’s emerging economies. Surely Scottish school pupils deserve a more thoughtful approach to the planning of language teaching?

    Summer Institute for Linguistics (SIL) Ethnologue Survey (1999)

    1. Chinese* (937,132,000)
    2. Spanish (332,000,000)
    3. English (322,000,000)
    4. Bengali (189,000,000)
    5. Hindi/Urdu (182,000,000)
    6. Arabic* (174,950,000)
    7. Portuguese (170,000,000)
    8. Russian (170,000,000)
    9. Japanese (125,000,000)
    10. German (98,000,000)
    11. French* (79,572,000)

    * The totals given for Chinese, Arabic, and French include more than one SIL variety


    5.
    The role of languages in economic development – what languages should children be learning to benefit their future careers, and to help Scotland flourish economically?

    Please see (4) above.

    Submission from the Scottish Association for Language Teachers (SALT)

    Please find below the response from SALT to the Government Proposal of 1+ 2 languages.

    We are very excited about the potential that this will bring and the position it will put Scotland in for the teaching and learning of Modern Languages, not only nationally but internationally.

    The views expressed are that as a collective group and not that of any one individual.

    SALT Response to 1+2

    In terms of sufficient funding for the 1+2: there has be no official breakdown of funding given publically other than a figure quoted for pilot projects. The initial “bidding” for these projects was done quickly and while we appreciate that they are still being piloted, there has not been a lot of criteria made available publically to that end. We would hope that there would be wide dissemination of the evaluations of these projects with ideas on how further funding would be distributed.

    In terms of accessing European Funding: If Scottish Government is indeed committed to the learning of languages then maximum funding to look at co-ordinated CPD and development for practioners from 3-18.

    Some local authorities already contribute to the funding towards secondary teachers gaining an ATQ in another language and also top up funding for MLPS training with a potential independence referendum on the cards, engaging with European partners and funding would allow us the chance to work within a common framework and look at good practice and learn from it. This would cement our position as major player in the teaching and learning of Modern Languages.

    Qualifications:

    Having a qualification either on entry or exit of BEd course would be desirable but MUST link up to some sort of national programme. At the moment there is no parity of experience for learners in different authorities and just having a basic user level of language does make a language teacher. There are also serious concerns about how this language component would be delivered and how it would be taken forward. Would departments in universities be obliged to offer e.g. French for teaching purposes? What would this look like? Would there be parity in TEIs?

    Even on exit having an equivalent of a Higher language would still require training in methodology and particular authority resources to assure parity of experience and to be robust enough to stand up to quality assurance.

    Does this then beg the question about going back to a national programme?

    Existing Teachers and Skills:

    There is a patchy picture of the skills base for teachers at primary and secondary level. An audit needs to be looked at in terms of training across authorities. Again, different models of training exist in many authorities, some share training and some buy in training. Language training and methodology training particularly in different ways to manage 1+2 would be welcome. This should come perhaps from some of the current pilots who could show manageable models of challenge and delivery. The question on national training also needs re visited….

    FLAs

    The numbers of FLAs needs to increase. The demise of FLAs has unfortunately been a question of finance rather than impact. Ideas have been mooted about a pool of assistants paid for by Scottish Government with local authorities bidding for FLAs. SALT would welcome this very much. Using native speakers from the local community is also another way of having mother tongue input. This is a great way of inspiring young people as well as providing invaluable linguistic exposure. Such use of native speakers requires PVG and inductions. SALT would welcome such a move but would like further exemplification of how this would work at local level.

    Head teachers & Extra Support

    Head teachers in primary and secondary are key if 1+2 is to succeed. In terms of support for them at leadership level – this may involve training, observation and resources. Supporting our senior managers is going to be the best way to get the message across that languages matter and that they can be delivered in a real context. Either a head teacher or a member of the senior leadership team needs to be the key in driving modern languages and they must be supported. This not should be in terms of facts and figures but with peer support from fellow senior managers and at a local authority level.

    Local Communities and Parents:

    Parents and local community representatives should be engaged at every opportunity to enhance language provision. Looking at using local resources whether they are cultural centres, other places of education or family members has to be an option. Using people in the community helps schools to ascertain their place as centres for lifelong learning and would actually help to build up relationships in the community.

    Capacity

    Great language learning can be achieved by CLIL. This can be done for particular areas of the curriculum e.g. Art, music, PE to start with and as teacher capacity and confidence grows, other areas. The difference needs to be made between CLIL and the discreet study of language. These involve completely different approaches and we must guard against the traps of people have a “smattering” of the language and delivering other curricular areas through it. The delivery of discreet languages in primary by someone who has not done at least MLPS training has to be guarded against also.

    Languages/when/how…

    SALT would not be lobbying for a particularly hierarchy of languages to be taught in primary or secondary. It is recognised that some further guidance on this would be very welcome. It is mainly dictated by teacher availability and suites of qualifications available from SQA. The perfect time is when learners are motivated and it is well documented that the earlier the better. Language acquisition in early primary works due to the notion of a little and often and that learning through play and normal interactions become part and parcel of the daily life in nursery or primary.

    For more children to learn languages, we need more staff that can teach languages and more staff who are engaged with languages and want to help – even by drip feeding where they can on the most basic of levels.

    Engagement from learners comes from good teaching and learning and this is supported by AiFL principles, the use of collaborative learning and the use of ICT. Suitable use of varied resources and teaching styles will engage learner. Learners will also be engaged if they see the relevance in what they are learning and how impacts on their daily life. Engagement with local business and enterprise would present a great link for languages.

    Transition

    This is always a tricky issue. There must be continuity of language for learners from primary to secondary and local authorities must strive to keep this the norm.L2 should be available to 3rd level for all pupils as per national requirements. More work at transition at the key points such as nursery to primary and primary to secondary need to be looked at. Not forgetting secondary to further and higher education. There are pockets of good practice e.g. learning communities, Strathclyde Language Ambassador Project, adopt a class etc.

    The SALT committee recognise the challenge that delivering 1+2 brings but most definitely agrees that it can be done.

    To recap:
    • We would welcome a debate to a national programme for MLPS
    • We are in favour in a language qualification for primary teachers as part of their ITE but caution against that being the only qualification they need to deliver in a class.
    • We would welcome a pool of FLAs that could be accessed at authority level and would work with the British Council to make this happen.
    • We would fully support the engagement and chance to work with senior managers in both primary and secondary to look at leadership in Modern Languages
    • We would like to see examples of the pilot projects currently underway in order to give local authorities time to plan for academic session 2013-2014
    • We believe that other areas in the curriculum would benefit from being taught in another language as the main language – CLIL. Further examples of this that could be replicated in primary would be most welcome.
    • We also believe that local authorities need to look at the resources available to them and make the most of them in order to maximise the delivery of languages to all our young learners.
    • If Scotland is going to be a leading light on the teaching and learning of Modern Languages, then we must engage with all stake holders both on a national and international level.

    Oral evidence

    5th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4), Thursday 7 March 2013

    Written evidence

    Submission from National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT (Scotland))

    1. The NASUWT welcomes the opportunity to submit evidence to the European and External Relations Committee of the Scottish Parliament as part of their inquiry into Learning Languages in Primary Schools.

    2.The NASUWT is the fastest growing teachers’ union in Scotland and the largest in the UK.

    GENERAL COMMENTS

    3. The NASUWT is in principle in full support of students having access to foreign languages from primary school. The NASUWT believes that a 1+2 model, as proposed by the Scottish Government to enable all young people to learn two languages, in addition to their mother tongue whilst at primary school, is a laudable aim. It is however essential that sufficient support is provided to schools to ensure that the students are able to access this entitlement.

    4. It is understood that the intention of the Scottish Government is to have all children learning a second language from Primary 1, and that the learning of a third language should start no later than Primary 5, and further that this proposal is to be implemented within the next decade. The NASUWT is concerned that without substantial planning, including in-depth consideration of the logistical challenges and how these are to be overcome, as well as sufficient long-term ring-fenced funding, a ten-year implementation timeframe appears very short and unrealistic.

    5. The NASUWT considers that there is a lot of positive work being undertaken in schools across Scotland to engage in and enhance foreign language learning. It is important that the Committee takes time to recognise and acknowledge the commitment, dedication and hard work of the education profession in Scotland in this regard.

    SPECIFIC COMMENTS

    Is there enough funding for the Scottish Government’s proposal (including use of EU money)? (The money earmarked by the Scottish Government is £120k for the pilot projects, and £4m for after the pilots in 2013-14.)

    6. In the current economic climate significant cuts across Scotland have been made to local authority budgets, and funding for specialist areas, such as foreign language teachers in the primary sector, have been radically reduced, if not withdrawn altogether. The challenges of meeting the aim of a 1+2 approach without adequate funding are great indeed.

    7. In order to reap the benefits economically and educationally, any funding must be guaranteed in the long term. Funding should also be ring-fenced to ensure that it is not swallowed up within already over-stretched local authority budgets.

    8. It will be impossible to assess whether sufficient funding has been identified to support the proposal if an assessment of the challenges and the solutions has not been undertaken. An effective planning stage will be critically important to the successful integration of this initiative within primary schools.

    Do existing teachers have the skills and teaching resources available for language tuition? Are existing teachers and teaching assistants equipped to teach languages? Should there be more training and support for new and existing teachers for language teaching?

    9. The NASUWT is concerned that making foreign language teaching compulsory in the primary sector could result in all primary teachers being asked to take the lead in foreign language lessons without having the appropriate skill or teaching resources. Teachers come from various backgrounds, all of which provide for a rich and diverse Scottish teaching profession, but this will of course result in different challenges for different members of staff.

    10. All primary teachers have been trained as generalists. In order for them to be able to deliver the expected standards, sufficient sources of local expertise in modern languages need to be identified. The NASUWT is in favour of resource sharing between schools, either by local authority or in a cluster. Central support will be needed to ensure that primary schools are not left scrabbling to find expertise in order to fulfil a national commitment.

    11. There are two obvious sources of support: firstly, specialist teachers coming in to teach the modern language part of the curriculum and provide expert knowledge and advice in terms of the pedagogy of foreign language teaching and learning; and secondly, non-teaching foreign language assistants who can work alongside teachers. Indeed, in the Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 Approach report the use of non-teaching staff to provide the relevant language input is discussed.

    12. The NASUWT’s preferred model would be the use of specialist peripatetic teachers providing language learning in the primary sector while allowing individual teachers to develop areas of interest through lifelong learning. Such a model would secure teacher jobs, recognising the current challenges in maintaining teacher numbers and education funding. There is however nothing to prevent a mixture of both models, provided there is a clear demarcation of the role, and the responsibility for the teaching and learning continues to lie with qualified teachers. Regardless of the model adopted, to ensure success there must be good external support structures, otherwise there can be no assurance of any consistency of practice.

    13. Consideration needs to be given to the training of teachers, not just during their Initial Teacher Education (ITE) but through lifelong learning. The NASUWT is concerned that this inquiry is being viewed in isolation to the equal but different push to encourage students to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). Undoubtedly, there will be some teachers with a greater aptitude for foreign languages, but viewing this in a wider context, it is impossible for primary teachers to be specialists in all fields. The NASUWT considers it is better to allow primary teachers to remain generalists while empowering those with an aptitude or interest to develop their skill using Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and lifelong learning.

    14. In order to achieve this lifelong learning model, the role of further education and higher education institutions needs to be examined in depth. A clear plan is needed to establish how CPD would be delivered and what the cost implications would be.

    15. The NASUWT is keen to ensure short twilight courses are not viewed as sufficient training to expect primary teachers to lead all foreign language learning, and would suggest detailed consideration is given to Modern Languages in Primary Schools (MLPS) training which would involve day release over an extended period. That is not to detract from the merit of twilight courses which can assist by giving teachers confidence to embed language learning throughout the curriculum in order to reinforce learning and support the specialist teachers.

    What is the capacity within the curriculum to accommodate greater language study? Can language learning be embedded in existing teaching?

    16. Certainly the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence will assist in embedding language learning within the curriculum, as it encourages teachers to use their professional expertise and creativity to show how subjects can be linked, just as they are in life and work.

    17. There must be clarity for teachers on the judgements and expectations of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education (HMIe) during inspections on modern languages in the primary sector and there will be an important role for Education Scotland, in conjunction with Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT), to provide guidance and best practice advice to the teaching workforce in this area.

    18. The NASUWT remains concerned however that students with additional support needs (ASN) have not had sufficient consideration. It is important that the Scottish Government does not inadvertently create a two-tier system which undermines learning within the mainstream. The NASUWT recommends therefore that a detailed equality impact assessment is undertaken.

    The choice of languages for teaching – which languages should children be learning and why?

    19. Curriculum for Excellence refers to students ‘developing a knowledge and understanding of the world and Scotland’s place in it’. Learning foreign languages at primary school is an integral part of preparing young people for life and active participation in a global multicultural society. The global context Scottish schools are operating in will undoubtedly influence the decision on which languages should be taught.

    20. The question of which languages should be taught is not simply an academic question, but is a logistical challenge. The current position, where local authorities have had the autonomy to push the foreign language agenda independently has led to considerable variation. Any attempt to move to a uniform entitlement for all schools will undoubtedly place pressure on the primary sector.

    21. The choice of language to be promoted should give consideration to continuity across primary classes and ensuring appropriate primary/secondary links. There is no way to mitigate against pupils moving across clusters and between local authorities, and a decision will need to be made on whether a national or local arrangement would therefore be advisable. Unfortunately, it is not only the transient nature of pupils which will need to be considered. Primary teachers are routinely moved between primary classes from nursery up to P7; headteachers would want to maintain this flexibility for deploying staff, and teachers too would wish to maintain their skill set while approaching different ages and stages throughout their career. Even where teachers are static to a certain year group, this would not account for staff turnover, pregnancy and supply issues during long-term absence. Whilst there may be greater choice in recruitment in the central belt, it is to be anticipated that rural areas may not have the opportunity to recruit teachers with a specific foreign language knowledge. The workforce planning issues and recruitment challenges contribute to making full implementation in the next 10 years difficult.

    The role of languages in economic development – what languages should children be learning to benefit their future careers, and to help Scotland flourish economically?

    22. The NASUWT would wish to flag the issue of General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) registration. Teachers wishing to teach in the secondary sector must be qualified in their chosen subject. In order to be registered for a second language, applicants must currently, in addition to meeting the requirements for the first foreign language, also have a degree with at least 80 credit points in the second language they want to teach, and have lived for at least three months in a country where the language is spoken before starting the course.

    23. Should the Scottish Government decide to promote a language which is not widely taught at the moment, and wish this to flow from the primary to the secondary sector across the board, it would be unreasonable to expect the teaching cohort to move en masse abroad for 3 months to meet the current GTCS requirements; there would be a considerable financial and personal cost to individual teachers who may have family and caring commitments.

    Oral evidence

    Supplementary evidence

    Submission from the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)

    INTRODUCTION

    1. The Educational Institute of Scotland welcomes the opportunity to provide evidence to Committee. The EIS is Scotland’s largest teacher trade union across all sectors of education.

    2. The EIS welcomes the commitment and ambition with regard to promoting the teaching of modern languages in schools with reference to the analysis and benefit, the ambition evident in the enthusiasm of the report, and the Government’s commitment in light of its recommendations.

    3. It would be difficult not to welcome the radical, ambitious and challenging agenda being set by the Scottish Government in developing modern language education in Scottish schools. The aim is to empower and enable the development of skills and characteristics necessary for success in a fast changing world.

    4. The EIS also welcomes the commitment to developing local strategy as a basis for promoting a practical focus on what needs to be done. The political will to lead and invest will be critical to any degree of success in ensuring development, continuity and sustainability, as will be lessons learned from previous initiatives such as MLPS.

    The Present Context

    Practical Challenges

    5. However, we need to remain practical where key issues raised by teachers need to be addressed: timetabling, flexibility, time, and curricular overload given the context of change, and the growing list of priorities across the curriculum. It can be difficult to square the ambition with the recent developments e.g. the abandonment of FLA’s in schools, the reduction and, in many cases, the removal of nursery teachers from pre-5 education including nursery schools and nursery classes in primary schools, and the present danger of unprecedented budget cuts.

    6. The long-term benefits of early introduction to other languages may be disputed in some quarters. However, there is a strong consensus that early exposure is extremely important in establishing a base understanding and boosting motivation. This is regardless of the function or desired outcome of learning a language: to increase awareness of other cultures, to promote a deeper understanding of languages in general; or promote linguistic skills in a particular language. Clearly, the role of the teacher is paramount here and consistent with the aims of Curriculum for Excellence 3-18.

    7. However, despite the oft-quoted social and cultural obstacles to the promotion of language learning in English-speaking countries, it is clear that failure is neither inevitable nor, it may be added, an option, in a modern, globalised economy with the patterns of migration that Scotland is witnessing, and will continue to experience in years to come.

    8. We acknowledge the good work being undertaken in schools, but much has to be done to ensure coverage, continuity and sustainability. We need to ensure a critical mass of provision, including skilled teachers, who can overcome the known obstacles: the postcode lottery phenomenon; the natural occurrence of absence and supply issues; and ensure a range and diversity of provision which ensures access for all especially in relation to equality legislation. The only caveat, of course, is that equality of provision does not necessarily equate to uniformity of provision.

    Migration and Diversity

    9. This migration can be multi-faceted. It can present a balance of opportunities and challenges. There are significant opportunities in positive, dynamic and culturally rewarding scenarios where we witness ethnic and linguistic diversity in our workplaces and communities as a result of economic success. This can be seen as a result of investment from international companies and the cultural and linguistic diversity this brings.

    10. Yet there are also the consequences of political change and the opening of borders which present opportunities for migrant workers. This can present significantly different opportunities and challenges that have to be faced within our schools and communities. This is where the context is not determined by economic success, but poverty and deprivation, and the consequent social and economic challenges that may arise. These demand specific attention and assessment in terms of support and intervention in order to meet the challenges presented and the opportunities provided. There is a growing awareness of these challenges. A policy for the teaching of languages should also address this discrepancy.

    11. In these circumstances, due attention should be paid to multi-agency working and exploring additional revenue streams, including any available additional EEC funding.

    12. In this regard, the EIS welcomes an approach to language learning in line with Scotland’s development as a diverse, multicultural and multilingual nation.

    The Role of the Teacher

    13. The EIS would underline the central role that the teachers play. Teachers bring specific skills and qualifications not only in terms of linguistic skills but also methodology in respect of learning and teaching. This is important with reference to developing initial teacher education but also career-long professional learning and development.

    14. The EIS would stress the expert role of the teacher from 3-18 consistent with the aims of Curriculum for Excellence.

    15. The EIS would underline the need to consider what would be necessary as part of a national recruitment and professional development strategy which focused on the need to build both general capacity and expanded specialisms in primary - whether primary qualified teachers or secondary qualified, or both. The role of the universities, but also GTCS, via professional registration and professional recognition, in developing and promoting linguistic competence and language teaching methodology would be critical.

    16. The EIS notes the appeal to imaginative, creative and goodwill solutions in the form of British Council support, parents, and other skilled and trained native speakers of additional languages, including foreign language assistants. (The recent demise of the latter across local authorities in Scotland has been a significant setback and points to the lack of priority in the area of languages and perhaps, more so, the reality and challenge of local authority funding cuts.)

    17. British Council and Comenius projects, for example, have been key to supporting language initiatives, new approaches and promoting teacher engagement in recent times, but these interventions would not be in any way sufficient to deliver and sustain a programme of the kind envisioned by the policy.

    MAIN QUESTIONS

    • Is there enough funding for the Scottish Government's proposal (including use of EU money)? (The money earmarked by the Scottish Government is £120k for the pilot projects, and £4M for after the pilots in 2013-14).

    18. We are not aware of any audit that has been undertaken in this regard. However, it would appear that given the ambition and challenge of the policy, it would not appear that this amount of money would be in any way sufficient to deliver a sustainable, coherent, and quality language policy as outlined. A Government led commitment which underscored the political will to succeed, with funding mechanisms that incentivised, or obliged, local authorities to prioritise a national language strategy based on teacher and pupil motivation and engagement is, however, necessary if here is the determination to succeed. Ring-fencing would need to be an option to be considered here.

    • Do existing teachers have the skills and teaching resources available for language tuition? Are existing teachers and teaching assistants equipped to teach languages?

    19. There are currently insufficient numbers of trained teachers equipped to deliver languages which would match the ambition of this policy.

    • Should there be more training and support for new and existing teachers for language teaching?

    20. Yes. Some have MLPS training from years ago but many no longer use it, especially where they may have a visiting specialist in the authority. We have no figures but many teachers trained in MLPS have now retired or will do so in the near future. From the SCILT 2012 survey referenced below, and from anecdotal experience, it seems that primary teachers are already struggling to fit in the current curriculum demands – and 1+2 may yet be another thing to shoehorn in. There is a need to examine and investigate the successes and limitations of the Modern Languages in Primary Schools project which has been in existence for many years and is ongoing, and most recently addressed in the SCILT Survey of Modern Languages Provision 2012.

    http://www.scilt.org.uk/Portals/24/Library/research/mlsurvey/MLPS_Survey_2011_summary.pdf

    • What is the capacity within the curriculum to accommodate greater language study? Can language learning be embedded in existing teaching?

    21. There would be the need for significant training, upskilling and refresher training. The big question is how and when this would take place, and where would the money and time come from. The present supply crisis in Scottish schools perhaps only underlines the scale of the challenge in terms of taking forward this challenging and ambitious policy.

    22. Language teaching can be embedded in existing teaching but teachers will only do this if they if they have the time and training to do so. Even then, the previous MLPS training where certain trained teachers moved round their own school delivering MLPS did not really work as it often took them away from their own classes, and involved increased workload for them. A preferred model may be to have class teachers trained to embed it in their own teaching but this would require every, or the vast majority of teachers, to be trained.

    23. However, a more blended, flexible and tiered approach may be possible where there exists a balance of specialist teachers and external support along with teachers with a level of skills and knowledge which would allow for the language(s) to be reinforced in addition to the specialist input on a cluster and /or visiting model. Here, again, the application of GTCS professional recognition in the context of career-long professional development may be useful but this would, of course, need further consideration and discussion.

    24. This could be done through CPD but this would take time and commitment on the part of the teachers, and significant investment by local authorities. And who would undertake the training? Will this be done centrally or locally? It also raises issues of consistency and parity of access.

    25. There is talk of changing the teacher training course to make the language component, which is currently optional, compulsory. Even if that were desirable or achievable, what happens when graduates leave and go to a school that doesn’t teach the language in which they trained?

    • The choice of languages for teaching - which languages should children be learning and why?

    26. There appears to be an uncertainty in this area. The EIS would support access to modern languages as earliest as possible and that access be available on a comprehensive and universal basis. However, the needs of schools, communities and individuals are not always the same and there does have to be flexibility – equality of provision does not necessarily mean uniformity of provision.

    27. Indeed, a language policy must extend beyond school but there appears to be less provision and access to languages in further and higher education.

    28. Discussion needs to take place between authorities/primaries and secondaries to establish the choice of languages. The talk is all a bit woolly about linking languages to the community which would also include community languages, Polish, Urdu etc. and there is also a current fashion of promoting Mandarin, as there was with Russia in the past.

    29. Despite this, there remains a strong argument for maintaining a focus on European languages, including French. This would not be inconsistent with focussing on introducing emerging world languages, especially Spanish which has the benefit of accessibility over Mandarin and Russian. And why not Portugese?

    30. The fact remains that we are likely to depend on the existing significant capacity in French in taking forward this policy. Indeed, this may be the single unifying first modern language influence after which a second language may be introduced. We would be willing to be convinced otherwise.

    CHALLENGES

    31. There needs to be an understanding of the reason for language learning and a realistic approach to what can be achieved through primary and secondary.

    • Linguistic competence needs progress and development with differentiated courses and clear pathways to fluency and excellence.
    • An increase in language awareness is a helpful personal and educational achievement which can promote self-esteem and an awareness of one’s own native language.
    • Exposure to different languages, albeit superficial, can add to cultural awareness and understanding.

    32. These can be pursued in combined and different ways but the rigour, commitment and resources necessary for developing linguistic competence itself does raise issues of choice, opportunity, and differentiation – not everyone will become uniformly fluent in a modern language.

    33. The need for clarity is a prerequisite for ensuring the credibility, but also value for the significant monies that would have to be invested in this policy and for ensuring sustainability of the overall project.

    34. There is certainly a need for clarity and momentum if this policy has any hope of success. At the moment secondary schools are struggling to keep their languages going, many losing their second or third languages as language is increasingly not seen as part of the core subjects. Pupils are being allowed to drop it in 2 nd or 3rd year.

    35. There has been a gradual and significant drop in the uptake of languages since the Mulgrew Report in 2000 which promoted languages as a curricular entitlement rather than a core, compulsory element. This led to an increasing number of schools dropping ML’s from the core leading to falling presentation and a concentration on fewer languages, including a move to French often only in order to solve transition issues, and the fact that most language teachers were qualified in French.

    36. There is a need to address slippage in schools where language teaching has been marginalised. The pilots would help to point the way forward as would an audit of existing good practice.

    37. There is a need to exploit existing potential and identify latent capacity among teachers who may not be exercising dual qualification or existing language qualifications and experience.

    THE WAY FORWARD

    38. The EIS hopes that, notwithstanding the radical, challenging and ambitious nature of the policy, at least the damage being presently done can be reversed. A modest and successful practice is better than no policy at all. Despite the consensus around the aims and objectives of this policy, there has to be clarity in terms of how this agenda may be realized in the medium to longer term.

    39. The following is a minimum:

    • The need for leadership and commitment from above and at all levels, including all Head Teachers.
    • Effective professional development at all stages
    • Professional dialogue and moderation
    • Access for teachers and pupils to native speakers e.g foreign language assistants who themselves need to be skilled and trained
    • GTCS promotion and development of professional standards in language teaching and to encourage qualifications, accreditation, professional recognition etc.
    • Partnership working and sharing of good practice especially re CfE
    • Development of resources
    • Highlight the importance of language policy in promoting social cohesion, especially given the challenges and opportunities evident in the increase of a migrant and increasingly mobile population especially to and from within Europe.

    CONCLUSION

    40. The need to engage teachers at an early stage is crucial. Given the challenges that teachers face re. pensions, pay, conditions, cuts, class sizes, pace of curricular change, narrowing of cpd budgets and opportunities – from where will the powerful gesture come in order to enthuse and engage classroom teachers, in order to win hearts and minds, without whom this strategy could not possibly work? One way would be to acknowledge the key role of the teacher and make a commitment to invest in staff and value them in order to build confidence and capacity. Teachers are more likely to respond to such an opportunity.

    41. There appears to be a clear idea about the direction of travel and what is necessary to take matters forward, but less clarity about specifics and how this will be realised in present circumstances. There is a lot to be discussed and considered, and a greater degree of honest accounting needed if policy is to be communicated, developed and delivered across all schools in all local authorities.

    6th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4), Thursday 21 March 2013

    Written evidence

    Submission from the National Union of Students (NUS) Scotland

    Introduction

    NUS Scotland welcomes the Scottish Government’s proposals to enable all young people to learn two languages, in addition to their mother tongue. NUS Scotland believes that language skills are a huge advantage for students, and that supporting more individuals to acquire these skills would bring significant benefits for our society and for Scotland’s economy. NUS Scotland has had the privilege of working for a number of years now in the field of internationalising education, through our Scottish Government-funded projects, and this evidence is based on much of that work, and in particular, the findings of our research report Developing Scotland’s Graduates for the Global Economy: From Here to Where?128

    NUS Scotland believes that learning additional languages is hugely beneficial in itself in broadening horizons, building skills and confidence, and opening up opportunities for individuals. However, we also know from our own research that language skills are increasingly sought after by UK employers when it comes to graduate recruitment. The decline in language learning is holding back both young people and Scotland as a whole. In the CBI’s 2010 survey of employer satisfaction with the skills of graduates and school-leavers, foreign language ability ranked last out of twelve skills areas and within the UK over two-thirds of employers were not satisfied with the language skills of young people.129

    In the UK, studying languages at university has been shown to lead to higher than average employment prospects: three and a half years after graduation, more languages graduates are in work or study than their peers who studied Law, Architecture, Business or Computer Science, and earning high average wages and this evidence is echoed by a number of US and UK studies suggesting that meaningful wage premiums are enjoyed by those with language abilities.130 With both graduate unemployment and underemployment in Scotland at worrying levels, it has never been more pressing for students to enhance their employability, and pressures on graduates to ‘stand out from the crowd’ have never been greater.

    At present, Scotland lags behind much of the rest of Europe in terms of language skills and this skills shortage does need to be addressed. We firmly believe that by enabling all young people to learn at least two languages early on, we can help make Scottish college and university graduates more employable and support Scotland to emerge stronger in the global economy from the current downturn. Former Treasury economic adviser, James Foreman-Peck, who has calculated the effects of what he calls the ‘tax on trade’ represented by British relative underinvestment in languages has estimated that this currently equates to at least £7.3 billion, or 0.5% GDP.131

    However, we also believe that we need to go beyond increasing language learning in primary schools and ensure greater access to, and uptake of, language study later on in education. Our research has shown that a lack of language skills can be a barrier to both studying and working abroad, both of which are incredibly valuable experiences which increase individuals’ confidence and employability. Students who are currently beyond primary school age could therefore benefit from an increased number of opportunities to study languages. Providing the opportunity for all young people to learn languages from primary school will also help to create a more level playing field for young people from all backgrounds to access the opportunities that knowledge of additional languages can provide.

    In line with the main focus of NUS Scotland’s work on this topic, this evidence will look specifically at the role of languages in economic development, and the benefits of language skills to the future careers of Scotland’s young people and the future economic success of Scotland.

    Project background

    The overarching objectives of NUS Scotland’s Developing Scotland’s Global Citizens project, which began in September 2011, are to increase student outward mobility opportunities and encourage greater uptake of study-abroad programmes by Scottish students. Given the increased competition for fewer graduate vacancies, there has been an increased interest in the education sector in the role international experience may play in the employability of students. This is reflected in the widespread support NUS Scotland has received from across the sector, including from the British Council, the Higher Education Academy (HEA), Universities Scotland, Scotland’s Colleges, sparqs, the Scottish Funding Council, the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and Young Scot, with IBM and Scottish Development International (SDI) on the project steering group. The project has four strategic themes: raising the profile of European mobility opportunities; fostering graduate attributes through mobility; supporting the international learning experience at institutional level; and, encouraging a partnership approach across the Scottish educational sector.

    The project is currently working in Scottish schools and universities to deliver new training on study-abroad opportunities which was developed in conjunction with the Scottish European Educational Trust (SEET). The training module can be delivered by teachers, university staff, or one of our ‘Scotland Goes Global Ambassadors’. Scotland Goes Global Ambassadors are students who have experienced study-abroad opportunities, and the training is designed to open students’ minds to the diversity of their local communities, the benefits of studying abroad, and the opportunities which might be available to them. We believe giving young people a global outlook at an early age is really important to their future success and that increasing language learning earlier on in schooling will be an important part of this.

    As part of the Developing Scotland’s Global Citizens project, this academic year we have also launched our Scotland Goes Global initiative, the year of study abroad. Employer and sector engagement, a key part of our project work, has allowed us to gain an insight into the important role of language learning as well as international experiences in Scotland’s economic development.

    Uptake of language learning

    NUS Scotland’s work with students, academic staff and Scottish-based employers as part of the Scottish Government-funded Developing Scotland’s Global Citizens project has highlighted the severe lack of linguistic ability among Scottish graduates compared to their bilingual and trilingual European counterparts. At the same time there is considerable evidence of the benefits of language skills for Scottish graduates and the Scottish labour force more widely.

    As shown in Figure 1 below, currently the number of school students taking French and German at Standard Grade is falling and this coincides with the decreasing popularity of language learning in universities.132 The introduction of Curriculum for Excellence supports increased engagement in language learning and international opportunities, but this has not yet brought about an increase in the numbers of pupils choosing to learn languages.

    Figure 1.

     
    Table 1: SCLIT (2010)

    http://www.strath.ac.uk/media/faculties/hass/scilt/statistics/ML_in_S4-S6_Overview.pdf

    Increasing language learning in primary schools will increase the opportunities available to students to continue language learning later in their school career and increase their confidence in language learning, both of which could help to boost uptake of languages in secondary and tertiary education. However, we also believe that colleges and universities could increase the range and number of opportunities available to students to learn languages or incorporate language learning into their studies.

    Languages and studying abroad

    Our research has highlighted that an absence of language skills can be a key barrier preventing students from taking advantage of study abroad opportunities while at college or university, meaning students may miss out on what are extremely valuable experiences for both personal development and improving employability. This language barrier may be a key factor in the comparatively low numbers of Scottish students taking advantage of mobility opportunities.

    Despite the fact that Scotland sends a higher percentage of students on Erasmus placements than the rest of the UK, more needs to be done to support Scottish graduates’ employability in an increasingly globalised labour market. In terms of both language ability and study abroad experience, Scottish students remain at a disadvantage to their bilingual and trilingual European counterparts. For example, over 30% of German students (24,029) undertook a part of their study abroad in 2009/10 and these figures are expected to rise with a target of 50% set by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Taken in the wider context, during the academic year 2009/10, 32 countries took part in the Erasmus programme (the 27 EU Member States, Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Turkey). Only two of these countries – Croatia and Romania – had fewer Erasmus students in proportion to their overall graduate numbers in 2009 than the UK.133 Last year witnessed an 8% increase in Scottish Erasmus study abroad figures amongst students studying at Scottish HEIs (1,243 students in 2010/11 compared to 1,148 students in 2009/10).134 While this increase is welcome it still means that less than 1% of students in Scotland undertake Erasmus study.

    Furthermore, the actual number of Scottish students that study abroad (as opposed to students in Scotland) may well be fewer still. While last year’s figures are not yet available from the University of Edinburgh, between 2005/6 and 2007/8 non-Scottish students made up 82% of their total Erasmus student figures. At the University of St. Andrews, non-Scottish students made up 69% of all outgoing Erasmus students in 2010/11 and 67% in the previous academic year. At Heriot-Watt University, non-Scottish students made up 40% of all outgoing Erasmus students in 2010/11 and 43% in 2009/10.

    A larger-scale study needs to be undertaken before we can properly assess this issue as the student demographic is considerably different depending on the institution, but out of a total of 1,243 students studying in Scotland who went on Erasmus last year, we can safely say that a significant majority of these were not Scottish but students from the rest of the UK (RUK students) and EU students competent in languages other than their mother tongue.135

    The main reasons for low student study abroad uptake are well documented and the most recent research findings, by the British Council and YouGov, illustrate the barriers to undertaking international experiences. The second most common response to the students being asked why they had never worked, lived or learnt abroad was that they felt their foreign language skills were not good enough.136 This is something commonly echoed by secondary school students in Scotland when asked by our Global Ambassadors why they might not choose to study abroad. Increasing language learning in primary schools could therefore have a beneficial impact on access to these opportunities by boosting the language skills of all young people in Scotland.

    Languages, study abroad and employability

    Missing out on study abroad opportunities due to concerns around language skills may be damaging to the future employability of Scotland’s young people and students. Within the UK, there are clear signs that employers are keen to recruit graduates with study-abroad experience: a report from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) in 2010 found that 55% of employers warned of ‘shortfalls’ in British students’ international cultural awareness.137 In a recent British Council/Think Global survey, 75% of surveyed chief executives and board level directors of businesses in the UK think we are in danger of being left behind by emerging countries unless young people learn to think more globally, and 74% are worried that many young people's horizons are not broad enough to operate in a globalised and multicultural economy.138 This is symptomatic of the fact that despite attracting very high numbers of international students to Scotland, the process is far from reciprocal.

    Equally, students are increasingly seeing value and benefit to the notion of employability, and how it can help to distinguish them within the graduate labour market. Some argue that we are seeing the emergence of an ‘economy of experience’139, centred on students increasingly attempting to make themselves stand out in an ever more competitive field of graduates with similar degrees and results, borne out by the expansion of higher education over the past decade. Despite this, Scottish students remain far less mobile than their European counterparts with lack of languages being a significant deterrent.

    Conclusion

    NUS Scotland believes there is a clearly identified need to increase awareness, availability and uptake of language learning as part of a quality primary, secondary and tertiary education. Increasing language learning in primary school will support more young people to study languages later in education and can also form part of creating a more global outlook for all of Scotland’s young people. We also believe that language learning later in education should be supported and encouraged and increased opportunities should be available to study languages or while at college or university.

    We believe that increasing language learning will enhance the employability of young people by equipping them with the skills to compete in an increasingly globalising economy and society. Greater language skills will also help to remove a key barrier which is currently preventing young people in Scotland from taking advantage of opportunities abroad during their time in education.

    We believe it’s important that Scotland’s young people know about the international opportunities that are open to them, and waiting until students enter the doors of a university or college, for many, is leaving it too late. We hope that Curriculum for Excellence will help to create a more international outlook for young people and we believe the experiences of our Scotland Goes Global Ambassadors will help to inspire secondary school students to explore language learning and study abroad opportunities as they choose their future education and careers.

    We believe language skills have a crucial role to play in Scotland’s future in economic development, a point made clear recently by Jane Gotts, International Director at SCDI, when speaking recently about our Scotland Goes Global initiative:

    “Building a sustainable world economy depends on how we support the next generation of global leaders. Scotland must adopt a global outlook and encourage Scottish students and graduates to ‘think globally, act locally’.The ‘Scotland Goes Global’ initiative is fundamental in helping Scotland compete in a global marketplace alongside playing a crucial role in helping Scotland build its international reputation for excellence”.

    Submission from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Scotland

    The FSB is Scotland’s largest direct-member business organisation, representing around 20,000 members. The FSB campaigns for an economic and social environment which allows small businesses to grow and prosper.

    As outlined in discussions with committee officials, FSB Scotland has not previously undertaken any detailed work on this issue. We have therefore limited our response to the role of languages in economic development, specifically with regard to small businesses. In the context of ever greater economic globalisation and the growth of the BRIC nations, the acquisition of language skills in the workforce will continue to be relevant for Scotland to compete in the global market. The key questions, then, are:

    1. To what extent are languages a barrier to trade for FSB members?

    2. To what extent are language skills important for FSB members?

    With the limited evidence at our disposal, our research140 suggests that the main barrier to trade for UK members (74%) is the lack of suitable product/service to export. Indeed, only 5% of members cite language/cultural barriers as a reason for not exporting.

    Moreover, when asked about the main challenges small businesses needed to overcome when exporting goods and services, only 15% cited language/cultural barriers. The top four challenges were:

    • Fluctuating exchange rate/foreign currency (35%)
    • Difficulty in finding customers (24%)
    • Lack of finance/working capital (23%)
    • Difficulties around getting paid (22%)

    These statistics can be partly explained by the fact that three of the top five countries businesses expect to export goods and services to in the future are English speaking nations. However, it is clear that for many of our UK members language skills are not currently considered a significant barrier to trade.

    Indeed, while we broadly agree that there is an economic case for improved language skills, our evidence suggests that these are not currently priorities for most small businesses considering exporting. The most frequently cited skills problems for small businesses141 are: sales/marketing/PR (46% for business owners and 34% for employees); IT (27% for both business owners and employees); and ‘softer’, interpersonal skills (32% regard customer service as integral to business growth).

    On a slightly related matter, we also sought feedback from tourism businesses in relation to language teaching. Most agreed that language skills would be an advantage to any tourism business. However, a far greater priority was considered to be a local workforce with stronger interpersonal and customer service skills. This, rather than language skills, was felt to be the greatest challenge to workforce skills which would enable businesses to make the customer journey more authentic.

    Submission from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Scotland

    (Excerpt from CBI Scotland Education and Skills Survey142)

    12. Communication means business

     

     

     

    Oral evidence

    7th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4), Thursday 18 April 2013

    Oral evidence

    Supplementary evidence

    Submission from the Scottish Government

    Thank you for your letter of 24 April following up two questions asked by Committee members at the oral evidence session for the above inquiry in which I participated on 18 April. I am replying to provide the supplementary information requested.

    Partnerships

    Roderick Campbell asked about how work is progressing towards establishing partnerships between local authorities and universities as a means of enhancing the early phase of teacher training, and how this work will feed into the languages 1+2 agenda.

    The Scottish Government has established the National Implementation Board (NIB), chaired by Petra Wend, Principal and Vice-Convener of Queen Margaret University, to oversee the implementation of recommendations of Teaching Scotland's Future and the National Partnership Group. This includes overseeing the establishment of partnerships between local authorities and universities to enhance the early phase of teacher education.

    Work is underway in relation to this agenda and partnerships are due to be in place across Scotland by August 2013. Establishing effective partnerships between universities and local authorities is a challenging area of work. Some authorities and universities are making good progress while others have further to go in developing their thinking and moving towards an effective partnership. The NIB is aware of this and will discuss and agree a package of measures at its next meeting, in late May, that will help to move this work forward.

    While the development of early phase partnerships will not make a direct contribution to the languages agenda, an enhanced early phase of teacher education will increase the quality of all teachers entering the profession in Scotland, no matter the subject or the sector in which they will teach. It will also help to set the stage for improved ongoing professional development, which will be vital to support the languages agenda.

    STEM subjects

    Willie Coffey asked for information on the number of STEM subject graduates who also have a language qualification.

    Unfortunately, this information is not readily available at this time, would prove difficult to obtain and has various complexities associated with it. Some students will have earned qualifications at school before entering into a STEM course in further or higher education. Some students will, as part of a university or college course, study a language which contributes to the overall qualification rather than leading to a specific stand-alone language qualification.

    Whilst I am not in a position to provide the information requested, I thank the Committee member for drawing attention to this interesting and relevant aspect of our aspiration on languages. We want to encourage learners to consider continuing or embarking on language study at any stage of education, even if the main emphasis of their studies lies elsewhere. This applies to STEM subjects but is also relevant in many other areas of study and learning in higher and further education.

    Alasdair Allan MSP, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages

    Annexe C – Other written evidence

    Submission from Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) Scotland

    Submission from Lisa Bayliss, Keith Grammar School

    Submission from J.A. MacKay, Ceannard (CEO), Bòrd na Gàidhlig

    Submission from Mary MacMillan, Leasaiche Foghlam (Head of Education), Bòrd na Gàidhlig

    Submission from Children in Scotland

    Submission from the Consulate General of Japan

    Submission from Valerie Cox

    Submission from Lauren Corbett, Lathallan School

    Submission from Professor Robert Dunbar

    Submission from Falkirk Council

    Submission from Fèisean nan Gàidheal

    Submission from Isabelle Gall, Carnoustie High School

    Submission from Kirsten Herbst-Gray

    Written submission from the Institut français d’Ecosse (French Institute in Scotland)

    Submission from Japan Foundation

    Submission by JETAA Scotland

    Submission from Jérôme Lestienne, Elgin Academy

    Submission from Trevor Lord

    Submission from Hilary McColl

    Submission from Mr Hugh R McMahon

    Submission by Dr John Moore

    Submission from John Morton

    Submission from North Ayrshire Council

    Submission from Rachel O’Neill, University of Edinburgh

    Submission from the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS)

    Submission by the Scottish Esperanto Education Group

    Submission from St George’s School for Girls

    Submission from the Scotland-Russia Forum

    Submission from Udo Seiwert-Fauti, European Media (Scotland- Strasbourg)

    Submission from Elizabeth Tobon

    Submission from Niall P Tracey

    Submission from UK National Commission for UNESCO Scotland Committee

    Submission from Jamie Wallace

    Submission from West Lothian Council

    Annexe D – Reports of visits to schools

    Visit to Dalmarnock Primary School, Glasgow, 14 December 2012 – background provided by head teacher

    Dalmarnock Primary is a new build that was formed by 4 smaller schools amalgamating in 2007. Our catchment area covers a large section of the east end of Glasgow.

    Shortly after the school opened it was announced that the 2014 Commonwealth Games would be held in Glasgow. Our school is perfectly situated for this as we are next to the new velodrome and National Sports Arena. The athletes’ village will become part of our catchment once they leave and it is turned into social housing. With this information we decided that a priority for us would be to include an international dimension into our curriculum.

    The school quickly developed good working links with a small school in Greece. Much of this work was done through the eyes of toys that we exchanged. From this other links grew but we decided that to give every child the opportunity to participate in a project we would apply for a Comenius grant.

    Our application was successful and we worked for 2 years with schools in Spain, Italy, Poland and, our original friends, in Greece. The context for this work was The Sea. This started our interest in languages particularly as our Spanish friends couldn’t speak Spanish but another language that the children had never heard of, Catalan. By displaying signs in all the languages children quickly noticed that some words in English, Catalan and Italian were similar and they enjoyed seeing links between Greek and English in letter shapes and names.

    At the end of the two year project we began a second Comenius with 2 of the same partners although we worked with a new school in Spain and one in Turkey. This has allowed us to explore other languages and further develop our skills in Italian. This year we have had support from a specialist teacher of Italian who has worked with P7 children.

    As part of our transition programme with our local secondary children are taught French from P5 onwards and this has been standard practice for many years. The current practice in Glasgow is that children learn a foreign language from at least primary 5 (not precluding an earlier a start!) We have 2 teachers trained to deliver this work. Many of our children apply for placing requests to the local denominational secondary where the language taught in first year is Italian. By introducing a class in P7 it allows children to grasp the basics of the language before moving on.

    Last year the nursery we share a building with asked Glasgow City Council for support in teaching Spanish to their children so 2 of the school staff joined this training with a view to making it a transition programme. We have been fortunate to have the support of a Spanish teacher this session to help us embed this in our P1 and P2 curriculum. Staff work alongside her as further CPD. In the summer term the P1 children will host a Spanish Fiesta for the children in the nursery.

    This year we have introduced a block of time on the timetable known as Masterclass. Children work in mixed age groups on a subject that they have chosen. This term I took a Greek class for P2 – 4 children. We learned some basic vocabulary e.g. greetings, colours, numbers, food etc. We talked about the culture and customs of the Greek people and I told them some of the classic stories from Greek mythology. This class will run again after Christmas with new children.

    This session we have been fortunate to secure the services of a native Russian speaking teacher who provides lessons after school in Russian language and culture. Although numbers in the class are small the children are very enthusiastic.

    I hope this gives you a little knowledge of the background of the school and the stages of our journey so far. We look forward to meeting you all in December and sharing our learning with you.

    Head teacher, Dalmarnock Primary School

    Visit to St Elizabeth Primary School, Hamilton, 25 January 2013

    Project Manager and School Management Team – Comments

    Half of the staff were trained in Spanish at the time of the visit, including the headteacher and depute. Three teachers were participating in Spanish training, and those who were not trained were two probationers, one temporary teacher and two job sharers.

    St Elizabeth pupils and teachers use the tools on Glow. The school has a Glow Group set up where pupils can post questions and comments to Le Français en Ecosse (LFEE).

    P7 have twinned with a Barcelona school and P7 pupils are writing letters to their twin school and receiving replies. The topic of the letters is the difference in cultures such as comparing ways that they celebrate Christmas etc. It was suggested later that each class could twin with their opposite number at the same Barcelona school and, in time, potentially each child could have their own twin.

    The Committee members discussed the possibility of utilising parents and foreign students who can speak another language as a way to learn a third language. St Elizabeth’s also runs an after school language club to learn Spanish.

    University students from other countries – regardless of what they are studying – could be given the chance to get involved with primary school language clubs.

    During discussion it was suggested that more EU shadow teachers could come to Scotland.

    Spanish is currently the only foreign language being used in St Elizabeth's and staff are working to employ the immersion approach and use Spanish everyday as and when they can. There has been a clear shift away from staff teaching Spanish as a discreet subject since they began working collaboratively with LFEE for the pilot project.

    Parents and Teachers

    The teacher for P1 and two other teachers were coming close to the end of their training in February 2013. The training course consists of 20 weeks of intensive training.

    The Scottish Government’s Working Group’s 1+2 Report recommends that the second foreign language to be taught under the Scottish Government’s proposal will not come in until P5 and will not be taught to the same level as the first, and so the school’s plans will be based on these recommendations.

    Parents were very positive about their children’s progress in Spanish and were interested to know how they could help.

    It was suggested that:-

  • sets of sound bites and basic words could be given out to children to put up at home so their parents could take part when their children speak Spanish at home;
  • Teachers should share ideas with other schools and other language teachers;
  • The children think it is a good idea for their parents to learn by using Glow at home;
  • The language teacher is working with the Development Officer for Technology at the Council;
  • Parents think it is important to keep the academic side out of the lessons at the P3 stage, there should be no exams and the lessons should remain fun and the language conversational;
  • St Elizabeth’s has Spanish playground games painted on the ground in the playground for children to practise their numbers and colours. These games have been there for several years.
  • Teachers commented that children were generally on a level playing field when learning Spanish and less academic pupils were not so inhibited because when new vocabulary was taught, all pupils were more or less at the same level.

    Visits to classes

    During the visits to classes, there was evidence of Spanish used to teach numbers in Maths. Many teachers are using Spanish throughout the day to order children's lunches, do the register, say prayers, count and use colour in art.

    We visited several classes and watched different methods and levels of learning e.g.

    P2/3 – Composite class – counting and playing Bingo in Spanish; meeting and greeting each other at different times of the day in Spanish; basic Spanish conversation; identifying simple pictures in Spanish. Some of these activities were done to music.

    P5/6 Composite class - Again this class were working on exercises in numbers and conversation. They also used clapping to count syllables and sang Spanish numbers and words to the tune of an English nursery rhyme. Their teacher explained that these methods are used for almost every subject and they worked as well for Spanish as they did for memorising arithmetical tables etc.

    P7 –This class worked on Spanish numeracy at a higher level than the others and showed us the letters they had written to their twin school in Barcelona.

    The day finished with a demonstration of Salsa dancing by the Spanish teacher and the Convener but they were out-done by the children singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in Spanish. A good time was had by all.

    European and External Relations Committee clerking team

    Visits to Balmerino and Leuchars Primary Schools, Fife, 18 February 2013

    Key points:

    Early learning

    • One of the schools began its language training in nursery (French). This primarily took the form of songs and games and reading stories. There was a general agreement that children were less self-conscious at this age and content to join in.

    Role of parents/family

    • The parents in Leuchars primary school were supportive on the learning of languages. They were content to assist the children in the evenings and applauded the enthusiasm which had been created in their children.
    • In some cases the children were encouraged to use their language (e.g. when visiting takeaway shops).
    • There was all a trickle down between siblings with the elder often teaching/enthusing the younger child

    Clustering

    • The arrangement of schools into language clusters (in the case of Fife, German and French) ensures a continuity of learning between primary and secondary.
    • Parents were generally satisfied with this arrangement although reservations were expressed about the limits it places upon the languages learned (Spanish was a notable absence from the curriculum).

    The role of language assistants

    • Both the schools visited shared a Mandarin language teacher. The resource was appreciated although there was a recognition that the teacher would be available only for short instalments.

    Mainstreaming the language

    • In both schools foreign language was mainstreamed into other lessons, often in the form of dates and time in jotters, instructions given (including PE), history/culture.

    The role of the internet

    • The internet was seen as a vital resource for the teaching of children.
    • GLOW the Scottish Government supported intranet system was not warmly applauded. There was a general consensus that similar or better material could be found elsewhere, without the added imposition of firewalls.
    • Parents were supportive of the use of the internet for home learning in supervised activity time.

    Language v culture (Mandarin)

    • In the teaching of Mandarin focus was placed upon the learning of culture/history and how that would inform songs and the retention of certain pictograms.
    • In the lower classes much was made of games and songs
    • In the upper classes, the pupils were able to hold short conversations

    European and External Relations Committee clerks

    Visit to Darvel and Kilmaurs Primary Schools, Ayrshire, 8 March 2013

    Darvel Primary School

    Tuition methods

    This school teaches French and we observed a French class for P7 pupils. The teaching consisted of identifying various things on cards in French, following instructions given in French for games, and singing songs in French. The pupils also translated French words which they had not heard before by identifying the same word groups as used in English.

    The pupils have 1 hour of French per week and supplement this with small things such as using the calendar in French every day. The teacher also used a DVD called Ed Paks but only had one disc so use of it was limited.

    Parental support

    Support at home ranged from nil to the use of a French dictionary and a DVD in French. The parent we spoke to later said that if pupils were given packs to take home containing French pictures and words to put up at home she would be happy to accept and use it.

    Pupil forum

    After the class we met with 6 pupils from the class and a lively discussion on the subject of language learning ensued and raised the following points (these points were not unanimous):

    • Before P6, pupils are still learning English and a 2nd foreign language would be too much. Learning your own first language well is more important than a 2nd foreign language;
    • They enjoy verbal French and conversation but written French and grammar at this stage is still difficult
    • They prefer the French lessons to be fun and informal and not to have the pressure of exams in French at this stage
    • They would like to see native French speakers having conversations
    • If they want to work in engineering they will need German and/or Italian
    • Given a choice of Chinese or Russian as a 2nd foreign language they would choose Chinese. The Chinese economy is getting bigger and Scottish people will not be able to speak Chinese to take advantage of that
    • If Scotland becomes independent and is, even temporarily, not a member of the EU, languages other than European languages will be very important to the Scottish economy
    • French P7 children speak English a lot better than we speak French
    • The Higher Education system would not include another language unless we needed it for work and then we would choose the appropriate language at that time.

    Teachers Forum

    • The French teacher has a degree in Modern Languages
    • That teacher would prefer to go for 1+1 to to start with to maintain the quality of the language education
    • Teaching the same language all the way through would help when teachers are absent or moving from one school to another
    • Teacher training would require a Higher Plus achievement in a language to be able to teach that language
    • The choice of languages at Secondary School is getting narrower and will impact on transition
    • Funding might be channelled to people who have a natural apptitude for languages to take the 2nd one
    • If the language education is to be properly embedded in the curriculum almost all teachers would need to be trained
    • The Scottish Government’s report mentions teachers achieving the highest possible standard of spoken language and that is not possible
    • We would need to double the number of language teachers at Secondary Schools to maintain 2 languages
    • It would be better to do one language really well
    • The curriculum is full and other subjects would be diluted to include languages
    • The teacher’s choice would be either not to start the 2nd foreign language in primary school at all, or at least only in upper primary and then as a taster;
    • 1 hour per week is ideal;
    • Foreign language assistants were good but the funding for them has been cut.

    Parent

    • Why do foreign languages so often have to be restricted to French or German – can we not widen the choice?
    • When this parent lived in Cambridgeshire every term they did a taster of a different language to open the pupils’ minds to other languages and to increase their confidence and this was well received by the pupils.
    • The pupils should be using he languages most widely used in the world at this time and that is not French or German.
    • In Scandinavian countries children speak English well because they watch TV in English. Scottish children do not get the same opportunity. Cartoons in foreign languages would work very well as a learning resource.
    • Children want to know that their learning has a purpose. It also has to be relevant to the world at the moment. How the language is learned is also important.

    Kilmaurs Primary School

    This school also teaches French and we observed a Primary 3-4 class in their French lesson.

    Teaching method

    The teaching method was cross-curricular with the lesson taking place partly in the classroom and partly in the gymnasium. In the classroom the lesson covered numbers, days of the week, naming fruits, basic grammar and conversation. In the gymnasium games involving the above were played with the instructions given in French.

    Pupils forum

    We met with 6 pupils who expressed an interest in different languages for different reasons, ranging from Sri Lankan and Japanese to American.

    They enjoyed their French lessons and supplemented them with watching TV programmes in foreign languages when they could. The subjects of those TV programmes were mainly cartoons or sport. They would welcome cartoons in French to help them with their French conversation.

    Teacher forum

    • The Teacher has Higher Russian
    • Transition to Secondary School was hugely important
    • The loss of language assistants due to funding cuts had been a huge loss
    • GLOW – should be used for twinning with foreign schools
    • Foreign Consulates could be useful in providing education in their countries’ culture
    • The teacher was in favour of all new teachers having a language included in their training

    Points agreed by both schools

    • Many existing teachers have languages they are not using – but having a language and teaching it are two different things and training would still be required to enable them to teach languages
    • while the 1+2 was welcomed, it would take careful planning, and a long time to implement if it is to be done properly
    • the curriculum is full and they asked what they would take out to make way for a 2nd foreign language
    • successful transition of language education to secondary school was hugely important
    • the loss of foreign language assistants has been a huge loss

    European and External Relations Committee clerking team

    Visit to Machanhill Primary School, Larkhall, 11 March 2013

    Christina McKelvie, the EER Committee Convener and Clare Adamson took part in this visit. Machanhill Primary school teaches French from Primary 3 upwards.

    Christina and Clare held discussions with members of the pupil council and other pupils (ranging from primaries 3 to 7), the head teacher and other teachers at the school.

    Pupil Council

    • Pupils described the games and activities used to learn French at their school – which they enjoyed much more than learning from books or reciting words. They didn’t study the culture of France apart from learning about the different food. They didn’t learn by immersion in other classes - apart from a few instances such as maths where the teacher had sufficient language skills.
    • Pupils were very appreciative of their teachers, and especially praised a teacher who was fluent in French as it made the language easier to learn. They described the progression of accumulative learning from Primaries 3 to 7 – starting with learning simple words and progressing to put the words together into sentences.
    • The school had had a Foreign Language Assistant for a short period who had been very popular with pupils. Older pupils said they were also motivated competitively by younger pupils learning the language as they didn’t want the younger pupils to be more skilled.
    • Extra-curricular language lessons were available but pupils had to pay to access them.
    • Machanhill does not participate in the Connecting Classrooms project but the local secondary school, Larkhall Academy does.
    • When asked about the Scottish Government’s proposal to learn two languages in primary school, the pupils said they would probably enjoy it but also wondered whether learning two languages rather than one could be more confusing.

    Headteacher

    • The headteacher thought the best languages to learn were those associated with economic growth – he suggested Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese.
    • When asked about the Scottish Government’s proposed funding for its 2 + 1 language proposals, he thought that the cost would vary widely depending on what the Scottish Government wanted to achieve. For example, if the aim was proficient language skills, the costs would vary hugely compared to lesser language skills.
    • Machanhill had no resources from the community who could help with teaching languages, e.g. migrants who might have language skills to offer.
    • Most teachers in schools and nurseries were in need of language training - although one teacher in the school was fluent to university level.
    • The school had received Comenius programme funds via the British Council which had funded a native French speaker to work in the school. This had been very successful but had only lasted for a year.
    • The headteacher supported the proposal to learn more languages but thought that the Scottish Government would need to maintain the momentum to be successful, that it would take some time to work and that there was a cultural barrier to overcome of the current Scottish mind-set that learning another language other than English wasn’t necessary.

    European and External Relations Committee Clerks

    Visit to Lochyside R C Primary School, Fort William, 18 March 2013

    Response to Committee’s inquiry

    a) Is there enough money……….? insufficient information to answer the question.

    b) Do existing teachers have the skills… ?

    We should carry out a national audit to ascertain current position of skills in Modern Languages

    ….teaching resources…..?

    Gaelic resources are excellent. They include audio, visual and display materials, are provided as part of the training and are very relevant to CfE methods.

    MLPS French: none of the above. School are obliged to buy or make their own resources for use with pupils. Good ideas are now coming from websites (such as Passeporte Francophone) which are suitable for CfE.

    There is no formal training in Scots at present. A good range of materials is available commercially for schools to buy and staff make their own resources.

    Should there be more training and support ?

    These should be on-going for existing teachers, to maintain fluency, confidence and relevance. Training and support would be good for morale. At present some language teachers can feel isolated or that their language is undervalued by colleagues.(NOT in this school!!)

    Regular contact with colleagues at ASG level would also help e.g. through an agreed programme of work, ensuring coverage, progression and continuity, particularly at transition stage.

    c) What is the capacity within the curriculum to accommodate greater language study? Can it be embedded in existing teaching?

    The best way to accommodate extra language study is through CfE, where language work can easily be integrated with cross curricular activities. The Wee Big Books Project was designed with this in mind.

    Specific lessons on language teaching will still be required, however .

    Organisation within schools would need to be arranged according to individual circumstances i.e. number of trained staff, composite classes, school role etc.

    Such a cross curricular approach also requires careful monitoring of progression and coverage.

    Which languages should children be learning and why?

    I suggest they should be learning Scots and Gaelic because they are our native languages.

    Traditionally, French (and German) have been taught, so more staff are readily available to deliver lessons in those languages than in Norwegian or Spanish, for example.

    What is the role of languages in economic development?

    It facilitates other learning.

    Learning additional languages encourages a broad-minded approach to other cultures.

    It widens the scope for employment and business, both personally and as a nation.

    What should children be learning to help them get jobs, help Scotland flourish economically?

    From an economic point of view, at present, perhaps Mandarin might be a good language for children to learn.

    Report of school visit

    The Wee Big Book Project ( October 2012-December 2013)

    The aim of the project is to produce a series of A3 size books, on topics across the curriculum. Teacher Guides will be provided and include suggestions for language work as well as further cross-curricular activities on the theme of the Book.

    Scots is taught in all classes. At present, French and Gaelic are taught in p5-7 but by August 2013 this will extend across all stages.

    The simple text will be in Scots/French/Gaelic. Text will be written by Mrs Murphy. Translations will be provided by specialists, with input from pupils at Lochaber High School.

    Titles to date:

    • in French Here is A Seed (Science) , The Banana Book (Fair Trade) , Scotland and Senegal (Geography)
    • in Scots The King With 3 Sons (RE).

    Other suggested titles are

    St Columba, Gaelic Fairy Story

    Design, illustrations and publication will be undertaken by Lochyside pupils themselves, under the guidance of the Artist in Residence at Room 13 Art Studio.

    A series of Workshops has begun, to enable the pupils to study the technical and artistic features of books. Three have already taken place and two more are planned, with a professional graphic artist and an illustrator.

    The generous Funding for this Project has made it possible to involve such expertise.

    Following discussions with Miss Smith and Mrs Murphy, Mr McGrigor observed a French lesson with P7 and talked to groups of children about their work in the three target languages. The children shared their opinions readily and were enthusiastic about their experiences.

    Mr McGrigor was then introduced to Johnnie Soe-Paing, (MD Lochyside Room 13 aged 10), Ms Claire Gibb and Mr Rob Fairley (Artists in Residence Room 13), who explained their part in the Wee Big Book Project.

    Mr McGrigor was presented with a dvd about Room 13 and its work.

    Miss Smith and Mrs Murphy thanked Mr McGrigor for his visit and support for the project and extended an invitation to come again.

    Lochyside Primary School teachers

    Visit to Donibristle Primary School, Dalgety Bay, 25 March 2013

    EER Committee member Helen Eadie went on this visit and had discussion with various teachers at the school. Donibristle Primary School teaches French and German at Primary 6 and 7. The school would like to teach languages from nursery level but does not have sufficiently trained teachers to do this.

    The main discussion points were:

    Teacher training

    • The school has a high proportion of teachers trained under the 1990’s MLPS (Modern Languages in the Primary School) initiative in French and German, - although they highlighted that a significant period of time had elapsed since this training. Some teachers are not MLPS trained but teach languages.

    Continuity from primary to secondary

    • This school has not experienced any problems of transition for children who wish to carry on with their language learning when they move to a secondary school - although they mentioned that the local secondary school may move its emphasis to Spanish which is not taught at Donibristle PS.
    • Teachers noted that there is great variation in levels of language skills amongst the primary schools in their cluster that feed into the local secondary school – they found it frustrating that pupils with more advanced knowledge from Donibristle could be held back by those from other schools with lesser abilities.
    • The local secondary school had an arrangement to allow a specialist languages secondary teacher to work with Donibristle pupils which all found helpful.

    Policy and development

    • Teachers stated that their local authority had begun a policy of composite classes to save resources which made the class more challenging to teach.
    • Foreign language students had assisted language teachers in previous years which teachers had found to be very beneficial.
    • Languages were taught with a level of immersion. For example, Primary 7 had created a French café when studying the topic of food. Teachers thought that the immersion technique was important, more purposeful and effective - but a challenge in an overcrowded curriculum.
    • The Donibristle teachers liked a model used in Canada where teachers could take 1 year out in every 5 years to work abroad, learn new skills and travel. Pay was lower overall as 4 years pay was spread over 5 years. However the Donibristle teachers felt this was more than compensated for by the ability to recharge and learn new skills in the year off. They also supported a pilot of introducing Latin in another Scottish school on the basis this would encourage learning of language structure.

    Input from community

    • Teachers said that parents did not have great input into language classes, but were involved in other types of classes or often helped in promoting cultural events such as Diwali or Chinese New Year.
    • There were a wide range of nationalities/ languages represented by the school pupils and their parents including Polish, Russian, Hungarian, Norwegian, Mexican, Urdu and Welsh – as well as Scottish!
    • Teachers said that parents often discouraged children from speaking their mother tongue if it was not English, as they believed that speaking English was more important.

    1 + 2 model

    • Helen discussed the Scottish Government’s 1 + 2 language proposals with the teachers who thought it would have a great impact on what training was provided especially to new teachers. Teachers thought that trained teachers delivering their own language class was a more effective way of language teachers than a peripatetic specialist as permanent teachers would have a better knowledge of their class.

    EU funds

    • Teachers thought that knowledge of EU funded opportunities was usually acquired randomly by teachers rather than universally. They were not aware of information from the British Council. One teacher had been on an EU funded visit to France due to the opportunity being highlighted by Le Francais en Ecosse on a teacher training course. She described the application form as difficult, and had given up a week of her holidays to go so that the school did not have the problem of backfilling her post.

    European and External Relations Committee Clerks

    Annexe E – Reports of conference on 10 May 2013

    Report of plenary sessions

    Workshop 1: Funding

    Workshop 2: Skills and resources

    Workshop 3: Importance of languages

    Workshop 4: Policy and development

     


     

    Footnotes:

    1 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Cols 1101 and 1104.

    2 http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/05/3670

    3 Taken from the Scottish Government motion for the 24 May 2012 Scottish Parliament plenary debate.

    4 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Col 1112.

    5 The Scottish Government supports Gaelic Medium Education (GME) through a number of policies and funding streams. Currently GME is available in 21 local authorities. This provision varies from early years up to and including secondary education. All local authorities are eligible to bid into the Gaelic Education Specific Grant to help support Gaelic provision in their area. The Scottish Government also has a Gaelic Schools Capital fund which is open to all local authorities to bid into. For 2010/11, £1.35 million was made available from the Capital fund.

    6 The Committee videos are available on the EERC’s website at: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/56920.aspx

    7 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Col 1102.

    8 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Col 1106.

    9 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Col 1105.

    10 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 21 February 2013, Cols 940 – 943, and Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, break out group reports.

    11 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 7 March 2013, Col 994.

    12 Scottish Government. (2012) Languages Working Group report, Language Learning in Scotland: A 1 + 2 Approach. Available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/05/3670/0

    13 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 7 March 2013, Col 1021.

    14 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, report of visit to Dalmarnock primary school, see Annexe D.

    15 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 21 February 2013, Cols 973-4

    16 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, transcript of plenary sessions, Col 32, see Annexe E.

    17 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Col 1102.

    18 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 7 March 2013, Col 992.

    19 Cosla. Written submission, paragraph 4, and Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 21 February 2013, Col 965.

    20 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Col 1103.

    21 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, break out group 1 report, see Annexe E.

    22 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, transcript of plenary sessions, Col 25, and break out group 1 report, see Annexe E.

    23 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 10 January 2013, Col 820.

    24 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, transcript of plenary sessions, Col 30, see Annexe E.

    25 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, transcript of plenary sessions, Col 32, see Annexe E.

    26 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 7 February 2013, Col 903.

    27 COSLA written submission.

    28 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Cols 1108-1110.

    29 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Col 1108.

    30 Hub models are intended to provide an effective centre to learning activity in a geographical area.

    31 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, break out group 1 report, see Annexe E.

    32 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Cols 1103-1104.

    33 The current European Lifelong Learning Programme with a budget of nearly €7 billion for the 2007-2013 period is made up of four sectoral programmes on school education (Comenius), higher education (Erasmus), vocational training (Leonardo da Vinci) and adult education (Grundtvig). In order to overcome the fragmentation of current instruments the Commission has proposed to create an integrated programme for education, training and youth ('Education Europe'), with a clear focus on developing skills and mobility to begin in 2014.

    34 British Council Scotland. Written submission.

    35 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, report of visit to Donibristle primary school, see Annexe D.

    36 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, report of visit to Donibristle primary school, see Annexe D.

    37 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, transcript of plenary sessions, Col 26, see Annexe E.

    38 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, break out group 1 report, see Annexe E.

    39 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, break out group 1 report, see Annexe E, and Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 21 February 2013, Col 940.

    40 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Col 1111.

    41 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Cols 1110 – 1112.

    42 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, break out group 2 report, see Annexe E.

    43 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, transcript of plenary sessions, Cols 31-33, and break out group 4 report, see Annexe E.

    44 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, report of visit to Donibristle primary school, see Annexe E.

    45 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, report of visit to Donibristle primary school, see Annexe D.

    46 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Cols 1117-1118.

    47 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Col 1117.

    48 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Col 1118.

    49 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 7 March 2013, Col 1002.

    50 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 21 February 2013, Col 948.

    51 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, break out group 2 report, see Annexe E.

    52 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Col 1116.

    53 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, report of visit to Donibristle primary school, see Annexe D, and Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 7 February 2013, Col 901.

    54 http://ec.europa.eu/languages/languages-of-europe/languages-2010-and-beyond_en.htm

    55 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 7 February 2013, Cols 909 – 910.

    56 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, break out group 3 report, see Annexe E.

    57 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, break out group 3 report, see Annexe E.

    58 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 21 February 2013, Cols 950 and 973, and Official Report, 7 March 2013, Cols 998–999.

    59 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, break out groups 2 and 3 reports, see Annexe E.

    60 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Col 1113.

    61 Written evidence. National Union of Students Scotland and Confederation of British Industry Scotland.

    62 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, break out group 3 report, see Annexe E.

    63 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, break out group 3 report, see Annexe E.

    64 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 21 March 2013, Col 1050.

    65 Written evidence. National Union of Students Scotland. Confederation of British Industry Scotland, Learning to grow: what employers need from education and skills: education and skills survey 2012. Available at: http://www.cbi.org.uk/media/1514978/cbi_education_and_skills_survey_2012.pdf (Submitted to the European and External Relations Committee as written evidence).

    66 Confederation of British Industry Scotland, Learning to grow: what employers need from education and skills: education and skills survey 2012. Available at: http://www.cbi.org.uk/media/1514978/cbi_education_and_skills_survey_2012.pdf (Submitted to the European and External Relations Committee as written evidence).

    Scottish Government. (2012) Languages Working Group report, Language Learning in Scotland: A 1 + 2 Approach. Available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/05/3670/0

    67 Confederation of British Industry Scotland, Learning to grow: what employers need from education and skills: education and skills survey 2012. Available at: http://www.cbi.org.uk/media/1514978/cbi_education_and_skills_survey_2012.pdf (Submitted to the European and External Relations Committee as written evidence).

    68 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, transcript of plenary sessions, Col 26.

    69 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 21 March 2013, Col 1048.

    70 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 21 March 2013, Cols 1055-1057.

    71 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 21 March 2013, Cols 1055-1057.

    72 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Col 1125.

    73 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 7 February 2013, Col 912.

    74 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, break out group 3 report, see Annexe E.

    75 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, break out group 3 report, see Annexe E.

    76 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Col 1124.

    77 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 7 March 2013, Col 1026.

    78 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Col 1127.

    79 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Col 1127.

    80 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, transcript of plenary sessions, Col 21.

    81 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, report of visit to Donibristle primary school, see Annexe D.

    82 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, transcript of plenary sessions, Col 22.

    83 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 7 March 2013, Col 1005. Written evidence. National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers.

    84 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, break out group 3 report, see Annexe E.

    85 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, transcript of plenary sessions, Cols 18-19.

    86 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, transcript of plenary sessions, Cols 18-19.

    87 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 24 January 2013, Col 884.

    88 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 21 February 2013, Col 952.

    89 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 21 February 2013, Col 953.

    90 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, break out group 4 report, see Annexe E

    91 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 21 February 2013, Col 962.

    92 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 7 March 2013, Cols 1006-7.

    93 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 7 March 2013, Col 997.

    94 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 24 January 2013, Cols 866-867. Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, break out group 4 report, see Annexe E

    95 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 24 January 2013, Col 875.

    96 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 24 January 2013, Col 873.

    97 http://ec.europa.eu/languages/languages-of-europe/languages-2010-and-beyond_en.htm

    98 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, break out group 2 report, see Annexe E.

    99 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 24 January 2013, Col 871.

    100 Written evidence. British Council Scotland.

    101 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 24 January 2013, Col 871-879. Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 21 February 2013, Col 964.

    102 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 7 March 2013, Col 1000.

    103 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 7 March 2013, Col 997. Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, reports of visits to Darvel and Kilmaurs primary school, see Annexe D.

    104 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 7 March 2013, Col 997.

    105 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 21 February 2013, Col 970.

    106 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 21 March 2013, Cols 1064 and 1066.

    107 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Col 1120.

    108 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 21 February 2013, Cols 960-961, and 971-973.

    109 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 21 February 2013, Cols 966 and 975.

    110 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, break out group 4 report, see Annexe E.

    111 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Col 1101.

    112 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, break out group 2 report, see Annexe E.

    113 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Col 1120.

    114 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 24 January 2013, Col 882.

    115 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 21 February 2013, Cols 966 - 967.

    116 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, report of visit to Donibristle primary school, see Annexe D.

    117 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, transcript of plenary sessions, Cols 31-32. Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, break out group 4 report, see Annexe E.

    118 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, 10 May 2013 conference, transcript of plenary sessions, Cols 31-32.

    119 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. Official Report, 18 April 2013, Col 1121.

    120 Modern Languages Excellence Report, Scottish CILT, 2011

    121 Trends in Policies and Practices for Multilingualism in Europe, Language Rich Europe, 2012

    122 Modern Languages Excellence Report, Scottish CILT, 2011

    123 Trends in Policies and Practices for Multilingualism in Europe, Language Rich Europe, 2012

    124 Modern Languages Excellence Report, Scottish CILT, 2011

    125 Modern Languages Excellence Report, Scottish CILT, 2011

    126 http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2013/01/gaelic-funding4113

    127 Trends in Policies and Practices for Multilingualism in Europe, Language Rich Europe, 2012

    128 For the full version of the report, see http://www.scotlandgoesglobal.co.uk/research-videos/

    129 Ready to Grow: Business Priorities for Education and Skills – Education Skills Survey 2010 (CBI, 2010) p. 23.

    130 The Economic Case for Language Learning and the Role of Employer Engagement (Education and Employers Taskforce, 2011), p. 5.

    131 Ibid.

    132 See http://www.strath.ac.uk/media/faculties/hass/scilt/statistics/ML_in_S4-S6_Overview.pdf

    133 Erasmus – Facts, Figures & Trends: the European Union support for student and staff exchanges and university cooperation in 2009/2010 (European Union, 2011), p. 25.

    134 The biggest number of outgoing students originated from Spain (27,448) followed by France (24,426) and Germany (24,029). The annual growth rate was highest in Cyprus (38.2%), followed by Estonia (31.6%) and Turkey (15.8%). The annual growth rate of outgoing students was above 10% in nine countries: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Spain, Ireland, Latvia, Sweden, Iceland and Turkey. See Lifelong Learning Programme: The Erasmus Programme 2009/10 - A Statistical Overview (European Commission, 2011), p. 12.

    135 For more on study abroad and its link to graduate employability, see Developing Scotland’s Graduates for the Global Economy: From Here to Where (NUS Scotland, 2012).

    136 Next Generation UK: Research with UK Undergraduates Aged 19-21 (British Council/YouGov 2011), p. 52.

    137 Ready to Grow: Business Priorities for Education and Skills (CBI, 2010), p. 23.

    138 The Global Skills Gap: Preparing Young People for the New Global Economy (British Council/Think Global, 2011), p. 4.

    139 The Mismanagement of Talent: Employability and Jobs in the Knowledge Economy (OUP, 2004), p. 220.

    140 Cited from a forthcoming FSB report into exporting.

    141 See: “Raising the Standards: An FSB Skills Survey”, Federation of Small Businesses, 2011.

    142 http://www.cbi.org.uk/media/1514978/cbi_education_and_skills_survey_2012.pdf

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