November 24, the 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 involved in Dutch language teaching on the islands, 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 our Caribbean islands speaks and understands multiple languages, including Dutch. However, for most of us, it is not our mother tongue but a foreign language. Dutch is a compulsory subject at every school. In many schools - especially in 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) didacts; a similar approach as for the other foreign languages taught at school.
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 PM - 6 PM. Everyone involved in education in and of Dutch is welcome, from teachers and other educational professionals to students and parents, and other stakeholders. The focus of the symposium is Dutch as a foreign language in a multilingual environment. Keynote speaker is Dr. Jim Cummins, professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, with 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.
Finally, there will be ample opportunity to ask questions to a panel of experts in the language teaching of the islands
NVT network and NVT Core network: The NVT Core Network is part of the NVT Network. The NVT Network is formed by educational stakeholders from the six islands involved and aims to share knowledge and best practices upon NVT. The Core Network NVT is the more policy-based part of this network, which is committed to greater awareness and broader application of NVT didactics in the Caribbean. The activities are part of the project network NVT that is financially supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science (OCW).