The International Studies Center (ISC) of the University of Pécs, Medical School launched the 19th Hungarian Language and Culture Summer University with 98 participants from abroad on 22 July. Dr. Kata Pelcz, head of the Hungarian Programme was the first to warmly welcome the audience at the official opening ceremony on 23 July. Dr. Reza Hemmati, head of ISC addressed the participants: “I am happy that I can see lots of faces from last year’s summer university programme, and new faces too, so I am glad!”
Dr. Tamás Tényi, vice-dean of the Medical School expressed his gratitude on behalf of the faculty for being able to present certificates for the teachers, who have been teaching in the summer university programmes for 10 years. He congratulated to the successful summer programme, which will celebrate its 20-year anniversary next year, and said to the participants: “I wish for you to make a lot of new friends, and to develop your knowledge of Hungarian language.” Afterwards Dr. Attila Miseta, the rector of the University of Pécs greeted the audience, and expressed his pleasure to welcome more and more people interested in this unique programme, which is: “a nice mixture of learning and entertainment. I am especially grateful for the International Studies Center, who organized this summer university for the 19th time.”
In the Hungarian Language and Culture Summer University programme, participants can choose to come for two or for four weeks. They come from all over the world: Brazil, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Poland, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, UK and the USA. Among the returning participants there are families, and this year there is a student, who participated in the very first Hungarian summer university programme 19 years ago!
The lessons are divided to five different levels matching the language knowledge of the participants. They learn Hungarian in 40 classroom lessons per week in groups of 5-10 people taught by teachers of Hungarian as a foreign language. A unique characteristic of the programme is that every minute of it is used for language learning, from the moment of arrival, through the opening ceremony, until the closing of the programme. Therefore, at the opening ceremony, the teachers of the summer university introduced themselves and the available activities in Hungarian, and the outline of the information was displayed on a screen in English.
In the programme, one group has three teachers, thereby offering a diverse student experience, different teaching methods, and the students can take part in various club activities: sports, gastronomy, movies and phonetics. The experienced and professional teachers have been teaching in the summer university programme for many years now, many of them also participated in the development of the course materials used in the classes.
The teaching materials used in the summer university programme were published at the University of Pécs, in the form of a series of textbooks written by Szilvia Szita and Katalin Pelcz with the title MagyarOK. The unique teaching method called the ‘model-based’ method is used throughout both the series and the summer university programme. It is characterized by an emphasis on the transfer of contemporary language knowledge, with a focus on natural language use, providing information about Hungarian culture, thereby creating an opportunity for the learners to introduce, compare and contrast their own culture to the Hungarian. Matched to the lessons, the participants can explore Pécs and the vicinity in cultural seminars, projects and field trips. During the summer university programme, the 5th teacher training seminar is also taking place on the third week of the programme. The participants come from Hungary and abroad as well, and they attend 6-8 hour long workshops every day, this year revolving around the development of language skills.