Category Archives: Modern Languages

1 + 2 Languages Strategy

Small Image 1+2This second Glow TV event in the series hosted by the modern languages team at Education Scotland will focus on developing listening and talking in young learners in a 1+2 context.

There will also be information on the latest developments and support available from Education Scotland.

This session is aimed at development officers and practitioners and will take place on Wednesday 25th February at 4pm. – Register now in Glow TV to join in on the day.

Celebrate Chinese New Year 2015

Small - Chinese New YearTo bring in the Chinese New Year St Ninian’s High school (Kirkintilloch) will be hosting a Chinese showcase. Four primary schools as well as pupils from St. Ninian’s, local Chinese community children choir, and Musicians from Harmony Chinese Music Ensemble will take part in the show displaying the wide ranging talents and skills honed by pupils through the work of East Dunbartonshire’s Confucius Hub based in St Ninian’s.

The programme includes traditional Chinese performances such as dragon dancing, traditional music and drama. There are also more modern Chinese performances of break dancing, rapping and singing.

Join us in Glow TV on Friday 20th February at 1pm to take part in the celebrations.
Register to take part live in Glow TV – Celebrate Chinese New Year 2015

Learn about Chinese New Year

Small - Learn about Chinese New Year copyThis year Chinese New Year will be celebrated on Thursday 19th February and 2015 will be the year of the sheep. Have you ever wondered why the Chinese have different animals to represent different years? Well now is your time to learn more about this and all the celebrations that go on all over the world to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Join Ms Liu on Monday 16th February at 11am as she tells us more about this very special celebration and teaches us how to speak some words in Mandarin.

Register in Glow TV – Learn about Chinese New Year

Scottish Education Awards 2015 – now open for nominations

Nominations for the Scottish Education Awards 2015 awards are now open. Celebrating the hard work and success in Scottish education, the awards recognise the achievements of people who dedicate their lives to children and young people.

There are 17 awards available across a range of categories covering all areas of education. New awards for this year include learning for sustainability, making languages come alive and transforming lives through partnerships.

If you know of a school or teacher that deserves to be recognised for their hard work visit the Scottish Education Awards website for more information and to submit a nomination.

Nominations must be submitted by Monday 16 February 2015, good luck.

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.

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.

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

Languages and STEM skills, opening doors!

SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, is working with businesses and schools in Scotland to promote languages as a key skill for employment.

Operating effectively in a global economy relies on many skills and includes the right language skills. People who can communicate, at least conversationally, can make all the difference in the conduct of business, consolidating relationships with existing suppliers and customers and opening the way to new overseas contacts. When combined with STEM skills, the career opportunities in a vast array of sectors widens.

Key facts from the CBI Education and Skills Survey 2013

Seven out of ten (70%) businesses value foreign language skills among their employees

  • French(49%) and German(45%) are the leading languages in demand, but those geared to businesses in China feature increasingly prominently – of those valuing staff with foreign language skills, 28% value Manderin and 16% Cantonese
  • STEM skills are in high demand and nearly two in five firms (39%) are having difficulties recruiting staff. 41% expect this to persist over the next three years
  • Shortages of STEM qualified technicians (29%) and graduates (26%) are widespread among firms in engineering, hi-tech/IT and science areas
  • Businesses recognise that they have a key role in encouraging more young people to study STEM subjects, enthusing young people about STEM (55%) and working with Universities to ensure the business relevance of the course (50%).

Read about people who have combined their STEM and language skills in the pharmaceutical industry, technologies and the Scottish Football Association and find out why they consider that learning a language is really important.

Become an inspection volunteer today

Passionate about good care?

The Care Inspectorate is looking for people to help them carry out their work. They would like people with first-hand experience of care to help make sure care in Scotland continues to improve, by becoming an inspection volunteer. Inspection volunteers are members of the public who use a care service, have used a care service in the past or care for someone like a family member or friend who has used a care service.

Volunteers help the Care Inspectorate get the views of people using care services.  They work closely with the Care Inspectorate’s teams of specialist inspectors and together they help spot where things need to improve, help keep people safe and ensure that the rights of people receiving care are respected and their needs met.


To find out more please click the link below

British Academy Schools Languages Award 2014

Over £8000 to be won! BASLA Alert! Calling all secondary, supplementary and FE languages teachers!

£4000 will be awarded to TWO language learning projects in Scottish secondary, supplementary schools or FE colleges via the British Academy Schools Language Award (BASLA) this Autumn.

If your establishment has plans in place or is already involved in an imaginative language learning project which is improving uptake in languages in the Senior Phase and beyond, then you could be in with a chance of winning. British Academy Schools Language Awards

All winning projects are then considered in the UK category. The overall UK winner will double their money, walking away with £8000 and the title of British Academy Schools Languages Award Winner 2014.

The deadline for applications is 30th June 2014.

SCILT is hosting a Glow Meet to provide key information and helpful insights to BASLA success. Anne Breivik, one of the BASLA judging panel will explain how to write a dazzling submission. Gillian Campbell-Thow, Education Support Officer for Modern Languages at Glasgow City Council and co-leader of one of the two Scottish winning projects in BASLA 2013, will share details of the very successful ‘Parliamo Glasgow’ venture.

This Glow Meet takes place on Monday 12th May at 4pm and will be recorded and made available to view in Watch Again. Sign up and find out more.

SCHOLAR – Modern Languages Revision

On 25th February Glow TV is delighted to offer Higher and Advanced Higher Students the opportunity to join a session on Modern Languages provided by SCHOLAR. These sessions will be presented by Douglas Angus, SCHOLAR Online Tutor for Modern Languages.

There will also be an opportunity for students to participate in a Q&A session at the end of the session.

Modern Languages Higher students – Getting better marks for reading – 7.30pm – 8.15pm

Modern Languages Advanced Higher students – Reading: how to do better and deal with inferential question – 8.15pm – 9pm

SCHOLAR – Modern Languages Events

Glow TV is delighted to offer Higher Students the opportunity to join sessions on Modern Languages provided by SCHOLAR on Tuesday 14th January. These sessions will be presented by Douglas Angus, SCHOLAR Online Tutor for Modern Languages.

There will also be an opportunity for students to participate in a Q&A session at the end of the session.

Higher students – Prepare for Speaking Test – 7.15pm.

Advanced Higher students – How to prepare for External Examiner – 8.15pm

SCHOLAR Homework Session – Tackling Translation

Glow TV is delighted to offer pupils the opportunity to join homework revision sessions on Modern Languages provided by SCHOLAR.

This session on Tuesday 29th October entitled Tackling Translation is for both Higher and Advanced Higher pupils and will be presented by Douglas Angus, SCHOLAR Online Tutor for Modern Languages.

Find out more about how to get involved these two sessions in Glow TV:

Tacking Translation – Higher Modern Languages 7.30 – 8.15pm
Tackling Translation – Advanced Higher Modern 8.15 – 9pm

SCILT – BGE in the Secondary School

Once again SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages will be providing an excellent Professional Learning workshop via Glow. This event is on Tuesday 4th June at 4pm.

This workshop will give you the opportunity to revisit the experiences and outcomes for each level, and look at practical ways of ensuring progression for all pupils. We will also look at how to take existing resources and turn them into creative, innovative and fit-for-purpose tasks, which will motivate your pupils and develop their higher order thinking skills.

The session is suitable for Secondary and ASN practitioners and will be presented by Fhiona Fisher, Depute Director of SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages.

Sign up and join the event – SCILT – BGE in the Secondary School

SCILT – Developing Language Skills through Phonics

Glow TV along with the SCILT Professional Learning Community is delighted to host a range of events beginning on Tuesday 14th May at 4pm.

Presented by Lynne Jones and Meryl James, Professional Development Officers at SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages this first workshop will consider the place of phonics in Modern Language learning as well as the benefits and implications of developing phonological awareness in young language learners.

Lynne and Meryl will explore the impact that creative use of phonics can have in your classroom; not only in talking, but also in developing other language skill areas.

This event is suitable for Early Years, Primary and ASN practitioners.

Sign up and join us in Glow TV – SCILT – Developing Language Skills through Phonics

You can also subscribe to the Glow TV eCard to ensure that you never miss out on any forthcoming events.

New SCHOLAR Sessions

Glow TV is delighted to be able to offer teachers and students a range of SCHOLAR sessions which will include both Professional Learning opportunities as well as revision sessions for those sitting exams this year.

These begin on Tuesday 23rd April at 7.30pm with a Professional Learning opportunity for Modern Languages teachers entitled ‘Using SCHOLAR to support Higher, Advanced Higher and National 5’. This session will be presented by Douglas Angus, SCHOLAR Online Tutor for Modern Languages. Find out more in Glow TV.

Look out for new homework sessions in May for Modern Languages (German and Spanish) and Physics.

Taking a closer look at the National Assessment Resource: A professional learning resource

Education Scotland have recently developed this professional learning resource.  It provides an opportunity to reflect on effective practice in learning, teaching and assessment, drawing on the work published on the National Assessment Resource (NAR).  It also provides a structured look at the NAR flow chart as a tool for planning effective learning, teaching, moderation and assessment.

The resource can be used by individual practitioners keen to reflect and improve on their assessment practice as well as pairs, groups of practitioners, associated school groups (ASGs) or clusters working collegiately to reflect on and improve practice.

It is available to download from the Education Scotland website and welcome section on NAR.  There will be a Glow meet on Wednesday the 13th of February at 8:20am and Thursday the 14th at 4:15pm to explore the resource further.

Space Junk

This Space Junk clip from the BBC could be used to support and enrich learning ideas found in, Passeport pour la Francophonie ,a new website from Education Scotland. This website was developed to support the teaching and learning of French at 2nd Level.

S1/S2 Assessment Tasks

I recently visited the Modern Langauges Department in St Mungo’s High School, Falkirk.  It was lovely to have the opportunity to meet the teachers there and have a cup of tea and chat with them in their French café!  It’s always interesting to exchange ideas and take part in professional dialogue with other practitioners and they even allowed me to visit some classes to see their young people “in action”.  The St Mungo’s team were more than willing to share their CfE materials with all of us and I’ve posted them on our National Glow group.  To access their materials please click here. (You will need your Glow password)

Many thanks to the teachers in St Mungo’s and to their principal teacher, Jim McWillliams for being willing to share their work.  If we all share our materials, it can only make life a little easier!

If anyone else would like to share something they have developed that would help to support either the BGE or Senior Phase, then please feel free to post directly onto the Modern Langauges National Glow Group, or send it to me and I’ll post it for you.  My email address is

New German Materials for Senior Phase


A German teaching project has sprung to life led by Maike Muthel, the German teacher at Mallaig High School in Lochaber. It will particularly benefit pupils in remote areas and those within schools where German is not currently provided.

On offer is a one year online Intermediate 2 course via  GLOW, which will be available to all senior pupils.  The materials will also be easily adaptable to suit candidates sitting National 5 in 2014.   Learners will undertake the course working mainly on their own after a weekly face-to-face session with the teacher introducing grammar, tasks and providing feedback. A week to week programme is available on GLOW and this year the course is on offer to the whole of Scotland. For pupils with prior knowledge of German, provision of a Higher course could also be discussed.

To access the materials please click here.  ( you will need your Glow password.)

For more information please get in touch directly with Maike Muthel:

Euroquiz for Primaries

A P7 team from St Mary’s Primary School in Duntocher, West Dunbartonshire, was the winner of yesterday’s Euroquiz 2012 Finals held at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. This annual competition continues to encourage learning about Europe and thinking about what it means to be a citizen of the European Union.

Calling all educators interested in languages!

We are hosting a CPDMeet on Glow on the use of technology in the learning of Modern Foreign Languages. Catriona Oates (facilitator of MLPSNet on Glow) will host the online webconference. It will be of interest to language educators in all sectors; primary, secondary and special education.

It starts at 4pm on Thursday 17th May. More details and sign-up at

MLPSNet is a community on Glow which is open to all educators. See for details.

Note that this CPD opportunity came about as a request from one of our CPD community members. You too can ‘order’ free, online CPD on any subject matter using the service at

New Advice and Support for Secondary Schools

 As you will no doubt know, the SQA have published their final documents for National 2 – Higher.  In order to support schools in the delivery of key aspects of the new qualifications, Education Scotland has  published a suite of practical advice and guidance for teachers and lecturers.  

There are new materials to help practitioners deliver their national 4 and 5 courses, although with some amendment, practitioners  could use these materials at other levels too.  They are designed to be skilled focussed to help teachers and lecturers  integrate the skills of listening and talking, reading and writing.  Practitioners can also use the ideas and suggestions to apply them to their own materials as they see fit.

The National 4 materials are based on five episodes of an audio book called “Mike Martin et le Grand Jeu” and the National 5 materials  includes a video of three young French people discussing the contexts of Society, Learning, Employability and Culture.  Both sets of documents include extensive exemplification, advice and guidance for practitioners and notes for learners.

I think all practitioners who will be delivering the new qualifications will find them useful and would be delighted to receive your feedback.  To access the advice and support from Education Scotland please click here

To access the SQA website pages containing the final documents for Modern Languages please click here

Swiss and Basque schools seeks Scottish partners

A French-speaking school near Basel in Switzerland is looking for a Scottish secondary school partner – for joint learning projects, shared language learning, etc.  Their students are in the 16-18 age bracket.

And a Basque school in Oinati, northern Spain, is also seeking a Scottish secondary for possible joint projects in language, culture or science, and maybe an exchange programme or Comenius project in the future. Aagin, their students are around 16-18.

If your school is interested in a link with either of these two schools, contact Nick at for more details.

Attention all teachers of Spanish!


The Spanish Consejeria de Educación in Scotland, together with the University of Dundee and SALT, have put together a variety of Spanish Workshops in Scotland for 2012.
Following on last year’s successful experience,  they will be offering special workshops both for Primary school teachers as well as for Secondary, Higher and Further Education teachers. In an effort to come closer to teachers from different regions all over Scotland, this year the workshops will be held in Dundee on the 12 May 2012.

This is a unique opportunity to get some new ideas, share good practice and catch up with colleagues. The teachers who successfully complete these workshops will receive a certificate. For further information, please, click here to access the programme and application form (deadline 27 April 2012).  You will need your Glow password.

School Open Day – Bo’ness Academy, Falkirk Council

School open day – using international education to develop a whole school approach to global citizenship

Venue: Bo’ness Academy, Falkirk

9:30am – 3.00pm

Thursday 17th May 2012

Note: this event was due to place at an earlier date in the year but has now been rescheduled for the date above.

Theme:  International Education

This CPD event offers practitioners and school leaders an exciting opportunity to visit Bo’ness Academy and attend Falkirk Council’s Global Citizenship Showcase Event.

Bo’ness Academy is an inspiring example of a school that has used international education as a vehicle to engage the whole school in global citizenship activities. Through the Comenius Programme and other well established links the school has developed a rich international programme connecting it to countries across the world including: The Gambia, The Netherlands, China, France, Germany and The Czech Republic.

A focus of the event will be to identify and share the practical lessons and ideas that have helped the school move forward on its journey including: 

  • Making global citizenship a key priority in the school and a focus for the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence
  • Using international links to explore important issues in a global context and to create engaging, meaningful and challenging learning experiences
  • Developing strong international partnerships which can be sustained and which have made an impact on every learner.

Participants will have the opportunity to meet and talk with the Head Teacher, International Coordinator, staff and learners and also tour the classrooms and school. Time will also be set aside for participants to reflect and share their own experiences.

Download Programme for Bo’ness Academy Open Day 17May12

How to book

To book, please contact Megan Farr, Policy Officer, Falkirk Council. Email: or Tel. 01324 506671.

Places for the open day section of the event are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment. This is a free event!

Fabulous new Fair Trade materials – French

Many thanks to Linda Stormonth at St Machar Academy, Aberdeen City who has very kindly been willing to share her Fair trade materials with the rest of us across the nation!  they are well worth a look as they “raise the bar” in terms of the kind of language they exploit and exemplify ways of incorporating literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing into our lessons.  A very motivating and grown up topic – these materials could easily be used as an interdisciplinary project. 

To access the materials click here ( You will need your Glow password)

Money for language departments and projects in Scotland! – invitation to apply for new award

The British Academy is offering two awards of £4000 specifically for Scottish schools that want to develop creative ways of improving language teaching and learning. It could go towards helping you to work with your local primary schools, take forward business links, or develop a new course.

The funding is intended to extend or strengthen work that has already started, even if on quite a small scale. One of the awards is for mainstream secondary schools and the other is intended for supporting the learning of community languages outside mainstream school times. PLUS the winners will have a chance to win an extra £4000 which will go to the best overall UK project. The closing date for applications is 31 March 2012.  Please click here to access an easy application form to fill in and further details.    

This is the first year that the British Academy has run the scheme and we need to get the message out, so if you know someone who would be interested, pass this message on. It would be a real shame if schools in Scotland missed out on this opportunity.

CfE & Glow News – February Issue

The CfE and Glow News update provides you with information about Curriculum for Excellence and support for practitioners, along with all the latest developments within Glow. Read it here.

To sign up for this newsletter, please click here.

The German Teacher Awards

Do you know an outstanding Teacher of German who you feel should be recognised at a national level?

The winners will receive a personal prize of £750 and a certificate. The prizes will be presented at a special ceremony at the “Sommerfest der Deutschen Sprache” on 28th of  June 2012 in the German Ambassador’s Residence in London.

For further information please click here to visit the website.


Herriot Watt University – The Multi- Lingual Debate 2012 – 22nd of March

This year’s multi- lingual debate will take place on Thursday 22nd of March 2012.  If you would like to attend, or would like to register your class to participate online, then please visit Herriot Watt’s website where you will be given details of how to register.

It’s a really fantastic opportunity for langauge learners to get an insight into the skills and techniques used by translators, while taking part in a really interesting and topical debate.  This is the first time that the event will be streamed live so that schools can fully participate no matter where they are located.

To register your class, click here to access the Herriot Watt website

Two awards now open for entries from language learning projects

Are you doing something innovative in your school that promotes language learning? 

SCILT, the Scottish Centre for Language Learning is highlighting two awards for language learning and encouraging Scottish educational establishments to apply.

The European Language Label is a prestigious award that has been running for many years and is recognised across Europe.  Applications are welcome from all stages of language learning and teaching, from early years to HE and adult education.

The British Academy Language Awards are a new set of awards open to secondary schools (11-16 yrs) and offer a substantial cash prize.

The application form and process for each award is very similar so SCILT suggests that schools who meet the criteria should consider applying for both.

The European Language Label is an award for innovative language-learning projects. It rewards creative ways to improve the quality of language teaching, motivate learners and make the best of available resources. To be successful, projects must demonstrate creative thinking and lead to improved teaching provision and learner achievement. They must be innovative, effective and replicable by others in the UK and other countries. If this describes your project, why not apply for an award?

Last year’s winners of this UK-wide award included two Scottish schools, St Roch’s Secondary School “skills for life and work” project won in the secondary catagory and Elgin Academy’s ‘Languages, local businesses and the community’ project, in which the school worked with local businesses in the north of Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, was Highly Commended by the judges.

Winning projects may use European Language Label on stationery and websites. In addition, all winners receive prizes of books, vouchers or teaching materials from the sponsors. The awards will be presented at a prize-giving ceremony on European Day of Languages on 26 September.  To access more information including an application form, please visit the SCILT website by clicking here.

The British Academy in collaboration with CfBT Education Trust has launched a new awards scheme to promote language learning and teaching in secondary schools in the UK. The British Academy Schools Language Awards is aimed at secondary schools in the UK and promotes language learning and teaching.

Two awards of £4,000 will be given to projects in seven UK regions, including Scotland – one for languages taught in mainstream secondary schools and one for complementary/supplementary schools. A National Award of an additional £4,000 will be given to the best overall project. Awards will be given to projects that promote language learning by finding creative ways to improve the quality of language teaching and motivating students.

Application for the Awards is now open and The British Academy will announce the winners in the autumn and present the prizes at a ceremony in London.

The deadline for applications is 2 March 2012. More information, including the application form and application criteria, is on on the British Academy website.

To access more information and download an application form please click here.

Good luck everyone!!!

MLPS resources and ideas

I met yesterday with our colleagues at SCILT as a member of their MLPS short working group.  Laura Stewart,who chairs the group,  has posted some really excellent resources and ideas that will help those of you who teach a modern language in primary schools.  To access the correct page please click here.  Have a look at the posts on the notice board but also click on the Glow groups and documents tabs to find loads more interesting  examples and materials.

Free ebook from Radio Lingua – Focus on French

The kind and talented people at Radio Lingua launched the first in a series of ebooks aimed specifically at secondary-aged learners. It’s called Focus on French and is available in the iBookstore, so any student with an iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad can download the content. It features a young native speaker who introduces each chapter with a video and there are audio clips for all words and phrases contained in the book. Best of all, Focus on French Conversation is entirely free and can be downloaded from the iTunes Store. Search for “Focus on French” and learners can download the book straight to their devices. Focus on French Conversation is the first in the series and they are currently in production for two further titles in the series focusing on S3-4 vocabulary – “Focus on French Vocabulary – Sport and Leisure” and “Focus on French Vocabulary – Education and Work”. There’s more information at Radio Lingua’s website.  To visit it please click here  or contact Mark Pendleton directly at

新年快乐 – More Chinese New Year Celebrations

Glow TV is delighted to announce that two further Chinese New Year events have been added to the schedule. On Monday 30th January at 1.20pm we will be coming live from the Confucius Hub at St Ninian’s High School in East Dunbartonshire with a Chinese New Year Show. Throughout the hour long show you will be entertained by Dragon Dancing, Chinese singing and dancing, Chinese drama and a live singing competition between 6 S1 classes!! Plus much much more. To finish the show the young people will be singing Auld Lang Syne in Mandarin and English. We hope that you can join us – sign up in Glow TV!

Then on Thursday 2nd February we will be continuing the celebrations with a recorded performance from a group from Shanghai who visited Scotland this week. As part of their brief visit to Scotland for the Chinese New Year a delegation from Shanghai performed in certain Confucius Hubs and also paid a visit to Education Scotland where we were lucky enough to have the event recorded.

The performance is beautiful and colourful and includes singing and dancing as well as Chinese drama. We invite you to join us for a Glow Meet with Fan Lin, LTS Confucius Institute Manager where you can watch the recording of the performance and then ask Fan questions about it and all other things that interest you about Chinese New Year!! Sign up in Glow TV for – Shanghai Delegation Perform Confucius Institute Spring Festival Performance 2012

And don’t forget our King of Masks event on the 6th February from 10.15am and later that day the 龙年大吉 Good luck with the year of dragon – Close of Celebrations events at 2pm!!

CfE & Glow News e-update – January

The CfE and Glow News e-update provides you with updates on Curriculum for Excellence and support for practitioners, along with all the latest developments within Glow.

Click here to view the newsletter or click on the links below.

Read the January issue to find out about the following:

Comenius project with an Italian School

The Liceo Scientifico is a secondary school situated 60kms from Turin.  The school is renowned for teaching different facets of bio-technology and is equipped with state-of-the-art physics and chemistry laboratories.  However, it also offers a course of study with an emphasis on languages, in which students can specialize in French and English.   The school is looking for a Scottish school that teaches Italian to take part in a Comenius project in partnership with other schools from Ireland, Germany and France.  English will be the lingua franca for the project, but there will be opportunitites to use Italian too.  This two-year project will involve high achievers in fifith and sixth year and will mainly concentrate on a comparative study of biodiversity in  each of the schools’ local areas. 

In particular, the Scottish school  could help the Italian science teachers build a scientific vocabulary in English to be used when working on the project.

If you are interested in getting involved, please contact  Manuela Maletto at the following email address.

For more information about the school please click here to access its website.

新年快乐 – Celebrate Chinese New Year with Glow

Glow celebrates the Chinese New Year of the dragon with a series of events highlighting what is going on in schools across Scotland to mark these exciting celebrations. Beginning on Monday the 23rd January and lasting for 15 days
Glow will be presenting a programme of different Glow Meets looking at Chinese culture and celebration.

On the 23rd we will be joined by several of the Confucius Classroom Hubs who will be sharing what they have/are intending to do to welcome this new year and we hope that you can join us too and let us know what you are doing in your classrooms across Scotland to mark this event. Even if you do not have anything to share why not join us anyway and find out more about the Year of the Dragon? Sign up and join us on the 23rd January.

On the 6th February we will be continuing the programme with a special event live from the Glasgow Film Festival entitled King of Masks. Through Glow Meet you can watch the live introduction to the film and take part in a workshop with Chinese opera singer and Ricefield workshop leader Fong Liu from St. Ninian’s High School who will be dressed in full Chinese costume. You can also obtain your own free DVD of the film to watch in school that day as well. Find out more about this event and how to get your free DVD in Glow TV.

Finally on the afternoon of the 6th February join us for 龙年大吉 Good luck with the year of dragon – Close of Celebrations. This Glow Meet will be bringing to a close the Chinese New Year celebrations in Glow with a look at the Lantern Festival, a traditional Chinese festival since Han Dynasty more than 2000 years ago. We will have images from the event that took place on 20th January in Fife and also find out more about this from the Confucius Hubs. We also hope to hear from you too and what you have done to celebrate Chinese New Year in your school. Sign up and join us for this event.

You can also find related resources for 2012 – The Chinese Year of the Dragon on the Education Scotland website.

The Multilingual Debate 2012

 Heriot-Watt University’s Multilingual Debate is an annual event that showcases the interpreting skills of undergraduate students on their Languages (Interpreting and Translating) degree programme, as well as the developing professional skills of postgraduate students on their MSc Translating and Conference Interpeting programmes. The event takes the form of a formal debate with two multilingual teams arguing for and against a motion of topical interest in a range of languages. The teams deliver their views in their various native languages (French, German, Spanish, English, Chinese, British Sign Language (BSL)).

The Multilingual Debate stimulates an interest among young people in the international politics and social issues of the modern world whilst also setting language acquisition in a realistic context.

The audience is mainly made up of pupils coming from Scottish and English secondary schools, but also university undergraduate students considering entering the interpreting profession, as well as government and local authority representatives. The audiences participated in the debate by listening to the arguments, putting questions to the speakers in the languages represented and voting on the motion. Electronic voting is used and the audience are able to see clear changes in their opinions before the debate compared to after the debate.

This year, debate topics are:

  • ‘This house believes that the spread of Globish* will enhance inter-cultural understanding’
  • ‘This house believes that if the Euro fails, Europe will turn into a global backwater’

*see references online such as:

In past years, the debate has been so popular that we are looking to provide access and participation online to allow as many people as possible to join in.

If you would like your learners to take part in this “true celebration of linguistic diversity”, then please click here to visit Herriot Watt’s website.

Storying Telling in French in Kilmodan Primary School

I was lucky enough to visit teacher Gwen McCrossan in Kilmodan Primary school, Argyll and Bute so I could see how she uses story telling to teach French to learners in her P2-4 and her P5-7 classes.  Gwen made fantastic use of the target language and even learners as young as P2 use and understand classroom instructions in French.  She was using “La Surprise de Handa” and “Homme de Couleur” with the younger class and the film” Kirikou et la Sorcière” with the older learners.  Her pupils seemed to love learning a foreign language and enjoyed singing, dancing and acting out the stories.  One girl in P5 told me she loved learning French because “it’s just like playing, but you’re learning too!”  She went on to explain that they didn’t just do French at “Frenchtime”, they regularly used French in their numeracy lessons and in literacy too.  ” We watched video clips of French fables that were in French”, she explained, ” and then we wrote our own ones in English”. 

If you would like to hear Gwen talking about her approaches to teaching French then please visit my post on the Chalkface Blog by clicking here

If you would like find out more about Gwen’s lessons then click here to see her reading La Surprise de Handa”

If you would like to see her S2-4 pupils acting out the story then click here

Gwen has also very kindly shared her materials for the animated children’s film Kirikou et la Sorcière.  They are posted in the Modern Languages National Glow group in the resources for sharing section.  To find Kirikou please click here.  (You will need your Glow password)

SQA Curriculum Event: Languages

SQA, in partnership with Education Scotland, are holding a series of curriculum area events to discuss the new national qualifications and give practical support on their implementation. The events are also an opportunity for practitioners to give their views on the new qualifications. Places have been allocated to local authorities and their schools, independent schools and colleges. The events are part of a range of support to help local authorities and individual centres prepare for implementing the new qualifications.

The Languages day was on the 5th Decemeber. To view the Glow Meet recordings from the event click on the links below (you will need to glow log in to access the recordings):

Languages – Introduction and Question/Answers/Workshops

Gàidhlig Workshops

To find out about other Curriculum Area Events during December via Glow TV click here.

Panda-monium as Sweetie and Sunshine land in Edinburgh

Our Glow TV team had an unusually early start to their Sunday as they braved the cold and snow and made their way to Edinburgh zoo for the arrival of two very special black and white guests. Known as Tian Tian and Yang Guang, or ‘Sweetie’ and ‘Sunshine’ the Pandas arrived just after lunchtime on Sunday 4th December to an excited throng of flag-waving well-wishers and a tartan-clad pipe band playing ‘Scotland the Brave’.

To find out more about the visit to the Zoo and about Glow activities your class can take part in click here.

Click here to visit the panda blog.

Exemplification of the Inferential Question at Advanced Higher – Modern Languages

Exemplification of the Advanced Higher inferential question is now  available to download, via your SQA Co-ordinator, from subject specific pages on the secure website.

Language teachers of Advanced Higher candidates can ask their SQA co-ordinator to download the materials from the relevant pages of the secure site.  I’m sure that you will find them very helpful.  To go to the secure site click here.  (You will need an SQA login)

Online Dictionary Resources

Reference Grammars in French, German, Spanish and Italian are available on the Education Scotland website to help support primary teachers in their delivery of a modern language.   They also might be useful for learners working at all stages and levels of the curriculum.  They are very simple to use and I think they could be really useful to teachers and learners alike  to access the materials go to the Education Scotlandwebsite  and click on the Learning, Teaching and Assessment tab  or click here to follow the link.


I am delighted to hear that the pandas are arriving in Scotland on Sunday. This is a mark of the growing friendship between Scotland and China. The pandas offer another exciting opportunity for schools, teachers and pupils to engage with China, its language and culture. The arrival also offers opportunities to stimulate learning right across Curriculum for Excellence, e.g. environment and cultural heritage, science, literacy and creativity. The Panda Blog provides ideas related to these examples. We have already had schools indicating their interest in finding out more about the pandas and Glow offers an excellent way to share information, resources and ideas for practice. The Panda Blog is a starting point and will lead to the further development of resources. We are looking forward to working with colleagues in the zoo to provide news and updates about the pandas to local authorities and schools.

Professor Kay Livingston, Education Scotland.

To visit the Panda Blog click here.

Click below to sign up for the Glow TV Events (glow log in required):

06/12/2001 – 2:30pm: Pandaphernalia

07/12/2011 – 10am: Panda facts with DWN Eds and Competition details

08/12/2011 – 02:00 pm: Pandamentary

Click below to view The Daily What News articles:

Giant Pandas Come to Scotland

Panda – monium

Active Learning in Modern Languages

I was delighted to be able to make a good practice visit to the Modern Langauges Department at St Ninian’s High School in Kirkintilloch.  Diane Stokoe amd her team set up a carrousel of various activities that promoted active learning around the theme of ghosts. 

Instead of going to their normal classes, S2 pupils, assisted by S6 helpers, spent the morning in the assembly hall doing vocabulary building games such as ” à la pêche” or “Le pas de grand-mère”, following French recipes for “gooo”, or finding their way round a” maison hantée”.

The learners really enjoyed this fun-filled, creative approach to learning a language.

To view one of the activities please click here

To see my post on the chalk face blog please click here        



Curriculum Area Events on Glow TV

SQA, in partnership with Education Scotland, are holding a series of curriculum area events to discuss the new national qualifications and give practical support on their implementation. The events are also an opportunity for practitioners to give their views on the new qualifications. Places have been allocated to local authorities and their schools, independent schools and colleges. The events are part of a range of support to help local authorities and individual centres prepare for implementing the new qualifications.

The events will take place on 29 November, and 1, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12 and 13 December. Each event will be streamed live on Glow via the SQA Glow Group.  Most events and workshops will be shown live and recorded for watching again later.

A number of resources will be available following each event, including opportunities to hear some of the discussions from the day.

Wonderful New French resources for MLPS

Are you teaching French in Primary school?  Do you want to make your lessons more interactive?  Are you concerned about how to ensure your learners have good pronunciation and can develop their listening skills?    Look no further!!!

Some very kind, not to mention talented, people at Dumfries and Galloway council have spend a huge amount of time creating Activeboard flipcharts for every topic covered by the materials in the in the resource packs originally developed by Glasgow City Council.  All the activities have been recorded by native speakers and the sound files embedded in each flipchart so that perfect pronunciation is available at the click of a mouse button!

The files will only open if you save them first onto your PC , then open your Promethean software, click on file and then browse for the saved flipchart file. 

The flipcharts can be used as templates, developed and changed in any way teachers see fit to meet the needs of their learners.  They should be compatible with other interactive whiteboard software.

Many thanks to Janice Byers from Dumfires and Galloway Council for making these resources available to everyone and to Glasgow City Council for giving permission for the reproduction of their graphics.

To access the materials, please click here.

If you use the materials, please let me know how you get on by posting a comment below, or by sending me an email to

Exciting CPD opportunity offered by the Council of Europe


How language learning can prepare children for 21st century citizenship

This is a five day workshop taking place in Greenwich from February 27th until the 2nd of March next year.  Successful applicants will have the unique opportunity to meet,work and discuss with colleagues from all over Europe.

The general aim of the training activities of the Pestalozzi Programme is to train education professionals to become multipliers for Council of Europe standards and values in education.

The workshop will include plenary sessions from a policy maker and a researcher working in the field of multilingualism and intercultural understanding.  The terms of reference will include not only “foreign” language teaching but also the teaching of English and community languages.   This will provide a framework for discussion and debate.

You will also hear the perspectives of some key stakeholders – for example employers, civil society representatives. (Head) teachers and young people about the value (or otherwise) of languages.

 Since the workshop is also intended to have practical outcomes there will be opportunities to visit London schools to observe examples of teaching, to discuss with other practitioners and provide evidence of what can be done.

 Finally the participants themselves will be invited to present examples of work they have done – reports, activities, projects – in this field.   

The Council of Europe will pay all travelling costs to the venue but not accomodation or subsistance.

If you are interested and would like further details please visit the Modern Languages National Glow group.  I’ve posted information in the Resources for Sharing section in a folder marked CPD.  Alternatively you can click here to follow the link.  (You will need your Glow password)


musik + X Touring Exhibition for Schools

Our friends at the Goethe Institut have come up with yet another exciting innovation to help learners and  teachers of German!

Following the success of the Musik + X exhibition part of the British Music Experience at The O2 in Greenwich, the Goethe-Institut is pleased to announce an opportunity for schools to experience the highlights of the exhibition delivered directly to their schools.

Musik + X Wanderausstellung aims to inspire students to consider learning German or enhance their current studies by combining the language with German modern music and youth culture. It gives pupils from UK schools an insight into the youth culture of their German counterparts and is a fantastic opportunity for teachers to develop cross curricular work between German and music.

Four music genres are featured in the posters and DVD; techno, pop, indie and hip hop all optimising the use of German language. Students will gain insight into live concerts, fan mail, photos, posters, instruments, stage costume and more.

Schools have the chance to borrow a series of 17 laminated A1 posters with an accompanying DVD to display in their school for a period of 3 weeks. German teachers can plan their lessons using the posters and teaching materials available from our website. The only cost for schools is the return postage of the package in its own courier case. This Wanderausstellung will be a great addition to your school’s environment.

If you are interested, you can get in touch with the insitut at the following address:


3 park Circus

Glasgow G3 6AX

Tel: 0141 332 2555


You can visit their website by clicking here

Think German and Learn It!

I was really pleased to be invited to a meeting to discuss the benefits of learning German by none other that the Consul General Wolfgang Mössinger at the Scottish parliament last week.  We talked about the “case” for German in terms of the educational, economic, cultural, political and academic benefits it brings.  Representatives were there from partners in industry, higher and further education and from cultural organisations. 

For practitioners interested in developing UK-German opportunitites for schools and youth groups, the UK-German Connection provides advice, grants for trips and projects, guidance on links and joint projects, a platform for celebrating and showcasing UK-German activity, networks for teachers and young people and the UK-German youth portal and voyage kids website:  to access click here

If you have a project with which you think they might help then you can get in touch with them by telephoning their hotline 020 7824 1570 or send them an e-mail at

Say Bonjour to Remote French Teaching

Cross post from the Glow Scotland Blog.


Intermediate 1 French at Tiree High is a lesson like no other. The S3 pupils’ teacher, Helene Bernard, teaches them from 140 miles away, in a classroom at Hermitage Academy in Helensburgh.

When Tiree High was unable to fill the post for a French teacher last year, the school and its local authority had no choice but to use Glow Meet as a medium to connect its pupils with a French teacher elsewhere. A number of classes, including a P7/S1 and an Intermediate 2 class, are now regularly taught remotely.

“It has been very much a challenge for us. It has taken us probably about a year to get some basic technology issues sorted out,” said Maggie Irving, education support officer for ICT at Argyll and Bute Council.

There were problems with sound quality initially, and new laptops had to be bought to resolve these. Connecting a large number of laptops to the school’s wireless network also proved difficult, with the result that the computers are now hardwired through the network.

In addition, the new learning environment proved a challenge for younger children. “They have to sit down and listen very carefully and respond on a keyboard – not the best learning medium for those learners,” she explained.

Miss Bernard, a native French speaker, was one of two teachers last year to take on the challenge of teaching remotely.

Last week, she had the five girls in her Intermediate 2 class working on directions and maps, using Google Maps to work out and describe how they would get from one location in Lyon to another. They worked in teams to follow directions, and she marked the group’s homework, which they had uploaded onto the Glow Meet site.

“It was quite a learning curve, but we have been able to do so many things because of Glow,” she told TESS. “In a normal classroom, I can’t have all my children going on the internet and checking out real life in France, but I can do that online via Glow.”

In many ways, the teaching experience was not dissimilar to being there with the pupils, she said. “You have a whiteboard on the site, you have the children in front of you through the camera, and we have a jotter. Because it is a language, we have to speak a lot. The only thing that is different is that we have a chat box.”

Teaching via Glow could even be more efficient: “Each of the kids is in front of one computer, so they are very focused; it makes for a very effective class.”

Activities for French Reading for Enjoyment 4th level

I recently met with a group of practitioners from Aberdeen who are currently undertaking a “mini NAR” project for their local authority.  Many of them asked me to share the resources that I used to exemplify  4th level Reading for Enjoyment .  I have just posted these resources in the Modern Langauges National Glow Group, in the Sharing Resources section.  The folder for the S2 Ghost story contains all the materials, including teachers’ notes as does the S3 Poetry Unit folder.  There is an Activeboard  flipchart in the Ghost Story folder.  If you would like to use it you will need to first of all to save it to your documents, open your activeboard software, click on file and open it from your documents or wherever you saved it.  The sound files are also in the folder and you will need to save them and then reinstate the hyperlinks on the flipchart pages.

 If you would like to access the materials, then please visit the Glow group or  click here to follow the link.  (You will need your Glow password)

Success Criteria for reading, writing and listening and talking at 2nd and 3rd levels

I was at a moderation meeting in East Dunbartonshire last week.  Practitioners there have been doing lots of work on looking at the Es and Os at 2nd and 3rd level and have been considering success criteria that demonstrate learners’ progression through each level.  I thought that what they have produced  might be interesting  to help other teachers develop their shared understanding of the Es and Os.  I’ve posted them in the Emerging CfE Practice section in the assessment and moderation documents store.  Let me know if you find them helpful.  Many thanks to C Edwardson of Kirkintilloch High School for sharing her materials.  To access please click here (you will need your Glow password)

CPD Session with practitioners in Aberdeen

I was lucky enough to be invited to Harlaw Academy in Aberdeen City this week to discuss a coherent and collegiate approach to planning assessment, curriculum and learning and teaching.  Every Modern Languages Department in the city is currently planing their own “mini NAR” assessment project and it was my priviledge to be able to share my experience of undertaking a NAR project and discuss how we used the NAR in my own department as a valuable tool for CPD.  It was wonderful to see how many practitioners from City and Shire, state and private sectors, were willing to give up their own time to attend this twilight session and take part in very fertile professional dialogue.  I’ve posted the presentation slides and the evidence folders on the National Modern Languages Glow Group in the CfE Emerging Practice Section.  To access the presentation please click here

New open day programme 2011/12

New global citizenship open day study visits!

We are pleased to announce a new series of the popular, inspiring and practical school open days from Education Scotland’s Developing Global Citizens team.

Sign up by contacting or call 0141 252 5000

There is increasing recognition that the rich contexts and learning approaches associated with global citizenship are a powerful means of engaging with Curriculum for Excellence.  In this initiative, selected schools are offering an open door to senior leaders and classroom practitioners to share how they have led a whole school approach to global citizenship. 

The schools selected for the open school programme have developed approaches that have successfully woven elements such as sustainable development education, education for citizenship, international education and games legacy into a wider coordinated whole-school approach to developing global citizens. The programme includes a number of award winning schools and schools whose achievements have been widely recognised.

What others have said about the study visits:

‘The best CPD I have ever had’

‘This was an inspirational CPD event and I found it all very useful and enjoyable, particularly the input from the HT/PT and children – fantastic’

‘My mind is going into overdrive – I plan to take everything you have given and use it!’

Date Time School Theme
Thursday 13th October 9.30am – 3pm Mearns Primary School, East Renfrewshire Global Citizenship – learner voice at the heart of the curriculum
Tuesday 25th October 9.30am – 3pm Calderglen High School, South Lanarkshire Leadership of Global Citizenship/ Games Legacy for Scotland
Friday 18th November 9.30am – 3pm Woodacre Nursery, Glasgow >>details International education and citizenship in the early years
Tuesday 22nd November 9.30am – 3pm Hamilton Grammar School, South Lanarkshire >>details Leadership of global citizenship
Tuesday 29th November 9.30am-3pm Garrowhill Primary School, Glasgow >>details Sustainable Development Education
Thursday 8th December 9:30am – 3pm Whitelees Primary School, North Lanarkshire >>details Sustainable Development Education
Tbc 9.30am – 3pm Gracemount Cluster (High School, Primary School, Nursery and Special School), Edinburgh A cluster approach to global citizenship

Further events will be added to the programme in the coming weeks so watch this blog entry for updates.

Places for these events are limited so it is advisable to book early to avoid disappointment.

Sign up by contacting or call 0141 252 5000

Find out more about using global citizenship to develop a whole school approach to Curriculum for Excellence

Download the new global citizenship calendar for 2011-12

Online Global Citizenship Calendar now live!

Education Scotland has launched an online calendar version of the Global Citizenship calendar that allows practitioners to plan rich learning experiences across the curriculum.  The online version includes background information and resource ideas for each date in the calendar.

Access the online calendar here

Download a hard copy of the calendar.

If you wish to order multiple copies please email