So how do we raise the profile of other languages?
I admit I too am guilty as I didn't pursue my German (or in fact any languages) on my return to teaching after my children. I asumed my languages were too out-of-date and there were far more qualified people available who were more up to speed with changes.
However with the new initiative to introduce languagesin the Primary phase I find myself re-envigorated. However I am appalled at the low profile of languages and especially German. In my area even German teachers are being persuaded to do French in place of German, because colleagues will have 'some experience' with French.
German is highly valued within business communities, serves as an introduction to a non-Romance system and learning it can help to combat the idea 'Well Germans are our enemies' stereotype which I can assre you still exists.
Having said that I have recently begun learning Spanish and I think this might well provide a far better introduction as a first MFL as it is more phonetic- as of course is Italian.
I really do understand Heads reluctance to think outside the box and they will have genuine worries about staff recruitment & retention. But surely it is up to us linguists to raise the profile of 'Language' in all it's diversities! I know one of my colleagues is learning Mandarin ,as far as I/m concerned one at a time- I've my hands full with Spanish at the moment, but I do applaud her enterprize.
One of the problems is obviously lack of resources but hey here we are sharing our own and as we spread the word perhaps we can show Heads there are other alternatives.
Those interested might like to look at the thread on organising lessons in Primary. Or am I really a lone wolf? Come on prove me wrong