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Enikő Öveges : The Start and Implementation of the Year of Intensive Language Learning: Experience and Results

Since the regime change in the 1990s, Hungary has experimented with several major language policy measures to boost the foreign language proficiency of primary and secondary school students. A most significant element has been the Year of Intensive Language Learning (YILL), which has been in existence ever since. It was introduced in 2004 to expand secondary school studies with an additional year of language education. The most salient aims of YILL have been formulated as follows: (1) to grant a state-financed and school-based alternative to profit-oriented private language tuition; thus (2) to provide access to intensive language learning and (3) to promote equal opportunity; and, as a result of support initiatives, (4) to enhance school language education in general. The programme has become a rare example in our education system in being monitored from the launch of the first classes to the end of students’ five-year high school tenure. It involves both large-scale surveys and smaller studies. Despite all the measures to facilitate planning and implementation, however, the programme does not appear to be a clear success. The paper introduces the background and reviews and synthesizes relevant studies and surveys to evaluate the programme and compare its implementation to its original rationale and planning. It aims to draw conclusions on how this uniquely Hungarian programme could operate more efficiently, considering that it seems to be experiencing a revival recently.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 118. Number 1. 55-71. (2018)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Öveges Enikő, Eötvös Loránd Tudomány¬egye¬tem Angol-Amerikai Intézet, Angol Alkalmazott Nyelvészeti Tanszék. H–1088 Budapest, Rákóczi út 5.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia