As the academic year at the British School is drawing to a close, at the BSN Language Centre we are still busy with the Summer Intensives for adults and the Summer School for children until the end of July. Every year we welcome many children from age 5 – 16 from the Dutch community and abroad, this year as far as Korea, to this very popular 2 weeks programme of learning English in a playful way and through many activities.
This year has shown an immense growth of interest in English In Company training of 240 % in comparison to last year, an amazing result! Companies in a wide variety of business, from IT and Technical advise to educational institutes and governmental organisations all recognize the need for a good command of (Business) English to perform better and to communicate effectively with their international customers.
And not only businesses but also many Dutch Primary schools and parents recognize the need for earlier English for their children. There is also a huge need for English teaching methodology for their teachers. During the past year we supported teachers from all levels of education; from Primary Schools up to the HBO institutes and University. Including trainers at the Police Academy and international teachers at the European School.
The growth of international programmes taught in English at universities and more and more international students being attracted to Dutch Universities is also a concern to some people in the Netherlands. BON (Beter Onderwijs Nederland) a very old-school group of teachers and scientists is calling it the “Verengelsing” of Dutch universities and claim that education looses its quality when it’s not taught in Dutch. And that Dutch education should be for Dutch students only. But then again, they claim that any change since the Mammoetwet (1963) has diminished the quality of the Dutch education. I am pretty sure some things in education have improved since then.
Like it or not, the world has changed. A global society has emerged and is here to stay. The increase in demand for both international education and English as an important language for instruction and doing business, proves that the international community we live in is something we should embrace rather than resist. Not only for international students and knowledge coming into the country, but also to better prepare Dutch students to be competitive in a global society. The Dutch have always been known to speak multiple languages, it’s a positive trait!