Learning How to Swim: Attitudes to Foreign Language Learning and Speaking in Hungary
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This study was undertaken to explore current attitudes towards foreign language learning and speaking in Hungary. Sparked by the low foreign language proficiency in Hungary (European Commission, 2012a, p. 14), it aimed at a deeper, and more qualitative understanding of the individual differences in attitude towards foreign language, and it investigates how these attitudes may be specific to Hungary. Data were obtained through semi-structured interviews that were conducted in and around Budapest with individuals of two different age groups (10 in total). The analysis of these data reveals a wealth of individual differences, which confirms the complexity of foreign language learning research. At the same time, the Hungarians that were interviewed showed some general patters concerning the importance of the teacher, mixed feelings towards Russian, positive though pragmatic attitudes towards the learning of English, and an overwhelming enthusiasm for Italian - but only if they were asked to pick a language they would want to know without having to study for it.