So you haven't been put off by reports claiming the British are "language barbarians", or the removal of compulsory language study in Year 10. And even if your Year 9s are lacking in enthusiasm, as a modern foreign languages teacher you can inform them that business and the global markets want people with language skills. Better still, tell them medical research shows that speaking a second language keeps old age at bay.
That last comforting fact comes courtesy of the Association for Language Learning - the subject association for all language teachers from primary to university, including policy-makers and business trainers.
According to Linda Parker, ALL director, such diversity gives a richness to association events and meetings: "It adds another dimension to teachers'
lives and is a contrast from the constraints of the classroom. It brings those working in the fields of policy, support and training into direct contact with practitioners, who are the real agents for change and progression."
ALL is independent and free to speak out on issues that affect language learning. In the key stage 4 debate, it emphasised the dangers of making languages optional and is monitoring the impact in schools. It provides support to staff facing the prospect of encouraging pupils to continue with their studies at key stage 4 as well as ammunition to persuade senior management of this importance.
The website has an excellent section on frequently asked questions, and newsevents; you can also find exchange partners, advice on school trips, specific languages and links to the business and adult education sectors.
Membership is pound;24 for PGCE students, NQTs and non-QTS. There is a "Language Learning Journal", a quarterly newsletter, and other publications. Discounts on conferences and events available.
Association for Language Learning, 150 Railway Terrace, Rugby CV21 3HN.
Tel: 01788 546443.