Brief history of our Dutch Language House


The Dutch Language House Brussels was established by decree in 2004, together with Dutch Language Houses in every Flemish province and in the cities of Ghent and Antwerp. 

All of them shared one common task: not to teach themselves, but to decide on the course or pathway that is best suited for Brussels residents who want to learn Dutch. 

From the outset, the Dutch Language House Brussels had 3 further tasks: 

  • Language promotion: Encouraging inhabitants of Brussels to learn, practise and use Dutch
  • NT2 support: Matching Brussels language courses and other initiatives to the people and the city of Brussels
  • Language policy: Supporting Brussels services, organisations and companies with questions about Dutch in their operations

Later the other Dutch Language Houses were also assigned these tasks.


The Dutch Language House grew bigger every year. Not only did more people from Brussels drop by for advice, the Language Promotion and Language Policy projects also proved very successful. After Brussels, the Patati project was also launched in Ghent and the Taalgarage was also introduced in Antwerp and Limburg after a while. The Taaliconen, originally launched as a small Brussels project, are now used throughout Flanders and on platforms such as UiTinVlaanderen. A little later, in 2014, we became even bigger after merging with the non-profit organisation Bru-taal. Bru-taal was set up around the same time as the Dutch Language House and organised conversation tables at various locations in Brussels. Thanks to the merger, there was one comprehensive package: 1 body with 1 full range of language lessons, practice activities, methodologies and material to learn Dutch. The entire staff team of Bru-taal and the dozens of Dutch-speaking volunteers who supervised the conversation tables made the switch. Our Babbelut conversation tables were born!

From eight Houses to 1 Brussels House and 3 agencies

For the 8 Dutch Language Houses, 2015 was an important year. Seven of the eight Houses disappeared. Three EVAs (external autonomous agencies) were created for integration and civic integration. These include the former Dutch Language Houses, reception agencies, integration services and social interpreters. The three Agencies are:

In Brussels, the Dutch Language House Brussels remained in existence. The House remains the address for all Brussels residents who want to learn or practise Dutch. 

The former Brussels reception agency bon and the integration services of Foyer are part of the Flemish Integration and Civic Integration Agency.

The future

The Dutch Language House has a super-diverse DNA. We reflect the rich diversity of the Brussels society. More than 30 of the 85 staff members have an ethnically and culturally diverse background. Together they speak more than 20 different mother tongues. 

The Dutch Language House has an ambitious diversity plan. Our organisation has almost 20 years of experience in dealing with diversity. In communication we use clear Dutch. We take into account the language level of our target audience, so that we do not exclude anyone. The diversity plan of the Dutch Language House also focuses on making the recruitment policy more inclusive. There are also plans to improve the accessibility of the building. The Dutch Language House Brussels optimised the customer-friendliness of the atrium, the signage as well as the digital appointment system. By 2023, we plan to make it an even more appealing and interesting experience, forging an even stronger connection with the city. We hope all Brussels residents will come and enjoy a Dutch-language visit to the new atrium in a cosy atmosphere. The Dutch Language House Brussels is opens its doors to be a place where everyone in Brussels can come and improve their Dutch language skills.

From the heart of the capital, the Dutch Language House Brussels has been helping everyone who has questions about Dutch for adults for almost 20 years (since 2003). If you want to grow and connect, the Dutch Language House is just the right place for you. #20in23