Councillors to discuss new modern languages strategy

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Councillors will today be asked to approve a strategy which would see pupils in Aberdeenshire learning two foreign languages.

The strategy will be discussed at a meeting of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee at Woodhill House, Aberdeen.

Councillors at the meeting will be asked to approve the plans, which are in line with Scottish Government Policy and will ensure that all children across Aberdeenshire are taught two modern foreign languages in addition to their mother tongue.

A Scottish Government report called ‘Language Learning in Scotland: a 1+2 approach’ tasks local authorities and schools with ensuring that all children learn two languages and have access to modern language learning from P1 onwards by 2020.

Aberdeenshire Council has set out how it will deliver the recommendations in the report and has appointed a development officer to oversee the plan.

The authority aims to introduce a second language from P1 and a third from P5.

The Strategic Implementation Plan also includes provision for training for teachers; development of learning materials; work with national organisations; parental engagement and closer working among primary and secondary schools.

In Aberdeenshire, selected languages are currently taught to all learners in upper stages of primary and in some cases also to lower stages classes.

Teaching is either done by class teachers, visiting specialists or both, and there are planned approaches for transition of the learning to secondary education.

The aim is to make language learning part of regular learning experiences in a new approach known as Primary Language Learning (PLL).

Primary teachers are now expected to use everyday opportunities to teach the target language and encouraged to integrate language learning and reinforcement into a variety of curricular areas.

Aberdeenshire Council has received funding of £418,000 from Scottish Government towards the implementation of the 1+2 initiative which will be used to fulfil the action plan including training for staff and learning resources for pupils.