Framework curricula for secondary schools

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Topic, focus; clauses with the conjunction ‘hogy’; active and passive structure; aspect; ellipsis, omitted conjunction, repetition, thought parallel; Finno-Ugric language family; period without monuments, ancient Hungarian, old Hungarian, middle Hungarian, period of neology, modern Hungarian; sporadic monuments, codex, ancient print; ancient words, borrowed words and words with foreign origin.
Prerequisites of moving ahead
Ability to identify word components, applying knowledge of word classes in analysis. Syntactic analysis of simple embedded sentences. Using argumentative genres in a well-known topic. Characterisation of the various periods of the history of Hungarian through some examples.
Another possible thematic approach for teaching Hungarian literature in years 9 through 12 is described in the following section of the Framework Curriculum. ‘New activities’ and ‘Prerequisites of moving ahead’ are not repeated as of Year 10, as they are evidently the same as the already described version.

Year 9
Number of teaching hours per year: 111

New activities
Studying the role of literary conversion (e.g. genre, imagery, theme), and explaining with the help of a few examples taken from works having been learnt.

The ironic treatment of epic conventions; recognising the movement from traditional narrative towards a prose which can be characterised by the increased use of changing planes, description, reflection, metaphor.

Differentiation of linguistic point of view, perspective, the evaluator’s position or the ideological point of view during analysis.

Interpreting the significance of how authors name their characters.

Identifying the function of various linguistic devices (i.e. lack of verbs and syntactic parallel, infinitive, length of verse paragraphs) in a poem. Capturing the role of linguistic devices used as the organising principle of a poem or as a dominant feature of constructing meaning.

Noticing figurative language use.

Establishing how ‘possible’ or ‘created’ worlds emerge from certain signs of a literary text.

Writing the ‘implied chapters’ of a work (i.e. parts of the plot that are not told explicitly, but can be extrapolated).

Anticipating continuation during interrupted reading.

Describing the metaphoric level of a narrative text by recognising intertextual references, symbolic objects and recurring motives.

Inserting devices expressing evaluation (synonyms) or replacing them with neutral ones: practical experience of style as an evaluative gesture.

Identifying the possible framework scene or epic core of poems having learnt.

Identifying the organising principle, the dominant element, prevailing sentence type, grammatical and rhetorical devices of a poem.

Reorganising the visual form of a poem.

Writing an individual work, e.g. satirical entry for a book on natural history, a parody, a satirical portray, a one-minute short story, an epigram.

Creating metaphors. Reviving a metaphor which has lost its effect.



Everyday and literary communication

The doubling of communicative functions in literary communication.

Fiction, the suspension of reality, multiplicity of meaning.

Reading epics

Anticipation and suspension.

Structure of events and structure of text.

The narrator’s point of view and speech situation (perspective).

The methodology of short story analysis.

Narration, short story and novel.

Description and characterisation in novels.

Reading and discussing at least two long epic and five or six short epic works within the sphere of the age group’s interest.

Reading lyric poetry - creative and productive exercises

The poet and the speaker of the poem.

The relationship of the addresser and the addressed.

The framework scene and its absence.

Time structure and logical structure.

Specific features related to genre and verse paragraph.

The acoustics of poetry.

The role of figures of speech.

The organising principles of a poem.

Reading and discussing at least 12 poems by the classics and contemporary Hungarian poets.

Creative-productive exercises.

Reading drama

Reading / watching and discussing a least two plays.

Tragedy and comedy.

Genre related conventions.

Tragic and comic heroes.

The characters’ values and the specific conflict.

Classic and Elizabethan stage.

The articulation of dramatic texts and plots.

The place of scenes within the whole play.

Parallel scenes and parallel characters.

Similarities and differences of the epic (novels) and the dramatic narrative.

Repetition and omission

The rhythmic and semantic role of word repetition.

Cohesion in poems and the various types of syntactic parallelism.

The contribution of repetition and omission to the effect of a poem.

Repetition and omission in epics and drama: repeated key words, motives, situations and scenes.

The ballad.

Ellipsis and the necessity of background knowledge or code for interpretation.

The major code systems of literature

Part I

Greek and Latin antiquity and Hungarian literature

The origin of myth and literature.

Stories from Greek mythology.

Homer’s epic poems and heir impact.

A few poems written by antique poets (e.g. Sappho, Anacreon, Catullus, Horatius, Vergilius). Examples to illustrate their recurrence in Hungarian literature.

The major code systems of literature

Part II

The Bible and Hungarian literature

The significance and structure of the ‘book of books’ in cultural history.

Some Biblical stories and their presence in the past and present of Hungarian literature as a common system of reference.

Literary terms
Fiction, conventions of literary communication (suspension of reality, possibility of multiple interpretations, open meaning), value, set of values, genre related and thematic conventions, lyric poetry, epics, drama, myth, short story, the relation of the narrative (sequence of events) and the structure of the text, point of view and perspective (the narrator’s speech situation), anticipation and suspension, in medias res, frame scene, the relationship of the addresser and the addressed, organising principle of a poem, metaphorisation, chronological structure and logical structure, ellipsis, tragedy, catharsis, parallel scenes, deus ex machine, ridicule, irony, satire, grotesque, epic poem, epic devices, chorus, classical metric verse: Sappho’s, Alcaius’s, Anacreon’s line, Testament, gospel, allegory, psalm, rhythm of thought.

Texts to memorise
Citing entire literary works and passages (six poems, 15-20 lines from a prosaic work and a drama); using quotations in speech and writing in accordance with purpose and textual environment.

Authors and works
Some stories from antique mythology and the Bible; a few works representing Hungarian folk-poetry, e.g. Júlia szép leány (Júlia Is a Pretty Girly; characteristic passages from the Iliad and the Odyssey; one drama written by Sophocles, Shakespeare and Molière each; five short stories (written by at least four Hungarian authors), two novels (at least one of them should be the work of a Hungarian author), fourteen or fifteen poems primarily selected from 19th and 20th century Hungarian poetry; six to eight Hungarian literary work inspired by antiquity or the Bible, following the example of an antique genre or the parody of that.

Notes for the selection of works: The crucial factor determining the selection of short stories and novels should be the recipients’ age, the skills to be developed and the activities related to them. Also the poetic and rhetoric features (or theory of genres and poetry) to be studied or observed should drive the selection and grouping of lyric poems under topics three and five. It is useful to work with poems representing a diversity of themes, forms and moods, however it is advisable to arrange them into smaller groups according to common form generating principles to make it easier for students to observe the common features.

Year 10
Number of teaching hours per year: 111



The impact of European medieval literature on Hungarian literature

Ancient Christian antecedents.

World view and culture in the Middle Ages.


The impact of medieval European lyric poets in Hungarian literature (e.g. Vogelweide and Radnóti, Villon and Attila József).

Dante’s works and hymns as translated by Babits.

Old Hungarian Lament to Mary, hymns.

Selections from the literature of European and Hungarian Renaissance

Renaissance and Humanism (literature and other arts).

Janus Pannonius’s poetry.

Bálint Balassi’s poetry (renaissance and Reformation, structure of sequences, typical themes, minstrels and Petrarca’s influence, imitation and original, biography and inventio poetica).

Passages from the literature of Reformation in Hungary.

The age of Baroque

The theoretical background of Baroque art; fine arts and music.

Péter Pázmány and Miklós Zrínyi.

Szigeti veszdelem (The Peril of Sziget) as a Baroque epic poem.

Mikes’s letters.

Selections from the literature of the Enlightenment

European background: the ethos of the Enlightenment (introduction and excerpts).

Writers, poets and trends in the age of Enlightenment in Hungary (Bessenyei, Batsányi, Kármán, Kazinczy).

Mihály Csokonai Vitéz and his poetry: synthesis of styles and verse types used by Csokonai.

Ode, elegy and epistle in Dániel Berzsenyi’s poetry.

Bánk bán by József Katona.

Selections from the literature of Romanticism

Romanticism as a period (fine arts, music).

Selections from the literature of European Romanticism (and Realism): two or three poems, two epic works (in verse or prose) (e.g. Hoffmann, Kleist, Puskin, Balzac, Stendhal or Dickens.

Politics and literary life in the Reform Era.

Ferenc Kölcsey’s poetry and essays.

Mihály Vörösmarty (from the narrative poem to Csongor és Tünde (Csongor and Tünde), odes and epigrams, his late works).

Sándor Petőfi (review, organisation and expansion of previous knowledge, Az Apostol (The Apostle).

Mór Jókai (review and organisation of previous knowledge, one unknown novel, e.g. Az aranyember (The Golden Man).

Literary terms
Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Classicism, Enlightenment, rationalism, empiricism, sentimentalism, popularity, romanticism, realism, confession, legend, minstrel poetry, Balassi stanza, tertina, sonnet, sequence, Asclepiad’s stanza, acrosticon, figura etimologica, descriptive-meditative poem, poetic landscapes, vision, elegy, elegiac ode, poems contrasting times and values, epistle, rhapsody, pamphlet, dissertation, utopia, travelogue, thesis novel, letter novel, novel in verse, developmental novel, dramatic poem.
Texts to memorise
Citing entire literary works and passages (five poems, 15-20 lines from a prosaic work and a drama).

Using quotations in speech and writing in accordance with purpose and textual environment.

Authors and works
One poem by Janus Pannonius; Egy katona-ének (A Soldier’s Song) and two other poems written by Bálint Balassi; one or two excerpts from Miklós Zrínyi’s Szigeti veszedelem (The Peril of Sziget); Bánk bán by József Katona; A közelítő tél (The Approaching Winter) and two other works by Dániel Berzsenyi; at least three works written by Mihály Csokonai Vitéz; Csongor és Tünde (Csongor and Tünde), A vén cigány (The Old Gypsy) and three other poems by Mihály Vörösmarty; Az apostol and five other lyric poems written by Sándor Petőfi, e.g. A négyökrös szekér (The Four Ox Cart) , Egy gondolat bánt engemet (One Thought Is Hurting me), A puszta télen (The Puszta in Winter), Minek nevezzelek? (What to Call You), Pacsirtaszót hallok megint (I Can Hear the Lark’s Song Again); one novel written by Mór Jókai; one or two epic works in full or in part representing the world literature of the first half of the 19th century, e.g. by Balzac, Stendhal, Puskin or others.
Year 11
Number of teaching hours per year: 111



János Arany

Typical genres and periods in the oeuvre. Review and systematisation of what has been learnt before, the discussion of new entire works (6-8 poems) and passages.

Imre Madách

The Tragedy of Man - literary analysis and discussion.

A look at the genre of ‘mankind poem’, mainly Goethe’s Faust and/or the genre of negative utopia (e.g. Swift, Orwell - in connection with the Phalanstery scene).

Selections from the world literature of the second half of the 19th century (epics and lyric poetry)

At least two narrative works (one may be an excerpt from a novel), e.g. by Gogol, Tolstoy, Dostoyevski or Flaubert.

Samples from the lyric poetry of a half century (optional works, e.g. by Verlaine, Rimbaud, Mallarmé, Whitman or Rilke) - three or four poems altogether.

Chapters from the history of Hungarian fiction

The place of Eötvös and Kemény in the development of Hungarian fiction.

Portrays: Kálmán Mikszáth (at least one novel and two short stories); Gyula Krúdy (at least two short stories); Zsigmond Móricz (at least one novel and two short stories).

Endre Ady

The periodical Nyugat and its forerunners (e.g. János Vajda, Sándor Bródy). Characteristic themes, periods and verse types in Endre Ady’s oeuvre (at least eight works). Some basic knowledge of the composition of volumes and sequences. Samples from the poet’s journalistic works.

Chapters from the history of drama

For example analytic drama (King Oedipus, The Wild Duck, The Death of a Salesman) or plays of waiting (The Three Sisters, Shelter for the Night, Waiting for Godot).

Hungarian literature in the beginning of the 20th century

Poet protrays: Gyula Juhász and Árpád Tóth.

Samples from the works of the contemporaries (optional works e.g. by Géza Csáth, Frigyes Karinthy, Ferenc Molnár).

Lajos Kassák, Milán Füst and the European Avant-garde

A poem written by Apollinaire, Mayakovski and/or a German expressionist; at least one poem written by Kassák and Füst; some features of the major trends (expressionism, futurism, dada, surrealism).

Literary terms
Positivism, naturalism, impressionism, symbolism, Art Nouveau, Avant-garde, futurism, expressionism, surrealism, activism; expressive lyric poetry, role poem, poems addressing the self, image poem; developmental novel, career novel, polyphonic novel, novel sequence, short story sequence, dramatic poem, analytic drama, non-dramatic drama, tragicomedy; essay, sketch; parody, simultanism, scenery, vision, polyphony, heroic type, paraphrase, poem with a mixed rhythm, free verse.

Texts to memorise
Citing entire literary works and passages (at least five of the discussed poems, 20-25 lines from a prosaic work and a drama); using quotations in speech and writing in accordance with purpose and textual environment.

Year 12
Number of teaching hours per year: 96



Mihály Babits

Characteristic themes, verse types and periods from the oeuvre (at least six works), one study (essay) or excerpts from a few essays.

Dezső Kosztolányi

Characteristics genres and themes from the oeuvre (five poems, at least two short stories, one novel and one essay or a few excerpts).

Selections from 20th century world literature

(epics and lyric poetry)

Two epic works written by some outstanding authors of 20th century literature (e.g. Proust, Kafka, Thomas Mann, Babel, Bulgakov, Hemingway, Camus, Garcia Marquez, Borges or Hrabal).

Samples from 20th century poetry, e.g. Garcia Lorca, Eliot, Paszternak, Kavafisz or Benn (two or three poems altogether).

Attila József

Characteristic themes and periods - at least eight works.

A few outstanding figures of Hungarian literature between the two world wars

László Németh (one novel or one play, or excerpts; samples from the essay writer’s works).

Lőrinc Szabó (four or five poems).

Gyula Illyés (pne prosaic work and at least one poem, other than the ones discussed at primary school).

Sándor Márai (one work or several passages) Miklós Radnóti (four poems, including one eclogue)

Authors and works of Hungarian prose and drama of the second half of the 20th century.

Iskola a határon (The School on the Border) by Géza Ottlik and another novel or a short story from the second half of the 20th century.

István Örkény (one play and a few one-minute short stories).

Chapters from the history of modern drama

E.g. Analytic drama (King Oedipus, The Wild Duck, The Death of a Salesman) or plays of waiting (The Three Sisters, Shelter for the Night, Waiting for Godot).

Or one work written by Brecht or Dürrenmatt for example.

Works and portrays representing Hungarian lyric poetry in the second half of the 20th century

Sándor Weöres (at least three poems); János Plinszky (at least three poems); a few works from the oeuvre of one of the outstanding lyric poets e.g. poems by István Vas, Ágnes Nemes Nagy, László Nagy, Domokos Szilágyi or contemporary poets.

Literary terms
Existentialism, postmodernism, mass culture, virtual; eclogue, idyll, bucolic poetry, objective poetry, four liner, one liner, long poem; sonnet sequence, essay novel; absurd drama, epic drama and theatre; sociography; Utopia; counter-Utopia; diary, complex image, changing planes; archetype, myth, parable, absurd; subjective time, objective time.

Texts to memorise
Citing entire literary works and passages (at least five poems, a 20-25 lines from a prosaic work and a drama).

Using quotations in speech and writing in accordance with purpose and textual environment.

Years 9 through 12 of education
Objectives and tasks
The objectives and tasks of teaching history in grammar schools are built upon the knowledge acquired at primary school.

Studying history plays a crucial role in the development and apperception of numerous positive personal features. Familiarity with the actions of those who were involved in historical events, understanding their behaviour, decisions and motivations allow the formation of key competencies which can help the individual as a social being and citizen to find his or her right place in society. The investigation of the paths leading from the past to the present can help students understand the political, economic and social phenomena of the present. History and the curriculum modules related to history are designed to teach the material which is necessary to attain the above objectives.

In order to achieve this, it is necessary to ensure the appropriate circumstances for learning about history and society. In other words, the offered way of obtaining knowledge should make learning a pleasure for the students. The modern media must be given an increasing role in the process of learning about history and society. Students’ knowledge cannot be restricted to the facts, it must be accompanied by a sensitivity to problems, the need to expand knowledge, and familiarity with the methods of individual learning and orientation. This is the only way to develop a positive attitude to social sciences, which must go beyond compulsory schooling. While learning about historical events, the actions of historical figures and the history of culture, students have the opportunity to look at the values which were enforced in the various periods, and can experience how moral categories changed, succeeded or became vacant.

The vital questions of the past may reflect the problems of our own lives. Therefore the analysis and understanding of these questions may strengthen the individual’s responsibility for the society, the community and for the self. The prerequisite of all these is the development of a critical approach, which will make one able to recognise and evaluate the possible alternatives both in the past and in the present.

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