LANGUAGES WITHOUT LIMITS
Although the predecessor of this website predates the current development of the Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland, the contents of Languages without Limits are concordant with the principles and practice which underpin CfE. Where the concordance is strong this will be indicated and you will find many links to Learning and Teaching Scotland's websites.
The primary aim of Languages without Limits is to support teachers whose role it is to support foreign language teachers in their efforts to make effective provision for learners of all abilities. The most obvious links, therefore, are with the CfE documents that deal with Modern Languages, Inclusion and Equality and Supporting Learners. Just as important, however, are the curriculum links and enhancements which also feature on this site; in particular, topics which focus on Citizenship and Study Skills.
Learning and Teaching Scotland's document Supporting Learners: Self Reflection Resource makes a useful distinction between universal support and targeted support. It contends that there is a continuum of support from universal to targeted which meets the needs of all learners.
Supporting learning underpins the delivery of Curriculum for Excellence for all children and young people and it is the responsibility of all practitioners and partners to deliver this universal entitlement within their own teaching environments.
Support includes... how practitioners, when planning and delivering their teaching, consider learning styles, aptitudes, opportunities for achievement and challenge...
Universal support is pro-active. It is concerned with developing methods and procedures that have potential to meet the learning needs and styles of a broader range of abilities.
Children and young people can benefit from additional or targeted support, tailored to their individual circumstances...
Barriers to learning may arise from, for example, specific learning difficulties, disability, social, emotional or behavioural needs, bereavement or family issues, etc. Additional support may also be required to ensure progress in learning for the most able, looked after children and young people, young carers, Armed Forces, Gypsies and Travellers, asylum seekers and those for whom English is not a first language.
Targeted support is re-active. It is concerned with developing methods and procedures that provide effective responses to particular learning needs that have been identified. However, methods and procedures which prove to be successful with targeted learners often prove effective for other learners too and can then be pro-actively incorporated into universal support. It is a contention of this Languages without Limits site that, as universal support improves, the need for targeted support is reduced.
With regard to professional development, the LTS report says:
Supporting learners is the responsibility of all staff and partners.
In describing good practice, it says that:
Staff learning and professional development is collaborative and collegiate.
High quality assessment, monitoring and tracking processes to identify individual needs are in place.
What barriers may affect a child or young person's ability to thrive and learn? How aware are all staff and partners of these?
How do we ensure coherent links between specialist support staff, partners and teachers?
What opportunities are available for staff and partners to engage in joint staff development?
ON THIS SITE
Pages on this site which focus on universal or targeted support, and on collaborative professional development are listed below so that you can quickly link to an appropriate page.
Modern Language teachers who are at the early stages of developing inclusive strategies are advised to look at targeted support first, as a way of learning to understand the concept of barriers to learning, to gain experience in identifying barriers and to build a cooperative professional relationship with members of Learning Support staff.
Links to pages reflecting other CfE themes can be found at the foot of this page.
Introduction – What is inclusive practice? How can we meet all those needs?
Why aren't they learning? – Understanding barriers to learning
Working together to support learning – Professional collaboration
LINKS TO OTHER CfE THEMES
Inclusion and equality
About Modern Language learning...
... Another equally damaging myth is the notion that language learning is only suited to the more academically-able pupils. Numerous studies have demonstrated that languages can be made accessible to all learners, and, more importantly, that all learners can benefit from language learning. Appropriate pedagogy, differentiated to meet individual learning needs, can ensure success in foreign language learning even for those with additional support needs.
Extract from Modern Languages Excellence Report, February 2011 (page 8) http://www.strath.ac.uk/media/faculties/hass/scilt/research/FinalMLExcellencereport22Feb.pdf
[links last checked 7.11.12 unless otherwise indicated]
Modern Languages Excellence Report
Education Scotland website
Language Learning in Scotland : A 1+2 Approach
[26.11.12] Scottish Government response to the Report of the Languages Working Group
[1.10.14] Key Curriculum Support for CfE