I am interested in readers’ views on this subject. We teach both Spanish and French in our school and French appears to be getting squeezed out, in an otherwise very healthy MFL environment. Over the past ten years the ratio of Spanish:French GCSE groups has moved from about 3:2 to 3:1 to now about 4:1. Once a tipping point is reached, I fear subsequent momentum could simply see French disappearing. The main thing I hear from pupils is that they think Spanish is easier. How anecdotal do you think that is? Does anyone know of any hard research which shows that? Management here – and, I know, elsewhere - are promoting Spanish over French because they see better pass-rates . But how justified is this ? As a non-hispanist, can you tell me what, if anything, is actually easier about Spanish? I’m not ignoring the cultural factors and intermingled class issues too. Is French what we suspected but didn’t really dare admit, pretty much now as always the preserve of the middle classes? How many working class northern children ever had the pen-friend in Orléans? What is the relevance of French to their lives? In my school, despite the highest of expectations otherwise, I cannot reasonably claim to be preparing many of them for careers as diplomats. Is the French story itself now unravelling? Yes, our nearest neighbour, but always a love-hate relationship. Economic ties – no more relevant than any other European country? Sport – an uninspiring domestic football set-up with dubious international quality; rugby (union) a bit rareified; pop music – move swiftly on…!; international place in the world – trying very hard to convince everyone not just trading on past glories? Cuisine - haven't we all gone New World? Does Spanish necessarily win in a lot of these areas? My usual riposte against all these charges that we’re engaging in a language-learning process, and it doesn’t really matter which language, doesn’t stand up, I think, because we can’t ultimately teach for very long in a cultureless vacuum. Anyway, I'm interested in people’s views. Thanks.