Urdu, an SQA modern language: (in)visible in the 1 + 2 language approach (2012) in our Glasgow schools

Nighet Riaz

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The paper focuses on Urdu, a community language which is spoken by 0.5% of the Scottish population, and taught in 4 schools in Glasgow, which has a high Pakistani/Kashmiri student cohort. The Scottish Government‘s (2015) Pupil Census indicates that English remains the prominent first language (L1) spoken by school-aged children, L1 speakers of Polish, Urdu and
Scots also represent a significant proportion of the student cohort across Scotland, particularly in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.

Although there are opportunities for some of these languages to be studied and assessed formally, there is no such provision made to study Polish in schools, and resources are not being invested by local authorities to maintain and promote Urdu in schools. Initially, community languages such as Urdu were acknowledged as a valuable resource (Learning in 2+ Languages;
McPake, 2006), and recommended by the 1 +2 Language Approach policy working group. The Race Equality Action Plan (2017-2021) also discusses the need to raise awareness of the value of local authorities and Education Scotland engaging with minority ethnic communities and
promoting minority ethnic languages to 1 + 2 leads in local authorities.

A closer look at both the policy, its implementation, and the local government‘s refusal to discuss with Urdu speakers the importance of both linguistic and cultural capital, identity and belonging which bound the Pakistani/Kashmiri communities together is of growing concern and brings into question if indeed educational policy meets the needs of its minority communities‘
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2018
EventVIII. International Conference on Critical Education: Critical Education and Activism Against Neoliberalism/ Authoritarian Neoconservatism in Education, State and Society - University of East London, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 25 Jul 201828 Jul 2018


ConferenceVIII. International Conference on Critical Education
Abbreviated titleICCE2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Urdu, an SQA modern language: (in)visible in the 1 + 2 language approach (2012) in our Glasgow schools'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this