ALL London branch   


Last update: 27/05/2012


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Communication Solutions!

Click on an area of questioning (grouped alphabetically) and see if your question is there.  If not, e-mail us, and we'll try to put you in touch with someone who can help.

KEY Red = title; Green = question; Blue = answer

Index - click on the title to link to the section.


Fora for sharing ideas


Promotion: Spanish Promotion

Promotion: Is ML on the decline?

Fora for sharing ideas

"I've forgotten the addresses of the fora I've joined!  Can you help?"

CILT has a good collection of links to the fora it runs.

Here's a collection of some very popular fora:


(links to website for joining)

Mailing address



Email group

Forum run by CILT; contributors tend to focus on policy and practice rather than resources.


email group

Yahoo group run privately with file sharing area.  Focus: T&L ideas and resources


email group

As above


email group

As above


email group

Forum run by CILT; focus: early language learning

TES staffroom

post messages to the site with pseudonym

Very open forum - covers all topics!


Promotions: Spanish

"Why Learn Spanish?"

A Powerpoint for promoting Spanish demonstrating that Spanish 'bucks the trend' when it comes to pupil perceptions of language learning  and its relevance to their lives.  I will check with the Spanish Embassy that it's OK to put this here!

"Is ML on the decline? (TES Opinion forum March 2007)"

Answer from David 'Ritchie' Wilson: (aka Dodros the wise!)

If we're setting such store by a knowledge of English when compared by MFL, then let's remember the deliberate misquote:

"What do they know of English who only English know?"

My two foreign languages are French and German, both of which have common roots with English. French and German make excellent reference points when considering grammatical and lexical phenomena in English. I learned more about the grammar of English in my MFL lessons than I ever did in English lessons, even back in the 1960s.

And there are degrees of knowledge and skill in MFL. Translation and interpreting are special skills, which often require further rigorous study. But who decides what is to be interpreted or translated? A non-professional linguist with at least a modicum of knowledge of other languages who can cast an eye over a document and judge that it's worth the considerable expense of translating. Gist comprehension is a very valuable skill in any language.

I agree with those who say that it doesn't matter overmuch which languages are studied. In the 1960s we also thought that Russian was the language to learn because of the Cold War. I did a year of the language at night school. There was a government report recommending the study of the language. But it came to nothing. The same might happen with Chinese. I've never regretted studying French and German because they are both related to English and have taught me a lot about my mother tongue in the process. French, a Romance language language, makes it easier for me to understand Spanish and Italian in online documents, while German has helped my demystify Dutch and Scandinavian languages. My brief encounter with Russian was sufficient for me to decypher other Slavonic languages such as Polish and Czech with a bilingual dictionary. MFL at school is about mastering language-learning strategies, risk-taking, looking for patterns of regularity, classifying, drawing inferences and following rules, all key skills in whatever line of work one eventually follows. Finally, MFL has given me so much joy over the years - the chance to spend a whole year abroad and a happy memory of my first trip across the channel when I discovered that people actually did speak and understand what I'd been learning in the classroom. There are very few other subjects when you can go somewhere and the subject comes to life like that. I've watched youngsters going into a French shop using their smattering of the language and coming out with the goods they wanted and seen the smiles on their faces because they'd achieved something and been understood by adults speaking another language. Who would deprive them of that sheer joy?