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William Allan Kritsonis, PhD – International Educator

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

Cracow, Poland

            

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

Huntsville, Texas

Kimberly Grantham Griffith, PhD

Associate Professor and Faculty Mentor

Lamar University

Department of Professional Pedagogy

College of Education and Human Development

___________________________________________________________________________

ABSTRACT

         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

_________________________________________________________________________

 Introduction

           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.

 Research Question

       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..

 Concluding Remarks

        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

 Reference

 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

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Formatted by Alexis Catherine Brown, National Associate Research and Manuscript Preparation Editor, National FORUM Journals, Houston, TX 77095 www.nationalforum.com

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