Language Futures

A new way to bring language learning to life

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In summer 2015, the Language Futures initiative was transferred to the Association for Language Learning, with legacy grant funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation for the next two academic years. The approach originated as part of a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Special Initiative, ‘Learning Futures,’ developed in partnership with the Innovation Unit and was developed by Linton Village College in Cambridgeshire.


ALL has made a commitment, alongside partners Whole Education and the British Council, to oversee the development of the Language Futures Programme, and to:


  • support schools who are already using or wishing to adopt Language Futures as an approach to language learning;
  • support schools wishing to pursue Language Futures as an after school model;
  • develop resources, case studies and best practice guidance;
  • develop an online teachers’ forum for discussion and sharing ideas about the Language Futures approach; and
  • foster links with partner schools overseas.

New schools launch the Language Futures in-curriculum model

Sawtry Village Academy

Sawtry Village Academy in Cambridgeshire are running the in-curriculum model with a group of year 8 students who will be learning Arabic, Spanish or German in small groups, guided by a mentor, with a strong focus on fostering independence, positive peer interaction, and the relevance that the language can have to them.


’Students are responding with enthusiasm and excitement to this new approach where they are making decisions in enquiry-led, skills based learning. We hope to find new ways to expand the learning beyond the classroom both virtually and in the community.’’


Grace Magilton (Languages Teacher, Sawtry Village Academy).

Nene Park Academy

Nene Park Academy will also be running the in-curriculum model with a group of year 8 students.


‘’The Languages team at Nene Park Academy are incredibly excited to offer year 8 students a tailored curriculum, targeted to suit their needs and interests, whilst also providing a fascinating insight into the languages and cultures of varied countries. We will be offering mentors in Russian, Shona, Latvian, Polish, German, French and Portuguese to name but a few. We have recruited fourteen student mentors from our sixth form community, who are keen to pass on their linguistic and cultural knowledge.”


Charlotte Thompson (Languages Teacher and Language Futures Co-ordinator, Nene Park Academy).

If you are a school interested in the Language Futures approach, please contact the Language Futures Project Manager Clodagh Cooney.
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Languages Today

Designed specifically for language teachers, Languages Today is the termly magazine of the Association for Language Learning. Free to members, it contains news from the language teaching world; ideas to help with your teaching; reviews of teaching resources; and information about schemes and projects which may be of interest to you.


The spring issue will focus on Learner Autonomy and contains a number of articles underpinning the Language Futures approach. The Big Idea explores learner independence and the benefits of encouraging students to take control of their own learning. My Best 10 offers top ten practical tips for helping students to support their own language learning at home. A Day in the Life explores a day in the life of a teacher who has transformed the way languages are taught in his school using the power of student empowerment and digital technology. Finally, Staff Bulletin looks specifically at the Language Futures approach.


To join the Association for Language Learning, please visit the ALL website.

Language World 2016

Friday, March 11th 2016 at 8am

Rugby Road

Language World is the annual conference and CPD event of the Association for Language Learning. It is a highlight of the year for languages education and attracts up to 250 participants a day from across all educational sectors, with a large number coming from primary and secondary schools. The title of Language World 2016 is Curriculum Innovation highlighting the changing landscape of language learning. As we face many curriculum changes, we aim to explore innovative opportunities which the new curricula bring for all language learners and educators.


This year there will be a Major Talk as well as a workshop session dedicated to the Language Futures initiative.


Language Futures - A fresh approach: broadening languages provision with innovative practice offers an overview of Language Futures and examples of work from schools involved in this innovative approach to language teaching will be shared.


Language Futures - Pupils are doing it for themselves will explore the Language Futures approach in greater detail focussing specifically on the after school model. It will examine how the approach can be used to broaden language provision and its transformative qualities in terms of student motivation and progress.


If you are attending Language World and would like to book a dedicated one-to-one session with a member of the Language Futures team to discuss the approach, please email the Language Futures Project Manager Clodagh Cooney.


You can also visit the Language World exhibition for free and visit the Language Futures stand. For further information, please email.