A SWOT analysis is a very simple process that can offer insight into the potential and critical issues affecting student engagement, retention, and achievement in Learning Languages.
  • Strengths – Factors that are likely to have a positive effect on (or be an enabler to) achieving the school’s objectives.
  • Weaknesses – Factors that are likely to have a negative effect on (or be a barrier to) achieving the school’s objectives.
  • Opportunities – External Factors that are likely to have a positive effect on achieving or exceeding the school’s objectives, or goals not previously considered.
  • Threats – External Factors and conditions that are likely to have a negative effect on achieving the school’s objectives, or making the the objective redundant or un-achievable.


Naysmith, R. (2011). Implementing the New Zealand Curriculum: Understandings and experiences from three urban primary schools., Canterbury University, Christchurch.

Timperley, H., Wilson, A., Barrar, H., & Fung, I. (2007). Teacher professional learning and development: Best Evidence Synthesis Iteration. Wellington: Ministry of Education.

Leading from the Middle: educational leadership for middle and senior leaders (2012) describes the qualities, practices and activities middle and senior leaders need to lead in ways that enhance learner outcomes. This resource is the third in a series that includes Kiwi Leadership for Principals and Tū Rangatira: Māori Medium Educational Leadership. Together the series describes the knowledge, skills and qualities that are at the heart of every level of effective school leadership.

Hard copies of Leading from the Middle are available from Down the Back of the Chair.
Developing Middle Leadership in Learning Languages Focused Support Resources

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What does leadership in a Learning Languages context mean for you?

This document lists some ideas inspired by suggestions (in blue) from Rachel Hawkes, Director of Language College at Comberton Village College, Cambridgeshire.

Rachel's website resources, ideas and strategies for promoting, teaching and learning languages to support Heads of Languages and teachers of Spanish, German and French. Rachel's motivation for the site is the belief that the best ideas and resources are developed in collaboration, in an ongoing cycle of invention, development, experiment and reflection. All of Rachel's resources will appear here on this site and you may also want to visit her blog,

Early in 2012 at the University of Cambridge Rachel completed her PhD, entitled "Learning to talk and talking to learn: how spontaneous teacher-learner interaction in the secondary foreign languages classroom provides greater opportunities for L2 learning." You can download the full PhD thesis from the website.

The website will be updated periodically.
Recommended Reading:
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Prof Reading Read_talk_practice.jpg

Leading inquiry at a teacher level: It’s all about mentorship
Middle-level leaders in schools have a critical role in mentoring teachers as they work with the teaching-as-inquiry process. One-to-one interactions and professional conversations with each teacher largely determine the quality of inquiry, both for an individual teacher and on a school-wide basis. In this article, an experienced senior secondary school leader explores the conditions necessary for school-wide inquiry to flourish, and explains why mentorship needs to be valued and to operate at a range of levels within the school if effective inquiry is to be initiated and sustained.