Proficiency in a foreign language, especially when combined with knowledge of and skills in another professional area, is highly desirable in the multicultural marketplace. Just as business and media have experienced global changes over the last few decades, so, too, has grown the acceptence of English around the world as the lingua franca for
...economic and scientific exchange. Second language speakers increasingly turn to English as a requirement of international communication. It is more than understandable that in many European companies, proficiency in English may even be a hiring criterion (Inman, 1983). The spread of English thus privileges certain groups of people and may harm others who have less opportunity to learn it. One can rightly conclude that we are in an age when communicative language skills in English are an indispensible component of literacy. Many claim that this may well entail significant changes in the social and individual values of nations and people. This paper investigates some of those underlying social and economic processes that have over the past few decades brought English language literacy into the focus of the attention of many researchers and educators. In the framework of the paper, certain issues of the conceptual impact that these changes have (or are presumed to have) on English language education are also discussed.
Employment is one of the basic factors when evaluating a region’s competitiveness. Boosting employment figures will also increase individual income. However, the creation of jobs alone will not solve the problems of unemployment, as labour force with skills matched to labour market demands should also be available. Continuous development of t
...he labour force, adjusted to recent needs in the labour market, can contribute to a region’s competitiveness. Mismatches between education and labour market requirements would be too expensive, especially for backward regions like the North Great Plain Region of Hungary. Foreign language education should also be adapted to the changing economy when selecting target languages and language skills. A workforce equipped with contemporary and needed second language skills can be an element in making a region attractive for investors. Although current trends show signs of improvement, Hungary and especially the North Great Plain Region still does not have much to offer in this respect. The paper examines the reasons for the low level of second language acquisition among Hungarians and the population of the North Great Plain Region and explores the ways foreign language knowledge could promote economic development.