chapter  2
Pages 22

The idea of investigating the effect of foreign language (FL) learning on the development of mother tongue skills originates from a longitudinal experi­ ment that was conducted in Hungary with native speakers of Hungarian learning either English, French, or Russian in different types of secondary schools (T. Papp, 1991).1 A summary of some of the main findings of that ex­ periment is given in this chapter chiefly because most of the issues dis­ cussed in the following chapters were raised while the results of the experi­ ment were being evaluated. Also, several parts of the same data were reanalyzed from different perspectives as new research questions were be­ ing generated. The aim of the Hungarian experiment was to find out how FL learning influences mother tongue in a decisive period (age 14-16 years) when first language (LI) development and use enter into a stage where indi­ vidual writing, learning, and problem-solving strategies and styles are being developed (T. Papp, 1991).