Detailed project description
By the 21st century English has become a lingua franca which seems more and more necessary in international communication. It has been widely used in the fields of business, research, entertainment, tourism and education. Why not use it for learning other languages? English may be an effective tool for young people in the Visegrad countries to learn each other’s language and immerse in each other’s culture. The aim of the present project is to build up a language-learning network based on 4 secondary schools, one from each Visegrad country, which may be considered as the foundation partners. The partner schools will establish a pattern for others to join later. The main idea of the network is to provide a possibility and motivation for young people to become well-versed in the languages and cultures of the Visegrad countries. To make the network effective, the following activities are planned:
- Each school would organize a student competition with at least 5 groups of 3 on the cultures of the V4 countries based on the material decided by the representatives of the four partner schools.
- The winning group would participate at a one-week language and culture summer camp organized by Debrecen Summer School.
- In the morning sessions the Czech, Polish and Slovak students would learn Hungarian
- During the afternoon sessions the Hungarian students help their foreign mates immerse in Hungarian culture by means of common activities and programs designed to make students get closer to each other and learn about each other’s daily life, habits and hobbies based on their cultural traditions.
- The conclusions and future suggestions of the summer camp as well as the students’ written reports would be posted at a website and made available to the general public.
“Visegrad feature” of the project
In a world dominated by the daily use of English, the young generation is not easy to motivate to learn other languages, especially the so-called “Less Widely Used and Taught Languages” such as Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Slovak. The current project aims to give an opportunity to young people in the four countries to use English as a means rather than an end in language acquisition. Learning (about) each other’s language will get them closer together. In addition, establishing a tradition of local Visegrad competitions that may lead to a special one-week experience in another Visegrad country may be a real motivation for students who are open to new challenges. Learning about Visegrad will definitely enrich their knowledge about the world at large and Central Europe in particular.
Target groups and groups benefiting from the project
The primary target group of the project is those secondary school students in the V4 countries who are learning at least one foreign language, mainly English, and are interested in foreign cultures. Using English to learn another language may be a new way of motivating this generation to get involved in language acquisition. While the project requires the participation of a minimum of 15 students in each school, we believe that the competition and the first prize will draw the attention of many other students who may be involved in a variety of ways. When students return from the summer camp, their experiences will be shared with the whole student community. The second target group for the project includes teachers who can speak English and find the Visegrad idea attractive and beneficial.