A 1+2 Approach

1+2 newsletter for development officers. Supporting the implementation of the 1+2 Approach to language learning across Scotland.

1+2 newsletter: June 2021


Dear colleagues

This time last year we were still all in strict lockdown, our schools closed and the number of cases and deaths due to Covid-19 rising. I think you will agree that we were all worried about language learning and whether the huge gains we had made in realising the recommendations of the 1+2 report would be lost, in what was meant to be its last year of implementation.

Now, I’m sure you’ll agree that the worst-case scenarios we were envisaging have not come to pass. Yes, two periods of school closures, staff and learners absent due to having to self-isolate, and all the anxiety that living through a global pandemic has brought, have been far from easy. However, thanks to technology, we have been able to find ways to collaborate and move learning forward. When I hear in the media claims that children and young people have not been learning this year, I want to scream – and indeed sometimes do! Thanks to the creativity of our teachers and the people who support them, the vast majority of Scotland’s youngsters have been learning – just in a different kind of way. Many of the approaches that have been adopted by our schools and local authorities during the pandemic are here to stay, for what has been learned cannot be unlearned. Far from the quality of the education we offer being irrevocably impoverished, we can see in these articles how it has been enhanced over the last year. Whether it is capacity building, online professional learning that develops the skills and professional competencies of workforce, or participation in a plethora of online experiences that enrichen and enhance the curriculum, the teaching profession has adapted and led change. Whether it is sharing our work digitally across the country through professional networks like LANGS and GLEANS, collaborating internationally through online conferences and social media platforms or introducing new languages like Polish and Arabic into the curriculum, we have been able to make it happen. Learning has not been lost.

Finally, as I write, restrictions start to loosen – even for those of us in Glasgow City who were stuck for a while on the Tier Three naughty step. As I look back on all the sadness and pain that the pandemic brought with us, there are moments of joy that will remain with me; rainbows in windows, drinking coffee in the snow; being reunited with friends. One such moment was seeing Abdullah and Majd Al Nakeeb from Stornoway Primary School showing the world their language skills. They embody everything that we are collectively trying to achieve; inclusion, tolerance and languages for all. Boys, your smiling faces give us all hope! Learning, most definitely, has not been lost.

Fhiona Mackay, Director

Download the SCILT 1+2 Newsletter: June 2021 as PDF

SCILT news

author Karen Faulds, SCILT

In collaboration with the Polish Social and Educational Society in Glasgow and the Polish Consulate in Edinburgh, SCILT has developed a resource to support teachers in the primary classroom to teach Polish as an L3. The ‘Ten Steps to Polish’ L3 programme has been developed and designed to provide a rich language and cultural learning experience for pupils in the upper primary. The comprehensive ‘Ten Steps to Polish’ handbook resource has been created for teachers, by teachers, and includes:

  • 10 lessons each with a descriptor
  • vocabulary lists with embedded sound files to support pronunciation
  • example dialogues to accompany each lesson
  • pupil language passport for self-assessment
  • framework of progression with links to suggested resources

The ‘Ten Steps to Polish’ handbook will feature in the Primary Classroom Resources section of the SCILT website and will be available to all practitioners. It is a useful tool for those wishing to begin implementing Polish as an L3 in the new session and beyond. In addition to the publication of the handbook, a series of Polish classes for teachers will run in the new term to support teachers with a basic knowledge and understanding of Polish language. These classes will be organised and delivered by the Polish Social and Educational Society in Glasgow, with SCILT providing an administrative role. Registration for classes is now open and will remain so in June. Classes are scheduled to begin in August and will be delivered over a period of eight weeks. They will be taught online by a native Polish speaker and a class teacher, some of whom have been involved in the programme’s design from the start. We hope the classes and handbook will equip teachers with the necessary tools to deliver Polish as an L3 in their school setting.

author Lynne Jones and Karen Liddle, SCILT and CISS


Presenting at a conference can be nerve-wracking at the best of times. If it’s presenting online at an international conference, it also requires synchronising watches to make sure you join at the right time. Plus, if it’s Spain, then a 7pm start should not come as a surprise! So it was, that on a Friday evening in March, my colleague Karen Liddle and I joined an enthusiastic group of Galician teachers to learn about some wonderful collaborative projects that connected young people across Europe and beyond.

We had been invited by Diana Pastoriza Espasandín from CAFI – el Centro Autonómico de Formación e Innovación (the equivalent of Education Scotland’s Professional Learning and Leadership Directorate) in Galicia to contribute to their two-day ‘Internacionaliza a túa escola’ conference about Erasmus+, eTwinning e outras propostas.

In our presentation, Karen and I shared the testimonies of Scottish educators involved in six very different projects celebrating languages and global citizenship:

  1. More than just play: An award-winning, learner-led international education eTwinning project around play and games. Led by Kirsten Barrett, St Maria Goretti Primary, Glasgow.
  2. Culture in a box: A penpal project with a cultural twist between primary schools in Scotland and Spain. Led by Lesley Sim, Dalry Primary, North Ayrshire.
  3. The Virtual Exchange Teacher programme: Delivering live online Mandarin lessons from China to Scottish school children. Led by Karen Liddle, Professional Development Officer at the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools.
  4. Digital fairy tales: A collaborative storytelling project between two primary schools in Scotland and Spain. Led by Jennifer Maxwell, a probationer teacher at Dykesmains Primary, North Ayrshire.
  5. Exploring the endless possibilities of an interdisciplinary approach to language learning: Key Action 2 Erasmus+ project with schools in Italy and France. Led by Lindsay Allen, Neilston Primary, East Renfrewshire.
  6. Generation Global: Key Action 2, three year, Erasmus+ project with colleagues in SCILT, Denmark and Norway to change attitudes towards languages in schools, businesses and wider society. Led by Sheena Bell and Paul Hare, SCILT.

Check out the great work of our contributors on this padlet.

As well as their interest in the various projects, conference delegates were keen to know how popular Spanish was as an additional language in Scottish schools; how widely Scottish teachers use CLIL pedagogical approaches and how we plan to promote international collaboration post-Brexit.

I live-tweeted the event, mindful that the scope of the presentations over the two days of the conference was vast. It was a privilege to learn first-hand about diverse international collaborations from schools, colleges and workplaces. Project themes included dancing, mental health, digital games, STEM, professional learning and so much more.

Above all, with presenters and delegates beaming in from Spain, Italy and Scotland, the conference itself was a fantastic example of international collaboration. Our new friends Diana, Saleta and the rest of the team at CAFI ensured the event ran smoothly, global pandemic notwithstanding.

It was very motivating to be part of #CAFI_Erasmus in March. The SCILT and CISS teams will be spreading their wings further in the coming months, sharing our work at more international conferences, so watch this space.

News from our partners

author Nathalie Korkmaz, Alliance Française Glasgow

Online quiz #Scotlandloveslanguages

The Alliance Française Glasgow organised an online quiz during Languages Week Scotland to challenge secondary pupils on their knowledge of French. Due to the current situation, we wanted to provide the most convenient option in the shape of a PowerPoint presentation, divided into four rounds: geography, emblems, culture and language. Congratulations to the winners: Merchiston Castle School, Paisley Grammar and Crathie School! A huge merci et bravo to all participating schools!

Now more than ever, we are committed to providing Scottish pupils with French courses that will guarantee effective learning through fun activities. As we all know, learning a language is not a ‘one size fits all’ experience. This is why the Alliance Française Glasgow tailors its courses to every school’s unique needs.

Fun with French at primary level

We were delighted to support the implementation of French at Crathie School in Aberdeenshire. Fun with French (available for P1 to P7 pupils) is our new series of workshops focusing on games, interactive story-telling sessions and much more to prove once and for all that learning French is fun!

Language and cultural workshops

We have developed a new series of workshops for secondary school pupils to immerse them in French culture (literature, history, art, food and more) and to explore the Francophone world.

Professional Learning opportunities for primary and secondary teachers

If you are looking for new ideas to create an engaging and motivating learning environment for your pupils, you will benefit immensely from attending our professional learning sessions, specifically designed for you.

If you require further information, would like to implement our workshops or attend a professional learning session, please email Alliance Française Glasgow.

We look forward to working with you again next year!

À bientôt avec l’Alliance Française Glasgow!

author Richard Tallaron, LFEE Europe and PowerLanguage

GTCS-accredited online course for registered secondary teachers

In light of the continuing Covid crisis and in consultation with GTCS, we are delighted to offer our regular three-week immersion courses as an online alternative. The French and Spanish courses started in April and will finish in June 2021 when the 40 participants will meet the GTCS requirements for residency.

Immersion courses in France and Spain

We are planning to run our immersion courses again from this autumn, with Scottish teachers able to attend courses in France and Spain in October 2021, April 2022 and the summer of 2022. More information will go out soon to registered schools and local authorities. This is potentially our last series of courses under Erasmus+ for Scottish teachers.

PowerLanguage news

Language and methodology training for teachers in Fife, Pan-Tayside and Falkirk Council

Teachers in these local authorities will soon be embarking on an exciting language learning journey in French, German or Spanish with a mixture of online and live language lessons from the PowerLanguage team. Teachers across Fife Council have already successfully pioneered this programme.

Teachers also have access to some live and recorded online methodology/pedagogy sessions linked to the teaching of languages in primary and secondary schools.

We have launched “stand-alone” Resource Packs for teachers or schools who wish to purchase content-led language teaching and learning resources specifically adapted to a CLIL/soft-CLIL methodology. More information, including pricing, is available on the PowerLanguage for Schools website.

author Megan Hammell, SCEN

On 21 May SCEN hosted ‘Developing Mandarin as an L3: Strategies for development’, an online event run by Ann Robertson, Advisor on 1+2 Languages for East Lothian, Midlothian and Scottish Borders. With over 20 attendees, Ann’s presentation focused on the importance of L3s in schools’ curricula in developing students’ confidence with literacy and numeracy, gaining new perspectives, and building their confidence in speaking and future language learning. The 1+2 languages policy helps students gain an understanding of global citizenship and opens their minds to new ways of thinking.

Ann highlighted that contextualising language learning and embedding languages across the curriculum, as well as connecting with schools in China, helps students consolidate their understanding of Mandarin and improve memory retention of key aspects of the language. The value of explaining to students which transferable skills they are developing also helps students understand the options for future employability. The benefits of outdoor learning were also discussed, as combining it with language learning exercises the mind on a multitude of levels.

After the presentation, attendees split up into break-out groups. They shared their context and their planning for L3 Mandarin, and they discussed five questions. Attendees shared their own experiences with Mandarin as an L3, their thoughts on developing Mandarin as an L3 in schools and best practice when trying to engage students in language learning.

To conclude, Ann summarised key points to remember in regard to Mandarin as an L3:

  • connected – wider skills
  • contexts – broadening contexts
  • culture – embedding within learning
  • curriculum – coherent and clear
  • cluster – planning in partnership
  • language progression
  • learner participation and voice

The event was thought provoking, and some great resources were shared to help attendees introduce and improve Mandarin as an L3 in Scottish schools. We thank Ann for her stimulating presentation, and to all those who attended and contributed to the discussion.

author Alex Conway, SEET

The Scottish European Educational Trust (SEET) offered its full complement of projects – Euroquiz and Our World – in an adapted online format during the period of school closures. SEET has been incredibly impressed by the hard work and commitment on show from participating pupils and teachers throughout this challenging year.

Euroquiz heats are currently taking place in P6 classrooms across Scotland. The quiz offers pupils an immersive language experience in the language round (with the use of native speakers), as well as an array of questions testing participants’ European geography, history, and culture. Collaboration with Mark Pentleton from RLN and Coffee Break Languages, SCILT and Education Scotland, has ensured questions are accurate, relevant, and challenging for our young participants. We look forward to welcoming representative schools from participating local authorities to the online Euroquiz final on 14 June 2021.

SEET’s filmmaking project, Our World, has also continued throughout lockdown. The project asks S3-S6 pupils to make a short, multilingual film based on the Sustainable Development Goals. Working with colleagues at Screen Scotland, Scotdec and SCILT, SEET has developed a virtual filmmaking workshop for budding young film-makers and linguists. The virtual workshop took the form of exclusive video tutorials, written support documents, a feedback forum, and a variety of quizzes and infographics to help pupils construct their multilingual films in lockdown. SEET has been really impressed by the array of languages on show in the collaborative and individual entries it received, with entries submitted in BSL, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Mandarin this year. SEET looks forward to welcoming participants to the online premiere and awards ceremony on 8 June 2021.

Local authority updates

author Peigi MacLean, Stornoway Primary

At Stornoway Primary, we celebrate the diversity of pupils in our school. We learn from each other to gain an awareness of our cultural differences, and this helps us to develop respect for one another.

We have many children throughout the nursery and school that can speak a range of different languages. Some of our languages include Gaelic, Arabic, Russian, Polish, Nepali, Latvian, Lithuanian, Bengali, French, Hindi, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean and Telugu. We have 48 pupils who are learning English as an Additional Language and 133 children learning through the medium of Gaelic. We even have some children who are fluent in three languages!

Over recent years, we have been focusing on embedding the Gaelic language and culture into the ethos and life of the school. Abdullah Al Nakeeb and his brother Majd recently made the headlines across Scotland. The boys, who came from Syria, are making excellent progress in learning Gaelic, and recently won our Gaisgeach na Gàidhlig certificate for their effort and enthusiasm in learning the Gaelic language. Abdullah is also singing a Gaelic solo at our local Mod competition.

We value and celebrate all the different languages and encourage our bilingual and multilingual pupils to teach us all new words and phrases.

We are so proud of all the languages we speak at Stornoway Primary.

author Kathryn Graham, City of Edinburgh Council

After moving our professional learning online from March 2020, we were concerned about the impact on course numbers and participation in classes as language learning is not a passive process. However, we were pleased to see good engagement in our online offerings. High numbers of teachers shared ideas via our Teach Meets and some even signed up for our summer language classes!

We were keen to build on this momentum, so we funded places on the OU/SCILT Teachers Learning to Teach Languages (TELT) course, and encouraged and supported our teachers to take part. This offered practitioners an opportunity to learn a language and to develop their skills in teaching the language to primary pupils. This year we were delighted to have our highest number of participants ever on the course – over 20 teachers signed up!

Although the course offers opportunities to collaborate with colleagues from across Scotland and beyond, we wanted to support our teachers to build capacity and sustainability within the learning communities in our authority. We created a MS-Team for participants and offered additional support at key points throughout the course. We drew on the expertise of colleagues and used our Jules Verne teachers creatively to support course participants. In addition to language and pedagogy tutors, teachers had a lead contact in City of Edinburgh.

This support received positive feedback, with many of our teachers reporting that they found it helpful and that it improved their confidence. Sandie, a participant in the French beginner course said: “I have found the course incredibly useful. Not only for improving my own French vocabulary, but also for gaining lesson ideas from other teachers. The level of support from tutors and my authority has been great. It was amazing and incredibly valuable to have the opportunity to practise my speaking with a native French teacher who was excellent at listening and providing feedback on my pronunciation.”

Moving forward, we hope that this cohort will continue to lead language learning in their classrooms, schools and learning communities in a collaborative way. We will use feedback to improve our support further and allow more teachers to take part in 2021-22. We will continue to build capacity within our staff to deliver high quality learning and teaching experiences in languages, ensuring City of Edinburgh has a sustainable approach to the 1+2 policy.

author Thea Pallut, Highland Council

A series of online learning modules for teachers has recently been developed. They bring together a variety of pre-existing and newly created audio and video resources to support teachers to cover the core language required for delivering Gaelic as an L2 or an L3 language. These self-study modules take teachers through the Go!Gaelic topic vocabulary and take a look at the structures and grammar needed for each one. They also contain links to additional resources that can help further develop vocabulary if teachers already have some Gaelic.

In addition to this, each module is accompanied by new online planning sheets based on the Go!Gaelic framework. They contain hyperlinks to learning activities and downloadable resources. Differentiated planning sheets are available for schools delivering Gaelic as L2 or L3.

These modules and planning sheets have been developed and collated by the 1+2 Languages Development Officer from Highland Council and are located on the Northern Alliance sharepoint site (Glow login required).


author Richard Hill, South Ayrshire Council, on behalf of GLEANS

Lockdown brought negative challenges to language learning, but reaction to this has brought about a new series of positive challenges for Gaelic Learners Education (GLE), devised in partnership with Highland, Fife and South Ayrshire Councils.

Initially a cross-authority project for Languages Week Scotland, this is now being developed into a network for practitioners delivering Gaelic in education.

The first project challenged pupils to record a short phrase introducing themselves and sharing their favourite colour, which was posted on Twitter at #myschoollovesgaelic. We had such a great response from all ages (nursery to P7) that the organisers, Ruairidh Mackay (Highland), Suzanne Jackson (Fife) and Richard Hill (South Ayrshire), have developed further challenges and formed a new network GLEANS (Gaelic Learners Authority Network Scotland).

Gleans is a Gaelic word meaning ‘shine’ and that is what we want our Gaelic language learners to do, with our help as teachers and development officers.

An MS-Teams meeting was held in March, with teachers contacted through the current GLPS network to chat, get to know each other and to launch the next GLEANS challenge, which has gone ‘live’ for the month of May. A rewards scheme for participating classes and schools was also outlined.

This network is in its infancy but has great potential to scaffold GLE and give support by sharing resources and good practice. We would like to encourage anyone involved in GLE to join in the challenges and to build the network.

A website has been created and we hope, over time, to have shared resources and all our challenges available; there is also an MS-Teams to which interested teachers can be added. It is hoped that we could schedule a couple of meetings throughout the year to discuss our Gaelic journeys and share ideas.

Access the website

For more information about Gaelic Education in general, visit Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s website.

author Zoe Gordon, West Lothian Council

This year, the West Lothian 1+2 team has trialled many different approaches to supporting the implementation of the 1+2 Approach, and we decided to support the organisation and running of the West Lothian heat of the 2021 Euroquiz competition.

This national event allows schools to submit teams of four P6 pupils to participate in a quiz about Europe. The quiz has four rounds including geography, history, politics, culture and much more. Round two is the language round where the pupils have to answer 10 listening and five reading comprehension questions based on dialogue in French, Spanish, Italian and German.

Normally the West Lothian heat is held in person at the Civic Centre, but this year, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the event had to be held online. We decided to hold a live West Lothian final and the 1+2 team stepped in to lead the event.

We held two pre-event optional drop-in sessions where we ran through practise questions from previous quizzes, key topics to revise and used our new West Lothian resource “Lingobox” to help with the revision of French and Spanish. These sessions allowed the participants to become familiar with the format of the heat and helped with their preparations. We then did a trial run the week before the heat so teams could practise submitting scores using forms.

Our heat was held on 14 May 2021 when we welcomed 43 teams from 27 schools. St Joseph's Linlithgow were the winning team with an incredible 55/60, closely followed by our runners up – Springfield, Linlithgow and Low Port, Linlithgow with 47/60.

St Joseph’s Linlithgow will now represent West Lothian in the national final, which will be held online on 14 June 2021.

Celebrate the work being done across Scotland to support 1+2 languages

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