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Language wants of English majors in a non-native context.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2002
<mark>Journal</mark>System
Issue number4
Volume30
Number of pages26
Pages (from-to)517-542
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

The main aim of our research was to investigate the language wants of English majors in Hungary. First a questionnaire was administered to 279 students at all the six universities of Hungary where there are students majoring in English language and literature combined with TESOL. The participants were mainly students in the last 2 years of their university studies and their number represented approximately 10% of the target population. The same questionnaire was also completed by 80 students who graduated from one of the universities in Hungary in the past 5 years. The design of the questionnaire was informed by the Common European Framework of Reference prepared by the Education Committee of the European Union (Council of Europe, 2001. Common European Framework of Reference for Teaching, Learning and Assessment. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge). The questionnaire was piloted and validated with think-aloud interviews and test–retest reliability analysis. The results suggest that students use English mainly for academic purposes during their university studies. The most important functions for English majors in their future occupation seem to be expressing their opinion, reading texts on the Internet, conversing with non-native speakers, writing e-mail messages, giving explanations and instructions, and translating oral and written English in a variety of occupations. No major differences between students in different years of study and at different universities in the country were found. The methods applied and the findings concerning the needs of English majors in Hungary might also be relevant for other countries with a similar educational system.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, System, 30 (4), 2002, © ELSEVIER.