Building Schools' Capacity Resources

These resources have been designed to support and advise schools delivering, or preparing to deliver, the Language Futures approach.

Steps to launching Language Futures
Role of the Language Futures Co-ordinator

The role of the Co-ordinator is key to the success of the approach. Explore the Co-ordinator Handbook to understand the role further including how to recruit and support students.

Support for parents

A key aim of the approach is to blur the boundaries between home and school. Explore the Parents' Guidebook and Top Tips for Parents to understand how parents can support their child's learning. My Best 10 also contains ideas for promoting language learning at home.


In order to ensure a consistent approach to levels of difficulty across all languages, teachers need to support mentors in developing assessment activities. Explore the Language Futures exemplar Speaking Assessment, Listening Assessment, Reading Assessment and Writing Assessment, and the Peer Assessment Grid.

Teacher planning

Elements that need to be included are:

  • an emphasis on Language Learning Strategies and Knowledge About Language to encourage independence;
  • time to develop enquiry-based learning and thinking skills;
  • opportunities for students to learn in language groups as well as across the languages;
  • quick gains in speaking to build up students’ confidence;
  • role of mentors clearly identified;
  • co-construction of learning (i.e. the partnership between teaching staff, pupils and mentors to develop and deliver learning together;
  • time to work on extended projects (project-based learning) and flexibility in the projects to reflect students’ interests;
  • challenges to be set which require research and investigation outside of the classroom;
  • resource lists to be identified.

Explore the Yearly Overview, First Half Term Plan, and Themes and Lesson Outlines exemplar documents.  The Language Futures Toolkit is also designed to support teacher planning.  We have also started to develop resources specifically for primary.  Explore the Yearly Overview of Themes PrimaryAutumn Term Plan Primary and Spring Term Plan.

The role of mentoring

Mentors are an integral part of the Language Futures approach. Mentors are volunteers from the local community who are expert linguists in the target languages that students are studying. They may be native speakers or people who are fluent due to an extended period of study, or time spent abroad.

A step by step guide to establishing mentoring has been produced as well as a case study on mentoring at Linton Village College.  You can also watch a video where Tina Rice, who set up mentoring in her school, explains more about the process.  Other resources that have been developed to support schools developing the role of the mentor include:

We have also produced guidance for when students act as mentors.  Guidance includes:

Launching Language Futures

Explore the Launch PowerPoint for Pupils and the sample letters to parents for the In-Curriculum model and After School/Enrichment model for ideas on how to launch the Language Futures approach in your school.

The Staff Bulletin article gives an overview of the Language Futures approach and The Big Idea article explores the benefits of encouraging students to take control of their learning.  A Student Acceptance Letter and a Student Unsuccessful Letter have also been developed for use after the student recruitment process.

Our CPD sessions delivered at ALL's national conference Language World 2017 will support you to promote the Language Futures approach to your school or group of schools: the Major talk Linguistic autonomy and the secondary session Developing after school languages provision.  The Research Poster also offers an overview of research to date.  Language World 2018 explored the implications for languages education in the Mary Glasgow Plenary lecture Language World Messages for the Mainstream Classroom.   

You can also explore the Language Futures Impact Survey which will support gathering evidence before launching.

Rewarding student involvement

Consider ways of rewarding and celebrating student involvement such as the Language Leader Award, Languages Challenge or the Duke of Edinburgh award (skills and volunteering).

“The success of the programme has been the introduction of the mentors. I have three mentors who are enthusiastic and very supportive of their students. They have marked work, set challenges and chivvied students along as well as researching websites, creating games and giving rewards.”

Language Futures teacher

“What I like most about LF lessons is having the mentors. It is inspiring to be helped by people who have an insight into the culture of the language and the countries where it’s spoken”.

Language Futures pupil

“The mentors are fantastic! I feel comfortable asking any question, even if it might sound silly.”

Language Futures pupil

''Mentoring was the best aspect of language futures for me, because I got to meet and spend time with people who had experienced life in Spain and Latin America, which motivated me to learn faster and more thoroughly.''

Language Futures pupil