Dutch Language Houses
The Dutch Language Houses present information to anyone interested in learning Dutch. The 8 Houses were created by Flemish Decree in 2004 and recorded and strong yearly increase in the number of candidates applying for Dutch courses.
The Houses do not teach any courses themselves, but administer a number of tests to determine the most suitable course or programme for each candidate, taking into account all sorts of factors, such as the level, learning speed, desired course location and frequency and the reasons for learning the language.
Dutch Language House of Brussels
The Dutch Language House of Brussels also focuses on informing and referring NT2 students to the most suitable courses. Future students are enthusiastically attended to by eleven motivated staff members. Moreover, the Dutch Language House of Brussels has two other specific assignments which concern the multilingualism of the city: language promotion and language policy. The house acts to improve the quality of the Dutch language offering as well.
Language promotion means stimulating Brussels residents and lowering thresholds to learn, practice and use Dutch. Learning Dutch is a whole lot different from effectively using the language. And that is often far from obvious in Brussels. And yet, all sorts of possibilities present themselves: From taking part in socio-cultural activities to following the Dutch-speaking media, opportunities to practice Dutch are available everywhere. But non-Dutch speakers have to find the way and organisations have to reach them.
More often, these organisations, Brussels companies and services contact the Dutch Language House to chart a language policy. The House will help them to provide Dutch with a feasible and realistic place within their operation. Flemish child care centres and consultancy offices in Brussels are working on communication strategies with non Dutch-speaking parents. Brussels education and employment initiatives receive language coaching. The House cooperates with all Brussels colleges to improve the language fluency among students. And more often, companies choose to apply for a contract with the House as to work on language policy with their employees.
Brussels’ special context allows for a steady increase in activities relating to learning Dutch. The House’s language learning team has been working on quality support for a number of years. This will help schools align themselves better to this specific context. The organisation of a Meeting day is but one example of such endeavours. Other projects for language instructors are featured on the teachers’ page of our website. A brief overview is provided overleaf.