In an increasingly globalised world, a growing number of people find themselves in multilingual settings and situations. Some would even go so far as to say that multilingualism is one of the greatest challenges of our time. So how will all this affect multilingual education?
The department of Frisian and Multilingualism in Education and Parenting was introduced with the objective of ensuring that students learn the languages in question, continue to use them throughout their lives and know how and why they can switch between the languages as and when needed.
Our research focuses on improving educational processes in the transition from primary to secondary education and exploring how this affects the quality of education. In order to assess this, we look at the levels of mastery of the target languages in secondary schools in order to create a student monitoring system for the languages Dutch, English and Frisian.
The department’s research areas can roughly be divided as follows:
From trilingual primary education to multilingual secondary education
This innovation project is aimed at easing the transition from trilingual primary education to multilingual secondary education, focusing in particular on: (1) English and Frisian as the languages of instruction in secondary education and in the teacher training programmes; (2) continuous curricular strands (i.e. curriculum and teaching with a differentiation); (3) clearer alignment between the reference levels and target levels of language mastery in the various target languages.
Use of three target languages in secondary education
The MySchoolsNetwork for Trilingual Primary Education is a project of NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences. As part of this project, primary schools in Friesland are cooperating with schools in Finland, Wales and the Basque Country in Spain. The students of the trilingual schools learn to acquire and use all three of the target languages, based on equality and with the intention of using them in other areas in their secondary education.
Digital testing and classroom environment for the subject of Frisian
This project is designed to develop a comprehensive digital testing and classroom environment with a student monitoring system for the subject of Frisian at primary and secondary schools. The Evaluaasjesysteem Frysk (Frisian Evaluation System) is conducted at the behest of the Province of Friesland by Afûk, the departments of Frisian and Multilingualism in Education and Parenting and Language Use and Learning (NHL Stenden) and education services provider Cedin.
Relationship with education
Frisian and Multilingualism in Education and Parenting is a joint department within NHL University of Applied Sciences and Stenden University of Applied Sciences and is affiliated with NHL Stenden’s Research group Care and Welfare. If you take an interest in multilingualism in education and parenting and are a student at NHL Stenden, you are welcome to contribute ideas for research and innovative projects. Students from other institutions and programmes are welcome as well.
The department also contributes to education itself, having developed a minor in Multilingualism and a Master’s programme in Multilingualism at Groningen University.
The Research Group is headed by a Professor of Applied Sciences, Dr Alex Riemersma, and in addition the Research Group also includes a sociologist specialising in linguistics and employees of Stenden University of Applied Sciences and NHL University of Applied Sciences. These employees teach in various programmes at Stenden in addition to conducting applied research.
NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences
Research group Vital Regions
NL-8900 CG Leeuwarden, the Netherlands
Administrative assistant for the Department of Frisian and Multilingualism in Education and Parenting: Ms Dirkje Elgersma
T: +31 (0)58 244 14 26
Office Manager ESR/Academisation Office: Ms Sonja Schuil
T: +31 (0)6 19281329