Languages Think Tank 25 August 2017
28 August 2017
We had an excellent meeting of the Languages
Think Tank on 25 August at Abden House, beautifully cared for by
Xin Zhang and by the marvellous Edinburgh First. The crab cakes
were to die for! Representation was very wide-ranging: Education
Scotland, CISS, Confucius Hubs (including the amazing Lasswade HS),
the Universities of Edinburgh (Edinburgh Global, Bilingualism
Matters, EUSA), Hull, Aberdeen, Stockholm and the Children's
University Scotland, local authorities and schools: East Lothian,
Mid Lothian, East Kilbride, Fife, Holyrood Secondary School and
Hutcheson's Grammar School Glasgow, SELMAS, RZSS...! This range and
the commitment of all involved to language learning at all levels
characterised the meeting, as well as something Fhiona Mackay
identified clearly: no moaning, but positive sharing!
In the second half of the Meeting, Archie McGlynn conducted an interactive discussion as part of his Review of SCEN. Archie is a former Chief Inspector of Schools in Scotland and Founder Director of both HKSSEN and HKSSIP. He has asked me to thank Think Tank members for their superb response: there was so much participation.
SCEN CHINESE PROGRAMME IN EAST LOTHIAN
Simon Macaulay and Ann Robertson (the new, outstanding East Lothian Modern Language Development Officer) described the development of Mandarin across the county. From August 2018, funding through the Swire Chinese Centre of Excellence in Edinburgh will provide two Mandarin Teachers; the two Mandarin Assistants, in both Musselburgh and North Berwick, will continue. This has allowed East Lothian to develop Mandarin in its secondary schools, the first stage in providing a progressive Mandarin curriculum in two clusters in East Lothian. EUSA continues it s great work in providing committed volunteers. Wonderful news and there will be more to follow!
LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT ABROAD, AT HOME AND ONLINE
Lisa Burns and Megan Hammell were eloquent and inspiring in their accounts of all they had learned of Chinese Language and Culture in their work in China: for Lisa, with Project Trust, and for Megan, as part of her degree at the University of Hull. Crystal Pan had only a short time to tell us about her online language learning course: the videos are now on the SCEN website. Sandie Robb updated us on her constantly developing and successful Beyond the Panda: please see the Edinburgh Zoo website. We promised not to ask any probing questions about Tian Tian.
INFORMATION FROM UCMLS, THE UNIVERSITY COUNCIL FOR MODERN LANGUAGES IN SCOTLAND
Chair Marion Spöring sent us information about the Languages Lost and Found events in Scotland, part of the Being Human Festival on Saturday 18 November 2017:
Marion also sent us details of the UCMLS Cross-Sector Action Plan in support of 1+2: Looking Back and Moving Forward: to 2020 and Beyond for Scotland's 1+2 Language Policy (also including Key Messages from the Scottish Government and its Strategic Plan for Implementation 2017-2021 of Language Learning in Schools):
LET'S LEARN JAPANESE!
Dr Petra McLay told us more about the efforts of her Group to develop Japanese for Young Learners in Scotland, and about the Conference at the University of Edinburgh with that theme led by Dr Yoko Matsumoto-Sturt.
EXCITING PLANS AT CISS
Judith McKerrecher gave us an update on the activities of SCILT and CISS. Fhiona Mackay talked of future plans: very exciting! We shall be hearing more: the CISS Conference will be held on 19 September.
THE OPEN UNIVERSITY
We shall be hearing from Dr Sylvia Warnecke of the Open University about its external language courses at our next meeting, and from Dr Jim Scott of the University of Dundee on his analysis of Mandarin exam results.