Questions about the educational system in the Netherlands

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Questions about the educational system in the Netherlands

Messagepar languageLearner » 16 Oct 2013 9:41

Greetings,
I'm a student that is researching how english is taught in non-native countries, and since the Netherlands is one of the best rating in such thing, I decided to look for its historical, economical and educational data.
But, unfortunately, there are certain questions that are currently out of my grasp.
I wanted to ask questions such as: How many hours per week are taught of english in Primary School, Secondary School and University? How do they teach the lessons in class and how do people normally apply their lessons (TV, internet, videogames)?
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Re: Questions about the educational system in the Netherland

Messagepar bondjou » 16 Oct 2013 21:03

Hi,

For what I know, scheduled hours vary from one school to another. A school has an educational projet focusing on various things thus, how may hours/week? It depends!
Then why is English language so present in the Netherlands?
That is a cultural thing and financial thing too.
Cultural: The Netherlands are neighbours of the UK, therefore, they get influence from that side a bit more than from the Germans of which they aren't close friends (historical).
Financial: Dutch, among other "regional" languages (such as Danish, Hungarian, ...) is spoken mostly in the Netherlands. Their entertainment industry is not so big thus, they consume a lot of American productions which are most of the time, Dutch sub-titled. It would be far more expensive to dub all movies and series.
The only exception however are children programs.
You cannot imagine how many Americans living in the Netherlands, some for years, that don't even feel the need to learn Dutch. In cities like Amsterdam, 50% of the population is non-Dutch and English is their common communication language. But don't be mistaken, the level of that English isn't as good as in UK or USA. It is better known as 'international--English'.
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Re: Questions about the educational system in the Netherland

Messagepar languageLearner » 16 Oct 2013 23:58

I thank you for the information. However, the fact that there's not a specific number of hours appointed per week can be quite troublesome, since we considered important the amount of hours taught in each country on every level. If there's not a fixed number of hours, at least is there some average from which the centers are guided?
Regarding the historical and economical factors it's also appreciated that you provided me with that, yet I already knew from that, since I've been looking thoroughly through such factors in all the involved countries in my study (Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and Spain). The only data that I've been unable to check out were the weekly hours of english taught and perhaps their entertainment or social life in english.
But indeed, as sad as it may sound, such great affinity with english in the Netherlands might be related to a lack in the entertainment industry, and that is worthy too be noted down.

Thank you again for your time, if you or someone else could provide me with the average, or at least what's considered as minimum, amount of hours taught in english I would have this country's data covered.
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Re: Questions about the educational system in the Netherland

Messagepar pwi » 17 Oct 2013 7:56

languageLearner a écrit:But indeed, as sad as it may sound, such great affinity with english in the Netherlands might be related to a lack in the entertainment industry, and that is worthy too be noted down.


Personally, I would not qualify this as a 'lack' but rather as 'quality'. One of the main reasons that the French and the Germans do not speak english well (on average) is that everything foreign is dubbed. Both french and german schools spend time on teaching english to kids, but in daily life there is no contact with the english language. For the French there is also the problem that english is a germanic language, which makes correct pronunciation more difficult for them.
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Re: Questions about the educational system in the Netherland

Messagepar bondjou » 17 Oct 2013 14:52

languageLearner a écrit: If there's not a fixed number of hours, at least is there some average from which the centers are guided?

Since that almost all schools have their own website, it shouldn't be difficult to find the programs they "offer".
The difficulty would resides in finding a good representative sample of all the different methods.
Just to understand how complex it is: https://www.european-agency.org/country ... l-overview
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Re: Questions about the educational system in the Netherland

Messagepar languageLearner » 17 Oct 2013 19:52

Thank you for giving me directions on where to look.
I've seen the previous post's link and it really seems complex, and I will have to decide a new method on which to decide to value the educational content in the different countries.

So far I've been trying to contact people from Denmark and Sweden with no avail, but you have been the most effective community in terms of solving doubts and providing reliable information, so I'm really grateful for helping me with my doubts. If you could give me a last pointer on someone from these respective countries, I could advance further beyond, but you have already done a lot, so I'll continue searching on my own as well.
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Re: Questions about the educational system in the Netherland

Messagepar everythinginenglish. » 03 Aoû 2014 14:59

Allow me to correct you on one important side-note. The Netherlands is not non-native English-speaking like many other countries are. English is legally recognised as regional language in the Netherlands (along with Frisian and Papiamento), and on the Caribbean islands of St. Eustatius and Saba (which are municipalities of the Netherlands), it is the main spoken language. As pointed above, English is also wide spoken in everyday use in Amsterdam and hence Amsterdam, St. Eustatius and Saba are the three municipalities that form the official English-speaking area in the Netherlands (although, however, Dutch is also official nationwide, hence these three municipalities as well as those where Frisian and Papiamento are official, are officially "billingual", which in fact is a proper representation of Amsterdam, having a Dutch-speaking majority but a significant English-speaking population, but not St. Eustatius and Saba which each has a <5% share of Dutch-speakers). Also, the role of English in the Netherlands is not new, already during the Dutch golden age (1700-1800) English was spoken by upper class households in particulary the Amsterdam region.

Having said that, English in Dutch education obviously plays a great role. How great, however, differs per school. Primary schools in the Netherlands must teach at least one hour of English as of "group 7" (age 10). However, I think it's safe to say that by far most of the schools teach more English than that. Naturally, schools on St. Eustatius and Saba teach fully in English and teach Dutch at least one hour per week as of group 1 (age 4). In Amsterdam, many primary schools are billingual, teaching 30-50% of all hours and all classes in either Dutch or English, and then switch to the other language, as of group 1. This scheme is more and more adopted by schools nationwide.
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Re: Questions about the educational system in the Netherland

Messagepar pwi » 08 Sep 2014 14:55

English is not an official language in Amsterdam.

(source: http://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen ... -nederland)
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Re: Questions about the educational system in the Netherland

Messagepar everythinginenglish. » 11 Déc 2014 20:15

By municipal decision, actually it is. http://www.telegraaf.nl/binnenland/article20477295.ece
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Re: Questions about the educational system in the Netherland

Messagepar pwi » 12 Déc 2014 9:12

The same article in the Televaag states "Probleem blijft echter dat het wettelijk niet mogelijk is om aangiftes in het Engels te doen." - of course local authorities can decide that they allow English to be spoken for practical reasons, but national law has its restrictions.
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