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Kata Csizér, Zoltán Dörnyei and Emese Nyilsai: Language Learning Attitudes and Preferences of Primary School Children in Hungary. From Russian to English?

The present paper aims at investigating the foreign language learning differences in Hungary in the mid-1990s. The basis of the paper has been an empirical study of 4765 primary school children with regards to their motivation and preferences of foreign language learning. The language learning situation around the time of the data collection has been investigated: more than half of the students learnt Russian; the remaining half learnt English or German. Exploring the regional differences, three distinct regions emerged in Hungary: Budapest, where English was learnt by the majority of the students; Transdanubia, where German was the most popular language; in the remaining parts of Hungary Russian prevailed. Various compensation strategies have been explored, our data showed that neither schools nor families had been able to counterbalance the unequal opportunities in the different regions of Hungary. It has also been investigated whether the language learning opportunities and students' preferences had been in harmony. Based on the statistical analysis of the data it has been concluded that the preferences had been homogenous: most students wanted to learn English, however, this was only possible in Budapest.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 99. Number 2. 193-204. (1999)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Csizér Kata, H–1146 Budapest, Ilka u. 26.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia