Symposium ‘Dutch as a foreign language’

Kralendijk On the 24th of November, Taalunie is organizing the online symposium ‘Dutch as a foreign language’, in collaboration with educational partners on Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire, St. Maarten, St. Eustatius and Saba. The symposium is for everyone on the islands involved in Dutch language teaching, so for teachers and other educational professionals, parents and students. The aim of this event is to allow participants to reflect on and discuss the position of languages, in particular Dutch, in education on our multilingual islands.

Almost everyone on the Caribbean islands speaks and understands multiple languages, including Dutch. However, for most of it is not the mother tongue but a foreign language. Dutch is a compulsory subject at every school. In many schools, especially on Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire, it is even the language of instruction. The language teaching approach for Dutch is often still the traditional (mother tongue) approach, whereas this does not meet the needs of most students. That is why more and more schools are switching to the Dutch as a foreign language (NVT) didactics; a similar approach as for the other foreign languages ​​taught at school.

Symposium program

The event starts at 3 PM with the workshop ‘NVT in my classroom’. This workshop is for teachers, education managers and curriculum developers. The (bi-lingual) public session will take place from 4 to 6 PM. Everyone involved in Dutch language teaching is welcome, from teachers and other education al professionals to students and parents and other stakeholders. The focus of the symposium is Dutch as a foreign language in a multilingual environment. The keynote speech will be by dr. Jim Cummins, professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, on the theme: ‘mother tongue based multilingual education’. In addition to the focus on NVT, there is also an introduction to the concept of the ‘Language Friendly School’ – schools that recognize and embrace the multilingualism and cultural background of their students. There will be ample opportunity to ask questions to a panel of experts in the language teaching of the islands as well.

NVT Network and NVT Core Network
The NVT Core Network is part of the NVT Network. This Network is formed by educational stakeholders from the six islands involved and aims to share knowledge and best practices of NVT. The Core Network NVT, the more policy-based part of this network, is committed to reaching greater awareness and a broader application of NVT didactics in the Caribbean. These activities are part of the project network NVT that is financially supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW).

For more information and registrations

More information can be found on the NVTCarib Facebook page, where you also can register. This event will take place via the video conference platform Zoom. For further questions, send an mail to:

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