Multilingual Amsterdam

There are more than 180 different nationalities based in Amsterdam. The majority of school kids in Amsterdam speak one or more languages other than Dutch. Sometimes over 10 different languages prevail in just one classroom. How do we manage multilingualism in education?

Together with the Network for Multilingual Parents Amsterdam and Rethink Amsterdam we bring together language and education experts, policy makers, as well as parents and (former) students to share their perspectives. All the events are free and open to all, but space is limited and reservations are required.

Mapping the weekend language schools of Amsterdam

This map was created by the Rutu Foundation for multilingual families and to give regular schools the opportunity to connect with the rich sources of linguistic and cultural knowledge offered by weekend language schools.

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Multilingual A'dam #4

Sirius National Roundtable: The Art of Multilingual Teaching

For this edition of Multilingual Amsterdam, which was our second collaboration with the Sirius Policy Network on Migrant Education, we focused on the teachers.

  • What do teachers need to know to understand multilingual classrooms and use the languages as a benefit for the whole class?
  • How can multilingual materials help parent participation in school?
  • What are the costs of creating a multilingual inclusive educational context in schools?

Experienced teachers and researchers shared their knowledge and invited the audience to actively participate and join in the conversation during round table sessions.

In this edition among others:

Anouk Ticheloven (PhD student, teacher trainer at the University of Hamburg), Mari Varsányi (teacher and internationalization coordinator at DENISE and co-coordinator of the Language Friendly School), Mindy McCracken (Mother tongue and identity language leader at International School the Hague), Lara Rikers (English as a Additional Language Team Leader at the International School The Hague), Tom Tudjman (researcher at Risbo/board member Sirius and project leader AVIOR), Ellen-Rose Kambel (director Rutu Foundation).

Multilingual A'dam #3

Weekend Schools: welcome in Amsterdam?

The majority of school children in Amsterdam speak another language in addition to Dutch, yet most of their languages are excluded from their regular education. Instead, children are sent to weekend schools where they learn to read and write in the languages of their (grand) parents.

In this edition of Multilingual Amsterdam we discussed the weekend schools: what services do the weekend schools offer and what role do they play for different communities in the city? Are they a welcome addition to the education of Amsterdam school children or are they hindering integration in Dutch society? What are the challenges, overlap and differences? What needs to change, why and how?

With Khadija Al Mourabit (moderator), Ellen-Rose Kambel (director Rutu Foundation), Ismael Ercan (Turks Onderwijs Centrum), Carine Bougnague (Alliance Francaise Amsterdam), Umayya Abu-Hanna (Rethink), Hilda Heyde (researcher Weekend Schools), Bozena Kopzynska (Polish language school), Tarek Aldayeh (Stichting Pioniers), Ruben Severina (Splika), Simion Blom (Groen Links gemeenteraad Amsterdam) and Kwasi Koorndijk (trainer Sranan Tongo).

Watch the programme:

Multilingual A'dam #2

Emotions and Well Being

Multiple studies show that children learn faster and better when taught in their native language. They achieve better results and don’t fall behind throughout the year. Nonetheless, policymakers, educators and even parents resist curricula that enable multilingualism in the classroom. The second edition of Multilingual Amsterdam focused on emotions in the discussion on multilingualism in education.

With Elma Blom (Universiteit Utrecht), Valeria Pierdominici, Maria Stock (Haagse Hogeschool), Rasit Elibol (Groene Amsterdammer), Jakhini Bisselink (VN Jeugdvertegenwoordiger), Simion Blom (lid gemeenteraad Amsterdam, GroenLinks) and Ellen-Rose Kambel (Rutu Foundation). Moderator: Glenn Helberg.

Read our blog post: an emotional evening in Amsterdam.

Watch the programme:

Listen to the podcast:

Multilingual A'dam #1

Education Inequality

Co-organised by Sirius European Network for education of migrant children, Polish centre for Education and Culture Lokomotywa and Foundation Turkish Education Centre (STOC) we presented a program on the role of language in matters of educational inequality.

With Ellen-Rose Kambel (Rutu Foundation), Tom Tudjman (Sirius), Tanja Jadnanansing (stadsdeelvoorzitter Amsterdam Zuid Oost), Hajar Fallah (IAMSHero), Nello Allocca (Multilingual Parents Amsterdam), Glenn Helberg, Marinella Orioni, Suheyla Jalcin (IAMShero), Ellen-Petra Kester (Universiteit Utrecht), Zahraa Attar (Universiteit Utrecht), Dineke Blikslager (St. Janschool), Mari Varsyani (DENISE), Bozena Kopczynska (Lokomotywa) and Dylan Hyman.

Moderated by Astrid Echteld.

Read More

Article: In hoeveel talen thuis – door Rasit Elibol
Je kind wel of niet meertalig opvoeden is voor veel ouders een dilemma. Want de onderbuik zegt vaak iets anders dan de wetenschap.
– Whether or not to raise your child multilingually is a dilemma for many parents. The underbelly often says something different than the science.

Article: Goede bedoelingen zijn niet genoeg – Groene Amsterdammer
Nederland is een tolerant en gastvrij land, waarin iedereen gelijke kansen krijgt, ongeacht zijn of haar achtergrond. Althans, zo zien we onszelf graag. Maar de cijfers en de mensen daarachter vertellen een ander verhaal.
– The Netherlands is a tolerant and welcoming country, where everyone gets equal opportunities, regardless of his or her background. At least, that is how we like to see ourselves. But the numbers and the people behind the numbers tell a different story.

Article: Naar Arabische les in het weekend. Staan weekendscholen de integratie van Syrische kinderen in de weg? – de Volkskrant

Op tientallen weekendscholen in het hele land krijgen kinderen van Syrische statushouders les over de Arabische taal, de Syrische cultuur en soms over de Islam. Want, zo redeneren de ouders, misschien moeten zij straks wel terug naar Syrië. Maar is het bevorderlijk voor hun integratie in Nederland?