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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 February 2008, 14:18 GMT
Pupils to get lessons in blogging
Girl on computer
Youngsters will be taught about the latest in technology
Pupils will be taught about blogging and podcasts as part of a new literacy drive by the Scottish Government.

Ministers want teachers to pay attention to basics like spelling, comprehension and punctuation under the new Curriculum for Excellence.

However, Schools Minister Maureen Watt said pupils would also be asked to look at how they communicate online.

She said they would be failing pupils if they ignored new developments like blogging and social networking sites.

"Communication in the modern workplace is essential. Employers expect and are demanding core literacy skills from school leavers," she said.

'More relevant'

"Young people are immersed in technology and the tools that help them create websites, blogs, videos and podcasts also allow them to be authors and publishers.

"They can reach a worldwide audience, so we have to teach them to do this well. We would be failing them if we just stand by and ignore these developments."

Youngsters will also be taught when the use of text-speak is acceptable.

The new guidance forms part of English literacy "draft outcomes" which are published as part of the government's plans to introduce a more "holistic" approach to education for children aged three to 18.

Foreign languages

The minister said the new curriculum was intended to help teachers make teaching more relevant, exciting and engaging.

She said the government was keen to receive feedback from education professionals.

Meanwhile, it has been claimed that young Scots are falling behind their European counterparts because of their inability to speak foreign languages.

The warning came from a group of experts who are petitioning the Scottish Parliament's education committee.

They want to see a strategy with proper funding to halt the decline.

Over the last 30 years the number of pupils taking a language higher has dropped by almost 60% from 16,000 in 1976 to 7,000 in 2006.

SEE ALSO
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17 Dec 07 |  Scotland
Scotland slips in schools league
04 Dec 07 |  Scotland
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10 Dec 07 |  Tayside and Central

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