Global Futures: A plan to improve and promote modern foreign languages in Wales 2020 to 2022
Our strategic aims to support multilingualism in schools and increase the number of young learners studying languages at all levels.
In this page
Our vision is that Wales becomes a multilingual nation ensuring our learners experience the range of benefits from learning international languages as they develop as ambitious, capable learners ready to be citizens of Wales and the world.
Our strategy is to support all learners to become global citizens, able to speak to people in other languages, to understand and appreciate their own and other cultures and to be able to have access to a wide range of opportunities both here in Wales and across the world.
Our strategic aims for the next two years are to:
- increase the number of young learners studying languages at all levels and across all sectors
- provide clear guidance, principles and raise awareness in all sectors to support multilingualism in schools in Wales
- support excellent teaching and learning of international languages for all learners
Each aim is supported by strategic actions, which will be delivered by ourselves and our Global Futures partners.
'Global Futures: A plan to improve and promote modern foreign languages in Wales 2020 to 2022' will support learners as we transition to our new curriculum. The Languages, Literacy and Communication (LLC) Area of Learning and Experience (AoLE) will support language learning with the introduction of additional languages at a much younger age to ignite learners’ enthusiasm for a lifelong interest in languages, which opens the door to other people’s cultures.
The Welsh Government wants our schools to be rich language-learning environments and to support them to understand that being able to speak one or more international languages in conjunction with other skills will assist learners in opening doors to exciting work possibilities as well as enriching their personal lives.
This plan sets out a framework for our work over the next two years.
Our Global Futures partners
This plan sets out the actions that will be taken forward by the Welsh Government, regional education consortia and our Global Futures partners to achieve our aims.
The Welsh Government will continue to work in partnership with key stakeholders, drawing on their knowledge, expertise and experience of supporting teachers and learners.
To oversee this plan and programme we will continue to work with our Global Futures Steering Group, comprising representatives from:
- regional education consortia
- universities in Wales
- Institut Français
- the Spanish Embassy Education office
- Education Department of the Consulate General of Italy in London
- Confucius Institutes
- British Council Wales
- Routes into Languages Cymru
- the Open University in Wales
- International School Linking, City of Cardiff Council
- BBC Wales
- Careers Wales
- Qualifications Wales
Strategic aim 1: Increase the number of learners studying languages at all levels and across all sectors
The new curriculum will bring language learning together into one LLC AoLE. We want to align with the ethos of the new curriculum, which focuses on a wider range of opportunities and experiences for learners.
The LLC AoLE sets out the expectation that all learners will learn at least one international language from primary school (progression is shown in descriptions of learning from Progression step 3, which broadly relates to age 11).
The revised plan will support teachers to give our learners the best opportunity to develop communication skills in international languages from primary through to secondary.
We will also incorporate an evaluation for the two years of the programme. We need to have a clear and measurable target for the increase and give a strong indication of the improvements being made and provide visible reassurance that the numbers of learners taking a qualification will increase in time.
The following strategic actions set out how we will meet this aim.
Strategic action 1: Support primary schools to plan their international languages provision.
The introduction of international languages (IL) at primary schools within the Languages, Literacy and Communication (LLC) Area of Learning and Experience (AoLE), will need clear responsibilities, collaboration and resources for all those involved.
We know there is much good work and enthusiasm for IL in our primary schools already through the work that schools have piloted. We want to build on this and over time increase the number of learners continuing their language learning throughout their educational journeys.
To help build capacity and to support the effective delivery of IL we will do the following.
We will develop guidance to support primary schools to include languages in their curriculum planning.
The National Network for the LLC AoLE will focus on the needs of teachers and learners in relation to IL, and will advise the Welsh Government on its options as we prepare for first teaching.
We will develop and commission resources for classroom learning to support practitioners in primary schools.
We will provide resources in the form of Hwb playlist case studies of modern foreign languages (MFL) delivery in primary schools within different regions and contexts. These resources will focus on how schools have planned strategically, structured their delivery and organised staff professional learning.
EAS will work with an increasing number of regional clusters to develop IL, including supporting and facilitating effective transition models between primary and secondary schools.
We will continue to support our practitioners’ IL development through the Curriculum for Wales professional learning journey.
We will support lead primary multilingual schools’ development and sharing of good practice through EAS professional learning via Microsoft Teams, webinars and face to face.
CSC will develop a professional learning network for primary teachers across the consortium in order to share best practice within the teaching and learning of IL. This primary network will consist of an IL primary coordinator and lead practitioners for Spanish, French and German within the primary setting.
The network’s main aims will be to develop primary IL e-resources, deliver professional learning programmes, develop a Languages Passport and support the strategic implementation of the teaching of IL within a primary school’s curriculum.
GwE will work with the GwE primary lead and teams to develop their understanding of IL with the primary school. We will establish a primary support network and work in collaboration with primary cluster leads to share ideas and share the best practice in the consortium.
We will organise digital events to share good practice, principles and ideas. We will organise socially distanced working parties to develop resources.
We will expand our Middle Leader Learning (MLL) programme to other clusters in the region. We will continue to support students on the Open University (OU) TEachers Learning to Teach languages (TELT) primary programme.
We will continue to support schools’ involvement in the British Council’s Cerdd Iaith programme (learning language through the expressive arts).
We will develop Curriculum for Wales workshops for schools.
Routes into Languages Cymru
We will develop a ‘primary IL toolkit’ to support teachers who have some, or no, knowledge of delivering language provision at primary level.
The toolkit will include a resource pack and pedagogical guide on how to use the resources to support the introduction of IL in the new curriculum.
We will continue to provide expertise and support to schools across Wales, e.g. our five primary school Confucius Classrooms will develop resources designed for blended learning. We will also see an increase in the number of hours available to schools to support Italian learning in our schools. The Institut français will support schools and teachers with CPD opportunities, access to teaching materials, including authentic French language and cultural resources, and exchange opportunities with schools in France. They will promote the DELF Prim diploma to help schools offer international French language qualifications to their pupils. Support is also available from our Global Futures partners.
Strategic action 2: Increase the opportunities for learners to experience languages alongside examination courses.
There are a wide variety of language qualifications and experiences available for learners to broaden their existing qualifications options and enhance learning.
We will continue to work in collaboration with our colleagues in the language institutes and support their work across the region.
We will continue to support the Youth Chinese Test (YCT)/Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) Mandarin qualifications, Italian QCF and Goethe-Institut London and other language institute qualifications across the regions.
We will explore language learning possibilities with Learning Network Schools (LNS).
We will facilitate language events that celebrate the importance of lifelong language learning within the global workplace, such as language conferences for learners that look at the key skills learning a language will give them.
We will develop a network of Welsh Business language champions who use languages within their workplace.
We will help develop and engage schools in virtual events conducted by different agencies.
We will create virtual, recorded tutorials for teachers and students
Our Global Futures team will work with the Institut français du Royaume-Uni and produce recorded skills sessions for Years 12/13 students.
We will promote and continue masterclasses for language learning. We will continue to take up opportunities offered by the language institutes and advertise these to our schools should they wish to take up these alternative offers we will provide support as necessary.
Spanish Embassy Education Office-Welsh Programme (SEEO-WP)
We will continue to deliver workshops on the Spanish language and culture to primary and secondary schools, including workshops on GCSE and A level, in collaboration with the Instituto Cervantes.
We will deliver continuous professional development (CPD) workshops on IL pedagogies, including on GCSE and A level topics, speaking practice and the Spanish culture, in collaboration with the Instituto Cervantes.
Education Department of the Consulate General of Italy in London
We will identify and promote opportunities and experiences in schools for the promotion of the Italian language and culture.
We will increase the teaching hours available to schools.
We will provide professional and qualified teachers to schools in Wales. We will increase the number of teachers. We will offer guidance and support on the Italian language and culture to primary school teachers as part of their curriculum planning and implementation.
We will continue to provide free online resources and materials, which support the teaching and learning of GCSE and A level German.
Students who are 16–18 and have a GCSE in German can apply to take part in the work shadowing programme in Schwäbisch Hall, a fully funded week involving work shadowing and a daily cultural programme in the October half-term holiday every year.
A new secondary school app, German Quiz Challenge, is a stress-free assessment and motivational tool for 13 to 16-year-olds that teachers can use in the classroom to track the development of their students’ knowledge in reading, writing and listening. The Goethe-Institut is offering free training workshops locally for teachers about the app and how to use it in class.
We will provide Welsh pupils with access to authentic French language and cultural resources, nation-wide French language projects and competitions, as well as promote the DELF Prim and Junior diplomas to help schools offer international French language qualifications to their pupils.
Confucius Institutes in Wales
We will continue to deliver classes and support to schools for exam preparation for Mandarin GCSE, HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi) Chinese proficiency test and the YCT.
We will continue to organise cultural events within and outside schools’ timetables (Chinese festivals) as well as language tasters.
Routes into Languages Cymru
We will continue to organise enrichment activities, Pupil Language Ambassador training sessions and events for schools. For the time being, these sessions will all be delivered virtually.
Our Routes into Languages Cymru Student Language Ambassadors will also engage with primary and secondary schools virtually.
Strategic action 3: Work to reduce the marginalisation of languages.
A critical part of raising aspirations and addressing different gaps in attainment is ensuring that all learners are given a wide range of opportunities through which to realise the four purposes of the new curriculum, through a broad and balanced curriculum within the Curriculum for Wales framework.
It is important that schools recognise that being able to speak one or more IL in conjunction with other skills assists learners in opening doors to exciting work possibilities as well as enriched personal lives.
The Welsh Government wants our schools to be rich language-learning environments for all learners and to support schools’ understanding and widening of choices, it is crucial that schools understand the changes to the accountability system.
We will support all schools to understand the revised evaluation and improvement arrangements that will advocate:
- use of a wider range of evidence and information covering the breadth of school activity – including learner progress and the realisation of the four purposes – when determining school improvement priorities
- the importance of offering a broad and balanced curriculum, and ensuring that the progress made by every learner is a priority
- avoiding the use of external examinations data, out of context, for accountability purposes, and reducing the narrow focus on one or two attainment outcomes at the end of a school phase that has seen marginalisation of MFL in recent years.
We will strengthen messages to headteachers and senior leaders to support them to better understand the changes to the evaluation and improvement arrangements and the importance of languages in the curriculum, and ensure equity of option choice.
EAS will liaise with headteachers and senior leaders through Curriculum for Wales development programmes, school support and sharing of school-to-school best practice.
CSC will liaise with headteachers and senior leaders in cluster meetings to ensure that IL are on their agenda and recognised when leading and monitoring strategic whole school planning.
GwE will engage with headteachers to ensure MFL has an important place on school agendas and monitor schools’ efforts to promote and increase uptake of languages, supporting schools where uptake or provision is low.
ERW will promote languages through the use of visits by the business community to schools, or via virtual videos and presentations.
As they move towards the new curriculum arrangements we will provide key messages to schools on the need for:
- a more balanced approach to the use of evidence, data and wider information
- consideration of a wider range of factors in how a school can be effective, such as where to focus resources for improvement.
Routes into Languages Cymru
The Governors Toolkit on the Routes into Languages Cymru website will provide governing bodies and school leaders with information on how to assess the health of languages in their schools, as well as provide examples of best practice on how to support languages.
Strategic action 4: Undertake an external evaluation of the Global Futures programme.
The evaluation will look to establish an accurate baseline of IL provision across Wales. This is to set a clear baseline of the numbers of learners studying languages and to develop achievable targets. It will also establish consistent reporting mechanisms going forward.
We will develop and undertake an external evaluation for the next two years of the programme.
This will consider the impact of the Global Futures programme on schools and provide evidence for use at a national level.
The Global Futures steering group will support the evaluation and provide evidence throughout the process.
Global Futures partners will report on their individual actions providing clear information on progress towards the strategic aims.
Strategic aim 2: Provide clear guidance, principles and raise awareness in all sectors to support multilingualism in schools in Wales
There is clear evidence that the issue with take-up of languages is in part down to lack of understanding of their value for work and personal life on the part of learners and parents/carers, as well as a lack of ‘buy in’ from senior leaders as to the importance of languages as part of the curriculum. The following strategic actions set out how we will address this issue.
Strategic action 5: Deliver a national campaign that addresses the negative perceptions of language learning.
Global Futures will develop an approach to challenge the negative perceptions of language learning and to address the lack of prioritising languages in school level planning.
We will coordinate a national campaign to address the negative perceptions of language learning and clearly outline the benefits to learners and parents/carers of learning IL.
We will provide regional support and disseminate key Welsh Government messages in order to strengthen the Global Futures brand and reach. We will reinforce this through EAS communications and EAS networking platforms on Hwb.
We will exemplify and share good practice case studies and presentations from schools that are developing positive perceptions of language and cultural learning among their school communities
The CSC International Languages website will detail support for the professional learning network for primary and secondary schools within the region, with key contact details for the language institutes.
The CSC website contains all teaching and learning material developed by lead practitioners both at secondary and primary level.
Primary lead practitioners will develop a suite of six lessons that will be delivered to primary teachers in French, Spanish and German. These lessons look specifically at breaking barriers that learning a language is difficult for primary teachers, and in turn, their learners. These lessons will look at the pedagogy of language learning, share best practice in teaching and learning, IT applications and software to support language learning.
We will continue to communicate key Welsh Government messages to schools, parents/carers, learners and other stakeholders.
We will develop a more visible space for Global Futures events on the GwE website and newsletter.
We will create PowerPoint presentations containing key messages which can be used during inset days, assemblies and parent/carers events, as well as shared with schools for use in all year groups.
We will contribute to the aims of a national campaign and disseminate key Welsh Government messages in order to strengthen the Global Futures brand and reach.
We will continue to offer support through Pupil Language Ambassador (PLA) training.
Routes into Languages Cymru
Through the Routes into Languages Cymru Student Language Ambassador scheme, undergraduate/postgraduate students will deliver talks to primary and secondary school pupils of the benefits of language learning.
Training Pupil Language Ambassadors (Secondary) and International Languages Superheroes (Primary) schemes will support IL departments to quash negative claims, promote positivity and raise the profile of IL on a school level.
We will continue to promote campaigns on the Spanish language and culture (e.g. language fairs, workshops, conferences, talks for students and teachers) in collaboration with the regional education consortia and with Welsh universities.
We will continue to support Spanish at Routes into Languages Cymru/consortia partner events throughout the year, to motivate learners to study languages at GCSE and beyond.
Training sessions provided by the Spanish Embassy Education Office are offered to Pupil Language Ambassadors at all events organised by the Routes into Languages Cymru initiative/consortia.
Education Department of the Consulate General of Italy in London
We will continue to work with the Welsh Government’s Global Futures steering group partners to explore areas where we can work together to influence and promote the aims of the programme.
British Council Wales
We will draw on existing research or commission new research that demonstrates the benefit of learning languages/multilingualism.
The Goethe-Institut is able to offer presentations by motivational speakers on the theme of the ‘German Language and the World of Work’ and regularly offers talks on the benefits of learning.
We will continue to support German at all Routes into Languages Cymru/consortia partner events throughout the year, to motivate learners to study languages at GCSE and beyond.
Training sessions provided by the Goethe-Institut are offered to Pupil Language Ambassadors at all events organised by the Routes into Languages Cymru initiative/consortia.
We will continue to organise trips to China for headteachers, senior school leaders and teachers.
Strategic action 6: Provide guidance for schools that sets out approaches to school planning and prioritising of languages. The guidance will apply to the current curriculum but will also support schools as they transition to the new curriculum.
We will develop materials to support school-level planning as part of the new National Network.
Guidance on the new framework for evaluation, improvement and accountability, along with the National Evaluation and Improvement Resource, will support schools’ self-evaluation processes and improvement planning. This will include helping schools to evaluate the appropriateness of their curriculum offer and how they are meeting the needs of individual learners.
The guidance sets out the cultural shift needed in the school system to move from an approach to accountability that may have disproportionately focused on external examination results or one or two narrowly focused performance measures.
All Global Futures partners
Working across consortia we will develop practical exemplifications of approaches within the Curriculum for Wales framework such as how does planning and prioritising work in practice? What does good practice look like?
We will create a cross-consortia area on Hwb to share good practice guidance, resources and exemplifications, as well as individual regional webspaces.
We will support IL development (regional) through the Curriculum for Wales framework for IL Professional Development.
We will develop a Languages Passport through a pilot with cluster primary and secondary schools across the region.
We will also develop strategic guidance for primary and secondary to support the planning and prioritising of languages with hyperlinks to resources and videos within a dedicated IL website housed in Hwb and Cronfa.
We will aim to develop new approaches to language teaching and planning. We will use research and collaboration within the consortium and cross-consortia to exemplify models of planning, and develop materials for the preparation of the Curriculum for Wales within the LLC. Collaboration with regional AoLE teams will ensure consistent messages to all stakeholders involved in curriculum planning.
We will support local authorities in governors’ training and support headteachers, where required, in ERW communications and meetings.
British Council Wales
We have resources freely available online to support new curriculum development, e.g. a yearly Chinese new year education pack. We will develop interdisciplinary resources to be launched around the 2022 European Football tournament tailored to the new curriculum.
Routes into Languages Cymru
The Routes into Languages Cymru Governors Toolkit will share good practice on how languages can be prioritised and promoted in schools. The Routes Cymru Primary Toolkit will support the delivery of IL with resources and possible pedagogical approaches.
Strategic aim 3: Support excellent teaching and learning of international languages for all learners
The Welsh Government wants to build on the direct support provided by our partners to all schools to support their teaching and learning of international languages.
Strategic action 7: Provide direct support to secondary schools via the Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) Student Mentoring Scheme for 2020–21 led by Cardiff University.
The Welsh Government will continue to work with Cardiff University to offer targeted intervention on the benefits of multilingualism, and improve MFL uptake at GCSE.
Cardiff University (in partnership with the hub universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor and Swansea, and the four education consortia)
We will provide direct support to secondary schools via the Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) Student Mentoring Scheme for 2020–21 led by Cardiff University. The project incorporates all languages by providing opportunities for learners to learn about languages and cultures beyond curriculum or examination requirements. It looks to support schools’ transition to the Curriculum for Wales.
- Stream 1: Deliver two six-week digital mentoring cycles for Years 8 and 9 learners in up to 65 schools (including trialling a partnership with First Campus).
- Stream 2: Develop resources for teachers to support the transition to the Curriculum for Wales, reaching a minimum of 20 schools.
- Stream 3: Deliver two cycles of engagement activities for Years 11, 12 and 13.
Blended learning CPD courses (Deutsch Lehren Lernen DLL) for teachers are offered by the University of Cardiff Goethe-Institut London presence on a needs basis to help teachers develop their methodology and do action research in the classroom. There is currently one DLL teacher trainer/tutor who is able to support the delivery of the programme in Wales based at Swansea University.
The Goethe-Institut London and University of Cardiff have a partnership agreement regarding the presence of the Goethe-Institut at the university. The collaboration aims to run events and activities for learners that inspire them to want to learn languages and continue through to higher education, as well as supporting the German department’s undergraduate activities.
One of the three Wales Cymru Confucius Institutes is based at Cardiff University; this is where the Wales China Schools Project is managed and coordinated. Blended learning CPD courses for teachers are regularly offered, including Mandarin language learning.
We will continue to work with the student mentoring programme, encourage schools to participate with the programme and advertise via social media the prevalence and opportunities of support provided by the programme.
Strategic action 8: Provide direct support to primary teachers via the Open University TEachers Learning to Teach languages (TELT) programme.
The Welsh Government and regional consortia will continue to work with the OU TELT programme which offers courses in French, German, Spanish and Mandarin for primary teachers.
The Open University in Wales (OUiW)
Working closely with the consortia we will continue to encourage more Welsh schools to engage with the OU TELT programme and support teachers in taking modules in French, Spanish, German and Mandarin Chinese.
We will also encourage those teachers in Wales who have taken the initial modules to continue with the follow-on module. Registration procedures are shared before the end of the summer term and teachers are encouraged to sign up.
We will continue to run recruitment drives within each region to target primary practitioners wishing to develop their existing IL skills and those less confident to support them to gain new skills.
Good practice and OU TELT graduates experiences will be shared, and teachers will be supported with the application process where necessary.
CSC Primary Lead Practitioners will develop a suite of six lessons that will be delivered to primary teachers in French, Spanish and German. These lessons look specifically at breaking down barriers to learning a language that some primary teachers, and in turn, their learners, may find difficult. The lessons will look at the pedagogy of language learning, share best practice in teaching and learning, IT applications and software to support language learning.
EAS OU TELT graduates provide exemplification of good practice in language teaching through contributions to regional professional learning, webinars and case studies.
Strategic action 9: Consortia to provide support through the regional Hub model.
Consortia will continue a model of collaboration and cooperation through the school centres of excellence.
There are five LNS leading school-to-school support across the region, providing professional learning opportunities and undertaking action research.
We are developing our IL support through the cluster model with support from LNS and IL lead.
We are developing regional LNS/cross-consortia/Language Institute-based professional learning to support the development of effective and quality blended learning and distance learning approaches as part of the Recruit, Recover, Raise Standards national plan.
We have a professional learning network for IL at both secondary and primary. This is coordinated by an IL strategic lead and a primary coordinator.
At secondary level, there are three lead practitioners for Spanish, French and German within a secondary setting. At primary level there are three lead practitioners for Spanish, French and German within a primary setting.
In addition to this, there is the key development of the Languages Passport to support the teaching and learning of IL within the new Curriculum for Wales. This is currently being piloted by 15 schools across the CSC region.
The three hub schools have created a strong MFL network across the consortia. Resources are shared across the regions via Hwb. There are regular meetings every half term in order to respond to schools’ needs identified via our needs audit procedures. Training sessions organised via webinars/tutorials/videoconference
We have a lead school and leader to develop further links and support schools offering languages, as well as to promote the range and variety of existing IL qualifications alongside continued support for GCSE. We are also developing a support network for our NQTs to develop good practice and confidence in language learning.
Network meetings were held and support offered to schools through the work of the secondary team.
We will appoint a lead school for IL in each authority for the primary and secondary sector. This will enable us to establish networks of support for practitioners across the region.
Strategic action 10: Expand our collaboration work with Global Futures partners.
The Welsh Government will continue to work with our existing steering group partners as well as our new partners to explore areas where we can work together and where their work will influence the aims of the programme.
Careers Wales will promote and raise awareness among learners, parents/carers and schools of the multilingual opportunities available through local, national and global employers.
We will liaise with steering group members as we continue to oversee and monitor the current modern foreign language qualifications and as we develop ideas for the future range and design of qualifications to support the new curriculum's LLC AoLE.
Recent events have meant that there is now greater cross-consortia collaboration to develop a national offer to schools. This collaboration will also see the advertising of events, with best practice and support materials placed on the Hwb learning platform and links to training advertised through consortia social media channels and websites.