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Scottish Government plans: teaching of two languages in primary school

Author: Catherine Seewald/03 June 2013/Categories: External events, External publication

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The teaching of foreign languages in primary schools was the focus of a conference held at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on 10 May. The event was organised by the European and External Relations Committee as part of its inquiry into the Scottish Government’s recent proposal to enable all young people to learn two languages (as well as their mother tongue) in primary schools. It brought together parliamentarians, experts from Europe and different stakeholders groups in language learning, whether as a parent, teacher or policy developer, to discuss the key findings of the committee’s inquiry to date. 

Waldemar Martyniuk, the Executive Director of the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe was invited to address the conference along with Jan Truszczyński, Director General for the Directorate General for Education and Culture, European Commission; and Alasdair Allan MSP, the Scottish Government Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland's Languages.

Issues explored in the Committee’s investigations included: funding; the skills base and teaching resources available for language tuition; the capacity within the curriculum to accommodate greater language study; the choice of languages for teaching; the role of languages in economic development. The Committee id due to report to Parliament with their findings before the end of June.

Article „Foreign language teaching to be subject of debate at Holyrood“, published on 29 March 2013 by the Scottish Parliament, http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/61602.aspx

Transcript of the event and reports of the break-out workshops can be found on the Committee’s web page at: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/56920.aspx


Early language learning activities of the ECML

In many cases training programmes for teachers in the pre-primary sector do not include professional approaches to plurilingual and intercultural pedagogy. Therefore, the ECML seeks to provide support for developing tools for teachers of very young learners to support the development of professional competences in this area.

Current ECML project targeting early language learning (2013-2015): European Portfolio for student teachers of pre-primary education
Project website in French / German
View project description

ECML publications and websites related to young learners: 

Assessment of young learner literacy linked to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, 2011 

Angela Hasselgreen, Violeta Kaledaité, Natàlia Maldonado-Martin, Karmen Pizorn

The handbook for teachers is designed to assist in the assessment of reading and writing in the primary language classroom. 

Languages: English

Plurilingualism and pluriculturalism in content-based teaching: A training kit, 2011 
Mercè Bernaus, Áine Furlong, Sofie Jonckheere, Martine Kervran
The training kit shows in which way the languages and cultures present in the classroom can be developed as a cross-curricular resource at primary and secondary level. It offers twenty-six contentbased didactic units in English, French and Spanish to be used in classrooms. 
Languages: English, French 

EPLC: Inhaltsorientiertes frühes Fremdsprachenlernen, 2011 
Dominique Groux, Renate Krüger, Chantal Muller, Dorieta Zdravkova Chakarova
La publication propose des modules basés sur des contenus disciplinaires pour l'enseignement et l'apprentissage des langues étrangères dans les écoles primaires. Ces modules proposent des feuilles de travail pour les élèves, ainsi que des lignes directrices pédagogiques pour les enseignants du primaire. 
Languages: French, German 

Using the European Language Portfolio, 2011
Barbara Lesničar, Margarete Nezbeda, Heike Speitz, Martine Tchang-George, Ülle Türk
The ECML presents a dedicated site on the use of the European Language Portfolio in different contexts with a special focus on teacher training. The site forms part of a new Council of Europe portal for the ELP including a registration system for European Language Portfolio models.The site will be updated on an ongoing basis. 
Languages: English 
TEMOLAYOLE – Teaching modern languages to young learners: teachers, curricula and materials, 2011 
Marianne Nikolov
The Temolayole Book is the outcome of a conference in Hungary on the teaching of languages to young learners. It consists of 10 articles recounting different aspects of good practice in this field, with an emphasis on teacher education, and the design of curricula and teaching materials. A range of innovatory projects are described, and topics include action research, the use of stories, methodology and cross border exchanges. 
Languages: English, Hungarian 

Information and Communication Technologies and young language learners, 2003 
Mario Camilleri, Valerie Sollars
This publication describes a project, which aimed at integrating web-based communication with a thematic story approach to teaching a foreign language to 8 to 10 year-olds. The aim was to encourage the use of the World Wide Web as a medium over which children could publish their language productions to an audience of peers from participating schools in 21 European countries. 
Languages: English, French 

An early start: Young learners and modern languages in Europe and beyond, 1999 
Helena Curtain, Marianne Nikolov
The idea for the comparative study dates from ECML, workshop No.2/97 entitled 'Theme -based Foreign Language Teaching to Young Learners' hosted in Graz. Participants from 20 countries attended. In the publication An Early Start: Young Learners and Modern Languages in Europe and Beyond, 18 articles present different approaches to early language learning on a national basis. 
Languages: English, French 

Thematic collections: Presentation and evaluation of work carried out by the ECML from 1995 to 1999, 2003
David Newby
The years 1995-1999 represented a period of considerable importance, both for the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) and for language teaching in general. In this time, following the launch of the ECML, it held a large number of workshops, initiated and supported research and development networks to promote language learning and teaching on a European scale. 







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