Trilingualism FR-NL-EN also for Brusselers with yet another home language? Relevant experiments inside and outside schools
Second annual event of the Marnix Plan for a Multilingual Brussels


Question: 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?
Date and place: Saturday 27 September, 9.30 am-1pm, VUB, U-Residence, Boulevard Général Jacques 271, 1050 Brussels (300 m from Etterbeek Station, 1km from Metro Pétillon, 20 m from tram stop "VUB" serviced by trams 7 and 25; free parking available on campus).
Language regime: French, Dutch, English, no simultaneous translation
Register for event

Provisional programme

9.00: Registration

9.30: Introductory plenary session

Introduction to the theme of the day by Piet Vervaecke (directeur, Onderwijscentrum Brussel) and Nicole Bya (responsable Langues, Secrétariat de l’enseignement catholique)

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

10.00-11.30: Parallel workshops

(a) Accommodating to pupils with diverse linguistic background

  • "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)
  • Experience of the classes passerelles for newcomers in French-medium Brussels schools (Elodie Oger, assistante à l’UCL et enseignante en classe passerelle à l’Institut Ste Marie, Schaarbeek)
  • European School pupils without linguistic section in their native language (Kari Kivinen, Secretary General of European Schools)

(b) Practicing languages outside school

  • BxBrussels: helping 1000 young football players to improve their French, Dutch and English (Pieter Van Leemputten)
  • Huis van het Nederlands : six golden rules for language learning by volunteers in Dutch-speaking associations (Lauriane Van der Eecken)

11.30-12: Coffee break

12-13: Concluding plenary session

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

  • Some conclusions from the workshops by Alex Housen, Anna Sole-Mena, Piet Vervaecke and Nicole Bya (tbc)
  • Overview of the commitments relevant to language learning in Brussels in the programmes of the five relevant governments (RBC-BHG, FWB, VG, COCOF, VGC) and discussion of future actions and activities (Philippe Van Parijs)