Bristol : Multilingual Matters
Bilingual Education & Bilingualism
InLapresta Rey, C.; Huguet, Á. (ed.), Multilingualism in European Language Education, pp. 132-155
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Lapresta Rey, C.
Lapresta Rey, C.; Huguet, Á. (ed.), Multilingualism in European Language Education
SubjectBilingual Education & Bilingualism; Language & Communication; Non-nativeness in Communication
The Netherlands can be regarded as a multilingual society, in which the majority – and official – language of the Netherlands, Dutch, is used in different everyday contexts alongside immigrant languages such as Arabic and Turkish and foreign languages such as French and German. In the northern province of Fryslân, the regional language Frisian, which is recognized officially by law, is widely used in society alongside Dutch. Dutch language policy through the years can be seen to be cognizant of the cultural diversity and multilingualism in Dutch society. In education, while English is compulsory as the first foreign language in primary and secondary education, other foreign languages are offered as options too. In the province of Fryslân, Frisian as an additional language to English is compulsory at primary school and the first two years of secondary school, although schools may opt out of the latter obligation if there is an insufficient number of Frisian teachers available. While the initiative to offer minority language education has ceased, the minority languages Turkish and Arabic are offered as optional foreign languages in secondary education. On the whole, this would suggest that Dutch language policy follows Europe’s “one-plus-two” foreign language policy, a language policy which also aims to promote intercultural exchange in a multilingual society and multilingual world. In the course of this chapter, we will consider to what extent this European ideal is achieved in educational practice.
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