9. Measuring Impact of Enhanced Language Provision
Typical measures of impact include the use of the Scottish Government annual survey to gauge year-on-year progress in terms of the raw numbers of schools providing the full entitlement per local authority, as well as local authorities gathering information from their own more frequent and bespoke surveys, with school improvement plans used as an indicator of progress against targets. Additionally, local authorities collate statistical information on uptake of languages in the senior phase to determine any increase in entries for modern languages qualifications.
In the primary sector, mechanisms such as pupil voice, parental views and regular observation are used to sample the quality of learning and teaching of modern languages and to determine impact. One group of local authorities has engaged with Edinburgh University on a research project supporting evaluation of 1+2 policy and practice in schools and local authorities involved.
In the primary sector, local authorities reported increased parental interest and involvement in language learning, together with improvements in learners' cultural knowledge and appreciation. Secondary modern languages departments are increasingly seeing improvements in knowledge and ability in modern languages in their new S1 cohorts, with languages departments revamping their BGE languages courses to take account of and build on learners' prior knowledge in the languages they have been learning in primary school.
One local authority officer with responsibility for languages noted that: "There is a growing understanding of the value of languages learning, highlighting the benefits and transferability of language learning, particularly in terms of strengthening literacy skills and raising attainment, with a marked shift in teacher and learner engagement."