MP logo MP title

Krisztián Józsa and Marianne Nikolov : Factors influencing achievement in english and german as foreign lenguages

In this paper we analyze a large database collected in a nation-wide project enquiring into learners’ performances in English and German as a foreign language in Hungarian schools. A representative sample of 6th and 10th graders (n=20,804) was involved in a survey implemented by OKEV in May 2003. In the first part of the paper, we draw the background to the project; then, we analyze the relationships between students’ gender, school type, number of weekly classes, years of language study, students’ socioeconomic status, and their achievements on proficiency tests. We discuss how extracurricular language study impacts on outcomes and examine how familiarity and frequency of task types relate to performances on tests and learners’ self-assessment. Finally, we model how background variables contribute to outcomes. Findings indicate that the type of school students attend has a strong relationship with their achievements and the correlations between weekly hours and years of study show a controversial picture for English and German. Frequency of task types and familiarity with them show a strong relationship with achievements, similarly to students’ perceptions of task difficulty and their performances on them. Modest relationships were found between outcomes and length of study, whereas the strongest relationships were found between school grades and achievements, and students’ socio-economic status and their performances on tests. Regression analyses indicate that parents’ educational level and number of weekly classes explain about one third of variance in language achievements in both languages. These relationships, however, are weaker for the younger age groups and for German in both age groups.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 105. Number 3. 307-337. (2005)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Józsa Krisztián , SZTE Neveléstudományi Tanszék, H-6722 Szeged, Petőfi S. sgt. 30-34.; Nikolov Marianne, Pécsi Tudományegyetem, Angol Alkalmazott Nyelvészeti Tanszék, H-7624 Pécs, Ifjúság u. 6.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia