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Languages in Scotland Whats the Problem?

INTRODUCTION

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Rona MacKie: A very warm welcome to you all. Before I get on to my informal introductory presentation, we are obliged to show this at the start of all meetings at the royal society of Edinburgh. The important things is that if there should be a fire you should leave at once, do not stop to pick up your belongings. Fortunately we have never had to act on that but you never know. So, just a few words of welcome. I am Rona MacKie, I come from Glasgow, I am an Academic at the University there, and I currently look after the International Committee of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Im just going to say a very few words about the Royal Society of Edinburgh, what the Society can do, and particularly the International Committee and some of the things were doing. We are over 200 years old and many of you in this room may know this story very well. We started in 1782 and the mission statement if you like is we are here for the advancement of learning and useful knowledge and Im sure youll all agree that language situation is very much a useful knowledge area. We are a multidisciplinary group, we dont just cover the sciences as The Royal Society in London does, we cover science, the arts, law, business, all areas. And we speak with an independent voice which were very proud of and we are very determined to retain. The work of the Royal Society has a number of elements and as I said were under the banner of the International Committee. We do give independent policy analysis, advice and communicate knowledge, we have a grants award committee who work very hard, were very interested in taking academic discoveries to the commercialisation and innovation area and we also have a fellowship programme. Our International Committee was established nine years ago in 1997 and I know that really for two hundred years prior to that the RSE did have an international flavour, and the important advance for us four years ago, was a ring-fenced financial allocation which gave us some clout to organise meetings such as the one were organising today. In addition to that, we organise exchanges and links with sister academies. Currently we have formal agreements signed with the Chinese, Taiwan, Poland, Czech Republic, Norway, Hungary and there are others in negotiation at the present time. And the particular subset of the International Committee which has brought this meeting about is the European Policy Forum. EPF, which is chaired by Sir David Edward, who you will be hearing from later, has been able to look particularly at how the RSE can increase and establish communication between Scots and members of the EU. Some of you were at our meeting I think at the beginning of May, our first major gathering under the EPF banner, when Commissioner Potocnik came and spent the day with us, both speaking and listening and it was charming to see the way that the was interested in what was going on in Scotland. He was an extremely erudite and interesting person to have a conversation with and following that our present President Sir Michael Atiyah and our previous president Lord Sutherland wrote to the Prime Minister concerning the financing of the research in the EU and had both an acknowledgement and some action, so this is not just a talkshop. The second major activity of our European Policy Forum is exactly what were doing today. Do we have a problem in Scotland with language learning? If so, what kind of action is needed and in what way can the RSE be of any assistance in trying to advance the situation. So the observations that made us decide to organise this meeting today were the fact first of all that published figures and again many of you in this room know a great deal more about this than I do, show falling numbers of school pupils are achieving a higher grade pass in any foreign language, and if one looks at the published statistics there clearly seems to be more of a problem with boys than with girls, as only about half the number of boys seem to achieve and are likely to pass at that level. I thought it would be interesting to speculate what has happened, what is taking the place of languages at that level, and Im sure well hear more about this during the course of the day. As far as my personal experience of languages is concerned, looking at it from the academic point of view, come at this from a scientists angle, a medically qualified individual, where English is very much the language of choice, the language of communication. Ive worked for many years in various European and International collaborator groups and on grant applications and publications, and informal communications and e-mail Im afraid are all in English, its the one common language. The only country Ive found in my experience where an attempt to communicate in a home language is really appreciated is France. But it may be that this has been a particular point in time as far as this language communication is concerned and one might look at changing patterns of population, the major Hispanic population in the west coast of the US, and the growing Indian science in the Indian sub-continent. Yesterday we had some Chinese colleagues with us, and it was interesting how beautiful their English was, but every so often there was a gentle lapse into Mandarin and I only wish I knew what was being said at that point in time. Again in the Arab world we have very lively Arabic research developing, so it may well be that in 20 years time the assumption that English will be the academic scientific language will disappear. So these are some of my observations, and I now want to start the main programme. The pattern is going to be that the first five presentations will be before coffees and without discussion. We then have presentations after coffee and a full discussion of all the mornings presentations will take place, lead by Sir David Edward at 12.25. Its a great pleasure to welcome Gill Robinson from the Scottish Executive whos going to talk about A Curriculum for Excellence.

Languages in Scotland Whats the Problem? SESSION 1

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Gill Robinson: Well thank you very much indeed. Good morning everybody. We were delighted to hear about this conference. It is a very timely conference for us as we work on the curriculum review. What Im going to do in the fifteen or so minutes that we have for this introductory session is to give you the policy background from the Scottish Executives point of view on modern languages in schools, but to spend more time on exploring whats happening in the curriculum review which is underway in Scotland at the moment, and just some of the implications of that for languages for Scottish youngsters. Im very conscious that in this room weve got people whove been intimately involved in a lot of these developments, and others who may not be familiar with where we are, so I hope youll bear with me if some of what Im saying is very much context-setting for the rest of the day. So lets think about the current policy context in Scotland. It can be summed up in the statement in this slide here. The ministerial action group on languages was established in the later part of the 90s to think about where modern languages teaching and learning ought to go in Scotland. The result of that was the report Citizens of a Multilingual World which re-emphasised and reaffirmed the value and the importance of learning other languages. And this is its key recommendation [slide]. It talks about an entitlement to learn a modern language, beginning no later than primary 6, building on prior experience, and being progressive, covering a minimum of 6 years of study or its equivalent of 500 hours. That lies at the heart of the Citizens of a Multilingual World recommendations, but it went on in to talk in more detail about the aspirations we should have. One of these was that children should develop a useable competence in a language, sustained through regular opportunities for interaction with native speakers and through technologies. That is really quite a high aspiration as we know from the position we are in at the moment in Scotland. Other recommendations of the report were to do with support for innovative work in schools, for the diversification of languages, into giving more emphasis on Gaelic and looking beyond European languages. Were now seeing, as you know, some developments in that area close to home. The recommendations also referred to thinking about how ICT can be used in the support of the teaching of modern language, and about the sort of support teachers would need to enable them and equip them to help youngsters learn their modern languages. The response to Citizens of a Multilingual World was published in September 2001, and the then Scottish Education Minister, Jack McConnell, accepted the recommendations of the report, endorsed them, and set out a set of intentions. Since then there have been a number of strands of development to support languages in Schools. What we have here combined with the guidance which teachers have for what ought to be taught - in 5-14 guidelines and in standard grade and national qualifications syllabuses - and curriculum guidance which indicates the sort of time allocation which ought to go in to different parts of the curriculum including language study, is really the basis of policy on languages in Schools,. The scope for flexibility within the teaching of languages is something which I will return to later. To support the Scottish Executive response, the languages fund was established. Since 2001, 18.5 million has gone in to this language fund, supporting a number of strands of development: support for training and development of teachers, development of resources to support teaching, support for foreign language assistants, making links abroad. The list is very long, and I wont go in to it in detail, but there are some very innovative and interesting pieces of work in there which are being very closely monitored. For example we have the increasing use of ICT, through such projects as the Partners in Excellence programme, where youngsters are learning in a broader community - we think very successfully across different schools, using the latest technologies. Theres also been support for the partial immersion project in French in Walker Road Primary School in Aberdeen, and support for that is now extended so we can watch the progress of the youngsters right the way through their primary education. Well be watching with interest to see how theyve performed and what this experience has done for them. Other things, again based on ICT: the Modern Foreign Languages Environment, which is now a web-based place where teachers can go and compare practice and learn about what others are doing, and communicate with their colleagues. Thats managed by Learning and Teaching Scotland, in partnership with Scottish SCILT whore working in many of these areas in partnership with the Executive and others. The MFLE was formally launched at SETT on 21 and 22 September 2005 and can be found at www.ltscotland.org.uk/mfle. I mentioned Scottish CILT, the Scottish Centre for Information on Languages Teaching and research. It is supported by the Scottish Executive as an important body to help to advise and develop and support the work in Scotland. So, we have a range of different kinds of support for the development of language teaching and learning, and the Minister has just agreed that there will be an extra 4 million to support languages in Schools in 2006-2007. So the work is continuing. Then along comes another initiative, as it would seem: the Curriculum Review. What I would now like to do is take us back a little bit to the origins of the Curriculum Review, and then take us as far forwards as I can today on what that might mean for language and languages teaching. The Curriculum Review goes back to the National Debate where we had a very extensive period of discussion and consultation about the Scottish curriculum and the educational experience of Scottish youngsters. The main outcome of all of that was that there was high degree of satisfaction with Scottish education. I think its really important that we remember that were talking about a position of

Languages in Scotland Whats the Problem?

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relative strength when we look about the Scottish education system as a whole in terms of how people perceive it and what we felt needed to be done. The three things which Ive noted up on here [slide] were probably the ones which came over most strongly when people were saying what they thought might need to be done in the future. The first one is that we have a curriculum right across the board which is very good in individual areas, but the connections between parts of the curriculum are not always very smooth and theres a real perception that when you take together the expectations of the curriculum, particularly in primary schools, theres a lot of breadth and a lot of what people perceive to be overcrowding within the expectations of the curriculum. Then other things come along and seem to be expected to be add-ons, which then add to this feeling that theres an awful lot of stuff to be done. So theres a view that it would be good to try to do something about overcrowding, and also that it would be good to try to do something to improve the smoothness of progression of youngsters as they go from three right the way through their school. At the moment there would be some places where the connection isnt very good and theres not always a smooth path through. Another quite significant view was that assessment wasnt always seen as supporting learning, but sometimes driving learning more than people felt was desirable. Thirdly, people were conscious that if you want to be successful you have to look at what youre doing: it may be good enough for the moment, but it might not be good enough for the future. So thinking about the requirements of a curriculum for the future, which will be preparing our youngsters for a life which will be very different from that which weve experienced in many ways. Its the curriculums job to enable youngsters to flourish and prosper in that different environment as far as it possibly can. So, implications of that need to be fed in to our curriculum. The key message is: what do we need to do to enable our youngsters to flourish and prosper? This is the first of a couple of slides that Im going to put up which are a product of the curriculum review group, which was set up to address the questions which have been raised in the National Debate and to address questions about a curriculum for the future. Lets think about where were starting. Heres something of what we have said about the values that we would bring to the process of looking at the curriculum. As I say this is very central. The curriculum review could have been a very technical job. but lying at the heart of it, it was seen as very important that we enabled youngsters both to develop their own values, and to work within a framework of values as we did our work. Now I would hope when you look at that that you will see some resonances with the purposes of learning languages other than your own, and that I think has been an important feature of the work that has been subsequently done. Understanding of languages and cultures other than your immediate one, helping to contribute to the development of values and citizenship in young people. The curriculum review document, as well as talking about the values it was trying to achieve, also spells out really for the first time - in a way that we hope will be memorable - the purposes of education for youngsters. In fact as I put this up here [slide], this now seems to be achieving quite a good deal of recognition across different groups of teachers. Its seeming to penetrate reasonably well at the moment across schools. Something relatively simple which first of all puts the youngster at the centre of the purposes of education and looks at what it is were trying to help them to achieve through their education. So, the purposes of education as a whole are to enable youngsters to become successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors. Youll see in each of these cases theres a little expansion of what that might mean- first of all the kind of attributes they might develop, for example enthusiasm for learning, and also other things that they would be able to do. Youll see things to do with achieving success in different areas of study and learning, communication in different ways and in different settings, those sorts of things. As I say, the intention is to have a relatively straightforward and accessible statement of purpose of education which then can act as a lens for viewing what we do in schools and in other educational settings for young people as they develop from 3 to 18. This has formed the basis of the review work which weve then gone on to do. In its broadest terms we want to look at what we do at the moment in the education system and see to what degree it already is contributing in these ways, in helping youngsters to become more confident and so on. Of course a lot of what we do already does do that, but there are areas where there might just be an adjustment in the balance, perhaps to give greater emphasis, for example, to citizenship, and so on. If you think in particular about language in relation to these capacities, we might think of how can a youngster become a more successful learner through their learning of languages. We might say by reflecting on their learning of language, their understanding of language, it enables them to learn more successfully - making connections between their own language and another language which they learn is a very important part of effective learning, and the development of a repertoire of skills as part of that, will also contribute to them becoming a successful learner. In terms of being becoming confident individuals, we can think about the satisfactions of successful communication in another language (although Im reminded when we were listening to that point about French that theres also the down side of that, where you have a go and you have the response in English), but to be able to achieve successful achievement in another language is something of great value and worth, and can give great satisfaction. Being able to

Languages in Scotland Whats the Problem?

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communicate beliefs and views through your own language is clearly something which helps confidence, to be able to think about communicating naturally in another language is another feature of a youngster who might be characterised as being a confident individual. There is a great deal of scope, as Im sure you will see, around the area of responsible citizenship. A great deal of scope for the learning about other countries, about other cultures, about other languages, and therefore becoming more aware that there are differences and becoming better able to exercise a more tolerant and respectful view of others: a really important part of citizenship. The review group which has been working on languages summed this up in what they said about citizenship and about how languages could contribute by saying a language in addition to the mother tongue adds an extra dimension to communication and to understanding the thoughts and feelings of others. It is at the heart of the development of international citizenship. So, a really strong contribution from languages learning into the citizenship agenda. Effective contributors, people who can take part in teams, and help to arrive at a good solution. To be a good contributor, people need to be able to express themselves clearly and sensitively in a way that fits the purpose of the communication, and clearly that is a very important goal of language learning. This, then, is what lies at the heart of the curriculum review work thats being undertaken at the moment. Behind that, we have expectations of personalisation and choice (that is something that is going to be picked up later on in the day); looking for greater depth; and looking for scope for making sure that learning is relevant and coherent. This is the programme of work that is being undertaken at the moment. When it comes to the specifics of language review work, we have established a group which is covering all language. It has done some preliminary work and it has raised a lot of interesting questions about how we approach the curriculum for the future in language. Let me just give you the points that were reached at the moment. First of all, to be able to make a curriculum more streamlined and decluttered, were exploring how to define outcomes for learning more clearly and in more straightforward terms - relatively fewer, but much more clearly focused on purposes of learning. As part of this, the group has considered, and will consider in more detail, the scope for learning from the common European Framework of reference for languages. There is to be, I gather, a conference very soon on this, and I look forward to hearing the results with great interest, as the line of work on our review has been to be to be very clear about what outcomes we expect. So one of the most fruitful areas of development, we think, is to see to what extent this framework can be applied. We will, on Monday 27th March, be publishing the next stage of the review process. It wont have detail on languages, but it will give an indication of the broad architecture of the curriculum which languages will then be fed in to. Its a real opportunity, I think, to revisit the curriculum, to make languages as engaging as possible. Then concerns about choice will be handled because youngsters will want to take languages. We want to open up the scope for flexible design of the curriculum which I hope will offer up opportunities for languages to be delivered in ways that support good learning, with timetablers taking account of this. And we hope that well be able to develop new guidance on the curriculum which will be clear about the intentions, of language learning: enable our youngsters to have that confidence and be able to communicate naturally. Then we hope that theyll want to choose languages because theyll see the importance of them for their future life and work. So thats the task. We want to do it in collaboration with as many experts and colleagues in the field as we can. Were asking for people to sign up to help us with it on the Curriculum for Excellence website, available at www.acurriculumforexcellencescotland.gov.uk - If you feel you can contribute in that way we would love to hear from you. Well gradually be exposing more and more of the thinking to the community and well look forward to your contributions, and also to hearing about how you get on with the rest of the day, which Im sure will be very helpful for us all. Rona MacKie: Thank you very much Gill. As I said we are having the discussions for all the first and second session speakers at the end of this morning, so now well move straight on to Jane Renton from the Inspectorate whos going to talk about the overview from the Inspectorate of modern languages. Jane Renton: Good morning ladies and gentleman. Im very pleased to be here. Thank you for inviting me to speak to you and provide you with an overview of modern languages in Scottish schools, based on inspection evidence from 2002 onwards. In May 2005, HMIE published on its website a report with the snappy title Progress in addressing the recommendations of Citizens of a Multilingual World. The key findings of that report are summarised in my background paper and I dont intend this morning to go over in detail something which has been in the public domain for nearly a year. Instead, Id like to bring things right up to date. The HMIE report Improving Scottish Education was published a month ago. Im going to focus on the main messages from that report and apply them to the context of modern languages education in Scottish schools.

Languages in Scotland Whats the Problem? First message: Scottish education does many things well and some things particularly well. So what do we do well with regard to modern languages education in Scotland?

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We provide a huge amount support for modern languages education. Gill has talked about the support provided by the Scottish Executive. I would mention in particular here the MFLE project which well be hearing about later, the work of Scottish CILT and in particular the outreach training events organised for modern languages teachers throughout the country and the work of SALT, the Scottish Association for Language Teaching, and in particular their excellent annual conference which is attended by over 400 language teachers every November. Strengths in teaching programmes and in pupils learning experiences and achievements at all stages from P6 to S6. In primary schools, almost all pupils (and by that I mean around 98% of pupils) in P6 and P7 are learning a foreign language and thats something for Scotland to be proud of. The Assessment of Achievement in Modern Languages report, published in September 2003, showed that pupils are achieving worthwhile levels of proficiency in foreign languages by the end of P7. Successful implementation of the 5-14 guidelines has improved the quality of teaching programmes and raised expectations of what pupils can achieve. Inspectors have seen many examples of very good extended speaking and writing from pupils in primary schools. Successful implementation of 5-14 has also had a positive impact on the continuity and progression in pupils learning as they move from primary to secondary school. And successful implementation of 5-14 has raised the bar with regard to pupils learning experiences and achievements in S1 and S2. By the end of S2, many pupils are able to read challenging texts and produce extended language using a range of tenses. The numbers of pupils studying foreign languages in S3 and S4 and who obtain a national qualification by the end of S4 remain high. It has proved difficult to establish accurate numbers, but nationally in session 04/05 around 90% of pupils in S3/S4 were studying a foreign language. Pupils who study foreign languages in S5/S6 get good learning experiences and achieve good results in national examinations. There and many examples of very good teaching and in particular, imaginative and creative use of ICT to support language learning. Ive deliberately taken time this morning to list the positives and there are many of them. Theres much to be proud of. But theres no reason for complacency either. That takes me to the second broad message from the Improving Scottish Education report: alongside real strengths, there areas which are priorities for improvement. I see a lot of good practice and I want to see it everywhere - but unfortunately I dont. So where there are strengths in course content and pupils learning experiences and achievements in many schools, there are weaknesses in these areas elsewhere. So if these weaknesses are to be addressed, what do we need? More challenging & motivating learning experiences, more relevant content less low level personal & transactional language, more opportunities to work independently & collaboratively, language needs to go beyond word & sentence level more often, we need to expect & encourage pupils to understand and produce more extended language and achieve higher levels of proficiency, we need to ensure that unacceptably high numbers are not dropping their modern language in S3 and S4 and ending up with no national qualification and we need to encourage more pupils to go on to study a language beyond S4. Research done in 1999 showed that many able pupils in S4, who might have been expected to go on to Higher, didnt do so because theyd found their experiences of language learning irrelevant and lacking in intellectual stimulus. More than 6 years on, we still havent done enough to address this issue. The third broad message from the Improving Scottish Education report was that: Our education system needs to build on its strengths to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex and uncertain future. Ive listed in my background paper some of the challenges we have to face as the 21st century progresses. Some of them are particularly relevant to languages. Globalisation for instance which languages should pupils be learning? Theres a lot of interest in Chinese and Im looking forward to this afternoon when well hear about whats happening at St Georges School. To meet these challenges of the 21st century, Scottish education, and modern languages education within that, need to move up a gear. We need a curriculum and qualifications which are fit for purpose. We need high quality teaching. We need to focus on the needs of individuals the one size fits all approach is not good enough. We need high levels of

Languages in Scotland Whats the Problem?

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teacher professionalism and dynamic leadership for learning in our schools. Id like to develop just a few of these points. So a curriculum & qualifications fit for purpose what might that mean for modern languages? More focus on outcomes: A Curriculum for Excellence is a development which represents a real shift in thinking about curriculum in Scotland. Previously, our curriculum guidelines have focused on input like the proportion of time to be spent on different subject areas. A Curriculum for Excellence on the other hand focuses on outcomes, the 4 capacities we want our young people to be successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens. In the same way, modern languages education needs to focus more on the outcomes we want to achieve. The entitlement to modern languages education outlined in Citizens of a Multilingual World had eleven different components but the main focus has been on the amount of time pupils should spend studying a language, the 500 hours. There has not been enough emphasis on the quality of pupils learning experiences or the levels of proficiency which pupils are expected to achieve. More relevant content: The content of teaching programmes needs to be interesting & relevant for pupils. So please, lets stop describing bedrooms, booking into campsites and reporting lost property. Lets have the sort of motivating and challenging content which Ive seen in examples of best practice over the last year: a 3rd year French class doing a unit of work based on the film Amlie, a 4th year German class reading about healthy life styles and the causes of child obesity, and in both cases, pupils collaborating in groups to help each other understand complex language and experiencing real success in their language learning. S2 pupils working on a cross curricular project on fair trade which involved French, Home Economics and modern studies, pupils getting the opportunity to be creative and imaginative though use of ICT such as film making and pod casting, pupils in S5 getting international citizenship awards from their school for helping to organise activities for pupils visiting from France on an exchange, and senior pupils putting on a German play. These kinds of content and learning opportunities will ensure we are developing the 4 capacities in our young people. Flexibility to meet the needs of individuals: I mentioned earlier the high proportions of pupils dropping languages in S3/S4 in some schools. In particular, many lower attaining pupils have been opting out of languages to do vocational courses instead. We need to keep an eye on this trend and make sure that schools are not restricting the future job and life opportunities of these pupils. But if we are to motivate this kind of pupil to continue their language studies, we must offer something relevant. Many schools have found that Access 3 courses fit the bill here but an opportunity will have been missed if we dont introduce language options into the new skills for work courses currently being developed. At the other end of the ability range, some schools are adopting Intermediate 2 instead of Standard Grade. The point is that we have to be flexible. We need to offer courses and learning experiences which are motivating and which meet pupils needs if we want them to enjoy language learning and to continue with it when they have a choice. A Curriculum for Excellence gives us the opportunity to do all these things and to sort out a number of issues which need to be addressed. We need better progression in the levels we expect pupils to achieve as they move from P6 to S4 and to sort out mismatch we currently have between 5-14 and Standard Grade the Common European Framework might help us here. We need to discuss whether we should have an earlier start to learning a modern language and if we do, how we ensure pupils make proper progress and how we ensure a long term supply of suitably trained staff to teach languages in primary schools Increase & teach professionalism & leadership for learning at all levels: Question: Who is it that has the most influence on what pupils experience every day in their language lessons? Answer: teachers. Thats why we need highly competent and professional teachers. Reflective practitioners who continuously seek to improve. Im not convinced we can motivate pupils by telling them that learning foreign languages is good for them and might help them get a job at some time in the future. Its high quality, enjoyable learning experiences which motivate pupils. And we need to ensure that all pupils get these experiences on a day to day basis. There are a couple of final points I want to make this morning. Challenges of ml learning in Anglophone society: Were very good in this country at beating ourselves up about how poor we are at foreign languages compared to our European neighbours. But we need to remember that the issues are very different in an Anglophone society. English is the international lingua franca, the world language. Like it or not, English speakers are less motivated to learn foreign languages than non Anglophones are to learn English. This is key to understanding why learning foreign languages remains such a challenge for us in Scotland, no matter how many policies and strategies we may have. I think it would be very interesting to commission a study into how other Anglophone

Languages in Scotland Whats the Problem?

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societies tackle these issues. Are they any more successful than us? What can we learn from what they are doing? It would be interesting to find out. Recognising & valuing partial competence: It often strikes me that in this country we only recognise two levels of proficiency in foreign languages one is native speaker fluency and the other is cant speak a word Any levels of competence in between are hardly recognised and not valued. The research I referred to earlier identified this issue as another reason for able pupils not continuing with languages beyond 16 they hadnt reached the level of proficiency they had hoped for and didnt feel motivated to continue. I think theres a job to be done here to educate young people and wider society also that you cant expect to attain native speaker level fluency after 500 hours of languages learning over five years. It takes a lot more time than that. So what can modern languages education offer young Scots and of Scottish society in the 21st century? Should learning another language be an essential part of the education of every young Scot? Without a doubt, yes it should. But we must ensure that what we offer is a quality experience. We want young Scots to be confident & successful language learners. We want them to be responsible and active international citizens who can make an effective contribution. Monolingualism is curable! Ladies and gentleman, thank you for listening. I look forward to the rest of the day. And to ensuring that HMIE plays its part in bringing about continuous improvement in modern languages education in Scotland. Rona MacKie: Thank you very much. Now well move straight on to Roy Cross whos the Direct of British Council Scotland and whos going to talk about David Graddols English Next Roy Cross: Good morning everyone. A long commercial break on behalf of a book that I hope youve all managed to pick up before you came in. The focus is obviously on English, English as a global language, the future expectations of our own language round the world, and much much broader implications. And Ive just picked out four of Davids themes and propose to offer you a little bit of gentle provocation with his help. Perhaps a slightly broader and slightly wider view if I can permit myself that much. We used to say a few years ago, well actually, it doesnt really matter, English is going to be the language of the internet, the global language, all that knowledge its going to be accessible. It was one of those excuses it was quite comfortable to use. David suggests however that this is changing. These are all taken from the book [power point slides], but the key thing here is the difference in the size of the purple. In 2000 English was well over half, in 2005 English is down to less than a third of the traffic on the internet. This is expected to continue. Now you can see that whats happening is other languages, obviously things like Chinese and Japanese, but people using their own languages much much more on the internet. So were not going to be able to access all of it through English. Thats the sort of trend, over the last 10 years, quite rapid decline in both internet users using English as their first language, and the number of web pages in English. Jane made reference to this already, the doom of monolingualis. The barriers preventing them from other languages are rising rapidly. Map of Europe, the purples and the reds and the oranges are where people are learning English at primary school. High percentages, were talking here 70, 80, 90. People claiming to speak English acceptable well for their own proposes, the trend is upwards, the trend is particularly high already in places like Finland and Slovenia and the Netherlands and Sweden and Denmark. And this one is an interesting one Ill need to talk you through this, its in the book. The top set of lollypops is how EFL used to structure itself, and the lollypops go 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, which was the ages at which people used to acquire proficiency in English. And theres a little arrow coming in at about the age of 20, and that was the level of English needed for academic study. The bottom set, that same little arrow now comes in at the age of 14. And thats typically the age at which theyre acquiring the same level of proficiency in English. For our purposes whats interesting is that in the second one again, between 10 and 12 is where most of the colleagues Ive spoken to would situate standard grade of GCSE language achievement, typically French, German, whatever. Round the world, thats being done between the ages of 10 and 12 in terms of English. This is not a completely true analogy. People round the world are doing sort of standard level English between the level of 10 and 12, which suggests were a couple of years off the pace. This is the strategic side of things, weve had excuses, we had benefit, David says its quite clear that the economic advantage is ebbing away. The competitive advantage English has historically provided its acquirers personally, organisationally, nationally has ebbed away as English becomes a nearly universal basic skill. My italics The need to maintain the advantage by moving beyond English will be felt more acutely. Thats the second half of the graph thats in the book. Up till about 2010 you can just see coming from your left hand time a continuing very very steep increase in the learning of English around the world. And then David suggests in about

Languages in Scotland Whats the Problem?

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2010 it almost falls of the cliff, because the job has been done. Everyone sort of knows it and theres a decline, English has become part of everybodys everyday life. And by about 2050 he suggests its just there, in the background, everybody does it. Along side that some interesting data here, this is not first language data, this is second language. People who speak mandarin as a second language, theres a billion. English, David suggests I think in his text that the figure may be somewhat higher than 500 million, Hindi Spanish, Russian, still spoken by a lot of people as a second language. Another ingredient in the mixture is the demographics, the growth in population, the red area here where population is increasing quickly is the less developed world. Our own part of the world is blue, population increase much slower, and as we know in many countries in Europe it is almost now negative. Most people in that less developed country block, the red block, are speaking other languages, and this has been talked about a lot over the past months and years, the importance of Asia, can we afford to ignore China and India? Well, we can try, but probably not. Thats what Goldman Sacks think the top ten economies will look like in 2050. We all knew china was going to become important, but I hadnt realised it was quite so much more important than down there UK, Germany, France and Italy. China, the USA and India. Were going to need to engage, the world is changing an extraordinary amount over these next 10-20 years. Whats happening though, the beginning of this graph back in 1991, if you make allowances for the scale of the graph, almost nobody was taking the Chinese proficiency test, and for those first few years there, there were a few thousand candidates. The most recent figures, 40,000 people took this test of Chinese proficiency. And you can see an echo here of that English graph, people out there are learning Chinese in huge numbers, particularly I understand in India which is interesting given the traditional enmity between those two countries. People are equipping themselves with the language skills they need. And this is another part of the mixture, more complicated, more political. This was a recent sort of public opinion poll, last year. Asking people Blue favourable attitude to the USA, Red favourable attitude to China. And the striking thing about this is, that I think there are one, two, three, four countries, not including our own, where more people view the states more favourably than they do China. Not surprisingly thats the States themselves, its India, its Poland, and its Canada, just. But then all the way across the rest of that chart, we start with the UK where theres a significant number who look more favourably on China then they do on the states, and if we move across you can see that the gap is often very large. Its had a lot of impact on the work of the British Council. Obviously the key issue is the way with Iraq, people are no longer as able to distinguish between the states and the UK as they used to be until quite recently. I think it does feed in to language learning as well. The work that weve done with the Scottish Executive and some of you here in the audience on Chinese learning, Chinese teaching, the thing about this is that Chinese is funky, Chinese is cool, Chinese has got a culture behind it. Japanese also benefits I think with young people in the same sort of way. This is going to feed into young peoples motivations for learning languages, it might be that China begins to be of even more interest. Its an excellent read, its a quick read, its 90 minutes if youve had your breakfast. And it provokes a few thoughts about what are the bold steps that we might want to take to ensure that in 20 years time, young Scots are as well equipped as possible to encounter, to connect with the world. Rona MacKie: Thank you very much. We now move on to a view from Europe, a European perspective from Dorothy Senez. Dorothy Senez: Thank you very much. Good morning everybody. Let me start by expressing my thanks to the Royal Society of Edinburgh for inviting the Commission to be here today. We particularly appreciate the opportunity to learn more about current developments in the Member States and to gain a better understanding of the priorities of national education systems. The Commission has recently published a Communication, entitled A new framework strategy for multilingualism. I do not intend to talk about it in great detail today because you will find a short paper on the Communication in your delegate pack. I thought that what I could most usefully do today would be to give you some figures on language learning, language issues and language teaching in particular, and try to set these in a European perspective. So what kind of data do we have on language issues at a European level? We have just published a new Eurobarometer study on languages which gives a snapshot of Europeans opinions of languages at the end of 2005. It is an update of an earlier study which we published in 2001, the European Year of Languages. The Eurobarometer is an opinion poll. It shows what people in Europe feel about language learning and about language issues in general. We also have the figures from Eurydice, which is the organisation which collects data relating to school education throughout Europe, and they provide us with very precise details about how much language learning is going on in Europes education systems. So on the one hand we have the subjective data, what Europeans think about language learning, and on the other we have the objective data, how much language teaching is going on in our schools. But there is another type of data which we do not yet have. What we still need to do is to measure the quality of the results, to produce figures on the actual outcomes of language learning in our schools in order to see how well we are doing. And to do this the Multilingualism Policy unit is currently working on the production of a European Indicator of Language Competence.

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But lets look first at the Eurobarometer opinion poll. This was carried out by face to face interviews in all the Members States of the EU, as well as in the acceding countries, Bulgaria and Romania, and in the candidate countries, Croatia and Turkey. The field work was done in November and December of 2005, and covers the population aged 15 and over. We tried to keep the same questions as the ones we asked in 2001, for reasons of comparability, but given that 10 new members have arrived since then, bringing 9 new languages, it is quite difficult to compare the data directly. Nevertheless, an overall comparison still gives us some interesting insights. With respect to the most commonly used languages, English is the most widely used language at 51%, and also the most commonly spoken foreign language at 38%. Another interesting point to note is that 14% of Europeans speak French or German as a foreign language. We then asked people which languages do you speak well enough to hold a conversation, excluding your mother tongue?. And, it seems that 56% of Europeans feel that they can hold a conversation in a foreign language. And interestingly this is 9 points more than in 2001, so we can see some progress here. 28% say they can master 2 foreign languages. And 44% admit that they dont know any other languages apart from their mother tongue. The next question was Do you think that knowing other languages than you mother tongue is or could be useful? and here 83% thought that knowing foreign languages was useful for them personally, and 53% considered that it was very useful. The results of the next question are interesting To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following: Language teaching should be a political priority?. Here we have 67% of the European population who thinks that language teaching should be a political priority. In response to a list of several ways of learning a foreign language, the majority of Europeans indicate that they learn languages at school, and for many, school is the only place where they ever learn a foreign language. We then asked them what is the best age to start learning a first foreign language, and a high percentage of them believe the best age is before six, and 89% think before the age of 12. On the question of which languages should be learned, English comes out on top with 77%. In the recently published Commission Communication setting out a new framework strategy for Multilingualism, the Commission invites the Member States, among other things, to ensure adequate provision for early language learning, to improve language teacher training, and to increase the number of schools teaching subjects though foreign languages, otherwise known as CLIL, or Content and language integrated learning. The following table only considers foreign or modern languages. Regional or ancient languages are shown solely when the curriculum regards them as possible alternatives to foreign languages. So the picture emerging here is that it is possible for most Europeans to learn two foreign languages at school. In general the first language is included in the curriculum as a compulsory subject, and the second as a core curriculum option. Nonetheless it is quite a heterogeneous picture. The next slide shows on the left-hand side recommendations for language teacher qualifications for primary education. The picture for lower secondary education is on the right side. We see that Scotland stands out from the rest of the UK here. In most countries in Europe, then, for lower secondary education, the requirement is for specialist training. The next slide shows Eurydice figures on CLIL, which we could define as the teaching of curriculum subjects, other than foreign languages, in more than one language. The use of the CLIL approach to language teaching varies from one Member State to the other. Here you can see that CLIL is offered as part of mainstream education in many European countries, and that there are pilot projects in a significant number of Member States. In some Member States there is very little or no CLIL provision - in Denmark, for example, in Flemish-speaking Belgium, in Portugal, and in Greece. Looking at the status of the languages used for CLIL type provision, we can see that both foreign languages and regional or minority languages are involved. In fact CLIL covers a variety of situations, and is often part of school provision, but not on a broad scale. English is the predominant language in CLIL teaching. There does not seem to be any clear preference emerging out for any particular subject matter. There is, however, a clear need for teacher training across Europe to be more focused on CLIL. As a general conclusion, although CLIL is far from general practice in Europe, the situation is nonetheless encouraging. Before I conclude I would like to make a brief reference to the Commission proposal for a European Indicator of Linguistic Competence. This indicator will provide us with information about the quality of language learning in European schools. It will provide us with a means of measuring the outcome of the language teaching that is going on across Europe. Because in 2002 the Heads of State and Government in Barcelona called upon the Member States to increase language learning from a very early age, and if we want to increase language learning, we need to be able to

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measure the kind of progress that were making. The development of this indicator is a very important aspect of our current work. It is a new instrument which will help in the evaluation and comparison of language skills across the EU. We know about the quantity of language learning thats going on, but we do not yet have comparative data relating to the quality. The indicator will take the form of the administration of a specially developed suite of tests of competence, and will be administered to a sample of pupils in education establishments in all the Member States. As there are a wide variety of school-leaving ages in the different Member States, it is generally agreed that the compromise age of 15 will be selected for these language tests. This in fact is the age which is used for other international indicators, such as PISA. The test will thus be applied to a sample of 15-year-old school pupils in the four skills (written, oral, speaking and writing), and will cover both first and second foreign languages. The Commission has taken forward this activity on a consensual basis with the Member States, and there have been detailed discussions concerning the principles that underlie the indicator, because as often with these things, although there is a broad agreement in principle, when it comes down to discussing the details opinions tend to diverge. But the Commission is committed to fulfilling the mandate given by the European Council, and the indicator will provide a rich new source of data which can inform decisions about the policy and practice of teaching foreign languages and most importantly will enable good practice to be shared. You can find further information on the new languages portal on the Europa website: http://europa.eu.int/languages/en/home You will find the text of the Communication there, as well as a lot of information about language learning in Europe. Thank you very much for your attention. Rona MacKie: Thank you very much. Our final presentation before the coffee break is Professor Johnstone, of Scottish CILT, whos going to talk about the key factors of success. Richard Johnstone: Good morning everybody. Id also like to thank the Royal Society of Edinburgh for this excellent initiative in putting on todays event. Like everybody Im looking forward to hearing what others have to say, but Im also looking forward very much indeed to seeing how the Royal Society might take matters forward after today. What are the key factors in success? Im looking at this not as a teacher but as an academic researcher, thats my particular perspective. But first of all, as a member of the action group on languages, which produced the document on Citizens of a Multilingual World, I would like to make that point about the notion of entitlement, because its a concept that has been much discussed and understood in different ways, and there are a number different interpretations, Ill give you two. One runs along the following lines: you are required to learn a modern language, at the end of S4 youll have done 500 hours from P6 and here are the benefits youre entitled to expect. So the entitlement is to the benefits, which arise from the required study. Second is youre not required to learn a modern language in S3 or S4 but you are entitled to do so if you so wish. Citizens of a Multilingual World favours the first of these two views. There is nothing in it which even suggests that modern language should be optional. I just wanted to make that point because the debate has moved on since then, and the second view has been Im not suggesting its necessarily a bad thing, but I just wanted for the record to make the point that the Citizens of a Multilingual World document doesnt recommend that languages should be option. Ill be interested to see what a Curriculum for Excellence makes of the tension between tension and optionality, I accept that its a difficult one. Looking at it from a research perspective, I can say there are lots of examples of students being compelled to learn a modern language who produce high attainment and high motivation, so theres nothing inherently demotivating about being compelled. And theres nothing inherently motivating either about having free choice. I think I would actually argue is what counts, rather than the fact that youve got compulsion or motivation. Thats all I wanted to say. Now, when were looking at factors, what are the key factors for success, before I come to this rather complicated system, which is me looking as a researcher at it, trying to understand the different kinds of factor, I think it is fair to say there are some legitimate concerns about languages in Scottish schools. I absolutely agree with what Jane and others have said about the positive things, I subscribe to that view. However there is a legitimate concern about the numbers who are going through and taking higher or beyond, because they are approximately half of those doing so in 1976. And this despite Europeanization and globalisation, that is worrying. There are legitimate concerns about the levels of proficiency in the language which those students are taking. I think there are also legitimate concerns about the levels of motivation which students come up with, especially boys, and I think I would also say there are legitimate concerns about a relative lack of connection between languages in education and languages in business, and because of this

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relative lack of connection, it is unlikely our country will get the pay-off in economic competitiveness which it aught to, despite many many good individual examples of good practice. So, there isnt time to go over the details of these factors, I think the headings are probably self evident, but we know that in Scotland there are lots of societal factors which influence the outcomes and generally speaking I think I would say, as Jane said earlier, these tend to make things rather difficult for us. If we compare for example, I did the national research on modern languages at primary schools in Scotland, I have a very good friend who did pretty much the same research in Holland, looking at modern languages in Holland, and it turned out that if you look at the provision factor children in primary schools in Holland spend about the same as in Scotland, or maybe even less. Yet if you look at the outcomes in terms of target language proficiency, there isnt the slightest doubt that the output from Dutch primary schools is way ahead of anything that one would reasonably expect from Scottish primary schools. Do you put the blame on process factor quality of teaching? No, because my Dutch colleague, when he analysed what the Dutch children could do by the end of their primary education, found that approximately half of what they knew they had learned outside the school, it was English, and they just picked it up from the atmosphere, and of course that makes the teachers job much easier, and of course it makes the teachers job in Scotland quite difficult because the teacher has to provide the exposure to the language as well as actually teaching the language, and those two are not quite the same thing. So, type of language exposure is a key factor. I think that we should also mention just going down the list, pressure groups, and Scotland has a really wonderful example of a really positive pressure group. Unfortunately its not in modern foreign languages, its in Scottish Gaelic. Because Gaelic medium primary education would not exist I believe but for the very determined efforts of parents who wanted their children to be educated through the medium of Gaelic, and most of these parents are English speaking parents, not Gaelic speaking parents, and they have put a lot of pressure on the system and they know how to agitate and levitate through the ceiling, and they know how to lobby politicians, and it seems to be that one of the things that we might consider in modern languages is trying to help parents to understand the good reasons for languages, and to mobilise their opinion, so they put legitimate pressure on politicians. The provision factors appear to be very very important, Im not really going to comment on them in detail at this stage, but teachers supply, is there an adequate supply of teachers? Is the training up to standard and is there adequate support for teachers once theyve had their training? Those are really very very important and exactly quite what we debate as to whether what is to be learned is quite enough. Also I would see the support of senior management, is that provide Does that provide an ethos within the school which is supportive of languages? There is a whole range of process factors, and I dont want to get in to the technicalities of this too much, but the international research on the acquisition of second or additional languages actually has some very very interesting things to say about the processes in which you need to actually engage if your internalised language competence is to develop, how is it activated and how is it extended? And I do actually believe theres quite a lot that we need to think of by way of helping teachers in Scottish schools to get maybe a better informed understand of this. Because what I have seen in schools by way of processes may be good in the general educational sense, but theyre not actually quite the same as the processes which the best research in second language acquisition suggests actually do do the trick. So theres quite a lot we can work on there, and within the individual factors youre maybe getting a picture of societal factors influencing the provision, influencing the processes, these hit individuals and theres a very very wide range of individual learner characteristics and motivation of course is clearly an important one. So is self-efficacy, and these really good students that Jane mentioned, top performers at Credit level in S4 they were getting very high attainment, but their self-efficacy was low because they didnt think they actually had a real life proficiency, they were good at passing exams, but they didnt feel that they could do the job in interaction with their peers in other countries. So the self-efficacy is important. And strategies, what might the best strategies be whereby individual learners and groups can actually come to terms with learning a language. And then theres a whole range of different outcomes, and theres actually quite a lot of debate as to what these might be. I quite like the Curriculum for Excellence four sets, and I dont think its very difficult to read these on to this one, but there is difference between efficiency and attainment, and we also maybe aught to look at this notion of mobility, this is very much a European Union notion, but mobility of employment is a fundamental right of every citizen of the European Union, including every pupil in every Scottish school. Does our education system equip them to exercise this right? It certainly does for children in Germany and other countries, I think theres a question mark over whether our education system at present is helping them to achieve the potential for mobility if thats what they want. Ok, well Im kind of tempted to devise a really clever computer programme which would look like a slot machine, and they you choose your favourite factors and if three oranges come out then youve got a wonderful strategy and everything will work well. I doubt that its quite as easy as that. Im going to mention three decisive factors, quality of teaching, and thats a process factor, it is absolutely fundamental, and Im all in favour of ICT, and well see some wonderful examples of it, but there is no substitute for the teacher in the class who knows the language better than the pupils, because the kind of unbalanced interaction between somebody whos quite fluent and somebody whos less fluent, actually triggers the development of the competence in the person who is less fluent. Its absolutely essential, and theres a whole range of really important teacher qualities which I dont mention, but are very very well know. Theres no substitute for that. But secondly, the amount and the distribution of time, that is absolutely vital. And I would have to say that it does concern me that in some schools probably the amount of time from P6 to S4 is a good bit less that the 500 hours. That is barrier (?), because actually 500 hours isnt enough to develop a real proficiency, it takes longer in our culture, where the education system has to deliver the goods, because

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the society outside doesnt. So the amount of time is absolutely vital, and the intensity of the experience. What Im actually coming to say is that the model of languages in the curriculum which we could call the drip-feed model, where we get little drops of language within what is called a subject, actually has considerable limitations to it. And despite all the benefits which will come from new developments, if we are low on time and low on intensity, I dont actually think that we will achieve as much as we would like to. So the drip-feed model doesnt provide enough time and intensity. I can compare two projects in Vienna, the modern languages at primary school lollypop project, thats on a drip-feed basis, except it starts at primary one, and by the end of primary 4 pupils have had 170 hours, thats 170 more than theyve had in Scotland by the way. And the Vienna bilingual project which had 1780, a huge difference. And there is a huge difference in the proficiency but also in the intensity of the experience, because in the bilingual project the children are not just learning the language, theyre having to learn half the curriculum through the medium of language, and its a much bigger challenge and things begin to click together there. The drip-feed model we know absolutely can enable some to gain high attainments in national examinations and we should not disparage that, that as has already been said, because of the limiting societal factors, it produces only a restricted proficiency and self-efficacy even in good students, I would say. So does that mean we abandon the drip feed model? Well we cant, its just not possible, we have to make the best of it. But there are things that we can do of a more radical sort. But I think we do need to think very hard about how were going to appeal to the different types of learner motivation: Intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, integrated motivation, instrumental motivation. These are different, and individuals vary by the extent to which they are motivated by one or other. We need to think a bit more about that. But we also need to think about role models, what sort of people in the big world, outside the school, will help to motivate. And we have some really good examples actually, Gregor Townsend and John Peatrie, both international rugby players, and weve got a video of Gregor Townsend walking round Murrayfield and saying how important French was to him, and how keen he is to learn Italian, and weve got John Peatrie a member of the current squad who stood up to be counted and said how important French was to him, I dont know if its to say at the bottom of a scrum would you please take your boot out of my face but there we are. And weve got a former University student who did French whos employed by Arsnel football club, and he has to talk to Thierry Henri and people like that. So role models of that sort, but I think also helping young people really to understand about mobility, the bigger picture, and when they compare, as research studies have done, how students at school at say Germany, think about themselves and their future as compared to students at school in Scotland, the students in Germany dont necessary see themselves as living and working all of their life in Germany, they see the bigger picture, its a European or global picture. They see themselves as moving around. The tendency from the surveys that we have done, tend to suggest that Scottish students see themselves as being Scottish and staying in Scotland. And I think what I would like to encourage is the thought that they might become a bit more mobile, that they will go out there, spend some time there, and lets hope that they will come back and they will bring the benefits of their experience with them. I havent got time to go over all of those. Metalinguistic awareness I think is very important, Ive seen fabulous examples from Croatia, very young children whos first language is Croatian, learn French or English or German or Italian from primary 1, in the second year of their primary they were introduced to 30 different grammatical concepts in Croatian, and in Primary 3 these were systematically in to their foreign language, and in Primary 4 they were absolutely flying. They had absorbed the structure in their first language, they had been taught how to transfer them, and it was really very good, and it gives the lie to the view that very young people cannot develop an analytical knowledge of language. They can, and they can internalise it. So I think there are implications for a languages strategy for primary school education. Which languages? Yes I absolutely agree that Chinese and other Asian languages would be very good, Im a late, old, very incompetent but totally enthusiastic recruit to the Chinese language community, my own preference is to Cantonese, because I do business in Hong Kong, and its taught me that you actually dont need to have a very high level of competence in a language to achieve a remarkable effect. I was meeting the Dean of a faculty, who was there at the entrance to the college in Hong Kong, and I spoke to her in fluent Cantonese, Good morning Dean, its some time since I have last seen you. I do hope our meeting will be as positive as the last one was. Youre looking very well. She was utterly knocked out. What she didnt know what that was the only Cantonese I knew. The effect was achieved. And suddenly I was somebody who had taken the trouble, taken a small step in the direction and the whole discussion changed. And I recently, when in Beijing, Shanghai, I cant sleep at night so I always have a cup of hot chocolate in the lounge. The waitress comes along with the chitty eventually, I sign my name in English, give the room number, but I always write my name in Chinese too. The effect is quite dramatic, although they havent given me a free cup of chocolate yet. But it has a remarkably positive effect. So I think that the partial competence that Jane was mentioning, it can actually be very slight, but it can actually achieve affects, and so Im actually very relieved that Im a fluent speaker of English, it does get me around the world, no doubt about it. But you can get so much more by topping it up. I would just like to finish by mentioning those more radical initiatives, early partial immersion, whether its Gaelic medium, or these increase the time and these increase the effectiveness. And you get different quality of outcome. Very very thats firmly established by research in many different countries. CLIL, thats learning other subjects or parts of other subjects through the medium of foreign languages has not got off the ground in deeply conservative Scotland. It has got off the ground to some extent in England, in comprehensive schools. Some very very interesting developments taking place there with very positive initial results. I would like to see that encouraged. And also the creation of virtual communities, whether these are thats Ewan Macintosh speak, or students Mark Pentleton

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speak, and obviously these things coming together, so you put people in touch with people virtually within Scotland, and also between Scotland and other countries. These in a different way increase the time and intensity, and it comes down in my view that these are two really key factors if we wish to obtain higher levels of proficiency. We wont get there simply asking teachers to teach better within the curriculum as it is defined just now. There isnt enough time and language as a subject in its own right is not an intensifying enough experience. Thank you very much. Gerry Toner: people who genuinely use language at work, in the sense that theyre using them in their vocational work place. It moves on to a different kind of language at work, where we see how young people in Scotland are actually putting their languages to work sometimes in a simulation situation, and sometimes in a fairly real situation. If I call first of all then on Cameron Buchanan to start this session. SESSION 2 Cameron Buchanan: Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Why the speaking of foreign languages has proved successful in my business career. The speaking of languages was almost accidental, because I wasnt particularly inspired at school to speak any languages, failed French O Level and then I tried latterly to do a German O Level and failed that as well. What happened was, in the sixties we took Oxbridge entrance, and I took it in the autumn term and I didnt get in, but I was offered a compensatory place at Leeds. Now I didnt really fancy going to Leeds University particularly, but I thought well I better do something about it, and I was struggling for something to do, and I decided that Paris was quite a good idea. Now in those days my idea of getting in to the common market was taking a French girl out without speaking to Mother about it, so I thought this was rather a nice idea, a bit of a skive to go to Paris. So I went to Paris, and I found myself learning French, and I had failed French O Level, and I found myself really interested in learning French. And at that time De Gaulle, Charles De Gaulle had a theory that anybody could take the entrance exams for university in their own language, because he rightly worked out that in the 60s all African leaders had either been to a British university or a British prison, and he thought that he could do something about this, and this included the leader of Mozambique at the time. So he decided that you could take your entrance exam in your own language. So I took my entrance exam as I had done A Level in the history of the French revolution, I wrote exactly what I had done before, Im sure it was never read, they were just so pleased they had somebody from the UK in, and I entered into the Sorbonne in that Autumn term, rather with trepidation, didnt take up my place in Leeds. And I struggled a bit, I really did to start with, but in fact as we all know when youre learning a language, youre there, its like being parachuted into Russia, you soon learn the Russian for bread, water and everything else, its what happened in Paris. So I did two years at Paris University, sadly it was 1968, and I was arrested three times! The university was prorogued, prorogued is a rather old fashioned term which under parliament, under Charles the 1st, what it did was De Gaulle closed all the universities, sent everybody back home, and made everybody do their final, or final other year again. I was in the middle year and I decided I wasnt going to do it again. So I never got a degree, but I did learn a whole lot about protesting. How the French have a way of protesting, theyre absolutely amazing. What they do is we were massed, a mass of people behind the Place de la Concord, it was a joke, with some people pro-Vietnam, others against it, it just a protest, it was great. And the French just rounded everybody up in a panier, as they call them, these salad shakers, and they took us out 22 kilometres at 4 oclock in the morning, and dumped us. It cools the ardour I can tell you, because we never protested again. But there was always anybody who looked like a student was being arrested, so in fact thats why I started wearing shirts and ties, because its what a lot of people did, even this man who is now an MEP called Daniel Cohen Bendit. Who I did meet, was very smartly dressed, in shirt and tie, and was not arrested. Soon as he turned into another thing Anyway, I then stayed on at Paris University, I got various holiday jobs, I still have on my CV its called work experience but basically it was a lot more experience than work, and I did things like putting deckchairs out on the beach in Nice, very tough job, very hard in the summer, and was a ski bum in the winter in Val DIsere, where I didnt learn very much but in the end I carried on. And I found I was learning French and fairly enjoying it, and then I met a German girl and a I went of to Germany and I worked there, then I met an Italian girl and went to Italy, you can see the pattern, cant you, this is how these things go, and this is what happened, it actually happened, I was a Disc Jockey for four years in fact. But what it did teach me was that the invaluable way that you can pick up a language having had no known aptitude to it to start with, I was not inspired as a child to learn languages and I think thats the key, there was no real inspiration. So in my day if you said you were bilingual they though it was bisexual, it was almost an insult, no one really knew what that sort of thing meant. And I found all the people I was meeting abroad spoke two or three languages to start with, the Swiss, the Danes, the Dutch, they started, they were born with two language, in Denmark, simply because their language is only spoken in their country, same in Holland, similar in Switzerland. We were at the disadvantage, and it was very easy to catch up if you were living in the country, and of course I didnt quite know what to do, so I went in to thinking that being a disk-jockey wasnt the greatest of career moves, or being a ski bum, so I then joined this semi family business, which my father was chairman, because they were stuck. I was living in Italy at the time, and again working night and day, and they were stuck because their boss had taken the, the boss of the Italian company, had run off taking his secretary with him and everything else, so I then joined the company in Italy and I came on back to Scotland, and I started working in this company. Its a textile company, Im still there today, although its changed and metamorphosed

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a bit, and its an international textile company, that sells abroad, and our USP funnily enough is that we work abroad, I work abroad, I sell abroad, and because I speak the languages, because I know what Im saying, that is what gives us the edge, it is purely that. We sell to Hermes, we sell to tailors, we sell Scottish tweeds and tartan, made in Scotland or made in England, made in the UK, nothing made abroad, top quality products, and its nothing to do with price, and its almost trust me Im in sales sort of stuff, its really really top quality things that we sell, we sell design, not necessity, people dont need what were selling, but because were selling to people like Hermes, they phone me up and say Cameron can you deal with this, can you deal with that? because I speak French, and they like that fact, and the French are very very keen on that. Now, in business I have always tried to have people who spoken languages, because its vital, and we have people on the phone, the secretaries, and we have people who answer the telephone always in a language, I answer the language in my answer phone, two languages or three languages, and where as its normal abroad, it isnt in Scotland. In Scotland, the UK, its considered almost remarkable that I speak four languages, but it isnt abroad, and where we dont realise the use of language, is in places like, in Germany, weve heard earlier for example that the Germans think of themselves as international and we dont in Scotland. I mean, Scotlands biggest export is its people, years ago we went abroad. We need to inspire children, inspire people to learn languages. I mean, Polish plumbers are coming over hear, partly, and we know how much plumbers earn anyway, but partly because they want to learn the language, they know about it. We need to inspire our school children that they can be plumbers, electricians, electronic engineers, its not just selling and the smart suits and travelling around in first class cabins, and I dont do that anyway, but it is more important to get people to learn languages, the relevance of it, and my point really is that if you can inspire children to learn the languages early enough, to get an aptitude, and tell them why theyre learning it, tell them they can get a job, its not just, weve stopped courses for things like secretaries to learn another language, bilingual secretaries, these things have all come to a grinding halt, on the continent theyre normal. The new languages were learning, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, equally important, we have to convince our children that these languages are relevant. In my business career Ive gone out to schools, Ive spoken at schools many times and said to them languages are great, theyre really important and next I get about five phone calls from people saying can we come and work in your company because wed like to learn a language. But in fact it does work like that, genuinely, we can inspire people to learn a language, and it shouldnt just be, were not just inspiring people to say go and learn a language, go and work abroad, etc. it can be in the UK, I think in Scotland we dont have enough places of work where a knowledge of a second language is apparently useful. When you delve down into these applications it is really useful, you can tell people for example that were going to work in the EU that they need a second language, whatever that language is, and its absolutely vital. I found in my, people are I want to say impressed, but theyre quite amused that a Scot can speak four languages, of varying degrees of competency, I dont pretend that theyre all highly competent, but its unusual, but it isnt for any other foreigner, and I think thats what weve got to make sure, that we inspire our children, and inspire people, as it has done in my company. Our company has been successful because weve had languages, because we work in languages, because we write in a language, because we e-mail in a language. I mean, I got an e-mail the other the other day, this wonderful translator on the computer, and somebody said Ive translated this thing and it said Bon matin, very good, good morning, and I work in Queen Street, at number 45, and its translated as Rue de le 45 Reine, street of the 45 queens. So these things, and this person did not speak French, they didnt know about it, so of course they thought Ive got this translation system and thats it but it doesnt work like that, you need, it makes us a mockery, they wouldnt do that abroad, they really wouldnt make that mistake, and we did. But Id just like to conclude by saying I think its really important, I find that my business career has been enhanced by the knowledge of language, by travelling around Europe understanding, understanding the country, understanding the people, its been enhanced by it rather than degraded, and I really think we should inspire, we should inspire, not just our young people, to learn languages. Thank you very much. Gerry Toner: Were moving swiftly on now with Diane Hansen-Ingram. Diane Hansen-Ingram: Good morning! Cameron is a hard act to follow, but Ill do what I can. I was asked to speak this morning under the heading of Careers enhanced by language skills and I think that in my case thats certainly true. Ive had two fantastic jobs, two fantastic bosses, and Ive even married a millionaire - will at least in Danish Kroner! The title for my talk today is Leith, Luxembourg and Little Peter Rabbit. Leith because thats where I grew up, went to school and got my first job. Luxembourg because thats the first place where I had experience of working in a multi-language environment. And Little Peter Rabbit because these days I teach English to Danish nursery children, and thats one of the songs I use. Anyway, as I said, I was born in Leith, which is a suburb just north of Edinburgh, and my favourite subjects at school were French and German. I got two Highers and I think I first discovered the uses of being able to speak a foreign language when I went on summer holidays with my mum and dad. Wed go to Germany and Switzerland and we would often get good deals on bed and breakfast, because the owners were so charmed by my feeble attempts at speaking German! And when I was young I didnt want to be a nurse, or a vet - I wanted to be a shorthand secretary like my mum and like my granny. But I did want to do languages as well. When I left school I thought, ok, why dont I go and study French at Edinburgh University, which all sounded very fancy. But I realised that that wasnt going to get me a job in business. The only other place which seemed to be offering an alternative was Napier College of Commerce and

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Technology (Napier University as its now known) and they had a practical course, a two year diploma in secretarial studies with languages. Now it was very old fashioned, it was just like being back at school. We sat in rows, we did typing tests and shorthand tests, but we also learned about business law, communication, we learned to interpret, translate and draft business letters in two languages. So although it wasnt high tech, it gave us everything we needed to know, especially working in an export business. I often think that our motto should have been behind every successful business man is a secretary trained at Napier. And the secretaries that Napier were turning out were definitely in demand - everybody got a job at the end of it. The Foreign Office and the BBC used to come up every term and headhunt staff from the secretaries that were graduating. So I think its actually quite sad to find out that the course no longer exists. I dont know what the reason for that is, but maybe thats something we could think about. When I left Napier I found a job working for the flamboyant manager of a textiles firm, Cameron Buchanan, who youve just heard from. And his previous secretary had come from Napier so he knew what he could expect from me. Cameron always insisted that communication was in the language of the customer and, as he said, our customers came from all over the world. And they even employed a lady who came in on a part time basis to draft letters in French, Italian and German. The co-director and the accountant, even they spoke a bit of French. And as Cameron mentioned, the secretaries, the people who took the telephones, they all spoke a bit of French and German. When you think about it, it was quite incredible for a small Scottish firm of 50 employees. And it was because of Cameron that I went on to study Spanish at night school, and another year I did Italian. A lot of the business we got came in purely because Cameron went to trade fairs and charmed the customers with his good looks and dashing ways! It wasnt necessarily a product they needed, but he would charm them in Italian or French and thats how a lot of the business came in. And a lot of the customers became good friends over the years and they would pop in to the office. Sometimes it felt like we were in the centre of Europe rather than at the top of Leith walk! After three years working with Cameron it was time to move on, and Cameron said You are destined to marry a foreigner, and Ill get you a job somewhere. And I said No thank you, I love being in Scotland and Im quite happy as I am! But as it turned out, he did find me my next job and my next boss. One day he went off to a business lunch and met a Professor from the University of Edinburgh who had just been appointed new judge at the Court of Justice in Luxembourg. The Professor was looking for a secretary, someone with shorthand, someone who could speak with French. Well Cameron must have given him the hard sell, because by Monday morning the job was mine and off I went. Now going off to work in Luxembourg was exciting and terrifying. It was exciting because all the things Id learned at Napier, all the things Id learned on the job, suddenly were real. But it was also terrifying because I couldnt remember all the basic things like asking for a pint of milk, or how to buy bread. Even things like finding our own accommodation and buying a bus pass. But of course you pick those up very quickly again. Though I did have the business experience which really stood me in good stead. When the Judge and I arrived in Luxembourg we found that our offices contained a chair, a table, a computer and a telephone. That was it, absolutely nothing in the office. Now I dont how good your French or German or Italian is, but I didnt know what things, apart from staples and paperclips, were called in French. And if you look it up in the dictionary theres nothing there. I didnt know what to do, so I took the Courts stationery catalogue (which was thirty pages long, no pictures) and I basically ordered one of everything. Then when all the boxes arrived, I looked through them and half of it got sent back. Im not sure if thats learning by doing or learning by your mistakes, but you just have to get on with it! But my new colleagues at the Court were very welcoming, they did their best to help us settle in. We had 1000 colleagues - 15 different nationalities speaking 11 different languages. The language of the court is actually French (not English as many people assume) and even thought the Court documents and hearings are in French, you would speak different languages with your colleagues. So if you were going down to the post room you could speak Luxembourgish, if you were going along to the Dutch Judges office, you could speak Dutch there. So most people - even though they arrived with just one language when they came to Luxembourg - often increased their languages as their circle of friends increased, or their knowledge of the job increased. And my boss there, Sir David Edward, who is also on the panel, is also an accomplished linguist, just like Cameron. Even though he worked a 60 hour week, he always made time to learn languages, to improve his languages, to learn new languages. And he enforced that on his staff (secretaries and lawyers) to make use of the courts language classes. At that time the Court even had in-house teachers in the 11 languages. The courses werent just open to interpreters and translators, they were there for the entire staff, it was one of the ways to help 15 different nationalities and cultures come together and work together under one roof. We had lunch at the court canteen every day and it was a bit like being back at Napiers refectory. We sat together at long tables, jammed in together, although the menu was not chip butties, it was moules et frites. But on one side you would have people speaking Portuguese and on the other side Greek. Though you could still see some of the cultural differences because we from the north (the Danes, the Brits, Germans), we ate between 12 oclock and 1 oclock, and those from the south (the Greeks, and the Italians and the French) they came from 1 to 2. After nine happy but hectic years at the Court, I married a Dane and moved to Denmark. I had learned some Danish before I moved there, and I started learning Danish at the local language school. But all the pupils spoke together in English at the breaks, which I thought was a waste of time and my money! So I thought, well Ill try a different

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approach. I joined up full-time at a local art school and spent 6 months with Danish people from all walks of life and with difference accents. I even managed to learn how to draw and paint a bit in to the bargain! I also became a member of the French Speaking Association in Copenhagen, which is a bit like the Womens Institute. They run lots of classes and it so happened that they were looking for a new English teacher. Now I had no experience of teaching English, but Id been to so many language classes in my life that I thought it cant be that difficult... So I took over the language teaching and I enjoyed it so much that I retrained as a TESOL teacher. I love teaching children most of all. And when I dropped my son off down at the local Danish nursery, the children said what language are you speaking?. I decided to take the ball and run with it and asked the teachers Would you be interested in me coming along to teach the children? Yes, please! they said. They didnt say, Oh no, we cant do that, weve got problems with the council Perhaps I should also mention that I offered to teach for free! So I started off teaching one class of 20 children between 2 and 6 years old. Then all the other children said But why cant we learn English? So now I teach all of the children, thats 60 children every week. And I dont use any formal programme that isnt possible with two year olds. We sing funny songs and do TPR activities. I teach them for half an hour a week and they pick it up immediately. Its quite incredible to see three year olds walking around singing English songs after two or three weeks! Id just like to mention, as weve been talking about the age of starting language teaching, that in Denmark we start languages at the age of nine. Theyre even talking about bringing that down to seven or eight. Children hear a lot of English on the television because in Denmark they dont dub programmes - everything is subtitled. Even Tom and Jerry and Donald Duck cartoons are subtitled. To finish, Id just like to say that for me the whole process of learning a foreign language has been a life-long project. I didnt plan it that way - it just happened. I learned languages at school and college. I learned languages on the job in Leith and in Luxembourg. Ive been learning another language and another culture since I made Denmark my home. But for me the whole process of learning a language has come full circle because, for years and years, I was the pupil - and now finally Im the teacher! Gerry Toner: Well move quickly on to Elizabeth Willocks-Delannoy. Elizabeth Willocks Delannoy: Bonjour, Guten Morgen, Gooi morgen, Bonjourno, Dobr rno, Goode moien, Muy buenos dias, Good morning. Thats what its like when I go to work in the morning to the offices of the European Union. Ladies and gentlemen, I am here today because I have been asked to give my career in the European Union, as an example of a career enhanced by language skills. Thank you to the Royal Society for giving me this opportunity. I should make clear at the outset that I am speaking in my own personal capacity, and nothing I say should be taken as representing an official position of the European Union. The first point I would like to make is that neither I nor any of the other 30,000 or so EU civil servants would be working for the EU if we didnt have language skills. No matter whether you are a research scientist, a macroeconomist, a computer programmer or a filing assistant, it is not possible to pass the entrance exams if you dont have a second language. And you dont get past your first promotion if you dont have a third language. First promotion is within two years. I have set this point out further on Page 36 [of the delegate pack]. Moreover, without language skills, you wouldnt survive. While English is by far the most commonly used language overall, a sound knowledge of French is essential, and a good knowledge of any other number of languages can only help to get the job done. So how did I, a solicitor hailing from Glasgow, although for the purposes of this audience "educated" in Edinburgh, end up in Brussels? Well, at school I studied French and German to Higher level, although I never saw myself as a linguist. During my school days and thanks to my enthusiastic parents, holidays were spend camping abroad in France and Switzerland, and on exchange visits. Together with good language teaching at school, French and German became living languages in which I was determined to communicate. So, at 17 I went off to Edinburgh University to study Law with the aim of working in Europe once I had qualified. During my university years I didnt follow any formal training in language, such as doing a course in "French and Law" or "German and Law", but I did do a couple of summer placements in law firms in Belgium, some more formal training in the Federal Cartel Office in Berlin, as well as courses in French and French law at the French Institute, not to mention a good two months "inter-railing" around Europe. Towards the end of my training I had the good fortune to be offered a temporary post by Sir David, to work as his legal assistant at the European Court in Luxembourg. I accepted enthusiastically and started in September 1989. But no amount of foreign summer jobs or summer holidays abroad could have prepared me enough for the challenge of preparing a case file and writing in legal French. Whilst the enthusiasm was there, it was clear from day one that my drafting skills required thorough improvement. Many language courses later, and with a good dose of encouragement and the Judge' red pen, I got there. It was to be honest a tough experience, and I now look back on it with gratitude, s

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because for years now I use my language skills every day without really thinking about it. In the mid 1990s I sat the exam, or "competition" as we say, to become a permanent EU civil servant, and after 10 years at the Court I took up my post at the Council of the European Union. So my second point today is that one doesnt need to be a brilliant or gifted linguist, nor have an academic qualification in languages, but you do need loads of exposure to foreign languages, and bags of determination to get past the shyness of speaking, which believe you me is enormous, and over the drafting barrier. My third point, and this is on page 13 [of the delegate pack], is that working for the European Union, and contrary to popular belief, what we do is not all translated, nor is it all interpreted. We have the largest translation and interpretation services in the world I believe, but their activities are largely concentrated on the one hand on translating official documents for the EU public, and on the other for meetings involving participants from the outside. To give you some examples: at the European Court of Justice, while Court hearings involving advocates from all over Europe will be pled in Swedish, Polish, Maltese, whatever, the judges'collective deliberations take place entirely in French. And at the Council of the EU where I now work, internal contact whether e-mail, telephone, whatever, and meetings between ourselves, are in any language, whichever language we choose to speak. Meetings with delegates from national representations are usually held in what we call restricted interpretation, let' say in three, five or ten languages, so a lot s of people around the table are listening in a language which is not their own, and speaking in a language which is not their own. And only the highest level meetings are held with what we call 20/20 interpretation (ie 20 languages in which you can listen and in which you can speak). At the European Commission I believe translation and interpretation for internal purposes is limited to English, French and German. Working even with translation and interpretation is a challenge. Notions or terms can be very difficult to translate across languages. I am dealing with a legislative proposal just now on European spirit drinks. In the draft Polish version of the proposal I discovered the other day that the term spirit drinks is rather simply translated as vodka. This somewhat defeats the purpose of the regulation which is to cover all European spirit drinks and not just Polish produced vodka. Even when working in English, you need to be open to and aware of language. This is one reason why sole knowledge of the English language just won' do. Take this simple e-mail I got the other day from a German colleague. It said t thanks for sending me the memorandum. Bonne journe et Merci. Now if I didnt speak French and had not understood that what he meant to say was Merci de bien vouloir menvoyer le memorandum, I wouldnt have thought to send him the document. Other funny examples include how to arrange a meeting time with a Dutchman. Never say "half ten" or "half eleven", because he will get there an hour before you. And if you are told a proposal is very "sensible", think twice, the speaker probably means it is very "sensitive". So to conclude, working for the European Union is a stimulating and rewarding experience. It requires a good and sound knowledge of European languages. There are many talented and respected Scots in the system and I hope to see many more. Gerry Toner: Thanks Elizabeth, well now move on with Kirsty Whyte. Kirsty Whyte: Im here today just to give you just a bit of background about my personal experience, both studying foreign languages and then going on to use them in my career working in Scotland. So to begin with Ill maybe just summarise my educational background. At school I got the opportunity to study French, that was the first language I learnt, and a couple of years later I started German as well. Following that I went on to study A Levels in German, Geography and Biology. You might notice here that I did GCSEs and A Levels, I did actually go to school in England despite being Scottish. But thats really irrelevant here, what was particularly important in my schooling were the opportunities I had to really learn about that country, learn about the language, not more so than thought the opportunity to go on school exchanges, we had a very very good exchange set up between a partner town in Germany, and Im still in touch with the partner that I stayed with in Germany then. So not only have I visited through school exchange, but Ive visited her many times since, and likewise she has come to stay with me in Britain as well. In addition to that I was very fortunately given an opportunity to participate in an international summer course at Mannheim University in Germany. For someone of secondary school age that was quite an unusual opportunity, the majority of other people on the course were from university. But it was a great challenge for me, I spent the month studying in University and met people from all over the world, there were 44 or 45 different nationalities participating and the common language was German, everybody spoke in German - thats how we all communicated with each other. We did also meet the odd German during that time too! That was the point that I decided I wanted to carry on and move in to a career using German. And I came back from that and decided that I would go and study foreign languages at university. Not wanting to restrict myself solely to German I chose a degree course which enabled me to study two languages, but also to study European Union Studies as well, thus

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gaining a bit of extra knowledge about the economics, politics and history of the European Union as well. During my course I spent my third year studying in Germany, at the University of Mainz and then the summer after that working in Italy. Inevitably my time at university grew to an end and I reached the stage where I was wondering what on earth I was going to do next. Studying languages people often ask if you are going to be a teacher, or the other option is do you want to be a translator? But what happens when the answer to these questions is no? I really struggled trying to work out how I could use my languages that Id studied for four years at university, but not in either of those traditional stereotypical fields. So what did I do? I avoided the question! I went to Austria, and worked as a ski rep for four months. That actually turned out to be a great experience for me, I was placed at a resort in the south of Austria, where I was the only English speaking person in that resort, so very quickly I learnt Austrian-German as well as the German I learnt at University, and thats a completely different language! When I returned, I did decide that I better join the real world. It was at this stage I went back to my university career service and found out about the Target Export Programme. Target Export is an established graduate training scheme sponsored by a number of enterprise companies. The aim of this programme is to place graduate linguists with companies so that they can use their foreign language skills and so the company benefits from having a language speaker on board. The aim is to increase export activities of Scottish companies, increase jobs in the Scottish export sector, and to train graduate linguists in export skills. In addition to that, the graduates get the opportunity to study for an Advanced Certificate of International Trade, which is a qualification from the Institute of Export that covers all aspects of international business, international marketing, finance, statistics and distribution. For a graduate linguist it provided a great grounding in business knowledge and awareness. The Target Export programme offered me the perfect combination; the opportunity to use my languages, the possibility of travelling within my job, studying for a further qualification in business, all whilst gaining commercial experience which as a graduate linguist I was lacking. The company I joined is called Vianet. In summary what we do is to provide IT management solutions for companies in order to help major international and national companies improve the way they run their business. The key factor here is the national and international companies - Vianet is talking to and selling its system to pan-European companies, it is therefore vital that we provide pan-European support to those companies. In describing my role there are a few key areas of responsibility. Each of our customers is given a dedicated internal account manager; the person allocated dependent obviously on the languages we speak, we cover French, German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese between us. That enables us to offer a multilingual customer care centre and then also offer customer support on the telephone or via e-mail to those customers. We also provide multilingual training; our solution provides a management system for a company to use on a daily basis, so that has to be in the local language of the company that is using it. They dont want to have to speak English on a daily basis just to organise their daily business. It is therefore vital that we can provide that multilingual training and support. Additionally we organise all the shipping and negotiations with the telecommunications companies and attend different exhibitions throughout Europe. I was at an exhibition in Cologne recently and I asked someone in German can I help you when he came on our stand. He had heard me speaking English previously, and he commented, quite surprised, but you speak German? When I said yes the response was why do you speak German. I replied saying that I just do, and that it was important for us to offer that service to our customers, he said that he found that really difficult to understand, but a few moments later I found out that in actual fact he couldnt speak English, so straight away he could see that there was an additional benefit of our company for him. Our Chief Executive was also asked to speak today and unfortunately he couldnt attend, but Ive got a couple of quotes that he said in a recent interview he did a few months ago. The top one I have already covered, but the bottom one sums it up It helps with new business opportunities and adds credibility to the Vianet proposition. To be able to use local languages gives us an edge over the competition. The Target Export programme has obviously been of great benefit to me as a graduate linguist making my first step into business, but it also provides benefits to Scottish companies as well, trying to make them more aware of the importance of using a language speaker in business. A few years ago, Vianet realised that importance, which is why they joined the Target Export Scheme. So in summary, you can see that the Target Export Programme opened the door to the first step on the career ladder for me, it has combined academic study with commercial experience and of course the opportunity to use the languages that I studied for so long and didnt want to give up. So now, after three and a half years at Vianet, I feel much better placed to move on to a career in European or International business. Gerry Toner: Thanks Kirsty, were now moving on to Ewan MacIntosh, whos been cross-referenced a couple of times this morning. He assures me that its a matter of seconds to deal with the technology. It does give me an opportunity though to reflect though on a couple of things our speakers, particularly from the commercial world mentioned, I noticed Cameron using the expression USP and Kirsty there talking about M to M solutions and I do sometimes wonder to what extend we all speak that same English language as they do. Ewan McIntosh: So, thank you very much for inviting me along to speak today. And the one thing Ive noticed is that in my job this year Im trying to provide support for teachers in doing things with their teaching practice they might not have done before.

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And quite a lot of the time it involves technology. It seems to be the one thing teachers see makes a different in teaching kids, but find difficult to get to grips with, even though teaching itself has so many other things that are far more complicated than connecting a computer to a projector. And the technology can frighten the teachers, and were talking about confident individuals, and I think one of the points to make in the next nine minutes is that teachers themselves perhaps need to be more confident individuals themselves. But technology excites students, and this isnt just a modern languages thing, in schools, not enough use is being made of the kind of technologies that really excite students. So if modern languages can get in there, well be there first, and well have the hook that no one else does. So, tomorrows teaching is today and not yesterday or in a paper that was produced in 1996 or something like that. Here are ten points about looking forward and trying to use technology partly, but also changing the way perhaps that we teach modern languages to entice more kids in. The first one has been touched on already, the pantomime joker, what happens when somethings wrong? Its behind you cry the audience. Teachers look behind them all the time, looking to the past to old technologies to use in their modern foreign languages class, and seem surprised when kids dont respond to 40 minutes of PowerPoint. They seem surprised when the worksheet theyve beautifully produced in word, which took them twice longer than it would have done to hand write, is finished to two minutes, how could that be? The trick perhaps is not looking behind us but looking forward to new technology. Im going to ask this question, Ive asked this quite a lot recently, how many of you know what Bebo is? Hands up? Wow, Im impressed. Bebo, Myspace? MSN Spaces? How many of you have your own home page on one of those services? You do? Fantastic. I ask 12 year olds this and the answer is 100% and I think 80% have two or three personal websites that they run. Modern languages is all about communication, but were not allowing them to communicate in a foreign language in a medium they understand. So one of the first things perhaps is to link modern languages to their real world, not our adult real world, using on-line meeting spaces and virtual communities, getting them to set up their own language learning logs on a weblog so that everyone can see it, so you can share ideas, thats speaking on their terms, its something they understand, even if you at the moment dont. Number two, the second point, and this if youre a teacher will sound very familiar indeed, My dads got one of them and its better than yours. This can be about the computer that youve just spent a fortune of your departmental budget on, it could be on your mobile phone I always make sure Ive got one of the best ones so the kids can never say that, or it might be the fact that I have an ipod. Do any of you own one of these? This is a really old one, and the kids take the mick out of me because its black and white. The technology that we use in schools, that we purchase, is second rate often to what kids have in their own pockets. That mobile phone is probably more powerful than the PC laptop being used to do the presentations this morning. And instead of encouraging the kids to use their mobile phones to make recordings, instead of encouraging them to listen to authentic radio shows on their mobile phones, what are we doing? Were banning it all from the schools. So we could use some of the technology and excite them even more. If modern languages could do it, wed be the first. And also like I say most of this is about communicating which is what languages is all about. The third point, again this is something that languages teachers will moan at, is what they kids moan to us. Theres often a lack of purpose in learning a language in the 45 minute or 50 minute period. And the kind of purpose you can involve is in involving kids in making a product. Every one of the speakers that have spoken so far makes stuff, or works for someone who makes stuff. The reason they work is they make stuff. Weve even got someone who makes stuff nobody knows they want, apparently. Wouldnt it be great if we could make kids see that they really do want to speak a foreign language even if perhaps they dont? Producing a film, making a radio show, these are things I loved to do when I was young. You record on a cassette machine and have a record player and make a radio show. Please tell me someone else did that when they were younger. So I do that with kids now. I go out once a week to a school, any school thatll have me, to make radio shows with the kids in a foreign language. And they will work for hours, miss their break and their lunch, to record a radio show in a foreign language. And Marks going to talk to you in four minutes about some others that do that as well. Audience is really important, making all these creative products is no good if they stick on the classroom wall, or if they end up on a CD in the headmasters office. So lets give kids an audience. Teachers love talking, too much perhaps. Why dont we let the kids talk, but talk to the world? Theyre communicating with what at the moment, a tape recorded, maybe with someone else in their class who speaks English? They dont have to speak a foreign language. Im speaking to you in English, I could speak to you in French if I wanted to or in German, some of you would understand, most of you probably would, but theres no point, we all speak English and Im happy with that. Giving the kids a real audience, a worldwide audience, means theres a very good chance someone who doesnt speak English will be listening in and will leave a little comment to say how much theyve enjoyed their guide to Edinburgh city in Spanish. Point number 5, a couple of boys from the media in today, Id love to ask them why they wanted to get in to it. Medias great fun when youre a kid, wandering round with cameras, interviewing people, last weekend on Saturday we had a team from Partners in Excellence who were our official Scottish CILT National ICT Conference media team. We didnt want any adults doing it, the kids did it better. They were going around interviewing. Medias one of these soft subjects though, as theyre called, that are steeling students away from modern languages. Why not just bring the media into

Languages in Scotland Whats the Problem?

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modern languages? A communication subject that fits in perfectly well. There are very few other areas introducing media into their subjects. English will do it very soon, if modern languages can get in their first, then kids will associate the coolness, the product producing side of things, with French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, German, whatever language, but not with taking a media subject specifically. The sixth point Id like to make is that our students are experts in this already. And we can harness those student experts. I collect stick insects comes from show and tell that was in my English class when I was about 12, someone showed off their stick insects, it was the most fascinating talk I have ever heard, apart from the ones Ive heard this morning. It was highly enjoyable, but what I realised was that my mate John really was an expert in stick insects. Now in your class youve got experts on all kinds of things who would love to find a French speaking expert in stick insects as well, to share their passion, because goodness knows none of their class mates are interested. By giving them an audience then youre enabling them to take part in their passions in a foreign languages, something that most of us probably did in pubs, when we were abroad, being ski bums and doing all that kind of thing. Step 7, the world is built on, and this is where business people can correct me or nod their heads as they see fit, automation. If I want something done quickly my computer can do it for me quicker than I can. Abundance, if I want something I can find it for a very cheap price. I just bought a new camera, which high street shops are selling for 900, but I got it for more than half the price by looking on line for it. And Asia, if I want an accountant, I will go to India to get an accountant, because it costs five times less, but they understand the Scottish, UK accountancy system, and theyll do it for me and theyll e-mail it back to me on time. If I ask a Scottish accountant Ill get it late, itll cost five times more and I wont understand anything theyve told me. These three factors mean that speaking a foreign language is great but that theres something else thats got to be added, the creative edge is what has to be added. Producing linguists with nothing to say isnt going to do any good for anybody. Introducing a bit of creativity into the classroom is not colouring in. Introducing real creativity in the class room is in the form of making a radio show, making a video, making an animation, producing a product, doing some creative writing, why dont you write a book and then you can publish a book for $4, hard back, printed edition, delivered to your door. Why dont you get kids to write French, German fairytales and then get their book published and then sent back for $4 a book? Introducing that creativity will produce the kind of multilingual folk that Im sure companies such as Harrisons, would love to employ. Here are some quotes, Im not going to read them, pick one and read it, thats how long itll be up. These were quotes from last Tuesday when I was doing some podcasting, thats on-line radio show, with kids in St Thomas of Aquins, all of these are 14 year old boys. And they worked for two and a half hours non-stop in Spanish, they didnt speak any English, and I dont speak Spanish. So what we had was a real creative experience, and it was difficult and they loved. Ill take you back to that last quote the most difficult thing was the recording, the funnest bit was the recording. You can tell theyre kids passionate about what theyve done. Second but last, students need skills that they can use. Being a teacher, I mean I am a teacher, but Ive had already four different career paths including an attempt to be an Army officer. And a career lasting three years is optimistic, most of our kids are going to be in careers for two years before they change tack. Knowing a language, and I did European Union studies as well, I too was unemployed at the end of it. All the boys on that course became teachers. Unless you have skills that can go with those languages, theyre going to be lost when you try to change career. And the final point, change or die. Sounds very dramatic. I typed it in to google this morning though, and 191,000 other people also thing that if you dont change youre going to die. Interestingly enough, go to the fourth one down, what sector is that? Its education, its language education. If we dont change, languages in Scotland will die, or they certainly will get very poorly and bedridden. If you want to go on to the MFLE, youll see examples of all the kinds of things seen, if you want to change the way that you teach or work before you die, youll find things here, emergency help there. But above all I think youll have seen as well that the Curriculum for Excellence themes, the confident individuals, is as much for teachers as it is for students, and the effective contributors means contributing in a real world context, not in a 50 minute period in a four walled classroom. Gerry Toner: Moving to our closing speaker now, Mark Pentleton. Mark has also assured me that the technology will be up and running in a matter of second. Reflecting on Ewans talk while were waiting, to be fair to Cameron he didnt actually say he was making products no one wanted, he said he was making products that no one needed. Ill just leave you with a reflection on how many pairs of shoes does an adult actually need? Mark Pentleton: Thank you very much Gerry, and thanks again to the Royal Society for the opportunity to speak to everyone today. Following on from what Ewan has said, Im here to give you some ideas of what Scottish young people are actually doing in and out of their classrooms for learning languages. This is an example of one way of increasing motivation for modern languages, but putting the student at the very centre of everything that happens. To give you a very very brief bit of background, the Partners in Excellence project was started in the year 2000, following, like everywhere else, a downturn in the interest in languages, and indeed a significant lack of motivation. put a proposal to the Scottish

Languages in Scotland Whats the Problem?

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Executive with partners and the project was initiated in 2000, and in the last six years there has been a major increase in motivation and indeed in the numbers of students participating in modern languages education post 16 or post S4 in the three authorities involved in the project. These are indications of the numbers of people involved in particular activities, the core activities. What is Partners in Excellence all about? Well, three areas, three ideas here. First of all building community, as we heard earlier, about developing creativity, as Ewans been mentioning, and also about the whole idea of innovative deliver, of delivering languages education in a very innovative way, a way in which we can get in to the world of the young people who are in our classrooms. So Im going to briefly look at these three aspects of the project, beginning with community. And the way in which, one of the main ways in which we build the community of language learners and teacher in the three authorities is through our language zone website. A website which has been created for the students and the teachers involved in the project, but which is now ready to be released across the country if other people want it. The idea of the website in align with the recommendations in Citizens of a Multilingual World, was that we wanted to offer students the opportunity to engage with real native speakers of the foreign language, instead of the less real native speakers or less real speakers of the foreign language within their classroom. We wanted to use technology to give them that opportunity and to use technology in an innovative and a purposeful way, not really for the sake of using technology. So we came up with the idea first of all of providing blogs for our young people to read, blogs written by real live foreign young people, Marie whos writing her weekly blog, writes this every week, and our young people are able to follow her blog, follow her life, an of course they can read the blogs each week, and we offer materials to help them understand what it says in the blog. And then obviously allow them to use those materials themselves. Sorry you cant see this at the back, its not particularly clear, but Ill keep moving. Within the website as well we offer the students the chance to ask questions of teachers, questions that perhaps theyre too shy to ask in the class, questions that they might find theyve already been explained in class but they want further explanation, so they can ask questions of a teacher, anonymously, and they get their answer within 24 or 48 hours. We also crucially give the students the chance to talk, to communicate in the foreign language, not necessarily about what theyre doing in class, about all the topics theyre covering in class for their exam, but talk about the things that theyre interested in, talk about the kind of things that they want to talk about, who got thrown out of the big brother house, what the reaction of the latest football score is and so on. Some of the examples which are given here are examples that I use within a classroom and within the actual teaching that happens, so practicing of the imperfect and conditional tenses there. But if you have a look, obviously it might be difficult to see these, but these different posts, posted by different students here, if you cant see the times at which they were posted, 21:40, 20:12, 22:53, 23:39, young people nowadays spend their entire evening with the computer on, theyre on MSN messenger, theyre maybe surfing the web at the same, theyve probably got their mobile, texting and talking at the same time, tellies on, maybe the radios on as well. They are surrounded by media, they are surrounded by a digital lifestyle, and what were trying to do is provide an opportunity where part of their evening will involve going in to language zone to post in the foreign language, post about different topics, and indeed post with mistakes. Im a teacher, and as a teacher I look at something, see a mistake and go uhhhh, get the red pen out, virtually or otherwise, but as Jane and other people have been saying today, were talking about partial competency, were talking about not necessarily correcting what they are saying at 11 oclock at night, we dont really want to make them feel as if theyre at school at 11 oclock at night, and lets face it, a sympathetic native speaker would understand what theyre saying, so theyre actually achieving communication in what theyre doing, and theyre wanting to do it, nobody posts somewhere at twenty to midnight if they dont want to do it. Part of the other thing is, as Ive said earlier, were trying to get in to their world, trying to do things in a way in which they feel motivated. So within the website we provide a kind of, reward points for posting in a foreign language. And they build up the credits that they have for their posts, and they can dress their characters, their avatars, by gaining more credits, and then they can buy all sorts of interesting outfits, some seasonal as you can see. And were just trying to get in to their world, trying to access what theyre interested in, and also creating other materials which are very much geared towards them and what theyre interested in, maybe more so than what they are doing in class. The project also looks at developing creativity within the class and outwith the classroom. So one of the reasons were doing this is by putting language learning in to an innovative and exciting context, and in particular weve been very involved in film making. This involves film making in class, film making weekends which we run, Im about to hear off to sunny Dunoon, Im heading off to Dunoon with a group of 30 German and Spanish students to make films in German and Spanish this weekend. We work in animation activities, allowing them again to develop the creative skills, were putting the language at the core of what theyre doing. Theyre learning collaboratively, theyre learning from each other, theyre learning from previous students, from students now at university who were involved in the project previously, and theyre using their language for a purpose, not to gain an exam or not to do the particular activity that their teacher is asking them to do, but to use it creatively and for a purpose which hopefully is beneficial to them, both from a linguistic point of view and other points of view. Very briefly Im going to show you a quick clip from an animation that was created by our students, and those of you, particularly those of you come to Scotland for a short time for this particular experience, will hopefully be relieved that youre not in Scotland for a longer time, as the midge, the Scottish midge takes on a new meaning in this voyage around the world with Bob the penguin Poor Bob travels around the world looking for some place where he is comfortable, of course he ends up back in colder climes and ends up back with his wife and all that kind of thing. But you can tune in on the website to find out more of events of what happens to Bob.

Languages in Scotland Whats the Problem?

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Moving very quickly on, time is running out. Accessing the students world, as Ive said already, we try to get in to their life, get in to the kind of things that theyre interested in to keep it as motivating as possible. One of the things that weve found is that for them, well everybody, its probably a recognised fact, listening is a particularly challenging activity, so we wanted to give them more opportunities to practice their listening. We decided well theyve all got ipods, why are we banning them from the classroom, lets use them, and weve created a number of podcasts, radio shows, and the PiEcast is available worldwide, it has been for a year, and there are a number of shows on that which are providing listening materials. We also took it a stage further with the verbcast, and the verbcast basically covers everything you need to know about French verbs for Higher French in 20 lessons, all of which are relaxation activities, so the idea is that rather than sitting looking at verb tables, learning their verb tables, the kids put on their ipods, sit on their beds, fall asleep if they like, and learn their verbs. Thats the theory. We also try to access their world in other ways, and weve been involved in some recent developments with Japanese. Japanese is not taught in any of the schools in the three authorities in which I work, but we have recently acquired a NQT, a Newly Qualified Teacher, with Japanese, she has been doing a Japanese class over the course of the year and the students come to this class from all over the local area, but crucially this class is run through language zone, so they are using language zone for the materials that they are studying during the class, they also are sent SMS messages on their phones, to text them on the work that has been covered, to text vocabulary, and to remind them about homework activities. When they reply to the SMS messages it goes straight on to language zone, so trying to access their world rather than banning it from the classroom. And were looking at further developments in Mandarin Chinese and other languages for next year. To finish very very briefly, the result of a combination of all our Japanese developments with creative learning and the use of film making, the use of technology, while Ewan was podcasting on Tuesday I was working with a group in Kilmarnock making their Japanese version of Blind Date. This is just the first section of this, its about a minute long, Blind Date in Japanese For our students to hear young people in Scotland speaking in Japanese, it just sounds so much more exotic than speaking in French and German and Spanish, possibly unfortunately. This, one of the latest developments, the students are the ones who are creating this, theyre learning the media skills. To finish off, what PiE is all about, Partners in Excellence is about having fun with learning languages, being creative, and about expanding the horizons of the students. And we feel given the work thats been done on the project that what we are actually creating are the successful learners, the confident individuals and the responsible citizens and the effective contributors of tomorrow. Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak to you today, and for any more information please see our website, thank you very much. Gerry Toner: Im now going to pass the chair to Sir David Edward to chair the discussion session. DISCUSSION SESSION David Edward: Well, weve got (I think) 20 minutes, but I hope youll agree with me that we may not have come here with the idea that the Royal Society of Edinburgh is fun, but it is. Now, there are two roving mikes. If youd like to speak please put up your hand, and please say who you are and please try and be as brief as possible. Who would like to start? Thoughts, questions for the panellists? Yes. Hello, my names Gordon Howie from the department of Classics at Edinburgh University. Id just like to underline the importance of what Professor Johnstone said about metalinguistic skills, which in plain English means grammar. Up till the late 1960s these were fundamental. They dont seem to be fundamental anymore. I would like to see more done in teacher training in metalinguistic skills through English, to be through teacher training and so from there through primary education, for children to be able to benefit from a grounding in those, then proceeding to learn languages in the primary school. Thank you very much. Im the head of the German Consular Mission in Edinburgh. Id like also to comment on one of the points of Professor Johnston and that is I think he spoke very clearly about the fact that improving languages here in Scotland and elsewhere has a lot to do with politics and lobbying. And I think this is why its so important to have this meeting here tonight, today, to bring together people from all walks of life, professors, people like me, teachers, pensioners, whatever you can think of. Because I think if you really want to improve the situation of foreign languages here in Scotland, and really to make that what has been called the best little country in the world, we have to do a lot of networking, a lot of lobbying, as other pressure groups do, I think this is nothing particular for languages, and I think this is the true value of this meeting here, and I can only congratulate the Royal Society for having organised, and we might see more of that.

Languages in Scotland Whats the Problem?

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Hi my names Karen Elwis from Lingo24, Im actually speaking rather than professionally, as a parent to say that from what Ive heard form Ewan Macintosh, Im over the moon, Im so pleased to see languages being made cool, Ive got three children of my own, all would love to become linguists, and what Im interested in knowing is do you charge for this service going round schools? Or how does this work? Ewan Macintosh: Its free Karen Elwis: So the school can contact you and you will come and speak to the students? Ewan Macintosh: Contact Scottish CILT or go on to the website. Karen Elwis: Well whole hearted congratulations, its fantastic and really encouraging as a parent to see that this is available to our children, thank you. Im a modern languages teacher, Elizabeth Grieve, and I think this is the most interesting display or wonderful things. And Ewan Macintosh mentioned that teachers need confidence. I think youll find no more passionate a group of teachers than modern language teachers, but were always so beleaguered and our heads are so much under the parapet with so much that we have to try and get through, it would be lovely if someone could take us out of our universe and give us some kind of access to all this wondrous stuff which we could then enrich our classroom teaching with. Thanks there, Alyn Smith SMP, Member of the European Parliament. Id emphasise the point about the additionality, the value added of even basic functionality within any sort of language. I did my Masters in Poland and with the new member state MEPs and officials, the fact that I can say thank you in Polish is already, Im in the top tier for them, the fact that I can say anything at all to them is something that theyre very keen on. And one thing to make a slight political point, that isnt necessarily party political, I think its telling that of the two politicians that have been here today, both of us were members of the European Parliament, and nobody from the Scottish Parliament. Now I think weve got some fantastic examples of best practice going on in Scotland here, but teaching language in itself, in isolation, doesnt gel with anybody, it has to be used in application to an outlook, that is about how other countries are doing things, whats going on in other places. We know that youngsters are interested, I would like to see a lot more political buy-in within Scotland to mainstream what weve actually heard about today, about use of new technology, use of exchanges, use of getting the kids looking outward, where too often we just dont see it. I see a number of people express a vague interest in coming to Brussels but then they cant do it because a. they dont think theyve got the language, and b. they think well its all a bit foreign and thats not really for us. Thats just heart breaking for us in the 21st Century. We already speak the language the world wants to speak, but we could be doing so much better with really not that much more effort. But its about the wider aspects, about how do we get political buy-in, in Scotland, to prioritise what weve already got. Tim Steward, Language Network Scotland. Theres a level of which we dont seem to have touched on, and thats the economic impact of languages, or should I say the cost of not having foreign languages. Research in England suggests that one in five companies is loosing business because they dont have the language skills or cultural understanding of the countries theyre doing business with. We dont have data for Scotland, we have data for England, not for Scotland, of commerce industry study of companies in language skills stops at Hadrians Wall. We need evidence from Scotland as well, exactly what the position is, we lack in evidence. [Cameron Buchanan] I was just going to say its very important that we have the relevance of languages in schools. I try to emphasis that people can be plumbers, they can be doctors, it just shows these examples of learning in school, its not just to be teachers, its not just to be language teachers, they can learn the simple skills, they can learn, we have to go in to the schools and tell the children, inspire them, the reason for learning the language. And it is a political will, Im sure of that. My second answer is that we can actually inspire children to learn a language for another job, they can be doctors in Poland and in Germany and in France, but they cant be unless they speak the language. We have enough of them coming here language, we need to be able to go to them, at whatever the level is. It can be a simple level of just an engineer or as I said a Polish plumber or anything like that, and thats what we have to inspire. We need to get people, like these people, in to the school, relevant, saying this what you can do, this is what its about, its from learning the language. Judith Sischy, the independent schools. I wonder if anyone else is sharing with me a sort of conflicting ideas in my mind, as a former linguist Im thinking that all these cool things are also a barrier to learning a language, texting, the new lingo, the attitude, well well travel but I know English, the lack of fluency in English, the lack of grammar teaching, the fact that if you do a language you can be elite or youre snobby. Theres all those problems yet at the same time Im thinking we really need to free up the teaching of modern languages in schools, it shouldnt be in a column, fixed, it shouldnt be in a 53 minute period, it shouldnt be stifled. We need to have more joined up thinking, the careers people need to be in there telling kids what they can do with languages and why its so important. I think were very traditionalist, old fashioned, and we really need to loosen up a bit.

Languages in Scotland Whats the Problem?

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Im Leanne Lesley from Knox Academy. From the point of view of a teacher, we never get anything telling us how to get the training for ipod, were not targeted to get trained to design websites, nothing comes towards us. Ive found this conference through the MFLE website and it would be good to have things like that for us to go and learn how to use this technology, targeted for language teachers as well, it never comes across. Ewan Macintosh: Id have to disagree, everything that was mentioned to you today, training is available online, with support in the forums of real people, showing you how to do it, last night there was someone was having trouble putting up a web log and within half an hour theyd had about twelve messages back and forth to sort out the problem and they were there. We had a conference last week, on Saturday, where every local authority was invited to send modern languages teachers, and East Lothian was represented there by several teachers, and they are now going back into schools and undertaking projects in their own classrooms, with the expectation that they then share that within their authorities, so training is there. You have to be able to go to an internet browser to find it, I dont think thats a barrier. I just wanted to say two things, oh sorry, Caroline Higgit, I was a teacher for many years but now Im a freelance translator. Just interested in what Cameron Buchanan said, Im not sure that we need to inspire pupils or show them that languages are fun, if pupils and parents accept that maths and English are necessary skills to come out of school with, I think theyre very soon going to see that a foreign language is another of these necessary requirements. When they see that their jobs are being taken in this country by people who are coming here able to do what they do and able to speak a couple of languages as well, I think this lesson will become fairly clear, fairly soon. Im also rather concerned that theres not been any discussion, and there never is as far as I can see, as to what language should be learnt in schools, what are the criteria for choosing what languages are taught, and what teachers and trained to teach what. I think a long hard look needs to be taken with this, because not all students are going to enjoy languages, not all are going to find it fun or work in those areas, but if they are to learn a language at all, a foreign language, perhaps they should look at learning the language that comes most easily, can work best with their own language as well, so that they have that first foreign language in place should they need to add to it later on in their careers. Im concerned that the modern languages in primary school project has led to increased French and gradual diminishing of the other foreign languages that are currently taught. We only offer four basically, four or fewer, and I would see that French is continuing to dominate and I dont think that is a good idea at all, I think French is probably the hardest of the four commonly taught languages in Scotland for pupils to acquire particularly those who have any problems with spelling in English for example, and that is quite a lot of boys, one in four I believe, so this may be one of the problems with boys learning foreign languages. Graeme Thomas, the Foreign Office in London. Im quite interested to hear what the last speakers just said. Certainly in our weve found a decline in French speaking as the spectrum of other language speaking has increased. Were very pleased to see languages such as Chinese and Japanese among others really coming through in depth from a few years of application, but that is not really shown well on the French and Spanish side. And the earlier speaker, the gentleman from the University of Edinburgh, on your point about basic grammatical skills, I think Id like to add on there that really this goes through to English teaching, there isnt really that depth of language skill coming through in English to assist the student when he then starts his foreign language training. Thanks. Duncan Ferguson, Rector Plockton High School in the west highlands. Im very enthusiastic that we can use the Curriculum for Excellence to improve provision of languages in our secondary school, but Im still disappointed that the curriculum guidelines of the late 1980s did allow schools to offer two languages for example in the first two years, and as far as I know theres less than 20 schools in the whole of Scotland which have two additional languages offered in first and second year. For example my school which offers both Gaelic and French, and emphasise the vocational potential from doing these two languages. And I think on a similar theme, we in Scottish schools have never made it acceptable that two languages are good in third and fourth year. Parents come to the S2 options night and wonder if will they be allowed to do two sciences, and yet its very rarely the question, would they be able to do two languages. So I think we have to talk up, its been so encouraging to hear the enthusiastic presentations this morning, and I hope the Royal Society will take this forward and really publish a new strategy for languages in Scotland. I always tell my youngsters that if theyre ever in Mexico and theyre 24 and at a party, then theyre able to speak Spanish, able to sing a Gaelic song, able to speak English in case they loose their passport, and have shinty stick in case theres a coo and they have to fight themselves out.

David Edward: We seem to have silence here. Would two of you like to pick up Julia Sischys point about whether theres a conflict between making it exciting and actually getting the language skills. [Mark Pentleton] I think what weve been trying to do with the activities weve been doing is create an excitement for actually wanting to speak a language to begin with. The activities that were doing are combining language learning and other areas of the curriculum, so its not only concentrating on the language itself, but the transferable

Languages in Scotland Whats the Problem?

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skills and the other areas of the curriculum. I have to be honest there are so many other things that have been said that Ive kind of forgotten the point that you were making, but I dont know if thats [Ewan Macintosh] I think theres always the fear that if you use technology youre just prettying up something thats a wee bit ugly, and the ways that the technology is being used now, instead of being teacher led, or where they are being provided with information and have to drag and drop, and all that kind of thing, its using tools that we have already to create a product, something new, and therefore giving a reason for learning the language. They dont perceive themselves to be learning the language, they perceive themselves as making up a product, and that in itself, you cant do that 24/7 but you can pepper your year with that and it keeps the interest in. Because the other thing is that often the creation of the product is more difficult than the language it is theyre creating in, or so they think. And by the end of it they suddenly realise how much more theyre able to say, more than just Jai un chien noir. Bonjoir, I am Charles Courdent, the Director of Alliance Franaise de Glasgow. I am the living example of someone who speaks very bad English and who can still survive in this wonderful country. I dont want to defend French of course as a very important language spoken in Scotland, as you all know we have some very real historical links with our two nations. I just want to say for example that in Glasgow we are now in the same building as the Goethe Institute, and we work for the same thing. I mean the defence of French, German or other languages. I think this morning we have wonderful examples, wonderful things about foreign language. I just want to stress one point, the wonderful writer Jacqueline said in French a few years ago we have not to forgot the unusefulness of things. I am not a specialist in English, I was a specialist in Latin and Greek. I think when we keep this language not only as a useful thing but as something as another word you can have in your mind, this is a very good gift all the teachers may give to the pupils. I think we dont have to act only to find a job or to find an activity, but for example maybe one third of our customers, of our students are retired person and they come because they have fun and they have great leisure learning French. I think it is very important to keep something un-useful in our world. Thank you. Good afternoon, Bruce Mackenzie, Langbridge Partnership, we work with business to try and improve languages. Ive worked abroad in a number of environments and know the value of speaking foreign languages. Its been pointed out that to sell we need to be able to communicate in the right languages, and British business is loosing out because we do not often enough. Now were all enthusiasts in the room here today I sense from everything thats being said this morning. But even the government with its changes to curriculum doesnt seem to be enthusiastic enough about the changes actually to mention languages specifically in the changes to the curriculum. Theres changes and emphasis on communicating but not reference to language. The other thing is I wonder if there are any of the agencies who support business here today, Scottish Enterprise? People who support tourism, Visit Scotland? If there are perhaps they would like to comment on what theyve heard today. We find that it is very difficult to persuade the people who run these organisations, in the same was as government, as the same way as Ministers, that it is worth supporting language training at all levels, it needs to start with children, it needs to go on through business, what are they prepared to do in the future to give the support we need through these agencies to help our business become better at communicating and using these languages. Thats my challenge these agencies.

David Edwards: Have we got anyone from any of these agencies here? Oh we do. If we can keep it short, maybe we could come back after. Im Stewart Roxburgh from Scottish Enterprise Dumfries and Galloway. Im an International Trade Advisor so I spend quite a lot of time working with small and medium size businesses who are trying to work in new markets. It might surprise you to know we still have some companies out at regional level there who are trying their very hardest to make a mark in new markets with their products. In particular one company I can highlight I was out visiting last week, who is now operating in fifty markets in the world, and thats operating from a little office in Lockerbie, so it can be done. Id definitely say in terms of support mechanisms, yes we do have a variety of products and services and which we can offer companies, but by far its down to the determination of the company themselves, to come forward with an idea of how they can take their business forward into these markets and then we can find solutions for them. Its not a plug and play set-up. Id like to focus just one thing, we do have an export manger for hire programme which is proving very successful, and that means we can actually recruit in individuals with language skills and business skills and partner them with a company to achieve a result, so thats just one example of a product thats on offer to companies. [Marta Smart] Im from Scotland Europa, I work for Scottish Enterprise national on EU policy and EU funding. And I think to some extend the observation made is correct, that languages could go further up the agenda in terms of business development, and thats certainly something Ill be taking back from today.

Languages in Scotland Whats the Problem?

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David Edward: Thank you very much indeed, thats a good note on which to end, somebody actually taking something back. Can I ask you to take something back, or at least be back, so we can start at 2 oclock. SESSION 3 Richard Johnstone: one after the other, and Im very happy to ask Michael Doig who is headteacher of Bearsden Academy, to start this afternoons session. Michael Doig: Thanks very much, Dick, and good afternoon to you all. I was asked, along with my two colleagues there, to represent headteacher perspectives, and I was fortunate enough to be asked to give a positive perspective as a state school headteacher. Well I can say to you that Ive been positive about modern languages all my life: it is my own subject, I loved it so much that I married a modern languages teacher and I relive daily the rigours of the cut and thrust of the modern languages classroom, when my wife gets home at night and tells me all about it. Shes understandably less interested in the serious management issues that I have to address myself. But sadly it didnt extend to my own immediate family, because although we seemed to end up taking our first son to Germany when he was all of six months, neither of our children decided that languages was quite the exact career they would pursue; obviously whilst I dont blame them, I do still hold it very much against them! I have kept myself as far as possible in the modern languages world - for my sins I spent I think three years (it felt like thirty) chairing the Modern Languages Higher Still Group, and the Reference Group that it spawned. Subsequently I was the secondary headteacher representative on the Action Group for Languages that produced in the end - very much in the end - the Citizens of a Multilingual World report. So rest assured, my feelings are very much with modern languages and the modern language community. But sadly I have to tell you that as a headteacher, I cant share these feelings and views particularly widely within my school. I have to be relatively impartial and unbiased, I have to have due regard for all the subjects in the curriculum, and if I were to favour modern languages in particular, it would be seen quite clearly to be a rotten bit of favouritism, and I genuinely wouldnt want that. The other issue that I face is that there arent just the pressures of keeping a fairly even balance of the curriculum in a secondary school, we have to deal with all the other initiatives that come to us from the politicians and the education department. A couple of years ago we were promoting science and funding was put in for that; currently were heavily promoting the Determined to Succeed initiative to make our youngsters more enterprising, and I buy in to that wholeheartedly (I buy in to that because Ive got money to spend as a result of it), and if one thing were to really promote languages teaching, it might just be a very overdue infusion of cash. So I dont do my modern languages department any favours. Do they do me any? Well let me just tell you very briefly, it is a successful department with a but, and Ill do the successful bit first: in my school the youngsters in modern languages achieve high standards of attainment at all levels, in the top 10 or 20% nationally Ill guarantee, in terms of results at Standard Grade and Higher, in French and German. No bother there then. Well there is a but, and sadly we are not all that good at attracting youngsters beyond Standard Grade. In fact its really not a good picture at all. If I just tell you that in the five and a half years Ive been there now, weve never had more than about three dozen youngsters continuing French to Higher, and thats in a school that has about 1250 pupils. And I personally cant change that myself: its a product of where the subject is and where the pupils are coming from. And thats a factor I have to deal with. It was interesting that one of the points earlier was about technology - I would say that I am a digital immigrant, to quote Mark Prensky, the guru in these matters, who like many of you, has come in to the digital age - and willingly so in most cases. But the children we teach just now are the digital natives, and what Ive found in trying to embed ICT across the whole curriculum is that there are still quite a few of what I now call digital dinosaurs who just aint gonna change in a hurry. And thats an issue for me in my department. The two youngest members of the department are very into the interactive white board, and they do half a day a week in our associated primaries working together with our primary colleagues. They are in that respect unique in the department. So, what do you do? As I said, I cant personally go out there and start telling youngsters and parents just how wonderful languages are, just because they are. So what I try to do is to look at what Ive got and talk it up (for want of a better phrase). And Im going to just run through some of the things that we have going in this school - individually they are quite unremarkable, I promise you, but collectively Im actually a wee bit impressed when I look at it in the totality, because if languages arent particularly appreciated in what is called the French department, then how might they be appreciated elsewhere in this school? And it is a concern to me as Dick knows. (I came across Dick when he was much younger; actually, Dick, you look a lot older these days.) Richard Johnstone: You look exactly the same, Principals obviously have a very easy life.

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Michael Doig: As a shiny young Principal Teacher out at Cumbernauld, I was one of a number of schools that piloted the great Tour de France course that Dick inspired, which in its day was hugely innovative. So I have a real concern about how we project languages as such in a school where its not the most popular subject in the curriculum. Well, let me tell you first of all that I look to within my own resources: I look at the pupils - weve got over 100 youngsters who have a language other than English in their portfolio. I listed these in the accompanying notes, but just in case you didnt get that far in the booklet, let me just tell you that this year we have youngsters with 28 languages other than English that they use at home: Punjabi, Hakka, Mandarin or Cantonese Chinese, Urdu, Arabic, Farsi, Hindi, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Czech, Turkish, Gaelic (Scottish and Irish), Bengali, Caba, Coorgi,Ewe, and Gujurati, Ibo, Kannada, Twi and Yoruba, none of which Im particularly proficient in (other than my two French and German). And we try to celebrate their linguistic proficiency; its not perhaps a cultural context, or an ethnic background context we try to focus on, but the language side of things. For example, we try to get as many pupils as is feasible certificated: over the last three years weve been quite successful in getting them presented at A-Level, AS Level, GCSE, Standard Grade and Higher, in Persian, Urdu, Chinese, Dutch, Turkish, Russian, Greek (and Spanish which we dont do). When they get their certificates through from whatever exam board they succeed with, I personally present them at an assembly and highlight the fact that they have a proficiency in a language that we can recognise and celebrate. I also encourage, as any headteacher would, the usual stuff in terms of trips and outings - we do Ski Italy, Historical France, Artistic Italy, and so on. Im well aware that in my area a lot of families take their children to some quite exotic places, since it is a fairly middle class background. But we also encourage our youngsters to take part in World Challenge - in the past two or three years theyve been in the jungle of Thailand and the vast plains of Outer Mongolia, and next year theyre due to scale Mount Kilimanjaro; that takes them into contact with completely different cultures and completely different languages. When the World Challenge team gave their presentation to the various year group assemblies about their trip to Mongolia, the one thing that they kept coming back to was actually the relationship they had with their translator, because of course it was their translator that literally kept them alive by being able to barter with local people and interpret for them in the situations which they, the youngsters, had to work through. We have also encouraged our seniors to join in a European initiative called Euroscola, in which they actually go to Strasbourg and take part in activities in the EU Parliament itself; two years ago we sent two, last year it was four, this year we sent eight. We were national runners up in the Mathematiques Sans Frontieres competition, for what its worth. (I never really mastered maths myself, never mind in French!) We have also had the pleasure of welcoming one or two visitors fairly regularly in to our pupil body from some of the European countries: for example, we had a delightful German girl from August to Christmas, who played in the orchestra and all the rest of it, and we gave her a wee presentation farewell at the year group assembly. She brought her German to the school, and very welcome I guess it was too. In terms of the staff, I have an International Committee - again nothing unusual in that, broadens the horizons, gives the whole perspective. Two of my Deputes last year went on an Arion project, one to Nimes (a biologist who wasnt very good at French but came back talking more) and the other Depute to Innsbruck (a mathematician who fancied her chances in German until she got there). Neither of them linguists, but two of my senior colleagues were exposed to these kind of situations. Were also involved as a school in a Comenius project, and two of my unpromoted staff were in Hannover in January - I wouldnt have wanted to be in Hannover in January: it was much too cold - but they loved it; they met up with teacher colleagues from seven other European countries, including some of the new recruits to the European Union. They came back delighted and showed me a newspaper report from the Hannover Abendblatt or whatever it was, and there they were! It was all in German and they asked me to translate it for them, and thats really nice. We have links with Africa in terms of sharing resources and fundraising; my Principal Teacher of history is apparently a guru to the Eastern European history teachers, because they invite him annually to places like the Ukraine last year and Moldova this year, to help them develop their history curriculum. And I try to highlight these kinds of issues with parents as well: this years Handbook, has a photo on the front showing our group at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, proudly holding the European flag. We tell parents all about our bilingual pupils though our newsletter in the Autumn, they see a breakdown of all the languages that our children speak and the proportion of each, and so on. We draw that to the parents attention, the rich diversity of languages. So in summing up (rather rapidly), I would argue that in my school a foreign language isnt just for the French department, its a life skill. There are real live people in our classrooms who can speak different languages, who engage with other pupils, and who are part of the school culture. We recognise their success and the diversity of their languages, and I have to say you dont have to rely solely on the modern languages department to offer an awareness of, and a feel for, modern languages in a secondary school. Mesdames et Messieurs, je reste ma valise.

Languages in Scotland Whats the Problem? Richard Johnstone: Thank you very much, I now call on Charles McAteer who is Rector of Dumfries Academy.

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Charles McAteer: Good afternoon. Im glad to see so many people stayed. No, Im not actually, I thought far more of you would have left after this morning, because we covered so much ground. Ive been given the invidious task of going on the attack to some extent about modern languages teaching, Mike got the long straw and I certainly drew the short straw. Im going to start by appealing to you for sympathy. Its unlikely to work but Ill try anyway. I come here as a humble headteacher, and you might think thats an oxymoron. Certainly a lot of my pupils would agree with the second part of that figure of speech. Just to establish my credentials, I did Higher French, Higher Latin and O Grade Italian at school and some Gaelic at university. I have family members who are married and live abroad: a sister who is married to a French man, lives in France and speaks English and French;, a sister who lives in Brazil, speaks English and Portuguese; a brother who lives in New York, speaks English and nonsense, and a sister who lives in Ireland, where her children speak a bit of Gaelic. One thing you will realise is that Ive got a very big family. So, having established my credentials, I would have to say that, in spite of what we heard this morning, modern languages are in a pretty bad state and I am quite worried for the future. Having established that I am reasonably well disposed to modern languages, I then have to say that I do not favour modern languages particularly over anything else in my school, and I do acknowledge the worth of every subject. But in spite of the 18 odd million pounds that has been spent on modern languages and improving modern languages, there isnt, in my view, much evidence to suggest that that is making a huge difference. For instance, in terms of one of the recommendations of Citizens of a Multilingual World, and the review done by HMIE in 2005, there is no movement as yet in making a modern language compulsory for those in initial teacher training in primary and this obviously diminishes the potential pool of those who might teach modern languages in primary. Many of the teachers who have been trained were trained under the old arrangements the SOEID (27 day training), and they are not very confident in grammar in particular, the metalinguistics that we were talking about this morning, and that has to be a disadvantage. Nationally only 16% of modern language in the primary school trained teachers were used to teach modern languages in 2003/4 and locally in Dumfries and Galloway, 33% of those delivering modern languages in the primary school were not trained. Ive got to thank Kate Beattie, our development officer in language in Dumfries and Galloway for these figures. There is a loss of teachers for a variety of reasons annually. Those who are trained in teaching modern languages at primary, as tutors, are not always able, to get into primary schools for a whole variety of reasons. Teaching headteachers often are not available because of the very many demands that are made on them - allusion was made by one of the questioners this morning to the kinds of demands which are made on teaching staff. Similar demands are also made on headteachers and senior staff resulting in their nonavailability. This is especially true if that headteacher happens to be the one who delivers modern languages or who relieves another teacher to allow modern languages to be taught. A good experience, I think wed all agree, of a modern language in the primary school is essential. All too often that isnt happening. A personal point of view, but one I was very pleased to hear reflected in what was said this morning, is that the concentration of modern language teaching between P6 and S4, the 500 hours entitlement, isnt necessarily a good thing. It has to be asked if this is it the best way to deliver the entitlement. I have to say that perhaps in my experience it isnt. Having bilingual nephews and nieces, I know that they learn from birth. They learn in the home and they are very very capable and very confident in both languages. To delay the learning of a second language to the age of 10 or there about seems not particularly a good idea. Unfortunately, all too many local authorities have decided that that is their policy. They dont have to start at P6 but they have decided that that is their policy, P6 to S4 with very very little happening before that. Another factor is that many pupils have a discontinuity in language learning from primary to secondary. A recommendation of Citizens of a Multilingual World was that we should have a continuity but very often there is a discontinuity between primary and secondary, so youngsters might be doing German or French in primary, but have to move on to another languages when they move in to S1, S2. This doesnt necessarily aid their competence or their confidence. In the secondary school, its been mentioned several times this morning and Mark and Ewan mentioned the use of ICT, different approaches are very important. Theres an awful lot of ICT software and hardware out there which is very good. I recently had the pleasure of seeing some materials at a conference which I attended in England. However, funding is an issue. The funding simply isnt there in sufficient amounts to allow schools to purchase the kinds of ICT or invest in the kind of training we would like. There has also been an inconsistency of funding for foreign language assistants to the extent that sometimes you have them, some time you dont have them at all, and some times you have a bit of a foreign language assistant for a little bit of time. That has not helped. Many pupils and their parents still question the value of studying a modern language and modern languages are still perceived to be very difficult with some parents having bad memories of their own experience of learning a modern language. I have to say that although I have studied French and Latin in secondary school, I actually enjoyed Latin more. It was more alive, quite counter intuitively. Because we went into the culture much more and into the history, it seemed a more interesting language whereas the experience of French was actually very dry, very grammar orientated and very limited in its scope. It did not concentrate on the culture or on the history of the country, so Latin was much

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more enjoyable. I also had the benefit, or the disadvantage, of being an altar boy and had the experience of using church Latin. That reminds me of one incident when one of the altar boys who knew a bit about the history of Rome and the founding of Rome responded when the priest said , Oremus , Let us pray, O, Romulus. He knew his Latin history even if his language was a bit shaky. Modern languages are still not required for many university courses, and although people do study modern languages at some level at university, theyre often not required to have a modern language on entry. The value of a modern language is not seen to be particularly high. Tim Steward, who has been reported in the Times Educational Supplement, stated that in relation to the value of modern languages, a modern language might mean the difference of 3,000 or if it was Japanese maybe 5,000 to your salary. Not necessarily that appealing to some youngsters who have no intentions of going in to some of the professions which were indicated in that particular article. This is particularly true when tradesmen are so highly paid in this country. Its maybe not that enticing to learn a language is only going to add 3,000 to your salary. The story goes of the Edinburgh Surgeon whos trying to get a plumber and had phoned around without success and had eventually got one and he said how much are you going to charge an hour? What are your rates? And the guy said its 150 an hour. The surgeon said, Thats ridiculous, I dont even earn that, and the plumber said, I know. I didnt earn that either when I was a surgeon. So financially the attraction isnt perhaps as great as Tim might feel it is. I mentioned the concentration on the 500 hours and P6 to S4 as not necessarily being the best strategy, and I would certainly argue for starting as young as possible, and we know that one authority in particular is looking at it. East Renfrewshire, is introducing modern language in nursery and primary, and I think that initiative ought to be looked at and observed with great interest. The impact of national advice on curriculum flexibility, Circular 3 2001, which has been echoed in many other circulars and papers from the New Community Schools Prospectus to Count us In, to many many papers which all suggest we should be trying to meet the needs of youngsters where they are, rather than impose on them what we think they aught to be doing is considerable. Theres no doubt that the entitlement argument becomes mired in that when you try to address what the childs needs are? Often times modern language as such is not high in the order of priority. As you know there has been a reduction in numbers achieving qualifications in modern languages, although we had conflicting figures this morning but the actual numbers, percentages of S4 gaining a language qualification were: 89% in 2002 falling to 86% in 2004. At present there are 90% of S4 pupils studying a modern language but we do not yet know the outcome of that in terms of exam success. HMIE notes in its review of progress in implementing Citizens of a Multilingual World, a disappointingly low proportion of our pupils taking a course in a modern language with success, and that theres been insufficient emphasis on the proficiency in a modern language, rather than simply on the amount of time spent on a modern language. To conclude, we really have to address some issues. Weve got training, which has to be done pre-service and has got to be done adequately in-service. The quality of the experience our youngsters receive has to be much richer, and we have heard some very good examples this morning of how that can be done. There is the small matter of money behind that. We have to resource adequately both the training of teachers and the resources that are available to them. The perception of the value of a modern language is a continuing difficulty. In an Anglophone society it is extremely difficult to persuade people that there is a need for a modern language, and the motivation is going to be many and various. In my sisters and brothers examples its more to do with emotions. To many pupils and their parents the economic imperatives are not clear at this point, I believe that when they do become clear they will react. The fact that Brazil, Russia, India, China, Japan and the US are all going to be ahead of us in economic terms in the future is something which will gradually come home to people. It seems like a poor reason to be optimistic, but for that very pragmatic reason I think people will wake up to the need to have another language than simply English. Motivation is a huge factor as Professor Johnstone was saying this morning. He had four categories, two of which I can remember, intrinsic or extrinsic. There has to be something which makes you want to do a second language, and I think it should go beyond the economic. The cultural aspects, the desire to learn about another people, to learn about their thinking, their philosophy, their religions, the way they govern themselves, the way they organise themselves, how they react socially, their customs, all these things have to be presented more attractively to our youngsters. Continuity from primary to secondary is kind of a basic thing and should not be too difficult to achieve. The timing of delivery of a second language should not be P6 to S4 but certainly earlier. And curriculum flexibility can either be the friend of modern languages in the future or it could work to their detriment. The four capacities that were mentioned by Gill Robinson this morning in relation to A Curriculum for Excellence might well encourage more modern languages in secondary schools, but I dont think theres any guarantee that those four capacities in A Curriculum for Excellence will ensure that modern languages will service. What is needed is to have a far more exciting experience for young people, a more rewarding experience, a more relevant experience, and also for the world of business to be more involved in our schools, encouraging them and explaining to them what the benefits are of doing a modern language. Ive kept very much to my allotted time. Thank you very much.

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Richard Johnstone: Thank you very much indeed. The programme gives us a double billing now, Judith McClure, Headteacher, and Helen Mackie, Deputy Headteacher St Georges school, but I understand unfortunately that Judith is unwell and not able to join us, so Helen you have 15 minutes, thank you very much. Helen Mackie: Thats absolutely plenty of time, I was anticipating four until about 7 oclock last night. So thank you very much for the invitation to speak, I think this is a wonderful opportunity today to share ideas and concerns about where were going with language teaching. I apologise for Judiths absence, Im sure she would love to be here, I would certainly love her to be here, but the deal is youll get something smaller and shorter. Having listened to what Mike said theres nothing actually very different about language learning in the independent sector. We share the same passion and same concerns about our language learning. We recognise that communication in another language is an essential skill as well as an intellectual discipline which will help our young people to become effective contributors and responsible citizens in a global community. In order to achieve that we have to help them to become successful learners, confident and motivated in their language learning so that they can connect with other countries and cultures. Like all learning its not something that should happen in a box, in some kind of parallel universe so what seems to work is that the young people go to the country, host visits and / or communicate on line with email, podcasts, blogs, etc. Work experience abroad or doing the Duke of Edinburgh residential on a conservation project in France are other opportunities for using and learning language in context. But you dont have to travel. We are finding that as more materials become available for the VLE, students can interact with language and culture in the virtual environment. The facility of technology and travel these days is motivating and empowering as young people respond to engagement with the real life context of the language they are learning. They do need a context and a purpose for communication. EU funded Comenius projects are an example of this and many schools in the independent and maintained sector are engaged in these in Primary and Secondary. We run a Comenius project with partner schools in Germany and Italy. We dont teach Italian so staff and students involved had to learn some of the vocabulary relevant to the topic, renewable energy, and in exchange visits through the programme they also had to pick up some of the general language. They did not speak fluently or accurately but what they acquired was fit for purpose. Language assistants contribute hugely in our school too, from nursery through to S5 and S6 so that students know that foreign languages are something living, breathing and real. A second language is very readily assimilated in the early years of primary or even in nursery education and that is often possible in our schools with the support of specialist staff and assistants from the secondary as many schools are 2-18. Many of our schools have a boarding facility so have a very natural international dimension and we teach Japanese, Russian, modern Greek, and other languages on an adhoc basis if we happen to have students of those nationalities in school. Like most schools we have long standing partnerships with schools in Europe for exchanges etc. However were offering them a vast range of opportunities and experiences: ski trips, music and sports tours abroad, cultural visits, and expeditions all over the world, so that we struggle to persuade them that a week with a family in France or Spain is an exciting opportunity. Hence the need for more challenging, creative and stimulating contexts in which to learn languages. Students dont necessarily perceive a foreign language to be essential in their portfolio of skills and qualifications and once they have achieved Standard Grade are demotivated by the huge leap from Standard grade to Higher. There needs to be a focus on communication in other languages, rather than on examination perfection. We look for teachers of the 21st century who understand the role of language teaching in promoting diversity and international understanding as well as its significance in the modern world of business and commerce: teachers who can communicate purpose in what they are teaching. That brings us to consideration of the languages we teach. As the global economy develops there should cease to be the emphasis on Wester European languages which has dominated for so long. Now Ill tell you why we in our school have chosen to bring Chinese very robustly into our languages curriculum. First of all Ill give you the historical perspective. At St Georges we have encouraged the teaching and learning of Chinese for the last ten years, both for students whose first language is Chinese and for interested Scottish students. The School has offered Chinese GCSE and Advanced Levels for native Chinese speakers and, working with the Scottish Qualifications Authority, has encouraged Scottish students who wish to take Chinese outside the curriculum to gain unit assessments at Access 3, Intermediate 1 and Intermediate 2 levels. In 2005-2006 Chinese has been introduced into the primary school for all our P5s. It has also become a language option in S2 and it was taken up by about 20% of the year group and they have just made their options for Standard Grade, Intermediate 2, or whatever exams theyre going to take in the next couple of years, and not a single one of those who opted for Chinese is dropping it, theyre all carrying on with it. Its funky, its cool, its

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different, and when they speak it in front of us nobody can tell them that their accents not very good. absolutely loving it and it could mean candidates for Higher Chinese in 2008-2009.

We need to devise a comprehensive strategy which will enable schools across Scotland to teach Chinese and to support each other. St Georges has a full-time teacher of Chinese on its permanent staff and two Chinese Assistants. It is unlikely that all schools who may wish to teach Chinese could sustain that level of staffing, so it is essential that there is a learning network, on-line resources, and that existing teachers provide a service for clusters of schools. The ScotlandChina Educational Network which is convened by my absent half, Dr Judith McClure, is bringing together interested parties to work on these arrangements. Chinese is the language spoken by far the most people in the world, and as Chinas economic, political and cultural influence develops in the 21st century it becomes increasingly important that we should promote an understanding of Chinese culture and our Chinese language capability. In practical terms, our scientists and our business people need to communicate in Chinese and we need to increase Chinese activity in Scotland and Scottish activity in China. There is much support for this generally in Scotland, from the work of the Scottish Qualifications Authority in China and that of HEIs to the efforts of the Scottish Executive to secure inward investment and the British Council to facilitate links between institutions. The First Minister has made his own commitment clear. The Royal Bank of Scotland has now announced the formation of a strategic partnership with the Bank of China, with an agreement to establish close cooperation in key operational areas and the Royal Society, the Botanic Gardens, and Royal Museum of Scotland all have robust links. The argument that we should introduce the teaching and learning of Chinese into our schools is very strong but we must do it together. We are hosting a pupil conference in June called Scotland meets China and pupils from Primary and secondary schools, state and independent will come together to celebrate what they know of Chinese language and culture. It is very clear that Chinese schools are willing to enter into mutually-supportive relationships with Scottish schools. St Georges has three partner schools, Yunnan University Secondary School, Chongqing Bashu Middle School and Tsun Tsin Christian Academy in Hong Kong and there will be an event in August when Chinese students from our three partner schools will visit Edinburgh and be buddied by Scottish pupils from St Georges and other schools, state and independent, in a range of activities and visits. Other Scottish schools are also in the process of developing partnerships. These links should prove of immense value to the development of cultural understanding, but if they are to prove effective in the longer-term then the teaching and learning of Chinese must sustain them and become embedded in the curriculum. There is excitement in learning this new language with its obvious 21st century relevance. To bring about this change in the curriculum in schools it is essential that all those involved work together. State and independent schools should work in partnership, universities should find ways of supporting the school curriculum and lending their expertise, business and the professions should become involved. We of course also need teachers to be trained and the registered by the GTC. Although Scotland is a small country, its history, values and culture together with its emphasis on education are proving attractive to Chinese institutions and businesses. It is important that we prepare sufficient numbers of our population to seize these advantages and only a radical approach to language teaching and leaning in our schools can make this happen. Chinese must be one of the languages that is a key to the future, so I commend it to you, but lets give all of our language learners context and purpose for what they are learning. Richard Johnstone: Well, weve had three excellent senior management perspectives, and we now look forward to the teachers perspective, and very well qualified to offer this is Abi Adam who is chair of the Executive Committee of SALT, the Scottish Association for Language Teaching. Abi Adam: Thank you Dick. I first realised that youve got the perfect opportunity to get your own back on me when I once stopped you at the SALT conference speaking, so Ill watch for your gesture, my speech was 9 minutes 29 by the way last night. So thanks very much for inviting me to speak, as I say at SALT I normally get to talk about where the toilets are, so its great that Im going to get to answer a little bit about what is being done, and from a mere teacher. Today we have heard about the key challenges and demands, about a Curriculum for Excellence, ICT and the value of languages in a work context. Today is a welcome stage in the history of what is happening to languages. With hindsight this period of time since 1998 has been a critical one, thinking, debate and much discussion, but not necessarily in that order. The then prevailing climate of negativity meant that at times it felt as if the subject of modern languages was one that had been inflicted on children, and that language teachers were pariahs. Or is that piranhas? no its pariahs. Then came the spin, it changes to the notion that children should be entitled to learn languages, and thank you to the clarification of what entitlement really means. It is up to them to take this offer is what it seemed to mean at the time. A great deal of progress though had been made and there is now a genuine sense of positiveness. Im sure that todays conference is a drawing together of some of the stakeholders concerned and consequently further positive progress will ensue. However I noted at lunch time today somebody said that they were not aware of in Lockerbie a Scottish Enterprise office, and this was a teacher from Lockerbie, so networking is a fantastic thing, maybe a bit of joined up thinking too is necessary

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though. Given they key role and challenge that is A Curriculum for Excellence, this is the main curriculum change were all aware now, Id like to outline what has been done in one school and one languages context, and this clearly is in anticipation of and then Id like to make one plea that has come out of experience from both school and SALT. The reference made by Jane Renton about leadership for learning is of great interest to myself, I work for a council which I e-mailed this week, its apparently the best council in Britain, which has introduced a flatter management structure in almost all of its schools. One key aspect of this is the introduction of the Principle Teacher of Curriculum role, which is also part of the extended management team, and that is the role that I carry out. This is also in conjunction with creating faculties. In many schools this has been done with a view to developing an overview of communication and this has meant that modern languages can and does play an enhanced role with regards to literacy across the curriculum. Ive had many pupils in languages say to me that theyre learning more about learning, theyre learning about language in general, in addition to learning a language, and I think that this is partly to do with the change and the shift of emphasis and that this role does have a strategic element to it, to implementing a vision that we want pupils to be better learners, and better language learners. This vision is particularly important for our future lifelong learners that are our pupils. The role includes a heightened emphasis on being an adviser on teaching and learning. Research does indicate that when teaching and learning is made a focus, general improvement follows. Good language teaching has always been steeped in strategies, weve always adopted a multi-sensory approach, even if it was just holding a flash card up, that is still multi-sensory. Kids remember stuff when we use good strategies. However, the faculty that Im involved in has English and Media Studies and we compare and contrast our good practice were feeding off each other, and thats of great interest given Ewan Macintoshs ideas about developing ICT, we can learn from the Media Studies teachers. Unlike perhaps some management roles in previous systems, this strategic role has a hands on classroom aspect. So there still is an element of credibility based on chalk face, or smart board face, experience. Modern languages can now be seen to be playing a powerful role in helping pupils with learning about learning. Still anticipating the national development that is A Curriculum for Excellence, furthermore the context about which Im talking focuses on total clarity of expectations, thats what our teachers do, they express their aims, their learning intentions, the bigger picture. Pupils are clear about how to be successful, sharing success criteria with pupils is part of what we do at all times. Other strategies associated with formative assessment, a part of A Curriculum for Excellence, these have worked tremendously powerfully, Ive seen it with my own eyes. Giving feedback to pupils is going to get them in to learning and reveal their potential. We point out what they need to do next to get the next level up. The creation of a dialog about learning in general is tremendously powerful and allows pupils to transfer this knowledge to other subjects and other skills. This has worked to such an extent that pupils no longer wish to give up languages. I myself was recently called into the Heads office to be informed that Id been doing too good a job. Pupils who had previously been identified as needing to do social and vocational studies, a subject deemed important in developing social and communication skills I was informed, these pupils had informed the Head that they know longer wished to do SVS but they wanted to continue with their French and language studies. I didnt feel I had made my mark though with the pupils and the parents. Further changes which anticipate and reflect the national approach that is A Curriculum for Excellence include a change to the structure of the curriculum, namely that S3 will tackle their first qualification and then have more time to up their language studies, should they choose to do so, over S4, 5, and 6. The quality of experience that they will then receive will be enhanced with greater depth possible. The two term dash which is still the current experience of pupils taking Higher will hopefully be avoided. There will be more time for creative activities, a deeper experience will hopefully There will be a greater sense of mastery, and the confidence which ensues will be enormously beneficial to particularly the study of languages. Currently in my department there is a standard grade course for P7 to S3, but they still build on the excellent practice which is carried out by the Primary teachers. All pupils follow this, there is now no exception. The notion that languages for all will continue is a cherished one with me, and the language in my department, language department, will be part of a package of subjects, that pupils who are identified with certain needs will take. The language will be linked in with Media Studies, and this has already evolved with Travel and Tourism with Spanish. Inclusion seems to include languages for all. Diversification is still on offer in this context, and this will even be reinforced with courses possibly from S4 to S6. And in addition we promise skills for work courses with anticipation. ICT is much in evidence too, well make webpages based on learning, smart boards are used in every lesson in every classroom. So I endorse the notion that learning experiences are exactly what is required, and thats what this context is about too. Collaborative learning, cross curricular events, these exists in this department. Work experience abroad is currently being planned, its going to happen. In general talk about teaching, grounding good practice from outside and from inside is a major feature of what this context does. Some evidence for this, the improved experience, is that when we talk about a proposed trip to Paris was on offer, 250 pupils asked if they could go on the trip. Unfortunately we can only take 40. Results have tripled and pupils are motivated, they know theyre getting a good deal. Comments overheard recently from one first year pupil, she said we must be the Einsteins of the French Department were having such a good time which I thought was tremendous. Another pupil said In this department teachers really care about our learning. So I would

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suggest this department is well on the way to offering a quality experience to pupils. Uptake has improved and comments and pupils evidence this. Teachers enjoyment has also increase. But here comes the plea. Although quality teaching and learning is crucial to attainment and much of the other issues weve heard about this morning are invaluable, we must have all stakeholders to get together to determine what is the most relevant content for our pupils to learn. Relevance is in any case a key term in A Curriculum for Excellence. It would seem to me to be desirable that businesses and other groups who need linguists at varying levels of competence, they must be allowed to express clearly what they would like pupils to be able to do. Lets look at making the content as relevant as possible. Lets avoid teaching kids to talk about some of the more curious topics that are on our curriculum, such as describing, already as Jane has said, whats in your bedroom. But its worse than that, we teach them what to say whats under their bed, whats on their bed and this kind of thing. I really do not want to teach that any longer. No matter how imaginatively we dress up these areas there will always be somebody who says I am never ever going to use this topic with somebody who speaks French. Do kids really tell each other what they do with their pocket money? So lets make this a great deal more relevant to what our kids and society needs. Relevance with fun and enjoyment, and indeed confidence, coming from a sense of mastering something well because youre being encouraged to support it, these are all the deep key terms. Sticking with relevance, the subject has to be broached that although our current national policy is in many ways good, and has made a tremendous difference, it has to be asked does it really cater for todays changed global demise? And the needs of an ever more linguistically aware business world. Our fresh strategy, with input from all stakeholders, in the view of the SALT membership in any case, is urgently needed. We need to determine what the most appropriate outcomes for a pupil in society are. Does anyone here remember Giolo Biancos speech at the SALT conference and at SILT indeed as well? Thats when a policy was backed up by political will. So if there is a problem with languages, lets decide what we all want, and lets do it with some urgency and some drive. Thanks for listening. Richard Johnstone: Thank you very much Abi. I suppose the emphasis of this part is tending to be on modern foreign languages, but its great that we have a Gaelic contribution from Murdo Maciver who is Head of Service, Education, North Lanarkshire Council. Murdo Maciver: Thank you on behalf of the Gaelic education system for the invitation. I hope the seminar is useful in promoting a leap forward in the teaching of languages in Scotland. My presentation has a management and structural perspective and deals with the following themes. The status of Gaelic in Scotland, Gaelic education in Scotland, historical context, successes and challenges. At the outset I should express a general surprise. There are over 2000 primary age children in Scotland being educated very successfully in another language yet that experience is not being used to inform the debate on general language learning in the system. There are also other parallels between the Gaelic experience and the position of other language. The remnant of the same attitudes which nearly wiped out Gaelic partly explains the difficulty we face in turning Scotland into a bilingual country. Gaelic language in Scotland: The attitudes to Gaelic in Scotland are ambivalent. The following strands can be identified. There is growing support and good will towards the language, both in the wider society across the political spectrum. There are occasional outbreaks of antipathy towards the language and the Gaelic education system among column writers and Scottish institutions. Particularly concerning was the Commission of Racial Equality (CRE) response to the Executives consultation on the Gaelic act consultation. we are concerned that establishing a basis of equality between English and Gaelic languages is a far-reaching objective which could send out an unhelpful message in terms of race relations (CRE to education committee) Compared to other dimensions, for example football, tartan and whisky, Gaelic is not a strong element in Scottishness. The adoption of Alba by the Scottish football team would have been a major coup in promoting Gaelic as part of the national identity. The weakening of Gaelic in the traditional heartland, the result of the demographic structure, emigration and the emergence of a new community, emphasises the need for new considerations. In particular, Gaelic must become more inclusive, the further development of Gaelic medium streams and schools in the area becomes more urgent and more proactive local authority support is required. The demise of the heartland emphasises another issue. The future good health of the language depends on the development of a wider geographical and social base, less parochial and more national, international and contemporary.

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Gaelic education: the historical context The demographics are precarious. The number of new learners does not compensate for the death rate. The trend in Gaelic-speaking numbers over the last 20 years is a steady decline, from around 220,000 to 65,000 at the last census. The reasons for the decline are complex and include the following: the general social, political and economic relationship between the Gaelic periphery and the English speaking centre, out-migration, usually for economic reasons, the values and aspirations of the people. A basic difficulty was that the tide was winning strongly in favour of English among the Highland people. Gaelic was the language of everyday life . But English was seen by the Highlanders in the late nineteenth century as the language of the future, of economic opportunity and social progress. (Tom Devine: The Scottish Nation 1700 2000) Crucially, the education system promoted the same anti-Gaelic values, reflected in the ethos of schools, the choice of medium for teaching and curriculum content. the gaelic is a great obstacle in the childrens path(Kilchoman Public School : log book entry 1877) As a result, the opportunity for language diversity in Scotland was lost and the relative inferiority of Gaelic was institutionalised. The 1872 Education Act which established universal entitlement to education gave no support to Gaelic and the 1918 Education act made limited provision, and for the Gaelic speaking areas only. This policy position continued until the 1980s. There were local initiatives to promote education through Gaelic, for example the bilingual community-based curriculum Van Leer pilot in the Western Isles, but without a strategic push these were relatively unsuccessful. It is interesting to speculate on what might have been. If bilingual provision had been made for the Gaelic monolingual population from 1872 and for the later Irish-speaking migrants, perhaps Scotland would now be a multilingual country, giving much greater importance to linguistic diversity. Gaelic medium education: Successes The first Gaelic medium school provision was opened in 1985 in Glasgow and Inverness. The subsequent primary growth has been steady and now there are over 2000 pupils, about 60 schools with Gaelic streams and one all-Gaelic primary school. Early years and secondary provision has also been established. The growth of Gaelic medium provision was the result of a range of factors, including the following: dissatisfaction with existing provision, the emergence of voluntary sector pre-school playgroups under the auspices of CNSA, the experience elsewhere, particularly immersion language teaching in South Wales, pressure from parental activists, reflecting both an interest in Gaelic and appreciation of the wider educational advantages of bilingual education, political support, despite the reservations expressed by the professional education establishment. For example, the first Strathclyde Gaelic medium primary school opened because of the support given by Malcolm Green, education convener. (Subsequently, the same disparity also emerged. Michael Forsyth established the ring-fenced Gaelic grant funding, Brian Wilson supported Gaelic medium secondary provision and initiated the Columba scheme and more recently Peter Peacock has promoted the first all-through Gaelic school, all without support from the education establishment). The growth of Gaelic medium in the last few years has plateaued and clearly a new impetus is needed to further expand the system. Many parents have enrolled their children in Gaelic medium on trust, unable to provide all the educational home support made available in English-medium homes. Therefore the evidence of success, particularly in the attainment of pupils, is reassuring. . pupils receiving GM primary education, whether or not Gaelic was the language in their home, were not being disadvantaged in comparison with children educated through English. In many though not all instances they outperformed Englishmedium pupils and in addition gained the advantage of having become proficient in two languages (Johnstone 1999) It is disappointing that this endorsement of education in the medium of another language hasnt been more influential in the development of modern language teaching in Scotland. The full integration of Gaelic medium education into mainstream structures and policies has been slow and much remains to be done. However, there have been significant advances. Specific grant funding has been retained and increased. The provision of Gaelic resources has increased significantly, largely due to the work of Storlann, the national resource centre. In addition, Learning Teaching Scotland, the main curriculum support body, now provides substantial support to Gaelic education. As a result paste-overs are no longer necessary in the Gaelic classroom. Gaelic education has been included among the national education priorities. The GTC has taken action to address the weaknesses in teacher education and the Executive has endorsed the recommendations of a working group established to increase the supply of Gaelic medium teachers. However, it is essential to avoid complacency. The current uptake of Gaelic medium education is not enough to compensate for the death rate among the Gaelic speaking population.

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the current number of children in Gaelic medium primary and secondary education needs to be increased five-fold to maintain the present population of Gaelic speakers, let alone reverse the decline (MacPherson 2000) Gaelic medium education : Challenges The goal of a successful and efficient Gaelic medium education system faces many obstacles but today I want to highlight four key challenges. Firstly, there is a need to develop a new paradigm for Gaelic education based on the following principles. The aims and aspirations which underpin the wider education system, including the curriculum for excellence. The lessons from language planning elsewhere, for example, the role played by education in Wales and the Basque country. A contemporary, national and international context for the system. Secondly, there is a need to evaluate the existing organisational structure of Gaelic education to inform the strategic development of the system. Different types of provision have been established, including Gaelic medium streams, Gaelic medium school, language courses and taster courses in primary schools (GLPS). The issues to be considered include the relative strengths and weaknesses of each from an educational, linguistic and efficiency perspective, the potential for inter-authority collaboration and the contribution of on-line delivery. Thirdly, ensuring best practice in the classroom and maximising the attainment of all pupils must always be a high priority. In the Gaelic medium context, promoting language development is an additional consideration. The recent HMIe report has highlighted both strengths and weaknesses. A strength is acquisition of Gaelic language skills through immersion techniques. A weakness is too little time using Gaelic as the language of learning and teaching, sometime due to lack of teacher skills with the language (Improving Achievement in Gaelic HMIe 2006). Issues for attention include immersion teaching techniques, the effectiveness of teacher education and continuity in professional development. Finally, there are issues of strategic planning and management arrangements. Currently, there is a divided responsibility for gaelic education issues within the Executive. In addition, the education establishment at various levels has taken a cautious approach, sometimes for understandable reasons, towards Gaelic education. For example, in the 1990s the HMI recommended against an extension to Gaelic medium education. .the provision of Gaelic-medium secondary education, determined by the vagaries of resource availability, is neither desirable or feasible in the foreseeable future (Provision for Gaelic Education in Scotland: HMI 1994) In the 1997 consultation on the responsibilities of local authorities COSLA advised against the imposition of a duty to provide gaelic medium education. In their 2004 monitoring report on the progress of government action on Gaelic language issues the committee of experts suggested a disparity between the policy position and its implementation. (Compared to Welsh)less emphasis on minority language policy on the part of the Scottish Executive even though there is political will to protect the Gaelic language (Committee of Experts on the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages: 2004) The newly established Bord na Gaidhlig offers the potential to provide strategic direction to Gaelic developments, including education. However, other structures, including local authorities and the education inspectorate already carry responsibilities in this area and therefore close collaboration and partnerships require to be established. Richard Johnstone: complement the speakers. We conclude the presentations with two presentations from education. First Barbara Beedham on further education, languages and business. Barbara Beedham: Now I know youre all probably dying for a cup of coffee, as I am too, but were not allowed a coffee break this afternoon, so I hope my talk will manage to keep you all awake. So first of all I would like to thank the Royal Society for inviting me, I have enjoyed the day so far very much. I am here as a representative of Adam Smith College Fife. Now, one of the two newest colleges in Scotland, I was hoping to say the newest, but there is another. In my talk this afternoon I would like to give you the college perspective on language learning in Scotland through obviously my own personal experience. So the Adam Smith College was inaugurated on the 1st August last year following the merger of Glenrothes College and Fife College to create the third largest college in Scotland. Our college has an exceptionally wide range of curriculum areas, and has a history of responding quickly to local market demands for vocational training. It has also started to develop further links with international markets, for example a lot of work has been done with the Ministry of Education in Turkey, and of course we are keen to attract greater numbers of students from overseas. I myself joined what was then Glenrothes College in 1988, so Im a real old timer. At that time there was very little language provision in the college, but interest grew very quickly and we were soon offering classes in French, German, Italian, Spanish, as well as Japanese, Polish, Portuguese and Russian, and more recently Chinese, Arabic and Romanian, but not all at once of course. I set up a business language service in the run up to the single market, this is called the Language Export Centre,

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and its a dedicated business language service which delivers business language training to local companies and public sector organisations, as well as business English to overseas clients, and a wide range of professional language related services, like translation and interpreting, export communications review and so on. The initial enthusiasm for in-company language training soon started to flag. Increasingly only business critical language programmes were being approved. It was a term I found incredibly annoying, but its almost their way of telling me that I should go away, only business critical training would be funded. So this meant I had to look for other ways of promoting languages in the work place. So initially together with Scottish Enterprise Fife, I devised the Export Telemarketing Programme. I recruited a pool of staff with fluent foreign languages skills, most of whom were foreign nationals who lived in Fife, and they then went through an intensive export telemarketing training programme. On completion of the course they were placed with local companies to make direct contact with potential customers overseas, and wherever possible set up meetings with the export sales manager. The initial pilot for this programme proved so successful that more linguists were recruited and the scheme ran for several years. Another way of providing companies with access to instant foreign language and culture skills, is through the Target Export Graduate Placement Programme. You all heard Kirsty Whyte earlier on, our speaker from Vianet, and of course shes an excellent example of a successful target export graduate. She not only communicates with German and Italian clients in their own language, but she also draws on up to date exporting knowledge for her job. She didnt mention, but she also received a prize from the Institute of Export for her performance in their examinations, so I think Vianet have got a very excellent member of staff in Kirsty. I would say that well over fifty companies, mostly in Fife, have benefited from the Target Export scheme, and over 100 multilingual graduates have been able to use their language skills for the benefit of Scottish business. Virtually all companies involved in the scheme report increased business from overseas markets and better relationships with overseas customers as a direct result of recruiting a Target Export graduate. Id also like to tell you a little bit about the Export Communications Review Scheme, which is a scheme managed by the British Chambers of Commerce on behalf of UK Trade and Investment. In more recent years Ive been trying to integrate this scheme into the Target Export Programme because I felt it complemented it so well. I myself have been trained to carry out export communications review. This type of review, the export communications review, is an extremely straight forward and practical way of examining how a company communicates, in the wider sense, with overseas business partners, then provides recommendations on how to make things more efficient. So during a review we would look at literally all the forms of communication the company might be experiencing with their overseas partners, right from reception, telephone, e-mail, to visits to fairs, to visiting customers, to the website, anything that involves communication with customers whose first language is not English. A typical recommendation which provides immediate results is to take on a multilingual graduate, which improves communications immediately with non-English speaking markets, or a graduate could service foreign language enquiries coming through the website, and obviously lots more besides. Interestingly, Target Export exposed a clear skills gap, in that many companies wanted to use the graduates long term in administrative roles where fluent foreign language skills are very useful. Most graduates however were looking to move into management positions as soon as they had enough experience. These linguist administrator roles, which I assume previously would have been bilingual secretaries as well, and they are obviously very common on the continent, I think would be best filled by staff with vocational qualifications as well as proved language skills, but unfortunately such people are hard to come by amongst the Scottish population. Many Scottish colleges did introduce new HNCs and HNDs in the early 90s where languages formed a significant part of the programme, at the same time vocational degrees with a major language component were also launched by a number of universities, I dont know if that was the reason, but anyway recruitment dried up pretty quickly. And like most of Scotlands colleges we at present only have a few programmes with an obligatory language component. Yet numbers attending evening and community classes in languages have remained quite strong, so among the older learners there is a lot of interest I think, but maybe somehow its the younger learners that we need to do a bit more work on. Theres undoubtedly a negative perception of languages in Scottish colleges, mainly I would say among younger students. They seem to believe that English is enough and are reluctant to undertake work placements or to take part in exchanges. And college managers are seemingly unwilling or feel unable to challenge this attitude. This however creates a real problem with job mobility. Young people in Scotland are now facing increased competition for jobs at home from multilingual foreign workers. We had a speaker earlier mentioning the same problem. For example with Target Export, the number of Scottish graduates coming forward for the programme in recent years has fallen significantly. Whereas the numbers of overseas graduates applying has risen. It is also unfortunate that we have been unable to secure the external funding that we require to run the Target Export scheme over the last couple of years, so in fact weve not been able to recruit for the programme since 2004. Job opportunities for our young people are being reduced because of linguistic complacency. On the one hand this message has been reinforced by the recent surveys on languages and business, both from the British Chambers of Commerce and from CILT, the National Centre for Languages. On the one hand however, the need for multilingual skills is not reflected in labour market data, and this is the key influence on course provision in Scottish colleges. We have in the audience a colleague of mine, Hannah Doughty, who is an educational consultant, and she has recently carried out some very very interesting research on the problem of languages in the further educations sector, and according to her research the reason for the anomaly lies in the fact that employers do not report the full use of or need for language skills in business, because their concerns tend to be short term and narrowly focused. So if they

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can recruit multilingual workers easily from abroad or within the UK, or do not perceive language skills as immediately relevant, they simply do not highlight their actual use of languages in the survey. Similarly in the European Year of Languages 2001, our college, with help from Fife Council, organised a highly successful language and culture fair on the theme of languages in the global economy. 25 local organisations, at least half of which were exporting companies, set up stands to tell the 1,000 school pupils who attended the fair that language skills were important for their business. Not only did they give up their time for this event, but they also donated some fantastic prizes and the day was inspiring as well as really good fun. Im pretty sure however that a requirement for language skills was not reported in the local labour marker report for that year. Hannahs research also shows that language statistics in further education are flawed. Further education language statistics only measure stand alone language units, which refer mainly to language classes in adult and community education. This provision is generally quite healthy, with interesting and innovative courses available to the public during the day and in the evening. At Glenrothes for example weve done some classes in teaching basic computer skills through the medium of German. And I know at Falkirk they always run an intensive Spanish course for the local community which is always very well subscribed. But crucially this kind of provision does not generate much funding. Full time programmes, with mainly younger students, attract greater funding, but language units within vocational programmes, are counted as part of the main vocational subject. Consequently further education language statistics underestimate the actual amount of language learning underway in the sector and exacerbates the already precarious state and status of language provision in Scottish colleges. In fact since Hannah carried out her research, figures from the SQA, which I managed to get last week, show that the number of higher national unit awards in languages has dropped by nearly two thirds from nearly 3,000 in 2002 to just under 1,200 in 2005. Perhaps another explanation for the reluctance of younger students to embrace languages in further education stems from their lack of confidence in using what they have learnt at school, and fear of appearing stupid in front of their peers. My experience of teaching business people has shown me that a real working knowledge of a foreign language can be achieved relatively quickly if the learners are motivated and can build on a basic knowledge from school. It makes all the difference actually if theyve done languages, even if its many years ago at school, they will just move on so much more quickly that they feel the benefit of their language training so much more immediately. Also because they are older and they have the maturity to have a go and participate fully in their classes, so they can cope with making mistakes. So, to finish off, I hope that one of the outcomes of the conference today will lead to a review of how data is used to inform decisions on curtailing language provision in Scottish colleges. I also hope that local employers will make their views heard about the need for language skills in the workplace. I have heard rumours that another language and culture fair is being planned, if this is true, I hope many employers will take part and show our school and college students that languages means business. Richard Johnstone: Thank you very much Barbara. Last presentation is by Alison Phipps of the University of Glasgow, Passion, Power and Pedagogy. Alison Phipps: The booker price winner and Nigerian author Ben Okri, writing in a language that was not his own but that of the colonisers, says this: It is easy to forget how mysterious and mighty stories are. They do their work in silence, invisibly, they work with all the internal materials of the mind and self, they become part of you while changing you. Beware the stories you read or tell, subtly at night beneath the waters of consciousness, they are changing your world. Weve a little time before the meeting begins. I dont know my colleague well, but she looks tired, we all do in modern languages in higher education these days. She begins to tell me shes fine, but then her eyes fill with tears and the real story breaks through, she cant do this anymore, theyve increased her hours, closed down her most successful course, taken away her dignity and told her the language she speaks with such love and inspiration to her students is worthless here. There is a crisis in modern languages; in higher education it is a profound crises, and it is a crisis that is producing great grief across the sector where modern languages professionals and students - people who have learned to inhabit worlds in different ways and with different words - find that languages are being demonised, taken away from them. The crisis in higher education is a real one, and it is a crisis on many complex and interweaving levels. Its a crisis of the disciplines. Modern languages used to be German, French, Spanish, but no longer. We now have modern languages departments, not departments of German and French and Spanish. Or we have language service units, where languages

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are taught as skills and as add-ons. There is a crisis in the discipline of modern languages at universities because we dont know what the discipline of modern languages actually is. We know what it means to teach German as a discipline, its like teaching English, only not quite as good, because were doing it in another language. We know, we know what it means to teach French or Portuguese or Spanish in those ways, but to be a modern linguist, whats that? We dont know. We are in the midst of a crisis of the disciplines. I believe this is one of the most exciting things we have happening to us at the moment. The crisis is the future, the crisis is making modern linguists and intellectuals in education think again, and think really hard in the way that feminism had to help us think again and really hard in the 1970s and say what difference does it make that this is book is written by a man and Im reading it as a woman? What difference does it make that the power structures of the world are inhabited by men and I am a woman? What difference does it make that the language I am learning is not the language I learnt as a child? What difference does it make that Im struggling to inhabit a different world? What difference does it make that my body is changing as a result of the language that is growing inside me? What difference does it make? It makes a profound difference and we all know that, here today. The crisis is also a crisis of social inclusion, I have watched over the last ten years of being in higher education as the cohort of my students moved from being mixed in terms of their background to being largely young women who are privately educated. Modern languages is no longer - it is no longer - something that is a curriculum in higher education for all, it has become highly elite, its suffering in the way that Classics suffered in the 1970s. And Classics rethought themselves with great energy and great imagination, and modern linguists in higher education, as we struggle to think about what we can be and what we might be now when the future really is today, I think we can learn a lot from the lessons of classics. The crisis is a crisis of global mobilities. Every single university in the country has a strategy of internationalisation, and in not one of those strategies, and Ive read pretty much all of them, do I see anywhere any mention to languages other other - than the fact that the foreign students coming to study with us have a problem with their English; no mention of the fact that maybe the multilingual worlds that are our campuses today, where people are turning up and changing the soundscapes, may be the most exciting and stimulating and intellectual thing to happen to our universities in decades. It is a crisis of the discourse of skills. Languages are skills, but they are not just skills, languages are not just a technological fix, we know that a two hour training course in technology can make a genuine difference to what people believe they can accomplish. The idea that in a two hour training course you could do the same with another language is nonsense. It is a crisis of performativity. Its a crisis that is telling us as modern languages professionals, if we dont recruit enough people there wont be enough money, therefore we will loose our jobs. And its a crisis of management. Most of the people making the decisions in higher education today are not modern linguists, in fact they are monolingual, in fact they are wedded to the dangerous stories Ben Okri talks about. They are people that believe the world speaks English in many ways. Not all of them, there are some very wonderful and honourable exceptions. And our managers meet at conferences and say, so which departments have you closed down recently? And that department is usually a modern language. And its a crisis of the imagination. Modern language professionals produced a recent document entitled 700 reasons for learning and studying a modern language. Its a wonderful document, but 700? It smacks a little bit of real desperation. And we are desperate. Its my belief, as an intellectual and as a passionate linguist, that we need to give up on simplicities, that we will need to teach ourselves to know world, using methods that are unusual and even unknown in the measuring sciences. We have to stop believing immediately in the ephemera of statistics - lies, damn lies, and statistics. And yet most of the policy decisions that are made are based on statistics, and it is a huge problem for us, because statistics are not subtle. They do not know about languages and passion. Hunger, taste, the pains in our bodies, the changes in the shapes of our mouths as we move out bodies into other worlds, sensibilities, private emotions, passions, intuitions, fears, griefs or betrayals. People learn languages passionately when they fall in love. Statistics cannot tell us of these worlds. There is another story to tell about languages in higher education. Its not all grief. Its not all doom and gloom. In the 18th Century it was slavery, in the 19th Century it was colonialism, in the 20th Century it was war, and in the 21st Century we know it is tourism that is displacing people. Tourism is displacing people in profound ways. Tourism concentrates multilingual and intercultural experiences like nothing else, and tourism is not mainstream education in schools, and its not mainstream education in higher education. Tourism is what we dont know about, tourism is what is outside of our classrooms. So, in my research recently, Ive left the classroom, and Ive stopped being a teacher of languages, and Ive become a learner of Portuguese and Italian and Chichewa, the language of Malawi, for tourists.

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My Italian enrolment: I think I must be entirely mistaken, I think I must be in the wrong place. Im here to enrol in a six week course in tourist Italian and the place is mobbed. Were queuing up outside the classroom door, its like being in a vortex of the over sixties. All is chatter and excitement and umbrellas, and the contrast to my day job could not be more marked. So at the moment this is me, after hours, after Ive finished my teaching, learning languages again. And Im doing it in classrooms which are freezing cold, where condensation will pour down the windows, where we will battle in with umbrellas which are blown inside out, and where we will do it in our free, leisure time. And here the demographics are very different. Theres Gavin from Castlemilk, he wants to learn Portuguese because he loves football. And theres Anna, Anna shes been going to Portugal every year, - every year - for the last 13 years and she just loves it, it makes her feel like a new person, it rejuvenates her, shes 65 she feels like shes 21 when shes there, and she just wants to be able to talk to people, and talk to them in a way that is courteous and polite. She doesnt want to just sound Glasgow, she wants to be able to use their language, because thats polite and courteous and neighbourly. And of course sometimes the course cant run, there are problems with actually getting it off the ground, we cant find enough teachers. So what do we do? Well we become entirely invisible, we go into peoples lounges, and coffee bars, we meet during the holidays, and through all of this we are being taught by excellent, hourly paid women, because make no mistake about it, this work of language teaching is done by women, almost exclusively, often for free and certainly when you add up the hours they put in to what theyre doing, for something that is actually less than the minimum wage. But languages, and this is the good news, languages are alive and well in higher education, on holiday. Ive been asking myself a lot the simple question why bother? Why bother learn another language when the world speaks English, why bother? Why put yourself through it because we know how hard it is, those of us in this room, we have struggled, we have made a mistake, we have said the wrong thing, we know it takes a long time to get to a place where we can converse, where we can feel we are being ourselves, where we can dream in that language. Its a profound philosophical question, its perhaps the most profound philosophical question, because it is the question of good. Its easy to know why people wouldnt bother, why people would give up, why people would not try. Its very hard to know why people would bother, why people would do good, why people would step outside their comfort zone, and their usual places of being, and be something different and someone different. What Im discovering is that learning to ask for a cup of coffee in another language is a profound and neighbourly and courteous and charitable thing that many people wish to do and they come into higher education wanting to learn to do it. And yet often as language professionals in higher education I hear us say again and again, its not about learning to order a cup of coffee, were not in the business of teaching people about how to get a beer. And yet this is where life happens, this is where social life happens, this is where bread is broken, its in the meeting and the greeting and the eating that people meet and encounter each other, that friendships are made, that new possibilities are forged, that people engage in intercultural speaking and also profoundly in intercultural listening. Helping people along in caf bars to just help ask for the coffee, ask for the beer, to step outside their securities and just do it. Its a really hard thing to do. We know that there are 3,000 people enrolled on all the modern languages courses in the UK. We think, though weve never bothered to count, that there might be around 20,000 on tourist language learning programmes in higher education in the UK. What are these people doing? The word Ive come to use for what people are doing is a word which is a little clumsy, a little unusual, and thats deliberate, because thats like learning a language. And its the word Languaging. Its a word that was used in the 19th Century, its being used by others in the field of neuroscience, but Im using it, with my colleague Mike Gonzalez, to try and explain what its like to cross that threshold, to leave the classroom where you learn the language, and to do the language, to be a different person in that language, to skilfully embody and enact that language as part of the richness and the fabric of human being and human doing. Languaging for me is a life practice, and its inextricably interwoven with social experience, living in society all the time, and it develops and changes constantly, theres no simple answer here, as experience evolves and changes. And we find it all over the place, on the margins of life. The places where the most languaging is happening. Today, in this conference, in my experience, the languaging is in the womens toilets. The world has come to our university campuses, and its also at our fingertips. I think languaging is the intellectual challenge for languages in a post disciplinary higher education. We need to think about how we teach languaging, we need to think about how we live in translated worlds. There is no area of scholarship, no idea in philosophy, nothing new in chemistry or physics that has not been profoundly energised and revitalised by translation, by ideas, developed and expressed in other languages. And we need to think not how to make the simple move of internationalisation in higher education, but how do we enable real, messy internationalisation in higher education. How do we enable people not just to be confident but to be humble? Because languages and speaking other language requires real humility; - it requires real humility. Prof Rona MacKie informs us in her biography and in her introduction to this event that she has four grandsons, and Rona you say you want to know what they should do, and which languages they should choose to enrich their lives. My answer would be, the languages will come to them, they will come in the form of people, and passions and power, and

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they will take them over and they will find they can, if they step outside their comfort zone, they can inhabit other worlds. And when they do those worlds will be altered beyond all recognition. The poet Kenneth White says this: But always Exemplary language subtle as flowers plastic as waves flexible as twigs powerful as wind concentred as rock syncratic as the self beautiful as love. Thank you. Richard Johnstone: Well, thats the end of our presentations, and Id like here to thank all of the speakers this afternoon. Its been a long afternoon but the interest has kept up right through to the very end, so thank you all very much. I think we should give them all a round of applause at the very end. Im now very happy to hand over to Sir David who will chair the concluding remarks. DISCUSSION SESSION David Edward: The timetable is that there is for all of you, and its not coffee, its drinks, at 4:30, and the timetable also envisages that I will make concluding remarks from 4:10 to 4:30, I promise you I shall not do so. But we have lets say half an hour anyway for discussion and further points or questions to any of the speakers who are here. So whos going to start? Im Neil MacCormick, I teach at Edinburgh University, Im a member of the committee that helped to organise this day. Im now very proud of having done that, its been a wonderful day. Alison moved me very much in what she said at the end there. During the day Ive had a growing sense that we really have a crisis in Scotland, not that we dont have the people but to really enthuse and get our language up and running, well, we live in a community which does not value that, and some way to try and expand the sense of the value of that is urgent. I also feel as I work at the university that Ive always thought it was other peoples problem, and I was ignoring the fact, that Alison brought home to us so strongly, universities have been the biggest philistines of all in terms of their attitudes to the importance of sustaining languages, and that is very shameful. Just, my own personal life experience, I occupy a very small niche in evolution, at university, you cant do that if you cant read at least German, Italian, Spanish and English. The need to do serious work in all sorts of businesses as Alison says requires of other language, and it seems to me that were moving in to a world in which that is going to happen less and less, well become boringer and boringer.

David Edward: It reminds me of what Professor Denis Hay said, that trying to teach medieval history in the 1960s you first of all had to teach the bible because if they didnt understand who the Pope was, they couldnt understand medieval history, and they couldnt understand who the Pope was without understanding the claim of Peter and so on. Flick Thorp, head of Languages and Tourism at Stevenson College, Edinburgh. I just want to be a bit optimistic. Ive got a big faculty, its actually second biggest faculty in the college, which is unusual, mainly English to speak with other languages, but also with a very healthy, thriving foreign languages and interpreting section. Weve got great on-line learning thats delivered in different schools for Scottish Highers across the country. Weve got a really respected diploma in public service interpreting, and weve got a lot of language, languaging I think, I loved Alisons speech, and this is my question. I loved it, it was great, but I think languaging is what were doing in FE, Im not sure but I think thats what were doing. It is great and people love it, and it feels a very inviting place in our faculty. Weve got lots of people from Poland and Spain and China and they mix with the people that are learning the other languages. Weve got Carlos Arudondo who teaches Spanish beginners, which has now been changed to Latin American Culture and Language because hes so wonderful at it, and he organises our inter- between the students, the English speakers and the foreign language speakers. So if any of you are feeling a bit down about all this, youre welcome to come and visit, phone me up, get in touch, well have coffee and you can come and see if, it might help lift your spirits a wee bit.

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Im Chris Dixon, Strathclyde University. Id like to echo some of what Flick had to say by making some positive remarks as well. A number of people here will have known me from my previous life with SQA and when I saw some of the figures that were being quoted in the figures for today I made contact with former colleagues at SQA because my own feeling was that we havent had a decline in the uptake in languages post S4 in recent years. Theres no question that were no where near the position we were in, in the mid 70s, yes theres a big decline from where we were then to where we are now. Since 1999 however, weve had a substantial rise in language as higher and in S6, in CSYS, and Advanced Higher. There was a slight fall between 2004 and 2005 when the number went down to 7,772 at higher, a slight fall again in 2005 but by less that 100, and entries for 2006, provisionally, have shown a substantial rise on last year. In CSYS and Advanced Higher we have had increases of over 60% since 1999. Entries have increased every year, year on year, from where we were with CSYS in 1999 to where we are now with Advanced Higher. So yes, the sort of things Dick Johnstone was saying earlier, the sort of things Abi Adam was saying earlier in terms of needing good lobbying, needing development of a coherent strategy for languages in this country, the sort of strategy that Professor Giolo Bianco argued so strongly for in the report that he published with the support of Scottish CILT about four years ago, yes we certainly need that, and Im sure almost everyone here would applaud the Royal Society of Edinburgh in any move that they might make to support the development of a coherent strategy for languages across this country. But please lets not think that we are in a negative position, were in a position of strength, were in a position of growing strength, both in terms of the uptake in languages in our upper secondary schools, were in a position of growing strength in terms of the initiatives that Mark Pentleton was talking about so excellently, the development of the Modern Foreign Languages Environment as well, the development of the SCHOLAR programme that Gerry Toner has been involved with, and if I might say also in terms of vocational language education, we ourselves at Strathclyde University have been involved in developing the certificate of applied language study, we have been putting languages into national programmes for modern apprentices, our programme won the partnership award at the modern apprenticeship awards last year, the modern apprentice of the year last year was one of our linguists, and the young people that are on that programme, young people largely from deprived backgrounds who probably wouldnt have considered university as a potential for their education, but three and four years into a modern apprenticeship with a language element, because theyre doing useful things with language, because its relevant to what theyre doing in their jobs, the language that they are producing is equivalent to the third and fourth year undergraduates that were teaching in our mainstream programmes. So please, languages in Scotland are strong, they are strengthening, they are unreasonably under threat because in the schools, I would say the biggest threat is the three science curriculum and the way in which that has blinded people to the real economic advantages for this country. They are under threat in further education for many of the reasons that were outlined in Hannah Doughtys research, and Im sure everyone whos any experience of languages in further education would fully endorse. And theyre under threat in higher education because of the reasons that Alison Phipps was referring to. But lets decide today that what we want to do is to see some leadership from a national organisation, a respected organisation, like The Royal Society of Edinburgh in marshalling the strong success stories that there are in language, to move towards some positive lobbying. The evidence is there, there is strong evidence to produce an evidence based argument for a national languages strategy for this country, from the cradle to the grave, lifelong learning for schools, for colleges, for higher education and crucially for the workplace and for employers. It was extremely gratifying to see that there were three representatives of Scottish Enterprise here today, I think thats a tremendous success in itself. So please lets take something positive from today. The picture in languages in Scotland is not as black as people may have appeared to paint it today. And there are plenty of us around here who know enough about the successes to know that is not the case. [Gerry Toner] Im also on the organising committee, so I was a bit reluctant to speak at all. Just to say though recognising Chris points there, I think we are on the committee aware of many of the strengths of language, but I think were also conscious that there is an element of lobbying, an element of strategy still required. It is gratifying that Scottish Enterprise were here, its gratifying that some of our European Parliament colleagues were here today, there is no representation from the Scottish Parliament. The education drivers in our society are the European Union who have a responsibility for education and the Scottish Parliament. Also I would think we want to recognise the fact that its quite acceptable in this society to be an intellectual, Alison was touching on this, to be a leader of a university or an FE college, and to be entirely monolingual. In fact to be able to laugh it off, to be able to make a joke about I did O Grade 20 years ago and all I remember is, that is absolutely acceptable in Scottish and UK society and would the derisory in any other European country it would be unheard of. My professionalism isnt languages, my degree is in mathematics, Im actually doubly disadvantaged because people find it acceptable to say they cant do mathematics either. But I think thats one of the things we have to do with policy makers is get them to the stage where they realise that in the European and worldwide context, they are as monoglots isolated, and it isnt an acceptable position for a person in a position of decision making to be in. My name is Anna Rita Benedetti the only reason for me to be in this country is to spread and develop the Italian language teaching in Scotland. So I know very well of the challenges youve named in this event, and what I can

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say from my two years experience in this country is that when I meet classes and teachers and the teachers and the advisers, I see that there is interest in foreign language teaching, it is not true that there is no interest, but there are a lot of limitations and not very easy conditions to teach foreign languages. we have 35 schools in which my 34 teachers teach and we have 5,000, more than 5,000 students all over Scotland that are studying Italian. But its too late, the time weekly dedicated to teaching is too short, 45 minutes is not effective, and I also see the difference when we are able to realise the curricular exchange and some students can go to Italy and from Italy can go here, and its a big difference when they can experience the culture and the language of the foreign country they are studying. And its also big improvement on their motivation. So what I think is that it should be more encouraged and financed and the idea of a cultural exchange connection in schools and families, and also political connection, a political interest in teaching and learning a foreign language. But I also would like to thank all the head teachers and advisers and local authorities that are very very interested in making our government, the possibility to work with this country and to offer our teaching and a taste of our language and culture, so thank you very much for inviting me and for this interesting meeting. Duncan Ferguson, Plockton High School. I was until a month ago the chairman of Bord na Gaelic which brought about the first language act for the Gaelic language, indeed reversed the trend against Gaelic from the time it was established in Iona, so I do think, Im sorry my colleague Murdo Maciver was not a little bit more positive in promoting Gaelic, he seemed to be concerned about the tensions which might arise. Im much more along Alisons line, I believe a language is about passion, I got rather tired with bureaucrats, were trying to bring about a Gaelic language act, were looking at the minutia of the legislation, I think languages will always be much bigger than legislation. The beauty of the Gaelic language is that you can preach in it, you can name whisky in it and you can make love in, and not necessarily all three at the one time. But Id just like to think that the passing of the Gaelic language act and the success of Gaelic medium education which has been so well demonstrated in the research by Dick Johnstone, should be a message for Scotland. And Im so encouraged by the multilingual nature of Scotland, in Highland Council schools at the moment there are 44 different languages spoke, and thats in a remote part of Scotland. Im also incredibly encouraged when I ask in my own area about the variety of language spoke, I recently was short of a Spanish specialist, within two weeks I discovered a population of 3,000 people, there were 13 people willing to come in and help teaching Spanish. I think this is repeated across our country. So for from someone whos involved in a minority language, and I believe indeed that minority language has got to be promoted, 45 billion people in the European Union speak a minority language, but promoting Gaelic or any other minority language should not be seen as something exclusive, it should be very much inclusive, and I hope that the thoughts about Gaelic can make us all much more open and receptive to the use of all kinds of language. I think diversification must be a watchword, and again I just echo the remarks that have come at the end of this days most successful conference, but we do want to see a very positive strategy for languages in Scotland, and feel that The Royal Society of Edinburgh is in a unique position to take that forward. I apologise I already said something this morning. Caroline Higgit, Im a freelance translator. I was wondering, I really just wanted to ask a question, if a policy is going to be formulated, if there are going to be strategies, does it matter what language is studied? Do we continue to go on in the way we have done in the past where theres an almost accidental process of supply of resources and teachers, which responds to demand from students and parents, or should there be a more overarching strategy looking at need for particular languages? I just dont know if whether this matters or not, Id be interested to know what other people think.

David Edward: Right, anybody got an idea about that? Do we need a strategy about which language? Ive also made a comment as well. My concern, youre talking about diversity and the need for many languages on the go, in the 25 years Ive been teaching in the last few years Ive noticed a very worrying trend and that is, Ill just say it out, that German for example is becoming a minority language, and I just cant understand this at all. Im seeing schools which are reducing their option choice to children to one language only, and I think that is happening in a very subtle and silent way, which concerns me hugely. It is also causing, there is a situation where loosing, youre deskilling your staff, I am actually to stop teaching German for the first time in my teaching career next time and I cant understand that, and I think its something that The Royal Society, if its really going to put its money where its mouth is, should watch for that because its under the guise of cutting staff, its resources, its they dont like doing it and its just terrible. I feel very very strongly about that.

David Edward: We dont have money. My name is Lilo Boergmann from the Goethe Institute in Glasgow. In my work I support and promote the teaching of German in Scottish education but apart from that in my private life I live as a foreigner quite happily in Scotland. And from this I have a slightly different point of view from most of the audience today. I for instance my favourite

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restaurant where I like to go in Glasgow now is the restaurant where the staff addresses me in German. And its like what Alison Phipps said in her speech, it is a step from their world into my world, and its very much appreciated and it forms more communication than many communications I have in English with friends and partners. And Id like to get this message back to the many pupils or teachers that even in ordering this proverbial cup of coffee in another language forms an enormous emotional link to the person of the other world and I think even for that its very worth while to promote languages, and of course as my pre, the person who contributed before me, to promote German in Scottish education. [Gordon Howie] Thank you very much. Id like to speak on something I didnt mention before, its about television. If you go to the continent people can readily switch from television service of one country to the television service of another. I never understood how in 1969, 1970, when we finally joined the common market, nothing was done to make the major television services of Europe more freely available to people in Britain. Now an interesting thing is there is less availability of foreign television, European television, than there was before. TV guide for a while used to give television programmes, for example in German. This was given up because when people went over more to Sky, they dropped the flexibility of picking up other stations. Now if this country is seriously interested, and why not just Scotland, never mind anywhere else, seriously interested in promoting languages, and particularly European languages, they are after all our neighbours, they impinge on us with European law and all the rest of it, I think that something should be done to make television from France, Germany and all the rest, more freely and easily available, free, through digital television. I really think that would be a very great help. Ive got a huge dish which is necessary to pick up both Germany and Greece, nobody knows about it, but anyway I found it enormously helpful, its changed days from the days when the only German you heard was but I mean this very seriously, I think that we should do something about the availability of European television to adults, to school children, in the easiest and most cost free way. I think that would be an enormous help and would put us on a par with other European countries. Thank you. Thank you, my name is Andrew Wilkin, I teach at the University of Strathclyde, Im just going to respond to the gentleman here, if he wishes to have 1114 channels, 300 Hot Bird is what hes after, and once youve paid it and installed it, youve got it for life. My name is Tim Simons and I work in the Scottish Executive in the Education Department dealing with international issues and international education, so this has been incredibly enlightening for me, because obviously languages impinge on international education. But Id like to speak in a personal capacity, reflecting on what was said about television. I lived in Belgium for three years and would go on holiday with my children, young children, to campsites in France and Switzerland, my children were playing with other kids of similar age, and they could speak English fluently but theyd never had any English lessons, they simply got it from watching TV. And I think, I absolutely agree with what has been said, if we could have TV channels beamed in here with foreign films and things that would improve our understanding, our childrens understanding of languages enormously. And just thinking of a film like Wallace and Gromit, my children watched that little clown outtake from Wallace and Gromit in Japanese, and they were in stitches because they just thought it was so funny. I think that could be available in shops and video shops and things, that would also improve uptake of languages and understanding and interest in it. Thank you. Just I want to reply to this ladies answer about the choice of language. The research made in France in which the situation is not the same, but the research made by people like Claude Agege who is very famous in France, say that we should have not one compulsory language but two as a minimum, so we keep the language from minority also. And I think if Scotland as an example could do that I think after a few years England would be very interested by this thing. My names Tom White, Langbridge Partnership, and Im former head of languages at Napier University. And I want to say that I saw languages and quality of languages I felt were down before I retired in 2000. Simply because, not quality of teaching, but simply because the structure, I had modularisation, and that can destroy the courses that were actually of quality. We had one this morning with languages, we had business studies with languages, we had export studies with languages, we had post graduate secretarial studies with languages, post graduate export studies with languages, all of these actually were modularised, and in the process of modularisation, because of rationalisation, meant that the lower end of the modular system was then actually taken up and produced the same number of students, true, but many of them were now studying Spanish I cant speak for Napier now, I retired five years ago, but I did know at the time, I could feel at the time, that we were destroying a quality in language, courses werent actually available to our young people so that they were able to use their languages, they were able to travel to Europe, they could be effective in the language, and thats why my feeling now is that Im worried that in this system of modularisation it is the effectiveness of language learning is not as great as it was in the past.

Languages in Scotland Whats the Problem? David Edward: Would any of our panel like to add any views? Last chance. CONCLUDING REMARKS

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David Edward: Just a few thoughts at the end. First of all can I express The Royal Societys thanks to all the speakers and to all of you, and to those who have taken the chair in the sessions, and also to Frances and Morven who have been responsible for the nuts and bolts of setting it up, and the other members of staff of the RSE. It wouldnt have been possible without them. I imagine youll all take away your own impressions, and some of them will upbeat, and some of them will be rather more downbeat. In a sense the morning was upbeat and the afternoon was rather downbeat. The aim was to ask whether there is a problem. Is there a problem, and if so what is it? And I think were part of the way there, but only at the very beginning of discovering what the problem may be. On the one hand its significant that in the morning the voices were almost entirely Scottish, and the idea that we have a totally monolingual culture was in a sense disproved by the mornings contributions. And they werent all graduates, and they werent all modern languages graduates, so its not necessarily linked to university education or university education in modern languages. The second point I think which came out of this morning was that technology has totally changed the context of teaching, it has created possibilities, its also opened the way to new ways of approaching teaching, but also perhaps its fun. But then one comes back, and Ill come back to this, to the question of examinability. Also globalisation has changed the context. Chinese has been discussed, Chinese has changed the context, but as Elizabeth Willocks pointed out to me when that was being spoken about, knowledge of Chinese is good for the European economy, so its not as if its bad for Europe that people are preferring to learn Chinese, its not an either/or. I think the afternoon led us to say Pity the head master and Pity the professor. The reality is they have to face getting children through examinations, the choices of which subjects children will study depends on the extent of them getting good grades, and to some extent the examinability of foreign languages depends on what the universities expect people to be able to do with foreign languages. Is for example the attitude towards literary studies, is that something that is hostile as it were to the teaching, exciting teaching of languages in school? I dont know. These are questions which arise. What I think weve also discovered from the afternoon is that this is not just about primary or secondary, its right the way through from nursery right to life long learning for those like me, who are past it but enjoy learning. So the whole idea of languages I think has to be seen as a strategic question for the Scottish population as a whole, and not just about the curriculum of secondary schools. I would say that to some extent, and I address those from the Scottish Executive here, I mean the reality does need to match the rhetoric, its all very well saying we are going to encourage the teaching of languages, were going to encourage initiatives, but Mark Pentleton, who had to go, points out, and you will remember the interesting example of Blind Date in Japanese in Kilmarnock, that the funding of Partners in Excellence will be two thirds of the original in 2006-7, one third in 2007-08 and it will end in 2008-9. Now the reason apparently is that it was deemed to be a local initiative and not a national initiative. Now I dont know, there may be many reasons for this, I dont want to tread on corns, but it does seem to me that one does need to match the reality with the rhetoric. And that leads to something that was mentioned this afternoon, which is do we have enough statistics? Because statistics are what drive funding, and if you dont have statistics its extremely difficult to get the funding. So maybe we should be looking for more statistics. Two questions, one question I would ask, really besides the Executive, is Cameron Buchanan typical of Scottish business or exceptional? Again, is Scottish business prepared to put the reality behind the rhetoric and if Mark Pentleton cant get the money from the Executive, might there be business that is prepared to support that initiative? I dont know, but its worth asking. So, we come I think from The Royal Society point of view, to the conclusion that monolingualism is curable, as was said this morning. But the question we would like to ask you, is what do we do next. The Organising Committee is having a meeting on the 4th of May to think about the results of this conference. Theres a Rapporteur who is going to produce a report of the proceedings, if any of you have thoughts that youd like to feed in to her, maybe youd like to stand up so that they know who you are. And if any of you have some thoughts maybe youd like to make yourself known to one of the Rapporteurs afterwards. But do let us know what you think might be done. Richard Johnstone: Both Hannah and Catriona are colleagues at Scottish CILT and if anyone wished to send in a view after today they should do so to Scottish CILT and well put them together.

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David Edward: So with that encouragement, and the hope that youll give us some thoughts about where we might go next, Id like once to again express our thanks to everybody whos been involved in putting this together, to all our speakers, the chairs of the sessions, and to the staff of the RSE and all of you for coming in such numbers and contributing so enthusiastically.