Local Authority colleagues with responsibility for languages, together with colleagues from the Universities Council on Modern Languages Scotland, Bilingualism Matters, SQA and Scottish Government met at Atlantic Quay in Glasgow 29th January 2018, to hear about updates on languages, with a particular focus on 1+2 implementation, as well as looking at languages policy beyond Scotland. The group heard from Professor Judy Kroll, from the University of California Riverside, on language learning policies in the USA and closer to home, the findings of the recent Eurydice report on language learning in Europe; the report contains more than a fair share of mentions around language policy in Scotland, which is always pleasing to see. Professor Antonella Sorace of Edinburgh University gave a presentation on bilingualism and how language learning positively affects cognitive functions – ‘bilingualism’ in this sense meaning knowing more than one language, not just those born into bilingual families. Great news for all linguists out there!
SQA gave updates on National 5 assignment and local authority colleagues shared with us some of the ways in which they are helping to ensure 1+2 is becoming the norm in their communities.
The group was joined by JohnPaul Cassidy, HMI, who started at ES in November 2017. Many of you will know JohnPaul already, as he was a former DO in languages at ES, before moving to a QIO post in Angus Council. JohnPaul’s background is in secondary modern languages and he spoke briefly to the group about evaluating modern languages in the secondary context. Jane Renton, Assistant Director at ES gave an overview of the arrangements around the Regional Improvement Collaboratives and responses to the Education (Scotland) Bill. Jane’s powerpoint presentation also contains updates on changes in the leadership team at ES.
The presentations from the day can be accessed here.