1+2 languages policy - local authority survey 2021: findings

Findings of a 2021 survey of local authorities on progress to implement the 1+2 languages policy in schools. The key finding is that nearly all primary and secondary schools now deliver language learning from P1 through to the end of the Broad General Education.

5. Language learning in special schools

5.1 Language provision

Recognising that satisfying the criteria of the 1+2 policy may not be fully applicable / appropriate for special schools, we instead asked local authorities the broader questions of how many of their special schools were providing opportunities for language learning.

The responses received show that approx. 91% of special schools were providing such opportunities 2020-21, with the remainder (9%) not doing so.

The most taught language was French, being taught by 38% of special schools that provided opportunities for language learning. However the provision of 'Other' languages is more common, with a range of alternative languages / communications systems being provided, including: BSL, Makaton, PECS, and Signalong.

Chart 7: Number of special schools providing language learning opportunities (by language)
showing that French was the most taught language in special schools, followed by Spanish, Gaelic, Italian and Other languages

N.b. This data may contain multiple counting of some schools, e.g. a school may offer both French and Spanish for different year groups. Out of 40 schools.

5.2 Models used to deliver language learning

Where it is appropriate for learners to do so, special schools offer learning in one or more additional languages. Some introduce languages as part of interdisciplinary learning, delivering a number of languages throughout the school experience.

A number of special schools reported the use of immersive experiences to explore the culture of the countries where the target languages are spoken. Provision is made in some schools for secondary stage learners to undertake SQA awards and national qualifications in languages.



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