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Trilingual Education in Friesland: a ‘cool’ example of multilingualism Alex M.J. Riemersma Lector Frisian & Multilingualism in Education Researcher at.

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Presentation on theme: "Trilingual Education in Friesland: a ‘cool’ example of multilingualism Alex M.J. Riemersma Lector Frisian & Multilingualism in Education Researcher at."— Presentation transcript:

1 Trilingual Education in Friesland: a ‘cool’ example of multilingualism Alex M.J. Riemersma Lector Frisian & Multilingualism in Education Researcher at Fryske Akademy / Mercator FORUM Instituut voor Multiculturele Vraagstukken (Utrecht, 6 juni 2012)

2 Frisian is spoken in one province (of 12) of the Netherlands: Fryslân

3 Frisian in Fryslân (Netherlands) Autochthonous minority language Western Germanic language Fryslân has 640,000 inhabitants 55% has Frisian as mother tongue (= 350.000 speakers) BUT: Frisian is successful as second language: 65% can read Frisian; 74% can speak Frisian; 94% comprehends Frisian.

4 Characteristics of Frisian FryskEnglishDutchGerman Tsiis CheeseKaasKäse TsjerkeChurchKerkKirche KaaiKeySleutelSchlüssel twa skieptwo sheeptwee schapen zwei Schafe Ik haw west / I have been Ik ben geweest / Ich bin gewesen

5 “Mother tongue” definition & thinking EU policy: M + 2: each pupil / student / adult shall acquire two languages alongside the mother tongue. Implicit EU ideology: “mother tongue” = national language “Mother tongue” thinking process: either – or >>> and - and

6 6 Old theory / ferâldere ideeën

7 7 New theory / nij ynsjoch

8 Common sense / Prejudices The minority / migrant mother tongue prevents the pupils form acquiring the national language well enough. The minority / migrant language and dialects are for oral use only; they should not be taught for reading and writing purposes.

9 Iceberg by Jim Cummins – 2 peaks

10 Iceberg of Jim Cummins – 3 peaks

11 Why multilingual education? Real Mother tongue development Cognitive development - flexibility Easier third language acquisition Social participation Cultural heritage maintenance Language maintenance & transmission

12 European Policies EU (27 member states / 23 languages): M + 2: mother tongue + 2 other languages Multilingualism as an “asset” Mother tongue / father tongue “Linguistic Diversity” ideology: * includes minority and migrant languages * but member states are responsible (due to “subsidiarity”-principle)

13 Actors for multilingual education Inside actors: Educational authorities (national, regional, local school board) School principals & class room teachers Actors from outside: Parents & activists Social and cultural environment

14 Goals of bilingual education Transitional bilingualism, aiming at > better command of national language; Sustainable bi- / multilingual education > full bilingualism, biliteracy (in mother tongue and national language) Reality of migrant languages: Neglect of (real) mother tongue = submersion > subtractive bilingualism

15 Frisian in Education: transitional > … 1907: outside the curriculum 1937: optional subject in primary school 1955: optional medium of instruction 1980: compulsory subject in primary school 1993: compulsory subject in secondary education 1970: optional exam subject

16 Multilingual Primary Education in Friesland Main stream primary education (500 schools): mainly Dutch; Frisian + English as a subject. 100 schools: limited use of Frisian as a medium (one day / half day; + school television ). Trilingual primary education (about 45 schools): - Dutch, Frisian and English as subject and medium - aiming at integrated language learning. Reitze Jonkman en Alex Riemersma

17 Trilingual education in Fryslân  Model: Frisian, Dutch and English as subject & medium of instruction - Grade 1-6: 50 % Frisian, 50 % Dutch - Grade 7-8: 40 % Frisian, 40 % Dutch, 20% English  Early start English  Consciously separated use of languages: person / time / themes

18 Trilingual education in Fryslân  Expected (& proved) results: - Good quality of Frisian - Results of Dutch at the same level at the end of grade 8 as all other pupils - Results for English slightly better - Self consciousness in English better, but not significantly

19 Trilingual education in Fryslân Developments: (a) 2012: 50 primary trilingual schools (=10%) (b) 100 schools: semi-multilingual education: mainly Dutch + English as a subject; Frisian medium for (half) school day Continuity to secondary education: 2012: 3 pilot schools with the concept of multilingual clil (= medium of instruction)


21 Some recommendations Güven = Vertrouwen tussen school + thuis: Onderwijsondersteunend gedrag: J. Nortier, Nederland meertalenland (2009), hoofdstuk 7 – 8 - 9 1.Adults and kids: reading & listening: (in Fries en Nederlands) 2.Buddy’s and kids: (double) enculturisation

22 Identification - native speaker charachter Language rich input : - reading aloud - story telling - immersion - interaction - vocabulary

23 Common Goals & Features Integration, NOT assimilation Multilingual proficiency: condition / goal / asset Support from (extended) family, school and institutions Positive attitude: multlingualism and mutliple identities as “asset”.

24 Recommended Literature Colin Baker, A Parents’ and Teachers’ Guide to Bilingualism (1995). Idem: Zweisprachigkeit zu Hause und in der Schule: Ein handbuch für Erziehende. (vertaling in Turks in voorbereiding!) François Grosjean, Bilingual: Life & Reality (2010) Ofelia Garcia, Bilingual Education in the 21st Century. A global perspective (2009)

25 25 Eskerrik asko Mange Takk Diolch Tankewol Trugarez Grazia Graciis Dankscheen Mercé plan Kiitos Köszönöm Multimesc Hvala Dankuwel Teşekkür ederim

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