1 + 2 Languages: a continuing policy

A set of key messages about our commitment to the 1 + 2 language policy, whereby children are taught two languages in addition to their mother tongue.

Languages are one of the eight areas of Curriculum for Excellence, and the Scottish Government remains fully committed to the 1 + 2 policy to enhance and extend language learning for all children and young people from early primary stages onwards.

This commitment was emphasised in a letter from SG Learning Directorate to all local authority Directors of Education in August 2016, which committed a further £5 million of Scottish Government funding to the policy during 2016 and 2017, bringing the total support provided by Scottish Government for this policy since 2013 to £21.2 million.

The Scottish Government's Delivery Plan for Education, published on 28 June 2016, further underlines the importance of developing the provision of language skills within education:

We will take action to help young people develop the skills and knowledge they will need in the workplace in particular in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), digital skills and languages.

The Scottish Government fully recognises that developing teacher capacity to deliver the policy is central to the success of the policy. This includes initial teacher education and Career-Long Professional Learning in all forms. Further, strong leadership at all levels is essential to planning and delivering a strategic approach as the basis for long-term sustainable change, with robust plans for teacher support and development at its centre.

As part of this, the Scottish Government wishes to underline the necessity for strategic planning to be undertaken on a collaborative basis, on a cluster basis, within or across local authority boundaries as circumstances require. This expectation was made clear in this summer's letter to Directors.

We expect local authorities to implement 1 + 2 such that the first additional language (L2) is provided from Primary 1 (P1) onwards and the second additional language (L3) by Primary 5 at the latest. We also expect learning in L2 to be an entitlement up to end of Secondary 3 (S3) and that there will be opportunities for L3 learning in S1 to S3. We recognise that challenges exist and we expect schools and local authorities to plan for this strategically in ways which are realistic and sustainable.

The Strategic Implementation Group for the 1 + 2 policy has developed a strategic plan to support all aspects of 1 + 2 implementation going forward, which was agreed by the end of December 2016.

The experience of learning an additional language early in life is known to support key cognitive skill development and boost mother tongue literacy skills. It reinforces literacy skills of talking, listening, reading and writing as well as the transferable skills such as adaptability, flexibility and enhanced communication. All of which link to the purpose of the curriculum as encapsulated in the four capacities and Delivery Plan. Language learning supports the equity agenda by building confidence, fostering interest in other cultures and encouraging tolerance and respect.

You live a new life for every new language you speak. If you know only one language, you live only once.Czech proverb
1 plus 2 Languages – a continuing policy.pdf


Email: ceu@gov.scot – Central Enquiry Unit

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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