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Teachers become learners with new languages project

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Primary school teachers are being given the confidence to teach languages to their pupils through a new project run by The Open University (OU) in Scotland and SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages.

Fifty one teachers from schools across nine local authorities are participating in ‘Learning to teach Languages in Primary School’ which will see them learn French or Spanish as well as how to teach the language in class.

The project aims to support the Scottish Government’s “1+2” Language Policy, which has the objective that every pupil will learn two modern foreign languages alongside their mother tongue from primary school onwards.
Angela de Britos, Professional Development Officer at SCILT, said:

“Teachers have increasingly high workloads and we felt that a more flexible approach to career-long professional learning (CLPL) was needed, especially for those who live in remote areas who often miss out on development opportunities.

“By partnering with the OU, proven experts in distance learning, SCILT is able to deliver the teaching skills to accompany the languages teachers are learning and together we can ensure a high quality learning experience.

“This innovative and comprehensive course will enable teachers to grow in confidence and is an excellent opportunity to build modern languages capacity within primary schools across the country.”

Gwen McCrossan, Principal Teacher for 1+2 Languages, Argyll & Bute said:

“This course is ideal for the geographical situation of Argyll & Bute. We are delighted to be able to take part, as it provides a quality learning experience for teachers who would otherwise find it difficult to access language training – we even have one teacher enrolled on Tiree. The course is also unique because it is tailor-made for primary school.”

Research shows that young people are much more likely to succeed with learning languages if they’re exposed to new languages in primary school. ‘Learning to teach Languages in Primary School’ helps equip primary teachers across Scotland, in both rural and urban settings, with the skills and confidence they need to support their pupils.

Susan Stewart, Director of The Open University in Scotland

The teachers’ study is in the process of being accredited as Continuing Professional Development (CPD) by the Scottish General Teaching Council.

Funded by SCILT, ‘Learning to teach Languages in Primary School’ is a pilot and will run from October ‘til 30th June 2018. The project is expected to continue in an expanded form in 2018/19.



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