International Journal of Scholarly Academic Intellectual Diversity
Volume 11, 2009
International Education: Are Polish Higher School Learners Studying Spanish So That They Can Secure Employment In Spain? A Brief Commentary
Norman L. Butler
Doctor of Humanities Degree in Pedagogy
Lecturer in English
Foreign Languages Department
AGH University of Science and Technology
William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
Professor and Faculty Mentor
PhD Program in Educational Leadership
Prairie View A&M University
Member of the Texas A&M University System
Visiting Lecturer (2005)
Oxford Round Table
University of Oxford, Oxford, England
Distinguished Alumnus (2004)
Central Washington University
College of Education and Professional Studies
Dr. Mack T. Hines III
Sam Houston State University
Kimberly Grantham Griffith, PhD
Associate Professor and Faculty Mentor
Department of Professional Pedagogy
College of Education and Human Development
The purpose of this brief commentary is to determine if Polish higher school learners are studying Spanish so that they can obtain jobs in Spain. Fifteen students who study full-time at AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland were surveyed, and the author found that most learners (87%) are not studying Spanish in order to secure employment in Spain. The theoretical framework for this article is provided by the general idea of the school as an organization and social institution.
Note: Thank you to Dr. Kimberly Grantham Griffith and Dr. William Allan Kritsonis for their assistance in getting this article published in America. See: www.nationalforum.com
Foreign languages have been part of the Polish school curriculum for some time. Starting in the late 1940’s, the Russian language was adopted as the primary foreign language to be instructed to all students from the age of 11 and upwards, regardless of the kind of institution (Janowski, 1992, 43). A “West European language” was offered as a “second foreign language” only to pupils attending full secondary school, in other words, institutions leading to a school leaving certificate (Janowski, 1992, 43). From the 1989-90 academic year onward the learning of Russian ceased to be compulsory, and, at about the same time, the Polish government began to encourage the widespread teaching of West European languages in schools (Janowski, 1992, 50).
Purpose of the Article
The purpose of this brief commentary is to determine if Polish higher school learners are studying Spanish so that they can obtain jobs in Spain.
New Training Initiative
Fifty-five new teacher training colleges have been opened throughout Poland in support of the government’s policy (Janowski,1992, 51) and by 1992 two foreign organizations had endorsed this new training initiative by sending volunteers to Poland: 1) Solidarity Eastern Europe, a Canadian company and 2) the American Peace Corps. Dr. Butler has first-hand knowledge about the activities of these organizations. In 1991, he was recruited by Solidarity Eastern Europe to teach English at Rzeszow University of Technology, and while he was there had the pleasure to interface academically with a Peace Corps worker.
Motivation for the Study
The motivation for this work is Spain’s current “open door” policy towards Polish workers. Citizens of Poland have the same right to be employed in Spain as Spaniards. Therefore, it is now more important than ever for Polish students to learn Spanish.
The theoretical framework for this article is supplied by the general notion of the school as an organization and social institution.
Are Polish higher school students studying Spanish so that they can obtain work in Spain? The predicted answer was “yes” because it is relatively easy for Poles to be employed in Spain.
Student Answers and Results
On 12 Nov 2007 fifteen students who study full-time at AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland were asked to indicate on sheets of paper if they are studying Spanish so that they can secure employment in Spain. The results are as follows: 87 % (No ) and 13 % (Yes).Therefore, the predicted answer to our research question was not confirmed..
Our findings have implications for Spanish language teaching at Polish higher schools. Nevertheless, it is recommended that more research be carried out, in the future, involving additional institutions
Janowski A. (1992), Polish Education: Changes and Prospects. Oxford Studies in Comparative Education 2 (1), 41-55.
Special Note: Thank you to Dr. Kimberly Grantham Griffith and Dr. William Allan Kritsonis for their assistance in getting this manuscript published in America. See: www.nationalforum.com
Formatted by Alexis Catherine Brown, National Associate Research and Manuscript Preparation Editor, National FORUM Journals, Houston, TX 77095 www.nationalforum.com