What do you know about the Dutch language and culture programme at TES?
Did you know that besides the British, French and German Sections, there has long been a Dutch language and culture programme operating within our Taipei European School as well? The programme is known as De Oranje Dumpling, which means The Orange Dumpling.
The Dutch classroom on the EPC is based in the Infant Section building. The curriculum has been set up according to guidelines from the Dutch Ministry of Education. This ensures that the children follow a programme that is identical to the language curriculum at primary and secondary schools in the Netherlands and Belgium. How does that work on a daily basis?
At the EPC, the children are taught Dutch for four periods a week. Throughout the day, children from every year group are taught in small groups. The children enroll in the programme when as young as three years old. Every school year, all the children sit the same standardised language tests that all pupils takes in The Netherlands and Belgium, in order to assess their speaking, reading, writing and spelling skills. At the ESC, the lessons take place twice a week after regular school hours. Students can choose Dutch as a subject in the IGCSE and IB programmes.
Both, parents and children, are highly motivated to enroll in the Dutch language and culture programme, as most families intend to return to The Netherlands or Belgium within a few years, where the children will resume their education within the national education system.
In addition to the Dutch language, De Oranje Dumpling also focuses on teaching the students all about Dutch and Belgian culture. Living so far away from our countries, it is extra important to keep our traditions and cultural values alive.
Since the start of this school year, TES pupils in the age between 5 and 12 years are able to learn Dutch as a foreign language. Children can enroll in the weekly ECA Dutch Language Club. We make learning fun by basic vocabulary based on daily conversation. The students have lots of opportunities to focus on pronunciation and vocabulary by educative programmes and digital learning games.
Throughout the ages, De Oranje Dumpling cooperates more and more within TES. Every year, we run a Dutch food stall at the Christmas Bazaar. Come along and try out the delicious home-made apple pies! Another very important event is Languages Week. We believe that every child on earth should be able to learn his mother tongue, wherever he/she grows up. During languages week we focus on how important the use of the mother tongue is. Our pupils give a presentation about their experiences to communicate in their first language. Last year, we even performed an authentic, traditional clogs dance! It was good fun.
We also celebrate Sinterklaas, King's Day, book week, and do several cultural projects such as Art, Provinces, History (VOC in Taiwan), etc…
We are constantly looking for more students at De Oranje Dumpling, either as native speakers, second language takers or children who would like to learn Dutch as a foreign language!
If you would like to know more about the content of the Dutch Language and Culture programme, do not hesitate to contact the teacher or the Dutch Board of De Oranje Dumpling.
Petra Hoeve - Dutch Language and Culture Coordinator and Teacher
De Oranje Dumpling - Dutch Language Education Foundation (Dutch Board)