Bridging the gap: Young Philologist Academy
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Young Philologist Academy (YPA) is a newly launched project initiated in 2011and developed by the staff of Foreign Languages Department, Institute of Humanities. The main aim of the project is to find an effective way to promote studies of the English Philology and Linguistics among final and penultimate year high school students, to foster their creativity and critical thinking abilities and to encourage cooperation between the University staff and students. The meetings of YPA lasted from November 2011 till June 2012, all of them tackling specific English language aspects or focussing on some issues of life in the UK. Five guest speakers and twenty two staff members at the Foreign Languages Department contributed to the project. Over 100 students from Vilnius, Alytus, Anykščiai, Utena, and surrounding areas registered their interest in the project at the initial phase; this rather big number signalling the expressed demand for such type of learning. Throughout the duration of the project, YPA students were asked to complete several questionnaires in order to assess their own linguistic abilities and the success of the project. The findings obtained from the analysis of these questionnaires could be of interest to both university and high school English teachers as they highlight some of the needs of the English learners that a successful English language course should address. Participants’ demographic data, self-assessment of their English language skills and their expectations from YPA are discussed. The validity of the research findings is backed by statistical processing of self-evaluation data using SPSS (Software Package for Social Sciences).
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