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University Launches Project on Multilingualism in Teaching – Northern Times

Several Dutch universities have launched a research project, the Groninger Internet Courant, to better understand the impact of education on the country’s multilingual community and its role in society. report.

According to the report, a quarter of the population speak a language other than Dutch at home. University of Groningen those who participate in research.

However, researchers note that this cultural and linguistic diversity is not well reflected in educational institutions in a country where Dutch is still the dominant language. A new study, entitled “Taal voor de Toekomst” (Language for the Future), seeks to examine these realities in order to come up with proposals for making better use of this precious and untapped resource. purpose.

Recent investigation According to the CBS Bureau of Statistics, there are over 149 languages ​​and dialects spoken in the Netherlands, all associated with different cultures.

But instead of celebrating this diversity, the discourse surrounding multilingual students in the education system has taken on a negative coloration, with the languages ​​spoken by immigrants generally being assigned to those of lower social status. As a result, students’ mental health and motivation to learn can be adversely affected, ultimately preventing them from functioning optimally in society.

The research institutions that have teamed up to spearhead the Language for the Future project hope to change mindsets by gradually integrating multilingualism into the education system.

Merel Keijzer and Joana Duarte, two RUG researchers actively participating in the study, emphasize the importance of multilingualism as one of the strengths of the Netherlands. Keijzer is a Professor of English Linguistics and English as a Second Language, and Director of the Bilingualism and Aging Lab, researching lifelong multilingualism. “It’s time to start thinking seriously about the potential of language as a vehicle for diversity and identity,” says Kaiser. “I don’t think people in Holland understand how much knowledge there is.”

Joana Duarte is Associate Professor in the Department of Minorities and Multilingualism/Frisian Languages ​​and Lecturer in Multilingualism and Literacy at the NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences. She is also a Professor at the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Amsterdam, with a special appointment for Global Her Citizenship and Bilingual Education. “Sometimes we call inequality of opportunity a many-headed monster,” she says. “It is impossible to identify and address a single problem area.

Both researchers see multilingualism as an underutilized opportunity. RUG researchers are already studying various forms of multilingualism, including the link between multilingualism and cognition. Speaking many languages ​​places certain demands on a person’s cognitive abilities, he explains Keijzer. “People who do so on a regular basis experience certain benefits,” she says. Researchers point out that they are related.

https://northerntimes.nl/universities-launch-project-on-multilingualism-in-education/ University Launches Project on Multilingualism in Teaching – Northern Times

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