The Netherlands and Flanders spend much less money on foreign education in Dutch than other countries do no their language. As a result, Dutch is falling behind internationally, and that could have consequences for trade and diplomacy, the Taalunie concluded in a study.
Pupils in primary schools in disadvantaged Dutch neighborhoods are significantly behind their peers in regular neighborhoods, according to a study by research agency MWM2 commissioned by ABN Amro, Stichting Kinderpostzegels and education fund Jeugddeducatiefonds, newspaper AD reports.
The researchers questioned 300 teachers, counselors and primary school directors.
Dutch primary schools expect a significant increase in the number of children of expats in the coming years. While companies are rapidly taking on foreign tech experts and IT professionals, schools have to prepare for pupils who speak little or no Dutch, Trouw reports.
This issue is especially prevalent at primary schools in the Amsterdam region, Eindhoven and The Hague, according to the newspaper.
The government and the provinces of Groningen, Drenthe, Friesland and Gelderland will sign a covenant this week that will make Nedersaksisch an official, independent and full part of the Dutch language. In the covenant the government promises to protect and promote Nedersaksisch, known as Low Saxon in English, NOS reports.
Low Saxon is spoken in Groningen, Drenthe, Overijssel, the northeast Veluwe, the Achterhoek and in Oost- and Weststellingwerf. The official recognition comes with money for language projects, and for schools that want to promote a dialect in Lower Saxon.
Association Beter Onderwijs Nederland (BON) is filing a lawsuit against the University of Twente, Maastricht University, and the Inspectorate for Education in an effort to halt higher education in the Netherlands turning increasingly English, ANP reports.
According to BON, "the care of Dutch language and culture is a core task for higher education". The association believes that switching to teaching in English is contrary to the law. "Dutch threatens to become a kind of provincial language", BON chairman Ad Verbrugge said.
People who do not speak Dutch are no longer welcome in bars De Tijd and De Kikker in Tiel. The rule applies to everyone, but was implemented due to problems with Polish migrant workers, co-owner Christjan Ernste said to De Gelderlander.
Visitors to the bars have to show their identity card and say 'goedenavond' - good evening in Dutch. If they can't, they can't enter the bars. According to Ernste, foreign people who can speak and understand Dutch are still welcome. "For us this is really about that you can understand each other", he said to the newspaper.
State Secretary Tamara van Ark of Social Affairs wants to make binding agreements with Dutch municipalities about enforcing the 'language requirement' when paying welfare benefits. This requirement - which states that people receiving social assistance benefits must be able to use the Dutch language or learn to do so quickly - was entered into Dutch law in 2016, but as an 'option' for municipalities. The government now wants to make it an obligation, the Volkskrant reports.
Education organization BON thinks that Dutch universities and colleges offer too many courses in English instead of Dutch to attract foreign students, instead of focusing on whether the switch to English will improve the course. The organization is threatening a lawsuit against the universities and colleges if the new government doesn't implement stricter rules for tertiary institutions in their government agreement, AD reports.
The Dutch language is still very popular among its speakers and is not being displaced in any significant way by English, according to a study by the Meertens Institute, Taalunie and Ghent University, Trouw reports.
Whoever does not speak Dutch, and does not want to learn the language, will lose their allowances within a year. This is what state secretary for Social Affairs and Employment Jetta Klijnsma has added to a bill that has been sent to the Council of State, RTL Nieuws reports.
The local Rotterdam VVD fraction didn't count on such an overwhelming response from an election poster when put up a poster with the text: "In Rotterdam we speak Dutch." Many people think it discriminating.
State Secretary for Social Affairs Jetta Klijnsma wants to make speaking the Dutch language one of the requirements for claiming welfare benefits.
To start in English to a foreigner may be meant courteous, but it often leads to resentment rather than gratitude. Expats in The Hague complain that they can rarely bring their knowledge of Dutch in practice because the employers in Dutch shops and catering establishments use too quickly English words in response.