New York leading the way?

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Great news from the city that never sleeps! Nobody will deny that New York is a great example of America’s richness in cultural and linguistic diversity. This diversity is reflected in the city’s school system, as it continues its multilingual makeover by expanding the number of bilingual programs. In September 2016, 29 Dual Language Programs in Spanish, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Arabic, Polish will be launched at schools in New York. Over the past years, the number of bilingual programs have been steadily increasing, bringing the total now to 180 different programs.

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|Lees Christella’s verhaal in het Nederlands|

It is late afternoon. A sharp April wind cuts into my face. As I get off the tram, I see a middle-aged woman approaching me. A while later, lost at the Oostende coast, I would ask the same woman the way. The woman stopped, like she was trying to imagine all the different scenarios that could have possibly led to this moment. She looks at me inquisitively, and asks: “Are you from Surinam or something?”

Ok, I had not expected this.

Following up on her question she added: “Because your Dutch is so good!” Continue Reading

The greatest mistake of my life

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|Lees Suheyla’s verhaal in het Nederlands|

My father decided not to teach me and my brothers the Turkish language, because that would diminish our chance at a good education, or so he believed. Our school told my parents that, if we would learn the Dutch language only, we would become good students: a language deficiency must be prevented.

Regardless of the tireless efforts of my parents, my younger brother still ended up needing the help of a speech therapist. He could not pronounce the letter ‘r’ correctly. This is not very strange, as in Eindhoven the rolling ‘r’ is an unusual sound. Little did my parents know that learning two languages could have actually contributed to the language proficiency of me and my brothers.
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