Category Archives: Modern Languages

East Dunbartonshire NAR Open Doors Event

I was delighted to be invited to attend East Dunbartonshire’s NAR event.  Douglas Academy gave a presentation on how their Modern Languages department had developed their NAR project and how they were furthering what they had learned from the assessment process in their department.  Several delegates asked if their presentation could be made available for use  as a means of fostering collegiate discussion in their own departments.  I have therefore posted the presentation in the “CfE Emerging Practice” section of the Modern Languages National Glow Group in the Assessment and Moderation documents store .  You can find the presentation by visiting the group or you can click here.  You will need your Glow password.

Moderation and Assessment in Modern Languages

I’ve added a new section to the CFE Emerging Practice section of the Modern Langauges National Glow Group where practitioners can post any work they are doing on Assessment and Moderation.  Many thanks go to Lochend Community High School for sharing the materials they have developed in the Languages and Communication faculty to help plan a coherent approach to curriculum, assessment and moderation .  It is always interesting and helpful to see how different departments and faculties are coming together to discuss and share the standards, so if you have anything you would like to contribute, please get posting!

To access Lochend’s materials please click here.  You will need your Glow password.

French Schools Are Looking for Scottish Links

Two French secondary schools have made contact looking to create links with Scottish schools.  They would like to exchange emails, take part in video conferencing or perhaps even organise  school exchanges.  The pupils from my own school have just returned from their annual school exchange and work experience week in Fougères, Brittany so I am somewhat evangelical  about the wonderful language learning opportunities that can be offered to young people by forging links with schools overseas.  If you are interested then please contact the schools directly.

1/ The Lycée Pape Clément (Senior phase) in Pessac (Académie de Bordeaux) is looking for a partner school in Scotland (exchange of emails, chatroom, ..). Please contact Karine, email:

2/ Breton Secondary school in Combourg nearby Rennes (Brittany) is looking for a partner school in Scotland. Please contact Annemarie, email: ANNEMARIE.GAUDET@GMAIL.COM

 If you would like to set up an exchange but you’re not sure where to start and would like to discuss it with someone who has set up a very successful exchange link, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with me at or by posting a comment below!

Goethe Insititute – free online course for Advanced Higher German Candidates

I have been talking with our colleagues at the Goethe Institute.  They are offering a new, online resource for Advanced Higher German candidates absolutley free of charge!  Practitioners simply have to register their candidates’ names to access a range of excellent resources and activities that would be invaluable for anyone studying German at an advanced level.  To register, visit their website or click here

Vielen Dank!

Showtime Spanish

Mark Pendleton of Radio Lingua has very kindly given us some fantastic Spanish resources that all teachers of Spanish will find useful in their classrooms.  You can download each episode of the radio play and the notes that accompany them completely free of charge.  I have made them available in the National Glow Group or you can click here to access the resources.  You will need your Glow password.  Many thanks to you Mark!

Criteria for Reading and Writing at 2nd and 3rd level

Modern Languages practitioners in  East Dunbartonshire Council have posted in the National Glow Group some criteria that may help centres to plan activities for reading and writing at second and third levels.  They were devised as a result of moderation meetings taking place between primary and secondary colleagues, as a means of exploring the standards and expectations set out in the experiences and outcomes.  Clusters in EDC have used them to plan progression for their learners as they progress from second to third level and they may be of use to you to create a consistent approach to planning, transition, etc.

Many thanks to the practitioners of  EDC.  To access the resource click here.  You will need your Glow password

Fabulous Free online resourses from the Institut Français

I was at a meeting on Friday the 7th of October with representatives of the many cultural organisations that promote learning about culture and languages here in Scotland.  The Insitut Français have created a wonderful range of free downloadeable resources to accompany the newest French films being shown  at the Discovery Film festival in Dundee and during the French Film festival in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee in November!  To check out waht’s available please click on the link.

They have also created a calander of resources for use with classes from P6-S3  –  I  love February’s entry   free video clips and resources to help celebrate La Saint Valentin.  To have a look, please click the link

Primary Competition – why learning a language is worthwhile

I have just received a flyer for a competition for primary school pupils who are learning a foreign language.  Prizes include lots of software for schools and the closing date is the 25th of November 2011.  I have put the flier in the National Glow Group in the resources for sharing section.  Alternatively, you can click on the link, you will need your Glow password.  Good luck!!!

Online resources for French, Spanish and Italian

I’ve posted a web link in the resources and sharing area of the Modern Languages National Glow Group.  Loads of free activities are available on the Euroclub Schools website.  Check out the “Jukebox” for Italian arias and resources to go with them. The Birdy Song in French is worth a listen as well, not to mention El Baile de los Vacas!!!

To access the link click here (you will need your Glow password)

Languages: Bridging Primary and Secondary

Sarah Breslin from SCILT gave a very interesting presentation at this year’s Scottish Learning Festival on primary/secondary transitions.  The slides from her presentation have been postd in the SLF section of the Modern Languages National Glow group.  They make for very interesting reading and could provide the ideal stimulus for professional dialogue and collegiate planning in your school/cluster.

To view the slides click here

European Day of Languages

How did you celebrate European Day of Languages?  If you did something exciting in your school, please let me know and I’ll do my best to share it with the nation via the Modern Languages National Glow Group.  Please get in touch with me at

or post a comment below!

Les Fantômes du Cyberspace sont arrivés

After my presentaion at the Scottish Learning Festival, a few of you asked about the Ghost story resource that was used in Douglas Academy’s NAR project.  It was first published on the MFLE a number of  years ago so many of you may have already seen it.  You’ll be pleased to know that I’ve freed the ghosts from the archive and posted them in the Modern Languages National Glow Group for you to use in time for Hallowe’en!  You can find them in the Sharing and Resources section, or  if you

click the link to release the ghosts!

Learning, Teaching and Assessment – Modern Languages

I’ve posted a copy of the slides used in my presentation at this year’s Learning Festival in the SLF section of the Modern Languages National Glow Group.  I’ve not included the evidence ot the assessment discussed as it is all available on the NAR.  If you would like any more information regarding the presentation then please contact me at

or post a comment below.

To access the slides click here

For Mid Calder primary’s NAR project click here

For Douglas Academy’s NAR project click here

Literacy Team Update 19th September 2011

A busy week for the Literacy team with lots of really interesting (and popular!) SLF workshops. Ranging from Gavinburn Primary School talking about their multi-modal texts to Debbie Gardner who has a wealth of experience promoting Literacy across all sectors, there is something for everyone.

You can see some of the Gavinburn work here:

In the longer term we are following on the success of of our targeted support days on Literacy Across Learning we will roll out LAL 2 beginning in October. The Primary day will focus on the development of reading and is called, “Learning to read, Reading to learn” with the Secondary following on the theme of Literacy as a responsibility of all.

Both days are very dynamic and include a range of practical ideas. They are supported by materials and resources that are shared from various authorities across Scotland.

The day will be booked through CPD Central and we have advertised it to all our NLN contacts.

Share your good practice!

I am looking for examples of good practice and new resources  to share with other practitioners in our National Glow Group for Modern Languages.    There are lots of fantastic lessons being taught across the country, so let’s stop “reinventing the wheel” and see if we can share some of our great ideas with our Modern Language colleagues.  If you have found an ingenious way of exploring the Es and Os at any level,  if you have a wonderful transition project going on,  if you have some exciting senior phase resources to share, or if you have just used something that really works, then please let me and everyone else know about it!  Feel free to send me an e-mail at

or leave me a comment below.

New National Qualifications – have your say!

National 4 and 5 Modern Languages qualifications are currently at the Unit Specification development stage and the SQA is really keen to hear from Modern Languages practitioners.  To view the draft documents and most importantly to have your say please click on the following links.

National 4

National 5

French resources to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day – Jan 27th 2012

Based on the Louis Malle film “Au Revoir Les Enfants” and the Joseph Joffo novel “Un Sac de Billes”, these engaging resources have been added to the Modern Languages National Glow Group.  They encourage learners to explore the plight of Jewish people in France under the Nazi occupation.  Click here to access resources

Ideas for celebrating world animal day Oct 4th 2011

New French resources have been posted in the Modern Languages Glow group  in the resources and sharing area that will help you and your pupils celebrate World Animal Day and discover information about endangered species, their habits and habitats.  Click here to access resources

Primary/Secondary transition project

Passport to Europe  
This three-part resources provides reading, writing, speaking and listening tasks on weather, clothes, numbers, times on the clock, places in the town, rooms in the house, personal language and animals. They contain materials for a fun day event for Primary 7 pupils but many of the games and materials provided are suitable for use in the MLPS classroom

CPD Opportunity for Secondary Modern Languages Practitioners

Please see attached an invitation to an evening seminar for language teaching professionals at the University of Strathclyde on 14 September at 5pm. 

 If you would like to attend this seminar on 14 September at 5pm, please contact Cédric Moreau at the following address:

Bridging the gap teachers invitation

Sustainability and Leadership – Community Regio Project at Bucksburn Academy

Pupils from Bucksburn Academy engaged in a number of environmental project driven by senior students in liaison with a number of local agencies and organisations such as National Heritage Scotland and Aker Solutions.  This inspirational initiative, part of a Comenius Regio Project linking with schools as far afield as Italy on the topic of sustainability, provided pupils with valuable experiences in improving their local environment  by cultivation their school grounds, building bird and bat boxes and preparing access to a local woodland area.  The involvement in this project gained students significant leadership skills as well John Muir awards. For an analysis of the project by pupils please see the attached PowerPoint presentation and the collated comments of the student survey.