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Fora for sharing ideas
Promotion: Spanish Promotion
Promotion: Is ML on the
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:
"Why Learn Spanish?"
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
"Is ML on the
decline? (TES Opinion forum March 2007)"
Answer from David 'Ritchie' Wilson: (aka Dodros the
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
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?