I had a really stimulating and interesting meeting today with Claire Soper (International Links officer with Edinburgh Council)
in regard to International education and how as a school we can further develop our links with other countries and cultures. Currently at Gillespie's we offer classes in: French, Spanish, Gaelic (Fluent and Learners), Mandarin, German and Urdu. We can also offer Latin where there is a demand.
'As well as promoting the study of languages, the Language Department at James Gillespie’s also aims to teach the importance and benefits of having multi-lingual skills in today’s world, whether at home or abroad. We want to encourage our students to widen their horizons through language learning and overseas travel, to become global thinkers and help them understand their important role as citizens in an international, multi-lingual world. In order to achieve all of the above and more, we strive to develop and improve our courses so that they remain attractive and relevant to the needs of our learners. All staff in the department keep their own skills up to date through constant research, overseas visits and attending relevant courses. Wherever possible we try to encompass ICT into our lessons, the use of the interactive whiteboard being one of many'. (Extract from school website).
In the next few weeks I will be meeting with representatives from Edinburgh University to explore how we can work together to take our teaching of languages and international education to an even higher level. I'll return to this in a later post.