Plus pages logo

My pupils began with only the haziest understanding that they live in a country called Scotland and that they speak a language called English. Only after investigating a country in depth did they begin to move towards a notion that there might be lots of other countries. It was only when we began to look for a second country to investigate that the notion of Europe and Scotland/Britain within Europe could be addressed in any meaningful way.
Elizabeth Gibson, special school
teacher. LTScotland 2005.

themes and topics
resource finder
site map
cfe main page


Languages plus: making links

Linking locally

In-school links

Workshop 15 - Planning links

It is common practice now for foreign language courses to include content that introduces learners to the geography and culture of the country and people whose language they are learning. Indeed, exposure to such exotica are part of what motivates some young people to learn languages. For others, however, especially those whose lives are restricted by their circmstances, the 'wider world' can seem alien to their lives, to be approached with trepidation, if not with mistrust. For these it is important to build bridges between the worlds they know and the worlds 'outside'.

Linking locally suggests some ways of beginning this process. As the bridges span wider expanses of experience and the students begin to encounter foreign cultures, those links must not be broken. Their relevance to the lives of learners must be maintained. As they explore new cultures and languages, learners need opportunities to reflect on how the new perpectives are similar and different from their own experience; to see them in the context of their own lives; to see connections between what is near and familiar with what is distant and strange.

These points should be borne in mind when exploring the resources listed below.


Life in another country (Access 2 in Modern Languages)
This Unit, part of National Qualifications in Scotland, introduced the requirement for pupils to make comparisons between aspects of life in a country whose language is being studied, and learners' own communities. Such linking of what is distant, foreign and alien with what is close, familiar and comfortable is relevant and reassuring for pupils at any level, but especially to those who are struggling with language and with motivation to learn. See the page on certification for further details and links.


[Links were last checked on 26.2.11 unless otherwise indicated]

Life in Another Country
Support for teachers and students using the Access 1 and 2 units 'Life in Another Country'

Life in another Country: Life in Greece
Exemplar material showing how one school used this unit to underpin curriculum linking.
Archive material, for reference only.

Develop Intercultural Learning in the classroom
Links into Languages have developed a guide for classroom practitioners

BBC Country Profiles
Full profiles provide an instant guide to history, politics and economic background of countries and territories, and background on key institutions. They also include audio and video clips from BBC archives.

Primary French / Primary Spanish
Two BBC Schools websites with games and activities to help non-specialist teachers to introduce core language and cultural information.

British Council eTwinning website
Find out how eTwinning can help you link and work with other schools across Europe.

Transversal funds opportunities for UK education and training professionals to exchange expertise across Europe.

WIZ -World Infor Zone
It calls itself a schools' rough guide to the world. It aims to add an international perspective to education. The site has benefited from hundreds of contributions from individuals and organizations around the world.

Europe in the UK
An information network supplying EU information, news and contact in the UK.

Global Citizenship and International Education
A learning and Teaching Scotland website

The place of 'Culture' in the foreign language classroom: A reflection
An article that appeared int the TESL Journal

Linking and Learning Europe
A teachers' resource for bringing the diversity of Europe into the classroom via web-based projects.

Europe and me
A resource kit for European Citizenship Education

International Development Education Association of Scotland (IDEAS)
The Autumn edition of Stride has two articles describing the use of global citizenship materials with students with additional support needs, together with lots of ideas for linking citizenship themes to Curriculum for Excellence. Copies have been sent to all schools in Scotland, or download here:
IDEAS resource catalogue can be found here:

Stride: Supporting global citizenship in Scottish schools
Autumn/Winter 2010/11 issue is all about linking communities through school partnerships

Learning Together: International education: Responsible, global citizens
This publication from HMIe aims to help teachers in Scottish schools to reflect on and improve their practice in international education in the context of Curriculum for Excellence.

Seeds for learning
A one-stop website for teachers in Scotland, giving local and national access to resources, CPD and more...

Find new partner schools and projects to work with, or get support to develop a school partnership you already have.

Citoyens du Monde: La Vie en RDC
An innovative global citizenship resource specially designed for Curriculum for Excellence. Aimed at S2-6 level, built around video interviews with young people. It is aimed at teachers of French but can be readily used in other subject areas. Choice of French or English subtitles, or none. ICT has also been integrated into the resource through the DVD-ROM, online video wall and interactive blog. The resource is available from the SCIAF website, or by calling 0141 354 5555 or emailing You can also view the resource online on the SCIAF Youth website.

Intercultural learning and understanding in the classroom
Sign on to the Links into Languages website and download this 10-minute Guide.

This portal provides a point of entry to information about languages from the European Union.

European Schoolnet
Supports collaboration via electronic communication amongst schools in Europe.
Teachers Newsletter. To subscribe, go here:

Young Scot
Young Scot's Europe channel has information about the European Union, culture, fact & fingures, etc.

[14.9.12] eTwinning
School partnerships in Europe. This is the EU's official portant for finding partner schools in Europe.Part of the Comenius programme for schools.

French cheese
All you want to know about French cheeses.

Discover France
This is a collection of websites on a web-ring that you can enter at any point. Use to browse topics and find hundreds of links to other sites on the same topic. Have a look at the site map to see the range of topics currently covered.

Connecting classrooms
International collaboration for pupils and teachers.

On the line
Some accounts of life as lived by children on the Greenwich meridian line. Some in French and Spanish. Look, for example at the section about and by the street children of Mali.

Link Schools Programme
Brings together Schools from Scotland and sub-Saharan Africa as partners in development.
Supports Curriculum for Excellence.

Working together to develop cultural awareness and multilingualism
A case study illustrating how two schools (one in the Eilean Siar/Western Isles and one in Brittany) worked in partnership to improve pupil motivation and their capacity to communicate in French, English, Gaidhlig and Breton.

[11.3.11] Links into Languages: Intercultural learning
A 10-minute Guide for teachers.

[18.3.11] The French Experience 2
BBC: 5 online topics based on the original TV series filmed across the French-speaking world, suitable for intermediate learners. TV transcripts may be of help to learners who require more visual support.

[18.3.11] Talk Spanish
BBC: Programmes based on life in Spain, with transcripts.

[25.3.11] Out of Africa
An article from the Times Edicational Supplement about links between schools in Kenya and Aberdeen.

[11.4.11] 24 heures de la vie d'un enfant
Learn about children’s typical days all around the world at this French-language website:

[20.5.11] The global dimension website: the world in your classroom
A guide to books, films, posters and web resources which support global, intercultural and environmental understanding for all age groups and subjects.

[20.5.11] Culture and projects
A collection of ideas for projects
with a cultural focus. Projects can spread over several lessons or serve as one-off lessons. Ideas for French, German and Spanish.

[23.5.11] English language learners with learning disabilities
This webcast discusses effective assessment and instruction strategies for English language learners with learning disabilities, as well as ways to help encourage the active involvement of parents.

[27.5.11] New e-twinning publications

[7.6.11] Stride: Focus on Modern Languages (pp.12-13)
Adding a global dimension to Modern Languages

[12.7.11] A World Awaits You (AWAY)
A free online journal that includes interviews with people with disabilities who have participated in a wide range of international exchange programs.

[15.9.11] Global handwashing day: October 15th
Planning help available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese. A combination of these may provide a useful resource for planning a global approach to this vital health topic.

[27.9.11] Free rice
FreeRice is a non-profit website run by the United Nations World Food Program. You and your students can select an area to be quizzed on, and for each correct answer 10 grains of rice are donated to fight hunger. You can take vocabulary quizzes in English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German. There are also geography quizzes (flags, capitals, and maps) and one with famous paintings. Free Rice is available at:

[3.10.11] Oxfam International
Oxfam is a consortium of 15 organisations world wide, which means their websites and resources are available in a wide range of languages. Start here:

[2.11.11] Internet safety
Download free Clicker Learning Grids resources from Crick software, produced in conjunction with Childnet International, to reinforce rules about staying safe online (for ages 6-11)

[11.11.11] Tap into global citizenship with children of all abilities
The development of young people as global citizens, able to play an active part in an increasingly interconnected world is a fundamental aspect of Scottish education, and global citizenship is identified as a key theme across learning.
An article from Times Educational Supplement Scotland.

[10.12.11] Linguanet Worldwide
A multilingual site aimed at adult language learners and teachers looking for useful resources and advice.

[18.2.12] Teachers' Corner
EU website containing free downloadable resources for teaching about Europe: posters, booklets, maps, and links to other reccommended resources in a range of languages.

[18.6.12] Let's Explore Europe
An online resource from the European Commission, to use with 9-12 year-olds. Paper copies can be ordered free of charge. Available in different European languages.

[20.9.12] Passeport pour la francophonie
Primary Modern Languages web resource from Education Scotland

[5.10.12] Engaging students with special needs through international links
An article from the Guardian Teacher Network blog.

[30.3.13] Free resources from the European Commission
For institutions in UK only.

[6.5.13] Global Trek
Scholastic's Global Trek is a way for students to travel to countries around the world without ever having to leave their classroom.




Effective links between schools and the wider world - in the immediate locality, the region, the state, the European Union and beyond - have been acknowledged to be vital if students are to be prepared to take their place in society...

From the consultative document Schools for the 21st Century
published by the Commission of the European Communities.


The study of a foreign language has a unique contribution to make to the development of cultural awareness, as it provides learners with a means of communicating directly with people from different cultures, enhancing their understanding and enjoyment of other cultures and of their own. They gain insights into other ways of thinking and other views of the world, and therefore develop a much richer understanding of active citizenship.

From Modern Languages (National 4) draft Course rationale and summary
SQA, January 2011



HomeThemes and topicsResource finderSite map - CfE main page