A 1+2 Approach

Our 1+2 newsletters aim to support Development Officers in implementing the policy across Scotland.

December 2018


Dear colleagues

Welcome to the winter edition of SCILT’s 1+2 newsletter.  This year the team at SCILT has been considering ways of improving our service to ensure add best value to the work of all our stakeholders.  We’ve looked at way of developing what we can offer in terms of professional learning.  While still continuing with the CLPL menu, we’ve also moved to a more collaborative and bespoke partnership-based approached with our officers working closely with local authority colleagues and groups of teachers over an extended period of time.  These professional learning partnerships are tailored to meet needs that have been identified through schools’ own self-evaluation processes with an understanding that the learning generated by the partnership will be shared through a range of knowledge exchange activities.  Similarly, we’ve been looking at ways of developing our online capability so that the profession can access high quality learning at a time and place of their choosing.  We feel the collaboration between SCILT and the Open University is an important move towards building capacity amongst the profession so that 1+2 languages become sustainable.  Teacher confidence, unsurprisingly, is key to realising the recommendation of the policy and we feel that the course offers teachers an opportunity to learn a new language or upskill an existing one while also developing their range of effective teaching approaches.  Evaluation of the pilot revealed that 80% of participants felt that as a result of undertaking the course, they felt more confident and equipped to teach a language.  What is even more encouraging was that pupils reported an increase in engagement and motivation thanks to the high quality lessons their teachers are leading.  Additionally, we’ve started planning collaboration with SCEL at Education Scotland which should result in a new offer to language teachers in all school sectors.  Information about this will be posted in the SCILT weekly bulletin and on our website.  If you haven’t signed up to the bulletin, or if recent GDPR regulations have removed you from our lists, then please subscribe by following this link http://bit.ly/sciltnewsbulletin

We are always very keen to listen to suggestions from our stakeholders, so please feel free to get in touch with us.  We want to make sure that SCILT informs, interests and inspires the languages community and firmly believe that by collaboration, dialogue and the sharing of ideas we can all move forward together.

Fhiona Mackay, Director

SCILT news

author Lynne Jones, SCILT, ()

Coming in 2019: More leadership and collaborative CLPL opportunities

The 1+2 Languages Leadership Programme (LLP) was recognised for the second consecutive year at the GTCS Excellence in Professional Learning Awards in September 2018. The registration of the next cohort of the 1+2 LLP will go live in the new year and we will welcome applications from teachers who have, or who aspire to have, leadership roles and responsibilities that support the implementation of the 1+2 Approach in their school, cluster or local authority.

As usual, the programme will start with a summer school at the University of Strathclyde. The summer school will run from 1 to 4 July 2019 and will feature workshops and seminars led by a variety of language educators with a wide range of expertise in issues of practice, policy and leadership.

Look out for registration information in the SCILT e-bulletin and Education Scotland Modern Languages newsletter in early 2019.

At SCILT/CISS, we recognise that leadership is key to the sustainability of languages education. We are keen to continue supporting the development of leadership in languages education for all sectors and at all levels. As such, we are pleased to share that we are in the early stages of planning for a range of innovative regional and national professional learning opportunities, based around learning activities in the Framework for Educational Leadershipdeveloped by the Scottish College of Educational Leadership/Education Scotland. These new, collaborative professional learning opportunities will be on offer in April 2019.


author Meryl James and Janette Kelso, SCILT, ()

New resource will help schools and colleges run local events to highlight the business value of languages through direct engagement with employers

On 16 November 2018 at the first national Language Linking Business Thinking conference in Edinburgh, the College Development Network and SCILT announced the immediate availability of the business and language toolkit. The toolkit will enable careers advisers and Developing the Young Workforce representatives in schools, colleges, and universities to organise locally-based events that highlight the relevance of language skills in many professions to learners of all ages.

“This is a fantastic resource and will be in much demand,” said Meryl James, Senior Development Officer at SCILT.

Positive impact

A number of schools and languages departments have already used the toolkit to organise highly successful business and language events for pupils nearing the end of their broad general education. Subsequently, an increased number of students have opted to continue with their language study into the following year. The toolkit, including videos of employers arguing the case for languages, will enable staff in schools, colleges and universities to create events where business representatives can demonstrate first-hand to young learners why it will be important to keep going with languages, regardless of their intended career aspiration.

“This was a truly inspiring event,” said Suzanne Marshall, Curriculum and Teaching Lead at College Development Network. “We heard from key employers in the service and STEM industries about the value of languages in these sectors. Staff now have lots of ideas to help them put languages on the local map.”

Toolkit now available

The toolkit has been produced in response to demand from staff in schools and colleges and is now available on the SCILT website.

author Clare Mouat, SCILT, ()

Pupils and parents from three primary schools in North Ayrshire joined a group of senior citizens at the Harbour Arts Centre in Irvine on 15 November 2018 to celebrate family and intergenerational language learning. The event opened with keynotes from Education Scotland and The National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS), and marked the launch of the new ‘Languages in a Nutshell’ leaflet, which has been produced by NPFS in partnership with SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages.

Pupils and parents/carers from Springside and Loudoun Montgomery Primaries in Irvine and St Winning’s Primary in Kilwinning, together with a group of senior citizens who have worked with St Winning’s pupils to learn Spanish, enjoyed a programme of interactive workshops supporting family and intergenerational language learning. The event was organised by North Ayrshire Council in partnership with SCILT and NPFS.

‘Languages in a Nutshell’ is one in a series of Nutshell leaflets produced by NPFS. Aimed at parents and carers, this leaflet explains how the Scottish Government’s 1+2 Approach to language learning will be put into practice and why learning other languages is so important.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “My congratulations to The National Parent Forum of Scotland and Scotland's National Centre for Languages on the launch of this new ‘Languages in a Nutshell’ leaflet, focusing on the 1+2 language policy and the significance of language learning.

“Languages open up a world of opportunities to young people; having the ability to communicate with others is key to individual future success and in our increasingly globalised economy. That is why the Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that all young people receive their full entitlement to learning two additional languages between primary one and their third year of secondary school.”

author Hannah Doughty, SCILT, ()

This issue, the last under the current editor Dr Hannah Doughty, has contributions from a diverse range of authors.

Within Scotland, Rebecca Colquhoun has built on the survey conducted by Murray in Issue 33. She conducted another survey with different staff and pupils on their views about the Scottish Government’s 1+2 language policy, complemented by interviews in one local authority. Her findings raise concerns about the long-term sustainability of the 1+2 policy. On the other side of the globe, Renee Gilgen is concerned about the impact of British colonisation on New Zealand’s teachers of Maori. Her article and findings will resonate in particular with EAL and community language teachers.

Returning to the Scottish context, Xingyuan Niu and Ilene McCartney provide us with welcome insights into their respective professional enquiries. The former sought to make the teaching of Chinese characters more effective and enjoyable; the latter wanted to meet the diverse needs of her multi-composite class. In the European context, Magda Maver reports on her action research project between students in Croatia and Iceland, using new media to increase motivation to learn English.

Call for papers for our next edition

We are interested in submissions that consider any aspects of language learning/teaching or language policy, in Scotland or in other parts of the world. The SLR is read by linguists and educational stakeholders in many countries, not just Scotland, so your article can really have an impact!

News from partners

author Louise Glen, Education Scotland, ()

The Modern Languages team at Education Scotland is delighted to announce that Shona Hugh, formerly PT Modern Languages at Williamwood High in East Renfrewshire, joined us in a permanent post as Development Officer for Languages in October. Some of you may remember that Shona was seconded to Education Scotland in 2014/15 when she worked with many local authorities to support languages as well as to provide national advice around 1+2. Shona will work with Louise Glen, Senior Education Officer for Languages, to inform and support practitioners in the delivery of all aspects of language learning and policy across Scotland.

author Liz Neil, British Council Scotland, ()

€36 million of Erasmus+ funding is reserved in 2019 for UK schools and colleges providing general, vocational or technical education to pupils aged 3 – 18 years. The funding supports professional development for teaching and non-teaching staff. It can cover job-shadowing and teaching placements overseas, or staff can join training courses on hot topics such as school leadership, mental health, languages, digital learning, STEM and much more.

The funding also supports pupil exchanges in Europe and enables UK schools to work on exciting projects with schools abroad. We have some good examples from Northern Ireland available on our website and are always keen to develop more.

There are two main application deadlines: 5 February and 21 March 2019. Schools can apply individually or as a consortium and we will offer support to applicants through webinars and one-to-one appointments.

Please find out more and apply for Erasmus+ Schools funding now.

Any questions? Please email Erasmus+ enquiries

author Francisco Valdera Gil and Hazel Crichton, (University of Glasgow), ()

Recent policy reforms in Scotland mean that all primary teachers are expected to teach an additional language to children from age five, introducing a second additional language around age nine. A recent, small-scale research study aimed to ascertain 38 primary teachers’ perceptions of their confidence to teach an additional language to primary learners and what they felt would be helpful in developing their language proficiency and language teaching pedagogy. The teachers, while enthusiastic about the thinking behind the policy, expressed concern about their ability to provide a good model of language to their classes and their own development as learners of a language while simultaneously having to teach it. Language assistants, secondary colleagues and development officers were seen as valuable sources of support, but questions were raised about the sustainability of the policy without long-term permanent commitment.

The National Framework for Languages for Initial Teacher Education (NFfL) offers a support framework for teachers at any stage to engage with the 1+2 agenda, plurilingualism and pluriliteracies in Scotland.  The framework is built on four principles: plurilingualism, diversity, policy and legislation and transformative practices. Through the NFfL website, teachers can access the LENS (Language Education National Support) tool which offers access to theory, linked to the different aspects of the framework, and to the Language Academic Portfolio, which is an interactive tool to support teacher reflection.


The goal of languages education is plurilingualism: the ability to use more than one language appropriately. Using language involves learning language. It also involves linking languages with literacies.


We live in a linguistically and culturally diverse society. Recognising, valuing and promoting this linguistic and cultural diversity underpins plurilingualism.

Policy and legislation

The learning and teaching of languages and literacies follows national policies and guidelines which integrate with wider European and global goals for plurilingualism.

Transformative practices

Plurilingualism benefits all learners. This insight transforms classrooms in critical and creative ways. Transformative practices challenge individuals to consider how they see themselves and others, and how they might engage in and contribute to society.

Access the National Framework for Languages (Scotland)

Local authority updates

Thank you to the following local authorities for sharing how they are implementing the 1+2 approach.

author Sylvia Georgin, Aberdeenshire Council, ()

It is with great sadness that Aberdeenshire schools say goodbye to two Spanish and six French MLAs and three German Educational Trainees (GETs). These young people have been an invaluable asset to our schools and provided pupils with an up-to-date view of their home country, its evolving language and culture. They have been motivational and an inspiration to all our pupils, and their impact has been huge.

Despite the initial challenges of coming to an unknown place, working in unfamiliar surroundings and negotiating a very rural location, Neus Colomer Collell, a Spanish MLA, summed up her experience by saying: “This has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have learned so much and everyone around me has been so kind and helpful. I will really miss all the staff and pupils.”

Another assistant loves Scotland so much that she had decided to stay on and get a job here!

Thank you to all of them from all of us here in Aberdeenshire.

Return to June 2018 newsletter

author Marie-Claire Lyon, Aberdeen City Council, ()

February 2018 saw Aberdeen City Council schools welcome 12 student teachers from the University of Grenoble-Alpes. This is the third year that we have participated in a programme of visits by French teacher trainees, and this year we extended the programme to our Northern Alliance partners: Highland schools welcomed five students and Shetland Islands schools welcomed four.

The students spent two weeks in primary and secondary schools and the feedback we received from them and the schools was very positive. They enhanced the language learning experience of the pupils, bringing elements of culture and supporting teachers with interactive activities as well as pronunciation. They enjoyed a day at the University of Aberdeen School of Education, where they took part in workshops organised by Scottish student teachers. This also provided opportunities for Scottish schools to establish a link with French partners.

This programme of visits is part of the students’ training programme in France and they take advantage of their school holidays to travel.

The French course co-ordinator in Grenoble has confirmed that interest is increasing and we are now working together to plan next year’s programme.

Return to June 2018 newsletter

author Jacqueline Adam, Aberdeen City Council, ()

Aberdeen City Libraries hosted a family Global Storytime at the Central Children’s Library in March 2018 as part of the annual ‘Arts across learning’ festival fringe programme, organised by Aberdeen City Council’s Creative Learning Team. This was a fascinating opportunity to explore languages and stories from around the world and celebrate the diversity of cultures in Aberdeen.

Seven storytellers narrated stories or poems in Russian, German, Gaelic, French, Polish and Arabic. Hearing the language spoken by native speakers allowed the audience to appreciate the expressiveness of the languages and they could often grasp the essentials of the story despite not understanding every word. There was some very enthusiastic audience participation with the stories as we learned to count in Gaelic and interact with one of the best books ever written – ‘Press here’ by Hervé Tullet, told in its original French.

A traditional Russian story by Pushkin and expressive nursery rhymes in Polish left the audience wanting more of the rhythmic beauty of those languages. Well-loved children’s stories, ‘The very hungry caterpillar’ and ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’, were read in German and Arabic and enabled the audience to identify individual words from their previous knowledge of the books.

Feedback from the audience was very positive and some young members of the audience were lulled to sleep through the magic of the spoken word, showing just how powerful stories are in any language! While this was the first time Aberdeen City Libraries have held such an event, judging from the audience’s reaction, it certainly won’t be the last!


Return to June 2018 newsletter

author Stacey Arneil, North Ayrshire Council, ()

Across North Ayrshire, teachers have been confidently embedding the language content from Years 1-3 of the North Ayrshire Language Learning Framework. Most of this language is taught through daily routines.

As teachers began implementing Years 4 and 5 of the framework, we realised that embedding the language content at these stages was more challenging for class teachers. With this in mind, we developed a resource pack for pupils to become leaders in language in their own classroom. The Lingo Leaders programme aims to support teachers by allowing pupils to take the lead in consolidating language learning in the classroom on a daily basis.

The resource pack contains everything the Lingo Leaders need to get started. They lead their peers in a variety of fun activities to practise their L2 for 10 minutes a day. They are responsible for helping the class teacher remember to allow them 10 minutes a day for language practice in the class. Lingo Leaders raise excitement about language learning while encouraging their peers to learn. In addition, they are developing fundamental leadership skills and building confidence in languages in their school.

Currently we have eight schools that have volunteered to pilot the Lingo Leaders programme. To measure the success of the programme, we are gathering information from the class teachers involved in order to record their opinions before, during and after the pilot. In addition, we will be in touch with the Lingo Leaders themselves to get their views. After the pilot is complete, we will look at ways to improve the programme and develop packs to support language learning in Years 5, 6 and 7 of our framework. Next session, we aim to rollout the Lingo Leaders programme across all primary schools in North Ayrshire in order to provide teachers with essential support in their classroom for a sustainable future for 1+2!

Return to June 2018 newsletter

author Angela Noble, North Ayrshire Council, ()

In North Ayrshire ASN schools, the aim is to teach Makaton to pupils and their surrounding community in order to open up pupils’ world of communication for everyday needs, learning and play. Through this, we aim to:

  • facilitate reciprocal communication between all members of our community
  • allow children to communicate as fully as possible
  • use Makaton to enhance a system of total communication

Once Makaton is well-established within these schools and surrounding communities, we aim to teach Spanish alongside Makaton.

We have a very pro-active working party comprised of senior management, teachers, speech and language therapists and the North Ayrshire 1+2 Team. Every member of staff in each school is being trained up in level 1 Makaton this year and further training is already in place for CLPL twilights and in-service days next year. Parents are learning alongside staff.

Eglinton Park rangers and café staff are going to receive Makaton training, meaning Eglinton Park will be the first place of business in the community to be ‘Makaton friendly’. They will gain valid certification and look forward to being able to chat with young people who regularly frequent this beautiful space. We hope many more businesses will follow suit.

Stacey and I are learning Makaton alongside families at Elderbank Primary. We will be able to sign alongside French/Spanish in all schools. This is a very exciting project, which is taking shape and making good sense for everyone.

Languages for all and all for languages!

Return to June 2018 newsletter

author Marie-Claire Lyon, Aberdeen City Council, ()

The Northern Alliance Learning Festival (formerly Aberdeen Learning Festival) took place in February 2018 in Aberdeen. We welcomed Janette Kelso and Meryl James from SCILT who ran a workshop for teachers.

We also organised an Erasmus+ workshop to inform teachers about opportunities and procedures to apply for grants for immersion courses and exchanges. A group of Aberdeen City Council teachers, who took part in the course in October 2017 at the Cavilam Alliance Française in Vichy in France, shared their experiences. They highlighted the ways in which it has enhanced their teaching practice and had an impact on their pupils.

The next group of primary teachers is preparing to go to Vichy this summer.


Return to June 2018 newsletter

author 1+2 Development Officer Team, South Ayrshire Council , ()

On 2 May 2018, South Ayrshire’s outdoor education centre, Dolphin House, was buzzing with the sound of primary pupils speaking French. Dolphin House is situated within the beautiful Culzean Estate, providing a stimulating, natural environment, which was fully utilised.

The event was composed of a variety of cross-curricular workshops which illustrated how to embed language learning throughout a school day. Although essential elements such as daily routines and classroom commands featured in the programme, these were used to support innovative and active experiences. In addition, aspects of learning for sustainability and outdoor learning were also included.

The five primaries in the Marr cluster were asked to participate. Each school sent four upper primary pupils and, as the day progressed, it was obvious that the interactions naturally added to established transition working within the cluster.

The first task was to make a fortune-teller so that the children could ask basic questions about colours, numbers and animals. This was a super icebreaker. Children from each school were then split into two groups for the morning session as each group would be experiencing different workshops.

One group started their morning with a fun game of L’arc de tir (archery). The language focus was on colours and numbers. Children were supported to speak as much French as possible: totalling scores, celebrating achievements, following instructions, etc. They then went back into a classroom setting where they learned how to establish a morning routine in French including days of the week, dates, months, weather and classroom commands. This involved the use of puppets, flashcards, active games and songs.

The other group spent their time on the beach where they carried out a conservation task. They were asked to hunt for natural and manmade items using a checklist with French vocabulary and picture clues. Despite the blustery weather, the children took to their task with enthusiasm! Back in the classroom, they practised their knowledge of parts of the body but with a twist – the Culzean Estate has recently become home to some Highland cattle. In recognition of this fact, a beetle drive activity had been adapted to accommodate this theme. The children took great pride in their artistic efforts!

Prior to lunch, the two groups came back together in order to share the learning with their peers. One of the main aims of the event was to enable the children to teach French in their own schools with confidence. This shared learning opportunity provided them with an initial experience of ‘being the teacher’! Through this feedback session, discussion followed about how to replicate these activities in schools – eg using hula hoops and beanbags for a colour and number target game, or carrying out a litter pick in French in the school grounds.

On the journey through the woodland area back to the bus, children had fun taking part in a military-style, French alphabet march. They were delighted to shout their French and give passers-by a wave!

Feedback from schools has been extremely positive and a week later children are already modelling French to their peers! The next step is to offer this event to other South Ayrshire clusters as we move towards full implementation in 2020.

Return to June 2018 newsletter

author Kate Findlater, West Lothian, ()

Lead Linguists from Whitburn Academy planned and devised a project for all P7s within West Lothian’s Whitburn cluster. Each school was given a different Francophonie country to research. Flags, characters, maps, fact files and more were created by the children and work was displayed for all to see! From this initial research activity, the Lead Linguists team developed a transition event, which took place at Whitburn Academy.

The P7s were encouraged to ask and answer questions as part of a ‘Find someone who…’ activity. After the initial icebreaker, teams were established and encouraged to look at all the different stands – from the French Polynesian Islands to Gabon, Senegal and more! They were given a quiz that allowed the children to utilise their reading for information skills. There was a great buzz about all the beautiful work that had been created and it was a fantastic opportunity for the P7s to meet their peers from other schools. After the quiz, third year pupils from Whitburn Academy did a presentation that outlined the value of learning languages. The event was rounded off with a video clip showing celebrities who speak a variety of languages such as Rita Ora and Hugh Jackman. Hopefully the day inspired young people to continue their language learning and become Lead Linguists of the future!

Return to June 2018 newsletter
University of Strathclyde Education Scotland British Council Scotland The Scottish Government
SCILT - Scotlands National centre for Languages