Saturday, 14 July 2007

CILT Update on the 14-19 diploma

This updated page from the CILT website answers the most frequently asked questions in a clear and concise way.

“What is the place of languages in the new Diploma?
Diplomas are new qualifications for 14-19 year olds. They cover general knowledge and skills within an applied, sector-focused context. There will eventually be 14 Diploma subjects available, each currently known as a “line of learning”, offered at Levels 1, 2 and 3.

The Diplomas are divided into three components:
§ principal learning (learning relevant to a specific sector)
§ generic learning (learning for employment and personal development)
§ additional/specialist learning (a variety of options endorsed by employers in the sector concerned).

Full details of the Diploma subjects, the timetable for their delivery and the makeup of the Diplomas is available from the Diploma development partnerships and timetable page on the QCA website.

When and where will the Diplomas be available?
The first five 14-19 Diplomas (formerly called ‘specialised’ Diplomas) will be offered by a selected number of school and college consortia from September 2008 alongside the current offer of GCSEs, A Levels, etc. The consortia have passed successfully through the government’s Gateways Diploma process and as such have been selected to provide the first pilots.

What are the first five Diploma subjects?
Construction and Built Environment, Engineering, ICT, Society, Health & Development, and Creative & Media. These will be available for teaching from September 2008.

What are the opportunities for languages within the Diplomas?
Languages are to be an option within all of the first five Diplomas, sitting in the component of additional/specialist learning. For 2008, any qualification on the Section 96 Qualifications page of the Department of Children, Schools and Families website (formerly DfES) can be offered as an option, and that will include languages.

The number of Guided Learning Hours (GLH) for each Diploma varies according to component and level: there is time available at any level to teach a language. For example, in the Construction and Built Environment Diploma at Level 1, there are 120 GLH available within the additional/specialist component, which can be divided up between options with a minimum GLH of 30 hours per option. Optional units will be chosen by the consortia delivering the main Diploma.

For 2008, any language qualification which is on Section 96 can be offered for assessment of a language offered as part of a Diploma, for example, NVQ language units, Certificate in Business Language Competence (CBLC), Asset Languages, or indeed a GCSE or Applied French GCSE. QCA is currently deliberating on research to inform what the future language element of a Diploma might be.

What can language lecturers and managers be doing now to prepare?

§ Find out which consortium your college is in and which Diplomas your institution is intending to offer from 2008.
§ Make senior management aware that a language qualification can be offered as part of the additional/specialist component of the Diplomas
§ Highlight what kind of applied/vocational language teaching the college is already doing/has done in the past and raise awareness of the expertise which exists within your institution or consortium

You might also find it helpful to refresh your ideas on what content might be appropriate: start by reading the agreed statement in respect of the future development of common learning outcomes across lines of learning for the Diplomas (Languages and Customer Service). It can be found in the Diploma Content page of the Construction and Built Environment Diploma website.

You can get an overview of all of the language qualifications for post 14 by downloading the excel spreadsheet on the qualifications page. “

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