Thema's en trends in de sociolinguistiek 4
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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The Dutch discussion on immigrant minority language teaching, which has been going on for three decades now, shows a remarkable lack of conceptual clarity. This not only includes the content of the subject, but also its aims and its operationalisation in classroom practice. In creating this unclarity, not only the ministry of education and its advisors but also scholars and opinion leaders are involved, irrespective of their position against or in favour of this type of language teaching. This is shown on the basis of a reconstruction of the different versions of eigen taal (litt.: 'own language', i.e. the object of immigrant minority language teaching) in a number of central policy papers of the ministry of education, and on the basis of an analysis of the linguistic, pedagogic and public discourse that developed in this context. In order of appearance, three main versions of eigen taal are distinguished: offiaéle taal van het land van herkomst (official language of the country of origin), allochtone levende taal (non-indigenous living language) and gekomen taal (chosen language). The analysis shows that the recent 2002 decision of the Dutch government to do away with immigrant minority language teaching and give priority to the teaching of Dutch, should not be considered a surprise: without a fundamental change in societal power relationships, immigrant minority languages have little prospect of becoming a legitimate part of the dominant curriculum.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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