Netherlands: Language problems in nursery school

Almost 20% of students in groups 1 and 2 (4-5 years old) of elementary school in problematic neighborhoods do not speak Dutch.

These children speak in sentences of up to two words and do not understand simple combined instructions such as "take your chair and go sit".  Though most of these children of Turkish and Moroccan backgrounds have been born in the Netherlands, Dutch is barely or not spoken at home.  Also children of asylum seekers appear to often have no or barely any mastery in Dutch.  That's according ot research by the education advice bureau   KPC Groep in which 43 schools were visited in the problematic neighborhoods declared by Minister Vogelaar.  The main problem are elementary schools in problematic neighborhoods in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and the Hague.  The kids aged 4-6 have usually received no prior eduction.  14% speak only two Dutch words: that is the speaking standard for children two years old.

The researches speak of a "serious backwardness in language development that develops into an education backwardness."  It can be seen by the kids in the areas of knowledge of the world, movement and on the social-emotional level.

Source: Telegraaf (Dutch)

See also: Netherlands: Fighting language problems at younger age

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