Why language education?
Opting for Dutch education abroad in the first place ensures a good connection to the Dutch/Flemish school system in the event of a return.
Dutch education also helps your children to maintain their cultural identity. In this way they remain connected to their ‘roots’. Furthermore, by keeping up with Dutch, they can continue to communicate well with those who are left behind
Easier to learn a new language
It has been scientifically proven that children who have a good command of their mother tongue have less difficulty learning a new language. This also increases the number of languages that they can learn well.
Study or work in the Netherlands
Young people who speak the Dutch language reasonably well and who are aware of the culture, can more easily choose to study or work in the Netherlands or Belgium at a later age. Research has shown that young people can experience a culture shock when they return to the Netherlands (or Belgium). They find it difficult to get a grip on, for example, expressions and sayings, the education system, music and clothing. Dutch education does not completely prevent this culture shock but makes it less drastic.
For many children, the step to a new country and a new language is a big one. Children who go to Dutch school, sometimes only a few hours a week, experience this as coming home to a safe place. There they can process all impressions and emotions in their own language with peers. This can be very pleasant, especially after a major move abroad.
Chance of return
There is always a chance that you will return to the Netherlands or Belgium, planned or unplanned. If this happens during your children’s school career, it is a great advantage if they have followed Dutch education abroad. They then know and understand, especially when it comes to vocabulary, much more of the language than when they speak it alone at home. This allows them to enter a school in the Netherlands or Belgium without, or with the smallest possible delay.
Added value of Dutch education
Dutch education requires time and effort from both the child and the parents. However, for a good command of the language, it is important that children receive a wide and varied range of languages. Speaking Dutch at home is of course indispensable for the language development of the child. Yet this is not sufficient. Everyone uses a limited number of words and phrases, including you as a parent or carer. It is therefore important to broaden this range of the Dutch language through education. In addition, children receive explicit explanations about the Dutch language at school. Think, for example, of spelling rules or grammar, but also thinking strategies for reading. Finally, the school also pays attention to culture. In this way children learn to view the Netherlands and Belgium from a broader perspective than that of their own family.