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Languages 1+2: Which languages does your school teach?

Discussion in 'Scotland - Primary' started by bonxie, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. bonxie

    bonxie Senior commenter

    We teach French from nursery to P7. We're going to be introducing Spanish from January 2017. I was wondering how far along other schools are in implementing the requirements for mother tongue plus two languages by 2020. Has anyone got any advice on the amount of time to allocate to L3 on top of L2? Do you have a Spanish scheme that you would recommend?
  2. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    That's a very ambitious ask. What are the aims of the language program?

    How forthcoming is the resourcing?
  3. bonxie

    bonxie Senior commenter

    From the Education Scotland website:

    "The Scottish Government’s policy, Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 Approach, is aimed at ensuring that every child has the opportunity to learn a modern language from P1 onwards.

    Additionally, each child should have the right to learn a second modern language from P5 onwards. The policy should be fully implemented across the country by 2020."

    We have French in place and working well. We're planning on using Light Bulb Languages Primary Spanish resources as a base. It's experiences of Scottish primary schools teaching L3 Spanish that I'm particularly interested in.
  4. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    It's very laudable - and even exciting if implemented properly.

    What does your French program look like? How often do the kids have French per week? And how many minutes is each session? Is the program tied to the European Framework, and what are the expected outcomes of the course? Also, how will it impact the French course once the Spanish course is introduced? Would you also be aiming to teach through and in the language as well as teaching the language? Assuming the linguistic abilities of Scottish students improve accordingly, how is this seen as impacting the required language level in Nationals / Highers?

    Also, when you talk of mother tongue, is that English? Or could that also be Gaelic / mother tongue of immigrants? Would English then become the L2?

    In all seriousness it does sound like it has a lot of potential. I'd love to hear more from someone on the ground.
  5. bonxie

    bonxie Senior commenter

    The amount of time spent on French depends on the age group. With younger pupils it's short bursts with lots of aural/oral using songs, toys etc and opportunities for embedded language, e.g. counting to 10/saying days of the week when lining up. From P4 (once most children have a solid grasp of English phonics) reading and writing are introduced. Lessons are then around 20 minutes 3 or 4 times a week but longer or shorter if it suits what we want to teach. We aim for least an hour a week from P4 upwards as research suggests that anything less is unlikely to result in good progress.

    Light Bulb Languages and Acces Studio form the backbone of what we do. We've not tried to match with the European Framework, but we have a progression from South Lanarkshire that we use. I don't know what they originally based that on. We also have the Modern Languages first and second level criteria from the Curriculum for Excellence. The Significant Aspects of Learning have also been published by Education Scotland. Moderation, both within and between local schools, is an area we need to work on.

    To help with transition, we have had discussions with our local secondary school as to which topics to teach by the end of primary, what kind of level they'd like us to have the children at etc. It should mean they can avoid having to teach some topics (e.g. Dans ma trousse) which are boring for older students but fine in primary if done in a fun way. Modern languages time during the BGE can then be used for topics more relevant to Nationals.

    A couple of our French topics are CLIL, e.g. the solar system and animals. We are looking for further opportunities to expand this approach.

    In our school, the mother tongue is English or our local Scots dialect. For some schools on the Western Isles, it may be Gaelic. Gaelic medium schools would have that as their L1, with English as their L2, I presume.

    We have been teaching our local Scots language for part of the year as our L3, although we were doing that anyway even before the Language 1+2 policy. We'll continue with this when we introduce Spanish. According to guidance we've received, the L3 teaching should not take time away from teaching L2. Which other subject the time should come from is a bit of a mystery!

    With children who have a different mother tongue from English/French/Spanish, we don't have the capacity within our staff to teach any other modern languages.

    I'd be interested to hear what primary schools in your area are doing about the Languages 1+2 policy.

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