Tag Archives: Modern Languages

Language skills – a crutial asset in a global economy

More companies are trading with international markets and this has led to growth in global supply chains. Because of this, there is greater demand for workers who have modern language skills, experience of the international business environment and are prepared to work globally.

Increasingly, companies are interested in employing people who can engage and communicate with their customers and suppliers around the world. Workers with experience of the international business environment are more likely to recognise the cultural differences around the world and understand potential trade challenges and find solutions – companies look favourably upon this skillset.

A survey of UK companies found that a quarter of those surveyed said they had lost international business to their competitors, as they did not have adequate modern language skills in their organisation. It is imperative that we move away from the attitude that modern language skills is a ‘nice to have’ attribute.

Learning a modern language will help improve employment prospects. According to a 2015 QS world university rankings report, six out of ten employers said they would give extra credit for international student experience.

Company examples

Paul Sheerin, Chief Executive, Scottish Engineering: “Companies need to open their minds and see exporting as a possibility. People learning languages in school is massively important in that respect. It is not important which language they learn—it is important that they learn a language.”

Do you want to engage with schools?

As a first port of call Scotland National Centre for Languages website outlines their support to engage with schools: https://www.scilt.org.uk/Business/tabid/1297/Default.aspx

Why not get involved with Developing the Young Workforce? The Scottish Government’s Youth Employment Strategy aims to engage employers with education to better prepare young people for the world of work. https://education.gov.scot/scottish-education-system/policy-for-scottish-education/policy-drivers/Developing the Young Workforce (DYW)

Do you need language support to enter a particular market?

Talk to a Scottish Development International (SDI) export adviser about your requirements. SDI may be able to support with translation and language requirements. https://www.scottish-enterprise.com/services/do-business-outside-scotland/talk-to-an-export-adviser/overview/enquiry-form

Do you want to get involved with Developing the Young Workforce and support young people in school?

There are now twenty-one DYW regional groups covering the whole of Scotland. The groups are led by industry and are the main conduit between employers and schools. They can provide practical support to develop programmes, which allow you to engage with young people.

Get in touch with your regional group using the details below:

Regional Group Contact Email
Ayrshire Claire Baird cbaird@ayrshire-chamber.org
Argyll and Bute Maureen McKenna Maureen.McKenna@uhi.ac.uk
Borders Sara Ward sward@dywborders.co.uk
Dundee and Angus Angela Vettraino angela@dywda.co.uk
Dumfries and Galloway Tricia Hunter tricia.hunter@dgchamber.co.uk
Edinburgh and Lothians Michelle Fenwick michelle.fenwick@edinburghchamber.co.uk
Fife Ray Fernie ray.fernie@fife.gov.uk
Forth Valley Jen Henderson jen.henderson@dyw.forthvalley.ac.uk
Glasgow Leona Seaton Leona.seaton@glasgowchamberofcommerce.com
Inverness and Central

Highland

Andy Maxtone andy@dywich.co.uk
Lanarkshire Alison Nimmo Animmo@dywled.org
North Highland Trudy Morris trudy@caithnesschamber.com
Perth and Kinross Fiona Reith FReith@pkc.gov.uk
West Highland Dougie Ormiston douglas.ormiston@dywwesthighland.org
Moray Sarah Baxter sbaxter@dywmoray.co.uk
Orkney Rachel Scarth rachel.scarth@uhi.ac.uk
Shetland Shona Thompson shona.thompson@shetland.gov.uk
North East James Bream james.bream@agcc.co.uk
Outer Hebrides Bernard Chisholm b.chisholm@cne-siar.gov.uk
West Bob Davidson Bob.Davidson@dywwest.co.uk
West Lothian Lauren Brown lauren.brown@dyw-wl.com

Are you a large national employer looking to develop a programme to rollout across multiple regions in Scotland? Get in touch with Steven Turnbull who can support you to develop a programme – steven.turnbull@gov.scot  

Business Language Champions: Developing skills for the world of work

Many schools across Scotland have developed relationships with business to highlight the relevancy of language skills in relation to the world of work .

The following case studies have been developed as part of the ‘Business Language Champions’ initiative  in collaboration with SCILT to suit both employers and schools.

  • Abbotsford House and Burgh Primary School (July abbotsford2016) – This partnership between a primary school and a local tourist attraction demonstrated to pupils the relevance of language skills in their local community, as well as providing an opportunity for learning across the curriculum.
  • Balmoral Hotel and Broughton High School (July 2016) – S3 learners worked with staff at the Balmoral Hotel to develop an internal information leaflet to support staff working with Chinese guests.
  • Harvey Nichols and Trinity High School (June 2016) – A visit to Harvey Nichols to meet with staff who use languages as part of their job convinced S3 pupils of the relevance of language skills in the workplace. Learners created phrase books in different languages to support the use of language in the department store.
  • Walkers Shortbread and Elgin Academy (June 2016) – S2 learners created ‘cue cards’ for Walkers International Sales Team to use on visits to China, introducing language and cultural information. Pupils also delivered a presentation on their cue cards to sales staff at Walkers Shortbread.
  • Outplay Entertainment and Woodmill High School (May 2016) – S3 pupils developed an advertising strategy to promote one of Outplay Entertainment’s games in either French of German, and learnt about the importance of languages in the gaming industry.
  • Johnstons of Elgin and Elgin Academy (May 2016) – This case study exemplifies Interdisciplinary Learning in S2 at Elgin Academy, in particular the effective combination of Chinese and business links as part of a skills based project in the broad general education
  • Jurys Inn and Lourdes Seconday School (May 2016) – S3 pupils learned about the value of languages in the hospitality industry.
  • Navy and Brechin High School (March 2015) – A visit from the Royal Navy and language workshops culminated in an interdisciplinary project in which S3 learners had to use their language skills in humanitarian crisis scenarios.
  • The Scottish Football Association and Kilwinning Academy (October 2014) – A great project for S3 learners which showed that languages are necessary in all walks of life.
  • Holland & Sherry and Priorsford Primary School (October 2014) – The whole school was involved in this project which raised learners’ awareness of what Holland & Sherry does in their local town while building learners’ language skills.
  • Loch Duart and Montrose Academy (June 2014) – An exciting programme for S3 learners with visits and workshops culminating in an interdisciplinary project which raised the bar for the pupils who benefited from seeing first-hand how languages and business work together.
  • Michelin and Grove Academy (February 2014) – This project gives the young people in S3 a real and engaging context for their learning of French.

‘French Connections’ – student grant to develop a global mindset

BritishCouncilCharles de Gaulle Trust funding is specifically for students aged 17 to 19, the visits give students the chance to prove to future educators and employers that they are globally-minded, committed and dedicated young people. During their visits students will be able to work on research or projects that contribute to their learning and future development. They will also strengthen the bond between their school or college and  French colleagues, contributing to a successful long-term partnership. Grants of up to £5000 per institution are available to facilitate reciprocal visits to France and the UK.  The next application deadline is 17 May 2016.

More information on the Charles de Gaulle Programme can be found here,

charles_de_gaulle_application_guidance_0

Japan Webpage Contest

This contest is open to any UK school that is teaching Japanese or doing any kind of project related to Japan. Your school does not need to be teaching Japanese to enter the contest.

http://bit.ly/japanwebcontest

To enter the contest, all you need to do is make a simple webpage about the work that your school is doing with Japanese or Japan. This could be a blog, a wiki, or a page that’s part of your school’s website.

Your webpage could feature:

  • A project with your Japanese partner school
  • A report on your school’s visit to Japan
  • A report on your school’s Japan Day
  • Japanese or Japan-related resources that you have made to help your students
  • Japanese language work made by students
  • Other Japan-related work by students, e.g. from geography, history, art, sports, music, intercultural understanding, cross-curricular lessons
  • Students’ experiences of learning Japanese or about Japan
  • An overview of Japanese at your school

All entries to the contest will be featured on the website. You will also have your chance to vote for your favourite shortlisted entries, in the online voting poll.

Cash prizes and other prizes will be awarded to the best entries. Click here for more information.

In 2010, the Public Vote Award was won by Bearsden Primary School for their Godzilla’s Den website.

Look at other past entries for more inspiration. http://www.japanwebpagecontest.org.uk/vote2011.php

(The contest is organised by the Japan Foundation London. The Japan Foundation is Japan’s principal organisation for promoting international cultural exchange.)