6. Successes Including Partnerships and Collaborations
Partnership working was reported to play a key role in supporting the implementation of the policy, with all local authorities reporting on a variety of partnerships, including Regional Improvement Collaborative (RIC) working, links with several Scottish universities' modern languages departments, as well as links with universities in Europe which provide language immersion courses.
Many local authorities cited they work with the Open University, Scotland's National Centre for Languages and the Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools on training and upskilling courses for teachers, together with the cultural institutes (Institut Français, Goethe-Institut, Spanish Embassy Education Office), British Council Scotland, and Education Scotland to provide training.
The majority of local authorities reported that areas which are going well in terms of policy implementation include: the maintenance of 1+2 funding, which sustains the on-going training of teachers; dedicated local authority officers to support the delivery of training; the increased use of technology to deliver training; and the development of online learning packages for schools, which include learning and teaching materials. Additionally, where teachers had participated in Erasmus+ immersion courses, this developed both confidence in using the language and an enthusiasm for taking languages forward in their schools.
The local authorities employing modern language assistants (MLAs) to support in both primary and secondary settings found the assistants invaluable in providing both linguistic and cultural dimensions to the delivery of the policy. Several local authorities reported that parents/carers welcomed the opportunity to attend engagement events on languages and language learning and responded positively to the earlier start to language learning afforded by the policy.