Last Updated: Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Modern Languages Progression Framework: First to Second Level

What is this?

​​​​This resource brings together all the national documentation practitioners need to plan and deliver language learning in the broad general education (BGE), with the 1+2 policy at its heart.​

Who is this for?

​This advice and guidance has been produced for teachers and other staff who provide learning, teaching and support as learners work towards developing their language skills from First to Second level.​

One of the main changes to previous practice in modern language learning in primary schools is that children are entitled to learn a first additional language (L2) from Primary 1 onwards and to the end of the BGE, allowing for a 10 year language learning experience. Learners are also entitled to experience a second additional language (L3) from Primary 5 (at the latest) to Primary 7, and also at some point during the BGE in secondary school.

A further change in language provision in the primary school is that it is the class teacher who delivers the L2, by way of blending the target language into everyday classroom work, integrating the L2 into interdisciplinary projects and providing discrete language lessons, as learners progress through curricular levels.

Unlike the L2, the L3 can be delivered in a variety of ways and does not have to be delivered by the class teacher, nor does it have to be continued into the secondary school, although this would be ideal. The documents below help to describe the various approaches schools can take to deliver L3.

Most children will continue with their L2 as they move into secondary school, whereas others might choose to 'swap' languages and take their L3 from primary school, if they have been learning the same L3 from P5-P7 and are on the approach to second level. There is more information on the parameters around this possibility in the document L3 Supplementary Guidance.

This suite of resources provides support and advice on approaches to the planning and delivery of teaching and learning which will promote development of the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to progress from First to Second level across the four skills of listening, talking, reading and writing in modern languages.

This resource comprises:

  • Powerpoint slides, with advice on progression in language learning including video clips demonstrating progression from First to Second level;
  • A generic planning document, involving all 4 language skills and mapped to the Es and Os, which practitioners can use for their own planning and to map progress (First and Second levels);
  • ​An overview of the sequencing of knowledge about language (KaL) / grammar that learners need in order to use language independently;
    (NB the overview of this is in English, with examples given in French*);
  • A suite of support materials, with suggestions on approaches to teaching and learning, which will promote development of the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to progress from First to Second level across the four skills of listening, talking , reading and writing; and​​
  • A Frequently Asked Questions ( Primary) document with links to what progression looks like from stage to stage.​

*NB Examples are given in French, as this is the most popular L2


PowerPoint Presentation: Progression from First to Second Level in Language Learning (4 MB)

PDF file: Broad General Education: Language Learning Framework (371 KB)​​

PDF file: KaL/Gramm​ar progression grid (507 KB)

PDF file: Developing Scotland's Language Policy: Progression from First to Second Level (2.6 MB)

PDF file: A 1+2 Approach to language learning: Frequently Asked Questions (Primary) (362 ​KB)