In accordance with the conclusions of the European Union and the Council of 12 May 2009 on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (‘Education and Training 2020’) (2009 / C 119/02), the Government Decree 1446/2018 (IX. 18.) on the steps needed to improve foreign language skills proposed by the National Competitiveness Council, and the Government Decree 1360/2017. (VI. 12.) on the development of the efficiency of foreign language teaching, the Government of Hungary established the Foreign Language Learning Programme.
The Foreign Language Learning Programme is operated by Tempus Public Foundation under the supervision of the Ministry of Human Capacities.
Communicating and exchanging information in foreign languages is an integral part of society in the 21st century. In addition to factual knowledge acquired in the educational system, knowledge of foreign languages plays a key role in the labour market. Despite the continuous improvement in recent years, the level of foreign language knowledge in Hungary is low, which also affects the competitiveness of the country. The government is, therefore, committed to developing domestic foreign language education. In the system of public education, conditions are given to enable the acquisition of well usable foreign language skills, so the solution does not primarily lie in increasing the number of foreign language classes, but also in increasing the efficiency of teaching and learning, and enhancing the motivation for language learning.
The foreign language strategy recently adopted by the Government provides an opportunity for secondary students in grades 9 and 11 in public education to spend two weeks in a target language environment and to take part in intensive language courses. The courses are implemented by accredited language centres in the target countries in authentic environment in mixed international groups.
Within this programme, students in grades 9 and 11 between the age of 14-19 will have the opportunity to participate in a two-week language course typically during the summer holidays, after June 13th, in Ireland, Malta, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, France and China with full financial support of the Hungarian government. The programme may reach 140,000 students in an academic year, who can choose to travel individually or in organised groups. According to our preliminary survey conducted in September, there are around 70,000 students who intend to study English in a language course that meets the following criteria:
- Two-week language course with at least 20 lessons (15 hours) per week, 40 lessons of active language training in total;
- Extracurricular activities with further active use of the language (e.g. sports, cultural activities, extra language classes and socialising);
- The ideal allocation of Hungarian students would be in various international student groups based on the result of the placement test and not in closed groups organised exclusively for students participating in this programme;
- Timing between the 13th of June and 31st of August.
Applicant students can join individually or via school mobility through the tenders managed by the Tempus Public Foundation.