From education to employment

New website supports partnerships in community languages

The launch of the website for Our Languages, a groundbreaking initiative funded by the DCSF, takes place today at the third CILT Community Languages National Conference in Sheffield.

The new website, hosted by CILT, the National Centre for Languages, provides vital information and support for community languages teachers and managers in the UK. Content includes video clips showing best practice, case studies, useful links and training and event information. Key features include a database of schools teaching community languages in England and information on how to gain accreditation in community languages:

The Our Languages project began in September 2007 in response to a need to raise the status of community languages in the curriculum and to recognise the work of the complementary (or supplementary) sector in England. The project aims to provide support for community languages teaching by developing partnerships between complementary and mainstream schools. In its first phase, which ran until March 2008, nine schools, teaching more than twelve community languages, formed regional partnerships in Birmingham, Leicester, London and Manchester.

CILT has led the Our Languages consortium working with National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education (NRC at ContinYou), the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) and the Leicester-based School Development and Support Agency (SDSA). The project models good practice in teaching and learning community languages, promotes community cohesion and celebrates pupil achievement. These aims tie in with key objectives from the new National Curriculum, which emphasises the role of creativity in language learning and suggests more cross-curricular approaches in mainstream schools.

Geoff Swinn, Acting Chief Executive of CILT, said:
‘Working in partnership with the supplementary/complementary sectors means that more can be achieved for the child’s education while gaining greater support from various groups within the community. The project has shown that the development of literacy in a child’s mother tongue boosts overall cognitive ability. We hope that the new website will raise awareness of the many benefits that learning a community language brings to children’s education and to UK society.’

To celebrate this year’s CILT Community Languages National Conference and the launch of the Our Languages website, CILT is offering a 10% discount on a range of CILT community languages titles, including the Curriculum Guides for Community Languages:

To visit the new Our Languages website, visit

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