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About us How to find us J. (Joana) Da Silveira Duarte, PhD

J. Da Silveira Duarte, PhD

Assistant professor
J. Da Silveira Duarte, PhD

Holi-Frysk: Frisian in secondary education: a holistic approach

Regional and minority languages, such as Frisian, are growingly coming into contact with migrant languages, as more migrants move to officially bi- or multilingual regions in Europe. Schools, already struggling to meet the standards for the national and foreign languages in the curriculum, are thus faced with the need to update their take on languages. However, how to handle this variety of languages ​​in practice is unknown to many schools and teachers. While some research on holistic approaches (also called plurilingual approaches) for primary education has been carried out, secondary schools still remain under-explored.

The project addresses this issue in the context of secondary education in the bilingual region of Friesland in the north of the Netherlands. It will serve as a pilot study:

(a) for the development of multilingual teaching methods for different types of secondary schools;

(b) to conduct research into the implementation of new teaching methods and the effects it has on the language attitudes and the effectiveness of teachers.

Province of Friesland

 Collaboration with 
NHL University of Applied Sciences, Leeuwarden (department for teacher training)

CSG Liudger, Burgum

Piter Jelles Leeuwarder Lyceum, Leeuwarden

Piter Jelles ISK, Leeuwarden

 Project activities

 The project will be conducted in three phases:

 Development of activities for multilingual teaching in three different types of secondary schools: a trilingual school (with Dutch, Frisian and English as instruction languages), a school with many Dutch-speaking students and a school with pupils with a migration background.

  1. Implementation, evaluation and refinement of teaching activities
  2. Completion of the final product of this project , an open source toolbox describing the activities developed at each school that can be used for the development of a multilingual approach in other secondary schools.

LiMA - Video Study (LiViS)

Most schools and educational systems in Europe perceive multilingualism as a burden rather than a resource worthy of support and encouragement. This can be observed not only in monolingual teaching strategies but also in the mission statements of schools as well as indirectly through curricula dictated by the Ministries of Education noticeably lacking references to language education.

However, there is evidence suggesting that monolingual teaching approaches in schools neglect the multilingual competencies and the resulting potential of students, and in doing so inhibit rather than aid the academic as well as personal development of the students. The relevant literature indicates that the development of the ability to identify patterns and structures in languages benefits from the inclusion of multilingualism in learning processes, making it an excellent precondition for any form of language learning. One of our initial hypotheses therefore states that the exclusion of multilingualism from instruction ignores a chance to use the potential of the multilingual group for language-relevant cognitive activation.

The analysis of previous research further indicates that school instruction itself has largely been ignored as a subject of research in the investigation of the correlations between academic achievements and multilingualism, especially in secondary education. Therefore, the LiViS work group recorded video tapes in different types of secondary schools.

The study focuses on the videotaping of lessons in maths, history and social science).

The central question of the analysis is how learning situations in everyday lessons can be oriented towards the specific needs of multilingual students, especially with regard to instruction supporting the acquisition of the academic language. With this study, we aim to contribute to education and teaching research in considering various structuring activities and types of feedback.

LUCIDE - Languages in Urban Communities - Integration and Diversity for Europe

LUCIDE is a network which is developing ideas about how to manage multilingual citizen communities. We are building up a picture of how communication occurs in multilingual settings across the EU and beyond. We aim to help institutions (councils, schools, hospitals) and local and national economies make better productive use of diversity as an economic resource and to strengthen social cohesion by fostering better communication and mutual understanding. We also want to understand better how the cultural richness of these new cities can strengthen the “diverse unity “of the 21st century.

LUCIDE is an outcome of the LETPP project, funded by the EU Lifelong learning programme in 2010. A key conclusion of LETPP was the idea that the multilingual city would be both the driver of change and a test bed for future progress. It is this which has provided both the inspiration and the framework for the present proposal

In concrete terms LUCIDE will be undertaking research, running seminars and workshops and developing guidelines for multilingual cities relating to –

  • Education - language learning and language support
  • The public sphere - how the city supports democratic engagement
  • Economic life – the benefits of multilingualism and the requirements
  • The private sphere – how people behave and interrelate and celebrate
  • The urban space – the appearance and sounds of the city

Language Rich Europe (LRE)

Language Rich Europe (LRE) is a study on multi-lingualism that was commissioned by the British Council and the Babylon Centre at Tilburg University in the Netherlands, with financial support from the European Commission. 

LRE was a networking project bringing together 1200 policy makers and practitioners from 24 countries and regions in Europe to discuss and develop better policies and practices for multilingualism. Network members were drawn from the fields of education, business, public services and the media.

Last modified:20 July 2017 10.42 p.m.

Contact information

Broerstraat 5
9712 CP Groningen
The Netherlands