The Bilingual Education Program
Education in Hungary is compulsory and free up to the age of 16. Compulsory, full-time education is administered by kindergarten, primary, secondary, and vocational training schools. The academic year consists of two semesters of teaching, traditionally starting from the beginning of September and finishing in the middle of June. There are three breaks (approximately one-week period) in autumn, winter and spring, with an additional 10-week summer break. At the end of the upper secondary courses, pupils pass the secondary school exit exam. This certificate is a prerequisite for admission to higher education.
The national policy for language education entertains different options. Language learning starts at elementary level with at least three lessons per week. English is the most popular and most demanded language followed by German and French. A special program - introduced in the 1990s in Hungary and very popular ever since - is bilingual education i.e. a program where, besides reinforced language learning, at least three other subjects must be taught in the target language. Such a program was started in Velence in September 2009.
In the bilingual system, language learning starts in the first grade with five English lessons per week. Besides reinforced language learning, three other subjects are taught in the target language. The subjects taught in the target language at our school are Art, Music and Physical Education in the first two years. Starting in the third grade, students learn Science in English as well. In grades 5-8 Cultural Studies, Science, Art and Craft, Geography and Biology are taught in English. We would like to help our pupils develop a favorable attitude to language learning, extend their conceptions about the world and Europe and get acquainted with the culture and civilizations of the target language in order to view the Hungarian culture in an extended context.
Our aim is to ensure children learn English at a very early age. At the age of six or seven, children are courious, talkative and motivated to learn. These characteristics are essential as the children will be acquiring knowledge through interactive play. The teachers provide a fun and energetic foundation for the children to learn and grow in their language development. Common meathods teachers use to encourage speech in the target language included (but are not limited to) rythmn, music, dancing and manual works. In the first and second grades, the main task is speech and vocabulary developing. Our hope for the senior section is that each student will develop the skills necessary to perform at the intermediate level in the target language. We encourage our students to work diligently so that our goals may be realized.
In junior section it is important to:
- develop a positive attitude towards language learning
- ensure learning language effortlessly
- develop and maintain motivation
- focus on developing listening and speaking skills
- maintain an atmosphere without any frustration
- start developing reading and writing skills
In senior section it is important to:
- maintain the interest in language learning
- develop language learning strategies
- focus on reading and writing
- develop communication skills
- prepare students for exams
We offer several programs to our pupils such as music classes, cultural enrichment and other events and competitions to assist in character development. Students can take part in the following programs:
- talent support workshops (N-JOY and SHARE Talent Support Program in English, MATEH Talent Support Program in Math)
- English competitions (Poetry recital competition, Short story writing competition, Science contest, Spelling Bee, English-speaking countries competition, Speech competition),
- bilingual events (Harvest Festival, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Canada Day, Mother's Day),
- trips into English-speaking countries,
- trips in Hungary with English guiding
- English library days,
- programs with other bilingual schools,
- summer camps.
Parents are ready to put their children in such classes not only in view of enhanced language acquisition, but also in the hope of a higher level of education in general.
Getting into the Bilingual Education Program
To take part in the bilingual class, parents are required to complete an application form which is available on the webpage (www.zoldligetsuli.hu). Applications are accepted not only from Velence, but also from other towns and villages. The application form must be sent to the school by February. At that time a date will be given for the child to take an ability test. The test is designed to measure the child in serveral areas: vocabulary, expressiveness, memory, logical mind and persistence. The test is administered in Hungarian and measures, not what the child knows, but rather what the child is capable of learning.
Ability test (areas of measurement):
- spatial positions and relations
- movement and rythmn
- word recognition
- general knowledge
- vocabulary and expression
- empirical deductions
- observation/cognition of speech