Developing the Four Capacities Through Language

What does it mean?

Developing successful learners

When children and young people have competence in language and good literacy skills they can gain access to all areas of learning. Developing their skills in talking and writing enables them to develop and communicate their thoughts and opinions effectively. Language facilitates more complex thinking and learning processes. Through their reading of literature, children and young people can be challenged in their thinking, encouraging openness to new and alternative approaches and ideas. Applying literacy skills successfully through technologies allows children and young people to engage with and express themselves using different media. Learning other languages enables children and young people to communicate with those from other cultures and backgrounds. Successful learning of another language can give them the capabilities and confidence to pick up further languages later in life.

Developing confident individuals

Language is an important expression of identity. Effective communication helps children and young people to relate positively to others and interact successfully in different social contexts. Competence and confidence in talking, reading and writing are important to self-respect and are extended through the continued study of their own and other languages. Through their reading, children and young people are able to explore other people’s experiences, emotions and relationships in the safe contexts of literature. Within this range of reading, studying Scottish literature allows children and young people to develop their own sense of one of the creative forces within Scottish culture. Being able to communicate in an additional language boosts children and young people’s confidence and helps them to cope in new situations.

Developing responsible citizens

As they develop their abilities in their own language, children and young people learn to reflect and develop their ideas and stances. They can practise communicating their thoughts and feelings through talking and writing, and learn to consider the thoughts and feelings of other people. They can participate in discussions, help to resolve conflicts and learn to play a part in influencing decisions and actions. Through varied reading in their own language and, progressively, in other languages, children and young people can extend their perspectives on the world, helping them to develop their views and come to difficult decisions. Learning additional languages is an important component of active international citizenship. Through their learning of additional languages, children and young people can develop their understanding of other cultures and be challenged to reconsider preconceptions and stereotypes.

Developing effective contributors

Through expressing their creativity individually or as part of a group, children and young people can contribute to the life of their school and community through, for example, writing and sharing their stories and poems. As they progress, they can use their skills in writing creatively in increasingly sophisticated ways, and share this work with others. Effective language and literacy skills enable children and young people to contribute to developing creative and enterprising ideas and communities. As they develop an awareness of audience and register they can learn to communicate successfully in ways which are appropriate for different situations. Through their learning of other languages, children and young people can contribute to the wider international community and Scotland’s diverse society. Being able to use additional languages can enhance the contribution which young people can make in their careers, and so to economic prosperity.

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