Languages Lost and Found (Being Human Festival 2017)

Poster for the Languages Lost and Found 2017 eventsA series of events celebrating languages and cultures across Scotland as part of the UK’s annual Being Human Festival of the Humanities, aiming to make visible the often hidden richness and diversity of languages and cultures in Scottish society through community-led workshops and demonstrations.

Events will take place simultaneously on 18th November in locations across Scotland. The event series is organised by the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland (UCMLS) with support from Scotland's National Centre for Languages and British Council Scotland and financial support by the AHRC Modern Languages Leadership Fellow funds (Prof. Janice Carruthers).

Events across Scotland:

  • Photo competition for British Council Language Assistants in Scotland - Living, working and travelling in Scotland, which images can you capture to illustrate evidence of the use of one or more of the many languages used in Scotland? Images can be taken in cities or countryside, at home or in public places, your community or wider afield. If you are a British Council Language Assistant, send up to 5 images by 31st October 2017 to Marion Sporing ( A book prize will be awarded by UCMLS for the best entry and your images will be shown in selected venues of the Languages Lost and found events and in an online exhibition.

Events in Dundee:

  • Book display - 9.30-17.00, Dundee Central Library, The Wellgate, DD1 1DB - a display of books in different languages for readers of all ages, from picture books to detective novels.
  • Reading - 14.30-15.30, Dundee Central Library, The Wellgate, DD1 1DB - come and hear a favourite picture book as you may not have heard it before! Readings in different languages.
  • Language and Culture Taster Sessions - 10.00-14.00, Boomerang Centre, Kemback Street - fun for all ages, including a LingoFlamingo session ( in Spanish, and sessions provided by University of Dundee students and community groups. No booking required.

Events in Edinburgh:

  • Photo and Book Exhibition - 11.00-15.00, Newington Library, 17-21 Fountainhall Road, EH9 2LN - A Languages Lost and Found photo exhibition, featuring photos taken by British Council Language Assistants in Scotland, accompanied by a book exhibition.

Events in Falkirk:

  • Gaelic and Scots Workshops - 11.00-15.00, Town Centre, next to the Steeple - a series of workshops on Gaelic and Scots for both children and adults as well as performances from local groups. Treasure hunt highlighting links between languages as well as promoting Falkirk's twinning links with Créteil in France and the Odenwald in Germany.

Events in Glasgow:

  • A morning of story-telling and language - 11.00-13.00, Pollokshields Primary School, 241 Albert Drive, G41 2NA - French / German / Spanish - no booking required. Organised by SALT.
  • German Language Taster Session - 11.00-12.00, Goethe-Institut, 3 Park Circus, G3 6AX - a German language taster session by the Goethe Institut, no booking required.
  • Playful Language Teaching Workshop - 11.30-12.30, The Language Hub, 52 Keith Court, G11 6QW - a free workshop focussing on children's classes (although many ideas suitable for adult language teaching too), creating your own material as well as adapting existing material. Book your free place here

Events in Inverness:

  • Highland Multicultural Friends - 12.00-15.00, Spectrum Centre, 1 Margaret Street - Various activities to choose from, involving a range of community languages. Pick and choose, have a go, or just watch, listen and learn, but most importantly, have fun! Activities include: calligraphy; bi-trilingual stories; personal stories of mother tongue memories; children teaching and coaching parents in English fluency; ways of juggling two or more langauges in the home; areas of significance for language use; jokes that work in one language more than another; rhymes and language games. No booking required.

Events in Kilbirnie:

  • Story telling and show-case - 11.00-12.00, Kilbirnie Library, 6 Avils Pl, Kilbirnie KA25 6BL (North Ayrshire) - This session will be aimed at pupils and their families from St Bridget's Primary Schools who have been igniting a passion for Gaelic in the local area. We are privileged to have author, Peter Terrell joining us for a story-telling session, pupils will then show-case some Gaelic songs and refreshments and shortbread will be provided afterwards. All library-goers will be welcome to join us.

Events in Oban:

My Gaelic: exploring learning Gaelic in Scotland today.

  • My Gaelic: Film Screenings - 11.00-19.00 on 17th, 18th, and 19th November, The Rockfield Centre, Stevenson Street - two new short films tell stories about the un-seen aspects of learning languages, and the anxieties, emotions and challenges involved in being a Gaelic speaker in Scotland today - 'Gaelic journeys' by Deirdre MacKenna (15 minutes, 2017) and 'Growing up with a Minority Language' by Maria Garraffa and Timea Katusi (6 minutes, 2017). No booking required.
  • My Gaelic: open group discussion - 14.00 on 18th November, The Rockfield Centre, Stevenson Street, Oban - a lively discussion woven between both Gaelic and English languages. Introduced by Bernadette O'Rourke (Heriot Watt University) and Wilson McLeod (Edinburgh University) who will present new research into how and why people choose to learn the Gaelic language, followed by audience feedback and stories about learning Gaelic in Scotland today. Please register here for this free event.

Led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, and funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, the British Academy, and the Wellcome Trust, Being Human is a national forum for public engagement with humanities research.

Logos of supporters for the Languages Lost and Found event 2018