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Pilot bilingual education starts in Dutch primary schools

01-09-2014 06:32 BJT

THE HAGUE, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Dutch education authority on Wednesday announced that trial bilingual education will start this year in 12 primary schools.

Students aged above four at the selected primary schools will get up to half of their class time education in English, the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science said.

Not only English will be taught, other subjects will also be taught in English, according to plans.

So far in the Netherlands, bilingual education system was only possible at secondary schools. On Wednesday, a primary school in The Hague became the first to start the trial project.

"Dutch children will later earn their living in a world where more than ever it is important that they speak English in addition to Dutch," said by Sander Dekker, state secretary of education.

In 2015, eight more schools will join the fully bilingual education pilot program.

If in 2019 the trial is a success for the 20 participating schools, more schools might be allowed to switch to bilingual education.

Dutch ministry research has shown that children who are taught English at a young age speak the language much better than children who became acquainted with English at a later stage.

The ministry also said that research showed that learning a second language will not come at the expense of learning Dutch.

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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