Leraren moderne vreemde talen: opleiding en praktijk
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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From 1950 onwards the ethnic and cultural structure of Dutch society has been radically changing. The influx of people from the former colonies, of refugees and foreign labour is especially noticable in the large towns and in industrial areas. Their children attend the regular Dutch schools; if necessary these schools receive facilities for extra language tuition and guidance.The institutes for teacher training have to accommodate themselves to this new situation in the schools, where Dutch is no longer the self-evident medium and where cultural differences have their effects in the classroom.The necessary changes in the teacher training curriculum must be effected by means of an innovation process emphasizing the links between socio-cultural issues and policies, and educational measures.To mention a few aspects:There is a continuing discussion about the question to what extent ethnic groups have to assimilate to the dominant culture, or if they have a right to preserve their own language and culture within a national and international context. In the U.S. there is a strong trend towards multi-cultural (intercultural) education offering possibilities for identification to all pupils.In the Netherlands intercultural education is promoted by the authorities as a way to create mutual understanding and respect between children of different ethnic backgrounds.The schools have problems in trying to implement the idea of intercultural education and the teaching of Dutch as a second language. Teaching staff are not prepared for this task, materials and guidelines are hardly available. In the shadow of these technical difficulties lies another less tangible problem: will all those concerned come to accept the new multicultural situation?NLO (New Teacher Training) Institutes in the Netherlands are nowworking on four problem areas:1) establishing the educational needs of both allochthonous and autochthonous pupils with respect to intercultural education;2) establishing criteria for learning materials in the sphere of intercultural education, including second language acquisition which is especially difficult when it comes to the technical languages connected with various school-subjects;3) establishing the necessary professional preparation for teaching in a multicultural and multilingual situation; in terms of skills to be mastered and curricular materials for the training of these skills;4) further changes in the curriculum of teacher training institutes to improve their functioning in a multicultural and multiethnic society.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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