What is so wrong with foreign language education in Hungary?
According to eduline.hu, children’s lack of motivation, professional and methodological unpreparedness, the lack of tools and teachers and thus the alternation of teachers all contribute to the unsuccessfulness of language education in Hungarian schools.
Based on the findings of the research ordered by the government in 2017, fewer and fewer students apply for language exams and, out of the applicants, less and less pass the exams.
The data is quite devastating, considering that, from 2020, only those can apply to universities and colleges who have at least one intermediate language exam.
This can lead to more people ousted from higher education, which mainly affects students whose parents cannot afford private classes, as it seems like language education in schools is not enough in itself.
According to the headmasters of high schools and technical schools, children’s lack of motivation constitutes the biggest problem, but the lack of workforce and tools is not helping, either. The tool supply is quite poorish in many schools, even though online and audio-visual exercises would certainly help students.
The alternation of teachers is another hindering factor. Based on the study, the average “teacher count” (how many teachers they have had since the start) of an 11th grader is four.
However, every fourth student claims that he/she has been taught by five or six teachers already.
But the situation is still not completely bright, even if there are enough teachers. According to the children, it is the teacher who does most of the talking in class, and there is usually no time for all students to practice their speaking skills.
Not to mention that most teachers still explain everything in Hungarian. Plus, there is not enough pair work, where students could practice the language with each other.
Finally, the trouble is probably not the low number of classes, since students have 504 sessions in primary school (equals the average of V4 countries), and 432 sessions in high school, which adds up to 936 hours of language education. This should be more than enough for a successful language exam, considering that
the Association of Language Testers in Europe believes that 350-400 sixty-minute classes are enough to pass the basic level language exam.