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Foreign Language Interpretation in Teaching Soloist Singing
Published April 30, 2021
75-89

The problems of singing in the original language have become a special feature of the soloist training in the Central and Eastern Europe. The linguistic aspects of soloist training is put to the test by international expectation that regards authentic singing in the original language as a natural part of professional efficiency. In this present... paper we are looking for the answers to two questions. First, we examined what factors determine the choice of the language for vocal interpretation. Our second goal is to give an overview of a specific segment of today’s Hungarian students’ population in higher education. We examined institutional, personal and curricular components for perfecting singing in the original language. The empirical study field of our research was Hungary’s higher education institutions of music in the 2016/17 term. Our researches were based on two methodological techniques. Among the higher education instructors of solo singers we conducted structured interviews and students from six higher educational institutions with this profile were the respondents of our questionnaire. The quantitative analysis of the research unequivocally represented the stronger demand of students for the training of linguistic interpretation. Our empirical research showed that the language efficiency of the solo singer students does not meet professional expectations. Pronunciation, comprehension, vocabulary, command of language and intonation are not utilized while singing and using the mirror effect of singing in a foreign language does not help perfect language knowledge either.

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The Evolving Concept of (Language) Assessment Literacy. Implications for Teacher Education
Published April 30, 2021
120-130

Language teachers’ assessment knowledge and skills have received considerable attention from language assessment researchers over the past few decades (Davison & Leung, 2009; Hill & McNamara, 2012; Rea-Dickins, 2001; Taylor, 2013). This seems to be linked to the increased professionalism expected of them in classroom-based assessments.... However, teachers seem to face a number of challenges, including how large-scale standardized language exams influence their classroom assessment practices. Teachers’ assessment literacy, therefore, needs to be examined in order to explain their assessment decisions. In this paper, we review the concept of (language) assessment literacy, how it has evolved and how it is conceptualized currently. Recent interpretations seem to reflect a multidimensional, dynamic and situated view of (language) assessment literacy. Implications for teacher education are also highlighted by presenting research findings from studies that explored teachers’ and teacher candidates’ assessment literacy in various educational contexts. As a result, we can identify some common patterns in classroom assessment practices as well as context-specific training needs. Finally, we make a recommendation for tackling some of the challenges language teachers are facing in relation to classroom-based assessment in the Hungarian context.

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Using Technology for Foreign Language Learning: The Teacher’s Role
Published July 19, 2021
23-28

The spread of information technology has changed the role of language teachers considerably. Being a good educator and an expert in their field are not enough anymore, but teachers are expected to be modern, which means, to possess the ability to design interactive classes (often by using digital tools) and use teaching methods that engage stud...ents in a creative way. Today it is a general requirement for teachers to know their way around technology and to possess the know-how of implementing it in a way that fosters language learning. To this purpose teachers need to take into account all facets of technology use, including the advantages and disadvantages of technology-mediated tasks, their usefulness for language learning (e.g. if they are related to the topic of the lesson, are challenging enough for students), helpful resources for students, etc. Technology is regarded as a supplementary instrument to traditional teaching methods that can impact students’ motivation to learn in a positive way, provided it is used for activities that are in line with their needs and expectations. Task-based activities are considered to be especially useful in this regard, allowing students to practice their language skills in an authentic context and also develop creative thinking and problem solving abilities. Web 2.0 technologies (e.g. software programs for creating quizzes and polls, language learning websites, chat programs, wikis, etc.) offer a variety of valuable resources both for activities in the classroom and for practice at home.

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Learning English through Shadow Education: Exploring Participants’ Motives and Experiences
Published July 19, 2021
66-77

Parallel to the institutionalised school system, in which no change in pedagogical attitudes has taken place (Einhorn 2015), there is a growing demand for learning languages in non-formal contexts, including out-of-school courses that not only complement students’ studies in formal education but also seem to make the process of learning langu...ages as well as giving academic support to students more effective. The present study aims to explore the international and Hungarian literature on shadow education, which is widespread in Hungary but has little literature (Varga 2015), by presenting the characteristics of the phenomenon and highlighting its shortcomings. A qualitative study is also presented in order to examine the expectations and experiences of the students (and their families) participating in private tutoring. Data gleaned from interviews with students and their parents are analysed to identify their motives, expectations, the development of students’ additional skills and competencies, their career aspirations and the families’ financial background. The results of the study shed light on some characteristics of shadow education that have not been visible yet. Some factors that can potentially enhance the effectiveness of language teaching in the state school system will also be highlighted. Although the study is based on a rather limited sample, the results help us gain important insights into the hidden aspects of shadow education.

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Assessing Language Learners’ Knowledge and Performance during Covid-19
Published July 19, 2021
38-46

The new reality created by the COVID-19 caused a lot of changes in the educational sphere. The transition from face-to-face to distance learning was not smooth in Ukraine because distance learning was not a common practice in the country before and teachers were unprepared for teaching online. This unusual situation prompted us to start our qua...litative research primarily to get insights into the altered daily routines of teachers and educators. In particular, we were interested in how they assessed their students’ performance online. This article focuses on secondary school language teachers (n=65) and language tutors at the tertiary level (n=18). The research findings have revealed that teachers gave feedback through different digital applications like Google Classroom. Oral performance was evaluated either synchronously or asynchronously. The most crucial implication is that teachers should improve and further develop their digital skills and distance teaching and assessing skills in order to provide quality education in the modern form.

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At the Crossroad of Cultures: Education and Identity of Hungarian Deaf Learners in Romania
Published October 1, 2019
68-78

Deaf people living in ethnic-national minority situation form a social group whose members have multiple cultural backgrounds. Starting from interpretations which are viewing the deaf child as a member of a distinct cultural and linguistic minority, I studied the education of Hungarian deaf pupils in Romania graduating from the Hungarian Specia...l School in Cluj/Kolozsvár/Klausenburg, with particular regard to the relationship between formal and informal language use in school, communication culture and identity. Methodologically the research is based on life path interviews with Hungarian Deaf Special School graduates, family case studies of two or three generation deaf families and structured interviews with experienced educators. The research results reveal that the educational practice of the concerned educational institution strengthens the pupils' identity awareness and sense of belonging to the Hungarian nation in two distinct, still interconnected ways: on the one hand, through oral language acquisition, nursing the oral Hungarian language skills, and on the other hand through cultivating the Hungarian Sign Language embedded in the deaf culture within the learner community. Nowadays, the conditions and modalities of exercising this role are changing in several respects. The positive educational effects achieved so far can be reinforced and strengthened by educational policies based on the recognition and cultivation of cultural diversity, in all its complex and multifaceted manifestations, including the peculiar needs of ethnic minority deaf learners.

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