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Dutch taught in schools is behind the times

21 January 2016
Source: Nationale Beeldbank.

The Dutch taught in schools is shallow, uninteresting and does not meet the current social requirements for language skills and literacy. Improvements can and must be made. Language experts from eight Dutch universities will join Dutch teachers on Friday 22 January in Groningen to launch a manifesto with ideas for improving the situation.

The way that Dutch is taught in schools has hardly changed in the past 25 years and is in dire need of an overhaul. The subject does not teach pupils about language and literature, and many schoolchildren simply find it boring and unchallenging. In addition, marks are generally low. At fifteen years of age, one in every seven pupils (13.8%) is ‘functionally illiterate’ (PISA, 2012). Many students starting at a university or university of applied sciences are given extra tuition to bring their poor writing skills up to the required standard. The content of many Dutch lessons does not reflect the today’s reality. In short, Dutch teaching do longer meets contemporary requirements. These are the conclusions of the Dutch Language Mastery Teams, set up by the universities to give the subject a new impulse.

The manifesto has been drawn up on behalf of the two Dutch Language Mastery Teams (literature & linguistics / language skills) from the Faculties of Arts and Humanities at eight Dutch universities. A dossier entitled Bewuste Geletterdheid (Conscious Literacy), which explains their arguments, is available on the website vakdidactiekgw.nl . The Faculties of Arts, supported by the Regional Body for the Humanities, are investing jointly in subject-didactic master teachers for various school subjects.

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Last modified:05 April 2019 11.49 a.m.
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