Urban Multilingualism and Education International Conference
6-8 March 2013 Ghent, Belgium
Bilingualism as an Advantage. A comparative study on the performance of bilinguals versus monolinguals.
Bilingualism as an Advantage
A comparative study on the performance of bilinguals versus monolinguals.
The paper will introduce and analyse the differences and similarities in the performance of three groups of test takers taking the ECL language exam in Hungary and in the neighbouring countries.
ECL is a proficiency-type of language exam established in 1992 by the Member States of the European Union. The professional work of ECL is provided by prestigious universities in the home countries of each language. These institutions construct the tests and evaluate the papers. The content and overall validity of the tests have been established after extensive research by specialists and pilot tests on specific target groups.
The three groups of test takers are the following: members of the Hungarian minority living in Rumania, Slovakia and Serbia, members of the German minority living in Hungary and native Hungarians. The study compares, contrasts and analyses the performance of these three distinct group of test takers two of which come from a multilingual environment. The research aims to give answers to the following questions:
(1) do bilingual test takers have an advantage when taking a language examination in a third language as compared to those who are monolingual?
(2) in what areas of language skills can this advantage be observed?
(3) are there statistically significant differences in the performance of test takers?
The data base of the ECL Language Centre make it possible to compare the results achieved by these three groups.