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Work package 2
Teaching Minority Languages:
The case of Arabic in the Netherlands
© Jan Jaap de Ruiter & Massimiliano Spotti
The Plusvalor Project
This booklet on Arabic language teaching in Europe has been produced in the context of the PLUSVALOR Project
(144368-2008-IT-KA2-KA2MP; www.plusvalor.eu) which started on 1st December 2008 and it is due to end 30th
November 2010. Here follows a short description of the project.
• Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy – coordinator
• Fondazione Iniziative e Studi sulla Multietnicità (Ismu), Italy
• Stichting Katholieke Universiteit Brabant, Netherlands
• Societatea Romana pentru Educatie Permanenta, Romania
• Ec-Pec Foundation, Hungary
• to spread the aim of multilingualism into primary and secondary school in partner countries;
• to develop innovative methodologies for valorization of the language of origin in migratory context, in
constant reference to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages;
• to spread the use of Common European Framework of Reference for Languages to all the partner countries;
• to develop a model of citizenship education for adults in migratory situations and in the new European
contexts (Romania, Hungary) in order to foster the migrated families’ social inclusion, supporting parents’
role in the new contexts of migration.
• primary and secondary schools students and adults in Romania, Hungary and Italy who will participate to
Italian, Arabic and intercultural education courses;
• primary and secondary teachers in Romania, Hungary and Italy who will attend teacher training courses;
• European citizens by means of the awareness-raising activities on intercultural issues and European
• Research and booklets on multilingualism, the valorization of first language and the relationship between
the first and second language;
• Training courses for teachers;
• Language and citizenship courses for children and adults;
• Didactic materials for language teaching and intercultural education;
• Project website;
• International conference and other dissemination activities
Teaching Minority Languages: The case of Arabic in the Netherlands
Table of contents
1. Introduction 5
2. Home Language Instruction: the case of Arabic in the Netherlands 5
A short overview of its history 5
Issues at stake in Arabic HLI 7
Relationship between Arabic HLI and regular education 7
Position of HLI teachers 8
HLI teachers’ recruitment 9
Legal status of HLI teachers 11
Debate on the status of HLI and Arabic HLI in particular 13
Teaching materials 16
Numbers of pupils in HLI and Arabic HLI 17
Motivation to follow HLI 18
Level variability 18
3 Mastering Arabic 20
4 Teaching Arabic: methods developed in the Netherlands 30
Summary in Arabic 31
In the context of the aforementioned Plusvalor project, this booklet deals with the issue of teaching minority
languages and adopts as case the teaching of Arabic in European migration contexts, the Dutch context in
particular. Since large migrant groups have been settling in Europe since the sixties and seventies of the last
century, the issue of teaching their children their mother tongues has become pertinent. In most western
European countries the so called Home Language Instruction (HLI) was installed in primary schools and, to a
lesser extent, in secondary schools as well. Primary languages taught were Arabic and Turkish, but also lesser
used languages like Vietnamese, Urdu and Somalian as well. Since its implementation Home Language
Instruction has been the subject of debates and discussions. One of the important questions was if HLI should
serve the integration processes of the pupils at stake or should HLI be given as an independent subject? Also the
concept of multilingualism plays a role: should mother tongues or languages of the country of origin be taught in
an intercultural and multilingual context, that is, in combination with the language of the country of settlement,
or not? Different views existed and exist on these questions. Concerning the case of Arabic questions rose such as
to the variety to be taught: should it be the classical or literary variety that should be taught, the dialectal variety
or a combination of both? The Netherlands have known in the fourth quarter of the last century an intensive
debate on HLI and an enormously rich experience in the actual teaching of home languages, among which Arabic
and Turkish, has been developed. This book focuses on the case and developments of Arabic language teaching
in the Netherlands.
Jan Jaap de Ruiter and Massimiliano Spotti are responsible for the text. Jasmijn Hattinga Verschure and Jan
Jaap de Ruiter took care of the Dutch version of this publication and Mohammadi Laghzaoui translated the
summary of the booklet into Arabic. We owe lots of thanks to Karin Berkhout, secretary of Babylon, Centre for
Studies of the Multicultural Society, at Tilburg University to take care of the lay-out and formatting of this book.
There is also a Dutch version of the book.
2. Home Language Instruction: the case of Arabic in the Netherlands
There is a plethora of reports, management projects and laws regarding the development of (Arabic) Home
Language Instruction (HLI) and its implementation. In the following sections, an overview is given of the
developments involved, starting with a historical perspective.
A short overview of its history
Discussions on HLI started in the 1960s. The first community involved was that of the Moluccans, an immigrant
minority group from the former Dutch colonies in the Indies, which once hoped to return to the home country
and wanted, therefore, a type of HLI for their children. The Dutch Ministry of Education had insisted nonetheless
to organize education in Dutch only, both for those children and the children of all the immigrant minority
communities involved. In 1967, Spanish parents took the first initiative to organize lessons of the language and
culture of the children’s home country. Their project was immediately supported by the Spanish Embassy along
with the Ministry of Culture. Only the Ministry of Culture at that time was aware of the fact that some form of
HLI was essential for immigrant minority children. The Dutch government policy vis-à-vis HLI was always focused
on a return to the home country.
For the school year 1974-1975, the Ministry of Education officially supported HLI, then, labelled ‘bicultural
education’. That year, the Ministry made funds available for hiring teaching assistants for this form of minority
education. Within the schools and during regular classes, immigrant minority pupils received up to 5 hours of
lessons in their own language, that is to say, the language of the home country. In order for such lessons to be
organised, there was to be a minimum of 8 pupils wishing to follow HLI lessons. According to the Ministry, the
target group should be composed of children who would return to their country of origin in the near future on
the one hand, and children who would remain longer in the host country on the other. It was clearly a double-
pronged form of HLI implementation, seeking the return of some children and the integration of others. No
initiative was taken for teachers’ training or for the development of the didactic materials for HLI. School
directors and Dutch teachers did not consider this form of education as of a ‘back-home-return’ order, causing a
more significant segregation within the schools. It was mostly the Turkish and Moroccan pupils who benefited
from the internal organization of the HLI, while children from southern Europe continued to prefer the HLI
organised outside school hours.
In 1980, the Minister of Education at the time Mr. Pais formulated three goals for the HLI in his project of
implementing ‘minority cultures within the framework of education’ and he promised that HLI would have a
legal basis. But, this would not take place until 1985, when the Law on Elementary Education was adopted. This
law stipulated that the competent school management can decide whether they adopt HLI within the regular
school curriculum. The organization of the HLI was therefore not compulsory. It also stated that HLI could be
provided only for a maximum of 2:30 hours within the regular school hours, while another maximum 2:30 could
be arranged outside these hours, which meant that generally only 2:30 hour-lessons should take place during
the regular school hours. Schools wishing to obtain funds for the organization of the HLI had to have at least 8
pupils interested in the language. HLI lessons were not compulsory. The school was the sole responsible for the
choice of programs, materials and teachers, provided that the teachers must be qualified to give HLI lessons.
Teachers were paid by the Dutch authorities, except when HLI was organized by the embassy of the respective
countries (as was the case for the Spanish HLI). Teachers’ recruitment was done in consultation with the
authorities of the country of origin.
On February 24, 1983, a cultural agreement was concluded between the Dutch and the Moroccan authorities
as regard the language and culture provisions identified above. While the Dutch authorities organized and
financed the HLI program, the Moroccan authorities recruited the teachers. The schools concerned made their
choices with respect to the candidates to recruit. There were no further bilateral agreements with the Moroccan
A reaction of the HLI implementation project appeared in response to the report entitled ‘Minorities policy’ of
1989. It was observed that the school results of immigrant minority children were actually very low, and that HLI
left much to be desired. It was decided that HLI was to remain within the range of the school curriculum, while
other objectives should be formulated. In 1991, the Secretary of Education Mr. Wallage recommended in his
report that HLI was to become an integral part of language teaching. He suggested that the primary function of
minority language use is “to operate as language learning supportive to the learning of Dutch and to the Dutch
education as a whole”. HLI should also have an independent function, in acting as a catalyst to children’s identity
development. In 1991, Mr. Wallage composed a commission in response to the 1989 report, which should make
proposals for the development of policies in favour of immigrant minority children. Mr. van Kemenade
Committee published the Cedars in the garden report in 1992. A whole new perspective on HLI was proposed:
immigrant community languages should no more be regarded as a means to redress immigrant minority
children’s school deficit, but rather as a subject with independent objectives. In this context, HLI should have
cultural rather than deficit objectives.
This new perspective had obvious implications for the choice of objectives, target groups, target languages
and the evaluation of HLI. HLI had a new label, since for many members of the target group (generally the
second or the third generation of an ethnic minority), it was no longer ‘own language’ but a foreign language
(e.g., Modern Standard Arabic) or the language of their parents. This is why HLI was labelled at the time
Education in Modern Native Languages (EMNL). In the same report, a distinction was proposed between two
perspectives: deficit vs. cultural perspectives, which implied the concept whereby immigrant minority children
were automatically categorised as children whose deficit should be eliminated. To replace this perspective,
specific facilities should be provided for children in deficit situations in terms of both Dutch as a second language
(NT2) and Education in Modern Native Language (EMNL).
One of the major recommendations of the Cedars in the garden report was to allow for the opportunity to
organise lessons of the actual language of origin of the children, as part and parcel of HLI, and not only lessons of
the official language of the home country. This would mean that Moroccan children could not only follow
lessons in Modern Standard Arabic, but also in Moroccan Arabic or Berber. Courses in Education in Modern
Native Languages (EMNL) should stand on equal footing with other courses in primary schools; and immigrant
minority children should also be able to follow EMNL lessons. These EMNL lessons should not be organized at
the expense of other courses. Otherwise, extending the school day is highly recommended.
Transferring the EMNL organisational responsibilities from the state to municipal authorities which, after
consultation with parents, should determine which language would be proposed, was the last major
recommendation of the report. From 1995 until now, the government agreed on the Van Kemenade Committee’s
guidelines, though the suggestion to increase the autonomous function of HLI was included, assuming that HLI
might jointly support both functions and autonomy.
The EMNL report of 1995 formulated by the Secretary of Education Mrs. Netelenbos caused quite a stir in the
education sector, especially within the EMNL circles. The main points of this report were:
• the organization of EMNL was the responsibility of municipalities;
• in principle all mother tongues may be proposed;
• EMNL should be offered as an independent subject outside school-time. This last point was the most
A form of EMNL was proposed as part of the school activities, but in this case, it would have a supportive
function (improving the school results in another way) and it would require highly qualified EMNL teachers. The
last two paragraphs of this report were severely critical, because they had deviated from the Van Kemenade
Committee’s opinion: taking the EMNL outside the school hours and using it as support subject. Moreover, the
Moroccan authorities expressed their concern about Arabic within the framework of the EMNL if provided
outside school hours. They worried that the quality of education would become uncontrollable and a large
number of Moroccan children would not follow this instruction anymore. The aim was to start new EMNL on
August 1, 1997, but its launch had been delayed for a year and was rescheduled for August 1, 1998, with a
transitional period of one year (until August 1, 1999).
Debates going on in society and parliament led to new legislation on HLI in the Netherlands, namely its
abolishment from September 1, 2004. The basic idea was that pupils with a migrant minority background had
better invest in Dutch and Dutch culture, in order to better integrate and that if they wish they can learn their
own languages in self organized teaching sessions. The effects of this law were that until today many Moroccan
and Turkish children follow Arabic and Turkish lessons in mosques not covered by the educational inspection
services and in many cases following the authoritative antiquated teaching methods of the countries of origin.
On top of that those mosque schools are strongly influenced by orthodox Islamic streams (cf. the teaching of the
Fethülla Gülen movement in Europe).
Issues at stake in Arabic HLI
At the time of the existence of Arabic HLI in the Netherlands, different issues were tackled but never actually
solved. We mention the weak relation between Arabic HLI and regular education, the training and status of the
Arabic teachers, the (lack of) teaching materials, and the general effects of this type of education: What was the
level in Arabic of the children following this type of education at the end? These issues are discussed in the
Relationship between Arabic HLI and regular education
A review of the NT2 Group Project, published in 1992 (“Werken aan Taalbeleid”, “Working on Language policy”)
called for better coordination between HLI and the teaching of Dutch as a second language (NT2) in elementary
education. The choice of the group was geared toward a bilingual model, where both languages were taught in a
coordinated method. In short, the group wished that the mother tongue would play a role during the
kindergarten phase (i.e., groups 1 and 2). At this level, the language still needed to be developed; it should serve
as a lingua franca for teaching and fostering children’s development, serving as a catalyst to the acquisition of
Dutch. With respect to Arabic, they advocated the use of the actual mother tongue of the Moroccan children. To
cope with these tasks, HLI teachers should receive additional training. In elementary education (i.e., groups 3-8),
HLI should, according to the group, have a supportive function to NT2. In groups 3, 4 and 5, greater importance
would be given to further develop children’s knowledge of the reading and writing skills in the (standard)
language. But starting from groups 5/6, HLI should be more linked to the core of the NT2. The group knows that
this orientation would require greater spirit of cooperation from immigrant minority language teachers and their
Dutch colleagues, which is lacking nowadays. While HLI teachers were generally isolated, they should still be able
to follow further training. The group project also knew that words are easy, but deeds are difficult. Teachers
often worked in different schools, and they had little time for consultation with the teachers’ teams of the
respective schools. As was stated above, the organization and content of HLI would undergo significant changes
on 1 August 1998. National authorities would no more be responsible for HLI legislation and funding, HLI
organization of appropriate teachers’ training, and the development of objectives, programs, exams and
teaching materials. The organization of HLI was decentralized towards the municipalities: from now on, they
would decide on the languages to provide in the HLI program, after consultation with parents of the pupils. This
offer should not be limited to the official languages of the countries of origin. For Moroccan pupils, this meant
they would also follow lessons in Moroccan Arabic or Berber. It was still thought that parents, mostly
Moroccans, would cling to Modern Standard Arabic for HLI. Besides this, new problems arose to teach the
language, since there was virtually no teaching material available at this level.
Another question concerned what form will take parents’ consultation: through independent organizations
(which by far do not represent all the parents), through parents’ surveys (and how?). All this was not yet clear.
Another modification in the HLI organisation was that the municipalities could decide about the number of
pupils to follow HLI lessons and the number of hours they would spend there. Schools were to be responsible for
the organization and quality of HLI, and the appointment and training of HLI teachers. However, the need to
organise HLI outside the school hours caused much stir. The argument for this decision was that HLI could not
take place at the expense of the regular curriculum. Yet there was a catch herein: if HLI was to have a supportive
function, it had to be held during the school hours. However, if its function was independent (the acquisition of
Arabic (Modern Standard)), it had to be done outside the school hours. How was this possible in schools with
more that 75% of children with immigrant minority backgrounds (mostly Turks and Moroccans)? If the total of
HLI hours had to be given outside the school curriculum, the school day may either be overloaded and longer or
children must return to school just for a HLI lesson. Many parents feared an overload of their children and a
stigmatizing effect of seeing HLI placed outside school hours.
We must note here that the minorities of southern Europe have long organized their courses outside school
hours, Wednesday afternoon or Saturday. The implementation of HLI as support to NT2 caused many problems
for teachers who were in charge: they should be qualified for such teaching; they should be able to follow
training and should have a better command of the Dutch language. All the signatures collected and protests
from both parents and teachers could not prevent this new form of HLI be implemented from 1 August 1998.
Position of HLI teachers
To give an overview of the overall situation of HLI teachers, particularly within the framework of the HLI in the
Netherlands, the focus was put on the findings of Driessen, Louvenberg and Jungbluth (1987), who in their
investigation of the HLI in the Netherlands examined the origins of 63 teachers in HLI in the Netherlands. The HLI
teachers examined in this survey were overwhelmingly male (81%), less than 40 years and lived in the
Netherlands for over 5 years. In general, they had benefited from good training, they were qualified Moroccan
teachers, and they had completed courses/training in the Netherlands. They also had several years of teaching
experience in both their country of origin and the Netherlands. The Moroccan teachers’ legal status could be
best described as weak. More than one third of these teachers were active in many schools. Nearly 90% of the
Moroccan HLI teachers had a full-time schedule. Their tasks were really heavy, which was the prime cause of
their high frequency of absenteeism, while a replacement teacher was rarely available. In fact, there was
particularly a stark shortage of Moroccan teachers, which was the main reason for the non-organization of HLI in
numerous schools. The main problems cited by these teachers include:
• teaching heterogeneous groups;
• teaching in several schools (3/4 teachers work in more than one school and have full schedules);
• too many social and educational activities (interpretation, translation, interviews with parents);
• problems of teaching materials;
• a combination of all of the above-mentioned reasons.
All these teachers had one or many additional tasks in addition to their teaching tasks:
• guiding pupils;
• supervising homework;
• collaborating with the school director;
• coordinating with pupils of other languages;
• developing content;
• providing for other courses than those of HLI
Establishing contacts with the Dutch colleagues was often difficult. The main causes were:
• teaching in several schools;
• providing for courses outside the school hours;
• part-time schedules;
• remoteness of the localities;
• language barriers;
• lack of interest from Dutch colleagues.
According to various reports, neither did HLI teachers make efforts to have and maintain contact with Dutch
colleagues. Driessen, Louvenberg and Jungbluth (1987) noted that most HLI teachers did not attend school team
meetings (in 50% of cases, they did not attend) or parents meetings, partly because they worked in several
schools. Still, they wrote reports on the children’s progress. Contact with Dutch teachers generally focused on
pupils and their parents, but rarely on educational issues and coordination. With their fellow HLI teachers they
discussed these topics and others related to the didactic materials. In the following table, an overview is given of
the numbers of hours of the HLI teachers involved. A full-time schedule consists of 40 hours. Most teachers had
a full-time schedule.
Table 2.1 Number of hours per full-time schedule in the school years 1985-1991;
Source: Ministry of Education, PO/IAE section.
School year Number of hours per full-time schedule
HLI teachers’ recruitment
In the Netherlands, the Moroccan teachers’ recruitment was done in a different way than in the rest of Europe.
The Moroccan authorities could only propose seemingly valid candidates, but ultimately it was the schools or the
municipal authorities which had the last word on their appointments. To better understand the reasons behind
this situation, reference should be made to historical developments. When HLI was still under the auspices of
the Ministry of Culture of the time, no specific qualifications were required from HLI teachers. When HLI was
transferred to the Ministry of Education in 1974, the teachers so far paid by the Ministry of Culture had been
maintained, notwithstanding their lack of qualifications. Also later, the exemption policy had always been fairly
flexible. Since 1980, HLI organisation adhered to strictly defined criteria. Therefore, since 1990 no exemption
was granted with respect to the required HLI teachers’ qualification. Only those granted temporary exemptions
have been renewed or replaced by permanent exemption at the authorities’ request. This happened especially
when the concerned teacher had been in office as such since at least one year; and that the authority had
declared that the teacher worked with the general satisfaction of all parties involved. A number of municipalities
and schools issued major objections against the appointment of teachers sent officially by recruiters in the
country of origin. As a result, the choice was very restricted and political indoctrination, especially by the
organizations of the extreme right, was mostly feared. At first, coordinators of the Ministry of Education had no
objection against the teachers’ recruitment by the embassies. Any criticism could be levelled against other
parties involved. In addition, it was long estimated that HLI education was the responsibility of the country of
origin. It was generally thought that this latter should be more aware of transmitting the language and the
culture involved. The Ministry’s sole requirement was the teachers’ qualification. Such behaviour was widely
criticised by the municipalities who sometimes even escaped regulations in appointing migrant workers living in
the Netherlands. As it was often about illegal people or people with temporary residence permits, Social Affairs
and Justice began to intervene. The Director of the Nursery and Elementary Education of the Ministry of
Education proposed a solution whereby the qualification of teachers hired officially was verified by the
coordinators. When composing the list of candidates, a representative of the municipalities should also play a
The same director then proposed to appoint a recruitment body (officially ‘teaching attachés’) in the
respective embassies in Rabat and Ankara to serve the Ministry of Education, which should try to limit the direct
intervention of the embassies. In practice, this was limited to the composition of a pool by the recruitment body,
satisfying the wishes of municipal administrations. After interviewing the candidates in the concerned country,
representatives of the school directors could then compose from this pool the final list of the available teachers
on call. Despite these regulations, the lack of teachers increased sharply in the early 1980s, while the situation
was complicated by the sudden rejection by Minister Pais of the Cultural Agreement with Morocco signed in
February 1980. He explained his decision as follows: according to this agreement, the Moroccan authorities
recruit teachers. In the context of the academic freedom, he considered it unacceptable. Due to these
differences regarding recruitment, the lack of thirty Moroccan teachers in the 1980s was a serious structural
challenge. The intervention of Minister Pais also contributed to an almost complete halt of recruitment in
Morocco. The relations only resumed with the successor to the Minister. The Ministry wanted to quickly clarify
this situation, because many posts were vacant, and the functions were employed only many years later. The
municipal authorities insisted that exemption be granted to teachers with no teaching qualification. The case of
recruitments in Morocco had been reopened only after the signing of the Cultural Agreement in February 24,
Many teachers’ associations, directions of four large municipalities, political parties and interested
associations tried to mobilize public opinion and the parliament to prevent ratification. According to them, the
way would be open to the infiltration of associations and teachers who are politically indoctrinated into the
Dutch education system. To counter this criticism, the Secretary of Education Mrs. van Leijenhorst composed a
‘Joint Committee’ with a representation of the directions’ league to establish selection criteria in 1983. It was
decided to act in the following way: the education attaché at the embassy in Rabat was to ensure that all
potential applicants be informed of the opportunity to come to the Netherlands. Following the reactions, she
made a list and forwarded the names of the appointed candidates to the Moroccan Ministry of Education, which,
in turn, decides whether an immigration visa will be issued. The selection was in the hands of the attachés, but
authorities’ influence was more pronounced compared to the ways selection procedures were carried out in
Turkey. The Joint Commission could not prevent a boycott of the list by the four major municipalities and the
teachers union. Therefore, recruitment took place in Morocco outside official channels; a procedure to which
also education attachés participated. These candidates were still in a bad legal situation, because they could no
longer claim back their old jobs. Moreover, indoctrination among teachers was not visible. Despite the
disagreements, the recruitment process was relatively successful. In three years, 59 teachers arrived in the
Netherlands, most of who were recruited outside the official list, with the tacit agreement of the Moroccan
authorities. The control for assistants’ qualification, largely ensured by attachés, underwent a number of
problems, due to different causes. There was, for instance, no such influence on uncontrolled or free recruitment
organized by the school directors who would not collaborate with the attachés for reasons of principle. The
Ministry assumed that many people were recruited, though with questionable qualification or no qualification at
all. It was striking how the media had highlighted the danger of political indoctrination, which had the effect of
underestimating the qualification of the teachers coming directly from Morocco, which was as fundamental as
the issue just mentioned. This holds true especially for those who had been recruited directly in Morocco,
without the intervention of the attaché. Their recruitment took place without the least control, while their
teaching quality was assumed execrable.
Another problem concerned teachers who had completed their studies and were contractually bound to the
state for a period of eight years. If they left their posts without official permission, they would be guilty of
contract breach, compromising thereby their reintegration in the Moroccan education system if they would
return. The method applied by the attachés gave further guarantees of qualification. It did not only take into
account the candidates’ teaching experience and fluency in Arabic and French, but their knowledge of the
Western society and Dutch as well. In addition, a kind of ‘fundamentalism scale’ applied to crowd out orthodox
candidates. All these conditions did not automatically qualify candidates for teaching in the Netherlands, which
was often reported to the Ministry by the attachés. In practice, many people were appointed, though they not
only had a simplistic idea of the status of education in the Netherlands, but they, according to the selection
criteria, lacked the necessary qualification as well. In addition, as the Ministry paid little attention, the newly
arrived HLI teachers were abandoned to their fate. Therefore, they could not expect to make strenuous efforts, in
the short run, to contribute to an integral definition of the HLI objectives. According to alarming inspection
reports from 1982 and 1988, an intensive course of six months had not changed much. Afterward Mrs. van
Leijenhorst admitted that she was mistaken about the quality of the teachers recruited in Morocco.
The legal status of HLI teachers
The legal status decree of the teaching staff governed the legal situation of the staff generally operating within
the ambit of education. Since the application of the Law on Elementary Education, all teachers of elementary
education were included in the same salary regulation, regardless of whether the teacher was a regular school
teacher or a HLI teacher. In actual practice, however, there remained the issue of delay in regulating the situation
of HLI teachers. This delay was said to be the result of regulation procedures based on the situation of teachers
who were both Dutch nationals and Dutch-born. The teachers’ leave was not regulated according to the Islamic
holiday calendar. This meant that the teacher depended on his employer’s goodwill. A number of definitions for
special leaves were difficult to apply to the situation of Moroccan teachers. Consider, for example, the case of a
leave for family reasons. The time was too short for cases where such events took place in the country of origin.
The appointment of a HLI teacher was temporary-based. The teacher had first to follow HLI application courses
before being considered for final appointment. When temporary appointment expired, the staying permit was at
risk as it might expire. Return fees reimbursement was not regulated. Legally, teaching in primary school could
only be given by qualified teachers. Additionally, the decree underlying the legal status made it clear that
temporary appointment was not to exceed one year, unless the Ministry allowed extension in few exceptional
individual cases and for good reason.
All of the newly appointed HLI teachers were considered temporarily appointed during the HLI application
course, under the pretext that they did not yet show the regularly required qualification. Regardless of the
regulation at play, many HLI teachers had not yet been permanently appointed, notwithstanding their right. In
the executive EMNL report, the Secretary of Education Mrs. Netelenbos guaranteed that teachers’ posts in the
Dutch education were maintained. Municipalities had the obligation of integrating all these teachers into the new
situation. The Education Act stated that the HLI teachers’ pay was regulated by the Dutch authorities; the
Moroccan authorities had nothing to do with this matter. In the new situation of EMNL, the HLI finances were to
be transferred to the municipalities, which would be, accordingly, responsible for the remuneration of HLI
teachers to start from August 1, 1998. From the moment the Ministry of Education took over the HLI
responsibility from the Ministry of Culture, teacher retraining courses were organized for HLI teachers. In 1975,
this course focused on pedagogical training, where knowledge of Dutch vehicled not only information on the
Dutch society and education but on pedagogical and didactic topics as well. The organization of these courses
was given to the Dutch Centre for Foreigners. The mere fact of following this course did not allow for a
qualification or any other rights whatsoever. Rather, only a certificate was obtained, proving that courses were
As soon as HLI became less focused on a return to the home country but rather on the integration of pupils,
the requirements of the immigrant minority teachers changed accordingly. Integration turned into the main
objective. It was conceived of as an orientation of the Dutch teacher towards education in general: the program
requirements were not defined for the HLI modified objectives. The teachers training course was compulsory for
teachers with a temporary exemption from qualification, but teachers with final exemption from qualification
were also entitled to participate. This course designation was confusing. Its content focused only on the skills and
knowledge to improve the role of teachers within the teaching team, and, then, in Dutch education. There were
three subjects involved: the Dutch language first, then an orientation towards the Dutch culture and society, and
finally knowledge of the Dutch education system. The course was organized in six Training Centres enjoying
greater freedom to organize it the way they want. At the end of the training cycle, a certificate was granted
thereby providing the qualification essential for the HLI program. The course lasted one year, with an average of
two days per week. An application course for the fully qualified teacher was available for teachers who obtained
qualification in the country of origin. ‘Fully qualified’ means qualified for teaching in a Dutch school. The program
also focused on the pedagogical and didactic aspects currently at use in the Dutch elementary education. It was
important that access to this course was not possible unless the candidate passed an entrance examination in
Dutch. No help was provided for reaching this level of access.
Later, there were lessons of Dutch, a one-week course, whereby trainees learned to work in a kindergarten: a
course in Turkish/Arabic (Modern Standard), and an intensive course for Moroccan teachers. Daily courses of
Dutch were provided in the Training Centres, generally for foreign pupils who planned to continue their
education in the Netherlands. Starting from the month of August 1985, the kindergarten children also had the
possibility to follow HLI lessons. Apart from Italians, no foreign teacher achieved the qualification required for
this form of education in the country. The position advocated by the municipalities was to retrain teachers during
the effective course, so they were able to work in a kindergarten when school started in 1986. The course
focused on mixed classes according to nationality. These courses did not lead to any certificate. These courses
were also available in the same six Training Centres organizing application courses for fully qualified teachers.
In secondary education, second-level Arabic and Turkish part-time trainings were available for the immigrant
minority members who were proficient in the languages concerned and wished to obtain a second-level
qualification. Secondary education Dutch teachers had the possibility to take these courses if they had a
sufficient level in Arabic or Turkish. It involved four-year training with an average of 8 hours per week. The
intensive course for Moroccan teachers was a temporary solution with respect to the lack of teachers in this
category. It was being organized by a number of Training Centres. It was a full-time training lasting three months,
after which it was possible for Moroccan teachers to teach and follow the HLI courses. When this cycle was
completed, teachers were qualified for HLI. This course was intended only to Moroccans having followed prior
training equivalent to the higher level of secondary education.
The criteria of qualification and the mastery of Dutch by Moroccan teachers were always a source of concern,
despite all the efforts of retraining. In 1982, the education inspectorate found that 50% of teachers did not
sufficiently master Dutch, in 1986/1987 the inspectorate concluded that half of the Arabic teachers not only
lacked the required qualification, but also they did not follow any qualification training. In 1988, the inspectorate
concluded for the first time that the mastery of Dutch had improved (60% of the Moroccan teachers mastered
Dutch well), the teaching experience and quality had improved compared to the year 1982 and the HLI teachers
encountered no problem in teaching pupils of groups 1 and 2 in particular. In the “Eigen Taal” (“Own Language”)
report of 1991, the Secretary of Education Wallage predicted an imminent lack of teachers in HLI since the
number of pupils participating in HLI kept on growing. He preferred in-country teachers training rather than
hiring teachers from abroad. In this context, he proposed a short term HLI teaching qualification training for
elementary education offered to teachers of Arabic and Turkish. This training was actually taking place in
Amsterdam. In addition, he wanted to establish an intensive training program to reinforce HLI teachers’
knowledge of Dutch. To cater for the future need for HLI teachers, Wallage conducted a survey to see whether
HLI teacher training could possibly be launched. He obviously intended to link this training to a teachers training
for elementary education.
Moreover, after a couple of years of practice, a part-time training was expected to be followed by a regular-
school-teachers training, leading ultimately to full qualification. The NT2 Group Project did not only go much
further in its proposals to improve the level of training of HLI teachers, but it gave a critical feedback on
proposals and previous courses as well. According to this group, the biggest problem lied in the lack of teaching
expertise in the HLI teachers’ work, particularly at the kindergarten level. The limited mastery of Dutch defined
further retraining opportunities. The teacher alone should not be held responsible for this poor mastery of the
host country dominant language (i.e., Dutch), retraining courses, already listed, were also of very low intensity
and quality. In addition, the HLI teacher had generally too little contact with the Dutch colleagues at schools. The
group hoped that new training was put into practice to socialize HLI teachers in the Netherlands and this within
the framework of existing teachers training programs for elementary education. For secondary schools, new
teachers had also to be trained in the Netherlands, and teachers already in service should be retrained. While
secondary school teachers training programs for Turkish and Arabic (Modern Standard) already existed for years,
there was still no such foundation for the HLI teachers in primary education. However, the Minister would, over
two years, train teachers for language teaching to work as ‘a support for the teaching staff’ (in, among other
tasks, receiving bilingual groups, groups 1 and 2 included), next to and under the responsibility of a regular
school teacher. The Ministry’s goal was that these ‘support’ teachers were transferred, after some years of
practice, to a teacher training group in the Training Centres or to the HLI application course for one year, where
he/she could obtain HLI teacher qualification. By this detour, the Ministry wanted to train HLI teachers, instead of
real initial training. This proposal for assistance entitled ‘Support Pillars’ was actually a return to the situation
before 1985, where HLI teachers were also called ‘teaching assistants’, and used to have a lower status compared
to their Dutch colleagues.
Since April 19, 1993, new teachers were needed. In addition to the qualification for primary education in the
country of origin, an adequate command of Dutch was a prime requirement (A Certificate of Dutch State Exam as
a Second Language, level II). Without certification it was impossible to obtain a temporary appointment as a HLI
teacher. This regulation led to a growing shortage of teachers and an overload of the teachers already in office. In
the new situation EMNL, there was to be, on the one hand, more demand on teachers, and less demand on the
other: a HLI teacher who would give HLI lessons as a support to the regular school program was to have a good
command of Dutch and finally teacher qualification. In the case of HLI as an autonomous subject, taking place
therefore outside the school hours, it was considered that, at certain levels, one just had to be a native speaker
of a language to teach it. The proposals of the Secretary of Education Netelenbos were strongly criticized.
Debate on the status of HLI and Arabic HLI in particular
Since its inception, HLI always was at the heart of a strong debate. It was about legitimizing the subject and its
place in the curriculum. This place was fixed since the application of the EMNL report of August 1, 1998. The
question to legitimize HLI was mainly concerned with its objectives. These had often been modified and
amended by various laws and reports: starting from a perspective of a possible return to the country through
integration while maintaining the original culture, and reaching a point of identity development and struggle
against deficit. Two major perspectives could be distinguished in this main debate during the years 1993-1998:
cultural vs. deficit perspectives on HLI. The first perspective defended the immigrant minorities’ rights for HLI as
an autonomous subject. The second perspective called for a consideration of HLI as a catalyst to the
improvement of immigrant minority children’s general cognitive development, through, among other things,
greater affinity between HLI and NT2 education. To promote this, the Group Project recommended in 1994 the
development of a ‘new HLI curriculum formula’ where HLI was equipped with a clearly defined supportive
function. Although the government at the time reproduced in its broad outlines the opinions of the Van
Kemenade Committee, it appeared that the State Secretary in the last report was still wavering between two
options: she spoke of HLI as having a supportive function, which may be proposed within the school curriculum
on the one hand, and as an autonomous subject which were only to be offered outside school hours on the
other. Accordingly, it seemed that only the supportive function had the right to be included in the teaching
program of the elementary schools. Language teaching was at the heart of the Dutch HLI education. In 1989, the
Secretary of Education of the time, Mrs. Ginjaar Maas, removed the letter ‘C’ from the label of Education in
Language and Culture (ELC) as she believed that it was not up to the school to vehicle the culture of origin.
According to the education inspectorate, HLI was mainly focused on the teaching of the language, although
culture was touched on through the history and the geography of the home country. And although this was not
the purpose of HLI, 60% of Moroccan teachers sometimes or even often gave religious lessons during HLI
lessons. They responded well to a majority of Moroccan parents’ wish regarding HLI contents. In practice, HLI
lessons had no affinities whatsoever with the religious program. In general, HLI target attainment levels have
never been clearly defined, particularly in the case of Arabic HLI. Most schools organised HLI with a partial work
plan for HLI. In general it was formulated by the only HLI teacher, possibly in collaboration with colleagues from
other schools. In these work plans, objectives were formulated in terms of very broad lines (these were often
merely copies of some sketchy implementation notes), while didactic work programs were very rarely drafted.
The plans were rarely responsive to emerging developments in the implementation program and there were
very few research affinities with the regular education. These plans contained little information regarding how
tests (exams) and teachers’ reports were elaborated. In HLI, the potential level of attainment was relatively low,
and it was, therefore, advisable not to set the bar too high.
In 1993, the Centre for Curriculum Development (Stichting Ontwikkeling Leerplan Ontwikkeling, ‘SLO’) tried
to find common grounds in the HLI teachers’ curricula; an opinion on this matter was communicated to the
teachers’ union (Algemene Bond Onderwijzend Personeel, ‘ABOP’). It is noteworthy to mention that the authors
started from the viewpoint that Arabic should be considered as an autonomous subject and not just a supportive
topic to other subjects on the curriculum. According to them, the main function of HLI was to contribute to
Moroccan children’s identity development. The result of their advice led to the same goal of HLI as the one
formulated a year earlier by the NT2 Group Project, notably: to give lessons to kindergarten children in their
mother tongue (Berber or Arabic Morocco), and to use Modern Standard Arabic starting from group 3. The
overlap between the two opinions is even clearer when we talk about the motivations of language use: to
maintain contact with family in Morocco, and to develop NT2 on the one hand and to learn Modern Standard
Arabic on the other. The objectives of Modern Standard Arabic use were twofold: obtaining access to the basic-
level written resources of the Arab world; and developing affinities with other subjects such as NT2, while
teaching general concepts and skills. This was summarised by the authors themselves in the following fashion: to
focus the subject primarily on children’s language and identity development, while ensuring that the concepts
taught had close relationships with other subjects. Finally, the objectives of the different course components
should be clearly defined (such skills as listening, writing, culture, language). In this perspective, it was estimated
that the HLI supportive function was at least as important as its independent function.
The debate surrounding the HLI effects was at least as vehement as that focusing on its objectives. Anything
that related to scholastic achievements was kept by the teachers, but their way of evaluating the results did not
really correspond to that of the other teachers at the school. The school direction was also often misinformed
about how teachers formulate their assessment. So far, it was not compulsory to register the mark the child had
obtained for HLI on the school report. For people who were not directly involved in HLI, it was therefore very
difficult to get an idea of the individual pupils’ results. However, the views were known of the parents and the
children who attend HLI lessons. For parents, it goes without saying that Modern Standard Arabic was the
language taught within the framework of HLI. Arabic was indeed the language of Islam. They appreciate HLI
insofar as it allows for the maintenance of their culture and their religion as part and parcel of their children’s
education in the migration context. However, they were unhappy with the results and insisted that the courses
be more intensive. They wanted better results in Arabic to ensure the maintenance of their language and culture,
mainly for cultural and ethnic motives. In addition, they wanted better results with respect to the teaching of
Islam. Finally, parents wanted HLI to focus on subjects of real cultural load such as Islam, geography and the
history of Morocco to establish a link between children and their country of origin.
As for the pupils, they considered it necessary to devote sufficient time to achieve interesting results with
regard to language, knowledge of religion and culture. The pupils were disappointed with their unsatisfactory
results. They also argued that the content of the course was too high for their actual level. They believed that
religion, geography, history and songs were obviously part and parcel of HLI. At this level, they agreed with their
parents and they rejected the government’s plan to eliminate these subjects in particular.
The effects of HLI have long been evaluated in terms of other subjects such as Dutch and arithmetic.
Specifically in these subjects, the results of the children following HLI were generally disappointing, compared
with their Dutch classmates. Still, the main question was whether this underachievement had anything to do
with HLI classes. In 1988, the Ministry requested an investigation of the HLI effects on language acquisition and
language maintenance, cultural awareness, academic achievement in other school subjects, the learning
situation of Dutch pupils at schools and on the overall school-based educational activities. In this regard, a report
published in 1989 contains answers to the following questions. What was the relationship between following HLI
• the written language skills in the mother tongue;
• knowledge of key elements of the original culture;
• results in Dutch and arithmetic;
• the situation of pupils in school;
• characteristics of the school organization.
Moroccan pupils of group 8 participated in this investigation. The main conclusions were:
• Mastery of the written Arabic was poor. This was not surprising, given the limited number of hours allotted
to the learning of HLI Arabic by Moroccan children;
• A surprising conclusion was that participation in school-based HLI had a beneficial effect on Moroccan
pupils’ exam results and their own views on language proficiency. The results were even better than those
of pupils taking lessons of Arabic outside the school;
• Moroccan pupils had poor test scores of Dutch and arithmetic, where the extramural HLI had negative
effects. Investigators expressed their doubt regarding the negative results, as being related to HLI
participation. According to them, the explanation lied rather in the number of years pupils had followed
• Moroccan pupils enjoyed more pleasure in education than their Dutch peers, which corresponds to their
participation in other curriculum courses;
• Moroccan pupils, by participating in HLI, generally missed classes of cognitive subjects; but they usually
manage to catch up;
• In practice, there was very little affinity between HLI and the regular Dutch education (20%).
Although often suggested, no relationship was found between HLI participation and the relatively less
satisfactory results of immigrant minority children in Dutch, a number of investigators conclude. In a subsequent
survey, it was concluded that Moroccan children’s mother tongue influences examination results in Arabic:
children whose mother tongue was Berber achieve significantly lower in Arabic exams, compared to Moroccan-
Arabic speaking children. Another survey by Aarts, De Ruiter & Verhoeven (1993), focusing exclusively on the
effect of HLI on mastering the language of Turkish and Moroccan children, provided a more positive picture than
Driessen’s. The results were poor on the Arabic writing test at the end of elementary school, but better than the
results in Driessen’s research. Also, HLI participation and parental stimulation had a positive effect. Pupils seemed
to lag behind their peers in Morocco both in spelling and vocabulary, which was quite normal. They obtained
acceptable results during oral tests in Arabic (Moroccan) and technical reading in Modern Standard Arabic. The
pupils’ socio-cultural orientation appeared to be a determinant factor. Meanwhile, Aarts and De Ruiter
developed tests for the Citogroup (see below) for determining the proficiency level in Arabic at the end of
elementary school. A bilingual test of Arabic was also elaborated for the elementary school entry to measure
Moroccan children’s degrees of bilingualism.
A stark lack of HLI teaching materials has always been observed. Several methods were imported from the
countries of origin (25% of the methods for kindergartens and 60% of the methods for groups 3 to 8) or from
other countries (20% from Germany). These methods were not adapted to the Dutch situation. They did not
reflect the situation of immigrant minorities in the Netherlands. The pace of the didactic work involved was not
adapted too. The acquisition pace of Arabic (Modern Standard) by children in the Netherlands was lower than
that in Morocco. The environment in the Moroccan methods did not match the profile of the Moroccan children
living in a Western culture. In addition, the vocabulary of older pupils was insufficient for them to understand
texts taken from textbooks of the country of origin. In other words, it was very difficult in practice to use the
existing teaching materials. Being abandoned to their fate regarding the materials to be used, HLI teachers often
had to rely on self-made materials. A third of the teachers reported that HLI did not have sufficient teaching
materials. The one they had was used very intensively and it was quickly worn out. In 30% of the cases, pupils
did not have their own textbook. In 1992, a list was published which proposed elementary teaching materials in
Arabic. The NT2 Group project described a number of methods primarily developed for regular education and
issued advice on ways to further develop the methods in use. In the NBLC catalogue, a list was provided of the
HLI materials available in the Netherlands, and that focused on language. The following is an overview of the
methods for Arabic:
• Reading for Beginners: Often, there was no manual. When there was one, it was entirely in Modern
Standard Arabic. The didactic form was generally intended for global use, but sometimes it could be
individualised. There was never any indication for an evaluation and/or testing.
• Linguistic Approach: Most of the methods were written exclusively in Arabic. While the teacher’s book was
missing, the method could be broadly used and did not provide information on evaluation.
• Other materials: they followed the same outline. Only in rare cases, there was a teacher’s book and even a
• Supporting materials and types of games.
A number of Moroccan teachers opposed the projects of developing new HLI materials. They found that these
projects had not been sufficiently adapted to their teaching practice. People who develop new materials were
rarely connected with the concerned teachers and never asked about the opinions of experts. The collaborating
actors involved often lacked the necessary skills and often represented, to a large extent, the interests of the
Dutch parties. The SCO-Kohnstamm Institute evaluated three methods for Arabic developed in the Netherlands,
following a number of criteria, including ‘social criterion’, ‘contemporariness criterion’ and ‘teaching quality
criterion’. While two methods met with these criteria, the third one was estimated execrable. After examining
several methods of Arabic, the school inspectorate, financially supported by the authorities, concluded that
these methods were designed primarily to develop oral and written skills in Arabic. No method was in harmony
with the regular education, particularly education in the Netherlands. In less than half of the methods,
contemporariness criteria were met with. But the teaching quality was low in more than half of the methods (no
possibility of distinctness and evaluation).
An inventory survey on the use of materials in HLI revealed that out of all the available methods, only 11
were used regularly, including 5 developed in the Netherlands. Teachers combined two-thirds of the materials
used with another material, often self-made. The investigator noted that teachers had no overview of the
materials developed in the Netherlands, and that many materials were still insufficiently adapted to the living
world of immigrant minority children and Dutch lessons.
According to a survey conducted for the ABOP with 129 HLI teachers, the issue of the didactic material was
still on the agenda. On the question of the teaching materials used, eight different answers were obtained. 26%
of these responses referred to self-made materials. The impact of HLI was considered satisfactory by only 30
Moroccan teachers. It could therefore be concluded that the situation regarding the teaching materials was still
unsatisfactory. Apparently, the teachers did not know about the existence of other material available in the
Netherlands. Broadly speaking, they operated with self-made materials.
Numbers of pupils in HLI and Arabic HLI
Over the years, the number of Moroccan pupils participating in HLI increased steadily (see Table 2.2). Since 1989,
the number of Moroccan pupils in HLI was still relatively stable, that is, about 70% of Moroccan children in
elementary school. This percentage was relatively high compared to other ethnic groups living in the
Netherlands. Nothing suggests that there was a difference between boys and girls or between Arabophone or
Berberophone children with respect to HLI results. Driessen examined whether there was any relationship
between the first language of pupils (Moroccan Arabic or Berber) and degrees of HLI participation.
Table 2.2 Number of Moroccan pupils participating in HLI from 1978 to 1992;
Sources: Van de Wetering (1990) and Lucassen & Köbben (1992)
School year Number of Moroccan pupils within HLI
One could indeed expect that Berberophone children were less inclined to follow HLI where a different language
was used. There was, however, no relation between HLI participation and the children’s first language, whereby
Berber-speaking children showed generally lower degrees of HLI participation compared to their Arabophone
peers. He also inquired about the important features of Moroccan pupils with respect to HLI participation within
the school context:
• they originate from relatively higher social environments;
• they find themselves in classes with fewer Dutch children and fewer Moroccan children;
• they find themselves in classes of children with higher social status;
• they find themselves in classes with better averages in Dutch and arithmetic exams.
Regarding HLI participation outside the school context, it could be stated that children who did not participate in
this variant of HLI spoke a little more Dutch with their brothers and sisters as they had been living for a longer
period in the Netherlands. In summary, it was stated that Moroccan pupils with lower degrees of school-based
HLI participation found themselves (somewhat) less often in classes with relatively many children of an
immigrant minority background. Perhaps they had less opportunity – due to organizational problems – to
participate in the school-based HLI. The Moroccan children who did not participate in HLI at school seemed more
integrated into the Dutch education system than those who did.
Since 1987, it has been possible to take Arabic (Modern Standard), among other subjects, in the lower grades
of secondary education. These subjects could either replace another or constitute by themselves an additional
subject. In 1987, 31 schools participated in this form of education, with 2,000 pupils. For the school year 1990-
1991, the number of pupils participating in these disciplines ranged as follows:
First year: 1391 Second year: 1075
Third year: 731 Fourth year: 297
In Table 2.3, the total number is mentioned of secondary education (Moroccan) pupils who choose Arabic as a
subject at the end of their study in the years 1991-1995. The number of pupils opting for Arabic in secondary
education was and still is relatively low.
Table 2.3 Number of secondary school pupils having chosen Arabic as school exam from 1991 to 1995;
Source: Ministry of Education
School year Number of pupils
Motivation to follow HLI
As was said above, Moroccan parents had a role in their children’s participation in HLI. When HLI was offered at
schools, then it was up to the parents to decide whether their children participated or not. Participation was, at
any rate, optional. Since 1998, the role of the parents was even more important in the organization of the Arabic
HLI: they had to consult the municipalities to plead for the organisation of HLI in the language of their wish.
Parents attached a lot of importance to HLI. For them, cultural and ethnic motivations were of paramount
importance (for the maintenance and for the practice of religion and culture). Moroccan parents considered HLI
as a means to support the cultural values and patterns of behaviour, while their children were growing up in the
migration context. In addition to the cultural and ethnic motives, most Moroccan parents interviewed point to
practical and instrumental reasons: a possible emigration, the links with the homeland and communication with
family and acquaintances back home. The Moroccan parents did not want to assimilate. They wanted to keep
their children within the Moroccan community. Most children said their parents supported their HLI
participation. They themselves were also motivated to participate in HLI, regardless of the opinions of their
parents. They also said they felt that it was very important to learn Arabic. As a reason, they mentioned that
Arabic was ultimately their mother tongue and had to maintain contact with family and friends in the country of
origin. But they find Arabic a difficult language. The difficulty was that the school, the teachers, the parents and
the children often had different motivations, even opposite, for HLI, causing stagnation in the HLI enterprise:
• parents considered primarily the transmission of language and culture, along with religion as an important
• Dutch teachers assigned a mediating role to HLI, a student could more easily integrate into the school
context and the Dutch society, he or she could enhance the mastery of Dutch, and the HLI teacher could
play a mediating role between school and parents;
• HLI teachers had set as a goal: to learn the language and to gear the teaching of culture towards parents’
original culture rather than teaching religion. For them, a sense of identity awareness and the migration
situation was very important;
• Pupils had many practical reasons: they wanted to learn Arabic for holidays in Morocco.
Another problem in the HLI was the different levels involved within the target groups. In the early phases of HLI,
there was an obligation to bring together pupils of different groups, and even different schools, who received
collective rather than adequate individualised instruction. These groups consisted of about ten pupils. The
teacher stood before a group of pupils with lower language proficiency than their expected linguistic level, their
general education level or their age. The criteria for the groups’ composition were based mainly on the number
of pupils available and the schedule of the school providing for HLI. Groups could be composed according to age
only when a teacher was assigned to an elementary school with, for instance, 70 HLI pupils. But here also, the
school program defined the school hours when HLI could possibly take place. The age of the pupil was not even
necessarily a guarantee for comparable language levels. In 1988, HLI had not (yet) been organized for pupils in
groups 1 and 2 in about 20% of the schools. Besides the reasons already stated above, the following could be
• The HLI teachers had not yet developed the necessary didactic skills;
• Parents wanted first their children to have reasonable oral skills in Dutch.
In 1988, the average group consisted of 6 pupils. In 1997, several different groups were present in the same class
in 43% of the schools; the number of pupils varied from 5 to 10. Besides, differences in level – from 2 to 5 levels
– were sometimes represented in a single HLI class. Differences in the language level also played a role in the
Arabic HLI. It was, therefore, impossible to form homogeneous classes with respect to the level and the mother
tongue, especially when taking into account that the teacher was limited in time because he also worked in
several schools. In the Netherlands, the Arabic-speaking Moroccans represent 40% of the Moroccan community
against 60% of Amazighophones. The numbers of Arabophone and Amazighophone pupils in elementary
education were supposed to be approximately of the same proportions. The Moroccan pupils participating at
the time in HLI were generally part of the second or third generation of immigrants. This implies that Modern
Standard Arabic was for them a real foreign language; while for Amazigh children Moroccan Arabic was a foreign
language too. Linguists and educators often advocated the teaching of Moroccan children’s mother tongues.
Most Moroccan parents preferred Modern Standard Arabic as the target language, for cultural and religious
reasons. Many teachers had difficulties in accepting the idea of teaching actual mother tongues. This would
cause problems for teachers of Arabic since the majority of their pupils speak Amazigh. Starting from a negative
argument, Driessen (1990) argued for education in the mother tongues of Moroccan children. According to him,
Moroccan children’ mastery of Modern Standard Arabic – as taught in HLI – was so weak that it would not make
sense to teach it any longer. He proposed to concentrate on the oral mastery of the mother tongues.
Otten & De Ruiter (1991) proposed to consider the linguistic aspects common to the three languages of
Morocco (Modern Standard Arabic, Moroccan Arabic and Amazigh), and to take them as a starting point to
develop children’s vocabulary. In practice, teachers already used Moroccan Arabic or Amazigh effectively to
ensure that children understand. In the various reports and reviews the use of mother tongues in HLI was also
discussed at length. In most cases this was limited to courses in nursery classes: in elementary education the
creation of a bilingual situation (Dutch and Moroccan Arabic or Amazigh) was advocated for the reception of
young Moroccan children who still did not speak Dutch. Here, the HLI teacher would also not work
independently, but rather under the responsibility of the regular school teacher. In other classes, there should
be a shift towards Modern Standard Arabic, taking account of the parents’ wishes. In Utrecht, such a method
was already at work in some schools: in groups 1 to 3, pupils were taught in Amazigh and Moroccan Arabic; the
introduction of Modern Standard Arabic was relegated to group 4. Amazigh, Moroccan Arabic or Dutch were
used as a lingua franca. Courses for groups from 1 to 3 ran parallel to the Dutch course. This method had some
success: Moroccan children performed better in Dutch and arithmetic than before. The Van Kemenade
commission was the first to propose Moroccan children’s mother tongue to be taught as the target language of
the autonomous HLI (EMNL). According to the commission, the choice of one of the three languages fell neatly
within parental decision. Obviously, the main problem lied in that there were no standardised writing systems
for both Moroccan Arabic and Amazigh at the time. It was needless to mention the lack of the materials relevant
for the teaching of these language varieties. The choice of the Moroccan mother tongues would be a ‘fait
accompli’ on August 1, 1998. But the question was to what extent this option was right. In their survey, Broeder,
Geertsema and Gerritsen (1997) also asked which language Moroccan teachers felt they had to use in the new
EMNL: for nursery classes, 50% of the teachers felt that this should be the language spoken at home. For the
other classes, the vast majority was in favour of Modern Standard Arabic (84%). It was striking to note that the
majority of the school directors were for the use of Modern Standard Arabic in all classes. Little was know as yet
about the unofficial HLI. According to surveys, Moroccan pupils often followed lessons in Modern Standard
Arabic after the school hours, very often in mosques. Shadid & Van Koningsveld (1990) reported that in
Rotterdam, about 40% of Moroccan children between 6 and 14 were taught in mosques. Similarly, Van de
Wetering (1990) mentioned this fact. In his investigation, Driessen (1990) registered 44% of Moroccan children
who followed this type of education.
Not much was known about the content or the time-load of these courses taking place outside the regular
school education. Shadid and Van Koningsveld (1990) stated that there were no elements of Islamic
fundamentalism to fear. It was better to admit that “this type of education allows for the timely and full
membership of the children into their parents’ religious community”. Nevertheless, these lessons took much
time: Wednesday afternoons and sometimes on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Participation in these
extracurricular courses seemed to have a positive effect on the results obtained in HLI organized in Dutch
schools. The EMNL report of the Secretary of Education at the time Mrs. Netelenbos (1995) adopted on August
1, 1998 seemed to cause a shift in HLI. Opinions diverged regarding whether HLI should continue or come to a
halt. The Secretary of Education was obviously optimistic: she found it positive to make a clear-cut difference
between the EMNL as a supportive medium for teaching and EMNL as an independent subject. In addition,
within EMNL other languages were to be offered, including the official languages of the countries of the target
groups. In principle, the choice to organize courses in Moroccan Arabic or Amazigh was entirely free, if there was
sufficient demand. Teachers and parents were much less optimistic about the survival chances of Arabic HLI.
Criticism was expressed mainly on the following issues:
• a number of consequences were feared if HLI was provided outside the school hours, many parents would
not send their children to HLI or send them only to the mosque, where the content would be different;
• if children had to stay longer in school, they would consider HLI as a punishment rather than a pleasurable
• teachers had not yet seen how they could teach the same number of pupils outside school hours, while still
having their full schedule unmodified;
• in many municipalities, there were no real EMNL experts and no real concern was expressed. It was not
clear how to consult parents regarding EMNL. Broeder & Extra (1996) made valuable suggestions;
• in the new formula nothing was yet defined with reference to the final terms, content, recruitment for
secondary education, teaching materials and other practical elements;
• there was a good chance that the means distributed to municipalities for EMNL be quickly allocated; more
groups would receive EMNL with the same budget.
In the eyes of the pupils and HLI teachers, years of discussions about the objectives, the resources, the contents
and the teachers training have not changed much the HLI scene.
3. Mastering Arabic
During the eighties and nineties of the last century, the acquisition of Modern Standard Arabic by Moroccan
children and the acquisition of Turkish by Turkish children in the Dutch context gradually received more
attention. Most commonly, Moroccan and Turkish children were compared on the basis of similar background
variables, particularly their period of immigration and (low) socio-economic status. Results showed consistently
that Turkish children scored better at Turkish language tests than Moroccan children at Arabic ones. The Arabic
language tested in these studies is nearly always Modern Standard Arabic.
Van de Wetering (1990) reported on the proficiency of Moroccan children in Modern Standard Arabic. In a
longitudinal study from 1983-1985, she tested 447 Moroccan children from grades 3-8 in eight primary schools in
two large cities. Their age ranged between 6 and 14 years. The testing instruments used for this purpose included
a decoding test (63 words) and two reading comprehension tests based on 14 and 13 multiple choice items,
respectively. The research findings were presented in correlation with the number of years of instruction in
Arabic Moroccan children received both in Morocco and the Netherlands. Of all her subjects, 71% having
received three years of Arabic instruction or more, achieved at least 33 correct items in word decoding during the
first research year. In the second year, 72% of children with four years of Arabic instruction or more obtained
similar scores; the same applies to 76% of the children with five years of Arabic instruction or more in the third
research year. As far as the first comprehension test was concerned, 70% of the children with three years of
Arabic instruction or more got 10 out of 14 questions right in the first year. The same score was achieved by 84%
of the pupils with four years of Arabic instruction or more and in the third year by 87% of the pupils with five
years of Arabic instruction or more, respectively. As for the second reading comprehension test, 39% of the
children got 10 or more of 13 items correct in the first year; in the second and the third research years the same
scores were achieved by 33% and 48% of the children, respectively. Generally speaking, the Amazighophone
children were found to be on a similar level as the Arabophone children with respect to technical reading, but
they were below average in reading comprehension. In the light of these results, Van de Wetering (1990)
concluded that most pupils who had had HLI for 5 or 6 years uninterruptedly in relatively favourable
circumstances were expected to reach a level at which they were able to read and understand a simple Arabic
Opting for a survey-type of investigation, Driessen (1990) studied the effects of HLI on proficiency in Turkish,
Modern Standard Arabic and Spanish languages of children in elementary schools in the Netherlands. A total
number of 254 Moroccan children together with 368 Turkish and 46 Spanish children participated in his research.
Driessen (1990) distinguished between two types of variables: measures of language proficiency (dependent
variables) and background variables (independent variables). The reading and writing dimensions in the
proficiency test consisted of pragmatics, idioms, vocabulary, grammar and spelling. Use was made of a number of
formats including multiple-choice items, completion items and yes/no items. In the pre-test phase, it turned out
that it was impossible to maintain one measure of L1 proficiency for all the groups involved (Moroccan, Turkish
and Spanish) as the Moroccan children scored dramatically low. So it was decided to adapt the norm of Modern
Standard Arabic proficiency. The definitive test for Moroccan children consisted of a total of 53 items. The test
reliability was 0.93 (Cronbach’s alpha). Since the proficiency test measures written skills only, it was envisaged to
present a self-assessment scale to the children under consideration. They were asked to indicate how they
perceived their own oral and written language proficiency. Specifically, the children were asked to assess their
skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing, using a five-point scale ranging from “I am unable to do that” to
“I find that very easy”. In addition to the global proficiency test and the L1 self-evaluation test, a questionnaire on
the children’s background was presented to teachers regarding their age, sex, home language, estimated number
of years of HLI, number of years of Dutch education, length of residence, attitudes towards their country of origin
and the Netherlands, estimated Dutch proficiency of the parents and attitudes towards HLI, the Dutch school and
Arabic teachers. Other information on individual pupils was obtained from Dutch teachers through a
questionnaire on ethnic background, support of home climate, family characteristics, parental contacts with
school, number of re-sits, school achievement, language use in different domains, estimated Dutch proficiency of
parents, number of years of HLI attendance, number of hours HLI weekly and position of HLI: within or outside
the school building. Other personal data were sought from HLI teachers, including information like qualifications
and teaching experience of the teacher, her/his length of residence in the Netherlands, cooperation with other
teachers and aims and goals of HLI. HLI teachers also provided information about individual children: their
number in HLI groups, the number of HLI hours attended and their estimated proficiency in Modern Standard
Arabic. Among the Turkish children the mean of correctly completed items of the language test was 73%. Of the
Moroccan children, 42% failed to provide answers at all. The mean of correct answers of children in the
Moroccan group that completed at least one item correctly was 33%. At group level, self-assessed ability
paralleled the scores on the language test, which indicated that children had a fairly good idea of their own
linguistic ability. For a better interpretation of the results of Moroccan children in the Netherlands, a replication
of the test took place in Morocco (1992). The testing involved primary school children in years 2, 3 and 4 in three
Moroccan cities (Marrakech, Tissa and Oujda). Second-year-children completed on average one third of the items
correctly (34.2%). Third-years completed slightly over half correctly (58.9%) and fourth-years over three quarters
(95%). The Moroccan data also showed that children made progress in results as their period of years of
Aarssen, De Ruiter & Verhoeven (1992) assessed the language proficiency of Moroccan and Turkish children at
the end of primary school in Modern Standard and Moroccan Arabic and in Turkish, respectively. 81 Moroccan
children participated in their research, 40 boys and 41 girls. Of all the subjects, 24 started their education in
Morocco, entering Dutch elementary schools at a later stage and were referred to as higher grade entrants
(HGE). The rest were first grade entrants (FGE). All attended schools in big cities in the central and southern part
of the Netherlands. The Moroccan group of children was tested on both Moroccan Arabic and Modern Standard
Arabic proficiency. Language tasks were accordingly divided into oral and written terms. In addition to two oral
measures for vocabulary listening comprehension in Moroccan Arabic dialect (Oral Vocabulary, 60 items and
Instruction Task, 30 items), five written measures on the levels of grapheme, lexicon, syntax and text were
developed in Modern Standard Arabic (Word Decoding, 46 items; Spelling, 42 items; Written Vocabulary, 54
items; Syntax, 42 items and Reading Comprehension, 18 items). While means and standard deviations on each
measure were computed, other statistical calculations were conducted to evaluate the reliability and validity of
the measures involved. The internal consistencies as well as the content validity of the language proficiency tasks
were examined. Correlations between the scores on the measures as well as the relation between language skills
and background variables (i.e., the period of L1 instruction and the use of L1 at home and in the peer group)
were computed. While the internal consistency of the Oral Vocabulary and Instruction task was good, other
tasks, except for reading comprehension, had to be adapted for reliability. On the level of content validity, there
was no need to reject the model for both the oral and written tasks. Moroccan children’s scores on Word
Decoding and Reading Comprehension were satisfactory, i.e., 81% and 60% correct items, respectively. Their
scores on Written Vocabulary, Spelling and Syntax were very low, i.e., 31%, 26% and 24% correct items,
respectively. With respect to the analysis of correlations for the Arabic proficiency tasks with the variables
number of years HLI, home language and peer language, spelling and syntax tasks were excluded because of their
low means. A significant correlation between the amount of instruction in Arabic and the scores on Word
Decoding and Written Vocabulary was found. The measures of Oral Vocabulary and Word Decoding appeared
significantly correlated to the use of Arabic at home. The measures of Instruction, Written Vocabulary and
Reading Comprehension tended to be significantly correlated to the use of Arabic in peer contact. A t-test was
calculated to see whether there were differences in scores between high grade entrants (HGE) and first grade
entrants (FGE). HGE were found to have higher scores than FGE. The differences were not significant though,
showing that the educational experience of HGE in Morocco did not influence their language performance
favourably. Compared with the Turkish group, Moroccan children had lower scores on all measures of the
Based on the findings of their previous research of 1992, Aarts, De Ruiter & Verhoeven (1993) did an attempt
to refine the test developed in 1992. Their follow-up research focused on the level of oral and written skills of
Turkish and Moroccan children at the end of elementary school and on whether differences in skills in the
children’s native language could be related to their own personal, family or school characteristics. 242 Moroccan
children (108 males and 114 females) in the Netherlands and 222 children from Morocco (92 males and 150
females) participated in this research. In order to measure proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic, the Arabic
Language Test (ALT) was used. The first version of the test was formerly described in Aarssen, De Ruiter &
Verhoeven (1992). In the second version of the ALT, the tasks of spelling and syntax form one single task.
Additionally, for measuring the abilities and knowledge for the performance of literacy tasks, a Functional
Literacy Task (FLT) was introduced. The latter comprised a letter, a page from a TV guide, the front page of a
newspaper and an application form. Also, a questionnaire was developed for children and their teachers to
gather relevant sociolinguistic data on pupils’ characteristics such as country of birth, length of stay, age, sex,
socio-cultural orientation, self-esteem and reading comprehension in Turkish or Arabic and Dutch; family
characteristics such as socio-economic background, socio-cultural orientation; family culture, aspects such as
general stimulation regarding school achievement, motivations for schooling, capacity of the parents to motivate
the child; language contact and reading in Turkish or Arabic and in Dutch; and school characteristics such as
percentage of ethnic minority pupils, percentage of Dutch lower class pupils, amount of Home Language
Instruction and expectations of the teacher in terms of his/her perception of the performance of the pupil and
the aspiration level he/she holds for the pupil. The Arabic and Turkish Language tests along with the
accompanying questionnaires were conducted at the end of elementary schools both in the Netherlands as well
as in Morocco and Turkey. Of the two oral tasks, only the Oral Vocabulary Task was administered in Morocco and
Turkey. The Oral Instruction Task was perceived as trivial for native speakers in the source countries. In Morocco
and Turkey, the Functional Literacy Tasks were conducted simultaneously. In the Netherlands, however, they
were administered at the beginning of secondary education. A number of statistical analyses were made,
including mean values, standard deviations and t-tests for the significance of difference. Moreover, factor
analyses were conducted to cluster the scores for the tasks on school-type language proficiency. Correlations
were computed to examine the interrelationships between language skills and to explore the relationship
between language skills and background variables. Finally, the best predictors of children’s language proficiency
were revealed by means of multiple regression analyses.
Moroccan children in the Netherlands scored reasonably well on the Oral Vocabulary Task with a mean score
of 21.60 (60% correct items). Their scores on the Instruction Task were lower with a mean score of 15.54 (52%
correct items). On Oral Vocabulary, the scores of children in Morocco were higher than those of children in the
Netherlands with a mean score of 32.69 (91% correct items). For children in the Netherlands, the scores on Word
Decoding were high with a mean score of 27.81 (79% correct items); their scores for Reading Comprehension
were reasonable, with a mean score of 12.69 (50% correct items). However, their scores for Spelling and Written
Vocabulary were extremely low, with mean scores of 12.18 and 12.94, respectively (30% and 34% correct items,
respectively). Children in Morocco obtained significantly higher scores on all written tasks, though the Spelling
Task was difficult for them too. It was concluded that Home Language Instruction appeared only sufficient to
attain the basic skills of word decoding and also a limited oral vocabulary and reading comprehension.
Also the scores of first-grade entrants (FGE) and high-grade entrants (HGE) were compared. The significance
of difference between FGE and HGE was calculated by means of a t-test. With respect to the Oral Vocabulary and
Instruction Task in Moroccan Arabic, it was found that HGE scored significantly higher than FGE, with mean
scores of 24.24 (67% correct items) and 20.99 (58% correct items); and 20.00 (67% correct items) and 14.20 (47%
correct items), respectively. Similarly, on the written tasks HGE scored generally higher than FGE. For the Spelling
Task and the Reading Comprehension Task the difference between HGE and FGE was significant. The mean scores
for HGE on spelling were 13.83 (35% correct items) and for FGE 11.73 (29% correct items), respectively; for HGE,
the scores for the Reading Comprehension Task were 14.43 (58% correct items); for FGE 11.64 (47% correct
items). On Word Decoding and Written Vocabulary only small differences emerged. For Word Decoding, the
mean scores of HGE were 29.10 (83% correct items) and of FGE 27.37 (78% correct items; for Written Vocabulary
14.40 (38% correct items) and 12.32 (32% correct items), respectively. It was concluded that Moroccan children
who had had some education in Morocco performed better than those who had none.
With respect to the results on the literacy tasks, Moroccan children in the Netherlands performed very poorly
on the Arabic Functional Literacy Task, while children in Morocco did not face major problems with the same
task: 4.44 (19% correct items) and 18.95 (79% correct items), respectively. In similar vein, HGE performed
significantly better than FGE on the Arabic Functional Literacy Task. But HGE, when compared to Moroccan
children in Morocco, scored much lower.
Generally, Moroccan children in the Netherlands seemed to be less equipped for everyday literacy tasks as
shown in correlations between school-type and functional literacy skills. The correlations between the written
tasks of the Arabic Language Test and functional literacy were stronger than the correlations between the oral
tasks and functional literacy. Regarding the prediction of Arabic proficiency, there was a positive relationship with
the country of birth: pupils born in Morocco performed significantly better on the written tasks of the Arabic
Language Test and on the Functional Literacy Task in Arabic. There were also positive correlations between the
children’s cultural orientation and their language proficiency level. Children who were oriented towards the
Moroccan language and culture had substantially higher scores for both the oral and written tasks of the Arabic
Language Test and for the Functional Literacy Task. Children who read more in Arabic also seemed to perform
better on the Functional Literacy Task.
Concerning family characteristics, the general stimulation which the parents give to the child correlated
significantly with the written dimension of the Arabic Language Test. The motivation of the parents for school
had an impact on both the written language proficiency and the level of functional literacy. The amount of
reading and writing by the mother correlated significantly with the level of Arabic functional literacy of the
School characteristics primarily correlated with the children’s written language proficiency. Moroccan children
who attended schools with a high percentage of ethnic minority children had high scores for the written tasks of
the Arabic Language Test and for the Functional Literacy Task in Arabic. Children attending schools with a high
concentration of Dutch children scored significantly lower on the written tasks in Arabic. Instruction outside the
school context seemed to a have a positive impact on mastering the written tasks in Modern Standard Arabic.
The teacher’s view of the performance ability of Moroccan children also correlated positively with proficiency in
Modern Standard Arabic. The amount of instruction outside the school context and the parents’ motivation with
respect to their children’s schooling seemed to be the best predictors of the children’s proficiency in Modern
Standard Arabic. Also the socio-cultural orientation of the children, the percentage of ethnic minority pupils in
the school and the amount of reading in Arabic by their pupils were found to have an impact on proficiency in
Modern Standard Arabic. These factors explained 80% of the variance. The best predictor of oral proficiency in
Moroccan Arabic was the socio-cultural orientation of the pupil, accounting for 11% of the variance. Finally, the
best predictors of functional literacy in Arabic were the socio-cultural orientation of the pupil and the parents’
motivation with respect to their children’s schooling. These factors explained 34% of the variance.
De Ruiter (1997) studied the position of Amazighophones and Arabophones vis-à-vis French and Arabic in
Morocco, i.e., their proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic, their language behavior and attitudes towards Arabic
and French and the linguistic behaviour of their parents in both languages. The same group of 242 pupils that
participated in the research described above, participated in this research. These pupils were in the last grades of
elementary schools in Rabat and Nador. With respect to proficiency in Arabic, the Arabic Language Test was
administered (for a description of the Arabic Language Test see Aarssen, De Ruiter & Verhoeven 1993 and above).
For the study of children’s language behaviour and attitudes towards Arabic and French and the language
behaviour of their parents in both languages, a questionnaire was used. The questionnaire on children’s language
behaviour and attitudes towards Arabic and French consisted of scales running from 1 to 5 where 1 stood for an
equivalent of ‘Modern Standard Arabic only’ and 5 for an equivalent of ‘French only’. To deal with the language
behaviour of the children’s parents, pupils were also asked in what language their fathers and mothers read and
write, using the same scales presented to them earlier. Teachers were asked to judge the proficiency of the
pupils’ parents in Modern Standard Arabic.
Concerning the pupils’ proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic, the differences between the Amazighophone
and Arabophone groups were small in three of the five tasks. It was in the Vocabulary and Reading
Comprehension tasks that the Arabophones were significantly ahead of the Amazighophones. The
Amazighophone group scored quite low on the vocabulary task. From the point of view of proficiency in Modern
Standard Arabic, De Ruiter’s research (1997) made clear that Arabophones and Amazighophones had similar
problems and skills in acquiring Modern Standard Arabic, although the Arabophones profited from the common
trunk of vocabulary between dialectal and standard Arabic. In terms of language behaviour, Arabic was the
dominant language for both groups, while French seemed to play only a minor role. With regard to language
attitudes, a significant difference between the two groups emerged. For Arabophones, Arabic was the most
important language. Modern Standard Arabic was the language Arabophones preferred most. According to them,
it was also the language of best expression. It was also the case that a large minority opted for French as a
dominant language. For the Amazighophone group, the majority opted for Arabic and French similarly as a
‘neutral’ choice. With respect to the data on the parents, Amazighophone and Arabophone fathers made less use
of Arabic than their children. The French language was strongly represented in the language behaviour of the
Arabophone fathers and mothers. Relatively many Amazighophone mothers were illiterate. If they were
schooled, Arabic was their medium of communication.
Saidi (2001) investigated the proficiency of Moroccan children in the Netherlands in Modern Standard Arabic
and, through that, in order to gain insight into the results and effects of Arabic language instruction in Dutch
elementary schools. A comprehensive sociolinguistic approach was used, incorporating three related studies: a
study of Moroccan children’s proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic, a study after the perceived status of
Modern Standard Arabic and a study after the input of Modern Standard Arabic.
The proficiency study was based on the design and results of a proficiency test. A replication of the same test
took place in Morocco, focusing on a reference group children following Arabic education in Moroccan
The results of the proficiency test showed that Moroccan pupils of group eight having followed seven to eight
years of Arabic instruction uninterruptedly had developed good receptive skills in Modern Standard Arabic.
Regarding their competence in word decoding, Moroccan children in the Netherlands were quite proficient and
did not seem to face major difficulties. Similar conclusions were arrived at by Aarssen, De Ruiter & Verhoeven
(1992) and Aarts, De Ruiter and Verhoeven (1993). In relation to the same task of Word Decoding, children in
Morocco had higher scores. Both groups of children had had enough instruction in Modern Standard Arabic to
develop a good command of the word decoding skill.
The scores of the Moroccan children on the Written Vocabulary task were satisfactory. Moroccan children in
Morocco performed better on the same task than Moroccan children in the Netherlands. The results of
Moroccan pupils in the Netherlands with respect to the Written Vocabulary task were better than those obtained
in previous studies with respect to the same skill (Aarssen, De Ruiter & Verhoeven 1992; Aarts, De Ruiter &
Verhoeven 1993). Undoubtedly the favourable circumstances under which the children participating in this study
acquired Modern Standard Arabic account for their better results.
With reference to the Syntax task, the scores of Moroccan children in the Netherlands were quite high.
Moroccan children in Morocco performed slightly better on the same task. It should not be surprising that
Moroccan children in Morocco had not achieved higher scores on the task of syntax. The learning of syntax was
not immediately linked to the linguistic environment as in the case of lexical knowledge. Syntactic rules were
much more abstract and implicit and thus hard to be grasped effectively by children at this level of linguistic
development, irrespective of the language environment. The results of Moroccan pupils in the Netherlands
regarding the Syntax task remained very interesting. In fact, it was the first time that research showed that
Moroccan pupils had such syntactic skills. The results were much better than those described in earlier research
as in Aarssen, De Ruiter & Verhoeven (1992) and Aarts, De Ruiter & Verhoeven (1993).
On all three receptive tasks in Modern Standard Arabic, the results of pupils in the Netherlands were
satisfactory. It appeared that an extended period of Arabic instruction had a rather positive impact on the profi-
ciency in Modern Standard Arabic of Moroccan pupils at the end of Dutch elementary schools. This was in line
with Van de Wetering’s (1990) finding that Moroccan pupils’ proficiency in Arabic correlated positively with the
number of years of Arabic instruction at Dutch elementary schools.
Referring to pupils’ performance on the productive tasks, the results demonstrated that Moroccan pupils who
had followed seven to eight years Arabic instruction uninterruptedly at Dutch schools had basic productive skills
in Modern Standard Arabic. Such productive skills were not as yet well developed. Both groups of children scored
rather high on the Dictation task, though, quite surprisingly, Moroccan children in the Netherlands perform
better than children in Morocco. The higher results of Moroccan children in the Netherlands on the Dictation
task could be linked to their well developed metalinguistic awareness most frequently taken as a predictor of
children’s decoding development (Droop 1999). In a study by Uiterwijk (1994), Moroccan children in the
Netherlands turned out to have better decoding skills than Dutch children in identifying errors of spelling in verbs
and other words in Dutch.
On both Cloze tasks (1 & 2), which strongly bear on lexical and syntactic knowledge of Modern Standard
Arabic, the scores of Moroccan children in the Netherlands and Morocco were low. It seemed that their lack of
full proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic hinders from completing correctly the omitted words. The low scores
in Morocco could be accounted for as well by the unfamiliarity of the pupils with this kind of tasks.
The performance of the Moroccan children in the Netherlands on the Composition task was low in
comparison to that of the Moroccan group of children in Morocco. Syntactically, the utterances produced were
shorter than those produced by Moroccan pupils in Morocco, as indicated by the scores on the Mean Length of
Utterance (MLU). Orthographically, it was found that Moroccan pupils in the Netherlands produce more errors in
the use of written Modern Standard Arabic when compared to their peers in Moroccan elementary schools. Such
differences in the mastery of written Modern Standard Arabic could be explained as follows. In Dutch schools,
Moroccan children did not learn the skill of composing in Modern Standard Arabic as a subject in its own right as
was the case with Moroccan children in Morocco. The input study had made clear that the development of the
skills of children in writing Modern Standard Arabic received little attention from the part of Arabic teachers in
From the point of view of difficulty, the results of the item analysis of the receptive Written Vocabulary and
Syntax tasks demonstrated that there were no large differences between pupils in the Netherlands and pupils in
Morocco. Both groups of children had fewer difficulties with concrete and informal words, i.e., making reference
to concrete objects or activities. The rather formal lexical items posed difficulties for Moroccan children in the
Netherlands as well as in Morocco. The non-contrastive vocabulary did not turn out to be difficult for pupils in
both groups of children. Contrastive vocabulary though posed problems for pupils in the Netherlands and
Morocco. From the syntactic point of view, structures like noun-adjective agreement did not pose great
difficulties for the pupils either in the Netherlands or in Morocco. Cases of subject-verb agreement, especially
where the subject was human plural or human singular, were generally handled with relatively little difficulty.
Still, cases of agreement involving non-human plurals were difficult for both groups of pupils. The average correct
scores for pupils in Morocco were higher given obvious differences in the learning contexts. The results of the
item analysis for the receptive Written Vocabulary and Syntax tasks demonstrated that both groups of pupils
were on a normal track of linguistic development.
According to the error analysis of their Composition performances, Moroccan pupils in the Netherlands
encountered relatively few difficulties with the use of the correct forms of definiteness and spelling in Modern
Standard Arabic. Hamza placement was definitely very difficult for them. In the other categories of the error
analysis, i.e., time/tense, prepositions, case and agreement, the scores were not bad at all. Pupils in Morocco
mastered all categories very well, except for the hamza placement.
On the whole, it can be deduced from the data presented in Saidi’s study that the results of Moroccan pupils
with relatively good chances of learning Modern Standard Arabic, i.e., after having followed seven to eight years
of Arabic instruction, are much better than those presented in earlier research (Aarssen, De Ruiter & Verhoeven
1992; Aarts, De Ruiter & Verhoeven 1993; Driessen 1990; Van de Wetering 1990). The logical explanation for the
discrepancy between the results of earlier studies and those of Saidi’s was that only children with the best
chances of learning Arabic were included in it. This was not the case with earlier research. This earlier research
shared two basic characteristics. Apart from their focus on receptive proficiency, in all these studies reported
here the number of hours per week and the number of years of Arabic instruction vary greatly among the pupils
selected for testing. There was no attempt to select more homogeneous samples of pupils or pupils with
relatively good chances of learning Arabic. As regard proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic, the findings of the
reported studies generally pointed out the low proficiency of Moroccan pupils in this language. The discrepancy
between the results of Saidi’s study and those obtained in earlier research lies in the focus of the former on
pupils with relatively good chances of learning Modern Standard Arabic.
On the basis of receptive and productive data obtained until Saidi’s study (2001), it can be argued that the
results attained by Moroccan pupils in the Netherlands, after having followed seven to eight years Arabic
instruction uninterruptedly, are satisfactory when seen in the light of those produced by pupils living in Morocco
and having followed full-time Arabic instruction during five years in Moroccan primary schools. Likewise,
following Arabic lessons only for a couple of hours per week and only for seven to eight years is not enough to
attain a thorough productive knowledge of Modern Standard Arabic. Both the limited amount of language input
at home and the limited status and quality of Modern Standard Arabic instruction at schools in the Netherlands
can be viewed as major obstacles in attaining higher-level productive abilities in the language under concern.
Furthermore it was important to note that the receptive and productive proficiency of Moroccan children at
Dutch schools in Modern Standard Arabic should not be qualified as deficient in comparison to the reference
group of children in Morocco. Any attempts to evaluate their Arabic proficiency may lead to unrealistic
conclusions if no account is taken of the specific circumstances under which these children acquire the language
at stake. The language proficiency of Moroccan children in Modern Standard Arabic seemed to be hugely
complicated by the quality and quantity of Arabic language input available in classes of Arabic at Dutch schools,
at home and in the community at large. In classes of Arabic, the children faced the most challenging task of
learning a language (i.e., Modern Standard Arabic) for which their teachers received little training. Their attempts
to adjust the instruction of Modern Standard Arabic according to the language proficiency levels of the children
were very scarce if not non-existent. Arabic was often taught in terms of a whole-group approach where children
generally felt passive in classes and contribute very little to classroom discussion. Similarly, for a considerable
number of children opportunities for practice were not commonly provided because of the insufficiency of the
time allotted for Arabic instruction and the teacher-centred approach. Similarly, the use of children’s home
languages (i.e., Amazigh or/and Moroccan Arabic) to facilitate Arabic language input is very restricted. While
class talk is made predominantly in Modern Standard Arabic, Amazigh language, for example, is largely neglected
as a medium of instruction even in classes where Amazigh speaking children form the majority. Such limited use
of children’s actual home languages could possibly lead to situations in which the communication between the
Arabic teacher and the children becomes impossible given the limited proficiency level in Modern Standard
Arabic of the children. As regards the appropriateness of teaching materials (i.e., Arabic textbooks), the problem
seemed greater. Arabic teachers generally made use of textbooks imported from Morocco, or textbooks imported
from other Arab countries. Such textbooks were reported to offer generally no instructions to teachers regarding
how to make best use of the reading materials. Little and sometimes no attention was paid to fostering the
development of linguistic and especially communicative skills in Arabic; and the topics were often too formal or
exalted. In fact, a number of imported cultural topics were reported to stress the importance of moral values,
religion and patriotism. Moroccan children born in the Netherlands might find it difficult to understand such
concepts if they are far removed from their own experiences and expectations. Thus these concepts might fail to
support the children’s development of language proficiency. Additionally, Arabic teachers’ use of the teaching
materials and activities related to teaching materials took relatively little time of the total amount of lesson time
available. As a result, children rarely had the opportunity to practice the language orally or even in written form.
Also, Moroccan children’s out-of-school exposure to Modern Standard Arabic language input was scarce. They
rarely if ever had contact with Modern Standard Arabic within the family. At home, Moroccan parents appeared
unable to provide any model in Modern Standard Arabic through tutoring; a fact that reduced considerably their
control and intervention in their children’s development of the language under concern. Within the network of
linguistic infrastructures, it seemed to be generally the case that a number of interesting conditions of exposure
were available at home, especially auditory and audio-visual media (i.e., TV, radio, video-tapes and audio-tapes).
Nevertheless, a limited Modern Standard Arabic input via printed materials was reported in the home envi-
ronment along with scant opportunities for visits to public libraries and visits to Morocco.
It should be realized that the development of the potential of Moroccan children in Modern Standard Arabic
seemed to be complicated by the rather low status of Arabic in Dutch elementary schools. This status, in turns,
brings about a number of factors which were likely to influence children’s motivation to acquire Modern
Standard Arabic. Chief among these were the divergent perceptions of the major actors regarding the
fundamental motivations for instruction in Arabic, which in turn lacked clearly defined objectives. Other factors
like the optional nature of Arabic classes, the problematic organization of Arabic lessons particularly in relation to
the core curriculum and Moroccan children’s perceived difficulty of Arabic classes could be held responsible for
the actual status of Arabic in Dutch schools. Again, contacts between teachers of Arabic and Moroccan parents
were reported to be not so frequent for a number of reasons. Significant among these was parents’ little interest
in taking contact with the school and particularly teachers of Arabic, possibly due to their low level of awareness
about the effects of such contacts on their children’s school progress. Moroccan parents reported considerable
lack of time and opportunities for liaison with the Arabic class teacher and – to a lesser extent – lack of
information on the Arabic proficiency of their children. A number of challenges were mentioned including the
non-availability of appropriately trained teachers and the absence of a clear vision with respect to the Arabic
language provision in Dutch elementary school. At a more practical level, there were problems of class
organization and finding space for Arabic in the curriculum. Such problems caused Moroccan children to miss
part of the main curriculum in spite of the school efforts to make adjustments, as some school directors pointed
Saidi (2001) examined differences between mosque-schooled and non-mosque schooled pupils with respect
to proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic as well. To gain insight into the effect of mosque schooling, the results
of mosque-schooled and non-mosque schooled pupils were compared. A t-test showed that the difference
between mosque-schooled and non-mosque-schooled pupils on the three tasks of Written Vocabulary, Syntax
and Dictation was not statistically significant. Viewed from the Pearson’s correlational analysis point of view, the
pupils’ scores on Written Vocabulary, Syntax and Dictation tasks and mosque schooling revealed no significant
effect as well. Broadly speaking, the absence of a mosque-schooling effect on the Modern Standard Arabic
proficiency of mosque-schooled pupils was in agreement with the research outcomes of Aarts, De Ruiter &
Verhoeven (1993), showing the absence of a significant effect of out-of-school Arabic instruction on the
proficiency of Moroccan pupils in Modern Standard Arabic. Both the findings of Aarts, De Ruiter & Verhoeven
(1993) and those of the Saidi’s study did not match Driessen’s (1990) findings that mosque schooling positively
influences Moroccan pupils’ proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic (1990). In his research on the proficiency of
Moroccan children in Modern Standard Arabic, Driessen found that mosque-schooled children obtained a higher
number of correctly completed items compared to non-mosque-schooled pupils. Furthermore, mosque-schooled
pupils judged their own skills in Modern Standard Arabic more favourably than non-mosque-schooled pupils. The
absence of an effect of mosque schooling on the proficiency of Moroccan children in Modern Standard Arabic in
the Saidi’s study could be interpreted by the fact that mosque schooling in the Netherlands emphasizes the
priority of Islamic religious knowledge over linguistic knowledge. This form of education was and still is mainly
focused on giving the pupils the opportunity to become members of the religious community of their parents
(Shadid & Van Koningsveld 1990).
The results of mosque schooling analysis contrasted also with the findings of the status study with regard to
the perceptions of Moroccan parents, their children and Arabic teachers of mosque schooling. Moroccan parents
and their children, especially those participating in mosque schooling, shared almost the same positive views as
regard the effects of Arabic lessons given in mosques. Children, in particular, rated Arabic lessons in mosque
schooling as an interesting experience. In their perception, mosque schooling gave them a linguistic advantage in
terms of competence in Modern Standard Arabic over non-participant in classes of Arabic in the mosque. The
teachers were ambivalent. For some teachers, mosque schooling reinforced the quantity of input of Modern
Standard Arabic children receive in Dutch schools. For some others, the effect of mosque schooling regarding the
proficiency of children in Modern Standard Arabic was not significant due to a number of limitations affecting the
quality of such a form of instruction, i.e., unqualified teachers of Arabic, poor teaching conditions and traditional
methods of teaching focusing on memorization.
Other studies on Moroccan children in the Netherlands that have been conducted involve Moroccan Arabic
and Amazigh, the spoken home languages of Moroccans. Broeder & Extra (1994) undertook a study on
(self)identification and home language use among 428 Moroccan pupils from elementary schools. Among the
languages used by them at home were Arabic (33%), Amazigh (28%), Arabic plus Amazigh (8%), ‘Moroccan’ – not
identified as either Amazigh or Moroccan Arabic – 28%, or Dutch only (3%). Here again in interaction with the
parents, the children used Dutch the least and in interaction with older brothers and sisters the most. In a self-
judgment task (Broeder & Extra 1994), grade 7 and 8 pupils judged their proficiency in Arabic or Amazigh with 3
on a scale that runs from 1 (no proficiency) to 5 (excellent proficiency). In an oral receptive vocabulary task the
average correct score of the Arabophone children was 75% in the mother tongue and 87% in Dutch. Moreover,
high skills of children in the mother tongue correlated strongly with high skills in the second language. In a
follow-up study, Broeder & Extra (1998) reported on the status and use of Arabic in elementary education. The
language profile for Arabic consisted of five different dimensions in terms of home language repertoire, language
proficiency, language choice, language dominance and language preference. The Arabic language group consisted
of 803 pupils, mainly second generation children. As far as the home language repertoire was concerned, for 582
children (73%) Arabic was the only home language. For 152 children (19%), in addition to Arabic, Amazigh was
also used at home. Regarding proficiency in Arabic, almost all of 803 pupils in the Arabic language group said that
they understand (731 children, 94%) and speak (701 children, 96%) Arabic. With respect to written Arabic
language proficiency, the percentages were much lower: for reading, 40% (298 children) and for writing, 42%
(309 children). As for language choice patterns within the family, most children said that they spoke Arabic
always or often with their parents: 459 children (60%) with their mother and 455 children (60%) with their father.
With their younger as well as their older brothers/sisters, most children always or often spoke Dutch (306
children 66% and 418 children 54%, respectively). As regard language dominance, the children in the youngest
grades said that Arabic is the language they speak best (in grades 1/2, 90 children 61%). On the other hand, the
older pupils (grades 3/4, 5/6, 7/8) indicated that their best language was Dutch (106 children, 52%; 102 children,
62% and 114 children, 70%, respectively). As for language preference, preference for Arabic was found at a
younger age (grades 1/2, 71 children, 52%; grades 3/4, 102 children, 62%). At a later age, a shift in preference
towards Dutch could be observed (grades 5/6, 99 children, 57%; grades 7/8, 103 children, 62%). In a longitudinal
study on bilingual Moroccan children in the age range of 4 to 11 years (Moroccan Arabic-Dutch), Bos (1997)
investigated the development of their L1 and L2. She found that the children are dominant in their mother
tongue until the age of 8, after which dominance shifts towards Dutch. In receptive tasks, the Moroccan children
seemed to emerge as balanced bilinguals. In productive tasks they had a less sophisticated mastery of narrative
skills (especially in the use of cohesive devices) than their monolingual Dutch and Moroccan peers. This lack of
mastery was statistically evidenced for both Dutch and Moroccan Arabic. Bos made a plea for linguistic support
of the home languages (Amazigh and/or Moroccan Arabic) in schools in order to provide the children with a
stronger basis for the acquisition of Dutch.
In his study of language loss among Moroccan youngsters in the Netherlands, El Aissati (1996) asked 25
second-generation adolescents about their language proficiency and language use patterns with parents, siblings
and friends. The reported proficiency of these adolescents was lower for Moroccan Arabic than the one reported
for Dutch. On a five-point scale, they reported a mean score of 3.9 for speaking and 4.1 for listening
comprehension in Moroccan Arabic, while for Dutch these means were 4.7 and 4.8, respectively. A t-test on the
difference between the reported means for Moroccan Arabic and Dutch revealed a difference that is significant
at the .01 level. These results supported the observation that the informants felt that they were more proficient
in Dutch than in Moroccan Arabic. Regarding their patterns of language use, the Moroccan adolescents reported
that they used Moroccan Arabic more than 80% of the time in interaction with parents, while with their siblings
and friends, the use of Dutch was much more frequent. In addition to language use within the family and with
friends, informants were also asked to report on how often they think they use Moroccan Arabic and Dutch in
general, that is, regardless of context and interlocutors. Their answers indicated that on average they spoke
Moroccan Arabic for 38% of the time and Dutch for 62%. El Aissati found that the adolescents used more Dutch
than Moroccan Arabic in their everyday verbal interactions, especially in those situations in which their parents
were not included, such as in contacts with siblings and friends. The language proficiency of these adolescents
was also found to be higher in Dutch than in Moroccan Arabic. El Aissati concluded that the higher proficiency of
second generation Moroccan adolescents in Dutch as compared to Moroccan Arabic was concomitant with a
restriction on domains of language use characteristic of minority languages undergoing a process of language
Aspects of proficiency in Moroccan Arabic were tackled as well in the context of some code switching studies.
Both Nortier (1989) and Boumans (1998) measured the proficiency in Moroccan Arabic and Dutch of adult
informants participating in their research. The results indicated various levels of proficiency in Moroccan Arabic
and Dutch. Modern Standard Arabic though was not included in these studies.
4. Teaching Arabic: methods developed in the Netherlands
Despite the fact that Dutch politics have always been very critical on the issue of Arabic (and other languages)
HLI, they regularly subsidized initiatives to develop teaching materials. In the following, the materials are
presented that have been developed the last decade and that are still in use in the scarce (secondary) schools in
the Netherlands that offer Modern Standard Arabic lessons.
An Arabic teaching course as developed by the CPS. The Christelijk Pedagogisch Studiecentrum (Christian
Pedagogical Study Centre) has developed a course of Arabic for pupils in secondary education, called Stap voor
Stap (Step by step). It starts from scratch and ends following the CEFRL on level A2. The method consists of four
levels, each consisting on its turn in a work book and text book. The method is particularly popular in Dutch
secondary schools. For more information, see:
Parts of this method have been edited in an Italian version in the context of the Plusvalor project (see
Dictionaries Arabic-Dutch-Arabic by Bulaaq publishers. The Dutch Ministry of Education has financed through
the Dutch Language Union, the development of two versions of Dutch-Arabic and Arabic-Dutch dictionaries. The
first version is a smaller volume and destined for pupils in secondary education and the second version is much
bigger and matches similar dictionaries such as English-Dutch and Dutch-English. More information on these
dictionaries can be found on the website of the publisher, Bulaaq in Amsterdam:
An Arabic grammar as developed by the Den Haag pedagogical center. This grammar describes the rules of
Arabic from a modern western perspective while referring also to the traditional Arabic terms. The language of
instruction is Dutch and the grammar can be used in combination with the CPS method for Arabic (see above),
Stap voor Stap. The grammar was developed among others by two of the authors of the present booklet
(Richters, De Ruiter & Saidi). There is no specific website on this grammar.
The Arabic language testing service of the Citogroep in the Netherlands. The Citogroep in Arnhem, The
Netherlands, is responsible for the development of the national exams in all subjects presented in secondary
education. Since around 15 years the Citogroep also develops final exams for Standard Arabic. The Citogroep has
reached a very high level and expertise in this field and interested people, even from the Arab world contact the
group in order to learn from them or work with them. The internet addresses are:
http://www.cito.com/about_cito/cito-offices/cito_usa.aspx and: http://www.citogroep.nl/
Summary in Arabic
ª--,·-ا ª·--'- ç=--
ر,''--,'- عو¸-- ف-+, PLUSVALOR ) رو-='ا ¸,-`- ª,,-- و ¸,¸·- .=أ ¸- ي,·''ا د-·-'ا ( ¸- ةرد'-- ,ه ي-'ا و ، ت'--,-
¸-,'·-'ا =-,'ا ¸· ي,·''ا د-·-'ا ةر,'- و .,´-- _'إ ،ا--',ه و ',-'-ور ،¸=-'ا ،',''=,ا ¸- .آ ¸· ª,-,'·- . ª-''-'ا نا-'-'ا ¸·
ة-='-آ ة-=ا,'ا ª·''ا -·- »' ،ª',,= ة-- --- و ،¸آ-'ا . -,ا¸-' ª=,-- ة-,-= ت'·' ك'-ه -=--أ ،ª'-·---'ا ª,'-`ا ت'·''ا --'=-·
،ة¸=+'ا ت'=,-=-- فا¸-=`ا وأ ،ª,-¸·'ا ª·'''- ¸,-='- د-= ¸,¸='+- -=ا,-, -,= ،ا--',ه و ',''=,` ª---''- ن'-'ا ,ه '-آ
ª,·¸-'ا '-وروأ ¸· نو¸· ة-= --- ة¸-'= --'آ ¸-'ا ¸--,-'ا و '-و¸'ا ¸---'= .,-· ¸- ª,·¸= . ة-= ª'--أ ر'`- ،¸,-''='ا '-'آ ¸·
ª·'-`'ا و ª·'''- ¸'·-- . ا,-'ا ¸''-''آ ,ه ق',-'ا ا-ه ¸· ¸-,-¸'ا ل : ¸· ت'·' ة-= ل'-·--ا -'=- _--=-'ا و ª-,´='ا .·· در ,ه '-
وأ ت','·`ا ت'·' ª,'-= يرو¸-'ا ¸- ر'- ª-أ ,هو `أ -=او -'=-ا ¸· ن`ا _-= ش'--'ا --, ª-اذ -·,'ا ¸· ؟ª,-·-'ا لو-'ا
ª---''- '-,-` '+-,--- --'آ '--,آ وأ ¸,¸='+-'ا ت'·' ب'--'ا ¸,ﺙ-=--'' . ª·''ا ¸,= ى¸=أ ª·' -,-'ا ¸· ن,ﺙ-=-, ¸,-'ا ل'-=`'·
ت'·' وأ ª·' ن,ﺙ-=-, '-,· ،ª'-'·'ا دا¸·أ _- -,-'ا ¸· م`ا ª·''ا ن,ﺙ-=-, -,= ',-'-`--ا '·-و ن,+=ا,, ª-'·`ا -'- ¸· ة--'-'ا
ª-ر--'ا ¸· ى¸=أ . ,-,آ ¸= `ا,- ª=ا,- ت'-,´='ا -=--أ ا-ه _'= اء'-- _---, ¸´' ي,·''ا ءا¸`'ا ا-+' ª-=---'ا ª-,-'ا ء'==إ ª
ة-,-='ا »+-'=وأ ¸· ن'---=`'- ا,-=, نأ و ،»هرو-= او---, `أ ،»+-'+-أ و »+-'-' _'إ ª·'-إ ل'-=`' : ة¸´-'ا ¸ه =--''- --هو
ر,''--,'- عو¸-- ءارو .
¸,,--',+'ا ء'آ¸-'ا ف¸= ¸- ع,-=- دا-=إ »- عو¸--'ا ا-ه ر'=إ ¸· ةد'-'ا »ه و ،_-'-¸-'ا ¸· : ر,-آد ،¸-وار ود ب', ن', ر,-آد
ي-,·-'ا نا,-ر ر,-آد و ¸-,-- ¸آ'- . و ما-=--ا ا-آ و ª,,·''ا ª,د-·-'ا نا-,- ¸· ª',,= ª-¸=- _'= نو¸·,-, ¸,`='-'ا ء`,ه
¸-,'·-'ا ل'=-'ا ¸· ª,د-·-'ا --ه ¸,-=- . .´-- و ا--',ه _'= ¸,آ¸-'ا ,ه عو¸--'ا ¸- ª,'·'ا ª,-¸·'ا ª·''ا »,'·-- ª='=`ا ¸,·د .
¸,¸='+-'ا ء'--` ت','·`ا ت'·' ¸,ر-- ة¸ه'= ¸-'-'ا ن¸-'ا ¸- ت',-,·--'ا و ت',-,--'ا تا,-- --- ا--',ه -·¸= --' . »' ا-ه
.-أ ¸- ل'-=`ا .--,' ='ذ ى-·- .- ،ي¸-- وأ ي¸-ا¸= ،¸-¸·- .-أ ¸- ل'-=`'آ ª,-¸·''- ¸,-='-'ا _'= =-· ¸---, ¸آ¸-
¸-`ا ª,ا-- ¸· ¸''=,ا وأ ¸-'--ا .-أ ¸- _-= و .- . ¸- م,,'ا '-=--أ ¸,= ¸· ¸,¸='+-'ا نار--- كا--' '--'آ ',''=,ا و ',-'--ا
¸,¸='+-'' ª'-----'ا لو-'ا .
='+-'ا ء'--` ª·''ا »,'·- -'=- ª,--',+'ا ª,-,'·-'ا ª-',-'' '--' ر,آ--'ا را--`ا ¸· _-او .´-- ق¸=-'ا »-, ª,-¸·'ا ª·''ا ا-آ و ،¸,¸
ص,-='ا ª=و _'= . »+-'·' ¸· '-ورد ن,-'-, ¸,¸='+-'ا ل'-=أ ن'آ ة-,-='ا ª,-'`ا ª,ا-- ª,'= _'إ و ¸-'-'ا ن¸-'ا ت',-,·-- ¸·
¸-ا---`ا »,'·-'' ي,-¸-'ا ر¸--'ا .=اد ª,'-`ا . ة-= .آ'-- »,'·-'ا ¸- ع,-'ا ا-ه '--اد ف¸= ا-ه _- . ¸'-- ¸,--'ا ¸- _- د-=
»=---'ا ¸--¸'ا لو-='ا جر'= '-,-· '-,ﺵ سر-- -=-- أ '-آ ،ع,--`ا ل`= ª,'-`ا ت'·''ا --ه ª,· سر-- --'آ ¸-'ا ت'='-'ا .
ª,-'=-'ا ª,-ار-'ا _ه'--'ا .=اد ن'´- '+' ن'آ م,-·'ا _'=و ¸´' . ل,'= نو-- و ª-''= تر'- ','--'ا ¸- -,-·'ا نأ _- . .,-- _'··
ا تار'+-'ا ،ل'`-'ا .´-, ن'آ ي-'ا ء¸-'ا ،ى,---'ا نود -,-- ى¸=`ا ت'·''ا و ª,-¸·'ا و ª,آ¸-'ا ¸-'·- ى-' ª,--',+'ا ª,,·''
ª-ر--'ا .=اد ¸,,--',+'ا ء`-¸'ا _- .-ا,-'' '--'= . --´'ا نأ -,= ،ª--'--'ا ¸,ر--'ا --آو _ه'-- ¸· '--- '--اد ك'-ه ن'آ '-آ
- »' ª,'-`ا نا-'-'ا ¸- '+-'= »-, ¸-'ا ¸-'--'ا .-='ا ª,· ¸,·, ي-'ا ة¸=+'ا ق',- ر'--=`ا ¸,·- -='- »' '+-,´' ª--'-- ¸--· . نأ '-آ
¸,,--',+'ا ¸,-'·-'ا ف¸= ¸- ¸آ-- ª-,· _-دأ _=·- ¸´- »' سور-'ا --ه . ت'·''ا ¸,ر-- .´-- ¸ه,= ¸-- ة¸,=`ا ª=--'ا --ه و
ª,'-`ا ت'·'-`'ا و . و _-او ل-= ¸,ﺙأ تا,--'ا ='- ل`=· ¸''-''آ _'-'ا لا,-'ا _--أ : ¸,¸='+-'ا ل'-=` .-·`ا ¸- ¸,'أ
ف'=-'ا ¸=' ¸· ؟¸,-,'-`ا ª·'-`'ا و ª·''ا _'= '+',--- و .- ،-'-'ا ا-ه ¸· »+'----- ماد'- '+-'--إ و ª,--',+'ا ª·''ا _'= ¸,آ¸-'ا
---- ¸· ','·· ='ذ »-و »,'·-'ا ¸- ع,-'ا ا-ه ء'·'إ ª,--',+'ا ª-,´='ا تر¸· ¸- 2004 . و »=-- سور-'ا --ه تر'- ،-·,'ا ='ذ ---
»,'·-'ا ª,-,--- ق'=- جر'= و -='--'ا ¸· ا-آ و ª-'= »,'·- ل,-· ¸· _=·- .
»,'·-'ا ¸- ع,-'ا ا-ه ل,= ل-='ا ا-ه --·ار ¸-'ا تا¸آ--'ا و ت'ﺵ'--'ا .آ ،_-,- .´-- و ،را--`ا ا-ه لو'--, . لو'-- --- و
_'إ _=¸, ª,-¸·'ا ª·''ا نأ '-آ ،¸,-,'-`ا ت'·'-`'ا و ت'·''ا »,'·- _-'-¸- ¸- -,---- ª=,-=- ¸-آأ »ه '+- ¸,-='-'ا ل'-=`ا ن,آ
ى¸=`ا ت'=,-=-'ا ى-' ¸='- وأ .´-- ةدراو '-,أ --'آ ،'--' '-¸ﺵأ '-آ ،ª=,-=-'ا --ه '+·¸·- --'آ ¸-'ا -='--'ا .
¸,ر--'ا --آ و _ه'-- '-,أ ع,-=-'ا ا-ه لو'--, '-آ ª,-¸·'ا ª·''ا ¸,ر-- .=أ ¸- ا--',ه ¸· 'هدا-=إ »- ¸-'ا . ى,---'ا ا-ه _'= و
ª,''= ةد,= وذ ¸,¸= ج'--إ ا-آ و ¸-= ثرا »آا¸- ك'-ه . ª·''ا ¸,ر-- »-, ا-ه '--,, _'إ و ي,-'`'ا »,'·-'ا ¸· ª-ا _'إ ةر'ﺵ`ا ر-=-
='ذ ¸· ¸,-=ا¸'ا ب`='ا .´' ا-هو ، ª,آ¸-'ا و ª,-¸·'ا . ا نأ '-آ ª,'-= .,,--- ='ذو ةرد'--'ا --ه »=-- م,-- ª,--',+'ا ª-,´='
¸,-ا,-'ا دا-=إ و ¸,ر--'ا _ه'-- ¸,,=- .
ª,-¸·'ا ª·''ا ª,,,= ا-آ و ،¸-ورو`ا ق',-'ا ¸· ¸,¸='+-'ا ء'--` ª,-¸·'ا ª·''ا ¸,ر-- ª,·-و _'= _,¸·-'ا »-, ----- .´--و
ª,-ورو`ا ةر'-'ا .=اد . ª,ؤر »,--- »-, '-آ »,'·-'ا ق',- .=اد ª=را-'ا ª=+''ا _- _=--'ا ª·''ا ª·`= ل,= . ث-=` ق¸=-'ا »- '-آ
ل'´ﺵ`ا ا-+' ض¸- .= د'=,إ -·-'ا ¸- ª-أ ª-`='ا و ª,,-¸-'ا ىؤ¸'ا . ¸´' ،ª,-هأ تاذ ءا,- -= _'= ¸,-·''ا '-'آ ،_·ا,'ا ¸·
=+' ك'-ه -=,- ¸,= ¸· ،_=--'ا ª,-¸·'ا ª·'' -=او .´ﺵ ك'-ه -=,, ة-,-= ت' . ¸· ¸,¸--·'ا ¸,-ه ¸,- ¸,·,-'ا نذإ »-, -,´·
'+-اذ ª,-¸·'ا نا-'-'ا ¸· _-= ح¸=, -,-=-''- لا,-'ا ا-ه و ؟فد'ه _+-- .
=-· _=--'ا ª,-¸·'ا ª·''ا ¸· ¸´' و ª,-¸·'ا سورد تا-=و ¸,,=- و ء'--ا »- ر,''--,'- _-'-¸- ¸-- . '-,¸· ن,´-- سور-'ا --ه
-,'- _·,- ¸-= ة¸·,-- ¸-و¸-´'`ا ر,''- . نا,-= -=- ¸+=, ¸-'ا ا-ه ¸· ª-,='- »- ي-'ا .,'-'ا :
Teaching Minority Languages: the case of Arabic in Europe
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