Panel Discussion on Language Discrimination

Should Schools Offer Room For All Languages?

On Thursday 25th February 2016, to celebrate the International Day of Mother Languages, Rutu Foundation organised a panel discussion on language discrimination at the beautiful Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam. The evening was filled with moving stories by multilingual speakers Christella Munganyende, Dr. Jamiu Busari, Suheyla Yalcin and Jahkini Bisselink, who shared the impact that language discrimination in education has had on their lives.

The presentations were followed by a spoken word performance by slam poet Malique and a lively discussion led by Tanja Jadnanansing, Dutch Member of Parliament, with contributions from Prof. Dr. Kutlay Yagmur, Professor of Language, Identity and Education from Tilburg University.

We are extremely grateful to the Lloyd Hotel Amsterdam and also to Minutes on Career for producing our very first video! You can watch it here.




19.30: Welcome by Ellen-Rose Kambel, director Rutu Foundation

19.35:  Presentations

20.15: Break and Spoken Word performance by Malique Mohamud.

20.40: Discussion led by Tanja Jadnanansing (Member of Parliament Dutch Labour Party)

  • with Prof. Dr. Kutlay Yagmur, Professor of Language, Identity and Education Tilburg University

21.30 uur: Closing


I carry stories inside of me. Each one in another language

by Hélène Christelle Munganyende

“It is almost poetic; speaking the language of a country you have never really known. It is almost a tragedy; speaking the language of a country where you will never really belong.” Read Christella’s story.

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How bilingualism affected my school career

by Jahkini Bisselink

“At home I speak English with my father and Dutch with my mother….In elementary school, my bilingualism became a problem for my teachers.” Read Jahkini’s story.


The greatest mistake of my life

by Suheyla Yalcin

“The decision my parents made to only teach us Dutch still has an effect on my daily life. My father calls it the biggest mistake of his life.” Read Suheyla’s story.

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