Language is a fundamental part of children’s sense of self and a direct expression of their cultural identity. Children who speak their mother tongue tend to experience a higher awareness of their cultural identity leading to a greater self confidence. Confident children will find it easier to learn new skills & languages.
The parents’ role in fostering the mother tongue
Dutch/Femish children growing up abroad need to be subjected to the Dutch language on a daily basis.
This can be done by:
- actively speaking the language.
- watching Dutch/Flemish television programmes.
- reading Dutch books to and with them.
- staying frequent in contact with relatives abroad.
This level of exposure to the language is sufficient for pre schoolers.
Once children start going to school, it will be harder to keep up their level of both languages. When they speak English in school, they will experience a whole new way of communicating in this language, which they don’t get in Dutch.They will learn to read and write in English, and their use of the language will be more abstract as they learn topics such as geography, biology and history.
Studies have shown that when a bilingual child studies the language and culture three hours per week, he/she will remain at the same level, language wise as a child his/her age in the Netherlands. This is on the proviso that parents take an active role in speaking the language at home.
Our teaching methods are the same as the main methods taught in the Netherlands. During the Dutch lessons we will focus on:
- technical reading
- vocal ability
The level of focus on the above aspects are age and ability dependant. Additionally there is a strong focus on both Dutch and Flemish culture during the weekly lessons. Above all these lessons will be taught in a fun & playful manner.
Following the NOB guidelines we will organise 3 culture days during the school year. The culture days are open to anyone, allowing everyone to enjoy a cultural experience in a fun environment with children their own age.
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