[lg policy] Belgium: Call on schools to apply the new language policy

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Fri Apr 27 14:54:47 UTC 2012

Call on schools to apply the new language policy

40% of all Flemish schools which were inspected have made too little
or no work  of the new language policy, while 50% of the schools have
a vision but lack clear objectives. Education Minister Pascal Smet
SP.A introduced a language memorandum which emphasizes proficiency in
the Dutch language for foreign-tongue pupils, and French and English
as second languages during the 2013-2014 school year. He further plans
to launch a website to guide schools in respect of this language

A solid knowledge of the Dutch language is fundamental to the Flemish
language policy, with language stimulation for foreign language
children and those with poor language skills during the nursery
classes as a crucial element, especially in multilingual cities. In
Antwerp and Ghent four in ten primary school pupils do not speak Dutch
at home. Those schools that have made efforts to apply the language
policy, have taught in a more understandable Dutch, as is used within
a classroom environment ‘the instruction language’. As far as language
education in the curriculum is concerned, French and English will also
receive top priority and primary school pupils will be exposed to
foreign languages from an earlier age. With this in mind in some
schools French will be taught as from the second grade.


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