Expatica news

Dutch should be promoted

2 April 2007

BRUSSELS – Flemish minister Frank Vandenbroucke (SP.A) responsible for the Flemish periphery of Brussels, is launching several initiatives to promote the use of Dutch in sport clubs in the Flemish periphery.

Directors and trainers at clubs will be given training packets. The municipal councils are being called on to submit creative projects involving language use in sport clubs. The three best projects will receive Flemish subsidies.

Multilingualism is a fact of life in the sport clubs in the Flemish periphery around the capital. One in four conversations is conducted in a language other than Dutch, according to a study on language use and multilingualism in 39 Dutch-language sport clubs in the Flemish periphery.

Languages other than Dutch are primarily used in conversations with parents and in informal contexts. Other languages can be heard during sport practices as well but the language of instruction is usually Dutch. Most of those taking part in activities at the clubs do not see the variety of languages as a problem, but do say that the different languages contribute to the forming of cliques.

The study also showed that the club directors were more sensitive to language use in their club when the municipal council devoted more attention to the issue.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news