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SCILT presentation

  1. 1. A 1+2 approach to language learning: the story so far. Fhiona Fisher Acting Director, SCILT and Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools
  2. 2. Who thinks languages are important? 98% of Europeans consider mastering other languages as useful for the future of their children. Euro Barometer “Europeans and their Languages” June 2012
  3. 3. Lots of people recognise the benefits of language learning A. Educators B. Employers C. Scottish Government
  4. 4. A. Curriculum For Excellence entitlements Language entitlement for learners in Scotland: “….we expect the majority of young people to achieve by the end of S3 a level of performance in each language skill which approximates to the level of performance associated with SCQF level 4. The achievement of fourth level outcomes represents a substantial and useful level of competence closely linked to Basic User level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). ” Curriculum for Excellence, Modern Languages, principles and practice
  5. 5. B. Employers Key points from the CBI UK education and skills survey 2011: • 76% of employers are not satisfied with school/college leavers foreign language employability skills. This is the highest percentage of employer dissatisfaction in the report compared to all other employability skills. • 61% of employers perceive shortfalls in international cultural awareness among school and college leavers • Only a quarter (27%) of businesses say they have no need for additional language skills
  6. 6. C. The government commitment We will introduce a norm for language learning in schools based on the European Union 1 + 2 model - that is we will create the conditions in which every child will learn two languages in addition to their own mother tongue. This will be rolled out over two Parliaments, and will create a new model for language acquisition in Scotland. (Scottish Government manifesto commitment, 2011)
  7. 7. The key points By 2020 children will… • be learning an additional language from P1 – S3 (L2) • Have the opportunity to explore a second additional language from no later than P5 (L3)
  8. 8. Every child will learn two languages (L2 and L3) in addition to their own mother tongue (L1). Which languages? How and in how much depth?
  9. 9. Which languages? • There is no hierarchy of language. • Any living language counts. This includes Scots, British sign language, community languages. • However, the first additional language (L2) must be able to be carried on into secondary school and be available as a NQ thereafter.
  10. 10. How and in how much depth? • High quality language learning experiences – active and relevant • Progression in all four skills - listening and talking, reading and writing • Aiming for second level for most by the end of P7 for L2 • L3 offers language progression and goes beyond basic word level – transition in same language, although ideal, is not a requirement
  11. 11. L3 – what could it look like in primary schools? • Children are learning Spanish for a term before going on a trip to Spain. They learn some facts about Spanish culture, learn to give personal information and talk about their likes and dislikes. They use their knowledge of decoding texts to work out some fairy stories in Spanish.
  12. 12. L3 – what could it look like in secondary schools? • A month-long interdisciplinary approach in Italian with Home Economics. Pupils learned greetings, introductions and words and phrases connected to healthy eating and food. They read recipes in Italian and then prepared the dishes in Home Economics. They set up an Italian trattoria, designed menus in Italian and ordered and served the food in the target language
  13. 13. The pilot schools • 10 pilot schools, each piloting a different approach or aspect of the report’s recommendations • 6 primary pilots and one transition, 3 secondary pilots • Evaluations of almost all have been done and are published online • New pilot has just begun at Cairns PS (French from nursery) from 2014-15
  14. 14. Key messages from the primary schools • Raised profile of languages • Increasing motivation and confidence of staff • Enthusiasm and confidence of children • Embedding the language makes it easier to cover • Positive impact of ‘visitors’ who bring the work to life and support the teachers • Learners are not confused by studying more languages. They use and develop their literacy and language learning skills together
  15. 15. Challenges and next steps • On-going training and support for existing and new colleagues • Need for cluster planning with colleagues from both sectors • Assessment and reporting • Differentiation of resources across all stages • Coherent, progressive learning with progression in all 4 skill areas including reading and writing • Creative ways of delivering L3
  16. 16. Key messages from the secondary schools • Engaging pedagogy wins hearts and minds • Study ‘grown-up’ themes with older pupils • Use relevant up-to-date materials and interesting contexts • Use native speakers where possible • Inserts/master-classes/short courses can all deliver • Link to employability skills
  17. 17. Challenges and next steps • Transition – build on prior learning • Staffing and training • Creative timetabling • Uptake in senior phase - PR with pupils, parents and other staff • Ensuring that language learning is for all
  18. 18. Skills for learning • Learning an additional language has a positive influence on literacy in the mother tongue (and other languages known). • When learning an additional language children develop and practise skills and strategies which transfer across languages. If taught in an appropriate way, this will also improve their vocabulary in the first language. • Studying a language helps develop metalinguistic knowledge (knowledge about language) and this enhances communication skills more generally. T Tinsley, T Comfort - Lessons from abroad: International review of primary languages CfBT 2012
  19. 19. Skills for Life • According to recent research done in Canada, being bilingual boosts an area of the brain known as the “executive control system” in the frontal lobe that governs memory, learning, language and reasoning. • “ Pick a destination, go there, be open-minded and talk to the locals. Eat the things they eat and go where they go. You don’t need to be fluent, just as long as you’ve got a smile on your face - people will be jumping over themselves to show you the stuff they’re proud of.” Jamie Oliver, Jamie Does Marrakesh, Channel 4 2010
  20. 20. Skills for Work The forecast for 2020 •12 million fewer low skilled jobs •15.6 million more highly qualified jobs of which a HUGE percentage will require more than one language Cedefop: The Widening Gap, 2012
  21. 21. So what can parents do to help? • Be open to language learning • Listen and encourage – share the experience! • Online materials from companies like Radio Lingua • Foreign Language films with subtitles • Cultural Organisations
  22. 22. “English is NOT enough” Together we must help Scotland’s youngsters realise that “English is enough” is a dangerously misleading myth. Modern Languages Excellence Report
  23. 23. Points for reflection… In the UK, only 38% people can hold a conversation in an other language Only 6% of world population are native English speakers. 75% don’t speak English at all Only 29% of internet “traffic” is in the English language Native English language speakers required: chronic shortage of Interpreters in EU Language skills are useful – even if you are not completely fluent.
  24. 24. A final thought… ❝If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.❞ Nelson Mandela
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