Workshop: Trilingualism also for Brusselers with yet another home language? (27/9/2014)

Does the objective of French-Dutch-English trilingualism make sense for the growing number of children and adults in Brussels who have none of these languages as their home language? In order to help answer this question, the Marnix Plan gave the floor to the actors of various innovating initiatives. The slides presented at the workshop can now be downloaded.

Introductory plenary session

Introduction to the theme of the day by Piet Vervaecke (president Onderwijscentrum Brussel) and Nicole Bya (responsible for Languages at the Secretariat for catholic education) (slides)

  1. The challenge: proportions of pupils with a home language other than the school language in Brussels schools
  2. How is the challenge currently addressed and how could and should it be addressed?

Parallel workshops

(a) Accommodating to pupils with diverse linguistic background

  1. “Mijn taal” project of the Brussels Onderwijscentrum: experience at the Gemeentelijke Basisschool Sint-Joost-aan-Zee (Mara LeSage, volunteer at the school, and Elke Van den Ende, OCB) (slides)
  2. The “classes passerelles” for newcomers in French-medium Brussels schools (Elodie Oger, assistant at the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve and teacher of a classe passerelle at the Institut Ste Marie, Schaerbeek) (slides)
  3. European School pupils without linguistic section in their native language (Kari Kivinen, Secretary General of the European Schools) (slides)

(b) Practising languages outside school

  1. Huis van het Nederlands: six golden rules for language learning by volunteers in Dutch-speaking associations (Lauriane Van der Eecken) (slides) (golden rules in English)
  2. Bruxelles-Formation: how Bruxelles-Formation had to adjust the structure and methods of its courses to the extreme diversity of Brussels’ population (Jacques Martel) (slides)
  3. BxBrussels: helping 1000 young football players to improve their French, Dutch and English (Pieter Van Leemputten) (slides)

Concluding plenary session

How realistic is the Marnix Plan in the light of the outcomes of the experiments and the governments’ commitments?

  1. Some conclusions from the workshops by Alex Housen, Anna Sole-Mena, Piet Vervaecke and Nicole Bya
  2. Brief overview of the commitments relevant to language learning in Brussels in the programmes of the five relevant governments (Région de Bruxelles-Capitale / Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Vlaamse Gemeenschap, Commission Communautaire Française, Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie) and discussion of future actions and activities (Philippe Van Parijs)