SQA Scots Language Award: A teacher's guide
SQA Scots Language Award
A qualification in the Scots language is available from the Scottish Qualifications Authority.
The Scots Language Award has been available from August 2014 at SQCF levels 3, 4, 5 and 6. This course provides learners with the opportunity to study the history and development of Scots and develop their own written and oral abilities in the language, with an Award which reflects the standards of the Curriculum for Excellence.
The Award is open to a wide range of learners in secondary schools, further education institutions and community learning centres. The Award is internally assessed, and consists of two mandatory units at each level as follows:
Scots Language: History and Development, which looks at the history of the language from origins to present, including knowledge of how Scots is related to other languages.
Scots Language: Understanding and Communicating, which allows participants to develop skills in the language, such as listening to and reading in Scots and producing written and oral communication in Scots.
Useful information for teachers delivering the Scots Language Award
- The two units, Scots Language: History and Development and Scots Language: Understanding and Communicating are mandatory and worth 6 SCQF points each.
- Teachers are able to enter learners for the level that best suits their assessment evidence - for example, they may initially decide that a learner would be best suited to Level 4, but then present them for Level 5 upon assessing their evidence.
- The delivery and assessment of the units can be combined. For example, a learner could satisfy the assessment criteria for certain elements of both units by using Scots to write about the history and development of the language.
- The Scots used can be in any dialect.
- Assessments can be delivered using a variety of approaches - for example, learners could communicate in Scots via a presentation, essay, video or performance.
- Evidence can be collected over more than one academic year, as long as there is a verification process in place to ensure that the learners work is their own.
- There are examples of unit assessment materials on the SQA secure website.
- SQA offer a prior verification service for centres that create their own assessments.
Useful links for teachers delivering the Scots Language Award
- SQA Scots Language Award page
- SQA Understanding Standards Scots Language page
- Information regarding SQA prior verification service
- Education Scotland reports on Scots language within CfE
- Short videos on the origins of Scots:
- Resources on Education Scotlands National Improvement Hub:
- The online Scots dictionary is available for desktops, or Scots Dictionary for Schools app is available for mobiles. Download it for Apple devices or Android devices.
- The Scots Syntax atlas - an online interactive map that allows learners to look at word order and how it varies across the country.
- The Mannie & ither stories - a downloadable pdf featuring stories in Scots by James Robertson, available from the ASLS website.
- The learning activities on Wee Windaes, especially those on Wandering Willies tale and Thrawn Janet. Also, find Teaching Notes on Wandering Willies Tale here.
- Short clips of people speaking Scots, titled Blethering Scots, are available on the BBC website.
- Secondary level teaching resources, including dramatic readings of poetry and original short stories, are available from the Scots in education website.
- Interactive reading exercises and games are available from https://www.scotslanguage.com/learning. There are downloadable versions available too.