Dutch language difficulties tackled at schools
In an attempt to stimulate Dutch-language development, Amsterdam has compiled a list of 2,000 words young children should know.
AMSTERDAM—Amsterdam has come up with a new approach to tackling language difficulties among children brought up in a home where Dutch is not spoken. A list of the first 2,000 Dutch words a child aged four or five should know has been distributed to all primary schools in the capital.
Delayed development of Dutch-language skills has become a prevalent issue at schools, particularly in Amsterdam where a large segment of the population speaks only Arabic, Berber or Turkish at home. Another factor compounding the problem is that fewer parents read stories to their children, whether in Dutch or another language, which slows down language development in general.
The city council commissioned the 2,000 word list and wants to ensure that all children are familiar with its basic vocabulary before learning to read and write in the third year of school. The list will eventually be added to the school curriculum at national level.