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Mon, 15 Feb 2010 12:11:51 EST by admin, 115551 views
University of Pécs
Education paper by Nikolov, Marianne (all papers)
A "Hungarikum" in English Language Education: Findings of a Survey on the Year of Intensive Language Learning
Proficiency in English is a desired commodity in Hungary, but as many students lack equal opportunities to study it, policy makers decided to offer a year of intensive language learning (YILL) at age 15. I will give an overview of the aims and outcomes of an evaluation project on the YILL launched in 2004/2005 allowing students to study one or two foreign languages in 11-18 weekly hours. YILL students are expected (1) to become motivated and autonomous language learners; and (2) to pass an advanced-level school-leaving proficiency exam. The YILL aims to offer disadvantaged learners an opportunity to achieve proficiency not available at traditional secondary schools.
In the spring of 2009 a representative sample of students, their parents, language teachers and school principals were asked to fill in questionnaires on how they evaluated the first YILL and the successive four-year period. I will analyze all stakeholders’ views based on both quantitative and qualitative data collected from 1,079 learners, 910 parents, 320 language teachers at 267 institutions. The results show that most YILL students are not disadvantaged; the majority studied one foreign language (English or German), but would have liked to learn two or three; English is far more popular (94%) than any other language; 77% of the students took an exam at intermediate level instead of advanced level; and if they entered secondary education now, 51% would not choose YILL again. All stakeholders’ views are a lot more favorable about their intensive year than the four years after it.
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