This panel discusses Japanese language provision in Scottish primary education, including (1) the "1+2 Approach", (2) Curriculum for Excellence and its impact on curriculum design, and (3) implications of research findings on Yasashii Nihongo to young learners in Scotland and beyond.
Background: A Scottish framework for language learning called 'Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 Approach', was launched in 2012, based on the European Union model. The rationale behind this language policy is to give every child the opportunity to learn two other languages in addition to their mother tongue. The Scottish Government Languages Working Group recommended "enhanced partnership working between primary and secondary schools, closer collaboration across all sectors of education, more extensive and more effective use of technology and regular access to native and fluent speakers to stimulate young people's interest in language learning and other cultures" (p.3). Local Authorities in Scotland have been implementing the 1+2 language initiative to all publicly funded schools across Scotland. From 2020, every child in Scotland will be entitled to learn an additional language (L2) from primary one (4-5 years old) onwards, and a second additional language (L3) by primary five (8-9 years old). This entitlement continues until the end of S3 (13-14 years old) in their six years of secondary school. Panel: The first paper (Isao Iori) will argue for "Yasashii Nihongo" (Easy Japanese) as a key concept for a sustainable multicultural society in Japan. The speaker leads a research group on Yasashii Nihongo, currently working on the development of comprehensive grammatical syllabus for JSL (Japanese as a second language) children in Japan. The second speaker (Ann Robertson), who has worked as an education and quality improvement officer in a Scottish local authority, will aim to give an overview of Scottish Education, focusing on Languages policy, qualifications and development, and national priorities, and will discuss approaches to developing Japanese as a second additional language (L3). The third paper (Yoko Matsumoto-Sturt) will focus on Scotland's Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), and we will pay particular attention to its impact on curriculum design and accompanying learning and teaching package development. Drawing on the framework of Yasashii Nihongo for JSL children, we will consider how far this is possible for JFL (Japanese as a foreign language) children in Scotland and beyond.