Bilingual teaching in Hungary: An example of the use of CLIL in successfully motivating language learning in bilingual sections

Author(s): European Schoolnet
Institution/Organisation: Karinthy Frigyes Gimnázium (HU)

2 Assessment of success

2.1  Success indicators

  • On average almost 100% of final year bilingual students are accepted by institutions of higher education; a figure which compares very favourably with the success-rate obtained by the best schools in the country.
  • Many of the most prestigious universities have offered places, even scholarships to students from the school both in Hungary and abroad (Cambridge, London School of Economics, St Andrew’s in Scotland, etc.)
  • Other objective tests such as the International G.C.S.E. (General Certificate of Secondary Education - UK) in first language English, an examination administered by the University of Cambridge and designed principally for native-language speakers. The students' results were 20% higher than those obtained in Britain! Many have also achieved very high standards in other internationally recognised examinations such as those who chose to enter for the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English or the American Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) which is specified as the requirement for entrance to major American universities such as Harvard and Yale.
  • The school was the first and only state school in Eastern Europe to obtain permission from the International Baccalaureate Organisation to introduce their university entrance examination in 1992, a clear measure of the success of the bilingual project and the increasing recognition of the school as a centre for academic excellence.

2.2 Success factors

  • There has always been a clear commitment by the school's leaders at different levels since the school's foundation to an international, outward looking curriculum in which languages are an essential component.
  • This commitment  has been matched by the school's management team
  • The teaching staff are highly qualified and committed to the school's mission.
  • There is a waiting list of parents wishing to send their children to the school and the intake is usually of a very high standard.
  • The state has made available extra funds in support of the bilingual programme.
  • The culture of internationalism has provided an environment which motivates language learning.
  • The CLIL methodology is particularly successful in motivating language learning in the context of a bilingual programme.



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